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Electra   


Does not this crown our miseries with cowardice? For tell me,-
Or let me tell thee,- what I should gain by ceasing from these
laments? Do not live?- miserably, I know, yet well enough for me.
And I vex them, thus rendering honour to the dead, if pleasure can
be felt in that world. But thou, who tellest me of thy hatred,
hatest in word alone, while in deeds thou art with the slayers of
thy sire. I, then, would never yield to them, though I were promised
the gifts which now make thee proud; thine be the richly-spread
table and the life of luxury. For me, be it food enough that I do
not wound mine own conscience; I covet not such privilege as thine,-
nor wouldst thou, wert thou wise. But now, when thou mightest be
called daughter of the noblest father among men, be called the child
of thy mother; so shall thy baseness be most widely seen, in
betrayal of thy dead sire and of thy kindred.
LEADER
No angry word, I entreat! For both of you there is good in what is
urged,- if thou, Electra, wouldst learn to profit by her counsel,
and she, again, by thine.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
For my part, friends, I am not wholly unused to her discourse; nor
should I have touched upon this theme, had I not heard that she was
threatened with a dread doom, which shall restrain her from her
long-drawn laments.
ELECTRA
Come, declare it then, this terror! If thou canst tell me of aught
worse than my present lot, I will resist no more.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
Indeed, I will tell thee all that I know. They purpose, if thou
wilt not cease from these laments, to send thee where thou shalt never
look upon the sunlight, but pass thy days in a dungeon beyond the
borders of this land, there to chant thy dreary strain. Bethink
thee, then, and do not blame me hereafter, when the blow hath
fallen; now is the time to be wise.
ELECTRA
Have they indeed resolved to treat me thus?
CHRYSOTHEMIS
Assuredly, whenever Aegisthus comes home.
ELECTRA
If that be all, then may he arrive with speed!
CHRYSOTHEMIS
Misguided one! what dire prayer is this?
ELECTRA
That he may come, if he hath any such intent.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
That thou mayst suffer- what? Where are thy wits?
ELECTRA
That I may fly as far as may be from you all.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
But hast thou no care for thy present life?
ELECTRA
Aye, my life is marvellously fair.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
It might be, couldst thou only learn prudence.
ELECTRA
Do not teach me to betray my friends.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
I do not,- but to bend before the strong.
ELECTRA
Thine be such flattery: those are not my ways.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
Tis well, however, not to fall by folly.
ELECTRA
I will fall, if need be, in the cause of my sire.
CHRYSOTHEMIS

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