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Full text of "The works of Apuleius; a new translation comprising the Metamorphoses, or Golden ass, the God of Socrates, the Florida, and his Defence, or A Discourse on magic. To which are added, a metrical version of Cupid and Psyche, and Mrs. Tighe's Psyche, a poem in six cantos"

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AND MRS. TIGHE'S PSYCHE {a Poem in Six Cantos) 


1 9 14 

^Reprinted from Stereotype plates'\ 


The author of the celebrated romance of " The Golden Ass" 
lived ia the early part of the second century, under the Antonines. 
By most modern biographers he is called Lucius Apuleius, or 
Appuleius, but the authority on which they assign htm that prse- 
nomen is very questionable. He was a native of Madaura, an 
inland African town, and he styles himself, in allusion to its po- 
sition on the borders of two kingdoms, " a half-and-half Numi- 
dian and Getuhan ;" adding that, in that respect, he resembled 
the elder Cyrus, who was " a Semi-Median and Semi-Persian." 
Madaura, after having formed part of the kingdom of Syphax, 
was bestowed by the Eomans on their ally Masinissa, and being 
eventually resumed and peopled by veterans, it obtained the 
rank and immunities of a " colony," and rose to considerable 
splendour. The father of Apuleius filled the office of duumvir, 
the highest magisterial dignity in his native place, and bequeathed 
at his death the svun of nearly two millions of sesterces to his 
two sons, one of whom, the subject of our present inquiries, 
succeeded to his office. These facts we learn from the direct 
testimony of the son in his Apologia or Defence ; but most of 
the biographers of Apuleius add other particulars, drawn from 
the assumption that, under the character of Lucius, the imagi- 
nary hero of the story of " the Golden Ass," the author 
has related sundry details of his own personal history. Upon 
this supposition, we are told that our author's prsenomen was 
Lucius, that his father's name was Theseus, his mother's Salvia, 
and that she was of a Thessalian family, and descended from the 
illustrious Plutarch; furthermore, that Apuleius was ignorant of 
tlie Latin language until he visited Kome. where he acquired it 


without the aid of a master ; and that by the time he arriveil al 
the capital of the empire, he had so completely dissipated hiss 
patrimony, as to be under the necessity of selling his clothes, in 
order to defray the cost of his initiation into the mysteries of 
Osiris. This latter statement is at vai'iance with the account 
whicli he gives of his fortune in the Apologia, where he says, 
merely, that it had been, " niodice imminutum," somewhat im- 
paired ; the other particulars may or rnay not be true. There 
is, no doubt, such a resemblance between Apuleius and Lucius, 
both as regards mental characteristics and outward incidents, that 
we can hardly suppose it to be fortuitous. It is highly probable 
that the author drew liis hero from his own likeness ; but on the 
pther hand, it is absurd to look for literal fidehty in such a por- 
trait. It is not likely, for instance, that Apuleius would have 
deemed it consistent with decorum to speak of himself, his father 
and his mother, by their real names, in sofrohcsome a work of fiction 
as " The Golden Ass," since we find, that when addressing the sons 
of a friend in some complimentary verses of a peculiar character, 
such as the habits of his day allowed, he thought it his duty to 
invent pseudonymes for the objects of his flattery.* 

Apuleius received the first rudiments of education at Carthage, 
renowned at that time as a school of literature, and there he 
adopted the Platonic system of philosophy, in which he perfected 
himself by his subsequent stvidies at Athens. There, too, he 
laid the foundations of that copious stock of various and profound 
learning, through which he became the most distinguished lite- 
rary character of his age. Still thirsting for knowledge, and 
impelled, like liis own Lucius, by an insatiable curiosity to ex- 
plore all that was hidden from the vulgar gaze, he travelled 
through Greece, Asia, and Italy, and became a member of 
many religious fraternities, and a proficient in their mys- 
teries. After his return to Africa, he was about to renew his 
travels, and on his way to Alexandria was taken iU at Oea, a 
maritime town, which some geographers have identified with 
the modern Tripoli. A young man, named Pontianus, whom 
* See Defence, p. 2i>^^ 


he liad known as a fellow-student at Atlicns, invited the invalid 
to become the guest of his mother, a wealthy widow, named 
Pudentilla. In making this hospitable proposal, Pontianus 
had more in view than the comfort of his friend, and the 
restoration of his health. Pudentilla was herself also an invalid, 
being affected with a chronic complaint, which had lasted thir- 
teen years — the duration of her widowhood — and for which her 
medical advisers all agreed in prescribing marriage as a remedy. 
The son, seeing his mother prepared to try the effect of thut 
nostrum, was desirous that her new husband should be one of 
his own choosing. Accordingly, he begged Apuleius would do 
him the favour to become his stepfather, putting the affair to 
him, says the latter, in the light of an onerous service, such as 
one might ask a friend and a philosopher to undertake. The 
widow was neither young nor handsome, but she was virtuous, 
fond, and very rich. Apuleius, if not poor, was, at least, reduced 
in circumstances, in consequence of his long-continued course of 
study, his protracted residence in foreign countries, and various 
acts of generosity towards his friends and instructors ; moreover, 
he was a philosopher ; so in fine he married the widow. 

But this act involved some unpleasant consequences. Before 
it was accomplished, Pontianus had married the daughter of 
one Eufiuus, who, long eager to secure to his son-in-law as 
large a share as possible in the fortune of Pudentilla, did 
all he could to prevent her marriage with Apuleius ; and in 
this he was seconded by Pontianus, over whom he had acquired 
such an influence, as to make him look with aversion on the suc- 
cess of his own project. But notwithstanding all opposition, 
Pudentilla persisted in her resolution ; and soon after her mar- 
riage, Pontianus died. His uncle, ^milianus, then united with 
Eufinus in endeavours to ruin Apuleius. They gave out that he 
had poisoned Pontianus, that he was a magician, and had gained 
the affections of Pudentilla by witchcraft. They even prosecuted 
him upon the latter charge, and the cause was tried at Sabrata, 
before Claudius Maximus, the proconsul of Africa. It was on 
that occasion h? delivered the Defence, a translation uf wliicL 


will be fouuG .u this volume. It is a clever and amusing per 
formance, having nothing of the tragic earnestness of a man who 
is pleading for his life ; on the contrary, Apuleius ajjpears, from 
first to last, to have felt quite secure as to the issue, and to have 
flung himself with great glee into a contest which afforded him 
such capital opportunities for displaying his wit, his learning, and 
his powers of rhetoric. His advcrsai'ies had a bad game to play ; 
they played it into his hands, and he made good use of their blun« 
ders. The main charge was ridiculous enough, and Apulems had for 
it a ready and sufficient answer : " You are surprised," he said, 
" that a woman should have married again after thirteen years of 
widowhood ; but the real wonder is, that she should have remained 
unmarried so long. You pretend that magic alone could have 
forced a widow of her years to marry a young man ; but that is 
just the sort of case in which magic would be quite superfluous." 
As if to give the more force to this argument, the prosecutors 
were indiscreet enough to lay great stress on the graces and ac- 
complisliments of the accused, and to press upon the notice oi 
the court that Apuleius was altogether such a man as was most 
likely, in the natural coui'se of things, to find favour in a woman's 
eyes ; for he was handsome, and not negligent of his person ; he 
used a mirror ; he combed his hair ; he actually cleaned his teeth ! 
and tlus handsome man, who cultivated cleanliness as well as phi- 
losophy, had a ready wit and a fluent tongue ! 

After the discomfiture of his wife's relations, it seems probable 
that nothing very remarkable occurred to disturb the even tenom' 
of a life of literary labour to which Apuleius devoted himself, 
All that is known of this latter part of his career, is, that he wa? 
a most voluminous writer ; that he frequently declaimed in public 
with great applause ; he was a priest of ^sculapius, the pa- 
tron god of Carthage ; he had the charge of exhibiting gladi- 
atorial shows and wild beast hunts in the province, and statues 
were erected in his honour by the senate of Carthage and of other 
states. It was probably in his latter days that he composed his 
most Ctolebrated work, " The Metamorphoses, or the GoldenAss ;'' 
for neither does he allude to it in those passages in which he boasts 


of the extent and variety of his literary productions ; nor was any 
mention made of it upon the occasion of his trial for magic, aa 
would certainly have been done had his prosecutors been aware 
of the existence of such a book. This celebrated romance pur- 
ports to be the autobiography of a certain Lucius of Madaura, 
whose curiosity with respect to magic has been rewarded by his 
tranformation into the form of a jackass, in which he undergoes 
many curious and ludicrous adventures, until he is at last restored 
to human shape by the interposition of the goddess Isis, to whose 
service he devotes himself. Had this amusing story appeared 
before the trial at Sabrata, it might have been used with formid- 
able effect against its author, whose contemporaries, anticipat- 
ing the opinions of a subsequent age, might have identified 
Lucius with Apuleius, and believed the latter to be a great 

Lactantius informs us that the early pagan controversialists 
used to rank Apuleius with ApoUonius of Tyana, as a thauma- 
turgus, and to cite various miracles performed by him as equal, or 
superior to those of Christ. A generation later, St. Augustine 
permitted himself to doubt whether the account given by Lucius, 
or Apuleius, of his change into an ass was not a true relation : 
" Aut indicavit," says he, " aut finxit." 

The Golden Ass, in which many writers, especially Bishop War- 
burton, have been at pains to discover a profound theological 
purpose, appears to have been written with a view to little else 
than the amusement of a profane public. It is enriched with 
numerous episodes, of which the best known, and by far the most 
beautiful, is the story of Cupid and Psyche. Another forms the 
second story of the seventh day of the Decameron. An adventure 
which befel Lucius, probably suggested to Cervantes the dreadful 
combat which took place at an inn between Don Quixote and tlie 
Wine-skins ; and there is a striking resemblance between the occur- 
?ences seen by Lucius at the habitation of robbers, and some of the 
early incidents in GU Bias. Apuleius, who is now comparatively 
neglected, was familiarly known to all readers of the classics 
during the three eeuturics j/recoding our own ; but it is only 


through the medium of a translation that Englishmen, at least, 
are likely to make much acquaintance with him for the future. 
His Latin is very troublesome to read, and it is not worth reading 
ibr its own sake. He is a most amusing writer, with an execrable 
style, and therefore he is one of the few who ought to gain rather 
than lose by translation. "No one," says Professor Eamsay, 
" can peruse a few pages of Apuleius without being at once im- 
pressed with his conspicuous excellencies and his glaring defects. 
We find evei'y where an exuberantplay of fancy, liveliness, humour, 
wit, learning, acuteness, and not unfrequently real eloquence. On 
the other hand, no style can be more vicious. It is in the high- 
est degree unnatural, both in its general tone and in the phrase- 
ology employed. The former is disfigured by the constant recur- 
rence of ingenious but forced and learned conceits and studied 
prettinesses, while the latter is remarkable for the multitude of 
obsolete words ostentatiously paraded in almost every sentence. 
The greater number of these are to be found in the extant com- 
positions of the oldest dramatic writers, and in quotations pre- 
served by the grammarians ; and those for which no authority can 
be produced, were, in all probability, drawn from the same source, 
and not arbitrarily coined to answer the purpose of the moment, 
as some critics have imagined. The least faulty perhaps, of all, 
is the Apologia. Here he spoke from deep feeling ; and although 
we may in many places detect the inveterate aflfectation of the rhe- 
torician, yet there is often a bold, manly, straightforward hearti- 
ness and truth, which we seek in vain in those compositions where 
his feelings were less couched." 

Of all the voluminous writings of Apuleius there are only sLx 
extant of unquestioned authenticity. Two we have already named; 
the third is a dissertation on the God of Socrates, a work which 
has been roughly attacked by St. Augustine ; the fourth a treatise 
on the Doctrines of Plato ; the fifth the book entitled Florida, 
which is commonly supposed to be an anthology from the orations 
Df Apuleius, collected either by himself or one of his admirers, 
but more probably a collection of passages intended as proemia 
to sundry declamations or to be introducod. as occasion mijjht 


«erve, into the body of an extemporaneous harangue. The sixth 
and last is the De Mundo Liber, a translation of an anonymous 
Greek treatise, erroneously ascribed to Aristotle, which we have 
not thought worth iuvSerting. The treatise on Plato is not in- 
cluded here, as it has already been given in the sixth volume of 
Mr. Bohn's edition of the entire works of Plato. 

The Golden Ass has been several times presented to the English 
public, but, it is believed, never yet so completely or faithfidly. The 
God of Socrates has once previously been translated, (by Thomas 
Taylor), but the Florida, and the Apologia or Defence, are now 
given in English for the first time. The able metrical version of 
Cupid and Psyche, first published in 1801 anonymously, but at- 
tributed to the pen of Hudson Gurney, Esq., and the weU-knowii 
poem of Psyche by Mrs. Tighe, are adjoined, because of their 
appropriateness and merit. The latter was highly popular at the 
time of its first publication, went through several large editions, 
and was elaborately reviewed and praised in the Quarterly Eeview 
of May, 1811. 





In the following Milesian j narrative, I will string togethci 
various staries, and regale your listening ears with some meriy 
whispers, if only you will not disdain to look upon this Egyp- 
tian papyrus, written with the subtle point of a Nilotic 
reed ; and I will proceed to astonish j'ou with the adventures 
of men changed into different shapes, and, after various vicis- 
situdes, restored to their original forms. Who I am, I will 
tell you in a few words : 

Hymettus of Attica, the Isthmus of Ephyre,]: aud Tainarus § of 
Sparta, famous lands, immortalized in books st>Il more famous, 

* Golden.] — The following remarks relative to this epithet are from Dr. 
Smith's ' Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography :' — " Tiie epithet 
' aureus' is generally supposed to have heen hestowed in consequence of the 
admiration in which this tale was held, for, heing considered as the most 
excellent composition of its kind, it v as compared trt Vj-^, most excellent 
of metals. Warhurton, however, ingeniously cor tends that ' aureus' was 
the common epithet hestowed upon all Milesian tales, because they were 
such as strollers used to rehearse for a piece of money to the rahhle in a 
circle, after the fashion of oriental story-telleri. He founds his conjec- 
ture upon an expression in one of Pliny's Epistl?<i ( :•, 20), ' Assem para, 
et accipe auream fabulam,' — ' give me a piece of, and receive in 
return a story worth a piece of gold,' or, ' precious as gold,' which brings 
us back to the old explanation." 

t Milesian.} — The people of Miletus were famed for their love of merri- 
ment and luxury ; hence stories of an amatory or mirthful nature wer« 
generally known by the name of ' Milesian stories.' 

X Ephyre ] — The ancient name of Corinth. 

i T(fHarus.\ — This seems a preferable reading to Tcnedo.s. 


are my old nurseries.* There, in the early studies of my youth, 
I learned the Attic tongue. Soon after, a stranger in the 
Latian city, I applied myself to the study of the native lan- 
guage of the Romans ; which I acquired with painful labour, 
without the help of a master. 

Behold, then, I preface with asking pardon, should I in any 
way offend by my unskilful use of a strange and foreign tongue. 
Indeed this very change of language well befits the description 
of the transformatory art of magic, of which we pm-pose here 
to treat. We will begin, then, a Grecian story :j- Header, 
attend, you will be delighted. 

* My old nurseries.'] — ' Mea vetus prosapia est.' Taylor, following 
the Delphin interpretation, takes this to mean : ' are the ancient originals 
of my race.' This version is either expressly warranted or tacitly ad- 
mitted by all the commentators ; but, however respectable the authorities 
in its favour, it wants that of common sense. If Lucius, who was a 
native of Medaura, in Africa, had intended to tell us where his progenitors 
had lived, why should he have omitted Thessaly, the country of his 
mother's ancestors .' It is just possible that his father might have traced 
back his pedigree, through a pair inhabiting one of the places named, 
to a male and female ancestor belonging severally to the other two ; but 
would it have followed thence that Lucius should have pursued his early 
studies in those very three places .' What he desires to make known to 
the reader is, that Greek was the language of his youth, and Latin «i 
later acquirement, a fact upon which the nationality of two of his remote 
ancestors could have no bearing whatever. We incline to think that the 
word ' prosapia,' which literally means, lineage, is here used in a figurative 
sense, akin to that in which Englishmen speak of their university as their 
' alma mater.' Unfortunately we cannot decide the question by references 
to other authors ; for prosapia, as we learn from Quintilian, is one of 
those antiquated and obsolete words to the use of which Apuleius and his 
contemporary Aulus Gellius were inordinately addicted. At all events, 
' original seat of a race,' is quite as arbitrary a rendering of ' prosapia ' 
as that which we have ventured to assign to it. — A'. 

t A Grecian story.] — This name is probably given to the story, from the 
scene being laid in Thessaly. It is also not improbable that he calls the 
work by this epithet in consequence of having derived it from Lucius ol 
Potra:, a Grecian writer, from whom, also, Lucian derived his work, which 
vt somewhat similar, called ovo^, ' the ass. 






I HAD occasion to visit Thessaly on business ; for it was there 
that our origin on the maternal side was derived, in the first 
place, from the celebrated Plutarch,* and afterwards from hie 
grandson, Sextus, the philosopher, a thing which reflects so 
much honour upon us. I had travelled over lofty mountains, 
slippery valleys, dewy turf, and thick-clodded plains, being 
mounted on a milk-white horse of that countrj- ; and as he 
was now much fatigued, I jumped upon my feet, in order that 
I too might shake otf the numbness of my limbs by Avalking; 
then carefully wiped the sweat Irom my horse with a handful 
of leaves, f stroked his ears, threw the reins o^'er I'is head, and 
walked him along at a gentle pace, until the \/sual functions 
of nature had relieved his weariness. 

And now, while bending down his head, and cropping the 
grass sideways, he was taking his ambulatory breakfast, I made 
a third with two persons who were travelling together, and who 
happened to be on the road a little before me. While I listened 
to hear what was the subject of their convei'sation, one of them, 
bursting into a loud laugh, said to the other, "Do leave off tell- 
ing such absurd, such monstrous;]: lii'S." 

Hearing this, 1, who am general!}' athirst after novelty, struck 

* Flutarch.'] — Plutarch, the historian, was a native of Boeotia, and his 
nephew, Sextus, the preceptor of Marcus Antoninus, in all prohahiliiy 
lived later than the time of Apuleius. It consequently follows either that 
I'lutarch of Cha^ronaea is not the person here meant, or that, if he is, the 
allusion to Sextus is a mere gloss. There seems no reason to suppose 
that A})uleius refers here to his own descent from Plutarch through his 
mother, Salvia, tliough most of the early commentators adopted that notion. 

•f A handful of l('avrs.~\ — ' Fronde.' Some read ' fronte,' i. e. ' 1 wiped 
the sweat from my horse's forehead.' 

i Monstrous-I — ' Imniania' seems a preferable reading to ' inania.' 

B 2 


in, and said, " May I beg you will make me acquainted with 
your story ; not, indeed, that I -would be impertinently inqui- 
sitive, but I long to know everything, or at least as much as 
I can ; besides, some pleasant amusing tales will smooth the 
ruggedness of this hill v/e are just ascending." 

" Decidedly," said the first speaker, " this lying story is 
about as true as if a person should think fit to assert, that by 
magical muttcrings rapid rivers can be made to run back- 
wards, the ocean be congealed, the winds robbed of breath, the 
sun stopped in his course, the moon made to drop her foam,* 
the stars plucked from their spheres, the day annihilated, and 
the night indefinitely prolonged." 

On this, assuming a somewhat confident air, "Do not you," 
said I, " who began the story, repent of having so done, nor 
think it a trouble to tell the remainder." And then, turning 
to the other : " But as for ymi," said I, " you reject with dull 
ears and stubborn disposition, a statement of things which, 
perhaps, are true. Little are you aware, by Hercules ! by 
what perversity of opinion those things are thought to be lies, 
which appear either novel to the hearing, or strange to the 
^ight, or at least exalted beyond the range of thought; whereas, 
if you examine them a little more attentively, you will find 
tln-m not only manifest to the senses, but even easj- of accom- 
plishment. A\Tiy, it was only last evening, that, while I was 
endeavouring to eat faster than my fellow -guests, and to swallow 
too large a mouthful of cheesecake, I was all but choked 
throiigh the spongy nature of the glutinous morsel sticking 
in my throat, and stopping up my breath at the bottom of my 
Avindpipe. And yet, it was but very lately that at Athens, in 
front of the Poecile Portico,} I beheld with these two eyes a 
juggler I swallow a horseman's two-edged broad-sword, sharp 

* Her foam.'] — It was a common notion with the ancients, that the 
moon shed a noxious or poisonous venom or foam, and that sorcerers or 
magicians were aJ)le to draw her down to the earth hy tlieir incantations. 
Tiie so-called ' Lunar virus' was a principal ingredient in spells and 
magical compositions. 

t Poecile Portico.'] — This portico was so called from the Greek word 
iroiKiXr) — ' variegated,' or ' painted ' It was at Athens, and was adorned 
with, numerous pictures, the works of Polygnotus and Mycon. The battle 
of Marathon was there represented. 

X A juggler.] — It is not improbable that the mountebanks and jugglon 
of the ancients received their name of * circulatores' from their exii'.'jit- 
s!>g in a ring of people, like those of the present day. 


iu the exti'»;mo, blade foremost, and afterwards, for a 1 ri- 
ding indueemeut, Imry deep in his entrails a hunter's spear, 
with that part of it downward which threatens destruction. 
And, wondrous to tell ! beliind the iron head of the spear, at 
the part where the handle of the immersed weapon * passed up 
the throat,| towards the hinder part of the head, a beautiful 
boy mounted up, and wriggh^d and twisted himself about as 
if he had been without sinew or bone in his bod)% to the ad- 
miration of all of us who were present. You would have s;iid 
it was the noble serpent, clinging with its slippery coils to the 
knotted statf, with lialf-clip})ed branches, which the God of 
]\Iedicine carries. Eut you, who began the story, be good 
enough to repeat it again, I pray you. I will believe you if 
he will not, and will ask you to dinner at the first inn we 
come to. This I propose as your remuneration." 

" I thankfully decline your offer," :[ he replied, "but will 
begin ray story over again. And, in the first place, I w ill 
swear to you by that sun, tlie all- seeing god, that what I re- 
late I know by experience to be true. Nor will you any longer 
doubt that such is the fact, when once you come to the next 
city of Thessaly, for there the story is in every body's mouth, 
as it relates to matters that publicly took place there. But, 
that you may first know who I am, and of what country, and 
by what pui'suits I live, listen to my narrative." 



" I AM a native of ^gina, and I travel to and fro through 
Thessaly, ^tolia, smd Boeotia, for the purpose of purchasing 
honey of Hypata, as also cheese, and other articles of traffic 

* Immersed weapon.'] — We follow the Dclph'n editor, who with mani- 
fest propriety substitutes ' imniersi ' for the common reading, ' inversi.' 
t U}> the throat.] — ' Ingluviem' seems a preferable reading to 'inguen.* 
X Decline pour offer.] — ' jEqui bonique facio,' is a form of tlianks which 
implies refusal without expressing it, just like the French word ' mere;.' 
' Aiqui bonique consulere,' means, on the contrary, to accept in good pert. 
Neither Taylor nor Head seem to have been aware of the distinction. 
They both make Aristomenes accept the invitation, though the event 
shows that Luciiw did not understand liis reply in that sense. — K. 


used in cookery. Having understood that at Hypata,*^ which 
is the principid city of all Thessalj', new cheese of exqui- 
site flavour was to be sold at a very reasonable price, I made 
the best of my way to that place, with the intention of buy- 
ing up the whole of it. But, as generally is tlie case, start- 
ing unluckily with the left foot foremost,f all my hopes of 
gain were utterly disappointed. For a person named Lupus, 
a merchant in a largo way of business, had bouglit the Avhole 
of it the day before. 

*' Weary with my rapid journej", imdertaken to so little pur- 
pose, 1 proceeded, early in the evening, to the public baths^ 
when, to my surprise, I espied an old companion of mine, named 
Socrates. He was sitting on the ground, half covered with a 
Borry, tattered cloak, and looked almost another person, he was 
so miserably wan and thin ; just like those outcasts of Fortune, 
who beg alms in the streets. Consequently, although he had 
been my friend and particular acquaintance, I yet accosted 
him with feelings of hesitation. 

" ' How now, friend Socrates,' said I, ' what is the meaning 
of this ? Why this appearance ? What crime have you been 
guilty of? Whj', you have been lamented at home, and for 
some time given up for dead.ij: Guardians have been as- 
signed to youi' children, by decree of the provincial magistrate. 
Your wife, having fulfilled what was due to the dead,§ all dis- 
figured by grief and long-continued sorrow, and having ahnost 
cried herself blind with excessive weeping, is being worried 
by her parents to repair the misfortune of the family by the 
joys of a new marriage. But here }ou come before our eyes 
like some spectral apparition, to our extreme confusion.' 

* Ill/pat a ] — This was a famous city of Thessaly, situate on the banks 
3f the river Spercheus. 

t Left foot foremost.'] — To start on a journey by putting the left foot 
foremost was considered to be especially significant of »11 luck ; so much 
so, that the expression came to be generally used to denote a bad amen. 

X Given up for dead.] — ' Conclamatus es.' After a person was dead 
it was the custom of the Romans to call on him by name, for llie purpose 
of recalling him to life, in case he should be only in a trance. 'I'his cere- 
mony was called ' conclamatio,' and was generally ])erformed while the 
body was being washed, once a day for seven days ; after which period 
the body was burnt. 

§ Due to thedcad.1 — Ovid, in his Fasti, b. i. 1. 36, mentions ten months 
as the period assigned by Numa for widows to mourn the loss of theii 

BOOS I TAIK OF aristome.m:s. 7 

" ' Aristomcncs I' said he, 'it is clear that you are igno- 
rant of the slippery turns, the unstable freaks, and the ever- 
changing vicissitudes of Fortune.' 

" As he said this, he hid his face, which was crimsoned with 
shame, in his cobbled covering of tatters, so that he left the rest 
of his body naked, from the navel downward, as far as the 
groin. At last, unable to endure the siglit of such a miserable 
spectacle of woe, I took hold of him, and endeavoured to raise 
him from the ground. But, with his head covered up as it 
was, he exclaimed, ' Let me alone, let me alone ; let Fortune 
still enjoy the trophy she has erected.' 

" However, I pi-evailed upon him to accompany me : and at 
the same time pulling off one of my own two garments, I 
speedily — clothed, or covered him, shall I say ? immediately 
after which, I took him to a bath, and, myself, applied to him 
the requisite anointing and scrubbing processes, and laboriously 
rubbed off the coat of filth with which he was defiled. Having 
paid every attention to him, though tired myself, I supported 
his enfeebled steps, and with great difficulty brought him to 
my inn ; where I made him rest on a couch, gave him plenty 
of food, cheered him with wine, and entertained him with 
the news of the day. And now oiu- conversation took quite 
a merry tui-n, we cracked jokes, and grew noisy in our prattle ; 
when, heaving a bitter sigh from the bottom of his breast, and- 
violently striking his forehead with his right hand : 

"'Miserable man that I am!' said he: 'to have fallen 
into these misfortunes while intent on gratifying myself with 
a famous gladiatorial spectacle. For, as you are very well 
aware, I went to Macedonia on an affair of business ; and 
after being detained there for the space of ten months, I was 
on my return homewards, having gained a very pretty sum of 
money. I had nearly reached Larissa, * which I had included 
in mj' route for the purpose of seeing the spectacle I mentioned, 
when I was attacked by some desperate robbers, in a lonely and 
rugged valley, and only effected my escape, after being plundered 
by them of all I possessed Being thus reduced to extreme dis- 
ti'ess, I betook myscdf to a certain woman named Meroe, who 
kept a tavern, and who, though old, was remarkably engaging; 
and to her I related the circumstances of my lengthened ab- 
sence, of my earnest desii-e to reach home, and of my being 
* Laruaa.] — \ city of Thessaly, situated near the river Peiieus. 


plundered of my property on tliafc day. After I, unfortunate 
wretch, had related such particulars as I remembered, she 
treated me with the greatest kindness, supplied me with a 
good supper, all for nothing, and afterwards, instigated by 
lust, admitted me to her bed. But from the very moment that 
I, unhappy man, first lay with her, my mind contracted a last- 
ing malady ; and I even made her a present of those garmenta 
which the robbers, in their humanity, had left me to cover my 
nakedness. I likewise presented her with the little earnings I 
made by working as a cloakmaker while I was yet in good con- 
dition of body ; until at length this worthy partner, and ill 
fortune together, reduced me to that state in which you just 
now saw me.' 

" 'Uy Pollux, then,' said Ij ' you deserve to suffer extreme 
misfortunes, if there is anything still more extreme than that 
which is most extreme, for having preferred the pleasures of 
dalliance and a wrinkled harlot, to your home and childi'en.' 

" ' Hush ! hush !' said he, raising his forefinger to his mouth, 
and looking round with a terror-stricken countenance to see if 
he might speak with safety; ' Forbear to revile a woman skilled 
in celestial matters, lest you do yourself an injury thi'ough an 
intemperate tongue.' 

" ' Say you so? ' said I. ' "What kind of woman is this tavern- 
keeper, so powerful and queenly ? ' 

" ' She is a sorceress,' he replied, ' and endowed with powers 
divine ; she is able to draw down the heavens, to uplift the 
earth, to harden the running water, to dissolve mountains, to 
raise the shades of the dead, to dethrone the Gods, to extin- 
guish the stars, and to illumine the depths of Tartarus itself.' 

" ' Come, come,' said I, ' do draw asunder this tragic curtain,* 
and fold up the theatric drop-scene, and let's hear your story 
in ordinary parlance.' 

" ' Should you like,' said he, ' to hear of one or two, ay, or a 

* Tragic curtain.] — The ' siparium' was a piece of tapestry, stretched 
on a frame, and, rising before the stage, answered the same pnrpose as the 
curtain or drop-scene with us in conceaHng the stage till the actors ap- 
peared. Instead of drawing up this curtain to discover the stage and 
actors, according to our present practice, it was depressed when the play 
hegan, and fell beneath the level of the stage; whence ' aultea premuntur, 
meant that the play had commenced. ' Aulaea' seems here to mean the 
gtage curtain, which divided in the middle and was drawn aside : while 
the ' siparium ' would more nearly correspond with our drop-scene. 

nooK- I Tale op AnisToMK.NEs. 9 

great many of her perforiuunces ? Why, as fur iiiakini; not 
only her fellow-countrymen love her to distraction, but tho 
Indiana even, or the inhabitants of both the iEthiopias,* 
and even the Autichthones f themselves ; these are only the 
leaves, as it were, of her art, and mere trifles. Listen, then, 
and hear what she has performed in the presence of many 
witnesses. By a single word onlj^ she changed a lover of hers 
into a beaver, because he had by force debauched another 
woman ; since that beast, when in fear of being taken, escapes 
from its pursuers by the abscission of its genitals ; and slie de- 
sired that the same might likewise befall him, as a punishment 
for having been connected with another woman 81ie likewise 
changed an innkeeper, who was her neighbour, and of whom 
she was envious on that account, into a irog ; and now the old 
fellow, swimming about in a cask of his own wine, or buried 
in the dregs, croaks hoarsely to his old customers, quite in the 
way of business. She likewise transf(»raied another person, an 
advocate of the Forum, into a ram, because he had conducted 
a cause against her ; and to this verj^ day that ram is always at 
loggerheads. | Then there was the wife of a lover of hers, whom 
she condemned to perpetual pregnancj^, when on the point of 
increasing her family, bj' closing her womb against the egress 
of the infant, because she had chattered scandal against the 
witch ; and, for these eight years, according to the general 
computation, this poor creature has been swci'ing with her 
burden, as if she were about to be brought to bed of an elephant. § 
"After this woman, however, and manj^ other persons, had 
been injured by her arts, the public indignation became 
aroused against her ; and it was determined that on the follow- 
ing day a most dire vengeance should be wreaked upon her, 
by stoning her to death. But, by the power of her enchant- 

* The JEthiopias.'] — The eastern and the western, separated from each 
other hy the river Nile, which the ancients (as we are informed by Strabo, 
Geo'jraph. Uh. ii.) considered as the boundary of Asia and Africa. 

t The Antichthoncs.'] — So called from inliabiting rr/v ivixvTiau) y-Qova, 
i.e earth contrary to that on which we dwell. Hence they are either the 
same with the Antipodes, or, at least, are those who dwell in the inferior 
hemisphere which is contrary to ours. 

j Is always at Ivggerheads.'] — ' Causas agit.' This Sir G. Head cleverly 
renders, ' and gives rebutters and surrebutters as he used to do.' 

§ Brouuht to bed of an elephant ] — Pliny asserts that the elephant goo« 
with young ten years. 

10 TflK GOtnE^* ASS OF AITt.l^lrS. 

ments, she frustrated this design : and as Medea, having 
obtain 3d by entreaty from Creon the truce of a single day, 
prior to her departure, burned his Avhole palace, his daughter, 
together with the old man himself, with flames issuing from 
a garland, so, likewise, did this sorceress, having performed 
certain deadly incantations in a ditch,* (as she herself lately 
told me in a fit of tkimkenness), confine all the inhabitants 
of the town, each in his own house, through a secret spell of 
the dsemons; so that, for two whole days together, neither 
could the bars be wrenched ofi", nor the doors be taken off the 
hinges, nor, in fine, could a breach be made in the walls ; until, 
by mutual consent, the people unanimously cried out, and 
Bwore in the most sacred manner, that they would not lift a 
hand against her, and would, in case any one should think of 
60 doing, afford her timelj- assistance. Being after this man- 
ner appeased, she liberated the whole city. 

" In the middle of the night, however, she conveyed the 
author of this conspiracy, together with all his house, that ie 
to say, -u'ith the walls, the very ground, and all the foundations, 
close shut as it was, into another city, situate at the hundredth 
milestone hence, and on the summit of a craggy mountain, 
in consequence of which it is de2:)rived of water. And, as the 
dwellings of the inhabitants were built so close together, that 
they did not aftbrd room to this new comer, she threw down 
the house before the gate of the city, and took her departure." 

" * You naiTate,' said I, 'marvellous things, my good Socra- 
tes, and no less terrible than marvellous. In fine, you have 
excited in me too, no small anxiety, indeed, I may say, fear, 
not inoculating me with a mere grain of apprehension, but 
piercing me witli dread as with a speai", lest this old hag, em- 
ploying in a similar manner the assistance of seme daemon, 
should come to know this conversation of ours. Let us, there- 
fore, with all speed, betake ourselves to rest, and when we 
have relieved our weariness by a night's sleep, let us fly henct 
as far as we possibly can, before daylight.' 

" While I was yet advising him thus, the worthy Socrates, 
overcome by more wine than he had been accustomed to, and 
by the fatigue of the day, had fidlen asleep, and was now 

* Incantations in a ditch.'] — Sacrifices to celestial gods were offcreil oa 
raised altars ; those to terrestiaJ gods, on the ground ; those to infernal 
gods, iu a pit or ditch. 

j&roK I. 


anoritjg aloud. yhutiirig the (hmr, tlicrefure, securing the 
oolts, and placing my bed close against the hinges, I tossed it 
up well, and lay down upon it. At lirst, indeed, I lay awake 
some time through fear, but closed my eyes at last a little about 
the third watch.* 

" I had just fallen asleep, when suddenly the door was burst 
open with too groat violeTice for one to believe that it was 
robbers; nay, tiie hinges being entirely broken and wrenched 
ofi", it was thrown to the ground. The bedstead, too, which 
Avar but snail, wanting one foot, and rotten, Avas thrown down 
wim me violence of the shock, and falling u})on rae, who had 
been rolled out and pitched upon the ground, completely covered 
and concealed me. Then was I sensible that certain emotions 
of the mind are naturalh' excited by contrary causes. For as 
tears very often proceed from joy, so, amid my extreme fear, 
1 could not refrain from laughing, to see myself turned, 
from Aristomenes, into a tortoise. f And so, while prostrate 
on the floor, peeping askance to see Avhat was the matter, and 
completel}- covered by the bed, I espied two women, of ad- 
vanced age, one of whom earned a lighted lamp, and the otlier 
a sponge and a drawn sword. Thus equipped, they planted 
themselves on either side of Socrates, who was fast asleep. 

" She who carried the sword then addressed the other, ' Tin's, 
sister Panthia, is my dear End j"mion, ;J: ray Ganymede,§ who 
by day and by night, hath laughed my A'outhfid age to scorn. 
This is he who, despising mj' passion, not only defames me Avith 
abusive language, but is preparing also for flight — and I, for- 
sooth, deserted through the craft of this Ulysses, just like 
another Calypso, am to be left to lament in eternal loneliness.' 

" Then extending her right hand, and pointing me out to her 
friend Panthia ; ' And there,' said she, ' is his worthy coun- 
sellor Aristomenes, who was the proposer of this flight, and 
Avho noAV, half dead, is lying flat on the ground beneath 
the bedstead, and is looking at all that is goinj' on, Avhile he 
fancies that he is to relate disgraceful stories of me with im- 

* Third u-atch.'\ — Tlie beginning of this would be midnight. 

t Into a lortoise-l — From liis bed and bedstead being turned over hini. 

J My dear Endytnion ] — Alluding to the secret of Diana and the shep- 
herd Endyniion, on Mount Latmus. 

§ ^J^/ Ganymede.']— CaWtd ' Catamitus' in the text; by wliirh name ^-< 
is also called in the Menajchmi of Plautus. 


punity, I '11 take care, however, tluit sonu! day, £.y, aliJ k^- 
ibre long too, this verj' instant in fact, he shall repent of his 
recent loquacity, and his present inquisitiveness.' 

** On liearing this, wretch tliat I was, I felt myself streaming 
with cold perspiration, and my vitals began to throb with agi- 
tation ; so much so, that even the bedstead, shaken by the 
violence of my palpitations, moved up and down upon my back. 

" ' Well, sister/ said the worthy Panthia, ' shall we hack him 
to pieces at once, after the fashion of the Bacchanals, or, shall 
we bind his limbs and deprive him of virility ? ' 

" To this, Meroe replied — for I perceived from the circum- 
stances, as well as from the nairative of Socrates, how well that 
name fitted her* — ' Kather let him live, if only that he may 
cover with a little eartli the bodj' of this wretched creature.' 
Then, moving the liead of Socrates to one side, she plunged 
the whole sword into him up to the hilt, through the left side 
of his throat, carefullj' receiving the flowing blood into a small 
leatliem bottle, placed under it, so that not a drop of it Avas any- 
where to be seen. All tliis did I wituess with my own eyes; 
and, what is more, the worthy Meroe, that she might not, I 
suppose, omit any due observance in the sacrifice of the victim, 
thrusting her right hand through the wound, into the very 
entrails, and groping among them, drew forth the heart of my 
unhappy companion ; w^hile, his windpipe being severed by the 
thrust of the wea]X>n, he emitted through the wound a voice, 
or rather I should say, an indistinct gurgling noise, and poured 
forth his spirit with his bubbling blood. Panthia then stopped 
the gaping wound with the sponge, exclaiming, ' Bev/are, 
sea-born sponge, how thou dost jjass through a river.' 

"When she had thus said, they lifted mj'bed from theground, 
and squatting astride over my face, discharged their bladders, 
until they had entirely drenched me with their most filthy 

* How well that name fitted her.l — Ausonius, Epigram xix., explains 
his allusion : 

Et tu sic Meroe : non quod sic atra colore, 

Ut qiife Is'iliaoa nasciturin Meroe; 
Infusuni seil quod viuum non diluis undis, 
Potare inimixtum sueta merumque nierum. 
You are named Meroe, not because you are of a swarthy complexion 
like one born in Meroe, the island of tbe Nile ; but because you di> not 
dilute your wine with water lut are used to drink it unmixed and con- 
centrated — K 


"Hiirdly had they passed over the threshold, wlicn the door 
resumed its former state; the hinges resettled on the pannels; 
the posts returned to the bars, and the bolts flew back once more 
to their sockets. But I, left in such a plight, prostrate on the 
ground, scared, naked, cold, and drenched in chamber-lj'e, just 
like some babe that has recently emerged from the womb of 
its mother, indeed, I may say, half dead, but still surviving 
myself, and pursuing, as it were, a posthumous train of reflec- 
tions, or, to say the least, like a candidate for the cross, to which 
i was surely destined : ' What,' said 1, ' will become of me, 
when this man is found in the morning with his throat cut ? 
Though I tell tlie truth, who will think my story probable ? 
You ought at least, they will saj', to have called for assistance, 
if you, such a stout man as you ai'e, could not resist a wouian. 
Is a man's throat to be cut before your eyes, and are you to be 
silent ? How was it you were not likewise assassinated ? Why 
did the barbarous wretch spare you, a witness of the murder, 
and not kill you, if only to put an end to all evidence of tlie 
crime ? Inasmuch, then, as you have escaped death, now re- 
turn to it.' 

" These remarks I repeated to myself, over and over again, 
while the night was fast verging towards day. 

" It appeared to me, therefore, most advisable to escape 
by stealth before daylight, and to pursue my journey, though 
with trembling steps. I took up my bundle, and putting the 
key in the door, drew back the bolts. But this good and 
faithful door, which during the night had opened of its own 
accord, was now to be opened but with the greatest difficulty, 
after putting in the key a midtitude of times. 

" 'Hallo ! porter,' said I, ' where are you ? Open the gates 
of the inn ; I want to be off before break of daj^' 

" The porter, who was lying on the grouud behind the door of 
the mn, still half asleep, replied, ' Who are you, who would 
begin your journey at this time of night? Don't you know 
that the roads are infested by robbers ? Ay, ay, though 
you may have a mind to meet your death, stung by your con- 
science, belike for some crime you have committed, still, I 
haven't a head like a pumpkin, that I should die hr your sake.' 

"'It isn't very fur from day-break,' said I; 'and besides, 
what can robbers take from a traveller in the greatest po- 
verty : Are you ignorant, you simpleton, that he who is naked 
cannot be stripped by ten athletes even?' 


" The drowsy porter, turning himself on his other side, made 
answer, ' And how am I to know that you have not mur- 
dered that fellow-traveller of yours, with whom you came 
hither last night, and are now consulting your safety in flight ? 
And now I recollect that just at that hour I saw the depths 
of Tartarus* through the j-awning earth and in them the dog 
Cerberus, looking ready to devour me.' 

" Then truly 1 came to the conclusion that the worthy Meroe 
had not spared my throat through any compassion, but that 
she had cruelly reserved me for the cross.f Accordingly, on 
returning to my chamber, I thought about some speedy mode 
of putting an end to myself : but as Fortune had provided me 
Avith no weapon with which to commit self-destruction, excei)t 
the bedstead alone — ' Now, bedstead,' said I, ' most dear to my 
soul, who hast been partner with me in enduring so many 
sorrows, who art fully conscious, and a spectator of this night's 
events, and whom alone, when accused, I can adduce as a 
witness of my innocence, do thou supply me, who would fain 
hasten to the shades below, with a welcome instrument of 

" Thus saying, 1 began to undo the rope with which the 
bed was corded, and thi-owing one end of it over a small beam 
which projected above the window, and there fastening it, 
and making a strong slip-knot at the other eivu, I mounted 
upon the bed, and thus elevated for my own destruction, I 
put my head into the noose. Eut while with one foot I was 
kicking away the support on which I rested, so that the 
noose, being tightened about my throat by the strain of my 
weight, might stop tlie functions of my breath ; the rope, 
which was old and rotten, broke asunder, and falling from aloit, 
I tumbled with great force upon Socrates (for he was lying 
close by), and rolled with him on to the floor. 

" Lo and behold ! at the very same instant the porter burst 
into the room, bawling out, ' Where are you, you who were 

* Saw the depths of Tartarus.] — Of course in a dream. Just at thai 
hour: — He knows all about it. even to the precise lime. The prompti- 
tude with which the porter decides from the evidence of his dream that 
the murder had been actually committed, and at the very moment when 
the dream occurred, is a fine touch of nature. — A'. 

t For the cross.] — The cross was the instrument of punishment foi 
tiaves and foreigners, especially in cases of murder. 


in such monstrous haste to be off at midnight, and now lie 
snoring, rolled up in the bcd-clotlies :' 

"At these words, whether awakened by my fall, or by 
the discordant notes of the porter, I know not, Socrates was 
the first to start up, and exclaim, ' Assuredly, it is not 
without good reason that all travellers detest these hostlers. 
For this troublesome fellow, intruding so impertinently, with 
the intention, no doubt, of stealing something, has roused mo 
out of a sound sleep, by his outrageous bellowing.' 

" On hearing him speak, I jumped up briskly, in an ecstasy 
of unhoped-for joy : ' FaithfuUest of portei's,' I exclaimed, 
' my friend, my own father, and my brother, behold him whom 
you, in your drunken fit, falsely accused me of having mur- 
dered.' So saying, I embraced Socrates, and was for loading 
him with kisses ; but he, being assailed by the stench of the 
most filthy liquor with which those hags* had drenched me, 
repulsed me with considerable violence. ' Get out with you,' 
he cried, 'for you stink like the bottom of a sewer,' and then 
began jocularly to enquire the cause of this nasty smell. 
Sorely confused, I trumped up some absurd story on the spur 
of the moment, to give another turn to the conversation, and, 
taking him by the right hand, ' Why not be off,' said I, ' and 
enjoy the freshness of the morning on our journey r' So I took 
my bundle, and, having paid the innkeeper i:v our night's 
lodging, we started on our road. 

" We had proceeded some little distance, and now every 
thing being illumined by the beams of the rising sun, I keenly 
and attentively examined that part of my companion's neck, 
into which I had seen the sword plunged. 'Foolish man,' 
said I to myself, ' buried in your cups, you certainly have had a 
most absurd di'eam. Why look, h(;re's Socrates safe, sound, 
and hearty. AVhere is the wound ? where is the sponge ? 
where, in fine, is the scar of a wound, so det'p, and so recent :' 

" Addressing myself to him, ' Deeidcdly,' said I, * skilful 
doctors have good reason to be of opiuiun that it is those who 
are stuffed out with food and fermented liquors who are trou- 
bled with portentous and horrible dreams, il}' own case is an 

* Those hags.'] — ' Lamiae' were enchantresses, who weve said to prowl 
about at midnight to satisfy their lustful propensities, and their foud. 
ness for human flesh. They correspond very nearly with the ' Giiouls' nieo- 
tioncd in the Arabiau Nights' Eotertaiiimejiis. 


instance of this: for having in my evening cups exceeded iKe 
bounds of temperance, a wretched night has been presenting 
to mc shocking and dreadful visions, so that I still fancy my- 
self besprinkled and deliled with human gore.' 

" ' 'Tis not gore,' he replied with a smile, ' you are sprinkled 
with, but chaniber-lye ; and yet I too, thought, in my sleep, 
that my throat was cut : some pain, too, I felt in my neck, 
and I fancied tliat my very heart was being plucked out : and 
even now I am quite faint, my knees tremble, I stagger as I 
go, and feel in want of some food to refresh my spirits.' 

" 'Look,' cried I, ' here's breakfast all ready for you;' and 
80 saying, I liited my wallet from off my shoulders, and at 
once handed him some cheese and bread, saying, ' Let us sit 
down near tha'. plune-tree.' 

" We did fo, and I also helped myself to some refresh- 
ment. While looking at him somewhat more intentlj-, as 
he was eating witli a voracious appetite, T saw that he was 
faint, and of a hue like box-wood ; his natural colour in 
fact had so fox'saken him, that as I recalled those nocturnal 
turies to my frightened imagination, the veiy first piece of 
bread I put into my mouth, though a very tiny bit, stuck in the 
middle of my throat, so that it could neither pass downward, 
nor yet return upward. And then besides, the number of people 
passing along increased my appi'ehensions ; for who would be- 
lieve that one of two companions could meet Avith his death 
without any harm done by the other ? 

" Meanwhile, after having devoured a sufficient quantity 
of food, he began to be impatient for some drink ; for he had 
voraciously eaten a good part of a most excellent cheese ; and 
not very far from the roots of the plane tree, a gentle stream 
do wed slowly along, just like a placid lake, rivalling silver or 
glass in its lustre. ' Look,' said I, ' drink yourfiU of the water 
of this stream, bright as the Milky Way.' 

" He arose, and, wTapping himself in his cloak,* with hib 
knees doubled under him, knelt down upon the shelving bank, 
and bent greedily towards the water. Scarcely had he 
touched the dewy surface of the water with the edge of Ida 
lips, when the Avound in his throat burst wide open, the 
sponge suddenly rolled out, a few drojjs of blood accom- 
panying it ; and then, his body, bereft of life, would have 
* In his cloak.'} — ' Palliolo' seems a preferable reading to ' paululum.' 

«00lt 1. tTTCTtXS AEtaVF.S AT Gtl'ATA. 1? 

fallen into the river, had I not laid hold of one of his fc-ct, and 
dragged it with the utmost difficulty and labour to the top of the 
bank ; Avhere, having-, as well as the time permitted, lamented 
my unfortunate companion, I buried him in the sandy soil 
that eternally begirt the stream. For my own part, trem- 
bling and terror-stricken, I fled through various and unfie- 
quented places ; and, as though conscious of the guilt of houu- 
cide, abandoning my country and my home, and embracing a 
voluntary exile, 1 now dwell in ^tolia, where I have marri(;d 
another wife." 


Here Aristomenes ended his story, but his companion, who 
from the very first had rejected it with obstinate incredulity, 
at once exclaimed, " Nothing is there in fable more fabulous 
than this story, nothing more absurd than these lies." Tlu u 
turning to me : " And you," said he, " who are a person of 
liberal education, as your dress and appearance bespeak, doy(;u 
give credit to this story ?" 

I replied, "I consider nothing impossible, but hold that 
just as the Fates have preordained, so all things happen to 
mortals. For both to me and to you, and to all men, many 
things do happen of so wonderful a nature, that they are nigh 
to not happening at all ; which, nevertheless, if narrated to 
an ignorant person, would fail to obtain belief. But this 
story, by Hercules, I do believe, and I return right hearty 
thanks to the narrator, for having so well entertained us by his 
pleasant recital, that I have got over a rough and tedious por- 
tion of my journey without labour or weariness. With this 
good service, I fancy that this nag of mine is also much grati- 
fied, inasmuch as I have been carried, without fatigr.e to him, up 
to the very gate of this city, not on his back, but by my ears." 

This was the termination of our conversation and of our 
journey together ; for both mj- fellow-travellers turned away 
to some neighbouring villages on the left ; while I approachcJ 
the first inn I cast eyes upon, and at once accosted the old 
woman Avho kept it: " Is this the city of Hypata?" said I ; 
she gave me to understand, by a nod, that it was. "Do you 
knowj" said I, " a certain person of the name of Milo, who la 


18 TftE GOLt)*;?! ASS OV APVtT.TVS. 

one of the first men of the city r"' She smiled, and rejilitd, 
*' With good reason is this Milo considered one of the first* 
men, inasmuch as he dwells beyond the whole city, and in 
the Poraoerium."f "Joking apart," said I, "tell me, I beg 
of you, good mother, what kind of man he is, and in what 
honne he lives." 

" .Do you see," said she, " those last windows which look on 
this side towards the city, and that gate on the other side, 
looking upon the blind allej- in front ? There it is that Milo 
dwells, a man abounding in money, and extremely opulent; 
but disgraced by inordinate avarice and shameful sordidness. 
In short, he entirely devotes himself to usury, taking pledges 
of gold and silver. Shut up in a scanty house, and always 
bending over his pelf, there he dwells with a wife, the partner 
of his miseiy. And no one besides does he keep in his houscj 
except one servant girl ; and when he goes abroad, he is al- 
ways dressed like a common beggar." 

" Well," said I to myself, with a smile, " my friend De- 
raeas has taken excellent care of me, in giving me a letter 
of introduction to such a man ; while I stay with him I need 
not be afraid of smoke, or the smell of the kitchen." 

Thus saying, and proceeding to a little distance, I came to 
the gate, which was strongly bolted, and began to hallo and 

At length, a damsel came out, and said, " Hallo ! you who 
have been knocking at o«r door so violently, what is the pledge 
on which you want to borrow money ? Are you th(; only 
person that doesn't know that we take in no pledge exce2)t it 
is gold or silver ?" 

" Meet me with words of better omen," said I, " and rather 
inform me, whether I have found your master at home :" 

" Certainly," she replied; " but what is the cause of your 
enijuiry :" 

• One of (he firgt.'] — The landlady puns on the word ' primus.' lie 
may well be called ' the first ' man, as you coiue to his house first "of all 
on approaching the city. 

t The Fomaermm.'] — The word ' Pomcerium ' was probably com- 
pounded of ' post,' ' behind,' and ' inoerium,' the old name for ' a wall,' 
and signified a space of ground adjoining the city walls, within whicL 
ihe city auspices were to be taken. The limits of the ' Pomoerium ' were 
marked by stone pillars at certain distances. 


" I have brought a letter," said I, " A\Titteu to him b}' 
Demeas, the duumvir of Corintli."*' 

*•■ Wait here," said she, " wliilc I deliver your message to 
him." j^nd do saying, she fastened the door again, and re- 
turned into the house. 

She came back in a few minutes, and, opening the door^ 
said, " My master requests you to come in." I accordingly 
entered, and found him reclining on a very small couch, and 
just beginning his dinner. His wife was sitting at his feet,f 
and a scantily furnished table was before them ; pointing at 
which, he said, " Behold your entertainment." 

" 'Tis well," said I, and immediately delivered him the 
letter from Demeas. Having hastily read it, he said, " I thank 
my friend Demeas for having introduced to me such a worthy 
guest:" and then he ordered his wife to leave the room, J and 
invited me to sit in her place ; at the same time taking hold of 
my garment, and drawing me towards him, as I stiil hesitated 
through bashfulness. " Sit down there," said ne, " for through 
fear of robbers, we cannot provide ourselves with seats, nor 
even as much other furniture as we have need of." 1 did so. 

"From the genteel appearance of your person," he conti- 
nued, " and from this maiden bashfulness of yours, I might 
reasonably conjecture that you are sprung from a good family. 
Besides, my friend Demeas also asserts the same thing in hia 
letter. I beg, therefore, you will not despise the poverty of 
our little cottage ; and, look you, you will have the little bed- 
chamber adjoining to this room, where you will be very com- 
fortable. Do not, therefore, hesitate to take up your abode 
with us. For you will magnify our poor house through your 
condescension, and will, besides, procure for yourself no small 

• Duumvir of Corinth.'] — The ' duum viri ' here mentioned were the 
chief magistrates who presided over the Roman colonies and ' municipia.' 

+ Sitting at his feet.] — His couch was so scanty in dimensions that it 
would not admit of more than one to recline on it ; consequently, his wife 
had to sit on a chair or stool at his feet. Although, however, this expla- 
nation may be admitted in the present instance, as consonant with Milo's 
stinginess, it was not uncommon for wives among the Greeks to take their 
jeats by the couches as their husbands reclined at meals. We learn from 
ilautus that parasites were frequently obliged to content themselves with 
Itools or benches, while the other guests were reclinmg. 

X To leave the room.] — He orders his wife to leave the room, because 
tbc dinner was only enough for two. 

c 3 

20 THE GOt.Bf.N ASS ot ArtwriTS. 

renown, if, content with a luiniLle dwelling, you emulate the 
virtues of Theseus, your father's namesake,* Avho did not dis- 
dain the slender hospitality of the aged woman Hecale."f 

Then, calling to the maid-servant, "Fotis," said he, " talie 
the baggage of our guest, and jjut it with care in that bed- 
chamber, and at the same time, bring quickly from the store- 
room some oil for anointing, towels for drying, and other needful 
things useful, and then conduct my guest to the nearest baths ; 
for he must be wear}' after his very long and toilsome joiirney." 

On hearing these directions, I reflected upon the mode of liv- 
ing, and the parsimonious habits of Milo, and wishing to in- 
gratiate myself with him in a still greater degree — " I do not 
stand in need of any of these things," said I, " as I generally 
carry them with me on a journey. And as to the baths, I can 
easily find my way thither by enquiring where they are. My 
principal concern is for my horse, who has so stoutly carried 
me hither ; do you, therefore, Fotis, take this money, and buy 
me some hay and barley." 

When matters were arranged, and my things had been put 
into the bedchamber, I went into the provision market on my 
road towards the baths, that I might first provide us with 
something in the way of eating. There I saw a splendid sup- 
ply of fish on sale, and after asking the pi'ice of some, and 
declining it, becaiise the dealer asked a hundred pieces J of 
monej', I finally bought it for twenty denars. Just as I was 
going away from there, I was followed out by one Pytheas, 
who had been a fellow-student of mine at Athens ; who, after 
having recognised me at last, embraced me in a friendly manner, 
and exclaimed, "By Gemini, friend Lucius, what a time it is 
since I last saw 3'ou ! By Hercules ! not since we left our mas- 
ter and quitted the city.§ But what is the cause of this jouraoy 
of yours r" 

* Your father's namesake.'] — Many of the commentators rush to the 
conchision that Theseus was the name of the father of Apuleius ; founding 
the notion upon the present passage, 

+ Jged woman Hecale.'] — Hecale was a poor old woman, who received 
Tlieseus, on his travels, with marked hospitality ; for which that hero 
established a festival in her honor. She is also mentioned by Callimachns, 
Ovid, and Phitarch. 

X A hundred pieces."]— The ' nummus' here mentioned was probably 
a ' didrachm,' the same in value as two ' denarii.' 

§ Quitted the city.] — ' Astu,' ' the city,' was the name by which, 
iu familiar discourse, Athens was generally called among the Greeks. 


" You will know," said I, " to-morrow. Eut what is the 
meaning of this ? I heartily congratulate you ; for I perceive 
attendants and the fasces, and a dress that fully bespeaks the 
magisterial office." 

He replied, " I have the inspection of the mai-kets* and hold 
the office of aidile, and if it is your wish to buy any provisions, I 
wall take care and accommodate you." I declined his offer, 
as I had already provided myself with a sufficient quantity of 
iisli for my dinner. 

Pytheas, however, having caught sight of my basket, and 
shaldng up the fishes, that he might inspect them the better — 
"And pray," said he, "what sum may you have given fol 
this rubbish?" 

"It was with considerable trouble," said I, "that I could 
get the fishmonger to take twenty denars for them." On 
hearing this, he immediately seized me by the right hand, 
and bringing mo back again into the market : 

"From which of these men did you buy this worthless 
stuff"?" said he. 

I pointed out to him a little old man, who was sitting in one 
corner ; upon which, immediately rebuking him in a most se- 
vere tone of voice, in virtue of his authority as sedile, " How 
now !" said he, " have you no consideration for our friends, 
not to say for strangers, to sell your pitiful fish at such an 
exorbitant price, and thus bring tliis city, the flower of the 
province of Thessaly, to be as bad as a desert and a rock, 
through the dearness of provisions ? But you shall not escape 
with impunity. For I will soon make you know how rogues 
are to be kept in order, as long as I am magistrate." 

Then, emptying the basket upon the ground, he ordered one 
of his officers to jump upon the fish, {ind trample the whole 
of them to pieces under his feet. Content with this infliction 
of moral discipline, my friend Pytheas, recommended me to de- 
part; "for," said he, "my dear Lucius, I have sufficiently 
disgraced this little old fellow." 

Astonished and dumb- foundered, at finding myself deprived 
of both money and supper, through the clever device of my 
knowing fellow-student, I betook myself to the baths. After 
bathing, I returned to the house of Milo, and was going to 

• Itutpecfion of the markets'] — This officer, whose duties corresponded 
with those of the vEdile at Rome, w^s called by the Greeks ' Agorauoums ' 


my bedchamber, when the maid-servunf, Fotis, said, '' You? 
host invites you to supper." 

I, however, who was alrcadj^ aware of the parsimony of 
Milo, courteously endeavoured to excuse mj'self by sayinj^, that 
I thought the fatigue of the journey would be repaired not 
BO much by food, as by sleep. Milo, however, on receiving thia 
message, came himself, and taking me by the right hand, 
politely tried to lead me in to supper ; and when I hung back, 
made a little resistance — "I will not quit you," said he," un- 
til you accompany me." At the same time, enforcing his 
words Avith an oath, he led me, thus obliged reluctantly to give 
way to his perseverance, to that same couch of his. 

When I was seated — "And how is our friend Demeas?" 
said he. " Ai'e things going on prosperously with him ? How 
is his wife ? Are his childi'en well ? What about his ser- 
vants ?" I answered every one of his enquiries. He then 
minutely questioned me as to the object of my journey ; after 
I had fully informed him, he next isked me, with the most 
Bci'upulous inquisitiveness, concerning my country, and the 
principal people ihere ; and, lastly, he was enquiring about our 
prefect, -^hen, on perceiving that, weary from my long jour- 
ney, as 1/ell as from the length of my narration, I nodded, and 
stopped short in the middle of my sentences, and that, quite 
knocked up, I was stammering away at different words, so as 
to render them imintelligible, he at length permitted me to go 
to rest. 

Glad to escape from the prosy and famishing entertainment 
of the shabby old fellow, overpowered with sleep, and not 
with good cheer, having made my meal on talk alone : I re- 
turned to my chamber, and surrendered myself to the repose I 
90 much longed for. 




HIS mother's friend BVRRfl^IiNA THE ATUrUM OF HER HOUSE 







So soon as a new sun had dispersed the night, and ushered in 
the day, I awoke and jumped out of bed; being by nature 
anxious and, indeed, over-desirous of becoming acquainted with 
whatever is rare and admirable, I called to mind that I was 
in the very heart of Thcssaly,* celebrated, by the unanimous 
consent of the whole world, as the land where the incantations 
of the magic art are indigenous, and in that very city which 
was the scene of the story of my wortliy fellow-traveller Aris- 
tomcnes. Excited in the highest degree by my longing de- 
sire and my ardent temperament, 1 cxamiicied everything with 
eager curiosity. 

Indeed, there was nothing in that citj', which on beholding, 
I could believe to be what it I'eally was ; but I fancied that 
everything was utterly transformed into another shape by 
means of some deadlj- spell, that the stones I kicked against 
were petrified men, that the birds I heard singing, were men 
transformed and feathered, that the trees which surrounded the 
pomoerium, were people in like manner, covered with leaves, 
arid that the fountains of water ilowed forth from the liquefied 
hunuxn bodies. 

I was every instant expecting that the statues and pictures 
would take to walking, that the walls would speak, that oxen 

• Heart of Theasaly .'] — Thessaly is spoken of by many of the ancient 
writers as the fruitful source of magic and incantation. Indeed, we find 
t)ie name Thessala' used tjy Plautus anil Horace to tjenote a witch or 


and cattle of all kinds would utter prophecies,* and that an oracle 
would issue on a sudden from the rays of the sun in heaven. 

Thus bewildered, indeed I may say stupefied with torment- 
ing anxiety, perceiving no likelihood or even trace of the ob- 
jects of my wishes, I perambulated the whole city. Wandering 
in this way just like one intoxicated, from door to door, I 
Burldenly, without knowing where I was, found myseK in the 
provision market. 

Here, as it happened, quickening my pace, I overtook a 
lady, who "was walking along, attended by a great retinue 
of domestics. The gold that hung on her cheeks and her 
embroidered garments, bespoke her to be, beyond a doubt, a 
woman of the highest rank. Close by her side walked a man 
considerably advanced in years, who, the moment he saw me, 
exclaimed, " By Hercules ! here is Lucius," and at the same 
moment embraced me, after which he Avhispered in the lady's 
car something I could not hear. 

" And will you not, then," said he, " approach and salute 
your parent ? "f 

" I dare not," I replied, " salute a lady whom I do not 
know ;" and immediately the colour rising to my cheeks, I 
turned away my head and stood stock still ; while the lady 
looked at me with a steady gaze. 

" Behold," said she, " the high-born breeding of his most 
virtuous mother Salvia; J and then, his person bears an inex- 
pressible resemblance to hers in every particular ; tall, yet 
not too tall ; a slender but well-rounded figure, clear rosy 
complexion, hair yellow, and arranged without foppery, § eyes 

• Utter prophecies^] — Lucan, in the Pharsalia, i. 561, mentions as an 
evil omen, ' the tongues of cattle being adapted to human accents.' 
Livy and Valerius Maximus inform us that an ox spoke and warned Rome 
of the disasters whicli would ensue on Hannibal's arrival in Italy. One 
of the Scholiasts on Lucan says, tliat in the civil wars between Caesar 
and Pompey, an ass spoke; another informs us that an ox spoke while 
ploughing, in reproof of his driver, and told him that it w^as useless to 
urge him on, for soon there would be no people left in Italy to consume 
the produce of the fields. 

f Salute your parents.'] — The word ' parens ' here is iiadicative of es- 
tnem and veneration, but does not imply relationship in blood. 

i Mother Salvia.] — She recognises him by this reseml)lance to his 
jjother Sahia. Aptitude to blush was, among the ancients, considered 
) mark of high birth. 

§ Arranged without fopfjery.'\—Xe\\Q^ or fl^^^eu hair much adroitei by 


l^rey but keen, and glancing in all directions as brightly as an 
eagle's ; in short, he is comely in every point, and his carriage 
is graceful and unafi'ected." 

Then addressing herself to nie, she added, " In these very 
arms of mine, Lucius, havo I nursed you, and, indeed, how 
could it be otherwise? seeing tluit I not only participated 
with jT)ur mother in blood, but was brought up along with 
her. For we are both descended from the family of Plutarch, 
both of us sucked the breast of the same nurse, and grew up to- 
gether in the tics of sisterhood ; nor is there any ot^ier differ- 
ence between us, except that of rank ; for while she contracted 
a splendid alliance, I married a person in a private station. I 
am that Byrrha^na, whose name, probably, you may recollect, 
as having been frequently mentioned among those who brought 
you up. Come, therefore, with all confidence to our house, 
or rather, I would say, to your own home." 

Having had time to digest ray bashfulness while the lady 
was speaking, I replied, " Far be it from me, my parent, that 
I should leave my entertainer, Milo, without any just cause of 
complaint. Nevertheless I will take care not to fail in what- 
ever can be done without a breach of the courtesies of hos- 
pitality. And as often as I shall have occasion hereafter to 
come this way, I will be sure to call upon you." 

Conversing in this waj^ we had proceeded but a few paces, 
ere we arrived at Byrrhaena's house. The hall* was most 
De^utiful, and had statues of the goddess of Victor}-, f raised 
on pillars which stood at the four corners. The wings of the 
figures were expanded ; their dewy feet seemed to brush the 
surface of a rolling sphere, although it moved not ; and they 
looked, not as if thej- were attached to it, but hovered in the 
air. A statue of Diana, in Parian marble, occupied a level space 
in the middle of the enclosure. The figure was singularly beau- 

the ancients, but only fops and debauchees expended their time on curling 
or dressing the hair. Apuleius inveighs against the practice in his ' Apo- 

* The haU.'\ — The 'atrium' was not properly the 'hall' of a house 
in our sense of the word, but was a spacious room beyond the vestibule, 
lighted from above, and into which the other rooms on t)ie ground floor 

+ Goddess of Victory.'] — ' Palmaris Dea;.' Literally, the ' palm-holding 
goddess,' in reference to the branch of palm which the Goddess of Victprj 
%i% represented as holding la her hivnd. 


tiful; the garments of the goddess were blown back by the "wind; 
she seemed in the act of running directly towards you as jou 
entered, and awed j'ou by the majesty of her godlike form. 
Dogs supported the goddess on either side, and these, too, werf? 
of marble. Their eyes were fierce and threatening, their ears 
erect, their nostrils open, their jaws agape to devour ; and liad 
any barking been heard in the neighbourhood, you would have 
thought it proceeded from those marble throats. A thing, also, 
in which the excellent sculptor had given proof of the most 
consummate art, was this, that the fore feet of the dogs, up- 
lifted to their chests, were in the act of running, while the 
hind feet pressed the ground. At the back of the goddess 
stood a rock, wrought to resemble a grotto, overgrown with 
moss, grass, leaves, and brushwood ; with vines and shrubs 
here and iherr' ; and the reflection oi" the statue gleamed lyom 
the polished i.uirble within the grotto. Over the extreme edge 
of the rock liung apples and grapes, most exquisitely wrought, 
and in which art, rivalling nature, had so counterfeited their 
originals, that you would have thought they might be gathered 
for eating, when fragrant autumn had breathed upon them the 
tints of maturity. And if, leaning forward, you had beheld the 
streamlets, which gently rippled as they ran beneath the feet 
of the goddess, 3-0 a would have thought that, like clusters of 
grapes which hang from the vine, they too resembled real life 
in the faculty of motion. 

In the midst of the foliage was Actaeon, carved in marble, 
peering over his shoulders, and at tlie very instant changed 
into the wild form of a stag ; and both in the marble and in 
the reflection of the stream he was seen lying in ambush, await- 
ing the coming of Diana to bathe. 

While I Avas inspecting these various objects with eager 
curiosity and delight, " Everything you see," said Eyn'haena, 
" is yours;" and she then privately ordered all the other per- 
sons to depart. After they were gone, " I take this goddess* 
to witness," said she, " my dearest Lucius, how great are the 
anxious ajiprehcnsions I entertain for you, and how earnestly 
I desire that you, who are as it were my son, should be put 
upon your guard. Beware, resulutelj- beware of the wicked 
arts and nefarious blandishments of that PamphiJe, tlie wift 

* This goddess. ] — pian3 


of Milo, who you say is your host. She is a notonous sor- 
ceress, and is believed to be mistress of every kind of necroman- 
tic incantation ; so much so, that by merely breathing on twigs, 
stones, and such other trifling things, she knows how to sub- 
merge all tliis light of the starry universe beneath the depths 
of Tartarus, and into original chaos. Moreover, the instant 
she has beheld any youth of handsome appearance, she is capti- 
vated by his good looks, and immediately rivets her eyes and 
her affections upon him. She inveigles him with blandish- 
ments, takes possession of his heart, and enthrals him in eternal 
fetters of profound love ; but as for those w^ho are not suffi- 
ciently compliant, she loathes and scorns them, and either 
changes them in a moment into stones, cattle, and animals of 
every kind,* or utterly annihilates them. I tremble for you, 
therefore, and entreat you to be on your guard. For this 
woman inflames wdth a passion that is eternal, and you, with 
your youth and your good looks, are exactly fitted for her pur- 

Thus did Byrrhaena counsel me in a most anxious tone. 

I, however, who was naturally of an inquisitive turn, as 
soon as I heard the name of the magic art, a name that had 
ever been the object of my aspirations, was so far from feel- 
ing inclined to be on mj- guard against Pamphile, that, moved 
by an irresistible impulse, I even longed to devote myself to 
such pursuits, even though it should cost me dear, and to pre- 
cipitate myself, wath a running leap, into the very abyss oj 

Wild with excitement, tlien, I quickly released myself from 
the grasp of her hand, as though from some chain, and hastily 
bidding her adieu, I flew at the top of my speed to the house 
of Milo ; and while I thus scoured along, just like a person 
out of his senses, " Now then, Lucius," said I, "look sharp, 
and have your wits about you. You have now the long- 
wished-for opportunity, and may satiate your mind with mira- 
culous stories, as fur luanj- a day you have been longing to do. 
Away then with i)urrile apprehensions, grapple wdth this ad- 
venture hand to hand, likt' a man ; but, at all evfnt..s, ab- 

* Animak of even/ iind.l — Hoiiior and Ovi<l relate the same of Circe, 
a Greek sorceress, but evidently of the same stock as the enchantress 
queen Labe, whose incantations are so amusingly described i i the story 
of Bfider and Gifiuhare, iii the Ai'abian Nights. 


