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Theonoe enters, attended by hand-maidens carrying torches.

[865] Please lead the way with blazing torches, and purify, according to the sacred law, the inmost corners of the air, so I may receive the pure breath of heaven; and you in turn, if someone has harmed the path by treading with unholy foot, submit it to the cleansing fire, [870] and strike the torch in front of me, so that I may pass through. And when you have paid back to the gods my customary observance, take the household flame within.

Helen, what about my prophecy—how is it? This man, your husband Menelaos, has openly arrived, [875] robbed of his ships and of your counterfeit. O unhappy man! What troubles you have escaped to come here; nor do you know whether you are to return home or to stay here. For there will be strife among the gods, and a solemn assembly held by Zeus on your account this very day. [880] Hera, who was hostile to you before, is now friendly and wants to bring you safely home, with this woman, so that Hellas may learn that the marriage of Paris, Kypris' gift, was false; but Kypris wishes to ruin your journey home, [885] so that she may not be convicted, or seem to have bought the prize of beauty by a marriage that was profitless as regards Helen. Now the decision rests with me, whether to ruin you, as Kypris wishes, by telling my brother of your presence here, or to save your life by taking Hera's side, [890] concealing it from my brother, whose orders are for me to tell him, whenever you happen to come to this land.

One of you, go show my brother this man is here, so that I may secure my safety.

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