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[129] “I tell you, brother, I do not realize that I am a man, I do not feel it. That part of my body where I was once an Achilles is dead and buried.” . . .

The boy was afraid that he might give an opening for scandal if he were caught in a quiet place with me, and tore himself away and fled into an inner part of the house. . . .

Chrysis came into my room and gave me a letter from her mistress, who wrote as follows: “Circe greets Polyaenus. If I were a passionate woman, I should feel betrayed and hurt: as it is I can be thankful even for your coldness. I have amused myself too long with the shadow of pleasure. But I should like to know how you are, and whether your feet carried you safely home; the doctors say that people who have lost their sinews cannot walk. I tell you what, young man, you must beware of paralysis. I have never seen a sick person in such grave danger; I declare you are as good as dead. If the same mortal chill attacks your knees and hands, you may send for[p. 289] the funeral trumpeters. And what about me? Well even if I have been deeply wounded, I do not grudge a poor man a cure. If you want to get well, ask Giton. I think you will recover your sinews if you sleep for three days without your brother. So far as I am concerned, I am not afraid of finding anyone who dislikes me more. My looking-glass and my reputation do not lie. Keep as well as you can.”

When Chrysis saw that I had read through the whole of this complaint, she said: “These things often happen, especially in this town, where the women can even draw down the moon from the sky, and so attention will be paid to this matter also. Only do write back more gently to my mistress, and restore her spirits by your frank kindness. For I must tell you the truth: she has never been herself from the moment you insulted her.”

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