Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/437

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Lines 179—200]
417
MEDEA.

MEDEA.

For what crime, for what fault, may I ask, am I to be punished with exile?

CREON.

What reason is there why I should drive thee away? An innocent woman could only ask me such a question as that!

MEDEA.

If thou art officiating as a judge, let me know; if thou art commanding because thou reignest, on the strength of that power I must obey thee.

CREON.

Thou wilt have to obey the authority of the king, no matter whether thou considerest the command just or unjust!

MEDEA.

True! But the unjust exercise of power does not rest for ever with the dispenser thereof.

CREON.

Go away! Let Colchis be thy destination.

MEDEA.

I will return willingly, but let Jason escort me thither,—he who introduced me here.

CREON.

Thy remark comes too late under any circumstances: my irrevocable decree has gone forth.

MEDEA.

The man, or judge, who issues his decrees so freely without hearing the other side of the question, although he may by chance ordain what is right, is not acting justly.