Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/425

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Lines 11—47]
405
MEDEA.

Deal out destruction to the father-in-law, and the entire Corinthian royal race! And grant to me that the calamities shall be worse, which I may invoke to befall my husband! Let him live, let him wander amongst unknown and hostile countries, as a suspected vagrant, as an exile, always in dread of some terrible disaster, hated by everybody, with no fixed home of his own, deserted by his Lares—let him sigh in vain to have me back again! Let him have to seek the threshold of a stranger—he is already a marked man, too well known as a guest! In addition to which, I cannot wish for anything worse for him, than that his children, even born of me, should grow up counterparts of himself in perfidy! and like their mother in their propensities to poison and to perpetrate the most monstrous acts of cruelty! Having borne children, therein lies my revenge—I have now been talking of my complaints, but my mere words of remonstrance are late in the day, and of not much avail, but I have borne the children! Shall I not go into the enemy's camp? Shall I put out the marriage torches with my own hands and leave them all in darkness? Does Phœbus, the progenitor of my race, see all this? And, as he beholds it, will he still pursue his way, seated on his flaming chariot, by the same undeviating track along the spotless skies, regardless of my misery. Why does he not look horrified and hide his face? Why does he not return to his starting-place, the gorgeous east, and let the day be commenced over again (that is, put back the day, as he had done before, when Hercules was born). Grant me this—allow me to be conveyed in the paternal chariot throughout the skies. Oh! my father, hand thou the scorching reins to me, and let me guide the fiery horses of the sun, and Corinth, which is the opposing barrier between the two seas (Ionian and Ægean) being burnt up by the flames, of which I shall have the full command, the two seas will be joined as the result (Corinth being thoroughly destroyed, the two seas would be united). But there is still one thing left for me to carry out, that I myself shall put in an appearance at the marriage with my own hymeneal pine torch and, after the preliminary prayers, can myself slay the sacrificial victims before the sacred altars! Oh! my inward soul! if thou livest, that is if thou art alive to thy sought-for revenge, seek the road to such revenge, by way of their entrails, and if there is any of my ancient self left within me, let me cast aside all womanish fears, and assume the disposition of a fierce and cruel Caucasian; and whatever crimes either the Phasis or Pontus (Euxine) has witnessed, let Corinth see, in very earnest, the cruel unheard of, terrible visitations, to be trembled