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Menelaus
offering his hand.
Your hand, brother! let me grasp it.

Agamemnon
I give it; yours is the victory, mine the sorrow.

Menelaus
By Pelops our reputed grandsire and Atreus our father, [475] I swear to tell you the truth from my heart, without any covert purpose, but only what I think. The sight of you in tears made me pity you, and in return I shed a tear for you myself; I withdraw from my former proposals, [480] ceasing to be a cause of fear to you; yes, and I will put myself in your present position; and I counsel you, do not slay your child or prefer my interests to yours; for it is not just that you should grieve, while I am glad, or that your children should die, while mine still see the light of day. [485] What is it, after all, I seek? If I am set on marriage, could I not find a bride as choice elsewhere? Was I to lose a brother—the last I should have lost—to win a Helen, getting bad for good? I was mad, impetuous as a youth, till I perceived, [490] on closer view, what slaying children really meant. Moreover I am filled with compassion for the hapless maiden, doomed to bleed that I may wed, when I reflect that we are kin. What has your daughter to do with Helen?

[495] Let the army be disbanded and leave Aulis; dry those streaming eyes, brother, and do not provoke me to tears. Whatever concern you have in oracles that affect your child, let it be none of mine; into your hands I resign my share. [500] A sudden change, you'll say, from my dread proposals? A natural course for me; affection for my brother caused the change. These are the ways of a man not devoid of virtue, to pursue on each occasion what is best.

Chorus Leader
A generous speech, worthy of Tantalus, the son of Zeus; [505] you do not shame your ancestry.

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