Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/477

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457
MEDEA.

have also some of the identical lightning from the thunderbolt, with which Jupiter killed Phaëthon, a kinsman of my own! I have likewise a contribution from that monster, Chimæra, which will be useful; I have some of the veritable flames, which were breathed from the fiery mouth of the bull of Colchis, which I have taken care to preserve, as an especial destructive agent, defying all detection, mixing them with some of Medusa's gall! Oh! Hecate! Give energy to my various poisons, preserve under thy careful surveillance these quintessences with my other offerings—let them defy all detection by the human eye, and let them bear handling, without suspicion—when brought into operation, let the intense heat, given out, penetrate the chest, and run through every vein! Let it traverse through every limb in the body, and let the very bones send up their fumes (thoroughly carbonizing them). Let this new bride far outshine with her own burning locks (effects of the flames), her nuptial torch! My vows are held in favor! Hecate, who has dared all this for me, has just given me the watch-cry, three significant shouts! And she has brought her own sacred fire, in her luminous torch every power is now brought to bear! Call the sons hither, nurse, to whom thou must intrust these precious gifts for the bride-elect! Now, go, oh my sons, offspring of an ill-starred repudiated mother, commend yourselves to the favourable consideration, in presenting these gifts with many benedictions to your future mistress, and step-mother! Now go, and hasten your return to the palace, that I may still have time for a last embrace!


CHORUS.

The Chorus dreads the fury of Medea, and execrates
her malicious deeds.

By what cruel passion, is this blood-thirsty Mænad being carried away headlong? What terrible crime is Medea now concocting in her ungovernable madness? Her countenance, inflamed with anger, has quite a set expression and the proud woman is shaking her head wildly, and judging from her gestures, she is threatening the King, with something quite beyond our conception! Who would believe that Medea was a condemned exile? Her reddened cheeks are burning at one moment, and the next, a deadly pallor takes the place of that redness! She does not retain either color for any