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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Euripides' IPHIGENIA AT AULIS Complete

Translated by E. Coleridge.

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Agamemnon: I envy thee, old man, aye, and every man who leads a life
secure, unknown and unrenowned; but little I envy those in office.

Attendant: And yet 'tis there we place the be-all and end-all of existence.

Agamemnon: Aye, but that is where the danger comes; and ambition,
sweet though it seems, brings sorrow with its near approach. At one
time the unsatisfied claims of Heaven upset our life, at another the
numerous peevish fancies of our subjects shatter it.

Attendant: I like not these sentiments in one who is a chief. It was
not to enjoy all blessings that Atreus begot thee, O Agamemnon; but
thou must needs experience joy and sorrow alike, mortal as thou art.
E'en though thou like it not, this is what the gods decree; but thou,
after letting thy taper spread its light abroad, writest the letter
which is still in thy hands and then erasest the same words again,
sealing and re-opening the scroll, then flinging the tablet to the
ground with floods of tears and leaving nothing undone in thy aimless
behaviour to stamp thee mad. What is it troubles thee? what news is
there affecting thee, my liege? Come, share with me thy story; to
a loyal and trusty heart wilt thou be telling it; for Tyndareus sent
me that day to form part of thy wife's dowry and to wait upon the
bride with loyalty.

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