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But if he has stopped his madness, I have good hope that all may yet be well, since the trouble is of less account once it has passed.

[265] And which, if the choice were given you, would you choose—to distress your friends, and have joy yourself, or to share the grief of friends who grieve?

The twofold sorrow, lady, is certainly the greater evil.

Then we are ruined now, although the plague is past.

[270] What do you mean? I do not understand what you say.

That man, while afflicted, found joy for himself in the dire fantasies that held him, though his presence distressed us who were sane. But now, since he has had pause and rest from the plague, [275] he has been utterly subjected to lowly anguish, and we similarly grieve no less than before. Surely, then, these are two sorrows, instead of one?

Indeed, I agree, and so I fear that a blow sent by a god has hit him. How could it be otherwise, if his spirit is no lighter [280] than when he was plagued, now that he is released?

This, you must know, is how matters stand.

In what way did the plague first swoop down on him? Tell us who share your pain how it happened.

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  • Commentary references to this page (3):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 333
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 460
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 1085
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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