Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/146

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126
[Lines 716—748
SENECA'S TRAGEDIES.

Juvat ordinare. CHOR. Quem tamen ferro occupat?
NUNT. Primus locus (ne deesse pietatem putes)
Avo dicatur; Tantalus prima hostia est.
CHOR, Quo juvenis animo, quo tulit vultu necem?
NUNT. Stetit sui securus, & non est preces 720
Perire frustra passus: ast illi ferus
In vulnere ensem abscondit, & penitus premens
Jugulo manum commisit. educto stetit
Ferro cadaver: cumque dubitasset diu
Hac parte, an illa caderet, in patruum cadit. 725
Tunc ille ad aras Plisthenem fævus trahit,
Adicitque fratri: coUa percussa amputat.
Cervice cæsa truncus in pronum ruit:
Querulum cucurrit murmure incerto caput.
CHOR. Quid deinde gemina cæde perfunctis facit? 730
Puerone parcit; an scelus sceleri ingerit?
NUNT. Silva jubatus qualis Armenia leo
In cæde multa victor armento incubat,
Cruore rictus madidus, & pulsa fame
Non ponit iras; hinc & hinc tauros premens 735
Vitulis minatur, dente jam lasso piger:
Non aliter Atreus sævit, atque ira rumet,
Ferrumque gemina cæde perfusum tenens,
Oblitus in quem rueret, infesta manu
Exegit ultra corpus, at pueri statim 740
Pectore receptus ensis, in tergo exstitit.
Cadit ille, & aras sanguine extinguens suo,
Per utrumque vulnus moritur. CHOR. O sævum scelus!
NUNT. Exhorruistis? hactenus sistat nefas,
Pius est. CHOR. An ultra majus aut atrocius 745
Natura recipit? NUNT. Sceleris liunc finem putas?
Gradus est. CHOR. Quid ultra potuit? abjecit feris
Lanianda forsan corpora, atque igne arcuit.


and he felt a sort of pleasure in doing such an alarming deed with some regard to arrangement!

CHOR. Which of the sons found occupation for the sword first?

MESS. The first place was dedicated to the Grandfather, Tantalus. (Thou dost not suppose that he was entirely wanting in family reverence.) Tantalus was his first victim (because his name was Tantalus).

CHOR. What was the demeanour of the youth? with what courage did he meet his death?

MESS. He stood with great firmness, and confidence in himself, as if he were not willing that any entreaties he might make should pass unheeded, but Atreus, remorseless with pent-up rage, seized with his hand the neck of his