No, indeed, I went through my task in silence.
Unhappy girl, let me, at least, hear it from thine own mouth. It
is indeed distressing not to know thy name.
(IOLE maintains her silence.)
It will be unlike her former behaviour, then, I can tell thee,
if she opens her lips: for she hath not uttered one word, but hath
ever been travailing with the burden of her sorrow, and weeping
bitterly, poor girl, since she left her wind-swept home. Such a
state is grievous for herself, but claims our forbearance.
Then let her be left in peace, and pass under our roof as she
wishes; her present woes must not be crowned with fresh pains at my
hands; she hath enough already.-Now let us all go in, that thou mayest
start speedily on thy journey, while I make all things ready in the
(LICHAS leads the captives into the house. DEIANEIRA starts to
follow them, but the MESSENGER, who has been present during the entire
scene, detains her. He speaks as he moves nearer to her.)
Ay, but first tarry here a brief space, that thou mayest learn,
apart from yonder folk, whom thou art taking to thy hearth, and mayest
gain the needful knowledge of things which have not been told to thee.
Of these I am in full possession.
What means this? Why wouldest thou stay my departure?
Pause and listen. My former story was worth thy hearing, and so
will this one be, methinks.
Shall I call those others back? Or wilt thou speak before me and
To thee and these I can speak freely; never mind the others.
Well, they are gone;- so thy story can proceed.
Yonder man was not speaking the straight-forward truth in aught
that he has just told. He has given false tidings now, or else his
former report was dishonest.
How sayest thou? Explain thy whole drift clearly; thus far, thy
words are riddles to me.
I heard this man declare, before many witnesses, that for this
maiden's sake Heracles overthrew Eurytus and the proud towers of
Oechalia; Love, alone of the gods, wrought on him to do those deeds of
arms,- not the toilsome servitude to Omphale in Lydia, nor the death
to which Iphitus was hurled. But now the herald has thrust Love out of
sight, and tells different tale.
Well, when he could not persuade her sire to give him the maiden
for his paramour, he devised some petty complaint as a pretext, and
made war upon her land,- that in which, as he said, this Eurytus
bore sway,- and slew the prince her father, and sacked her city. And
now, as thou seest, he comes sending her to this house not in careless
fashion, lady, nor like slave:-no, dream not of that,- it is not
likely, if his heart is kindled with desire.
I resolved, therefore, O Queen, to tell thee all that I had
heard from yonder man. Many others were listening to it, as I was,
in the public place where the Trachinians were assembled; and they can
convict him. If my words are unwelcome, I am grieved; but nevertheless