Ἐγὼ γάρ, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, ἐπειδὴ ἔδοξέ μοι γῆμαι καὶ γυναῖκα ἠγαγόμην εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν, τὸν μὲν ἄλλον χρόνον οὕτω διεκείμην ὥστε μήτε λυπεῖν μήτε λίαν ἐπ᾽ ἐκείνῃ εἶναι ὅ τι ἂν ἐθέλῃ ποιεῖν, ἐφύλαττόν τε ὡς οἷόν τε ἦν, καὶ προσεῖχον τὸν νοῦν ὥσπερ εἰκὸς ἦν· ἐπειδὴ δέ μοι παιδίον γίγνεται, ἐπίστευον ἤδη καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐμαυτοῦ ἐκείνῃ παρέδωκα, ἡγούμενος ταύτην οἰκειότητα μεγίστην εἶναι· ἐν μὲν οὖν τῷ πρώτῳ χρόνῳ, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, πασῶν ἦν βελτίστη, καὶ γὰρ οἰκονόμος δεινὴ καὶ φειδωλὸς καὶ ἀκριβῶς πάντα διοικοῦσα· ἐπειδὴ δέ μοι ἡ μήτηρ ἐτελεύτησε, ἣ πάντων τῶν κακῶν ἀποθανοῦσα αἰτία μοι γεγένηται. ἐπ’ ἐκφορὰν γὰρ αὐτῇ ἀκολουθήσασα ἡ ἐμὴ γυνὴ ὑπὸ τούτου τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὀφθεῖσα, χρόνῳ διαφθείρεται· ἐπιτηρῶν γὰρ τὴν θεράπαιναν τὴν εἰς τὴν ἀγορὰν βαδίζουσαν καὶ λόγους προσφέρων ἀπώλεσεν αὐτήν. πρῶτον μὲν οὖν, ὦ ἄνδρες, (δεῖ γὰρ καὶ ταῦθ᾽ ὑμῖν διηγήσασθαι) οἰκίδιον ἔστι μοι διπλοῦν, ἴσα ἔχον τὰ ἄνω τοῖς κάτω κατὰ τὴν γυναικωνῖτιν καὶ κατὰ τὴν ἀνδρωνῖτιν. ἐπειδὴ δὲ τὸ παιδίον ἐγένετο ἡμῖν, ἡ μήτηρ αὐτὸ ἐθήλαζεν· ἵνα δὲ μή, ὁπότε λοῦσθαι δέοι, κινδυνεύῃ κατὰ τῆς κλίμακος καταβαίνουσα, ἐγὼ μὲν ἄνω διῃτώμην, αἱ δὲ γυναῖκες κάτω. καὶ οὕτως ἤδη συνειθισμένον ἦν, ὥστε πολλάκις ἡ γυνὴ ἀπῄει κάτω καθευδήσουσα ὡς τὸ παιδίον, ἵνα τὸν τιτθὸν αὐτῷ διδῷ καὶ μὴ βοᾷ. καὶ ταῦτα πολὺν χρόνον οὕτως ἐγίγνετο, καὶ ἐγὼ οὐδέποτε ὑπώπτευσα, ἀλλ’ οὕτως ἠλιθίως διεκείμην, ὥστε ᾤμην τὴν ἐμαυτοῦ γυναῖκα πασῶν σωφρονεστάτην εἶναι τῶν ἐν τῇ πόλει. προϊόντος δὲ τοῦ χρόνου, ὦ ἄνδρες, ἧκον μὲν ἀπροσδοκήτως ἐξ ἀγροῦ, μετὰ δὲ τὸ δεῖπνον τὸ παιδίον ἐβόα καὶ ἐδυσκόλαινεν ὑπὸ τῆς θεραπαίνης ἐπίτηδες λυπούμενον, ἵνα ταῦτα ποιῇ· ὁ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἔνδον ἦν· ὕστερον γὰρ ἅπαντα ἐπυθόμην. καὶ ἐγὼ τὴν γυναῖκα ἀπιέναι ἐκέλευον καὶ δοῦναι τῷ παιδίῳ τὸν τιτθόν, ἵνα παύσηται κλᾶον. ἡ δὲ τὸ μὲν πρῶτον οὐκ ἤθελεν, ὡς ἂν ἀσμένη με ἑορακυῖα ἥκοντα διὰ χρόνου· ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἐγὼ ὠργιζόμην καὶ ἐκέλευον αὐτὴν ἀπιέναι, “ἵνα σύ γε” ἔφη “πειρᾷς ἐνταῦθα τὴν παιδίσκην· καὶ πρότερον δὲ μεθύων εἷλκες αὐτήν.” κἀγὼ μὲν ἐγέλων, ἐκείνη δὲ ἀναστᾶσα καὶ ἀπιοῦσα προστίθησι τὴν θύραν, προσποιουμένη παίζειν, καὶ τὴν κλεῖν ἐφέλκεται. κἀγὼ τούτων οὐδὲν ἐνθυμούμενος οὐδ’ ὑπονοῶν ἐκάθευδον ἄσμενος, ἥκων ἐξ ἀγροῦ. ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἦν πρὸς ἡμέραν, ἧκεν ἐκείνη καὶ τὴν θύραν ἀνέῳξεν. ἐρομένου δέ μου τί αἱ θύραι νύκτωρ ψοφοῖεν, ἔφασκε τὸν λύχνον ἀποσβεσθῆναι τὸν παρὰ τῷ παιδίῳ, εἶτα ἐκ τῶν γειτόνων ἐνάψασθαι. ἐσιώπων ἐγὼ καὶ ταῦτα οὕτως ἔχειν ἡγούμην. ἔδοξε δέ μοι, ὦ ἄνδρες, τὸ πρόσωπον ἐψιμυθιῶσθαι, τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ τεθνεῶτος οὔπω τριάκονθ’ ἡμέρας· ὅμως δ’ οὐδ’ οὕτως οὐδὲν εἰπὼν περὶ τοῦ πράγματος ἐξελθὼν ᾠχόμην ἔξω σιωπῇ.
