previous next

offering his hand.
Your hand, brother! let me grasp it.

I give it; yours is the victory, mine the sorrow.

By Pelops our reputed grandsire and Atreus our father, [475] I swear to tell you the truth from my heart, without any covert purpose, but only what I think. The sight of you in tears made me pity you, and in return I shed a tear for you myself; I withdraw from my former proposals, [480] ceasing to be a cause of fear to you; yes, and I will put myself in your present position; and I counsel you, do not slay your child or prefer my interests to yours; for it is not just that you should grieve, while I am glad, or that your children should die, while mine still see the light of day. [485] What is it, after all, I seek? If I am set on marriage, could I not find a bride as choice elsewhere? Was I to lose a brother—the last I should have lost—to win a Helen, getting bad for good? I was mad, impetuous as a youth, till I perceived, [490] on closer view, what slaying children really meant. Moreover I am filled with compassion for the hapless maiden, doomed to bleed that I may wed, when I reflect that we are kin. What has your daughter to do with Helen?

[495] Let the army be disbanded and leave Aulis; dry those streaming eyes, brother, and do not provoke me to tears. Whatever concern you have in oracles that affect your child, let it be none of mine; into your hands I resign my share. [500] A sudden change, you'll say, from my dread proposals? A natural course for me; affection for my brother caused the change. These are the ways of a man not devoid of virtue, to pursue on each occasion what is best.

Chorus Leader
A generous speech, worthy of Tantalus, the son of Zeus; [505] you do not shame your ancestry.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Aulis (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: