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suffering on myself. I did not dream, however, that I
should be wasted away, by such a punishment, on these
lofty rocks, being fixed to this desolate and unfrequented
hill. And yet, do not lament my present afflictions ; but,
descending to the plain, hear my coming misfortunes, that
you may learn thoroughly the whole that awaits me. Obey
me, obey me, and bestow your sympathy on the griefs that
now oppress me ; for in the same way, Misfortune, in her
varying course, now takes up her abode with one, and
now with another 2 .

CHORUS. You have urged this request, O Prometheus,
on those who are willing to comply with it : and now, for-
saking with light foot my rapid car, and the pure air through

(1) "Hei mihi ! quam facile est, quamvis hoc contigit omnes
Alterius luctu fortia verba loqai."

Ovid. Eleg. in Drusum, v. 9.

" Facile omnes, cftm valemus, recta consilia aegrotis damus."

Terent. Andr. II. 1.
(-2) Vid. Blomf. Gloss. 283.'


which the birds wing their flight, I will approach to this
rocky soil ; for I am anxious to hear fully of all your suf-


I am come to you, Prometheus! having reached the goal
of a lengthened journey, and having directed, without need
of the bit, the swift flight of this bird ' by instinct % But
know that I sympathize in your misfortunes ; for both the
tie of kindred 3 , I think, constrains me to such feeling ;
and even without considering that our blood is the same,
there is no one to whom I should be inclined to accord a
greater share of affection than to you. But you shall
know that these words are true, and that it is not in my
nature to use kind language with hollow purpose: for
come now, tell me in what it is of consequence for me to
aid you, and you shall never have reason to say that you
have a more staunch friend than Oceanus.

PROM. Ha ! how is this ? Are you also come to behold
my sufferings ? How have you ventured, having left the
stream that bears your name, and its caves wrought by na-
ture in the o'er-arching rock, to approach to 4 Earth, the
mother of iron ? Have you come to contemplate my mis-
fortunes, and to sympathize in my sorrows ? Lo, then, be-
hold the friend of Jove, the ally who established his
throne, beneath what a weight of woe I am bowed by his
command !

OCEANUS. I see, O Prometheus ; and, wise 5 as you are,

(1) The wild and marvellous scenes of this play are puzzling to a
Frencb^comprehension. Brumoy is particularly distressed at the man-
ner in which Oceanus thinks fit to travel : " II parolt monte sur je ne
s<;ai quel animal atle' ; bizzarrerie inexplicable."

(2) Vid. Blomf. Gloss. 295 ; where we prefer the latter interpretation.
The remark of Schiitz will apply to either: " Admirationis enim augen-
dae causa, non brutus, sed mente ac ratione praeditus esse fingitur."

(3) lapetus, the father of Prometheus, was the brother of Oceanus.

(4) Or " this Earth," as denoting Scythia, from which the Chalybians
first extracted iron.

(5) T//CTC 8' iJjrepKt/Sai/Ta Mfvotrioi>, ?}8t Upo^-qBea.

TloiKl\ov, euoAJ/xijru'. lies. Theog. v. 510.


I wish to give you the best advice. Know yourself, and
adopt new manners ; for there is a new King among the
Gods. If you shall thus vent harsh and indignant words,
perhaps Jupiter, though seated so far on high, may hear
you; so that the present sufferings which his wrath has im-
posed shall appear as sport 1 in comparison of the future.
But banish, O wretched being! the fierce spirit you now
bear, and seek a release from these afflictions. Perhaps
what I urge upon you may seem old-fashioned ; but such,
however, are the rewards, O Prometheus, of the tongue
that uses too haughty language : for you are not yet
humble, nor submissive to your misfortunes, but seem in-
clined to draw down others in addition to the present.
You will not, if you follow my counsel, kick against the
pricks 2 , seeing that a severe and absolute monarch holds the
power. And now, indeed, I go ; and I will try, if I be able,
I to free you from these sufferings. But do you remain
quiet, and not give too free reins to your tongue. Do you
not, with all your wisdom, well know, that punishment is
inflicted on the imprudent tongue 3 ?

