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Oh no! Your story spells our utter undoing. O curse that haunts this house, so hard to wrestle down: how far forward you look! Even what was laid well out of harm's way you bring down with your well-aimed shafts from far off, and you strip me of those I love, utterly wretched as I am. [695] And now Orestes: he was indeed prudent in keeping his foot out of the mire of destruction, but now mark down as having abandoned us what was once the one hope in our house of a cure for its fine revelry.1

As for me, I am sure that with hosts so prosperous [700] I would rather have been made known and welcomed for favorable news. For where is goodwill greater than from guest to host? Yet to my mind it would have been irreverent not to fulfill for friends a charge like this when I was bound by promise and hospitality pledged to me. [705]

Rest assured you will receive no less a reward than you deserve nor be the less welcome to this house: someone else might just as well have brought your message. But it is the hour when strangers who have been travelling on a long day's journey should have their proper entertainment. [710] To an attendant Conduct him to the rooms where the men are hospitably lodged, him and his attendants here and his fellow-traveller, and let them be tended to there as is proper in our house. I command you to do this as you shall be held to strict account. [715] Meantime we will communicate this matter to the master of the house, and since we have no lack of friends we will confer on this occurrence.

1 Clytaemestra's outward meaning is that, with her son alive and far from the blood-stained house, she had hoped that there has been an end of the carousing of the Curses (cp.Agam.1188). That hope is gone—they still hold their “fair revelry,” as she ironically calls it. Her inner emotion is joy that the hope of Electra is crushed—the hope that her brother would return and end the unseemly revelry. Reading παροῦσαν (so M) ἐγγράφῃ the meaning is “thou dost inscribe it ‘present ’ in thy list.”

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 13.772
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.2
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 15
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 1188
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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