Iphigenia At Aulis
IPHIGENIA Where do men say the Phrygians live, father?
AGAMEMNON In a land where I would Paris, the son of Priam, ne'er
IPHIGENIA 'Tis a long voyage thou art bound on, father, after thou
AGAMEMNON Thou wilt meet thy father again, my daughter.
IPHIGENIA Ah! would it were seemly that thou shouldst take me as
AGAMEMNON Thou too hast a voyage to make to a haven where thou wilt
remember thy father.
IPHIGENIA Shall I sail thither with my mother or alone?
AGAMEMNON All alone, without father or mother.
IPHIGENIA What! hast thou found me a new home, father!
AGAMEMNON Enough of this! 'tis not for girls to know such things.
IPHIGENIA Speed home from Troy, I pray thee, father, as soon as thou
hast triumphed there.
AGAMEMNON There is a sacrifice have first to offer here.
IPHIGENIA Yea, 'tis thy duty to heed religion with aid of holy rites.
AGAMEMNON Thou wilt witness it, for thou wilt be standing near the
IPHIGENIA Am I to lead the dance then round the altar, father?
AGAMEMNON (Aside) I count thee happier than myself because thou
knowest nothing. (To IPHIGENIA) Go within into the presence of maidens,
after thou hast given me thy hand and one sad kiss, on the eve of
thy lengthy sojourn far from thy father's side.
Bosom, cheek, and golden hair! ah, how grievous ye have found Helen
and the Phrygians' city! I can no more; the tears come welling to
my eyes, the moment I touch thee. (Exit IPHIGENIA., Turning to
CLYTAEMNESTRA) Herein I crave thy pardon, daughter of Leda, if I
showed excessive grief at the thought of resigning my daughter to
Achilles; for though we are sending her to taste of bliss, still it
wrings a parent's heart, when he, the father who has toiled so hard
for them, commits his children to the homes of strangers.
CLYTAEMNESTRA I am not so void of sense; bethink thee, I shall go
through this as well, when I lead the maiden from the chamber to the
sound of the marriage-hymn; wherefore I chide thee not; but custom
will combine with time to make the smart grow less.
As touching him, to whom thou hast betrothed our daughter, I know
his name, 'tis true, but would fain learn his lineage and the land
of his birth.
AGAMEMNON There was one Aegina, the daughter of Asopus.
CLYTAEMNESTRA Who wedded her? some mortal or a god?
AGAMEMNON Zeus, and she bare Aeacus, the prince of Cenone.
CLYTAEMNESTRA What son of Aeacus secured his father's halls?
AGAMEMNON Peleus, who wedded the daughter of Nereus.
CLYTAEMNESTRA With the god's consent, or when he had taken her in
spite of gods?
AGAMEMNON Zeus betrothed her, and her guardian gave consent.
CLYTAEMNESTRA Where did he marry her? amid the billows of the sea?
AGAMEMNON In Chiron's home, at sacred Pelion's foot.
CLYTAEMNESTRA What! the abode ascribed to the race of Centaurs?
AGAMEMNON It was there the gods celebrated the marriage feast of
CLYTAEMNESTRA Did Thetis or his father train Achilles?
AGAMEMNON Chiron brought him up, to prevent his learning the ways
of the wicked.
CLYTAEMNESTRA Ah wise the teacher, still wiser the father, who intrusted
his son to such hands.
AGAMEMNON Such is the future husband of thy daughter.
CLYTAEMNESTRA A blameless lord; but what city in Hellas is his?
AGAMEMNON He dwells on the banks of the river Apidanus, in the borders
CLYTAEMNESTRA Wilt thou convey our daughter thither?