This was the first cause I had to reprove you, for it was here I first discovered your villainy;
but afterwards, when you came to Aulis
with all the gathered hosts of Hellas
, you were of no account; no! the want of a favorable breeze filled you with consternation at the chance dealt out by the gods. Then the Danaids began demanding that you should send the fleet away instead of vainly toiling on at Aulis
; what dismay and confusion was then depicted in your looks, to think that you, with a thousand
ships at your command, had not occupied the plains of Priam with your armies! And you would ask my counsel, “What am I to do? What scheme can I devise, where find one?”—to save yourself being stripped of your command and losing your fair fame. Next when Calchas bade you offer your daughter in sacrifice to Artemis, declaring that the Danaids should then sail, you were overjoyed,
and gladly undertook to offer the girl, and of your own accord—never allege compulsion—you are sending word to your wife to despatch your daughter here on pretence of wedding Achilles. And after all you turn round and have been caught casting your letter to this effect: “I will no longer be my daughter's murderer.” Exactly so!
This is the same air that heard you say it. Countless others have done the same; they make an effort while in power, and then retire dishonorably, sometimes owing to the senselessness of the citizens, sometimes deservedly, because they are too feeble of themselves to maintain their watch upon the state.
For my part, I am more sorry for our unhappy Hellas
, whose purpose was to read these worthless foreigners a lesson, while now she will let them escape and mock her, thanks to you and your daughter. May I never appoint a man to rule my country or lead its warriors because of his courage! Sense is what the general must have;
since any man, with ordinary intelligence, can govern a state.