Ant. Know then, from Creon, our indulgent lord,
Our hapless brothers met a different fate,
To honour one, and one to infamy
He bath consign’d; with fun’ral rites he grac'd
The body of our dear Eteocles,
Whilst Polynices' wretched carcass lies .
Unburied, unlamented, left expos'd
A feast for hungry vultures on the plain;
No pitying friend will dare to violate
The tyrant's harsh command, for public death
Awaits th' offender; Creon comes himself
To tell us of it, such is our condition;
This is the crisis, this the hour, Ismene, .
That must declare thee worthy of thy birth,
Or show thee mean, base, and degenerate.

Ism. What would'st thou have me do? defy luis power?
Contemn the laws ?

To act with me, or not:
Consider and resolve.

What daring deed.
Would'st thou attempt? what is it? speak.

To join
And take the body, my Ismene.

And would'st thou dare to bury it, when thus
We are forbidden ?

Ay, to bury HIM :
He is my brother, and thine too, Ismene; -
Therefore consent or not, I have determin'd
I'll not disgrace my birth..

Hath not the king
Pronounc'd it death to all ?

He hath no right,
No power to keep me from my own.

Remember our unhappy father's fate,
And last, in one sad day, Eteocles
And Polynices by each other slain.
Left as we are, deserted and forlorn,

What from our disobedience can we hope
But misery and ruin? poor weak women,
Helpless, nor form’d by nature to contend
With powerful man; we are his subjects too;
Therefore to this, and worse than this, my sister,
We must submit: for me, in humblest prayer
Will I address me to th' infernal powers
For pardon of that crime which well they know •
Sprang from necessity, and then obey;
Since to attempt that we can never hope
To execute, is folly all and madness.

Ant. Wert thou to proffer what I do not ask,
Thy poor assistance, I would scorn it now:
Act as thou wilt ; I'll bury him myself;
Let me perform but that, and death is welcome ;
J'll do the pious deed, and lay me down
By my dear brother ; loving and belov'd
We'll rest together : to the powers below
'Tis fit we pay obedience ; longer there
We must remain, than we can breathe on earth,
There I shall dwell for ever; thou, meantime,
What the gods hold most precious may'st despise.

Ism. I reverence the gods; but, in defiance
Of laws, and unassisted to do this,
It were most dang’rous.

That be thy excuse,
Whilst I prepare the fun’ral pile.

I tremble for thee.

Tremble for thyself,
And not for me. ·
· Ism.

0! do not tell thy purpose, I beg thee, do not; I shall no'er betray thee.

Ant. I'd have it known; and I shall love thee less For thy concealment, than, if loud to all, Thou would'st proclaim the deed. Ism.

Thou hast a heart Too daring, and ill-suited to thy fate.

Ant. I know my duty, and I'll pay it there
Where 'twill be best accepted.

Could'st thou do it?
But'tis not in thy power.

When I know that
It will be time enough to quit my purpose.

Ism. It cannot be; 'tis folly to attempt it.

Ant. Go on, and I shall hate thee; our dead brother,
He too shall hate thee as his bitt'rest foe;
Go, leave me here to suffer for my rashness;
Whate'er befalls, it cannot be so dreadful
As not to die with honour.

Then farewell,
Since thou wilt have it so; and kuow, Ismene
Pities thy weakness, but admires thy virtue.

"Unlamented. This was the judgment which God denounced against Jehoiakim, king of Judah: “they shall not lament for him, saying, ah! my brother, or ah! sister; they shall not lament for him, saying, ab! lord, or ah! his glory; he shall be buried with the burial of an ass,' &c. Jerem. 22, v. 18, 19. The customs and manners of the Greeks were originally drawn from the eastern nations, which accounts for the similitude so observable in Sophocles and other heathen writers with some parts of holy writ.”

EURIPIDES. “ The prodigious armament, with which Xerxes invaded Greece, is well known: when he was advancing towards Attica, to revenge the defeat of his father's forces at Marathon, the Athenians, by the advice of Themistocles, retired with their effects to Salamis, Træzene, and Ægina. Among those who took refuge at Salamis, were · Mnesarchus and Clito, the parents of Euripides, who was born at that Island on the very day in which the Grecians there gained that memorable victory over the

Persian fleet. His parents educated their son with great attention, and at a considerable expense. Besides the athletic exercises, in which he excelled, he was taught grammar, music, and painting. He applied himself to the study of oratory under the refined and learned Prodicus, who admitted none to his school but the sons of great and noble families; the celebrated Pericles was also formed under this excellent master. He studied philosophy with - Anaxagoras, and contracted an early friendship with Socrates, who was twelve vears younger than himself, and survived him almost six years; this friendship, formed on the firmest principles of virtue and wisdom, and cemented by a similarity of manners and studies, continued indissoluble. These studies form the history of his life from the eighteenth to the seventysecond year of his age, during which time he composed seventy-five tragedies, frequently retiring to his native Salamis, and there indulging his melancholy muse in a rude and gloomy cavern.

His reputation was now so illustrious, that Archelaus, king of Macedonia, invited him to his court: this monarch, to his many royal virtues, added a fondness for literature and the muses, and had drawn to him from Greece many who excelled in the polite arts, particularly those who were eminent for their learning and genius. Euripides, after much and earnest invitation, at length complied with the king's request, and went to Pella, where he was received with every mark of esteem and honour. · Archelaus knew how to value a man of modesty and wisdom, a lover of truth and virtue ; but he particularly admired the disinterestedness, the amiable candour, and gentleness of manners, which distinguished Euripides, and made him worthy of the liberality, the esteem, and the affection of such a king. In this court at this time, among many other eminent men, were Agatho, an excellent tragic poet, an honest and agreeable man, a friend and admirer of Euripides; Timotheus, the famous musirian; and Teuxus, the celebrated painter. In this society

Euripides lived happy, beloved, and honoured, and died lamented, in the third year after his coming to Macedonia, and the seventy-fifth year of his age. Archelaus mourned for him as for a near relation, buried him among the kings of Macedonia, and erected a magnificent monument to his memory.

The news of his death was brought to Athens as Sophocles was about to exhibit one of his tragedies; he appeared in mourning, and made his actors come on the stage without crowns: this great poet had long been the intimate friend of Euripides, he was then in the ninetieth year of his age, and died about the end of this year. The Athenians immediately sent ambassadors to Archelaus, requesting his permission to remove the bones of Euripides into his own country; this the king and the Macedonians firmly refused ; as they could not obtain his ashes, they raised a cenotaph to their poet, in the way hat led from the city to the Piræus."

IPHIGENIA. This interesting female was the daughter of Agamemnon, king of Mycenæ, and leader of the expedition to Troy. When the whole Greek armament had assembled at Aulis, and were ready to depart, they were detained by contrary winds. To procure a safe departure, a horrible alternative is proposed to Agamemnon. He thus states it himself. “ Collected and embodied, here we sit Inactive, and from Aulis wish to sail . In vain. The prophet Calchas, ʼmidst the gloom That darken'd on our minds, at length pronounc'd That Iphigenia, my virgin daughter, I to Diana, goddess of this land, Must sacrifice : this victim giv'n the wind's Shall swell our sails, and Troy beneath our arms Be humbled in the dust ; but if denied, These things are not to be.”

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