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Ah, woe! If only, like a messenger, it had a kind voice, [195] so that I would not be tossed by my distracted thoughts. Rather it would plainly bid me to spurn this tress, if it was severed from a hated head. Or if it were a kinsman's, he would share my grief as an adornment to this tomb and a tribute to my father. [200]

But I invoke the gods, who know by what storms we are tossed like seafarers. Yet if I am fated to reach safety, a great stock may come from a little seed.

And look! Another proof! Footprints [205] matching each other—and like my own! Yes, here are the outlines of two sets of feet, his own and some companion's. The heels and the imprints of the tendons agree in proportion with my own tracks. [210] I am in torment, my brain is in a whirl!

Enter Orestes

Give recognition to the gods that your prayers have been fulfilled, and pray that success may attend you in the future.

What? Have I succeeded now by the will of the gods?

You have come to the sight of what you have long prayed for. [215]

And do you know whom among mortals I was invoking?

I know that you are pining for Orestes.

Then how have I found an answer to my prayers?

Here I am. Search for no other friend than me.

But surely, stranger, you are weaving some snare about me? [220]

Then I am devising plots against myself.

No, you wish to mock my distress.

Then my own also, if yours.

Am I then to address you as Orestes in truth?

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 1201
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.2
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