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A second messenger enters from the house.

Second Messenger
You who are most honored in this land, what deeds you will hear, what deeds you will behold, what burden of sorrow will be yours, [1225] if, true to your race, you still care for the house of Labdacus. For I think that neither the Ister nor the Phasis could wash this house clean, so many are the ills that it shrouds, or will soon bring to light, ills wrought not unwittingly, but on purpose. [1230] And those griefs smart the most which are seen to be of our own choice.

Indeed the troubles which we knew before are far from being easy to bear. Besides them, what do you have to announce?

Second Messenger
This is the shortest tale to tell and hear: [1235] our royal lady Iocasta is dead.

Alas, wretched lady! From what cause?

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