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Child, Lydia Maria Francis, 1802-1880 [1836], Philothea (Otis, Broaders & Co., Boston) [word count] [eaf046].
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Thus it is; I have made those
Averse to me whom nature formed my friends;
Those, who from me deserved no ill, to win
Thy grace, I gave just cause to be my foes;
And thou, most vile of men, thou hast betrayed me.

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Phidias was alone, with a large unfinished drawing
before him, on a waxen tablet. Various groups of
statues were about the room; among which was conspicuous
the beautiful workmanship of Myron, representing
a kneeling Paris offering the golden apple to
Aphrodite; and by a mode of flattery common with
Athenian artists, the graceful youth bore the features
of Alcibiades. Near this group was Hera and Pallas,
from the hand of Phidias; characterized by a severe
majesty of expression, as they looked toward Paris
and his voluptuous goddess in quiet scorn.

Stern displeasure was visible in the countenance of
the great sculptor. As the maidens entered, with
their faces covered, he looked up, and said coldly, “I
bade that daughter of unknown parents come into my
presence unattended.”

Eudora keenly felt the reproach implied by the suppression
of her name, which Phidias deemed she had
dishonored; and the tremulous motion of her veil betrayed
her agitation.

Philothea spoke in a mild, but firm voice: “Son of
Charmides, by the friendship of my father, I conjure

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you do not require me to forsake Eudora in this hour
of great distress.”

In a softened tone, Phidias replied: “The daughter
of Alcimenes knows that for his sake, and for the sake
of her own gentle nature, I can refuse her nothing.”

“I give thee thanks,” rejoined the maiden, “and
relying on this assurance, I will venture to plead for
this helpless orphan, whom the gods committed to thy
charge. The counsels of Aspasia have led her into
error; and is the son of Charmides blameless, for
bringing one so young within the influence of that seductive

After a short pause, Phidias answered: “Philothea
it is true that my pride in her gift of sweet sounds first
brought her into the presence of that bad and dangerous
man; it was contrary to Philæmon's wishes, too;
and in this I have erred. If that giddy damsel can
tell me the meeting in the garden was not by her own
consent, I will again restore her to my confidence.
Eudora, can you with truth give me this assurance?”

Eudora made no reply; but she trembled so violently
that she would have sunk, had she not leaned on the
arm of her friend.

Philothea, pitying her distress, said, “Son of Charmides,
I do not believe Eudora can truly give the answer
you wish to receive; but remember in her favor
that she does not seek to excuse herself by falsehood.
Alcibiades has had no other interview than that one, of
which the divine Phæbus sent a mesenger to warn me
in my sleep. For that fault, the deluded maiden has
already suffered a bitter portion of shame and grief.”

After a short silence, Phidias spoke: “Eudora,
when I called you hither, it was with the determination
of sending you to the temple of Castor and Polydeuces,

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there to be offered for sale to your paramour, who has
already tried, in a secret way, to purchase you, by the
negociation of powerful friends; but Philothea has not
pleaded for you in vain. I will not punish your fault
so severely as Alcibiades ventured to hope. You shall
remain under my protection. But from henceforth
you must never leave your own apartment, without my
express permission, which will not soon be granted. I
dare not trust your sudden repentance; and shall
therefore order a mastiff to be chained to your door.
Dione will bring you bread and water only. If you
fail in obedience, the fate I first intended will assuredly
be yours, without time given for expostulation. Now
go to the room that opens into the garden; and there
remain, till I send Dione to conduct you to your own

Eudora was so completely humbled, that these harsh
words aroused no feeling of offended pride. Her
heart was too full for utterance; and her eyes so
blinded with tears, that, as she turned to leave the
apartment, she frequently stumbled over the scattered
fragments of marble.

It was a day of severe trials for the poor maiden.
They had remained but a short time waiting for Dione,
when Philæmon entered, conducted by Phidias, who
immediately left the apartment. Eudora instantly
bowed her head upon the couch, and covered her face
with her hands.

In a voice tremulous with emotion, the young man
said, “Eudora, notwithstanding the bitter recollection
of where I last saw you, I have earnestly wished to
see you once more—to hear from your own lips
whether the interview I witnessed in the garden was by
your own appointment. Although many things in your

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late conduct have surprised and grieved me, I am
slow to believe that you could have taken a step so
unmaidenly; particularly at this time, when it has
pleased the gods to load me with misfortunes. By the
affection I once cherished, I entreat you to tell me
whether that meeting was unexpected.”

He waited in vain for any other answer than audible
sobs. After a slight pause, he continued: “Eudora,
I wait for a reply more positive than silence. Let me
hear from your own lips the words that must decide
my destiny. Perchance it is the last favor I shall ever

The repentant maiden, without looking up, answered
in broken accents, “Philæmon, I will not add deceit
to other wrongs. I must speak the truth if my heart
is broken. I did consent to that interview.”

The young man bowed his head in silent anguish
against one of the pillars—his breast heaved, and his
lips quivered. After a hard struggle with himself, he
said, “Farewell, Eudora. I shall never again intrude
upon your presence. Many will flatter you; but none
will love as I have loved.”

With a faint shriek, Eudora sprung forward, and
threw herself at his feet. She would have clasped his
knees, but he involuntarily recoiled from her touch,
and gathered the folds of his robe about him.

Then the arrow entered deeply into her heart. She
rested her burning forehead against the marble pillar,
and said, in tones of agonized entreaty, “I never met
him but once.”

Philothea, who during this scene had wept like an
infant, laid her hand beseechingly on his arm, and
added, “Son of Chœriläus, remember that was the
only interview.”

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Philæmon shook his head mournfully, as he replied,
“But I cannot forget that it was an appointed one.—
We can never meet again.”

He turned hastily to leave the room; but lingered
on the threshold, and looked back upon Eudora, with
an expression of unutterable sadness.

Philothea perceived the countenance of her unhappy
friend grow rigid beneath his gaze. She hastened to
raise her from the ground whereon she knelt, and received
her senseless in her arms.

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Child, Lydia Maria Francis, 1802-1880 [1836], Philothea (Otis, Broaders & Co., Boston) [word count] [eaf046].
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