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Why then do I still live? What fortune do I have left? Shall I choose marriage in exchange for evils, [295] and live with a barbarian man, seated at his sumptuous table? But whenever a husband she hates lives with a woman, her own body is also hateful to her. It is best to die; how could this not be well done? [To hang oneself, high in the air, is unseemly, [300] even slaves consider it undignified; but to stab oneself is noble and good, and the moment of rending life from the body is short.] For I have come to such a depth of misery; other women have good fortune from their beauty, [305] but the same thing has destroyed me.

Chorus Leader
Helen, do not suppose that stranger who came here, whoever he was, has spoken the whole truth.

Helen
And yet he said very clearly that my husband was dead.

Chorus Leader
Many words might be said in falsehood also.

Helen
[310] And the opposite of falsehood is clear in its truth.

Chorus Leader
You are carried towards misfortune instead of what is good.

Helen
Yes, for terror has embraced me and leads me to the thing I fear.

Chorus Leader
How much goodwill is there in this house for you?

Helen
All are my friends, except the one who hunts me in marriage.

Chorus Leader
[315] Then do you know what you should do? Leave your seat at the monument—

Helen
What sort of word of advice are you coming to?

Chorus Leader
Go inside and question the daughter of the sea-nymph, Theonoe, who knows all things, about your husband, whether he is still alive, or has left the light of day; [320] and when you know for certain, rejoice or be full of mourning, according to your fortune. Before you know anything correctly, what good would it do you to grieve? But be persuaded by me; leave this tomb and join the girl; [325] when you have someone in this house from whom you can learn the whole truth, why do you look further? And I myself want to go in and ask about the prophecies of the maiden with you; for, truly, women ought to help each other.

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