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Helen
Maiden, I fall at your knees as a suppliant, [895] and seat myself in this sad posture on behalf of myself and of this man; I am on the point of seeing him slain, after I have found him with such difficulty. Please do not tell your brother that my husband has returned to my loving arms, [900] but save us, I beseech you; do not forsake the piety that was once yours for your brother's sake, buying favors that are wicked and unjust. For the god hates violence, and commands everyone to have their possessions without robbery. [905] [Wealth that is unjust, though it may bring some power, ought to be avoided.] Heaven is common to all mortals, and so is the earth, where people ought to fill up their homes without having another's property, or taking it away by force. [910] At a critical time, but unhappily for me, Hermes gave me to your father to keep safe for my husband, this man who is here and wishes to have me back. But how could he recover me if he is dead? How could your father ever restore the living to the dead? Now examine the will of the god and of your father; [915] would the deity and your dead father be willing to give back again their neighbor's goods, or would they not? I think they would. Therefore you should not esteem a thoughtless brother more than a good father. If you, who are a prophet and believe in divine affairs, [920] ruin the lawful intention of your father and gratify your lawless brother, it is disgraceful that you should have full knowledge of divine matters, both what is and what will be, and yet not know what is right. Save me, the unhappy one, enveloped in these troubles, [925] and give me this addition to my fate; for there is no mortal who does not hate Helen; I am famous throughout Hellas as the one who betrayed my husband and lived in Phrygia's golden halls. If I come to Hellas and set foot once more in Sparta, [930] they will hear and see how they were ruined by the wiles of gods, while I was no traitor to my friends after all; and so they will lead me back to virtue again, and I shall betroth my daughter, whom no man now will marry; and, leaving this bitter beggar's life here, shall enjoy the goods that are in my home. [935] And if this man were dead and slaughtered on a funeral pyre, I would be cherishing his memory with tears far away; but shall I be robbed of him when he is now alive and safe?

Ah! not that, maiden, I beseech you: [940] grant me this favor, and imitate the character of a just father; for this is the fairest glory for children, when the child of a good father resembles its parents in character.

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