I thought,—made a phantom in the hall, and he rushed after it in headlong haste, and stabbed the lustrous air, thinking he wounded me. Further the Bacchic god did other outrage to him; he dashed the building to the ground, and there it lies a mass of ruin, a sight to make him rue most bitterly my bonds. At last from sheer fatigue he dropped his sword and fell fainting; for he, a mortal frail, dared to wage war upon a god; but I meantime quietly left the house and am come to you, with never a thought of Pentheus. But methinks he will soon appear before the house; at least there is a sound of steps within. What will he say, I wonder, after this? Well, be his fury never so great, I will lightly bear it; for ’tis a wise man’s way to school his temper into due control.
Pen. [Rushing out.] Shamefully have I been treated; that stranger, whom but now I made so fast in prison, hath escaped me. Ha! there is the man! What means this? How didst thou come forth, to appear thus in front of my palace?
Dio. Stay where thou art; and moderate thy fury.
Pen. How is it thou hast escaped thy fetters and art at large?
Dio. Did I not say, or didst thou not hear me, “There is one will loose me.”
Pen. Who was it? there is always something strange in what thou sayest.
Dio. He who makes the clustering vine to grow for man.
Pen. * * * *
Dio. A fine taunt indeed thou hurlest here at Dionysus!
Pen. [To his servants] Bar every tower that hems us in, I order you.
Dio. What use? Cannot gods pass even over walls?
- φάσμα, Jacobs’ emendation for φῶς.
- The exact drift of this passage is not clear, and editors have been in doubt to which of the speakers to assign this verse. All mark a lacuna of one line, some after 651, others after 652.