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Orestes   


throat.
ORESTES Wouldst question me or hear me speak?
MENELAUS Neither; but I suppose I must hear thee.
ORESTES Well, if thou art anxious to know, I intend to slay thy daughter.
MENELAUS After slaying Helen, art thou bent on adding another murder?
ORESTES I would I had compassed that, instead of being duped by the
gods!
MENELAUS Dost thou deny having slain her, saying this out of wanton
insult?
ORESTES Yes, I do deny it to my sorrow. Would God-
MENELAUS Would God-what? Thou provokest my fears.
ORESTES I had hurled to Hades the pollution of Hellas!
MENELAUS Surrender my wife's dead body, that I may bury her.
ORESTES Ask the gods for her; but thy daughter I will slay.
MENELAUS This matricide is bent on adding murder to murder.
ORESTES This champion of his sire, betrayed by thee to death.
MENELAUS Art thou not content with the stain of the mother's blood
which is on thee?
ORESTES I should not grow tired if I had these wicked women to slay
for ever.
MENELAUS Art thou too, Pylades, a partner in this bloody work?
ORESTES His silence says he is; so my saying it will suffice.
MENELAUS Not without thy ruing it, unless thou take wings and fly.
ORESTES Fly we never will, but will fire the palace.
MENELAUS What! wilt thou destroy the home of thy ancestors?
ORESTES To prevent thee getting it I will, offering this maid in
sacrifice upon its flames.
MENELAUS Kill her, for thou wilt be punished by me for such a murder.
ORESTES Agreed.
MENELAUS No, no! refrain!
ORESTES Silence! thy sufferings are just; endure them.
MENELAUS Pray, is it just that thou shouldst live?
ORESTES And rule a kingdom, yes.
MENELAUS A kingdom-where?
ORESTES Here in Pelasgian Argos.
MENELAUS Thou art so well qualified to handle sacred water!
ORESTES And, pray, why not?
MENELAUS And to slay victims before battle!
ORESTES Well, art thou?
MENELAUS Yes, my hands are clean.
ORESTES But not thy heart.
MENELAUS Who would speak to thee?
ORESTES Every man that loves his father.
MENELAUS And the man who honours his mother?
ORESTES He's a happy man.
MENELAUS Thou didst not honour thine, at any rate.
ORESTES No, for I delight not in your wicked women.
MENELAUS Remove that sword from my daughter's throat.
ORESTES Thou art wrong.
MENELAUS What! wilt slay her?
ORESTES Right once more.
MENELAUS Ah me! what can I do?
ORESTES Go to the Argives and persuade them-
MENELAUS To what?
ORESTES Entreat the city that we may not die.
MENELAUS Otherwise, will ye slay my child?
ORESTES That is the alternative.
MENELAUS Alas for thee, Helen!
ORESTES And is it not "alas!" for me?
MENELAUS I brought her back from Troy only for thee to butcher.
ORESTES Would I had!
MENELAUS After troubles innumerable.
ORESTES Except where I was concerned.
MENELAUS Dread treatment mine!

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