PROM. I consider you enviable; because you have
escaped the blame, though you shared all my plans, and
dared equal attempts 4 . But now leave me to my fate, nor
let my release be a care to you ; for assuredly you shall
not persuade him, since his purpose is not easily changed.
But do you look out for yourself, lest you suffer any harm
in consequence of this journey.

(1) " ncudiav, Child's play. Grsecorum proverbium est, cum cluorum
alterum alteri longe anteponunt, wcuSia (pcuvoiro av cTrai, vel \ijpos' ut dooet
Casaub. Animadv. ad Athenaeum, p. 70." JAC. TATK,

(2) See Act. Apost. ix. 5. and Find. Pylh. II. 173.

- jrorl Kfvrpov 8* TOI

'A.vSfj.ov T*

T<5 r^Aoy Swrrvxt'a. Eurip. Bacch. v. 38r>.

(4) " In omnibus, quse egerat Prometheus, adjutorem sibi habuerat
Oceanum. Quare hie miratur quod eum non punierit Jupiter, ut nunc
puniebatur ipse. Nescio an alii Mythologi idem dicant." PAUW.


OCEANUS. You are much better skilled by nature to
school others than yourself. I draw my certain proof of
this from fact, and not merely from words. But you shall
by no means divert me from the purpose I am so eager
to pursue : for I trust, I confidently trust, that Jove will
grant me this boon, so as to release you from these suf-

PROM. I praise, and shall never cease to praise you,
for your intentions; for you shew no lack of zeal in my
service. But spare yourself the trouble ; for your labour,
however willing you might be to bestow it, would be
thrown away, and be of no profit to me. Rather remain
quiet, and keep yourself out of the danger ; for though I am
myself in adversity, I would not on this account wish my
misfortunes to extend to numbers of others. Oh, surely no I
for already I am deeply pained by the sufferings of my bro-
ther Atlas, who stands in the regions of the West, supporting
on his shoulders the pillar of heaven and earth ', no easy
burden for the arms. And I was moved to pity, as I saw
subdued by force the earthborn inhabitant of the Cilician
caves 2 , the monster hostile to heaven, impetuous Typhon
of the hundred heads, who opposed the Gods in fight,
breathing slaughter from his horrid jaws ; and from his
eyes there flashed an appalling glare, as if he were about
to overthrow by force the empire of heaven. But the
sleepless bolt of Jupiter smote him the down-descending
thunder with its breath of flame, which quickly drove him
from such haughty boasts : for being stricken to the very
soul, his strength was reduced to ashes, and blasted by the
power of the thunder ; and now his helpless form lies
outstretched near the straits of the sea, crushed beneath
the roots of ^Etna 3 . But Vulcan, seated on the summits of

(1) "ArXos 8' O3pco>di> evpdv tyi-i Kparfpfjs /V
Ufipami' li> yaiijfy -rpdirap 'EffirfpiSwv \tywfxAvuv.

Hes. Theog. v. 517.

(2) Pindar describes his residence in nearly the same words,
Pyth. I. 31.

(3 In the first Pythian Ode, to which we have just referred, the body

C of


the mountain, forges the glowing mass; whence, in after-
times, shall rivers of fire be disgorged, to devour, with their
fell jaws, the level meads of fair and fertile Sicily 1 . Typhon,
though reduced to ashes by the thunderbolt of Jove, will
thus pour forth his rage in the fiery darts of a resistless
and fire-breathing tempest. But you are not ignorant,
from want of experience ; nor do you require me to warn
you. Save yourself, then, by such means as you know how
to use ; and I will endure my present fortune, until his
wrath subside in the spirit of Jove.

OCEANUS. Are you not aware, O Prometheus, that rea-
soning has a power to heal the distempers of passion ?

