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Iphigenia
O mother that bore me! I see a throng of men approaching.

Clytemnestra
It is the goddess' son you see, child, for whom you came here.

Iphigenia
calling into the tent.
[1340] Open the tent-door to me, servants, that I may hide myself

Clytemnestra
Why seek to escape, my child?

Iphigenia
I am ashamed to face Achilles.

Clytemnestra
But why?

Iphigenia
The luckless ending to our marriage causes me to feel abashed.

Clytemnestra
No time for affectation now in face of what has happened. Stay then; reserve will do no good, if we may profit.

Achilles
[1345] Daughter of Leda, lady of sorrows!

Clytemnestra
No misnomer that.

Achilles
A fearful cry is heard among the Argives.

Clytemnestra
What is it? tell me.

Achilles
It concerns your child.

Clytemnestra
An evil omen for your words.

Achilles
They say her sacrifice is necessary.

Clytemnestra
And is there no one to say a word against them?

Achilles
Indeed I was in some danger myself from the tumult.

Clytemnestra
In danger of what, stranger?.

Achilles
[1350] Of being stoned.

Clytemnestra
Surely not for trying to save my daughter?

Achilles
The very reason.

Clytemnestra
Who would have dared to lay a finger on you?

Achilles
All the men of Hellas.

Clytemnestra
Were not your Myrmidon warriors at your side?

Achilles
They were the first who turned against me.

Clytemnestra
My child! we are lost, it seems.

Achilles
They taunted me as the man whom marriage had enslaved.

Clytemnestra
And what did you answer them?

Achilles
[1355] Not to kill the one I meant to wed—

Clytemnestra
Justly so.

Achilles
The wife her father promised me.

Clytemnestra
Yes, and sent to fetch from Argos.

Achilles
But I was overcome by clamorous cries.

Clytemnestra
Truly the mob is a dire mischief.

Achilles
But I will help you for all that.

Clytemnestra
Will you really fight them single-handed?

Achilles
Do you see these warriors here, carrying my arms?

Clytemnestra
Bless you for your kind intent!

Achilles
[1360] Well, I shall be blessed.

Clytemnestra
Then my child will not be slaughtered now?

Achilles
No, not with my consent at any rate.

Clytemnestra
But will any of them come to lay hands on the maid?

Achilles
Thousands of them, with Odysseus at their head.

Clytemnestra
The son of Sisyphus?

Achilles
The very same.

Clytemnestra
Acting for himself or by the army's order?

Achilles
By their choice—and his own.

Clytemnestra
An evil choice indeed, to stain his hands in blood.

Achilles
[1365] But I will hold him back.

Clytemnestra
Will he seize and bear her off against her will?

Achilles
Yes, by her golden hair no doubt.

Clytemnestra
What must I do, when it comes to that?

Achilles
Keep hold of your daughter.

Clytemnestra
Be sure that she shall not be slain, as far as that that can help her.

Achilles
Believe me, it will come to this.

Iphigenia

Iphigenia
Mother, hear me while I speak, for I see that you are angry with your husband [1370] to no purpose; it is hard for us to persist in impossibilities. Our thanks are due to this stranger for his ready help; but you must also see to it that he is not reproached by the army, leaving us no better off and himself involved in trouble.

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