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Will you have her clasp your knees as a suppliant? it is no maid's part; yet if it seems good to you, why, come she shall with the modest look of free-born maid; [995] but if I shall obtain the same end from you without her coming then let her abide within, for there is dignity in her reserve; still reserve must only go as far as the case allows.

Achilles
Do not bring your daughter out for me to see, lady, nor let us incur the reproach of the ignorant; [1000] for an army, when gathered together without domestic duties to employ it, loves the evil gossip of malicious tongues. After all, should you both supplicate me, you will attain a like result as if I had never been supplicated; for I am myself engaged in a mighty struggle to rid you of your troubles. [1005] One thing be sure you have heard; I will not tell a lie; if I do that or idly mock you, may I die, but live if I preserve the girl.

Clytemnestra
Bless you for always helping the distressed!

Achilles
Hearken then to me, that the matter may succeed.

Clytemnestra
[1010] What is your proposal? for hear you I must.

Achilles
Let us once more urge her father to a better frame of mind.

Clytemnestra
He is something of a coward, and fears the army too much.

Achilles
Still argument overthrows argument.

Clytemnestra
Cold hope indeed; but tell me what I must do.

Achilles
[1015] Supplicate him first not to slay his children; and if he is stubborn, come to me. For if he consents to your request, my intervention need go no further, since this consent insures your safety. I too shall show myself in a better light to my friend, [1020] and the army will not blame me, if I arrange the matter by reason rather than force; while, should things turn out well, the result will prove satisfactory both to you and your friends, even without my interference.

Clytemnestra
How sensibly you speak! I must act as seems best to you; [1025] but should I fail of my object, where am I to see you again, where? Must I turn my wretched steps and find you ready to champion my distress?

Achilles
I will keep watch to guard you, where occasion calls, that none may see you passing through the army of Danaids [1030] with that scared look. Do not shame your father's house; for Tyndareus does not deserve not to be ill spoken of, being a mighty man in Hellas.

Clytemnestra
It will be so. Command me; I must play the slave to you. If there are gods, you for your righteous dealing [1035] will find them favorable; if there are none, what need to toil? Exeunt Achilles and Clytemnestra.

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