(Lysias, Or. 1.6-14)
After I decided to get married, men of Athens, and brought my bride home, for a while my attitude was not to trouble her too much but not to let her do whatever she wanted either. I watched her as best I could and gave her the proper amount of attention. But from the moment my child was born, I began to have full confidence in her and placed everything in her hands, reckoning that this was the best relationship. In those early days, men of Athens, she was the best of women: a good housekeeper, thrifty, with a sharp eye on every detail. But my mother’s death was the cause of all my troubles. For it was while attending her funeral that my wife was seen by this fellow and eventually corrupted by him: he kept an eye out for the slave girl who did the shopping, put forward proposals, and seduced her. Now before continuing, gentlemen, I need to explain something. My house has two stories, and in the part with the women’s rooms and the men’s rooms, the upper floor is the same size as the floor below. When our baby was born, his mother nursed him. To avoid her risking an accident coming down the stairs whenever he needed washing, I took over the upstairs rooms, and the women moved downstairs. Eventually we became so used to this arrangement that my wife would often leave me to go down and sleep with the baby, so that she could nurse it and stop it crying. Things went on in this way for a long time, and I never had the slightest suspicion; indeed, I was so naive that I thought my wife was the most respectable woman in Athens. Some time later, gentlemen, I returned unexpectedly from the country. After dinner, the baby began to cry and was restless. (He was being deliberately teased by the slave girl, to make him do this, because the man was inside the house: I later found out everything.) So I told my wife to go down and feed the baby, to stop it crying. At first she refused, as if glad to see me home after so long. When I became angry and ordered her to go, she said, “You just want to stay here and have a go at the slave girl. You had a grab at her once before when you were drunk.” I laughed at this, and she got up and left. She closed the door behind her, pretending to make a joke out of it, and bolted it. I had no suspicions and thought no more of it, but gladly went to bed, since I had just returned from the country. Towards morning, she came and unlocked the door. I asked her why the doors had creaked during the night, and she claimed that the baby’s lamp had gone out, so she had to get it relit at our neighbors’. I believed this account and said no more. But I noticed, gentlemen, that she had put on makeup, even though her brother had died less than a month earlier. Even so, I did not say anything about it but left the house without replying. (tr. Stephen C. Todd)