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Chorus-Leader
Often ere now I have engaged in discourses subtler, and entered upon contests greater, than is right for woman to peer into. [1085] No, we too possess a muse, who consorts with us to bring us wisdom: not with all of us, for it is some small clan, one woman among many, that you will find with a share in the Muse. [1090] I say that those mortals who are utterly without experience of children and have never borne them have the advantage in good fortune over those who have. For the childless, because they do not possess children [1095] and do not know whether they are a pleasure or a vexation to mortals, hold themselves aloof from many griefs. But those who have in their house the sweet gift of children, them I see [1100] worn down their whole life with care: first, how they shall raise their children well and how they may leave them some livelihood. And after that it is unclear whether all their toil is expended on worthless or worthy objects. [1105] But the last of all misfortunes for all mortals I shall now mention. Suppose they have found a sufficient livelihood, suppose the children's bodies have arrived at young manhood and their character is good: yet if their destiny [1110] so chances, off goes death carrying the children's bodies to Hades. How then does it profit us that for the sake of heirs the gods cast upon mortals, in addition to their other troubles, [1115] this further grief most painful?

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