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Listen to me; I have come to a subject which means benefit both to you, strangers, [580] and to me, by your efforts. A good action is especially so, if the same matter is pleasing to all. Would you, if I should save you, go to Argos and take a report of me to my friends there, and bring a tablet, [585] which a captive wrote for me in pity? He did not think my hand murderous, but that the victims of the goddess, who holds these things just, die under the law. For I have had no one to go back to Argos with that message, who, [590] being saved, would send my letter to one of my friends. But you—if, as it seems, you are not hostile to me, and you know Mycenae and those whom I want you to know—be rescued, and have this reward, not a shameful one, safety for the sake of this small letter. [595] But let him, since the city exacts it, be the offering to the goddess, separated from you.

Stranger, you have spoken all well but this: to sacrifice him would be a heavy grief to me. I am the pilot of these misfortunes, [600] he sailed with me for the sake of my troubles. For it is not right for me to do you a favor and get out of danger, on condition of his death. But let it happen this way: give him the letter and he will take it to to Argos, for your well-being; [605] let anyone who wishes kill me. It is most shameful for anyone to save himself by hurling his friends' affairs into catastrophe. That man is my friend, and I wish him to live, no less than myself.

O brave spirit! How you were born from some noble [610] stock, and are rightly a friend to your friends! May that one of my relatives who is left be such as you! For I am not without a brother, strangers, except in so far as I do not see him. Since you wish it, I will send this man [615] with the tablet, and you will die; a great eagerness for this seems to possess you.

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