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Oedipus the King   


And think'st forsooth as seer to go scot free.
TEIRESIAS Yea, I am free, strong in the strength of truth.
OEDIPUS Who was thy teacher? not methinks thy art.
TEIRESIAS Thou, goading me against my will to speak.
OEDIPUS What speech? repeat it and resolve my doubt.
TEIRESIAS Didst miss my sense wouldst thou goad me on?
OEDIPUS I but half caught thy meaning; say it again.
TEIRESIAS I say thou art the murderer of the man
Whose murderer thou pursuest.
OEDIPUS Thou shalt rue it
Twice to repeat so gross a calumny.

TEIRESIAS Must I say more to aggravate thy rage?
OEDIPUS Say all thou wilt; it will be but waste of breath.
TEIRESIAS I say thou livest with thy nearest kin
In infamy, unwitting in thy shame.
OEDIPUS Think'st thou for aye unscathed to wag thy tongue?
TEIRESIAS Yea, if the might of truth can aught prevail.
OEDIPUS With other men, but not with thee, for thou
In ear, wit, eye, in everything art blind.
TEIRESIAS Poor fool to utter gibes at me which all
Here present will cast back on thee ere long.
OEDIPUS Offspring of endless Night, thou hast no power
O'er me or any man who sees the sun.
TEIRESIAS No, for thy weird is not to fall by me.
I leave to Apollo what concerns the god.
OEDIPUS Is this a plot of Creon, or thine own?
TEIRESIAS Not Creon, thou thyself art thine own bane.
OEDIPUS O wealth and empiry and skill by skill
Outwitted in the battlefield of life,
What spite and envy follow in your train!
See, for this crown the State conferred on me.
A gift, a thing I sought not, for this crown
The trusty Creon, my familiar friend,
Hath lain in wait to oust me and suborned
This mountebank, this juggling charlatan,
This tricksy beggar-priest, for gain alone
Keen-eyed, but in his proper art stone-blind.
Say, sirrah, hast thou ever proved thyself
A prophet? When the riddling Sphinx was here
Why hadst thou no deliverance for this folk?
And yet the riddle was not to be solved
By guess-work but required the prophet's art;
Wherein thou wast found lacking; neither birds
Nor sign from heaven helped thee, but I came,
The simple Oedipus; I stopped her mouth
By mother wit, untaught of auguries.
This is the man whom thou wouldst undermine,
In hope to reign with Creon in my stead.
Methinks that thou and thine abettor soon
Will rue your plot to drive the scapegoat out.
Thank thy grey hairs that thou hast still to learn
What chastisement such arrogance deserves.
CHORUS To us it seems that both the seer and thou,
O Oedipus, have spoken angry words.
This is no time to wrangle but consult
How best we may fulfill the oracle.

TEIRESIAS King as thou art, free speech at least is mine
To make reply; in this I am thy peer.
I own no lord but Loxias; him I serve
And ne'er can stand enrolled as Creon's man.
Thus then I answer: since thou hast not spared
To twit me with my blindness-thou hast eyes,

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