Page:Thotharomance00nichgoog.djvu/32

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27
DAPHNE.

Miletus. She had been brought by her parents to Athens as a young girl, owing to some political troubles, and was at this time less than twenty years old; and to make this narrative clear to those of a later time who may chance to read it, something must be said of the character of Daphne before these adventures began.


First of all, she was strong of will, and rather ruled than obeyed her parents; and she not only obstinately refused an honourable marriage, but spoke bitterly of the small esteem and respect in which the Athenians held their lawful wives; and she upheld as a model Aspasia, her compatriot, the friend of Pericles, and in all but name his honoured wife. For, whilst the lawful wives of the noblest Athenians were cooped up like children in their own apartments, Aspasia, enjoyed perfect freedom, and