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Do not, by Zeus I pray, whose lightning flashes
on Oeta's highest woodlands, hide the truth!
You are not speaking to an evil woman,
nor one who does not know that men were not
440born to enjoy the same delights forever.
Whoever stands opposed to Love, with fists
clenched like a boxer, does not understand him;
for he rules over gods as he desires,
and over me. Why not another like me?
So if I blamed my husband for the passion
which has afflicted him, I would be mad -
or this girl either, who has shared with him
what is no shame for them, no wrong to me.
I could not do that. But if he has taught you
450to lie, then you have learned a wicked lesson;
and if you have taught yourself these ways, then you
will seem most evil when desiring good.
Tell me the truth! It is a foul disgrace
for a free man to be known as a liar.
And do not think you will escape detection,
for many heard you speaking, and will tell me.
If you have fears, dismiss them, for to me
the greatest pain is not to learn the truth.
What harm in knowing? Has not Heracles
460taken more brides than any other man?
And yet none of them ever was reproached
by me, or slandered. She will not be either,
not even if she melts with passion, for
I pitied her most when I first beheld her
because her beauty has destroyed her life,
and she, against her will, has sacked and ravaged
her native country. But let all this be
cast to the winds: to you I say, deceive
anyone else, but do not lie to me!