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Electra   


PAEDAGOGUS
Know that here thou art numbered with the shades.
ORESTES
Do they rejoice, then, at these tidings? Or what say they?
PAEDAGOGUS
I will tell thee at the end; meanwhile, all is well for us on
their party-even that which is not well.
ELECTRA
Who is this, brother? I pray thee, tell me.
ORESTES
Dost thou not perceive?
ELECTRA
I cannot guess.
ORESTES
Knowest thou not the man to whose hands thou gavest me once?
ELECTRA
What man? How sayest thou?
ORESTES
By whose hands, through thy forethought, I was secretly conveyed
forth to Phocian soil.
ELECTRA
Is this he in whom, alone of many, I found a true ally of old,
when our sire was slain?
ORESTES
'Tis he; question me no further.
ELECTRA
O joyous day! O sole preserver of Agamemnon's house, how hast thou
come? Art thou he indeed, who didst save my brother and myself from
many sorrows? O dearest hands; O messenger whose feet were kindly
servants! How couldst thou be with me so long, and remain unknown, nor
give a ray of light, but afflict me by fables, while possessed of
truths most sweet? Hail, father,- for 'tis a father that I seem to
behold! All hail,- and know that I have hated thee, and loved thee, in
one day, as never man before!
PAEDAGOGUS
Enough, methinks; as for the story of the past, many are the
circling nights, and days as many, which shall show it thee,
Electra, in its fulness. (To ORESTES and PYLADES) But this is my
counsel to you twain, who stand there- now is the time to act; now
Clytemnestra is alone,- no man is now within: but, if ye pause,
consider that ye will have to fight, not with the inmates alone, but
with other foes more numerous and better skilled.
ORESTES
Pylades, this our task seems no longer to crave many words, but
rather that we should enter the house forthwith,- first adoring the
shrines of my father's gods, who keep these gates.

(ORESTES and PYLADES enter the Palace,
followed by the PAEDAGOGUS.- ELECTRA remains outside.)


ELECTRA
O King Apollo! graciously hear them, and hear me besides, who so
oft have come before thine altar with such gifts as my devout hand
could bring! And now, O Lycean Apollo, with such vows as I can make, I
pray thee, I supplicate, I implore, grant us thy benignant aid in
these designs, and show men how impiety is rewarded by the gods!
(ELECTRA enters the palace.)
CHORUS (singing)
Behold how Ares moves onward, breathing deadly vengeance,
against which none may strive!
Even now the pursuers of dark guilt have passed beneath yon
roof, the hounds which none may flee. Therefore the vision of my
soul shall not long tarry in suspense.
The champion of the spirits infernal is ushered with stealthy feet

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