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Enter a herald by Eisodos A.
O children, come here, take hold of my garments! I see Eurystheus' herald [50] coming toward us, the man by whom we are pursued and banished as wanderers from the face of the earth. A curse on you, hateful creature, and on him who sent you for all the many troubles that same mouth of yours also laid on these children's noble father!

[55] No doubt you imagine this is a fine position you have taken up and that you have come to a city that is your ally. What a fool you are! For there is no one who will choose to have your worthless might in preference to Eurystheus. March! Why take all this trouble? You must get up from the altar [60] and on to Argos, where a stony justice awaits you.

No, since the god's altar will protect me, and since the land on which we stand is free.

Do you wish to cause this hand of mine more work?

Surely you will not use force to take me and these children away.

[65] You'll see. You are not, it seems, a good prophet in this.

It shall not happen while I am still alive!

Off! Be gone!

He pulls Iolaus away from the altar and knocks him onto the ground.
And as for these, whether you like it or not I shall take them off, regarding them as the property of Eurystheus, as in fact they are.

Dwellers in Athens from of old, [70] help us! We, who are suppliants of Zeus Agoraios, are being violently treated, our suppliant wreaths are defiled, a disgrace to the city and an insult to the gods.

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