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—You sons of Earth, whom Ares once sowed, when from the dragon's ravening jaw he had torn the teeth, up with your staves, on which you lean your hands, [255] and dash out this villain's brains! a fellow who, without even being a Theban, but a foreigner, lords it shamefully over the younger men; but my master shall you never be to your joy.

—Nor shall you reap the harvest of all my toil; [260] Go back to where you came from, in your insolence. For never while I live, shall you slay these sons of Heracles; not so deep beneath the earth has their father disappeared from his children's ken.

—You are in possession of this land which you have ruined, [265] while he, its benefactor, has missed his just reward.

—And yet do I take too much upon myself because I help those I love after their death, when most they need a friend?

—Ah! right hand, how you desire to wield the spear, but your weakness is a death-blow to your desire. [270] For then I would have stopped you calling me slave, and I would have governed Thebes with credit. In which you now rejoice; for a city sick with dissension and evil counsels does not think aright; otherwise it would never have accepted you as its master.

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Thebes (Greece) (1)

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