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Iphigenia
Mother, why so silent, your eyes wet with tears?

Clytemnestra
I have reason, woe is me! to be sad at heart.

Iphigenia
[1435] Stop; do not make me a coward; here in one thing obey me.

Clytemnestra
Tell me, my child, for at my hands you shall never suffer injury.

Iphigenia
Cut not off the tresses of your hair for me, nor clothe yourself in sable garb.

Clytemnestra
Why, my child, what is it you have said? When I have lost you?

Iphigenia
[1440] You wll not lose me; I am saved and you renowned, as far as I can make you.

Clytemnestra
How so? Must I not mourn your death?

Iphigenia
By no means, for I shall have no tomb heaped over me.

Clytemnestra
What then? It is death, not the tomb, that is rightly mourned.

Iphigenia
The altar of the goddess, Zeus's daughter, will be my tomb.

Clytemnestra
[1445] Well, my child, I will let you persuade me, for you speak well.

Iphigenia
Yes, as one who prospers and does Hellas service.

Clytemnestra
What message shall I carry to your sisters?

Iphigenia
Do not put mourning raiment on them either.

Clytemnestra
But is there no fond message I can give the maidens from you?

Iphigenia
[1450] Yes, my farewell words; and promise me to rear Orestes to manhood.

Clytemnestra
Press him to your bosom; it is your last look.

Iphigenia
O you that are most dear to me! you have helped your friends as you had means.

Clytemnestra
Is there anything I can do in Argos to please you?

Iphigenia
Yes, do not hate my father, your own husband.

Clytemnestra
[1455] Fearful are the trials through which he has to go because of you.

Iphigenia
It was against his will he ruined me for the sake of Hellas.

Clytemnestra
Ah! but he employed base treachery, unworthy of Atreus.

Iphigenia
Who will escort me from here, before my hair is torn?

Clytemnestra
I will go with you—

Iphigenia
No, not you; that is not well saidl.

Clytemnestra
[1460] Clinging to your robes.

Iphigenia
Be persuaded by me, mother, stay here; for this is the better way both for me and you; but let one of these attendants of my father conduct me to the meadow of Artemis, where I shall be sacrificed.

Clytemnestra
Are you gone from me, my child?

Iphigenia
Yes, and with no chance of ever returning.

Clytemnestra
[1465] Leaving your mother?

Iphigenia
Yes, as you see, undeservedly.

Clytemnestra
Hold! do not leave me!

Iphigenia
I cannot let you shed a tear. To the Chorus. May it be yours, maidens, to hymn in joyous strains Artemis, the child of Zeus, for my hard lot; and let the order for a solemn hush go forth to the Danaids. [1470] Begin the sacrifice with the baskets, let the fire blaze for the purifying meal of sprinkling, and my father pace from left to right about the altar; for I come to bestow on Hellas safety crowned with victory.

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