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creu. Happy indeed in this, in nothing further. 10N. But tell me, is it true what fame bas blazon'd? CREU. What wou’dst thou ask? Stranger, I wish to know. 10N. Sprung the first author of thy line from th' earth? CREU. Aye, Erichthonius: but my race avails not. ion. And did Minerva raise him from the earth ? creu. Held in her virgin hands: she bore him not. Ion. And gave him as the picture represents ? CREU. Daughters of Cecrops these, charged not to see him. ion. The virgins oped the interdicted chest ? CREU. And died, distaining with their blood the rock. 10N. But tell me, is this truth, or a vain rumour? CREU. What wou'dst thou ask? I am not scant of time. JON. Thy sisters did Erectheus sacrifice ? CREU. He slew the virgins, victims for their country. jon. And thou of all thy sisters saved alone? CREU. I was an infant in my mother's arms. JON. And did the yawning earth swallow thy father? CREU. By Neptune's trident smote; and so he perish’d. ion. And Macrai call you not the fatal place? . CREU. Why dost thou ask? What thoughts hast thou recallid ? jon. Does Phoebus, do his lightnings honour it ? CREU. Honour! Why this? Would I had never seen it! 10n. Why? dost thou hate the place dear to the god ? CRBU. No: but for some base deed done in the cave.. Ion. But what Athenian, lady, wedded thee? CREU. Of Athens none, but one of foreign birth.

266. Pausanias tells us, that Pandrosus obeyed the mandate of the goddess; but that her sisters Herse and Aglauros were for their disobedience driven to madaess, and threw themselves from the steepest part of the rock on which the citadel stood. Attic. c. xviii.

269. Erectbeus had six daughters ; Procris married to Cephalus, Orithyia care ried off by Boreas, Chthonia married to Butes, Creusa to Xuthus, Protogenia and Pandora. These two are the virgins here mentioned, who voluntarily offered themselves to death, to give effect to an oracle delivered to their father in bis war against the Thracians. Of such oracles and such sacrifices we have instances enough. In this war Eumolpus, the Thracian king, fell by ibe bands of Erectbeus ; and Neptune, to arenge the death of his son, struck the rocks of Macrai with his trident beneath Erectheus, wlio perished in the cbasm.-- Barnes.

10N. What is his name? Noble he needs must be.
CREU. Xuthus, by Æolus derived from Jove.
Ion. How weds a stranger an Athenian born? .
CREU. Eubea is a state neighbouring on Athens. .
ION. A narrow sea flows, I have heard, between.
CREU. Joining th' Athenian arms that state he wasted. .
ION. Confederate in the war, thence wedded thee?
CREU. The dowral meed of war, earn’d by his spear.
10N. Comest thou with him to Delphi, or alone ?
CREU. With him, gone now to the Trophonian shrine. . .
ION. To view it, or consult the oracle?
CREU. Both that and this, anxious for one response.
10N. For the earth's fruits consult you, or for children?..
CREU. Though wedded long, yet childless is our bed.
Ion. Hast thou ne'er borne a child, that thou hast none?
CREU. My state devoid of children Phæbus knows.
ION. Blest in all else, luckless in this alone.
CREU. But who art thou? Blest I pronounce thy mother.
ion. Call’d, as I am, the servant of the god.
CREU. Presented by some state, or sold to this ? ,
ION. I know not aught save this, I am the god's.
CREU. And in my turn, stranger, I pity thee.

292. After the defeat of the Minyæ, their king Erginus made peace with Her. coles, and wished to pass the rest of his life in the quiet enjoyment of domestic happiness. Having accumulated great wealth, bis next concern was to obtain children; on this, as was usual, he consulted the oracle at Delphi : be had two sons, Trophonics and Agamedes; these became excellent Architects, and adorned Greece with many magnificent temples and palaces; they built the temple of Delpbi, and a treasury for H;rieus, in which they placed a stone in such a manner that they could remove it whenever they pleased. Hyrieus, perceiving his treasores daily diminished, placed snares around the vases which contained bis silver and gold; in one of these snares Agamedes was caught : Trophonius immediately cut off bis brother's head, fearing lest tbe torture should compel him to discover his accomplice. Tropbonius was afterwards swallowed up by an opening of the eartb in the grove of Lebadea, and there a temple was built to him. Pausanias gives an account of this temple, and the oracular cave, and the sacrifices required : tbare rites took up much time, which occasioned Xutbus at bis return to ask Creusa,

Absent so long bave I not caus'd the fear ? Pausan. Bæotic. C. xxxix.

