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Eros. Zeus

Eros. You might let me off, Zeus! I suppose it was rather too bad of me; but there!--I am but a child; a wayward child.

Zeus. A child, and born before Iapetus was ever thought of? You bad old man! Just because you have no beard, and no white hairs, are you going to pass yourself off for a child?

Eros. Well, and what such mighty harm has the old man ever done you, that you should talk of chains?

Zeus. Ask your own guilty conscience, what harm. The pranks you have played me! Satyr, bull, swan, eagle, shower of gold,--I have been everything in my time; and I have you to thank for it. You never by any chance make the women in love with me; no one is ever smitten with my charms, that I have noticed. No, there must be magic in it always; I must be kept well out of sight. They like the bull or the swan well enough: but once let them set eyes on me, and they are frightened out of their lives.

Eros. Well, of course. They are but mortals; the sight of Zeus is too much for them.

Zeus. Then why are Branchus and Hyacinth so fond of Apollo?

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Eros. Daphne ran away from him, anyhow; in spite of his beautiful hair and his smooth chin. Now, shall I tell you the way to win hearts? Keep that aegis of yours quiet, and leave the thunderbolt at home; make yourself as smart as you can; curl your hair and tie it up with a bit of ribbon, get a purple cloak, and gold-bespangled shoes, and march forth to the music of flute and drum;--and see if you don't get a finer following than Dionysus, for all his Maenads.

Zeus. Pooh! I'll win no hearts on such terms.

Eros. Oh, in that case, don't fall in love. Nothing could be simpler.

Zeus. I dare say; but I like being in love, only I don't like all this fuss. Now mind; if I let you off, it is on this understanding.


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