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Quote of the day: Equally vicious with his brother
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The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book VII Chapter 16: Alecto inspires Amata
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Straightway Alecto, through whose body flows
the Gorgon poison, took her viewless way
to Latium and the lofty walls and towers
of the Laurentian King. Crouching she sate
in silence on the threshold of the bower
where Queen Amata in her fevered soul
pondered, with all a woman's wrath and fear,
upon the Trojans and the marriage-suit
of Turnus. From her Stygian hair the fiend
a single serpent flung, which stole its way
to the Queen's very heart, that, frenzy-driven,
she might on her whole house confusion pour.
Betwixt her smooth breast and her robe it wound
unfelt, unseen, and in her wrathful mind
instilled its viper soul. Like golden chain
around her neck it twined, or stretched along
the fillets on her brow, or with her hair
enwrithing coiled; then on from limb to limb
slipped tortuous. Yet though the venom strong
thrilled with its first infection every vein,
and touched her bones with fire, she knew it not,
nor yielded all her soul, but made her plea
in gentle accents such as mothers use;
and many a tear she shed, about her child,
her darling, destined for a Phrygian's bride:
O father! can we give Lavinia's hand
to Trojan fugitives? why wilt thou show
no mercy on thy daughter, nor thyself;
nor unto me, whom at the first fair wind
that wretch will leave deserted, bearing far
upon his pirate ship my stolen child?
Was it not thus that Phrygian shepherd came
to Lacedaemon, ravishing away
Helen, the child of Leda, whom he bore
to those false Trojan lands? Hast thou forgot
thy plighted word? Where now thy boasted love
of kith and kin, and many a troth-plight given
unto our kinsman Turnus? If we need
an alien son, and Father Faunus' words
irrevocably o'er thy spirit brood,
I tell thee every land not linked with ours
under one sceptre, but distinct and free,
is alien; and t is thus the gods intend.
Indeed, if Turnus' ancient race be told,
it sprang of Inachus, Acrisius,
and out of mid Mycenae.

Events: The Gods interfere in the Aeneid, Aeneas comes to Latium, The abduction of Helen

Exim Gorgoneis Allecto infecta uenenis
principio Latium et Laurentis tecta tyranni
celsa petit, tacitumque obsedit limen Amatae,
quam super aduentu Teucrum Turnique hymenaeis
femineae ardentem curaeque iraeque coquebant.
huic dea caeruleis unum de crinibus anguem
conicit, inque sinum praecordia ad intima subdit,
quo furibunda domum monstro permisceat omnem.
ille inter uestis et leuia pectora lapsus
uoluitur attactu nullo, fallitque furentem
uipeream inspirans animam; fit tortile collo
aurum ingens coluber, fit longae taenia uittae
innectitque comas et membris lubricus errat.
ac dum prima lues udo sublapsa ueneno
pertemptat sensus atque ossibus implicat ignem
necdum animus toto percepit pectore flammam,
mollius et solito matrum de more locuta est,
multa super natae lacrimans Phrygiisque hymenaeis:
'exsulibusne datur ducenda Lauinia Teucris,
o genitor, nec te miseret nataeque tuique?
nec matris miseret, quam primo Aquilone relinquet
perfidus alta petens abducta uirgine praedo?
at non sic Phrygius penetrat Lacedaemona pastor,
Ledaeamque Helenam Troianas uexit ad urbes?
quid tua sancta fides? quid cura antiqua tuorum
et consanguineo totiens data dextera Turno?
si gener externa petitur de gente Latinis,
idque sedet, Faunique premunt te iussa parentis,
omnem equidem sceptris terram quae libera nostris
dissidet externam reor et sic dicere diuos.
et Turno, si prima domus repetatur origo,
Inachus Acrisiusque patres mediaeque Mycenae.'