Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/107

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Lines 18—47]

the guardian of the most cruel prison would quail to think of, at what tristful Acheron would even tremble, at the fear of whom all we unfortunate Manes are wont to wince again! Seek for some thing! Now, forsooth, there starts up a tribe springing from my race, which makes me to feel like an innocent individual in comparison, and a race that has the audacity to do things that I could never have conceived (in my most vivid imagination). Whatever place presents itself in the regions of the condemned, I will fill up the vacancy. Minos, the judge of Hell, will never be without employment so long as the race of Pelops lasts.

MEG. Come on, thou despicable Ghost, and stir up this criminal abode, with the very rage of the Furies; let them engage in strife, with every venomous determination, and let the sword be perpetually at work with one, or the other; let there be no bounds to their animosity, and the blindest rage inflame their hearts. Let the mad wrath of the parents continue and let it descend for ever to their distant offspring, and lest ancient crimes should lose their stinging remembrances, and become more endurable, let a fresh one crop up, but not one only, but one doubled in its severity! And whilst their crimes are being punished, let matters get worse, and let the kingdom fall from the hands of the proud brothers, only to be reclaimed by them, as exiles and rivals! The doubtful chances of a divided and belligerent dynasty will oscillate between the bewildered kings, and thus a miserable man, may become a man of power, and a man of power reduced to misery, and he who holds the kingdom will be constantly harassed by event following event, as it were in a continuous flow—driven away on account of their crimes, let them return to a land, of crimes, so long as the Gods vouchsafe to them a country to live in, and let them be, if possible, as hateful to themselves as they are to others—let there be nothing which their rage may seek to deem themselves forbidden to do. Let brother intimidate brother—parent, son—and son, parent—and let their children perish a miserable death! Let children be born under worse conditions, incestuous parentage! (Brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, mother and son, father and daughter!) Let an enraged wife be a source of danger to a husband, and that she may, through such a cause, lead on to wars beyond the seas, (Agamemnon and Menelaus, sent to recapture Helen,) and that blood shall be made to irrigate every land! Let triumphant lust be made to triumph over illustrious chiefs, (Chryseis and Cassandra,) who yield to its power. Let adultery be but a very trivial