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Pentheus' rousing speech


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"Quis furor,
"What madness,
anguigenae,
sons of the serpent,
proles Mavortia,
people of Mars,
vestras attonuit mentes?"
has stricken your minds?"
Pentheus ait;
Pentheus said;
"aerane tantum aere repulsa
"are the bronzes clashed with with bronze
et adunco tibia cornu
and flute with curved horn
valent... et magicae fraudes
and magic tricks so powerful
ut, quos non bellicus ensis,
that, those whom not the sword of war,
non tuba
not the trumpet
terruerit, non strictis agmina tellis,
not the battle-lines with drawn weapons did terrify,
femineae voces
women's cries
et mota insania vino
and madness moved by wine
obscenique greges
and filthy flocks
et inania tympana vincant?
and empty drums conquer?
vosne, senes, mirer
Should I admire you, old men,
qui longa per aequora vecti
who, having been borne across the wide sea
hac Tyron... posuistis
have placed Tyre in this place,
hac profugos sede penates,
the refugee Penates in this dwelling place,
nunc sinitis sine Marte capi?
now allow them to be taken without a fight?
vosne... o iuvenes,
Or you, o young men,
acrior aetas,
of a fiercer age,
propiorque meae,
and nearer to my own,
quos arma tenere... decebat
for whom it is right to hold arms,
non thyrsos,
not thrysuses,
galeaque tegi, non fronde?
and be covered with a helmet, not a bough?
este, precor, memores,
Be mindful, I pray you,
qua sitis stirpe creati,
from which race you were created,
illiusque animos... sumite serpentis!
and take up the spirit of that serpent!
qui multos perdidit unus,
who one alone destroyed many,
pro frontibus ille lacuque interiit:
He died for his springs and lake:
at vos pro fama vincite vestra!
but you [go] conquer for your reputation!
ille dedit leto fortes:
He gave brave men to death:
vos pellite molles
you [should] rout the mild
et patrium retinete decus!
and retain the honour of your fathers!
si fata vetabant
If the fates prevent
stare diu thebas,
Thebes standing for a long time,
utinam tormenta virique
would that men and siege engines
moenia diruerent,
destroy her walls,
ferrumque ignisque
and that both the sword and fire
sonarent!
sound against her!
essemus miseri sine crimine,
We would be wretched without blame,
sorsque querenda,
and our fate would be lamentable,
non celanda foret,
but it would not need to be hidden,
lacrimaeque pudore carerent;
our tears would be lacking in shame;
at nunc
but as it is
Thebae capientur
Thebes will be taken
a puero... inermi,
by an unarmed boy,
quem neque bella
whom neither wars
nec tela nec usus equorum
nor weapons nor the use of horses
iuvant,
delight,
sed madidus murra crinis
but so do hair drenched with myrrh
mollesque coronae purpuraque
and soft crowns, and purple finery
et... intextum... aurum
and gold interwoven
pictis vestibus,
in embroidered clothing,
quem quidem ego
whom I indeed
actutum cogam
will force without delay
(modo cos absistite)
(if you merely stand aside)
fateri
to confess
adsumtumque patrem
both his assumed father
commentaque sacra.
and his invented rites.
an satis Acriso est animi,
Can it be that there is enough spirit in Acrisus,
contemnere vanum numen
to reject the false divinity
et Argolicas... claudere portas
and to close the gates of Argos
venienti:
against him approaching:
advena terrebit
[but] will the stranger terrify
Penthea cum totis Thebis?
Pentheus with all of Thebes?
ite citi"
Go swiftly"
(famulis hoc imperat),
(he commands this to his attendants),
"ite que attrahite
"Go and drag
ducem huc vinctum!
the chained leader to this place!
iussis mora segnis abesto!"
Let sluggish delay be absent from my orders!"