Apuleius, Metamorphoses 9.5-9.7

Anna Potash /
  • Created on 2018-10-14 06:27:13
  • Modified on 2018-10-15 05:04:13
  • Translated by Anna Potash
  • Aligned by Anna Potash
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English
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5 . Is gracili pauperie laborans fabriles operas praebendo parvis illis mercedibus vitam tenebat . Erat ei tamen uxorcula etiam , satis quidem tenuis et ipsa , verum tamen postrema lascivia famigerabilis . Sed die quadam dum matutino ille ad opus susceptum proficiscitur , statim latenter irrepit eius hospitium temerarius adulter : ac dum Veneris colluctationibus securius operantur , maritus ignarus rerum ac nihil etiam tum tale suspicans improvisus hospitium repetit . Iamque clausis et obseratis foribus uxoris laudata continentia ianuam pulsat , sibilo etiam praesentiam suam denuntiante : tunc mulier callida et ad 1 [ p . 408 ] huiusmodi flagitia perastutula tenacissimis amplexibus expeditum hominem dolio , quod erat in angulo semiobrutum sed alias vacuum , dissimulanter abscondit , et patefactis aedibus adhuc introeuntem maritum aspero sermone accipit : ‘Siccine vacuus et otiosus insinuatis manibus ambulabis mihi nec obito consueto labore vitae nostrae prospicies et aliquid cibatui parabis ? At ego misera pernox et per diem lanificio nervos meos contorqueo , ut intra cellulam nostram saltem lucerna luceat . Quanto me felicior Daphne vicina , quae mero et prandio matutino saucia cum 6 . ‘suis adulteris volutatur ! Sic confutatus maritus ‘Et quid istic est ? ait ‘Nam licet forensi negotio officinator noster attentus ferias nobis fecerit , tamen hodiernae cenulae nostrae prospexi . Vides istud dolium , quod semper vacuum frustra locum detinet tantum et revera praeter impedimentum conversationis nostrae nihil praestat amplius ? Istud ego quinque denariis cuidam venditavi ; et adest , ut dato pretio secum rem suam ferat . Quin itaque praecingeris mihique manum tantisper accommodas , ut exobrutum protinus tradatur emptori . E re nata fallacia , mulier temerarium tollens cachinnum Magnum’ inquit Istum virum ac strenuum negotiatorem nacta sum , qui rem , quam ego mulier et intra hospitium contenta iamdudum septem denariis vendidi , minoris distraxit . Additamento pretii laetus maritus ‘Et quis est ille , ait ‘Qui tanto praestinavit ? At illa ‘Olim , inepte , inquit [ p . 410 ] ‘Descendit in dolium sedulo soliditatem eius probaturus . 7 . Nec ille sermoni mulieris defuit sed exsurgens alacriter ‘Vis’ inquit ‘Verum scire , materfamilias ? Hoc tibi dolium nimis vetustum est et multifariam rimis hiantibus quassum ; ad maritumque eius dissimulanter conversus Quin tu , quicunque es homuncio , lucernam ait Actutum mihi expedis , ut erasis intrinsecus sordibus diligenter an aptum usui possim dinoscere , nisi nos putas aes de malo habere ? Nec quicquam moratus ac suspicatus acer et egregius ille maritus , accensa lucerna , Discede , inquit Frater , et otiosus assiste , donec probe procuratum istud tibi repraesentem , et cum dicto nudatus ipse , delato lumine , scabiem vetustam cariosae testae occipit exculpere . At vero adulter , I bellissimus ille pusio , inclinatam dolio pronam uxorem fabri superincurvatus secure dedolabat . Ast illa capite in dolium demisso maritum suum astu meretricio tractabat ludicre : hoc et illud et aliud et rursus aliud purgandum demonstrat digito suo , donec utroque opere perfecto , acceptis septem denariis , calamitosus faber collo suo gerens dolium coactus est ad hospitium adulteri perferre .
Labouring away in poverty , this leanest of fellows made a living by doing jobbing work for little pay . He had a wife as lean as himself , but rumoured to be the ultimate in lasciviousness . One day after had left in the early morning to go to his current job , a bold adulterer slipped secretly into the house , but while the two were happily striving away at Venus’ sport , the husband suddenly came home . Not expecting , in his ignorance , anything of the sort , and finding the doors locked and bolted , he praised his wife’s virtue in his thoughts , and knocked on the door , announcing his presence with a whistle . Now the wife , astute and cunning in all those kinds of games , pushed her lover from their close embrace , and hid him from view in an empty storage-jar , half-buried in an angle of the room . Then she flung the door wide , and as her husband entered , assailed him with a furious tirade .
​‘What are you doing ambling around hands in pockets , with that vacant idle look ? Is this the way you win us a living , and put food on the table , absenting yourself from work ? Here I sit in this miserable home of ours , wearing my fingers to the bone spinning wool night and day , so we can at least keep oil in the lamp . How much happier than I my neighbour Daphne is , she spends her days eating and drinking , and dallying with her lovers .
​The husband was astounded . ‘What’s all this about ? The boss is involved in a lawsuit , and gave us the day off , but I’ve still taken care of supper . You see how much space that storage-jar takes up , that’s always empty , and serves no purpose except to cramp our living space ? Well I’ve sold it to someone for five denarii , and he’s on his way to collect it and pay , so while we’re waiting tuck up your skirt and lend me a hand to dig it up , then the purchaser can take it straight away .
​A born deceiver , the wife gave a bold laugh , and said : ‘What a brilliant husband I’ve got , a masterly negotiator ! I , a mere woman , without stepping outside , just sold for seven denarii something he’s offloaded for less !
​Pleased with the higher price , the husband asked : ‘Who would pay that for it ? ‘Quiet , you fool , she cried , ‘he’s there , he’s climbed down into the jar to see whether it’s quite sound !
​Now the lover took his cue from the wife’s words , and swiftly emerged . ‘To tell you the truth , madam , he cried , ‘this jar of yours is pretty old and badly cracked in a host of places . Then he turned to the husband pretending not to know who he was : ‘You then , my man , whoever you are , look sharp and hand me the light , so I can scrape off a layer of dirt , and see if it’s fit for use , unless you think money grows on trees !
​Without a moment’s delay , and suspecting nothing , that fine genius of a husband , lit the lamp and saying : ‘Step aside , mate , you take a rest while I clean it up to show you ! he took off his shirt , lowered the lamp inside , and began to hack at the solid crust inside the ancient receptacle .
​At once the adulterer , fine lad that he was , bent the man’s wife face-down over the jar , and toyed with her at his ease , while she , the cunning little whore , poked her head right into the jar and made a fool of her husband , pointing her finger at places to clean , here , there , and elsewhere , again and again till , with both jobs now complete , she’d pocketed the seven denarii , and the poor husband , hoisting the jar on his back , had to carry it off to her lover’s lodgings .
There was a man dwelling in the towne very poore , that had nothing but that which he got by the labour and travell of his hands : his wife was a faire young woman , but very lascivious , and given to the appetite and desire of the flesh . It fortuned on a day , that while this poore man was gone betimes in the morning to the field about his businesse , according as he accustomed to doe , his wives lover secretly came into his house to have his pleasure with her . And so it chanced that during the time that shee and he were basking together , her husband suspecting no such matter , returned home praising the chast continency of his wife , in that hee found his doores fast closed , wherefore as his custome was , he whistled to declare his comming . Then his crafty wife ready with shifts , caught her lover and covered him under a great tub standing in a corner , and therewithall she opened the doore , blaming her husband in this sort : Commest thou home every day with empty hands , and bringest nothing to maintaine our house ? thou hast no regard for our profit , neither providest for any meate or drinke , whereas I poore wretch doe nothing day and night but occupie my selfe with spinning , and yet my travell will scarce find the Candels which we spend . O how much more happy is my neighbour Daphne , that eateth and drinketh at her pleasure and passeth the time with her amorous lovers according to her desire . What is the matter ( quoth her husband ) though Our Master hath made holiday at the fields , yet thinke not but I have made provision for our supper ; doest thou not see this tub that keepeth a place here in our house in vaine , and doth us no service ? Behold I have sold it to a good fellow ( that is here present ) for five pence , wherefore I pray thee lend me thy hand , that I may deliver him the tub . His wife ( having invented a present shift ) laughed on her husband , saying : What marchant I pray you have you brought home hither , to fetch away my tub for five pence , for which I poore woman that sit all day alone in my house have beene proffered so often seaven : her husband being well apayed of her words demanded what he was that had bought the tub : Looke ( quoth she ) he is gone under , to see where it be sound or no : then her lover which was under the tub , began to stirre and rustle himselfe , and because his words might agree to the words of the woman , he sayd : Dame will you have me tell the truth , this tub is rotten and crackt as me seemeth on every side . And then turning to her husband sayd : I pray you honest man light a Candle , that I may make cleane the tub within , to see if it be for my purpose or no , for I doe not mind to cast away my money wilfully : he by and by ( being made a very Oxe ) lighted a candle , saying , I pray you good brother put not your selfe to so much paine , let me make the tub cleane and ready for you . Whereupon he put off his coate , and crept under the tub to rub away the filth from the sides . In the meane season this minion lover cast his wife on the bottome of the tub and had his pleasure with her over his head , and as he was in the middest of his pastime , hee turned his head on this side and that side , finding fault with this and with that , till as they had both ended their businesse , when as he delivered seaven pence for the tub , and caused the good man himselfe to carry it on his backe againe to his Inne .

