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Stories from the Greek Tragedians   By: (1829-1912)

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First Page:

[Illustration: THE CHARIOT OF ZEUS]

Stories from the Greek Tragedians

By the

REV. ALFRED J. CHURCH, M.A.

AUTHOR OF

"Stories from Homer" and "Stories from Virgil"

With Twenty Illustrations from Designs

by FLAXMAN and Others

New York

Dodd, Mead and Company

Publishers

PREFACE.

I have added to the "Story of the Seven Chiefs against Thebes" the description of the single combat between Eteocles and Polynices, which occurs in the Phoenissæ of Euripides. Some changes have been made in the "Story of Ion" to make it more suitable for the purpose of this book. Throughout the Stories compression and omission have been freely used. I can only ask the indulgence of such of my readers as may be familiar with the great originals of which I have given these pale and ineffectual copies.

RETFORD,

October 11, 1879.

To my Sons,

ALFRED, MAURICE, HERBERT,

RICHARD, EDWARD, HARALD.

This Book

IS DEDICATED.

CONTENTS.

THE STORY OF THE LOVE OF ALCESTIS

THE STORY OF THE VENGEANCE OF MEDEA

THE STORY OF THE DEATH OF HERCULES

THE STORY OF THE SEVEN CHIEFS AGAINST THEBES

THE STORY OF ANTIGONE

THE STORY OF IPHIGENIA IN AULIS

THE STORY OF PHILOCTETES, OR THE BOW OF HERCULES

THE STORY OF THE DEATH OF AGAMEMNON

THE STORY OF ELECTRA, OR THE RETURN OF ORESTES

THE STORY OF THE FURIES, OR THE LOOSING OF ORESTES

THE STORY OF IPHIGENIA AMONG THE TAURIANS

THE STORY OF THE PERSIANS, OR THE BATTLE OF SALAMIS

THE STORY OF ION

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

THE CHARIOT OF ZEUS Frontispiece.

PELIAS SENDING FORTH JASON

HERCULES ON MOUNT OETA

OEDIPUS AND THE SPHINX

THE OATH OF THE SEVEN CHIEFS

THE DEAD BROTHERS

ANTIGONE AND THE BODY OF POLYNICES

"THE EMPTY JOY THAT DWELLS IN THE DREAMS OF THE NIGHT"

THE RETURN OF AGAMEMNON

THE MURDER OF AGAMEMNON

ELECTRA AND ORESTES

CHARIOT RACE

THE BIRTHDAY GIFTS OF PHOEBUS

ORESTES SUPPLIANT TO APOLLO

THE FURIES DEPARTING

ORESTES AND THE FURIES

IPHIGENIA AND ORESTES

OFFERINGS TO THE DEAD

ATOSSA'S DREAM

THE HORSES OF THE MORNING

THE STORY OF THE LOVE OF ALCESTIS.

Asclepius, the son of Apollo, being a mighty physician, raised men from the dead. But Zeus was wroth that a man should have such power, and so make of no effect the ordinance of the Gods. Wherefore he smote Asclepius with a thunderbolt and slew him. And when Apollo knew this, he slew the Cyclopés that had made the thunderbolts for his father Zeus, for men say that they make them on their forges that are in the mountain of Etna. But Zeus suffered not this deed to go unpunished, but passed this sentence on his son Apollo, that he should serve a mortal man for the space of a whole year. Wherefore, for all that he was a god, he kept the sheep of Admetus, who was the Prince of Pheræ in Thessaly. And Admetus knew not that he was a god; but, nevertheless, being a just man, dealt truly with him. And it came to pass after this that Admetus was sick unto death. But Apollo gained this grace for him of the Fates (which order of life and death for men), that he should live, if only he could find some one who should be willing to die in his stead. And he went to all his kinsmen and friends and asked this thing of them, but found no one that was willing so to die; only Alcestis his wife was willing.

And when the day was come on the which it was appointed for her to die, Death came that he might fetch her. And when he was come, he found Apollo walking to and fro before the palace of King Admetus, having his bow in his hand. And when Death saw him, he said

"What doest thou here, Apollo? Is it not enough for thee to have kept Admetus from his doom? Dost thou keep watch and ward over this woman with thine arrows and thy bow?"

"Fear not," the god made answer, "I have justice on my side."

"If thou hast justice, what need of thy bow?"

"'Tis my wont to carry it... Continue reading book >>




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