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We must shun dreadful deeds; and yet must never
condemn our hopes until those deeds occur.
In plans unwisely made there is no place
for hope, which might lend courage even now.
Men's wrath is softened toward those who have erred
unwittingly; and so it is with you.
One who has known misfortune would not utter
730such words, but only one who feels no sorrow.
It would be best if you were silent now
except in speaking to your son; for he
who left to seek his father has returned. Enter Hyllus
Mother, I wish one of three things would happen:
either that you were dead; or, if you live,
that you were not my mother; or that you
would change the heart you now have for a better!
What have I done, my child, to cause your hatred?
You need not doubt that on this very day
740you have destroyed your husband and my father.
My son, what word is this which you have spoken?
One which shall be confirmed; for who can render
unborn what has already seen the light?
What are you saying, child? What man has told you
that I am guilty of so foul a deed?
I saw my father's grievous fall myself,
with my own eyes, not heard it from some other.
Where did you come upon him and stand by him?