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Apuleius, Metamorphoses 5.11-13 Kline & Kenney

Chencilla Applewhite /
Latin
English
English
[ 11 ] Placet pro bono duabus malis malum consilium totisque illis tam pretiosis muneribus absconditis comam trahentes et proinde ut merebantur ora lacerantes simulatos redintegrant fletus . Ac sic parentes quoque redulcerato prorsum dolore raptim deterrentes vesania turgidae domus suas contendunt dolum scelestum immo vero parricidium struentes contra sororem insontem .

Interea Psychen maritus ille quem nescit rursum suis illis nocturnis sermonibus sic commonet : " Videsne quantum tibi periculum ? Velitatur Fortuna eminus , ac nisi longe firmiter praecaves mox comminus congredietur . Perfidae lupulae magnis conatibus nefarias insidias tibi comparant , quarum summa est ut te suadeant meos explorare vultus , quos , ut tibi saepe praedixi , non videbis si videris . Ergo igitur si posthac pessimae illae lamiae noxiis animis armatae venerint venient autem , scio neque omnino sermonem conferas , et si id tolerare pro genuina simplicitate proque animi tui teneritudine non potueris , certe de marito nil quicquam vel audias vel respondeas . Nam et familiam nostram iam propagabimus et hic adhuc infantilis uterus gestat nobis infantem alium , si texeris nostra secreta silentio , divinum , si profanaveris , mortalem . "

[ 12 ] Nuntio Psyche laeta florebat et divinae subolis solacio plaudebat et futuri pignoris gloria gestiebat et materni nominis dignitate gaudebat . Crescentes dies et menses exeuntes anxia numerat et sarcinae nesciae rudimento miratur de brevi punctulo tantum incrementulum locupletis uteri . Sed iam pestes illae taeterrimaeque Furiae anhelantes vipereum virus et festinantes impia celeritate navigabant . Tunc sic iterum momentarius maritus suam Psychen admonet : " En dies ultima et casus extremus et ! Sexus infestus et sanguis inimicus iam sumpsit arma et castra commovit et aciem direxit et classicum personavit ; iam mucrone destricto iugulum tuum nefariae tuae sorores petunt . Heu quantis urguemur cladibus , Psyche dulcissima ! Tui nostrique misere religiosaque continentia domum maritum teque et istum parvulum nostrum imminentis ruinae infortunio libera . Nec illas scelestas feminas , quas tibi post internecivum odium et calcata sanguinis foedera sorores appellare non licet , vel videas vel audias , cum in morem Sirenum scopulo prominentes funestis vocibus saxa personabunt . "

[ 13 ] Suscipit Psyche singultu lacrimoso sermonem incertans : " Iam dudum , quod sciam , fidei atque parciloquio meo perpendisti documenta , nec eo setius adprobabitur tibi nunc etiam firmitas animi mei . Tu modo Zephyro nostro rursum praecipe fungatur obsequio , et in vicem denegatae sacrosanctae imaginis tuae redde saltem conspectum sororum . Per istos cinnameos et undique pendulos crines tuos per teneras et teretis et mei similes genas per pectus nescio quo calore fervidum sic in hoc saltem parvulo cognoscam faciem tuam : supplicis anxiae piis precibus erogatus germani complexus indulge fructum et tibi devotae dicataeque Psychae animam gaudio recrea . Nec quicquam amplius in tuo vultu requiro , iam nil officiunt mihi nec ipsae nocturnae tenebrae : teneo te , meum lumen . "

His verbis et amplexibus mollibus decantatus maritus lacrimasque eius suis crinibus detergens facturum spopondit et praevertit statim lumen nascentis diei
This wicked scheme greatly pleased the two wicked sisters . They hid all the costly gifts , and tearing their hair and lacerating their cheeks , as they deserved to do , falsely renewed their lamentations . They soon frightened their parents into reopening the wound of their sorrow also . Then swollen with venom , they hastened home to plan their crime against an innocent sister , even to murder .

