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A Greek Hamlet.

ben Lycophron had booked, wbs tad tas

o save those who were in danger, i
of the world, the greatest of the
nad killed her ; Periander'.-le with WTA U

Nie broken up, and existence itif atten
killed her. Heaven and carta e Lawrie
Carith dark crime and cruelty and mur 02.
nord of the march, the footsteps and

il the jar of accoutrements, the

back in varying murmurs to the from the sea, and the echoes of the

üles lleissa. Periander

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us the

to Epidaurus to visit their uncle Procles, there existed ar
between them but those of natural affection. Procles,
uncle of their mother, received the young princes with
respect and honour, holding games and banquets fe
ment, and offering them all the pleasures and en
sombre purpose of revenge, perhaps a rankling,
city could produce. But through all the feasti,
his mind. It was not, however, till the very
he sowed the bitter seed which he had resę
something in the aspect of young Lyce
feeling, some indication of an impassic
out as the instrument of a terrible rs
that inability to keep silence as to
always been natural to humanit
words to his lips : Have you ev
your mother? Know ye how
before, and the incident had
natural. One of the young
curiosity; the other, with
feeling. Then Melissa's
vengeance as few have

wud in those her,' he said.

vuorm and external With these word,

boys in their cradles, escorted from the

olood. Lycophron was like

wand and foot to that place of way was not lon went onward, e

as and imaginations, more cruel than horses, and th

uged their sharp beaks in his heart. His chariots, ma'

all experience, incapable of philosophy, was shouts of

He had not force of mind to reflect that after been said a woman whose blood had been shed, and that received ed slain many another, without offence to God or man; to con

the head of the family and state, his father had the right moth stise all offenders even to death. Nothing of all this could kill.cophron think of to soften the force of his passionate sorrow. er friander had killed Melissa—nay more, and bitterer still, it was Periander himself whom Periander had slain.

Periander, meanwhile, was disturbed also: his pleasure taken away, his sleep gone from him. Cypselus, the elder of his sons, was commonplace and dull, awakening in him nothing more than the instinctive affection of nature. But Lycophron was his hope and pride, with his own features and his own form. What ailed the boy? He was not smooth and gentle like his brother. A jar upon his finer faculties would vibrate long. Was it some quarrel with his brother, some offence which the duller youth had not so much as perceived ? or was it some disappointment, something which he had desired to have done, which had been left undone ? some change which had been made contrary to the will of the imperious boy? Woe to the slave who had so acted if this was the cause of Lycophron's

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A Greck Hamit.

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and the echoes of the
and cruelty and murler.

the footsteps and
- Heaven and earth were shaken,
and existence itself arrested

utrements, the
M her; Periander.:-he who was bund to
who were in danger, to even me wrong

murs to the
'e world, the greatest of rulers, the gors of his
cophron had looked, who had been his emblem of

ander

riander felt bitterly the rising of this cloud upon his sky, lieved that it would pass away with to-morrow's sun. morning sun rose, and life recommenced, and Lycof his chamber with a countenance as darkly pale

those of the baleful Medusa that turned a man ind too became the prey of the vultures. All nself alone from whom his son thus sternly gaiety was over altogether, his pleasure : his comrades, his old instructors, the d and trained him, were not to him swer them with decorum, or give a fused their invitations to sport or pred not a word; on his father der loved the boy above all

indifferent, that Heaven

saw Lycophron moving vadow, when all the games weautiful world itself as if an

of the absence of his boy, think accorded to Periander ? He asked of usayers, and all the wise men of his court um what was the cause ? And he took aside

by one, the old comrades of Lycophron, and

rich rewards if they would discover the secret of cuoly. And as one and another promised to use their vurs, and undertook with foolish confidence that all should well, Perjander had intervals of elation and hope. For he did not connect his son's unkindness with his own crime. Had not he himself half forgotten that crime? Had he not renewed amity with the brothers of Melissa, his neighbours, who might have done him harm, had they remained revengeful ? and even with tedious Procles, who had harped the longest on that string? For, after all, what was it? Nothing more than a woman—a wife, over whose life he had the fullest rights.