PROM. It has, if one shall soften the heart at the pro-
per season, and not reduce by force the swellings of

OCEANUS. Tell me, do you see any harm in foresight
and in daring ?

PROM. Superfluous toil, and unreflecting folly.

OCEANUS. Suffer me to be afflicted with this malady,
since it is best that one who counsels wisely should not ap-
pear to be wise.

of Typhon is described as extending even to the shores of Italy : and Ovid
(Metamorph. V. 346.) has indulged in a similar strain of poetical exag-
geration :

" Vasta giganteis ingesta est insula membris

Trinacris; et magnis subjectum molibus urget
^thereas ausum sperare Typhoea sedes.
Nititur ille quidem, pugnatque resurgere saepe :
Dextra sed Ausonio manus est subjecta Peloro ;
Laeva, Pachyne, tibi ; Lilybseo crura premuntur ;
Degravat JEtna. caput, sub qua" resupinus arenas
Ejectat, flammamque fero vomit ore Typhoeus.
Saepe remoliri luctatur pondera terrae,
Oppidaque et magnos evolvere corpora monies."
(1) JEschylus spent the latter part of his life in Sicily, at a time when
the eruptions of Mtna. were very frequent and violent. Miiller has there-
fore remarked, with justice : " Sic ultimum hanc tragcediam suspiceris la-
borem ; quo etiam facto ad omnes homines, quam ad Atticos ritus et Grse-
cos heroas magis pertinet. Senis vividissima mens, tanto open par, adrni-
rationem incutit."


PROM. This will appear to be my fault.

OCEANUS. Your words plainly direct that I should re-
turn home.

PROM. Because I am afraid, lest the compassion you
have expressed for me should involve you in enmity.

OCEANUS. Do you mean, with him who has lately taken
his seat on the throne of omnipotent command ?

PROM. Beware, lest his heart be displeased.

OCEANUS. Your calamity, O Prometheus, is a warning
to me.

PROM. Away! depart! preserve your present sentiments.

OCEANUS. You have enjoined these commands on me
as I am hastening to return ; for the quadruped bird al-
ready grazes with his wings the liquid path of air, and
gladly will he recline his limbs in his native stalls of Ocean.

CHORUS. I pity you, O Prometheus, on account of your
calamitous fortune ; and a stream of tears, descending from
my fast-flowing eyes, bedews my cheek with the liquid
gush of sorrow : for Jupiter, commanding this harsh doom
by virtue of his own laws, wields a haughty sceptre over
the Gods who preceded him in power. Already hath
the whole land uttered the voice of sorrow, lamenting the
boasted pride and ancient dignity of thy honour and that
of thy kindred ; and all the mortals who inhabit the re-
gions that extend over sacred Asia sympathize in your
deeply-mournful sufferings ; both the virgins, undaunted
in fight, who dwell in the Colchian land ; and the tribes of
Scythia who occupy around the Lake Masotis the remotest
regions of earth; and the warlike flower of Arabia 1 , who

(l) In an able article on Blomfield's edition of this play, in the Edin-
burgh Review, No. 33, the critic has himself favoured us with the fol-
lowing note :- " Cum tota Chori oratio in Maris Euxini accolis recensendis
versetur, jure mirantur interpretes, unde hsec Arabise mentio. Nonnulli
ad emendationem confugiunt, quorum conjecturas memorare supersedeo.
Magis placet Butleri sententia, qui ostendere conatur nomen Arabiae
latins olim quam vulgd creditur patuisse. Sed nolim hanc queestionem
mmis curiose tractare. Nam verisimile est jEschylum geographize nihilo
peritiorem fuisse tragico nostrate, qui oram Bohemia; maritimam me-



have their home and country amid the lofty precipices that
border on Caucasus a martial hand, that rush with fury
to the conflict of the pointed spear. I have before seen
only one other God subject to the tortures of adamantine
bonds the Titan Atlas ; who ever, exerting transcendent
strength, supports on his shoulders, with groaning toil, the
solid pole of heaven. The billows of the sea moan, as they
dash together ; its depths murmur; the dark abyss of Orcus
sends forth, from beneath the earth, a troubled sound ; and
the fountains of sacred streams wail as they flow, for thy
anguish and thy sorrow.

