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Helen comes out of the palace alone.

My friends, all goes well for us inside; [1370] for the daughter of Proteus, who aids us in our theft, has told her brother nothing when questioned as to my husband's coming; for my sake she said that he was not alive, but dead and buried. . . . My husband has snatched up by chance fine things indeed; [1375] for he is carrying away the armor he was intending to let fall into the sea, putting his noble arm through the shield-strap and holding a spear in his right hand, on pretence of joining in the service to the dead. He has equipped his body with weapons conveniently for the battle, [1380] in order to to set up the trophies of countless barbarians, whenever we embark on the oared ship. I adorned him with robes in place of his shipwrecked garments, and I washed him, a long-delayed bath in water from the stream. [1385] But I must be silent, for the man is coming from the house who thinks he holds my marriage ready in his hands; and I claim your goodwill and strict silence, so that, when we have saved ourselves, we may be able some day to save you also.

Theoklymenos and Menelaos enter, with a train of attendants bearing the offerings for the funeral rites.

[1390] Advance in order, servants, as the stranger directed, bearing the funeral gifts for the sea. But you, Helen, if you will agree with my words, be persuaded and stay here; for you will do your husband equal service whether you are present or not. [1395] For I am afraid that some sudden passion should persuade you to throw your body into the swelling waves, stricken by love for your former husband; you are grieving for him too much, although he is lost.

O my new husband, I must honor [1400] my first marriage-bed and the one whose company I shared as a bride; for I could even die with my husband, I loved him so much. But how could he thank me, if I were to share death with him? Let me go and pay funeral rites to the dead in person. [1405] May the gods give to you the things I wish and also to this stranger here, for his assistance! And you will have in me such a wife at home as you ought to have, since you are doing a good service to Menelaos and to me; for surely these events are leading to some good fortune. [1410] But now appoint someone to give us a ship in which to carry these gifts, so that I may have your kindness in full.

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