Meanwhile her unseen husband , on his nightly visit , warned Psyche once more : " See how much danger you’re in . Fortune is plotting at a distance , but soon , unless you take firm precautions , she’ll be attacking you face to face . Those treacherous she-wolves are working hard to execute some evil act against you , by tempting you to examine my features . But do so and , as I’ve told you , you’ll never see me again . So if those foul harpies armed with their noxious thoughts return , as I know they will , you must hold no conversation with them . And if in your true innocence and tender-heartedness you can’t bear that , then at least , if they speak of me , don’t listen , or if you must don’t answer . You see our family will increase , and your womb , a child’s , must bear another child , who if you keep our secret silently will be divine , though if you profane it , mortal . "

Psyche blossomed with joy at the news , hailing the solace of a divine child , exulting in the glory of the one to be born , and rejoicing in the name of mother . She counted the swelling days , and the vanishing months , and as a beginner knowing nothing of the burden she bore was amazed at the growth of her seething womb from a tiny pinprick .

But those foul and pestilential Furies , her sisters , breathing viperous venom , were sailing towards her with impious speed . Now for a second time her husband warned Psyche in passing : " The fatal day , the final peril , the malice of your sex and hostile blood have taken arms against you , struck camp , prepared for battle , and sounded the attack . Those wicked sisters of yours with drawn swords are at your throat . What disaster threatens , sweet Psyche ! Take pity on yourself and me . With resolution and restraint you can free your home and husband , yourself , and our child from the imminent danger that threatens . Don’t look at or listen to those evil women , who with their murderous hostility , their disregard of the bonds of blood , you should not call sisters , as they lean from the cliff-top like Sirens and make the rocks echo with that fatal singing . "

[ 13 ] Her answer almost lost in tearful sobbing , Psyche replied : " Once before you asked for proof of my loyalty and discretion , now too you will find me just as resolute . Give your servant Zephyr his orders one more : let him perform his task , and if I am not to see your sacred face , grant me at least a glimpse of my sisters . By those cinnamon perfumed locks that adorn your head , by those softly rounded cheeks like my own , by your breast so warm , so wonderfully aflame ; as I hope to find your looks in my unborn child’s , at least , I beg you , yield to the loving prayers of a yearning suppliant and allow me the pleasure of sisterly embraces . Fill your dedicated and devoted Psyche’s spirit with joy once more . I’ll ask no more regarding your appearance . Clasping you in my arms , not even the darkness of the night can hurt me now , my light . "

Bewitched by her words and her sweet caresses , her husband wiped away her tears with his hair and gave her his agreement , vanishing swiftly before the light of the new-born day .
[ 11 ] The two evil women thought well of this wicked plan , and having
hidden all their precious gifts , they tore their hair and clawed their
cheeks ( no more than they deserved ) , renewing their pretence of
mourning . In this way they inflamed their parents’ grief all over
again ; and then , taking a hasty leave of them , they made off to their
homes swollen with mad rage , to devise their wicked - their
murderous - plot against their innocent sister .

Meanwhile Psyche’s mysterious husband once more warned her as they talked together that night : ‘Don’t you see the danger that threatens you ? Fortune is now engaging your outposts , and if you do not stand very firmly on your guard she will soon be grappling with you hand to hand . These treacherous she-wolves are doing their best to lay a horrible trap for you ; their one aim is to persuade you to try to know my face - but if
you do see it , as I have constantly told you , you will not see it . So
then if those vile witches come , as I know they will , armed with
their deadly designs , you must not even talk to them ; but if because
of your natural lack of guile and tenderness of heart you are unequal
to that , at least you must refuse to listen to or answer any questions
about your husband . For before long we are going to increase our
family ; your womb , until now a child’s , is carrying a child for us in
its turn - who , if you hide our secret in silence , will be divine , but if you divulge it , he will be mortal .

Hearing this , Psyche , blooming with happiness , clapped her hands at the consoling
thought of a divine child , exulting in the glory of this pledge that was
to come and rejoicing in the dignity of being called a mother .
Anxiously she counted the growing tale of days and months as they
passed , and as she learned to bear her unfamiliar burden she
marvelled that from a moment’s pain there should come so fair an
increase of her rich womb .

But now those plagues , foulest Furies , breathing viperine poison
and pressing on in their devilish haste , had started their voyage ; and
once more her transitory husband warned Psyche : ‘The day of
reckoning and the last chance are here . Your own sex , your own flesh
and blood , are the enemy , arrayed in arms against you ; they have
marched out and drawn up their line , and sounded the trumpet-call ;
with drawn sword your abominable sisters are making for your
throat . What disasters press upon us , sweetest Psyche ! Have pity on
yourself and on us both ; remember your duty and control yourself ,
save your home , your husband , and this little son of ours from the
catastrophe that threatens us . You cannot call those wicked women
sisters any longer ; in their murderous hatred they have spurned the
ties of blood . Do not look at them , do not listen to them , when like
the Sirens aloft on their crag they make the rocks ring with their
deadly voices .

[ 13 ] As she replied , Psyche’s voice was muffled by sobs and tears : ‘More
than once , I know , you have put my loyalty and discretion to the
proof , but none the less now you shall approve my strength of mind .
Only once more order our Zephyr to do his duty , and instead of your
own sacred face that is denied me let me at least behold my sisters .
By those fragrant locks that hang so abundantly , by those soft smooth
cheeks so like mine , by that breast warm with hidden heat , as I hope
to see your face at least in this little one : be swayed by the dutiful
prayers of an anxious suppliant , allow me to enjoy my sisters’
embrace , and restore and delight the soul of your devoted Psyche . As
to your face , I ask nothing more ; even the darkness of night does not
blind me ; I have you as my light .

Enchanted by her words and her soft embrace , her husband dried her tears with his hair , promised to do as she asked , and then left at once just as day was dawning .

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Apuleius, Metamorphoses 5.11-13 Kline & Kenney

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  • Created on 2018-10-14 01:00:49
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Latin
English
English
[ 11 ] Placet pro bono duabus malis malum consilium totisque illis tam pretiosis muneribus absconditis comam trahentes et proinde ut merebantur ora lacerantes simulatos redintegrant fletus . Ac sic parentes quoque redulcerato prorsum dolore raptim deterrentes vesania turgidae domus suas contendunt dolum scelestum immo vero parricidium struentes contra sororem insontem .

