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After some years, in order to mend his fortunes, Jason marries Creusa, the daughter of the King of Corinth. Medea, doomed to exile, plots vengeance on her husband. To Creusa she sends her two children bearing a poisoned robe and crown, ostensibly that they may beg to remain under the new bride's protection, but in reality that they may compass her destruction. Medea now seeks-her children being again with herto steel her heart to murder them.

O children, children mine: and you have found
A land and home, where, leaving me discrowned
And desolate, forever you will stay,
Motherless children!

And I go my way
To other lands, an exile, ere you bring
Your fruits home, ere I see you prospering
Or know your brides, or deck the bridal bed,
All flowers, and lift your torches overhead.

Oh, cursèd be mine own hard heart! 'Twas all
In vain, then, that I reared you up, so tall
And fair; in vain I bore you, and was torn
With those long pitiless pains, when you were born.
Ah, wondrous hopes my poor heart had in you,
How
you

would tend me in mine age, and do
The shroud about me with your own dear hands,
When I lay cold, blessed in all the lands
That knew us. And that gentle thought is dead!
You go, and I live on, to eat the bread
Of long years, to myself most full of pain.
And never your dear eyes, never again,
Shall see your mother, far away being thrown
To other shapes of life. . . . My babes, my own,
Why gaze ye so? —What is it that ye see! -.

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And laugh with that last laughter?

Woe is me,
What shall I do?

Women, my strength is gone,
Gone like a dream, since once I looked upon
Those shining faces

I can do it not.
Good-by to all the thoughts that burned so hot
Aforetime! I will take and hide them far,
Far, from men's eyes. Why should I seek a war
So blind: by these babes' wounds to sting again
Their father's heart, and win myself a pain
Twice deeper? Never, never! I forget
Henceforward all I labored for.

And yet,

What is it with me? Would I be a thing
Mocked at, and leave mine enemies to sting
Unsmitten? It must be. O coward heart,
Even to harbor such soft words!--Depart
Out of my sight, ye twain.

[The children go in.

And they whose eyes
Shall hold it sin to share my sacrifice,
On their heads be it! My hand shall swerve not now.

Ah, ah, thou Wrath within me! Do not thou,
Do not- . . Down, down, thou tortured thing, and spare
My children! They will dwell with us, aye, there
Far off, and give thee peace.

Too late, too late!
By all Hell's living agonies of hate,
They shall not take my little ones alive
To make their mock with! Howsoe’er I strive,
The thing is doomed; it shall not escape now
From being. Aye, the crown is on the brow,
And the robe girt, and in the robe that high

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Queen dying.

I know all. Yet seeing that I
Must go so long a journey, and these twain
A longer yet and darker, I would fain
Speak with them, ere I go.

[A handmaid brings the children out again.

Come, children; stand
A little from me. There. Reach out your hand,
Your right hand—50—to mother: and good-by!

(She has kept them hitherto at arm's-length: but at the touch of their hands, her resolution breaks down, and she gathers them passionately into her arms.

Oh, darling hand! Oh, darling mouth, and eye,
And royal mien, and bright brave faces clear,
May you be blessed, but not here! What here
Was yours, your father stole. . . . Ah God, the glow
Of cheek on cheek, the tender touch; and oh,
Sweet scent of childhood. . . . Go! Go!

Am I
blind?
Mine eyes can see not, when I look to find
Their places. I am broken by the wings
Of evil. . . . Yea, I know to what bad things
I go, but louder than all thought doth cry
Anger, which maketh man's worst misery.
[She follows the children into the house.

Euripides

50

SCENES FROM ROMEO AND JULIET

I

HE place is a banqueting hall in the house of

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joyously forward. Although there is a deadly feud between the Capulets and the Montagues, Romeo, a young scion of the latter house, has been induced to join a group of gay companions, and is in attendance, masked. With this night's revelsbegins the tragic story of the play. The opening speech is addressed to a servingman. Romeo does not suspect that the lady about whom he inquires is Juliet, a daughter of the household, and a Capulet.

I know not,

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Rom. What lady is that, which doth enrich the hand Of yonder knight? Serv.

sir. Rom. O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear; Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.

Romeo has made his way to Juliet, and now addresses her in lines which constitute the first quatrain of a Shakespearean sonnet. Succeeding speeches complete the sonnet.

Rom. [To Juliet.] If I profane with my unworthiest hand

This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand

To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
Jul. Good pilgrim, you do .wrong your hand too much,

Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch,

And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.
Rom. Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?
Jul. Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
Rom. O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;

They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
Jul. Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.
Rom. Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take.
Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged.
Jul. Then have my lips the sin that they have took.
Rom. Sin from my lips?' O trespass sweetly urged!

Give me my sin again.
Jul.

You kiss by the book.

The conversation is 'here interrupted, but the two are already lovers, and before many moments have passed each has learned, with dismay, the identity of the other.

II

The place is . Capulet's orchard, a garden. The dance is over. Romeo has escaped his companions, and in the hope of seeing Juliet has leapt the orchard wall. The first line he speaks is a comment upon the satirical sallies of the wittiest of his fellow-maskers, Mercutio, who has been loudly calling after him, but in vain.

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