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ELECTRA by Euripides, Part 07

OLD MAN
Put thy foot in the print of his shoe and mark whether it
correspond with thine, my child.
ELECTRA
How should the foot make any impression on stony ground? and if it
did, the foot of brother and sister would not be the same in size, for
man's is the larger.
OLD MAN
Hast thou no mark, in case thy brother should come, whereby to
recognize the weaving of thy loom, the robe wherein I snatched him
from death that day?
ELECTRA
Dost thou forget I was still a babe when ORESTES left the country?
and even if I had woven him a robe, how should he, a mere child
then, be wearing the same now, unless our clothes and bodies grow
together?
OLD MAN
Where are these guests? I fain would question them face to face
about thy brother.

(As he speaks, ORESTES and PYLADES come out of the hut.)

ELECTRA
There they are, in haste to leave the house.
OLD MAN
Well born, it seems, but that may be a sham; for there be plenty
such prove knaves. Still I give them greeting.
ORESTES
All hail, father! To which of thy friends, ELECTRA, does this
old relic of mortality belong?
ELECTRA
This is he who NURSEd my sire, sir stranger.
ORESTES
What! do I behold him who removed thy brother out of harm's way?
ELECTRA
Behold the man who saved his life; if, that is, he liveth still.
ORESTES
Ha! why does he look so hard at me, as if he were examining the
bright device on silver coin? Is he finding in me a likeness to some
other?
ELECTRA
Maybe he is glad to see in thee a companion of ORESTES .
ORESTES
A man I love full well. But why is he walking round me?
ELECTRA
I, too, am watching his movements with amaze, sir stranger.
OLD MAN
My honoured mistress, my daughter ELECTRA, return thanks to
heaven,-
ELECTRA
For past or present favours? which?
OLD MAN
That thou hast found a treasured prize, which God is now
revealing.
ELECTRA
Hear me invoke the gods. But what dost thou mean, old man?
OLD MAN
Behold before thee, my child, thy nearest and dearest.
ELECTRA
I have long feared thou wert not in thy sound senses
OLD MAN
Not in my sound senses, because I see thy brother?
ELECTRA
What mean'st thou, aged friend, by these astounding words?
OLD MAN
That I see ORESTES , AGAMEMNON's son, before me.
ELECTRA
What mark dost see that I can trust?
OLD MAN
A scar along his brow, where he fell and cut himself one day in
his father's home when chasing a fawn with thee.
ELECTRA
Is it possible? True; I see the mark of the fall.
OLD MAN
Dost hesitate then to embrace thy own dear brother?
ELECTRA
No! not any longer, old friend; for my soul is convinced by the
tokens thou showest. O my brother, thou art come at last, and I
embrace thee, little as I ever thought to.
ORESTES
And thee to my bosom at last I press.
ELECTRA
I never thought that it would happen.
ORESTES
All hope in me was also dead.
ELECTRA
Art thou really he?
ORESTES
Aye, thy one and only champion, if I can but safely draw to
shore the cast I mean to throw; and I feel sure I shall; else must
we cease to believe in gods, if wrong is to triumph o'er right.
CHORUS (singing)
At last, at last appears thy radiant dawn, O happy day! and as
beacon to the city hast thou revealed the wanderer, who, long ago,
poor boy! was exiled from his father's halls. Now, lady, comes our
turn for victory, ushered in by some god. Raise hand and voice in
prayer, beseech the gods that good fortune may attend thy brother's
entry to the city.

 

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