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Iphigenia enters from the temple. Guards lead in Orestes and Pylades, bound.

Enough; first, it will be my care to perform well the rites of the goddess. Unbind the strangers' hands, so that, as holy victims, they may no longer be in chains. [470] Then go into the temple and make ready what is necessary and customary at the present time.

Ah! Who was your mother, who gave you birth, and your father? And your sister, if you happen to have one . . . such two youths as she has lost, [475] and will be without a brother! Who knows where such fortunes will arrive? For all the gods' affairs creep on in darkness, and no one knows evil . . . fate leads us on towards what we cannot know.

Unhappy strangers, where have you come from? [480] For you have sailed a long time to reach this land, and you will be away from your home a long time, in the world below.

Why do you lament these things, and mourn for the evils about to come upon us, lady, whoever you are? I do not think the one who is about to die wise, [485] if he wishes to conquer the fear of death by wailing, nor the one who laments when Hades is near and there is no hope of safety; for so he puts together two ills out of one, incurring a charge of folly and dying all the same; we must let fate alone. [490] Do not grieve for us; for we are acquainted with the sacrifices here and we know them.

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