Btaia from amorous dalliance with the -wife of jour host, and 
religiously respect the conjugal bed of the worthy Milo. But, 
on the other hand, you may lay siege to the maid-servant Fotis; 
for she is of charming form, of lively manners, and a pleasant 
tongue. Yesterday evening too, when you went to rest, she 
politely escorted you into the bedchamber, helped you atten- 
tively into bed, tucked you up very lovingly, and then giving 
you akiss, betrayed by her countenance how loth she was to leave 
you ; and lastly, she stood still more than once, and turned 
round to look at you. Good luck be your speed then !* but 
some what may, have at this Fotis." 

While forming these resolutions, I came to Mile's door, and, 
as the saying is, entered hot foot f into the execution of my 
project. However, I did not find either Milo or his wife at 
home, but only my charmer Fotis, who was preparing sausages 
for her master and mistress ; she had some minced meat on 
a platter, readj^ to mix with gravy, which, as my nostrils 
augured, was very savoury. 

She was neatly dressed in a linen garment, gathered in by 
a bright red sash, just below her breasts, and as she stirred the 
saucepan round and round by a circular movement of her rosy 
hand, her supple form partook in the motion, her loins vi- 
brated, and her flexible spine was thrown into charming un- 

Entranced by the sight, I stood gazing in admiration ; all 
ray passions, which before lay dormant, were aroused. At 
last I said to her, " With what a graceful, what a delightful 
twist of your hips, you stir that saucepan, my Fotis ! what 
honeyed dish are you preparing ? Happy, and most surely 
blessed is he, who is allowed by you to dip his finger therein." 

" Begone, unhappy wight," cried the sprightly chatter-box, 

* Good luck be your speed then!'] — ' Quod bonum, felix et faustum.' This 
formula, somewhat similar to our, ' I wish you health, happiness, and 
prosperity,' was made use of by persons about to undertake anything 
of importance, and was supposed not only to avert an evil omen, but to 
ensure a good one. 

+ Entered hot-foot.'] — This is not the literal translation of the phrase 
* pedibus in sententian vado.' It alludes to the practice of taking divi- 
sions in the Roman senate, when those who voted in the affirmative. 
' in dextrain partem pedibus ibant,' ' arose and took the right side of the 
house.' The author's meaning is, that I (iciijs resolutelv determined to 
carry qut liis jijoject. 

BOOK ri. ttiOTJonts 05 fSmaie i3t:\nTt. 29 

" begone as far as you can from my fire ; for if but a spark of 
it touch you, you will be burnt to the vitals ; and there will 
be no one to extinguish your heat but myself, who know- 
equally well how to provide a zest for bed and board." Thus 
Baying, she looked at me and smiled. 

I did not leave her, however, till I had carefully surveyed 
the whole contour of her person. But why speak of other 
particulars? since it has ever been my sole care, in the first 
place, to scrutinize the head and the hair in public, and after- 
wards to enjoy their loveliness in private : and in this I pro- 
ceed upon sure and fixed principles, first, because these are the 
most important features of the person, and from their conspi- 
cuous position, they are the first to present themselves to our 
sight ; and, secondly, because the natural brilliancy of the 
hair effects for Uie head what the cheerful colour of a showy 
garment eft'ects for the other members of the body. 

Besides, most women, in order to display their native charms 
and loveliness, divest themselves of all neck mufflings, throw 
open their outer garments, aitd delight to show their naked 
beauty; being conscious that they shall please more by tlie 
roseate hue of their skin, than by the golden tints of tlieir 
robes. But, on the other hand, (I shudder to speak of such a 
thing, and may there never be an instance of a catastrophe 
so dreadful,) if you deprive the most surpassingly beautiful 
w^omau of her hair, and thus strip her face of its native orna- 
ments ; though she were begotten by heaven, conceived by the 
sea, and nurtured amid the waves ; though, I say, she were 
Venus herself, surrounded by all the choir of the Graces, at- 
tended by a whole multitude of Cupids, girt with her ccstus 
redolent of cinnamon, and bedewed with balsams — still, if 
she were bald, she would not find favour even in the eyes of 
her own Vulcan. 

How exquisitely charming is hair of a beautiful hue and 
rich lustre, when it flashes back the rays of the sun, or shines 
with milder radiance, and varies its lovely aspect with every 
change of light ! now emitting a brightness like that of gold, 
now shaded off into the softer hue of honey ; raven-black al 
one moment, at the next reflecting the myiiad blossom tints 
of the pigeon's neck ; or, when anointed with Arabian drops,* 

* Arabian drops-l — Myrrh or spikenard is probably ineaat. 


paileJ by the sltiiider tooth of the comb, and gathered up bo 
hind the head, it pnjsciits itself to the eyes of the lover, and 
like a mirror rctiects his overjoyed features. How beautiful, 
Avhen its luxuriant mass is accumulated oi. the crown of the 
head, or suffered to flow down the back in profuse curls. Such, 
in short, is the dignity of the hair, that though a woman 
should go adorned with jewels of gold, rich gannents, precious 
stones, and every other kind of ornament, still she could not 
possibly seem Avell dressed, unless she had duly arranged her 

But in my Fotis, not studied artifice, hut the neglect of orna- 
ment, added graces to her person. For her copious hair, thrown 
loosely back and falling adown her neck, rested lightl)* on the 
fiexuous fringe of her garment ; then, after being gradually 
drawn together, the ends were looped up, and fastened by a 
knot to the crown of her head. I could no longer sustain the 
torturing suspense of such exquisite delight, but bending for- 
ward gave her a most luscious kiss, on that part where the hair 
was drawn up to the top of the head. 

She looked at me over her shoulder, and her eyes lit into my 
heart with their sidelong glances : " So then, you school-boy," 
said she, * ' you have taken a sweet, and at the same time, a 
bitter draught. Beware, lest the excessive sweetness of the 
honey turn into the lasting bitterness of gall." 

" Why do you say so, my chai'mer r" I replied, " since I am 
ready to be laid at full length and roasted upon that fire, so my 
pain be soothed by a single kiss." So saying, I clasped her in 
my arms, and fell to kissing her. 

And now, with responsive desire waxing with mine into 
an equality of love, exhaling from her open mouth the odour 
of cinnamon, she ravished me with the ncctareous touch of her 
tongue, so that I exclaimed, '*' I shall perish, nay, rather, I am 
a lost man already, unless you will be propitious." 

Smothering me with kisses, she replied, "Be of good cou- 
rage, for I am become your bondsmaid through mutual desire, 
nor shall our delights be long deferred : but as soon as torches 
are lighted, I will come to your chamber. Depart, then, and 
hold 5^ourself in readiness, for I will do battle with you all 
night long, as bravely as heart can wish." After we had 
prattled thus for some time, we parted. 

It was just about noon, when Byrrhaiua sent me a com- 

nook 11 A GOSSIP ON DITlNATtO??. 31 

plimeutary jiresent,* consisting of a fat pig, two couple and a 
half of fowls, and a jar of choice old Aviue. Calling Eotia, 
" Look," aaid I, " liafchus, the exciter and arniour-heaior of 
Venus, has come here of his own accord. Let us quaff all 
this wine to-day, in order that it may extinguish in us all 
bashful hesitation, and stimulate our lusty vigour. For the 
voyage of Venus stands in need only of such provision as this : 
that through the whole of the wakeful night, the lamp may 
be plentifully supplied with oil, and tlie cup with wine." 

The rest of the day I passed in batliing, and at supper : for, 
being invited by the worthy Milo, I took my place at his epi- 
tome of a table, as much as possible out of the view of his wife, 
as I kept in mind the admonitions of Byrrhaena ; while every 
now and then, I cast a trembling glance upon her features, as 
if I was beholding the lake Avernus.f Eut as I continually 
followed Fotis, who waited on us, with mj' eyes, my feelings 
were refreshed by looking at her. 

And now, as the evening had advanced, Pamphile, looking at 
the lamp, remarked, "We shall have a terrible fall of rain to- 

On her husband asking her how she knew that to be the 
case, she answered, that the lamp had predicted J it to her. 
At this speech, Milo, bursting into a laugh, exclaimed, " In 
this lamp, we feed a mighty Sibyl, who looks down from the 
socket, § as from a watch-tower, upon all that is going on in 
the heavens, and even the sun himself." 

Mingling in the conversation, I said, " This is only a simple 
instance of this kind of divination, and, indeed, it ought not 
to seem wonderful, that this flame, small though it is, and 
ignited by human hands, should still have a consciousness of 

* A complimentary present.'] — Xeniola. This was the name given to 
presents sent to strangers at their lodgings, as tokens of hospitality ; which, 
as in the present case, consisted of the various delicacies of the season. 

•\- Avermis.'] — Avernus was a lake of Cani])ania, near to Baiae, and was 
tailed as if it was cwpvoQ, destitute tf birds, because, by its foul exhala- 
tions, it destroyed the birds that flew over it. This lake, dedicated to 
Pluto, was thought to be the entrance to the realms beneath, and is fre- 
quently, as in this place )f Apuleius, assumed for those realms. 

* The lamp had predicted.] — So in the first Georgic of Virgil, we find 
that the growth of a fungus on the wick of a burning lamp, is cons^idered 
to prognosticate rain. 

§ From tht socket.! — The ' candelabra' of the ancients were frequent'ly 
placed on high, in a recess made for the purpose in the wall. 

82 tnt GOT.riEX AS'^ rji' ,\rtr,1:TTT3. 

the greater and celestial fire, as of its parent, and should thu3 
by divine presage, know and announce to ixs what the source 
ofita existence is about to effect in tlie summit of the firmament. 
For with us, atCoi'inth, a certain Chaldean stranger is just now 
disturbing the whole city with his wonderful replies to questions 
asked him, and is disclosing the secrets of the Fates to the public 
for pa5Tnent. Thus, for instance, he would tell the day on v/hich 
a marriage should be contracted that was destined to last long, 
or when the foundations of walls should be laid so as to re- 
main for ever ; what day would be advantageous to the mer- 
chant ; or which one would be suited to the traveller, or adapted 
for setting sail. In fine, when I consulted him as to what would 
be the result of this journey of mine, he told me many things 
of a very wonderful and an extremely varied nature. He said, 
for instance, that I should shortly obtain a very considerable 
renown, and that 1 should be the writer of an incredible story, 
and of simdry books." 

"What was the appearance of this Chaldean?" said Milo, 
•with a smile, " and what was his name r" 

" He was a tall man," replied I, " of a dark complexion, 
and his nam.e was Diophanes." 

" It is the very same person," said Milo, " and no other, and 
here also, among us, he made many similar pi-edictions to vari- 
ous persons, and realized thereby no little wealth, indeed, I 
may say, a considerable sum of money ; but at last experienced 
an inauspicious, or, to speak more truly, a cruel lot." * 



Ose day, when, encircled by a great crowd of people, he was 
dealing out the fates to the bystanders, a certain merchant, 
Cerdo by name, came to him, desirous to know what day would 
be suitable for a journey. After Diophanes had named one, 
Cerdo took out his purse, poured out the money, and counted 
a hundred dcnars, which Diophanes was to receive as the price 

* Inauspicious — cruel lot.'] — He puns on the resemblance of the words 
* gciEva ' and ' saeva ;' but the play ou these words cannot be preserved 
in Bnglish. 


of his predictions, when a young man of a noble family, com- 
ing softly behind him, pulled him by the garment, and on hia 
turning round, embraced and kissed him in the most affectionate 

Diophanes having returned the embrace, desired the young 
man to take a seat beside him, and, under the surprise of his 
unexpected appearance, quite forgot the business with which 
he was just then engaged. 

" How long is it," said he, " since you, whom I have so 
much wished foi', arrived in this neighbourhood?" 

" I arrived early last evening," replied the other. " But 
tell me, brother, in your turn, how it happened that you sailed 
so quickly from the island of Euboea to this city, and how 
you travelled hither by sea and land." 

Then, Diophanes, this egregious Chaldean, taken aback, and 
not altogether himself, replied, ''May our enemies and evil- 
wishers meet with the like cruel, indeed, I may say, Ulyssean 
peregrination. For the ship in which we sailed, being shat- 
tered by various storms and whirlwinds, after losing both mast 
and rudder, was with the utmost diiSculty brought to the verge 
of the opposite shore, and went down, head foremost ; and we, 
having lost all our property, with difficulty saved our lives by 
swimming. Whatever we could scrape together, either from 
the pity of strangers, or the benevolence of our friends, a band 
of robbers laid hands on the whole of it ; and my only brother, 
Arisuatus, resisting their violence, was murdered, poor fellow I 
before these eyes." 

While Diophanes was dolefully relating these particulars, the 
merchant Cerdo, snatching up the money he had paid as the 
price of the prediction, instantly took to his heels. Then, in- 
deed, Diophanes at length aroused from his fit of abstraction, 
perceived the blunder he had made, especially when he saw 
all of us who stood around him bm-st into loud hts of lauglitei'. 


"Nevertheless, master Lucius, I sincerely wish that tl>e 
Chiddcan may have predicted the truth to you if to no one 
else, and that you may be fortunate, and make a jrosperoua 

While Milo was thus proainu- on at interminable length, I 


84 "PHR GOI,t)f.>< ASS OF APUl.EItrS, 

groaned inwardly, and was not a litllo vexed with rnysolf fot 
having voluntarily introduced a series of wearisome stories, 
and thus losing a good j)art of the evening, and its dt'lightful 
enjoyments. At length, therefore, gulping down all my bash- 
fulness, I said to Milo, " Let Diophanes carry his destiny with 
liim, and again expose the plunder of the public to land and 
sea. But permit me, who am still sore from the fatigues of 
yesterday, to retire early to rest." 

So saying, I rose up and betook myself to my bedchamber ; 
and there I found a very nice assortment of good cheer. 
The bed of the servant boys was laid on the floor, at a con- 
siderable distance outside the door ; in order, I suppose, that 
they might not be within hearing of our chatter in the night. 
Close by my bed stood a small table, laden with the choice 
remains of the whole supper, and some fair cups already 
half filled with wine, only waiting for the admixttire of water. 
Kear these, also, was a flagon, with a gradually dilated orifice, 
for the more convenient pouring forth of the wine ; the whole 
being a whet, as it were, for what was to follow. 

I had scarcely laid me down, when, behold ! my Fotis (her 
mistress having now retired to rest) came in throwing a gar- 
land of roses upon the bed, and wearing a single rose in full 
bloom in her bosom. After pressing me close and kissing me, 
tying a garland round my head, and strewing flowers upon me, 
she took up a cup, and pouring warm water into it, handed 
it to me that I might drink a little. Before I hud drunk 
the whole, she gently took it from me, and gradually di- 
minishing with her lips what was left, sipped it sweetly, with 
her eyes fixed on me ail the while. Again and again we 
pledged each other; until at last, flushed with wine, turbulent 
in mind and body, and tingling and smarting with desire, I 
gave my Fotis ocular proof of my amorous impatience : 

" Pity me," I said, " and relieve me without delay ; for you 
may perceive how I have been kept on full stretch by the 
thought of that combat to which j-ou challenged me without 
the intervention of a herald. Ever since I received the first 
of cruel Cupid's arrows in my vitals, I have been standing to 
my arms, and I am greatly afraid my bow-string will be 
snapped by its excessive tension. But if you would gratify 
me still more, untie your hair, let it flow freely over your 
shoulders, and come and give me loving kisses." 

toot 11 FOttS KEKfS AfPOIWTJtfly't. ,^5 

111 ai irstant she had snalchrd away all the eating atiu 
drinking apparatus ; then, stripping off all her garments, witft 
her hair dishevelled in joyous wantonness, she stood trans- 
formed into the image of Venus rising from the sea, lic-r rosy 
hand shading, with coquettish art rather than through modest j, 
the beauties it did not conceal. "Fight," she said, "and 
fight bravely, for 1 Avill not give way an inch, nor turn mj 
back. Face to face, come on, if you are a man I Strike home , 
do j-our worst, and die ! The battle this day is without quarter." 

So saj-ing, she jumped into the bed, threw herself upon me, 
and like an athlete, bending on his haunches over his prostrate 
but still struggling antagonist, she assailed me with astonish- 
ing rapidity of movement and lubricity of spine ; till wearied 
in body and spirit, we lay powerless and gasping for breath in 
each other's arms. Manj- times we renewed our wrestling, and 
BO we passed the sleepless night until dawn, refreshing our- 
selves at intervals with wine, and rekindling our ardour for 
the pleasant strife. In like manner we passed many other 

Cum ego jam vino madens, ncc animo tantum verura etianr. 
corpore ipso adlibidinem inquies alioquin et petulans, etiam 
saucius paulisper inguinum tine, lacinia remota, impatientiain 
Veneris Fotidi mese monstrans, Miserere, inquam, et subveni 
maturius. Kam, ut vides, praolio, quod nobis sine fecialis officio 
indixeras, jam proximante vehementer, intentus, ubi primam 
sagittam sajvi ciipidinis in ima pra^cordia mea delapsam excepi, 
arcum meuni en I ipse vigor attendit, et oppido foi-mido, ne nervus 
rigoris nimietate rumpatur. Sod u-t niihi morem plenius ges- 
seris, ineffusum laxa crinem, et c-apillo fluenter undante, ede 
compiexus amabiles. 

Nee mora, cum omnibus illis cibariis vasculis raptini reraotis, 
laoiniis cunctis suis renudata, crinibusque dissolutis ad hila- 
rem lasciviam, in speciem Veneris, quaj marinos fluctus subit, 
pidchre reformata, paulisper etiam glabellum feminale* rosed 
palmula potius obumbrans do industria, quam tegens verecun- 
dia : Praeliare, inquit, et fortiter prajliare, nee enim tibi 
cedam, nee terga vcrtam. Cominus in aspectum. si vir eb, 

* Glabellum feminale.^ — Muliebre pudendum, quod Fotis nieretricio 
more depilaverat. 



It happened one day that Byrrhsena pressingly invited Jie 
to sup with her : and though I made many excuses, she svould 
not let me off. I, therefore, had to resort to Fotis, and take 
counsel from her, as from an oracle ; and tliough unwilling 
that I should depart from her the breadth of a nail, yet she 
kindly indulged me with a little respite from our amatory 

" But, look you," said she, " take care that you return early 
from this supper, for a frantic faction of the young nobles has 
been disturbing the public tranquillity, and you will see mur- 
dered men lying here and there in the streets ; nor can the 
forces of the prefect of the province, in consequence of the re- 
moteness of their stations, relieve the city from these outrages. 
iS'ow, your supeiior fortune, and contenqjt for )-ou, as a foreigner, 
may possibly cause you to be waylaid." 

"Do not be under any apprehensions, my Fotis," said I; 
" for besides that I prefer my own pleasures to the banquets oi 
others, I will return early, in oi'der to remove these fears ot 
yours. However, I shall not go unattended ; for girded with 
my trusty sword, I shall carry a protector of my safety " 

Thus equipped I proceeded to the entertainment. There Avas 
a numerous assembly of guests, and as Byrrhaena Avas a woman 
of rank, it comprised some of the first-rate people of the city. 
The repast was sumptuous ; the couches, framed with polished 
ivory, were covered with cloth of gold ; the cups were ca- 
pacious, of various graceful designs, and all unique in value. 
Some were of glass, with figures exquisitelj- embossed : others of 
the purest crystal ; others, again, of burnished silver, or of 

(lirige, et grassare naviter, et occide moriturus. Ilodierna 
j)ugna non habet missionem. Ila^c siniul dicens, inscenso 
yrabbatulo, super me cossim residens, ac crebra subsiliens, 
lubriciscpie gestibus mobilem spinam quaticns, pendulae Veneris 
fructu me satiuvit ; usque dum, lassis animis et marcidis artu- 
biis defatigati, simul ambo corruimus inter mutuos amplexus, 
animas anhelantes. 

l£is et hujuscemodi colluctationibus ad confinia lucis usque 
jtervigiles egimus, poculis interdum lassitudinem refoveutes, 
»t libidinem incitantes, et voluptatem iutegrantes. Ad bujua 
ucctis exemplar similes adstruximus alias plusculas. 

BOOK n. byrrh.ena's supper. 37 

glittering gold, or of amber, admirably wrought and hollowed 
out into beakers. In short, whatever one thought impossible 
to be made by man, was there. 

The carvers* were numerous, and their dresses splendid ; 
the dishes were abundant, damsels waited gracefully at table, 
while youths with curled locks, and beautifully attired, ever 
and anon handed to the guests old wine in cups of precious 

And now, lights being brought in, the conversation gradually 
became more convivial ; there was abundance of laughter, and 
good-humoured quips and jokes flew about in every direction, 
when ByiThajna thus addressed me : " How do you enjoy your- 
self in this country of ours ? If I am not mistaken, we greatl)' 
excel all other cities in temples, baths, and other public works. 
And then we have an extraordinary abundance of all the commo- 
dities of life. Beyond a doubt here one enjoys full liberty, and 
may live at his ease ; for the stranger who is a man of busi- 
ness, there is all the bustle of Rome, while for the new-comer 
who is of retiring habits, the quiet of a country-house is here 
to be found. In fine, our city is a place of resort for all the plea- 
sure-seekers of this province." 

" What you say is quite true," I replied, " and no where 
have I felt myself more perfectly at liberty than I am here. 
But I am sadly frightened at the dark mysteries and irresis- 
tible spells of the magic art. For it is said, that here not 
even the sepulchres of the dead are unmolested, but that 
certain remnants and cuttings from the dead bodies are sought 
from the tombs and funeral-piles, to ensure deadly misfortune? 
to the living. I am told also that when foreigners are buried, 
old hags of sorceresses are in the habit of outstripping the 
funeral procession, in their speed to ravage the corpse." 

"!No doubt of it," observed one of the guests; " and what 
is more, in this place they do not even spare the living. There 
is a certain person — I don't name him — who suffered from an 
attack of this nature, and whose face was mutilated and de- 
formed in all manner of ways." 

At these remarks, an uncontrollable fit of laughter burst 
forth from all the gue«ts, and the faces and eyes of all were 

• The carvers.'] — ' Diribitores.' It was i)robal)ly the duty of these 
J^ryints to csirry round the viands and distribute them among thp guestl. 


turned towards a person who sat in a corner, apart from the 
rest of the company. This person, confused by the long-con- 
tinued merriment, and indignantly muttering between his teeth, 
was preparing to rise and leave the room, when Eyrrhaena ad- 
dressed him, and said, " Nay, my good Telephron, do not go, 
but stop a little while, and with your usual good humour, do 
tell us that adventure of yours over again, that my son, Lucius, 
liere, may also enjoy the pleasure of hearing your entertaining 

To this the other replied, " You, indeed, madam, always 
preserve a scrupulous regard for good breeding, but the inso- 
lence of some people is such as not to be tolerated." 

These words were pronounced by him in a tone of great ex- 
citement. Eyrrhaena, however, reiterated her request, and 
conjuring him as he valued her life to tell the story, forced 
him at last to comply, whether he liked or not. Accordingly, 
gathering up the coverings of the couch in a heap, resting his 
elbow thereon, and raising his body a little on the couch, he 
extended his right hand and arranged his fingers after the 
manner of our orators, closing the last two, and pointing the 
rest straight forward, with the thumb upturned.* Then, with 
a courteous smile, he began as follows : — 



" While I was yet pursuing my studies, I went from Mile- 
tus.f to see the Olympic games; and as I wislied also to pay a 
visit to the chief places of tliis celi-brated province, I travelled 
over all Thessaly, and arrived under unlucky auspices at Larissa. 
As the money I liad brought with me for mj- journey had been 
nearly all got rid of in my rambles, I was put to my shifts to 
repair mj' impoverished state. While so doing, I saw a tall 

* With the thumb upturned.] — Contrary to our practice, the ancients 
used considerable gesticnlation with the thninb, when speaking in pu))hc 
or engaging in a dispnte. The upturned thumb was the sign of emphatic 
and impressive discourse. ^ 

t Went from Mile/ua.] — ' Mileto i)rofectus ' seems necessarily to have 
this meaning, though, singularly enough, Taylof ai(tlSir G. Ue4<i cofic'V 
ia rendering it, ' went to Aliletn,'^.' 


old man, standing on a stone* in the middle of the forum, aud 
making proclamation in a loud voice : ' Tf any one will under- 
take to guard the body of a dead man. he shall be well awarded 
for his services.' 

** On this, I said to one of the bystanders, ' What am I to 
understand by this ? Are the dead in the habit of running 
away in this country?' 

" ' Hold your tongue,' replied he, ' for you are a boy^ and a 
green one too, and a foreigner all over, not to know that you 
are in Thessaly, where it is a ixniversal practice with witches 
to tear off pieces from the faces of the dead with their teeth, 
in order to use them as ingredients in the magic art.' 

" ' Pray, tell me,' said I, ' in what does this funeral war- 
denship consist ? ' 

" ' In the first place,' he replied, ' you must watch inces- 
santly the livelong night, with eyes fixed steadily on the corpse, 
wide open and not indulging in a wink ; nor must your gaze 
ever be turned away to the one side or the other, no, not even 
may you cast a glance aside it. For these most abominable 
shifters of their skins, changing, in appearance, into any ani- 
mal they please, creep upon you unawares, so that they can 
easily elude the very eyes of Justice and of the Sun. For they 
assume the forms of birds, dogs, mice, ay, and even of flies ; 
and thus disguised, they exert their dire incantations, and 
overwhelm the guardians with sleep. Nor can any person 
sufficiently describe the extent of the devices which they make 
use of, for the sake of gratifying their libidinous appetite. 
And yet, after all, no larger pay than four or six pieces of 
gold is offered as the reward of such a dangerous service as 
this. But stop ; there is one thing I had almost forgotten : 
if the person who watches does not on the following morning 
give up possession of the dead body in an entire state, he is 
compelled to make good the whole of it with strips cut from 
bis own face, to match whatever has been torn off from that of 
the corpse.' 

"On learning these facts, I summoned up all my courage, and 
going straightway to the criei", ' Cease from making proclama- 

* Standing on a stone'] — We learn from the I^accliides of I'lautus and 
other works that it was the general custom for the ' praeco,' pr 'crier,' 
to TOOunt a stone before niaking his proclamation. 


tion,* said I ; ' here is a guardian ready to your hand ; tell me 
what is to be the reward.' 

" ' A thousand pieces of money will be paid you/ said he. 
'But look, young man, you must be very careful to preserve 
the dead bodj', which is that of the son of one of the principal 
persons of this city, from the abominable Harpies.' 

" ' You are talking nonsense to me,' said I, ' and mere 
trifles. You behold in me a man of iron nerve, proof against 
sleep, and, beyond a doubt, more sharp-sighted than Lynceup 
himself, or Argus ; in fact, one who is ej'es all over.' 

" I had no sooner said this, than he at once led me to a 
certain house, the main entrance of which being closed, he in- 
troduced me through a low back door, and into a darkened 
bedchamber, with closed window shutters, wliere there Avas a 
lady dressed in black garments, and weeping. Going up to her, 
the crier said, ' This person has agreed to your terms, and 
confidently undertakes to watch the body of your husband.' 

*' On this, the ladj', throwing back on each side the hair that 
hung down over her face, which even in grief was beautiful, 
and turning towards me, said, ' Take care, I beg of you, to 
perform vigilantly the duty which you have undertaken.' 

"' Never fear,' said I, 'only have in readiness something 
to throw into the bargain as a present.' 

" Assenting to this request, she hastily arose, and bade mo fol- 
low her into another bedchamber. There, in the presence of 
seven witnesses who had been introduced into the room, she 
pointed with her hand to a dead body that was covered with 
a linen cloth of the purest white ; and having wept for a con- 
siderable time at the sight of it, she called upon those present 
to bear testimonj-, and carefully pointed out to them everj- par- 
ticular ; while a person made notes on tablets of the parts ol 
the body, which were severally touched for that purpose. 

" ' Eehold,' said she, ' the nose entire, the eyes in a sound 
condition, the ears safe, the lips untouched, and the chin per- 
fect. Do you, worthy citizens,* bear testimony to this.' 
Having thus said, and the tablets duly signed and sealed, she 
was departing, when I said to her, 

" * Have the goodness, madam, to order that all things may 
be fiu'nishcd to me which are requisite for my use.' 

" ' And what are they r' said she. 

* Worth}/ ciiijens.l — ' Quiiites,' more piopedy ' Roinan citi/.cus. 


" ' A good large lamp/ I replied, ' suflBcient oil for keeping 
it alight till daylight, some warm water, with wine vessels and 
a cup, and a dish furnished with the remains of the dinner.' 

' ' • J-tegone, foolish man,' said she, shaking her head, • do you 
expecL to tind in a house of sorrow remains of suppers, in which 
no smoke whatever has been seen for these many days ? Do 
you think you have come hither for the purpose of eating and 
drinking ? Rather betake yourself to sorrow a«d tears, as best 
suited to this place.' Then turning to her maid- servant, she 
said, ' Myrrhina, give him the lamp and oil directly,' and so 
saying, she went out, and left the guardian shut up in the bed- 

" Being thus left alone to comfort the corpse, I rubbed my 
65^08, to fortify them for their duty of watchfulness, and kept 
up ray spirits by singing. And now behold twilight came on, 
night fell, then night deeper and deeper still, and at last the 
hour of midnight ; then, of a truth, my fears, that had some 
time been increasing, became redoubled. All of a sudden a 
Aveasel, creeping into the apartment, stopped close before me, 
and fixed its eyes most intentlj' upon me, so much so, that the 
little creature quite agitated my mind by its unusual confi- 
dence. At length, however, I said to it : ' Out with you, 
nasty little beast ! and go hide yourself to the mice that are 
just like you, before you get a knock-down blow from me. Be 
off with j'ou, I say ! ' 

" The animal turned tail, and immediately ran out of the 
chamber : and at the very instant a profound sleep suddenly 
seized and engulphed me ; so that not even the God of Delphi 
himself could have easilj determined which of us two, who 
there lay prostrate, was the more dead. In fact, I was so in- 
sensible, and so much in need of some one else to take care of 
me, that I might just as well have not been there at all. 

" Hardly^ had the clarion of the crested cohort sounded a 
truce to the night, when I, at length aroused, and terrified in 
the extreme, ran up to the dead body ; holding the light to it, 
and uncovering its face, I scrutinized every feature, and found 
everything in proper order. Presently, the poor widow burst 
into the room in tears and great distress, with the witnesses 
of yesterday ; and, immediately throwing herself on the body, 
and kissing it again and again, she began to examine it all 
oyer, with the assistance of the lamj). Then turning, she called 


Philoflespotus,* the steward of her house, and ordered Lim, 
without delay, to pay the promised reward to oae who had 
acted as so good a guardian. 

" This being given me without delay, * We thank you sin- 
cerely, young man,' said she, ' and, by Hercules ! for having 
so well performed this service, we will henceforth enrol you 
among the rest of our household.' 

" Overjoyed at this unlooked-for piece of good fortune, and en- 
chanted at the sight of the glittering pieces of gold, which every 
now and then I shook up and down in my hand, ' By all 
means, madam,' said I, 'consider me one of your servants; 
and, as often as you stand in need of my services, you may 
confidently command me.' 

" Hardly had I thus spoken, when all the servants, heaping 
curses upon the di'eadful ominousncssf of my words, snatched 
up whatever came to hand, and fell upon me. One began to 
strike me in the face with his fist, another to dig me in the 
back and ribs with his elbows, a third to kick me with his 
feet, a fourth to pull out my hair, a fifth to tear my clothes. 
Thus, mauled and mangled almost as badly as was Adonis or 
Orpheus,! 1 was thrust out of doors. 

" I stopped to recover myself in the next street, and reflect- 
ing too late on my inauspicious and imprudent remark, I could 
not but acknowledge that I had fully deserved to suffer even 
still more blows than I had received. By and by the dead 
person was carried out, accompanied, for the last time, by 
lamentations and outcries ; and, according to the custom of the 
country, was borne with all the pomp of a public funeral, as 
being one of the principal men, through the forum. To the 
side of the corpse there runs up an old man, bathed with 

* P/iilodespoius.'] — A name, composed of the two Greek words pikoc 
and Si(nr6T7iQ, and signifying one who wilhngly submits to the donoii atioa 
of another ; or, in the language of Horace, 

' Amicum mancipium domino.' 

f Dreadful ominousness.'] — Omen seems a preferable reading here to 
ouines.' His expressions certainly were not replete with auspicious 
omens : as, unwittingly, he anticipated a period when he might have to 
vait over the corpse of a second dead husband. 

J Orpheus ] — In this most corrupt passage, the reading 'Musaei vatis* 
has been adopted. It is possible that Orpheus, the son of the Mii?f 
CftlUope, may be referre(} to under thiit Hftiiie, 


tears, aud t(.aring his venerable white hair; and then, seizing 
the bier with both his hands, and with a voice raised to t!ie 
highest pitch, though interrupted with frequent sobs, ' 
llomans,' exclaimed he, ' by your faith, and by the public 
morality, espcise the cause of your murdered fellow-citizen, 
and wreak your severe vengeance on this abominable and 
wicked woman, for her most atrocious crime ; for she, and 
no one else, has cut off by poison this unfortunate young man, 
my sister's son, for the sake of her paramour, and made a prey 
of the inheritance.' 

" After this manner, the old man loudly uttered complaints 
and lamentations, broken bj' his sobs. In the meantime, the 
people begun to express their indignation, being impelled to a 
belief in the charge, on the grounds of its probability alone. 
They shouted for lire ; for stones : they incited the boys to the 
destruction of the woman ; but she, pretending to shed tears, 
and adjuring all the; Divinities, denied most solemnly that she 
had perpetrated a crime of such great enormity. 

" ' Well then,' said the old man, ' let us refer the decision 
of the truth to divine providence. Here is Zachlas, the Egyptian, 
a first-rat(! pro[)het,* who lias already agreed Avith me, for a 
considerable sum, to recall the soul for a few moments from 
the realms beneatli, to reanimate this body.' Thus saj-ing, he 
brought forward into the midst of the people a young man, 
clothed in linen garments, j- with his liead close shaven, and 
having on his feet sandals made of palm leaves.'} After 
having for some time kissed his hands and embraced his very 
knees, ' priest,' said he, ' take pity on me, hj the stars 
of the heavens, by the Gods of the infernal regions, by the 
elements of nature, by the silence of night, by the Coptic cn- 

* Prophet.'] — The Egyptians were consuintnately skilled in astrology 
and magic ; tlieir priests were prophets, and were helieved to he divinel 
wise. Hence I'ythagoras, Plato, and the most famous of the Greek 
pliilosophers, are said to have associated with them. 

■\ Linen yarinenls.'] — See hook xi., wheie the linen garments of the 
priests of Isis are more co])ioiisly mentioned. Woollen garments were, 
according to the doctrine of Orpheus and Pythagoras, profane ; hut those 
of linen were considered as most pure. 

t Sandals made of palm leaves'] — ' liaxae,' or ' Baxex',' were sandals 
•ilh wooden soles, made of twigs of tihres. They were worn on the stage 
by comic actors, and philosophers much atlected the use of them 'ru« 
Bgyptijiis made theuj of palm leaves or the paj)yru!s. 


closures,* by the overflowing of the Nile, by the tnystcricK of 
the Memphis, and by the sistrum of Pharos, I implore you, 
Give to this dead body a short enjoyment of the sxm, and infuse 
a portion of light into eyes that have been buried in eternal 
night. We are not offei'ing resistance to fate, nor do we deny 
to the earth what is her property ; but we only request a short 
space of life, that we may have the consolation of avenging 
her death.' 

" The prophet being thus propitiated, laid a certain herb 
three times on the mouth of the corpse, and placed another 
on its breast. He then turned towards the east, and silently 
prayed to the rising disk of the glorious Sun, whilst an intense 
interest was excited among the byestanders, by the sight of 
such awful preparations, and the prospect of a miracle, I 
mingled with the crowd, and standing on an elevated stone, 
close behind the bier, observed every thing with inquisitive 

" Presently the breast of tlie corpse began to be inflated, the 
artery to throb with pulsation, the body to be filled with breath ; 
at last the coi-pse arose, and thus addressed the young man: 
' Why, I beseech thee, dost thou bring me back to the duties of 
a momentary existence, after having drunk of the Lethajan cup, 
and floated upon the Stygian lake ? Cease, I beseech thee, 
cease and leave me to my repose.' These were the words hearl 
to proceed from the body. 

" On this, the prophet, becoming still more excited, exclaimed, 
* Why dost thou not relate to this crowd each particular, and 
disclose tlie mysteries of thy death ? Knowest thou not that the 
Furies can be summoned by my imprecations to rack thy wearied 
limbs ?' 

" The body looked up from the bier, and with a deep groan 
thus addressed the people : ' Cut oft" through the nefarious arts 
of my newly-married wife, and by a poisonous draught, I have 
yielded my yet warm bed to her paramoui-.' 

" Then that choice specimen of a v.ife, arming herself with 
audacity, began to contradict the accusation of her husband in 
a wrangling and sacrilegious manner. The excited mob took 

* The Coptic enclomres.'] — This probably alludes to certain embank- 
ments which were said lo be thrown up annually by swallows around au 
island near Coptos, which was sacred to Isis. They were said to laboui 
*o hard in thus attempting to preserve the island from the overflowing 
of the Nilp, that numbers died £^t tUp y^mK- 


different sides ; one party contended that this most iniquitous 
woman shonld be immediately buried alive, with the coi-pse of 
her husband ; the other declared that credit ought not to be 
given to the lying testimony of the dead body. The subsequent 
disclosures, however, of the young man put an end to this dis- 
pute : for, again heaving a deep groan, ' I will give you,' he 
said, ' I will give you incontrovertible evidence of the truth 
of my statements, and will disclose to you what is known to 
no other person whatever.' 

" Then, pointing to me with his finger : ' When that most 
sagacious guardian of my body,' said he, ' was diligently keep- 
ing watch over me, the hags of sorceresses who eagerly hovered 
over my mortal spoils, and who, to gain possession thereof, had 
often changed themselves in vain into other forms, on finding 
that they could not deceive his unwearied vigilance, at length, 
threw over him a cloud of drowsiness, and buried him in a 
profound sleep ; after which, they did not cease to call upon 
me by my name, till my weakened joints and chilled limbs strug- 
gled, with convulsive efforts, to obey the mandates of the magic 
art. Then this person, who though alive was still dead, so 
far as sleep goes, happening to be of the same name as mys(;lf, 
unconsciously arose on heai'ing his name called, and spontane- 
ously walking just like an inanimate shadow, sutfered the in- 
tended mutilation instead of mj'self ; for although the doors of 
the bedchamber were carefully bolted, the witches entered 
through a chink, and cut off' his nose first, and tluui his ears. 
And, that the rest of the transaction might correspond with 
their artful doings, they with the greatest exactness fitted on 
to him wax, fashioned in imitation of his ears that had been 
cut off", and provided him with a nose of the same substance, 
just like his own. And here now stands the unfortunate 
A\Tetch who has obtained the reward dearly earned, not by his 
vigilance, but by his sore mutilation.' 

** Exceedingly terrified on hearing this, I began to test my 
fortune. Clapping my hand to my nose, 1 took hold of 
it, and off" it came : I touched my ears, and they fell to the 
ground. Meanwhile the spectators pointed their fingers at 
lue, nodded their heads, and greeted me with loud roars of 
laughter, until streaming A^ith cold perspiration I dashed 
tliJough the surrounding crowd, and effected myescaj.e. Kor, 
tlius mutilated and an object of ridicule, could I return to my 


native place ;* but, Avith my liair falling ou each side of mv 
laco, I concealed tlic wounds of my ears, and decently covereil 
the disgrace of my nose with this linen cloth, closely aj-plicd 
to it hy means of glue." 


As soon as Telephron had ended this storj-, the guests, elated 
with Avine, again renewed their bursts of laughter. While 
they were proposing his health, | Byrrhajna thus addressed 
me : " To-morrow is a day which it has been usual to cele- 
brate from the earliest infancy and verj' foundation of this city, 
a day on which Ave exclusivelj", among mankind, propitiate the 
most sacred God of Laughtor,J with ceremonies of joA'iality 
and mirth. Your presence Avill render the festival still more 
pleasing to us ; and I wish that with your native Avit, you 
would devise something of a right joj-ous nature in honour 
of the God, in order that we may the more becomingly and 
abundantly shew our veneration for so great a Divinity." 

" Very Avell," said I ; " what you request shall be done. And, 
by Hercules ! I wish I may invent some piece of merriment 
with which a god so mighty may be becomingly graced." 

By this time, having had my fill of wine, and being warned 
by my servant it A\^as now night, I immediately arose, and 
having hastily bid farewell to Byrrhaena, took my way home- 
Avard, with unsteady steps. But while Ave were going through 
the first street, the light upon Avhich we relied was extiu- 

* Ml/ native place.] — Miletus. 

+ Proposing his health.} — ' Bibere salutaria' is the reading which has 
been adopted. 

Z God of Laughter.'] Pausanias mentions this solemnity, where he 
speaks of the Ilypatensians. Plutarch also, in his life of Cleomenes, men- 
tions a temple which was dedicated to the God of Laughter ; and he like- 
wise relates that a statue was erected to this divinity by Lycurgus. Every 
providential energy of deity, about a sensible nature, was said, by ancient 
theologists and philosophers, to be the sport of divinity. Hence the ancient 
authors of fables call this peculiarity of the providence of the Gods, ener- 
gising about the world, laughter. So that, as Proclus well observes, (in 
Plat. Polit.) we must define the laughter of the Gods to be their erube- 
rant energy in the universe, and the cause of the gladness of all mundane 
natures. And, as this energy is never-failing, ttie laughter of tlie Gods 
is very properly said by Homer to be unextinguished. The source, 
therefore, of this exuberaut energy ana nvundane gladness, is the Gjd ol 
Laughter. — Taylor. 

BOOK ttl. OAl,r.A^-t CONFLtCt -frlTH ftOBBKIiS. 4* 

giiislicd by a sudden gust, of Avind ; so tliat, witli difficulty 
groping our Avay through the darkness of the night against 
■which wo were so badly provided, and continually knocking our 
toes against the stones, we were quite wearied before we arrived 
at home. 

When we had now entered our own street, lo and behold, 
three men, of lusty and stout appearance, were pushing with all 
their might against our door, and were not in the smallest 
degree alarmed at our coming up ; on the contraiy, they kicked 
at it more and more repeatedly with all their might, so that 
to us, and to myself especially, they appeared unquestionably 
to be robbers, and of the most desperate character. Accoi-d- 
ingly, I instantly drew forth my sword, which I carried Avith 
me concealed under my cloak against such an emergency. 
Without delay I rushed into the midst nf the robbers, and 
plunged my sword to the hilt into the body of each, as I en- 
gaged with him in combat, till at length, pierced with manj 
and deadlj' wounds, they breathed their last before my ver}- feet 

Awakened by the tumult of this combat, Fotis came and 
opened the door. I crawled into the house, panting for breath 
and bathed in perspiration, and immediately threw myself on 
my bed and fell asleep, as much fatigued with the slaughter of 
these sturdy robbers, as if I had killed Geryon.* 










A.URORA, with her rosy arm uplifted, had just begun to drive 

* Killed Geryon.]— The slaying of Genon, king of Spain, who liad 
three b«)dies, was one of the twelve celebrated labours of Hercules. 


her piirple'Caparisoned steeds through the heavens ; and .".e' 
parting night surrendering me up to day, roused me from placid 
slumbers. Compunction then seized my mind at the recollec- 
tion of the deed I had perpetrated on the previous evening. 
Gathering my feet beneath me, lociing my fingers upon my 
knees, and so sitting up in bed on my haunches, I wept 
abundantly; picturing to myself, in imagination, now the 
Forum and the trial, now the condemnation, and lastly, the 
executioner himself. 

" Shall I," said I to myself, " shall I meet with any judge 
so mild and so considerate as to be able to pronounce me inno- 
cent, when here I am, imbrued with the blood of a threefold 
homicide, and reeking with the gore of so many citizens ? Is 
this the journey so glorious in its results which Diophanes, 
the Chaldasan, so confidentlj' predicted for me ?" While with 
such reflections ever and anon crossing my mind, I deplored my 
evil fortune, a violent knocking at the door, and shouting waa 
heard at the gate : without more ado, it was thrown open, and 
a great multitude rushing into the house, every part of it was 
filled with the magistrates and their officers, and a miscel- 
laneous gathering of people. Instantly two of the lictors,. 
laying hands upon me, by order of the magistrates, began to 
drag me along, whilst I offered no resistance. When we had 
got to the end of tlie lane,* we were immediately met by siich 
an astonishing multitude, that it seemed as if the whole city 
"was pouring forth. And though I walked sorrowfully along, 
with my head bowed down towards the ground, or rather, I 
may say, to the shades below, j'et, on casting a glance aside, I 
saw a thing which caused me the greatest surprise. For among 
the many thousands of people that surrounded me, there was 
not a single one Avho was not ready to split his sides with 

At length, having passed through all the principal streets, 
and turning corner alter corner, like the victim of a lustral sa- 
crifice, led all round the city before it is slain, to expiate the 
anger of the Gods, I was marched into the Forum, and placed 
before the judgment seat. And now, the magistrates being 
seated on an elevated platform, the public crier proclaimed 

* Fnd of the lane.'] — The ' angiportus' here mentioned was prohablj 
lilie laue or blind alley into which the door of the house opened. 

BOOR III. Lrcicrs t&ied for murder. 49 

silcnco, when suddenly tlie people, with one unanimous voice, 
requested that, in consequence of the multitude of spectators, 
whose lives were in peril from the enormous pressure, this im- 
portant trial might take place in the theatre. Forthwith the 
Forum was evacuated in every direction, the people filled every 
seat in the body of the theatre* with extraordinary celerity; and 
in the verj' entrances also, and over the whole of the roof, they 
crowded as thick as they could stand. Great numbers clnjig to 
the columns ; some hung on to the statues ; others were only 
half visible through windows and between the beams of the 
ceiling; and all, in their ardent desire to witness the sight, paid 
no attention whatever to their own safety. 

The public officers now led me through the proscenium, f 
just like some victim, and placed me in the midst of the 
orchestra. The accuser being again summoned by the loud 
bellowing of the crier, arose, and after water had been poured 
into a certain vessel, J which was finely perforated like a cullen- 
der, and through which it flowed, drop by drop, for the pui'pose 
of regulating the time for speaking, he thus addressed the 
people : 

" A case is now brought before you, most worthy fellow- 
citizens, which is of no trifling magnitude, but one which es- 
l)ecially regards the peace of the whole city, and is likely to 
prove a momentous example, profitable to future ages. Where- 
fore, it is the more requisite that each and all of you should 
have due regard for the public dignity, that so this nefarious 
homicide, who has murdered so many citizens, may not go un- 
punished, for having thus cruelly butchered them. And do 
not suppose that I am actuated by any private grudge, oi 
moved by personal animosity, in making this charge against 

"^ Body of the theatre. '\ — ' Cavese conseptum.' The ' cavca' was the 
part of the theatre in the spectators sat. Tlie ' cavea' at Rome 
was threefold In the lowest part sat the ' Equites' and Senators ; in the 
uppermost, the lowest of the people ; and in the middle, the more respec- 
table classes. 

f The proscfinium.] — The ' prosceninm' was the elevated part in front cf 
the stage, on which the actors came forward wlien speaking. 

X Into a certain vessel.] — He here alhides to the ' clepsydra,' or 'water- 
clock,' which was used in Greece for the purpose of measuring the time 
during which persons might speak in courts of justice. Aristotle de 
scribes it as being a hollow globe, having a neck at the np[)cr part Uke that 
»f m bottle, through which the water was poured into it. 



him. For I am the prefect of the night watch ; and I fully 
believe there is not one person who can impeach my vigil- 
ance and attention. Accordingly, I will faithfully relate the 
exact circumstances, and the transactions that took place last 

" When about the third watch,* I had nearlj^ gone my rounds 
of the whole city, and had examined every corner from door to 
door with scrupulous attention, I perceived this most blood- 
thirsty young man laying about him on every side, and slaugh- 
tering with his drawn sword ; and I saw that three persons, 
who had just fallen victims to his rage, were laid at his feet, 
still breathing, and their bodies palpitating amid streams of 
gore. Then, conscience-stricken, and with good reason, at the 
commission of such a heinous deed, he immediately took to 
flight, and having, through the protection of the darkness, es- 
caped into a certain house, he there lay concealed the whole 
night. By the providence of the gods, however, which 
allows no crime to pass unpunished, I took care to arrest him 
in the morning, and bring him hither for the most august 
judgment of your venerable tribunal, before he could make his 
escape clandestinelj\ You have, therefore, before you a cul- 
prit defiled with so many murders, a culprit taken in the very 
fact, a culprit Avho is a foreigner. Unhesitatinglj^, then, pass 
sentence on this sti'anger, for a crime, for the commission ol 
which you would sevex'ely punish one of your own citizens." 

My most unsparing accuser having thus spoken, closed his 
tremendous harangue. 

The moment he ceased, the crier ordered me to begin, if I 
wished to make any rcplj- to what had been said. But as for 
me, at that moment I could do nothing but weep ; not, by 
Hercules ! so much on account of the dreadful accusation, as of 
my own wretched conscience. At last, however, inspired by the 
gods with some di'gree of boldness, I thus answered the charge 

" I am fur from ignorant how difficult it is for any one, 
when three corpses of citizens are lying exposed, and he is 
accused of the murder, to persuade so vast a multitude that he 
is really innocent, while he speaks the truth, and readily con- 
fesses that he conmiitted the deed. But if )-our humanity will 
allow me a public hearing for a short time, I sluill have no 

* Third wafch-l — The night was divided l)y soldiers iiitc four parts, 
each id »'lucU was called a watch, and consisted of three huui°a. 


difficulty in showing you that I now stand in peril of my life, 
not through any ill-deserts of my own, but that it is through a 
fortuitous result of justitiable indignation, that I am innocently 
subjected to the reproach of so great a crime. 

"For, as I was returning from an entertainment, somewhat 
later than usual, and besides, being in a state bordering on 
intoxication, which indeed I will not deny was really my 
crime, I beheld before the door of the place where I reside 
(for I am staying with your worthy fellow- citizen Milo), I be- 
held, I say, some most desperate robbers trying to force an 
entrance, and to wrench the door off its hinges. Already they 
had with great violence torn away all the bars which had 
been put up with the greatest care, and at that very moment 
they were meditating the murder of the inhabitants within. 
One of them, in fact, who was the most active with his hands, 
and the largest in bulk, was encouraging the others with these 
words, ' Come on, my lads, let us fall upon those within while 
they are asleep, with manly spirits and vigorous hands. Be 
all hesitation, all sluggishness, banished from your breasts. 
Let slaughter stalk, sword in hand, from one end of the house 
to the other. Let him who lies sound asleep be put to death ; 
let him who endeavours to resist be knocked down. Thus shall 
we get off in safety, if we don't leave a single person in safety 
in the house.' 

"I confess it, citizens; seeing that I entertained extreme 
fears both on account of my entertainers and myself, and that 
I was armed with a sword which I carried with me as a pro- 
vision against dangers of this kind, I thought it was the duty 
of a good member of the commimity, to endeavour to alarm 
and put to flight these most desperate robbers. But the 
barbarous and bloodthirsty villains were far from taking 
to flight ; and though they saw that I was armed, they still 
offered a bold resistance, and stood their ground in battle 
array. In fact, the leader and standard-bearer, as it were, 
of the rest, attacking me at once with great impetuosity, 
seizing me by the hair with both his hands, and bend- 
ing me backward, tried to smash me with a stone. But 
while he was crying out for one to be handed to him, making 
a sure thrust at him, I fortunately laid him prostrate. Pre- 
sently, 1 slew another, who was clinging to my legs and biting 
my feet, piercing him wit'ti a well-aimed blow through the 

c 2 


middle of his shoulder-blade ; and the third I ran through the 
breast while rushing upon me off his guard. Thus, the cause 
of peace being vindicated, and the house of my host, and the 
safety of the public, being protected, I did suppose that 1 
was not only not liable to punishment, hut was even worthy 
of the public praise : I who have never been accused even of 
the smallest crime, but have been always highly respected in 
my own country, and have ever preferred a character without 
guile to every earthly good. Neither am I able to compre- 
hend why I am now exposed to this accusation for a justifiable 
feeling of vengeance with which I Avas incited against these 
most abominable robbers, since there is not a person who can 
either prove that prior to this affair there was anj'' private ani- 
mosity between us, or that these robbers were ever in any way 
known by me. At all events, let something of which I stripped 
them be shown, ere it be believed that I perpetrated such a 
heinous crime tlirough the desire of obtaining booty." 

Having thus said, my tears again bui'st forth, and with hands 
stretched out in a suppliant attitude, I earnestly invoked 
first one and then another, appealing to the public com- 
miseration, and the love they bore to their children, pledges 
of affection. And Avhen I now thought that they were all 
moved by humanity, and that they were sufficiently affected 
with commiseration for my tears, calling to witness the eye of 
Justice and the Sun, and commending to the providence of the 
gods mj" present case, I raised my eyes a little, and beheld the 
entire body of the people ready to burst with laughter, and 
even Milo, that worthj- host of mine, who had professed the 
affection of a father for me, laughing as immoderately as the 
rest. Amazed at such a sight, I said to myself, "Alas! where 
is probity, where is conscience ? Here am I become a homi- 
cide, and capitally convicted, in defence of the safety of my 
host; while he, not content with abstaining from affording me the 
comfort of his assistance, is grinning besides at my destruction." 

In the meantime a certain woman, dressed in black, and 
carrying an infant at her bosom, came running through the 
middle of the theatre, crying and lamenting, while behind her 
follow 'jd an aged crone in ragged and dirty apparel, who also 
testified her grief by similar wailings, while both of them 
Rhook branches of olive in their hands. Ther, hanging over 
the bier on which ihe dead bodies lay covered i^p, and beatuig 


their breasts and howling dismally, they exelainied, "In :ho 
name of public compassion, as you revere the common law of 
humanity, take pity upon these; young men who have been so 
unworthily slain, and give to our widowed and solitary state 
the solace of vengeance. At least atl'urd assistance to this un- 
fortunate child, who is left destitute in its infancy, and make 
a propitiatory sacrifice to your laws and the public well-being 
with the blood of the cutthroat." 

After this appeal, the senior magistrate arose, and thus 
addressed the people : " That this crime must be visited with 
a severe punishment, not even he himself, who committed it, 
is able to deny. Therefore one duty only remains for us, and 
that of a secondary nature, namely, that we should discover 
the other persons who were the accomplices in such an atro- 
cious deed. For it is by no means probable, that one solitary 
individual could have deprived of life three such robust young 
men as these. The truth, therefore, must be plucked from 
him by means of torture. For the servant who attended him 
has secretly taken flight, and the matter is brought to this issue 
that he must himscdf be put to the question, and compelled to 
declare who were his partners in his crime, in order that we 
may be thoroughl)- freed from the fear of so dreadful a gang." 

Without any delay, the instruments of torture in use among 
the Greeks, namely, tire and the wheel,* and various sorts of 
scourges besides, were brought in. Then indeed my misery 
was infinitely increased, because I was not to be allowed, at 
least, to die unmutilated. Eut tlie old hag, who had aggra- 
vated everything by her weeping, excLumed, "Most worthy 
citizens, before you fasten to the cross this cutthi'oat thief, tlie 
destroyer of my wretched sons, allow the corpses of the dead 
to be uncovered, in order that being still more and more in- 
cited to a just indignation, b}' a contemplation of the beauty 
as well as the youth of the slain, you may vent your rage upou 
their murderer, with a severity proportioned to the magnitude 
cf his crime." 

These words were received with applause, and immediately 
the magistrate ordered me with my own hands to uncover the 
dead bodies which were laid on tlie bier. The lictors used most 
strenuous efforts to enforce obedience to the command of the 
CKigistrates, whilst I resisted and struggled as long as I could, 

* Fire and the wheel.'] — Achilles Tatius also meritioas the wheel and 
6ie as being used h\ the Greeks for the purpose of extorting confcwsioa. 

54 TUT, GOI.DKN ASS Of APtn.Enr^ 

unwilling to revive, ns it were, the crime of the day before hy 
a new display of the victims, At last, however, forcing away 
my hand tW)ni my side, they extended it, to its OAvn destruc- 
tion, over the dead bodies. Overcome at length bj' necessity, 
I yielded; and, though with extreme reluctance, withdrew 
the pall and exposed the corj^scs. But, good gods ! w^hat a siglit 
was there! what a prodigy ! what a sudden change in my for- 
tunes! A moment before, I was the property of Proserpine, 
and was reckoned one of the family of Orcus, * but now the 
aspect of affairs was totally changed; and I stood staring like 
an idiot in mute amazement; nor is it in the power of language 
to give a fitting description of the sight tliat now met my eyes, 

Por these bodies of the murdered men were thi'ee inflated 
wine skins, f pierced in various parts, and, as far as I could call 
to my recollection my battle of the night before, they were 
slashed in the veiy same places in which I had wounded the 
robbers. Then the laughter which, through the sly manage- 
ment of some persons, had been for a while repressed, burst 
forth among the people without restraint. Some congratu- 
lated me, in the exuberance of their hilarity, others pressed 
their hands to their stomachs, to relieve their aching ; all, 
indeed, were drowned in floods of mirth as they left the theatre, 
pausing every now and then to look back at me. 

For my own part, from the moment I lifted up that cloth, 
I stood fixed and ice-cold as a stone, precisely as though I 
had been one of the statues or columns of the theatre. Nor 
had I yet emerged from the shades below, when my host, 
Milo, came up, and taking me by the hand, drew me towards 
liim with gentle force, reluctant as I was to move, and in- 
cessantly sobbing with the tears again gushing forth ; and 
then, avoiding the main streets, he led me through certain 
bye- ways to his house, consoling me all the way with various 
remarks, for I had not yet got over my grief and trepidation. 
Nor, indeed, could he by any means assuage my indignation at 
the insult I had received, which took deep root in my breast. 
Presently, the magistrates, with their insignia, entered the house, 
and endeavoured to appease me by addressing me as follows •. 

* Family of Orcus.'] — Orcus was one of the names of Plutus. 

+ Inflated wine sMn^.] — The ' utres,' used for holding wine, were mostly 
made of eoatskins, which were tightly sewed together, and then welJ 
pitched over. Sometimes several goat skins were fastened together to 
make one vessel. 


" We aie not ignorant, Master Lncius, of your high posi- 
tion, or of your lineage ; for the nohle name of your illustrious 
family extends through the Avhole of this province. Nor wan 
it for the sake of contumely that you were made to suffer that 
which you take so sorely to heart. Dismiss, therefore, all your 
present sorrow and anguish of mind. For this festival, which we 
solemnly celebrate; in public as each year returns,* in honor of 
the most jocund (Jod of Laughter, is always graced with some 
new invention. This God will every where propitiously and 
lovingly attend you as his promoter, nor will he ever suffer 
j-our mind to be oppressed with grief, but will perpetually ex- 
hilarate your brow with a serene cheerfulness. All this city, 
likewise, has presented you with the highest honors, for the 
favour which you have conferred on it. For it has enrolled 
you as its patron, and has passed a vote that your statue shall 
be erected in bi-ass." 

In reply to this address, I said, " To yoxi, and to your most 
splendid and singularly excellentf city of Thessaly, I return com- 
mensurate thanks for such hojiors. But I w^ould recommend 
you to keep your statues and images for those who are more 
worthy and of more advanced years than myself. " Having spoken 
thus modestly, and for a moment smiling with a cheerful coun- 
tenance, and pretending as much as I possibly could to be more 
joyful, I courteously saluted the magistrates at their departure. 

Just then, a servant came running into the house, and said 
to me, " Your relation, Byrrhasna, repeats her invitation, and 
begs to remind you that the hour of the banquet is close at 
hand, at which you promised last evening to be present." 

Full of horror at these words, and shuddering at the very 
mention of her house, " Tell your mistress," said I, " that I 
would most willingly obey her commands, if it were possible 
to do so without violating my promise. But mj host, Milo, 
conjuring me by the deity who presides over this day, has 
made me pledge myself to sup with him to-day ; and he has 
neither gone out of the house, nor will he suffer me to leave 
him. On this account, I must put off my engagement to sup 
with your mistress to another time." 

• As each year retums-l — I^ this practice really did prevail ■with the 
people of Thessaly, it bore a considerable resemblance to onr April Fool Day. 

t Singularly excellent.'] — It is somewhat singular that Solinus, when 
enumerating the principal cities of Thessaly, does not mention Hypata \9 
the list. It is probably thus called by Apuleius, or rather Lucius, solelj 
by way of compliment, 


All this while Milo held mo fast by the hand, and wLen the 
servant was gone, he took me to the nearest bath, having pre- 
viously ordered that the bathing utensils* should be sent after 
U8. Eut I, avoiding the gaze of all men, and shrinking from 
the laughter of those I met, and of which I was myself the 
subject, stuck close to his side, and screened myself under its 
shadow, such was the shame I felt. But how I washed or 
how I dried myself, or how I got home again, was more than 
i could tell ; so mucli was I confounded and bereft of my 
senses on seeing myself pointed out by the eyes, the nods, and 
the fingers of the people. At last, having hastily despatched a 
paltry meal with Milo, and excusing myself on the ground of 
H severe head-ache, occasioned by my long-continued weeping, 
I readily obtained permission to retire to rest. 

Throwing myself upon my bed, I retlected painfully upon 
all that had happened to me, till at length my Fotis, having 
put her mistress to bed, came to me, very much changed fron^ 
lier usual appearance ; for she did not bring with her a joyous 
face, nor mirthful prattle, but a gloomy and wi'inkled broM'. 
At length, speaking with hesitation and timidly, "I freely con- 
less," said she, " that I have been the cause to you of this 
<lay's trouble ; " and so saying, she drew forth a kind of lash 
from her bosom, and offering it to me, thus continued : " Take 
your revenge, I pi'ay you, upon a perfidious woman ; ay, infiict 
on me any punishment you please. Yet do not, I entreat you, 
believe that of my own will I have occasioned you this an- 
guish. May the gods be more merciful to me, than that you 
should suft'er even the very smallest annoyance on my account I 
iN'ay rather, if any disaster impend over your head, may it be 
forthwith atoned for with my blood. It is a thing I Avas or- 
dered to do for quite another rt^ason, that, with a sort of ill luck 
peculiarly my own, has turned out to your injury." 

Urged by my usual curiosit}', and longing to have the secret 
cause of this transaction disclosed, 1 thus replied : " This most 
abominable and most audacious of all whips, which j'ou in- 
tended for me to beat you with, shall be chopped, and torn 
to pieces, and utterly destroyed, before it shall touch your 

* The bathing utensils.] — The ' baliiearia,' or bathing apparatus, gene- 
rally taken to the baths, were ' strigils,' or scrapers, ' ampulla;,' or bottlei 
containing oil or pinguents, linen, towels, &c. See the soliloquy of the 
parasite Gelasinus, in the Stichiis of Plautus, act ii. so 1, where lie re 
counts the requisites for the bath. 


downy, milk-white skin. But tell me faithfully, [ oesoecb 
you, what act of yours is it, that the malignity of fi.rtune has 
converted to my detriment ? I swear by that face of yours, 
most dear to me, that not any person whatsoever, not even your 
own self, could make me believe that you harboured a thought 
that could do me harm. And besides, no adverse results of 
chance can cause harmless intentions to become culpable." 

When I had finished this little speech, with eager tliirst and 
close kisses, 1 sucked in love frum the lips of my Fotis, whose 
muist and tremulous eyes, half hidden by their drooping lids 
were dull with the languor of desire. Her spirits being thus 
revived: "First let me carefully shiit the door," she said, *' lest 
I be guilty of a great offence, tli rough the unguarded freedom 
of the words that may escape me." Thus saying, she bolted 
and locked the door securely, and then returning to me, and 
clasping my neck with both her hands, she said, in a low and 
very subdued tone of voice: " I am terrified, and tremble all 
over, to disclose the mysteries of this house, and reveal the 
secret doings of my mistr(>ss. liut I liave too high an opinion 
of you and your breeding, not to trust you ; for besides 
your high-born dignity, and your own elevated mind, having 
Ix'en initiated into various sacred mysteries, you have fully 
learned the holy faith of secrecy ; whatsoever, therefore, I shall 
entrust to the inmost depths of this breast of yours, keep it 
ever religiously concealed, I beseech you, within its recesses, 
and repay the trankness of my narrative, by the strictest si- 
lence. For it is the power of that love bj' which I am bound 
to you, that compels me to disclose to you matters which are 
known to mo alone, of all mortals. You will now learn every- 
thing that relates to our house ; you shall now be made awai'e 
of the wondrous secret powers of my mistress, to whicli tlie 
spirits of the dead pay obedience, and by wliich she disturbs 
the stars in their course, swaj-s the elements, and enthrals the 
divinities. Nor does she ev(;r more ri;adily resort to the powers 
of this art, than when she has cast the eyes of desire upon a 
good-looking young man, a thing, in fact, that happens to her 
not unfrequently. 

" At the present moment, she is desperately in love with a 
certain young man of Iteotia, who is extremely handsome, and 
she is ardently employing the M'hole power, and every raa- 
ncBuvre of her art. I beard her yesterday evening, with theso 
ears of mine- I heard her, 1 say, threaten the Sun himself, tb;« 


Blie would involve him in a cloud of mist, aud interminable 
darkness, if that Sun did not make haste in his roxnsc through 
the heavens, and speedily give place to the night, that she 
might the sooner begin to exert her magic spells. 

" Yesterday, happening to catch siglit of this youth in a bar- 
ber's shop,* as she was returning from the bath, she secretly 
gave me orders to bring away the cuttings of his hail', which 
were lying on the ground. As I was in the act of carefully 
and stealtliily collecting them, the barber caught me ; and, be- 
cause from other circumstances we are publicly notorious as 
exercising the black art, he laid hold on me, and rudely abused 
me : ' What, you good-for-nothing jade, you can't leave off 
pilfering the hair of the good-looking young men evei'y now 
and then ? If you don't, once for all, put an end to this, I 
will take you without more ado before the magistrates.' Then, 
suiting the action to the words, thrusting in his hands between 
ray breasts, and groping about them in a rage, he drew out 
the hair I had previously concealed there. Grievously tifflicted 
by this treatment, and reflecting on the temper of my mistress, 
who is always excessively enraged, and beats me in the most 
cruel manner, when she is thwarted in a matter of this nature, 
I had serious thoughts of running away, but when I thought 
of you, I instantly abandoned that design. On my way home, 
sad and empty handed, I espied a man clipping some goat 
skins witli a pair of shears. Seeing them so nicely sewn toge- 
ther, inflated, and standing by themselves, I took up a parcel 
of the hair from them which lay scattered on the ground, and 
being of a yellow colour, resembled that of the young Boeotian; 
and this goat's hair I gave to my mistress, concealing the truth. 

" Accordingly, at night-fall, before you returned from the 
entertainment, Pamphile, my mistress, now in a state of frenzy, 
went up into a belvedere covered with shingles, which she 
secretly frequents, as being especially adapted to these pursuits 
of hers, for it is open on everj' side to the winds, and commands 
a prospect of the eastern and all the other points. There she 
began by arranging in her deadly workshop all the customary 
implements of her art, such as aromatics of all kinds, plates of 
metal engraved with talismanic characters, nails from ship- 
wrecked vessels, as also, multitudes of limbs and fragments 

* In a barber's shop.'] — Among the ancients, tlie'tonstrina,' or barbers' 
shops, were places devoted to news and gossip; as such, Me find them 
frequently alluded to in the iiilavs of I'lautus and Terence. 


etolon from graves. Here, -were noses and fiiig<op, lli^ro, the 
nails by which culjn'its liad hccii fixed to tlic cross, and to 
which portions of flesh adh.ered ; and, in another place, the 
olood of murdered persons, bottled np, and mangled skulls of 
men who had been devoured by wild beasts. 

" Next, having pi'onounced an incantation over entrails still 
warm and palpitating, she makes a libation with various 
liquors, first, with water from the spring; next, with the 
milk of cows; and then, with mountain honey and mead. 
Then, after plaiting the goats' hairs togetlior, and tj'ing them 
in a knot, she burns them on live coals, with abundance of 
perfumes. That instant, through the irresistible power of the 
magic art, and through the occult might of the coerced divi- 
nities, those same bodies, the hairs of which Avere smoking 
and crackling, received human breath, were endowed with un- 
derstanding, heard, and walked. Whither the odour of the 
burning spoils attracted them, thither came they : and instead 
of that Boeotian youth, it was they who bumped awaj' at the 
door, endeavouring to effect an entrance. Just at that mo- 
ment up came you, well steeped in liquor, and deceived by the 
darkness of the night, you drew your sword, just like the frantic 
Ajax, but not like him to slay whole flocks of sheep ;* a far 
more valiant deed was yours, for you deprived of breath three 
inflated goat skins, so that, having laid your adversaries prostrate, 
without staining yourelf with a drop of blood, I can now clasp 
you in my arms, not as a homicide, but as a wine-bagicide." 

Ilesponding in the same strain to the jocular remarks of Fotis, 
I said: "Now, then, I may match this first exploit of my prowess 
Avith one of the twelve labours of Hercules, comparing the 
three wine skins I slaughtered to the three-fold body of Geiyon, 
or to the triple form of Cerberus. But, that I may forgive 
you with all my heart for the fault through which you in- 
volved me in miseries so extreme, comply with one most ear- 
nest request of mine. Let me have sight of your mistress 
when she next makes any use of this supernatural power, so 
that when she is invoking the gods, I may at least see her as- 
sume another form. For I am most ardently desirous of ob- 
taining a nearer acquaintance with the arts of magic : though, 
by the by, you yourself seem to me to he not altogether a no- 
vice in such matters. This I know, and feel most sensibly ; 

* Whole flocks of sheep."] — In his madness consequent upon his beioK 
refused the arms of Achilles, which were awaided to Ulysses- 


for ^N'licreas I have always been averse to the overtures ol 
highborn ladies, now by those brilliant ejes of yours, yonj 
rosy lips, your sliiuiiig hair, your open-lipped kisses, and you 
pcrtumed bosom, ymi hold me voluntarily enthralled, and suh 
jected to you as nuich as any slave. In fact, I am neither an- 
xious to return home, nor am I making any preparations for that 
purpose, and notliing is there which I could prefer to this uight." 

