Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/451

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Lines 397—430]
431
MEDEA.

to show themselves with the advent of night, and so long as the polar heavens regulate the movement of the Northern Bear, and preserve it, in its siccity (the Bears are called "siccæ", or dry, as they never set), and so long as the tidal rivers find their way back to the sea, never will my thirsty rage cease to urge me on to inflict the punishment I am now contemplating, and, what is more, it will only increase in its intensity! What savage ferocity of the wild beasts,—what Scylla—what Charybdis, swallowing in their irresistible gulfs the Ausonian and Sicilian seas,—what Ætna, which pressed down with its weight the panting Titan (Enceladus), ever burns so vividly or so much as my flaming anger? Not the rapidly flowing river—not the tempestuous ocean, nor the sea raging from the violence of the East wind, nor the heat of the flames fanned into intensity by the wind playing upon them, could possibly restrain the force of my anger! I will scatter and overthrow every thing in my path! Am I silly enough to believe that Jason goes in any fear of Creon, or the threatened warlike invasion of Acastus, the Thessalian King? No!—True love can never be made to fear any one! But let us suppose that he may have yielded under compulsion and surrendered his authority in the matter, he might have come to me, that is certain, and spoken a few last parting words to his wife! But, does he, although fierce enough on other occasions, fear to do even this? It was quite within the power of a son-in-law to relax the cord and give me a little more time for my flight! One entire day is set apart to bid my children good-bye! I do not complain of the shortness of the time, but much lies before me, for my accomplishment—this day shall do it, and may it be done thoroughly! Considering that no one can be depended on for silence, I will appeal direct to the Gods, but I will put every thing in motion, as low down as Acheron, if needs be!

NURSE.

Oh my mistress, rid thyself of a mind so disturbed by evil passions, do calm thy temper.

MEDEA.

There can be only one rest for me, to see everything that is opposed to me fall utterly in one common ruin, together with myself—it is pleasing to know, when one perishes oneself, that one is dragging others into destruction at the same time.

NURSE.

Consider how many contingencies are to be dreaded, if thou wilt persist; no one can attack the will and power of a king with impunity.