Interea Psychen maritus ille quem nescit rursum suis illis nocturnis sermonibus sic commonet : " Videsne quantum tibi periculum ? Velitatur Fortuna eminus , ac nisi longe firmiter praecaves mox comminus congredietur . Perfidae lupulae magnis conatibus nefarias insidias tibi comparant , quarum summa est ut te suadeant meos explorare vultus , quos , ut tibi saepe praedixi , non videbis si videris . Ergo igitur si posthac pessimae illae lamiae noxiis animis armatae venerint venient autem , scio neque omnino sermonem conferas , et si id tolerare pro genuina simplicitate proque animi tui teneritudine non potueris , certe de marito nil quicquam vel audias vel respondeas . Nam et familiam nostram iam propagabimus et hic adhuc infantilis uterus gestat nobis infantem alium , si texeris nostra secreta silentio , divinum , si profanaveris , mortalem . "

[ 12 ] Nuntio Psyche laeta florebat et divinae subolis solacio plaudebat et futuri pignoris gloria gestiebat et materni nominis dignitate gaudebat . Crescentes dies et menses exeuntes anxia numerat et sarcinae nesciae rudimento miratur de brevi punctulo tantum incrementulum locupletis uteri . Sed iam pestes illae taeterrimaeque Furiae anhelantes vipereum virus et festinantes impia celeritate navigabant . Tunc sic iterum momentarius maritus suam Psychen admonet : " En dies ultima et casus extremus et ! Sexus infestus et sanguis inimicus iam sumpsit arma et castra commovit et aciem direxit et classicum personavit ; iam mucrone destricto iugulum tuum nefariae tuae sorores petunt . Heu quantis urguemur cladibus , Psyche dulcissima ! Tui nostrique misere religiosaque continentia domum maritum teque et istum parvulum nostrum imminentis ruinae infortunio libera . Nec illas scelestas feminas , quas tibi post internecivum odium et calcata sanguinis foedera sorores appellare non licet , vel videas vel audias , cum in morem Sirenum scopulo prominentes funestis vocibus saxa personabunt . "

[ 13 ] Suscipit Psyche singultu lacrimoso sermonem incertans : " Iam dudum , quod sciam , fidei atque parciloquio meo perpendisti documenta , nec eo setius adprobabitur tibi nunc etiam firmitas animi mei . Tu modo Zephyro nostro rursum praecipe fungatur obsequio , et in vicem denegatae sacrosanctae imaginis tuae redde saltem conspectum sororum . Per istos cinnameos et undique pendulos crines tuos per teneras et teretis et mei similes genas per pectus nescio quo calore fervidum sic in hoc saltem parvulo cognoscam faciem tuam : supplicis anxiae piis precibus erogatus germani complexus indulge fructum et tibi devotae dicataeque Psychae animam gaudio recrea . Nec quicquam amplius in tuo vultu requiro , iam nil officiunt mihi nec ipsae nocturnae tenebrae : teneo te , meum lumen . "

His verbis et amplexibus mollibus decantatus maritus lacrimasque eius suis crinibus detergens facturum spopondit et praevertit statim lumen nascentis diei
This wicked scheme greatly pleased the two wicked sisters . They hid all the costly gifts , and tearing their hair and lacerating their cheeks , as they deserved to do , falsely renewed their lamentations . They soon frightened their parents into reopening the wound of their sorrow also . Then swollen with venom , they hastened home to plan their crime against an innocent sister , even to murder .

Meanwhile her unseen husband , on his nightly visit , warned Psyche once more : " See how much danger you’re in . Fortune is plotting at a distance , but soon , unless you take firm precautions , she’ll be attacking you face to face . Those treacherous she-wolves are working hard to execute some evil act against you , by tempting you to examine my features . But do so and , as I’ve told you , you’ll never see me again . So if those foul harpies armed with their noxious thoughts return , as I know they will , you must hold no conversation with them . And if in your true innocence and tender-heartedness you can’t bear that , then at least , if they speak of me , don’t listen , or if you must don’t answer . You see our family will increase , and your womb , a child’s , must bear another child , who if you keep our secret silently will be divine , though if you profane it , mortal . "

Psyche blossomed with joy at the news , hailing the solace of a divine child , exulting in the glory of the one to be born , and rejoicing in the name of mother . She counted the swelling days , and the vanishing months , and as a beginner knowing nothing of the burden she bore was amazed at the growth of her seething womb from a tiny pinprick .

But those foul and pestilential Furies , her sisters , breathing viperous venom , were sailing towards her with impious speed . Now for a second time her husband warned Psyche in passing : " The fatal day , the final peril , the malice of your sex and hostile blood have taken arms against you , struck camp , prepared for battle , and sounded the attack . Those wicked sisters of yours with drawn swords are at your throat . What disaster threatens , sweet Psyche ! Take pity on yourself and me . With resolution and restraint you can free your home and husband , yourself , and our child from the imminent danger that threatens . Don’t look at or listen to those evil women , who with their murderous hostility , their disregard of the bonds of blood , you should not call sisters , as they lean from the cliff-top like Sirens and make the rocks echo with that fatal singing . "

[ 13 ] Her answer almost lost in tearful sobbing , Psyche replied : " Once before you asked for proof of my loyalty and discretion , now too you will find me just as resolute . Give your servant Zephyr his orders one more : let him perform his task , and if I am not to see your sacred face , grant me at least a glimpse of my sisters . By those cinnamon perfumed locks that adorn your head , by those softly rounded cheeks like my own , by your breast so warm , so wonderfully aflame ; as I hope to find your looks in my unborn child’s , at least , I beg you , yield to the loving prayers of a yearning suppliant and allow me the pleasure of sisterly embraces . Fill your dedicated and devoted Psyche’s spirit with joy once more . I’ll ask no more regarding your appearance . Clasping you in my arms , not even the darkness of the night can hurt me now , my light . "

Bewitched by her words and her sweet caresses , her husband wiped away her tears with his hair and gave her his agreement , vanishing swiftly before the light of the new-born day .
[ 11 ] The two evil women thought well of this wicked plan , and having
hidden all their precious gifts , they tore their hair and clawed their
cheeks ( no more than they deserved ) , renewing their pretence of
mourning . In this way they inflamed their parents’ grief all over
again ; and then , taking a hasty leave of them , they made off to their
homes swollen with mad rage , to devise their wicked - their
murderous - plot against their innocent sister .