"How gladly, Lucius, Avould I accomplish what you desire," 
she replied, " but my mistress is so afraid of the malice and 
curiosity of the public, that she always performs her mysterious 
ceremonies in the strictest solitude and privacy. Still, 1 will 
consider your gratilicution more than my own danger, and will 
look out for a suitable opportunity to accomplish what you 
wish. Do you only, as I admonished you at the beginning, 
faithfully preserve silence upon a matter of such importance." 

AVhile we thus conversed together, mutual desire seized us ; 
and inspired with a Eacchanalian frenzy, as it were, Ave rushed 
into each other's arms. At last, after long wakefulness, sleep 
fell upon our weary eyes, and detained us in bed till late in the 
following day. 

After some few nights delightfully passed in this manner, 
Fotis came running to me one day in great excitement and 
trepidation, and informed me that her mistress, having hitherto 
made no proficiency by other means in her present amour, in- 
tended to assume feathers like a bird, and so take flight to 
the object of her love ; and that I must prepare myself with 
all due care for the sight of such a wonderful proceeding. 
And now, about the first watch of the night, she escorted me, 
on tip-toe and with noiseless steps, to that same upper cham- 
ber, and bade me to peep through a chink in the door, whicli 
I did accordingly. 

In the first place, Pamphile divested herself of all her gar- 
ments, and having unlocked a certain cabinet, took out of it 
several little boxes. Taking the lid off" of one of them, and 
pouring some ointment therefrom, she rubbed herself for a con- 
siderable time with her hands, smearing herself all over Irom 
the tips of her toes to the crown of her head. Then, after she 
had muttered a long while in a low voice over a lamp, she 
shook her limbs with tremulous jerks, then gently waved them 
to and fro, until soft feathers burst forth, strong wings dis- 
plaj'cd themselves, the nose was hardened and cui-ved into a 
beak, the nulls were compressed and made crooked, Thu^ did 


Paraphilo become an owl. Tlien, uttering a querulous scream, 
she made trial of lier powers, leaping little by little from 
the ground ; and presently, raising herself aloft, on full wing, 
she flies out of doors. And thus was she, of her own will, 
changed, by her own magic arts. 

But I, though not enchanted by any magic spell, still, rivetted 
to the spot by astonishment at this perfoi'mance, seemed to 
myself to be any thing else rather tlian Lucius. Thus de- 
prived of my senses, and astounded, even to insanity, I was 
in a waking dream, and rubbed my eyes for some time, to 
ascertain whether or not I was awake at all. At last, however, 
returning to consciousness oi' the reality of things, I took bold 
of the right hand of Fotis, c<nd putting it to ray eyes, " Suffer 
me," said I, "I beg of you, to enjoy a great and singular 
proof of yoiu' affection, while the opportunity offers, and give 
me a little ointment from the same box. Grant this, my 
sweetest, I entreat you by these breasts of yours, and thus, Ijy 
conferring on me an obligation that can never be repaid, bind 
me to you for ever as your slave. Be you my Venus, and let 
me stand by you a winged Cupid.'' 

" And are you then, sweetheart, for playing me a fox's ti-ick, 
and for causing me, of my own accord, to let fall the axe upon 
my legs ? Must I run such risk of having my Lucius torn from 
me bj' the wolves of Thessaly ?*■" Where am I to look for him 
when he is changed into a bird ? AViii'n shall I see him again?" 

" May the celestial powers," said I, " avert from me such a 
crime ! Though borne aloft on the wings of the eagle itself, 
soaring through the midst of the heavens, as the trusty mes- 
senger, or joyous arm-bearer, of supreme Jove, would I not, 
after I had obtained this dignity of wing, still fly back every 
now and then to my nest ? I swear to j'ou, by that lovely 
little knot of hair, with which you have enclianted ^ly sj)irit, 
that I would prefer no other to my Fotis. And then bisides, 
I bethink me, that as soon as I am rubbed with that ointment, 
and shall have been changed into a bird of tbis kind, 1 shall 
be bound to keep at a distance from all human habitations ; 
for what a beautiful and agreeable lover will tlie ladies gain in 
an owl ! Whj- ! do we not see that these birds of night, when 

* Wolvegof Thessaly ?'\ — There is some doubt among the Commenta- 
tors which is meant here by the wolves of Thessaly ; but it seems most 
probable that in her jealousy. Fotis intends to call the damsels oi Thessol^r 
by that name. 


they have got into any house, are eagerly seized and nailed tc 
the doors,* in order that they may atone, by their torments, 
for the evil destiny which they portend to the family by their 
inauspicious flight ? But one thing I had almost forgot to in- 
quire : what must I say or do, in order to get rid of my wings, 
and return to my own form as Lucius r" 

" Be in no anxietj-," she said, "about all that matter ; for my 
mistress has made me acquainted with every thing that can 
again change such forms into the human shape. But do not 
suppose that this was done through any kind feeling towards 
me, but in order that I might assist her with the requisite 
remedies when she returns home. Only think with what 
simple and trifling herbs such a mighty result is brought 
about : for instance, a little anise, with some leaves of laurel 
infused in spring water, and used as a lotion and a draught." 

Having assured me of this over and over again, she stole into 
her mistress's chamber with the greatest trepidation, and took 
a little box out of the casket. Having first hugged and kissed 
it, and oftei'ed up a prayer that it would favour me with a 
prosperous flight, I hastily divested myself of all my garments, 
then greedily dipping my fingers into the box, and taking 
thence a considerable quantity of the ointment, I rubbed it all 
over my body and limbs. And now, flapping my arms up and 
down, I anxiously awaited my change into a bird. But no 
down, no shooting wings appeared, but my hairs e^'idcntly be- 
came thickened into bristles, and my tender skin was hardened 
into a hide ; my hands and feet, too, no longer furnished with 
distinct fingers and toes, formed as many massive hoofs, and a 
long tail projected from the extremity of my spine. My face 
was now enormous, my mouth wide, my nostrils gaping, and 
my lips hanging down. In like manner my ears grew liairy, 
and of immoderate length, and I found in every respect I had 
become enlarged. f Thus, hopelessly surveying all parts of my 
body, I beheld myself changed not into a bird, but an ass. 

I wished to upbraid Fotis for the deed she had done ; but, 
now deprived both of the gesture and voice of man, I could only 
expostulate with her silently with my under-lip hanging down, 

* Nailed to the doors.'] — We see the same sort of tiling done at the 
present day in some parts of England, where owls, hawks, bats, &c., are 
uailed in great numbers to the stable doors. 

f Enlarged.] — The original is ; Nee ulluni miser reforniationis video to- 
iatium uisi ouod mihi jam nequcuuti teuere Fotidem natura crescebat. 


and looking sideways at her with tearful eyes. As for her, as 
Boon as she beheld me thus changed, she beat her face with her 
hands, and cried aloud, " Wretch that I am, I am undone ! In 
my liaste and flurry I mistook one box for the other, deceived 
by their similarity. It is fortunate, however, that a remedy 
for this transformation is easily to be obtained ; for, by only 
chewing roses, you will put off the form of an ass, and in an 
instant will become my Lucius once again. I only wisli that 
I had prepared as usual some garlands of roses for us last even- 
ing; for then you would not have had to suffer the delay even 
of a single night. But, at the break of dawn, the remedy shall 
be provided for you." 

Thus did she lament ; and as for me, though I was a per- 
fect ass, and instead of Lucius, a beast of burden, I still re- 
tained human sense : long and deeply, in fact, did I consider 
with myself, whether I ought not to bite and kick that most 
wicked woman to death. However, better thoughts recalled 
me from sucn rash designs, lest, by inflicting on Fotis the 
punishmeuc of death, I should at once put an end to all chances 
of effii^ient assistance. So, bending my head low, shaking my 
ear.., I silently swallowed my wrongs fur a time, and submitting 
to my most dreadful misfortune, I betook myself to the stable 
to the good horse which had carried me so v.'ell, and there I 
found another ass also, which belonged to my former host 
Milo. Now it occurred to me that, if there are in dumb animals 
any silent and natural ties of sympathy, this horse of mine, 
being influenced by a certain feeling uf recognition and com- 
passion, would afford me room for a lodging, and the rights of 
hospi tality .* But, U Jupiter Hospi talis, and all jou the guardian 
divinities of Taith ! this very excellent nag of mine, and the 
ass, put their heads together, and immi'diately plotted schemes 
for my destruction ; and as soon as tlu'y beheld me approach- 
ing tlie manger, laying back their ears and quite I'rantic with 
rage, they furiously attacked me with their heels, fearing I 
bad design upon tlieir food ; consequently I was driven away 
into the fartliest corner from that very barley, which the even 
ing before I liad phiccd, witli my own hands, before that most 
grateful servant of mine. 

Thus harshly treated and sent into banishment, I betook my- 

• Riffhls of hosfHalUy.']—' Laiitiit.' This was properly the name given 
to the entertainiiieist jjpovidi'd hy the Qiia;stors at Rome, for foreigfu ;iiu- 
bafisadors, when maintaiiieii at the public expense. 


self to a corner of the stable. And while I reflected on the inso- 
lence of ray companions, and formed plans of vengeance against 
the perfidious steed, for the next day, when I should have be- 
come Lucius once more by the aid of the roses, I beheld against 
the centi-al square pillar which supported the beams of the 
stable, a statue of the goddess Hippona,* standing witbin a 
shrine, and nicely adorned with garlands of roses, and those, too, 
recently gathered. Inspired with hope, the moment I espied 
the salutary remedy, I boldly mounted as far as ever my fore 
legs could stretch ; and then with neck at full length, and ex- 
tending my lips as much as I possibly could, I endeavoured to 
catch hold of the garlands. Eut by a most unlucky chance, 
just as I was endeavouring to accomplish this, my servant lad, 
who had the constant charge of my horse, suddenly espied me, 
sprang to his feet in a great rage, and exclaimed, " How long 
are we to put up with this vile hack, which, but a few mo- 
ments ago, was for making an attack upon the food of the 
cattle, and is now doing the same even to the statues of the 
Gods ? But if I don't this verj- instant cause this sacrilegious 
beast to be both sore and crippled" — and searching for some- 
thing with which to strike me, he stumbled upon a bundle of 
sticks that lay there, and, jncking out a knotted cudgel, the 
largest he could find among them all, he did not cease to be- 
labour my poor sides, until a loud tluimping and banging at 
the outer gates, and an uproar of the neighbours shouting 
thieves I struck him with terror, and he took to his heels. 

The next moment the doors were burst open, an armed band 
of robbers rushed in, and surrounded the house on all sides ; 
people ran from all (quarters to help the dufence, but the rul)- 
bcrs beat them off. Being all furnished with swords and 
torches, they illuminated the darkness of the iiight ; and their 
swords gleamed like the rays of tlie rising sun. Then with 
their strong axes tlu-y bi'oke open the stout bars aiui fastenings 
of a strong room in the middle of the house, which was filled 
with Milo's treasures, and having completely ransacked it, 
they hastily divided the booty, and tied it up in separate pack- 
ages. Now the number of packages exceeded that of the men 
who were to carry them. Hence, being brought to extraor- 
dinary shifts, through a superabundance of wealth, they led 
forth us, the two asses, and my horse, from the stable, loaded 

♦ The goddess Ilippona.' — Th's was t lie guardian godtless of horses ind 
■tables. ' llippoiw' seems a piel >'-al)io reading to ' Kpona.' 

eooK 111, t.trClUS FORCED TO REMAIN Al« AS3. 65 

US with the heaviest burdens they possibly coiihl, and drove U8 
before them from the empty house, flourishing their sticks over 
us. Leaving one of their companions bebind as a spy, to bring 
them word as to any proceedings taken in consequence of the 
robbery, they hurried us along through the bj'e-paths of the 
mountains, beating us every now and then, so that through the 
weight of my load, the steepness of the mountain, and the in- 
terminable length of the way, I was no better than a dead 
donkey. At last I very seriously thought of resorting to the 
aid of the civil power, and liberating myself from so many 
miseries, by invoking the august name of the Emporor. 

Accordingly, when, in broad daylight, we were passing 
through a certain populous village, which was thronged with 
people celebrating a fair, I strove, in the midst of that 
crowd of Greeks, to utter the august name of Caesar, in the 
native language, and I cried out !*" distinctly and sono- 
rously ; biit that was all, for the name of Caesar I was not able 
to pronounce. The robbers abominating my discordant cla- 
mour, thumped and gored my miserable hide, and left it 
hai'dly fit for a corn sieve. f But at last, that good Jupiter]; 
bestowed on me an unexpected chance of deliverance. Por 
after we had passed by many small farms and fine country 
houses, I espied a delightful little garden, in which, besides 
other sweet flowers, there were virgin roses, § dripping with the 
morning dew. With longing desire, and overjoyed by the 
hope of safety, I moved towards them. But while, with 
quivering lips, I was preparing to seize them, this very im- 
portant reflection came across me : if I divested myself of the 
asinine form, and again became Lucius, while in the hands of 
the robbers, they would surely kill me, either as a supposed 
magician, or for fear that I should inform against them. For 
the present, therefore, as a matter of necessity, I abstained 
from roses, and putting up with my present misfortune, was 
fain to champ my bridle under the guise of an ass. 

• Cried out /] — He wished to invoke the emperor, in the words ' Ob, 
Caesar !' but could not get beyond the interjection. One of the commen- 
tators justly remarks, that 'au' would he tlie sound uttered by him. 

+ A corn sieve.] — Such as, made of sheepskin pierced with holes, are 
in use in Italy and elsewhere at the present day. — Head. 

X Good Jupiter."] — Itis well observed bythe Delphin editors, that Jupiiet 
ille is an emphatic expression, signifying that Jupiter tcho trovidentiali^ 
ultendn to all things, and regards the nu.^erable.— TuyUjt 

J Virgin roses.] — Roses not fully blown. 














Towards the middle of the day, when everything was scorclied 
})y the burning heat of the sun, we turned aside into a certain 
village, to the house of some old men, who were friends and 
acquaintances of the robbers ; for so their first salutations, their 
lengthened conversation, their exchange of embraces, enabled 
me, ass as I was, to perceive. They made them presents of 
i^orae things which they took off my back ; and with secret 
whispers seemed to inform them that they had been obtained 
liy burglary. At length, having lightened us of all our biu'den, 
they tui'ned us into the next meadow, to graze as we pleased. 
!My sense of conviviality', however, was not sufficient to keep me 
in the company of the ass, or of my horse, especially as I was 
not habituated to making my dinner upon grass. But as I 
was now perishing with hunger, I boldly effected an entrance 
into a little garden I caught sight of, behind the stable, and 
ate my bellyful of the vegetables, raw as they were. Then 
invoking all the gods, I looked about in every quarter to see if 
by chance I might any where espy in the neighbouring gar- 
dens a rose-tree in full bloom. Por the solitude of the spot, 
its distance from the public road, and the fruit trees that con- 
cealed it, now afforded me great hopes, that if, on taking the 
remedy, I should qidt the grovelling gait of a four-footed beast 
of burden and become erect again, in the shape of a man, I 
might do so, unobserved by any body. 

Whilst, then, I was fluctuating amid this sea of contc nipla- 
tion, I beheld, a little further on, a dell shaded by a leui) 

Bdofe ir Ltjcrcs fights foii ants tiFH. 67 

gtove ; and amoug its various planta and delightful foliage, 
shone the vermilion tint of blooming roses. In my imagina- 
tion, which was not entirely that of a brute, I pictured this to 
myself as the grove of Venus and the Graces; among whose 
shady recesses, the regal splendour of that genial flower was 
brilliantly glowing. So, invoking Prosperous Event,* I ran 
with such speed, that, by Hercules! 1 fancied myself no bnger 
an ass, but an exceedingly swift racer of the circus. Still this 
remarkable effort of activity was unable to outstrip my evil 
fortune. For when I had now arrived at the spot, I no longer 
saw those fresh and charming roses, wet with di'.ine dews 
and with nectar, which happy brambles and thrioe-blessed 
thorns produce, nor, indeed, any dell whatever, but only the 
margin of a river's bank, Ranted with thickset trees. These 
trees had long leaves like those of the laurel, and bore a sort of 
inodorous blossom of a cup-like form and red colour. These 
scentless flowers the ignorant common people call, in their 
rural vocabulary, rose-laurels, to eat which is sure death to all 

Finding myself ensnared by such a fatality, and casting 
aside all regard for safety, I determined voluntarily to eat ol 
these envenomed roses. But, while I was hesitatingly ap- 
proaching in order to pluck them, a young fellow, the very 
gardener, as I saw, whose vegetables I had so shockingly laid 
waste, perceiving the loss he had sustained, ran furiously at 
me with a great stick in his hand, and having caught me, 
belaboured me so, that I should have been in danger of losing 
my life, had I not at last had the wisdom to take my own part. 
For throwing up mj' rump, I struck out at him rapidly and 
repeatedly with my hind feet, and having severely punished 
him, and laid him prostrate against a bank on the mountain's 
side, sought safety' in flight. 

Instantly, however, a certain woman, his wife, I suppose, 
catching sight of him from an elevated spot, as he lay prostrate 
and half dead, flew towards him, with shrieks and yells, evi- 

* Prosperous Event. '\ — Good Event, or thn cause of prosperity in our 
undertakings, was adored by the ancients as a God. According to Pliny 
(lib. XXXV. cap. 6), there was a statue of this divinity, as also of Go' i 
Fortune, in the Capitol at Rome. This deity is one of the twelve l>ii 
Conseiites, from the invocation of whom Varro begins his treatise o/i Ai^a. 
culture.— Taylor. 

F 2 

C8 tlite GOLDEX ASS OF APtTt^EltTS. 

dently oil jjurposp> that h}' her lamontations she might he thft 
occaniion of my inylaiit destruction. For all the villagers, heing 
aroused by her screams, straightway called out their dogs, and 
from all quarters hounded them on, in ordcir that, exasperated 
by fury, they might rush upon me and tear me in pieces. I 
made no doubt wliatever but that I was on the brink of death 
when I saw the dogs, very large ones too, and many in number, 
and fit to fight with bears and lions, rushing furiously against 
me from all quarters. Adopting, therefore, what seemed my 
only chance, I gave up all thoughts of flight, and galloped back 
to the inn at which we had put up. But the country people 
keeping off tlie dogs with much difficulty, seized and bound 
me with a very stout thong of leather to a staple, and would 
no doubt have beat me to death, had it not been that my 
stomach, compressed by the pain of the blows, and disordered 
by tliose raw vegetables with which it was stuff'ed, squirted 
out its contents, and drove away my persecutors from my 
aching sides, besprinkling some of them with the most abo- 
minable liquid, and choking others with the stench. 

Not long afterwards, as the sun was now declining from the 
meridian, the robbers again led us forth from the stable heavily 
laden, myself especial! j', whose burden was far heavier than tliat 
of the rest. We had now completed a good part of the journey ; 
I Avas exhausted by its length and the weight of my burden, 
sore from the cudgelling I had got, and lame and staggering 
from ray hoofs being quite worn to the quick ; so, as I was 
passing along the winding course of a gently flowing rivulet, I 
was thinking that I would cunningly seize that excellent oppor- 
tunity, and lie down, bending mj' legs under me, fully deter- 
mined not to rise from the spot, whatever blows might be in- 
flicted on me ; ay, ready even, not only to be beaten with a stick, 
but pierced with a sword, rather than budge. For I imagined 
that being now fully half dead and exhausted, I should receive 
an honourable discharge,* on account of bodily infirmity: or, 
that at least the robbers, irritated at the delay, and desirous of 
hastening their flight, would divide the load which I carried 
on my back between the two other beasts of burden, and tliat, 
by way of a still more severe revenge, they would leave me a 
firey to the wolves and vultures. 

• /in honourable discharge.] — ' Causariain niissionem.' This was atena 
tted ill niililary law to denote a discharge given to a soldier woru out a 
'■"» »ervice. 


My moa; cruel destiny, however, thwarted the executioi; of 
BO admirable a plan. For that other ass, divining and antici- 
pating my intention, immediately pretended to be overcomo 
with fatigue, and fell sprawling on the ground with all his bag- 
gage, and lying as if he was dead, made no attempt to rise for 
all their whacking or goading, no, nor even when they tried 
to pull him up on all sides by the tail, the ears, and the legs. 
At last the robbers grew tired of tlie hopeless job, and having 
conferred together, they resolved that their flight should not 
be further retarded by wasting time upon an ass that was as 
good as stone dead. So, having divided his load between me 
and the horse, and drawing a sword, they cut both his ham- 
strings ; then they dragged him, still breathing, a little out of 
the public road, and threw him down a very lofty precipice 
into the valley below. Then, indeed, taking warning by the 
destiny of my unfortunate comrade, I determined to lay aside 
all tricks and stratagems, and prove myself to my masters to 
be a diligent, deserving ass. Besides, I had heard them say to 
each other, that we should soon come to a stop, and make an 
end of our journey and our toils, for yonder was the place of 
their abode. 

At length, having passed a little hill of easy ascent, we ar- 
rived at the place of our destination. All the things were un- 
packed and stowed away indoors ; and being no-« relieved from 
ray burden, I took a refreshing roll in the dust in lieu of a 
bath. The occasion itself, as well as the nature of my story, 
demands that I should here give a description of the locality 
and of the cave in which the robbers dwelt. Por thus I shall 
make trial of my o-wn abilities, and at the same time enable 
you to judge if I was an ass in sense and understanding aa 
well as in form. 

It was a rugged mountain, covered with dark forests, and of 
extraordinary height. Winding athwart its declivity, flanked 
by steep, inaccessible rocks, ran deep and intricate gullies, 
choked with brambles, and thus affording a natural defence. 
A spring burst forth from the summit of the mountain in great 
bubbling gushes, and rolling its silveiy waters down the steeps, 
parted into a number of rivulets, formed pools in the valleys, 
and encompassed the base of the mountain with large sheets of 
Ittfnding water. On the rock, over the mouth of the cavern, 
^erp \vp i sort of tort, constructe4 with strong posts gnd hyf- 



dies, enclosing a space well suited for penning sheep. Before 
the door there were small shrabs * extending along in place of 
a wall, and this enclosure you may fairly denominate, on my 
authority, the robbers' receiving room. There was no other 
edifice in the place, except a small hut roughly covered with 
reeds ; in which sentinels, selected by lot from the band of 
robbers, as I afterwards learned, kept watch by night. 

Leaving us secured by a stout leather thong before the door, 
they crept into the cave, one after another, with their lim])3 
squeezed together, and bawled angi'ily to an old woman, who, 
though bent with age, seemed to be entrusted with the entire 
charge of so many young men. 

** What ! you old corpse, whom Life is ashamed to own, and 
Death scorns, do you mean to make game of us, sitting idly at 
home, and not providing a supper to comfort us at this late 
hour, after all our toil and peril ? You who do nothing day 
and night but swill down wine into that craving stomach of 

" Nay, now,'' the frightened and ti'embling old woman 
squeaked out, "nay, now, my brave and honourable young 
masters, there is plenty of nice stewed meat of all kinds, loaves 
in abundance, wine without stint, in polished cups, and warm 
water ready as usual for your hasty bath." When she had 
said this, they immediately undi'essed, and standing naked be- 
fore a great hre, sluiced themselves with hot water, anointed 
themselves with oil, and then went and reclined at a table 
abmidantlj^ supplied with dishes. 

Hardly had they taken their places, when another and much 
more numerous party of young men entered, whom you would 
without hesitation have taken to be robbers also ; for they, too, 
brought with them booty in the shape of gold and silver money, 
drinking vessels, and silken garments embroidered with threads 
of gold. The new-comers having likewise refreshed themselves 
by bathing, joined their comrades; and some who were chosen 
by lot waited iqton the rest. They ate and drank in a most 
disorderly manner, with meat piled up in heaps, bread in hil- 

* Small shrubs ] — ' lixigui ram ices,' means very probably what we 
should call a ' quick-sel hedge.' This seems a superior reading to that 
in Valpy's edinon, ' trainites.' There is a considerable reseiublaiic* 
Seiween tlie robber's (U;n and the solitary dwelling of I)efoe's hero 
^'obinson Crusoe. 


locks, and tankards ranged in whole platoons upon the "board. 
They were obstreperous in their mirth, sang as loud as they 
could bawl, exchanged scurrilous jokes, and behaved in afl 
respects like Theban Lapithse,* or half-brute Centaurs. At 
last the burliest among them all thus addressed the rest : — 

" Kight bravely have we ransacked that house of Milo, at 
Hypata ! And besides the vast booty we gained by our prowess, 
we have brought back our full number to camp, safe and sound, 
with an increase, too, of eight feet,f if that is worth men- 
tioning. But you, who have been pillaging the cities of Eoeotia, 
have brought back thinned numbers, having lost that bravest 
of leaders, Lamachus, whose safety I should certainly have 
preferred, and with good reason, to all these packagers you have 
brought home. Ee that as it may, it was his own excess of 
bravery that was his destruction, and the memory of so great 
u hero will be celebrated among illustrious kings and leaders 
in battle. But as for you, who are very careful robbers, you 
do a trumpery trade :J: in petty, dastardly thefts, sneaking 
timidly about baths, and old women's bits of houses." 

To this, one of the new-comers replied, "You don't know, 
then, what is notorious to everybody, that large houses are 
much the easiest to sack? For though a great number of ser- 
vants is kept in them, still each of these has more regard for 
his own safety than for his master's property. But people who 
lead a frugal and retired life, vigorously defend their little 
store, at the hazard of tlieir lives : or else, if it is ample, they 
keep it, to say the least, pretty carefully concealed. And, iu 
fact, the thing itself will verify what I liave asserted." 



"No sooner had we arrived in the seven-gated city of 
Thebes, than we diligently made enquiries about the wealth 

* Thehan Lapithce.] — He alludes to the broil between the Centaurs 
and Lapilliie at the marriage of Firithous and Ilippodainia, which is 
finely described by Ovid in the Twelfth Book of the Metamorphoses. 

f Eight feeL] — Viz. the two quadrupeds, Lucius and his horse. 

X. Do a trumpery trade ] — ' Scrulariam facere,' properly means to deal 
in lumber, rags, or second-hand furniture. It was the custom for thievei 
lo prowl about the baths for the purpose of taking such articles as lay io 
thfir way, slrij^iU, for iijstauce, or the clolltes of l)aiher.i 


of each of the citizens, that being always tlie first thing to be 
looked after by men of our profession : and so we came to hear 
of a certain banker, by name Chryseros, a man who possessed 
much money, but took great pains to conceal his vast wealth, 
lest he should be required to serve in public capacities. In 
fact, content with a small but remarkably well barred and 
bolted house, he lived there all alone, ragged and dirty, and 
brooded over his bags of gold. 

"Accordingly, v.'e agreed to pay our first visit to him ; for, 
despising the resistance of a single pair of hands, we thought 
we should, without any difficulty, cairy off all his wealth. 
Without delay, therefore, as soon as it was night, we met to- 
gether before his gate ; but as we did not think it prudent 
either to take it off its hinges, or force it open, much less to 
smash it, lest the noise of its two wings* should alarm all the 
neighbourhood, to our destruction, that magnanimous standard- 
bearer of ours, Lamachus, confident in his well-tried valour, 
gradually introduced his arm through an apertiu-e made for 
the purpose of putting the key inside, and endeavoured to 
draw back the bolt. But Chryseros, that most villanous of all 
bipeds, having been on the watch all the time, and aware of all 
that was going on, crept softly to the door, preserving a profound 
silence, and with a sudden violent effort, fastened the hand 
of our leader, with a great nail, to a pannel of the gate. Then, 
leaving him transfixed, like a wretch on the cross, he ascended 
to the roof of his hovel, and shouted with all his might to his 
neighbours, calling to them by their respective names, and 
advising tliem to have regard for their common safety, for 
his house had caught fire unexpectedly. Accordinglj^, terrified 
by the proximity of the imminent danger, eveiy one ran 
anxiously to render assistimce. 

" In this dilemma, on the point of being overwhelmed by 
numbers unless we deserted our comrade, we adopted, with his 
own consent, a desperate remedy, suggested by the circum- 
stances. For we cut off our leader's f arm by a blow right 
through the joint ; and leaving it there, we bound up the 

• Its two wing.s.'\ — The doors of the ancients, whether opening in the 
street or in the interior of the houses, were generally in the form of folding. 

t Off ovr leader^ ».'\ — * Antesignani.' Properly speaking, the antesignani 
wen- picked men, who fought in front of the standard, and mostly in ihe 
IJrst line. Tiiey were never ' velites,' or skirmishers, but heavy armed trooj«». 


Btump with plenty of rags, lest the drops of blood might betray 
our track, and hastily carried off with us what remained of Lama- 
chus. The wliole neighbourhood was now alarmed, and pursued 
us with loud outcries ; and we, in the fear of impending peril, 
quickened our flight, Avhilst he could neither keep up with our 
Bwit't pace, nor yet remain where he was with any safety. Then 
this most magnanimous and transcendently brave man besought 
us with all manner of praj^ers and entreaties, by the right hand 
of Mars, and by our mutual oaths, to rescue a brave comrade 
from torture and captivity. ' For how is it possible,' said he, 
' that a brave robber can survive the loss of his right hand, 
with which alone he can plunder and cut throats ? It would 
be happiness for him to meet a voluntary death by the hand of 
one of his comrades. As, however, he could not persuade any 
one of us, with all his entreaties, to commit a voluntary act of 
parricide, he drew his sword with his remaining hand, and 
after kissing it repeatedly, plunged it with a mighty stroke 
into the middle of his breast. Tilled with veneration for the 
courage of our magnanimous leader, we carefully wrapped his 
mutilated dead body in a linen garment, and committed it to 
the sea,* there to find a place of concealment. And now does 
our Lamacluisf lie entombed, with the whole ocean for his 
burying-plaoe, after having ended his life in a manner worthy 
of his heroic deeds. 

"And Alcimus likewise, with all his well-concerted enter- 
prises, could not escape the sinister influence of fortune. He 
had broken into an old woman's cottage while she was asleep, 
and having ascended into an upper bedchamber, when he ought 
instantly to have strangled her, he thought proper first to 
throw all the things down to us, one by one, from the wide 
window, in order that we might make off" with them. Having 
now cleared the room in a workmanlike manner, he had no 
mind to spare even the mattress on which the old woman slept ; 

* Committed it to the sea.'] — As Thebes was situate many miles from 
the sea, either Apuleius is caught napping here, or lie must have a rather 
far-fetched meaning assigned to his words, and we must suppose that the 
body was committed to the river Isnienius, to he carried down to the sea. 

f Out Lamac/tus.'] — We may here remark, that the several Greek 
names found in this part of the narration, have their distinct meaning"!. 
Lamachus may be rendered 'a champion;' Alcimus, a 'valiant man;' 
Chryseros, ' a lover of gold ;' Demochares, * beloved by the peoj)!-? ;' Afijj 
Thrqsylfioii, ' a bold Hot!.' 


SO, rolling her out of it, lie was preparing to throw the conn- 
terpane after the other things, when the abominable old l.<ig 
fell on her knees before him, crying : ' Why, my son, I be- 
seech you, do you cast the poor and worn-out furniture of a 
most wretched old woman to my wealthy neighbours, upon 
whose house this window looks out r' 

" Alcimus, deceived by these crafty words, and believing what 
she said to be true, was afraid that the things he had tdready 
thrown out, and those he was about to send after them, might, 
through his mistake, fall not into the hands of his associates, 
but into other people's houses ; he therefore thrust his body 
out of the window, in order that he might make a judicious 
survey of tlie environs, and particularly that he might look 
with an eye to future business at that adjoining house she had 
mentioned. While, however, he was intent upon this, and 
quite careless of his own safety, that old miscreant took him 
unawares, as he leaned outwards, with his body balancing un- 
steadily, and with a push which, though feeble, was sudden and 
unexpected, she pitched him out headlong. Besides falling from 
a great height, he dropped upon an enormous great stone 
which happened to lie near the house, so that he smashed all 
his ribs, and lay vomiting streams of blood, till, after he had 
first related '^■' to us what had taken place, death put a speedy 
end to his torments Him also we buried in the same manner 
as our former leader, and sent him, as a worthy comrade, to 
follow Lamachus. 

' ' Having thus suftered a double loss, we now abandoned our 
Theban enterprises, and departed for the next city, which is 
Plateae. Here we heard a great deal of talk about a person 
named Demochares, who was about to exhibit a spectacle of 
gladiators. For, being a man of high birth, and distinguished 
fur his great wealth and liberality, he catered for the public 
amusement with a splendour commensurate with his fortune. 
Where is the man with genius and eloquence enough to de- 
scribe, in appropi'iate words, all the various details of the 
manifold preparations? There were gladiators famous for 
dexteritj' of hand ; hunters of well-tried swiftness of fuot ; and 
criminals who, having forfeited their right to live in safety, 
were being fattened as food for wild beasts. Tliere were great 

♦ He had Jirst related.'^ — ' Priiiiitus' is i)erliaps a better re>it|iiiK t^"^ 
lh4i» ' inijtu^.' 


wooden stages, with towers formed of planks, like moTeable 
houses, adorned outside with pictures, and serving as hand- 
aome receptacles for the performers in the exhibition. And 
then what a number, what a diversity of wild beasts ! For 
he had been at great pains to procure, even from abroad, those 
noble living tombs of condemned men. 

" Among his other costly preparations, he had procured, in 
one yvaj or other, with all the resources of his fortune, a great 
number of huge bears. For, besides those captured by his own 
servants in the chase, and those which he had bought at much 
cost, others had been presented to him by his friends, who vied 
with each other in showing him these attentions ; and the 
whole collection was maintained with great care and cost. 
These noble and spk-ndid preparations, however, for the public 
amusement, could not escape the evil eye of invidious Fortune. 
For these bears, piuing and wasting away under their length- 
ened confinement, the burning heat of the summer, and the 
debilitating effects of want of exercise, were attacked by a 
sudden mortality, and reduced to a very inconsiderable num- 
ber. Hence, you might everywhere have seen bodies of half- 
dead bears lying in the streets, like so many shipwi'ecked 
vessels ; and the ignoble mob, whose poverty compelled them 
to till their pinched bellies with any filthy ofi'al, began to flock 
about tlie food that was lying in all directions. 

"Prompted by this circumstance, Babulus here and 1 
thought of the following clever stratagem. AYe canned the 
fattest of these bears to our lotlging, as though intending to pre- 
pare it for food; and having entirely strippc d the skin from tlie 
tiesh, carefully preserving all the claws, and leaving the head oi 
the beast entire, as far as articulation with the neck, we care- 
fully scraped the hide, sprinkled it with fine ashes, and exposed 
it in the sun to dry. While it was being purified of its oily 
juices by the heat of that cek'stial fire, we gorged ourselves 
with its pidpy flesh, and made those of tlie troop who were pre- 
sent take an oath to this effect : that one of our number — one 
who surpassed th(! rest, not so much in stoutness of body as oi 
heart, and above all, one who should undertake it voluntarily — 
being covered with this skin, shoidd assume the form of a bear, 
and then, being brought into tlie house of Demochares, shouhi, 
on a seasona}>le occrasion, afford us an easy entrance through 
tbe door, iu the dead of night. 


" "No few of our gallant troop did. the cleverness of this 
Bcheme encourage to undertake its execution : but Thrasyleoa 
was elected by the suffrages of the band as the fittest to per- 
form the hazardous service. "With a serene countenance, he 
enclosed himself in the hide, which was now rendered soft and 
pliable ; then with fine stitches we drew the edges together, 
and covered the fine seams with the thick shaggy hair, fitting 
Thrasyleon's head into the part close by the back of the mouth, 
where the neck of the beast had been, and leaving small holes for 
breathing about the nostrils and the eyes. Lastly, we enclosed 
our most valorous comrade, now changed into a wild beast, 
within a cage which we had bought for a small sum, into 
which he sprang with unflinching courage ; and having thus 
completed the preliminaries of the stratagem, we proceeded to 
the execution of the remainder. 

"Having learned, on enquiry, the name of a person called 
Nicanor, who was sprung from a Thracian family, and between 
whom and Demochares there were the strongest ties of friend- 
ship, we wrote a counterfeit letter, intimating that this kind 
friend had dedicated the fia'st fruits of his hunting to Demo- 
chares, bj' way of a graceful present. And now, the evening 
being far advanced, availing ourselves of the favourable dark- 
ness, we presented to Demochares the cage in which Thrasj-- 
leon Avas enclosed, together with the counterfeit letter ; on 
which, admiring the huge size of the beast, and overjoyed at 
the opportune liberality of his friend, he immediately gave 
orders that ten pieces of gold should be counted out from hia 
coffers to us who had bi'ought him a present that afforded hira 
BO much delight. Meanwhile, as novelty always excites the 
curiosity of men and attracts them to unexpected sights, mul- 
titudes flocked together about the brute, admiring its size ; but, 
our friend Thrasyleon very cleverly restrained their rather too 
prying curiosit)', by frequently rushing at them in a very 
alarming way. By the unanimous voice of the citizens, Demo- 
chares was pronounced most lucky and fortimate, in that, after 
90 heavy a loss among his wild beasts, he had been able, in some 
way or other, to repair his losses by this new supply. He or- 
dered the beast, therefore, to be immediately taken to his farm, 
and that it should be conveyed with the greatest care. 

" On this, I interrupted him, and said, ' Be careful, sir, how 
you suffer this animal, which has suffered severely from the hes^t 


of the sun, and the length of the distance, to be trusted among 
a herd of many others, and those, according to what I hear, not 
yet recovered. Why not provide some spot in your own house 
for it, which is open and exposed to the breezes, and, if possible, 
bordering upon some cool lake ? Are you not aware tliat 
animals of this kind always couch in shady groves and dripping 
caverns, on breezy hills, and near pleasant fountains r' Demo- 
chares, taking the alarm at these admonitions, and reflecting 
on the great number of wild beasts he had already lost, as- 
sented, without hesitation, to what I said, and readily permitted 
us to place the cage wherever we pleased. 'Besides,' said I, 
' we ourselves are ready to watch here by night, before tliis 
cage, in order that we may as carefully as is requisite give the 
beast its food at the proper time, and its usual drink, as it is 
distressed by the heat, and the harass it has suffered in being 
brought hither.' Demochares, however, made answer : ' We 
do not stand in need of your services ; for nearly every one in 
my household is now, from long custom, well skilled in feeding 

" After this, we bade him farewell ; and going out of the gate 
of the city, we espied a certain monument, standing at a con- 
siderable distance from the public road, in a solitary and retired 
spot. Here we opened some coffins,* Vv'hich, through rottenness 
and age, had lost half of their lids, and wMch were tenanted 
by dead bodies, that were now nothing but dust and ashes. 
These we intended to use as so many hiding-places for our an- 
ticipated booty. Then having, according to the observance 
of our craft, Avatched for that season of a moonless night in 
which sleep most powerfidly invades and overcorrtes the 
hearts of mortals with its first impetus, our band drew up, 
well-armed with swords, before the gates of Demochares, ready 
to perform our agreement to plunder his house. In like man- 
ner, Thrasyleon crept forth from his cage, availing himself of 
that precise moment of the night which is adapted to theft, and 
instantly slew with his sword every one of the house guards 
that lay fast asleep beside his cage, and lastly, the porter him- 
self. Then, taking the key, he opened the folding doors of the 

* Some coffiKX.'] — ' Capulus' ordinarily signifies the litter or bier on 
which the (ic;i(l body was laid out orevious to burial. In this instanw, 
liowever, it seems to mean a wooden coffin. It was orobably much iui 
laiae as the ' sandapila' used by the lower classes. 

^^ tflfi GOLDEjI ass op APtTLEtttS. 

Kale, and as wo immediatoly rushed iu, he poiiiUd out to ilft 
the strong room, where he h;id sagaeiously observed a quuiititj 
of silver pUite deposited in the evening. This being instaatly 
broken open by the combined force of our band, I recommended 
each of my comrades to carry away as much gold and silver as 
he could, and conceal it in those abodes of the dead, the most 
trusty of all people, and then i-eturning with speedy steps, get 
ready a second burden, whilst I would remain alone, for our 
common good, before the door of the house, and keep a careful 
watch, until such time as they shoidd return. Moreover, it 
appeared to me that the figure of a, bear, running about in the 
middle of the house, was adapted to terrify any member of tlie 
family who might happen to be awake. For Avho, howc%-er 
brave and intrepid he might naturally be, would not, on behold- 
ing the huge form of such an enormous beast, in the night espe- 
cially, immediately betake himself to flight, and pulling to tliu 
bolt, shut himself in, terrified and trembling, in his chamber : 

*' A sinister event, however, thwarted all these judicious ar- 
rangements. For while I was waiting, in anxious suspense, 
for the return of my comrades, one of the servant lads, happen- 
ing, so the Gods ordained, to be awoke by the noise, I suppose, 
of the bear, crept gently forward, and seeing the wild beast 
lunning loose, and wandering over the whole house, he silently 
retraced his steps, and, as quickly as he could, gave notice to 
aU of what he had seen ; immediately upon which, the whole 
house was filled with a nuuierous assemblage of the domestics. 
The darkness was illuminated with torches, lamps, wax tapers, 
tallow candles, and other appliances for giving light by night. 
And not one was there in the throng without arms of some de- 
scription, but all were furnished with clubs, spears, and drawn 
Bwords, with which they guarded the approaches to the house. 
And then they hallooed on some of those hunting dogs, with 
long ears and shaggy hair, to attack the wild beast. 

" Upon this, the tumult still increasing, I made my way 
Btealthily out of the house, and concealing myself behind the 
gate, I saw Thrasyleon defending himself in a wonderful manner 
against the dogs. For, though he had now arrived at the very 
uttermost goal of life, still, forgetful neither of himself nor of 
us, nor his former valour, he struggled, as it were, in the vei'y 
jaws of Cerberus. In fact, acting with spirit up to the scenic 
eharac'vei which he had voluntarily assumed^ at one momeuj 

1500S IV, tHE E0BBKll''6 TALK. f\) 

fljing aiid at another resisting, with various gestures and con« 
tortious of his body, he at length escaped from the house. 
Still, though he had gained his libert)', so far as being in the 
public road, he was not able to ensure his safety by flight ; for 
all the dogs belonging to the next lane, and they were very 
savage and numerous, joined in whole troops with the hunting 
dogs, which had rushed out of the house, in full pursuit of him. 
I was then witness of a shocking and frightful spectacle, — our 
friend Thrasyleon, surrounded and hemmed in by troops of 
raging dogs, and lacerated all over by their teeth. 

" At last, unable to endure so shocking a spectacle, I mingled 
with the surrounding crowds of people, and this being the 
only way in which I could secretly give assistance to my brave 
conu'ade, I thus attempted to divert the promoters of the at- 
tack fi'om their purpose, * Oh what an enormous shame,' said 
I, 'thus to destroy such a fine and remarkably valuable beast.' 
The artifice failed, however, and all I could say had no in- 
fluence in favour of the unfortunate young man. For a tall 
strong fellow came running out of the house, and instantly 
thrust a spear through the bear's vitals ; another followed his 
example ; and then a great many took courage to assault him 
at close quarters, and vied with each other in piercing him 
with their swords. But as for Thrasyleon, that distinguished 
honor to our band, his heroic life, so worthy of immortality, 
being at length vanquished, though not his fortitude, he 
did not forfeit the oath he had plighted by any vociferation, 
shrieks, or cries. But, lacerated as he was by tooth and steel, 
he imitated to the last with all his might the growling and 
bellowing of a wild beast, and thus enduring his present cala- 
mity with magnanimous fortitude, he kept his glory intact, 
while he yielded up his life to fate. Still, so great was the 
terror and dismay with which he had struck the crowd, that 
until the dawn, ay, even when it was broad day, not one dared 
to lay a finger even on the beast, dead as it lay, until at last, a 
certain butcher, who was a little bolder than the rest, advanc- 
ing slowly and timidly, cut open the belly of the beast, and 
stripped the bear's hide off the mighty robber. Thus, then, 
was Thrasyleon also lost to us, but not lost to glor)'. 

"And now, immediately collecting those packages which tht 
trusty dead had taken care of for us, we made all haste to quit 
the limits of PlatcaB, while ever and anon the reflection cume 


across onr minds, that it is no wonder if fid* lit)- is not to b« 
found among the living, since, abominating tla-ir pertid}', it has 
descended to the dead. In fine, here we are, all of us fatigurd 
with the weight of our loads, as well as the rough roads along 
which we have travelled ; we have lost three of our comrades, 
and brought home the booty you see." 


After the robber had concluded his narrative, they poured out 
libations of pure wine from golden cups, to the memory of their 
deceased comrades ; and then, having pi'opitiated the god Mars 
by some songs, thej' went to sleep for a short time. Mean- 
while, the old woman served out to us fresh barley in such un- 
measured abundance, that my horse, in fact, amid such great 
plenty, and having it all to himself, might have fancied he was 
supping with the Salii.* But as for me, though I had been in 
tlie habit of eating barley, well crushed, and long boiled in 
broth, having found out a corner in which the remains of the 
bread, belonging to the whole band, had been stored away, I 
strenuously exercised my jaws, which ached with long-con- 
tinued fasting, and began to be covered ■\^^th spiders' webs. 

When the night was far advanced, the robbers arose from 
sleep, struck their tents, and, being variously equipped, some 
of them being armed with swords, and others disguised as 
spectres,! with hast)^ steps, they sallied forth from their abode. 
But as for me, not even impending sleep could hinder me from 
chewing on incessantly and eagci'ly. And though in former 
times, when I was Lucius, I could get up from table contented 
with one or two loaves, yet now, having to fill so capacious a 
belly, I had nearly eaten up a third basketful of bread, when 
broad daylight found me still intent upon this emplo}Tncnt. 
At length, however, moved by the modesty of an ass, I quitted 
my food, but n«)st reluctantly, and slaked my thirst at a rivulet 
close by. 

* Supping with the Salii.'] — The Salii were priests of Mars, whose 
duty it was to keep the sacred ' ancilia.' or shields. Like the other priests, 
they were noted for their fondness of good living and generous wine. 
Hence, ' Caeiia Saliaris,' a dinner fit for a Salian, hecame a popular saying. 

f Disguised as spectres.'] — ' Lenuires.' It will he foutid stated at 
length hy the author, what were the Leinures, in his treatise on the God 
si Socrates. 


Not long after this, the robbers returned, full of anxiety and 
alarm, bringing with them no booty whatever, not so much aa 
u worthless garment. With all their swords, with all their 
liands, ay, and with all the force of their band, they brought 
but a solitary prisoner, a damsel of genteel figure, and, as her 
style of dress indicated, one of the hi'st rank in those parts ; a 
girl, by Hercules! far from an object of indifference even to 
me, ass as I was. As soon as they had brought her into the 
cave, lamenting and tearing her hair and her gai-ments, they 
addressed her in words intended to alleviate her distress : 

" You really are in perfect security, both as to your life and 
your honor ; so have patience for a few days, if only out of 
regard for our profit, for it is the pinch of necessity that has 
compelled us to adopt this profession. Of course, your parents, 
avaricious as they are, will give without delay, out of their 
great hoards of wealth, a sum of money adequate to tlie ransom 
of their own off'spring." 

The maiden's grief Avas far from alleviated by such rough 
comforting as this ; and no wonder ; on the contrary, she wept 
immoderately, with her face bent down upon her knees. Ho 
they called in the old woman, and ordered her to sit by the 
damsel, and amuse her as much as possible with soothing con- 
versation ; and then they betook themselves to their customary 
avocations. But not by any words which the little old woman 
employed could the maiden be made to cease her lamentations ; 
on the contrary, she cried louder than ever, and shook her sides 
with such iinintermitting sobs, that slie drew teai's from me also. 

"Is it possible, that I can cease to weep, or bear to live at 
all ? miserable wretch tlutt I am ! torn from such a home, from 
Buch friends, from such kind servants, such revered parents ; 
become the prey of nefarious rapine, a captive and a slave, 
servilely shut up in this rocky prison, and deprived of all those 
comforts amid which I was born and nurtured ; not safe a mo- 
ment from the butcher's knife ; in the power of such a num- 
ber of outrageous robbers, such a liorrible crew of gladiators I " 
Thus she continued to lament, until, worn out with grief of 
mind, the spasmodic tension of her tlu'cat, and fatigue of body, 
at last she closed her languid eyes in slec p. 

Scarcely, however, had she dozed ftf, when, suddenly start- 
ing up again, as if bereft of her senses, she began to aifticl 
hei-seli' much more violently than before, and A\ith crutd hands 



to heat her bosom and her beautiful face. And although the 
oid Avoraan most urgentlj- enquired the cause of this fresh buriit 
of grief, she only replied with a deep groan : 

** Now, alas ! beyond a doubt, I am utterly undone, now 1 
renounce all hope of safety. A halter, a sword, or a precipice, 
that is what I must come to." 

On hearing this, the old woman grew a little angry, and 
bade her, with a severe expression of countenance, say why the 
plague she was crying so ; or why, after having been fast 
asleep, she thus suddenly renewed her ungovernable lamenta- 
tions. " It is your design, I suppose," said she, "to defraud 
my young men of the pretty sum of money which they will 
get for your ransom. However, if you persist any farther, 
without caring at all for those tears, of which robbers are in 
the habit of making little ac<''0unt, I will pretty soon have you 
biimt alive." 

Terrified by this threat, the maiden kissed her hand, and 
said, " Spare me, my good mother, and, for the sake of hu- 
manity, bear a little with my most sad misfortune. Nor, in- 
deed, do I imagine that compassion is entirely extinguished in 
you, so full of years, so venerable w'ith your gray hairs. In 
fine then, listen to the story of my misfortune. 

" A handsome youth, of the first rank among his fellow-citi- 
zens, whom the whole city elected to serve its public offices,* and 
who besides was my first cousin, only thi'ee years older than 
myself, had been reared along with me from infancy, and was 
my inseparable companion, dwelling witli me in the same house, 
indeed, sharing the same chamber and couch, and afiianced to 
me by mutual ties and the bonds of holy love. We had long 
been engaged to each other in mari'iage, we had even been 
registered on the tablets,! as wedded by the consent of our 
parents ; and the youth was engaged in sacrificing victims in 
the temples and sacred edifices, accompanied by a numerous 
throng of relatives and ueighbours. The whole house was 
covered Avith laui-el, lighted up with torches, and re-echoed 

* Elected to serve its public officeis.\ — Literally, ' bad chosen as the son 
of the public' This phrase denotes that the youth had become an univer- 
sal object of interest to his fellow-townsmen, who had made it their care t© 
jncmiote him to the highest ofticcs. 

t On the tabletn.'] — The register on which the marriage wa.' entered by 
the pul)lic offirerti 


with hymeneal song. My unhappy mother, snpportiiig me on 
her bosom, hud dressed me becomingly in nuptial apparel, aii-d 
frequently loading me with honeyed kisses, was now, with 
anxious hopes, looking forward to a future line of descendants; — 
when, on a sudden, a band of robbers armed like gladiators, 
rushed in with swords drawn and glittering, in fierce battle 
array. They made no attempt to slay or plunder, but made 
straight for our cliamber in a compact column ; and without 
any struggle, or indeed, any resistance whatever on the part 
of our servants, they tore me away, wretched creature, half 
dead with fear, from the bosom of my trembling mother- 
Thus were our nuptials dissolved, like those of the daughter of 
Athrax,* or of Protesilaus. 

" And now again is my misery renewed, nay rather, increas- 
ed, by a most horrible dream. For I seemed to myself to be vio- 
lently dragged away from my home, from my chamber, from 
my very bed, and to be hurried through desert wildernesses, 
where I called aloud on the name of my most unfortunate 
husband ; and he, methought, as soon as he was deprived of 
my embraces, still perfumed with essenced ointments, and 
adorned with wreaths of flowers, was following my track as 
I fled on other feet than my own.f And while with loud 
cries he bewailed the loss of his lovely wife, and implored the 
assistance of the people, one of the robbers, moved with anger 
at his persevering pursuit, snatched up a great stone, and 
slew the unfortunate youth, my husband. It was this horrible 
sight that aroused me in terror from my dreadful dream." 

ISighing in response to her tears, the old woman thus ad- 
dressed her : "lie of good cheer, my young mistress, and do 
not terrify yourself at the idle fancies of di'eams. For not 
to mention that dreams dreamt in the daytime are said to be 
false, even nightly visions sometimes forebode events quite con- 
trary to what really comes to pass. In fact, to dream of weep- 
ing, of being beaten, and occasionally, of having our throats 

* Daughter of Athrax.'\ — Ilippodamia was the daughter of Athrax : on 
her marriage with I'irithoiis, tlie laraous battle of the Centaurs and La- 
|)ith;e took phice. It is (lifiicult to say what is the precise alhision made 
here to the marriage of I'rotesilaus ; })ut it not improlial)!)' aUudes to his 
premature separaliou from Ids wife Laodamia, shortly after their marriage, 
in the expedition against Troy, where he was slain immediately on landing. 

■}• Feet than my own.\ — With the feet of robbers, who carried her away 
elevated from the ground. 

e 2 


cut, announce a lucky and prosperous event ; while, on Ilia 
other hand, to laugh, to be stuiling the stomach with sweet- 
meats, or to dream of amorous enjoyments, predicts that a 
person is about to be afflicted with sorrow of mind, disease of 
body, and other evils.* However, I will proceed to divert you, 
by some pretty stories, and old women's tales." 
Accordingly, she thus began : 



" In a certain city there lived a king and queen, who had three 
daughters of remarkable beauty. The charms of the two eldi^r 
— aud they were very great — were still thought not to exceed 
all possible measure of praise ; but as for the youngest sister, 
human speech was too poor to express, much less, adequately 
to extol, her exquisite and surpassing loveliness. In fact, 
multitudes of the citizens, and of strangers, whom the 
fame of this extraordinary spectacle gathered to the spot, 
were struck dumb with astonishment at her unapproachable 
beauty, and moving their right hand to their lips,f with the 
forefinger joining the elevated thumb, paid her religious adora- 
tion, just as though she were the goddess Venus herself. 

"And now the tidings spread through the neighbouring 
cities and adjacent coim tries that the goddess whom the azure 
depths of the ocean had brought forth, and the spray of the 
foamy billows had nurtured, dwelt in the midst of mortals, 
and suffered them indiscriminately to behold her divine form ; 
or at least, that once again, impregnated by a new emanation 
ixom the starry heavens, not the sea, but the earth, had brouglit 
forth another Venus, gifted with the flower of virginity. Thus 
did her fame ti'avel rapidly every day ; thus did the news souu 
traverse the neighbouring islands, a great part of the con- 

* And other evils.] — Thus also Astrampsychus, in his Oneirocriticon, 

' If you laugh in your sleep, it indicates to you troublesome events ; 
but if you weep in your sleep, it signifies that you will be perfectly joyful. 
— Tat/lor. This is in accordance with the popular belief of our own day. 

■•■ To their lips.] — We learn from Pliny tliat this was ihc usual attittide 

'onied by worshippers when in the act of adoration. The act scemi 
■■"iniewhat to have resembled what we call ' kissing the hand.' 

Book IV THE sTony of cupid and psyche, 85 

tinent, and multitudes of proArinces. Many were the niortala 
who, by long journeys over land, and over the deep eea, flocked 
from ail quarters to behold this glorious specimen of the age. 
No one set sail for Paphos,* no one for Cnidus, nor even for 
Cythera, to have sight of the goddess Venus. Her sacred 
rites were abandoned, her temples suffered to decay, her 
cushions f trampled under foot, her ceremonies neglected, her 
statues left without chaplets, and her desolate altars defiled 
with cold ashes. A young girl was supplicated in her stead, 
and the divinity of the mighty goddess was worshipped under 
human features ; and the maiden was propitiated in her morn- 
ing walks Avith victims and banquets offered her in the name 
of the absent Venus. And evei", as she passed along the 
streets, the people crowded round, and adoringly presented her 
with garlands, and scattered flowers on her path. 

" This extraordinai-y transfer of celestial honors to a mortal 
maiden, greatly incensed the real Venus ; and, unable to sup- 
press her indignation, and shaking her head, in towering 
wrath, she thus soliloquized : ' Beliold how the primal parent 
of all things, behold how the first source of the elements,]; 
behold how I, the genial Venus of the whole world, am 
treated ! The honor belonging to my majesty shared by a 
mortal girl ! My name, that is registered in heaven, profaned by 
the dross of earth ! I must be content, forsooth, Avith the un- 
certain homage of a vicarious worship, and with my share in 
expiations ofl['ered to me in common with another ! And a 
mortal girl shall go about in my likeness ! It is all for nought 
that the shepherd Paris, whose justice and good faith the 
mighty Jupiter approved, preferred me to such mighty God- 
desses, § on account of my unparalleled beauty. Eut this crea- 

* Set sail for Paphos."] — Paphos was a city in the isle of Cyprus. 
Cnidus was a city in Caria. Cythera, now Cerigo, was an island situate 
to the south of Laconia. These places were all famous for the worship of 

f Her cushions.'] — The ' pulvinaria' were couches on which the statues 
of the gods reclined in the temples, with delicate viands placed before 

X First source of the elements.] — The ancient philosophers considerei 
Venus to be the first source of all things. See the opening lines of the 
poem of Lucretius. 

§ Mighty Goddesses.] — The well-known fable to which this allu ies, 
\i thus beautifully unfolded by the PJatouic Saliust, in his treatise ot 


ture, whosoever slie be, shall not so joyously luurp tuy 
honors ; lor I will soon cause her to repent of hiT coutrabaud 
good looks.' 

"Thus saying, the goddess forthwith summons her sou ; that 
winged and very malapert boy, who, with his evil manners, 
Bets at nought all ordinary institutions, and, armed with flames 
and with arrows, runs by night from one man's house to 
another, and blighting matrimonial happiness on all sides, com- 
mits such mighty mischiefs with impunity, and does nothing 
whatever that is good. 

" Mischievous as he was by inborn licentiousness, she in- 
cites him to still more e^nl, by her words : she brings him to 
that city 1 mentioned, and points out Psyche to him* (for that 
was the name of the maiden), and after telling him the whole 
story about that mortal's rivalry of her own beauty, groaning 
W'ith rage and indignation, she said, 

" * I conjure you by the ties of maternal love, by the 
sweet wounds inflicted by your arrow, by the warmth, de- 
lightful as honey, of that torch, to afford your parent her 
revenge, ay, and a full one too, and as you respect mj-self, 
severely punish this rebellious beauty: and this one thing, 
above all, use all your endeavours to effect ; let this maiden bo 
seized with the most burning love for the lowest of mankind, 
one whom fortune has stripped of rank, patrimony, and even 
of personal safety ; one so degraded, that he cannot find his 
equal in wretchedness throughout the whole world.' 

"Having thus said, and long and tenderly kissed her son, 
she sought the neighbouring margin of the shore on wliich 

the Gods and the World. ' In this fable, which is of the mixed kind, it 
is said, that Discord, at a banquet of the Gods, threw a golden apple, and 
that a dispute about it arising among the Goddesses, they were sent by 
Jupiter to take the judgment of Paris, who, charmed with the beauty of 
Venus, gave her the apple in preference to the rest But the banquet de- 
notes the super-mundane powers of the Gods ; and on this account they 
subsist in conjunction with each other. And the golden apple denotes the 
world, which, on account of its composition from contrary natures, is not 
improperly said to be thrown by Discord, or strife. Again, however, since 
different gifts are imparted to the world by different Gods, they appear to 
contest with each other for the apple. And a soul living according to sense, 
(for this is Paris), not perceiving other powers in the universe, says, that 
the beauty of Venus alone is the contended apple.' — Taylor. 

* Psyche to him.'\ — This was the Greek name for tiie soul : a n^oth 
also wa.s calleil bv the same name. 


the -vvavi s ebb aud How, aud, with rosy feut, brushing along 
the topmost spray of the dancing waters, behold ! she took 
her seat on the watery surface of the main ; where the 
powers of the deep, the instant that she conceived the 
wish, appeared at once, as though she had previously com- 
manded their attendance. The daughters of Nereus were 
present, singing in tuneful harmony ; Portunus,* too, rough 
with his azure-coloured beard, and Salacia,f weighed down 
with her lapful of fish, with little Palsemon, their charioteer, 
upon a dolphin, and then troops of Tritons, fiirrowing the main 
in all directions. One softly sounded his melodious shell, 
another, with a silken canopy | protected her from the un- 
pleasant heat of the sun, a third held a mirror before the eyes 
of his mistress, Avhile others, again, swam yoked to her car. 
Such was the train that attended Venus, as she proceeded to 
the jialace of Oceanus. 

"In the meantime. Psyche, with all her exquisite beauty, 
derived no advantage whatever from her good looks; she 
was gazed on by all, praised by all, and yet no one, king, 
noble, or plebeian even, came to m'oo her for his bride. They 
admired, no doidjt, her divine beauty, but then they all ad- 
mired it as they would a statue exquisitely wrought. Long 
before this, her two elder sisters, whose more moderate 
charms had not been bruited abroad among the nations, had 
been wooed by kings, and happily wedded to them ; but 
Psyche, forlorn virgin, sat at home, bewailing her lonely condi- 
tion, faint in body and sick at heart; and hated her own 
Deauty, though it delighted all the rest of the world. 

"The wretched fatlier of this most unfortunate daughter, sus- 
pecting the enmity of the gods, and dreading their wrath, con- 
Bulted the very ancient oracle of the Milesian God,§ and sought 

* Portunus.'] — By Portunus here, or Portumnus, who, by the Greeks, 
was called Palaemon, Neptune is denoted, as the Delphin editor well ob- 
ser^'es. For Talffimon, who is properly Portunus, is shortly after meu- 
tioned as being present, 

t -^nd Salacia.] — The Goddess Salacia was so called from ' Salum,' the 
salt sea. She presided over the depths of the ocean. 

X With a silken canopy.'] — So in the I'asti of Ovid, b. ii.. we find 
Hercules hoUling a canopy or umbrella over queen Omphale, to protect 
her from the rays of the sun. 

§ Mileaiu'i 6'o(/.] — «. e. Of Apollo, who had a temple and oracle a^ 


of that mighty divinity, with prayers and victims, a huabstild 
for the maiden whom no one cared to have. But Apollo, 
though a Grecian and an Ionian, by right of the founder of 
Miletus, delivered an oracle in Latin verse to the following 
effect : 

' Montis in excelsi scopulo desiste puellam 

Ornatam mundo fiinerei thalami : 
Nee speres generum niortali stirpe creatum, 

Sed saevum atque fenun, vipereuraque malum ; 
Qui, pinnis volitans super fethera, cuncta fatigat, 

Flaminaque et ferro singula debilitat ; 
Quern tremit ipse Jovis ; quo numina terrificantur ; 

Flumina quem horrescunt, et Stygias tenebrae.'* 

" The king, who had led a happy life till then, on hearing 
the announcement of the sacred oracle, returned home sad and 
slow, and disclosed to his wife the behests of inauspicious fate. 
Many days together were passed in grief and tears, and 
lamentation. But time pressed, and the dire oracle had now 
to be fultilled. The procession was formed for the deadly 
nuptials of the ill-fated maiden ; the lighted torch burns ashy, 
black, and sooty; the strains of Coiijugal Juno's pipes are 
changed for the plaintive Lydian melody ; the joyful hyme- 
neal song sinks into a dismal wailing, and the bride wipes away 
her tears with the nuptial veilf itself. The whole city groaned 
in sympathy with the sad destiny of the afflicted family, and a 
public mourning was immediately proclaimed. 

'* The necessit)', however, of complying Avith the celestial 
mandates, importunately called the wretched Psyche to hei 

Miletus, a city bordering on Ionia and Caria, and founded by a son oi 
Apollo, whose name it bore. 

* " On some high mountain's craggy summit place 

The virgin, deck'd for deadly nuptial rites ; 

Nor hope a son-in-law of mortal race, 

But a dire mischief, viperous and fierce ; 

Who flies through rether, and with fire and sword 

Tires and debilitates whate'er exists. 

Terrific to the powers that reign on high. 

E'en mighty Jove the wing'd destroyer dreads, 

And streams and Stygian shades abhor the pest." — Tat/lor, 
t The nuptial veil.'] — This, which was called ' flammeum,' was of •» 
bright yellow, or flame colour. If the torches that were carried beforo 
ihe bride shed a dim light, or sent forth much smoke, or were extinguished 
bj the wiu«i« it was considered a bad omeu. 



doom. The solemn preliminaries, therefore, of this duvftil 
marriage being completed in extreme sorrow, the funeral pro- 
cession of the liviug dead moves on, accompanied by all tho 
people ; and the weeping Psyche walks not to her nuptials, but 
to her obsequies. And while her woe-begone parents, over- 
whelmed with horror, strove to delay the execution of the 
abominable deed, the daughter herself thus exhorted them to 
compliance : 

" ' Why torment your unfortunate old age with continual 
weeping ? Why waste your breath, which is more dear to 
me than to you, with repeated lamentations ? Why deform 
your features, to me so venerable, with unavailing tears ? Why 
lacerate my eyes in afflicting your own ? Why tear your 
hoarj' locks ? Why beat your bosoms and those hallowed 
breasts ? Are these to be the glorious results to you of my 
surpassing beauty ? Too late do you perceive that you have 
been smitten by the deadly shaft of envy. Alas ! then should 
you have wept and lamented, then bewailed me as lost, when 
tribes and nations celebrated me with divine honors, and when, 
with one consent, they styled me a new-born Venus Now 
do I feel and see that through that name of Venus alone I 
perish. Lead me away, then, and expose me on the rock to 
Avhich the oracle has devoted me ; I am in haste to encounter 
these auspicious nuptials ; I am in haste to see this noble 
bridegroom of mine. Why should I delay ? Whj' avoid his 
approach, who has been born for the destruction of the whole 
world ?' 

" The maiden, after these words, said no more, but with un- 
faltering steps, took her place in the multitudinous procession. 
They advanced to the destined rock on a lofty mountain, and 
left the maiden alone on the summit ; the nuptial torches, with 
which they had lighted their way, were now extinguished 
in their tears, and thrown aside, the ceremony was at an end, 
and with drooping heads they took their homeward way. As 
for her wretched parents, sinking under the weight of a calamity 
80 great, they shut themselves up in their darkened palace, 
and abandoned themselves to perpetual night. Meanwhile, 
as Psyche lay trembling and weeping in dismay on the summit 
of the rock, the mild breeze of the gently-blowing Zephyr 
played roimd her garments, fluttering and gradually expanding 
them till they lifted her up, and the god, wafting her with hia 


tranquil breath adowu the lofty mountain side, laid htr softly 
on the flowery turf in the lap of the valley."* 

• The valley.'] — The translation of this beautiful story would hardly 
be complete v/ere we to omit the following remarks on its various ex- 
planations, found in Mr. Keightley's valuable and entertaining ' Classical 
Mythology.' " This beautiful fiction is evidently a philosophic allegory. 
It seems to have been intended by its inventor for a representation of the 
rnystic union between the divine love and the human soul, and of the trials 
and purifications which the latter must undergo, in order to be perfectly 
fitted for an enduring union with the Divinity. It is thus explained by 
the Christian mytliologist Fulgentius : ' The city in which Psyche dwells 
is the world ; the king and queen are God and matter: Psyche is the 
soul : her sisters are the flesh and the free-will ; she is the youngest, be- 
cause the body is before the mind ; and she is the fairest, because the soul 
is higher than free-will, more noble than the body. Venus, i. e. lust, envies 
her, and sends Cupido, i. e. desire, to destroy her : but as there is desire 
of good as well as of evil, Cupid falls in love witli her ; he persuades her 
not to see his face, that is, not to learn the joys of desire. At the impul- 
sion of her sisters, she put the lamp from under the bushel that is, 
reverted the flame of desire which was bidden in her bosom, and loved it 
when she saw how delightful it was : and she is said to have burned it 
by the dripping of the lamp, because all sin burns in proportion as it is 
loved, and fixes its sinful marks on the flesh. She is, therefore, deprived 
of desire and her splendid fortune, is exposed to perils, and driven out of 
the palace." This fanciful exposition will probably not prove satisfactory 
to all readers. The following one, of a modern writer, may seem to come 
nearer the truth. "This fable, it is said, is a representation of the destiny 
of the human soul. The soid, which is of Divine origin, is here below 
subjected to error in its prison the body. Hence trials and purifications 
are set before it, that it may become capable of a higher order of things, 
and of true desire. Two loves meet it — the earthly, a deceiver, who draws 
it down to earthly things ; the heavenly, who directs its view to the ori- 
ginal, fair and divine, and who, gaining tl.e victory over his rival, leads off 
the soul as his bride." According to a third expositor, the mytbus is a 
moral one. It is intended to represent the dangers to which nuptial 
fidelity was exposed in such a degenerate country as Greece, and at the 
same time to present an image of a fidelity exposed to numerous tempta- 
tions, and victorious over them all. We must not omit to observe that 
Psyche {^vxi)) was also a Greek name for the moth. The fondness of this 
insect for approaching at night the flame of the lamp or candle, in which 
it so frequently finds its death, reminds a mystic philosopher of the fate of 
the soul destroyed bj the desire of knowledge, or absorbed and losing its 
separate existence in the Deity, who dwelt in light, according to the phi- 
losophy of the East. But, further, the world presents no illustration so 
gtriking or so beautiful, of the immortality of the soul, as that of the moth 
or butterfly, bursting on brilliant wings from the dull grovelling caterpillar 
atale in which it had previously existed, fluttering in the blaze of day, and 
feeding on the most fragrant and sweetest productions of the siniug. Ileact 

rnnK V. rrnE 8T0RT OP ciTpiD AND I'.stcne. 91 



CUI'II) AND rsYciii;. 

"PsvcuE, tlicrefuro, delightfully reclining in this pleasant ami 
grassy spot, upon a bed (jI dewy herbage, felt her extreme 
agitation of mind allayed, and sank into a sweet sleep, from 
wdiich she awoke refreshed in body, and with a mind more 
composed. She then espied a grove, thick planted with vast 
and lofty trees ; she likewise saw a fountain in the middle 
of the grove, wath water limpid as crystal. Near the fall of 
the fountain there was a kingly palace, not raised by human 
hands, but by divine skill. You might know, from the 
very entrance of the palace, that you were looking upon the 
splendid and delightful abode of some God. For the lofty 
ceilings, curiously arched with cedar and ivory, were sup- 
ported by golden columns. The walls were encrusted all 
over with silver carving, with wild beasts and domestic ani- 
mals of all kinds, presenting tliemselves to the view of those 
who entered the palace. A wonderful man was he, a demigod, 
nay, surely, a god, who with such exquisite subtlety of art, 
moulded such vast quantities of silver into various ferir.e 

" The very pavement itself consisted of precious stones cut out 
and arranged so as to form pictures of divers kinds. Blessed, 
thrice blessed, those who can tread gems and bracelets under 
foot ! The other parts, as well, of this palace of vast extent, 
were precious bej'ond all computation ; and the walls being 
everywhere strengthened with bars of gold, shone with their 

it was, in all probability, that the Greeks named the butterfly the soui, 
A correspondent of the Noles and Queries remarks of this story (vol. ii. 
j>. 29) — ' This is probably an old Folk-tale, originally, perhaps an antique 
pliilosophical temple-allegory. Apuleius appears only to have dressed it 
up in a new shape. The tale is still current, but in a form not derived 
from him, among the Swedes, Norwegians, Danes Scots Germans, French. 
Wallacluans, Italians, and Hindoos.' 


own lustre, so that even were the sun to withhold his light, 
the palace could make for itself a day of its own ; so effulgent 
"were the chambers, the porticos, and the doors. The furni- 
ture, too, was on a scale commensurate with the majesty of 
this abode ; so that it might well be looked upon as a palace 
built by mighty Jove, where he might dwell among mankind. 

