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Formerly, though I was sunk in misfortune, the hope always drew me to him that if the child lived my family would find some kind of help and defense. But ever since Neoptolemus married Hermione, [30] spurning my bed since he was master and I a slave, I have been hounded with cruel ill-treatment by her. For she says that with secret poisons I make her childless and an object of hatred to her husband, and that I wish to take her place in the house, [35] casting her marriage-bed out by violent means. This bed I received unwillingly to begin with and now I have relinquished it. Great Zeus be my witness that it was against my will that I became sharer in this bed! But I cannot persuade her of this, and she wants to kill me. [40] Menelaus her father is acting as his daughter's accomplice in this, and he is now in the house, having come from Sparta for this very purpose. In fear I have come and taken my seat at this shrine of Thetis near the house on the chance that it may save me from death. [45] For Peleus and Peleus' offspring honor it as a monument to their marriage-tie with a Nereid.

My only child have I sent secretly to another house, for fear that he may be killed. For his father is not beside me [50] to protect me, and for his son he does not exist, since he is away in the land of Delphi. There he is offering amends to Apollo for his madness—in which he went to Pytho and asked Phoebus for satisfaction for his father Achilles, whom the god had killed—on the chance that by begging remission of punishment for his previous sins [55] he might win the god's favor for the future.

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