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lcestis, happily still extant. Compare Zenobius, Cent.
i.18, which to a certain extent agrees verbally with this passage of Apollodorus.
The tale of Admetus and Alcestis has its parallel in history. Once when Philip II of
Spain had fallen ill and seemed like to die,
his fourth wife, Anne of Austria, “in
her distress, implored the Almighty to spare a life so important to the welfare of the
kingdom and of the church, and instead of it to accept the says the chronicler, as the result showed, listened to her prayer. The king recovered;
and the queen fell ill of a disorder which in a few days terminated fatally.”
So they laid the dead queen to her last rest, with the kings of Spain, in the gloomy pile of the Escurial among the wild
and barren mountains of Castile; but there was
no Herakles to complete the parallel with the Greek legend by restoring her in the bloom
of life and beauty to the arms of h