" Invited by the delightful appearance of the place, Pysche 
approached it, and, gradually taking courage, stepped over the 
threshold. The beauty of what she beheld lured her on, and 
everything filled her with admiration. In another part of the 
palace, she beheld magnificent repositories, stored with im- 
mense riches ; nothing, in fact, is there which was not there 
to be found. But besides the admiration which such enormous 
wealth excited, this Avas particularly surprising, that this 
treasury of the universal world was protected by no chain, no 
bar, no guard. 

" Here, while Psyche's gaze was ravished with delight, a 
bodiless voice thus addressed her ; ' Why, ladj-,' it said, ' are 
you astonished at such vast riches ? All are yours. Betake 
yourself, therefore, to your chamber, and refresh your wearied 
limbs on your couch, and, when you think proper, repair to 
the bath ; for we, whose voices you now hear, are your hand- 
maidens, and will carefully attend to all your commands, and, 
when we have dressed you, a royal banquet will be placed be- 
fore you witliout delay.' 

"Psyche was sensible of the goodness of divine providence, 
and, obedient to the admonitions of the unembodied voices, 
relieved her fatigue, first with sleep, and afterwards with the 
bath. After this, pei-ceiving, close at hand, a semicircular dais 
with a raised seat, and what seemed to be the apparatus for a 
banquet, intended for her refreshment, she readily took her 
place ; whereupon nectareous wines, and numerous dishes 
containing various kinds of dainties, were immediately served 
up, impelled, as it seemed, by some spiritual impulse, for 
there were no visible att(>ndants. Not one human being could 
Bhe see, she only heard words that were uttered, and had voices 
alone for her servants. After an exquisite banquet was served 
up, some one entered, and sang unseen, Avhile another struck 
the lyre, which was no more visible tlian himself. Then, a 
Bwell of voices, as of a multitude singing in full chorus, waa 
wafted to her ears, though not one of the vocalists couJ.d she 


"After those delights had ceased, the evening now persuading 
to repose, Psyche retired to bed : and Avhen the night was far 
advanced, a certain gentle, murmuring sound fell upon her ears. 
Then alarmed for her honor, in consequence of the profound 
solitude of the place, she trembled and was filled with terror, 
and dreaded that of which she was ignorant more than any 
misfortune. And now her imknovni bridegroom ascended the 
couch, made Psyche his wife, and hastily left her before break 
of day. Immediately the attendant voices of the bedchamber 
came to aid the wounded modesty of the new-made bride. 
This course was continued for a length of time ; and, as by 
nature it has been so ordained, the novelty, bj' its constant 
repetition, afforded her delight, and the sound of the voices 
was the solace of her solitude. 

"In the meantime, her parents were wasting their old age 
in sorrow and lamentation ; and the report of her fate, be- 
coming more widely extended, her elder sisters had learnt all 
the particulars ; whereupon leaving their homes in deep grief, 
they hastened to visit and comfort their parents. On that 
night, did Psj'che's husband thus address her — for she could 
discern his presence with her ears and hands, though not with 
her eyes : 

" ' Most charming Psyche, dear wife, cruel fortune now 
threatens you with a deadly peril, which needs, I think, to bo 
guarded against with the most vigilant attention. For ere 
long, your sisters, who are alarmed at the report of your 
death, in their endeavours to discover traces of you, will arrive 
at yonder rock. If, then, you should chance to hear their 
lamentations, make them no reply, no, nor even so much as 
turn your eyes towards them. J3y doing otherwise, you will 
cause most grievous sorrow to me, and utter destruction to 
yourself. ' 

" Psyche assented, and promised that she would act agreeably 
to her husband's desire. Put when he and the night had de- 
parted together, the poor tiling consumed the whole day in tears 
and lamentations, exclaiming over and over again, that she wag 
now utterly lost, since, besides being thus confined in a splen- 
did prison, dcpi'ived of human conversation, she was not even 
allowed to relieve the minds of hei sisters, who were sorro-wing 
for her, nor, indeed, so much as to see them. Without having 
refreshed herself, therefore, with the buth or with food, or, in 

94 rnK golden ass op ArrLEitrs. 

fact, with anj' solace whatever, butwee~ing plenleously, eii? 
retired to rest. Shortly afterwards, hei husband, coming to 
her bed earlier than usual, embraced her as she wept, and thu;; 
expostulated with her : 

" ' Is this, mj- Psyche, what you promised me ? What am 
I, your husband, henceforth to expect of you? What can I 
now hope for, when neither by day nor by night, not even in 
the midst of our conjugal endearments, you cease to be dis- 
tracted with grief? Very well, then, act now just as you 
please, and comply with the baneful dictates of your inclina- 
tion. However, when you begin too late to repent, you will 
recall to mind my serious admonitions.' 

" Upon this, she had recourse to prayers ; and threaten iixg 
that she would put an end to herself if her request were de- 
nied, she extorted from her husband a consent that she might 
see her sisters, to soothe their grief, and enjoy their con- 
versation. This he jdelded to the entreaties of his new-made 
wife, and he gave her permission, besides, to present her sis- 
ters with as much gold and as many jewels as she pleased; 
but he warned her repeatedly and so often as to terrify her, 
never, on any occasion, to be persuaded by the pernicious advice 
of her sisters, to make any enquiries concerning the form of her 
husband ; lest by a sacrilegious curiosity, she might cast her- 
self down from such an exalted position of good foi'tune, and 
never again feel his embraces. 

"She thanked her husband for his indulgence; and now, 
having quite recovered her spirits, ' Nay,' said sh(>, ' I would 
suffer death a hundred times rather than be deprived of your 
most delightful company, for I love you, yes, I doat upon 
you to desperation, whoever you are, ay, even as I love my 
own soul, nor would I give you in exchange for Cupid him- 
self. But this also I beseech you to grant to my prayers ; bid 
ZephjT, this servant of yours, convey ray sisters to me, in the 
same manner in which he brought me hither.' Then, pressing 
his lips with persuasive kisses, murmuring endearing words, 
and enfolding him with her clinging limbs, she called him 
coaxingly, ' My sweet my husband, dear soul of thy Psyche.' 
Her husband, overcome by tlic power of love, yielded relue- 
tautlv, and promised all she (lesin>(l. After this, upon tht> 
iipproach of nioniiiig, lie agiiin vaiii-slied from the anus ol' hia 


'• ifeariwhilo; the sisters, having inquired the wa)" to the rock 
on which Psyche was abandoned, hastened thither ; and there 
they wept and beat their breasts till the rocks and crags re- 
sounded with their lamentations. They called to their unfor- 
tunate sister, by her own name, until the shrill sound of their 
shrieks descending the declivities of the mountain, reached the 
ears of Psyche, who ran out of her palace in delirious trepi- 
dation, and exclaimed : 

<< ' Why do you needlessly afflict yourselves with doleful 
lamentations ? Here am I, whom you mourn ; cease those 
dismal accents, and now at last dry up those tears that have so 
long bedewed your cheeks, since you may now embrace her 
whom you have been lamenting.' 

" Then, summoning Zephyr, she acquaints him with her hus- 
band's commands, in obedience to which, instantly wafting 
them on his gentlest breeze, he safely conveyed them to Psyche. 
Now do they enjoy mutual embraces, and humed kisses ; and 
their tears, that had ceased to flow, return, after a time, sum- 
moned forth by joy. 'Now come,' said Psyche, 'enter my 
dwelling in gladness, and cheer up your afflicted spirits with 
your Psyche.' Having thus said, she showed them the vase 
treasures of her golden palace, made their ears acquainted 
with the numerous retinue of voices that were obedient to her 
commands, and sumptuousl}- refreshed them in a most beauti- 
ful bath, and with the delicacies of a divine banquet; until, 
satiated with this copious abundance of celestial riches, they 
began to nourish envy in the lowest depths of their breasts. 
One of them, especially, very minute and curious, persisted in 
making enquiries about the master of this celestial wealth, 
what kind of person, and what sort of husband he made. 

" Psyche, however, would by no means violate her husband's 
injunctions, or disclose the secrets of lier breast; but, de- 
vising a tale tor the occasion, told them that lie was a young 
man, and very good looking, with cheeks as yet onlj- shaded 
wilh soft down, and that he was, for the most part, engaged 
in rural occui)atioiis, and hunting on the mountains. And 
lest, by any slip in the course of the protracted conversation, 
her secret counsels might be betrayed, having loaded them 
with ornaments of gold and jewelled necklaces, she called 
Zephyr, and ordered liini at once to convey them back again. 

** This beiug immediately executed, these excelleut sittters, 


as they were returuiiig home, now burning more and more 
•with the rancour of envy, conversed much with each other ; 
at last one of them thus began : "Do but see how Wind, cruel, 
and unjust, Fortune has proved ! Were you, my sister, de- 
lighted to find that we, born of the same pai'ents, had met 
with such a different lot ? We, indeed, who are the elder, are 
delivered over as bondmaids* to foreign husbands, and live in 
banishment from our home, our native land, and our parents ; 
and this, the youngest of us all, the last production of our 
mother's exhausted powers of parturition, is raised to the en- 
joj^ment of such boundless wealth, and has a god for her hus- 
band, she who does not even know how to enjoy, in a proper 
manner, such an abundance of blessings ? You saw, sister, 
what a vast number of necklaces there were in the house, and 
of what enormous value, what splendid dresses, what brilliant 
gems, and what heaps of gold she treads upon in every direc- 
tion. If, besides all this, she possesses a husband so handsome 
as she asserts him to be, there lives not in the whole world a 
happier woman than she. Perhaps, however, upon continued 
acquaintance, and when his affection is strengthened, her hus- 
band, who is a god, will make her a goddess as well. By 
Hercules ! it is so already ; she comported and demeaned herself 
just like one : the woman must needs assume a loftj- bearing, 
and give herself the airs of a goddess, who has voices for her 
attendants, and commands the very winds themselves. But I 
wretched creature, am tied to a husband who, in the first place 
is older than my father ; and who, in the next place, is balder 
than a pumpkin, and more dwarfish than anj' boy, and who 
fastens up every part of his house with bolts and chains.' 

" ' But I,' replied the other sister, 'have got to put up with 
a husband who is tormented and crippled with gout ; and who, 
on this account, seldom honours me with his embraces, wliile 
I have to be everlastingly rubbing his distorted and chalky 
fingers with filthy fomentations, nasty rags, and stinking poul- 
tices ; scalding these delicate hands, and acting the part not of 

* Over as bondmaids.'] — It was a prevalent notion with many of tlie an- 
cients, that the wife stood towards the husband in relation of a hondinaiil. 
In reference to this notion, Isidore, in his Origines, h. iv. c. 21, informs 
bs, ' One of the ceremonies of marriage anciently was this ; the hiishatid 
tmd the wife purchased each other, in order that the latter might not lie 
eonsidered as a servant.' 


a wife, but of a female doctor. You, sister, seem to bear all 
this with a patient, or rather a servile spirit, for I shall speak 
out fully what I think ; but, for my part, I can no longer en- 
dure that such a fortunate destiny should liave so undeservedly 
fallen to her lot. And then, recollect in what a haughty and 
arrogant manner she behaved towards us, and how, by her boast- 
ing and immoderate ostentation, she betrayed a heart swelling 
with pride, and how reluctantly she threw us a trifling portion 
of her immense riches ; and immediately after, being weary of 
our company, ordered lis to be turned out, and to be puffed and 
whisked away. But may I be no woman, nor indeed may I 
breathe, if I do not hurl her down headlong from such mighty 
wealth. And if this contumely offered to us stings you, too, 
as it ought, let us both join in forming some eff'ective plan. 
In the first place, then, let us not show these things that we 
have got, either to our parents or to any one else ; in fact, we 
are to know nothing at all about her safety. It is quite enough 
that we ourselves have seen what it vexes us to have seen, 
without having to spread the report of her good fortune among 
our parents and all the people ; for, in fact, those persons are 
not wealthy whose riches no one is acquainted with. She 
shall know that in us she has got no handmaids, but elder sis- 
ters. For the present, then, let us away to our husbands, and 
revisit our poor and plain dwellings, that after long and 
earnest consideration, we may return the better prepared to 
humble her pride.' 

'' This wicked project was voted good by the two wicked 
sisters. Concealing those choice and sumptuous presents which 
they had received from Psj'che, tearing theii- hair, and beating 
their faces, which well deserved such treatment, they redoubled 
their pretended grief. In this manner, too, hastily leaving 
their parents, after having set their sorrows bleeding afresh, 
they retui-ned to their homes, swelling with malicious rage, and 
plotting -wdcked schemes, nay, actual parricide against their 
innocent sister. 

" In the mean time. Psyche's unknown husband once more 
admonished her thus in their nocturnal conversation : * Are 
you aware what a mighty peril Fortune is preparing to launch 
against you from a distance, one too, which, unless you take 
Btrenuoua precautions against it, will ere long confront you,* 

• CoTifront you.} — ' Velitatur.' This is a metaphc rical expression. 



luind to hand ? Those perfidious she- wolves are planning ba*^e 
slratagems against you with all their might, to the end that 
they may prevail upon you to view my features, which, as I 
have often told you, if you once see, you will see no more. If, 
then, these most abominable vampires* come again, armed with 
their baneful intentions, and that they will come I know fiiU 
\vell, do not hold any converse whatever with them ; but if, 
through your natural frankness and tenderness of disposition, 
you are not able to do this, at all events, be careful not to listen 
to or answer any inquiries about your husband. For before 
long Ave shall have an increase to our family, and infantine as 
you are, you are pregnant with another infant, which, if you 
preserve my secret in silence, will be bom divine, but if you 
profane it, will be mortal.' 

" Radiant with joy at this news, Psyche exulted in the 
glory of this future pledge of love, and in the dignity of a 
mother's name. Anxiously did she reckon the increasing tale 
of the days and the elapsing months, and wondered in simple 
ignorance at the structure of this unknown burden, and how 
her wealthy womb could have gathered such an increase from 
a tiny point. 

" But now those pests and most dire Furies, breatliing 
viperous virulence, were hastening towards her with the speed 
of ruthless hate. Then again her husband warned his Psyche 
to this effect during his brief visit : — ' The day of trial, and 
this most utter calamity, are now at hand. . Your own mali- 
cious sex, and your own blood, in arms against you, have 
struck their camp, drawn up their forces in battle array, and 
sounded the charge. Xow are your wicked sisters aiming 
with the drawn sword at your throat. Alas ! dai'ling Psyche, 
by what mighty dangers are we now surrounded ! Take pity 
on j-ourself and on me ; and by an inviolable silence, rescue 
your home, your husband, youi"self, and that little one of- 
ours, from this impending destruction. Slum those wicked 
women, whom, after the deadly liatred which they have con- 
ceived against you, and having trampled under foot the ties 
of blood, it were not right to call sisters ; neither see, nor 

taken from the mode of attack by the ' velites,* or light-armfii infantry 
who #Tit their darts and arrows from a distance. 

* /ibuminable oain/iircs ] — ' I.amix'.' Tlese \vitches, or hag;s, have heea 
rdVrrcd to in a i^rcccdiug uoic. 


listen to them, when, like Sirens, hanging over the crag, they 
ehall make the rocks resound with their ill-omened voices.' 

*' Psyche, in accents interrupted by sobs and tears, thus re- 
plied : ' Already, methinks, you have experienced convincing 
proofs of my fidelity and power of keeping a secret ; and the 
constancy of my mind shall be no less approved of by you in the 
present instance. Only order Zephyr once again to discharge 
his duties, and at least grant me a sight of my sisters, by way 
of compensation for youi* own hallowed form. By those aro- 
matic locks, curling on every side ! by those cheeks, tender, 
smooth, and so like my own ! by your breast that glows with 
I know not what a warmth ! and by my hopes that in this 
babe at least I may recognise your features, I beseech you to 
comply with the affectionate prayers of your anxious sup- 
pliant ; indulge me with the gratification of embracing my 
sisters, and refresh with joyousness the soul of Psyche, who is 
80 devoted and so dear to you. Then no longer I shaU be 
anxious to view your features. Henceforth, not even the 
shades of night will have any effect on me. I clasp you in my 
arms, and you are my light.' 

" Enchanted by these words, and by her honeyed embraces, 
her husband brushed away her tears with his locks, and as- 
suring her that he would do as she wished, instantly anti- 
cipated the light of the dawning day by flight. But the pair 
of sisters who had engaged in this conspiracy, not having so 
much as visited their parents, direct their course with precipi- 
tate haste straight from the ships towards the rock, and not 
Avaiting for the presence of the buoyant breeze, leap into the 
abyss with ungovernable rashness. Zephyr, however, not for- 
getful of the royal commands, received them, though reluc- 
tantly, in the bosom of the breathing breeze, and laid them on 
tlie ground. 

"With rapid steps and without a moment's delay, they 
entered the palace, and deceitfully screening themselves under 
the name of sister, embraced their prey; then, covering a 
Avhole store-house of deeply hidden treachery beneath a joyous 
countenance, they thiis addressed her in flattering terms : 
* Psyche, you are not quite so slender as you used to be. 
Why, you will be a mother before long. Can you fancy what 
delight you have in store for us in that reticule* of youra.'' 
• In thai reiic^uk.} — 'I'erula.' Her womb. 

H 2 


With what exceeding joy you will gladden our whole house ! 
how delighted we shall be to nurse this golden baby, for if 
it only equals the beauty of its parents, it will be born a per- 
fect Cupid.' 

" Thus, by a false appearance of affection, they gradually stole 
upon the heart of their sister, while she, after making them sit 
awhile to recover from the fatigue of their journey and re- 
fresh themselves with warm baths, regaled them in a marvel- 
lously splendid manner with innumerable exquisite dainties. 
She bade the harp discourse, and its chords were struck ; flutes 
to play, and they were heard ; vocalists to sing in concert, and 
they sang ; and though invisible, they ravished the souls of 
the hearers with the most delicious music. 

" But the malice of those wicked women was not softened or 
lulled to rest even by the dulcet sweetness of the music ; but, 
shaping their conversation so as to lead Psyche into the in- 
tended snare, they began insidiously to inquire what sort of 
a person her husband was, and from what family he was 
descended. She, in her extreme simplicity, having forgotten 
her former account, invented a new storj- about her husband, 
and said he v."as a native of the adjoining province ; that he 
was a merchant, with abundance of money, a man of middle 
age, with a few grey hairs sprinkled here and there on his 
head. Then, abruptly terminating the conversation, she again 
committed them to their windy vehicle, after having loaded 
them with costly presents. 

" While they were returning homewards, soaring aloft on 
the tranquil breath of Zephyrus, they thus interchanged their 
thoughts with each other : * YvTiat are we to say, sister, of the 
monstrous lies of that silly creature ? At one time her hus- 
band is a young man, witli the down just beginning to show, 
itself on his chin ; at another he is of middle age, and his hair 
begins to be silvered with grey. Who can this be, whom a 
short space of time thus suddenly changes into an old man ? 
You may depend upon it, sister, that this most abominable 
woman has either invented this lie to deceive us, or else that 
Bhe does not herself know what is the appearance of her hus- 
band. But whicheA'er of these is the case, she must as soon aa 
possible be deprived of these i-iches. And yet, if she really ia 
ignorant of the appearance of her husband, she must no doubt 
have married a god, and then through tliis pregnancy of la is. 


Bhe will be presenting us with a god. At all events, if she 
does happen, which heaven forbid ! to become the mother of a 
divine infant, I shall instantly hang myself. Let us therefore 
in the meantime return to our parents, and let us devise some 
scheme, as nearly as possible in accordance with the import of 
our present conversation.' 

" The sisters, thus inflamed with passion, called on their 
parents in a careless and disdainful manner, and after being 
kept awake all night by the turbulence of their spirits, made 
all haste at morning to the rock, whence, by the usual assist- 
ance of the breeze, they descended swiftly to Psyche, and with 
tears squeezed out, by rubbing their eyelids, thus craftily ad- 
dressed her : ' Happy indeed are you, and fortunate in your 
very ignorance of a misfortune of sueh magnitude. There you 
sit, without a thought upon your danger ; while we, who watch 
over your interests with the most vigilant care, are in anguish 
at your lost condition. For we have learned for a truth, nor 
can we, as being sharers in your sorrows and misfortunes, 
conceal it from you, that it is an enormous serpent, gliding 
along in many folds and coils, with a neck swollen with 
deadly venom, and prodigious gaping jaws, that secretly sleeps 
with you by night. Do for a moment recall to mind the 
Pythian oracle, which declared that you were destined to be- 
come the wife of a fierce and truculent animal. Eesides, many 
of the husbandmen, who are in the habit of hunting all round 
the countrj^, and ever so many of the neighbours, have observed 
him returning home from his feeding-place in the evening, 
and swimming across the shoals of the neighbouring stream. 
All declare, too, that he will not long continue to pamper you 
with delicacies, but that as soon as ever your pj-egnancj- shall 
have arrived at matuiity, he will devour you, as being in that 
state a most exquisite morsel. Wherefore, it is now lor you to 
consider whether you shall think fit to listen to us, who are so 
anxious for your precious safety, and avoiding death, live with 
U9 secure from danger, or be buried in the entrails of a most 
savage monster. But if you are fascinated by the vocal solitude 
of this country retreat, or the charms of clandestine embracea 
BO filthy and perilous, and the endearments of a poisonous ser- 
pent, we have, at all events, done our duty towards you like 
affectionate sisters.' 

"Poor simple, tender-hearted Psyche, was agl);isl with 


norror at this (liTadl'iil story ; and, q\t'.:-: bereft of her seusee, 
lost all remembrance of her husband's admonitions and of her 
own promises, and hurled herself headlong into the very abyss 
of calamity. Trembling, therefore, with pale and livid cheek\ 
and with an almost lifeless voice, she faltered out these broken 
words : 

" ' Dearest sisters, you have acted towards me as you ought, 
and with your usual affectionate care ; and indeed it appears to 
me that those who gave you this information, have not in- 
vented a falsehood. For, in fact, I have never yet beheld my 
liusband's face, nor do I know at all whence he comes. I only 
hear him speak in an undertone by night, and have to bear 
with a husband of an unknown appearance, and one that has 
an utter aversion to the light of day : I consequently have full 
reason to be of your opinion, that he may be some monster or 
other. Besides, he is alwaj's terrifying me from attempting to 
behold him, and threatens some shocking misfortune as the 
consequence of indulging any curiosity to view his features. 
Now, therefore, if you are able to give any saving aid to your 
sister in this perilous emergency, defer it not for a moment.' 

" Finding the approaches thus laid open, and their sister's 
heart exposed all naked to their attacks, these wicked women 
thought the time was come to sally out from their covered ap- 
})roach, and attack the timorous thoughts of the simple girl with 
the drawn sword of deceit. Accordingly, one of them thus be- 
gan : ' Since the ties of blood oblige us to have no fear of peril 
before our eyes when your safety is to be ensured, we will dis- 
cover to you the only method which will lead to your preserva- 
tion, and one which has been considered by us over and over 
again. On that side of the bed where you are accustomed to lie, 
secretly conceal a very sharp razor, one that you have whetted 
to a keen edge by passing it over the palm of your hand ; and 
liide likewise under some covering of the surrounding tapestry* 
a lamp, Avell trimmed and full of oil, and shining with a bright 
light. Make these preparations with the utmost secrecy, and 
after the monster has glided into the bed as usual, when he is 
now stretched out at length, fast asleep, and breathing heavilj-, 
then slide out of bed, go softly idoug with bare feet and on 
tiptoe, free the lamp from its place of concealment in the dark, 

* SnrroundiiKj /apesfry.} — ' Aulex' seems a preferable reading liere to 
' Auliiiii..' 


and boryow the aid of its light to execute your noble purpos«; ; 
tlicn at once, boldly raising your riglit hand, bring down the 
keen weapon with all your nnght, and cut off the head of the 
noxioiis serpent at the nape of the neck. Nor shall our assist- 
ance be wanting to you ; for wc will keep anxious watch, and 
be with you the very instant you shall have effected your own 
safety by his death ; and then, immediatelj' bringing you away 
witli all these things, we will Aved j-ou, to your wish, with a 
human creature like yourself. 

" Having with such pernicious language inflamed the mind 
of their sister, and wrouglit her to a perfect pitch of determi- 
nation, they deserted her, fearing exceedingly even to be in the 
neighbourhood of such a catastrophe ; and, being laid upon the 
rock by the wonted impulse of their winged bearer, they im- 
mediately hurried thence with impetuous haste, at once got on 
board their ships, and sailed away. 

" But Psyche, now left alone, except so far as a person who is 
agitated by maddening Turies is not alone, fluctuated in sorrow 
like a stormy sea ; and though her purpose was fixed, and her 
heart was resolute when she first began to make preparations 
for the impious work, her mind now wavers, and is distracted 
with numerous apprehensions at her unhappy fate. She 
hurries, she procrastinates ; now she is bold, now tremulous ; 
now dubious, now agitated by rage ; and what is the most 
singular thing of all, in the same being she hates the beast, 
— loves the husband. Nevertheless, as the evening drew to a 
close, she hurriedly prepared the instruments of her ruthless 

" The night came, ana with it came her husband, and after 
their first dalliance was over, he fell into a deep sleep. Then 
Psyche, to w^hose weak body and spirit the cruel influence of 
fate imparted unusual strength, uncovered the lamp, and 
seized the knife with masculine courage. But the instant she 
advanced the lamp, and the mysteries of the couch stood re- 
vealed, she beheld the very gentlest and sweetest of all wild 
creatures, even Cupid himself, the beautiful God of Love, there 
fast asleep ; at sight of whom, the joyous flame of the lamp 
shone with redoubled vigour, and the sacrilegious razor re- 
pented the keenness of its edge. 

" But as for Psyche, astounded at such a sight, losing the 
conlrol of her senses., faint, deadly pale, and trembling all 

104 tnE GotbK}^ ASS ot AttTtt:rtrt. 

over, she fell ou btr knees, and made au atte)iii»t to hide iht 
blade in her own bosom ; and this no doubt she would have 
done, had not the blade, dreading the commission of such a 
crime, glided out of her rash hand. And now, faint and un- 
nerved as she was, she feels herself refreshed at heart by 
gazing upon the beauty of those divine features. She looks upon 
the genial locks of his golden head, teeming with ambrosial 
perfume, the orbed curls that strayed over his milk-white neck 
and roseate cheeks, and fell gracefully entangled, some before, 
some behind ; causing the very light of the lamp itself to flicker 
by their radiant splendour. On the shoulders of the volatile 
god w^ere dewy wings of brilliant whiteness ; and though the 
pinions w^ere at rest, yet the tender down that fringed the 
leathers wantoned to and fro in tremulous unceasing play. 
The rest of his body was smooth and beautiful, and such as 
Venus could not have repented of giving birth to. At the foot 
of the bed lay his bow, his quiver, and his arrows, the auspi- 
cious weapons of the mighty God. 

" While with insatiable wonder and curiosity Psyche is ex- 
amining and admiring her husband's weapons, she draws one 
of the arrows out of the quiver, and touches the point with tlie 
tip of her thumb to try its sharpness ; but happening to press 
too hard, for her hand still trembled, she punctured the skin, 
so that some tiny drops of rosy blood oozed forth ; and thus 
did Psyche, without knowing it, fall in love with love. Then, 
burning more and more with desire for Cupid, gazing passion- 
ately on his face, and fondly kissing him again and again, her 
only fear was, lest he should wake too soon. 

" But while she hung over him bewildered with delight 
so extreme at heart, the lamp, whether from treachery or 
baneful envy, or because it longed to touch, and to kiss, as 
it were, such a beautiful object, spirted a drop of scalding 
oil from the summit of its flame upon the right shoulder 
of the god. rash, audacious lamp ! vile minister to love ! 
thus to burn the god of all fire ; you whom some lover, 
doubtless, first invented, that he might prolong even through 
the night the bliss of beholding the object of his desire ! 
The God, thus scorched, sprang from the bed, and seeing 
the disgraceful tokens of forfeited fidelity, without a word, 
was flying aAvay from the eyes and arms of his most unhappy 
Wife. But Psvche, the instant he arose, seized hold of liia 


ROOK t. titE STOKT Of CtTIB AKP PRVCni?. in.') 

light leg wiUi botli hands, iind hung on to him, a tvretclied 
appendage to his flight through tlie regions of the air, till at 
last her strength failed her, and she fell to the earth. 

"Her divine lover, however, not deserting her as she lay on 
the ground, alighted upon a neighbouring cypress tree, and 
thus angrily addressed her from its lofty top : — ' simple, 
simple Psyche, for you I have been unmindful of the commands 
of ray mother Venus ; for when she bade me cause you to be 
infatuated with passion for some base and abject man, I 
chose rather to fly to you myself as a lover. That in this I 
acted inconsiderately, I know but too well. I, that redoubtable 
archer, have wounded mj-self with my own arrow, and have 
made you my wife, that 1, forsooth, might be thought by you 
to be a serpent, and that you might cut off my head, which 
bears those very eyes which have so doated upon you. This 
was the danger that I told you again and again to be on your 
guard against, this was what I so benevolently forewarned you 
of. But as for those choice counsellors of yours, they shall 
speedily feel my vengeance for giving you such pernicious ad- 
vice ; but you I will punish onlj^ by my flight ' And so say- 
ing, he soared aloft, and flew away. 

'' Meanwhile Psyche lay prostrate on the ground, gazing on 
the flight of her husband as long as ever he remained in sight, 
and alflicting her mind with the most bitter lamentations. 
But when the reiterated movement* of his wings had borne 
her husband through the immensity of space till she saw him 
no more, she threw herself headlong from the bank of the 
adjacent river into its stream. But the gentle river, honouring 
the God, who is in the habit of imparting his warmth to the 
waters f themselves, and fearing his power, bore her on the 
surface of a harmless wave to the bank, and laid her safe on 
its flcnvery turf. 

" It chanced that jiist then the rural god Pan was seated 
on the margin of the river, embracing the goddess Canna, J and 
teaching her to sing all kinds of pleasant ditties. Close by, 

* Reiterated movement. \ — In the original, ' remigio.' • Remigium ala- 
Tum,' ' the rowing of the wings,' is a phrase much used by the classical 

t To the waters.'] — That is to say, to the deities and nymphs who iii' 
habit them — not to mention the fish. 

X The goddess Canna.'] — This alUides to the well-known fable of Syriax 
and Pan. Canna is the Latiu for ' cane,' or ' reed.' 


Bome she-goats gambolled as ihcy browsed along the grassy 
bank, The goat- legged god, aware of Pysche's misfortune, 
kindly called the fainting, heart-stricken girl to him, and thus 
comforted her in soothing language: — ' Pretty damsel, though 
1 am a countryman and a shejtherd, still, through the benefit 
of a prolonged old age, I have acquired considerable experience; 
wherefore, if I rightly conjecture — a thing that wise men no 
doubt consider as good as the power of divination — if I rightly 
conjecture, from those tottering and repeatedly faltering steps, 
from the excessive paleness of your countenance, from your 
frequent sighs, and from the sad expression of your eyes, you 
are desperately in love. Listen, then, to me ; attempt no more 
to put an end to j-ourself by leaping from a precipice, or by 
any kind of self-intlicted death ; cease to grieve, lay aside your 
sorrow, and rather in your prayers worship Cupid, the greatest 
of the Gods, and as he is a delicate and spoilt sti"ipling, use your 
best endeavours to please him by soothing attentions.' 

" The shepherd God having thus said. Psyche made him no 
replj-, but simply paying her homage to the jn'opitious divinity, 
departed from the spot. After she had toiled some little way 
along the road, she came at last to an unknown byepath, 
and following it, she arrived at a certain city, of which the 
husband of one of her sisters was king. On learning this cir- 
cumstance, Psyche requested that her arrival might be an- 
nounced to her sister. Being immediately conducted to her, 
when they had mutuallj' embraced, and the forms of salutation 
Avere over, on her sister inquiring the cause of her visit, she 
replied : 

" ' Of course you remember the advice you gave me, when 
you persuaded me to destroy with a sharp razor the beast that 
lay with me under the assumed name of a husband, before he 
should swallow me, poor creature, in his voracious maw. I 
proceeded to do as we had arranged ; but as soon as ever I dis- 
cerned his features by the light of the lamp, I beheld a sight 
truly wonderful and divine, the very son himself of the goddoss 
Venus, Cupid I say, sunk in tranquil repose. Just, however, 
h:^, struck with astonishment at the sight of such a boundless 
blessing, and in utter ecstasy through an over-abundance of 
pleasure, I was at a loss how sufficiently to enjoy my fortune, 
by a most chocking accident, the lamp spirted out some scald- 
i/:^ oil ujxu his right shoulder. LisUuitly awakened by the 


pain, and seeing me armed with the weapon and the liglit, 
'For this shameful conduct,' said he, 'quit my hcd this instant, 
I divorce you lor ever.* 1 wiU at once marry your sister,' — 
mentioning you expressly hy name, — and then he ordered 
iiephyr to waft me beyond the precincts of tlie palace.' 

" kScarcely had Psyche ended her narrative, when the other, 
goaded by maddening lust and baneful envy, deceived her hus- 
band by a story which she liad ready invented, as though she 
had heard something about the death of her parents, and im- 
mediately embarking, 2)roceedcd to the same rock. AVhen she 
arrived there, though anotlier wind was blowing, yet, elated 
Avilh blind hope, she exchtimed, ' licceive me, Cupid, a Avife 
worthy of thee, and thou, /ephyr, acknowledge thy mis- 
tress.' Then with a great bound, she tlirew herself headlong 
from the mountain ; but neitiier alive nor dead Avas she 
able to reach the sj)ot she sought. For her limbs were 
torn in pieces by the crags, and scattered here and there as she 
fell, her entrails were rent asimder, just as she deserved; and 
so, furnishing a banquet for birds and beasts of prey, she 

" jS'or was the other sister's punishment long delayed; for 
Psyche's wandering steps led her to another city, in which 
that sister dwelt ; and she also, deceived by the same tale, and 
impiously desirous of supplanting Pj^sche as a wife, hastened 
to the rock, and there met with her death in a similar manner. 

" In the meantime, while Psyche wandered through various 
nations, anxiously searclnng for Cupid, he himself, with the 
wound from the lamp, lay in his mother's chamber groaning. 
A snow-white sea-gull, tbe bird which skims along the waves 
of trie sea, happing tbem with its wings, dived down into the 
bosom of the ocean. There, approaching Venus, as she bathed 
and swam, he informed her tluit her son was confined to his 
bed by a severe burn, was in great pain, and his cure was 
doubtful : that all sorts of scandalous reports were Hpng about 
concerning the whole family of Venus ; and it was in every- 
bodj-'s mouth that mother and son had gone off, the one to a 
mountain, to carry on an intrigue with a girl ; the other to 

* I divorce you for ever."] — ' Tibi tuasres liabeto.' LiteraJly, 'take your 
things to yourself.' This was tlie iirdinary foniiula used aiiioni; the 
Koiiiaus in cases of d.^orce, when tlie luisband returned to the wiie bei 
Bdjjaraie property. 

108 IrtK fiOLDKN AS9 OF \rr LKltJS. 

umuse hcrsL'lf with swimming in the sea. In consequence 
of all this, Pk'asui'c, Grace, and Elegance are no longer to l<e 
found, but everything is rude, rustic, and slovenly; nuptial 
ti/'S, social friendships, and love of children, exist no more ; but 
unbounded disorder, and a bitter loathing of sordid alliances. 
Thus did this talkative and very meddling bird chatter in the 
ear of Venus, to lower her son in her estimation. 

"Venus, exceedingly enraged, instantly exclaimed, ' So then 
this hopeful son of mine has already got some mistress or 
other. Come, now, you who are the only one to serve me 
with true affection, what is the name of her who has thus de- 
coyed the ingenuous and beardless boy ? is she one of the tribe 
of Nymphs, or of the number of the Hours, or of the choir of 
the Muses, or belonging to my own train of Graces ? ' 

" The talkative bird was only too ready to reply, *I am not 
quite sure, mistress. I think, though, if I remember riglit, he 
is said to have fallen desperately in love with a girl, whose 
name is Psyche.' 

" 'What!' exclaimed Venus, in a burst of indignation, 'ol 
all wenches in the world, is he in love with Psyche, the 
usurper of my beauty, and the rival of mj' fame ? And by 
way of additional insult, he takes me for a go-between, through 
whose instrumentality he made ac(iuaintance with the girl.' 

" Thus exclaiming, she forthwith emerged from the sea, and 
hastened to her golden chamber, where finding her son lying 
ill, as she had been informed, she bawled out* as loud as ever 
she could before she entered the door — 'This is pretty conduct, 
indeed ! and very becoming our dignified birth, and your so- 
briety of character. In the first place, to trample under foot 
the commands of your mother, your sovereign mistress, and 
refrain from tormenting my enemy with an ignoble lov(;, and 
then at your age, a mere boj% to take her to your profligate and 
immature embraces, on purpose, I suppose, that I niiglit en- 
dure the vexation of having my enemy for my daughter-in-law. 
But doubtless you suppose, you scamp, you seducer, you unlove- 
able boy, that you are my onh' high-born son, and that I am 
too old to have another. 1 would have you know then, that I 

* Bawled out.'] — It is with much concern we find tlie goddess of grace 
and beauty guilty of the unseemly act of bawling, as well as of other ter- 
magant behaviour ; but it stands so on the record: 'jam inde a foiiltus 
*inm maxime boans.' 


will have another son, a much better one than you ; nay, what's 
more, that you may be fully sensible of the disgrace, I will 
adopt one of the sons of my slaves, and to him will I give 
those wings and that torch, that bow and those arrows, and all 
that equipment which I bestowed on you, for purposes very 
different from these ; for no part whatever of this apparatus 
was supplied at your father's expense. But from your very 
childhood, j'ou have been badly inclined, and have always had 
pugnacious hands. Many a time, too, have you most dis- 
respectfully struck your elders : and even myself, your mother, 
myself, I say, you parricide, you are everyday exposing before 
the world. Many a time you have struck me, and you pay 
no more attention to me than if I were a widow ; you do not 
even fear your step-father, that most brave and mighty warrior; 
quite the contrary, indeed, for you are evermore setting him 
after wenches, to my torment. But I will make you repent of 
these tricks of yoiurs, and that you shall find this match a 
sour and bitter one.' 

"'But now, made a laughing stock of, what shall I do ? 
Whither betake myself? How shall I coerce this slippery little 
lizard? Shall I solicit the assistance of my old foe Sobriety, 
whom I have so often affronted for sake of this spoiled boy ? 
Must I have intercourse with that coarse, vulgar being ? I 
shudder at the thought ; and yet the comfort of revenge is not 
to be despised, come whence it may. I must have recourse 
then to her, and to her alone ; that she may most soundly chas- 
tise this scamp. She shall rifle his quiver, blunt his arrows, 
unstring his bow, extinguish his torch, aye, and keep his body 
in order by the sharpest remedies. When I shall have shorn 
off those golden locks, which these hands have so often sorted, 
and have clipped off those pinions, which I have dyed in my 
bosom's nectareous fountain, then, and not till then, I shall 
believe that atonement has been made for the injury I have 

"Having thus vented her wrath, she rushed impetuously 
out of doors, and was immediately accosted by Ceres and 
Juno, who, observing her angry countenance, asked her why 
she maiTed the beauty of her sparkling eyes by such a sullen 
frown. ' Most opportimely are you come,' she replied, ' to 
appease* that violence which has taken possession of ray 

* To appease,'\ — ' Perplacatura' see.ius to be a preferable leading here; 
la ' perpetraturae.' 


raging bosom. Enquire for me, I beg, with, the utmost; or.?? 
and diligence after that runaway vagabond, Psyche ; for tbo 
infamous stories about my family, and the conduct of my son 
wlio does not deserve to be named, cannot be unknown to you.* 

"The two Goddesses, knowing what had happened, thus 
endeavoured to mitigate the rage of Venus. * What mighty 
offence, good mistress, has your son committed, that you should 
thwart his pleasures with such stubborn resolution, and be 
impatient to destroy her with whom he is in love ? Is it a 
crime, if he has freely indulged his liking for a pretty girl ? 
Are you ignorant of his sex, and his youth ? Surely, 5'ou have 
forgotten how many years old he is, or is it because he carries 
his years so prettily, that you would for ever fancy him a boy ? 
Is it possible, that you, who are his mother, and a woman of 
understanding, can persist in prying inquisitively into the 
gaieties of your handsome son, finding fault with his indis- 
cretions, taking him to task for his amours, and reproving in 
him your own arts and voluptuous suggestions ? But what 
God or what man will bear with you, when you are eveiy where 
scattering amorous desires among people, and at the same time 
would restrain the gallantries of your own house, and shut up 
the universal magazine of female frailties?' 

" Thus did they, through fear of his darts, flatter, and gra- 
ciously defend Cupid in his absence. But Venus, indignant 
that her injuries were thus treated with ridicule, tiu-ncd her 
back upon them, and with hasty steps again betook herself to 
the ocean." 







'*In the meantime Psyche wandered about, day and night, 
reetlessly seeking her husband, aad the more anxious :o find 


him, because, though she had incuiTed his anger, she hciK^d to 
appease him, if not by the tender endeaxments of a wife, at 
least by entreaties as humble as a slave could urge. Perceiviug 
a temple on the summit of a lofty mountain, ' How can I tell,' 
said she, ' but yonder may be the residence of my lord ?' and 
immediately she hastened thither, while, wayworn and ex- 
hausted as she was, hope and affection quickened her steps, 
and gave her vigour to climb the highest ridges of the moun- 
tain, and enter the temple. There she saw blades of wheat, 
some in sheaves, some twisted into chaplets, and ears of barley 
also. There were scythes likewise, and all the implements of 
harvest, but all lying scattered about in confusion, just as such 
things are usually thrown down, in the heat of summer, from 
the careless hands of the reapers. 

''Psyche began carefully to sort all these things, and arrange 
them properly in their several places, deeming it her duty not 
to fail in respect for the temples and ceremonies of any deity, 
but to implore the benevolent sympathy of all the Gods. 
Bomiteous Ceres found her thus diligently employed in her 
temple, and cried to her, from a distance : * Ah, poor xmfor- 
tunate Psyche ! Yenus, full of rage, is eagerly tracking your 
footsteps, craving to inflict upon j'ou the deadly penalties, 
and the whole force of her divine vengeance. And can you 
then busy yourself with my concerns, and think of anything 
else but your own safety r' 

" Psyche, prostrating herself before the goddess, moistening 
her feet with abundant tears, and sweeping the ground with 
her locks, besought her protection with manifold prayers. ' I 
implore thee,' said she, ' by thy fruit-bearing right hand, by 
the joyful ceremonies of harvest, by the mj-sterious rites of thy 
cists,* by the winged car of the dragons thy servants, by the 
furrows of the Sicilian soil, by the chariot of the ravisher,f by 
the earth that closed upon him, by the dark descent and un- 
lighted nuptials of Proserpine, by the torch-illumined retiu'ii 
of thy recovered daughter, and by the other mysteries which 
Eleusis, the sanctuary of Attica, conceals in silence : succour, 

* Of thy cists.'] — In the processions of Ceres, at Athens, were carried 
chests or baskets, made of osier, enclosing mystic images of the Deity, 
which it was not lawful for any uninitiated person to look upon. 

+ The chariot of the ravisher.'] — 'Per cnrrum rapaceni.' The chariot 
of Pluto, in which he carried otf Proseijiine from the plains of Eiuia, in 
Sicilj uttd descended through a chasm of the earth to lae shades hcitcw. 


succour the life of the wretched Psyche, thy suppliant! 
Suffer me, if for a few days only, to conceal myself in tliat 
heap of wheatsheaves, till the raging anger of the mighty 
Goddess be mitigated by the lapse of time ; or at least vmtil my 
bodily powers, weakened by long-continued labour, be renewed 
by an interval of rest.' 

" ' I am touched by j-our tears and entreaties,' Ceres re- 
plied, * and fain would render you assistance ; but I cannot 
provoke the displeasure of my relative, to whom I am also 
united by ties of friendship of old date, and who besides is a 
very worthy lady. Begone, therefore, from this temple di- 
rectly, and be veiy thankful that I do not seize and detain 
you as a prisoner.' 

"Psyche, thus repulsed, contrary to her expectations, ani 
afflicted with twofold grief, retraced the way she came, and 
presently espied in a gloomy grove of the valley below the 
mountain, a temple of exquisite structure. Unwilling to omit 
any chance of better fortune, though ever so remote, but re- 
solving rather to implore the protection of the god, whoever 
he might be, she approached the sacred doors. There she be- 
held splendid ofierings, and garments embroidered with golden 
letters, fastened to the branches of trees and to the door-posta 
of the temple ; upon which was recorded the name of the god- 
dess to whom they had been dedicated, and also the particular! 
of the favour received. 

" Then Psyche fell upon her knees, and with her hands 
emhracing the yet warm a^tar, having first wiped away her 
tears, she thus offered up a prayer : ' sister and consort of 
mighty Jove ! whether thou dost inhabit the ancient temples 
of Samos,* which glories in thy birth, thy complaining infancy, 
and thy nurture ; or whether thou dost frequent the happy 
mansions of lofty Carthage, which adores thee as a virgin, 
passing through the heavens in a car drawn by lions ; or dost 
preside over the renowned walls of the Argives, near the banks 
of Inachus, where thou art celebrated as the spouse of the Thim- 
derer, and the Queen of the Gods ; thou whom all the East vene- 
rates under the name of Zj"gia,f and all the West denominates 

* Temples of Samos.'} — The goddess Juno was esperial'y woi shipped in 
he island of Samos, and the city of Carthage. Tlie Samians boait"! that 
she was born in that island, near the river Imbrasus, whenci she was called 

T Name of Zyf/ia.]— Juno was so called from ^uyoc, a ' jalie,' as pre. 
iding over the rites of wedlock. 

liDOlf rt. IHE STORY OP CUrTD AJTD PSTCflB. 1 1 3 

Luciiiii ! be thou, Juno Sospita, :i protectress to mc iii these ir.y 
overwhelming misfortunes, and deliver me, worn out with long 
sufferings, from the fear of ray impending danger ; for I know 
that thou art accustomed readily to succotir pregnant women 
in time of peril.' 

" While Psyche thus prayed, Juno appeared before her, in 
all the august majesty of lier divinity, and said, ' How readily 
would I lend an ear to your entreaties ; but propriety will not 
permit me to act contrary to the wishes of Venus, my daughter 
in-law,* whom I have always loved as my own cliild. Then, 
besides, the laws forbid f me to receive into my protection any 
fugitive servant, without the consent of her mistress.' 

" Dismayed by this second shipwreck of her fortunes, anrl 
being no longer able to make search lor her volatile husband. 
Psyche gave up all hopes of safety, and thus communed with 
herself. 'What other relief for my sorrows can now be looked 
for or procured, since even goddesses cannot, though willing, 
afford me any assistance ? In what direction shall I once moi-e 
bend my wandering steps, entangled, as I am, in snares so 
inextricable ? Concealed in what habitations, in what dark- 
ness even, can I escape the ever- vigilant eyes of the mighty 
Venus? Assume, then, a masculine courage, my soul, boldly 
renounce vain hopes, voluntarily surrender yourself into the 
hands of your mistress, and try, though late, to soften her rage 
by submissive behaviour. Besides, who knows whether you 
may not perhaps find in his mother's house him whom you 
nave been so long seeking in vain.' Thus prepared for tliis 
doubtful experiment of duty, or rather for certain destruction, 
she considered with herself how she was to preface her en- 

" Venus, meanwhile, declining to employ earthly means in 
p^i^suiIlg her inquiries after Psyche, returned to heaven. She 
ordered the chariot to be got ready, which Vulcan had con- 
Btructed with exquisite skill, and presented to her before the 
celebration of her marriage. The nuptial gift was of burnished 
gold, and was even the more precious through the diminution 
of its material by the file.:j: Four white doves, out of the mauv 

* My daughter-in-law. 1 — Venus being the wife of Vulcan, the son of 

f The lawn forbid.'] — Probably by this expression reference is made to 
the Fabian law, entitled ' De Piagiariia.' 

\ More precious through the diminution, 6fc ] — That is to say, the losi 


Il4 TUB GOLUESr ass of AFtrtEitja. 

that nestled about the chamber of their mistress, advanced 
with joyous fluttcrings, and bending their painted necks to 
the jewelled yoke, flew forward with the chariot that contained 
the goddess. Around it wantoned chattering sparrows, and 
other birds of sweet note, which announced the approach of 
Venus in melodious strains. 

"And now the clouds dispersed, heaven unfolded itself bo- 
fore its daughter, and the lofty rether received the goddess 
with joy ; nor did the tuneful retinue of Venus dread the 
attack of eagles, or rapacious hawks. She Avent straightway 
to the royal citadel of Jove, and with a haughty air demanded, 
as especially neeessarjs the services of the crier god ; nor did 
the azure brow of Jupiter refuse its assent. Exulting Venus, 
nccompanied by Mercury, imraediatel)^ descended from heaven, 
and thus anxiously addressed him : ' My Arcadian brother, you 
well know that your sister, Venus, never did anything without 
the presence of Mercury, nor are you ignorant how long I 
have been unable to find my absconded female slave. Nothing 
remains, therefore, to be done, but for you to proclaim her in 
public, and announce a rew^ard to him who shall find her. 
Take care, therefore, that my commands are speedily executed, 
and clearly describe the marks by which she may be recog- 
nized; that no one may excuse himself on the plea of ignorance, 
if he incurs the crime of unlawfully concealing her.' 

" So saying, she gave him a little book, in which were 
written Psyche's name, and sundry particulars. This done, she 
immediately returned home. Nor did Mercury neglect her 
commands ; for going about among all nations, he thus per- 
formed his duties as crier : ' If any one can seize in her flight, 
and bring back, a fugitive daughter of a king, a handmaid of 
Venus, and by name Psyche, or discover where she has f;on- 
oealed herself, let such person repair to Mercury, the crier, 
uehind the boundaries of Murtia,* and receive, by way of re- 
of the precious material was more than compensated by the value of the 
workmanship. Materiam superabat opus. 

* The boundaries of Murtia.] — The spot here mentioned was at the 
back of the temple of Venus Murtia, or guardian of the myrtle, which 
was built on Mount Aventine, at Rome. In the first idyl of Aloschus, 
Venus ihus proclaims the reward for her fugitive child ; 
' On him wlio the haunts of my Cupid can sliow, 
A kiss of the tenderest stamp I'll bestow; 
But he who can Ining me the wanderer here. 
Shall have something more rapturous, something more dear.' 
This * something more' is the quicquid post oscula dulce of Secmidus. 


ward, for the discovery, seven sweet kisses from Venus herself, 
and one exquisitely delicious touch of her charming tongue.' 

"Mercury having thus made proclamation, the desire of ob- 
taining such a reward excited the emulous endeavours of all 
mankind, and tliis circumstance it was that quite put an end 
to all Psyche's hesitation. She was already near her mistress's 
gates, when she was met by one of the retinue of Venus, whose 
name was Habit, and Avho immediately cried out, as loud as 
she could bawl, ' So, j'ou most good-for-nothing wench, have 
30U at last begun to discover that j'ou have a mistress? And 
do yoii pretend, too, in your abundant assurance, that you don't 
know what immense trouble w^e have had in endeavouring to 
find you out ? But it is well that you have fallen into my 
hands, of all others, and have got within the very jaws of 
Orcus, to receive, without delay, the penalty of such obstinate 

" So saj'ing, she instantly twisted her hands in Psyche's hair, 
and di-agged the unresisting captive along. But Venus, the 
moment she was dragged into her presence, burst into a loud 
laugh, such as people laugh who are furiously angry; and 
shaking her head and scratching her right ear.* 'At length,' 
said she, 'have you deigned to pay your respects to youi 
mother-in-law ? Or rather, are you come to see your sick 
husband, who is yet dangerously ill from the wound you gave 
him ? But make yourself easy ; for I shall at once give you 
a reception such as a good mother-in-law ought to give. 
"VMiere,' she cried, ' are those servants of mine, Anxiett and 
Sorrow ? ' These attending, at hei call, she delivered her to 
them to be tormented. Thereupon, .n obedience to the com- 
mands of their mistress, they scourged and inflicted other tor- 
ments on the wretched Psjxhe, and after they had tortured 
her, brought her back again into the presence of Venus. 

" 'Just look at her,' said Venus, again setting up a laugh; 
' lur interesting state quite moves my compassion, since it is 
through that, forsooth, that she is to make me a happy grand- 
mother. Fortunate, indeed, am I, who, in the very flower of 
my age, am to be called a grandmother ! And the son of a 
vile handmaid is to hear himself called the grandson of Venus ! 
And yet I talk nonsense in calling him my grandson ; for ill- 
assorted marriages, contracted, too, in a countrj- place, -n-ithiHit 

* Scratching Iter right ear.] — According to Pliny, the throne of Nemesis, 
the goddess of revenge, i; behind the right ear. 


any witnesses, and without the father's consent, cannot poS- 
pi bly be deemed legitimate ; consequently this child will be a 
bastard, even if I do suffer you to bring it into the light at all.' 

" Having thus said, she flew upon her, tore her clothes in a 
great many places, pulled out her hair, shook her by the head, 
and grievously maltreated her. Then, taking wheat, barley, 
millet, poppy, vetches, lentils, and beans, and, mixing them all 
together in one heap, she said to her : * You seem to me, such 
an ugly slave as you now are, to be likely to gain lovers in 
no other way than by diligent drudgery. I will, therefore, 
myself, for once, make trial of your industrious habits. Take 
and separate this promiscuous mass of seeds, and having pro- 
perly placed each grain in its place, and so sorted the whole, 
give me a proof of your expedition, by finishing the task before 
evening.' Then having delivered over to her the vast heap of 
seed^s, she at once took her departure for a nuptial banquet. 

" But Psyche astounded at the stupendous task, sat silent and 
stupified, and did not move a hand to the confused and inex- 
tricable mass. Just then, a tin)' little ant, one of the inhabi- 
tants of the fields, became aware of this prodigious difficulty ; 
and pitying the distress of the partner of the mighty god, and 
execrating the mother-in-law's cruelty, it ran busily about, 
and summoned together the whole tribe of ants in the neigh- 
bourhood, crying to them, ' Take pity on her, ye active children 
of the all-producing earth ! Take pity, and make haste to help 
the wife of Love, a pretty damsel, who is now in a perilous 

" Immediately the six-footed people came rushing in whole 
waves one upon another, and with the greatest diligence sepa- 
rated the whole heap, grain by grain ; then, ha\dng assorted 
the various kinds into different heaps, they vanished forthwith. 

" At nightfall, Venus returned home from the nuptial ban- 
quet, exhilarated with wine, fragrant with balsams, and having 
her waist encircled with blooming roses. As soon as she saw 
with what marvellous expedition the task had been executed, 
' This is no work of your hands, wicked creature,' she said, 
* but his whom you have charmed, to your own sorrow and 
his ;' and throwing her a piece of coarse bread, she went to bed. 

" Meanwhile, Cupid was closely confined in his chamber, 
partly that he might not inflame his wound by froward indul- 
gence, and partly lest he should associate with his beloved. 
The iovers, thus separated from each other under one roof, 


passed a miserable niglit. But as soon as Aurora had ushered 
in the morning, Venus called Psyche, and thus addressed her : 
* Do you see yonder grove, stretching along the margin of a 
river, whose deep eddies receive the waters of a neighbouring 
fountain ? There shining sheep of a golden colour wander 
about, feeding without a shepherd. I desii'e that you bring 
me immediately a flock of that precious wool, get it how you 

" Psyche willingly set out, not with any intention of exe- 
cuting this command, but to procure rest from her misfortunes, 
by hurling herself headlong from the rock into the river. Put 
when she came to the brink, a green reed, the nurse of sweet 
music,* divinely inspired by a gentle breath of air, thus pro- 
l)lictically murmured : ' Psyche ! exercised in mighty sorrows, 
neither pollute my sacred waters hj your most miserable death, 
nor venture yet to approach the formidable sheep on the oppo- 
site bank. While heated by the burning radiance of the sun, 
they are transported with savage rage, and are the destruction 
of mortals, either by their sharp horns, their stony foreheads, 
or their venomous bites. Therefore until the sun has declined 
from the meridian, and the serene spirit of the flood has 
lulled the animals to rest, you may hide yourself under yonder 
lofty plane tree, Avliich di'iuks of the same river with myself; 
and as soon as the sheep have mitigated their fury, if j'ou shake 
the branches of the neighbouring grove, you will find the woolly 
gold every where sticking to them.' Thus the artless and 
humane reed taught the wretched Psyche how to accomplish 
this dangerous enterprise Avith safety. 

" Psyche, therefore, observing all the directions, found her 
obedivnc& was not in vain, but returned to Venus with her 
bosom fullf of the delicate golden fleece. Yet she was not able 
to win the approbation of her mistress by this her second peri- 
lous labour. But Venus, smiling bitterly with knitted brows, 
thus addressed her: ' I do not fail to perceive another's hand 
in the performance of this task also ; but I will now try whe- 
ther you are endowed with a courageous mind and singular 
prudence. Do j'ou see the summit of yonder lofty mountain ? 
From that peak fall the dusky watei's of a black fountain, which . 

* Nurse f»f sweet music.'] — So called because the pipe of Pan v £s 
formed of reeds joined to}jeth»,r. 

+ Her bo-iom full.]~~'\\w ancients used the part of the robe \\.^ 
covered the- bosoni. as a pocUc^. 


•J I'tor hcin:; confined in the nr-ighbouring valley, irrigate tli€ 
'^tygian marshes, and supply the hoarse streams of Cocyttis ? 
Tiring me immediately in this little ui'n, ice-cold water drawn 
from the very midst of the lofty fountain.' Thus speaking, 
she gave her a vessel of polished crystal, and at the same time 
threatened her more severely than before. 

" But Psyche started ofl' with the utmost celerity to reach 
the very summit of the mountain, presuming that there, at 
least, she would find the period of her most miserable life. 
However, when she arrived at its confines, she saw the 
deadly difficulty of the stupendous undertaking. For a rock, 
enormously loft)', and inaccessibly rugged, vomits from its 
middle the horrid waters of the fountain, which, immediately 
falling headlong, are carried unseen through a deep, narrow, 
and covered channel into the neighbouring valley. On tlie 
right and left hand they creep through hollow rocks, over 
which fierce dragons stretch out their long necks, and keep a 
perpetual watch with unwinking vigilance. And the vocal 
waters exclaim ever and anon as they roll along, ' Begone ; 
what are you about ? Mind what you do ; take care ; fly ; 
you will perish.' 

" Psyche, therefore, petrified through the impossibility or 
accomplishing the task, though she was present in. body was 
absent in mind, and being perfectly overwhelmed by the in- 
extricable danger, was even deprived of the benefit of tears, 
the last solace of the wretched. But the sorrow of the inno- 
cent soul is not concealed from the penetrating eyes of Provi- 
dence„ The rapacious eagle, Jove's royal bird, on a sudden 
flew to her with expanded wings, remembering his ancient 
obligations to Cupid, who enabled him to carry the Phrygian 
cup-bearer up to Jove ; therefore, in gratitude to the young 
god, the eagle deserted the lofty paths of Jupiter, and bringing 
seasonable assistance to Cupid's wife in her distress, ho thus 
addressed her : ' Can yoix, simple as you are, and inexperienced 
in attempts of this kind, ever hope to steal one drop of lliis 
most holy and no less terrible fountain ? Have you not heard, 
at least, that these Stygian waters are fonnidable even to 
Jupiter himself, and that as you swear by the divinity of the 
gods, so they are accustomed to swear by the majesty of Styx ? 
But give m(! that little urn.' Snatching it in haste, he sailed 
away on his strong wings, steering his course to the right and 
to the left, between the rows of raging teeth, and the three- 


torked vibrating tongues of the dragons until he reached and 
drew the reluctant waters, which warned him to begone while ho 
might in safety. But he pretended that Venus herself wanted 
some of the water, and had ordered him to procure it ; and on 
this account his access to the fountain was somewhat facilitated. 

" Psyche, therefore, joyfully receiving the full urn, returned 
with all speed to Venus. Yet not even by the accomplishment of 
this dangerous enterprise, could she appease the anger of the 
raging goddess. For designing to expose her to still more outra- 
geous triab, Venus thus addressed her, a smile, the harbinger of 
ruin, accompanj-ing her words : ' You appear to me to be a pro- 
found and malevolent sorceress, or you never could with so 
much dexterity have performed my commands : but there is 
one task more, my dear, which you must perform. Take this 
box,' she said, delivering it to lier, ' and direct your course to 
the infernal regions and the deadly palace of Pluto. Then pre- 
senting the box to Proserpine, say, Venus requests you to send 
her a small portion of your beauty, at least as much as may be 
sufficient for one short day; for she has consumed all the 
beauty she possessed, through the attention which she paj's to 
her sick son. But return with the utmost expedition ; for I 
must adorn myself with this beauty of Proserpine, before I go 
to the theatre of the gods.' 

" Psyche was now truly sensible that she was arrived at the 
extremity of her evil fortune ; and clearly perceived that she 
was openly and undisguisodly imi)elled to immediate destruc- 
tion, since she was forced to direct her steps to Tartarus and 
the shades below. Without any further delay, therefore, she 
proceeded towards a lofty tower, that she might thence hurl 
herself headlong ; for she considered that she should thus 
descend by a straight and easy road to the infernal regions. 
But she Avas no sooner arrived there, than the tower suddenly 
addressed her in the following words : 

" ' Wliy, miserable creature, dost thou seek to destroy thy- 
self by falling lieadlong lu'uce ? And why dost thou rashly 
sink under this thy last danger and endui'ance ? For as soon 
as tliy breath sliall thus be separated from thy body, tliou wilt 
indeed descend to profound Tartarus, but canst not by any 
means return tlience. Listen, theret'on*, to me. Laceda^mon, 
a noble city of Achaia, is not far from hence. Near this city, 
couicaka in devioiis places, is Tcnarus, wliicli you must seek ; 
for there you will tiud a cavity, which is Pluto's breathing 


hole, and an untraversed road presents itself to the view throiigli 
tlie yawning gap. As soon as you have passed the threshold 
of this cavity, you will proceed in a direct path to the palace 
of Pluto. You ought not, however, to pass through those 
shades with empty hands, but should take a sop of barley 
bread, soaked in hydromel, in each hand, and in your mouth 
two pieces of money. And when you have accomplished 
a good part of your deadly journey, you will meet a lame 
ass laden with wood, with a driver as lame as himself, who 
will ask you to reach him certain cords to fasten the bur- 
den which has fallen from the ass : but be careful that you 
pass by him in silence. Then, without any delay, proceed till 
you arrive at the dead river, where Charon, immediately de- 
manding his fee, ferries the passengers over in his patched 
boat to the farthest shore. 

" 'Avarice, it appears, lives among the dead ; nor does Charon 
himself, nor the father Pluto, though so great a god, do any 
thing gratuitously. The poor man dying, ought to prepare hia 
viaticum ; but if he has no money at hand, will no one suffer 
liim to expire ? To this squalid old man give one of the pieces 
of money which you carry with you ; yet in such a manner, 
that he may take it with his own hand from your mouth. 
While you are passing over the sluggish river, a certain dead 
old man, floating on its surface, and raising his putrid hand, 
will entreat you to take him into the boat. Beware, however, 
of yielding to any impulse of imlawful pity. Having passed 
over the river, and proceeded to a little distance beyond it, 
you wiU see certain old women, weaving a web, who will re- 
quest you to lend them a helping hand ; but it is not lawful 
for you to touch the web. Por all these, and many other par- 
ticulars, are snares prepared for you by Venus, tliat j'ou may 
drop one of the sops out of your hands. But do not suppose 
that this would be a trifling loss ; since the want of only one 
of these sops, would prevent your return to light. For a huge 
dog, with three large, fierce, and formidable necks and heads, 
barking with his thundering jaws, tei-rifies in vain the dead, 
whom he cannot injure ; and always watching before the 
threshold and black palace of Proserpine, guards the void Plu- 
tonian mansion. Having appeased this dog with one of your 
Bops, you may easily pass by him, and then you Avill imme- 
diately enter the presence of Prosei'p'ue her'^elf who will re- 
ceive you in a very courteous and benignant manner, desiig 


you to repose on a soft seat, and persuade you to partake ot a 
sumptuous banquet. But seat yourself on the ground, ask for 
a piece of common bread, and cat it ; then deliver your mes- 
sage, and having received what you came for, bribe the cruel 
dog with the remaining sop. Afterwards, ha\-ing given to the 
avaricious ferryman the piece of money which you have re- 
served, and having passed liis rivt r. you will return by the 
Avay you came to the choir of the celestial stars. But, above 
ail things, I warn you, be particularly cautious not to open or 
look on the box which you carry, or explore that concealed 
treasury of divine beautj'.' In this manner, the propitious 
tower delivered its prophetic admonitions. 

" Psyche, therefore, without delay, proceeded to Tenarus, 
and duly taking her pieces of monej' and her sops, ran down 
the infernal avenue. Here, having passed by the lame ass in 
silence, given the ferryman his fee, neglected the entreaties of 
the tloatiug corpse, despised the fraudulent prayers of the 
spinsters, and lulled the rage of the horrid dog with a sop, she 
entered the palace of Proserpine. Nor did she accept the deli- 
cate seat, or delicious banquet ; but humbly sat at the feet of 
Proserpine, and contented with a piece of common bread, deli- 
vered her embassy from Venus. Immediately after this, she 
received the box secretly filled and shut ; and having stopped 
the barking mouth of the dog with the remaining sop, and 
given the ferrj^man the other piece of monej-, she returned from 
the infernal regions much more vigorous than before. 

" Having again beheld and adored the fair light of day, 
though she was in haste to finish her errand, she was seized 
Avith a rash curiosity : ' Behold,' said she, ' what a foolish 
bearer am I of divine beauty, who do not even take the least 
portion of it, that I may by this means appear pleasing in the 
eyes of mj' beautiful lover.' As she ended this soliloquy, she 
opened the box ; but it contained no beautj^, nor indeed any- 
thing but an infernal and truly Stygian sleep, which being freed 
from its confinement, immediately seizes her, suffuses all her 
members with a dense cloud of somnolence, and holds her 
prostrate on the very spot where she opened the box ; so that 
she lay motionless, and nothing else than a sleeping corpse. 

" But Cupid, being now recovered of his wound, and unable 
to endure the long absence of his Psyche, glided through the 
Umrow w'ji.dow of tlie 'xjdchambcr iu which he was confiqetj, 


His wings, invigorated by repose, flew far more swiftly than 
before ; ho hastened to his Psyche, and carefully brushing off 
the cloud of sk-ep, and shutting it up again in its old recep- 
tacle, the bos, he roused Psyche with an innoxious touch of 
one of his arrows. ' Behold,' said he, ' unhappy girl, again 
you have all but perished, a victim to curiosity. Kow, how- 
ever, strenuously perform the task imposed upon you by my 
mother, and I myself will take care of the rest.' Having thus 
spoken, the lover soared aloft on his wings, and Psyche imme- 
diately carried the present of Proserpine to Veuus. 

" In the meantime, Cupid, wasting away through excess of 
love, and dreading his mother's sudden prudery, betakes him- 
self to his usual weapons of craft, and having with rapid wings 
penetrated the summit of heaven, supplicates the mighty Ju- 
piter, and defends his cause. Then Jupiter, stroking the little 
cheeks of Cupid, and kissing his hand, thus addressed him : — 
' Though you, my masterful son, never pay me that reverence 
which has been decreed me bj' the s}'nod of the Gods, but per- 
petually wound this breast of mine, by which the laws of the 
elements and the revolutions of the stars are governed, and 
frequently defile it with earthly intrigues, contrary to the laws, 
the Julian edict,* and public discipline, injuring- my reputa- 
tion and fame by base adulteries, and sordidly changing my 
serene countenance into serpents, fire, wild beasts, birds, and 
cattle ; nevertheless, remembering my own. moderation, and 
that you have been nursed in these hands of mine, I will a*;- 
complish all that you desire. At the same time you must 
be sensible that you ought to guard against rivals, and to re- 
compense me for this service, by presenting me with any girl 
of transcendent beauty that may now happen to be upon the 

" Having thus spoken, he ordered Mercmy immediately 
to summon an asf.embly of all the Gods ; and at the samn 
time to proclaim, that if any one of the celestials absented 
himself, ho sliould be fined ten thousand pieces of money. 
The fear of such a penalty caused the celestial theatre to bo 
filled immediately; whereupon lofty Jupiter, sitting on his 
sublime throne, thus addressed the assembly of Gods : — ' Ye 
conscript Gods, whose names are registered in the white roll of 

* The Julian edict 1 — Alluding to the law against adultery, jji'titiiteil 
by Aufrustiis Cipsar, 


tb(! Muses, you are all well acquainted with that youth whom 
1 have reared with ray own hands, and the impetuous fire of 
whose juvenile years I deem it necessary to restrain hj^ some 
bridle or other. It is sufficient that he is every day defamed in 
conversation, for the adulteries and all manner of corruption 
of which he is the cause. Every occasion of this must be taken 
away,, and his youthful libertinism must be bound in nuptial 
fetters. He has made choice of a girl, and deprived her of her 
virginity. Let him, therefore, liuld her, let him possess her, and 
embracing Psyche, always enjoy the object of his love.' Then 
turning his face to Venus, ' iS'or do you, my daughter,' said 
he, ' be sorrowful on this occasion, nor fearful that your pedi- 
gree and rank will be disgraced by a mortal marriage ; for 1 
will now cause the nuptials not to be unequal, but legitimate; 
and agreeable to the civil law.' Immediately after this, he 
ordered Mercury to bring Psyche to heaven ; and as soon as 
she arrived, extending to her a cup of ambrosia, ' Take this,' 
said he, ' Psyche, and be immortal ; nor shall Cupid ever 
depart from your embrace, but these nuptials of yours shall 
be perpetual.' 

