Sometimes marriages are arranged in which any sentiment
is obviously prohibited. A father can betroth his daughter by will to
some kinsman, who is to take her over as his bride when he takes over
the property. A husband can bequeath his wife to some friend who is
likely to treat her and the orphan children with kindness. Such affairs
occur every day. Do the Athenian women revolt at these seemingly
degrading conditions, wherein they are handed around like slaves, or
even cattle?—According to the tragic poets they do. Sophocles (in the
"Tereus") makes them lament,
"We women are nothing;—happy indeed is our childhood,
for then we are thoughtless; but when we attain maidenhood, lo!
we are driven away from our homes, sold as merchandise, and compelled to
marry and say 'All's well.'"