Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/109

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Lines 48—83]

lofty pillars be embellished, and let the joyous portals be laden and made verdant with the laurel. Let there be a blaze of illuminations, worthy of celebrating the arrival! Let the Thracian tragedy, one victim be acted over again but on a larger scale! (Three victims.) Why should an Uncle claim the privilege of withholding his co-operation? Does not Thyestes bewail his sons yet? Why does he hang back so long? The flames already beneath the caldron, are fetching up the foam! Let the separated limbs break up into pieces! Their blood shall defile the paternal hearth! The feast will now be prepared, nor wilt thou arrive to witness a scene of, crime, to which thou canst be any stranger—thou shalt have a day set apart for thy special enjoyment, and thou shalt thoroughly satisfy thy hungry cravings, with the viands prepared at thy meals—fill then thy empty interior, and blood mixed with wine, shall be quaffed in thy very presence; I have arranged this feast, and pray, why dost thou refuse to partake of it?—Stop, please; whither art thou rushing so hurriedly?

TANT. Back to the stagnant pools, the noisome rivers, the ebbing streams, back to the trees laden with fruit which recedes from my lips, as soon as it is approached; it is surely permissible for me to return to the sombre resting, place of my quondam prison! Then, if I am only, rendered a little less miserable thereby, let the river be transferred to other banks more trying! Oh Phlegethon! let me be thrown into the middle of thy streams, flowing with fiery waves! and thou, whatsoever thou art, who art commanded by the inexorable decrees of Fate to undergo punishment awarded—whoever crouches panic-stricken in a cave rotten with destroying time; dost thou already dread the fall of the mountain which threatens to come down upon thee with a crash; whoever there is that dreads the savage roarings of the lion, and, entangled, shrinks before the scourging whips of the assembled Furies,—whoever, half-burnt, flies from the vengeful torches, as they are dealt forth in rapid succession: listen to the words of Tantalus, who is fast hastening to join thee; believe in me, an experienced sufferer, and learn to appreciate thy punishments, with a thankful spirit. Ah! I wonder when my luck will arrive to escape from these regions above!

MEG. Before we discuss other matters, put the palace into thorough confusion, and bring the heralds of coming war with thee, and the disasters connected with the sword, in