Argonauts turn to Medea for help

When Jason returned to the Argo, he told his comrades what had happened in the palace Eeta and what commission the king gave him. The Argonauts pondered. How to be them, how to fulfill the order of Eet? Finally, said Argos:

- Friends, his daughter lives in the palace of Eet, Medea. She is a great sorceress and she is the only one who can help us. I'm going to ask my mother to convince Medea to help us. If Medea helps, then we will not be afraid of any dangers.

Argos had hardly said this when a white dove flew over the Argo, pursued by a kite. The pigeon flew up to Jason and hid in the folds of his cloak, and the kite fell on the Argo.

- This is a happy sign of the gods, - the soothsayer exclaimed Pug, - the gods themselves tell us to ask Medea for help. See, a bird dedicated to Aphrodite, escaped on Jason's chest! Remember what Finey said. Didn't he advise us to ask Aphrodite for help? Pray to the goddess, she will help us. Let Argos go to his mother as soon as possible, she will convince Medea to help us.

The Argonauts obeyed the prophetic Pug: they offered a sacrifice to Aphrodite, and Argos quickly headed to the palace of Aeetes to his mother.

Meanwhile, Z gathered all the Colchians to the square. He told the people about the arrival of strangers and ordered them to guard the Argo so that none of the Argonauts could escape. Eet decided to burn the "Argo" with all the heroes after Jason died on the field dedicated to Ares; he decided to subject the sons of to a painful execution.

(Drawing on a vase.)

Night has fallen. The capital of Eeta has fallen asleep. Peace reigned everywhere. Only he is not in the halls of Medea. Dreams are flying over her head in a string, one more disturbing than the other. Then Medea dreams that Jason is fighting with bulls, and Medea herself should serve as a reward for the victory. Then she dreams that she herself enters into a fight with bulls breathing flames and easily defeats them. Then he sees how her parents refuse to give her to Jason as a wife, because he did not defeat the bulls. A dispute breaks out between Jason and Eet, Medea herself must resolve this dispute. When she decided the dispute in favor of Jason, she angered her father and he shouted menacingly at her. Medea woke up in tears, wants to run to Chalciope, but is ashamed to go to her. She had already taken the door handle three times, but each time she came back. Medea fell on the bed and sobbed. One of Medea's slaves heard her sobbing and said about it to Halkiope. Chalciope hurries to her sister and sees Medea lying sobbing on her bed.

- Oh, my sister, - says Chalkiope, - what are you crying about? Are you shedding tears about the fate of my sons? Have you found out that our father wants to destroy them?

Medea did not say a word in response to Chalciope, because she was not crying about her sons, but finally she said:

- I had sinister dreams, Sister. Death threatens your sons and the stranger with whom they returned. Oh, if the gods would give me the strength to help them!

Chalciope shuddered with horror when she heard Medea's words; embracing her, she begged for help. Chalciope knows that Medea can help Jason with her charms. And Medea said to Chalciope:

- Listen, sister, I will help the stranger. Let him come to the temple in the morning Hecate, I will give him a talisman that will help him accomplish the feat. Promise me only to keep everything a secret, otherwise Father will ruin us all.

Chalkiope is gone. Medea was left alone. Opposite feelings were fighting in her chest. Sometimes she was afraid to go against her father's will, then again she decided to help Jason, whom she loved so much. She even wanted to commit suicide by taking poison. Medea had already taken out the casket with the poison, opened it, but the goddess Hera inspired her with an uncontrollable thirst for life. Medea pushed away the casket with poison, forgot all her doubts, she thought only about Jason and decided to help him.

As soon as dawn broke and the distant snowy peaks of the Caucasus began to turn pink, Argos came to the Argonauts and informed them that Medea had agreed to help Jason and asked Jason to come to the temple of Hecate. When the sun rose, Jason went with Argos and the soothsayer Pug to the temple of Hecate. The goddess Hera made Jason so beautiful that even the Argonauts admired looking at him.

Meanwhile, Medea, getting up early in the morning, took out a casket with magic ointments and took out of it an ointment called "Prometheus oil". It was made from the juice of the roots of a plant grown from blood Prometheus. Anyone who rubbed himself with this ointment became invulnerable neither to iron, nor to copper, nor to fire; he acquired invincible strength and became invincible for a day. It was this ointment that Medea decided to give to Jason. Medea called the slaves and went to the temple of Hecate. Medea was happy in her heart, she forgot all her worries and thought only about a date with Jason.

Here is the temple of Hecate. Medea entered it. Jason wasn't there yet. Soon Jason came too. Medea looked at him, and her heart beat violently in her chest. Medea cannot utter a word.

Jason and Medea stood in silence for a long time; finally, the hero broke the silence. He took Medea by the hand and said:

- Beautiful maiden, why did you lower your eyes to the ground? Why are you afraid of me? Do you really think I'm harboring malicious intent? No, I didn't come here with evil intentions. I've come to beg for your protection. Only, I pray you, tell me the truth; remember that Hecate will not tolerate lies in her sanctuary, nor will Zeus, the defender of all those who pray for help, tolerate her. Tell me, will you help me? If you help, the great heroes who came with me here to Colchis will glorify your name throughout Greece. Remember how great is the glory of the daughter of Minos, Ariadne, who helped the great Theseus.

Medea was silent and only looked at Jason with eyes full of love. She was beautiful in her confusion. With a trembling hand, she took the magic ointment she had prepared from her belt and handed it to Jason. In a barely audible voice, Medea said to him:

- Listen, Jason, this is what my help will consist in: wash yourself in the river at night; put on black clothes, dig a deep hole on the shore and over it sacrifice a black sheep to Hecate, pouring honey over it. Then go to your ship, but look - don't turn around. You will hear voices and the furious barking of dogs, but you go straight and don't be afraid. When morning comes, smear your body, spear, shield and sword with this ointment. The ointment will give you an irresistible force, and you will fulfill the order of Eet. Just remember: when the warriors grow out of the ground, throw a stone at them, and they will start fighting with each other, then attack them. Take the ointment, with its help you will get the fleece. Then take the fleece wherever you want.

Medea fell silent. Her eyes were sadly clouded by the very thought of separation from Jason. Medea stood with her head down, full of sadness, and finally said:

- You will leave, Jason, to your homeland, but do not forget me, at least occasionally remember Medea, because I saved you.

Medea asked where Jason was from. Jason told her about Yolka, about the blooming valley where he stands. He invited Medea to go with him to Greece. He promised her great honor, promised that she would be honored as a goddess in Iolka.

- Oh, if only Eet would agree to conclude a friendship alliance with me! - Jason exclaimed, - oh, if he would let you go with me to my homeland!

- No, it won't happen, - Medea said with a sigh full of sorrow, - my father is stern and implacable. Go back to your homeland alone, just don't forget me. Oh, how glad I would be if the violent wind carried me on its wings to Iolk, so that I could remind you of myself when you forget me, when you forget that I saved you.

Tears welled up in Medea's eyes. Jason looks at her, and his love for Medea takes possession of him. He begs her to secretly leave her father's house and run away with him to Iolk.

Medea is ready to leave Colchis, separation from Jason scares her, she is afraid that she will not be able to bear this separation. Medea cries at the very thought of separation from Jason. Hera inspired her with the desire to follow Jason everywhere. The goddess wants Medea to go to Iolcus; there, with her help, Hera decided to destroy the hated Pelias.

Medea said goodbye to Jason; he promised her to come back to the temple of Hecate to meet her again and decide what to do. Medea rode merrily home in her chariot-she knew that Jason loved her.