" Then, without delay, a sumptuous wedding supper was 
served up. The husband, reclining at the upper end of the 
table, embraced Psyche in his bosom ; in like manner, Jupiter 
was seated with Juno, and after them, the other gods and 
goddesses in their proper order. Then Jupiter was presented 
with a bowl of nectar, the wine of the Gods, by the rustic 
youth Ganymede, his cup-bearer ; but Bacchus supplied the 
rest. Vulcan dressed the supper ; the Hours empurpled every- 
thing with roses and other fragrant flowers ; tlie Graces 
scattered balsam ; the Muses sang melodiously ; Apollo accom- 
panied the lyre with his voice ; and beaulitul Venus danced 
with steps in unison with the delightful music. The order, 
too, of the entertainment was, that the Muses should sing 
the chorus, Satyrus play on the flute, and Peniscus*" on the 
pipe. Thus Psyche came lawfully into the hands of Cupid ; 
and at length, from a mature pregnancy, a daughter was born 
to them, whom we denominate Pleasuke."+ 


* Peni^cus.] — One of ihe satyrs of the wood. 

t T*4e following explanation of this beautiful fable is, for the most part, 


Such was the tale told to the captive damsel by that deli rioua 
and tipsy old woman; but I, who stood not far from her, 

extracted from the Introduction to a translation of it, formerly made by 
me, and published in the year 1795. 

Tlijs fable, which was designed to represent the lapse of the soul from 
the intelligible world to the earth, was certainly not invented by Apuleius ; 
for, as it will appear in the course of this note, it is evidently alluded to by 
Synesius, in his book on Dreams, and obscurely by Plato and Plotinus. It 
is clear, therefore, that Plato could not derive his allusion from Apuleius ; 
and as to Plotinus and Synesius, those who are at all acquainted with the 
writings of the Greek philosophers, well know that they never borrowed 
from Latin authors, from a just conviction that they had the sources of 
perfection among themselves. 

I have said, that this fable represented the lapse of the human soul ; of 
the truth of which, the philosophical reader will be convinced by the fol- 
lowing observations. In the first place, the Gods, as I have elsewhere 
shown, are super-essential natures, from their profound union with the 
first cause, who is super-essential without any addition. But though the 
Gods, through their summits or unities, transcend essence, yet their unities 
are participated either by intellect alone, or by intellect and soul, or by 
intellect, soul, and body; from which participations the various orders of 
the Gods are deduced. When, therefore, intellect, soul, and body, are in 
conjunction, suspended from the super-essential unity, which is the centre, 
flower, or blossom, of a divine nature, then the God from whom they are 
suspended is called a mundane God. In the next place, the common pa- 
rents of the human soul are the intellect and soul of the world : but its 
proximate parents are the intellect and soul of the particular star about 
which it was originally distributed, and from which it first descends. In 
the third place, those powers of every mundane God, which are partici- 
pated by the Ijody suspended from his nature, are called mundane ; Init 
those who are participated l)y his intellect, are called super-mundane ; and 
the soul, while subsisting in union with these super-mundane powers, is 
said to be in the intelligible world ; but when she wholly directs her at- 
tention to the mundane powers of her God, she is said to descend from 
the intelligible world, even while subsisting in the heavens. 

Thus much being premised, let us proceed to the explanation of the 
fable. Psyche, then, or soul, is described as transcendently beautiful, and 
this is indeed true of every human soul, before it profoundly merges itself 
in the defiling folds of dark matter. In the next place, when Psyche is 
represented as descending from the summit of a lolty mountain, into a 
beautiful valley, this signifies the descent of the soul from the intelligible 
world into a mundane condition of being, but yet without abandoning its 
establishment in the heavens. Hence, the palace which Psyche beholds 
in the valley, is, with great projiriety, said to be ' a royal house, which 
was not raised by human, but by divine hands and art.' The gems, too, 
on which Psyche is said to have trod in every part of this ])alaoc, are 
tvjdciitlv symbolical of the stars. Of Ibis nuiiulune, \v\ rclcstial cor.di- 


lamented, by Hercules, that I had not the means of committing 
to writing such a beautiful fable. 

And now the robbers returned laden with booty, having 

tion of being, the incorporeal voices which attended upon Psyche, are 
likewise symbolical : for outward discourse is the last image of intellectual 
energy, according to which the soul alone operates in the intelligible worhi. 
As voices, therefore, they signify an establibliment subordinate to thLt 
which is intelligible, but so far as denuded of body, they also signify a 
condition of being miperior to a terrene allotment. 

Psyche, in this delightful situation, is married to an invisible being, 
whom she alone recognises by her ears and haTuls. This invisible hu-i- 
band proves afterwards to be Cujjid, or Love ; that is to say, the soul, 
while established in the heavens, is united to love of the purest kind, i e. 
to mtellectual love, or, in other words, is not fascinated with outward 
form. But in this beautiful palace she is attacked by the machinations of 
her two sisters, who endeavour to persuade her to explore the form of her 
unknown husband. The sisters, therefore, signify those two powers of 
the irrational part of the soul, anger and desire, the latter of «hich powers 
is well defined by the Pythagoreans to be a certain tendency, impulse, and 
appetite of the soul, in order to be filled with souiething, or to enjoy 
something present, or to be disposed according to some sensitive energy ; 
just as reason or the rational soul is signified by Psyche. The stratagems 
of these sisters at length take elfect, and Psyche beholds and falls in love 
with Love ; that is to say, the rational part, through the incentives of 
anger and desire, becomes enamoured of, and captivated with, outward 
form ; in consequence of which Cupid, or intellectual love, flies away, and 
Psyche, or the rational soul, is precipitated to earth. It is remarkable 
that Psyche, after falling to the ground, is represented as having ^ a stum- 
bling and often reeling gait ;' for Plato, in the Phaedo, says, that the soul 
is drawn into body with a staggering motion. 

After this, commence the wandenngs of Psyche in search of Cupid, 
or intellectual love, from whose embraces she is unhappily torn away. 
In the course of her journey, she arrives at the temples of Ceres and 
Juno, whose aid she suppliantly implores. Her conduct, indeed, in this 
respect, is highly becoming. For Ceres comprehends in her essence 
Juno, who is the fountain of souls ; and the safety of the soul arises from 
converting herself to the divine sources of her l)eing. 

In the next place, Venus is represented desiring Mercury (o proclaim 
Psyche through all lands, as one of her female slaves, that had fled from 
her service. It is likewise said that she gave him a small volume, in 
which the name of Psyche was written, and every other particular re- 
specting her. Now, I think, it cannot be doubted that Synesius alludes 
to this part of the fable, in the following passage from his treatise on 
Dreams : ' When the soul descends spontaneously to its former life, with 
mercenary views, it receives servitude as the reward of its mercenary 
laliours. But this is the intention of descent, that the soul may aocoia- 
plibh a certain servitude to the nature of the riivcrsc, prescribed by thti 


apparently fought a severe battle. Nevertheless, soitle of the 
more active spirits among them leaving the wounded at home 

laws of Adrastia, or inevitable fate. Hence, when the soul is fascinates 
with material endowments, she is affected in a manner similar to those 
who, though born free, are, for a certain time, hired to employments, 
and, in this condition, captivated by the beauty of some female servant, 
determine to act in a menial capacity, under the master of their beloved 
object. Thus, in a similar manner, when we are profoundly delighted 
with external and corporeal good, we confess that the nature of matter 
is beautiful, who marks our assent in her secret book ; and if, considering 
ourxr^loes as free, we at any time determine to depart, she proclaims us 
deserters, and endeavours to bring us back, and, openly presenting her 
mystic volume to the view, apprehends us, as fugitives from our mistress. 
Tfsen, indeed, the soul particularly requires fortitude and divine assistance, 
as it is no trifling contest to abrogate the confession and compact which 
she has made. Besides, in tliis case force will be employed ; for the 
material inflicters of punishments will then be roused to revenge, by the 
decrees of fate, against the rebels to her laws.' 

Venus, however, must not be considered here as the nature of matter ; 
for though she is not the celestial Venus, but the offspring of Dione, yet, 
according to Proclus in Cratylum, she is that divine power which governs 
all the co-ordinations in the celestial world and in the earth, binds them 
to each other, and perfects their generative progressions, through a 
kindred conjunction. As the celestial Venus, therefore, separates the 
pure soul from generation, or the regions of sense, so she that proceeds 
from Dione binds the impure soul, as her legitimate slave, to a corporeal 

After this, follows an account of the difficult tasks which Psyche is 
obliged to execute, by the commands of Venus ; all which are images of 
the mighty toils and anxious cares which the soul must necessarily endure 
after her lapse, in order to atone for her guilt, and recover her ancient 
residence in the intelligible world. In accomplishing the last of these 
labours, she is represented as forced to descend even to the dark regions 
of Hades, which indicates that the soul, through being enslaved to a cor- 
poreal life, becomes situated in obscurity, and is deprived of the light of 
»'a/, i. e. of the splendour of truth and reality; agreeably to which, Em- 
))edocles sings, 

' I fled from deity and heavenly light. 
To serve rsad discord in the realms of night.' 

But Psyche, in returning from Hades, is oppressed with a profound sleep, 
through indiscreetly opening the box given her by Proserpine, in whicli 
she expected to find a portion of divine beauty, but met with nothing 
but an infernal Stygian sleep. This obscurely signifies, that the soul, l/v 
expK';t,i»-<» to find that which is truly beautiful in a corporeal and terreixt 
life, ;:y.5se? into a profoundly dormant state ; and it appears to me, iliat 
both Plato and Plotinus allude to this part of the fable, in tlie fol!o\^ing 

BOOK VI. THK -ROTJU-RRS TtLTnivAi: Lrcrtjs. 127 

to be cured, propost>d to go and bring away the other 
bundles of plunder, -vvhich, as they said, they had eonceali;d in 
a certain cave. 80 liaving hastily devoured their dinner, they 
turned me and my horse into the road, intending to load us Avilh 
those bundles ; and striking us with staves, they marched us 
over many ups and downs, and through many windings, imtil 
we arrived, towards evening, verj- wear}', at a certain caveni, 
from whence they quickly brought us back, heavily loaded, 
without having allowed us a moment's rest. Such was their 
haste and trepidation, that they drove me by their blows 
against a stone w^hich lay in the road, and caused me to fall 
down ; and then the blows fell thicker and faster to compel 
me to rise, which I could hardly do being severely hurt in 
my off leg and near hoof. " How long," cried one of them, 
" shall w^e waste food on this worn-out ass, and who is now 
gone lame too ?" " He has brought us ill-luck,'' said another ; 
" and ever since we had him we have gained little else than 
blows, and the loss of our brave comrades." "Decidedly," 

passages, the originals of which may be seen in p. 10 of my Dissertation 
on the Elcusinian and Bacchic Mysteries. In the first place, then Plaio 
in hook vii. of his Republic observes, ' tiiat lie who is not able, by the 
exercise of his reason, to define the idea of Ihe good, separating it from 
all others, and piercing, as in a battle, through every kind of argument ; 
eagerly striving to confute, not according to opinion, but according tc 
essence, and in all these, marching forward with undeviating reason, — 
such a one knows nothing of the good itnelf, nor of any good whatever ; 
tut if he has attained to any image of the good, we must say he has at- 
tained to it by opinion, not by science ; that in the present life he is 
sleeping, and conversant with dreams, and that, before he is roused, he 
will descend to Hades, and there be profoundly and perfectly laid asleep. 
And Plotinus, in Ennead. I. lib. viii. p. 80, says, ' The death of the soul 
is for it, while merged, as it were, in the present body, to descend into 
matter, and be filled with its impurity, and, after departmg from this body. 
to lie absorbed in its filth, till it returns to a superior condition, and ele. 
vates its eye from the overwhelming mire. For to be plunged into matter 
is to descend to Hades, and fall asleep.' 

Cupid, however, or intellectual loi'e, at length recovering his pristine 
vigour, rouses Psyche, or the rational part of the soul, from her deadly 
lethargy. In consequence of this, having accomplished her destined 
toils, she ascends to her native heaven, becomes lawfully united to Cupid, 
(fcr, while descending, her union with him might be called illegitimate), 
lives tlie life of the immortals, and the natural result of this union is 
pleasure or delight. And thus much for an explanation of the fable oi 
Cupid and Tsyche. — Taj/lor. 

128 f^^ GOLDEJr ASS OF APtTLEltrS. 

Baid ;i tlafd, " as soon as lie has brought home this bui'Jen, 
which lie cari'ies so unwillingly, I will immediately hurl him 
down a precipice as dainty food for vultures. ' 

While those mildest of men were debating with each other 
about the death I was to die, we had now reached our home ; 
for fcar had made wings of my hoofs. Then having hastily 
removed our burdens, and paying no attention to our wants, 
nor even thinking of my death, they took their wounded com- 
rades with them and started off again, to make up, as they said, 
for the time lost through my sluggishness. 

Meanwhile, I was made not a little uneasy by thoughts of 
the death with which I was threatened ; and I said to myself: 
*' Why do you stand still, Lucius ? Why do you tamely await 
the last calamity that can befall you ? Death, and that of the 
most cruel kind, is decreed for you by the robbers, nor is the 
execution of the sentence a thing to cause them any great diffi- 
culty. You see those neighbouring precipices, and those sharp 
rocks projecting from their sides, which, fall wherever yon 
may, will penetrate your body and tear you limb from limb. 
For that illustrious magic you were so fond of has given 
you only the form and the labours of an ass, but has invested 
you not with the thick hide of that animal, but with the deli- 
cate skin of a horse-leech. Why do you not, therefore, assume 
a masculine spirit, and consult your safety Avhile yet you 
may ? You have an excellent opportunity for flight while the 
robbers are away. Are you afraid of a half-dead old woman^ 
whom you may finish with one blow of your lame foot ? Eut 
whither on earth shall I fly, or who will receive me under his 
roof ? Nay, that is a stupid, and perfectly asinine reflection ; 
for where is the traveller w^io would not gladly ride off upon 
a beast that fell in his way ?" And with that I made a strong 
effort, broke the thong by which I was tied, and was oft' as 
fast as my four legs could carry me. 

Yet I could not escape the hawk's eyes of the crafty old 
woman ; for, as soon as she saw me free, she laid hold of tlie 
thong, with a boldness above her sex and age, and s^^rovc to 
lead me back again. I, however, bearing in mind the deadly 
purpose of the robbers, was moved '^v no pity, but immedi- 
ately knocked her down with a stroke of my hind feet. I>:it 
even when sprawling on the ground, she held on to iba llinug 
with a tenacious gripe, so that for a while I dragged her along, 

BOOK ti. Ltrcrcs and rni damsel gat.i.op off. 12.> 

in my gallop. She immediately began, too, with clamorous liowl* 
ings, to implore the assistance of a stronger hand ; but all tlie 
noise she made was of no use ; for there was no one but the 
captive virgin that could afford her aid ; and she, startled by 
the uproar, ran out of the cave, and saw, by Hercules, a most 
remarkable scene, the old woman, like another Dirce, only 
hanging not to a bull, but to an ass.*' Then did the virgin, 
with virile daring, perform an admirable exploit. Tor, wrest- 
ing the thong from the hands of the old woman, she checked 
my speed wdth bland words, mounted cleverly on my back, 
and again incited me to hasten away. Besidee my own spon- 
taneous desire to escape, I was now impelled by a wish to 
liberate the virgin, and fiu'ther urged by the blows with which 
she frequently admonished me ; so that my four feet beat the 
ground at the rate of a courser's gallop ; and all the w^hile I 
endeavoured to reply by my braying to the sweet words of tlie 
virgin. Sometimes, also, turning my neck, and pretending to 
scratch my back, I kissed her beautiful feet. 

At last, sighing deeply, and looking anxiously to heaven, 
" ye Gods," she said, " give me yoiu- aid, now or never, 
in my extreme danger ; and thou, cruel Fortune, now 
cease thy rage. Thou hast surely been sufficiently appeased 
by these my miserable torments. And you (addressing her- 
self to me), in whom I rely for liberty and life, if you 
bring me home safe, and restore me to my parents and my 
beautiful lover, what thanks shall I not give you, what honours 
shall I not bestow upon you, and what food shall I not afford 
you .'' In the first place, I will comb that mane of yours 
nicely, and adorn it with my virgin hands ; next, I will grace- 
fully part and 010*1 the hairs that hang over your forehead ; 
and then I will, with all diligence, comb out and disentangle 
the rough and matted bristles of your long-neglected tail. I 
will stud you all over, my preserver, wdth many golden or- 
naments, which wnll make you as resplendent as the stars of 
heaven ; I will lead you along in triumph, while the peojile 
joyfully follow ; and I will daily fatten you, bringing to you 
nuts and tit-bits in my silken apron. 

* To an 088.'] — Apuleius here alludes to the story of Dirce, the wife of 
Lycus, king of Thebes, whom he married after he had divorced Antiope. 
Zethus and Amphion tied her to the tail of an untamed hull, and turned 
the animal loose ; but the Gods compassionately changed her inio a foui-- 


"But think not that amidst that delicate food, complete 
leisiu'c, and the blessedness of your whole life, a glorious dig- 
nity shall be wanting to you. For I will leave a perpetual 
monument of my present fortune, and of divine providence ; 
and will dedicate, in the vestibule of my house, an image of 
my present flight, depicted on a tablet. This history, also, 
though rude, shall be narrated in fables, and delivered to pos- 
terit)^ in the writings of the learned ; viz. the histoey of a 


You shall likewise he numbered among the miracles of anti- 
quity. For, from the example of your tnie history, we shall 
believe that Phryxus crossed the sea on the back of a ram, that 
Arion piloted a dolphin, and that Europa sat on a bull. And, 
truly, if Jupiter lowed under the form of a bull, something 
human or divine may be concealed in my ass." 

While the virgin ran on in this way, mingling frequent sighs 
with her ebullitions of hope, we came to a certain place where 
three roads met ; and there, seizing me by the headstall, she 
strove hard to turn me into the road on the right hand, because 
it led to the abode of her parents. But I, who knew that 
the robbers had taken that path, in order to bring away the 
lemainder of their spoil, strenuously resisted, and thus silently, 
ia my own mind, expostulated with her : " What are you do- 
ing, unhappy virgin ? What are you about ? Why will you 
hasten to Hades ? What sort of use is this you want to make 
of my feet ? You will be the cause not only of yoxir own de- 
struction, but of mine likewise." 

While we were thus at variance about the road we should 
take, and were contending like coheirs in a law-suit about the 
lordship of the ground and the division of the path, the robbers, 
laden with their plunder, perceived us, and recognizing us at 
a considerable distance, by the light of the moon, saluted us 
with a malignant laugh; and one of their number thus addressed 
txs : " Whither away so fast by moonlight ? Do you not fear 
the shades and ghosts that roam by night ? Are you hasten- 
ing, most dutiful maiden, to pay a clandestine visit to your 
parents ? Well, you shall not travel all alone, we will escort 
you, and show you a shorter way to your friends." And with 
that, he laid hold on my rein, and turned me round, at the 
same time beating me unmercifully with the knotted staff he 
c^uried in his hand. Then I^ returning ful. loth to prompt de- 

soot Ti- tfffe BOBBTiiw* corrscij.. 181 

Btruction, recollected the paiu of my hoof, aud began to walls 
lame, with my head bobbing up and down ; upon which, said 
the robber who had turned me back : " 80, then, you stumtie 
and stagger again. Your rotten feet are able to gallop away, 
but cannot walk. Yet, just now, you surpassed the winged 
sj^teed of Pegasus." 

While my kind conductor thus jeered me, whacking me at 
the same time with his staff, we had now arrived at the out- 
ward enclosure of the robbers' abode. And there, behold, we 
found the old woman, with a rope tied about her neck, sus- 
pended from a branch of a lofty cypress tree. The robbers took 
her down, and dragging her along by her own rope, pitched 
her over the brink of a precipice. Then, having put the virgin 
in chains, they fell savagely upon the supper Avhich the mi- 
happy old woman had prepared for them, with posthumous 
diligence, as it were. And now, while they were devouring 
everything with greedy voracity, they began to discuss the 
question of our punishment, and their own revenge, and the 
opinions expressed on tlie subject were various, as is usually 
the case in a turbulent crowd. One proposed that the virgin 
should be burnt alive ; a second Avas for exposing her to wild 
beasts ; a third was of opinion that she should be cr.ucified ; 
and a fourth, that she should be mangled by various torments. 
At all events, she was condemned to die, in one way or other, 
by the suffrage of all. 

At last one of them, having prevailed on the rest to cease 
the tumult, addressed them thus, in a mild and placid tone : 
" It does not accord with the ordinances of our association, 
nor with the clemency of each of us, nor indeed with my 
own moderation, to suffer you to inflict punishment which 
exceeds the magnitude of the crime; nor that you should 
employ for this purpose wild beasts, or the cross, or fire, vv 
torments, 01 invoke the hasty darkness of a rapid deatli. 
Hearken, then, to my counsel, and grant life to the maiden, 
but such life as she deserves. You have not, of course, forgotU n 
what you some time ago decreed respecting that ass, who was 
always sluggish, indeed, but a prodigious eater, and who now 
also has counterfeited lameness, and has made himself the in- 
Btrument and servant of the virgin's flight. It will be woil, 
therefore, to cut his throat to-morrow, and, having taken out 
all hifi intestines, to bow up the virgin, naked, in the belly 



of the uss, who has prcferrefl her to us ; so that, her fac6 
alone may project and be visible, and the rest of her body 
may be confined in the beastly embrace of his belly. Then 
let the ass, with the virgin thus sewn up in him, be exposed, on 
some stony cliff, to the heat of the burning sun. Thus both of 
them will suffer everything which you have rightly decreed. 
For the ass will be put to death, as he has long ago deserved; while 
she will endure the bites of creatures of prey, when her limbs 
are gnawed by worms ; the scorching heat of fire, when the 
blazing sun shall have burnt up the belly of the ass ; and the 
torment of the cross, when dogs and vultures tear out her en- 
trails, lleckon up, too, her other miseries and torments. In 
the first place, she will remain alive in the belly of a dead 
beast ; in the next place, her nostrils wiU be filled with a 
most fetid vapour ; and, in the third place, she will waste 
away with protracted hunger, and will not have her hands at 
liberty to end her agonies by death." 

After he had spoken to this effect, the robbers agreed to his 
proposal, which they relished to their very heart's content. 
On hearing their decision with my long ears, what could I do 
but bewail my poor body that was to be a dead carcase next 
morning ? 



















As soon as darkness gave place to the fair light of day, and 
all things were illuminated by the splendid chariot of the sun, 
a certain person, one of the robbers' comrades, arrived ; for so 
ne appeared to be, by their mutual salutations. This man sal 
down at the entrance of the cavern, and after he had reco- 
veied his bi'cath, and was able to speak, he made the following 
nairation to his companions : — 

" With respect to the house of Milo, of Hypata, Avhich we 
lately plundered, we may now be quite at our ease, and fear 
nothing. For after you, brave men, had returned to our cave, 
carrying off with you all Milo's property, I mingled with the 
crowd of the citizens, and assuming the appearance of one who 
was grieved and indignant at what liad happened, observed 
what course was talcen for an investigation of the affair, and 
whether, and to what extent, they would inquire after the 
rob1>ers ; in order that I might relate to you every particular, 
conformably to j^our injunctions, ^ow one Lucius, whoever 
he may bo, was accused, by the unanimous voice of all the mul- 
titude, as t]ic manifest author of the robberj', and this not upon 
dubious surmises, but upon convincing evidence. This Lucius, 
nut long before, by false commendatory letters, passing himself 
Jiff for a respectable man, stronglj' ingratiated himself with 
Milo, so that he was hospitably received by him, and ranked 
among his intimate friends. And when he had remained there 
not a few days, having ensnared the mind of a maid servant of 
Milo with false love, he diligently explored the bolts and bars 
of tlie house, and curiously surveyed these parts of it in wliich 
all the property was usually deposited. This, also, was con- 
sidered as no small indication of his guilt, that he tied on the 
very same night, and at the very moment the robbery was 
committed, and has not been lieard of since. He had ready 
means of flight too, whereby he could rapidly elude his pur- 
suers, and get farther and farther away from their search ; for he 
rode away on his own white horse. Moreover, his servant wa? 
found in the same house, and, being accused as accessary to the 
felony and escape of his master, was, by order of the magis- 
trates, coiuraitted to the common gaol, and subjected on tli*" fol- 
.pwiug day to many tornicnts. Jiut though tortuix'd till be 


was almost dead, lie confessed, after all, nothing of tlie kind. 
Nevertheless, many persons were sent to the country of tha* 
Lucius in search of him, in order that he might undergo the 
punishment of his crime. " 

While he was narrating these things, my vitals were wrung 
with grief at the comparison they suggested between my an- 
cient fortune and my present calamity, between that once 
happy Lucius and a miserable jackass. It also occurred to me, 
that not without reason had ancient sages pronounced Fortune 
to be blind, and entirely deprived of eyes; since she always 
bestows her riches on the unworthy and the wicked, and never 
judiciously makes any mortal the object of her regard ; but 
indeed attaches herself for the most part to men from whom, 
if she could see, she ought to fly far away. And what is worst 
of all, she eauses opinions to be entertained of us that are at 
variance with our real character, or even contraiy to it : so as 
to enable the bad man to exult in the renown of th(i good man, 
and, on the other hand, to cause the most innocent to sufter 
such punishment as befits the most guilty. Here, methought, 
am I, to whom she has done her worst in changing me into a 
beast, and a quadruped of the vilest condition, I, whose mis- 
fortune would strike the most hardened reprobate as "A'orthy to 
be lamented and commiserated, I am here accused of the crime of 
burglary, committed upon my most dear host ; a crime for wliich 
burglary is too mild a name, and wbieli one may more rightly 
denominate parricide. Yet I was not permitted to do fend 
myself, or to utter so much as one word in denial of the charge. 
Now, however, Avhen it was made in my presence, lest my 
silence should be mistaken for tlie ac(iuiescence of a guilty 
conscience, I was racked with impatience to speak, were it 
only to say, Non feci, I did not do tliat deed. The former 
word, indeed, [wo«] I roared out again and again, but the 
other [^feci^ I could by no means pronounce, biit I continued 
to vociferate non non ; and no more could 1 get out, though I 
made my pendulous lips vibrate? with excessive rotundity. 

Why, however, do I prolixly complain of the spitefuhiess of 
Fortune, since she was not ashamed to make me a fellow- 
servant and yoke-mate with my own hoi'se. While these 
thoughts were floating through my mind, a concern of a more 
important nature engaged my attention, viz., the recollection 
thsit J "was destined by the decree of the robbers to be a victim 


to the manes of the virgin ; and frequently casting a look at 
my belly, I seemed to myself to have the unhappy damsel 
enclosed within it. 

The robber who had just brought Ihe news of that false 
accusation against me, having drawn out a thousand pieces of 
gold coin, which he had sewn up and concealed in his garment, 
and which he had taken, as he said, from different toavellers, 
and had conscientiously brought to the common treasury, began 
to inquire anxiously concerning the welfare of his comrades. 
Finding that some of them, and indeed all the bravest, had 
perished by various deaths, but all with great gallantry, he 
advised them to leave the highways at peace for some time, 
and rather apply themselves to searching after other associates, 
and to supplying the deficiency of their warlike band by the 
election of new hands from among the youths of the country. 
For, he observed, those that were unwilling might be com- 
pelled by fear, and the willing be incited by reward ; and not 
a few would gladly abandon an abject and servile life, and 
unite themselves to an association which possessed a power 
like that of royalty. For his own part, he had some time 
since met with a certain man of a lofty stature, young, of vast 
bodily dimensions, and of great strength ; and after much ar- 
gument had at length persuaded him to make better use of his 
hands, which had become torpid through long idleness ; to enjoy 
while he might the advantages of a prosperous condition of 
body ; and instead of holding out his powerful hand for alms, 
to exert it rather in helping liimself to gold. All present 
assented to what he said, and decreed to receive the man he had 
spoken of, as he appeared to be a tried man, and also to search 
atlcr others who might supply the places of those they had lost. 

He went out, and returning shortly after, brought with him, 
as he had promised, a certain tall j'oung man, with whom I do 
not think any one pn-seiit couhl liave stood acompai'ison; for, 
besides the great bulk of his body, he surpassed all the rest iix 
height by a wlioU; head, and yet the down had but just begun 
to overspread his cheeks. He was only half clothed, with odds 
and ends of cloth, cobbled together, through the joinings of 
which his brawny breast and belly seemed ready to burst 
forth. Thus entering, " All hail," said he, " ye, who are under 
the protection of the most powerful God Mars, and who are 
now btu'.ome my trusty comrades ; receive willingly a willing 


recruit, a man of magnanimous spirit, who more cheerfully 
receives wounds in his body than gold in his hand, and who 
despises death, which others dread. And think not that I am 
a needy or abject man, nor judge of my merits from these 
rags; for I have been the leader of a most powerful band, and 
have, in fact, plundered all Macedonia. I am that famous 
robber Hsemus the Thracian, whose name whole provinces 
dread ; and am the offspring of Thero, who was an equally 
illustrious robber ; nourished in human blood ; educated among 
bands of men of this description, and the heir and imitator of 
my father's valour. But I lost in a short space of time all 
my old band, all my brave comrades, and, all the great wealth 
Ave had amassed. For passing by Oratum,* I attacked one of 
Cajsar's commissaries, who had been high in oiRce, but was 
afterwards deprived of his employment through the malignitj' 
of fortune. I will, however, relate the whole affair in order 
that you may understand it the better. 


THE recruit's STOEY. 

" There was a certain person honourably distinguished by 
the many offices he held in the palace of Cassar, and who was 
also well esteemed by Caesar himself. Malignant envy, and 
the crafty accusations of certain persons, hurled him into exile. 
Eut his wife, Plotina, a woman of rare fidelity' and singular 
chastity, who had given stability to the family of her husband 
by the birth of ten children, spurned and despised the plea- 
sures of city luxury, and became the companion of her 
husband's flight, and a partaker of his misfortune. For this 
purpose she cut off her hair, changed her dress, so that she 
might appear like a man ; and begirt with necklaces of the 
greatest value and with zones of gold coin, she moved intre- 
pidly amidst the drawn swords of the soldiers that guarded her 
husband, a partaker of all his dangers, maintaining an ever- 
wakeful care for his safety, and enduring continual labours 
with the fortitude of a man. And now having vanquished the 
greater part of the difficidties of the journey, and the dangei-3 
of the sea, she went with her husband to ZacjTithus,! which 

* Oratiim.} — The precise situation of Oratum has not been aeverrainect 
+ Zarynthtisl — Now tlie island of Zante. 

BOOK m. THE KKCKrir S STDT?^'. 137 

their liital destiny had decreed to be their temporary liabita- 
tion. As soon, however, as they had arrived on the shores of 
A-ctium, where we were then roving about on our return 
from Macedonia, they went late at night to a certain cottage 
which was near the shore and their ship, and there they slept 
in order to avoid the tossing of the sea. In this cottage we 
attacked and plundered them of every thing. Yet we did not 
depart without great danger. For as soon as the mistress of 
the house heard the first noise of the gate, she ran into the 
bedchamber, and disturbed all that were in the house by her 
tumultuous clamours. She likewise called on her servants by 
name, and on all her neighbours ; but it so hajipened that we 
escaped with impunity tlirough the general fear, each conceal- 
ing himself out of regard to his own safety. 

" This excellent woman, howevei-, (for the truth must be 
spoken), who was a pattern of fidelity and was beloved for her 
virtues, immediately pouring forth her prayers to the majesty 
of CiBsar, obtained both a speedy return for her husband, and 
a complete revenge of the assault. In short, Caesar was un- 
willing that the band of the robber Haemus should any longer 
exist, and it was forthwith immediately destroyed. So much 
can the mere wish of a great prince effect. At length, when, 
by the pertinacious pursuit of the emperor's army, all our 
band was destroyed, I scarcely saved myself, and escaped from 
tlie midst of the jaws of hell, after the following manner. 
1 clothed myself in the florid vestment of a woman, with nume- 
rous flowing folds, covered my head with a small woven 
mitre, and put on my feet those white and thin shoes which are 
worn by women ; and thus, as it were, implanted and concealed 
in the other sex, I passed through the midst of the troops of 
Hostile soldiers, riding on an ass laden with sheaves of barley. 
For, believing me to be a female ass-driver, they let me pass 
free ; because at that time my beai'dless cheeks were still soft 
and smooth as a boy's. Yet I have not degenerated fi*om my 
paternal glory, or forgotten my fortitude, though somewhat 
fearful in consequence of being placed in the midst of martial 
blades ; but protected by the disguise of a dress foreign to my 
sex, and attacking villas or towns, single handed, I have pro- 
cured for myself tliis small viaticum by plunder." 

ESTD or IHE sivia EPISOPJl. 


Ripping open his rags as he spoke, he poured forth into the 
midst of them two thousand pieces of gold coin. " There," 
said he, "I willingly offer to your band this contribution, 
and myself also (if you do not reject my offer), as a most 
faithful leader, who, in a short space of time, will make this 
your habitation to be no longer rocky, but golden." The rob- 
bers, without hesitation, unanimously elected him their leader. 
They also brought forth a tolerably fair garment, which he put 
on, throwing away his rich rags. And having thus changed 
his attire, and embraced each of them, he was placed on the 
couch at the head of the table, and his leadership was inaugu- 
rated by a supper, and copious bowls. 

In the conversation that ensued, the robber was made aware 
of the fliglit of the damsel, of my carrj'ing her, and of the 
monstrous death to which each of us was destined. He asked 
where the virgin was, and being taken to her, and seeing her 
laden with chains, he tmned away from her, with a contemp- 
tuous curl of his nose, and said : "I am not indeed so stupid, 
or at least so rash, as to oppose your decree ; but I should have 
to endiu'e the reproaches of my own conscience, if I dissembled 
wliat appears to me to be for your benefit. But, in the first 
place, sufter me, who am solicitous for your sake, to speak 
boldly, especially since, if my views are not acceptable to you, 
you may full back on what you have decreed concerning the 
virgin and the ass. Now, I think that those robbers who are 
truly wise ought to prefer nothing to their own gain, not even 
vengeance itself, which is often detrimental to those who inflict 
it as well as to others. If, then, you destroy the virgin in the 
body of the ass, you will gratify nothing but your indig- 
nation, without anj- profit to yourselves. It is my opinion 
that she sliould rather be taken to some citj', and there sold ; for 
a virgin of her age may be sold for no small price. I myself, 
some time ago, knew certain bawds, one of whom might, as I 
think, give a great sum of money for this virgin, and place her 
in a brothel, suitable to her birth, and from which she will not 
be likely to run away again. She will also have afforded you 
some revenge, when she has passed into bondage at a brothel. 
I liave sincerely offered this counsel to you, as conducive to 
your advantage ; but you are the masters of your own judg- 
ments and acts." Thus it was that this advocate of the rob- 
bers' exchequer, and no less excellent saviour of the virgin and 
ass, pleaded our cauatf. 


The rest of the robbers, after tormenting my entrails and my 
miserable spirit by their tedious deliberations, at length cor- 
dially acceded to the opinion of the new robber, and immedi- 
at<;ly freed the virgin from her bonds. But as for her, from 
the moment she beheld that young man, and heard him men- 
tion a brothel and a bawd, she began to be elated, and to smile 
most joyfully, so that I felt inclined, with good reason, to vitu- 
perate the whole sex, when I saw a virgin, who pretended that 
she was enamoured of a young lover, and was desirous of a 
chaste marriage, now suddenly delighted with the name of a 
vile and filthy brothel. It was a case in which the character of 
the whole female sex was in question, and the verdict de- 
pended on the judgment of an ass. The young man, how- 
ever, resuming his discom-se, said : " Why do we not proceed 
to supplicate Mars to be propitious to us in selling the virgin, 
and searching for other associates ? But, as far as I see, we 
have not any beast for sacrifice, nor sufficient wine for drink- 
ing largely. Send with me, therefore, ten of our comrades, 
with whom I may go to the next town, and bring you thence 
meat and drink fit for priests." Accordingly, he departed, 
attended by ten of the robbers, and the rest prepared a great 
fire, and raised an altar of green turf to the god Mars. 

The foragers soon returned, bringing with them skins full 
of wine, and di'iving before them a great number of cattle; from 
among which they selected a lai'ge he-goat, old and shaggy, 
and sacrificed it to Mars the Secutor* and Associate. A 
sumptuous supper was immediately prepared. Then the stran- 
ger said : " You must consider me as a strenuous leader not 
only of your plundering expeditious, but also of your pleasures." 
And with that he went cleverly to work, and performed every 
thing that was requisite with admirable dexterity. He swept 
the floor, made the couches smooth, cooked the meat, seasoned 
the dishes, and served them up handsomely ; but especially 
he plied each of them, and that frecjuently, with large bowla 
of wine. Nevertheless, under pretence of fetching what 
bo wanted from time to time, he often went to the virgin, 
and gaily presented her with fragments which he had se- 
cretly taken away, and cups of wine, of which ho had pre- 
viously tasted. And she most willingly received what ho 
brought her, and sometimes, when he wished to kiss her, she 
»-pndily responded to his wish, and kissed him quite lovingly 
"^ *, The glatUator, or swoi'l playey. 


These things greatly displeased me ; and I said to myself*. 
Shame upon you, girl, do you forget your faithful lover and 
your nuptials ? Do you prefer this foreign and cruel homicide 
to that young man, whoever he be, to whom your parents have 
betrothed you ? Does not your conscience prick you, that you 
thus trample on affection, and are pleased to act libidinously 
among gleaming spears and swords ? What if the other rob- 
bers, likewise, should, by some means or other, perceive what 
you are doing, would you not again return to the ass, and again 
procure my destruction ? Eeally you are playing your game 
at the risk of another's skin. 

Whilst I was thus cogitating in great indignation, and falsely 
accusing the virgin in my own mind, I gathered from certain 
words of theirs, which though dubious, were not obscure to an 
intelligent ass, that the young man was not the famous robber 
Hajmus, but Tlepolemus, the bridegroom of the virgin. For, 
in the course of their conference, caring nothing for my pre- 
sence, he said somewhat more distinctly : " Be of good checi', 
dearost Charite ; for you shall presently have all these your 
enemies in captivity." And I observed that while he himself 
refrained from drinking immoderately, he never ceased to ply 
the robbers more and more with wine, now unmingled with 
water, and moderately heated, so that they began to be over- 
come with intoxication. And, by Hercules, I suspect that 
he had mingled in their cups a certain soporiferous drug. At 
last, when they all, without a single exception, lay dead drunk 
on the floor, then Tlepolemus, having without any difficulty 
bound them strongly with ropes, and tied them together as he 
thought proper, placed the damsel on my back, and directed 
his steps to his own home. 

As soon as we arrived there, the wliole city turned out at 
the wished-for sight. Parents, kindred, retainers, bondmen, 
and serv^ants, joyfully ran out to meet us. You might see a 
procession of every age and sex, and, by Hercules, a new and 
memorable spectacle, a virgin riding in triumph on an ass.* As 
for myself, rejoicing with all my might, and not choosing to 
be at variance with the present display, as if I had no concern 
in it, I brayed strenuously, witli erect ears and expanded nos- 
trils, or rather, I trumpeted with a noise like thunder. 

* Riding in triumph on an ass.'', — It has been conjectured that (h« 
pagan Apuleius intciids 1)V this a covert sneer at Clirist's entry j;iy$ 

^•■•(^oicvi: DESTiitrciioij of the hand op liOBBfins. 141 

The damsel having now retired to her chamber, where her 
parents cherished and caressed her, Tlepolemus immediately 
took me back to the cave, accompanied by a great number of 
beasts of burden, and a multitude of his fellow-citizens. Nor 
did I return unwillingly ; for, curious at all times, I was then 
particularly desirous to be a spectator of the captivity of the 
robbers, whom we found still last bound, with wine even more 
than with ropes. Having, therefore, ransacked the cave, and 
brought out every thing that was in it, and we, and all the 
rest being loaded with gold and silver, Tlepolemus and his at- 
tendants rolled some of the robbers, bound as they were, over 
the neighbouring cliffs, and others they beheaded with their 
own swords. Then we returned to the city, exulting and re- 
joicing in so complete a revenge. The robbers' wealth was 
deposited in the public treasury ; but the damsel, who had been 
recovered by Tlepolemus, was given to him according to law. 

Then that noble woman paid the greatest attention to mo, 
whom she called her savioui' ; and, on the very day of her 
nuptials, ordered my manger to be completely filled with bar- 
le}% and as miich haj- to be given me as would be enough for 
a Bactrian camel. But what sufficiently dire execrations could 
I imprecate on Fotis, who had transformed me not into a dog, 
but an ass, when I saw all the dogs stuffed and crammed with 
the relics of the most abundant supper, and with the food they 
had pillaged ? After the first night, the bride did not cease 
to tell her parents and her husband how greatly she was in- 
debted to me, till they promised that they would confer on me 
the highest honours. Convoking, therefore, their most inti- 
mate friends, they held a consultation as to how I might most 
worthily be rewarded. One was of opinion that I should be 
shut up in the house, and there, leading an idle life, be fattened 
■with choice barley, beans, and vetches. But the opinion of 
another prevailed, who regarded my liberty, and persuaded 
them rather to give me the run of the plains and meadows, 
where I might take my pleasure among the herds of horses, 
and procreate many mules, for the masters of the mares. 
The keeper of the horses was accordingly summoned, and 
I was delivered over to him, with many injunctions that 
he should take care of me. And righi gaily did I ti-ot 
along by his side, rejoicing at the thought that 1 was now 
to have nothing more to do with packs and bags, and so 
forth, and that having obtained my liberty, I should doubtless 


find some roses in the meadows, when they began to Mossohi 
in spring. Frequentlj', too, it occurred to rae, that since such 
groat marks of gratitude and so many honours wore conferred 
on me when but an ass, so much the greater would be the re- 
spect and favoui- shown me when I had recovered the human 

But when the keeper of the horses had taken me to the 
country, I found there none of the pleasure or the liberty I ex- 
pected. For his wife, an avaricious, bad woman, immediately 
yoked me to the mill, and frequently striking me with a green 
stick, prepared broad for herself and her famih* at the expense 
of my hide. And not content to make mo drudge for her own 
food only, she also ground corn for her neighbours, and so made 
money by my toil. Nor, after all my weary labours, did she 
even afford me the food which had been ordered for ms : for 
she sold my barlej^ to the neighouring husbandmen, after it had 
been bruised and ground in that very mill, by my own round- 
about drudgery ; but to me, who had worked during the whole 
of the day at that laborious machine, she onl)- gave, towards 
evening, some dirty, unsifted, and very gritty bran. I was 
brought low enough by these miseries ; but cruel Fortune ex- 
])08ed me to fresh torments, in order, I suppose, that I might 
l)oast of my brave deeds, both in peace and war, as the saying 
is. For that excellent equerry, complying, rather late, indeed, 
with his master's orders, for a short time permitted me to as- 
sociate with the herds of horses. 

At length a free ass, I capered for joy, and softly ambling 
up to tlio mares, chose out such as I thought would bo the 
littest for my concubines. But here my joyful hopes gave 
](lace to extreme danger. For the stallions, who had been fed 
high for the sake of copulating with the mares, and w^lio, 
independently of this, were terribly strong creatures, more 
than a match for any ass, regarding me with suspicion, and 
anxious to preserve the purity of their race, furiously pursued 
me as their rival, without respect for the laws of hospitable 
Jupiter. One of them, with his head and neclt and ample 
chest aloft, struck at me like a pugilist with his forefeet ; 
another, turning his brawny back, let fly at me with his 
hind feet ; and another, with a vicious neigh, his ears thrown 
back, and showing his white teeth, sharp as spears, bit mc all 
over. It was like wliut I have read in liistory of the King ; 


Thi'ace,* who exposed his unhappy guests to be laceratfed and 
devoured by wild horses. For so sparing was that power- 
ful tyrant of his barley, that he appeased the hunger of his 
■voracious horses by casting human bodies to them for food. 
In fact, I was bo worried and distracted by the continual 
attacks of the horses, that I wished myself back again at the 
mill round. 

Fortune, however, who could not be satiated with my tor- 
ments, soon after visited me with another calamity. For I 
was employed to bring home wood from a mountain, and a 
boy, the most villanous of all boys, was appointed to drive 
me. It was not only that I was wearied by toiling up and 
down the steep and lofty mountain, nor that I wore away my 
hoofs by running on sharp stones, but I was cudgelled without 
end, so that all my bones ached to the very marrow. More- 
over, by continually striking me on the off-haunch, and 
always in the same place, tiU the skin was broken, he occa- 
sioned a great ulcerous cavity, gaping like a trench or a 
window; yet he never ceased to hit me on the raw. He 
likewise laid such a load of wood on my back, that you 
might have thought it was a burden prepared for an elephant, 
and not for a jackass. And whenever the iU-balanced load 
inclined to one side, instead of taking away some of the 
faggots from the heavier side, and thus easing me by somewhat 
lightening, or at least equalizing the pressure, he always 
remedied the inequality of the weight by the addition of stones. 
Nor yet, after so many miseries which I had endiu"ed, was he 
content with the immoderate weight of my burden ; but when 
it happened that we had to pass over a river, he would leap on 
my back in order to keep his feet dry, as if his weight was 
but a trifling addition to the heavy mass. And if by any acci- 
dent I happened to fall, through the weight of my burden, and 
the slipperiness of the muddy bank, instead of giving me a 
helping h;md as he ought to have done, and pulling me up by 
the headstall, or by my tail, or removing a part of my load, 
till at least I had got up again ; this paragon of ass-drivers 
gave me no help at all, however weary I nught be, but begin- 
ning from my head, or rather from my ears, he thrashed all the 
hair off my hide with a huge stick, till the blows stirred mc 
up and served me instead of a stimulating medicament. 
• piymede, Vid. llvs;in, Fab. 30, et Ovid, in Ibiii. v. 3«1. 


Another piece of cruolt)' he practised on uie, was thio. Ifo 
twisted together a bundle of the sharpest and most venomous 
thorns, and tied them to my tail as a pendulous torment ; so 
that, jerking against me when I walked, they pricked and 
stabbed me intolerably. Hence, I was in a sore dilemma. 
For when I ran away from him, to escape his unmerciful 
drubbings, I was hurt by the more vehement pricking of the 
thorns ; and if I stood still for a short time, in order to avoid 
that pain, I was compelled by blows to go on. In fact, the 
rascally boy seemed to think of nothing else than how he 
might be the death of me by some means or other ; and tliat he 
sometimes threatened with oaths to accomplish. And, indeed, 
there happened a thing by which his detestable malice was 
stimulated to more baneful efforts ; for on a certain day, when 
his excessive insolence had overcome my patience, I lifted 
up my powerful heels against him ; and for this he retaliated 
by the following atrocity. He brought me iuto the road 
heavily laden with a bundle of coarse flax, securely bound 
together with cords, and placed in the middle of the burden a 
burning coal, which he had stolen from the neighbouring 
village. Presently the fii'e spread through the slender fibres, 
flames burst forth, and I was all over in a blaze. There 
appeared no refuge from immediate destruction, no hope of 
safety, and such a conflagration did not admit of delay, or 
afford time for deliberation. Fortune, however, shone upon 
me in these cruel circumstances ; perhaps for the purpose of 
reserving me for future dangers, but, at all events, liberating 
me from present and decreed death. 

For by chance perceiving a neighbouring pool muddy with 
the rain of the preceding day, I threw myself headlong into 
it ; and the flame being immediately extinguished, I came out, 
lightened of my burden, and liberated from destruction. Eut 
that audacious young rascal threw the blame of this most 
wicked deed of his on me, and afiirmcd to all the shepherds, 
thtt as I was passing near the neighboiu's' fires, I stumbled on 
purpose, and set my load in a blaze ; and he added, laughing 
at me, *'How long shall we waste food on this fiery monster?" 

A few days after this, he had recourse to still worse artifices 
against me. After having sold my load of wood at the nearest 
cabin, he led me home unladen, declaring that he could not 
uua age so vicious a brute, and that he renounced the misery Ue 


officu of being my driver. " Louk at tliat lazy, crawliii};. 
out-and-out jackass," said lie. " Besides all his other mits- 
deeds, he is now worrying me with new ones that put me ii: 
mortal t'aar. For whenever he sees a traveller, be it a eomelj 
woman, or a marriageable girl, or a tender youth, he imme- 
diately makes at them as if he was mad, upsetting his burden, 
and sometimes pitching off his very pack-saddle, and throws 
them down with abominable intentions, makes up his great 
ugly mouth as if to kiss them, and bites and tramples them 
most indecently. All this occasions us no small strife and 
ciuarrels, and will perhaps bring us into trouble with the ma- 
gistrates. Just now, espying a decent young woman, this 
fi'olicksome gallant ran at her, scattering all his wood, threw 
her down in the mud, and wanted to have his wicked will of 
her there and then. Had not her shrieks brought sonie people 
to her help, who were passing that way, and who snatched her 
half dead from under his hoofs, she must have died a horrible 
death, and left us to suffer the last penalty of the law." 

With these and other such lies, which hurt my modesty the 
more because I could not replj- to them, he desperately incensea 
the herdsmen against me. At last said one of them, " Why 
do we not immolate as he deserves this public paramour, this 
universal adulterer r Hark ye, boy ; cut off his liead, throw 
his entrails to the dogs, and keep his flesh to feed tb.e work- 
people ; then we will cany his skin, well rubbed with ashes 
and dried, to our master, and easily make up a story of his 
liaviug been killed by a wolf. 

Without delay my villanous accuser prepared joyfully to 
execute the herdsman's sentence with his own hand, and began 
to sharpen his knife on a whetston(>, mocking my woe, and 
maliciously calling to mind the kick 1 had given him, and which, 
by Hercules ! I wished had finished him. But one of the 
rustics exclaimed that it was a shame to slaughter so fine an 
ass. " Why lose the services of so useful a beast," he said, 
"merely because he is too lustful ? Only geld him, and he 
can no how play his pranks any more ; we shall be safe from 
dangar on his account, and besides, he will grow stouter and 
fatter than ever. I have known many an animal, not asses 
merely, but even high-spirited horses, that were so hot after 
marcs, as to be quite furious and unmanageable, and which, 
after being cut, became quiet and fit to carry l.>ads ci do any- 



thing else that was required of them. So if you have no ob- 
jection to what I say, after I have been to the market, which 
will not detain me long, I will fetch the implements from homii, 
and immediately come back and geld this terrible rude gallant, 
and make him gentler than any wether." 

Snatched by this proposal from the veiy clutches of death, 
but reserved for a most cruel punishment, I grieved as though 
I were about to perish wholly in losing an appendage to my 
body, and thought of destroving myself by continual fasting, 
or by leaping down a precipice : in that way I should die 
none the less, but I should die entire. Wliilst I was pondering 
my choice of deaths, morning came again, and that boy, who 
was my tormentor, led me as usual up the mountain, where 
fastening me to a branch of great oak, he went a little way off, 
and began to cut down a load of wood with his axe. Just 
then, I saw a hori'id bear lift up its great head, and creep out 
of a cave close by. Appalled at the sudden sight, I started 
back, sinking down with all my might upon my haunches, 
while my head and neck were held up by the thong, imtil it 
broke ; whereupon I dashed down the mountains, not on my feet 
only, but projecting myself bodily, reached the plains beneath, 
and scoured across them, running with all my might from the 
dreadful bear, and the boy that was worse than the bear. 

A man who was passing that way, seeing me roam at large, 
caught me, got on my back, and thumping me with a stick, 
turned me into a side road unknown to me. I carried him 
along with good will, thinking I avus running away from that 
cruel operation, and caring little about the blows I received, 
for I was used to that sort of thing. But Fortune, with her 
inveterate malice, anticipated so opportune a chance of escape, 
and gave me over to fresh sufferings. Tor my master's herds- 
men having gone out in all directions to look for a stray heifer, 
nappened to fall in witli us, and seizing me by tlie head stall, 
which they readily identifieil, they began to lead me away. 
My rider, however, making a bold resistance, called gods and 
men to witness against tlicm. " Why do you pull me about in 
this violent way ?" he said, " Why do j-ou lay hands on me ?" 

"Do we behave unjustly to j'ou," said the lienlsmen, 
" when Ave find you making off with our ass? Tell us where 
you Imvc hid the body of his driver, whom you have kilU-d, no 
doubt." So saying, tUey knocked him to the ground, and 


kicked and pummelled him with their fists, he swearing all 
the while that he had seen no one with the ass, but had found 
it running away, alone, and had caught it, that he might restore 
it to its owner, and be rewarded for his trouble. 

" Would to heaven !" he cried, " that I had never seen this 
ass, or that he could speak with a human voice, and bear testi- 
mony to my innocence. You would surely be ashamed of the 
way in which you trifnt ma." 

But all his proteftutions were of no avail, for the angry 
herdsmen marched him along, with a rope round his neck, to 
the forest on the moimtain, where the boy used to fetch wood. 
He was no where to be found ; but at last they discovered what 
were plainly the remains of his body, torn to pieces and strewed 
here and there. I knew well it was the bear's teeth had done 
this, and I would certainly have said so, had I possessed the fa- 
culty of speech. AU I could do was to rejoice silently at seeing 
myself revenged at last. 

After they had with much pains collected the scattered frag- 
ments of the body, they buried them on the spot, and marched 
my Belerophon* to their cottages, there to remain tied fast, as 
a thief taken in the fact, and a bloody assassin, until they de- 
livered him up next morning, for condign punishment, into the 
hands of the magistrates. Meanwhile, in the midst of the 
lamentations raised by the parents of the dead boy, up came 
that rustic who had promised to perform the operation upon me, 
and who now proposed to keep his word. " Our present loss is 
not of his causing," said one of the byestanders ; " nevertheless 
you may cut what you please to-morrow from this villanous 
jackass — his head if you have a mind, and you shall not want 
for help." 

Thus it came to pass that my calamity was postponed for 
another day, and I gave tlianks to that kind boy, whose death, 
at all events, procured me one little day's respite from the knife. 
But I was not allowed even that short space of time to be 
grateful to him or to enjoy repose ; for his mother rushed into 
my stable, weeping and bewailing her son's premature death, 
dressed in a black robe, tearing out her white hair, bestrev.ed 
with ashes, and vehemently beating her breasts. 

• A/y Belerophon.'\ — Lucius jocularly compares his rider to Belerophon, 
and himself, by implication, to the wipgcil steed Pegasus, which that hen> 

X, 2 


"Look at Mm," she screamed, "how easily lie takes it, that 
cursed ass, with his head stuck in the manger, indulging his 
gluttony, and for ever stuffing his insatiable belly. He has 
no pity for my affliction, nor does he bestow a thought upon the 
horrible fate of his deceased driver ; no, he despises my age and 
weakness, and thinks that he shall get off with impunity after 
his enormous crime ; perhaps he has the audacity to suppose 
he shall be thought innocent ; for it is the nature of the worst 
criminals to expect impunity, even in spite of the reproaches of 
their own guilty conscience. Now, in the name of all the Gods, 
most infamous of quadrupeds, though you could borrow the 
use of speech for a while, do you think you could persuade any 
one, aye the veriest fool, that you were without fault in that 
horrid disaster, when you could have fought for my poor boy, 
and defended him with heels and teeth ? You could often lift 
youi" heels against himself ; why could you not use them with 
the same alacrity in his defence ? You should have galloped off 
with him on your back, and saved him fi-om the bloody hands 
of the robber ; above all, you should not have fled alone, after 
throwing and deserting yoiu" fellow-servant, your conductor, 
your comrade, the friend who fed you. Do you not know that 
those who refuse help to persons in mortal peril are punished, 
because therein they offend against all good principles ? But you 
shall no longer rejoice over my calamities, murderer that you 
are ; I will let you know what strength there is in violent 

So saying, she took off her girdle, and tied my feet separately, 
and as tightly as she could, so as to deprive me of the means 
of revenging myself. Then snatching up a great stake, which 
was used to bar the stable door, she never ceased whacking mo 
with it until her strength was quite spent, and it fell from her 
wearied hands. Then complaining of the too speedy ex- 
haustion of her arms, she ran back into the house, fetched a 
live coal from the hearth, and thrust it between my lliighs; 
until, employing the onlj' means of defence left me, I squirted 
a volley of liquid ordure into her face and eyes, and thus put- 
ting her to the rout, blinded and stinking, I saved myself from 
destruction ; otherwise the ass would have perished like another 
Meleager by the brand of this raving Althea.* 

• Meleager — Althea.'] — When Althea was delivered of Melcnger, she 
uw the three Fates silling by the fire, and heard tliem say, " The child 

nooii Vlll. l)EATll OP CHAKITE AND TLEPOLEilUS. 149 











At that time of the night when the cocks crow, a young man 
came from the next city, who, as I perceived, was one of the 
servants of that virgin Charite, who had endured equal sorrows 
with myself among the robbers. Sitting near the fire, in the 
company of his fellow-servauts, he related, as follows, th(! 
wonderful and execrable particulars of her death, and the de- 
struction of her Avhole house. " Grooms, shepherds, and 
cow-herds, we have lost our unfortunate mistress, Charite, and 
by a most grievous catastrophe. Yet she did not depart to the 
shades alone. But, that all of you may know the pai'ticulars, 
I will narrate to you from the beginning wliat happened, and 
which deserves to be committed to writing, in the form of a 
history, by more learned men, on whom Tortune has conferred 
the ability of writing with facility and elegance. 



" There was a young man in the next city, whose name was 
Thrasyllus, of noble birth, of knightly rank, and very rich ; 
but he was a man addicted to the luxury of taverns, and to 
harlots, and potations by day. On this account he iniquitously 

will live as long as this brand lasts." As scon as t),ty "K-cie gone, Althea 
rose, took the brand off the fire, extinguished it, and pi't it carefully 
away. When Meleager was grown up, he slew the famous boar that ra 
vaged all the country of Calydonia, and presented its head to Atalanta 
Althea's two brothers wanted the head, and quarrelled for it with Meleager. 
who killed them both. To revenge their death, Althea slowly burned tli€ 
fcital brani, and so caused her sou to die in lingeri'yj torture. 


associated with a factious band of robbers, ani his hands "Wert 
dyed with human blood. Such was the man, and such wai 
the report concerning him. Now, as soon as Charite was mar- 
riageable, he was among her principal suitors, and most ar- 
dently endeavoured to obtain her in wedlock. And, though 
he surpassed in nobility all the rest of her lovers, and solicited 
her parents with splendid gifts, yet he was rejected by them, 
on account of his morals, and suffered the disgrace of a repulse. 
When, therefore, Charite, my master's daughter, came into the 
hands of the worthy Tlepolemus, Thrasyllus, though disap- 
pointed in his hopes, yet firmly cherishing his love, and adding 
to his passion the rage he felt on account of his rejected suit. 
Bought for an opportunity of perpetrating a bloody deed. At 
length, a seasonable occasion presenting itself, he prepared to 
execute the wickedness which had for a long time been the 
subjects of his thoughts. On the day on which the virgin had 
been liberated, by the cunning and fortitude of her spouse, 
from the deadly swords of the robbers, he mingled with the 
crowd of those that congratulated her, and made himself re- 
2narkable by the exulting joy he professed in the present safety 
of the new married pair, and in the hopes of their future off- 
spring. Hence, being received into our house, among the 
principal guests, as the nobility of his race demanded, and con- 
cealing his wicked designs, he falsely personated the character 
of a most faithful friend. 

"And now, gradually ingratiating himself more and more 
by his assiduity, by frequent conversation, and sometimes also 
})y sitting as a guest at the young couple's table, he fell, by 
imperceptible degrees, into deeper love than ever. Nor is this 
wonderful, since the flame of love, small at first, delights with 
a gentle glow ; but, when fanned by continued familial- inter- 
course, it waxes fiei'ce, and burns a man up wholly. Thra- 
syllus for a long time pondered how he might find an oppor- 
tune place for clandestine conference. He perceived that he 
•was more and more excluded from the avenues to an adulterous 
intercovu'se by the multitude of observers, and that the strong 
bonds of a new and increasing affection could not );c severed ; 
and, further, that even if Charite were willing to comply with 
liis desires, which she never would be, her ignorance of the 
art of deceiving a husband would hinder such a purpose. Vet, 
in spite of all these obstacles, ho was bent witli desperate ob- 


elinacy on the accomplishment of what was impossible, ae 
though it had not been so. Things which seem difficult in the 
beginning of love, appear easy when it has been strengthened 
by time. Hear now, and car(;fully note, I pray you, to what 
deed he was driven by the violence of his furious lust. 

"One day Tlepolomus, accompanied by Thrasyllus, went to 
hunt wild beasts, if, indeed, the roe comes under that denomi- 
nation ; for C'liarite would not allow her husband to pursue 
beasts ai'med with tusk or horn. The toils mci'c spread round 
a hill thickly covered with trees, and the high-bred hounds 
were turned in to rouse the beasts from their lairs. Their good 
training was immediately seen, for they spread abroad so as to 
enclose every avenue. Tor a while they followed the scent in 
silence, till at last one gave tongue, and then they all burst out 
Avith impetuous, dissonant 3'ells, that made everything ring 
again. Eut it was not a roebuck, nor a timid doe, nor a hind, 
tlie gentlest of all wild creatures, that was started, but an enor- 
mous boar, the like of wi'idi was never seen — a brawny, thick- 
hided, filthy brute, with bristles standing upright on his back, 
foaming and gnashing his teeth, with eyes that darted fire, and 
rushing along like a thunderbolt. The keenest of the hounds 
that pressed upon his flanks were ripped up by his tusks, and 
fluijg here and there ; then he broke through the toils at the 
first charge, and got clear off. We, meanwhile, were terror- 
Btriciccn, having been used only to such hunting as was without 
danger, and being, besides, without weapons or means of de- 
fence ; so we hid ourselves the best way we could under thick 
foliage and behind trees. 

" Tlirasyllus now seeing a favourable opportunity for accom- 
plishing his intended treachery, said insidiously to Tlepolemus : 
* Why do we remain stupified with surprise, or even dismayed, 
like these low-souled slaves, and trembling like women, whilst 
we suffer such a fine prey to escape us ? Why not mount and 
pursue ? You take a javelin, and I will take a lance.' 

"Without more said, they jumped at once on their hoi-ses, 
and made after the brute with all speed. But the boar, confi- 
dent in its strength, wheeled round, and looking horribly fero- 
cious as it gnashed its teeth, stood glai-ing at them uncertain 
whicli to attack first. Tlepolemus huiied his javelin, and 
lodged it ill the animal's back : but Thrasyllus, leaving the boar 
ttloni', charged the liorse Tlepolemus rode with lis lance, aud 


cut its hamstrings. The quadruped, sinking down in a poo* 
of its own blood, rolled over on its back, and involuntarily 
threw its master, whom the boar immediately rushed at in 
fury, and after tearing his clothes, rent his body in many 
places as he was endeavouring to rise. Meanwhile, his good 
friend felt no remorse for the infamous deed he had begun, nor 
was his cruelty yet satisfied ; for whilst Tlcpolemus was striv- 
ing to defend his gored legs, and was piteously calling to him 
for help, he pierced him through the middle of the right thigh 
with his lance ; Avhich he did the more boldly, because he 
judged that the wound would resemble those made by the brute's 
tusks. Afterwards he ran the boar through and through with- 
out difficulty. 

"After the young man was thus slain, we were all called 
out from our hiding-places, and ran to him in great grief. But 
Thrasj'Uus, though he had accomplished his purpose, and re- 
joiced in having slain him whom he looked on as his enenij-, 
j'ct concealed liis joy under a countenance that simulated 
sorrow ; and ardently craliracing the corpse that he himself had 
made, he cleverly countei-feited all the signs of mourning, only 
his tears refused to flow. Thus imitating us who lamented 
truly, he falsely cast upon the boar the odium of the deed his 
own hand had done. 

" The news of this crime spread quicklj', and first of all 
re;iclied the family of Tlepolemus, and smote the ears of his 
unhajipy wife. The moment she heard it — she will never hear 
news more — she lost her senses, and ran like a frantic bacchanal 
through the crowded streets, and away over the fields, scream- 
ing out her husband's name, and bewailing his fate. The com- 
passionate citizens flocked after her ; all who met her followed 
her, sympathizing in her grief; and the whole city was emptied 
to see the sad spectacle. At last, she reached the spot where 
lay the body of her husband; tiiere, swooning away, she fell 
prostrate on his corjjse, and all but yielded up on the spot the 
soul that was devoted to him ; but her Iriends with difliculty 
forced her away, and she remained unwillingly alive. 

"At last, the body was carried to the tomb, the whole city 
joining in the funeral procession. Then did Thrasylius cry, 
and roar, and beat his breast, and even weep, for the tears 
which he had been unable to shed in his first feigned sorrow, 
were now supplied him by his augmented joy. He concealed 


his real feelings with all sorts of affectionate words, calling 
piteously to the deceased by name, as his friend, his playmate 
in boyhood, his comrade, his brother. And every now and 
then he would take hold of Charite's hands to hinder her from 
beating her bosom ; would try to mitigate her grief and wail- 
ing with words expressive of the liveliest sjnnpathy, and with 
various examples of the uncertainty of life. And amidst all 
these false shows of humanity and friendship, he took every 
opportunity of touching the person of the bereaved woman, 
and nourishing his own odious passion by that stolen pleasure. 

*' The funeral being ended, the widow was now impatient to 
join her husband, and thought over all means to that end. 
At last, she chose one that was gentle, cost no effort, needed 
no weapon, and was like quietly falling asleep. She abstained 
from food, neglected her person, and would have passed away 
from daylight to the darkness of the grave, but for the urgent 
jjertinacity of Thrasyllus, who, partly by his own efforts, 
partlj^ through those of her friends and her parents, prevailed 
^n her to refresh her disfigured and almost perishing body with 
the bath and with food. 

" (.■harite, who revered her parents, j-ielded against her will 
to a religious sense of duty, and with a somewhat more serene 
countenance did what was necessary for the preservation of her 
life ; but still her inmost soul was consumed with grief. She 
spent all her days and nights in pining remembrance, and in 
paying divine honours to an image of the deceased, which she 
had caused to be made in the costume of the god Bacchus, so 
that she tortured herself, even bj' that kind of consolation. 
Meanwhile, the reckless, headlong Thrasyllus, without waiting 
imtil the tears she shed had satisfied her grief, nor till the 
commotion of her spirits had partly subsided, and time had 
gradually blunted the keenness of her soiTow, did not forbear 
to speak to her of marriage while she was still weeping for her 
husband, rending her garments, and tearing her hair, and to 
reveal to her by his indecent importunity the secret of his 
breast and his ineffable treachery. 

" Charite was seized with horror and loathing at the abo- 
minable proposal, which came upon her like a clap of thunder, 
or a blast from some malignant star, and she fell senseless us 
if smitten by lightning. Recovering after a while, with wild 
jsjirieks, she called to mind what had passed between her and 


the villain Thrasyllus, and postponed her rejdy to hie suit until 
she should have maturely considered it. 

"During that delay, the shade of the cruelly- slam Tlepo- 
leinus, lilting up its ghastly, gory face, thus addressed her a* 
she slept : ' My own wife, a name which none else shall call 
you, if my memory dwells in j'our heart — if my cruel death 
has broken the bonds of affection that united us, contract a 
happier mamage with whom you will, only give yourself not 
into the sacrilegious hands of Thrasyllus : neither talk with 
him, nor sit at the same board, nor share the same bed with 
him. Shun the blood-stained hand of my murderer ; begin 
not your marriage with parricide.* Those gory wounds which 
you have washed with your teai's were not all inflicted by the 
tusks of the boar ; but the lance of the wicked Thrasyllus has 
parted me from you.' And then he told her all the circum- 
stances, and set before her the whole scene of the crime. 

" When Charite had first laid her head upon her pillow, her 
tears flowed over her beautiful cheeks even while she slept ; 
but roused by the \dsion of her restless sleep as by the wrench 
of the rack, she broke out again into loud and long wailing, 
tore her night-dress, and beat her lovely arms with merciless 
hands. Yet she imparted to no one the story of the appari- 
tion she had seen ; but concealing altogether the knowledge 
she had obtained of the crime, she secretly resolved to punish 
the nefarious murderer, and to deliver herself from the intoler- 
able burthen of life. 

"Again the odious and importunate suitor assailed her obdu- 
rate ears with proposals of marriage ; but she gently declined 
them, and dissembling her purpose with admirable artifice, she 
thus replied to his lu'gent supplications : ' The sweet face of 
your brother, my beloved husband, is still before my eyes ; the 
cinnamon odour of his ambrosial body is stiU in my nostrils , 
the beautiful Tlepolemus still lives in my bosom. You will do 
best then if you allow a most wretched woman the necessary 
time for mouniing, and let the remaining months of the year 
be spent in that legitimate duty. What I ask concerns not 
only my own reputation, but your safety also, lest by a prema- 
ture marriage we provoke the just indignation of my husband's 
ghost to your destruction ' 

* Willi parricide.'] — The crime of Thrasyllus was a sort of parricide, 
giiice he had murdered his friend ; and Cliante vvouM have been iu a 
m&aner its accomplice, if ^he had mariicd hiia. 


"Fnchecked in his importunity by these argumepts, and even 
by the promise that accompanied them, Thrasyllus persisted 
in molesting her ears with liis vile addi'esses, until, apparently 
overcome, Charite said to him : ' One thing at least, Thra- 
syllus, you must grant to my earnest entreaties, and that is 
that our cohabitation be quite secret and unknovrn to any of my 
family until the year is out.' Thrasyllus was completely duped 
by her feigned compliance with his suit : he consented with 
alacrity to the clandestine intercourse, and passionately longed 
for the return of night and dai'kncss, caring for nothing in 
comparison with the possession of Charite. 'But mind,' 
Bdid Charite, ' come well muffled up, without any attendant, 
and approach my door in silence at the first watch. Only 
whistle once, and Avait for my nurse, who Avill be on the 
watch behind the door, and wiU instantly open it for you, and 
conduct you in the dark to my chamber.' 

" Thrasyllus, suspecting nothing, was delighted with the 
scheme of those funereal nuptials, and was only troubled with 
impatience at the length of the day and the slow approach of 
evening. At last, when daylight had disappeared, dressed as 
Charite had directed, he was admitted by the watchful nurse, 
and stole full of hope to the nuptial chamber. There the old 
woman, treating him with obsequious attention by her mis- 
tress's orders, noiselessly produced cups and a llagon con- 
taining wine mixed with a soporiferous drug. Then excusing 
her mistress's delay on the pretext that she was with her father, 
who was ill, she plied him with the beverage, which he drank 
freely, and without suspicion, until he fell fast asleep. 

