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Helen   


undone; my luck is gone; I cease to be.
THEOCLYMENUS In what misfortune art thou plunged? What hath happened?
HELEN Menelaus, ah me! how can I say it? is dead, my husband.
THEOCLYMENUS How knowest thou? Did Theonoe tell thee this?
HELEN Both she, and one who was there when he perished.
THEOCLYMENUS What! hath one arrived who actually announces this for
certaint?
HELEN One hath; oh may he come e'en as I wish him to!
THEOCLYMENUS Who and where is he? that I may learn this more surely.
HELEN There he is, sitting crouched beneath the shelter of this tomb,
THEOCLYMENUS Great Apollo! how clad in unseemly rags!
HELEN Ah me! methinks my own husband too is in like plight.
THEOCLYMENUS From what country is this fellow? whence landed he here?
HELEN From Hellas, one of the Achaeans who sailed with my husband.
THEOCLYMENUS What kind of death doth he declare that Menelaus died?
HELEN The most piteous of all; amid the watery waves at sea.
THEOCLYMENUS On what part of the savage ocean was he sailing?
HELEN Cast up on the harbourless rocks of Libya.
THEOCLYMENUS How was it this man did not perish if he was with him
aboard?
HELEN There are times when churls have more luck than their betters.
THEOCLYMENUS Where left he the wreck, on coming hither?
HELEN There, where perdition catch it, but not Menelaus!
THEOCLYMENUS He is lost; but on what vessel came this man?
HELEN According to his story sailors fell in with him and picked
him up.
THEOCLYMENUS Where then is that ill thing that was sent to Troy in
thy stead?
HELEN Dost mean the phantom-form of cloud? It hath passed into the
air.
THEOCLYMENUS O Priam, and thou land of Troy, how fruitless thy ruin!
HELEN I too have shared with Priam's race their misfortunes.
THEOCLYMENUS Did this fellow leave thy husband unburied, or consign
him to the grave?
HELEN Unburied; woe is me for my sad lot!
THEOCLYMENUS Wherefore hast thou shorn the tresses of thy golden
hair?
HELEN His memory lingers fondly in this heart, whate'er his fate.
THEOCLYMENUS Are thy tears in genuine sorrow for this calamity?
HELEN An easy task no doubt to escape thy sister's detection!
THEOCLYMENUS No, surely; impossible. Wilt thou still make this tomb
thy abode?
HELEN Why jeer at me? canst thou not let the dead man be?
THEOCLYMENUS No, thy loyalty to thy husband's memory makes thee fly
from me.
HELEN I will do so no more; prepare at once for my marriage.
THEOCLYMENUS Thou hast been long in bringing thyself to it; still
I do commend the now.
HELEN Dost know thy part? Let us forget the past.
THEOCLYMENUS On what terms? One good turn deserves another.
HELEN Let us make peace; be reconciled to me.
THEOCLYMENUS I relinquish my quarrel with thee; let it take wings
and fly away.
HELEN Then by thy knees, since thou art my friend indeed,-
THEOCLYMENUS What art so bent on winning, that to me thou stretchest
out a suppliant hand?
HELEN My dead husband would I fain bury.
THEOCLYMENUS What tomb can be bestowed on lost bodies? Wilt thou
bury a shade?
HELEN In Hellas we have a custom, whene'er one is drowned at sea-
THEOCLYMENUS What is your custom? The race of Pelops truly hath some
skill in matters such as this.
HELEN To hold a burial with woven robes that wrap no corpse.
THEOCLYMENUS Perform the ceremony; rear the tomb where'er thou wilt.

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