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Enter Messenger, on the spectators' left.

[1155] Neighbors of the house of Cadmus and of Amphion, there is no station of human life that I would ever praise or blame as being settled. Fortune sets upright and Fortune sinks the lucky and unlucky from day to day, [1160] and no one can prophesy to men concerning the order that has just been established. For Creon, as I saw it, was once blest: he had saved this land of Cadmus from its enemies; and having won sole and total dominion in the land, he guided it on a straight course and flourished in his noble crop of children. [1165] And now all this has been lost. When a man has forfeited his pleasures, I do not reckon his existence as life, but consider him just a breathing corpse. Heap up riches in your house, if you wish! Live with a tyrant's pomp! But if there is no joy [1170] along with all of that, I would not pay even the shadow of smoke for all the rest, compared with joy.

What is this new grief for our princes that you have come to report?

They are dead, and the living are guilty of the deaths.

Who is the murderer? Who the murdered? Tell us.

[1175] Haemon is dead—his blood was shed by no strange hand.

Was it his father's, or his own ?

He did it by his own, enraged with his father for the murder.

Ah, prophet, how true, then, you have proved your word!

Knowing that these things are so, you must consider the rest.

[1180] Wait, I see the unhappy Eurydice, Creon's wife, nearby. She comes from the house either knowing of her son, or merely by chance.

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 929
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