He had half forgotten, or more than half forgotten, that he ever laid hand upon Melissa. Of all unlikely things, that was the last that would have occurred to him to explain his son's estrangement. No; it might be that the boy himself, with that fond folly of which boys are capable, considered his happiness involved in the possession of some woman; or he was displeased with the share he had in the wealth and luxuries of his father's house; or he lacked advancement. Periander thought of everything but of the one thing which had made Lycophron's life bitter, and shaken to him the foundations of the earth.

When, however, all the ambassadors failed, and none could find out for him what the canker was which ravaged the young man's soul, and sent dangerous questionings and wonderings through all Corinth, Periander's hope began to turn into despair. To see his son, his heir and hope, living under his roof like a stranger, nay, like an enemy,

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momentary impression. What was Melissa to him? He had never known her. It was but as a tale heard one moment, forgotten the next. • He is tired, or he is out of temper,' said the easy-minded youth. “He does not take life easily, as I do.' • True,' said the father, he is not light-hearted like thee.' And so the meal went on, but shorn of half its pleasure.

That evening Lycophron spent alone, shut up in his apartment, sternly eating a scanty morsel of all the dainties set before him, admitting no one, listening to the voices in his own heart and to the strange echoes that seemed to have got into the air and whispered about him-Periander killed her. He had a sister younger than himself, of no great account in the house, yet dear to the youth as the companion of his childhood. If Melissa had been such a one as Labda, what monster could have lifted a cruel hand against her? When he threw himself upon his bed in the verandah, and saw the stars shining in the clear and far-off blue, and heard the sounds of the city rising up into the silence of the night, it was to Lycophron as a cry of pain rising up to the serene gods who took no heed. How sure and stable had been his home to him, and the tranquil and stately town reigning over the waters, and all the tranquillity of the skies above; but under that calm indifferent sky, and in those guarded chambers, safe from rebellion, safe from storm and external danger, Periander had killed her. Across his boys in their cradles, he had stepped to shed their mother's blood. Lycophron was like Prometheus in the story, chained hand and foot to that place of torture, while these recollections and imaginations, more cruel than the vultures, came and plunged their sharp beaks in his heart. His young soul, devoid of all experience, incapable of philosophy, was distraught with pain. He had not force of mind to reflect that after all it was but a woman whose blood had been shed, and that Periander had slain many another, without offence to God or man; or that, as the head of the family and state, his father had the right to chastise all offenders even to death. Nothing of all this could Lycophron think of to soften the force of his passionate sortow. Periander had killed Melissa—nay more, and bitterer still, it was Periander himself whom Periander had slain.

Periander, meanwhile, was disturbed also: his pleasure taken away, his sleep gone from him. Cypselus, the elder of his sons, was commonplace and dull, awakening in him nothing more than the instinctive affection of nature. But Lycophron was his hope and pride, with his own features and his own form. What ailed the boy? He was not žmooth and gentle like his brother. A jar upon his finer faculties would vibrate long. Was it some quarrel with his brother, some offence which the duller youth had not so much as perceived ? or was it some disappointment, something which he had desired to have done, which had been left undone ? some change which had been made contrary to the will of the imperious boy? Woe to the slave who had so acted if this was the cause of Lycophron's gloom! Periander felt bitterly the rising of this cloud upon his sky, though he believed that it would pass away with to-morrow's sun. But when the morning sun rose, and life recommenced, and Lycophron issued out of his chamber with a countenance as darkly pale as ever, and eyes like those of the baleful Medusa that turned a man to stone, the father's mind too became the prey of the vultures. All the more that it was himself alone from whom his son thus sternly stood aloof. His youthful gaiety was over altogether, his pleasure in all the enjoyments of life: his comrades, his old instructors, the faithful servants who had nursed and trained him, were not to him as before; but still he would answer them with decorum, or give a regretful melancholy smile as he refused their invitations to sport or to feast. To his father alone he answered not a word ; on his father alone be never raised his eyes. Periander loved the boy above all his possessions. Say not that the gods are indifferent, that Heaven is far off, and man unpunished. When he saw Lycophron moving across the marble floor like a gloomy shadow, when all the games and feasts became dreary, and the beautiful world itself as if an icy wind had blighted it, because of the absence of his boy, think ye there was no punishment accorded to Periander ? He asked of his priests and of his soothsayers, and all the wise men of his court to find out and tell him what was the cause ? And he took aside into a corner, one by one, the old comrades of Lycophron, and promised them rich rewards if they would discover the secret of his melancholy. And as one and another promised to use their endeavours, and undertook with foolish confidence that all should be well, Periander had intervals of elation and hope. For he did not connect his son's unkindness with his own crime. Had not he himself half forgotten that crime? Had he not renewed amity with the brothers of Melissa, his neighbours, who might have done him harm, had they remained revengeful ? and even with tedious Procles, who had harped the longest on that string? For, after all, what was it? Nothing more than a woman—a wife, over whose life he had the fullest rights. He had half forgotten, or more than half forgotten, that he ever laid hand upon Melissa. Of all unlikely things, that was the last that would have occurred to him to explain his son's estrangement. No; it might be that the boy himself, with that fond folly of which boys are capable, considered his happiness involved in the possession of some woman; or he was displeased with the share he had in the wealth and luxuries of his father's house ; or he · lacked advancement.' Periander thought of everything but of the one thing which had made Lycophron's life bitter, and shaken to him the foundations of the earth.

