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Messenger

Messenger
I had just come from the country and was entering the gates, needing to learn what was decided about you and Orestes, for I was always well disposed to your father when he was alive, and it was your house that reared me, [870] poor indeed, yet loyal in the service of friends. I saw a crowd going and taking their seats on the height, where they say Danaus first gathered his people for a meeting, making amends to Aegyptus. So, when I saw the throng, I asked a citizen: [875] “What news in Argos? Tidings of the enemy haven't ruffled the city of Danaus, have they?” But he said: “Don't you see Orestes there, on his way to he tried for his life?”

I saw an unexpected sight, which I wish I had not seen, [880] Pylades and your brother approaching together, the one with his head down, weakened by sickness; the other sharing his friend's sorrow like a brother, tending his illness with constant care. Now when the Argives were fully gathered, [885] a herald rose and said: “Who wishes to give his opinion whether Orestes should be slain or not for the murder of his mother?” Then up stood Talthybius, who helped your father sack the Phrygians. He spoke out of both sides of his mouth, a mere tool of those in power as he always is, [890] expressing high admiration for your father, but not praising your brother, urging his crooked sentiments in specious words, that it would establish laws as to parents that are not good; and all the while he was darting lively glances at the friends of Aegisthus. [895] Such is that tribe; heralds always trip across to the lucky side; the one who has power in the city or a post in the government is their friend.

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