CHAPTER XXIII:
ŒDIPUS, KING OF THEBES

T HERE WAS A CURSE UPON THE FAMILY of Laius, King of Thebes, and the story of his unhappy son Œdipus is the story of the fulfilling of that curse. Laius, driven from his kingdom by Amphion and Zethus, took refuge with Pelops, son of Tantalus, whom we met in Hades, and then most ungratefully kidnapped the boy Chrysippus, son of his protector. In course of time Laius recovered his kingdom, and married a princess called Jocasta, but Apollo warned him that owing to his graceless conduct towards Pelops there was a dark curse on him and his, and that his own son would slay him.

When a boy was born to Jocasta the King called an aged shepherd to him and bade him carry the babe to a lonely hill-top called Mount Cithæron, first piercing his feet so that he should die. But the forlorn little creature was found and carried to the palace of King Polybus of

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