But what we are, we are, we women, evil I will not say; wherefore
thou shouldst not sink to our sorry level nor with our weapons meet
I yield and do confess that I was wrong then, but now have I come
to a better mind. Come hither, my children, come, leave the house,
step forth, and with me greet and bid farewell to your father, be
reconciled from all past bitterness unto your friends, as now your
mother is; for we have made a truce and anger is no more. (The ATTENDANT
comes out of the house with the children.) Take his right hand; ah
me! my sad fate! when I reflect, as now, upon the hidden future. O
my children, since there awaits you even thus a long, long life, stretch
forth the hand to take a fond farewell. Ah me! how new to tears am
I, how full of fear! For now that I have at last released me from
my quarrel with your father, I let the tear-drops stream adown my
LEADER OF THE CHORUS From my eyes too bursts forth the copious tear;
O, may no greater ill than the present e'er befall!
JASON Lady, I praise this conduct, not that I blame what is past;
for it is but natural to the female sex to vent their spleen against
a husband when he trafficks in other marriages besides his own. But
thy heart is changed to wiser schemes and thou art determined on the
better course, late though it be; this is acting like a woman of sober
sense. And for you, my sons, hath your father provided with all good
heed a sure refuge, by God's grace; for ye, I trow, shall with your
brothers share hereafter the foremost rank in this Corinthian realm.
Only grow up, for all the rest your sire and whoso of the gods is
kind to us is bringing to pass. May I see you reach man's full estate,
high o'er the heads of those I hate! But thou, lady, why with fresh
tears dost thou thine eyelids wet, turning away thy wan cheek, with
no welcome for these my happy tidings?
MEDEA 'Tis naught; upon these children my thoughts were turned.
JASON Then take heart; for I will see that it is well with them.
MEDEA I will do so; nor will I doubt thy word; woman is a weak creature,
ever given to tears.
JASON Why prithee, unhappy one, dost moan o'er these children?
MEDEA I gave them birth; and when thou didst pray long life for them,
pity entered into my soul to think that these things must be. But
the reason of thy coming hither to speak with me is partly told, the
rest will I now mention. Since it is the pleasure of the rulers of
the land to banish me, and well I know 'twere best for me to stand
not in the way of thee or of the rulers by dwelling here, enemy as
I am thought unto their house, forth from this land in exile am I
going, but these children,-that they may know thy fostering hand,
beg Creon to remit their banishment.
JASON I doubt whether I can persuade him, yet must I attempt it.
MEDEA At least do thou bid thy wife ask her sire this boon, to remit
the exile of the children from this land.
JASON Yea, that will I; and her methinks I shall persuade, since
she is woman like the rest.
MEDEA I too will aid thee in this task, for by the children's hand
I will send to her gifts that far surpass in beauty, I well know,
aught that now is seen 'mongst men, a robe of finest tissue and a
chaplet of chased gold. But one of my attendants must haste and bring
the ornaments hither. (A servant goes into the house.) Happy shall
she be not once alone but ten thousand-fold, for in thee she wins
the noblest soul to share her love, and gets these gifts as well which
on a day my father's sire, the Sun-god, bestowed on his descendants.
(The servant returns and hands the gifts to the children.) My children,
take in your hands these wedding gifts, and bear them as an offering
to the royal maid, the happy bride; for verily the gifts she shall
receive are not to be scorned.
JASON But why so rashly rob thyself of these gifts? Dost think a
royal palace wants for robes or gold? Keep them, nor give them to
another. For well I know that if my lady hold me in esteem, she will