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Trachiniae   


I have spoken out the truth.
DEIANEIRA
Ah me unhappy! In what plight do I stand? What secret bane have
received beneath my roof? Hapless that I am! Is she nameless, then, as
her convoy sware?
MESSENGER
Nay, illustrious by name as by birth; she is the daughter of
Eurytus, and was once called Iole; she of whose parentage Lichas could
say nothing, because, forsooth, he asked no questions.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Accursed, above other evil-doers, be the man whom deeds of
treachery dishonour!
DEIANEIRA
Ah, maidens, what am I to do? These latest tidings have bewildered
me!
LEADER
Go and inquire from Lichas; perchance he will tell the truth, if
thou constrain him to answer.
DEIANEIRA
Well, I will go; thy counsel is not amiss.
MESSENGER
And I, shall I wait here? Or what is thy pleasure?
DEIANEIRA
Remain;- here he comes from the house of his own accord, without
summons from me.
(Enter LICHAS)
LICHAS
Lady, what message shall I bear to Heracles? Give me thy commands,
for, as thou seest, I am going.
DEIANEIRA
How hastily thou art rushing away, when thy visit had been so long
delayed,- before we have had time for further talk.
LICHAS
Nay, if there be aught that thou would'st ask, I am at thy
service.
DEIANEIRA
Wilt thou indeed give me the honest truth?
LICHAS
Yes, be great Zeus my witness,- in anything that I know,
DEIANEIRA
Who is the woman, then, whom thou hast brought?
LICHAS
She is Euboean; but of what birth, I cannot say.
MESSENGER
Sirrah, look at me:- to whom art thou speaking, think'st thou?
LICHAS
And thou- what dost thou mean by such a question?
MESSENGER
Deign to answer me, if thou comprehendest.
LICHAS
To the royal Deianeira, unless mine eyes deceive me,- daughter
of Oeneus, wife of Heracles, and my queen.
MESSENGER
The very word that I wished to hear from thee:- thou sayest that
she is thy queen?
LICHAS
Yes, as in duty bound.
MESSENGER
Well, then, what art thou prepared to suffer, if found guilty of
failing in that duty?
LICHAS
Failing in duty? What dark saying is this?
MESSENGER
'Tis none; the darkest words are thine own.

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