Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/465

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MEDEA.

drive the eternal chariots of the sun recklessly through space, and he only met with a fiery end! (struck down by Jupiter's lightnings.) The well-known beaten track is attended with danger to no man: let us go then, where people before us have trodden with safety, do not let us attempt to break through the time-sanctified institutions of the Universe by any violent measures of our own! Whoever handled the illustrious oars of that audacious Argo, and actually despoiled for their construction the sacred forests of Pelion of their luxuriant umbrageous adornments; whoever dared to brave the dangerous rocks scattered about the sea, which they might have encountered (to their destruction) and having crossed such a sea after much difficulty, at last, fastened their cable (let go their cable) upon a barbarous coast, to return, as the captors of the golden fleece, by a terrible end, they have all expiated their rash invasion of the dignity of the ocean depths, for those ocean depths, when provoked, deal out their penalties with severity! Tiphys, among the first, that subduer of the waves, left his code of navigating instructions to inexperienced pilots, and dying far away from the land of his fathers on a foreign shore was buried in some mean grave, and is now smouldering in the dust, amongst the remains of other ordinary but unknown mortals! Aulis, mindful of the missing King, retained the ships in the harbours, with a dead calm, whilst the mariners complained loudly at their detention! Orpheus, who was born of the vocal muse Calliope, the sound of whose lyre, struck by his music-evoking plectrum, actually stayed the force of the very torrents, and silenced the winds themselves, at whose harmonies the birds ceased their canorous warblings, and the entire forest responded in company with them to his bewitching melodies, Orpheus' remains lie scattered over the Thracian plains, and his head floated down the waters of the sorrowing Hebrus. (Orpheus was torn to pieces by the Ciconian women.) He has reached his final home, the Styx, and the realms of Tartarus, never more to return! Alcides slew the sons of Boreas (Zetes and Calais)—he also slew the grandson of Neptune (Periclymenus) who was accustomed to assume a variety of shapes, and after peace ensued between the sea, and after the terrible Kingdom of Pluto had been laid open to his view, Alcides himself, whilst still alive, lay across the burning Oëta, and surrendered his body to the cruel flames, having been previously exhausted by the lethal effects of a double poison, the virus of the serpent of Lerna, and the poisoned robe, prepared from the hoof of the Centaur Nessus, and given as a present to Alcides, by his wife, (to recover his waning affection)