Page:The Plays of Euripides Vol. 1- Edward P. Coleridge (1910).djvu/113

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85
HIPPOLYTUS

my death. Farewell, my life is o’er. Yea, for the chaste have wicked passions, ’gainst their will maybe, but still they have. Cypris, it seems, is not a goddess after all, but something greater far, for she hath been the ruin of my lady and of me and our whole family.

Cho. O, too clearly didst thou hear our queen uplift her voice to tell her startling tale of piteous suffering. Come death ere I reach thy state of feeling,[1] loved mistress. O horrible! woe, for these miseries! woe, for the sorrows on which mortals feed! Thou art undone! thou hast disclosed thy sin to heaven’s light. What hath each passing day and every hour in store for thee? Some strange event will come to pass in this house. For it is no longer uncertain where the star of thy love is setting, thou hapless daughter[2] of Crete.

Phæ. Ladies of Trœzen, who dwell here upon the frontier edge of Pelops’ land, oft ere now in heedless mood through the long hours of night have I wondered why man’s life is spoiled; and it seems to me their evil case is not due to any natural fault of judgment, for there be many dowered with sense, but we must view the matter in this light; by teaching and experience we learn the right but neglect it in practice, some from sloth, others from preferring pleasure of some kind or other to duty. Now life has many pleasures, protracted talk, and leisure, that seductive evil; likewise there is shame which is of two kinds, one a noble quality, the other a curse to families; but if for each its proper time were clearly known, these twain could not have had the selfsame letters to denote them. So then since I had made up my mind on these points, ’twas not likely any drug would alter it and make me think the contrary. And I will tell thee too the way my judgment went. When love wounded me, I bethought me how I best might bear the smart. So from

  1. Or ‘before thou accomplish thy purpose.’
  2. She was daughter of Minos, king of Crete.