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Ion   


This is the state of man: nothing stands firm. TUTOR
No longer then, my child, let grief oppress us. CREUSA
What should I do? In misery all is doubt. TUTOR
First on the god that wrong'd thee be avenged. CREUSA
How shall a mortal 'gainst a god prevail? TUTOR
Set this revered oracular shrine on fire. CREUSA
I fear: ev'n now I have enough of ills. TUTOR
Attempt what may be done then; kill thy husband. CREUSA
The nuptial bed I reverence, and his goodness. TUTOR
This son then, which is now brought forth against thee. CREUSA
How? Could that be, how warmly should I wish it. TUTOR
Thy train hath swords: instruct them to the deed. CREUSA
I go with speed: but where shall it be done? TUTOR
In the hallow'd tent, where now he feasts his friends. CREUSA
An open murder, and with coward slaves! TUTOR
If mine displease, propose thou some design. CREUSA
I have it, close and easy to achieve.
TUTOR
In both my faithful services are thine. CREUSA
Hear then: not strange to thee the giants' war. TUTOR
When they in Phlegra fought against the gods. CREUSA
There the earth brought forth the Gorgon, horrid monster. TUTOR
In succour of her sons to annoy the gods? CREUSA
Ev'n so: her Pallas slew, daughter of Jove. TUTOR
What fierce and dreadful form did she then wear? CREUSA
Her breastplate arm'd with vipers wreathed around. TUTOR
A well-known story; often have I heard it. CREUSA
Her spoils before her breast Minerva wore. TUTOR
The aegis; so they call the vest of Pallas. CREUSA
So named, when in the war she join'd the gods. TUTOR
But how can this, my child, annoy thy foes? CREUSA
Thou canst not but remember Erichthonius. TUTOR
Whom first of thy high race the earth brought forth. CREUSA
To him while yet an infant Pallas gave- TUTOR
What? Thy slow preface raises expectation. CREUSA
Two drops of blood that from the Gorgon fell. TUTOR
And on the human frame what power have these? CREUSA
The one works death, the other heals disease. TUTOR
In what around the infant's body hung?
CREUSA
Enclosed in gold: he gave them to my father. TUTOR
At his decease then they devolved to thee? CREUSA
Ay, and I wear it as a bracelet; look.
TUTOR
Their double qualities how temper'd, say. CREUSA
This drop, which from her hollow vein distill'd,- TUTOR
To what effect applied? What is its power? CREUSA
Medicinal, of sovereign use to life.
TUTOR
The other drop, what faculties hath that? CREUSA
It kills, the poison of the Gorgon dragons. TUTOR
And dost thou bear this gore blended in one? CREUSA
No, separate; for with ill good mixes not. TUTOR
O my dear child, thou hast whate'er we want. CREUSA
With this the boy shall die, and thou shalt kill him. TUTOR
Where? How? 'Tis thine to speak, to dare be mine. CREUSA
At Athens, when he comes beneath my roof. TUTOR
I like not this; what I proposed displeased. CREUSA
Dost thou surmise what enters now my thoughts? TUTOR
Suspicion waits thee, though thou kill him not. CREUSA
Thou hast judged well: a stepdame's hate is proverb'd. TUTOR
Then kill him here; thou mayst disown the deed. CREUSA
My mind ev'n now anticipates the pleasure. TUTOR
Thus shalt thou meet thy husband's wiles with wiles CREUSA

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