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Theseus addresses one of his own heralds. As he speaks, the Herald from King Creon of Thebes enters.

With this art you have always served the state and me by carrying my proclamations far and wide; now cross Asopus and the waters of Ismenus, and declare this message to the haughty king of the Cadmeans: [385] “Theseus, your neighbor, one who well may win what he craves, begs as a favor your permission to bury the dead, winning to yourself the love of all the Erechtheidae.” And if they are willing, thank them and come back again, but if they do not hearken, your second message runs thus: [390] they may expect my warrior army; for at the sacred fount of CalIichorus my army camps in readiness and is being reviewed. Moreover, the city gladly of its own accord undertook this labor, when it perceived my wish. [395] Ha! who comes here to interrupt my speech? A Theban herald, so it seems, though I am not sure of this. Stay; perhaps he may save you your trouble. For by his coming he meets my purpose half-way.

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