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Electra   


ORESTES
I should be wroth, indeed, if I saw another attempt it.
ELECTRA
My prayer is granted?
ORESTES
Canst thou doubt?
ELECTRA
Ah, friends, I heard a voice that I could never have hoped to
hear; nor could I have restrained my emotion in silence, and without
cry, when I heard it.
Ah me! But now I have thee; thou art come to me with the light
of that dear countenance, which never, even in sorrow, could I forget.
(The chant is concluded.)
ORESTES
Spare all superfluous words; tell me not of our mother's
wickedness, or how Aegisthus drains the wealth of our father's house
by lavish luxury or aimless waste; for the story would not suffer thee
to keep due limit. Tell me rather that which will serve our present
need,- where we must show ourselves, or wait in ambush, that this
our coming may confound the triumph of our foes.
And look that our mother read not thy secret in thy radiant
face, when we twain have advanced into the house, but make lament,
as for the feigned disaster; for when we have prospered, then there
will be leisure to rejoice and exult in freedom.
ELECTRA
Nay, brother, as it pleases thee, so shall be my conduct also; for
all my joy is a gift from thee, and not mine own. Nor would I
consent to win great good for myself at the cost of the least pain
to thee; for so should I ill serve the divine power that befriends
us now.
But thou knowest how matters stand here, I doubt not: thou must
have beard that Aegisthus is from home, but our mother within;- and
fear not that she will ever see my face lit up with smiles; for mine
old hatred of her hath sunk into my heart; and, since I have beheld
thee, for very joy I shall never cease to weep. How indeed should I
cease, who have seen thee come home this day, first as dead, and
then in life? Strangely hast thou wrought on me; so that, if my father
should return alive, I should no longer doubt my senses, but should
believe that I saw him. Now, therefore, that thou hast come to me so
wondrously, command me as thou wilt; for, had I been alone, I should
have achieved one of two things,- a noble deliverance, or a noble
death.
ORESTES
Thou hadst best be silent; for I hear some one within preparing to
go forth.
ELECTRA (to ORESTES and PYLADES)
Enter, sirs; especially as ye bring that which no one could
repulse from these doors, though he receive it without joy.
(The PAEDAGOGUS enters from the palace.)
PAEDAGOGUS
Foolish and senseless children! Are ye weary of your lives, or was
there no wit born in you, that ye see not how ye stand, not on the
brink, but in the very midst of deadly perils? Nay, had I not kept
watch this long while at these doors, your plans would have been in
the house before yourselves; but, as it is, my care shielded you
from that. Now have done with this long discourse, these insatiate
cries of joy, and pass within; for in such deeds delay is evil, and
'tis well to make an end.
ORESTES
What, then, will be my prospects when I enter?
PAEDAGOGUS
Good; for thou art secured from recognition.
ORESTES
Thou hast reported me, I presume, as dead?

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