This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Enter PALÆSTRA, at a distance, with her clothes torn and drenched.
to herself . By heavens, the mishaps of mortals are spoken of as much less bitter than * * * * * * * the sharp pangs that are inflicted in the experience of them * * * * Has this then pleased the Deity, that I, clad in this guise, should, in my terror, be cast upon a spot unknown? Shall I then declare that I have been born to this wretched lot? Do I receive this meed in return for my exemplary piety? For to me it would not prove a hardship to endure this laborious lot, if I had conducted myself undutifully towards my parents or the Gods; but if studiously I have exerted myself to beware of that, then, unduly and unjustly, Deities, you send upon me this. For what henceforth shall the glaringly impious receive, if after this fashion you pay honor to the guiltless? But if I knew that I or my parents had done anything wicked, now should I have grieved the less. But the wickedness of this master of mine is pressing hard upon me, his impiety is causing my woes; everything has he lost in the sea; these are the remains looking at her dress of his property. Even she, who was carried together with me in the boat, was washed out by the violence of the waves; I am now alone. If she at least1 had been saved for me, through her aid my affliction here would have been lighter to me. Now, what hope or aid or what counsel shall I receive, a spot so lonesome here have I lighted upon alone? Here are the rocks, here roars the sea, and not one individual comes across my path. This dress that I am clothed in forms all my riches quite entirely; nor know I with what food or roof I am to be provided. What hope have I through which to desire to live? Neither am I acquainted with the place, nor was I ever here before. At least I could have wished for some one who would point out to me either a road or a path from these spots; so much am I now at a loss for advice whether to go this way or that; neither, indeed, do I see2 anywhere near here a cultivated spot. Cold, distraction, and alarm, have taken possession of all my limbs. My parents, you know not of this, that I am now thus wretched; I that was born a woman entirely free, was so to no purpose. Am I at all the less in servitude now, than if I had been born a slave? And never in any way has it been a profit to those who for their own sakes reared me up. She advances forward, and rests on one side against the cliff.
1 If she at least: Exactly the same sentiment occurs to Defoe's hero, Robinson Crusoe, when he visits the Spanish ship wrecked off his island: "I cannot explain by any possible energy of words what a strange longing or hankering of desires I felt in my soul upon this sight, breaking out sometimes thus, 'O that there had been but one or two, nay, or but one soul saved out of this ship, to have escaped to me, that I might have had one companion, one fellow-creature to have spoken to me and to have conversed with!"
2 Neither, indeed, do I see: She is unable to see the Temple of Venus and the house of Dæmones, by reason of the high crags among which she is wandering, some of which are represented in the front of the stage.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.