Euripides. The Tragedies of Euripides. Vol. I. Buckley, Theodore Alois, translator. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1850.
In this too I mocked him, for, thinking to bind me, he neither touched nor handled me, but fed on hope. He found a bull by the stable where he took and shut me up, and threw shackles around its knees and hooves,
breathing out fury, dripping sweat from his body, gnashing his teeth in his lips. But I, being near, sitting quietly, looked on. Meanwhile, Bacchus came and shook the house and kindled a flame on his mother’s tomb. When Pentheus saw this, thinking that the house was burning,
he ran here and there, calling to the slaves to bring water, and every servant was at work, toiling in vain. Then he let this labor drop, as I had escaped, and snatching a dark sword rushed into the house. Then Bromius, so it seems to me—I speak my opinion—
created a phantom in the courtyard. Pentheus rushed at it headlong, stabbing at the shining air, as though slaughtering me. Besides this, Bacchus inflicted other damage on him: he knocked his house to the ground, and everything was shattered into pieces, while he saw my bitter chains. From fatigue,
dropping his sword, he is exhausted. For he, a man, dared to join battle with a god. Now I have quietly left the house and come to you, with no thought of Pentheus. But I think—at any rate I hear the tramping of feet inside—he will soon come to the front of the house. What will he say after this?
I shall easily bear him, even if he comes boasting greatly. For it is the part of a wise man to practice restrained good temper.
I have suffered terrible things; the stranger, who was recently constrained in bonds, has escaped me. Ah!
Here is the man. What is this? How do you appear in front of my house, having come out?
Stop, and put a stop to your anger.
How have you escaped your chains and come outside?
Did I not say—or did you not hear—that some one would deliver me?
Who? You are always introducing strange explanations.
He who produces the rich-clustering vine for mortals.
You reproach Dionysus for what is his glory.
I order you to close up all the towers around.
Why? Do gods not pass over walls too?
You are wise, wise at least in all save what you should be wise in.
I was born wise in all that I should be. Enter a messenger Listen first to the words of this man, who has come from the mountain to bring you some message. I will await you, I will not try to escape.
Pentheus, ruler of this land of Thebes, I have come from Kithairon, where the bright flakes of white snow never melt.