LeNae Jones

Apuleius, Metamorphoses 1.1

LeNae Jones /
  • Created on 2018-09-07 19:54:31
  • Modified on 2018-09-21 20:20:19
  • Translated by A. S. Kline
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Apuleius, Metamorphoses 4.28 (Kilne)

LeNae Jones /
  • Created on 2018-09-24 20:16:40
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Apuleius, Metamorphoses 4.29

LeNae Jones /
  • Created on 2018-09-28 19:37:18
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  • Translated by W. Adlington
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Apuleius, Metamorphoses 4.30

LeNae Jones /
  • Created on 2018-10-01 20:07:48
  • Modified on 2018-10-10 19:43:51
  • Translated by William Aldington
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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 17:50:29
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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 4.32

LeNae Jones /
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Apuleius, Metamorphoses 4.33

LeNae Jones /
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Apuleius, Metamorphoses 4.34

LeNae Jones /
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