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But Peisander made straight at glorious Menelaus; howbeit an evil fate was leading him to the end of death, to be slain by thee, Menelaus, in the dread conflict. And when they were come near, as they advanced one against the other, [605] the son of Atreus missed, and his spear was turned aside; but Peisander thrust and smote the shield of glorious Menelaus, yet availed not to drive the bronze clean through, for the wide shield stayed it and the spear brake in the socket; yet had he joy at heart, and hope for victory. [610] But the son of Atreus drew his silver-studded sword, and leapt upon Peisander; and he from beneath his shield grasped a goodly axe of fine bronze, set on a haft of olive-wood, long and well-polished; and at the one moment they set each upon the other. Peisander verily smote Menelaus upon the horn of his helmet with crest of horse-hair [615] —on the topmost part beneath the very plume; but Menelaus smote him as he came against him, on the forehead above the base of the nose; and the bones crashed loudly, and the two eyeballs, all bloody, fell before his feet in the dust, and he bowed and fell; and Menelaus set his foot upon his breast, and despoiled him of his arms, and exulted, saying: [620] “ln such wise of a surety shall ye leave the ships of the Danaans, drivers of swift horses, ye overweening Trojans, insatiate of the dread din of battle. Aye, and of other despite and shame lack ye naught, wherewith ye have done despite unto me, ye evil dogs,1 and had no fear at heart of the grievous wrath of Zeus, that thundereth aloud, the god of hospitality, [625] who shall some day destroy your high city. For ye bare forth wantonly over sea my wedded wife and therewithal much treasure, when it was with her that ye had found entertainment; and now again ye are full fain to fling consuming fire on the sea-faring ships, and to slay the Achaean warriors. [630] Nay, but ye shall be stayed from your fighting, how eager soever ye be! Father Zeus, in sooth men say that in wisdom thou art above all others, both men and gods, yet it is from thee that all these things come; in such wise now dost thou shew favour to men of wantonness, even the Trojans, whose might is always froward, [635] nor can they ever have their fill of the din of evil war. Of all things is there satiety, of sleep, and love, and of sweet song, and the goodly dance; of these things verily a man would rather have his fill than of war; but the Trojans are insatiate of battle.”

1 49.1

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 720
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