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Chorus Leader
Enter the Nurse from the palace, then Phaedra supported by servants. Other servants bring a couch onto the stage on which the Queen lies down.
[170] But here is her aged nurse before the door, and she is bringing the Queen out of the palace. The cloud of unhappiness on her brow is growing. My heart longs to know what it is, why her body is so ravaged, [175] its color so changed.

Oh, the troubles mortals have, the wretched diseases! What shall I do to you? What shall I not do? Here is daylight and here the bright sky, and your sick-bed stands now [180] outside the house. For to come out here was all you talked of. But soon you will hurry back into your chamber, for you slip all too soon from contentment, and you find joy in nothing, taking no pleasure in what is at hand [185] but loving rather what is far off. Yet better it is to be sick than to tend the sick. The first is a single thing, while the second joins grief of heart to toil of hand. But the life of mortals is wholly trouble, [190] and there is no rest from toil. Anything we might love more than life is hid in a surrounding cloud of darkness, and we are clearly unhappy lovers of whatever light there is that shines on earth [195] because we are ignorant of another life, since the life below is not revealed to us. We are borne along foolishly by mere tales.

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