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Orestes
I will tell you; this is the beginning of my many troubles. [940] When my mother's evil deeds, that I cannot speak of, came into my hands, I was driven to flight by the Furies' pursuit; then Loxias sent me to Athens, to stand trial with the goddesses who may not be named. [945] For there is a holy tribunal there, which Zeus once established for Ares, when his hands were stained with blood-pollution. I came there . . . at first, no host would willingly take me in, as one hated by the gods; then some who felt shame offered me a table apart, as a guest, [950] themselves being under the same roof, and in silence they kept me from speaking, so that I might be apart from them in food and drink, and into each private cup they poured an equal measure of wine and had their delight. [955] And I did not think it right to blame my hosts, but I grieved in silence and seemed not to know, while I sighed deeply, that I was the murderer of my mother. I hear that my misfortunes have become a festival at Athens, and they still hold this custom [960] and the people of Pallas honor the cup that belongs to the Feast of Pitchers.

When I came to the hill of Ares to stand my trial, I took one seat, and the eldest of the Furies took the other. I spoke and heard arguments on the murder of my mother, [965] and Phoebus saved me by bearing witness; Pallas counted out equal votes for me; and I went away victorious in my ordeal of blood. Some of the Furies who sat there, persuaded by the judgment, marked out a holy place for themselves beside this very tribunal; [970] but others were not persuaded by the law, and drove me always in vagabond courses until I came to the holy plain of Phoebus in turn. Stretched out before his shrine and fasting, I swore to break off my life and die there, [975] if Phoebus, who had destroyed me, did not save me. And then Phoebus cried out a golden voice from the tripod, and sent me here, to get the image Zeus hurled down, and set it up in Athena's land. But what he marked out for my safety [980] you must help me with; for if we possess the statue of the goddess, I will be released from madness and will put you on my ship of many oars and establish you again in Mycenae. But, my beloved sister, save our father's house and save me; [985] for so I perish and all the race of Pelops, unless we take the heavenly image of the goddess.

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