Meanwhile Psyche’s mysterious husband once more warned her as they talked together that night : ‘Don’t you see the danger that threatens you ? Fortune is now engaging your outposts , and if you do not stand very firmly on your guard she will soon be grappling with you hand to hand . These treacherous she-wolves are doing their best to lay a horrible trap for you ; their one aim is to persuade you to try to know my face - but if
you do see it , as I have constantly told you , you will not see it . So
then if those vile witches come , as I know they will , armed with
their deadly designs , you must not even talk to them ; but if because
of your natural lack of guile and tenderness of heart you are unequal
to that , at least you must refuse to listen to or answer any questions
about your husband . For before long we are going to increase our
family ; your womb , until now a child’s , is carrying a child for us in
its turn - who , if you hide our secret in silence , will be divine , but if you divulge it , he will be mortal .

Hearing this , Psyche , blooming with happiness , clapped her hands at the consoling
thought of a divine child , exulting in the glory of this pledge that was
to come and rejoicing in the dignity of being called a mother .
Anxiously she counted the growing tale of days and months as they
passed , and as she learned to bear her unfamiliar burden she
marvelled that from a moment’s pain there should come so fair an
increase of her rich womb .

But now those plagues , foulest Furies , breathing viperine poison
and pressing on in their devilish haste , had started their voyage ; and
once more her transitory husband warned Psyche : ‘The day of
reckoning and the last chance are here . Your own sex , your own flesh
and blood , are the enemy , arrayed in arms against you ; they have
marched out and drawn up their line , and sounded the trumpet-call ;
with drawn sword your abominable sisters are making for your
throat . What disasters press upon us , sweetest Psyche ! Have pity on
yourself and on us both ; remember your duty and control yourself ,
save your home , your husband , and this little son of ours from the
catastrophe that threatens us . You cannot call those wicked women
sisters any longer ; in their murderous hatred they have spurned the
ties of blood . Do not look at them , do not listen to them , when like
the Sirens aloft on their crag they make the rocks ring with their
deadly voices .

[ 13 ] As she replied , Psyche’s voice was muffled by sobs and tears : ‘More
than once , I know , you have put my loyalty and discretion to the
proof , but none the less now you shall approve my strength of mind .
Only once more order our Zephyr to do his duty , and instead of your
own sacred face that is denied me let me at least behold my sisters .
By those fragrant locks that hang so abundantly , by those soft smooth
cheeks so like mine , by that breast warm with hidden heat , as I hope
to see your face at least in this little one : be swayed by the dutiful
prayers of an anxious suppliant , allow me to enjoy my sisters’
embrace , and restore and delight the soul of your devoted Psyche . As
to your face , I ask nothing more ; even the darkness of night does not
blind me ; I have you as my light .

Enchanted by her words and her soft embrace , her husband dried her tears with his hair , promised to do as she asked , and then left at once just as day was dawning .

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Apuleius, Metamorphoses 5.11; 5.22-23

LeNae Jones /
  • Created on 2018-10-13 23:58:57
  • Modified on 2018-10-15 06:50:07
  • Aligned by LeNae Jones
Latin
English
English
Placet pro bono duabus malis malum consilium , totisque illis tam pretiosis muneribus absconditis , comam trahentes et proinde ut merebantur ora lacerantes simulatos redintegrant fletus . Ac sic parentes quoque redulcerato prorsum dolore raptim deterrentes , vesania turgidae domus suas contendunt dolum scelestum , immo vero parricidam struentes contra sororem insontem . Interea Psychen maritus ille quem nescit rursum suis illis nocturnis sermonibus sic commonet : Videsne quantum tibi periculum ? Velitatur Fortuna eminus ac , nisi longe firmiter praecaves , mox comminus congredietur . Perfidae lupulae magnis conatibus nefarias insidias tibi comparant , quarum summa est , ut te suadeant meos explorare vultus , quos , ut tibi saepe praedixi , non videbis si videris . Ergo igitur si posthac pessimae illae lamiae noxiis animis armatae venerint—venient autem , scio—neque omnino sermonem conteras et , si id tolerare pro genuina simplicitate proque animi tui teneritudine non potueris , certe de marito nil quicquam vel audias vel respondeas : nam et familiam nostram iam propagabimus et hic adhuc infantilis uterus gestat nobis infantem alium , si texeris nostra secreta silentio , divinum , si profanaveris , mortalem .

Tunc Psyche , et corporis et animi alioquin infirma , fati tamen saevitia subministrante viribus roboratur , et prolata lucerna et arrepta novacula sexum audacia mutatur . Sed cum primum luminis oblatione tori secreta claruerunt , videt omnium ferarum mitissimam dulcissimamque bestiam , ipsum illum Cupidinem formosum deum formose cubantem , cuius aspectu lucernae quoque lumen hilaratum increbruit et acuminis sacrilegi novaculam paenitebat . At vero Psyche tanto aspectu deterrita et impos animi , marcido pallore defecta tremensque desedit in imos poplites et ferrum quaerit abscondere , sed in suo pectore : quod profecto fecisset , nisi ferrum timore tanti flagitii manibus temerariis delapsum evolasset . Iamque lassa , salute defecta dum saepius divini vultus intuetur pulchritudinem , recreatur animi : videt capitis aurei genialem caesariem ambrosia temulentam , cervices lacteas genasque purpureas pererrantes crinium globos decoriter impeditos , alios antependulos , alios retropendulos , quorum splendore nimio fulgurante iam et ipsum lumen lucernae vacillabat : per numeros volatalis dei pinnae roscidae micanti flore candicant et quamvis alis quiescentibus extimae plumulae tenellae ac delicatae tremule resultantes inquieta lasciviunt : ceterum corpus glabellum atque luculentum et quale peperisse Venerem non paeniteret . Ante lectuli pedes iacebat arcus et pharetra et sagittae , magni dei propitia tela ;

