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This, I think, is the piteous pass I shall one day come to; [1295] for earth will cry out forbidding me to touch her, the sea and the river-springs will refuse me a crossing, and I shall become like Ixion who revolves in chains upon that wheel. And so this is best, that I should be seen by no one of the Hellenes, [1300] among whom in happier days I lived in bliss. What right have I to live? what profit can I have in the possession of a useless, impious life? So let that noble wife of Zeus dance, beating her foot in its shoe; [1305] for now has she worked her heart's desire in utterly confounding the first of Hellas' sons. Who would pray to such a goddess? Her jealousy of Zeus for his love of a woman has destroyed [1310] the benefactors of Hellas, guiltless though they were.

Chorus Leader
This is the work of none other of the gods than the wife of Zeus; you are right in that surmise.

Theseus
I cannot counsel you . . . rather than to go on suffering. There is not a man alive that has wholly escaped misfortune's taint, [1315] nor any god either, if what poets sing is true. Have they not intermarried in ways that law forbids? Have they not thrown fathers into ignominious chains to gain the sovereign power? Still they inhabit Olympus and brave the issue of their crimes. [1320] And yet what shall you say in your defence, if you, a child of man, take your fate excessively hard, while they, as gods, do not? No, then, leave Thebes in compliance with the law, and come with me to the city of Pallas. There, when I have purified you of your pollution, [1325] I will give you homes and the half of all I have. Yes, I will give you all those presents I received from the citizens for saving their fourteen children, when I slew the bull of Crete; for I have plots of land assigned me throughout the country; these shall henceforth [1330] be called after you by men, while you live; and at your death, when you have gone to Hades' halls, the whole city of Athens shall exalt your honor with sacrifices and a monument of stone. For it is a noble crown of a good reputation [1335] for citizens to win from Hellas, by helping a man of worth. This is the return that I will make you for saving me, for now you are in need of friends. But when the gods honor a man, he has no need of friends; for the god's aid, when he chooses to give it, is enough.

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