Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/135

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Lines 496—531]

up his mind to spill the blood of an enemy, he knows not how to dissemble his intentions, but, however, in my particular case, they must be effectually concealed! (Aside.) Behold Thyestes! how his locks covered with dirt, hide up that woeful countenance of his—how hideous too, his beard appears! (Approaching.) Let our mutual oaths, Thyestes, be respected. It delights me to see thee, brother mine. Come, give me the long desired embrace; whatsoever ill-feeling has existed between us, henceforth let bye-gones be bye-gones! From this day forth, let the love of kindred and bonds of fraternal friendship be for ever cultivated by both of us. Let any lingering ill-will be dismissed from our minds, as too odious to be countenanced.

THY. I could explain away everything satisfactorily, even if thou didst not meet me in the kind spirit thou art now showing. But I do confess, Atreus, I must confess the truth of everything thou hast given me credit for. This day's noble conduct on thy part, has only aggravated my offences in my own eyes—That man would be hopelessly bad, who could feel anything but amicably, towards a brother who has evinced towards me so much consideration—I really cannot refrain from shedding tears! First thou must regard me as thy suppliant, and with these hands I now embrace thee on bended knees, knees that have never genuflexed to mortal man before—Let all traces of animosity be rooted out—let all uprisings of anger be kindled for ever; here, Atreus, receive these sons of mine as hostages of my good faith and sincerity!

ATR. Brother mine, remove thy hands from my knees, seek rather the brotherly embrace; and you, so many youths (addressing the sons) as the natural guardians of our advancing years, hang down with your arms round my neck! Remove thy squalid apparel, Thyestes, and spare me the pain of beholding them any more, and put on these, they are identical with those I am wearing myself, and take likewise as a joyful pleasure to me, half of the kingdom with them! The preponderance of glory in this matter is certainly in my favor, the honor, indeed, of restoring a kingdom to a brother who has returned to me in safety, from cruel exile. To hold a kingdom is a matter of chance, but to give one, an act of virtue!

THY. Oh may the Gods reward thee with similar benefits, oh! my brother! to those which thou art now so lavishly showering down upon me, but do let my present squalor decline to exchange itself for that diadem, with which