" As soon as he lay stretched on his back in that helpless 
state, Charite was summoned, and rushing in with dire deter- 
mination, stood quivering with rage over the murderer, ' Be- 
hold,' she cried, ' this faithful companion of my husband ! 
Behold this gallant hunter ! Behold this dear bridegroom ! 
This is the hand that shed m}^ blood ; this is the breast that 
conceived treacherous plots for my undoing : those are the 
eyes that to my sorrow I delighted, but that now anticipate 
their coming punishment, wrapped in the diu'kness that will 
cover them perpetually. Sleep securely ; dream of delight ; 
I will not smite you with sword or spear. Ear be it from 
me to put you on an tqiudity with my husband in the manner 
aX your death. Your eyes shall die in your living head, and 


you shall never s?e more btit in flnanis. I w ill make you 
think your enemy's death happier than your own life. Never 
shall you see the light ; you shall need to be led by the hand ; 
you shall not clasp Charite ; you shall not enjoy your pro- 
mised nuptials ; you shall know neither the repose of death 
nor the pleasure of Kfe ; but you shall wander like an erring 
phantom between the infernal regions and the sim ; and you 
shall long seek the hand that has blinded you, and, what is 
the most miserable thing in calamity, you shall not know 
whom to complain of. I will make a libation of the blood of 
your eyes at the tomb of my Tlepolemus, and sacrifice those 
eyes to his sacred shade. But why do I suffer you to have 
a respite from your deserved torture, while you are dreaming 
perhaps of embracing me, who am your bane ? Wake from 
the darkness of sleep to a worse darkness ; lift up your sightless 
face ; recognize my vengeance ; comprehend j'our misfortime ; 
compute the sum of your miseries. Thus have your ej'cs 
charmed your modest bride ; thus have the nuptial torches 
lighted your chamber ; you shall have the Furies for brides- 
maids, and blindness and the pei-petual stings of conscience for 

" Having poured out these words like one inspired, Charite 
drew out the pin from her hair, and plunged it over and ovei 
again into the eyes of Thrasyllus ; then leaving him to awake 
in pain and blindness from his lethargic sleep, she caught up 
the naked sword which Tlepolemus used to wear, and rushed 
frantically through the city towards her husband's tomb, mani- 
festly bent on some desperate deed. All of us, servants, and 
the Avhole population, anxiously pursued her, crpng out to 
each other to wrest the weapon from her insane hands. But 
Charite standing by the coffin of Tlepolemus, kept everybody 
off with the glittering blade ; and when all around her were 
weeping and lamenting, she cried : * Away with these impor- 
tunate tears ! Away with this wailing, which ill accords 
with my fortitude. I have taken vengeance upon the bloody 
murderer of my husb;md. I have punished the accursed de- 
stroyer of my nuptials ; it is now time that with this sword I 
make my way straight to mj^ Tlepolemus.' 

" Then having related all that her husband had told her in 
tlie dream, and the artifice by wldch she had inveigled Thra- 
syllus, she plunged the sword beneath her right breast, fell 


butlied iu blood, murmured a few broken words, and breathed 
out her magnanimous spirit. The friends of the unfortunate 
Charite immediately washed her body with care, and depositing 
it by the side of Tlepolemus, re-united her for ever to the 
husband she loved. 

" When Thrasyllus was aware of all this, he thouglit he coidd 
not inflict on himself a death commensurate with the cala- 
mities he had caused, and that the sword could not suffice to 
expiate his guilt ; therefore he had himself carried to the tomb 
of Tlepolemus and Charite, where, crying out repeatedly, ' Be- 
hold, ye injured manes, here is your voluntary victim,' he 
caused the doors to be firmly closed upon him ; and there he 
suffered the doom pronounced by himself!, and perished by 


Such was the story, interrupted with many sighs and tears, 
which the servant told to the sorrowing rustics, who fearing a 
change of master, and deeply commiserating the misfoi'tune of 
the house to which they had belonged, determined ^o run away. 
The master of the stud, the same to whom I had been given 
in charge with such impressive orders to be kind to me, plun- 
dered the cottage of everything valuable in it, and loading me 
and other beasts of burden with the spoil, deserted his old 
abode. We carried women and children, cocks and hens, 
geese, kids, whelps ; in short, whatever was unable to keep up 
with our pace, was made to walk with our feet. But enormous 
as my load was, I did not care for it, so glad was I of the 
flight that saved me from the knife of that abominable gelder. 

Having crossed a steep mountain covered with a forest, and 
descended to the plain on the other side, we arrived, just as 
evening was throwing its shadows on our road, at a certain 
pojmlous and thriving tov/n, whence the inhabitants would not 
allow us to proceed by night, nor even in the morning. The 
reason of this was, that the whole district was infested by mul- 
titudes of fierce wolves of enormous bulk and strength, that 
even beset the roads and fell like highway robbers on those 
who travelled by them. Nay, sometimes impelled by the rago 
of hunger, tiiey stormed the neighbouring farms, and the men 
^ere no more safe from their fury than their defenceless flocks. 
They told us too, that tlie road we should have to travel was 
Btrcwu with half-eaten human bodies, and whitened with flesh* 


less bones ; and therefore, that "vre ought to proceed with ex- 
treme caution, and be especially careful to travel only in bread 
day-light, while the sun was high in the heavens, since its 
light checks the fury of those dreadful creatures ; and that we 
ehordd move, not stragglingly, but in close compact order, 
through those dangerous places. 

But our rascally fugitive conductors, in blind haste to escape 
the risk of pursuit, despised these salutary warnings, and with- 
out waiting for day-light, loaded and drove us forward. Then 
I, aware of the danger, took all possible care to keep between 
the other beasts in the very middle of the throng, so as to save 
my buttocks from the fangs of the wolves ; and all our con- 
ductors were much surprised to see me beat the horses in speed. 
But this was not the result of my natural quickness of limb, 
but of my fear ; and I thought within myself that it was 
nothing else than fright which had given such agility to the 
renowned Pegasus, and that the reason why he had been styled 
winged, was, doubtless, because he had skipped and bounded up 
to the very sky, in his dread of being bitten by the fire-breath- 
ing Chimaera. 

Meanwhile the herdsmen who drove us had armed themselves 
as if for battle. This one carried a lance, that one a hunting 
spear, another a bundle of javelins, another a club ; and some 
had provided themselves Avith stones, which the rough road 
supplied in abundance. A few carried sharpened stakes, and 
a great number waved blazing torches to frighten the beasts , 
and nothing but the trumpet was wanting to give our troop 
the appearance of an army in battle array. But after having 
terribly frightened ourselves, we escaped the threatened danger 
only to fall into a worse one. For, whether scared by the 
shouting of so large a body of men, and by the glare of the torches, 
or being engaged elsewhere, the wolves never approached us, 
nor did one of them come in siglit even at a distance. But 
the labourers on the farm which we Avere then passing, taking 
us for a gang of robbers, and letting slip enormous dogs, which 
had been carefully trained for tlieir masters' defence, and were 
riercer than any Avolves or bears, urged tliem against us with 
uU sorts of shouts and cries. Vvith their natural ferocity 
tli'is encouraged and exasperated, O.a. dogs rushed at us, at- 
tacked us on all sides, men and cattle v, ithout distinction, and 
atUr mauling them a long time, laid many of tliem low. It 


was certainly a remarkable, and still more a pitiable spectacle, 
Vo see all those dogs seizing those that fled, ravening at those 
who stood their ground, mounting upon the bodies of those 
who were down, and overrunning our whole troop, biting all 
that came before them. 

This was terrible indeed, but worse was added to it ; for the 
peasants poured down showers of stones upon us from the 
roofs of their cottages and from an adjacent hill, so that we 
were quite at a loss to know which we should most avoid, the 
dogs that attacked us at close quarters, or the stones that were 
launched at us from a distance. One of the latter fell upon 
the head of a woman who was seated on my back, and who, 
smarting from the blow, immediately began to scream and roar 
for her husband to come to her aid. Wiping the blood from 
her wound, the herdsman cried out, " In the name of all the 
gods, why do you so cruelly assault and maltreat poor hard- 
working ti'avellers ? Have we oifered to rob you ? What harm 
have we ever done you .'' You do not live in dens like wild 
beasts, or in caves like savages, that you should take delight 
in shedding human blood." 

As soon as he had said this, the shower of stones ceased, 
the ferocious dogs were called off, and one of the peasants 
cried out from the top of a cypress tree on which he was 
perched : "And we too, are no robbers, and do not want to 
plunder you ; we only fight to protect ourselves from suffering 
the like at your hands, so now you may go your ways in peace 
and safety." Therefore we continued our journey, but wounded 
in all manner of ways, some with stones, others by the teeth 
of the dogs, but all more or less hurt. 

Having gone a little way further, we reached a grove of tall 
trees, with pleasant gre(?n glades, where our leaders thought 
good to rest and take some refreshment, and dress the wounds 
of their bniised and mangled bodies. So they threw them- 
selves on the ground in all directions, and after lying awhile 
to recover from their fatigue, they began to apply various re- 
medies to their wounds, washing tlie blood from them in the 
running stream ; applying wet sponges to their contusions, and 
tying up their gaping wounds willi bandages. In this way each 
did the best he could lor liimself. JMcauwhile, an (ddman was 
descried on the top of a hill, with goats feeding round him, and 
plainly showing that he was a goat-lierd. One of our people 


called out, and asked him had lie any milk or new c'r.oese to 
Sell. But he, shaking his head a long while, replied : " And 
are you thinking of food or drink, or of any refreshment at all ? 
Do you not know what sort of a place you are in ?" So saying, 
he turned his back upon us, and went off with his flock. 

His words, and the manner of his departure, struck Ouf 
people with no small fear ; and while they were all anxious 
to ascertain the nature of the spot where they lay, but could 
find no one to tell them, another old man made his appearance. 
He was a tall man, bent with age, and dragged his feet slowly 
and wearily along, leaning heavily on his staff, and weeping 
profusely. When he came up with our men, he threw himself 
on his knees before them, and embracing them one after the 
other, thus besought in most piteous accents : " By your for- 
tunes, by your genii,* and as you hope to live strong and 
hearty till you reach my age, help an unfortunate old man, 
who has lost his only hope, and save my little boj- from the 
jaws of death. My grandson, the sweet companion of my 
journey, tried to catch a sparrow chirping on a hedge, and he 
fell into a ditch close by here, that was hidden with low shrubs, 
and there he lies in extreme peril of his life. I know indeed, 
by his cries to me for help, that he is still alive. But being so 
W'eak in body, as you see, I cannot succour him. But you, who 
enjoy youth and strength, can easily aid an unhappy old man, 
and save for him this child, the last and only scion of my stock " 

As the old man made these entreaties and tore his white 
hair, we were all moved with pity ; and one of the partj-, tlie 
youngest, boldest and strongest of them all, who besides, WitH 
the only one that had come off unwounded from the late con- 
flict, sprang to his feet, and enquiring where it was the boy 
had fallen, went with the old man towards some rough bushes 
wliich the latter pointed out a little way off. Mennwhile, 
after the cattle had done feeding, and their drivers had finished 
their meal and the dressing of their wounds, eacli of them 
packed up his baggage again, and made ready for another start. 
They called loudly to the young man who had gone away with 
the old stranger, and afterwards, surprised by his long delay, 
they sent one of their number to look for him, and tell Iiim it 

* You7- ffeiin.] — The Romans believed that to every hiiinaii being be 
Ijnged a special protecting deity, who lived and (Jied with his protege, as 
the lianiadryad did with her oak. Those personal gods were called ilis 
Genius, or the Jinio. according as they belonged to a man or a wouiau. 


was time to be off. The messenger came back soon, trembling, 
and ghastly pale, and brought strange news of his fellow-ser- 
vant. He had seen him, he said, lying on his back, half eaten, 
and a monstrous dragon squatting over him ; whilst the un- 
fortunate old man was not to be seen at all. 

Considering this matter, and comparing it with the words 
of the shepherd on the hill, which had doubtless been intended 
to warn them against that terrible inhabitant of the neighbour- 
hood, our men hurried away as fast as they could from the 
deadly spot, drubbing us briskly with their sticks. After 
getting over a long stage at a very quick rate, we arrived at a 
village where we halted for the night, and there I learned a 
very extraordinary occurrence which I will relate. 



There was a servant to whom his master had committed the 
management of all his affau's, and who was bailiff of that large 
farm where we had taken up our quarters. He had married 
one of his fellow- servants, but fell in love with a free woman 
who was not of the household. Enraged by his adulteiy, his 
wife burned all his accoimt books, and aU the contents of his 
store-room. And not content with having thus avenged the 
wrongs of her bed, but turning her fury against her own flesh 
and blood, she put a rope round her neck, fastened to it also an 
infant she had borne to her husband, and threw herself into a 
deep well along with her little one. Her master was exceed- 
ingly incensed at her loss, and seizing the servant who had pro- 
voked his own wife to the commission of such a dreadful deed, 
had him stripped naked, smeared all over with honey, and bound 
fast to a fig-tree, the rotten trunk of which was fidled with the 
nests of a prodigious mixltitude of ants, that were continually 
running to and from all directions. As soon as these ants smelt 
the honey with which the bailiff's body was smeared, they 
fastened upon him, and with minute, but innumerable and in- 
cessant bites, gradually consumed his flesh and his entrails ; 
and after the miserable man had been thus tortured a long 
while, his bones were at last picked clean ; and so they were 
still to be seen, ouitc dry and white, attached to tlie fatal tree. 



Quitting tliis detestable dwelling, and leaving the rustics in 
great sorrow, we proceeded on our journey. After traveUiug 
all day over a level country, we came much fatigued to a hand- 
some populous town. There our men resolved to stop and 
take up their permanent abode, both because the place offered 
them every convenience for hiding from those who might come 
from a distance in pursuit of them, and because the town was 
abundantly blessed wdth provisions. Myself and the other 
beasts were allowed three days' rest to improve our condition, 
and then we were led out for sale. The crier proclaimed the 
price of each of us with a loud voice, and all were bought by 
wealthy persons, except myself, whom all the purchasers passed 
by ■with contempt. I lost patience at the manner in which I 
was handled, and my teeth examined to ascertain my age ; 
there was one man especially, who was always poking his nasty 
dirty fingers against my gums ; but at last, I caught his hand 
between my teeth, and nearly crushed it. That deterred every 
one from buying me, as a ferociously vicious brute. Then the 
crier, bawling till his throat was almost split, cracked all sorts 
of ridiculous jokes upon me. " 'VMiat is the use," said he, " of 
offering for sale this old screw of a jackass, with his foundered 
hoofs, his ugly colour, his sluggishness in evcr}-thing but vice, 
and a hide that is nothing but a ready-made sieve ? Let us 
even make a joreseut of him, if we can find any one who will 
not be loth to throw awaj^ hay upon the brute." In this way 
the cri-^r kept the byestanders in roars of laughter. 

But \ay merciless fortune, which I had been unable to leave 
behind me, far as I had fled, or to appease by all my past suf- 
ferings, again cast its evil eye upon me, and for a wonder, pro- 
duced a purchaser, the fittest of all men to prolong my hard 
6uff"erings. He was an old eunuch, partly bald, with wliat 
grizzled hair he had left hanging in long curls, one of those 
lowest dregs of the rabble who compel the Syrian goddess 
to beg, hav^^kicg her about the highways and the towns, 
and playing on cymbals and castanets. This man having a 
great mind to buy me, asked the crier of what country I was. 
The latter replied that I was Caj)padocian,* and a fine strong 

* Cappadocian.'] — Part of the crier's fun consists in talking of tlic ass as 
if he was a human slave. Hence his mention of Cappadocia, wliich had 
no particular reputation for its hreed of asses, hut which surpassed all the 
Dther provinces of the euij)ire iit the uumbcr and value of the slaves ii 
supplied to Kome. 


animal. Again, the other asked my age. " The mathema- 
tician who cast his nativity," replied the joking crier, "cal- 
culated that he was five years old : but no doubt he is bettt-r 
informed on this point than any one else, from the register of 
his birth. Now tliough I make myself liable to the penalties of 
the Cornelian law if I knowingly sell you a Roman citizen for 
a slave, what should hinder j-ou from buying a good and useful 
servant, wtio will do your pleasure at home and abroad?" 

The odious purchaser went on asking questions witliout end, 
and at last came to the important point, was I gentle r "Gen- 
tle?" said the crier ; " it is not an ass, but a wether you sec 
before you, such a quiet thing you may do what you will with 
him ; none of your biters or kickers ; but altogether such an 
animal that you might suppose there was a decent, honest man 
under his ass's hide. You may convince yourself of the fact 
without difficulty ; only stick your face between his thighs, and 
you will see how patient he will be." 

Thus did the crier make fun of the old vagabond ; but the 
latter perceived that the other was mocking, and cried out in 
a passion : " What, you deaf and dumb carcase, you ci'azy 
crier, may the omnipotent and all-procreant Syrian goddess, 
and blessed Sabazius, and Bellona, and the Idcean mother, and 
our mistress Venus, with her Adonis, strike you blind, j-ou 
that have been flinging your scurrilous jokes at me this ever 
so long. Do you think me such a fool as to put the goddess 
on the back of a vicious brute, that he might pitch the divine 
image to the ground, and that I should have to run about with 
my liair streaming, to lock for some one to lift my goddess 
from the ground, and repair her hurts ?" 

Wlien 1 lieard him talk in this strain, I thought of prancing 
suddenly, like mad, that seeing how very wild I was, ho 
might give up the thought of buying me. But the anxious 
purcliaser anticipated my intention l)y at once paying down 
the price, seventeen denars, which my master promptly took 
up, to his own satisfaction and my vexation, and immediately 
delivered me to my new owner, Thilebus, with a rush halter 
round my neck. Philebus took me home with him, and cried 
out the moment he reached the door : " Hallo, girls ' here is a 
handsome servant I have bought for you." Kow these girh 
were a set of Qunuchs, who iiuuiediatcly broke out into st-reauib 
of joy, vith bi'okeu, Louise, eti'emiuate voices, thinkiug it was 

¥ 2 


a slave fit to render them good service. But avIru llicy per- 
ceived the substitution, not of a stag for a virgin,* but of a 
jackass for a man, they turned up their noses, and jeered at 
their leader, saying he had not brought a servant for them, 
but a husband for himself. " Mind," said they, " you don't 
keep this pretty dear all to yourself, but let us too, your doves, 
have the use of him sometimes." Thus babbling, they took 
and tied me to the manger. 

There was among them a strapping young fellow, who played 
extremely well on the horn, and whom they had bought at 
the slave mart, with the money they had collected here and 
tliere. Abroad he used to play before them when they led the 
goddess in procession, and at home they employed him in other 
ways. As soon as he witnessed mj- arrival, he was greatly 
delighted, and gave me plenty of fodder, joyfully exclaiming : 
'' You are come at last to relieve me in mj' terrible labours ; 
long may you live, and be a pleasure to your masters, and give 
me a chance to recruit my exhausted strength." Hearing him 
talk thus, I pondered on the new troubles that were before me. 

Next day they went out, all dressed in various colours, 
liideously bedizened, their faces and eyelids daubed with paint, 
with small mitres on their lieads, and weiuing saffi'on-coloured 
linen and silk vestments. Some of them had white tunics, 
covered with nan-nw purple stripes in all directions ; and they 
all wore girdles and yellow shoes. They laid the goddess, 
covered with a silk mantle, on my back; and brandishing 
enormous swords and axes, with their arms bared to the slioul- 
dei*, thej- danced and bounded like maniacs to the sound of tliii 
tiute. After going about a good many cottages, they came to 
a rich man's villa, and setting up their yells at the very gate, 
thoy rushed frantically in. liending down their heads, they 
rolled their necks about, making tludr long hair stand out in a 
circle ; from time to time they bit their tiesli with their teeth, 
and lastly, they cut their arms with the sharp weapon which 
each of them carried. There was one of them who w'as trans- 
ported with a more ecstatic fury than the rest, and heaving his 
breath rapidly from the bottom of his chest, as if tilled with 
the divine spii'it, he pretended to be stark mad ; as if the pre- 
sence of the gods did not do men good, but weakened or disor- 
dered them. But you sludl see how by divine providence tiity 

* The iubstitvthm, not of a stay Jor a rir(/in.'] — As happened whca 
Iphigcnia, the daujjhter of Aganiemuou, was about to be sacriticcd at .\ulis 


received their due reward. The fellow began by delivering a 
trumped-up story of his own guilt, and crying out aloud, in 
the tone of a prophet, that he had committed some offence 
against the holy laws of religion ; and then he called upon hia 
hands to inflict on him the chastisenient due to his crime. At 
tlie same time he took up one of the whips usually carried by 
those half men, with several long lashes of twisted wool, strung 
■with knuckle-bones of sheep, and gave himself a severe flog- 
ging, the pain of which he endured with astonishing finnness. 
You might see the ground wet v\'ith the blood that flowed from 
tlic^ gaslies of tlic sword and the strokes of the whip. Kow 
the sight of all this blood and wounds caused me no slight 
uneasiness, lest perchance the stomach of the foreign goddess 
might crave for ass's blood, as some men's for ass's milk. 

When at last tlicj- were tired, or tliought they had scarified 
tlicmselves sufficiently, they left off their butchery. Then the 
bycstanders vied with each otlier in dropping money, not only 
brass, but silver too, into the open bosom of their robes. They 
received, besides, a barrel of wine, milk, cheese, barley, and 
wheaten meal, besides barley for myself, the bearer of the god- 
dess. All these things they stuffed into bags provided for the 
receipt of such doles, and had them on my back : so that being 
doubly laden, I was at once a walking temple and a wallmig 
graiUD-y. Itoaming about in that manner, they plundered the 
whole region. 

One day, being liighly pleased with an unusually large col- 
lection they made in a certain town, they resolved to regale 
themselves and be niei'ry. They begged a very fat ram from 
a farmer, whom they cajoled with a lying prophecy, and told 
him they would sacrifice it to appease the hunger of the Syrian 
goddess. Having made all their preparations for the banquet, 
they went to the baths, and on their return they bi'ought a 
remarkably vigorous peasant home with them to supper. They 
liad only tasted a few morsels of the first course, w^hen they 
started up from tabic, and gathering round the young man, 
began to assail him with execrable solicitations. 

Unable to (;ndure the abominable spectacle^ I tried to shout, 
Citizens ! but could not get beyond the 0, which I uttered 
in a fine sonorous tone, well becoming a jackass, but very un- 
luckily timed. For several young men, who were looldng for 
an ass that had been stolen the night before, and who were 
closely examining all the inns to see if the animal was not Id 


one of them happening to hear me braj% and thinking it might 
!)e their own ass that was hidden in the liunse, rnshed in un- 
expectedly, and caught these miscreants in the very midst of 
their detestable turpitudes. Instantly calling in the neigh- 
bours from all quarters, they made them aware of the horrible 
discoverj^ bestowing at the same time sarcastic compliments 
on the sanctimonious purity of those priests. Struck with 
consternation at this disclosure of their infamy, which spread 
rapidly among the people, and made them objects of universal 
abhorrence, my masters packed up every thing, and secretly 
quitted the town about midnight. 

After getting over a good deal of ground before dawn, and 
arrived by daylight in an unfrequented spot, they held a long 
consultation, which ended in their proceeding to punish me 
unmercifully. They lifted the goddess off my back, and laid 
her on the ground, stripped off all my trappings, tied me to 
a tree, and flogged me with their whip strung with slieep's 
bones until I was all but dead. There was one who proposed 
to hamstring me with an axe, because I had so foully scan- 
dalised his modesty ; but the others voted for leaving me alone, 
not from any good will to me, but in consideration of the image 
tliat lay on the ground. 

Tliey replaced my load therefore on my back, and drove me 
before them with blows of the flat of their swords, till we ar- 
rived at a great town. One of its principal inhubitauts, a very 
i-eligious man, who had a great reverence for the gods, liearing 
the tinkling of the cjnnbals, the beating of the timbrels, and 
tlie soft Phrygian music, came to meet us, and offer his devout 
hospitality to the goddess. He lodged us all within his fine 
spacious mansion, and sought to win the divine favour by the 
most profound veneration and the finest victims 

Here it was that my life was exposed to the greatest danger 
I ever remember to have incurred. A certain person in the 
country had sent as a present to our host, who was his land- 
lord, the haunch of a very large and fat stag he had killed in 
the chase. It had been carelessly hung rather low behind the 
kitchen door, where a hound seized it, and carried it off. When 
the cook discovered his loss, w^hich he imputed to his own 
negligence, his lamentation was extreme, and for a long time 
he shed unavailing tears, thinking that his master would pre- 
Bcntly call for lus supper. Terrified at last at the punishment 


that awaited him, he tenderly kissed his little son, sn;itche() 
lip a rope, and set about hanging himself. Eat his affectionate 
■wife became opportunely aware of his desperate case, and seizing 
the fatal noose in both hands with all her might, '' What," she 
cried, " has this accident frightened you out of your senses ? 
Do you not see the remedy which the providence of the gods 
lias offered to your hands ? If you have any sense left in this 
whirlwind of disaster, rouse it up and listen to me. Take that 
ass, that was brought hereto-day, to some out-of-the-way place, 
and cut his throat ; then take from the carcase a haunch just 
like that which is lost, cook it nicely, dress it with the most 
savoury sauce you can make, and serve it up before your mas- 
ter, instead of the venison." 

The rascally cook was delighted at the thought of saving his 
own life at the cost of mine ; and highly extolling his wife's 
sagacity, he set about sharpening his knives, to execute the 
"butchery she had recommended. 



















in us did ;hat cursed butcher arm his nefarious hands against 

16f* vriK dotnF,.v ass of ApfLr.tb-s. 

me. There was no time to be lott; the danger was too uigtal 
to allow of long cogitation ; I resolved to escape by flight from 
the knife that was so near my throat, and instantly breaking 
the halter with which I was tied, I galloped away as fast as 
my legs could carry me, flinging out my heels as I ran for the 
greater safety. Having quickly shot across the first portico, I 
dashed without hesitation into the dining-room, where the 
master of the house was feasting with the priests of the god- 
dess on the sacrificial meats ; and I upset and smashed great 
part of the supper things, and even the tables. The master of 
the house, greatly annoyed by such unseemly havoc, ordered 
one of his servants to take away " the troublesome, frisky 
brute," as he called me, and gave the man strict injunctions 
to shut me up in some safe place, that I might not again dis- 
turb the quiet of his guests by such pranks. For my part, 
having saved myself from the knife by this clever feat, I was 
very glad to enjoy the security of my prison. 

But certainly it is not for mortal man to prosper against the 
■will of fortune, nor can all the contrivances of human wisdom 
overthrow or alter the fatal disposition of divine providence.* 
That very device of mine, which seemed to have aff'orded me 
a momentary deliverance, brought upon me another peril, 
which went near to cause my instant destruction ; for one of 
the servants, as I afterwards learned from what passed between 
his fellows, rushed in great agitation into the supper-room, 
and told his master that a mad dog had just before run into 
the house through a back door, opening on a lane ; that he had 
fallen furiously on the hounds ; then made for the stables, 
where he had wreaked his rage on the horses ; and lastly, that 
he had not spared the men either, for he had bitten Myrtilus, 
the muleteer, Hephaestion, the cook, Hypatius, the chambcr- 

* The fatal disposition of divine providence.'] — In the original, divina 
providentice fatalis disposilio, which the Delphin editors erroneously in- 
terpret. ordo immutabilis providenfia; divince. For Providence, according 
to the Platonic philosophy, (and Apuleius was a Platonist), is superior to 
Fate ; and in consequence of this, whatever is produced by Fate is also 
produced by Providence ; but not vice versa. Apuleius, therefore, rightly 
ascribes the fatal disposition of things to Divine Providence, because this 
disposition or order proceeds primarily from Providence, but secondarily 
from Fate ; but the fatal is not the same with the immutable order of 
things: for the latter pertains to Providence alone but the format to 
Providence in conjunction vvith Fate. — Taylor 

TintiK fX. tllK TMAT, fiY fnK WaTER TEHT. IfiO 

lain, and Apoilonius, the physician, besides a great many other 
servants who had endeavoured to drive him out ; and some of 
the animals he liad bitten, already showed undoubted symptoma 
of rabidnoss. 

The whole party was struck with dismay at this intelligence, 
and guessing from my wild behaviour, that I was infected 
with the same malady, they caught up such weapons as lay at 
hand, and exhorted each other to despatch me for their com- 
mon safety, though, in fact, it was they themselves who were 
mad, and not I. They would doubtless have cut me to 
pieces with the lances, spears, and even axes, with which the 
servants readily supplied them, had I not run before the storm, 
and burst into the bed-chamber of the priests, my masters. 
My pursuers then fastened the door upon me, and kept me be- 
sieged, that the deadly virus might do its work, and destroy 
me, without their running the risk of coming in contact with 
me. Finding, therefore, that I was left alone and free to do 
as I pleased, I profited by the opportunity which fortune 
offered me, lay down on a bed, and enjoyed what I had so 
long foregone, a good sleep in human fashion. 

Having slept off my fatigue on that good bed, I awoke when 
it was already broad daylight, and jumped up fresh and 
, hearty. Then I heard the people who had kept watch all 
night outside the door, thus debating with one another about 
me. " Is it likely that this unfortunate ass can go on raging 
everlastingly ? Surely not. It is rather to be presumed that 
the virus has spent itself, and his fit is over." As their opi- 
nions differed on this question, they agreed to have a look at 
me ; and peeping through a chink in the door, they saw me 
standing at my ease, apparently as quiet and as well as ever. 
Thereupon, they ventured to open the door and examine my 
state more fully ; and one of them, who was sent from heaven 
to be my saviour, proposed to the rest a means of knowing 
whether I was mad or not. This was to put a vessel full of 
fresh water before me : if I drank it without hesitation, in my 
usual way, this would be a sure proof that I was quite free 
from all distemper ; on the contrary, if I shimned the water 
with manifest horror at the sight of it, it would be a clear 
tnse that the dreadful malady had still fast hold of me ; for so 
it was laid down in ancient books, and confirmed by frct^uent 

170 tllE GOLMN A38 OF ArDLKlf?. 

This advice being voted good, they forthwith fetched a large 
vessel full of tine clear water irom the nearest fountain, and 
placed it before me, still keeping on their guard. I went up 
to it at once, being very thirsty, and plunging my head into 
the vessel, drank up the water, which truly did me much 
good in every way. Then I quietly suflbred them to pat me 
with their hands, rub my ears, lead me by the headstall, and 
do whatever else they pleased by way of trying me, until they 
Avere all convinced of my gentleness, and of their own mistake 
in supposing me to be mad. 

Having thus preserved mj'self from two great dangers, I 
was again loaded next day with the divine baggagv, and 
marched awaj^ to the sound of cymbals and castanets, to con- 
tinue our mendicant rounds. After visiting a great number of 
hamlets and towns, we amved at a village built on the ruins 
of a town that had formerly been very opulent, as the inhab- 
itants reported. We entered the first inn we came to, and 
there we heard a pleasant story of the way in which the wife 
of a poor man cuckolded her husband : and you shall hear it 



There was a poor man who had nothing to subsist on but his 
scanty earnings as a journeyman carpenter. He had a wife 
wlio was also very poor, but notorious for her lasciviousness. 
One day, when the man had gone out betimes to his work, an 
impudent gallant immediately stepped into his house. Eut 
Avhilst he and the wife were warmly engaged, and thinking 
themselves secure, the husband, who had no suspicion of such 
doings, returned quite unexpectedly. The door being locked 
and bolted, for which he mentally extolled his well-conducted 
wife, he knocked and whistled to announce his presence. Then 
his ciinning wife, who was quite expert in such matters, released 
the man from her close embraces, and hid him quickly in ai 
old empty butt, that was sunk half-way in the ground, in 6 
corner of the room. Then she opened the door, and began to 
scold her husband the moment he entered. " So you are come 
homi empty-handed, are you?" said she, "to sit here with 
youi arms folded, doing ij'jthing, instead of going on with }oui 


rogular work, to get us a living and buy us a bit of food ; while 
I, poor soul, must work my lingers out of joint, s])inning wool 
day and night, to have at least as much as Avill keep a lamp 
buruiugiu our bit of a room. Ah, how much better off is my 
neighbour Daphne, that has her fill of meat and drink from 
daylight to dark, and enjoys herself with her lovers." 

" What need of all this fuss r" replied the abused husband ; 
"for though our foreman has given us a holiday, having busi- 
ness of his own in the forum, 1 have nevertheless provided for 
our supper to-night. You see that useless butt, that takes up 
80 much room, and is only an incumbrance to our little place ; 
I sold it for five denars to a man who will be here presently 
to pay for it and take it away. So lend me a hand for a mo- 
ment, till I get it out to deliver it to the buyer." 

Heady at once with a scheme to fit the occasion, the woman 
burst into an insolent laugh: " Truly I have got a fine fel- 
low for a husband ; a capital hand at a bargain, surely, to go 
and sell at such a price a thing which I, who am but a woman, 
had already sold for seven denars, without even quitting the 

Delighted at what he heard, " And who is he," said the 
husband, " who has bought it so dear .'" 

" He has been down in the cask ever so long, you booby," 
she replied, "examining it all over to see if it is sound." 

The gallant failed not to take his cue from the woman, and 
promptly rising up out of the butt, " Shall I tell you the truth, 
good woman?" he said ; " your tub is very old, and cracked in 
I don't know how many places." Then tui'ning to the hus- 
band, without appearing to know him : " Why don't you 
bring me a light, my tight little fellow, whoever you are, that 
1 may scrape off the dirt from the inside, and see whether or 
not the tub is fit for use, unless you think I don't come honestly 
by my money ?" 

That pattern of all quick-witted husbands, suspecting no- 
thing, immediately lighted a lamp, and said, " Come out, bro- 
ther, and leave me to make it all right for you." So saying, 
he stripped, and taking the lamp with him into the tub, went 
to work to scrape off the old hardened dirt. And while lie 
was polishing the inside, the charming gallant polished otf the 
carpenter's wife, laying her on her belly on the outsidt;, she 
meanwhile amusing horself like a harlot as she was, with 


making fun of her husband, poking her head into the tub, and 
pointing out this place and that to be cleaned, and then another, 
and another ; until both jobs being finished, the unfortunate 
carpenter received his seven denars, and had to carry th« butt 
on his back to the adulterer's house. 


After staying a few days in this town, where they Avere 
pampered by the bounty of the public, and made a great deal 
by their soothsaying, these pious priests bethought them of a 
new device for getting money. They composed a single 
oracular response, which would tit a variety of cases, and thus 
they gulled a great number of persons who came to consult 
them upon all sorts of subjects. The oracle was as follows: 

The steers are yoked, and till the ground, 
That crops may rise, and joys abound.* 

Suppose now that a person consulted the oracle with regard 
to his marrying : to him it said plainly that he should take 
upon him the yoke of matrimony, and raise a fine crop of chil- 
dren. Suppose it was one who had a mind to buy land : the 
yoked oxen and the abundant harvests were quite to the point. 
If the applicant was anxious about a joiu'ney he had to take : 
the meekest of quadrupeds were readv yoked, and the produce 
of the soil signified a lucrative result. If he was one who had 
to go into battle, or to pursue a gang of robbers : the priests 
declared that the oracle pi'omised him victory, and that he 
should bring the necks of his enemies under the yoke, and reap 
a rich harvest of booty 

My masters had gained no little money by this cheating 
method of divination ; but exhausted at last by perpetual in- 
terrogations for which they had but one answer, they again 
departed by a road much worse than that which we had tra- 
velled the preceding night. The greater pai't of it was broken 
up into deep ruts and holes full of water, and the rest was co- 
vered with thick mud and very slippery. At last, greatly 
fatigued, and with my legs bruised by continually slipping and 

f The Steers, Sfc.}— In the Latin -. 

Ideo conjuncti terram proscendunt boves, 
U*T ix futurum laetas germinent sata. 

rooK IX. 


falling, I had just reached a smooth bit of ground, when sud- 
denly a body of armed men on horsebuek galloped down ujwu 
us, and after pulling up with difficulty, seized Philebus and 
his companions by the tlii-oat, and beat them with their fists, 
calling them sacrilegious, obscene villains. Then they hand- 
cuffed them all, and bellowed to them to produce the golden 
bowl they had stolen. " Produce," they shouted, " that proof 
of your crime, which you filched from the very shrine of the 
Mother of the Gods, when you shut yourselves up in her tem- 
ple, under pretence of solemnizing secret rites ; and then you 
quitted the town before daylight without saying a word to any 
one, as if you thought you could escape punishment for such 
abominable guilt." Meanwhile, one of them searching the 
goddess I carried on my back, found the gold cup in her bosom, 
and drew it forth in the sight of all present. But even that 
palpable evidence could not abash or dismay those nefarious 
wretches, but affecting to laugh, and to turn the affair into a 
joke, they exclaimed : "What an untoward accident ! How 
often the innocent are put in jeopardy ! Here are ministers of 
religion put in peril of their lives only for a cup which the 
Mother of the Gods made a present to her sister, the Syrian 
Goddess, as a pledge of hospitality." But in spite of all such 
frivolous excuses, the rustics marched them back, and lodged 
them in prison ; and the cup and the image I had carried 
having been solemnly deposited in the temple, I was brought 
forth on the following day, and again oftered for sale by the 
voice of the crier. A certain baker from the next town bought 
me for seven denars more than Philebus had given for me ; 
and putting on my back a good load of corn he had just bought, 
he took me to his mill by a very rough road, full of stones and 
I'oots of trees. 

There were a good many beasts employed there, in turning 
several millstones, and that not only by day, but all night long 
too, for the mill was always kept going. Lest I should be 
disgusted with the beginning of my servitude, my new master 
treated me with all the honours due to a stranger of consider- 
ation, and I had a holiday, and a manger abundantly supplied ; 
but the beatitude of having nothing to do and plentj' to eat did 
I ot last beyond the first day. On the following day, I waa 
t'istcned up to turn Avhat seemed to me the largest mill- 
s' >ue of all, and with my head covered I Avas put into a little 


hollow path in the form of a circle, in which I avus to go round 
and round perpetually. But I had not so far forgotten my old 
running as to fall in easily with this new discipline ; and though 
when I was a man I had often seen machines of that kind re- 
volve, yet, as if I was quite a novice at the work, and did not 
know what to do, I stood stock still, pretending stupefaction. 
I imagined that when they saw I was not fit for the work, they 
would put me to something else that was less fatiguing, or that 
they would let me eat and do nothing. But my craft, instead 
of doing me good, only brought me into trouble. For several 
men armed with sticks came round me while I suspected no- 
thing, for my head was covered and I could not see ; and at a 
given signal they all shouted out together, and let fall upon 
me a storm of blows. I was so terrified by the uproar, that, 
abandoning all thoughts of trickery, and pulling at the trace 
with all my might, I paced the ring nimbly, and excited a 
general burst of laughter by my sudden change of behaviour. 

The day was near its end, I was very tired, when they loosed 
the rush ropes that fastened me to the mill, and let me go to the 
manger. Though exhausted with fatigue and hunger, and in 
great need of having my strength recruited, yet prompted by 
my natural curiosity, I neglected the food that was before me 
to observe with a sort of pleasiu'e the economy of our detest- 
able work-place. gods ! what a set of stunted men I saw 
there ! Their skins were seamed all over with marks of the 
lash ; their scarred backs were shaded rather than covered 
with tattered frocks ; some had only aprons ; and all were so 
clothed, that their skin was visible through the rents in their 
rags. Their foreheads were branded with letters ; their heads 
were half shaved ; they had irons on their legs ; they wero 
hideously sallow ; their eyes were bleared, and sore and raw 
from the smoke of the ovens;* and they were covered with 
flour, as athletes are with dust when they contend in the iirciui. 

But how shall I describe my brute companions ? "What 
worn-out old mules and geldings ! How they hung their lieads 
at the manger as they chewed the heaps of straw ! Their necks 
were covered with putrid sores ; they coughed incessantly, and 
panted through their gaping nostrils ; their chests were raw 
from the friction of the rush breast rope ; their flanks laid 
• The smoke of the ovetis.'] — The luiller's and the baker's trade vveie 
generally combiued in those «l4y». 


open to the bone with continual cndgelling ; their hoofs 
lengthened to an extraordinary degree by dint of walking in 
the mill round; and their hides were rough all over Avith 
mange. Beholding the wretched plight of those animals, whom 
I myself might be brought to resemble, and recollecting my 
own happy fortune when I was Lucius, I hung my head and 
sorrowed over the deep degradation into which I had fallen. 
The only consolation I had was in the pleasure of indulging 
mj' inborn curiosity, by observing all that was said and done 
around me without reserve, for no one took any account of my 
presence. Truly, it was with good reason that the divine 
author of the ancient Greek epos, wishing to depict a man of 
consummate wisdom and prudence, sang of one who had visited 
many cities and become acquainted with many peoples.* I 
myself hold my asinine days in grateful remembrance, be- 
cause, being hidden under that form, I went through a great 
number of adventures, which made me acquainted with many 
things, if thej^ have not rendered me wiser. Thus I picked 
up an excellent story, which particularly interested me, and 
which you shall hear. 

The baker who had bought me was a worthy, well-conducted 
man, but suffered the most cruel domestic affliction in conse- 
quence of having to wife the wickedest of all women ; inso- 
much, that even I often groaned in secret over his sad lot. 
There was not one vice from which that nefarious woman was 
free ; but every kind of iniquity had flowed into her soul, as 
into a cesspool for the reception of all uncleanness. She was 
mischievous, malignant, addicted to men and to wine, froward 
and stubborn, vilely rapacious, unbounded in profusion, a foe 
to faith and chastity. Moreover, despising and trampling 
under foot the majesty of heaven, instead of the true religion, 
she affected to entertain some fantastic and sacrilegious notion 
of a God whom she declared to be the only one,f and under 

• Ji'ith many peoples.'] — He alludes to Homer's account of Ulysses, in 
the Odyssey. 

+ A God whom she declared to be (he only one.] — Having to depict a 
woman of the most flagitious character, Apuleius thought to give likelihood 
to a portrait that might otherwise have seemed overcharged and unna- 
tural, hy making this paragon of wickedness a Christian. Nothing wai 
too had to b« believed on trust of that decried sect in those days. Hut 
9ucl virulent prejudice was not peculiar to pagan times. 


pretoiu e of certain frivolous observances with which she im« 
posed upon the public and beguiled her unfortunate husband, 
she got drunk in the morning, and prostituted her body at all 

This woman persecuted me with amazing rancour. For 
before the dawn of morning, as she lay still in bed, she used 
to call out and bid them yoke the new ass to the mill ; as soon 
as she was up she used to order me to be drubbed without 
stint in her presence ; and when the cattle were unyoked at 
breakfast-time, she would order me to be kept from the manger 
long after the rest. These cruelties greatly whetted my natu- 
ral curiosity to scrutinize her behaviour. I perceived that a 
certain young fellow was continually going into her room, and 
I greatly longed to catch sight of his face, if the covering put 
on my head had only allowed me the use of my eyes ; in that 
case I should not have wanted sagacitj' enough to discover in 
some way or other the criminal proceedings of the abandoned 

A certain old woman, who was her confidante, and the go- 
between in her intrigues, was with her every day from morn- 
ing to night. After breakfasting together, they used to sit and 
drink neat wine as if for a wager, all the wliUe devising schemea 
to cheat the unfortunate husband. Kow, though I was greatly 
vexed at the blunder committed by Fotis, who had made an 
ass of me when intending to chimge me into a bird, yet I had 
at least this comfort in my lamentable deformity, that being 
furnished with very long ears, I could hear what was said 
even at a great distance. One day, for example, I heard tho 
squeaking old woman talk as follows : 

" ^[ake up your mind, mistress, what you will do with that 
pluckless acquaintance you chose without consulting me, a 
coward that shudders at the grim frown of your sour and 
odious husband, and tarments you by the laggard weakness of 
his love, that corresponds so ill with your own warmth. What a 
different man is Philesictaeros! young, handsome, generous, met- 
tlesome, and more than a match for all the useless vigilance of 
nusbands. By Hercules ! he is the only man that deserves to 
rnjoy the embraces of all the ladies of quality, he alone de- 
si rv-es to be crowned with gold, if it was only for that capital 
tiick he lately played on a jealous husband. Listen, now, and 
se' the diflference between such a man and \our lover. You 

tJOOt tX. 't^K JEALOta HTTSRANr/ nFTV-'lTTED. 177 

know one Barbaras, the decurion* of our town, whom the 
people nickname Scorpion, on account of his peevish, spiteful 
disposition. He has a wife of a good family, and surpassing 
beauty, whom he keeps shut up at home with all the caution 

"To be sure," said the miller's wife, "I know her very 
well. You mean my schoolfellow. Arete ?" 

"Then you know the whole storj^ about Philesietaerus ?" 
rejoined the old worn an. 

" iS^ot at all," replied the other ; " but J long to hear it, so 
tell it all, mother, from beginning to end." Accordingly, the 
old woman, who was an interminable chatterer, began as fol- 
lows : 



** This Barbaras, being obliged to go a journey which he could 
not avoid, and wishing to take all possible measures to keep 
his dear wife faithful to him, secretly communicated his inten- 
tions to his slave Myrmex, the one in whom he had most con- 
fidence, and ordered him to watch over the conduct of his mis- 
tress, threatening him with chains, and prison, and starvation, 
and a torturing death to end all, if any man so much as touched 
her with the tip of his finger as he passed her in the street ; 
and all these threats he confirmed with the most solemn oathe. 
Having thus left Myi'mex terribly frightened and disposed to 
keep a most vigilant watch over his wife, Barbaras set out on 
his journey without fear of bad consequences. 

" Intensely anxious about his charge, Myrmex would never 
let his mistress go out alone. He kept her shut up all day 
spinning wool, always under his own eye ; and when it was 
necessary for her to go in the evening to the public baths, he 
went with her, sticking like glue to her side, and holding the 
skirt of her robe in his hand, so wonderfully awake was he to 
all the duties of his trust. 

"But the beauty of the lady could not escape one who wa^ 
so keen-sighted in matters of gallantry as was Philesieta^rus ; 
but what piqued and incited him above all things, was the 
repute of her imj, reguable virtue, and the extraordinary care 
with which it wai guarded. He resolved, then, to lay siege 

* Dfevrion.\ — Tht ' tlecurioncs' were tl:e senators of the I^oman 
' uiunicipia,' or free towns. 



■with all his might to the house in which ehe was imJnuied, 
and to make his way in at all costs and hazards, in spite of its 
commander's vigorous discipline. And knowing well the frailty 
of human nature, and that gold can smooth down all difficul- 
ties, and break open adamantine gates, he addressed himself to 
Myrmex, whom he fortunately met alone, told him of his love 
for his mistress, and conjured him to afford some remedy for 
his torments ; assuring him that his speedy death was certain, 
if his desires were not quickly fulfilled. ' Besides,' said he, 
' 3"0U have nothing to fear in so easy a matter as that which I 
ask of you ; since no more is required than that I should steal 
into your house alone, under cover of darkness, and remain 
there only a moment.' These ijisinuating arguments he fol- 
lowed by the application of a wedge that was well adapted to 
cleave asunder the stubborn toughness of the servant's resolu- 
tion ; for holding out a handful of shining gold coin fresh from 
the mint, he told him that twenty of them were for the lady, 
and that ten of them shoiJd be freely at his own serWce. 

" Terrified at the stupendous proposal, MjTmex took to his 
heels at once, without listening to another word. But he could 
not get the lustre of the yellow gold out of his sight : and 
though he had left it behind, and had never stopped running 
till he got home, he still seemed to behold the beautiful coin, 
and clutched it in imagination. Miserably was the poor 
fellow distracted between opposite feelings : he thought of 
the fidelity he owed his master, and then of his own gain ; 
the fear of horrible puuishment made him hang back ; the 
bewitching thought of that money lured him on. At last the 
gold prevailed over the fear of death, and time bj- no means 
allayed his longing for that lovely coin : it clung to him like a 
pestilence even through the anxious night ; so that while his 
master's threats would have detained him at home, yet the 
gold iriesistibly summoned him abroad. Gulping down all 
shame, therefore, he went straightway to his mistress, and de- 
livered his message fi-om Philesietajrus ; and she, a wanton 
born, at once sold her virtue for cursed metal. So Myrmex, 
deluged with joy at the wreck of his fidelitj', and eager to 
finger the gold which it was his ill fate to have seen, went in 
quest of Philesietaerus, and told him that at last, with great 
difficulty, he had effected his wishes. Then he asked on the 
ppot for the promised recompense, and suddenly found liim.sell 


possessed oi a handful of gold 3oin^ he who had never ia his 
life been muster of a copper. 

"When night was come, he conducted the bold gallant, 
alone and with his face well muffled, to the house, and into hi? 
mistress's chamber. But just as the pair were paying their 
first adorations to Love, just as the naked recruits in the war- 
fare of Venus were performing their first service, the husband, 
who had chosen that time of night on purpose, arrived sud- 
denly at the moment when he was least expected. He knocked, 
he called, he pounded at the door with a stone, and growing more 
and more suspicious in consequence of the delay, he threat- 
ened terrible vengeance against Myrmex, who was so bewildered 
by the sudden calamity that he knew not what to do, and could 
only excuse himself by saying that the darkness of the night 
had hindered him fi'om finding the key, which he had hidden 
with great care. Meanwhile, Philesietaerus, alarmed by the 
noise, hastily put on his clothes, and ran out of the bedroom, 
but forgot in his confusion to thrust his feet into his shoes. 

" Then Myrmex put the key in the lock and let in his mas- 
ter, who was still bawling and swearing with all his might ; 
and whilst the latter hurried to his chamber, Myrmex let Phi- 
lesietaerus slip out unperceived, shut the door behind him, and 
went back to his bed with his mind quite at ease. But when 
Barbarus got up in the morning, he saw a strange pair of shoes 
under the bed ; and instantly suspecting what had happened, 
but saying not a word to his wife or any of the sen^ants, he 
took up the shoes unobserved and hid them in his bosom ; then 
ordering Myrmex to be bound and marched off to the forum, 
he went thither himself, groaning inwardly, and assuring him- 
self he should trace out the adulterer by means of the shoes. 

" As Barbarus walked along the street with lowering brows 
and a face swollen with rage, M}Tmcx followed him in chains. 
He had not, indeed, been taken in tlie fact, but overwhelmed 
by a guilty conscience, he cried and lamented, so as to excite 
the useless compassion of the beholders. Philesieta^rus hap- 
pened very opportunely to pass that way, and though he had 
business which called him elsewhere, yet being forcibly struck, 
hut not dismaj-ed, by the spectacle that suddenly came before 
him, he recollected the mistake he had made in his haste, and 
immediately inferring all the consequences, he acted on the 
Bpot with his usual cleverness and presence of mind. Pushing 

2s 2 

180 The Goi,t)EN- ass of apuleiits, 

aside the otlier servants, he rusht'd upon Myrmex, bawling at 
him with all his might, and hitting him on the face with his 
fists, but so as not to hurt him much : ' Villain and liar !' he 
cried, ' may your master and all the gods, by whose names 
you forswear yourself, punish you as such a rascal deserves I 
You that stole my shoes yesterday from the bath. You de- 
6'^rve, by Hercules, to have those chains upon you until they 
are w^om out, and to be shut up for ever in the darkness of a 

" Completely duped and befooled by the ready-witted strata- 
gem of the bold youth, Barbarus went back to his house, called 
Myrmex before him, and putting the shoes into his hands, for- 
gave him -with all his heart, and advised him to return them to 
their owner from whom he had stolen them." 


No sooner had the old woman ended her stoiy, than the 
baker's wife cried out : " Happy is the woman who has such a 
stout-hearted lover as that ; while I, poor thing, have got one 
that trembles at the mere sound of the mill, and even at the 
hoodwinked face of that mangy ass." 

" Never mind," said the old woman. " I will engage to 
bring you this brisk lad presently, well inclined, and in gtxjd 
courage." Then, having arranged to return in the evening, 
she went away. 

The chaste wife forthwith set about preparing a banquet tit 
for priests. She filtered choice wine, made fi-esh savoury ra- 
gouts, and furnished out an abundant table. In short, she 
made ready for her paramour's arrival as for that of some god; 
for it happened conveniently for her, that her husband supped 
abroad with his neighbour the fuller. The hour of noon hav- 
ing arrived, I was released from the mill, and let go to feed ; 
but what pleased me most was, not that I had a respite from 
drudgery, but that having my head uncovered and the free use 
of my eyes, I could watch all the doings of that wicked wo- 
man. At last, when the sun had sunk beneath the ocean to 
illuminate the inferior zones of the earth, in came the bold 
gallant alongside of the wicked old hag. He was quite young, 
with smooth blooming cheeks, and verj'^ handsome. The miller a 
wile received him with all sorts of caresses, and the supper 
bi'iag ready, she made him take his place at the table. 


But scarcely had he put his lips to the preparatory potion, 
taken by way of a whet, when the husband was heard return- 
ing much sooner than he had been expected. Thereupon, his 
exemplary wife, heaping all sorts of curses upon him, and 
wishing he had broken his legs, hid the pale and trembling 
youth under a bin for sifting corn which happened to be at 
hand ; then, with a face of perfect composure, she asked her 
hiisband why he had so soon quitted the entertainment of his 
crony, and returned home. 

The miller, who seemed greatly distressed, replied, with a 
Bigh : " I hurried away because I could not endure me abo- 
minable guilt of his abandoned wife. Good gods ! what a 
faithful, well-conducted matron she seemed, and how infa- 
mously she has disgraced herself ! I swear by yonder saci'cd 
Ceres, that even yet I can hardly believe the evidence of my 
own eyes against such a woman." 

The miller's impudent wife hearing her husband talk thus, 
and being curious to hear the whole story, pressed him to re- 
late all that had happened; and never ceased importuning 
him until lie yielded, and began to relate to her the disgrace 
of his neighboiu'"s house, while he yet knew not of his own. 



" The wife of my old comrade, the fuller," said he, " who 
appeared a very honest woman, and bore the best character, and 
seemed to manage her husband's house with great propriety, 
fell in love with a certain man, and as they saw each other 
frequently in secret, it happened that when the fuller anii 
I returned from the baths to supper, the pair were then in the 
very act. 

" Startled and confused by our sudden arrival, the woman 
coidd do no better on the instant than hide her paramour under 
a very high wicker cage, hung round with cloths, which were 
exposed there to the bleaching lumes of sulphur burned be- 
neath them. Having thus concealed him, quite safely as she 
thought, she came and sat down with us to supper. Mean- 
while, the young man was obliged to breathe the suflPocating 
vapour of the sulphur ; and, according to the usual effect of that 
acrid and penetrating minei-al. he was forced to sneczo re* 

182 THE ;»SS OF APULEirS. 

pcatedly. The husband, who was opposite his wife at table, 
hearing the sound that came from behind her, thought it wag 
herself that sneezed, and said, ' Jove save you !' as usual on 
Buch occasions. This happened a second, a third, and many- 
more times in succession ; till at last, surprised at these endlesa 
sneezings, he began to buspect the real state of the case, and 
pushing aside the table, he upset the cage, and discovered the 
man, who lay panting for breath, and almost suffocated. 

" Transported with rage at the outrage done him, he shouted 
for his sword, and would have cut the throat of the half-dead 
wretch, had I not, with great difficulty, restrained him from an 
act which would have been perilous to us all, by assuring him 
that his enemy would soon die from the effect of the sulphurous 
fumes, without our making ourselves guilty of his death. 
Yielding not so much to my persuasions as to the necessity of 
the case, he dragged the half-lifeless young man into the nex*: 
lane ; and then I pressed his wife, and at last prevailed upon 
her, to quit the house and take refuge with some of her friends, 
until time should have somewhat cooled her husband's boiling 
rage ; for I made no doubt but that, in the furious exaspera- 
tion he then exhibited, he would proceed to some desperate 
extremity against her and himself too. I had now had more 
than enough of my friend's entertainment, and so I returned 


"WTiilst the miller was telling this story, his wife, with un- 
paralleled effronterj% broke out from time to time with invec- 
tives and curses upon the fuller's wife, calling her a perfidious 
wretch, a shameless strumpet, an opprobrium to her whole 
sex, to fling aside all sense of honour and decency ; to trample 
on the obligations of the marriage-bed ; to turn her husband's 
house into an infamous brothel ; to have abandoned the dignity 
cf a married woman, and earned for herself the name of a 
prostitute. Such women, she said, ought to be burnt alive. 

Conscious, however, of her own secret guilt, she pressed her 
husband to go to bed early,, that she might the sooner relieve 
her gallant from the misery of liis confinement ; but the miller 
having been disappointed of his supper at the fuller's, and 
having returned home hungrj-, requested her to have th*? table 
lead. She quickly served him up, b\it with arything but good 


■will; the supper she had provided for another. Meanwhile, 
m}' ver)'' entrails were racked when I thought of the late do- 
ings and present effrontery of that abominahle woman ; and I 
pondered anxiously in my mind whether I could not find some 
means of doing a service to mj' master by disclosing her 
treachery ; and whether I could not expose the young fellow 
to the ejcs of every bodj-, by upsetting th(! bin under which ho 
was squatting like a tortoise. 

Whilst I was thus distracted by the thought of the outrage 
done my master, the providence of the gods came to my aid. 
For a lame old man, who had charge of the horses and other 
beasts of burthen, seeing it was the time to give us water, 
came to drive us all to the next pond. This afforded me a 
most favourable opportunitj- for vengeance. I noticed, as I 
passed, that the young gallant's fingers projected be5'oud the 
edge of the bin, and pressing the point of my hoof on them I 
squeezed them flat, so that 5-elling with the intolerable pain, 
and throwing off his cover, he stood manifest to every eye, and 
unmasked the falsehood of that libidinous woman. 

The miller did not seem greatly shocked by the disclosure 
of his wife's debauchery, but began with a mild and quiet 
countenance to reassure the lad, who trembled all over, and 
was pale as death. " Don't be afraid, my boy," he said ; " I 
am not a barbarian, or a man of rough and savage ways. I 
will not smoke you to death Avith sulphm- ; nor will I put such 
a pretty boy as you into the hands of justice, to suffer the se- 
vex'e penalties of the law against adultery. Eut I will come 
to an arrangement with my wife, not, however, for a division 
of property ; no, I wiP "ather make a partnership affair of it, so 
that, without any disp-" e or disagreement, we three may make 
ourselves comfortable L one bed. I have always lived with 
my wife on such harmonious terms, that, as became discreet 
people, what the one liked the other liked also. But common 
justice demands tliat the wife sliould not have more authority 
than the husband." 

After (piietly joking in this way, he made the unwilling 
youth go with him to his chamber, and shutting out his modest 
wife, he exacted what he thought a pleasant sort of vengeance 
for the wrong done to his bei. But when the 8un had risen 
next morning, he called for two of t)ic strongest of his work- 
people, who hoisted the la^i whil'; the miller himself flogged 


his buttocks with a rod. "What!" suid lie, "you, who aie 
80 soft and tender, a mere boy, you hanker after women, do 
you ? And nothing will suit you but women of free condition, 
that have got husbands ; you have such a precocious longing 
for the reputation of an adulterer." After reprimanding him 
in this sort of way, and giving him a right good flogging, he 
thrust him out of doors. And thus did that most enterprising 
of all gallants escape far better than he had hoped for, but in 
woful plight and with aching buttocks. 

The baker, moreover, divorced his wife, and made her quit 
his house forthwith. Thereupon the woman's natural malig- 
nity being exasperated by this affront, however well deserved, 
she had recourse to her familiar weapons, and to the customary 
devices of women. She sought out with diligence a certain 
nefarious woman, who was believed to be able to do whatever 
she pleased by means of her enchantments and di-ugs ; her she 
loaded with presents, and importunately besought her to do 
one of two things : either to soften the heart of her husband, 
that he might be reconciled to her ; or if that could not be 
done, to send at least some ghost, or some dire demoniacal 
power, to take away his life by violent means. ITpon this, the 
witch, who was capable of exercising an influence upon the 
gods, employed at lirst only the milder resoivrces of her wicked 
art, and endeavoured to influence the feelings of the husband 
that had been so seriously oft'ended, and lead them back to their 
former afi'ection. When, however, the result turned out to be 
quite different from what she had anticipated, being incensed 
with the gods, for the contempt with which they had treated 
her, as well as by the loss of the gain which was to have been 
hers, if she succeeded, she now began to level her attacks 
against the life of the unfortunate husband, and to stimulate 
to his destruction the ghost of a certain woman, who had met 
with a violent death. 

Perhaps, however, scrupulous reader, you will carp at my 
storj^ and will reason as follows: " How is it possible, you 
eilly ass, that you could know, as j'ou say you lid, what was 
done by women in secret, when at the very moment you were 
pent up within a bakehouse }" Hear, then, how I, an inquisi- 
liv^e man, weai'ing the shape of a beast of burden, came to know 
all that was transacted with a view to the destruction of mv 
master, the baker. 

About midday there iiiiddonly appeared in tho '.ukdiju^e 4 


woman of a hideous aspect, marked by guilt and extreme sor- 
row ; she was half clad in a patched mourning mantle, hei feet 
were naked, and her liaggard face was sallow as boxwood. 
Her grizzly, dishevelled hair, defiled with ashes, hung over her 
forehead, and concealed the greater part of her face. This 
strange-looking woman, taking the baker gently by the hand, 
led him aside into his chamber, as if she had something to 
say to him in secret, and having shut the door, remained there 
a veiy long time. 

However, when all the wheat was ground which had been 
delivered out to the Avorkmen, and it became necessary to get 
more, the servants went to the door of the chamber, and calling 
to their master, asked for more wheat for the mill. But as no 
master answered them, though they shouted to him again and 
again, they began to knock more loudly at the door. Finding, 
too, that it had been carefully bolted, they suspected something 
tragical had occurred, and making a violent effort, they tore 
the door off the hinges, and rushed in. The woman, however, 
was no where to be found, but they saw their master hanging 
lifeless from a beam. Loosening the rope fi'om his neck, they 
took him down, and with great lamentations and weeping, 
bestowed upon the corpse the last ablution. Finally, having 
))erformed the customary offices for the dead, they committed 
him to the tomb, a great crowd attending the funeral. 

On the following day, his daughter came running from the 
neighbouring village, where she had lately been married, full 
of sorrow, shaking her dishevelled hair, and ever and anon 
beating her breasts with her hands. For she had discovered 
aU that happened, although no one living had related to her 
the misfortune that had befallen the family ; but the piteous 
form of her father had presented itself to her in her sleep, 
his neck still bound with the halter, and disclosed to her all 
the wickedness of her stepmother, her infidelity, the en- 
chantment, and how he had been strangled by a ghost, and 
had descended to the realms below. After she had given way 
to long-continued lamentations, at last, being prevailed upon 
by the united entreaties of her friends and acquaintances, she 
put an end to her wailings. And now, the funeral solemnities 
being in the usual manner comj)leted at the tomb, on the ninth 
day, she had the slaves, the furniture, and all the beasts of 
b-.irdc'.i. brought t'ovth to be sold hH auetiuu, fov thp benefit 9I:' 


the heiress. Then did capricious fortune, by the chance results 
of a sale, disperse in various ways the property of one house. 

A poor gardener made purchase of me for fifty pieces of 
money, which he said was a great price ; but he paid it in order 
that he might procure subsistence for himself by our common 
labour. The occasion appears to me to require that I shoul I 
explain the nature of these services of mine. Every morning, 
my master was in the habit of leading me to the next city, 
with a heavy load of vegetables ; and after he had sold them 
to the general dealers there, he returned to his garden, sitting 
on my back. Then, while he was digging and wateiing, and 
was busied with other laborious enfployments, I was left to 
take my ease, and refresh myself with silence and rest. But, 
lo ! the revolving year had now, after the autumn delights of 
the vintage, descended to the wintry frosts of Capricorn ; * 
and then I was perished with continual cold, through the 
constant rains and the nightly dews, being exposed to the open 
air in a stable without a roof. For my master, in consequence 
of his extreme povertj', could not purchase even for himself, 
much less for me, any straw, or bed-clothes, his only protec- 
tion from the cold being the thatch of his little cottage. 
Besides this, in the morning I had to endure great fatigue, 
in walking with unshod feet on clay that was quite frozen, 
and pieces of very sharp ice ; and I never even got a bellyful 
of food. For both my master and myself had meals alike in 
quality and quantity, and very meagre they were ; since they 
consisted of old and unsavoury lettuces, which had run to seed, 
looked just like so many brooms, and were full of a clammy, 
bitter juice, that smelt disgustingly. 

One night, a householder who lived in the next village, 
having lost his way through the darkness of a moonless night, 
and got drenched to the skin with rain, turned with his wea- 
ried liorse into our garden ; and being as courteously received 
as circumstances would allow of, and being invited to tako 
there a night's repose, which, if not surrounded by many re- 
finements, was at all events very welcome, he desired to make a 
present to his hospitable entertainer, and promised that he 
would give him from his farm some corn and oil, and two casks 
of wine. My master therefore proceeded, without delay, to 

* L^pnvurn.'] — l^he <uu enters the sign Capricorn at the beginning ot 

JlOOX IX. StrPEENAttliAL 0ME>-8. 187 

the fiirm of the householder, which was distant from his garden 
sixty stadia,* seated on my bare back, and carrying with him 
a little sack, and some empty wineskins. 

Tlie journey accomplished, we arrived at the farm, and there 
the kind host immediately asked my master to partake of a 
sumptuous entertainment. But while they were drinking 
joviall}', a most astonishing prodigy took place. One of the 
hens in the poultrj^-yard, running through the middle of the 
yard, kept up a continual cackling, as if she wanted to lay. 
On this her master, looking at her, said, "Xotable servant that 
you are, and remarkably prolific, for this long time you have 
treated us with your daily productions. And now, too, I see, 
you arc thinking about lielping us to a dainty morsel. Boy!" 
said he, speaking to one of his servants, " get the basket that 
the hens lay in, and place it in the corner as usual." "When 
the boy had done as he was desired, the hen, refusing to go to 
her nest as usual, produced before the very feet of her master 
a premature offspring, and one of a singularly ominous nature. 
For she did not bring forth an egg, as we usually see hens do, 
but a chicken, perfectly formed, with feathers and claws, eyes 
and voice ; which immediately began to follow its mother 

Another prodigy also occui*red, of a far more astonishing 
nature than the fonner, and at w^" So. all men might with 
great reason be terrified. For, under the very table which 
held the remnants of the entertainment, the earth opened with 
a yawning chasm fi-om its inmost depths, and a copiou.". foun- 
tain of blood gushed forth ; while numerous drops, as they 
splashed about, sprinkled the table with gore. At that very 
instant also, while every one was struck Avith astonishment 
and dismay at these divine presages, one of the servants came 
running from the wine cellar, and announced that all the wine, 
that had long ago been racked off, was boiling up in all the 
'vessels, with a heat as if a large fire had been put under it. 
In the meantime also, some weasels were ol>served, outside of 
the house, dragging into it a dead serpent. Then, too, out of 
the mouth of the sheep-dog jumped a small green frog ; and a 
ram that stood near him rushing on the same dog, strangled 
him at a single grip. These numereus portents, and others of 
9 lilfe nature, filled the minds of the master of the house and 
♦ Sixty ttadia.^^-Seyen miles and a half. 


all his family with intense amazement and terror ; what was 
to be done fii'st or what last; what they ought especially to 
do, and what they ought not to do to appease the anger of the 
Gods ; with how many and what sort of victims they should 
make atonement, they were quite at a loss to decide. 

While all were stupefied with expectation of some dreadful 
catastrophe, a servant came running in, and announced to the 
master of the house a great and fearful visitation. 



This good man was the proud father of three sons, now 
grown up, well educated, and remarkable for their good 

Between these young men and a poor man, the owner of a 
small cottage, there had been an intimacy of long standing. 
Now, close adjoining to the humble cottage lay the extensive 
and fertile domain of a wealthy and powerful young man, who 
made but bad use of the influence derived from his high birth. 
As he was powerful from the number of his dependents, and 
did what he pleased in the city, he behaved in a very un- 
ceremonious manner to his poor neighbour, killing his sheep, 
driving away his oxen, and trampling down his corn before 
it was ripe. Already he had deprived him of all hopes of 
a harvest, and now he wanted to expel him fi'om the posses- 
sion even of his land. To this end, raising a frivolous ques- 
tion about the boundaries of the fields, he laid claim to the 
whole of the laud as his own. 

Upon this, the countryman, who was otherwise a mild, 
harmless man, seeing himself plundered, through the avarice 
of his rich neighbour, collected together a considerable number 
of his friends, for the purpose of ascertaining what were the 
actual boundaries of his land, in order that, at all events, hs 
might keep enough of his paternal land to dig himself a 
grave. Among others, the three brothers were present, to 
give such sinall assistance as best they might, in their friend's 
extreme need. Still, the mad oppressor was not in the least 
daunted, or even moved, by the presence of many citizens, and 
was so far from being disposed to abstain fi'om acts of rapine, 
that he would not even confine liimself to civil language. For^ 

Ron It tS. THE RURAL TYRASf. 189 

Tflieii tliL'y mildly oxjwstulated with him, and eudtuvoured 
to pacify his boisterous disposition by soothing words, he 
ewore in the most solemn manner by his own life and that 
of his dearest relatives, that he cared but little for the inter- 
ference of so many arbiti-ators ; and that, in fact, he would 
forthwith order his servants to take that neighbour of his by 
the ears, and drag him far away from his cottage, and banish 
liim altogether. 

His words aroused the greatest indignation in the minds of 
all who heard him ; and one of the three brothers answered, 
without hesitation, and told him plainly, that it was in vain, 
that trusting to his riches, he made such arrogant threats, 
since the poor even can obtain redress against the insolence 
of the wealthy, through the liberal protection of the laws. 
What oil is to flame, what sulphur is to a conflagration, what 
the whip is in the Fury's hand, such was the fuel afi'orded 
by these words to the furious disposition of this man. Roused 
to a perfect frenzy, and bidding them all, and their laws too, 
go and be hanged, he ordered the shepherds' dogs to be let 
loose, as well as those upon the farm, savage and blood-thirsty 
creatures, accustomed to prey upon the dead carcases that were 
thrown into the fields, and to bite and mangle the passing 
traveller. Accordingly, incited by the well-known hallooing 
of the shepherds, the dogs rushed upon the men, barking hor- 
ribly, and tore the flesh off their bones. Nor even when the 
men fled did they spare them ; but pursued them with so 
much the more ferocity. 

