Phæ. I will grant it out of reverence for thy holy suppliant touch.
Nur. Henceforth I hold my peace; 'tis thine to speak from now.
Phæ. Ah! hapless mother, what a love was thine!
Nur. Her love for the bull? daughter, or what meanest thou?
Phæ. And woe to thee! my sister, bride of Dionysus.
Nur. What ails thee, child? speaking ill of kith and kin.
Phæ. Myself the third to suffer! how am I undone!
Nur. Thou strik'st me dumb! Where will this history end?
Phæ. That "love" has been our curse from time long past.
Nur. I know no more of what I fain would learn.
Phæ. Ah! would thou couldst say for me what I have to tell.
Nur. I am no prophetess to unriddle secrets.
Phæ. What is it they mean when they talk of people being in "love?"
Nur. At once the sweetest and the bitterest thing, my child.
Phæ. I shall only find the latter half.
Nur. Ha! my child, art thou in love?
Phæ. The Amazon's son, whoever he may be,—
Nur. Mean'st thou Hippolytus?
Phæ. 'Twas thou, not I, that spoke his name.
Nur. O heavens! what is this, my child? Thou hast ruined me. Outrageous! friends; I will not live and bear it; hateful is life, hateful to mine eyes the light. This body I resign, will cast it off, and rid me of existence by
- Pasiphae, wife of Minos, deceived by Aphrodite into a fatal passion for a bull. Cf. Verg. Æn. vi. ad init., also Ovid Metam., viii, 131 sqq.
- Ariadne, deserted by Theseus in the isle of Naxos, where Dionysus found her.