A Phoenix Too Frequent

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A Phoenix Too Frequent

by Christopher Fry

In this version of the famous Matron of Ephesus, we have a fresh retelling of the story of a pious widow—and her maid—who mourns for the death of her recently deceased husband in the tomb where his bier lies awaiting internment. The maid is not quite so pious, yet both women begin to suffer the pangs of a self-imposed hunger. There are signs that they also are unhappy over the loss of male company, but not until a handsome guard appears does the widow begin regretting her noble experiment in withdrawing from the world. The guard is invited to keep the ladies company, and he in turn invites them to partake of his food. Before long the widow is ready to forget her pious devotions and shows indications of returning speedily to a worldly and pleasant life which she had too soon decided to give up.

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