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Enter Danaus with a bodyguard

[980] My children, it is right to offer prayers to the Argives and to sacrifice and pour libations to them as to Olympian gods; for they are our saviors in no doubtful manner. They heard from my lips the conduct of your cousins toward their own kinfolk, and were moved to bitterness against them; [985] but to me they assigned this escort of spearmen, that I might have rank and honor, and might not be ambushed and perish by the death of the spear, and so an ever-living burden come upon the land. Recipients of such favors as these, [990] it becomes us to hold gratitude in yet higher honor from the bottom of our hearts. And in addition to the many other wise injunctions of your father recorded in your memory, inscribe this too—that an unknown company is proved by time. For in an alien's case, all the world bears an evil tongue in readiness, [995] and it is easy lightly to utter defiling slander. Therefore I would have you bring no shame upon me, now when your youthful loveliness attracts men's gaze. The tender ripeness of summer fruit is in no way easy to protect; beasts despoil it—and men, why not?— [1000] and brutes that fly and those that walk the earth. Love's goddess spreads news abroad of fruit bursting ripe. . . . So all men, as they pass, [1005] mastered by desire, shoot an alluring arrow of the eye at the delicate beauty of virgins. See to it, therefore, that we do not suffer that in fear for which we have endured great toil and ploughed the great waters with our ship; and that we bring no shame to ourselves and exultation to our enemies. Housing of two kinds is at our disposition, [1010] the one Pelasgus offers, the other, the city, and to occupy free of cost. These terms are easy. Only pay heed to these behests of your father, and count your chastity more precious than your life.

May the Olympian gods grant us good fortune in all the rest! [1015] But, concerning the bloom of my virginity, father, be of good cheer, for, unless some evil has been devised of Heaven, I will not swerve from the former pathway of my thoughts.

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