Att. 'Tis naught; I do repent me even of the words I have spoken.
Nurse. Nay, by thy beard I conjure thee, hide it not from thy fellow-slave; I will be silent, if need be, on that text.
Att. I heard one say, pretending not to listen as I approached the place where our greybeards sit playing draughts near Pirene's sacred spring, that Creon, the ruler of this land, is bent on driving these children and their mother from the boundaries of Corinth; but I know not whether the news is to be relied upon, and would fain it were not.
Nurse. What! will Jason brook such treatment of his sons, even though he be at variance with their mother?
Att. Old ties give way to new; he bears no longer any love to this family.
Nurse. Undone, it seems, are we, if to old woes fresh ones we add, ere we have drained the former to the dregs.
Att. Hold thou thy peace, say not a word of this; 'tis no time for our mistress to learn hereof.
Nurse. O children, do ye hear how your father feels towards you? Perdition catch him, but no! he is my master still; yet is he proved a very traitor to his nearest and dearest.
Att. And who 'mongst men is not? Art learning only now, that every single man cares for himself more than for his neighbour, some from honest motives, others for mere gain's sake? seeing that to indulge his passion their father has ceased to love these children.
Nurse. Go, children, within the house; all will be well. Do thou keep them as far away as may be, and bring them not near their mother in her evil hour. For ere this have I seen her eyeing them savagely, as though she were minded
- πεσσοὺς literally the game itself; here explained by the Scholiast as the place where it was habitually played.