Cho. Can he not guess it from her face?
Nur. He is not now in his own country.
Cho. But dost not thou insist in thy endeavour to find out her complaint, her crazy mind?
Nur. I have tried every plan, and all in vain; yet not even now will I relax my zeal, that thou too, if thou stayest, mayst witness my devotion to my unhappy mistress. Come, come, my darling child, let us forget, the twain of us, our former words; be thou more mild, smoothing that sullen brow and changing the current of thy thought, and I, if in aught before I failed in humouring thee, will let that be and find some better course. If thou art sick with ills thou canst not name, there be women here to help to set thee right; but if thy trouble can to men's ears be divulged, speak, that physicians may pronounce on it. Come, then, why so dumb? Thou shouldst not so remain, my child, but scold me if I speak amiss, or, if I give good counsel, yield assent. One word, one look this way! Ah me! Friends, we waste our toil to no purpose; we are as far away as ever; she would not relent to my arguments then, nor is she yielding now. Well, grow more stubborn than the sea, yet be assured of this, that if thou diest thou art a traitress to thy children, for they will ne'er inherit their father's halls, nay, by that knightly queen the Amazon who bore a son to lord it over thine, a bastard born but not a bastard bred, whom well thou knowest, e'en Hippolytus.
Phæ. Oh! oh!
Nur Ha! doth that touch the quick?
Phæ. Thou hast undone me, nurse; I do adjure by the gods, mention that man no more.
Nur. There now! thou art thyself again, but e'en yet refusest to aid thy children and preserve thy life.
- Hippolytus was the son of Theseus by a former union with the queen of the Amazons.