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Ah! there is not in the world a single man free; [865] for he is a slave either to money or to fortune, or else the people in their thousands or the fear of public prosecution prevents him from following the dictates of his heart. But since you are afraid, deferring too much to the rabble, I will rid you of that fear. [870] Thus: be aware of my plot if I devise mischief against this murderer, but refrain from any share in it. And if any uproar or attempt at rescue breaks out among the Achaeans, when the Thracian is suffering his doom, check it without seeming to do so for my sake. [875] For what remains—take heart—I will arrange everything well.

How? what will you do? will you take a sword in your old hand and slay the barbarian, or do you have drugs or some means to aid you? Who will take your part? Where will you procure friends?

[880] Sheltered beneath these tents is a crowd of Trojan women.

Do you mean the captives, the booty of the Hellenes?

With their help I will punish my murderous foe.

How are women to master men?

Numbers are a fearful thing, and joined to craft a desperate foe.

[885] True; still I have a mean opinion of the female race.

What? did not women slay the sons of Aegyptus, and utterly clear Lemnos of men? But let it be thus; put an end to our conference, and send this woman for me safely through the army. [890] To a servant And you are to draw near my Thracian friend and say, “Hecuba, once queen of Ilium, summons you, on your own business no less than hers, your children too, for they also must hear what she has to say.” The servant goes out. Defer awhile, Agamemnon, [895] the burial of Polyxena lately slain, so that brother and sister may be laid on the same pyre and buried side by side, a double cause of sorrow to their mother.

So shall it be; yet if the army were able to sail, I could not have granted you this favor; [900] but as it is, for the god sends forth no favoring breeze, the army must wait and look for a calm voyage. Good luck to you, for this is the interest alike of citizen and state, that the wrong-doer be punished and the good man prosper.Agamemnon departs as Hecuba withdraws into the tent.

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    • Charles Simmons, The Metamorphoses of Ovid, Books XIII and XIV, 13.552
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