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Electra   


CHORUS
Cease; for I see Aegisthus full in view.
ELECTRA
Rash boys, back, back!
ORESTES
Where see ye the man?
ELECTRA
Yonder, at our mercy, be advances from the suburb, full of joy.
CHORUS
Make with all speed for the vestibule; that, as your first task
prospered. so this again may prosper now.
ORESTES
Fear not,- we will perform it.
ELECTRA
Haste, then, whither thou wouldst.
ORESTES
See, I am gone.
ELECTRA
I will look to matters here.
(ORESTES and PYLADES go back into the palace.)
CHORUS
'Twere well to soothe his ear with some few words of seeming
gentleness, that he may rush blindly upon the struggle with his doom.
(AEGISTHUS enters.)
AEGISTHUS
Which of you can tell me, where are those Phocian strangers,
who, 'tis said, have brought us tidings of Orestes slain in the
wreck of his chariot? Thee, thee I ask, yes, thee, in former days so
bold,- for methinks it touches thee most nearly; thou best must
know, and best canst tell.
ELECTRA
I know assuredly; else were I a stranger to the fortune of my
nearest kinsfolk.
AEGISTHUS
Where then may be the strangers? Tell me.
ELECTRA
Within; they have found a way to the heart of their hostess.
AEGISTHUS
Have they in truth reported him dead?
ELECTRA
Nay, not reported only; they have shown him.
AEGISTHUS
Can I, then, see the corpse with mine own eyes?
ELECTRA
Thou canst, indeed; and 'tis no enviable sight.
AEGISTHUS
Indeed, thou hast given me a joyful greeting, beyond thy wont.
ELECTRA
Joy be thine, if in these things thou findest joy.
AEGISTHUS
Silence, I say, and throw wide the gates, for all Mycenaeans and
Argives to behold; that, if any of them were once buoyed on empty
hopes from this man, now, seeing him dead, they may receive my curb,
instead of waiting till my chastisement make them wise perforce!
ELECTRA
No loyalty is lacking on my part; time hath taught me the prudence
of concord with the stronger.

(The central doors of the palace
are thrown open and a shrouded corpse is
disclosed. ORESTES and PYLADES stand near it.)


AEGISTHUS
O Zeus, I behold that which hath not fallen save by the doom of

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