Hekaba 850-904

For you and your child and thy fortune, I do,
Hekaba, have pity and for your suppliant hands,
and I want, on account of the gods and also of justice
that unholy host to pay penalty to you,
would that it were somehow revealed so as to hold right by you,
while to the army I would not seem for the sake of Kasandra
to plan this murder for the lord of Threka.
For it is on this point a disturbance lights upon me:
—The army considers this man a friendly,
and the murdered man hated: if beloved to you
this man is, it is a separate thing, not common to the army.—
Think upon this: as you have me willing
to work together with you and quickly to give aid,
but slowly, if by the Achaians I will be suspected.
There is not among mortals anyone who is free;
for either he is a slave of wealth, or of fortune,
or the multitude of the city holds him, or the writs of law
bar him from following his character according to his will.
Since you fear and you dispense more to the mob,
I shall set you free of this fear.
Concede, should I plan any evil
to him who killed this man, you would not do it along with me.
and if some clamour from the Achaians or succour
for the Threkan man suffering as much as he will suffer
should be expressed, act without seeming for my sake.
Otherwise—be of good cheer—I shall put everything aright.
How? What will you do? Which? A sword in your hands
so aged will you take up and snuff the barbarian light?
Or with drugs or by some aid?
What hand stands with you? Whence have you acquired friends?
Your roofs have covered here a crowd of Troians.
You speak of the captives, the catch of the Hellenes?
With these I shall avenge my murderer.
And how shall there be mastery over males by women?
A crowd is fearsome and with trickery unconquerable.
Fearsome, nevertheless I cast doubt on the female race.
Why? Did not women seize the children of Aigyptos
and depopulate Lemnos, entirely removed of males?
But let it be so: permit this argument,
Send for me safely through the army this
woman. –And you, once you’ve approached our Threkian host
say this: She summons you, she once queen of Ilios,
Hekaba, for your business no less than hers
and your children: as even children must hear the words
of that lady. –And that for fresh-slaughtered
Polyxena, hold off, Agamemnon, the funeral-rites,
so that the siblings together in a single flame,
a two-fold care for their mother, may be hidden in the earth.
It shall be so: but if there was for the army
a voyage, I would not be able to give you this grace:
but now, for god does not send a blast of fair wind,
we must remain, looking toward a safe voyage.
May it somehow be well: for this is common to all,
for each individual and for the city, that evil
should suffer some evil and the wholesome fare well.

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