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Scylla

daughter of Nisus, promised to deliver Megara into the hands of Minos. To redeem this promise she had to cut off a golden hair on her father's head, which she effected while he was asleep. Minos, her lover, despised her for this treachery, and Scylla threw herself from a rock into the sea. At death she was changed into a lark, and Nisus into a hawk. Scylla turned into a rock by Circe “has no connection” with the daughter of

Nisus.

Think of Scylla's fate.
Changed to a bird, and sent to fly in air,
She dearly pays for Nisus' injured hair.

Pope: Rape of the Lock, iii.

Scylla

Glaucus, a fisherman, was in love with Scylla; but Circe, out of jealousy, changed her into a hideous monster, and set dogs and wolves to bark round her incessantly. On this Scylla threw herself into the sea and became a rock. It is said that the rock Scylla somewhat resembles a woman at a distance, and the noise of the waves dashing against it is not unlike the barking of dogs and wolves.

Glaucus, lost to joy,
Curst in his love by vengeful circe's hate,
Attending wept his Scylla's hapless fate.

Camoeus: Lusiad, bk. vi.

Avoiding Scylla, he fell into Charybdis.
Trying to avoid one error, he fell into another; or, trying to avoid one danger, he fell into another equally fatal. Scylla and Charybdis are two rocks between Italy and Sicily. In one was a cave where “Scylla dwelt,” and on the other Charybdis dwelt under a fig-tree. Ships which tried to avoid one were often wrecked on the other rock. It was Circe who changed Scylla into a frightful seamonster, and Jupiter who changed Chanrybdis into a whirlpool.

“When I shun Scylla your father, I fall into Charybdis your mother.” —Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, iii. 5.

Between Scylla and Charybdis.
Between two difficulties or fatal works. To fall from Scylla into Charybdis—out of the frying-pan into the fire.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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