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After him lord Diomedes made a speech; he said they should not kill you and your brother, [900] but keep clear of guilt by punishing you with exile. Some roared out that his words were good, but others disapproved. Next stood up a fellow, who cannot close his lips; one whose impudence is his strength; an Argive, but not of Argos, forced on us; [905] confident in bluster and ignorant free speech, and plausible enough to involve them in some mischief sooner or later; [for whenever a man with a pleasing trick of speech, but of unsound principles, persuades the mob, it is a serious evil to the state; but those who give sound and sensible advice on all occasions, [910] if not immediately useful to the state, yet prove so afterwards. And this is the way in which to regard a party leader; for the position is much the same in the case of an orator and a man in office.] He was for stoning you and Orestes to death, [915] but it was Tyndareus who kept suggesting arguments of this kind to him as he urged the death of both of you.

Another then stood up and said the opposite; he was not handsome in appearance, but a brave man, rarely coming in contact with the town or the circle in the market-place; [920] a farmer—and they are the only ones who preserve our land—but clever, and eager to grapple with the arguments, his character without a blemish, his walk in life beyond reproach. He said that they should crown Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, for showing his willingness to avenge a father [925] by the murder of a wicked and godless woman who would prevent men from taking up arms and going on foreign service, if those who remain behind destroy households by corrupting men's wives. [930] To the better sort, at least, his word carried conviction.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1361
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 793
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