Euripides. The Plays of Euripides, Translated into English Prose from the Text of Paley. Vol. II. Coleridge, Edward P., translator. London: George Bell and Sons, 1891.

  1. no prophet of the future. But his accomplice, the Phocian villain, was off on other business: Out of my way! Well, Phrygians always were cowards. So he shut them up in different parts of the house, some in the stables, others in the halls,
  2. one here, one there, disposing of them severally at a distance from their mistress.
Chorus Leader
  1. What happened next?
  1. Mother of Ida, great, great mother!
  2. Oh! the murderous scenes and lawless wickedness that I saw, I saw, in the palace! They drew forth swords from hiding under their purple-bordered cloaks, each darting his eye a different way, lest anyone should be near. Like boar of the hills,
  3. they stood opposite the woman and said: You will die, you will die; your cowardly husband is killing you, because he betrayed his brother’s son to death in Argos.
  4. She screamed, oh, oh! she screamed, and brought down her white arm upon her breast and beat her poor head; then turned her golden-sandalled steps in flight, in flight; but Orestes got before her in his Mycenean boots and clutched his fingers in her hair,
  5. and, bending back her neck on to her left shoulder, was on the point of driving the black sword into her throat.
Chorus Leader
  1. Where were you Phrygians in the house to help her?
  1. With a loud cry from the house we battered down with bars the doors and doorposts where we had been,
  2. and ran to her assistance from every direction, one with stones, another with javelins, a third with a drawn sword; but Pylades came to meet us, undaunted, like
  3. Hector of Troy or Ajax triple-plumed, as I saw him, saw him, in Priam’s gateway; and we met at sword’s point. But then it was very clear how the Phrygians were,
  4. how much less we were in battle strength to the Hellene might. There was one man gone in flight, another slain, another wounded, yet another pleading to stave off death; but we escaped under cover of the darkness; while some were falling, some were about to fall, and others were lying dead.
  5. And just as her unhappy mother sank to the ground to die, the luckless Hermione came in. Those two, like Bacchantes when they drop the thyrsus for a mountain cub, rushed and seized her; then turned again to the daughter of Zeus to slay her; but she had vanished from the room,
  6. passing right through the house, O Zeus and Earth and light and night! whether by magic spells or wizards’ arts or heavenly theft.
  7. What happened afterwards I do not know; for I stole out of the palace, a runaway.
  8. So Menelaus endured his painful, painful suffering to recover his wife Helen from Troy to no purpose.
Chorus Leader
  1. And look, here is a strange sight succeeding others; for I see Orestes sword in hand before the palace,
  2. advancing with excited steps.
  1. Where is the one who fled from the palace to escape my sword?