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Chorus Leader
My lord, I have listened and I pity these for what has befallen them. Nobility overwhelmed by mischance—this I now see in its full. For these children, [235] born of a noble sire, are suffering undeserved misfortune.

Raising Iolaus to his feet
Three paths of concern compel me, Iolaus, not to reject your words. Most important is Zeus, at whose altar you sit with this assembly of fledglings; [240] second, kinship and the debt long-standing that these children should for their father's sake be well treated at our hands; and last, fear of disgrace, the thing I must be most concerned about. For if I am to allow this altar to be robbed by a foreigner, it will be thought [245] that it is no free land I govern but that I have betrayed suppliants for fear of the Argives. And that is nearly enough to make me hang myself. But while I could wish that you had come in happier plight, still even so have no fear that anyone shall drag you and the children by force from the altar.

To the Herald
[250] As for you, go to Argos and report this to Eurystheus, and say in addition that if he makes any charge against these foreigners, he shall receive his due. But you shall never take these children away.

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