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Thisbé

Θίσβη). A beautiful Babylonian maiden, beloved by Pyramus. The lovers, living in adjoining houses, often secretly conversed with each other through an opening in the wall, as their parents would not sanction their marriage. Once they agreed upon a rendezvous at the tomb of Ninus. Thisbé arrived first, and, while she was waiting for Pyramus, she perceived a lioness, which had just torn to pieces an ox, and took to flight. While running she lost her garment, which the lioness smeared with blood. In the meantime Pyramus arrived, and finding her garment covered with blood, he imagined that she had been murdered, and made away with himself under a mulberry-tree, the fruit of which henceforth was as red as blood. Thisbé, who afterwards found the body of her lover, likewise killed herself (Ovid, Met. iv. 55-465). The story is burlesqued by Shakespeare in a well-known episode in A Midsummer-Night's Dream.

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