When they had got as far the deep-meadowed and rush-grown banks of the Aesopus, the Achaeans sent Tydeus as their envoy, and he found the Cadmeans
gathered in great numbers to a banquet in the house of Eteocles.
Her did Pegasus and noble Bellerophon slay; but Echidna was subject in love to Orthus and brought forth the deadly Sphinx which destroyed the Cadmeans
, and the Nemean lion, which Hera, the good wife of Zeus, brought up and made to haunt the hills of Nemea, a plague to men.
(310) This courtly adage translates into something like, "Let us have the spoils of the fountain of Salmacis without blood or sweat, rather than a Cadmean
victory, where destruction surprises the victors." Such an attitude produces whiteness and a "cloister'd vertue," Milton understands, but it is "a blank vertue, not pure; her whiteness is but an excrementall whiteness" (Areopagitica, 2:515-16).