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Pylades, I hold you first among men as a kind and trusted friend to me. You alone of my friends have honored me, Orestes, [85] being as I am in dreadful suffering from Aegisthus, who killed my father, he and my most deadly mother. I have come from the mystic shrine of the god to Argive land, and no one knows it, to repay my father's murderers with murder. [90] During this past night, going to my father's tomb, I wept and cut off a lock of my hair as an offering and sacrificed over the altar the blood of a slaughtered sheep, unnoticed by the tyrants who rule this land. And now I do not set foot within the walls, [95] but I have come to the borders of this land combining two desires: I may escape to another country if anyone on the watch should recognize me; and, looking for my sister (for they say that she lives here, joined in marriage, and is no longer a virgin), [100] I may meet with her and, having her as an accomplice for murder, I may learn clearly what is happening within the walls.

And now, since dawn is lifting up her bright eye, let us step aside from this path. For either some plowman or serving maid [105] will come in our sight, from whom we may ask if my sister lives in this place. But now that I see this maidservant, bearing a weight of water on her shorn head, let us sit down, and inquire [110] of this slave girl, if we may receive some word about the matter, Pylades, for which we have come to this land.They step back a little, as Electra returns from the spring.

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