The Tragedies of Euripides Part 53

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HER. I too have this desire, for I know somewhat.

ADM. Conquer then. Thou dost not however do things pleasing to me.

HER. But some time or other thou wilt praise me; only be persuaded.

ADM. Lead her in, if I must receive her in my house.

HER. I will not deliver up the woman into the charge of the servants.



ADM. But do thou thyself lead her into the house if it seems fit.

HER. I then will give her into thine hands.

ADM. I will not touch her; but she is at liberty to enter the house.

HER. I trust her to thy right hand alone.

ADM. O king, thou compellest me to do this against my will.

HER. Dare to stretch out thy hand and touch the stranger.

ADM. And in truth I stretch it out, as I would to the Gorgon with her severed head.[49]

HER. Have you her?

ADM. I have.

HER. Then keep her fast; and some time or other thou wilt say that the son of Jove is a generous guest. But look on her, whether she seems aught to resemble thy wife; and being blest leave off from thy grief.

ADM. O Gods, what shall I say? An unexpected wonder this! Do I truly see here my wife, or does the mocking joy of the Deity strike me from my senses?

HER. It is not so; but thou beholdest here thy wife.

ADM. Yet see, whether this be not a phantom from the realms beneath.

HER. Thou hast not made thine host an invoker of spirits.

ADM. But do I behold my wife, whom I buried?

HER. Be well assured _thou dost;_ but I wonder not at thy disbelief of thy fortune.

ADM. May I touch her, may I speak to her as my living wife?[50]

HER. Speak to her; for thou hast all that thou desirest.

ADM. O face and person of my dearest wife, have I thee beyond my hopes, when I thought never to see thee more?

HER. Thou hast: but _take care_ there be no envy of the Gods.

ADM. O noble son of the most powerful Jove, mayst thou be blest, and may thy father, who begot thee, protect thee, for thou alone hast restored me!

How didst thou bring her from beneath into this light!

HER. Having fought a battle with the prince of those beneath.

ADM. Where dost thou say thou didst have this conflict with Death!

HER. At the tomb itself, having seized him from ambush with my hands.

ADM. But why, I pray, does this woman stand here speechless?

HER. It is not yet allowed thee to hear her address thee, before she is unbound from her consecrations[51] to the Gods beneath, and the third day come. But lead her in, and as thou oughtest, henceforward, Admetus, continue in thy piety with respect to strangers. And farewell! But I will go and perform the task that is before me for the imperial son of Sthenelus.

ADM. Stay with us, and be a companion of our hearth.

HER. This shall be some time hence, but now I must haste.

ADM. But mayst thou be prosperous, and return on thy journey back. But to the citizens, and to all the tetrarchy I issue my commands, that they institute dances in honor of these happy events, and make the altars odorous with their sacrifices of oxen that accompany their vows. For now are we placed in a better state of life than the former one: for I will not deny that I am happy.

CHOR. Many are the shapes of the things the deities direct, and many things the Gods perform contrary to our expectations. And those things which we looked for are not accomplished; but the God hath brought to pass things not looked for. Such hath been the event of this affair.

NOTES ON ALCESTIS

[1] Lactant. i. 10. "Quid Apollo? Nonne ... turpissime gregem pavit alienum?" B.

[2] Hygin. Fab. li. "Apollo ab eo in servitutem liberaliter acceptus." B.

[3] Cf. Hippol. 1437. B.

[4] No one will, I believe, object to this translation of T?????S; it seems rather a matter of surprise that Potter has kept the Latin ORCUS, a name clearly substituted as the nearest to T?????S of the masculine gender.

[5] Cf. aesch. Eum. 723 sqq. B.

[6] It was customary to bury those, who died advanced in years, with greater magnificence than young persons.

[7] The horses of Diomed, king of Thrace. The construction is, ????s?e??

pe?a?t?? [a?t?? meta hippeion ochema [axonta] ek topon dyschei meron Threikes]. MONK.

[8] On this custom, see Monk, and Lomeier de Lustrationibus -- xxviii. B.

[9] Perhaps, "as though all were over," B.

[10] Casaubon on Theophr. -- 16, observes that it was customary to place a large vessel filled with lustral water before the doors of a house during the time the corpse was lying out, with which every one who came out sprinkled himself. See also Monk's note, Kirchmann de Funeribus, iii. 9.

The same custom was observed on returning from the funeral. See Pollux, viii. 7. p. 391, ed. Seber. B.

[11] See Dindorf. B.

[12] Potterus, Arch. Gr. _mortuos_ a _Graecis_ p????pe?? vocari tradit, quod solebant ex penitiore aedium parte produci, ac in _vestibulo_, i.e.

The Tragedies of Euripides Part 53

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