Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/161

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Lines 973—1008]

they are contributing to the delightful ceremonies of the juvenile feast! But they shall be sent for; in the mean time, take up this goblet, the goblet of our ancestors! drink copiously of the wine it contains!

THY. I accept the bestowal of this fraternal feast, but let the wine be first offered to our paternal gods, then I will drink what is left (lifting it to his mouth). But what is this? My hand refuses to obey my will, the weight of it seems to increase, and completely tires out my right hand, and the wine strives to recede from my lips and flows away from my disappointed mouth and disperses itself around my jaws! Behold! the table too, is losing its steadiness on the trembling floor! The lamps are scarcely yielding any light! And more than that, the oppressed sky itself is growing dazed, deserted as it is, by the sun, moon and stars, during the interregnum between day and night—But what is this? The heavens shaken more and more, appear to totter, the darkness unites with darkness still blacker, and the night hides itself away in a night more intense in its blackness! Every star has vanished! Whatever is it, I pray, spare my brother and my children. O ye Gods! let the whole brunt of the tempest fall upon my head only! Now, Atreus, restore to me my sons!

ATR. I will restore them to thee, and no great length of time shall elapse before I do so.

THY. What is this disturbance, which is agitating my inside? How I do tremble internally! I feel a load, which I cannot bear—my chest is moaning, with a moaning that surely cannot be my own. Come to me, my sons, thy unhappy father calls thee—Oh! Come! this uneasy feeling will vanish, when I behold thee! Whence come their voices?

ATR. Get ready to embrace them, (Here Atreus returns and shows Thyestes the children's heads) father thou! They have come, thou seest! Whether or not, dost thou not, at this moment, recognize, that they are thy sons, whose moaning thou art now hearing!

THY. I recognize thee! my brother, as always impious and cruel! Oh! Earth! how canst thou permit thyself to bear such abominable wickedness? Why dost thou not plunge thyself and us into the infernal Styx? Why! that great gulf being opened, dost thou not snatch away the kingdom and the king along with it, and consign us to the