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Electra   


wonder hast thou turned thine eyes, that thou art fevered with this
baneful fire?
CHRYSOTHEMIS
Then, for the gods' love, listen, that thou mayest know my
story, before deciding whether I am sane or foolish.
ELECTRA
Speak on, then, if thou findest pleasure in speaking.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
Well, thou shalt hear all that I have seen. When I came to our
father's ancient tomb, I saw that streams of milk had lately flowed
from the top of the mound, and that his sepulchre was encircled with
garlands of all flowers that blow. I was astonished at the sight,
and peered about, lest haply some one should be close to my side.
But when I perceived that all the place was in stillness, I crept
nearer to the tomb; and on the mound's edge I saw a lock of hair,
freshly severed.
And the moment that I saw it, ah me, a familiar image rushed
upon my soul, telling me that there I beheld a token of him whom
most I love, Orestes. Then I took it in my hands, and uttered no
ill-omened word, but the tears of joy straightway filled mine eyes.
And I know well, as knew then, that this fair tribute has come from
none but him. Whose part else was that, save mine and thine? And I did
it not, I know,- nor thou; how shouldst thou?- when thou canst not
leave this house, even to worship the gods, but at thy peril. Nor,
again, does our mother's heart incline to do such deeds, nor could she
have so done without our knowledge.
No, these offerings are from Orestes! Come, dear sister,
courage! No mortal life is attended by a changeless fortune. Ours
was once gloomy; but this day, perchance, will seal the promise of
much good.
ELECTRA
Alas for thy folly! How I have been pitying thee!
CHRYSOTHEMIS
What, are not my tidings welcome?
ELECTRA
Thou knowest not whither or into what dreams thou wanderest.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
Should I not know what mine own eyes have seen?
ELECTRA
He is dead, poor girl; and thy hopes in that deliverer are gone:
look not to him.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
Woe, woe is me! From whom hast thou heard this?
ELECTRA
From the man who was present when he perished.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
And where is he? Wonder steals over my mind.
ELECTRA
He is within, a guest not unpleasing to our mother.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
Ah, woe is me! Whose, then, can have been those ample offerings to
our father's tomb?
ELECTRA
Most likely, I think, some one brought those gifts in memory of
the dead Orestes.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
Oh, hapless that I am! And I was bringing such news in joyous
haste, ignorant, it seems, how dire was our plight; but now that I
have come, I find fresh sorrows added to the old!
ELECTRA
So stands thy case; yet, if thou wilt hearken to me, thou wilt
lighten the load of our present trouble.
CHRYSOTHEMIS
Can I ever raise the dead to life?

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