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Megara
We are being ruined; forgive me, old friend, [535] if I have anticipated that to which you had a right to tell him; for women's nature is perhaps more prone to grief than men's and they are my children that were being led to death, which was my own lot too.

Heracles
Apollo! what a prelude to your story!

Megara
My brothers are dead, and my old father.

Heracles
[540] How so? what did he do? whose spear did he meet?

Megara
Lycus, our new monarch, slew him.

Heracles
Did he meet him in fair fight, or was the land sick and weak?

Megara
Yes, from faction; now he is master of the city of Cadmus with its seven gates.

Heracles
Why has panic fallen on you and my aged father?

Megara
[545] He meant to kill your father, me, and my children.

Heracles
What are you saying? What did he have to fear from my orphan babes?

Megara
He was afraid they might some day avenge Creon's death.

Heracles
What is this dress they wear, suited to the dead?

Megara
It is the garb of death we have already put on.

Heracles
[550] And were you being forced to die? O woe is me!

Megara
Yes, deserted by every friend, and informed that you were dead.

Heracles
What put such desperate thoughts into your heads?

Megara
That was what the heralds of Eurystheus kept proclaiming.

Heracles
Why did you leave my hearth and home?

Megara
[555] He forced us; your father was dragged from his bed.

Heracles
Had he no shame, to ill-use the old man so?

Megara
Shame indeed! that goddess and he dwell far enough apart.

Heracles
Was I so poor in friends in my absence?

Megara
Who are the friends of a man in misfortune?

Heracles
[560] Do they make so light of my hard warring with the Minyans?

Megara
Misfortune, to repeat it to you, has no friends.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 911-1085
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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