Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/455

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Lines 461—493]

fighting amongst themselves! Add to this, that much coveted prize, the Golden Fleece of the Phrixean ram! and how I caused, by my enchantment, that draconian monster, which had never before known what sleep was, to be brought under the influence of my Lethæan soporific! How, too, my brother was handed over to death, and each crime committed by me, but not simultaneously, is now to be quoted as one crime, my crime! And when the daughters of Pelias, cajoled by my deceitful machinations, were ordered to cut up the body of their ancient father who was never to live again, as I had promised he should; all this was when I was seeking another kingdom, (for thee) and deserting my own! I conjure thee, Jason, by the hopes thou mayst entertain regarding any children born to thee, by Creusa,—by the security of thy domestic surroundings,—by the monster I have conquered for thy benefit, by these very hands of mine, which have never spared themselves where thou wert concerned, and by the past dangers from which I have rescued thee,—by the heavens above—by the waters below, the witnesses of my marriage, have some mercy on me, and thou, in thy prosperity, do me, a suppliant, a good turn in my adversity! Out of all the wealth, which the remote Scythians seek out for plunder, as far even as the countries inhabited by the parched-up swarthy Indian, and which our palace, so overloaded is it, will scarcely contain, that we positively ornamented our trees with gold (the Golden Fleece used to hang from the branches of an oak)—as an exile, I brought none of these things, nothing but the limbs of a murdered brother. I lay these entirely to thy account—My country was given up for thee—my father—my brother—my maidenly shame! I married thee having these as my dowry, return them to me, as I am about to enter upon my exile!


When Creon wished for thy death, prevailed on by my tears, he conceded the alternative of exile.


I thought exile was intended as a punishment, now I am to regard it in the light of a valuable gift!


Take my advice, whilst thou art able to get away, but take flight, and get thyself hence—The anger of kings is always a difficult thing to deal with.