'It might be more interesting to her Majesty,' said Atropos, 'to witness some of those extraordinary instances of predestined misery with which Hades abounds. Shall we visit OEdipus?'
'Poor fellow!' exclaimed Proserpine. 'For myself, I willingly confess that torture disgusts and Destiny puzzles me.'
The Fates and the Furies all alike started.
'I do not understand this riddle of Destiny,' continued the young Queen. 'If you, Parcæ, have predestined that a man should commit a crime, it appears to me very unjust that you should afterwards call upon the Furies to punish him for its commission.'
'But man is a free agent,' observed Lachesis, in as mild a tone as she could command.
'Then what becomes of Destiny?' replied Proserpine.
'Destiny is eternal and irresistible,' replied Clotho. 'All is ordained; but man is, nevertheless, master of his own actions.'
'I do not understand that,' said Proserpine.
'It is not meant to be understood,'