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Antigone   


Such is the darkling rumour that spreads in secret. For me, my
father, no treasure is so precious as thy welfare. What, indeed, is
a nobler ornament for children than a prospering sire's fair fame,
or for sire than son's? Wear not, then, one mood only in thyself;
think not that thy word, and thine alone, must be right. For if any
man thinks that he alone is wise,-that in speech, or in mind, he
hath no peer,-such a soul, when laid open, is ever found empty.
No, though a man be wise, 'tis no shame for him to learn many
things, and to bend in season. Seest thou, beside the wintry torrent's
course, how the trees that yield to it save every twig, while the
stiff-necked perish root and branch? And even thus he who keeps the
sheet of his sail taut, and never slackens it, upsets his boat, and
finishes his voyage with keel uppermost.
Nay, forego thy wrath; permit thyself to change. For if I, a
younger man, may offer my thought, it were far best, I ween, that
men should be all-wise by nature; but, otherwise-and oft the scale
inclines not so-'tis good also to learn from those who speak aright.
LEADER
Sire, 'tis meet that thou shouldest profit by his words, if he
speaks aught in season, and thou, Haemon, by thy father's; for on both
parts there hath been wise speech.
CREON
Men of my age are we indeed to be schooled, then, by men of his?
HAEMON
In nothing that is not right; but if I am young, thou shouldest
look to my merits, not to my years.
CREON
Is it a merit to honour the unruly?
HAEMON
I could wish no one to show respect for evil-doers.
CREON
Then is not she tainted with that malady?
HAEMON
Our Theban folk, with one voice, denies it.
CREON
Shall Thebes prescribe to me how I must rule?
HAEMON
See, there thou hast spoken like a youth indeed.
CREON
Am I to rule this land by other judgment than mine own?
HAEMON
That is no city which belongs to one man.
CREON
Is not the city held to be the ruler's?
HAEMON
Thou wouldst make a good monarch of a desert.
CREON
This boy, it seems, is the woman's champion.
HAEMON
If thou art a woman; indeed, my care is for thee.
CREON
Shameless, at open feud with thy father!
HAEMON
Nay, I see thee offending against justice.
CREON
Do I offend, when I respect mine own prerogatives?
HAEMON
Thou dost not respect them, when thou tramplest on the gods'
honours,
CREON
O dastard nature, yielding place to woman!
HAEMON
Thou wilt never find me yield to baseness.
CREON

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