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CASSANDRA.

Hither, whither, Phoebus? And with whom,
Leading me, lighting me-

CHORUS.

I can answer that-

CASSANDRA.

Down to what slaughter-house!

Foh! the smell of carnage through the door
Scares me from it-drags me toward it—
Phoebus Apollo! Apollo!

CHORUS.

One of the dismal prophet-pack, it seems,
That hunt the trail of blood. But here at fault-
This is no den of slaughter, but the house

Of Agamemnon.

CASSANDRA.

Down upon the towers,

Phantoms of two mangled children hover--and a

famished man,

At an empty table glaring, seizes and devours!

CHORUS.

Thyestes and his children! Strange enough
For any maiden from abroad to know,

Or, knowing

CASSANDRA.

And look! in the chamber below

The terrible Woman, listening, watching,
Under a mask, preparing the blow

In the fold of her robe

CHORUS.

Nay, but again at fault:

For in the tragic story of this House-
Unless, indeed the fatal Helen---

No woman

CASSANDRA.

No Woman--Tisiphone! Daughter

Of Tartarus—-love-grinning Woman above,
Dragon-tailed under-honey-tongued, Harpy-
clawed,

Into the glittering meshes of slaughter
She wheedles, entices him into the poisonous
Fold of the serpent-

CHORUS.

Peace, mad woman, peace!

Whose stony lips once open vomit out
Such uncouth horrors.

CASSANDRA.

I tell you the lioness

Slaughters the Lion asleep; and lifting
Her blood-dripping fangs buried deep in his mane,
Glaring about her insatiable, bellowing,

Bounds hither-Phoebus Apollo, Apollo, Apollo!
Whither have you led me, under night alive with fire,
Through the trampled ashes of the city of my sire,
From my slaughtered kinsmen, fallen throne, in-
sulted shrine,

Slave-like to be butchered, the daughter of a royal line!

ESOP

Esor, famed for his fables, flourished about 600 B.C. He was by birth a Phrygian, but for several years he lived as a slave in Greece, where his fame was made as a writer. Invited by Croesus, the Lydian king, Æsop passed his last days at the court of that famous monarch.

THE ASS IN THE LION'S SKIN

N Ass, finding the skin of a Lion, put it on; Aand, going into the woods and pastures, threw

all the flocks and herds into a terrible consternation. At last, meeting his owner, he would have frightened him also; but the good man, seeing his long ears stick out, presently knew him, and with a good cudgel made him sensible that, notwithstanding his being dressed in a Lion's skin, he was really no more than an Ass.

THE WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING

A

WOLF, clothing himself in the skin of a sheep, and getting in among the flock, by this means took the opportunity to devour many of them. At last the shepherd discovered him, and cunningly fastening a rope about his neck, tied him to a tree which stood hard by. Some other shepherds happening to pass that way, and observing what he was about, drew near, and expressed their admiration at it. "What!" says one of them, "brother, do you make

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ESOP

anging of a sheep? "No," replied the othe "but I make hanging of a Wolf whenever I catch him, though in the habit and garb of a sheep." Then he showed them their mistake, and they applauded the justice of the execution.

THE COUNTRY

A

MOUSE AND THE

CITY MOUSE

N honest, plain, sensible Country Mouse is said to have entertained at his hole one day a fine Mouse of the Town. Having formerly been playfellows together, they were old acquaintances, which served as an apology for the visit. However, as master of the house, he thought himself obliged to do the honors of it in all respects, and to make as great a stranger of his guest as he possibly could. In order to do this he set before him a reserve of delicate gray pease and bacon, a dish of fine oatmeal, some parings of new cheese, and, to crown all with a dessert, a remnant of a charming mellow apple. In good manners, he forebore to eat any himself, lest the stranger should not have enough; but that he might seem to bear the other company, sat and nibbled a piece of a wheaten straw very busily. At last, says the spark of the town: "Old crony, give me leave to be a little free with you: how can you bear to live in this nasty, dirty, melancholy hole here, with nothing but woods, and meadows, and mountains, and rivulets about you? Do not you prefer the conversation of the world to the chirping of birds, and the splendor of a court to the rude aspect of an uncultivated desert? Come, take my word for it, you will find it a charge for the better. Never stand considering, but away this moment. Remember, we are not immortal, and therefore have no time to lose. Make sure of to-day, and

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spend it as agreeably as you can: you know not what may happen to-morrow." In short, these and such like arguments prevailed, and his Country Acquaintance was resolved to go to town that night. So they both set out upon their journey together, proposing to sneak in after the close of the evening. They did so; and about midnight made their entry into a certain great house, where there had been an extraordinary entertainment the day before, and several tit-bits, which some of the servants had pur loined, were hid under the seat of a window. The Country Guest was immediately placed in the midst of a rich Persian carpet: and now it was the Courtier's turn to entertain; who indeed acquitted himself in that capacity with the utmost readiness and address, changing the courses as elegantly, and tasting everything first as judiciously, as any clerk of the kitchen. The other sat and enjoyed himself like a delighted epicure, tickled to the last degree with this new turn of his affairs; when on a sudden, a noise of somebody opening the door made them start from their seats and scuttle in confusion about the dining-room. Our Country Friend, in particular, was ready to die with fear at the barking of a huge mastiff or two, which opened their throats just about the same time, and made the whole house echo. At last, recovering himself:-" Well," says he, "if this be your town-life, much good may you do with it: give me my poor, quiet hole again, with my homely but comfortable gray pease."

THE WOLF AND THE LAMB

As a Wolf was lapping at the head of a running

brook, he spied a stray Lamb paddling at some distance down the stream. Having made up his mind to seize her, he bethought himself how he

VOL 1-2

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