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Chorus Leader
What sweet relief to sufferers it is to weep, to mourn, lament, and chant the dirge that tells of grief!

Andromache
[610] Do you see this, mother of that man, Hector, who once laid low in battle many a son of Argos?

Hecuba
I see that it is heaven's way to exalt what men accounted nothing, and ruin what they most esteemed.

Andromache
Hence with my child as booty am I borne; the noble [615] are brought to slavery—a bitter change.

Hecuba
This is necessity's grim law; it was just now that Cassandra was torn with brutal violence from my arms.

Andromache
Alas, alas! it seems a second Aias has appeared to wrong your daughter; but there are other ills for you.

Hecuba
[620] Yes, beyond all count or measure are my sorrows; evil vies with evil in the struggle to be first.

Andromache
Your daughter Polyxena is dead, slain at Achilles' tomb, an offering to his lifeless corpse.

Hecuba
O woe is me! This is that riddle Talthybius [625] long ago told me, a truth obscurely uttered.

Andromache
I saw her myself; so I alighted from the chariot, and covered her corpse with a mantle, and struck upon my breast.

Hecuba
Alas! my child, for your unhallowed sacrifice! and yet again, alas! for your shameful death!

Andromache
[630] Her death was even as it was, and yet that death of hers was after all a happier fate than my life.

Hecuba
Death and life are not the same, my child; the one is annihilation, the other keeps a place for hope.

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