No! my son was exceedingly handsome, and when you saw him your mind straight became your Aphrodite; for every folly that men commit, they lay upon this goddess,
and rightly does her name 1
begin the word for “senselessness”; so when you caught sight of him in gorgeous foreign clothes, ablaze with gold, your senses utterly forsook you. Yes, for in Argos
you had moved in simple state, but, once free of Sparta
it was your hope to deluge by your lavish outlay Phrygia
's town, that flowed with gold; nor was the palace of Menelaus rich enough for your luxury to riot in.
Enough of this! My son carried you off by force, so you say; what Spartan saw this? what cry for help
did you ever raise, though Castor was still alive, a vigorous youth, and his brother also, not yet among the stars? Then when you had come to Troy
, and the Argives were on your track, and the mortal combat had begun, whenever tidings came to you of
Menelaus' prowess, you would praise him, to grieve my son, because he had so powerful a rival in his love; but if the Trojans prospered, Menelaus was nothing to you. Your eye was fixed on Fortune, and by such practice you were careful to follow in her steps, careless of virtue's cause.
And then you assert that you tried to let yourself down from the towers by stealth with twisted cords, as if unwilling to stay? Where were you ever found fastening the noose about your neck, or whetting the knife, as a noble wife would have done in regret for her former husband?
And yet often I advised you saying, “Get away, daughter; my sons will take other brides, and I will belp you to steal away, and convey you to the Achaean fleet; oh, end the strife between us and Hellas
!” But this was bitter to you.
For you were wantoning in Alexander's house, wishing to have obeisance done you by barbarians. Yes, it was a proud time for you; and now after all this you have adorned yourself, and come forth and have dared to appear under the same sky as your husband, revolting wretch!
Better if you had come in tattered raiment, cowering humbly in terror, with hair cut short, and if your feeling for your past sins were one of shame rather than effrontery. Menelaus, hear the conclusion of my argument;
by slaying her as she deserves, and establish this law for all other women: death to every one who betrays her husband.