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O Hecuba, be schooled by me, and do not in your angry mood [300] count him a foe who speaks wisely. Your life I am prepared to save, for the service I received; I do not say otherwise. But what I said to all, I will not now deny, that after Troy's capture I would give your daughter to the chief man of our army [305] because he asked a victim. For here is a source of weakness to many states, whenever a man of brave and generous soul receives no greater honor than his inferiors. Now Achilles, lady, deserves honor at our hands, [310] since on behalf of Hellas the man died most nobly. Is not this a foul reproach to treat him as a friend in life, but, when he is gone from us, to treat him so no more? Enough! what will they say, if once more there comes a gathering of the army and a contest with the foe? [315] “Shall we fight or nurse our lives, seeing the dead have no honors?” For myself, indeed, when alive, if my daily store were scant, yet it would be all-sufficient, but my tomb I should wish [320] to be an object of respect, for this gratitude has long to run. You speak of cruel sufferings; hear my answer. Among us are grey old women and men no less miserable than you, and brides bereft of gallant husbands, [325] over whom this Trojan dust has closed. Endure these sorrows; for us, if we are wrong in resolving to honor the brave, we shall bring upon ourselves a charge of ignorance; but as for you barbarians, do not regard your friends as such and pay no homage to your gallant dead, [330] so that Hellas may prosper and you may reap the fruits of such policy.

Chorus Leader
Alas! how cursed is slavery always in its nature, forced by the might of the stronger to endure unseemly treatment.

Daughter, my pleading to avert your bloody death [335] was wasted idly, hurled forth on the air; but you, if endowed with greater power than your mother, make haste to utter every pleading note like the tuneful nightingale, to save your soul from death. Throw yourself pitiably at Odysseus' knees, [340] and try to move him—here is your plea: he too has children—to feel pity for your sad fate.

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