The Heroes or Greek Fairy Tales for my Children
Page: 65And at last, when Orpheus had ended, they all went thoughtful out, and the heroes lay down to sleep, beneath the sounding porch outside, where Arete had strewn them rugs and carpets, in the sweet still summer night.
But Arete pleaded hard with her husband for Medeia, for her heart was softened. And she said, ‘The Gods will punish her, not we. After all, she is our guest and my suppliant, and prayers are the daughters of Zeus. And who, too, dare part man and wife, after all they have endured together?’
And Alcinous smiled. ‘The minstrel’s song has charmed you: but I must remember what is right, for songs cannot alter justice; and I must be faithful to my name. Alcinous I am called, the man of sturdy sense; and Alcinous I will be.’ But for all that Arete besought him, until she won him round.
So next morning he sent a herald, and called the kings into the square, and said, ‘This is a puzzling matter: remember but one thing. These Minuai live close by us, and we may meet them often on the seas; but Aietes lives afar off, and we have only heard his name. Which, then, of the two is it safer to offend—the men near us, or the men far off?’