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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 363 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01.

PYLADES

The gods avenge not on the son the deeds
Done by the father.  Each, or good or bad,
Of his own actions reaps the due reward. 
The parents’ blessing, not their curse, descends.

ORESTES

Methinks their blessing did not lead us here.

PYLADES

It was at least the mighty gods’ decree.

ORESTES

Then is it their decree which doth destroy us.

PYLADES

Perform what they command, and wait the event. 
Do thou Apollo’s sister bear from hence,
That they at Delphi may united dwell,
There by a noble-thoughted race revered,
Thee, for this deed, the lofty pair will view
With gracious eye, and from the hateful grasp
Of the infernal Powers will rescue thee. 
E’en now none dares intrude within this grove.

ORESTES

So shall I die at least a peaceful death.

PYLADES

Far other are my thoughts, and not unskill’d
Have I the future and the past combin’d
In quiet meditation.  Long, perchance,
Hath ripen’d in the counsel of the gods
The great event.  Diana yearns to leave
The savage coast of these barbarians,
Foul with their sacrifice of human blood. 
We were selected for the high emprize;
To us it is assign’d, and strangely thus
We are conducted to the threshold here.

ORESTES

My friend, with wondrous skill thou link’st thy wish
With the predestin’d purpose of the gods.

PYLADES

Of what avail is prudence, if it fail
Heedful to mark the purposes of Heaven! 
A noble man, who much hath sinn’d, some god
Doth summon to a dangerous enterprize,
Which to achieve appears impossible. 
The hero conquers, and atoning serves
Mortals and gods, who thenceforth honor him.

ORESTES

Am I foredoom’d to action and to life,
Would that a god from my distemper’d brain
Might chase this dizzy fever, which impels
My restless steps along a slipp’ry path. 
Stain’d with a mother’s blood, to direful death;
And pitying, dry the fountain, whence the blood,
For ever spouting from a mother’s wounds,
Eternally defiles me!

PYLADES

Wait in peace! 
Thou dost increase the evil, and dost take
The office of the Furies on thyself. 
Let me contrive,—­be still!  And when at length
The time for action claims our powers combin’d,
Then will I summon thee, and on we’ll stride,
With cautious boldness to achieve the event.

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