802. See note to the Agamemnon of Æschylus, p. 272. 1. 8. , ,

10N. As knowing not my mother, or my lineage.
CREU. Hast thou thy dwelling here, or in some house?
ION. The temple is my house, e'en when I sleep.
CREU. A child brought hither, or in riper years?
ion. An infant, as they say, who seem to know.
CREU. What Delphian dame sustain’d thee at her breast ?
ION. I never knew a breast. She nourish'd me.
CREU. Who, hapless youth? Diseas'd I find disease.
ION. The Priestess : as a mother I esteem her.
CREU. Who to these manly years gave thee support ?
ION. The altars, and the still-succeeding strangers.
CREU. Wretched, whoe'er she be, is she that bore thee.
ion. I to some woman am perchance a shame.
CREU. Are riches thine ? Thou art well babited.
ION. Graced with these vestments by the god I serve.
CREU. Hast thou made no attempt to trace thy birth?
ION. I have no token, lady, for a proof.
CREU. Ah, like thy mother doth another suffer.
ION. Who? tell me: shou'dst thou help me, what a joy.
CREU. One for whose sake I come before my husband.
ION. Say for what end, that I may serve thee, lady.
CREU. To ask a secret answer of the god.
Ion. Speak it: my service shall procure the rest.
CREU. Hear then the tale: but modesty restrains me.
ION. Ah, let her not; her pow'r avails not here.
CREU. My friend then says that to th' embrace of Phæbus-
ION. A woman and the god ! Say not so, stranger.!
CREU. She bore a son: her father knew it not.
ION. Not so: a mortal's baseness he disdains.
CREU. This she affirms; and this, poor wretch, she suffer'd.
10N. What follow'd, if she knew the god's embrace ?
CREU. The child, which hence had birth, she straight expos'd.
ion. This expos'd child, where is he, doth he live?
CREU. This no one knows; this wish I to enquire.
ION. If not alive, how probably destroy'd ?
creu. Torn, she conjectures, by some beast of prey.
ion. What ground hath she on which to build that thought?
CREU. Returning to the place she found him not.

10N. Observ'd she drops of blood distain the path ?
CREU. None, though with anxious heed she search'd around.
10n. What time hath past since thus the child was lost?
CRBU. Were be alive, his youth were such as thine.
Ion. The god hath done him wrong: th' unhappy mother
CREU. Hath not to any child been mother since.
10N. What if in secret Phæbus nurtures him ?
CRBU. Unjust t enjoy alone a common right.
ION. Ah me! this cruel fate accords with mine.
CREU. For thee too thy unhappy mother mourns.
ION. Ah, melt ine not to griefs I would forget!
CREU. I will be silent: but impart thy aid.
ION. Seest thou what most th' enquiry will suppress?
CREU. And to my wretched friend what is not ill!
ion. 'How shall the god what he would hide reveal ?
CREU. As placed on the oracular seat of Greece.
ION. The deed must cause him shame: convict him not.
CREU. To the poor sufferer 'tis the cause of grief.
ion. It cannot be: for who shall dare to give

The oracle? With justice would the god,
In his own dome affronted, pour on him
Severest vengeance, who should answer thee.
Desist then, lady: it becomes us ill
In opposition to the god to make
Enquiries at his shrine; by sacrifice
Before their altars, or the flight of birds,
Should we attempt to force th' unwilling gods
To utter what they wish not, 'twere th' excess
Of rudeness; what with violence we urge
'Gainst their consent would to no good avail us;
What their spontaneous grace confers on us,

That, lady, as a blessing we esteem.
CHOR. How numberless the ills to mortal man,

And various in their form! One single blessing

By any one through life is scarcely found. creu. Nor here, nor there, O Phoebus, art thou just

To her; though absent, yet her words are present.
Nor didst thou save thy son, whom it became thee

That, lady, as a bene ills to morta. de blessing

To save; nor, though a prophet, wilt thou speak
To the sad mother who enquires of thee;
That, if he is no more, to him a tomb
May rise; but, if he lives, that he may bless
His mother's eyes. But even thus behoves us
T' omit these things, if by the god denied
To know what most I wish.-But, for I see
The noble Xuthus this way bend, return’d,
From the Trophonian cave, before my husband
Resume not, generous stranger, this discourse,
Lest it might cause me shame that thus 1 act
In secret, and perchance lead on to questions
I would not have explain’d. Our hapless sex
Oft feel our husbands' rigour ; with the bad
The virtuous they confound, and treat us barshly.

XUTH.

XUTHUS, CREUSA, ION, CHORUS. XUTH, With reverence to the god my first address

I pay; Hail, Phæbus ! Lady, next to thee:

Absent so long have I not caus’d thee fear ? .
CREU. Not much: as anxious thoughts 'gan rise, thou’rt come.

But, tell me, from Trophonius what reply
Bearest thou, what means whence offspring may arise ?
Unmeet he held it to anticipate
The answer of the god: one thing he told me,
That childless I should not return, nor thou,

Home from the oracle.
CREU.

Goddess rever'd,
Mother of Phæbus, be our coming hither
In lucky hour; and our connubial bed

Be by thy son made happier than before !
XUTH. It shall be so. But who is president here?
10N. Without, that charge is mine; within, devolv'd

On others, stranger, seated near the tripod,

The chiefs of Delphi these, chosen by lot.
XUTH. 'Tis well: all that I want is then complete.

Let me now enter; for the oracle
Is giv'n, I hear, in common to all strangers

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