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My piteous children, I know quite well the desires with which you have come: I know well that [60] you all are sick, and though you are sick I know well that there is not one of you who is as sick as I. Your pain comes on each of you for himself alone, and for no other, but my soul is in pain at once for the city, for myself, and for you. [65] Thus you are not awakening me from sleep: no, be sure that I have wept many tears, wandered far and wide in my thought. I have made use of the only remedy which I could find after close consideration: I sent my relative [70] Creon, Menoeceus' son, to Apollo's Pythian residence to learn what we might do or say to protect this city. And now, when the lapse of days is reckoned, I am troubled about what he is doing, for he has been away an unreasonably long time [75] beyond what is fitting. But when he arrives, I would be no true man if did not perform all that the god reveals.

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