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Peleus, because of the marriage-bed we once shared I, Thetis, have left the house of Nereus and come here. First I counsel you not to be too much cast down by your present misfortunes. [1235] For even I, who ought not to have born children to make me weep, since I am a goddess and have a god for my father, have lost the child I had from you, Achilles, swift of foot, whom I bore to be the noblest of the Greeks.

But listen, and I shall tell you why I have come. Take the son of Achilles, who lies here slain, [1240] to the altar of Delphi and there bury him, a reproach to the Delphians, so that his grave may proclaim that he was violently slain by the hand of Orestes. As for the captive woman, I mean Andromache, she must go to dwell in the land of Molossia [1245] and be married to Helenus, and with her must go her son,1 the last of the line of Aeacus. It is fated that his descendants in unbroken succession will rule over Molossia and live their lives in prosperity. For, old sir, it was not to be [1250] that your race and mine should be so laid waste, nor that of Troy, for Troy too is in the gods' care although it fell by the will of Pallas Athena. As for yourself, in order that you may feel gratitude for your marriage to me, [1255] I shall set you free from mortal woe and make you a god, deathless and exempt from decay. And then you shall dwell with me in the house of Nereus, god with goddess, for all time to come. From there, walking dry-shod out of the deep [1260] you will see your beloved son and mine, Achilles, dwelling in his island home on the strand of Leuke in the Sea Inhospitable.2 But go to the god-built city of Delphi with the body of this man, and when you have buried him in earth, [1265] go to the hollow cave on the ancient promontory of Sepias and sit. Wait there until I come from the sea with a chorus of fifty Nereids to escort you. You must carry out the course that fate prescribes, for this is the will of Zeus. [1270] Cease from your grieving for the dead. For this is the judgement that stands over all mortals and death is their debt to pay.Exit Thetis by the mechane.

O lady, o noble bedfellow, daughter of Nereus, farewell! Your deeds are worthy [1275] of yourself and of the children sprung from you. I shall put an end to grief at your command, goddess, and when I have buried this man I shall go to the glens of Pelion where I took your fair form in my arms. [How then should a man not take a wife from a noble family [1280] and give his daughter in marriage to the great and good, if he has sense? Should he not avoid desiring an ignoble wife even if she brings a rich dowry to the house? Never shall they fare ill at the hands of the gods.]

1 The demonstrative τόνδε, given by the mss., need not imply the presence of Molossus (and Andromache) on the stage (see K.-G. i.644 and H. Hunger,WS 65 [1950-51] 19-24) and there is no cogent evidence that she enters with Peleus at 1047 and some evidence against it: see P. D. Kovacs, The Andromache of Euripides, p. 49 and notes.

2 A tradition going back to the epic poet Arctinus said that Achilles' ghost haunted the island of Leuke, opposite the mouth of the Danube in the Euxine Sea.

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    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.2
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