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Prometheus bound   


PROMETHEUS
I answer insolence, as it deserves,
With insolence. How else should it be answered?

HERMES
Surely; and, being in trouble, it is plain
You revel in your plight.
PROMETHEUS
Revel, forsooth!
I would my enemies might hold such revels
And thou amongst the first.
HERMES
Dost thou blame me
For thy misfortunes?
PROMETHEUS
I hate all the Gods,
Because, having received good at my hands,
They have rewarded me with evil.
Proves thee stark mad!
HERMES
This proves thee stark mad!
PROMETHEUS
Mad as you please, if hating
Your enemies is madness
HERMES
Were all well
With thee, thou'dst be insufferable!
PROMETHEUS
Alas!
HERMES
Alas, that Zeus knows not that word, Alas!

PROMETHEUS
But ageing Time teacheth all knowledge.

HERMES
Time
Hath not yet taught thy rash, imperious will
Over wild impulse to win mastery.
PROMETHEUS
Nay: had Time taught me that, I had not stooped
To bandy words with such a slave as thou.
HERMES
This, then, is all thine answer: thou'lt not
One syllable of what our Father asks.
PROMETHEUS
Oh, that I were a debtor to his kindness!
I would requite him to the uttermost!
HERMES
A cutting speech! You take me for a boy
Whom you may taunt and tease.
PROMETHEUS
Why art thou not
A boy-a very booby-to suppose
Thou wilt get aught from me? There is no wrong
However shameful, nor no shift of malice
Whereby Zeus shall persuade me to unlock
My lips until these shackles be cast loose.
Therefore let lightning leap with smoke and flame,
And all that is be beat and tossed together,
With whirl of feathery snowflakes and loud crack
Of subterranean thunder; none of these
Shall bend my will or force me to disclose
By whom 'tis fated he shall fall from power.

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