Stories from the Greek Tragedians

Rev. Alfred J. Church
Stories from the Greek Tragedians

Project Gutenberg's Stories from the Greek Tragedians, by Alfred Church This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Stories from the Greek Tragedians
Author: Alfred Church
Release Date: February 9, 2005 [EBook #14994]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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[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 _Phoeniss?_ 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 Cyclop¨¦s 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 Pher? 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."
"Ay, and it is thy wont to help this house beyond all right and law."
"Nay, but I was troubled at the sorrows of one that I loved, and helped him."
"I know thy cunning speech and fair ways; but this woman thou shalt not take from me."
"But consider; thou canst but have one life. Wilt thou not take another in her stead?"
"Her and no other will I have, for my honour is the
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