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Enter Orestes, with Pylades and two attendants.

[1098] Ladies, have we been directed aright, and are we on the right path to our goal?

[1100] What do you seek? What desire brings you here?

I have long been searching for the home of Aegisthus.

Well, you have found it, and your guide is blameless.

Which of you, then, would tell those inside of the long-desired presence of us travelers?

[1105] She will, if the nearest in kin should announce it.

Go, lady, enter and make it known that certain men of Phocis seek Aegisthus.

Ah, miserable me! Surely you do not bring proof positive of that rumor which we heard?

[1110] I know nothing of your “rumor”; but the aged Strophius ordered me to give report of Orestes.

What is it, sir? Ah, how fear creeps over me!

We come bearing his scanty remains in a small urn, as you see.

[1115] Oh, the misery! Here, at last, my eyes look for certain, it seems, upon that grievous burden in your hand.

If your tears are for any of Orestes' tribulations, know that this vessel is his body's home.

Ah, sir, if this urn indeed contains him, then allow me, [1120] by the gods, to take it in my hands, so that I may weep and wail, not for these ashes alone, but for myself and for all our house with them!

To the attendants.
Take it and give it to her, whoever she may be. For she asks this for herself not as if with hostile intent, [1125] but like one who is his friend, or a kinswoman by blood.The urn is placed in Electra's hands.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 86
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