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[22] At this, o'erspread with the pallor of Adrastus, 1 he was able to say only that he had slain most of them at the instigation of his wife Constantina, 2 assuredly not knowing that when the mother of Alexander the Great urged her son to put an innocent man to death and said again and again, in the hope of later gaining what she desired, that she had carried him for nine months in her womb, the king made this wise answer: “Ask some other reward, dear mother, for a man's life is not to be weighed against any favour.”

1 Proverbial; cf. Virgil, Aen. vi. 480, Adrasti pallentis imago. Adrastus turned pale at the death of his sons-in-law Tydeus and Polynices (when the seven champions attacked Thebes), and never recovered his colour.

2 See note 1, p. 4.

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