Iphigenia At Aulis
goods are separate.
ATTENDANT I belong to this lady who stands before the tent, a gift
to her from Tyndareus her father.
ACHILLES I am waiting; tell me, if thou art desirous, why thou hast
ATTENDANT Are ye really all alone here at the door?
CLYTAEMNESTRA To us alone wilt thou address thyself; come forth from
the king's tent.
ATTENDANT (Coming out) O Fortune and my own foresight, preserve
whom I desire!
ACHILLES That speech will save them-in the future; it has a certain
CLYTAEMNESTRA Delay not for the sake of touching my right hand, if
there is aught that thou wouldst say to me.
ATTENDANT Well, thou knowest my character and my devotion to thee
and thy children.
CLYTAEMNESTRA I know thou hast grown old in the service of my house.
ATTENDANT Likewise thou knowest it was in thy dowry king Agamemnon
CLYTAEMNESTRA Yes, thou camest to Argos with me, and hast been mine
this long time past.
ATTENDANT True; and though I bear thee all goodwill, I like not thy
lord so well.
CLYTAEMNESTRA Come, come, unfold whate'er thou hast to say.
ATTENDANT Her father, he that begat her, is on the point of slaying
thy daughter with his own hand.
CLYTAEMNESTRA How? Out upon thy story, old dotard! thou art mad.
ATTENDANT Severing with a sword the hapless maid's white throat.
CLYTAEMNESTRA Ah, woe is me! Is my husband haply mad?
ATTENDANT Nay; sane, except where thou and thy daughter are concerned;
there he is mad.
CLYTAEMNESTRA What is his reason? what vengeful fiend impels him?
ATTENDANT Oracles-at least so Calchas says, in order that the host
CLYTAEMNESTRA Whither? Woe is me, and woe is thee, thy father's destined
ATTENDANT To the halls of Dardanus, that Menelaus may recover Helen.
CLYTAEMNESTRA So Helen's return then was fated to affect Iphigenia?
ATTENDANT Thou knowest all; her father is about to offer thy child
CLYTAEMNESTRA But that marriage-what pretext had it for bringing
me from home?
ATTENDANT An inducement to thee to bring thy daughter cheerfully,
to wed her to Achilles.
CLYTAEMNESTRA On a deadly errand art thou come, my daughter, both
thou, and I, thy mother.
ATTENDANT Piteous the lot of both of you-and fearful Agamemnon's
CLYTAEMNESTRA Alas! I am undone; my eyes can no longer stem their
ATTENDANT What more natural than to weep the loss of thy children?
CLYTAEMNESTRA Whence, old man, dost say thou hadst this news?
ATTENDANT I had started to carry thee a letter referring to the former
CLYTAEMNESTRA Forbidding or combining to urge my bringing the child
to her death?
ATTENDANT Nay, forbidding it, for thy lord was then in his sober
CLYTAEMNESTRA How comes it then, if thou wert really bringing me
a letter, that thou dost not now deliver into my hands?
ATTENDANT Menelaus snatched it from me-he who caused this trouble.
CLYTAEMNESTRA Dost thou hear that, son of Peleus, the Nereid's child?
ACHILLES I have been listening to the tale of thy sufferings, and
I am indignant to think I was used as a tool.