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Teiresias
[865] For Eteocles I would have closed my lips and refrained from all response, but to you I will speak, since it is your wish to learn. This country, Creon, has been long afflicted, ever since Laius became a father against the will of the gods, begetting hapless Oedipus to be his own mother's husband. [870] That bloody destruction of his eyes was planned by the gods as an example to Hellas; and the sons of Oedipus went foolishly astray in wishing to throw over it the veil of time—as if they could outrun the gods! For by robbing their father of his due honor [875] and allowing him no freedom, they enraged the luckless man; so he, suffering and disgraced as well, breathed dreadful curses against them. And I, because I left nothing undone or unsaid, incurred the hatred of the sons of Oedipus. [880] But death inflicted by each other's hands awaits them, Creon; and the many heaps of the slain, some from Argive, some from Theban spears, shall cause bitter lamentation in the land of Thebes. Alas for you, poor city, you are being involved in their ruin, [885] unless I can persuade one man. The best course was to prevent any child of Oedipus becoming either citizen or king in this land, since they are possessed and would overthrow the city. But as evil has the mastery of good, there is [890] one other means of safety; but—for it is unsafe for me to tell, and painful too for those whose fortune it is to supply their city with the saving cure—I will go away. Farewell; among the rest [895] I will endure what is to come, if I must; for what else can I do?

Creon
Stay here, old man.

Teiresias
Do not catch hold of me.

Creon
Wait; why do you try to escape?

Teiresias
It is your fortune that tries to escape you, not I.

Creon
Tell me what can save Thebes and her citizens.

Teiresias
Though you want this now, you will not want it soon.

Creon
[900] Not wish to save my country? how can that be?

Teiresias
Do you really wish to hear it, eagerly?

Creon
Yes; for where should I show greater zeal?

Teiresias
Then you will presently hear my prophetic words. But first I would know for certain [905] where Menoeceus is, who led me here.

Creon
Here, not far away, but at your side.

Teiresias
Let him go far from my prophecies.

Creon
He is my own son and will be silent as he ought.

Teiresias
Do you want me to tell you in his presence?

Creon
[910] Yes, for he will rejoice to hear the means of safety.

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