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Orestes
[640] I will speak now. A long statement has advantages over a short one and is more intelligible to hear. Give me nothing of your own, Menelaus, but repay what you received from my father. I am not speaking of possessions; if you save my life, [645] you will save my dearest possession.

I have done wrong; I ought to have a little wrong-doing from you to requite that evil, for my father Agamemnon also did wrong in gathering the Hellenes and going to Ilium, not that he had sinned himself, [650] but he was trying to find a cure for the sin and wrong-doing of your wife. So this is one thing you are bound to pay me back. For he really gave his life, as friends should, toiling hard in battle with you, so that you might have your wife again. [655] Pay back to me the same thing you got there. For one day exert yourself, on my behalf standing up in my defense, not ten full years.

As for what Aulis took, the sacrifice of my sister, I let you have that; do not kill Hermione. [660] For in my present plight, you must have an advantage over me and I must pardon it. But give to my miserable father my life and the life of my sister, a maiden so long; for by my death I shall leave my father's house without an heir.

[665] You will say it is impossible. That's the point; friends are bound to help friends in trouble. But when fortune gives of its best, what need of friends? For the god's help is enough of itself when he is willing to give it. All Hellas believes that you love your wife, [670] and I am not saying this to flatter or wheedle you; by her I implore you. Ah me, my misery! to what have I come! Well? I must suffer, for I am making this appeal on behalf of my whole family. O my uncle, my father's own brother! Imagine that the dead man in his grave [675] is listening, that his spirit is hovering over you and saying what I say, this much for tears and groans and misfortunes. I have spoken and I have begged for my safety, hunting what all seek, not myself alone.

Chorus Leader
[680] I, too, though I am only a woman, beseech you to help those who need it; for you have the power.

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