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[275] Old men, I thank you; it is right that friends should feel virtuous indignation on behalf of those they love; but do not on our account vent your anger on the tyrant to your own undoing. Hear my advice, Amphitryon, if there appears to you to be anything in what I say. [280] I love my children; strange if I did not love those whom I bore, whom I labored for! Death I count a dreadful fate; but the man who strives against necessity I esteem a fool. Since we must die, let us do so [285] without being burnt alive, a source of mockery to our enemies, which to my mind is an evil worse than death; for much good do we owe our family. You have always had a warrior's fair fame, so it is not to be endured that you should die a coward's death; [290] and my husband's reputation needs no one to witness that he would never consent to save these children's lives by letting them incur the stain of cowardice; for the noble are afflicted by disgrace on account of their children, nor must I shrink from following my lord's example. [295] As to your hopes consider how I weigh them. Do you think your son will return from beneath the earth? And who ever has come back from the dead out of the halls of Hades? But would you soften this man by entreaty? Oh no! better to fly from one's enemy when he is so brutish, [300] but yield to men of breeding and wisdom; for you would more easily conclude a friendly truce by accepting regard. True, a thought has already occurred to me that we might by entreaty obtain a sentence of exile for the children; yet this too is misery, to compass their deliverance with dire penury as the result; [305] for it is a saying that hosts look sweetly on banished friends for a day and no more. Endure to die with us, for that awaits you after all. By your brave soul I challenge you, old friend; for whoever struggles hard to escape destiny sent by the gods [310] shows zeal no doubt, but it is zeal with a taint of folly; for what must be, no one will ever avail to alter.

Chorus Leader
If a man had insulted you, while yet my arms were strong, there would have been an easy way to stop him; but now am I am nothing ; and so you henceforth, Amphitryon, [315] must scheme how to avert misfortune.

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    • Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges, PARTICLES
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