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Prometheus. Zeus

Prom. Release me, Zeus; I have suffered enough.

Zeus. Release you? you? Why, by rights your irons should be heavier, you should have the whole weight of Caucasus upon you, and instead of one, a dozen vultures, not just pecking at your liver, but scratching out your eyes. You made these abominable human creatures to vex us, you stole our fire, you invented women. I need not remind you how you overreached me about the meat-offerings; my portion, bones disguised in fat: yours, all the good.

Prom. And have I not been punished enough--riveted to the Caucasus all these years, feeding your bird (on which all worst curses light!) with my liver?

Zeus. ’Tis not a tithe of your deserts.

Prom. Consider, I do not ask you to release me for nothing. I offer you information which is invaluable.

Zeus. Promethean wiles!

Prom. Wiles? to what end? you can find the Caucasus another time; and there are chains to be had, if you catch me cheating.

Zeus. Tell me first the nature of your 'invaluable' offer.

Prom. If I tell you your present errand right, will that convince you that I can prophesy too?

Zeus. Of course it will.

Prom. You are bound on a little visit to Thetis.

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Zeus. Right so far. And the sequel? I trust you now.

Prom. Have no dealings with her, Zeus. As sure as Nereus's daughter conceives by you, your child shall mete you the measure you meted to--

Zeus. I shall lose my kingdom, you would say?

Prom. Avert it, Fate! I say only, that union portends this issue.

Zeus. Thetis, farewell! and for this Hephaestus shall set you free.


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