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Tecmessa
Then let them mock and rejoice at this man's misery. Perhaps, even though they did not cherish him while he lived, they will lament his death, when they meet with the difficulties of war. Men of crooked judgment do not know what good [965] they have in their hands until they have thrown it away. His death is more bitter to me than it is sweet to the Greeks; but in any case to Ajax himself it is a joy, since he has accomplished all that he desired to get—his longed-for death. So why should they exult over him? [970] He died before the gods, not at all before them—no! And so let Odysseus toss his insults in empty glee. For them Ajax is no more; for me he is gone, abandoning me to anguish and mourning.

Teucer
Approaching.
Ah! Ah, no!

Chorus
[975] Quiet—I think I hear the voice of Teucer striking a note that points to this disaster.

Enter Teucer.

Teucer
Beloved Ajax, brother whose face was so dear to me, have you truly fared as the mighty rumor says?

Chorus
He is dead, Teucer. Take it as fact.

Teucer
[980] Then I am destroyed by my heavy fortune!

Chorus
When things stand as they do—

Teucer
Ah, misery, misery!

Chorus
—you have cause to mourn.

Teucer
O rash passion!

Chorus
Yes, Teucer, far too rash.

Teucer
Ah, misery—what about the man's child? Where in all of Troy can I find him?

Chorus
[985] He is alone near the tent.

Teucer
To Tecmessa.
Then bring him here right away, so that we may prevent some enemy from snatching him away, as a hunter snatches a cub from a lioness and leaves her barren! Go quickly; give me your help! It is the habit of men everywhere to laugh in triumph over the dead when they are mere corpses on the ground.Exit Tecmessa.

Chorus
[990] Yes, while still alive, Teucer, Ajax ordered you to care for the child, just as you are in fact doing.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1704
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 823
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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