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Re-enter Danaus

[600] Be of good cheer, my children, all goes well on the part of the citizens. Decrees, carrying full authority, have been passed.

Hail, our envoy, harbinger of tidings most welcome, But tell us—to what end has the decision been carried, and to what course does the majority of the people's votes incline?

[605] Action was taken by the Argives, not by any doubtful vote but in such a way as to make my aged heart renew its youth. For the air bristled with right hands held aloft as, in full vote, they ratified this resolution into law: “That we are settlers in this land, and are free, [610] subject to no seizure, and secure from robbery of man; that no one, native or alien, lead us captive; but, if they turn to violence, any landholder who refuses to rescue us, should both forfeit his rights and suffer public banishment.” [615] Such was the persuasive speech that the king of the Pelasgians delivered on our behalf, uttering the solemn warning that never in the future should the city feed the great wrath of Zeus, protector of the suppliant; and declaring that, should a twofold defilement—from strangers and from natives at once—arise before the city, [620] it would become fodder for distress past all relief. Hearing these words, the Argive people, waiting for no proclamation of crier, voted by uplifted hand that this should be so. It was the Pelasgian people, won readily to assent, who heard the subtle windings of his speech; but it was Zeus who brought the end to pass.

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