When, however, all the ambassadors failed, and none could find out for him what the canker was which ravaged the young man's soul, and sent dangerous questionings and wonderings through all Corinth, Periander's hope began to turn into despair. To see his son, his heir and hope, living under his roof like a stranger, nay, like an enemy,

making no response, rejecting all advances, not even condescending to explain the cause of his silence, became day by day more intolerable. The father offended, yet full of love, as yet more pitying and annoyed than bitter, commanded the unyielding boy to leave the palace. Since you have not a word to say nor a look of affection to give to anyone around, O Lycophron,' he said, 'go forth; it is better that you seek another home, where you may find companions whom you may trust.' Lycophron bowed his head and went out; he obeyed, but made no reply.

6

And now comes another chapter of the tale, at which all Corinth wondered more and more. The young prince found refuge in the palace of a friend. Though he had thus estranged himself from his father, he was no less the only possible successor of that father, the object of hopes and jealousies innumerable, and he had no difficulty in finding a worthy shelter. Here he lived, in austere and visible self-restraint, but not the Lycophron of old. From an impetuous high-spirited boy, he had become in a moment a stern and serious man, after the fashion of his race, concealing in his heart a passion of gloomy wrath, which was all the more bitter because of his love for his father who was the object of it. Love is strong and rage is bitter, but what are love and wrath combined? Day by day the son watched the father's goings, and saw him pass in pomp about the city, and sit in judgment in its courts, and receive tribute, and send out embassies, and preside over all the solemn games, and award the victorious wreath. Wherever the great tyrant of Corinth was, there was his son with stern frowning eyes, which saw without looking, wrapt in silence and gloom and sorrow as in a cloak. What had life now for Lycophron? Not vengeance, for the criminal was his father; not forgiveness of injury, for the victim was his mother; not easy acceptance of the unchangeable, for it was not in his nature. Periander had not changed the situation by sending his son out of his house; he was still there, the spectator, the stern protestor against some unknown evil, distracting the mind of the monarch, who could bow everything to his will except the kindred will, like his own in force and vehemence, of his boy. For the hundredth time he questioned Cypselus, who cared for nothing, and took his brother's banishment as easily as all the other incidents that had preceded it. Think once again,' said the father; it is since your visit to Epidaurus, ill-omened city, and to Procles, never a lover of mine, that your brother is so changed. Think again, think what was said and done-think what Procles'

6

With this a light came into the face of the weakling. Ah,' he said, 'I remember. Just as we were coming away, at the moment of departure, when we had made our farewells, and were mounting our horses, and

'Quick! quick! that is understood. What was it that Procles said?'

6

Aha! aha! My father, he told us something strange, almost

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