Phæ. My babes I love, but there is another storm that buffets me.
Nur. Daughter, are thy hands from bloodshed pure?
Phæ. My hands are pure, but on my soul there rests a stain.
Nur. The issue of some enemy’s secret witchery?
Phæ. A friend is my destroyer, one unwilling as myself.
Nur. Hath Theseus wronged thee in any wise?
Phæ. Never may I prove untrue to him!
Nur. Then what strange mystery is there that drives thee on to die?
Phæ. O, let my sin and me alone! ’tis not ’gainst thee I sin.
Nur. Never willingly! and, if I fail, ’twill rest at thy door.
Phæ. How now? thou usest force in clinging to my hand.
Nur. Yea, and I will never loose my hold upon thy knees.
Phæ. Alas for thee! my sorrows, shouldst thou learn them, would recoil on thee.
Nur. What keener grief for me than failing to win thee?
Phæ. ’Twill be death to thee; though to me that brings renown.
Nur. And dost thou then conceal this boon despite my prayers?
Phæ. I do, for ’tis out of shame I am planning an honourable escape.
Nur. Tell it, and thine honour shall the brighter shine.
Phæ. Away, I do conjure thee; loose my hand.
Nur. I will not, for the boon thou shouldst have granted me is denied.
- i.e. as he never has proved so to me.
- ὀλεῖ (1) 2nd sing. Fut. Mid. ‘thou wilt die’ as a consequence of sharing my secret (Paley). (2) 3rd sing. Fut. Active ‘it will kill me’ to keep silence, though that better ensures my honour.