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[3] That is to say, he took the young son of the king in his arms and threw himself down at the hearth; a form of supplication which the Molossians regarded as most sacred, and as almost the only one that might not be refused. Some, it is true, say that it was Phthia, the wife of the king, who suggested this form of supplication to Themistocles, and that she seated her son on the hearth with him; and certain others that Admetus himself, in order that he might give a religious sanction to the necessity that was upon him of not surrendering the man, arranged beforehand and solemnly rehearsed with him the supplication scene.

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