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Tutor
Aged slave of my mistress' household, [50] why do you stand alone like this at the palace-gate, complaining of your troubles to your own ears? How can Medea spare your service?

Nurse
Old attendant to the children of Jason, to trusty servants it is a disaster when the dice of their masters' fortunes [55] fall badly: it touches their hearts. So great is the grief I feel that the desire stole over me to come out here and speak my mistress' troubles to the earth and the sky.

Tutor
What? Does the poor woman not yet cease from moaning?

Nurse
[60] Your ignorance is enviable. Her misfortune is still beginning and has not yet reached its peak.

Tutor
Poor fool (if I may speak thus of my masters), how little she knows of her latest trouble!

Nurse
What is it, old man? Do not begrudge me the news.

Tutor
Nothing. I am sorry I said as much as I have.

Nurse
[65] I beg you by your beard, do not conceal this from your fellow-slave! I will keep it a secret if I must.

Tutor
As I approached the gaming-tables where the old men sit, near the holy spring of Peirene, I heard someone say (I was pretending not to listen) [70] that Creon, this country's king, was going to exile these children and their mother from the land of Corinth. Whether the story is true I do not know. I could wish it were not so.

Nurse
But will Jason allow this to happen [75] to his sons even if he is at odds with their mother?

Tutor
Old marriage-ties give way to new: he is no friend to this house.

Nurse
We are done for, it seems, if we add this new trouble to our old ones before we've weathered those

Tutor
[80] But you, hold your peace, since it is not the right time for your mistress to know this, and say nothing of this tale.

Nurse
O children, do you hear what kind of man your father is towards you? A curse on him!—but no, he is my master. Yet he is certainly guilty of disloyalty towards his loved ones.

Tutor
[85] As what mortal is not? Are you just now learning this, that each man loves himself more than his neighbor, [some justly, others for the sake of gain,] seeing that their father does not love these boys because of his bride?

Nurse
Go into the house, children, all will be well. [90] And you, keep them as far off as you can and do not bring them near their mother in her distress. For I have seen her turn a savage glance at them, as if she meant to do something to them. And she will not let go of her wrath, I am sure, before she brings it down on someone's head. [95] But may it be enemies, not loved ones, that feel her wrath!

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 123
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 961
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges, NEGATIVE SENTENCES
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.6.1
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