Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/31

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Lines 106—133]

with intensest madness, shall be duly brought under my influence, methinks I should first become maddened myself! Juno! Juno! Why art thou not already at rage's height: Oh ye sisters (Furies), exercise your skill upon me, transform me, that I may be dispossessed of my ordinary (healthy) mind if I am to prepare myself for the execution of any scheme worthy of an angered step-mother!—Let my hatred even be diverted into a fresh channel—Let me then pray, that on his return Hercules may see his sons in health and safety, and may he come back to us strong in his mighty arm! I have really arrived at that day on which the odius strength of Hercules will be of assistance to me! I can tolerate his conquering me, so long as he is conquered himself as well (Juno here alludes to the slaughter of his wife and sons during his madness in prospectu), and may he wish when he returns from the infernal regions, for death itself! Under these circumstances, it will be a source of gain to me, that he is really the veritable son of Jupiter! I stipulate firmly, however, that the arrows which are sent forth from his bow shall be directed with a sure aim and steady nerve—I will poise his hand myself! I will preside over the movements of the raging combatant—I shall, literally, at last, be espousing the very cause of Hercules in thus inflaming his warlike spirit! And when the crime is carried out to my satisfaction (slaughtering his wife and two sons), let his father forthwith admit him into Olympus with his hands stained and reeking with their guilty work. Now then for war! Operations must begin! The light of day is beginning to show itself and bright Titan enters upon the scene, with all his nascent glory, in the saffron-tinted Eastern Horizon.


The Chorus of Thebans beginning with a description of the dawn of day alludes to the manners and customs of the times, condemning the pursuits and undertakings of the nobles—They reprove Hercules for his audacity in the attempting of his various labors, and finally extol and sigh for that tranquillity, which is only to be realized by leading a retired life.

Behold! The stars now scarcely perceptible are shining but feebly in the setting sky, and night drawing in slowly calls together the scattered luminaries (planets). Phosphorus, too, disbands her shining retinue at the approach of the newly-born day—The