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Well, now listen; for I will unfold my meaning and no longer employ dark riddles. In the first place—to reproach you first with this—it was not of my own free will but by force that you took and wed me, [1150] after slaying Tantalus, my former husband, and dashing my baby on the ground when you had torn him from my breast with brutal violence. Then those two sons of Zeus, who were my brothers, came flashing on horseback to war with you; [1155] but Tyndareus, my old father, rescued you because of your suppliant prayers, and you in turn had me to wife.

Once I was reconciled to you upon this footing, you will bear me witness I have been a blameless wife to you and your family, chaste in love, [1160] an honor to your house, that so your coming in might be with joy and your going out with gladness. And it is seldom a man secures a wife like this, though the getting of a worthless woman Is no rarity. Besides three daughters, of one of whom you are heartlessly depriving me, [1165] I am the mother of this son of yours. If anyone asks you your reason for slaying her, tell me, what will you say? or must I say it for you? “It is that Menelaus may recover Helen.” An honorable exchange, indeed, to pay a wicked woman's price in children's lives! [1170] It is buying what we most detest with what we hold most dear. Again, if you go forth with the army, leaving me in your halls and are long absent at Troy, what will my feelings be at home, do you think? when I behold each vacant chair [1175] and her chamber now deserted, and then sit down alone in tears, making ceaseless lamentation for her, “Ah! my child, he that begot you has slain you himself, he and no one else, nor are was it by another's hand, leaving behind him such a return to his home.” [1180] For it needs now only a trifling pretext for me and the daughters remaining to give you the reception it is right you should receive. I adjure you by the gods, do not compel me to sin against you, or sin yourself.

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