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Peleus
[590] What? Can you belong with the men, you utter coward? [How do you merit inclusion among the men?] You lost your wife to a Phrygian by leaving your house unguarded, believing you had a chaste wife in your house, [595] when in fact she was an utter whore. Not even if she wanted to could a Spartan woman be chaste. They leave their houses in the company of young men, thighs showing bare through their revealing garments, and in a manner I cannot endure they share the same running-tracks [600] and wrestling-places. After that should we be surprised if you do not train up women who are chaste? You should ask Helen this question1 seeing that she left behind Zeus of the Kindred in your house and went off on a revel with a young man to another country. [605] Was it for her sake, then, that you led such a great throng to Troy? You ought to have spat her away and not moved a single spear once you had discovered her treachery, should have let her stay in Troy and never taken her back into your house, should have payed her a wage to stay away. [610] But your mind did not sail in this direction: rather, you lost lives many and brave and left old women at home bereft of their sons and robbed grey-headed fathers of their noble children. Of these I, unlucky man, am one, and I look on you [615] as murderer of Achilles, as if you were some kind of defiler. You alone came back from Troy unwounded, and your fine armor in its fine case you took to Troy and brought back in the same condition. I said to Neoptolemus when he was about to marry [620] that he ought not to contract a marriage-alliance with you or take into his house the foal of such a base mother. For such daughters reproduce their mothers' faults. Take heed, ye suitors, to get the daughter of a good mother! Furthermore, what an outrage you committed against your brother, [625] ordering him to kill his daughter most foolishly! Were you so in fear that you might not have a worthless wife? And when you had taken Troy (for I shall go there also in my argument), you did not kill your wife when you had her in your power, but when you saw her breasts, you threw away your sword [630] and kissed and fawned on the betraying bitch, proving no match, coward that you are, for Aphrodite's power. On top of this you come into the house of my grandson and plunder it in his absence and attempt to kill a poor woman and a boy. This boy will make you wail, you [635] and your daughter in the house, though he be three times bastard. For just as stony ground often overtops deep soil in its produce, so many bastards are better men than legitimate sons. But take your daughter away. For it is better for mortals [640] to have a kinsman who is poor and honest than one who is rich and base. And you are a nullity.

1 A slight alteration, Ἑλένῃ γενέσθαι χρῆν, yields easier sense, 'These things were fated to happen to Helen'.

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