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Enter Oedipus.

Oedipus
[950] Iocasta, dearest wife, why have you summoned me forth from these doors?

Iocasta
Hear this man, and judge, as you listen, what the awful oracles have come to.

Oedipus
Who is he and what news does he have for me?

Iocasta
[955] He comes from Corinth to tell you that your father Polybus lives no longer, but has perished.

Oedipus
How, stranger? Let me have it from your own mouth.

Messenger
If I must first make these tidings plain, know indeed that he is dead and gone.

Oedipus
[960] By treachery, or from illness?

Messenger
A light tilt of the scale brings the aged to their rest.

Oedipus
Ah, he died, it seems, of sickness?

Messenger
Yes, and of the long years that he had lived.

Oedipus
Alas, alas! Why indeed, my wife, should one look to the [965] hearth of the Pythian seer, or to the birds that scream above our heads, who declared that I was doomed to slay my father? But he is dead, and lies beneath the earth, and here I am, not having put my hand to any spear—unless, perhaps, he died out of longing for me: [970] thus, indeed, I would be the cause of his death. But as the oracles stand, at least, Polybus has swept them with him to his rest in Hades. They are worth nothing.

Iocasta
Did I not long ago foretell this to you?

Oedipus
You did, but I was mislead by my fear.

Iocasta
[975] Now no longer take any of those things to heart.

Oedipus
But surely I must fear my mother's bed.

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