Arachne's Labours

Spinning and weaving. Arachne was so skilful a needlewoman that she challenged Minerva to a trial of skill, and hanged herself because the goddess beat her. Minerva then changed her into a spider.

Arachne's labours ne'er her hours divide,
Her noble hands nor looms nor spindles guide.

Hoole's Jerusalem Delivered, book ii.

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