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Enter Heracles by Eisodos A with a veiled woman.

But look: it seems Alcmene's son is coming to your hearth, Admetus.

One should speak frankly to a friend, Admetus, and not silently store up reproaches in the heart. [1010] I thought it right that I should stand by you in your misfortune and give proof that I was your friend. Yet you did not tell me your wife was laid out for burial but feasted me in the house, saying that you were busy with a grief not your own. [1015] So I garlanded my head and poured libations to the gods in your house in its hour of misfortune. I do object to this treatment, indeed I do. Yet I do not want to cause you pain in the midst of your trouble.

But I will tell you why I have returned here. [1020] Take and keep this woman for me until I have killed the king of the Bistones and come back with the Thracian mares. But if I should suffer the fate I pray heaven may avert (for I pray I may return), I give her to you to be a servant in your house. [1025] It was with great labor that she came into my hands. I found some people holding a public contest, an occasion worthy of an athlete's toil. It is from there that I took this woman as a prize. Those victorious in the light events [1030] won horses as a prize, while those in the greater events, boxing and wrestling, won cattle, with a woman in addition. Since I happened to be there, it seemed a shame to let slip this chance for profit combined with glory. But as I said, you must care for the woman. [1035] For I did not steal her but won her with labor. Perhaps in time you will praise me for this.

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