meadow, where nor shepherd dares to herd his flock nor ever scythe hath mown, but o’er the mead unshorn the bee doth wing its way in spring; and with the dew from rivers drawn purity that garden tends. Such as know no cunning lore, yet in whose nature self-control, made perfect, hath a home, these may pluck the flowers, but not the wicked world. Accept, I pray, dear mistress, mine this chaplet from my holy hand to crown thy locks of gold; for I, and none other of mortals, have this high guerdon, to be with thee, with thee converse, hearing thy voice, though not thy face beholding. So be it mine to end my life as I began.
Att. My prince! we needs must call upon the gods, our lords, so wilt thou listen to a friendly word from me?
Hip. Why, that will I! else were I proved a fool.
Att. Dost know, then, the way of the world?
Hip. Not I; but wherefore such a question?
Att. It hates reserve which careth not for all men’s love.
Hip. And rightly too; reserve in man is ever galling.
Att. But there’s a charm in courteous affability?
Hip. The greatest surely; aye, and profit, too, at trifling cost.
Att. Dost think the same law holds in heaven as well?
Hip. I trow it doth, since all our laws we men from heaven draw.
Att. Why, then, dost thou neglect to greet an august goddess?
Hip. Whom speak’st thou of? Keep watch upon thy tongue lest it some mischief cause.
Att. Cypris I mean, whose image is stationed o’er thy gate.
Hip. I greet her from afar, preserving still my chastity.
Att. Yet is she an august goddess, far renowned on earth.