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Lady, do you know the one whom we summoned just now? [1055] Is it of him that this man speaks?

Why ask of whom he spoke? Regard it not; waste not a thought on what he said; it would be vain.

It must not happen that, with such clues in my grasp, I fail to bring my birth to light.

[1060] For the gods' sake, if you have any care for your own life, do not continue this search! My anguish is enough.

Be of good courage. Even if I should be found the son of a servile mother—a slave by three descents—you will not be proven baseborn.

Hear me, I implore you: do not do this.

[1065] I will not hear of not discovering the whole truth.

Yet I wish you well—I counsel you for the best.

These best counsels, then, vex my patience.

Oh ill-fated man, may you never know who you are!

Go, some one, fetch me the herdsman. [1070] Leave this woman to glory in her princely stock.

Alas, alas, miserable man—that word alone can I say to you—and no other word ever again.She rushes into the palace.

Why has this woman gone, Oedipus, rushing off in wild grief? I fear [1075] a storm of sorrow will soon break forth from this silence.

Break forth what will! Be my race ever so lowly, I crave to learn it. That woman perhaps—for she is proud with more than a woman's pride—feels ashamed of my lowly origin. But I, who hold myself son of Fortune [1080] that gives good, will not be dishonored. She is the mother from whom I spring, and the months, my kinsmen, have marked me sometimes lowly, sometimes great. Such being my heritage, never more can I prove [1085] false to it, or keep from searching out the secret of my birth.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 112
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.2.3
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