ADMETUS Citizens of Pherae, be kind enough to accompany me! The body was prepared, everything’s been done, and my servants are carrying it to the grave. Now you do what is customary: bid farewell to she who has died. 610 Enter Pheres, with servants carrying gifts. CHORUS I see your father coming here, walking stiffly, as old men do. His servants carry lovely gifts for yourwife, treasures for the deceased. PHERES I come to share your sorrows, child, because you have lost a brave and virtuous wife, as nobody will deny. But you have to bear it, even though it is difficult. Take these gifts, and let them be buried with her. You must honor her, child, since she gave her life for you. She didn’t leave me childless, or make me wither away in lonely old age without you.She set the standard for all women, the noblest wife of all, when she agreed to this brave deed. Oh noble lady, farewell, you who became my savior and raised me up when I was down. I hope that all goes well with you in the home of Hades. I say such marriages bring profit to mortals: If they don’t, it’s not worth marrying.
ADMETUS I didn’t invite you to this funeral, and I don’t consideryou either a friend or a relative. 630 Your presence is unwanted. And she won’t accept your gifts! She lacks for nothing: we took care of everything for her burial. You should have shown some sympathy when I was about to die, but no, you suddenly weren’t there for me. You let some young person die instead, although it should have been you, because you’re the old one. And now you come to mourn herwhen she’s dead? I don’t believe you are my real father, Or that she, who claims she gave birth to me, really did. I think instead I’m a slave’s child, snuck in secretly to suck on your wife’s breast. When it came to the test, you showed who you are! 640 I don’t consider myself to be your child. I think you surpass all others in your lack of courage! You are old and have reached the end of yourlife, but neither you nor your wife were willing nor courageous enough to die for your own child. You let this woman who is no blood relation at all die instead. SHE is now my true mother and father, and her alone. You could have shown how heroic you were – run that extra mile if you would have died for your child. In any case, the time left for you to live is short. 650 Then she and I could havelived out our lives, and I would not have to grieve for her now. You lived a happy life! You thrived as a king! Then you had me as your heir! You did not have to leave your house for others to pounce on because you were childless. You can’t say you betrayed me and condemned me to die because I dishonored you! No, I gave you all the honors that you deserved! And this is the gratitude I get from youand mother!
You had better make some more children soon, who will take care of you as you grow old and give you all the honors when you are dead, because I won’t be the one to bury you. Just think of me as dead. It is because of another that I am saved; I declare her to be my parent, And she is the one who deserves to be cared for! Old people don’t mean it when they say they want to dieand complain that old age and long years are a burden. Once he looks death in the face, no one wants to die. Suddenly old age is no longer such a problem. CHORUS Stop fighting with your father – we have enough suffering! Don’t provoke him! PHERES Who do you think you are to speak to me this way? Do you think you are goading on some Lydian or Phrygian slave you bought? Don’t you know I’m a free man,a full-blooded noble Thessalian, born of a noble Thessalian? You have gone too far with your foolhardy abuse. Don’t think you can insult me this way And get away with it! 680 I brought you up to be king of this palace, but that doesn’t mean I have to die for you. A father dying for his child was certainly not a custom my father handed down to me, and it’s not Greek either. You are responsible...