In this scene of havoc and slaughter of the confused mul- 
titude, the youngest of the three brothers stumbled against a 
stone, and was throM^n to the ground, where he was devoured 
by those ferocious dogs. The moment his brothers recog- 
nized his dying shrieks, they ran to help him, and wrapping 
their cloaks around their left hands, used every eftbrt to pro- 
tect their brother, and to drive ott' the dogs, by volleys of 
stones. But they were unable to quell their ferocity ; and 
the unfortunate youth was torn in pieces, and died, entreating 
with his breath, that they would avenge the death of theii 
youngest brother on that most villanous purse-proud man. 
Then the two remaining surviving brothers, not, by HerciJes, 
{«o much d(>spairing of, as spontanoouslj' disregai'ding thcii 


own safet};, made an attack upon the rich man, aiitl -w-ith 
furious impetuosity hurled a shower of stones against him. 
Then the blood-thirsty wretch, who, before this, had been 
trained by practice in many similar deeds of outrage, hurled a 
lance, and pierced one of the two brothers through the middle 
of the breast. And yet, though mortally wounded, the young 
man did not fall to the ground. For the lance, which had 
pierced him, and the greater part of which had come out 
at his back, was by the force of the blow fixed in the earth, 
and kept his body suspended by the firmness of the handle, 
as it stood quivering in the ground. In addition to this, one 
of the assassin's servants, a tall robust fellow, -vdolently hurled 
a stone from a distance, and tried to hit the third brother on 
the right arm; but the stone, passing just by the tips of his 
fingers, and so expending its force in vain, fell to the ground 
without inflicting any injury, contrary to the expectation of 
all who were present. Now as the youth was endowed with 
singular presence of mind, this fortunate circumstance afforded 
him some hope of revenge. For, pretending that his hand 
was disabled, he thus addressed his most savage antagonist : — 
" Exult in the destruction of our whole family, glut your in- 
satiable vengeance with the blood of three brothers, and com- 
plete your glorious triumph over your prostrate fellow-citi ■ 
zens ; only remember, that after you have deprived this poor 
man of his lands, extend and extend as you may, you will still 
always have some neighbour or other. But this right hand of 
mine, which should undoubtedly have struck off your head, 
hangs powerless, smitten by the iniquitous decree of fate." 
The furious cutthroat, exasperated by these words, seizing a 
sword, rushed eagerly on the wretched youth, with the inten- 
tion of slaying him with his own hand. However, he had 
provoked one who was not inferior to himself. For the youth, 
quite contrary to his anticipation, seized hold of his right 
liand with a most powerful grasp; and then brandishing his 
sword, with repeated blows dismissed the impure soul of the 
rich man from his body ; and lastly, to fi'ee himself from the 
hands of the attendants who were running to give assistance, 
he cut his own throat with the sword that was still reeking 
with llic ])lood of his enemy. 


fiOOK li. ADVl^^"'i•^'RF of the GAEl^EiCit} WlTfi A SOtDltll. 191 

These were the events which the astounding prodigies had 
foreshown ; and these were the events which were related to 
the most unfortunate master. The old man, overwhelmed by 
80 many misfortunes, could not so much as utter a single word, 
or even shed a tear, but seizing the knife Avith which he had 
just before been helping his guests to cheese and other visnds, 
he pierced his own throat with numerous gashes, thus following 
the example of his most unhappy son ; so that falling with his 
face on the table, he washed away, with a river of flowing 
blood, the stains of that portentous gore which had before 
fallen upon it. The gardener, commiserating the fate of this 
house, which had thus come to destruction in the shortest space 
of time, and deploring his own mischance, made a return for 
his meal with his tears, and ever and anon clasping together 
his empty hands, immediately mounted on my back, and re- 
turned the way we came. 

His return, however, was by no means free from accident. 
For a certain tall fellow, who was a soldier belonging to one 
of the legions,* as his dress and appearance seemed to indicate, 
met us on tlie road, and asked the gardener, in a haughty and 
insolent tone, whither he was leading that unladen ass ? My 
master, who was still full of grief, and was ignorant, besides, 
of the Latin language, passed on without making any reply. 
Upon this, the soldier could not control the insolence that was 
60 natural to him, but considering his silence as a mark of 
contempt, thrust him from my back, at the same time striking 
him with a vine-8tick,f which he carried in his hand. The 
gardener humbly declared that he did not imderstand what the 
soldier said, being ignorant of the language in which he spoke. 
The soldier, therefore, demanded in Greek, " "Whither are you 
leading that ass r" The gardener replied, that he was going 
to the next town. " But I am in want of it," said the soldier ; 

* One of ths leffioni-l — The Roman armies were composed of two 
orders of soldiers, legionaries and auxiliaries ; the former were properly 
Romans, the latter were drawn from nations allied to Rome. The legion- 
aries were treated with much more consideration than the auxiliaries. 

+ A eine-stick.'] — This shows either that the soldier was a centurion 
or that he assumed that rank to impose on the peasant ; for it was pecu- 
liar to the centurions to carry vines, with which they chastised the soldiera 
under their command. Hence, in Latin a vine is metonymically med by 
poets for the offic" of a centurion. 

102 *nE nOLDEN ASS OF At-trLEitra* 

"it muat help, with other beasts, to earry from tlie neijrli- 
Itounng village the baggage of our commanding officer." With 
that, laying hold of the rope by which I was led along, he 
began to pull me away. The gardener, however, wiping away 
the blood that trickled down his face from the blow he had 
just received, again entreated the soldier to act more civiUy 
and humanely, and supplicated him to do so, by all his hopes 
of future good fortune. "This ass," said he, " is very lazy, 
and then besides, he has that abominable complaint, the falling 
sickness ; it is as much as he can do to carry a few bundles of 
vegetables from my garden close by ; it quite blows him ; so 
he is not a likely beast for the cai'riage of larger burdens." 

When, however, he found that the soldier could not be 
softened by entreaties, but was still more and more savagely 
bent on plundering him, and that now he had shifted his hold 
of the vine-stick, and was preparing to fracture his skull with 
the large knob at the end, he had recourse to his last chance. 
Feigning that he would embrace the soldier, in order to 
excite his compassion, he bent down, and pulling both legs 
from under him, dashed him violently to the ground ; then 
instantly throwing himself upon his sprawling antagonist, 
he bit him, and thumped him, and jobbed him all over, 
face, arms, and ribs, with his fists, his elbows, and with a 
stone which he picked up in the road. As for the sol- 
dier, he could neither resist nor at all defend himself, from 
the very moment that he was laid prostrate on the ground ; 
but could only threaten from time to time that the moment he 
got up he would cut him to pieces with his sword. The gar- 
dener, taking warning by this hint, snatched the sword from 
his side, and throwing it far away, again pummelled him 
harder than ever, so that the soldier, stretched on his back 
and disabled with wounds and bi'uises, had to counterfeit death, 
as the only means of saving his life. The gardener, then taking 
the sword away with him, mounted my back, and made off at 
my utmost speed straight towards the town ; and, not caring 
to visit his own garden, at all events for the present, he directed 
his steps towards the house of an intimate friend of his. After 
relating all the circumstances, he begged and entreated his 
friend to stand by him in his present dangerous position, and 
to conceal him and his ass there for a short time, so that by 


keeping out of the way two or three days, he might csc-ape the 
penalty of the capital offence he had committed. This man, 
not being forgetful of their former friendship, he readily re- 
ceived him, and ha\'ing dragged me with my legs tied together 
up stairs into an attic, the gardener crept into a chest that was 
in the warehouse below, and covering himself with the lid, 
there lay concealed. 

Meanwhile the soldier, as I afterwards learned, like one 
recovering from a violent fit of intoxication, made his way 
to the town, staggering and tottering, sore with the pain of 
80 many wounds, and with difficultj' supporting himself on 
his stick. Ashamed to mention to any of the citizens the parti- 
culars of his o^vn violence and his ignominious defeat, he 
silently digested the affront he had received, until meeting at 
last with some of his fellow-soldiers, he told them of his mis- 
fortune. They were of opinion, that he should conceal him- 
self for some time in the barracks ; (for, besides the disgrace 
to himself, he feared also the military oath sworn by the 
Genius,* on account of the loss of his sword), while they, 
noting down the description he gave of us, would make the 
most zealous endeavours for our discoveiy, and the gratification 
of their own vengeance. !N'or was a perfidious neighbour want- 
ing to tell them very speedily where we were concealed. 

Thereupon, the soldier's comrades applied to the magis- 
trates, and falsely ass-rted that they had lost on the road a 
silver cup of considerable value, that belonged to their com- 
manding ofiicer, and that a certain gardener had found it, and 
would not give it up, but was now lying concealed in the 
house of a friend. The magistrates, on being made acquainted 
with the loss, and the name of the commanding officer, came 
to the door of our dwelling, and with a loud voice, gave notice 
to our host that it would be better for him to deliver us up. 
Mho were beyond a doubt concealed in his premises, than to 
I'ender himself liable to capital punishment. But our friend, 
not being in the least daunted, and resolute to save the guest 

* Military oath sworn by the Genius.'} — i. e. The Genius of the emperor, 
hy whom the Roman soldiers solemnly swore never to desert, &c. This 
oath they deemed more sacred, as Tertullian remarks, than if they had 
sworn hy all the gods put together. The loss of the sword, tLe buckler, 
or any other of their principal accoutrements, was punished as cquivaleni 
to dest.'tiou. 


he had takeu under his protection, declared that he knew no- 
thing about us, and that he had not seen that gardener for 
several days. On the other hand, the soldiers, swearing by 
the Genius of the emperor, maintained that he was conceaicd 
there, and nowhere else. 

At length the magistrates were determined, by making a 
strict search, to confute him in this his obstinate denial. Ac- 
cordingly, sending the lictors and other public officers into the 
house, they ordered them carefully to search every hole and 
corner. But, after all their search, the officers reported that 
no human being, nor yet any ass, was to be found within the 
threshold. The dispute now grew very warm on both sides ; 
the soldiers swore by Caesar that they knew for certain we were 
there, while the master of the house swore as stoutly by all 
the gods in denial of the assertion. On hearing this conten- 
tion and clamour, I, who was in general an ass of an inqui- 
sitive and restless disposition, stretched my neck out of a little 
window, and tried to see what all the noise was about : but 
one of the soldiers, by chance turning his eyes in the direction 
of my shadow, instantly called out to all of them to observe it ; 
whereupon they instantly raised a loud shout, and rushiug up 
the steps, some of them seized hold of me, and led me prisoner' 
from my place of concealment. And now, without more de- 
lay, they narrowly examined every corner, and opening the 
chest, they found the wretched gardener, dragged him out, and 
carried him before the magistrates, and finally to the public 
gaol, in order that he might sutler capital punishment. Nor 
could they ever have done joking and laughing at the notion 
of my looking out of the window. From this circumstance, 
also, the well-knovrn proverb originated, about the peeping 
ass and his shadow.*' 

* Peeping ass and his shadow.} — This proverb, which Apuleius jocu- 
larly says originated from the above-mentioned circumstance, is of much 
greater antiquity. Lucianhas oi\\y t^ ovoii ■7rapai:v\pewQ, from the peep- 
ing of an ass There is also another Greek proverb, mentioned by Me- 
nander, Plato, and many others, virip ofov (TKiaQ, concerning the thadote 
of an ass, which is said of those who ai'e anxious to know things futile, 
frivolous, and entirely useless. These two proverbs Apuleius has mingled 
into uiie. 














"What became of my master, the gardener, on the following 
day, I know not. But the soldier, who had been so hand- 
somely thrashed for his overbearing conduct, untied me from 
my manger and took me awa}-, there being no one to hinder 
him. Then going to his barracks, as it appeared to me, he led 
me into the public road, laden with his baggage, and equipped 
quite in military style. For he put on my back a glittering 
helmet, of I'emarkable brightness, a shield still more splendid, 
and a long gleaming lance. The latter he took care to place 
conspicuously on the top of the pole, which he had arranged in 
the form of a troplij-, not so much in compliance with the regu- 
lations, as for the purpose of terrifying unfortimate travellers. 
Having passed over a level country by an easy road, we came to 
a little town, but we did not put up ut an inn, but at the house 
of a certain dccurion. After liaviiig delivered me to the caro 
of a servant, the soldier repaired without delay to the presence 
of hit* officer, who had the command of a thousand men. 

I It-member that a few days after our arrival, a most wicked 
and di'eadful crime was perpetrated in that town. I will re- 
cord it in my book, that \ oii also may read it 

o 2 




The master of the hoizse had a son, a young man of greuJ 
literary attainments, and consequently remarkable for his piety 
and modesty ; so that any one would have wished to have 
just such a son. The mother of this j^oung man having been 
dead many years, his father contracted a second marriage, and 
his second wife had borne liini another son, who had now just 
passed his twelfth year. But the stepmother. Mho held 
supreme sway in her husband's house, rather in consequence 
of her good looks than her good morals, regarded her stepson 
with lustful eyes, whether it was that she was naturally vici- 
ous, or was impelled by Fate to such extreme criminality. 
Know, therefore, excellent reader, that you are about to peruse 
a tragic, and not a comic tale, and that you will have to ascend 
from the sock* to the buskin. 

Now as long as the little Cupid was in its infancy, this 
woman easily repressed her rising blushes, and concealed them 
in silence. But when love, raging without control, wrapped 
her whole soul in flame, she then succumbed to the cruel God ; 
and, feigning illness, concealed the disease of the mind under 
the pretence of bodily ailment. Now every one knows that 
all the morbid changes in the bodily condition and appearance 
are quite alike in those who are sick aud those who are in 
love ; such, for instance, as an unsightly paleness, languor of 
the eyes, restless sleep, and sighs the more deep from the 
slowness of the torment. You might have supposed that she 
was only afflicted by fitful attacks of fever, had it not been 
that she wept. Alas ! for the unskilful impressions of her 
doctors ! what meant the hurried pulse, the sudden flush, the 
oppressed respiration, the frequent tossings and turnings fi-om 
side to side. Good Gods ! how easy is it even for one who is 
no doctor, but is acquainted with the symptoms of love and 
passion, to comprehend the true nature of the case, when he 
Bees a person burning without bodily heat ? 

Unable any longer to control her raging passion, she at length 
broke her long silence, and sent for her son to be called to her, 
a name she wished he had never borne or might bear no more, 

* The sock, &^c.] — «. e. From comedy to tragedy; the sock was worn by 
tvjtois in comedy, the buskin in tragedy. 


that she miylil uot, by using it, be reminded of her shame. 
The young man obeyed without delay the command of his 
love-sick parent, and with a forehead wrinkled with sorrow, 
like that of an old man, he went into the chamber of her who 
was the wife of his father and the mother of his brother, pay- 
ing that obedience to her which, to a certain degree, was her due. 
As for her, fast aground, as it were, upon the shoals of doubt, 
and long unable to break a silence that tortured her, she again 
rejects every word which she had at first conceived to be most 
adapted to tlie present interview, and even still in a state of 
indecision, through shame, she cannot tell how to begin. The 
young man, however, suspecting nothing wrong, with a down- 
cast countenance, spontaneously asked her what was the cause 
of her present malady. Upon this, availing herself of the per- 
nicious opportunity afforded her, she took courage to falter out 
these few words, while she wept profusely, and hid her face 
with her garment : 

" You yourself are the sole cause and origin of my malady, 
and you are the remedy too, and the only chance of life now 
left me. For those eyes of yours, penetrating through my own 
into the inmost core of my heart, have kindled there a most 
vehement fire. Take pity, therefore, on me, who am perish- 
ing for your sake ; and let no scruples on your father's ac- 
count have the least weight with you, for, by complying with 
my wishes, you will preserve for him a wife, who is otherwise 
doomed to die. It is with reason that I love you, since in 
your face I recognize his features. We are alone ; you have 
nothing to fear ; you have full opportunity for this act, so ne- 
cessary to mj' existence — a thing that no one knows." 

The young man being in utter confusion at this unexpected 
misfortune, although he recoiled from the mere thought of such 
an abominable deed, yet did not think it right to exasperate 
lier by too abrupt a refusal of a denial, but rather that he ought 
to appease her by a delusive promise. He promised, therefore, 
without reserve, and earnestly persuaded her to keep up her 
spirits, restore her strength by nutriment, and pay attention to 
her health, till his father should go on some journey or other, 
;ind leave them free to enjoy their pleasures. He then ^vith-• 
drew from the presence of his stepmother, and con- 
ceiving likewise that this calamity with wliich his housr was 
threatened called for the deepest consideration, he immediately 


related the a-Jair to an aged man of well-tried |jrudene(.% wh'i 
had been his tutor. After long deliberation, nothing seemed 
to be 80 advisable as to escape this storm, let loose by adverso 
fortune, by instant flight. 

The woman, however, impatient at even the smallest delay, 
invented some pretext or other, and found means cunningly to 
persuade her husband to take a journey, with all speed, to 
some small farms of his, which were situate at a very con- 
Biderable distance. This being done, in a state of frantic eager- 
ness for the fulfilment of her hopes, she solicited her stepson 
to perform his promise. The young man, however, now pre- 
tending this thing, now that, as an excuse, avoids her execrable 
presence, till at last, clearly pei'ceiving, from the A-arying na- 
ture of his messages, that he refused to fulfil his ])romise, 
her nefarious love became suddenly changed into hatred far 
more intense. Immediately summoning a most villanou& 
slave of hers, who had fomied a portion of the dowry she 
brought her husband, and who was ready for the perpetration 
of any crime, she communicated to him her perfidious designs, 
and there was no course that seemed to them preferable to de- 
priving the unfortunate j-outh of life. Accordingly, this vil- 
lain was sent immediately to buy a poison of the most deadly 
quality, and, having carefullj' mixed it in wine, she prepared 
it for the destruction of her guiltless son-in-law. 

As it so happened, while the wicked pair were deliberating 
about a suitable opportunity for giving him the poison, the 
yoimger boy, tliis most abandoned woman's own son, returning 
home after his morning studies, and feeling thirsty from his 
breakfast, found the cup of wine which contained the poison, 
and swallowed at a draught the contents ; but no sooner had he 
drunk the deadly potion which had been prepared for his bro- 
ther, than he fell lifeless on the ground. His tutor, horrified 
at his sudden death, alarmed the mother and the whole family 
with his cries. And now, when tiie cause v>'as ascertained to 
have been the noxious draught, opinions varied as to who were 
the authors of the crime. But this wicked woman, a singular 
epeciman of a stepmother's malice, not at all moved by the 
shocking death of her son, nor by the consciousness of having 
murdered him, nor by tlie misfortune of her house, nor hx tlie 
grief her husband would feel for the loss of his son, sc i>;ed 
upon the iestruction of her own offspring as a ready means ot 


vengeance. She iminediateiy sent a messenger to inform her 
liusband, who was on his journey, of the calamity which had 
beiallen his house; and when he returned home with all pos- 
pible haste, she, with enormous effronterj', pretended that her 
son had been destroyed l)y poison, administered to him by her 
Etepson. And in this she did not altogether speak falsely, 
'r(Ccause the boy really had met with the death which had been 
intended for the young man. Slie, however, pretended that 
the younger brother had been put an end to through the wicked- 
ness of her stepson, because slie would not comply with the 
licentious proposals the latter had made to her. Nor was she 
contented with lies of such enormity, but even added, that he 
had likewise threatened her with a sword, in consequence of 
her detection of his wickedness. 

Grievously was the unhappy man afl9.icted at the death of 
both his sons ; for he saw his younger son buried before his 
face, and he knew that his other son would certainly be con- 
demned to death for incest and fratricide ; and then, besides, 
he was impelled to extreme hatred of this son by the feigned 
lamentations of a wife whom he held too dear. 'No sooner, 
therefore, had the funeral rites of the unfortunate boy been 
arranged, than the unliappy old man hastened straight from 
tlie pile to the forum, witli the tears still Avet upon his cheeks, 
and tearing his white hairs, begrimed with ashes ; and there, 
giving loose to his passionate feelings, he used every endeavour 
to procure the destruction of his remaining son, by tears and 
by enti-eaties, even embracing the very knees of the decu- 
rions ; and never imagining tlie treachery of his most infam- 
ous wife, he exclaimed that his son was an incestuous wretch, 
who had attempted to violate his father's bed ; that he was a 
Ihitrieide, and had threatened to kill his stepmother. In fine, 
liy his lamentations, he aroused not only the senate but the 
people, to such a degree of pi ty and indignation, that, impatient 
of the tedious formality of a judicial process, and waiving in- 
contep.table proofs in support of the accusation, and the studied 
subterfuges of pleaders, they shouted out with one consent, 
that a public crime ought to be punished by the public, and 
that the author of it ought to be stoned to death. In the 
meantime, the magistrates, apprehensive, on their own account, 
lest the growing excitement should lead to results destructive of 
all order and of the civic weal, began, partly by expostuliting 

200 Tirt COLDEX ASS OF APtriF.tTJS. 

■with the decurions, and partly by soothing the^ feelings of the 
public, to induce them that the trial might proceed in due 
order, and in conformity with the customs of their ancestors, 
the allegations on both sides being duly weighed, and the sen- 
tence pronounced in a legal manner. They added, that no one 
ought to be condemned without a hearing, after the manner of 
fierce barbarians or lawless tyrants since, by so doing, they 
M^ould leave, in those times of profound peace, a dreadful pre- 
cedent for posterity. 

This sound advice prevailed ; and immediately the crier 
proclaimed aloud that the senators were to assemble in the 
senate-house. These having immediately taken their accus- 
tomed places, according to their rank and dignity, the crier 
again made proclamation aloud, and the accuser first came 
forwai'd ; then the prisoner was called and brought into 
court, and, lastly, the crier, in conformity with the law of 
Athens and the pi'ocess of the Areopagus, announced to the 
advocates on both sides that they were to plead without pre- 
amble, and to avoid all appeals for the purpose of exciting com- 
miseration. That this was the manner of proceeding I learned 
from overhearing the remarks of many people, as they were 
talking with one another. But as I was not present at the 
trial, but tied up to a manger, I shall only commit here to 
writing what I ascertained to be exactly the truth. 

As soon as the harangues of the orators Avere concluded, the 
senators determined that the truth of the charges should be 
established by certain proofs, and that a question of such groat 
consequence should not be left to suspicion and conjecture. 
They, likewise, thought it requisite that the servant, who was 
said to be the only person who knew the facts of the case, 
should be brought forward, Nor was that candidate for the 
gallows in the least dismayed, either by the doubtful result of 
60 serious an investigation, or by the view of the thronged 
senate house, or even by his own guilty conscience, but began 
to state and affirm as true a number of things which he him- 
self had invented. He said, that the young man, being indig- 
nant at the repulse received from his step-mother, had sum- 
moned him ; that, in order to avenge the affi-ont, he had or- 
dered him to destroy her son ; that he had promised him a 
great reward to ensure his secrecy ; that on his refusal to do 
what he wished, he had threatened to put him to death ; that 


he had delivered to him the poison mixed with his own hand; 
to be given to his brother; and that the young man, suspecting 
he had forborne lo administer the potion, and had reserved it, 
to produce as evidence of the crime, at last gave it to the boy 
with his own hand." 

When this villanous knave had, with an affected agitation, 
Tittered tiie.BO egregious lies, which bore a most plausible ro- 
Bemblance to truth, the trial was brought to a conclusion, and 
not oue v/as there among the senators so favourably disposed 
towards the young man, as not to pronounce him clearlj' guilty, 
and condemn him to be sewed up in the leathei'n sack. The 
verdicts, in vv'hich they all agreed, were about to be com- 
mitted to writing, according to custom, and to be placed in 
the brazen urn ; after which, the die being cast, no change 
could lawfully be made, but the life of the criminal was placed 
in the hands of the executioner. Just then, an aged physician, 
a member of the senate, and a person of approved integrity, 
and of remarkable iutluence, covering with his hand the moutll 
of the urn, that no one might rashly put his billet into it, thus 
addressed the court : 

" I rejoice that, long as I have lived, I have ever enjoyed 
your approbation ; and I will not sutler a manifest act of homi- 
cide to be perpetrated, by condemning a man to death on a 
false accusation ; nor you to ■violate 5-our oath, as judges, for 
the lying testimony of a slave. I myself will not cheat my 
own conscience, and trample on the reverence which is due to 
the gods, by pronouncing an unjust sentence. Learn, there- 
fore, from me, the real circumstances of the case. This vil- 
lanous fellow came to me some time ago, and offered me a 
hundred golden solidi for a prompt and deadly poison, telling 
me lie wanted it for a person who, being grievously afflicted 
with an incurable disease, wished to rid himself from the tor- 
ment of life. Noticing the confusion and incoherence of the 
rascal's story, and feeling sure that he was about to perpetrate 
some crime, I certainly gave him the potion, but as a precaution, 
in case the affair should be looked into at some future time, I 
did not immediately take the money that was agreed upon, 
but said to him, ' Lest by chance any of these golden coins 
which you offer me should be found to be light or spurious, 
put them in this bag, and seal it with your own seal, till they 
ure to-morrow examined in the presence of a money-changer.' 


He complied, and sealed up the monej- ; as soon, therfforf, 
as he was brought into court to give evidence, I ordered oiio 
of my servants to go with all haste and letch the bag from my 
shop, and hero I now produce it before you. Let him look at 
it, and examine the impiTssion of his own seal. Now how can 
tlie brother be accused of having procured the poison which 
this fellow bought ?" 

On the instant, a violent fit of trembling seized the villain ; 
his natural hue gave place to a deadly paleness ; and a cold 
perspiration suffused all his limbs. He began to shift about 
his feet with irregular movements ; to sci'atch now this, now 
that side of his head ; and, with his mouth half open, stam- 
mering and stuttering, to utter I know not what silly nonsense, 
insomuch tliat not a single person could reasonably suppose 
him to be innocent of the crime. Eecovering, however, his 
craftiness once again, he unceasingly denied the charge, and 
accused the physician of lying. On this, the physician, inde- 
pendently of his being bound by oath to give a just judgment, 
when he saw that his honour was openly impeached, made 
redoubled efforts to confute this villain ; till at last the public 
officers, by order of the niagisti'ates, seizing the slave's hand, 
found the iron ring, and compared it Avith the impression on 
the bag. As the result corroborated the suspicion previously 
entertained, the rack and the wooden horse were put in opera- 
tion, according to the Greek custom. Being upheld, however, 
by a wonderful amount of boldness, he was proof against all 
blows, and even fire itself. 

At last, the physician exclaimed, " I will not suffer, by 
Hercules ! I v.'ill not suffer, either that this innocent young 
man shall receive a piuiishment at your hands contrary to jus- 
tice, or that thi'^ fellow shall stultify our judgment and escape 
the punishment due to his crimes. I will give you an evident 
proof on this matter under consideration. When this most 
abandoned man was anxious to obtain the deadh' poison, I was 
of opinion that it ill accorded with my art to furnish any one 
with the means of producing death, being sensible that medi- 
cine was sought not for the destruction, but for the preservation 
of mankind ; j'et I feared that if I should refuse to give it him, 
I sliould thereby prompt him to another method of perpetrating 
the crime, and that he would accomplish the criminal purpose 
upon which he had resolved, either by buying a deadly potion 


from some other person, or, at all events, by the sword, or some 
Biich weapon ; fearing this, I gave him indeed a drng, but it 
was a preparation of the soporiferous plant called mandrake, 
remarkable for the torpor which it is known to occasion, and 
wliich produces a sleep exactly resembling death. Nor is it 
to be wondered at, that this most desperate knave, being cer- 
tain of undergoing, if convicted, the utmost penalty that can 
be inflicted on him, conformably to the customs of our ances- 
tors, should be ready to endure these tortures, as being lighter 
evils. But if the boy has really taken the potion which was 
mixed by my hands, he is still alive, in a torpid state, and 
asleep : and immediately his drowsy slumbers are .shaken off, 
he will return to the light of day. But if he is really dead, 
3'ou may look for some other ^yaj of accounting for his de- 

The old man having addressed them to this eflFect, they as- 
sented to what he said ; and immediately proceeded in great 
haste to the pile on w^hich the body of the boy was laid. Not 
a member was there of the senate, nor a pei'son of the first 
rank, who did not run thither, impelled by curiosity. And 
behold, the father himself, having with his own hands removed 
the lid of the coffin, found his son rising that moment from 
the dead, the deathlike sleep shaken off; and most ardently 
(mibracing him, and unable in words to express his present joy, 
he led him forth into the presence of tlie people, and the boy 
was brought into court, just as he was, swathed and bound in 
the grave-clothes. 

And now the naked truth was obvious to every one, the 
wickedness of the nefarious slave, and of tlie still more aban- 
doned woman, being clearly exposed. Accordingly, the step- 
motlier was condemned to perpetual banishment, the slave was 
crucified ; and by the consent of all, tlie golden solidi were 
presented to the worthy physician, as a reward for the trance 
he had produced with such happy results. Thus did the sin- 
gular and romantic fortune of the old decurion come to a 
t'-rraination worthy of Divine providence ; since, in a passing 
moment, indeed an instant of time, he suddenly became the 
lutlier of two young men, after he had been in danger of losing 



As for myself, you sliull hear what changes of fortune I 
experienced at that time. 

The soldier who had made me his own without paying for me, 
being about to carry letters to the great prince at Rome, in 
obedience to the commands of his tribune, sold me for eleven 
denars to two brothers, servants of a very wealthy personage in 
the neighbourhood. One of them was a confectioner, who made 
bread and sweetmeats ; the other was a cook, and dressed rich 
stews seasoned with the relishing juices of pounded herbs and 
oromatics. These two, dwelling together and living in common, 
bought me for the purpose of carrying the numerous vessels 
which were required for their master's use, when he was tra- 
velling through different countries. I was admitted, there- 
fore, as a third companion with these two brothers ; and never, 
at any time, during my transformation, did I experience a 
fortune so marked with good luck. I'or, in the evening, after 
the supper, which was always on a magnificent scale, my 
masters were in the habit of bringing home to their little 
room numerous fragments that were left; the one brought 
ample remains of roast pig, chickens, fish, and delicate dishes 
of that kind ; while the other brought bread, pastry, sugar- 
plums, hook cakes, lizard cakes, and many kinds of honied 
sweetmeats. Accordinglj^ after they had fastened the door 
of their chamber, and had gone to the baths for the pur- 
pose of refreshing themselves, I used to cram myself with the 
dainties that fell in my way through the favour of the Gods. 
For I was not so much a fool, nor so truly an ass, as to neglect 
this most delicious fare, and feed upon coarse hay. My thie- 
vish manoeuvres for a long time succeeded most beautifully, 
because, as yet, I pilfered cautiously and sparingly, only a few 
articles out of a great number, and they had no suspicion of 
such tricks being played by an ass. But when, becoming still 
more fearless of detection, I devoured all the nicest bits, and, 
rejecting all that was stale, began to lick up the more choice 
morsels, the brothers were not a little surjjrized and per- 
plexed. And though even then they did not believe such a 
thing of me, still they mad«j diligent enquiry as to who was 
the author of their daily losses. At length, indeed, they even 
went so far as to accuse each other of this most base act of 
theft ; and they began to keep sharper watch, and to count all 
they put by. 


At length, throwing off all hesitation and reseiTe, one of 
them thus addressed the other: "Why, really now, this la 
neither fair nor like a man, for you every day to be diminish- 
ing what has been put by, and to be purloining the choicest 
jjarts, and then to go and sell them, so as slily to increase your 
own stock, and then cry halves of the remainder. If, in fact, 
you are tired of our partnership, we may still live as brothers 
in all other respects, and yet give up this partnership concern of 
ours. For I see that when dissatisfaction at the loss has in- 
creased to a very considerable extent, it will create very great 
discord between i;s." 

To this the other rejoined, " I do, by Hercules ! admire this 
effrontery of 5-ours, after you have secretly been pilfering the 
ai'ticles, to forestall my complaints, which, in silence and 
smrow, I have kept to myself, being determined to put up 
A\ith it as long as ever I could, rather than accuse my biother 
of shabby theft. But it is well, that having spoken upon the 
matter on both sides, we are put wpon seeking a remedy for 
our loss, lest our misunderstanding, gathering strength by si- 
lence, should produce between us a strife like that of Eteoclea 
and his brother." 

Bandying these and similar reproaches against one another, 
they both of them solemnly declared that they had been guilty 
of no fraud whatever, nor of the slightest purloining ; but 
agreed, that they ought by every possible contrivance try to 
discover the thief who was the author of their common loss. 
It was not possible, they said, that the ass, which was the 
only being there, could take a fancy to such kind of food : and 
still, every day the choicest portions were nowhere to be found ; 
and certainly no flies found their way into their room, that 
we;"e as iai-ge as were the harpies of old, who robbed Phineas 
of his dainties. 

In the meantime, I, being bountifully crammed with dainty 
morsels, and well stuffed with human food, found my body 
plumped up, my hide softened with rich juices, and my coat 
grown sleek and shining. But that same comeliness was the 
cause of a great shock to my feelings. For being roused to 
BUspicion by the uncommon breadth of my back, and perceiv- 
ing that my hay remained every day quite untouched, they 
now directed all their attention to me. Accordingly, having 
shut the door at the accui^tomcd hour as usual, as though they 


were going to the batli, they peeped at me thi'ough a liitlo 
crevice, as I was intent upon eating the fragments which were 
exposed in various directions. And now, forgetting all con- 
sideration for their loss, they burst into a violent lit of laughter 
at the monstrous epicurism of an ass ; and then calling toge- 
ther a number of their fellow-servants, they pointed out to 
them the incredible appetite of an animal like rae. Then 
laughter so loud and so continued seized them all*, that the 
master, who happened to be passing by, asked what fun was 
going on to make his servants laugh so excessively. Being 
told what it was, he came himself and peeped through the 
same cranny. Then he too laughed until his stomach ached, 
and opening the door of the room, he came nearer to me, and 
observed me very attentively. But as for me, seeing that fur- 
tune was inclined to smile more propitiously upon me, I went 
on eating quite at my ease, the merriment of those present in- 
spiring nie with additional confidence ; till at last the master 
of the house, enchanted by the novelty of the sight, ordered me 
to be led to the supper-room ; or rather he led me to it witli 
his own hands ; and the table being laid, he directed every 
kind of substantial food to be placed before me, and dislies 
that had not been tasted. Now, though I was well stutied 
akeady, yet desiring to render myself more agreeable, and 
more pleasing to him, I ate of the food placed before me as if 
I had been quite hungry. But they, prompted by extreme 
curiosity, thinking of every thing which an ass would be most 
likely to loathe, ottered it to me, for the purpose of testing my 
politeness; such as meat seasoned with assafcetida, fowls 
sprinkled over with pepper, and fish soused in foreign pickle. 
In the meantime, the banquet room resounded with roars of 

At last, a bit of a buftbon who was present, said, " Give a 
little wine to our comrade." " Well said, rogue," cried the 
master ; "I dare say our friend would have no objection to a 
cup of honied wine." " Here, lad," said he, " wash well that 
golden cup, till it with honied wine, and offer it to my guest: 
and at the same time, tell him that I have drunk his good 
liealth." All the guests now awaited the result in a state of 
intense curiosity ; the huge cup was handed to me, and withou 
more ado, 1 emptieil it at a single draught quite deliberately, auu 
with a very jovial air, screwing up tiie extremities of my lips, 


in resemblance of a tongue. Then a sliont of applause arose, 
and all, with one accord, drank my health. 

In the end, the master, being excessively pleased, after 
calling the servants who had bought me, ordered tliat four 
times the price they had paid for me should be given to them ; 
thereupon he delivered me into the charge of a certain person, 
a fi'eodman of his, to whom he was much attached, and who 
was very well oflF, and desired him to take all possible care of 
me. This person treated me in a very humane and kind 
manner ; and that he might still more deserve the esteem of 
his patron, most studiously consulted his amusement bj" 
teaching me clever tricks. In the first place, he taught me to 
recline at table, leaning on my elbow ; next, to wrestle and to 
dance even, raising my fore feet; and — a thing that won especial 
admiration — to use signs instead of words, so as to indicate 
what I disapproved of by throwing back, and what I approved 
of by bowing my head. He also taught me, when I was 
thirsty, to look towards the cup-bearer, and by winking first 
one eyelid then another, to show that I wanted something to 
drink. In all these matters I showed myself very ready and 
obedient ; as I could have done them all, though no one had 
shown me how. But I was afraid, lest, if I should happen to 
perform them, in imitation of human beings, without the aid 
of a master, most people would think that it portended sinister 
events, and that I, as a monster and prodigy, might have to 
part wdth my head, and be given as fat provender to the 

And now my renown was spread abroad in all directions, so 
that I rendered my master quite famous and illustrious, in con- 
sequence of my wonderful accomplishments. " This," said 
the people, " is the man who has an ass for his guest and com- 
panion ; an ass that wrestles, an ass that dances, and under- 
stands the language of men, and expresses what he means by 
signs." It is proper, however, that I should now, at all 
events, inform you, though I ought to have done so in the be- 
ginning, who this Thyasus was, and whence he came ; for 
such was the name of my master. The countrj- which gave 
him birth was Corinth, a city which ranks as flie chief of all 
the province' of Achaia. And, as he had gradually attained 
all the honours which his pedigree and dignity demanded, ht: 
had now been nominated to the ofiice of quinquennial magis- 


trate. Accordingly, in order that he might act couformahly 
to the splendour of that office, he had promised to exhibit a 
show of gladiators for the space of three days ; thus extending 
bis liberality to the greatest possible degree. In fact, it was 
his desire of receiving the public applause that had now 
brought him to Thessaly, in order to procure from thence the 
most noble wild beasts and some celebrated gladiators. 

And now, having made all his arrangements and comiiletcd 
all his purchases quite to his satisfaction, he was preparing to 
return home. Disdaining, however, his own splendid chariots, 
which, some covered and some open, were drawn along in the 
rear of the cavalcade ; regardless also of his Thessalian horses, 
and his other beasts of Gallic bi'eed, whose generous pedigree 
bore testimony to their raritj- and value; despising and neglect- 
ing all these, he rode most lovingly on me, who was decked out 
Avith golden trappings, a coloured saddle, purple cloths, a silver 
bit, an embroidered girth, and some little bells that tinkled as 
I went along, and sometimes he addressed me in the kindest 
of words. Among many other expressions too which he made 
use of, he declared how extremely delighted he was at pos- 
sessing in me, at one and the same lime, a companion and a 

And now, having finished our journey, partly by land and 
partly by sea, Ave arrived at Corinth, where vast numbers of 
the citizens came out to meet us, not so much as it seemed to 
me for the purpose of doing honour to Thyasus, as from a 
desire of seeing me. For so great a rumour had pervaded that 
city about me, that I was a source of no small emolument to 
my keeper. For perceiving that many were eagerly desirous 
to see mj pastimes, he had the doors shut, and admitted tliem 
one by one, charging each a good price for admission. By 
this means he managed every day to pick up no small sums. 

Among the number of spectators, there was a lady of rank 
and fortune, who having purchased a sight of me, was quite 
enchanted with my manifold tricks, and at last conceived a 
wonderful desire of being more intimate with me. In short, 
her passion grew to such a height, that, like an asinine Pasi- 
phae, she prevailed on my ke(>per, for a considerable sum of 
money, to let her have mj' company for a single night : and 
the good-for-nothing fellow consented, regardless of all con- 
liderations save only his* own gain. 


Jam denique coenati e tridinio domini decesseranius ; et 
jamdudum prsestitantom cubiculo meo niatronam oft'endimus. 
Dii boni ! qualis ille, quamque praeclarus apparatus ! Qua* 
tuor eunuchi confestim, pulvillis compluribus ventose tU' 
mentibus pluma delicata, terrestrera nobis cubitum prsestruimt ; 
Bed et stragula veste, auro ac niurice Tyrio depicta, probe con- 
stcrnunt ; ac desuper, brevibus adniodum, set satis copiosis pul- 
villis, aliis aimis modicis, quibus maxillas et cervices delicatae 
mulieres suffulcire consueverunt, superstruunt. !Nec dominae 
voluptates diutina sua praesentia morati, clausis cubiculi fori- 
bus, facessunt. xVt intus cerei prasolara micantes luce, noc- 
turnas nobis tenebras inalbubant. 

Tunc ipsa cuncto prorsus spoliata tegmine, taenia, quoque, 
qua decoras devinxerat papillas, lumen prope assistens, de 
stanneo vasculo, multo sese ])erungit oleo balsarao, meque in- 
didem largissime perfricat ; sed multo tanto impensius crura 
etiam natesque perfundit meas. Tunc exosculata pressule, nou 
qualia in lupanari solent basiola jactari, vel meretricum pos- 
cinummia vel adventorum negotinummia, sed pui-a atque sin- 
cera instruit, et blandissimos affatus. " Amo, et cupio, et te 
solum diligo, et, sine te jam vivere nequeo ; et caetera quia 
mulieres et alios inducunt, et suas testantur affectiones. Capis- 
troque me prehensum, more quo didiccram, declinat facile. 
Quippe cum nil novi, nihilque difficile facturus mihi viderer , 
proesertim post tantum tcmporis, tam formosae mulieris cupi- 
cntis amplexus obiturus. Nam etAnnopulcberrimo atque copioso 
memet madef'eceram ; et unguento fragrantissimo proluvium 
libidinia suscitaram. Hed angebar plane non exili metu, 
reputans, quemadmodem tantis, tamque magnis cruribus 
possem delicatam matronam inscendere ; vel tam lucida, tam- 
que tenera, et lucte ac melle confecta membra, duris ungulis 
complecti : labiasque modicas ambrosio rore purpurantes, tam 
amplo ore tamque enormi, et saxeis dentibus detbrmis saviuri ; 
novissime, quo pacto quanquam ex unguiculis perpniriscen? 
mulier tam vastum genitale susciperet. Heu me qui dirupta 
nobili foemiua, bestiis objectus, munus instruc turns sim mei 
domini ? ifolles interdum voculus, et assidua savia, et dulces 
gannitus, commorsicantibus oculis, iterabat ilia. Et in summa, 
" Teueo te," inquit, " tcneo mcum palumbulum, meum pas- 
serum." Et cum dicto, vanas fuisse cogitationes meas, inep. 
tumque monstrat metum. Arctissime namque complexa totuci 


me, prorsus sed totum recepit. lllu vc-ro, quutii.'iis ei parceus, 
nates recellebam, accedens totiens nisu rabido, et spinam pre- 
hendcns mcam, appliciore nexu inha^rtbat : iit, Herciiles, otiara 
deesse mihi aliquid ad supplendum ejus libidinem credercm ; 
nee Minotauri matrem, frustra delectatam pytarem adultei-o 

And now, the laborious and wakeful night being finished, 
the woman, to avoid being seen, withdrew from my embraces 
before day light, at the same time making a contract with my 
keeper for some future night, at the same price. He waa 
willing enough to gratity her, partly for the large sum he re- 
ceived from her, and partly for the opportunity afforded him 
of displaying such a novel spectacle to his lord ; to whom, 
without delay, he unfolded the whole scene of our lust. There- 
upon Thyasus, having liberally rewarded his freed man, des- 
tined me to be shown in public. And, because that egregious 
wife of mine could not be publicly connected with me, being 
a person of quality, nor any other volunteer could be found for 
the same purpose, a certain vile woman, wlio had been sen 
fenced by the prefect to be devoured by wild beasts, was pro- 
cured, for a great sum of money, to have connexion with me 
in the theatre, in the sight of all the spectators. Of this wo- 
man I have heard the following historj- : — 



She had a husband, whose father, when setting out on a 
journey, had given directions to his wife, the young man's 
mother, whom he left in a state of pregnancy, that if she 
brought forth an infant of the weaker sex, she should imme- 
diately have it put to death. Now she, having brought forth 
a girl during her husband's absence, and being moved by the 
natural afi'ection of a mother, disobeyed the commands of hef 
husband, and delivered it to her neighbours to be brought up. 
On her husband's return, she informed him that she had been 
delivered of a daughter, who had been destroyed. When now 
the bloom of age called for the maiden's nuptial day, as she 
could not give her daughter a portion suitable to her parentage, 
witliout the knowledge of her husband, the only way she could 


do was to diseloso the secret to her son. Besides, ehe was 
very much afraid lest he, by some accident, might in the 
ardour of youth inadvertently make some attempt ou the chas- 
tity of his sister, who was also ignorant that he was her bro- 

The young man, who was remarkable for his affectionate 
disposition, religiously obeyed tlie commands of his mother, 
behaved like a good brother, and kept the family secret so 
well, that to all appearance he entertained for his sister only 
an ordinary degree of good will. But he undertook to perform 
a brother's duties by receiving her into his own house, as if she 
had been some orphan girl of the neighbourhood, who had 
been deprived of the guardian care of her parents ; and he 
proposed to marry her, ere long, to a most dear companion of 
his, with whom he was united by the closest ties of friend- 
ship, and to bestow on her most liberally a dowrj' at his own 

But these excellent and innocent arrangements could not 
escape the deadly malevolence of Fortune, who caused a dire 
jealousy to spring up in the young man's house, and drove the 
wife to those crimes for which she was now condemned to be 
thrown to the wild beasts. She began by suspecting the girl 
to be a rival, who supplanted her in her husband's affections ; 
then she hated her, and finally she resolved to put her to 
death in the most inhuman manner. 

Accordingly, she had recourse to the following wicked 
stratagem : having stolen her husband's ring, she went to u 
furin of theirs in the country, and from there sent a servant, 
who, though faithful to her, was an utter villain, and told 
him to inform the gixi that the young man had come to the 
farm and desired to see her, adding, that she was to come 
alone, with all possible speed. And, lest any doubt might 
ha])pen to arise in her mind about the propriety of coming, she 
delivered to him the ring which she had stolen from her hus- 
band, to show as a token that his message was authentic. On 
tliis, in compliance with the injunctions of her brother, for she 
was the only one who knew that he was her brother, and 
having also taken notice of his seal, which was shown to her, 
eiie promptly did as she was desired. As soon, however, as, 
througli this most base stratagem, she had fallen into the snares 
which were prepared for her, the wicked wife, goaded to mad* 



ness by her jealous fury, stripped the girl naked, and Lad hef 
flogged until she was nearly dead. It was in vain that the 
poor girl confessed the truth, which was wrung from her by 
the lash, and declared that she was wrongfully accused ; iu 
vain she cried out again and again that the young man was 
her brother. Her sister-in-law treated her story as a false- 
hood, and thrusting a burning brand between her thighs, 
made her suffer a hideous death. 

Immediately upon this, her brother and her husband being 
informed of her cruel death, hastened to her, and in sore afflic- 
tion committed her to the tomb. Nor was the young man 
able patiently to endure the miserable fate of his sister, by the 
hands of her, too, by whom, least of all, it ought to have been 
occasioned ; but, being racked with grief and choler, he fell 
into a burning fever, so that he seemed in ui'gent need of me- 
dical aid. On this his wife, who had long since foi-feited her 
claim to that title, went to a certain physician, notorious for 
his perfidy, who, being famous for his victories in many a 
mortal struggle, could enumerate the mighty trophies which 
his right hand had gained. To him she immediately offered fifty 
thousand sesterces, if he would sell her poison so efficacious as 
to destroy in an instant, that so she might purchase the death 
of her husband. 

This done, she and the physician pretended that the most 
excellent potion which they had brought, and which the 
learned call sacred, was necessary for mitigating pains of tlie 
viscera, and carrying off the bile ; but, in its stead, was sub- 
stituted another potion, sacred to the interests of Prosei-pine.* 
And now, in the presence of the sick man's household, and 
Bome of his relations and friends, the physician, with his own 
hand, after having well stirred the contents, offered the cup. 
But that audacious woman, in order that she might at the 
same moment remove the accomplice in her crime, and save 
the money v/hich she had promised, held back the cup in the 
presence of them all, and said, "Most worthy of doctors, you 
must not give this draught to my dearest husband till you 
have swallowed a good portion of it yourself. For how am I 
to know but that there may be some deadlj' poison in it? And 
this ought by no means to ofi'end you, who are a man so pru- 
dent and so learned, if I, as an affectionate wife, am anxious for 
• Prcserj)ine.2 — The goddess of death. 


thfi safety of my liusband, and so perform a nccGSsaiy act of 
duty." The physician, quite confounded by the desperate 
assurance of the bloodthirsty woman, and having no time to 
Uiink of any subterfuge, could not help drinking largely of the 
potion, lest he should excite suspicion of his guilt if he showed 
any hesitation or fear. Then the young man, confidently fol- 
lowing his example, took the cup from his hand, and drank 
what was left. 

The matter being for the present finished, the physician was 
preparing to return home as quickly as possible, in order that 
he might counteract the deadly effects of tlie poison he had 
taken, by a timely antidote. But the barbarous woman, bent 
on completing her infernal work, would not suffer him to de- 
part from her a hair's breadth till, as she said, the potion 
should have been digested and its effect determined by actual 
proof. However, after much importunate entreaty, she at 
length reluctantly allowed him to go. In the meantime, the 
virulence of the fatal poison had spread through all his inside, 
and made havoc in his vitals. Stupified, and in excruciating 
pain, it was Avith the utmost difficulty he reached home, where 
he had barely time to relate what had happened, and give in- 
junctions to his wife, at all events, to demand the promis(3d re- 
Avard for thus ensuring the death of two persons. Thus cut off 
by a Adolent death, did this very celebrated doctor breathe his 

IsoY did the young man live much longer, but perished by 
the same kind of death, amid the feigned tears of his false 
wife. After he had been committed to the tomb, and a few 
days had intervened, during which funeral obsequies were per- 
formed for the dead, the widow of the physician came and 
demanded the money which was due for the double homicide. 
But the other widow, always consistent with herself, put on a 
very unreal appearance of good faith, and replied with great 
Buavity, assuring the applicant that she would promptly pay 
her the stipulated sum, only she wished she would give her a 
little of the same mixture, for the purpose of completing the 
business she had begun. 

Completely duped by her insidious perfidy, the doctor's 
widow readily consented to do as she was requested ; and tha$; 
ehe might ingi'atiate herself the more with this Avealthy wo- 
man, she hastened home, and immediately brought her the 


M'hcle box of poisuu. lluviug, thurelcre, obluined that power- 
ful instrujueiit of crime, the wretch now prepared to indulge 
her murderous propensities without stint. 

She had an infant daughter, by the husband whom she had 
lately murdered ; and she felt extremely galled that the laws 
would give to this little child the inheritance of her father, as 
being his next of kin. Coveting the whole patrimony of the 
daughter, she waited only for an opportunity of depriving her 
of life. Making sure, therefore, that wicked mothers come in 
for the reversion of tjie inheritances of their deceased children, 
she showed herself to be j ust such a parent as she had been a 
wife. According!}', preparing a breakfast, she seized her op- 
port-jnity, and with the same poison destroyed both the widow 
of the physician and her own daughter. As for the child, the 
baneful venom instantly stopped her breathing, and consumed 
her tender life. But as for the doctor's widow, when she felt 
the virus of the detestable drug creeping through her lungs, 
she at once suspected the truth ; the increasing difficulty of 
her breathing converted her suspicion into a certainty, and she 
hastened at once to the liouse of the governor of the province, 
clamorous for justice, and declaring she had enormous crimes 
to reveal. A great concourse of people gathered round her, 
and the governor immediately gave her a hearing. After she 
had unfolded to him from first to last all the atrocities of that 
horrible woman, she was seized with a fit ; her mouth, that 
was open in the act of speaking, closed com"ul3ively ; she 
ground her teeth violently together, and fell dead at tlie go- 
vernor's feet. That able and energetic functionary would not 
allow the manifold crimes of this execrable poisoner to lose 
their terrors by delay, but immediately ordered her chamber- 
maids to be brought before him, and exti-acted the truth from 
them by means of torture. On their deposition he sentence-' 
the culprit to a punishment which was no doubt less than s>*.; 
deserved, but as no other torment could be devised so m .dl 
adapted to the enormity of her guilt, he ordered that she should 
be thrown to wild beasts. 


With such a woman as this it was determined that I should 
be pubUcly connected, as if I had been lawfully married to her 
(t was witji extreme anguish, therefore, that I looked forward 


to the day of the spectacle ; being I'requeuliy teiupted rather 
to destroy myself with my own hand, than be defiled by con- 
tact with such an abandoned woman, or be disgraced by the 
infamy of such a public spectacle. But, as I was destitute of. 
human hands and of fingers, I had no means of drawing a 
sword with my round and stumpj' hoof. However, I consoled 
myself, as well as I could, in my extreme anguish, with a slen- 
der hope ; for the spring now beginning to appear, would deck 
all the country with flowering buds, and clothe the meadows 
with a purple glow ; the roses would burst forth from their 
thorny cells, exhaling aromatic odours, and these would restore 
me to my former shape as Lucius. 

And now behold, the day destined for the show came ; and 
amid shouts of applause, a long train escorting me, I was led 
to the amphitheatre. During the first part of the performance, 
which was devoted to the joyous choral dances of the players, 
I was placed outside the gate, and was glad to crop some very 
fresh grass which grew just at the entrance ; while I every 
now and then delighted my curious eyes with a most agreeable 
view of the spectacle through the open gate. 

Beautiful boys and maidens, in the bloom of youth, splen- 
didh" dressed, moved with great elegance of gesture through 
the graceful evolutions of the Greek Pyrrhic dance. Now they 
revolved in a circle ; now they deployed into an oblique line, 
■with hands joined ; at times they formed a wedge-like figure 
enclosing an open, square ; then they parted into two troops, 
and went through a variety of intricate movements, till they 
ceased at the sound of the trumpet. Then the screen was 
lowered, the hangings were drawn aside, and a dramatic scene 
was exhibited. 

There was a wooden structure formed in imitation of that 
celebrated mountain, Ida, of which the poet Homer has sung. 
It was a fabric of considerabk; heiglit, covered over with turf 
and with growing trees up to the very top, Avhence, by the con- 
trivance of the artist, a fountain was made to flow and pour down 
a sti'eam of water. A few goats cropped the grass, and a young 
man, handsomely arrayed in flowing Barbaric vestments, and 
having his head covered with a golden tiara, in resemblance of 
Pax'is, the Phrygian shepherd, appeared to be employed in pas- 
toral pursuits. A beautiful boy then came forward, his only 
^.tfraent being the mantle generallv worn by stripliugSj \Yliigfi 


covered his left shouldei-. His beautiful ytUow hair flowed 
loosely, and from the midst of it issued a pair of little golden 
wings ; these and the caduceus he carried sho\A'ed him to be 
Mercury. He danced forward, holding in his hand a golden 
apple, which he presented to the performer who personated 
Paris, made known to him by signs what Jove commanded, 
and gracefully retired. A girl then made her appearance, of 
noble features, representing the goddess Juno : for her head 
was surrounded with a white diadem, and she bore a sceptre 
in her hand. Another then entered, who was easy to be recog- 
nized as Minerva, having on her head a shining helmet, en- 
circled with a wreath of olive. She raised her shield aloft, 
and brandished her spear, like that goddess when engaged in 
battle. After these came another female, of sm-passing beauty; 
the loveliness of her divine complexion declared her to be Venus, 
and Venus such as she was while yet a virgin. Her perfect 
form was naked, all but some charms imperfectly concealed by 
a gauze scarf, wliich the wind played with amorously, some- 
times uncovering the beauties beneath it, sometimes pressing 
it against the limbs, and displaying their delicious contour. 
The goddess appeared in two different colours ; her bodj- was 
dazzlingly white, because she had descended from the heavens, 
while her silken garment was azure, because she had emerged 
from the sea. 

The virgins who represented the goddesses were accompanied 
Dy their respective attendants : Juno by two young players, 
representing Castor and Pollux, whose heads were covered Avith 
helmets of semi-oval form, graced Avith a cluster of stars. She 
advanced with a calm and unaffected air to the warbling of the 
flute, and promised the shepherd, with modest gestures, that 
she would bestow on him the empire of all Asia, if he adjudged 
to her the prize of beauty. 

She who personated Minerva was attended by two armed 
youths. Terror and Fear, who danced before her Avith drawn 
swords. Behind her a piper played a martial air, mingling shrill 
and deep-braying tones, and excited the agility of the dancers 
as with the blast of the trumpet. With restless head and 
threatening glances, Pallas bounded forward, and with animated 
gesture signified to Paris that if he pronounced her vnctorious 
in the contest of beauty, she would render him illustrious foir 
l^is vulom', and his achievements in war 


Greeted with vast applause from tte spectators, Vemis ad- 
raiiced witli a sweet smile, ana stood still in a graceful attitude 
in the middle of the stage, surrounded by a throng of merry 
little boys, such plump, round-limbed, fair-skinned little fel- 
lows, you would have sworn they were real Cupids, who had 
J list flown from heaven or from the sea ; for they had little 
wings, and arrows, and all other accoutrements conformable ; 
and they carried gleaming torches before their mistress, as if 
to liglit her way to a nuptial banquet. She had also in her 
train a lovely choir of virgins, the charming Graces and the 
Hours, who strewed the path of their goddess with loose flowera 
and bouquets, and propitiated the queen of pleasure with the 
pleasant offerings of the spring. 

Presently the flutes began to breathe soft Lydian airs, that 
thrilled the audience with delight ; but greater still was their 
delight, when Venus began to move in concert with the music, 
and with slow lingering steps, and gentle sinuous flexure of the 
spine and head, and gi-aceful movements of the arms, to respond 
to the soft modulations of the flutes ; while now her eyes swam 
with voluptuous languor, now flashed with the ardour of pas- 
sion, and sometimes she seemed, as it were, to dance with her 
eyes alone. As soon as she had approached close to the judge, 
she was understood to promise, by the movements of her arms, 
that if she was preferred to the other goddesses, she would 
bestow on Paris a wife surpassing all women in beauty, in a 
Avord, one like herself. Gladly, then, did the young Phrygian 
deliver to her the golden apple he held in his hand, as a token 
of her victory. 

What wonder is it, then, you vilest of people, forensic cattle 
rather, vultures clad in gowns, if all judges now sell their de- 
cisions for a price ? Even in the early ages of the world, 
favour w^as able to corrupt judgment in a question agitated 
between Gods and men, and a young man, a rustic and a shep- 
herd, elected judge by the counsels of mighty Jupiter, bartered 
the first judicial decision for the lucre of lust, ensuring thereby 
the destruction of all his race. Ay, by Hercules, and another 
B'lch judgment was given in later times, by the illustrious 
leaders of the Greeks, when Palamedes, renowned for wisdom 
and learning, was condemned on false accusations as a traitor ; 
as also when the mendicant Ulysses was preferred to the 
pii^hty A^txx, who excelled iu military prowess. And what soil 


of judgment was that given by those renowned lawgivers, the 
Athenians, those clever people, and masters of all the sciences? 
Was not that divinely wise old man, whom the Delphic god 
pronounced superior in wisdom to all men, circumvented by 
the treachery and envy of a most infamous faction, as a de- 
clared corrupter of youth, though he restrained their excesses 
as with a bridle ? Was he not cut off by the deadly juice of a 
pestilential herb, leaving to his fellow-citizens the stain of 
indelible ignominy ? For even at this day the most excellent 
philosophers make choice of his most holy sect before all others, 
and swear bj" his name, in their highest aspirations for con- 
summatc happiness. 

Lest, however, any one blame this outburst of indignation, 
and say to himself, Look ye now, are we to suffer an ass to 
philosophize to us ? I shall again return to the point in the 
naiTative from which I digressed. After that judgment of 
Paris was finished, Juno and Miuerva retired from the stage 
in sorrow and anger, and shoATi^d by their gestures the indig- 
nation they felt at being rejected ; but Venus, full of joy and 
nierrijreiit, testified h<;r gladness by dancing with all her choir. 
Then wine, mixed wi'ui saffron, burst forth on high from the 
summit of the mountain, through a pipe that lay concealed, 
and flowing in scattered streams, besps'inkled as it fell, with 
an odoriferous shower, the goats that fed around, and changed 
their native whiteness for a more beautiful yellow tint. And 
now, the whole theatre exhaling a sweet odour, a chasm of the 
earth absorbed the Mooden mountain. 

One of the soldiers now ran down the street, to fulfil the 
demands of the people, and bring from the public prison the 
woman before-mentioned, who, as I have stated, was condemned 
to the wild beasts, on account of her manifold crimes, and des- 
tined to be my illustrious bride. "What was intended also to 
be our genial bed was already prepared. It was brilliantly 
adorned with the Indian tortoise-shell, swelling with feathery 
heaps, and decorated with a silken coverlet. As for me, be- 
sides the shame of being thus publicly exhibited, and besides 
the contact of that wicked and polluted woman, I was also in 
the highest degree tormented with the fear of death ; for it 
struck me that if, while we were performing our prescribed 
part in thQ exhibition, any wild beast should be let in on pur- 
pose to desti'oy the woman, it would not be so |-emarkablj wt L 


tramtd or sagacious, or so teiupL-ralo and ab^loLLious, as to Uai 
the woman to pieces who was at my side, and spare me, as being 
uncondemncd, and guilty of no crime. 

Being therefore alarmed, not on grounds of delicacy alone, 
but on account of my life, while my master was intent on pre- 
paring for the repre&entation, and all his servants were partly 
engaged in getting ready for the spectacle of hunting, and 
partly in gazing at the grandeur of the show : and as no one 
thought that so tame an ass required to be so very attentively 
watched, and I was free to follow my own devices, accordingly 
little by little I stole away softly and quietly. When I reached 
the nearest gace, I hurried along at a most rapid pace. And 
after I had travelled a hot gallop of six miles, I arrived at 
Cenchrea3 ; a city which has the reputation of being the most 
noble colony of the Corinthians, and is washed by the -lEgean 
and Saronic sea. Here, also, there is a port, which is a most 
safe harbour for ships, and frequented by a vast concourse of 

Avoiding, therefore, tlie crowds, and choosing a sequestered 
spot on the sea-shore, close to the spray of the waves, I stretched 
my weary body on the soft bosom of the sand. The chariot ot 
the siin had sped onward to the end of its course ; and I re- 
tlgiicd myself to repose, and was soon wrapped in sweet sleep. 


ixrcnis ON the sea-suoee at night — his peater to the gob- 









Awaking in sudden alarm about the first watch of the 
night, I beheld the full orb of the moon shining with re- 
markable brightness, and just then emerging from the wavea 
of the sea. Availing myself, therefore, of the silence and soli- 
tude of night, as I was also w'ell aware that the great primal 
goddess possessed a transcendent majesty, and that human 
aifairs are entirely governed by her providence ; and that not 
only cattle and wild beasts, but likewise things inanimate, are 
invigorated by the divine influence of her light ; that the bodies 
likewise w^hich are on the earth, in the heavens, and in the 
sea, at one time increase with her increments, and at another 
lessen duly with her wanings ; being well assured of this, 1 
determined to implore the august image of the goddess then 
present. Fate, as I supposed, being now satiated with my many 
and great calamities, and holding out to me at last some pro- 
spect of relief. 

Shaking off all drowsiness, therefore, I rose with alacrity, 
and directly, with the intention bf purifying myself, began 
bathing in the sea. Having dipped my head seven times in 
the waves, because, according to the divine Pythagoras, that 
number is especially adapted to religious purposes, I joyously 
and with alacrity thus supplicated with a tearful countenance 
the transcendently powerful Goddess : — 

" Queen of heaven, whether thou art the genial Ceres, the 
prime parent of fruits, who, joyous at the discovery of thy 
4aughter, didst banish the savage nutriment of the ancient 

BOOK XI. tlJCIUs's PIJAYER To THE G0t)t)E5S i31S. 22 1 

acorn, and pointing out a better food, dost now till the Eleusi- 
nian soil, ; or whether thou art celestial Venus, who, in the first 
origin of things, didst associate the different sexes, through 
the creation of mutual love, and having propagated an eternal 
offspring in the human race, art now woi'shipped in the sea- 
girt shrine of Paphos ; or whether thou art the sister of 
Phoebus, who, by relieving the pangs of women in travail by 
soothing remedies, hast brought into the woi'ld multitudes so 
innumerable, and art now venerated, in the far-famed shrines 
of Ephesus ; or whether thou art Proserpine, terrific with 
midnight bowlings, with triple features checking the attack 
of the ghosts, closing the recesses of the earth, and who wan- 
dering over many a grove, art propitiated by various modes of 
worship ; with that feminine brightness of thine, illuminating 
the walls of every city, and with thy vaporous beams nurtur- 
ing the joyous seeds of plants, and for the revolutions of the 
sun ministering thy fitful gleams : by whatever name, by 
whatever ceremonies, and under whatever form* it is lawfiil 

• Whatever form.'} — The Moon, being the last of the celestial divinities, 
receives in herself, according to the Orphic theology, processions from all 
the orders of Gods superior to, and also contains in herself casually all the 
divinities inferior to her. Hence, from what is asserted here, and farther on, 
this Goddess is celebrated as containing all the female deities, just as Osiris 
contains all those of a male character. In short, according to this theology, 
each of the Gods is in all, and all are in each, being ineffably united to 
each other and the highest God, because, each being a superessentiiil 
unity, their conjunction with each other is a union of unities. And hence 
it is by no means wonderful that each is celebrated as all. But another 
and a still more appropriate cause may be assigned of the Moon being 
called by the appellations of so many female deities, which is this, that, 
according to the Orphic theology, each of the planets is fixed in a .uini- 
nous ethcrial sphere called an o\oti]q, or wholenegii,f because it is a part 
with a total subsistence, and is analogous to the s|)here of the fixed stars. 
In consequence of this analogy, each of these planetary spheres contains a 
multitude of Gods, who are the satellites of the leading divinity of the 
sphere, and subsist conformably to his characteristics. This doctrine, 
which, as I have elsewhere observed, is one of the grand keys to the my- 
thology and theology of the ancients, is not clearly delivered by any other 
ancient writer than Proclus, and has not, I believe, been noticed by any 
other modern author than myself. The following are the passages in 
which this theory is unfolded by Proclus, in his admirable commentaries 

"t Each of these spheres is called a wholeness, because it contains a 
multitude of partial ajiimals co-ordinate with it. 


to inroke thee ; do thou gi'aoiously succour me in this mv 
extreme distress, support mj^ fallen fortune, and grant me rest 

on the TitTiBeiis of Plato. • In each of the celestial spheres, the whole 
sphere has the relation of a monad, but the cosmocrators [or planets] are 
the leaders of the multitude in each. For in each a number analogous to 
the choir of the fixed stars, subsists with appropriate circulations.' And 
in another part of the same book (p. 280), ' There are other divine ani- 
mals following the circulations of the planets, the leaders of which are the 
seven planets ; all which Plato comprehends in what is here said. For 
these also revolve and have a wandering of such a kind as that which he 
a little before luentioned of the seven planets. For they revolve in con- 
junction with and make their apocatastases together with their principals, 
just as the fixed stars are governed by the whole circulation of the [iner- 
ratic sphere].' And still more fully in p. 281 ; " Each of the planets is 
a whole world, comprehending in itself many divine genera invisible to 
us. Of all these, however, the visil)le star has the government. And in 
this the fixed stars differ from those in the planetarv' spheres, that the 
former have one monad [viz., the inerratic sphere], which is the wholeness 
of them ; but that in each of the latter there are invisible stars, which 
revolve together with their spheres ; so that in each there is both the 
wholeness and a leader, which is-allotted an exempt transcendency. For 
the planets being secondary to the fixed st.^rs, require a twofold prefec- 
ture, the one more total, but the other :no e partial. But that in each of 
these there is a multitude co-ordinate with each, you may infer from the 
extremes. For if the inerratic sphere has a multitude co-ordinate with 
itself, and earth is the wholeness of terrestrial, in the same manner as the 
inerratic sphere is of celestial animals, it is necessary that each interme- 
diate wholeness should entirely possess certain partial animals coordinate 
with itself ; through which, also, they are said to be wholenesses. The 
intermediate natures, however, are concealed from our sense, the extremes 
being manifest : one of them through its transcendently luminous essence, 
and the other through its alliance to us. If, likewise, partial souls 
[such as ours] are dissemin.ited about them, some about the sun, others 
about the moon, and others about each of the rest, and prior to souls, 
daemons give completion to the herds of which they are the leaders, it is 
evidently well said, that each of the spheres is a world ; theologists also 
teaching' us these things when they say that there are Gods in each prior 
to daemons, some of which are under the government of others. Thus, for 
instance, they assert, concerning our mistress the Moon, that the Goddess 
Hecate is contained in her, and also Diana. Thus, too, in speaking of 
the sovereign Sun, and the Gods that are there, they celebrate Bacchus 
as being there — 

" The sun's assessor, who with watcntUi eye 
Surveys the sacred pole." 

riiey likewise celebrate the Jupiter who is there, Osiris, ttie solar Pan, 
»nd others qf which the looks of theuloylsti, and theurgkts are full 

rsODK ■xt. tiiK GODDESR RESPONDS TO i.trcrrs. 223 

and peace, after thie eiid^jr? ace of so many sad calamiti(>s. Let 
there be an end of my Bufferings, let thei'e be an end of my 
I)orils. Remove from me the dire form of a quadruped, restore 
me to the sight of my kindred, restore me to Lucius, ray former 
self. But if any offended deity pursues me with inexorable 
cruelty, may it at least be allowed me to die, if it is not al- 
lowed me to live." 

from all which it is evident, that each of the planets is truly said to 
he the leader of many Gods, who give completion to its peculiar cir- 

From this extraordinary passage, we may perceive at once why the 
Sun in the Oiphic hymns is called Jupiter, why Apollo is called Pan, and 
Bacchus the Sun ; why the Moon seems to he the same with Rhea, Ceres, 
Proserpine, Juno, Venus, &c., and in short, why any one divinity is cele- 
brated with the names and epithets of so many of the rest. For from this 
sublime theory it follows that every sphere contains a Jupiter, Neptune, 
Vulcan, Vesta, Mmerva, Mars, Ceres, Juno, Diana, Mercury, Venus, 
Apollo, and in short, every deity, each sphere at the same time con- 
ferring on these Gods the peculiar characteristic of its nature ; so that, 
for instance, in the Sun they all possess a solar property, in the Moon a 
lunar one, and so of the rest. From this theory, loo, we may perceive ihe 
truth of that divine saying of the ancients, that all things are full of Gods ; 
for more particular orders proceed from such as are more general, the 
mundane from the super-mundane, and the sublunary from the celestial : 
while earth becomes the general receptacle of the illuminations of all the 
Gods. ' Hence,' as Proclus shortly after observes, ' there is a terrestrial 
Ceres, Vesta, and Isis, as likewise a terrestrial Jui)iter and a terrestrial 
Hermes, established about the one divinity of the earth, just as a multitude 
of celestial Gods proceeds about the one divinity of the heavens. For 
there are ])rogressions of all the celestial Gods into the Earth : and Earth 
contains all things, in an earthly manner, which Heaven comprehends 
celestially. Hence, we speak of a terrestrial Bacchus and a terrestrial 
Apollo, who bestows the all-various streams of water with which the earth 
abounds, and openings prophetic of futurity.' And if to all this we only 
add, that all the other mundane Gods subsist in the twelve above-mentioned, 
and in short, all the mundane in the super-mundane Gods, and that the 
first triad of these is demiurgic ovfabricative, viz. Jupiter, Neptune, Vulcan ; 
the second, Vesta, Minerva, Mars, defensive; the third, Ceres, Juno, Diana, 
vivific ; and the fourth. Mercury, Venus, Apollo, elevating and harmonic 
I say, if we unite this with the preceding theory, there is nothing in th» 
ancient theology that will not appear admirably sublime and beautifully 
connected, accurate in all its parts, scientific and divine. 

The Delphin editor, having no conception of this theory, and being 
unal)le to assign the reason why the Moon is here said to be Deorum 
Dear unique fades uniformis, thinks with Elmenhorstius, that tVeword 
'Deorum' should be obliterated. — Taylor. 

