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Thoas and his retinue enter.

Thoas
Where is the gate-keeper of this temple, the woman of Hellas? Has she already begun the rites on the strangers? [1155] Are they glowing with fire in the holy sanctuary?

Chorus Leader
Here she is, to tell you everything clearly, lord.Iphigenia comes out of the temple. She is carrying the sacred statue of Artemis.

Thoas
Oh! Daughter of Agamemnon, why have you lifted up in your arms the statue of the goddess from its pedestal that must not be moved?

Iphigenia
Lord, stand there in the entrance!

Thoas
[1160] Iphigenia, what has happened in the temple?

Iphigenia
I spit out the pollution; I say this for Holiness.

Thoas
What is this news in your introduction? Tell it clearly.

Iphigenia
The victims you caught for me are not pure, lord.

Thoas
What taught you this? Or are you only saying what you think?

Iphigenia
[1165] The image of the goddess turned back from its place.

Thoas
By itself, or did an earthquake turn it?

Iphigenia
By itself; it closed up its eyes.

Thoas
What was the reason? Was it the uncleanness of the strangers?

Iphigenia
That was the reason, and nothing else; for they have done dreadful things.

Thoas
[1170] What, have they killed one of the barbarians on the shore?

Iphigenia
They come with murder done at home.

Thoas
What murder? For I strongly want to know.

Iphigenia
They killed their mother together with their swords.

Thoas
Apollo! No barbarian would have dared this.

Iphigenia
[1175] They were driven in pursuit from all of Hellas.

Thoas
Is it for this that you bring the statue outside?

Iphigenia
Yes, to the holy air, to remove it from slaughter.

Thoas
How did you know the blood-pollution of the strangers?

Iphigenia
I questioned them, because the image of the goddess had turned back.

Thoas
[1180] Hellas has brought you up to be clever; how well you understood this.

Iphigenia
And yet they dangled a sweet lure for my heart.

Thoas
Reporting to you some charm of news from Argos?

Iphigenia
That Orestes, my only brother, is happy.

Thoas
So that you might save them, for the delight of their messages.

Iphigenia
[1185] And that my father is alive and doing well.

Thoas
But you turned to the goddess, with reason.

Iphigenia
Yes, for I hate all Hellas, which has ruined me.

Thoas
Tell me, what shall we do with the strangers?

Iphigenia
We must reverence the law as it stands.

Thoas
[1190] But the libations and your sword are not at work?

Iphigenia
First I want to wash them, with holy purification.

Thoas
In fountain waters, or the drops of the sea?

Iphigenia
The sea washes away all men's evils.

Thoas
They would certainly be holier victims for the goddess.

Iphigenia
[1195] And in this way my plans would succeed better.

Thoas
Doesn't the wave beat against this very temple?

Iphigenia
This requires solitude; and I shall do more.

Thoas
Then where you wish; I do not want to see what should not be seen.

Iphigenia
I must purify the image of the goddess also.

Thoas
[1200] Yes, if a stain from the matricide has fallen on it.

Iphigenia
For I would not have lifted it from its base otherwise.

Thoas
Your piety and forethought are correct.

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