Page:Ten Tragedies of Seneca (1902).djvu/481

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MEDEA.

flames, instead of extinguishing them, and the greater the efforts made to restrain them, the more fiercely the fire rages, it seems only to strengthen itself by what is done to keep it down!

NURSE.

Oh! Medea, hasten thy steps from this land of Pelops, seek out, whatever country thou likest!

MEDEA.

Why should I go away? If I had gone away some time ago, I should return now (most certainly) for I take a great interest in this novel marriage! Oh my soul, why should I cease my task? Let me follow up this happy turn of events; otherwise, to what does my part in this act of revenge end, in which I have so much reason to rejoice!

Oh! Medea, in thy maddened condition, is it that thou still lovest Jason? If thou considerest the present calamities sufficient for that now celibate Jason!

No! Let me seek for some uncommon kind of punishment! And such being the case, let me get myself ready for any thing! Let every known law yield to my will, and let all absurd tears, once shaken off, be for ever absent from my mind! That revenge is confessedly slow work, in which hitherto unstained hands have been engaged. (By this is meant a justification for the slaughter of Creon and Creusa, therefore pure unstained, Creon being an enemy, and Creusa an interloping mistress.) Let me hark back to all my pristine wrath, and let me shake myself out of any languorous yearnings, and let me draw forth from the lowest recesses of my soul some of the old forces, which are still within me! But let them, if anything, be more violent than ever! So that what has heretofore been accomplished by me, may appear in the light of comparative innocence! Now let me set to work, I would that they should be made fully to understand how trivial, how commonplace, the crimes which I have already perpetrated have really been! My anger has merely been passing through its premonitory stages, (a mere prologue to the tragedy). What raw novice would dare to attempt anything on a really grand scale! What, for example, did my girlish anger (achievements) amount to? Now I am Medea (if you please) and my abilities have improved during my long career of crime! Things gave me satisfaction at the time. I was pleased when ! took away my brothers life; I was pleased also,