PROM. Do not think that I am silent through pride or
a stubborn spirit ; but, seeing myself thus ignominiously
treated, I am pained by the reflections of my mind : for
who, but I, entirely distributed their honours to these new
Gods ? But, as to these favours, I am silent, for I should
relate to you what you know : but listen to the evils that
existed among mortals how I implanted in them, who were
before in the ignorance of infancy, the power of intellect,
and the capability of knowledge 1 : and I will tell you the tale,
not to reflect any blame on men, but to explain my kind
intention in the gifts I bestowed on beings who, at first, had
eyes and saw not ; ears had they, and heard not' ; but, like to
the shapes of dreams 3 , left for long their whole course of
life to chance and confusion, and neither knew how to con-
struct houses of brick with their fronts to the sun, nor yet
the art of working in wood ; but dwelt beneath the earth,
like the tiny ant, in the sunless depths of caves 4 : and

(1) Prometheus only claims for himself the merit of having taught
civilization and the use of reason to mankind, and does not at all allude
to the common fable of his having actually formed the original race from
clay. -In the former character he was worshipped by the Athenians
along with their tutelary Goddess ; and his temple, in the Academia, re-
ceived equal honours.

(2) See Isaiah vi. 9. Matt. iii. 13, 14.

(3) " We are such stuff

As dreams are made of." Shak. Tempest, Act. IV.

(1) " Laterarias domos contituerunt primi Euryalus et Hyperbius
fratres Athenis; antea specus eranl pro domibus." Plin. vii. 56. The



they knew no certain sign of winter, or of flowery spring
or of fruitful summer, but pursued all their occupations
without discernment, until I explained to them the risings of
the stars and their mysterious settings. Besides, 1 first dis-
covered for them numbers, the highest of inventions 1 ; and
the structure of a written language ; and Memory, the
mother of the Muse, effective in every art. And I was
the first who bound in harness animals made obedient to the
yoke ; and, in order that they might prove, by their strength,
the substitutes for mortals in the greatest toils, I forced
the steeds to be guided by the rein in chariots 1 , the orna-
ments of wealth and luxury. And no one before me in-
vented the bark of the mariner, that traverses the sea with
its canvas wings. Yet I, who was the author of these in-
ventions to man, have not, in my own misery, any device by
which I can obtain relief from the sufferings which op-
press me !

CHORUS. You have been subjected to undeserved cala-
mity : but you wander apart from wisdom ; and, like an un-
skilful physician, having fallen into disease, you despair, and
are not able to discover by what remedies your cure is to
be wrought.

PROM. Hearing the rest of my benefits, you will be still
more surprised at the arts and inventions I contrived. And
this not the least : if any one was assailed by disease, there
was no specific against it, either in food, unguent or draught,
but the sick fell away through want of medicine, until I
taught them to compound soothing restoratives, by which

same author represents Daedalus as having first taught the art of work-
ing in wood ; and Sophocles, in a Fragment preserved by Achilles Tatius,
ascribes to Palamedes the inventions of Astrology and Numbers, which
Prometheus proceeds to enumerate among the many benefits which he
bestowed on men.

(1) Abreschius has translated this most villainously : " Arithmeticam
omnifraude superiorem."

