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[585] O my daughter! among this crowd of sorrows I do not know where to turn my gaze; for if I set myself to one, another will not let me be; while from this again another grief summons me, finding a successor to sorrow's throne. And now I can not efface from my mind the memory of your sufferings [590] sufficiently to stay my tears; yet the story of your noble death has taken from the keenness of my grief. Is it not then strange that a poor land, when blessed by heaven with a lucky year, yields a good crop, while that which is good, if robbed of needful care, [595] bears little fruit; yet among men the base is nothing else but wicked, the good man is good, never changing for the worse because of misfortune, but ever the same? Is then the difference due to birth or bringing up? [600] Good training doubtless gives lessons in good conduct, and if a man has mastered this, he knows what is shameful by the standard of the good. And these are random shafts from my mind, I know.

To Talthybius Go and proclaim to the Argives [605] that they do not touch my daughter's body but keep the crowd away. For when a countless army is gathered, the mob knows no restraint, and the unruliness of sailors exceeds that of fire, all abstinence from evil being counted evil.Talthybius goes out.

Addressing a servant Now you, my aged handmaid, take a pitcher [610] and dip it in the salt sea and bring it here, that I for the last time may wash my child, an unwed bride, a ravished virgin, and lay her out, as she deserves, ah! how can I? impossible! but as best I can; and what will that be? [615] I will collect adornment from the captives, my companions in these tents, if perhaps any of them escaping her new master's eye has made some theft from her home.The servant departs.

O towering halls, O home so happy once, [620] O Priam, rich in store of fairest wealth, most blessed of fathers, and I no less, the grey-haired mother of your race, how are we brought to nothing, stripped of our former pride! And in spite of all we vaunt ourselves, one on the riches of his house, [625] another because he has an honored name among his fellow-citizens! But these things are nothing; in vain are all our thoughtful schemes, in vain our boastful words. He is happiest who meets no sorrow day by day.Hecuba enters the tent.

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