nature. But with reproaches heaped a thousandfold I cannot wound thee, so brazen is thy nature. Perish, vile sorceress, murderess of thy babes! Whilst I must mourn my luckless fate, for I shall ne’er enjoy my new-found bride, nor shall I have the children, whom I bred and reared, alive to say the last farewell to me; nay, I have lost them.
Med. To this thy speech I could have made a long retort, but Father Zeus knows well all I have done for thee, and the treatment thou hast given me. Yet thou wert not ordained to scorn my love and lead a life of joy in mockery of me, nor was thy royal bride nor Creon, who gave thee a second wife, to thrust me from this land and rue it not. Wherefore, if thou wilt, call me e’en a lioness, and Scylla, whose home is in the Tyrrhene land; for I in turn have wrung thy heart, as well I might.
Jas. Thou, too, art grieved thyself, and sharest in my sorrow.
Med. Be well assured I am; but it relieves my pain to know thou canst not mock at me.
Jas. O my children, how vile a mother ye have found!
Med. My sons, your father’s feeble lust has been your ruin!
Jas. ’Twas not my hand, at any rate, that slew them.
Med. No, but thy foul treatment of me, and thy new marriage.
Jas. Didst think that marriage cause enough to murder them?
Med. Dost think a woman counts this a trifling injury?
Jas. So she be self-restrained; but in thy eyes all is evil.
Med. Thy sons are dead and gone. That will stab thy heart.
Jas. They live, methinks, to bring a curse upon thy head.
- Reading οἴμαι with Tyrrwhitt.