Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/117

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THYESTES.

fact, can be done which could daunt that man's atrocity? I wonder whether he is a man that will die away quietly, whether he is the sort of man to bear prosperity in a reasonable frame of mind, or whether he can show calmness in adversity? I have always detected in him, a certain indomitableness of character; he is a man not to be bent! he must be broken! therefore, before he has time to gather up his strength or prepare for opposition, he must be sought out at once, lest indeed he should seek to find me in a state of unpreparedness—Either he will kill me or he will perish by my hand, the crime is so finely balanced between us, that he will win, who is the foremost in its perpetration!

GU. Surely no murmurings—no false rumours amongst thy subjects is disturbing thy peace of mind.

ATR. The chief charm of a kingdom amounts to this, that the subjects of the master are compelled rather to do the bidding of their ruler than to be called upon, necessarily to applaud their deeds!

GU. The fear which compels others to praise thee only makes such fear more hostile (in its character), but he who seeks the glory arising out of genuine applause, must be willing to be lauded in spirit, rather than in vocal demonstrativeness.

ATR. Genuine praise often falls to the lot of a humble man; false flattery is a tribute paid only to the powerful. The law with kings is, the people must be willing to do what they do not regard with satisfaction.

GU. When a king wishes for nothing but what is just, no one desires anything more.

ATR. Wherever honesty is the only thing looked for in a king, such a king's sceptre is in a very precarious state.

GU. Where there is no moderation, no regard for the laws' probity, no religion, and no confidence, such a kingdom rests on a most unstable foundation.

ATR. Religion, probity, good faith are the attributes of their private possessors—kings say, do and command just as they think proper.

GU. It is not right to injure anybody, nor right even to dream of such a thing, where a brother is concerned.