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Agamemnon
I thank you, Menelaus, for this unexpected suggestion; it is an honorable proposal, worthy of you. Sometimes love, sometimes the selfishness of their families, causes a quarrel between brothers; I loathe [510] a relationship of this kind which is bitterness to both. But it is useless, for circumstances compel me to carry out the murderous sacrifice of my daughter.

Menelaus
How so? who will compel you to slay your own?

Agamemnon
The whole Achaean army here assembled.

Menelaus
[515] Not if you send her back to Argos.

Agamemnon
I might do that unnoticed, but there will be another thing I cannot.

Menelaus
What is that? You must not fear the mob too much.

Agamemnon
Calchas will tell the Argive army his oracles.

Menelaus
Not if he should die before that—an easy matter.

Agamemnon
[520] The whole tribe of seers is a curse with its ambition.

Menelaus
Yes, and good for nothing and useless, when among us.

Agamemnon
Has the thought, which is rising in my mind, no terrors for you?

Menelaus
How can I understand your meaning, unless you declare it?

Agamemnon
The son of Sisyphus knows all.

Menelaus
[525] Odysseus cannot possibly hurt us.

Agamemnon
He was ever shifty by nature, siding with the mob.

Menelaus
True, he is enslaved by the love of popularity, a fearful evil.

Agamemnon
Don't you think, then, he will arise among the Argives and tell them the oracles that Calchas delivered, [530] saying of me that I undertook to offer Artemis a victim, and after all am proving false? Then, when he has carried the army away with him, he will bid the Argives slay us and sacrifice the girl; and if I escape to Argos, they will come and destroy the place, [535] razing it to the ground, Cyclopean walls and all. That is my trouble. Woe is me! to what perplexities the gods have brought me at this pass! Take one precaution for me, Menelaus, as you go through the army, that Clytemnestra does not learn this, [540] till I have taken my child and devoted her to death, that my affliction may be attended with the fewest tears. Turning to the Chorus. And you, foreign women, keep silence. Exit Menelaus.

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