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Old man, come here and stand before my dwelling.

Old man
I come; what new schemes now, king Agamemnon?

Agamemnon
Will you hurry?

Old man
I am hurrying. It is little enough sleep old age allows me [5] and keenly it watches over my eyes.

Agamemnon
What can that star be, steering its course there?

Old man
Sirius, still shooting over the zenith on his way near the Pleiads' sevenfold track.

Agamemnon
The birds are still at any rate [10] and the sea is calm, hushed are the winds, and silence broods over the Euripus.

Old man
Then why are you outside your tent, why so restless, my lord Agamemnon? All is yet quiet here in Aulis, [15] the watch on the walls is not yet astir. Let us go in.

Agamemnon
I envy you, old man, yes, and every man who leads a life secure, unknown and unrenowned; but little I envy those in office.

Old man
[20] And yet it is there that we place the be-all and end-all of existence

Agamemnon
Yes, but that is where the danger comes; and ambition, sweet though it seems, brings sorrow with its near approach. At one time the unsatisfied claims of the gods [25] upset our life, at another the numerous peevish fancies of our subjects shatter it.

Old man
I do not like these sentiments in one who is a chief. It was not to enjoy all blessings that [30] Atreus begot you, Agamemnon; but you must experience joy and sorrow alike, mortal as you are. Even though you like it not, this is what the gods decree. But you, after letting your taper spread its light abroad, [35] write the letter which is still in your hands and then erase the same words again, sealing and reopening the tablet, then flinging it to the ground with floods [40] of tears, and leaving nothing undone in your aimless behavior to stamp you mad. What is it that troubles you? what news is there affecting you, king? Come, share with me your story; [45] you will be telling it to a loyal and trusty heart ; for Tyndareus sent me that day to form part of your wife's dowry and to wait upon the bride with loyalty.

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