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Spare all superfluous words, and inform me neither of our mother's wickedness, [1290] nor how Aegisthus drains the wealth of our father's house—what part he pours on the ground and what he squanders at random. For the story would preclude you from the opportunity afforded by the moment. Instead tell me that which will suit our present circumstances: where, either openly or in ambush, [1295] we may put an end to our enemies' laughter by means of my coming. Make sure that our mother does not discover you by your radiant face, when we two have gone into the house. Rather, make lament, as if for the feigned disaster. For when we succeed, then [1300] there will be opportunity to rejoice and exult in freedom.

Brother, be assured that my conduct will be as pleases you, since all my joy derives from you, and is not my own. Nor would I consent [1305] to win a great good for myself at the cost of the slightest pain to you. For in doing so I would not honorably support the divine power that attends us now.

But you know how matters stand here. I do not doubt it. You must have heard that Aegisthus is away from home, but that our mother is inside. And never fear that she [1310] will ever see my face lit up with smiles. My old hatred of her has been welded to my heart, and since I have seen you, for very joy I will never cease to weep. How indeed could I stop when I have seen you come home on this one day first as dead, [1315] and then in life? What you have done to me is inconceivable—so much so that, if my father were to return to me alive, I would no longer think it a portent, but would believe that I truly saw him. Therefore now that you have come to me by such a path, command me as your spirit bids you. For had I been alone, [1320] I would not have failed in one of two things: a noble salvation, or a noble destruction.

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load focus Notes (Sir Richard C. Jebb, 1894)
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