this, and exult in her deed.
Now verily I am no man, she is the man, if this victory shall rest
with her, and bring no penalty. No! be she sister's child, or nearer
to me in blood than any that worships Zeus at the altar of our
house,-she and her kinsfolk shall not avoid a doom most dire; for
indeed I charge that other with a like share in the plotting of this
And summon her-for I saw her e'en now within,-raving, and not
mistress of her wits. So oft, before the deed, the mind stands
self-convicted in its treason, when folks are plotting mischief in the
dark. But verily this, too, is hateful,-when one who hath been
caught in wickednes then seeks to make the crime a glory.
Wouldst thou do more than take and slay me?
No more, indeed; having that, I have all.
Why then dost thou delay? In thy discourse there is nought that
pleases me,-never may there be!-and so my words must needs be
unpleasing to thee. And yet, for glory-whence could I have won a
nobler, than by giving burial to mine own brother? All here would
own that they thought it well, were not their lips sealed by fear. But
royalty, blest in so much besides, hath the power to do and say what
Thou differest from all these Thebans in that view.
These also share it; but they curb their tongues for thee.
And art thou not ashamed to act apart from them?
No; there is nothing shameful in piety to a brother.
Was it not a brother, too, that died in the opposite cause?
Brother by the same mother and the same sire.
Why, then, dost thou render a grace that is impious in his sight?
The dead man will not say that he so deems it.
Yea, if thou makest him but equal in honour with the wicked.
It was his brother, not his slave, that perished.
Wasting this land; while he fell as its champion.
Nevertheless, Hades desires these rites.
But the good desires not a like portion with the evil.
Who knows but this seems blameless in the world below?
A foe is never a friend-not even in death.
Tis not my nature to join in hating, but in loving.
Pass, then, to the world of the dead, and, it thou must needs
love, love them. While I live, no woman shall rule me.
(Enter ISMENE from the house, led in by two attendants.)
Lo, yonder Ismene comes forth, shedding such tears as fond sisters