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[80] And so the Hellenes, brandishing their spears and donning their harness, came here to the narrow straits of Aulis with armaments of ships and troops, with many horses and chariots, and they chose me to captain them all for the sake of Menelaus, [85] since I was his brother. Would that some other had gained that distinction instead of me! But after the army was gathered and come together, we still remained at Aulis weatherbound. In our perplexity, we asked Calchas, the seer, [90] and he answered that we should sacrifice my own child Iphigenia to Artemis, whose home is in this land, and we would sail and sack the Phrygians' capital [if we sacrificed her, but if we did not, these things would not happen]. When I heard this, I commanded Talthybius [95] with loud proclamation to disband the whole army, as I could never bear to slay my daughter. Whereupon my brother, bringing every argument to bear, persuaded me at last to face the crime; so I wrote in a folded scroll and sent to my wife, [100] bidding her despatch our daughter to me on the pretence of wedding Achilles, at the same time magnifying his exalted rank and saying that he refused to sail with the Achaeans, unless a bride of our lineage should go to Phthia. Yes, this was the inducement I offered my wife, [105] [inventing, as I did, a sham marriage for the maiden. Of all the Achaeans we alone know the real truth, Calchas, Odysseus, Menelaus and myself; but that which I then decided wrongly, I now rightly countermand again in this scroll, which you, old man, have found me [110] opening and resealing beneath the shade of night. Up now and away with this missive to Argos, and I will tell you by word of mouth all that is written here, the contents of the folded scroll, for you are loyal to my wife and house.]

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