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.
and I shall regard this as a fine addition to my labors in coming here to adorn my daughter’s grave. Yes, I will go to the chosen band of Argives and set the city, willing or not, on you and your sister, to pay the penalty of stoning.
She deserves to die even more than you, for it was she who embittered you against your mother, always carrying tales to your ear to increase your hate the more, announcing dreams from Agamemnon, and Aegisthus’ bed,
may the gods in Hades loathe it! for even here on earth it was bitter; till she set the house ablaze with fires never kindled by Hephaestus.
Menelaus, I tell you this, and I will do it, too: if you then consider my hatred or our marriage connection of any account, do not ward off this man’s doom in defiance of the gods,
but leave him to be stoned to death by the citizens, or do not set foot on Spartan land. Remember you have been told all this, and do not choose the ungodly as friends, pushing aside the more righteous. Servants, lead me from this house. Exit Tyndareus.
Go, so that the remainder of my speech may come to this man without interruption, free from your old age.
Menelaus, why are you pacing round and round in thought, going back and forth, in a dilemma?
Let me alone! When I think it over,
I am perplexed to know where to turn in these events.
Do not come to a final decision now, but after first hearing what I have to say, then make up your mind.
Good advice! Speak. There are times when silence would be better than speech, and the reverse also.
I will speak now. A long statement has advantages over a short one and is more intelligible to listen to. Give me nothing of your own, Menelaus, but repay what you received from my father. As Menelaus makes a deprecating gesture.I am not speaking of possessions; if you save my life,
you will save my dearest possession.
I have done wrong; I ought to have a little wrong-doing from you to requite that evil, for my father Agamemnon also did wrong in gathering the Hellenes and going to Ilium, not that he had sinned himself,
but he was trying to find a cure for the sin and wrong-doing of your wife. So this is one thing you are bound to pay me back. For he really gave his life, as friends should, toiling hard in battle with you, so that you might have your wife again.
Pay back to me the same thing you got there. For one day exert yourself, on my behalf standing up in my defense, not ten full years.
As for what Aulis took, the sacrifice of my sister, I let you have that; do not kill Hermione.
For in my present plight, you must have an advantage over me and I must pardon it. But give to my miserable father my life and the life of my sister, a maiden so long; for by my death I shall leave my father’s house without an heir.
You will say it is impossible. That’s the point; friends are bound to help friends in trouble. But when fortune gives of its best, what need of friends? For the god’s help is enough of itself when he is willing to give it.