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Menelaus
How do you stand in the city after that deed of yours?

Orestes
I am so hated that no one will speak to me.

Menelaus
Have your hands not even been cleaned of blood, according to custom?

Orestes
[430] No, for wherever I go, the door is shut against me.

Menelaus
Which citizens are driving you from the land?

Orestes
Oeax, who refers to my father his reason for hating Troy.

Menelaus
I understand; he is avenging on you the blood of Palamedes.

Orestes
That was nothing to do with me; yet I am destroyed for three reasons.

Menelaus
[435] Who else? Some of the friends of Aegisthus, I suppose?

Orestes
They insult me, and the city listens to them now.

Menelaus
Will the city allow you to keep the scepter of Agamemnon?

Orestes
How, seeing that they will not allow me to remain alive?

Menelaus
What is their method? Can you tell me plainly?

Orestes
[440] A vote will be taken against us today.

Menelaus
To leave the city? Or to die, or not to die?

Orestes
Death by stoning at the hands of the citizens.

Menelaus
Then why not cross the border and try to escape?

Orestes
Because we are encircled by men fully armed.

Menelaus
[445] Private foes or Argive troops?

Orestes
All the citizens, so that I may die; it is shortly told.

Menelaus
Poor wretch! you have arrived at the extremity of woe.

Orestes
In you I have hopes of escape from my troubles. But since you have come with good fortune, [450] share with your friends, who are wretched, your prosperity; do not hold aside that goodness for yourself alone; but partake of troubles in your turn, and so pay back my father's kindness to those who have a claim on you. For such friends as desert us in adversity [455] are friends in name but not in deed.

Chorus Leader
And here is Tyndareus, the Spartan, struggling with aged step, clad in black robes, with his hair cut short in mourning for his daughter.

Orestes
Menelaus, I am ruined. See, Tyndareus [460] approaches us, the man of all others I most shrink from facing, because of the deed I have done. For he nursed me when I was small, and lavished on me many a fond caress, carrying me about in his arms as the son of Agamemnon; and so did Leda; [465] for they both honored me no less than the Dioscuri. Ah me! my wretched heart and soul, it was a sorry return I made them! What darkness can I find for my face? What cloud can I spread before me in my efforts to escape the old man's eye?

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hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.1
    • Smith's Bio, Oeax
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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