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So am I made the poorest wretch in Argos; [945] I a thing of nothing, and Menelaus counting for a man! No son of Peleus I, but the issue of a vengeful fiend, if my name shall serve your husband for the murder. No! by Nereus, who begot my mother Thetis, in his home amid the flowing waves, [950] never shall king Agamemnon touch your daughter, no! not even to the laying of a finger-tip upon her robe; or Sipylus1, that frontier town of barbarism, the cradle of those chieftains' line, will be henceforth a city indeed, while Phthia's name will nowhere find mention. [955] Calchas, the seer, shall rue beginning the sacrifice with his barley-meal and lustral water. Why, what is a seer? A man who with luck tells the truth sometimes, with frequent falsehoods, but when his luck deserts him, collapses then and there.

It is not to secure a bride that I have spoken thus—there are maids unnumbered [960] eager to have my love—no! but king Agamemnon has put an insult on me; he should have asked my leave to use my name as a means to catch the child, for it was I chiefly who induced Clytemnestra to betroth her daughter to me; [965] I would had yielded this to Hellas, if that was where our going to Ilium broke down; I would never have refused to further my fellow soldiers' common interest. But as it is, I am as nothing in the eyes of those chieftains, and little they care of treating me well or ill. [970] My sword shall soon know if any one is to snatch your daughter from me, for then will I make it reek with the bloody stains of slaughter, before it reach Phrygia. Calm yourself then; as a god in his might I appeared to you, without being so, but such will I show myself for all that.

Chorus Leader
[975] Son of Peleus, your words are alike worthy of you and that sea-born deity, the holy goddess.

Clytemnestra

Clytemnestra
Ah! would I could find words to utter your praise without excess, and yet not lose the graciousness of it by stinting it; for when the good are praised, they have some sort of feeling [980] of hatred for those who in their praise exceed the mean. But I am ashamed of intruding a tale of woe, since my affliction touches myself alone and you are not affected by troubles of mine; but still it looks well for the man of worth to assist the unfortunate, even when he is not connected with then. [985] Therefore pity us, for our suffering cries for pity; in the first place, I have harbored an idle hope, in thinking to have you marry my daughter; and next, perhaps, the slaying of my child will be to you an evil omen in your wooing hereafter, against which you must guard yourself. [990] Your words were good, both first and last; for if you will it so, my daughter will be saved.

1 A mountain in Lycia, near which was shown the grave of Tantalus, the ancestor of the Atridae; the town of the same name was swallowed up in very early times by an earthquake.

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