(2) " Primus Ericthonius currus et quatuor ausus

Jungere equos." Virg. Geory. III. 113.


they might be able to repel all maladies 1 . I marked out,
also, various modes of divination ; and first determined what
dreams would prove true; and made clear to them the hid-
den interpretation of ominous sounds, and of meetings by the
way " ; and plainly pointed out the distinction in the flight
of birds with crooked talons, both those which are pro-
pitious in their nature and those which are ill-omened, and
what kind of life they each lead, and what are their mutual
enmities and sympathies and intercourse ; and the smooth-
ness of the entrails, and what colour they must have to be
pleasing to the Gods; and the various shapes that were
fortunate in the gall and liver : but having consumed with
fire the limbs enclosed in the fat and the long loin, I shewed
mortals a path through the difficulties of this art ; and I re-
vealed to them the inferences to be drawn from the blaze of
flame, which were before hidden from their knowledge.
Such was, in part, the nature of my gifts : and who can as-
sert that he discovered before me the benefits for mankind
that lie concealed beneath the earth brass, and iron, and
silver, and gold ? no one, I am sure, who does not wish to
talk idly and falsely 3 ! But, in a few words, you shall learn
at once the extent of my benefits : There is no art among
men that is not derived from Prometheus.

CHORUS. Do not, I pray you, aid mortals beyond what
is fitting, and then manifest a want of care for your own
misfortunes ; for I cheer myself with the hope, that you

(1) Apollo disputes the honour of this invention with Prometheus:

" Inventum medicina meum est ; opiferque per orbem
Dicor, et herbarum subjecta potentia nobis." Ovid. Met. 1. 521.

(2) " Obvia signa quse fausta aut infausta in itinere occurrunt ; quale
Xerxi de equa leporem pariente, et Agamemnoni de aquilis leporem
vorantibus, in Agam. v. 120." STANLEY.

(3) Pliny (vii. 56.) has ventured, notwithstanding these hard words
of Prometheus, to ascribe the discovery of the metals to others : " Fer-
rum Hesiodus in Greta eos qui vocati sunt Dactyli Idsei. Argentum
invenit Ericthonius Atheniensis, ut alii yEacus. Auri metalla et c-onfla-
turam Cadmus Phosnix ad Pangseum montem ; ut alii, Thoas et jEaclis in
Panchaia, aut Sol Oceani filius."


shall yet escape these bonds, and become in power not in-
ferior to Jove.

PROM. The fate that consummates all events has not
decreed that your hopes should be thus fulfilled : but I
shall only escape my chains after having been crushed by
infinite sufferings and woes ; for art is by far weaker
than necessity.

CHORUS. Who, then, holds the sway of necessity ?

PROM. The triple Fates, and vengeful Furies.

CHORUS. Is Jupiter, then, weaker than those Powers ?

PROM. He cannot escape at least the decrees of Fate.

CHORUS. For what is decreed for Jupiter, except eter-
nal empire ?

PROM. This you may not yet know; so persist not in

CHORUS. Is it some important mystery that you conceal ?

PROM. Bethink yourself of some other subject ; for the
time is not yet come, to declare what you seek : but, on
the contrary, it must be concealed with all care ; for by
preserving this secret I shall gain an escape from my
galling chains and sorrows.

CHORUB. May Jupiter, the ruler of the universe, never
array his power in opposition to my will ! nor may I fail
to approach the Gods with sacred festivals of slaughtered
victims beside the inexhaustible streams of my father
Oceanus ! nor may I sin in my words ; but may this prin-
ciple remain to me, and never feel decay ! There is a cer-
tain charm in spending a long life in cheering hopes, and
in buoying up the soul with joyous hilarity ; but I shudder
as I behold you racked by innumerable pains. For not
fearing Jove, O Prometheus, you are led, by your self-
will, to pay too much regard to mortals. Tell me, then,
O friend, if that favour be not requited with ingratitude ;
or where there is any advantage to be derived from it ?
What aid can mortals afford ? Have you not discovered
how feeble, and how like a dream, is the imbecility which
enshackles the blind race of men ? Never can the counsels
of mortals transcend the settled laws of Jove. I have


been convinced of this truth, O Prometheus, by seeing
the misery of your lot. How different is the strain that
now greets you, the present from the past, when beside
the bath and your bridal couch I awoke the nuptial hymn,
amid the mirth of the festival, at the time when you gained
our sister Hesione for your bride, having won her by your
gifts to become the wedded partner of your bed !


