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Listen, mother; hear what thoughts have passed across my mind. [1375] I am resolved to die; and this I want to do with honor, dismissing from me what is mean. Towards this now, mother turn your thoughts, and with me weigh how well I speak; to me the whole of mighty Hellas looks; on me the passage over the sea depends; on me the sack of Troy; [1380] and in my power it lies to check henceforth barbarian raids on happy Hellas, if ever in the days to come they seek to seize her women, when once they have atoned by death for the violation of Helen's marriage by Paris. All this deliverance will my death insure, and my fame for setting Hellas free will be a happy one. [1385] Besides, I have no right at all to cling too fondly to my life; for you did not bear me for myself alone, but as a public blessing to all Hellas. What! shall countless warriors, armed with shields, those myriads sitting at the oar, find courage to attack the foe and die for Hellas, because their fatherland is wronged, [1390] and my one life prevent all this? What kind of justice is that? could I find a word in answer? Now let us turn to that other point. It is not right that this man should enter into battle with all Argos or be slain for a woman's sake. Better a single man should see the light than ten thousand women. [1395] If Artemis has decided to take my body, am I, a mortal, to thwart the goddess? no, that is impossible. I give my body to Hellas; sacrifice it and make an utter end of Troy. This is my enduring monument; marriage, motherhood, and fame—all these is it to me. [1400] And it is right, mother, that Hellenes should rule barbarians, but not barbarians Hellenes, those being slaves, while these are free.

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