KING. Nay, I have sworn
And I will keep my oath. But this thy wife—
JASON. Hear me, O king, before thou end
Needs must thou take us both, or none at all!
I were a happy man,—ay, born anew—
Were she but gone forever. But no, no!
I must protect her—for she trusted me.
KING. These magic arts she knows—’tis
them I fear.
The power to injure, spells the will to do it.
Besides, these strange, suspicious deeds of hers—
These are not all her guilt.
JASON. Give her one
Then, if she stay not quiet, hound her forth,
Hunt her, and slay her, me, and these my babes.
Yet, till that time, I pray thee let her try
If she can live at peace with this thy folk.
This boon I crave of thee by mightiest Zeus,
The god of strangers—ay, and call upon
The ancient bond of friendship that, long since,
Our fathers formed, mine in Iolcos, thine
In Corinth here. On that long-vanished day
They dreamed there might fall need of such a tie.
And, now that need is here, do thou thy part
And succor me, lest in like evil pass
Thou make the same request, and meet denial.
KING. ‘Tis the gods’ will;
I yield, against my judgment,
And she shall stay. But, look you, if she show
One sign that those wild ways are not forgot,
I drive her forth from out this city straight
And yield her up to those who seek her life!
Here in this meadow, where I found thee first,
A sacred altar shall be raised, to Zeus,
The god of strangers, consecrate and to
Thy murdered uncle Pelias’ bloody shades.
Here will we kneel together and pray the gods
To send their blessing on thy coming here,
And turn to mercy that which bodes us ill.—
Now to my royal city follow swift.
[He turns to his attendants, who approach.]
See my behests are faithfully obeyed.
[As they turn to depart, the curtain falls.]
A chamber in CREON’S royal palace at Corinth. CREUSA is discovered seated, while MEDEA occupies a low stool before her, and holds a lyre in her arm. She is clad in the Greek fashion.
CREUSA. Now pluck this string—the second—this one here.
MEDEA. So, this way?
CREUSA. Nay, thy fingers more relaxed.