Perdix Who Fell the Greatest Distance

He came to me, his very mother’s son, when he was twelve, and in that face and that soft walk I marked his mother. She is grown dear to me now, here so far from the rocky coasts that I love, but then I saw only his weakness, only his too-feminine manners, heard only the softness and suppleness of his voice, and did not see the mind that made them lively, nor find fond remembrance in her semblance.

He was very quick, was my nephew, in act and thought and feeling. Perdix, the partridge, and like that bird, which hesitates long and then rushes impetuously from safety to safety, so too did he move hither and thither in my workshop. There I taught him what it had pleased the gods to give me, and found in him an insatiable hunger, an unquenchable thirst. So quick was his mind, quicker than mine, more subtle than mine, who is called Contriver, Inventor, by those who do not know true genius.

From the temple ways I pitched him, threw him down that endless distance to the rocks below and the unsanguine depths of Hades, fled into exile, into unknown lands, into exile…