So I temporarily solved my “all of my books are across the country” problem by visiting a local thrift store and walking away with 3 promising paperbacks for 75 cents each!
POLYMESTOR comes on with his two sons and armed attendants.
POLYMESTOR. O Priam, dearest of men,* and Hecuba, dearest lady, I week as I look upon you and your city and your daughter who has just been killed.* Alas, there is nothing in which we can find security, nothing—neither in good reputation nor in prosperity, for the prosperous man may fall upon hard times. The gods mix everything together in a topsy-turvy muddle, and the reason the cause this confusion is to make us worship them out of ignorance. However, what is the point of lamenting these things when we cannot run ahead* of our miseries?
But you, Hecuba, if you have any criticism to make of my late arrival, hold it back. For it happened that I was away in the central area of Thrace when you came here, and after I got back, I was just setting out from home when this serving woman of yours met me. She told me your message. I heard it and have come here.
HECUBA. I am ashamed to look you in the face, Polymestor, so abject in my situation. Now that fate has given me my present fortunes, I feel ashamed before a man who saw me in my palmy days. I could not look him straight in the eye. But do not interpret this as any ill-feeling towards you [Polymestor. And besides, part of the cause is the custom that women do not look directly at men.]
POLYMESTOR. And no wonder! But what do you want from me? Why have you sent for me from my house?
HECUBA. I want to tell you and your sons some private business of my own. Please instruct your attendants to stand at a distance from these tents.
POLYMESTOR (to his attendants). Off with you! It is safe to leave me alone here. You are my friend and this army of the Achaeans is friendly towards me.
The attendants go out.
But you must let me know how I in my good forture must help my friends in their distress. For I am at your disposal.*
HECUBA. First of all, about my son Polydorus whom you received from my hands and are keeping in your house. Is he alive? I shall ask you the rest later.
Translated by James Morwood.