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Alcestis   


men? Heracles, it is not easy to restrain the young....I am thinking
of your interests....Must I take her to my dead wife's room? How could
I endure her to enter that bed? I fear a double reproach-from my
people, who would accuse me of betraying my saviour to slip into
another woman's bed, and from my dead wife, who deserves my respect,
for which I must take care.
O woman, whosoever you may be, you have the form of Alcestis,
and your body is like hers.
Ah! By all the Gods, take her from my sight! Do not insult a
broken man. When I look upon her-she seems my wife-my heart is torn
asunder-tears flow from my eyes. Miserable creature that I am, now
taste the bitterness of my sorrow.
LEADER
I do not praise this meeting; but, whatever happens, we must
accept the gifts of the Gods.
HERACLES
Oh, that I might bring your wife back into the light of day from
the dwelling of the Under-Gods, as a gift of grace to you!
ADMETUS
I know you would wish this-but to what end? The dead cannot return
to the light of day.
HERACLES
Do not exaggerate, but bear this with decorum.
ADMETUS
Easier to advise than bear the test.
HERACLES
How will it aid you to lament for ever?
ADMETUS
I know-but my love whirls me away.
HERACLES
Love for the dead leads us to tears.
ADMETUS
I am overwhelmed beyond words.
HERACLES
You have lost a good wife-who denies it?
ADMETUS
So that for me there is no more pleasure in life.
HERACLES
Time will heal this open wound.
ADMETUS
You might say Time, if Time were death!
HERACLES
Another woman, a new marriage, shall console you.
ADMETUS
Oh, hush! What have you said? A thing unbelievable!
HERACLES
What! You will not marry? Your bed will remain widowed?
ADMETUS
No other woman shall ever lie at my side.
HERACLES
Do you think that avails the dead?
ADMETUS
Wherever she may be, I must do her honour.
HERACLES
I praise you-but men will call you mad.
ADMETUS
Yet never more shall I be called a bridegroom.
HERACLES
I praise your faithful love to your wife-
ADMETUS
May I die if I betray her even when dead!
HERACLES (offering him the veiled woman's hand.)
Receive her then into your noble house.
ADMETUS

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