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Iphigenia enters from the temple. She is carrying a letter.

Iphigenia
[725] Go away and make the preparations within for those who attend to the sacrifice.The guards go into the temple.

Here are the many folds of the tablet, strangers. Hear what I want in addition. No man is the same when he is in troubles [730] and when he falls out of fear into courage. I am afraid that when the one who is going to take this tablet to Argos leaves this land, he will put aside my letter as worth nothing.

Orestes
What do you want, then? What are you perplexed about?

Iphigenia
[735] Let him give me an oath that he will convey this letter to Argos, to the friends to whom I wish to send it.

Orestes
And will you give in return the same words to him?

Iphigenia
To do what, or refrain from doing? Tell me.

Orestes
To send him from this barbarous land alive.

Iphigenia
[740] What you say is right; how else could he deliver it?

Orestes
Will the king agree to this?

Iphigenia
Yes. I will persuade the king, and I myself will put this man on the ship.

Orestes
Swear; begin a pious oath.

Iphigenia
You must say: I will give this to your friends.

Pylades
[745] I will give this letter to your friends.

Iphigenia
And I will see you safely outside the dark rocks.

Pylades
What god do you do you swear by, as witness to your oath?

Iphigenia
Artemis, in whose temple I hold office.

Pylades
And I swear by the king of heaven, revered Zeus.

Iphigenia
[750] But if you leave off your oath, and wrong me?

Pylades
May I not return. What about you, if you do not save me?

Iphigenia
May I never set foot in Argos alive.

Pylades
Now listen to a consideration we have passed over.

Iphigenia
But it will be something new, if it is good.

Pylades
[755] Give me this exception: if the ship suffers and the tablet is lost with its cargo in the waves, and I rescue myself only, may this oath not hinder me.

Iphigenia
Do you know what I will do? For many attempts hit many targets. [760] I will tell you what is written in the folds of this tablet for you to report to my friends. For this is secure: if you preserve the writing, itself, though silent, will speak its message; if the writing is lost in the sea, [765] when you save yourself, you will save my words.

Pylades
You have spoken well, on behalf of the gods and me. Make clear to whom I must bring this letter in Argos, and what I must say when I have heard it from you.

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