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Enter a servant by Eisodos A.

Servant
[630] Children, greeting. Where have the old man Iolaus and your grandmother gone off to from this altar?

Iolaus
I am here, whatever my presence is worth.

Servant
Why are you lying down? Why is your face downcast?

Iolaus
A family sorrow has come upon us. With that I was absorbed.

Servant
[635] Then rouse yourself up, raise up your head!

Iolaus
I am an old man. I do not have the strength.

Servant
But I come bringing you great gladness.

Iolaus
Who are you? Where is it I met you and have forgotten?

Servant
I am Hyllus' vassal. Do you not recognize me?

Iolaus
[640] My dear man, so you have all arrived safe and without harm?

Servant
Yes, and what is more we enjoy, at the moment, good fortune.

Iolaus
Shouting
Mother of a noble son, Alcmene, come out and hear the welcome words of this man. For you have long been in anguish [645] whether the men who have now arrived would ever return.

Enter Alcmene from the temple.

Alcmene
Why, Iolaus, has this whole temple been filled with shouts? Has a herald come a second time from Argos to do you violence? My strength may be weak, stranger, but you must realize this: [650] you cannot remove these children while I still live. May I no longer be regarded as Heracles' mother! If you lay a hand on them, you will struggle ignominiously with a pair of grey-heads.

Iolaus
Courage, old woman, do not be afraid. No herald [655] has come from Argos with hostile message.

Alcmene
Then why did you raise the shout that is the herald of fear?

Iolaus
So that you would come out of the temple and approach him.

Alcmene
I don't understand this. Who is he?

Iolaus
He brings word that your grandson has returned.

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