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Electra comes out of the palace.

Electra
Women, has my poor Orestes left the house, [845] mastered by the heaven-sent madness?

Chorus Leader
Not at all; he has gone to the Argive people to stand the appointed trial for his life, in which he and you must live or die.

Electra
Oh! Why did he do it? Who persuaded him?

Chorus Leader
[850] Pylades; but this messenger will no doubt soon tell us what happened to your brother there.

A messenger, formerly a servant of Agamemnon, enters.

Messenger
Wretched, unhappy daughter of the general Agamemnon, my lady Electra, hear the sad tidings I bring you.

Electra
[855] Alas! we are ruined; your words show it; you have clearly come with tidings of woe.

Messenger
The Pelasgians have decided by vote that you, poor lady, and your brother are to die this day.

Electra
Alas! my expectation has come to pass; I have long feared this, [860] and have been wasting away in mourning for what was sure to happen. But what was the trial, what was said by the Argives, to condemn us and ratify our death? Tell me, old friend; must I die by stoning or the sword? [865] For I share my brother's misfortunes.

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