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A messenger enters.
Ladies, I bring you joyous tidings, and I myself escaped—for I was prisoner in the battle  which the seven companies of the dead chieftains fought near Dirce's fountain—to bear the news of Theseus' victory. But I will save you tedious questioning; I was the servant of Capaneus,  whom Zeus with scorching bolt burnt to ashes. Chorus Leader
Dearest friend, fair is your news of your own return, not less the report about Theseus; and if the army of Athens, too, is safe, all your message will be welcome. Messenger
Safe, and all has happened as I would it had befallen Adrastus  and his Argives, whom he led from Inachus, to march against the city of the Cadmeans. Chorus Leader
How did the son of Aegeus and his fellow-warriors raise their trophy to Zeus? Tell us, for you were there and can gladden us who were not. Messenger
 Bright shone the sun, one levelled line of light, upon the world, as by Electra's gate I stood to watch, from a turret with a far outlook. And I saw the companies of three armies: the armor-clad warriors deployed  on the high ground by the banks of Ismenus, as I heard, and the king himself, famous son of Aegeus, and those with him, posted on the right wing, and natives of old Cecropia, in equal numbers; chariot-teams and the dwellers by the sea, armed with spears,  were by the fountain of Ares; on the outskirts of the army were posted cavalry. The people of Cadmus set themselves before the walls,  placing in the rear the bodies for which they fought, in the shelter of Amphion's holy tomb. Cavalry to cavalry, and four-horse chariot to chariot stood ranged. Then the herald of Theseus said to all: “Be still, you folk! hush, you ranks of Cadmus,  hearken! we have come for the bodies of the slain, wishing to bury them in observance of the universal law of Hellas; we have no wish to lengthen out the slaughter.”