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Chapter XV.—The Woman’s Story.

Then the woman, not understanding what was spoken ambiguously, being pleased with the promise, began to speak thus:—“Were I to speak of my family and my country, I do not suppose that I should be able to persuade any one.  But of what consequence is it to you to learn this, excepting only the reason why in my anguish I have deadened my hands by gnawing them?  Yet I shall give you an account of myself, so far as it is in your power to hear it.  I, being very nobly born, by the arrangement of a certain man in authority, became the wife of a man who was related to him.  And first I had twins sons, and afterwards another son.  But my husband’s brother, being thoroughly mad, was enamoured of wretched me, who exceedingly affected chastity.  And I, wishing neither to consent to my lover nor to expose to my husband his brother’s love of me, reasoned thus:  that I may neither defile myself by the commission of adultery nor disgrace my husband’s bed, nor set brother at war with brother, nor subject the whole family, which is a great one, to the reproach of all, as I said.  I reasoned that it was best for me to leave the city for some time with my twin children, until the impure love should cease of him who flattered me to my disgrace.  The other son, however, I left with his father, to remain for a comfort to him.

Next: Chapter XVI