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Enter by Eisodos A Menelaus in armor with his retinue, leading Molossus.

I have come bringing your son, whom you sent for safety [310] to another house without my daughter's knowledge. You expected that this statue would save your life and those who hid him would save his. But, woman, you are manifestly less clever than Menelaus who stands before you. And if you do not leave and vacate this precinct, [315] the boy here will be slaughtered in place of you. So consider this, whether you prefer to die or have this boy killed for the misdeeds you are committing against me and against my daughter.


O high renown, you have swelled the lives [320] of countless mortals who are nullities! [Those who receive a good name at the hands of truth I count blessed, while those who derive it from falsehood I will not deem worthy of it, except that chance makes them seem intelligent.] Did you, who are such a petty creature, once serve as general [325] over Greece's troops and wrest Troy away from Priam? At the word of your daughter, a mere child, you come in great pride and enter into competition with a poor slave woman. I regard you no longer as worthy of Troy or Troy as worthy of you. [330] [It is from without that those with the reputation for wisdom are splendid, while from within they are no more than the rest of humanity except in wealth: yet wealth has great power. Melenaus, come now, let us converse. Suppose I have died at your daughter's hand and she has destroyed me. [335] From that point on she will not escape the pollution of murder. But in the eyes of the majority you also will be on trial for this murder, for the complicity of your hand will compell you. But if I escape death, will you kill my son? And then how will his father [340] cheerfully put up with his son being killed? Troy does not call him such a coward. But he will go where he must and he will make it clear that he is doing deeds worthy of Peleus and of his father Achilles and will drive your daughter from the house. And if you try to marry her [345] to another husband, what will you say? That she, being moderate and chaste, fled from a bad husband? But he will not believe you. Who will marry her? Or will you keep her grey-headed and without a mate in your own house? O unhappy man, do you not see what disasters are breaking upon you? [350] How many marriage-beds would you not see your daughter wronged in rather than suffer what I am describing?]

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