The Lady Of Andros "In The Prime Of Life"


"In The Prime Of Life"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Called Andria in the original, the play is famous from Menander to the present day, Thornton Wilder having written a novella on the theme. The play opens with a discussion of the lovely courtesan who, through no fault of her own, becomes the victim of men's ravages. The famous quotation is variously translated in the folklore of the world, but it means the same everywhere. In Latin the expression for that ineffable beauty of maidenhood is egregia forma atque aetate integra, literally, "a beauty and in the prime of life." In the play, the father of a young man who is supposedly her victim speaks with his steward. It is in The Eunuch that Terence says that sixteen is the time of youth's bloom, much younger than the courtesan.

This is how he lived: he fell in easily with the ways of all his acquaintances, gave himself up to his company, and joined heartily in their pursuits. That keeps clear of jealousy and is the simplest way of getting a good name and making friends.
A wise start in life. Nowadays it's complaisance that makes friends and truthfulness is the mother of unpopularity.
After a time . . . a woman from Andros came and settled here near us, driven to it by poverty and the coldness of her relatives, a beauty and in the prime of life.