quae dum insatiabili animo Psyche , satis et curiosa , rimatur atque pertrectat et mariti sui miratur arma , depromit unam de pharetra sagittam et puncto pollicis extremam aciem periclitabunda frementis etiam nunc articuli nisu fortiore pupugit altius , ut per summam cutem roraverint parvulae sanguinis rosei guttae : sic ignara Psyche sponte in Amoris incidit amorem . Tunc magis magisque cupidine flagrans Cupidinis , prona in eum efflictim inhians , patulis ac petulantibus saviis festinanter ingestis , de somni mensura metuebat . Sed dum bono tanto percita saucia mente fluctuat , lucerna illa , sive perfidia pessima sive invidia noxia sive quod tale corpus contingere et quasi basiare et ipsa gestiebat , evomuit de summa luminis sui stillam ferventis olei super humerum dei dexterum : hem audax et temeraria lucerna et amoris vile ministerium , ipsum ignis totius deum aduris , cum te , scilicet amator aliquis , ut diutius cupitis etiam nocte potiretur primus invenerit ! Sic inustus exiluit deus visaque detectae fidei colluvie prorsus ex osculis et manibus infelicissimae coniugis tacitus avolavit :
The two evil women thought well of this wicked plan , and having
hidden all their precious gifts , they tore their hair and clawed their
cheeks ( no more than they deserved ) , renewing their pretence of
mourning . In this way they inflamed their parents’ grief all over
again ; and then , taking a hasty leave of them , they made off to their
homes swollen with mad rage , to devise their wicked - their
murderous - plot against their innocent sister . Meanwhile Psyche’s
mysterious husband once more warned her as they talked together
that night : ‘Don’t you see the danger that threatens you ? Fortune is
now engaging your outposts , and if you do not stand very firmly on
your guard she will soon be grappling with you hand to hand . These
treacherous she-wolves are doing their best to lay a horrible trap for
you ; their one aim is to persuade you to try to know my face - but if
you do see it , as I have constantly told you , you will not see it . So
then if those vile witches come , as I know they will , armed with
their deadly designs , you must not even talk to them ; but if because
of your natural lack of guile and tenderness of heart you are unequal
to that , at least you must refuse to listen to or answer any questions
about your husband . For before long we are going to increase our
family ; your womb , until now a child’s , is carrying a child for us in
its turn - who , if you hide our secret in silence , will be divine , but if you divulge it , he will be mortal .

Then Psyche , though naturally weak in body , rallied her strength
with cruel Fate reinforcing it , produced the lamp , seized the blade ,
and took on a man’s courage . But as soon as the light was brought out
and the secret of their bed became plain , what she saw was of all wild
beasts the most soft and sweet of monsters , none other than Cupid
himself , the fair god fairly lying asleep . At the sight the flame of the
lamp was gladdened and flared up , and her blade began to repent its
blasphemous edge . Psyche , unnerved by the wonderful vision , was
no longer mistress of herself : feeble , pale , trembling and powerless ,
she crouched down and tried to hide the steel by burying it in her
own bosom ; and she would certainly have done it , had not the steel in
fear of such a crime slipped and flown out of her rash hands . Now ,
overcome and utterly lost as she was , yet as she gazed and gazed on
the beauty of the god’s face , her spirits returned . She saw a rich head
of golden hair dripping with ambrosia , a milk-white neck , and rosy
cheeks over which there strayed coils of hair becomingly arranged ,
some hanging in front , some behind , shining with such extreme
brilliance that the lamplight itself flickered uncertainly . On the
shoulders of the flying god there sparkled wings , dewy-white with
glistening sheen , and though they were at rest the soft delicate down
at their edges quivered and rippled in incessant play . The rest of the
god’s body was smooth and shining and such as Venus need not be
ashamed of in her son . At the foot of the bed lay a bow , a quiver , and
arrows , the gracious weapons of the great god .

Curious as ever , Psyche could not restrain herself from examining
and handling and admiring her husband’s weapons . She took one of
the arrows out of the quiver and tried the point by pricking her
thumb ; but as her hands were still trembling she used too much
force , so that the point went right in and tiny drops of blood bedewed
her skin . Thus without realizing it Psyche through her own act fell in
love with Love . Then ever more on fire with desire for Desire she
hung over him gazing in distraction and devoured him with quick
sensuous kisses , fearing all the time that he might wake up . Carried
away by joy and sick with love , her heart was in turmoil ; but
meanwhile that wretched lamp , either through base treachery , or in
jealous malice , or because it longed itself to touch such beauty and as
it were to kiss it , disgorged from its spout a drop of hot oil on to the
right shoulder of the god . What ! Rash and reckless lamp , lowly
instrument of love , to burn the lord of universal fire himself , when it
must have been a lover who first invented the lamp so that he could
enjoy his desires for even longer at night ! The god , thus burned , leapt
up , and seeing his confidence betrayed and sullied , flew off from the
loving embrace of his unhappy wife without uttering a word .
This wicked scheme greatly pleased the two wicked sisters . They hid all the costly gifts , and tearing their hair and lacerating their cheeks , as they deserved to do , falsely renewed their lamentations . They soon frightened their parents into reopening the wound of their sorrow also . Then swollen
with venom , they hastened home to plan their crime against an innocent sister , even to murder . Meanwhile her unseen husband , on his nightly visit , warned Psyche once more : " See how much danger you’re in . Fortune is plotting at a distance , but soon , unless you take firm precautions , she’ll be attacking you face to face . Those treacherous she-wolves are working hard to execute some evil act against you , by tempting you to examine my features . But do so and , as I’ve told you , you’ll never see me again . So if those foul harpies armed with their noxious thoughts return , as I know they will , you must hold no conversation with them . And if in your true innocence and tender- heartedness you can’t bear that , then at least , if they speak of me , don’t listen , or if you must don’t answer . You see our family will increase , and your womb , a child’s , must bear another child , who if you keep our secret silently will be divine , though if you profane it , mortal . "

Then Psyche , though lacking strength and courage , was empowered by cruel fate , and unveiling the lamp , seized the razor , acting a man’s part in her boldness . Yet , as the light shone clear and the bed’s mysteries were revealed , she found her savage beast was the gentlest and sweetest creature of all , that handsome god Cupid , handsome now in sleep . At the sight , even the lamp’s flame quickened in joy , and the razor regretted its sacrilegious stroke . But Psyche , terrified at the marvellous vision , beside her self with fear , and overcome with sudden weariness , sank pale , faint and trembling to her knees . She tried to conceal the weapon , in her own breast ! She would indeed have done so if the gleaming blade had not flown from her reckless hands , in horror at her dreadful intent . Exhausted now by the sense of release , she gazed again and again at the beauty of that celestial face , and her spirits revived . She saw the glorious tresses , drenched with ambrosia , on his golden brow , the neatly tied locks straying over his rosy cheeks and milk-white neck , some hanging delicately in front others behind , and the splendour of their shining brilliance made the lamplight dim . Over the winged god’s shoulders white plumage glimmered like petals in the morning dew , and though his wings were at rest , soft little feathers at their edges trembled restlessly in wanton play . The rest of his body was smooth and gleaming , such that Venus had no regrets at having borne such a child . At the foot of the bed lay his bow , and his quiver full of arrows , the graceful weapons of the powerful god .

