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Theban Herald

Theban Herald
[465] Now I will speak. On these disputed points you hold this view, but I the contrary.

I and all the people of Cadmus forbid you to admit Adrastus to this land, but if he is here, [470] drive him forth in disregard of the holy suppliant bough, before the blazing sun sinks, and do not attempt violently to take up the dead, since you have nothing to do with the city of Argos. And if you will hearken to me, you shall bring your ship of state into port unharmed by the billows; but if not, fierce shall be the surge of battle [475] that we and our allies shall raise. Take good thought, and do not, angered at my words, because you rule your city with so-called freedom, return a vaunting answer from your feebler means. Hope is not to be trusted; it has involved many a state [480] in strife, by leading them into excessive rage. For whenever the city has to vote on the question of war, no man ever takes his own death into account, but shifts this misfortune on to another; but if death were before their eyes when they were giving their votes, [485] Hellas would never rush to her doom in mad desire for battle. And yet each man among us knows which of the two to prefer, the good or ill, and how much better peace is for mankind than war, peace, the Muses' dearest friend, [490] the foe of Sorrow, whose joy is in glad throngs of children, and its delight in prosperity. These are the blessings we cast away and wickedly embark on war, man enslaving his weaker brother, and cities following suit.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 670
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