Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/127

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Lines 355—403]
107
THYESTES.

auriferous sands, and who covets not all the abundant grain of the Libyan harvests, threshed out on the heated floors (made warm by the continued trampling of the oxen used for that purpose). That man, whom a passing flash of lightning, seen at a distance, would not drive out of his wits, nor the sea disturbed by easterly gales, nor the swelling waves which suddenly break form in the dangerous straits of the stormy Adriatic. Whom the lance of the furious soldier, nor the drawn sword has not held in pusillanimous subjection; who, placed on a secure throne, watches everything beneath him with serenity and willingly bows to his lot, nor needs not to desire death! (as a relief to his earthly troubles.) Let kings join themselves in vain against such a man! Those who lead the wandering Daci, those who hold in subjection, the borders of the Red Sea, and the sea in many places looking red, as it were with bright gems; nor those upon the Caspian mountain ridges, at the approach of the brave Sarmatians, and may they contend against him, who with intrepid steps advance upon the glassy Danube (frozen) and wherever the Seres are found, renowned for their particular thread (silk) they bring from that far-off country—A king, with a proper mind and disposition holds his kingdom securely—there is no need of armed horsemen—no need of the sword, and the darts, which the Parthian shoots forth at a distance, whilst he is pretending flight. No need! of battering rams to lay cities in ruins, nor for machines being employed in rolling onwards enormous rocks! He is a king, who fears nothing—he is a king who desires nothing unjustly; and this is the sort of royalty, which he bestows upon himself! Any man, who likes, can reign, powerful often, with a tottering roof to his palace! May sweet tranquillity satisfy us, and pitched in some obscure nook let us enjoy thoroughly our luxurious ease! Let our lives glide along silently, our very existence not known to the Quirites (Citizens), so that when our days have passed away, undisturbed by the carking cares of life, we shall die, like any other old individuals, ignored and uncared for! Death lies heavily on the man, who dies unknown by himself, but too much known by the rest of mankind!