With insatiable curiosity Psyche examined , touched , wondered at her husband’s weapons . She drew an arrow from the quiver , testing the point against her thumb-tip , but her hand was still trembling and pressing too hard she pricked the surface , so that tiny drops of crimson blood moistened the skin . Thus without knowing it Psyche fell further in love with Love himself , so that now inflamed with desire for Desire , she leaned over Cupid , desperate for him . She covered him eagerly with passionate impetuous kisses till she feared she might wake him . Then as her wounded heart beat with the tremor of such bliss , the lamp , in wicked treachery , or malicious jealousy , or simply longing to touch and kiss , in some fashion , that wondrous body , shed a drop of hot oil from the depths of its flame on to the god’s right shoulder . O bold and careless lamp , a poor servant to Love , scorching the god of flame himself , though a lover it was who first invented you so as to enjoy , even at night , an endless sight of his beloved ! Scalded like this the god leapt up , and realising his secret had been betrayed , flew swiftly and silently from his unhappy wife’s kisses and embrace .

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Apuleius, Metamorphoses 4.30

Anna Chapman Raditz /
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Apuleius, Metamorphoses 8.19-21

Queen Trapp /
  • Created on 2018-10-12 04:48:49
  • Modified on 2018-10-15 05:03:04
  • Aligned by Queen Trapp
Latin
English
English
Interea quidam senex de summo colle prospectat , quem circum capellae pascentes opilionem esse profecto clamabant . Eum rogavit unus e nostris haberetne venui lactem vel adhuc liquidum vel in caseum recentem inchoatum . At ille diu capite quassanti Vos autem inquit De cibo vel poculo ) vel omnino ulla refectione nunc cogitatis ? An nulli scitis quo loco comederitis ? Et cum dicto conductis oviculis conversus longe recessit . Quae vox eius et fuga pastoribus nostris non mediocrem pavorem incussit : ac dum perterriti de loci qualitate sciscitari gestiunt nec est qui doceat , senex alius , magnus ille quidem , gravatus annis , totus in baculum pronus et lassum trahens vestigium , ubertim lacrimans per viam proximat , visisque nobis cum fletu maximo singulorum iuvenum genua contingens sic adorabat :

Per fortunas vestrosque genios , sic ad meae senectutis spatia validi laetique veniatis , decepto seni subsistite meumque parvulum ab inferis ereptum canis meis reddite . Nepos namque meus et itineris huius suavis comes dum forte passerem incantantem saepiculae consectatur arripere , delapsus in proxumam foveam , quae fruticibus imis subpatet , in extremo iam vitae consistit periculo , quippe cum de fletu ac voce

ipsius avum sibi saepicule clamitantis vivere illum quidem sentiam , sed per corporis , ut videtis , mei defectam valitudinem opitulari nequeam . At vobis aetatis et roboris beneficio facile est suppetiari miserrimo seni puerumque illum novissimum successionis meae atque unicam stirpem sospitem mihi facere .

Sic deprecantis suamque canitiem distrahentis totos quidem miseruit ; sed unus prae ceteris et animo fortior et aetate iuvenior et corpore validior , quique solus praeter alios incolumis proelium superius evaserat , exsurgit alacer et percontatus quonam loci puer , ille decidisset , monstrantem digito non longe frutices horridos senem illum impigre comitatur . Ac dum pabulo nostro suaque cura refecti sarcinulis quisque sumptis suis viam capessunt , clamore primum nominatim cientes illum iuvenem frequenter inclamant ; mox mora diutina commoti mittunt e suis arcessitorem unum , qui requisitum comitem tempestivae viae commonefactum reduceret . At ille modicum commoratus refert sese buxanti pallore trepidus miraque super conservo suo renuntiat : conspicatum se quippe supinato illi et iam ex maxima parte consumpto immanem draconem mandentem insistere nec ullum usquam miserrimum senem comparere illum . Qua re cognita et cum pastoris sermone collata , qui saevum prorsus hunc illum nec alium locorum inquilinum praeminabatur , pestilenti deserta regione velociori se fuga proripiunt . nosque pellunt crebris tundentes fustibus .
Meanwhile an old man was watching us from the top of a neighbouring hill , obviously a shepherd , for there were goats grazing around him . One of our men asked him whether he had any milk for sale , either fresh or in the form of new cheese . For a long time he merely shook his head . At last , ‘Are you thinking , he asked , ‘of food or drink or any kind of refreshment now ? Haven’t you any idea where you’ve chosen to stop ? And so saying he rounded up his
flock , turned about , and left the scene . His words and his
disappearance greatly alarmed our herdsmen . Panic-stricken , they
were anxiously asking each other what sort of a place this was and
finding nobody to tell them , when there appeared on the road
another old man , this one tall but bowed down by age , leaning heavily
on a staff and wearily dragging his feet , and weeping profusely . When
he saw us he burst out crying , and supplicating each man in turn he
uttered the following appeal :

‘I implore you by your Fortunes and your Guardian Spirits , if you
hope to reach my age in health and happiness , come to the aid of an
old man in his bereavement , rescue my little boy from death and
restore him to his white-haired grandfather . My grandson , my darling
traveling-companion , was trying to catch a bird that was singing in
the hedgerow , and fell into a yawning pit in the bottom of the
thicket . Now he is in peril of his life ; I know he is alive , for I can
hear him crying and calling " Grandfather " over and over again , but as
you see I am too feeble in body to be able to rescue him . But you are
young and strong , and it will be no trouble to you to help a poor old
man and to restore to me this child , the last of my line and all the
family I have left . '

As he uttered this plea and tore his white hair , everybody pitied him . Then one of them , braver and younger and stronger than the
rest , the only one who had come off unscathed from the recent battle ,
jumped up eagerly and asked where exactly the boy had fallen in . The
old man pointed out a thicket not far away , and the volunteer went
off briskly with him . After a while , when we animals had grazed and
the men had seen to themselves and felt restored , they all began to
pack up and get ready to move off . First of all they called the
volunteer by name , with loud and repeated shouts ; then alarmed by
the prolonged delay they sent a messenger to find him and warn him
that it was time to leave , and bring him back . Almost immediately
the messenger reappeared , deathly pale and terrified , with dreadful
news of his fellow servant . He had found him lying half-eaten , with a
monstrous serpent crouched over him and devouring him , and of the
poor old man not a sign anywhere . Hearing this and recollecting what
the old shepherd had said , they realized that this indeed was the
fierce denizen of the region that he had been threatening them with ,
and at once quitted the pestilential place and fled precipitately ,
urging us animals on with continual beating .
In the meane season wee perceived an old man , who seemed to be a Shepheard , by reason of the Goates and Sheep that fed round about him . Then one of our company demanded whether he had any milke , butter , or cheese to sell . To whom he made answere saying : Doe you looke for any meate or drinke , or any other refection here ? Know you not in what place you be ?

