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A messenger enters.
O you that guard the temple and stand by the altar,  where has Thoas, the lord of this land, gone? Open the well-fastened gates, and call forth from this shrine the ruler of the land. Chorus Leader
What is it, if I may speak when not commanded? Messenger
The two young men are gone away,  through the plots of Agamemnon's daughter; they are escaping from this land, with the holy image deep within a Hellene ship. Chorus Leader
What you say is incredible; but the one you want to see, the lord of the country, has gone in haste from the temple. Messenger
 Where? For he should know what has been done. Chorus Leader
We don't know; but go after him, and report these things to him where you find him. Messenger
See, what a faithless race you women are! You also have a share in what has been done. Chorus Leader
 You are mad! What do we have to do the the flight of the strangers? Go as quickly as you can to the ruler's door! Messenger
No! Not until this interpreter brings word if the king is inside or not. Shouting
Ho there! Unbar the doors—I am speaking to those within—  and inform the master that I am at the gate with a burden of bad news. Thoas and his attendants enter from the temple.
Who is raising this clamor at the temple of the goddess, striking at the gates and sending his noise within? Messenger
Ah! These women told me that you were outside; they would have driven me away from the temple,  but you were inside after all. Thoas
What advantage were they expecting and hunting after? Messenger
I will tell you about them later; hear what is currently at hand. The girl who presided at this altar, Iphigenia, has left the country  with the strangers, and takes with her the holy statue of the goddess; the purification was a cheat. Thoas
What are you saying? What influence in her character brought her to this? Messenger
To save Orestes; here is a marvel for you! Thoas
To save whom? Clytemnestra's son? Messenger
 The one whom the goddess was dedicating to herself at this altar. Thoas
Marvelous! for what more can it be called? Messenger
Do not think of that, but listen to me; consider it clearly and when you hear, devise a pursuit to hunt down the strangers. Thoas
 Speak; you have said well; for their flight is not so brief a voyage as to escape my spear.