« 上一頁繼續 »
length learnt what is just, do you yourself determine, and your companions. But you may lead away these willing indeed according to the inclination of their minds, if a pious speech can persuade them. Such an unanimous public decree of the state has been passed, never to give up by force the train of women; of these things the nail is evidently driven through and through, so as to remain firmly. These things are not graven on tablets, nor sealed (or, stamped) in the folds of books, but you hear them plain from a free-speaking tongue; but with all speed take yourself from my eyes.
HERALD.—Mars determines not these things by witnesses, and puts an end to the strife not by the taking of silver; but before that there are many slaughters of men, and violent losses of lives. Know this, now you will undertake a new war: but may victory and strength be to the males.
PELASGUS.—But you will find males inhabitants also of this land, not drinking wine of barley. But do you all, with your loved attendants, having taken courage, go to the well fortified city, enclosed by a deep device of towers. And there are indeed many public abodes, but I have built with no small hand (i. e. I inhabit an ample house). It is pleasant to inhabit well-built abodes with many others; but if it be any greater pleasure, you are at liberty to dwell also in abodes which hold but one family. Of these choose the best and what are most pleasing to the greater part. But I will be your patron, and all the citizens, whose decree is now passed. Why wait you
for more powerful patrons than these?
CHORUS.-But in return for good things may you abound with good, divine king of the Pelasgians. But benevolent send hither our father firm-minded Danaus, prudent, and our prime adviser. For his is the first counsel, where it behoves us to inhabit abodes, and where is a place not subject to envy. Every one is ready to speak blame against foreigners: but may the best things befall.
PELASGUS.-Both with fair fame and with no wrathful rumour of the people inhabit (lit. be ranged in) the country, O friends, and do you, their attendants, dwell so as Danaus has assigned you to each of his daughters a servile dowry.
DANAUS.-0 daughters, it is fitting to pay vows to the Argives and to sacrifice and pour libations, as to the Olympian gods, since they are our preservers with one mind. And they have heard with indignation from me what things have been done with regard to our headstrong friends, our kindred: but they have appointed for me these attendants and armed guards, that I might have this mark of honour, and that I might not unexpectedly perish without their knowledge by the fell spear, and an everlasting pollution be to this city. I having obtained such things, do you observe a proper gratitude of mind more valued by me than these. And these things, indeed, write on your hearts in addition to the many other written prudent admonitions of your father, so as in time to convince of your worth the unknown band of Pelasgians. But every one bears a ready evil tongue against a stranger, and to speak slander is an easy thing. But I exhort you not to disgrace me, having this age which allures the eyes of men. And by no means is the tender mature fruit easily guarded: but beasts and mortals lay plans to seize it, and to winged and four-footed animals Venus proclaims the dropping fruits : I affirm that rapine awaits them (i. e. the fruits) in whatever way they try to hinder it. And on the fair-formed beauty of virgins every one that passes by sends forth a melting dart from his eye, overcome by desire. Therefore let us not suffer those things for the sake of avoiding which we have had much toil, and much sea has been passed over in a ship, nor let us cause disgrace to us, and pleasure to my enemies. But even a double dwelling is offered to us, the one Pelasgus, and the other the city, gives, to dwell without pay: these things are easy. Only observe these injunctions of your
father, honouring your virtue (or, modesty) more than life.
CHORUS.-In other things may we be fortunate from the gods, but on account of my mature age be of good courage, father: for unless something new has been determined by the gods, I will not turn aside the former (or, before that) step of my mind. Go now celebrating the blessed gods who guard the state, both those inhabiting the city, and those who dwell around the ancient wave of Erasinus. But do you, attendant, take up the strain : and let praise hold this city of Pelasgians, nor let us adore the mouths of Nile with hymns, but the rivers that pour through this country a nourishing stream, authors of increase, softening this soil of the earth with enriching waves. chaste Diana regard with pity this train ; nor through necessity let Cytherean nuptials come: but this labour (or, reward) at least is hateful. But this favouring strain neglects not Venus : for she is of very great power over Jove together with Juno: and the many-counselled goddess is honoured for her mighty works. But loved companions are present with mother Venus, and no passion is disobedient to soothing persuasion. But to Harmonia is given a portion of fallacious Venus and the ways of loves. Expeditions by sea against us fugitive, and dire woes, and bloody wars, in truth I dread beforehand. For why have they performed a lucky voyage with swift pursuit ?
Whatever is fated, that will take place : the great immense mind (i. e. decree) of Jove is not to be avoided (or, transgressed). But perhaps with many other nuptials this event will be according to what has formerly befallen other
SEM.--O mighty Jove defend me from the nuptials of the sons of Ægyptus.
SEM.-That, indeed, would be best : but you would soothe a deity (i. e. Jove) not to be soothed.
SEM.-But you at least know not the future.
SEM.—How can I behold the divine mind, a boundless view?
SEM.-Pray now for moderate things.
teach me? SEM.-Not to pry into the affairs of the gods.
CHORUS.—May royal Jove repel the hateful hostile nuptials of the men, who delivered Io from her misery well touching (or, restraining) her with healing hand, with benevolent force having founded our race, let him afford strength also to women. I prefer the better of two evils, and partly good and partly bad, and that justice follow justice with my prayers by the liberating aid of the god.
PRINTED BY D. A. TALBOYS, OXFORD.