And therewithall he tooke his sheepe and drave them away as fast as he might possible . This answere made our shepheards greatly to feare , that they thought of nothing else , but to enquire what Country they were in : Howbeit they saw no manner of person of whom they might demand . At length as they were thus in doubt , they perceived another old man with a staffe in his hand very weary with travell , who approaching nigh to our company , began to weepe and complaine saying : Alas masters I pray you succour me miserable caitife , and restore my nephew to me againe , that by following a sparrow that flew before him , is fallen into a ditch hereby , and verily I thinke he is in danger of death . As for me , I am not able to helpe him out by reason of mine old age , but you that are so valiant and lusty may easily helpe me herein , and deliver me my boy , my heire and guide of my life . These words made us all to pity him . And then the youngest and stoutest of our company , who alone escaped best the late skirmish of Dogges and stones , rose up and demanded in what ditch the boy was fallen : Mary ( quod he ) yonder , and pointed with his finger , and brought him to a great thicket of bushes and thornes where they both entred in . In the meane season , after we cured our wounds , we tooke up our packs , purposing to depart away . And because we would not goe away without the young man our fellow : The shepheards whistled and called for him , but when he gave no answer , they sent one out of their company to seeke him out , who after a while returned againe with a pale face and sorrowfull newes , saying that he saw a terrible Dragon eating and devouring their companion : and as for the old man , hee could see him in no place . When they heard this , ( remembring likewise the words of the first old man that shaked his head , and drave away his sheep ) they ran away beating us before them , to fly from this desart and pestilent Country .

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Apuleius, Metamorphoses 8.22

Amy Murphy /
  • Created on 2018-10-11 19:41:17
  • Modified on 2018-10-15 06:38:13
  • Aligned by Amy Murphy
Latin
English
English
Celerrime denique longo itinere confecto pagum quendam accedimus ibique totam perquiescimus noctem . Ibi coeptum facinus oppido memorabile narrare cupio . Servus quidam , cui cunctam familiae tutelam dominus permiserat , suus quique possessionem maximam illam , in quam deverteramus , vilicabat , habens ex eodem famulitio conservam coniugam , liberae cuiusdam extrariaeque mulieris flagrabat cupidine . Quo dolore paelicatus uxor eius instricta cunctas mariti rationes et quicquid horreo reconditum continebatur admoto combussit igne . Nec tali damno tori sui contumeliam vindicasse contenta , iam contra sua saeviens viscera laqueum sibi nectit , infantulumque , quem de eodem marito iam dudum susceperat , eodem funiculo nectit seque per altissimum puteum adpendicem parvulum trahens praecipitat . Quam mortem dominus eorum aegerrime sustinens adreptum servulum , qui causam tanti sceleris luxurie sua praestiterat , nudum ac totum melle perlitum firmiter alligavit arbori ficulneae , cuius in ipso carioso stipite inhabitantium formicarum nidificia bulliebant et ultro citro commeabant multiiuga scaturrigine . Quae simul dulcem ac mellitum corporis nidorem persentiscunt , parvis quidem sed numerosis et continuis morsiunculis penitus inhaerentes , per longi temporis cruciatum ita , carnibus atque ipsis visceribus adesis , homine consumpto membra nudarunt , ut ossa tantum viduata pulpis nitore nimio candentia funestae cohaererent arbori .

After a long day moving at breakneck pace , we came to a village where we stayed the night , a place where a noteworthy crime had been committed which I’ll relate . A servant , whose master had made him steward of his entire estate , had previously acted as bailiff therefore of the large holding where we had stopped for the night . He was married to a servant in the same household , but burned with love for a freedwoman , who lived outside his master’s estate . Angered by her husband’s disloyalty , the wife set fire to his store-room and all his accounts , destroying both utterly . Not content with this act as revenge for the insult to her marriage , she turned her bitter rage against her own flesh . Tying a rope round her own neck and that of the child she’d just borne her husband , she hurled herself into a deep well , dragging the infant with her . Their master , horrified at their deaths , had the servant , whose infidelity had provoked the dreadful tragedy , arrested , stripped naked and smeared with honey , and tied to a rotting fig-tree inside whose trunk lived a colony of nesting ants that marched in and out in their myriad streams . Detecting the sweet sugary scent on his body , they quickly fastened their tiny jaws in his skin , wounding him deeply with endlessly repeated bites , until after interminable torment , he died . His flesh and his innards were totally consumed and his body stripped to the bare bones which , gleaming a brilliant white , were left tied to the tree .
. So after a long stage at top speed we came to a village where we rested for the night . At this place there had been perpetrated a deed that was so memorable that I propose to put it on record . It concerned a certain slave to whom his master had confided the whole management of his household and who was the steward of the large estate where we had stopped . He had as his consort another slave from the household , but he was madly in love with somebody else , a free woman who was not a member of the family . His wife was so enraged by his infidelity that she made a bonfire of all her husband’s account-books and the entire contents of the barns and storehouses . Then , not thinking this enough of a revenge for the affront to her marriage-bed , she turned her fury against her own flesh and blood : passing a noose around her neck , with the same rope she tied to herself the little boy that she had had by her husband , and threw herself down a deep well , dragging the child down with her . Their master , greatly upset by her death , arrested the slave whose lust had been the cause of such a crime , had him stripped naked and smeared all over with honey and lashed tightly to a fig-tree . This had in its hollow trunk an ants’ nest , swarming and seething with their multitudinous comings and goings . Directly they sensed the sweet honeyed scent of the man’s body they battened on it with their tiny jaws , nibbling endlessly away in their thousands until after many days of torture they had devoured him completely , entrails and all , leaving his bones bare ; only his gleaming white skeleton , stripped of flesh , was left fastened to the fatal tree .

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Apuleius, Metamorphoses 8.21

Amy Murphy /
  • Created on 2018-10-11 19:40:01
  • Modified on 2018-10-15 04:43:58
  • Aligned by Amy Murphy
Latin
English
English
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