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[440] You have my thanks; now go within; for the rest it will be well, as Fate proceeds. Exit Messenger.

Ah, woe is me! unhappy wretch, what can I say? where shall I begin? To what cruel straits have I been plunged! A god has outwitted me, proving far cleverer [445] than any cunning of mine. What an advantage humble birth possesses! for it is easy for her sons to weep and tell out all their sorrows; while to the high-born man come these same sorrows, but we heve dignity [450] throned over our life and are the people's slaves. I, for instance, am ashamed to weep, and no less ashamed, poor wretch, to check my tears at the dreadful pass to which I am brought.

Enough; what am I to tell my wife? [455] how shall I welcome her? with what face meet her? for she too has undone me by coming uninvited in this my hour of sorrow; yet it was only natural she should come with her daughter to prepare the bride and perform the fondest duties, where she will discover my villainy. [460] And for this poor maid—why maid? Death, it seems, will soon make her his bride—how I pity her! Thus will she plead to me, I think: “My father, will you slay me? May you yourself make such a marriage, and whoever is a friend to you!” [465] While Orestes, from his station near us, will cry in childish accents, inarticulate, yet fraught with meaning. Alas! to what utter ruin Paris, the son of Priam, the cause of these troubles, has brought me by his union with Helen!

Chorus Leader
I pity her myself, as a woman who is a stranger [470] may grieve for the misfortunes of royalty.

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