What land is this? what race? Whom shall I say that
I here behold, exposed to the storm, and fettered to the rock?
For what transgression does this punishment destroy you?
Tell me to what part of the world I have wandered in
my misery. Ah! ah! again the gadfly 1 envenoms my
wretched body. O earth ! avert the spectre of the earth-
born Argus ! I shudder as I behold the herdsman of the
hundred eyes ; for he follows me with his guileful aspect ;
and not even in death does the earth confine him; but,
passing from the Shades, he closely pursues his unhappy
victim, and forces me to wander, famished, along the sands
of the sea; while his pipe, compacted of the reeds with
wax, pours forth a murmuring sound, as it awakes its
drowsy measures. Alas, alas, ye Gods ! where, O Gods,
where do these lengthened wanderings conduct my steps?
Of what sin, O Son of Saturn, having ever found me
guilty, hast thou bowed me beneath the yoke of these
sufferings ? Alas ! alas ! why do you thus torture me
to phrensy, through wretched terror of that maddening
sting ? Consume me with thy flame, or bury me beneath
the earth, or give me as a prey to the monsters of the
deep ; but do not, O king, be unwilling to grant me these
prayers ! Sufficient hath been the toil of my many wan-
derings ; and still I know not how I can find relief from

(1) " Asper, acerba sonans ; quo tota exterrita sylvis
Diffugiunt armenta; furit mugitibus aether
Concussus, sylvseque et sicci ripa Tanagri.
Hoc quondam monstro horribiles exercuit iras
Inachue Juno pestem meditata juvencae."

Virff.Georg.UL 147.


calamity. Hearest thou the voice of the virgin that bears
the heifer's form ' ?

PROM. How should I not hear the virgin maddened by
the gadfly, the daughter of Inachus, who inflames the heart
of Jupiter with love, and who, through the hate of Juno, is
now compelled to the toil of these lengthened wanderings ?

10. Whence hast thou learned to pronounce the name
of my father ? O tell to me, an unhappy being, who thou art ?
thyself unhappy, that thus dost truly address me as wretch-
ed, and hast named the heaven-sent pest which consumes
my life, evenoming me with its maddening stings ! Ah !
ah ! hither have I bounding come, being goaded to speed
by the pangs of famine, and forced to submit to the malig-
nant designs of Juno. Among the victims of misfortune,
are there any who, alas ! suffer such sorrows as mine ? But
do you clearly shew to me what I am yet fated to endure,
and what I shall escape. Disclose to me, if you possess
the knowledge, some remedy for this disease. O speak ;
nor hide it from the forlorn and wandering virgin !

PROM. I will clearly tell you all which you seek to know ;
not weaving a dark discourse, but in plain words ; as it is
fitting that we should utter our sentiments to friends.
You see Prometheus, the giver of fire to mortals.

jo. Unhappy Prometheus ! thou who didst appear for

( 1) There has been much discussion as to the shape in which we are to
suppose that lo made her appearance on the stage. Brumoy, Schiitz,
and Heath, have ridiculed the idea of a cow supporting a character ; and
have maintained, that, with the exception of horns, the unhappy daughter
of Inachus preserved her natural form. Dacier is of a contrary opinion ;
and we conceive that the text justifies it beyond a doubt. The miseries
of which lo complains, are those which afflict the herd : and so Virgil has
justly represented them, in the passage quoted above. If she had suffered
no other change but in the addition of horns, why should she have spoken
with such horror of the persecution of the gadfly ? It is certainly diffi-
cult for us to imagine how she could have actually appeared as a cow,
without exciting the ridicule, rather than the sympathy, of the spectator:
but this play is altogether wild and fanciful ; and being beyond common
nature, is not to be judged by common rules.


the general benefit of mankind ! in punishment for what
offence dost thou suffer these pains ?

PROM. I have just ceased bewailing my sufferings.

10. Will you not, then, vouchsafe this boon to me ?

PROM. Let me know what you request; for you shall

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