224 ft-HE ClOLbEX ASS OF AVVLVAifi, 

Itaving after this manner poured forth my prayers am\ 
added bitter lamentations, sleep again overpowered my stricken 
feelings on the same bed. Scarcely had I closed my eyes, 
when behold ! a divine form emerged from the middle of the 
sea, and disclosed features that even the gods themselves might 
venerate. After this, by degrees, the vision, resplendent 
throughout the whole body, seemed gradually to take its stand 
before me, rising above the surface of the sea. I will even 
make an attempt to describe to you its wondrous appearance, 
if, indeed, the poverty of human language will afford me the 
power of appropriately setting it forth ; or, if the Divinity 
herself will supply me Avith a sufficient stock of eloquent 

In the first place, then, her hair, long and hanging in tapered 
ringlets, fell luxuriantly on her divine neck ; a crown of varied 
form encircled the summit of her head, Avith a diversity of 
flowers, and in the middle of it, just over her forehead, there 
was a flat circlet, which resembled a mirror, or rather emitted 
a white refulgent light, thus indicating that she Avas the 
moon. Yipers rising from furroAvs of the earth, supported 
this on the right hand and on the left, while ears of corn pro- 
jected on either side. Her gai-ment Avas of many colours, 
woven of fine flax ; in one part it was resplendent Avith a clear 
white colour, in another it Avas yellow like the blooming 
ci'ocus, and in another flaming Avith a rosy redness. And 
then, what liA^etted my gaze far moi'e than all, Avas her 
mantle of the deepest black, that shone with a glossy lustre. 
It Avas wrapped around her, and passing from bcloAV her right 
side oA-er the left shoulder, was fastened in a knot that resem- 
bled tlie boss of a sliield, Avhile a part of the robe fell down in 
many folds, and gracefully floated Avith its little knots of fringe 
that edged its extremities. Glittering stars Avere dispersed 
along the embroidered extremities of the robe, and over its 
whole surface ; and in the middle of them a moon of tAVO 
Aveeks old breathed forth its flaming fires. Besides this, a 
j;'arlaud, whoUy consisting of floAvers and fruits of every kind, 
adhered naturally to the border of this beautiful mantle, ip 
whatever direction it was wafted by the breeze. 

The objects which she carried in her hands were of a diffe- 
rent description. In her right hand she bore a brazen sistrum,* 

* Brazen sistrum.'j — This raitle (in the original crepita^jilum) of Isii 


through the narrow riiu of which, winding just like a girdle 
for the bod_y, passed a few little rods, producing a shai'p shrill 
Bound, while her arm imparted motion to the triple chords. 
An oblong vessel, made of gold, in the shape of a boat, hung 

is the same with the celebrated sistruni of that Goddess, as is evident from 
what is asserted of the latter by Martial. Propertius, and Plutarch. 

The following is a translation of what Plutarch says concerning this 
sistrum in his treatise of Isis and Osiris, and is remarkably interesting 
both to the antiquarian and philosopher : ' The sistrum lilvcwise indicates 
that it is necessary that beings should be agitated, and never cease to rest 
from their local motion, but should be excited and shalvcn, when they 
become drowsy and marcid. For they say that Typhon is deterred and 
repelled by the sistra ; mani^'esting by this, that as corruption binds and 
stops [the course of things], so generation again resolves nature, and 
excites it through motion. But as the upper part of the sistrum is convex, 
so the concavity of it comprehends the four things that are agitated. For 
the generable and corruptible portion of tlie world is comprehended indeed 
by the lunar sphere; but all things are moved and changed in this sphere, 
tiirough the four elements of fire and earth, water and air. And on the 
summit of the concavity of the sistrum they carved a cat having a human 
face ; and on the under part, below the rattling rods, they placed on one 
side the face of Isis, and on the other that of Nephthys, obscurely signify- 
ing by these faces generation and death [or corruption] ; for these are the 
mutations and motions of tlie elements. But by the cat they indicated 
the moon, on account of the diversity of colours, operation by night, and 
fecundity of this animal. For it is said, that she brings forth one, after- 
w^ards two, three, four, and five kittens, and so adds till she has brought 
forth seven ; so that she brings forth twenty-eight in all, which is the 
number of the illuminations of the moon. This, therefore, is perhaps 
more mythologically asserted. The pupils, however, in the eyes of the 
cat, are seen to become full and to i)e dilated when the moon is full, and 
to be diminished and deprived of light during the decrease of this star.' 

In this extract, Baxter, in his translation, makes the rods of the sistrum 
to be four. For he translates vtto ra attofitva, 'below the four jingling 
things,' which I have translated, below the rattling rods. The sistrum, 
however, according to all the representations of it that are extant, contained 
but three rods. Baxter was doubtless led thus to translate ra atiofiiva, 
hecause Plutarch had observed a little before that ' the concavity of the 
sistrum comprehends the four things that are agitated,' i. e. the four ele. 
ments. But as there is no sphere of fire, as there is of each of the other 
elements ; for sublunary fire is an efflux of the celestial fire, and subsists 
in the cavities of the otiier elements ; hence, the three rods indicate the 
three elements, air, water, and earth, and the concavity of the arch of the 
sistrum will represent the summit of the air, which imitates the purity of 
llie vivific and unburning fire of the heavens. For true fire is in the heavens; 
but of sublunary fire the purest is ether, and the most gross is in the inte- 
rior parts of the earth. — Taylor, 


down from lier left hand, on the handle of which, iu that 
part in which it met the eye, was an asp raising its head erect, 
and with its throat puffed out on either side. Shoes, too, 
woven from the palm, the emblem of victory, covered her 
ambrosial feet. 

Such was the appearance of the mighty goddess, as, breath- 
ing forth the fragrant perfumes of Arabia the happy, she 
deigned with her divine voice thus to addi'ess me : "Behold me, 
Lucius ; moved by thy prayers, I appear to thee ; I, who am 
^Nature, the parent of all things, the mistress of all the ele- 
ments, the primordial offspring of time, the supreme among 
Divinities, the queen of departed spirits, the fii'st of the celes- 
tials, and the uniform manifestation of the Gods and Goddesses ; 
who govern by my nod the luminous heights of heaven, the 
salubrious breezes of the ocean, and the anguished silent realms 
<:>f the shades boilow : whose one sole divinity the whole orb 
of the earth venerates under a manifold form, with different 
rites, and under a variety of appellations. Hence the Phrygians, 
tliat primaeval race, call me Pessinuntica, the Mother of the 
Gods ; the Aborigines of Attica, Cecropian Minerva ; the 
Cyprians, in their sea-girt isle, Paphian Venus ; the arrow- 
bearing Cretans, Diana Dictynna;* the three-tongued Sicilians,! 
Stygian Proserpine ; and the Eleusinians, the ancient Goddess 
Ceres. Some call me Juno, others Bellona, others Hecate, and 
others Rhamnusia. But those who are illumined by the earliest 
rays of that divinity, the Sun, when he rises, the ^thopians, 
the Arii, and the Egyptians, so skilled in ancient learning, 
worshipping me with ceremonies quite appropriate, call me by 
my true name, Queen Isis. Behold then, commiserating your 
caLamities, I am come to thy assistance ; favouring and pro- 
pitious I am come. Away, then, with tears ; leave your la- 
mentations ; cast off all sorrow. Soon, through my providence, 
shall the day of deliverance shine upon you. Listen, there- 
fore, attentively to these my instructions. 

" Eternal religion has consecrated to me the day which will 
be born from this night ; to morrow my priests offer to me the 

* Dictynna] — The invention of nets is ascribed to Diana, which ii 
(Jreek are called SiKTvva, dictyna. 

t The three-tongued Sicilians.'] — For they first spoke in the .Sicilian, 
tfterwards in the Grecian, and at last in the Latin tongue. 

ftdOK jtt. TH1-: .\r>T)KKsc ok rnk CtObMss. 22? 

first fruits of the opened na^dgaiion, and dedicate to me l n<^w 
ship, for that the witltry tempests are now appeased, and the 
stormy waves of the ocean lulled, and the sea itself has become 
navigable. That sacred ceremonial you must await, -vrith a 
mind neither full of anxiety, nor intent upon subjects that are 
profane. For the priest, at my command, will carry in the 
procession a crowoi of roses, attached to the sistrum in his right 
hand. Without delay, then, pushing the crowd aside, join my 
procession, and put jour trust in my gracious disposition ; then, 
having approached close, as though to kiss the hand of the 
priest, gently pluck the roses, and at once divest yourself of 
the hide of that abominable beast, which I have long looked 
upon with detestation. 

"^N'or hold in dread any thing pertaining to my concerns as 
difficult. For even at this very same instant* of time in which I 
appear to you here present, I am giving orders also to my priest 
how to bring about the things that are to take place hereafter. 
By my command, the dense crowds of people shall give way 
before you. Neither, amid the joyous rites and festive scenes, 
Avill any one view with abhorrence the unsightliness of the 
figure which you bear, or malignantly accuse you, by putting 
a sinister interpretation on the sudden change of your form. 
Only remember, and always keep it fast in the very depths of 
your heart, that the remaining period of your life must be dedi- 
cated to me, even to the moment of your latest breath. Nor 
is it unjust that you should devote your whole life to that god- 
dess, by whose assistance you will have been restored to human 
form. But under my protection you will live happy, you will 
live glorious : and when, ha\-ing passed tlirough the allotted 
period of your life, you shall descend to the realms beneath, 
there, also, in the subterranean hemisphere, you, dwelling in 
the Elysian fields, shall frequently adore me whom you noM 
behold thus propitious to you, and shall there see me shiniag 
amidst the darkness of Acheron, and reigning in the Stygian 
realms. And further, if you shall be found to deserve the 
protection of my divinity by sedulous obedience, religious d'^- 
votion, and inviolable chastity, you shall be sensible that it is 
possible for me, and me alone, to extend your life beyond the 
limits that have been appointed to it by your destiny." 

* At this very same instant] — Fora divine nature is at one and the same 
tiinf iiresPiit "very where,.— 'I'at/t or. 

Q 2 

22S tilE GOLDtH AS3 OF AttTLEltJd. 

The venerable oniele having thus concluded, the innti- 
cible di^-inity dissolved into herself. Instantlj- shaking off 
sleep, I arose, in a state of fear and joy, and bathed in per- 
spiration. Astonished in the highest degree at so evident a 
manifestation of the powerful goddess, having sprinkled myself 
with the spray of the sea, and intent on her high commands, I 
1ried to recall to mind the successive particulars of her injunc- 
tions. Soon after this, the golden sun arose, and put to flight 
the clouds of dark night : and now, behold, a crowd of people 
filled all the streets with a religious procession, conducted in a 
style of triumph. All things likewise, independently of my 
own delight, seemed to me to be affected with the greatest 
hilarity, insomuch that I thought even the cattle of all kinds, 
every house, and the day itself, woi-e an aspect of gladness and 
serenity ; for a sunny and jolacid day had suddenly succeeded 
to the frost of the pre\'ious one ; so that, allured by the warmth 
of the spring, the tuneful little birds sang sweetly, and with 
their meny warbling soothed Her who was the mother of the 
stars, the parent of the seasons, and the mistress of the whole 
universe. And then the trees, too, both those prolific and 
those which only yielded a shade, unbound from their wintry 
sleep by the Avarm southern breezes, and embellished Avith 
young foliage, sent forth a sweet rustling sound from their 
branches. The waves of the sea, no longer heaving turbidly 
to tlie roaring blast of the tempest, gently washed the shore ; 
the dark clouds were dispersed, and the heavens shone with the 
serene splendour of their native light. 

And now, behold, the prelude to the grand procession came 
gradually into action. The persons who composed it were all 
finely caparisoned in various ways, each according to his owq 
taste and inclination. This man, being girded with a belt, repre- 
sented a soldier ; another was equipped as a hunter, Avith a short 
scarf, a hunting-knife, and javelin. Another, wearing gilded 
sandals, a silken garment, and precious female ornaments, an<l 
with false hair on his head, personated a woman by his appear- 
ance and his gait. Another, with his boots, his shield, his 
helmet, and his sword, appeared as though he had come straiglit 
from the school of the gladiators. There was one who played 
the part of a magistrate, with the fasces and the purple robe ; 
another that of a philosopher, with his cloak, his staft', hia 
wooden- clogged shoes, and his goatish beai'd ; two piasoua, 


with dissimilar reeds, represented, the one a fowler ■with jird- 
lime, and the other a fisherman with his hook. I also saw a 
tame she-bear, wearing the dress of a woman, and carried in a 
chair ; an ape, too, Avilh a plaited straw hat on its head, and 
clothed with a Phrygian gannent of saffron colour, carrying in 
its hand a golden cup, and representing the shepherd Ganymede ; 
likewise an ass, on which wings were glued, and which walked 
near a feeble old man ; so that you would certainly have said 
that the one was Bellerophon, and the other Pegasus ; but still 
you would have enjoyed your laugh at both. 

Amid this merry masquerade of the swarming people, the 
procession proper of the guardian Goddess now advanced. 
Females, splendidly arrayed in white garments, expressing 
their joy by various gestures, and adorned with vernal chaplets, 
scattered fiowers on the ground from their bosoms, along the 
path of the sacred procession. Others, again, with mirrors 
placed upon their backs, showed aU who followed to the God- 
dess, with their faces towards her as if they were coming to 
meet her. Others, carrying ivory combs, imitated the combing 
and bedecking of her regal hair, with the motion of their arms, 
and the twisting of their fingers. There were others, too, who 
sprinkled the streets with drops of genial balsam, and other 
kinds of perfume. In addition to aU this, there was a great 
multitude of men and women, who propitiated the Goddess, 
offspring of the celestial stars, by bearing lamps, torches, wax- 
tapers, and other kinds of artificial light. JS'ext came musicians, 
playing sweetly on pipes and flutes. A graceful choir of chosen 
youths, in snow-white garments, followed them, repeating a 
beautiful song, which an excellent poet had composed under 
favour of the Muses, the words of which explained the first 
origin of the votive procession. Pipers also, consecrated to the 
great Serapis, played an air appropriate to the worship of the 
god, on pipes with transverse mouth-pieces, and tubes held ob- 
liquely towards their right ears. Tliere were, also, a number 
of persons, whose office it was to give notice that room should 
be left for the sacred procession to pass. Then came a multi- 
tude of those who had been initiated into the sacred rites of 
liie goddess, consisting oi men and women of all classes and 
ages, resplendent with the pure whiteness of their linen gar- 
Oicnts. The women had their anointed hair enveloped in a 
^'-iijjsptvrcfi*: covcrjpg ; but the men had shaven a^d shining 


pates ; earthly stars were these of extreme sanctity, who kept 
up ;i shrill iind incessant tinkling upon brazen, silver, and even 
gold sistra. But the chief ministers of the sacred rites, clothed 
in garments of white linen, drawn close over the breast, and 
hanging down to their feet, carried the insignia of the mighty 
Gods, exposed full to view. The first held aloft a brilliant 
lamp, not by any means resembling those lamps of oui's which 
illumine banquets at night ; but it was of gold, of a boat-like 
form, and emitted a flame of considerable magnitude, from an 
aperture in the middle. The second was arrayed in a similar 
manner, bu* carried in both his hands models of altars,* to 
which the auxiliary providence of the supreme goddess gave 
the appropriate name of " auxilia." The third bore a palm 
tree, the leaves of which were beautifully wrought in gold, as 
also the caduceus of Mercury. The fourth displayed tlie sym- 
bol of Equity, a left hand, fashioned with the palm expanded ; 
which seems to be more adapted to administering Equity than 
the right, from its natural inertness, and its being endowed 
with no craft and no subtlety. The same person also carried a 
golden vessel, which was rounded in the shape of the female 
breast, and from which he poured forth milk on the ground. 
The fifth bore a golden corn-fan, made with thickset branches 
of gold ; while another carried an amphora. 

In the next place, appeared the gods that deigned to walk 
with the feet of men. Here, dreadful to view, was the mes- 
senger of the gods above, and of those of the realms beneath, 
standing erect, with a face partly black, and partly of a golden 
hue, bearing in his left hand a caduceus, and shaking in his 
right a green branch of palm ; close upon whose footstej)s fol- 
lowed a cow, in an erect position ; this cow being the prolific 
resemblance of the all-parent goddess, and seated on the slioiil- 
ders of one of the blessed devotees of this divinity, who acted 
gesticulatingly as he walked. Another carried a chest, con- 
taining the secret utensils of this stupendous mystery. Another 
liore in his beatified bosom a venerable efligy of his supreme 
Divinity, bearing no resemblance to any bird or beast, wild or 
tame, or even to man ; but worthy of all veneration for the 
extpiisite art with wliich it was wrought, as also for its very 

* Models of altars ]^These altars (altaria) were symbols of the aiii 
attoided by Isi? and \\e\\c( Apuleius says, tliey y,e\-^ calleij an^iUi^.— 


originality, and an ineffable symbol of a sublime religion, the 
mysteries of which were ever to be kept in deep silence. It 
Avas of burnished gold, after the following manner : there was 
a small urn, hollowed out in a most artistic manner, with a 
bottom quite round, and which outside was covered with the 
wonderful hieroglyphics of the Egj^ptians. The spout of this 
urn was very long, not much elevated ; a handle was attached 
to the other side, and projected from the urn with a wide 
sweep. On this lay an asp, uplifting its scaly, wrinkled, and 
swollen throat, and embraced it with its winding folds. 

At last the moment was at hand, when I was to experience 
the blessing promised me bj' the most potent goddess ; and the 
priest, attired just as she had described, approached with the 
means of mj- deliverance. In his right hand he carried the 
sistrum of the goddess, and a crown of roses ; and by Hercules, 
a crown it was for me ; since by the providence of the mighty 
goddess, after having endured so many hardships, and escaped 
so many dangers, I should now achieve a victory over my cruel 
enemy, Fortune. 

Still, however, though agitated by a sudden burst of joy, I 
did not rush forward at once, lest the tranquil order of the 
sacred procession should be disturbed b)' the impetuosity of a 
(quadruped ; but passed through the crowd Avith a quiet and 
altogether human step, and a sidelong movement of my bodj', 
and as the people gave way, through the interference, no doubt, 
of the goddess, I gradually crept nearer and nearer. But the 
priest, as I could plainly perceive, recollecting the nocturnal 
oracle, and struck with wonder at the coincidence with the 
duty which he had been commanded to perform, instantly stood 
still, and extending his right hand of his own accord, presented 
the chaplet to my very mouth. Treinbling, and with a great 
beating of my heart, I seized the bright rosy chaplet, and 
greedily, most greedily devoured it. 

Nor did the celestial promise deceive me ; for immediately 
my unsightly and brutal figure left me. First of all, my rough 
hair fell off, and next my thick skin became thin; my big belly 
shrank in ; my hoofs spread out into feet and toes ; my hands 
■^ere no longiT feet, but ready for the duties of their elevated 
position, IVIy long neck was shortened ; my face and my head 
became round ; my enormous ears were restored to their former 
iroall dimensions; my stony teeth returned to the diminutive 


size of those of men; and tlie tail, which before especially 
annoyed me, was no where to be seen. The people were as- 
tonished, and the religious adored the power of the supreme 
Divinity, so manifested in the facility of my restoration, which 
rt-sembled the visions of a dream. Extending their hands to« 
■wards tlie heavens, they attested, with a loud and unanimous 
voice, the favour of the goddess thus signally displayed. 

As for me, I stood riveted to the spot in excessive asto- 
nishment, my mind being unable to contain a delight so sudden 
and so great, quite at a loss what first and in especial to say, 
how to make a commencement with a new voice, how most 
auspiciously to prepare my address, my tongue being now born 
again, and in what words sufficiently to express my thanks to a 
Goddess so great. The priest, however, who through the 
divine admonition knew all my misfortunes from the beginning, 
though he himself also was in a state of utter astonishment at 
this remarkable miracle, at once signified his wish by nodding 
his head, and ordered that a linen garment should be given 
me, for the piu'pose of covering my nakedness. Por, the very 
instant that the ass had laid aside his abominable covering, I 
carefully shaded myself with a natural screen, as much as it was 
possible for a naked person to do, bj' closely compressing my 
thighs, and applying my hands. Upon this one of the throng 
of devotees promptly throwing me his upper tunic, covered 
me therewith ; which being done, the priest with a benign 
countenance, and, by Hercules, astonished at my perfectly 
human appearance, thus addressed me : — 

" At last, Lucius, you have arrived at the haven of peace 
and the altar of mercy, after the many and various hardships 
you have imdergone, and all the buffetings of stormy Fortune. 
."Neither the nobility of your descent, nor your dignified posi- 
■•ion, nor even the learning in which you excel, have benefited 
you in the slightest degree ; but falling into the slavery of 
pleasure, in the wantonness of buxom youth, you have reaped 
the inauspicious rewai'd of your ill-fated curiosity. Never- 
theless, blind Fortune, while harassing you with the worst of 
dangers, has conducted you, in her short-sighted malice, to 
this state of religious beatitude. Let her go now, and rage 
with all her fury, and let her seek some other object for 
h(^r cruelty ;* for direful calamity has no power over those 

* Lei her gc now, ^r.] — Tliis passage — ' Eat nunc, et suninio fwroie 


whose lives the majesty of our Goddess has chiimed for 
her own service. What advantage has unscrupulous For- 
tune derived from the robbers, from the wild beasts, from the 
servitude, from the long toils on rugged roads, and from the 
fear of death to which you were daily exposed ? You are 
now received under the guardianship of Fortune, but of a For- 
tune who can see, and who even illuminates the other Deities 
with the splendour of her liglit. Assume henceforth a more 
joyous countenance, such as befits that white garment which 
you wear. Follow the train of the Goddess your deliverer with 
triumphant steps. Let the irreligious Bee, let them see and ac- 
knowledge their error. Eehold now, Lucius, rejoicing in the 
providence of great Isis, and freed from his furmer miseries, 
triumphs over his destiny. Nevertheless, that you may be 
more secure and better protecteil, enrol your name in this holy 
militia, which you will hereafter rejoice to belong to ; dedicate 
yourself to the service of our religion, and voluntarily bend 
your neck to the yoke of this ministry ; for when you have 
once begun to serve the Goddess, you will then in a still higher 
degree enjoy the fruit of j'our liberty." 

The worthy priest having uttered these words, wliile hia 
breath heaved with inspiration, concluded his address, and I 
mingling with the throng of devotees, accompanied the pro- 
cession ; an object of curiosity to the whole city. All pointed 
at me with their fingers and heads, and said, " This day 
has the august power of all mighty God restored that person to 
the human form. Happy, by Hercules ! and thrice blessed he, 
to have merited, by the innocence and probity of his past life, 
euch special patronage of heaven ; in that, being after a manner 
born again, he is immediately affianced to the service of the 
Bacred ministry." 

saeviat, etcrudelitati suae niateriam quaciat aliam,' is alone sufficient to 
show that Lesage, when he comjjosed Gil Bias, had in view the Metamor- 
phoses of Apuleius. In addition to the coincidence of the case of tlie 
robbers, the robbers' narrative, Dame Leonarda, the captive damsel, and 
her escape with the hero of the tale, being persons and events introduced 
into both compositions, the above apostrophe to Fortune is rendered 
almost literally in Latin verse by Lesage. The lines inscribed by G.. 
Bias, about to devote himself to a life of rural retirement, over the dooi of 
bis house, are — 

' Inveni portum, spes et fortuna valete, 
■ Sst me lusjstis ; ludite nunc alios.'— //eotf, 


While these remarks were being made, and amid the tumuli 
cf their noisy congratulations, moving slowly on, we now ap- 
proached tne sea- shore, and came to that very place where, on 
the preceding day, I, while yet an ass, had laid me down. The 
images of the Gods being there arranged in proper order, the 
chief priest dedicated and consecrated to the Goddess a very 
skilfully built ship, pictured all over with the curious hiero- 
glyphics of the Egyptians, after having most carefully purified 
it with a lighted torch, an egg, and sulphur, while at the same 
time his chaste lijjs poured forth solemn prayers. The shining 
white sail of this auspicious bark bore an inscription in large 
characters, which was a repetition of a vow that had been made 
on shore for the prosperity of the convoy at this season of the re- 
commencement of navigation. Now the mast was raised, which 
was a rounded pine tree, tall and well polished, and conspicuous 
for the beauteous appearance of its head. The prow also was 
turned in imitation of a goose's neck,* and covered with gold 
leaf, the bark shone resplendently, while the whole of the 
highly polished keel consisted of shining citron wood. All the 
people, religious and profane, f vied with each other in heaping 
together corn-funs laden with aromatics and other sacrificial 
offerings, and poured upon the waves a libation of milk mixed 
with other ingredients ; until the ship, freighted with abundant 
gifts and auspicious prayers, and let slip from the ropes that held 
the anchor, put to sea with a serene breeze, which seemed to 
have sprung up for her sake alone. And after she had pro- 
ceeded so fur on her course that she could no longer be distin- 
guished by us, the bearers of the sacred things again took what 
each had brought, and begun joyfully to return to the temple, 
in an orderly manner, and in the same form of procession in 
which they had come. 

Now as soon as we arrived at the temple, the chief priest and 

uiiose who carried the sabred images, and those who had already 

teen initiated into the venerable mysteries, being admitted into 

the sanctuary of the Goddess, deposited in the accustomed form 

he breathing effigies. + Then, one of these, whom all of them 

* A goose's neck.l — The goose is sacred to Isis. — Taylor. 

t Religious and profaiw ] — The words are used in a sense nearly analo- 
gous to clergy and laity. ' Profane,' means primitively nothing worse than 
18 ' outsider,' with regard to the service of the temple^ 

i Hr^Hthiny e^r/ies.} — Tlie^e breathing ejHgies were statues of tli* 


called the scribe, standing before the doors, whilst the company 
of the Pastophori,* which is the name of the brotherhood of thia 
sacred college, convoked together as to a council, uttered from a 
high pulpit auspicious wishes, from a book inwhich was written : 
— " To the great Prince, to the Senate, to theEquestrian order, 
in naval matters and in ships, and all those who are subject to 
our dominion ;" and then ho pronounced in the Greek language, 
and according to the Greek custom, the \aoig afiSig, [the people 
may depart,] to which the people responded with a clamour 
which testified their general satisfaction. Then every one went 
home, full of joy, carrying branches of olive, sweet herbs, and 
garlands of flowers, and after kissing the feet of a silver image 
of the Goddess, which stood on the steps of the temple. But my 
feelings would not allow me to move so much as a nail's breadth 
from that place ; but with my eyes intently fastened on the image 
of the Goddess, I recalled to memory my past misfortunes. 

Fleeting Fame, however, had not in the meantime let her 
wings remain idle, but had immediately circulated in all direc- 
tions in my native country the adorable bounty of the provident 
Goddess, and my own memorable adventures. Accordinglj-, my 
domestics and servants, and those who were nearest to me 
by blood, laying aside the sorrow with which they had been 
afflicted at the false intelligence of my death, and elated with 
this sudden joy, hastened forthwith to see me, who had been 
divinely saved and brought back, as it were, from the shades 
below, and they presented me with gifts of various kinds. 
I, too, was delighted to see tliem, and returned them many 
thanks for their handsome presents, and the more especially, 
as my domestics had providently taken care to bring mi' what 
would be abundantly sufficient in the way of clothes and 
money. Having, tlierefore, spoken to each of them in sucli 
manner as I was in duty bound to do, and related to them my 
former sorrows and my present joyous prospects, I again re- 
turned to what was to me tlie gri'atest subject of delight, the 
contemplation of the Goddi'ss, and procured for myself a tem- 
porary habitation witliin the enclosure of the temple, constantly 
taking part in the private services of the Goddess, and being 
inseparable from the brotherhood of the priests, and a constant, fabricated l)y telesta, or mi/stic operators, so as to t)ecoine aniinatei), 
Uliiiiiinatfil Ijy divinity, and ca|)able of delivering oracles. — Taylor. 
♦ The Pastophori. \ — Tlie priests thjit cs>rried the shrines of the Ooih. 


adorer of the great Divinity. Nor did I pass a sinj^le night or 
ever close my eyes without some vision from this Divinity, in 
■which she commanded me to be now initiated in her sacred 
mysteries, to which I had long since been destined. As for 
me, though prompted by eager inclination, I was still restrained 
by religious fear. For after diligent enquirj-, I had found tliat 
the requirements of a religious life were full of difficulties ; 
that the chastity required was a very difficult thing to observe, 
and that it needed exti'eme circumspection to preserve such a 
habit of life from casual defilements. Frequently pondering 
over these things, I somehow or other delayed being initiated, 
although hastening to that conclusion. 

One night I had a dream, in which I thought that the chief 
priest made his appearance, and presented to me his lap full of 
various tilings, and on my asking what they were, he answered 
me, that the things had been sent to me from Thcssaly ; for 
that a servant of mine, whose name was Candidus, had arrived 
from that province. When I awoke, I revolved in my mind 
over and over again what the vision portended, especially as I 
was certain that I never had any servant who was called bj- 
that name. Still, however, I believed that some profitable 
result was undoubtedly signified by the priest offering me the 
things. Thus, in a state of anxious and bewildered eagerness, 
I awaited the opening of the temple in the morning. The Avhite 
curtains having been drawn aside, we prayed to the venerable 
presence of the Goddess ; and the priest going round the altars, 
performed the sacred ceremonial with solemn supplications, 
and poured forth libations from a chalice of water drawn from 
a fountain in the precincts of the sanctuary. The sacred rites 
therefore, being now duly performed, the devotees, saluting 
the breaking dawn, in a loud voice announced tho first hour of 
the day. 

And now, behold ! some servants amved from my country 
whom I had left there at the time when Fotis, by her unfortu- 
nate mistake, had fitted me for a halter ; so recognizing them as 
my own servtints, and finding that they had brought back that 
horse of mine, after it had been sold from place to place, and 
which I identified by a mark on its back ; I was then especially 
Ftruck with admiration at the fitness of my dream, because not 
only had it come true with respect to the gain it had promised, 
but it had also predietpd to me the recovery of jiiy horse, >vhicb 

Br OK ^t. ircits woKslilps ifii: goddess isis. 23? 

was of a white colour, Under the designatioD of my servant 
Candid lis. 

I continued to apply myself wholly to attendance on the 
worship of the Goddess, perceiving that the hopes which [ 
hud conceived of future good were now confirmed by present 
benefits. And besides, my desire of receiving initiation in the 
sacred duties, increased daily more and more. Accordingly, I 
frequently went to the chief priest, and most earnestly en- 
treated him to initiate me into the mysteries of the holy night ; 
but he, who was a man of a grave disposition, and remarkable 
for his strict observance of that abstemious religion, checked 
my urgent importunity in a mild and gentle manner, and in 
the way in which parents are in the habit of moderating the 
inconsiderate requests of their children, while at the same time 
he soothed me with hopes for the better. For he said, that the 
day on which each aspirant might be initiated was indicated 
by tokens from the Goddess, and that by her providence the 
priest was selected who was to perform the sacred rites ; 
and that in like manner by her mandate the expense necessary 
for the ceremonial was ordained. All these circumstances, he 
was of opinion, ought to be awaited wdth obsequious patience, 
since we ought, on every consideration, to avoid precipitation 
and contumacy, and neither be dilatory when called, nor pre- 
cipitate when not called. Nor, indeed, was there a single one 
of their number who was so lost to a sense of propriety, or 
rather so bent on his own destruction, as to dare rashly and 
sacrilegiously to undertake the ministry of the Goddess, and 
so bring upon himself a deadly mischance, unless she especially 
ordered him so to do ; for the gates of the realms beneath, and 
the guardianship of life, are placed in the hands of the God- 
dess, and the initiation into her mysteries is celebrated as 
bearing a close resemblance to a voluntarj- death, with a pre- 
carious chance of recovery. "Wherefore the divine will of the 
Goddess has been accustomed to choose for this purpose men 
who, having arrived at a great age, are now standing at the 
very utmost limit of life, to whom, however, the mighty secrets 
of her religion may be safely entrusted,* and whom, through 
her providence, being after a manner born again, she restores 

* To whom, however, iff ] — That is to say, who are not vet so iiilia 
tud ioihecile as to be incapable of preserving secrecy. 

288 tut; dotbKN ars? o*" AWifettrs. 

t« the career of a new existence. Therefore it was requisite 
that 1 should await the celestial mandate, although by fcne ciear 
and manifest favour of the great Deit-«^ I br«d already been 
marked and destined for her blessed ministry ; and I ought 
thenceforth to abstain from profane and forbidden food, in com- 
mon with the other devotees, in order that I might with the 
most scrupulous strictness proceed on my course to the secret 
mysteries of the most pure religion. 

Thus did the priest express himself, nor was my compliance 
interrupted by feelings of impatience ; but I attentively per- 
formed the daily duties of the sacred ministry, intent upon 
maintaining a calm demeanour and laudable silence. IS'or did 
the salutarj^ benevolence of the powerful goddess disappoint 
me, or torment me with a long delay ; but she clearly admo- 
nished me by no obscure mandates in the darksome night, 
that the day was now arrived that had always been the object 
of my desire, and in which she would put me in possession of 
my extreme wishes. She also stated what sum of money 
would be requisite for the expenses of the ceremonial, and at 
the same time appointed for me, as the dispenser of the rites, 
the same Mithras, her own high priest, who, she said, was 
united to me by a certain conjunction of the stars. 

Refreshed in mind by these and other benevolent precepts 
of the supreme Goddess, and shaking off slumber, though it 
was not yet clear d;iy, I hastened at once to the dwelling of the 
priest, and saluted him just as he was coming out of his bed- 
chamber. I had now determined to request more earnestly 
than ever initiation into the sacred rites, as being a thing that 
was due to me. He, however, the instant that he saw me, 
was the first to speak : "0 my Lucius, how happy and blessed 
are you, Avhom the august divinity has thus greatly honoured 
by her propitious will ! And why," said he, "do you now 
stand idle, or make anj' delay ? The day you so earnestly 
prayed for has now arrived, in which you will be initiated into 
the most holy mysteries by these hands of mine, in obedience 
to the divine mandates of the many-titled Goddess." 

And the old man, taking me by the right hand, led me im- 
mediately to the doors of the vast temple ; and having performed 
the office of opening them in the accustomed solemn waj', and 
celebrated the morning sacrifice, he drew forth from the secret 
recesses of the shrine certain books, written in unknown clja- 

BOOK icr. ttcrtrs rNTTiAtit) as a TlitFst op ist3. 239 

ranters, partlj- representing in compendious form the wotrls ex' 
pressive of their meaning by figures of animals of ever}- kind, 
ajid partly fortified against the inquisitive perusal of the pro- 
fane, by characters wreathed like knots, and twisting round in 
shape of a wheel, and with extremities twining one with an- 
oiher, like the tendrils of a rine. From these books he in- 
formed me what was necessary to be provided by me for the 
purpose of initiation. 

Immediately, therefore, I diligently set about purchasing 
and procuring requisites, and even on a more liberal scale than 
I was ordered to do, partly at nn- own expense, and partly 
through my friends. And when, now the time, as the priest 
said, required it, he led me to the nearest bath, accompanied 
by a crowd of devotees ; and after I had taken the customary 
bath, he himself washed and sprinkled me Avith the purest 
water, having first implored the pardon of the Gods. Then, 
again, he brought me back to the temple, and there placed me 
at the very feet of the Goddess, two-thirds of the day having 
now elapsed ; and givong certain secret instructions, which are 
too holy to be uttered, he distinctly ordered, before all who 
were present, that I should abstain from luxurious food for the 
ten succeeding days, and that 1 should eat the flesh of no 
animal, and should abstain from wine. 

These ten days having been duly passed by me in reverential 
abstinence, the day had now arrived for pledging myself to the 
sacred ministry, and the sun descending, was ushering in the 
evening. Then, behold, there was a concourse of the people 
flocking from everj- side, every one honouring me with various 
gifts, according to the ancient custom of these sacred rites. 
After this, the priest, all the profane being removed to a dis- 
tance, taking hold of me by the hand, brought me into the inner 
recesses of the sanctuary itself, clothed in a new linen gar- 
ment. Perhaps, curious reader, you may be eager to know 
what was then said and done : I would tell you, were it lawful 
for me to tell you : you should know .t. if it were lawful for 
you to hear. Eut both the ears that neard these things, and 
the tongue that told them, would reap the evil results of their 
rashness. Still, however, kept in suspense as you probably 
are with religious longing, I \vill not torment you with long- 
protracted anxiety. Hear, therefore, but believe what is the 
truth. I approuclicd the confines of death, and having trod 

240 tttt=; nm.nfix ass of APUT.-Rrtrg. 

on tlu' threshold of rioserpino, I returned therofrom, being 
borne through all tlie elements. At midnight I saw tho 
eun shining with its brilliant light ; and I approached the 
presence of the Gods beneath, and the Gods of heaven, and 
utood near, and worshipped them. Behold, I have related to 
you things of which, though heard of by you, you must ne- 
cessarily remain ignorant. I will therefore only relate 
which may be enunciated to the understanding of the un- 
initiated without a crime. 

The morning came, and, the solemnities being performed, I 
came forth consecrated by being dressed in twelve stoles, an 
habiliment no doubt of most religious character, but of which 
I am not forbidden by any obligation to speak, because it was 
seen by many who were present on the occasion. For, by order 
of the priest, I ascended a wooden pulpit, which was in the 
very middle of the sacred dwelling, and placed before the image 
of the Goddess, full in view, in a garment which was of linen, 
but elegantly coloured. A precious scarf also descended from 
my shoulders behind my back down to my ankles, and to 
whatever part of me you directed your view, you would have 
seen something to arrest your attention in the animals which 
were painted round my vestment in various colours. Here were 
Indian serpents, there Hyperborean griffins, which the other 
hemisphere generates in the form of a bird wearing wings. 
The persons devoted to the service of the divinity call this the 
Olympic stole. Then, in my right hand I carried a burning 
torch ; while a graceful chaplet encircled my head, the shining 
leaves of the palm tree projecting from it like rays of light. 
Thus arrayed like the sun, and placed so as to resemble a 
statue, on a sudden, the curtains being drawn aside, I was ex- 
posed to the gaze of the multitude. After this, I celebrated 
the most joyful day of my initiation, as my natal day, and 
there was a joyous banquet and mirthful conversation. Tha 
third day also was celebrated with the like rites and cere- 
monies, and was accompanied by a religious breakfast, and the 
due termination of the ceremonial. After this, having stayed 
for some days in that place, I enjoyed the inexplicable pleasure 
of viewing the holy image, being indebted to it for a beneht 
which can never be sufficiently rewarded. At length, how- 
ever, through the admonition of the Goddess, having suppli- 
Aiitly given her thanks, not such as she deserved, but still, to 


the best of my ability, I prepared myself, thoug':. very slowlj', 
to return home. 

With difficulty did I rend asunder the ties of my most ardent 
affection. At last I prostrated myself in the presence of the 
Goddess, and having for a long time watered her feet -with my 
tears, ijiterrupting my words by frequent sobs, and, as it were, 
half swallowing my voice, I thus addressed her: — *' Thou, 
O holy and perpetual preserver of the human race, always 
munificent in cherishing mortals, dost bestow the sweet affec- 
tion of a mother on the misfortunes of the wretched. Kor ia 
there any day or night, nor so much as the minutest particle 
of time, which passes unattended by thy bounties. Thou dost 
protect men both by sea and land, and, dispersing the storms 
of life, dost extend thy health-giving ri^it hand, by which 
thou dost unravel the inextricably entangled threads of the 
Fates, and dost assuage the tempests of fortune, and restrain 
the malignant influences of the stars. The gods of heaven 
adore thee, those in the shades below do homage unto thee ; 
thou dost roll the sphere of the universe round the steady poles, 
thou dost illuminate the sun, thou dost govern the universe, 
thou dost tread the realms of Tartarus. The stars move re- 
sponsive to thy command, the Gods rejoice in thy divinity, the 
seasons return by thy appointment, and the elements are thy 
servants. At thy nod the breezes blow, the clouds are nur- 
tured, the seeds germinate, and the blossoms increase. The 
birds as they hover through the air, the wild beasts as they 
roam on the mountains, the serpents that hide in the earth, 
and the monsters that swim in the sea, are terrified at the ma- 
jesty of tliy presence. But I, so weak in capacity for cele- 
brating tliy praises, and possessing such slender means for 
oftering sacrifices, have far from eloquence sufficient to express 
all that I conceive of thy majestj' ; not a thousand mouths, and 
tongues as many, not an eternal flow of unwearied speech, 
would be equal to the task. I will, therefore, use my utmost 
endeavours to do what, poor as I am, still one tiody religious 
may do — I will figure to myself thy divine countenance, and 
will ever preserve this most holy divinity locked up in the 
deepest recesses of my breast." 

After this manner, having offered up my prayer to the 
su]ireme Goddess, I embraced the jiriest Mithras, who Vv^as now 
my ])ai'enfc. and banging on his neck, and giving him many 



tisscs, I begged him to forgive me, that I could not remuuerate 
him in a manner adequate to such mighty benefits. At length, 
after having been long engaged in giving him thanks, I de- 
parted, and prepared to journey directly to my paternal abode, 
in order to revisit it after an absence so pi-olonged. A few 
days after, having hastily tied up my packages, through the 
admonition of the powerful Goddess, embarking on board a 
ship, I set sail for llome. Being sure of a favourable wind 
during my voyage, I very speedily entered into port, and tra- 
velling by chariot* with the greatest rapidity, anived at the 
holy city,t on the day before the Ides of December in the 
evening. Thenceforward no study was there of such primary 
importance with me, as that of daily supplicating the supreme 
divinity of Queen Isis ; who is there propitiated with the 
greatest veneration under the name of Campensis,J which ap- 
pellation she derives from the situation of her temple. In fine, 
I became a constant worshipper, a foreigner indeed as to her 
temple, but indigenous as to her religion. § 

Behold the mighty sun, having passed through the sign- 
bearing circle of the zodiac, had completed the year, when tlie 
vigilant care of the beneficent Goddess again interrupted my 
sleep, and again reminded me of initiation and sacred rites. 
On this I wondered what object she had in view, and what future 
event she announced. For how could I do otherwise ? as I 
considered myself to have been most fully initiated already. 

While, therefore, I revolved my religious doubts in my own 

* By chariot. 1 — There are instances among the ancients of extraor- 
dinary celerity in travelling. Alexander, to suppress the rebellion of the 
Arici, travelled with his army six hundred stadia in two days, i. e. each day 
seventy-two miles. Julius Cassar used to travel commonly one hundred 
Roman miles in a day, as we are informed by Suetonius. Curio, according 
to Appian, travelled with Caesar's letters three thousand three hundred 
stadia in three days, i. e. three hundred and seventy-seven English miles. 
And Tiberius Nero, as we are informed by Pliny, travelled with three 
chaises in one day and one night, a journey of two hundred miles to see 
his brother when he was sick. — Taylor. 

t The holy city.'] — Rome, which was considered to be the seat of the 
Gods, and the true name of which it was not lawful to enunciate even in 
the performance of sacred rites. — Taylor. 

X Campeusis.'] — The temple of Isis was in the Campus Martius, 
wlience sh<; was called Campeiisis. — Taylor. 

§ Rehffion.] - hccAUie he had been initiated in the mysteries of Isis at 
Corinth. — Taj/lor. 


mind, aud availed mj'stdf of the counsels of the priesi, 1 jis- 
certained a thing that was novel and quite wonderful to me ; 
that I was only inititated into the mysteries of the goddess, 
but that I had not yet been admitted to the knowledge of 
the rites of the great God, and supreme parent of tho 
Gods, the invincible Osiris. For though the essence of their 
divine nature and religion is connected, or rather, is tran- 
Bcendently united, nevertheless, there is a very considerable 
difference in the initiations into their mysteries. Hence, it 
was for me to know that I was called upon by the great God to 
become one of his servants. Nor did the matter long remain am- 
biguous. For on the following night, I saw in a dream one of 
the de^'otees, who, clothed in linen garment s, and bearing in his 
hands thyrsi and ivy, and certain other things which I am not 
permitted to mention, placed them befoi-e my household Gods, 
and then seating himself in my chair, announced to me that I 
must prepare a plentiful religious banquet. He also walked 
gently with a hesitating step, the ancle of his left foot being 
slightly bent, in order no doubt that he might afford me some 
sign, by which I might recognize him. All the mists of am- 
biguitj^ were therefore removed, after such a manifest declara- 
tion of the will of the gods. 

Accordingly, the instant I had performed the morning salu- 
tations to the goddess, I made a most careful examination of 
each, to see whether there was an}' one of the priests resem- 
bling him whom I had seen in the dream. Nor was he wanting. 
For I immediately beheld one of the Pastophori, exactly cor- 
responding with the nocturnal vision, not only with regard to 
the mark of his foot, but also in his stature and general ap- 
pearance ; whose name I afterwaras learnt lo be Asinius Mar- 
cellus, an appellation not without some degree of reference* to 
my transformation. Without delay, therefore, I addressed 
this priest, who was himself very far from ignorant of what I 
intended to say, becaui-.e lie had already been admonished by a 
similar mandate, that he should initiate me into the mysteries 
of Osiris. For on th(i preceding night, while he was placing 
chaplets on the statue of the great God, lie imagined that he 
had also heard from that mouth of his by which he pi-onouuces 
the destinies of all things, that he should send to him a native 

* Some reference.] — Fur between Jsinus, an ass, into wliich he had 
been cl'anged, and Jxitiius, there is a great resenil)Iance. 

u 2 


of Madaura, to whom, though he was \eiy poor, he must im- 
mediately impart the sacred mysteries. That, through his pro- 
vidence, glory would accrue to that person irom his religious 
exercises, and great profit for himself. 

After this manner, being affianced to the sacred mysteries, 
I was retarded, contrary to my inclination, by reason of the 
Blenderness of my means. For the expense to which I had 
been put in my journey had frittered away the small substance 
of my property ; and the sums T was obliged to expend in the 
city, exceeded those which had been disbursed in the provinces. 
Kigid poverty, consequentlj', greatly interfering with my 
wishes, I was much afflicted, being placed, as the old proverb 
says, between the altar and the stone.* Xor yet was I less 
urged from time to time by the present mandates of the God. 
At last, after being repeatedly reminded, and finally com- 
manded, not without considerable pertm-bation, taking ofi' my 
back my garment, small as it was, I scraped together a suf- 
ficient sum. And this very thing I had been expressly com- 
manded to do. For the God said to me, " Would you hesitate 
in the least to part with your garments, if you were attempting 
to procure any thing which might administer to your pleasure.s ? 
and are you now, when you are going to enter upon so great a 
ceremonial, doubtful whether you shall commit yourself to a 
poverty of which you will never have to repent ?" 

All things, therefore, being abundantly prepared, again being 
satisfied for ten days with other than animal food, and besides 
this, being also admitted to the nocturnal orgies of Serapis, 
a god of the first rank, I now applied myself to the ser\ace of 
the god, full of that confidence which my knowledge of a kin- 
di'cd ritual produced. This event aftbrded me the greatest 
consolation for my sojourn in a foreign coimtiy, and at the 
same time supplied me more plentifully with the means of sub- 
sistence. For, under favour of the deity of Good Event, I sup- 
ported myself on a little gain which I made in the forum 
by pleading causes in the Latin tongue. 

A short time after, I was again addressed by the unexpected 

* Between the altar and the ston^."] — Equivalent to the modern phrase, 
• Detween the hammer and tlie anvil.' The proverb is derived from the 
sncient manner of ratifying a covenant, in which the priest killed a pig 
with a blow of a stone, exclaiming, ' May Jupiter smite him who breaks 
ttis covenant, as I smite this pig.' 


and perfectly miraculous mandates of the gods, and was com- 
pelled to undergo a third initiation.* This caused me no 
slight anxiety, and much was I perplexed to know what could 
be the meaning of this new and unusual expression of the will 
of the gods ; and what could still remain to be added by way 
of supplement to an initiation that had been already twice re- 
peated. Surely, thought I, both the priests have advised me 
either wrongly or less fully than they ought to have done. 
And, by Hercules, I now began even to entertain a bad opinion 
of their fidelity. "While, however, I was thus fluctuating amid 
a stormy tide of thought, and agitated to the verge of insanity, 
the benevolent figure of the divinity instructed me by a noc- 
turnal vision. "There is no reason," said he, "that you should 
be ten-ified by the repeated series of religious rites, as if any 
thing had been previously omitted ; but you ought rather ex- 
ceedingly to rejoice on account of these reiterated marks of 
favour on the part of the di^nnities, and to 'exult that you will 
thrice obtain that which is scarcely even once granted to others. 
And you may confidently believe from that number that you 
■will always be blessed. Besides, you will find that this cere- 
monial is most necessary for you, if you will only now consider 
with yourself, that the stole of the goddess with which you 
were invested in the province, still remains deposited in the 
same spot, and that you cannot so much as supplicate at Eome 
on solemn days in a garment of this kind, or be ennobled by 
that auspicious apparel, when you are commanded to assume 
it. In order, then, that you may enjoy health, happiness, and 
prosperity, once again with joyous feelings be initiated in the 
sacred mysteries, the mighty gods being your advisers." 

Thus far did the persuasive majesty of the hallowed vision 
annoimce to me what was requisite to be done. I7or did I, 
after this, neglect the matter, or defer it ; but immediately 
relating what I had seen to my priest, I forthwith submitted 
to the yoke of abstinence from animal food, and ha^dng of my 
own accord extended my abstinence beyond those ten days 
prescribed by a perpetual law, I bought what was requisite 
for my initiation, spending more largely from pious zeal than 
with reference to the measure of the things provided. Kor, 
by Hercules, did I at all repent of my trouble and expense. 

* A third initiation.'] — This third initiation was into the mysteries of 
the Roman Isis, as the first was into those of the Achaian his. — Tat/lor^ 


And why sliould I ? for by the bounteous providence of the 
gods, I was sufficiently enriched by my forensic emoluments. 
At length, after a very few days had elapsed, the God Osiris, 
who is the chief of the great gods, the highest among the 
greatest, the greatest among the highest, and the ruler of the 
greatest, not now veiling himself under some figure other than 
his own, but deigning to address me in his own person, and in 
his own divine words, seemed in my sleep to declare, that I 
should forthwith become renowned through my pleading causes 
in the forum, and that I should not fear the slanders of the 
malevolent, to which the learning I had acquired by laborious 
study had rendered me liable. 

Besides this, in order that I might minister to his sacred 
rites, mingling with the throng of devotees, he chose me to be 
a member of the college of his Pastophori, and still more, to 
be one of the quinquennial Decurions. Finallj-, therefore, my 
hair being closely shaved off, I joyfully fulfilled the duties of 
that most ancient college, which had been established in the 
days of Sylla, not shading or covering my baldness, but freely 
exposing it to the public gaze, whithersoever I went. 




(see biographical introduction.) 

Maximus Clattdtus, and you who are sitting here in judgment,* 
I felt fully assured, that Sicinius ^milianus,f an old man, 
notorious for audacity, would, for want of substantial charges, 
till up with nothing but abuse the accusation he undertook to 
make against me, before he had well considered the matter. 
Now any innocent person may be accused, but no one can be 
proved guilty unless he is so. llelying especially on this con- 
sideration, by the Gods of heaven ! I do rejoice that, with you 
for my judge, the power and the opportunity have fallen to 
my lot, of exculpating Philosophy in the eyes of the ignorant, 
and defending myself. 

And yet these charges — serious-looking charges at first 
view — Avere made with a suddenness that tended to embarrass 
ni)' defence. For, as you remember, five or six days ago, when 
I was beginning to plead the cause of my wife, J Pudentilla, 
against the Granii, the advocates of this ^milianus, by a con- 
certed plan, and at a moment when I least expected it, assailed 
me witli abuse, and accused me of magical practices, and even 
of the death of my step-son Pontianus. As I saw that these 
were not so much charges brought forward for judicial en- 
quiry, as imputations for the mere purpose of abuse, I chal- 
lenged them of my own accord, urgently and repeatedly, to 

* In judgment.'] — As assessors to Maximus Claudius, the proconsul of 

t /Emilianus.} — Tlie brother of Sicinius Clarus, the first husband <■! 
Pudentilla, the wife of Apuleius. 

J Canxe of mi/ wife.1 — It is not known to what he refers: hut it is i.if 
irnjiiobabie that he alludes to some question as to her rights of dower i<» 
the widow of Sicinius Clarus. 

2'18 fCKE ftfiPBNCE OF APtTLEIta. 

prefer their uceusatiou. But tben^milianus, seeing that y9a 
too, Maximus, were considerably moved, and that a judicial 
affair had arisen out of his words, began, in distrust of his 
cause, to look about for some subterfuge from the consequences 
of his temerity. 

Accordingly, when he, Avho shortly before had been crying 
out that Pontianus, his brother's son, had been murdered by 
me, was compelled to sign his name to the accusation, he in- 
stantly forgot all about the death of his young kinsman, and all 
of a sudden was mute as to the specification of a crime of such 
extz'eme atrocity. Still, that he might not seem altogether 
to have abandoned his charges, he selected this accusation 
of magical practices — an accusation more easily made than 
proved — as the only one in which he should persist. And even 
that he did not dare do openly ; but, on the day after, he 
gave in an indictment, in the name of my son-in-law, Sicinius 
Pudens, a mere bo}', and annexed his own name thereto as his 
supporter : thus adopting a new fashion of making an attack 
in another's name ; no doubt, in order that, by putting foi'- 
ward one so young, he himself might be screened from due 
punishment for his false accusation. When you, with great 
sagacity, perceived tliis to be the case, and thereupon com- 
manded him again to support in his own name the accusation 
he had originally made, he promised that he would ; but after 
all, he could not be prevailed upon to do so. While you are 
urging him to come to close action with me, he, in his contu- 
macy, shoots his calumnious missiles even against yourself. 
Thus ever shunning the danger of making an open accusation, 
he persevered in the safe course of seconding it. 

Accordingly, before the trial had even commenced, it was 
easj^ for any one to understand what would be the nature of the 
prosecution, the framer and contriver of which feared to under- 
take its responsibility. This was more especially the case, 
since the person in question was Sicinius -^milianus ; who, 
if he had ascertained anything substantial against me, would 
certainly never have manifested any such hesitation in im- 
peaching one who was a stranger to himself, of crimes so 
numerous and so heinous — he who, well knowing that his 
uncle's will was genuine, denounced it as a forgery ; and with 
Buch obstinacy, that when LoUius Urbicus, the pro-consul, with 
men of consiilar dignity sitting as his assessors, had pronounces? 

A DiscotrasE on magio. Zi^ 

that it was proved genuine, and ought to be held valid, still 
that madman pei'sisted, with his voice raised to the loudest 
pitch, in swearing that the will was a forgery ; so that Lol- 
lius TJrbicus hardly refrained from visiting him with capital 
punishment. Relying on your justice and my own innocence, 
I trust that on this trial also he will have occasion to burst 
forth into exclamations of a similar nature. For he knowingly 
accuses one who is innocent ; and does so, no doubt, with the 
greater readiness, because, as I have said, ho has already, on a 
trial of the greatest importance, been convicted of uttering 
falsehoods before the Praetor of the city. 

For, as after having once committed a fault, every good 
man is the more careful to avoid it ; so one who is evil-dis- 
posed repeats his offence with increased audacity ; and, from 
that time forward, the more frequently he offends, the more 
undisguisedly he does so. For it is with shame as with a gar- 
ment — the more it is worn, the less it is eared for. 

For this reason, then, I deem it necessary, in order to main- 
tain the integrity of my character, to refute all his malevolent 
aspersions before I come to the main charge. For I am un- 
dertaking not only my own defence, but that of philosophy 
also, whose high character spurns the least slur as though 
it were the weightiest of charges ; for as much as the ad- 
vocates of uEmilianus have been just now babbling forth with 
their mercenaiy loquacity, many things trumped up against 
myself individually, and many others that are commonly ut- 
tered by the ignorant against philosophers in general. Now, 
although it may be manifest that these charges are gabbled 
by them, in order to gain their fees, and to earn a premium 
for their impudence, according to a sort of usage now univer- 
sally established among pettifogging pleaders of this sort — a 
race who are in the habit of letting out the venom of their 
viperous tongues to give pain to others — still, even for my 
own sake, they must be briefly rebutted ; lest I, who am exert- 
ing all my energies, that I may not appear to admit of anv 
stain or any blemish upon my character, might seem to some, 
in case I should pass by any of these frivolous charges, rather 
to have admitted them than to have held them in contempt. 

For, according to my way of thinking, it is the part of a 
modest and honorable spirit to be incensed even by a false 
accusation ; seeing that even those who are conscious to them- 

250 niE BEFKXCK OF Ar-TTI-KIT.'*. 

gelves of the commissiou of any offence, are stiU greatly 
excited and angered by reproach ; although from the very 
moment that they began to do wrong, they may have been 
accustomed to hear tliemselves ill-spoken of. Nay, even if 
silenct! is observed by others, they are still fully conscious 
that they maj- with justice be censured. On the other hand, 
ever)' man who is virtuous and without guile, whose ears are 
uttcrh" unused to the language of obloquy, and who, from re- 
jxatedly hearing himself praised, is unprepared for reproach, is 
tlie moi'B grieved at heart on hearing those things said un- 
deservedly against him, which he could with truth allege 
against others. If then, perchance, I shall appear disposed to 
defend myself against charges that are absurd and utterly 
frivolous, that circumstance ought, in fairness, to be imputed 
as a fault to those Avho are disgraced by having even uttered 
them against me ; and no blame ought to attach to me, ic 
whom it will be becoming to have refuted even such things. 

You heard, then, a short time since, at the commencement 
of the accusation, words to the following effect : " We accuse 
before you a handsome philosopher, and a man of distinguished 
eloquence," — oh, monstrous! — " both in the Greek and in the 
Latin tongues." For, unless I am mistaken, it was in these 
self-same words that Tannonius Pudens, a man most certainly 
not of distinguished elo(iuence, commenced his harangue against 
me. How I wish he had good grounds for making such 
weighty charges against me — of being possessed of good looks 
and of eloquence — I should have had no difficultv in answer- 
ing him, as Paris does Hector, in Homer :* 
" Man may not reject 

The glorious bounty by tlie Gods ]>estowed, 

Nor follows their beneficence our choice." 

Such would have been my answer to the charge of goo 1 
looks : and I would have told him besides, that it has beim 
deemed allowable even for philosophers to be of graceful ap- 
pearance ; I would have shown that Pythagoras, who was the 
first to call himself a philosopher, was the handsomest person of 
his age ; that Zeno, of ancient times, the native of Elea, he 
who was the first of all, with truly critical skill, to dit 'de 
speech into two departments,! that this same Zeno, too, ua.*, 

* In Homer.] — Iliad, III. 65, 66. 

+ Into two departments.] — Rhetoric and dialectics, or logic^ 


R6 Hato affirms, most remarkable for the graces v>f' his person. 
I would also ha\-e told him that many other philosopliers have 
been handed down to memoiy as most remarkable for the 
beauty of their features, and who have set off the graces of 
their persons by the virtues of their lives. 

This mode of defence, however, as I have already observed, 
but ill becomes me : for, whereas naturally I had but small 
pretensions to good looks, unremitting application to learned 
labours has effaced from me all comeliness, has made me thin, 
dried up my natural juices, expunged my healthy colour, and 
impaired my vigour. This hair, which they, with falsehood 
so manifest, affirmed that I had allowed to grow to such a 
length, in order to add to the allurements of my beauty — you 
see how far it is from being handsome and neatly arranged — 
all clogged and matted together, like a rope of twisted tow, 
shaggy and imeven, lumped and felted ; its knots inextricable 
through prolonged neglect, not only of combing, but even of 
disentangling and separating it. The charge, then, as to my 
hair, Avhich they have made as it were a capital count in 
the indictment, has, I fimcy, been sufficiently refuted. 

And then, as to eloquence, if I had been possessed of any, 
it ought not to appear surprising, or a ground for envy, if, 
after devoting myself, with all my energies, from my earliest 
years up to the present moment, to the cultivation of litera- 
ture alone, in contempt of all other pleasures, I had succeeded 
in acquiring it, after expending upon it an amount of labour, 
by night and by day, exceeding, probably, that employed by 
any other man, and at the cost of a total disregard and sacrifice 
of my health. However, let them stand in no fear of my 
elofjuence, an accomplishment which 1 uui rather in hopes 
of acquiring, than able to display at })reseni, if, indeed, I have 
made any progress at all. 

And yet, if the words are true which Statins Ca;cilius is 
said to have written in his poems, that " Innocence is elo- 
(juence," then, on that principle, lam ready to admit, and I do 
})oldly assert, that in eloquence I will yield the palm to no 
man whatever. For, taking this view, what man living is 
there more eloquent than myself, who have never so mucli as 
entertained a thought to which I did not dare give utterance :* 

• Gine Hllcraiu'P i*] — Up plays upon tlie r«>sei)iV)lance of tlie worUj 


I affirm, that I am most truly eloquent, for aU guiltinc-ss I 
have ever esteemed as a thing not to be named ; I atfirm that 
I am most ready in argimient, for no deed or saying of mine 
la there which I am not able, before all the world, by argu- 
ment to support. For instance, I will now take up the argu- 
ment with reference to the lines, which they put forward as 
compositions of mine, of which I ought to be ashamed ; when 
you saw me smiling at them in scorn, because they delivered 
them in so uncouth and illiterate a maimer. 

In the first place, then, they read out of my book of jokes,* 
a short letter, the subject of which was dentifrices ; this was 
written in verse, to one Calpurnianus, who, no doubt, when he 
produced that letter against me, did not perceive, in his eager- 
ness to injure me, that if there was anything criminal in it, 
he himself Avas affected thereby in an equal degree with me. 
Now, that he had asked me for something to be used for the 
purpose of cleaning his teeth, the lines themselves bear wit- 
ness — 

" In hurried verse, I bid Calpurnian hail. 
I've sent, as you required, tlie dentifrice, 
Arabian produce, brightener of the mouth, 
A fine choice powder, a rare whitener, 
A soother of the swollen tender gums, 
A cleaner-out of scraps of yesterday ; 
That no unsightly blemish may be seen, 
If you should chance with opened lips to laugh." 

And now, pray, what do these lines contain, in meaning or 
in language, that I should at all be ashamed of? Wliatis there 
that a philosopher should be at all unwilling to acknowledge 
as his own composition ? Unless, perchance, 1 was deserving of 
reprehension for sending to Calpurnianus a powder made of 
Arabian drugs, seeing that he was a person who might have 
with much more propriety, after tlie filthy manner of the Ibe- 

" With his own water washed his teeth and rusty gums " 

as Catullus says. 

' eloquens' and ' eloquor,' ' facundus ' and ' nefas,' ' disertus ' and ' dis- 
sero;' but nis meaning cannot be easily expressed in Enghsh. 

* Book of jokes.] — Called 'Ludicra.' This book is lost, with the 
exception of one line, besides those found here. It probably consisted of 
iests ani amatory stcrioi. 


I perceived just now some who could hardly controul his 
laughter, when the orator inveighed with such asperity against 
cleaning of the teeth, and pronounced the word "dentifrice" 
with more indignation than any body else would speak of 
poison. And why should he not ? No doubt it is a crime 
not to be ovei'looked in a philosopher, if he is particular in 
his precautions against dirt ; if he allows no part of his body 
that is exposed to view to be unclean and filthy, the mouth 
especially, which man makes frequent use of openly and con- 
Bpicuously : whether he kisses another, or discourses on any 
subject, or lectures before an audience, or repeats his prayers 
in a temple. For so it is that words precede every act of 
mankind ; words which, as the first of poets says, issue forth 
from " the hedge* of the teeth." If you could at the present 
day produce any one gifted with powers of utterance so grand 
as those with which he was endowed, he would declare in his 
usual manner, that from him above all men who has any care 
for the art of speaking, the mouth requires more sedulous at- 
tention than all the rest of the body, seeing that it is the vesti- 
bule of the mind, the gateway of speech, and the outer court 
of the thoughts. 

At all events, according to my way of thinking, I should 
say that nothing so ill becomes a man who is of free birth 
and liberal education as inattention to the appearance of 
the mouth. For this portion of the person is elevated in 
position, exposed full in view, and in continual use. On 
the other hand, with wild beasts and cattle the mouth is low- 
seated, and brought down on a level with the legs ; it lies 
close to the feet and to the gi*ass on which they feed, and is 
scarcely ever to be seen but when they are dead, or in a state 
of exasperation and ready to bite ; whereas you look upon no 
feature before this in a man while he is silent, — no one more 
frequently while he is in the act of speiking. I only wish, 
now, that my censor, ^luilianus, Avould answer me this 
question : whether he is ever in the habit of Avashing his feet, 
or whether, if he does not deny the fact, he would contend 
that greater care ought to be bestowed upon the cleanliness of 
the feet than of the teeth ? If, indeed, a person, like yourself, 
.iEmilianus, will hardly ever open his mouth except to iitler 

* The hedge.] — He alludes to tb* expression IpKog o^orrwr. fre- 
quently found in Homer. 


calumnies and revilings, I am clearly of opinion that he ought 
to bestow no attention whatever on his mouth, nor to clean 
his teeth with powders brought from abroad, when he might 
much more appropriately rub them with charcoal snatched from 
the funeral pile ; and that he ought not so much as to rinse 
them with common water. 

On the contrary, let his malignant tongue, the caterer of 
falsehoods and of bitter abuse, for ever lie amid the stench 
and foulness which so well become it. "For how, in the name 
of misfortune, is it consistent with reason that one should have 
a clean and purified tongue, and at the same time a loath- 
some and oifensive voice ? that he should, like the viper, instil 
black venom from teeth white as snow ? On the other hand, 
in the case of him who knows he is going to utter language* 
that is neither inappropriate nor unpleasing, it is with good 
reason that his mouth is washed beforehand, just like a cup 
Avhcn it is prepared for containing a pleasant draught. 

But why enlarge any further upon this topic, with regard to 
mankind r That huge beast, the crocodile, which is produced 
in the Nile, even it, as I am informed, opens wide its jaws, 
and, without inflicting injury, allows its teeth to be cleansed. 
For as it has an immense mouth and no tongue, and generally 
lies concealed beneath the Avater, numbers of leeches fasten 
about its teeth ; wherefore it repairs to the banks of the river, 
and opens its mouth, and one of the river birds, a fi'iend 
to it, thrusts in her beak and picks its teeth, without in- 
curring any risk. 

No more of this. I now come to the rest of these love vei-ses, 
as they style them ; but which thej' read in such harsh and 
uncouth tones, as rather to provoke hatred. 

But really, what has it to do with magical practices, if I 
did celebrate in verse the children of my friend Scribonius ? 
A.ra I of necessitj^ a magician, because I am a poet ? Who 
ever heard tell of a suspicion like this, a conjecture so happj', 
an argument so convincing ? " Apuleius has composed verses ;" 
if thcj' were bad ones, it is a fault, no doubt, but then it is not 
tlie fault of the philosopher, but of the poet. If, on the other 
hand, they were good ones, on what grounds do 5-ou accuse 
liiiu ? " But tlion," say you, " he composed verses of a jocu- 

• Utter tanguage.'\ — Urationem' seems a preferable reading to ' rati- 

A mSCOUKSE ON MAGl'J. 2.'l.'» 

iaraiid amorous character." Is this, then, your charge agaiust 
me, and did j-ou make a mistake in the name, wlien you ac- 
cused me of practising magic ? And yet other persons have 
done the same : among the Greeks (it" you are not aware of 
the fact), aTeian, a Lacedaemonian, a Ceian,* and innumerable 
others ; a woman, too, a native of Lesbos, j- wrote in wanton 
numbers, and with such gracefulness, as to reconcile us to the 
strangeness of her dialect by the sweetness of her lines ; then, 
among ourselves, ^dituus, and Fortius, and Catullus, and 
others without number. 

" fJut these were not philosophers," you say. Will you 
go so far, pray, as to deny tliat Solon was a man of serious 
habits and a philosopher: and yet he was the composer of 
that most wanton line, 

" Desirous of her thighs and honeye i mouth."' 

Now what is there in all my verses put together, to be com- 
pared in lasciviousness of expression with this one line r not 
to say a word about the writings of Diogenes, the cynic, and 
of Zeno, the founder of the sect of the Stoics? I will ii'iw 
read some of my lines over again, that they may understand 
that I am not ashamed of them. 

" Thou, Critias, art my hosom's joy ; 
Charinus too, my suti-hright boy, 
Thy portion in my love's tlie same ; 
I hum for I)oth with equal flame. 
And fear ye not — this doul)le fire 
I'll bear, to win my soul's desire. 
Let me by both be looked upon 
As by himself is each dear one ; 
Look on me thus, and you shall be 
As precious as two eyes to me." 

And now I will read the other ones, which the)- read the hist 
of all, as though thc^y were of surpassing indecency. 

" Garlands and song I weave for thy sweet sake ; 
This for thyself; those let thy Genius take: 
Song, to extol the happy day that brings 
Fuhilment of niy Critias' fourteen springs ; 

* A Ceian, Sjc] — He alludes to Anacreon, of Teos, a city of Ionia, 
and Simonides, of Ceos, an island in the /blgean Sea. It is not known to 
wJiom.he alludes as the native of LacedaMnon. 

t Native of Lei'jot ] — Sapplio, the poetess. She wrote in the .tolic 


Garlands, to crown thy brows in this glad time, 
And deck with blooming flowers thy blooming prime. 
For flowers of spring, give thy own spring to me, 
And shame my gifts, repaid thus bounteously ; 
For garlands twined, with twining arms caress me; 
For roses, with thy roseate kisses press me ; 
And for my song, wake thy own vocal reed. 
Gifts, song, and all will be surpassed indeed." 

Here, then, Maximus, you have tlie charge against me 
founded upon garlands and songs, just as thougli I were somo 
wanton reveller. You also observed, that this, too, was made 
a charge against me, that whereas the youths are called by 
other names, I have given them those of Charinus and Critias. 
Why, upon similar grounds, they might accuse Catullus, for 
calling Clodia Lesbia ; and just in the same way, Ticida, be- 
cause he wrote Paerilla, whereas the lady's name was Metella ; 
Propertius too, who speaks of Cynthia, but means Hostia ; and 
Tibullus, who had Plania in his thoughts, while Delia was 
named in his lines. For my own part, although C. Lucilius 
was a poet who wrote Iambic lines, I should still consider him 
worthy of censure, because he openly defamed the youths 
Gentilis and Macedo in his lines under their own names. How 
much more beseemingly does Virgil, the poet of Mantua, act, 
who, just as I have done, when praising the son of his friend 
Pollio, in his sportive Bucolics, refrains from making mention 
of names, and calls himself Corydon, and the youth Alexis.* 

But yl^milianus, more of a clownish churl than any of tlie 
she})herds and herdsmen of Virgil, a man who will ever be a 
bumpkin and a barbarian, Avhile he flatters himself that he is 
of more rigid morals than your Serrani, Curii, or I'abricii 
avers that this kind of comjjosition does not betit a I'iatoiiic 
philosopher. And will you still persist in affirming tliis, 
^milianus, if I shew that these lines have been composed 
after a precedent afforded us by Plato himself, of whose com- 
position there are no verses in existence, except some elegiac 
lines on Love ; for all his other poems, I suppose because 
they were not so elegant, he committed to the flames. Hear, 
then, the verses of Plato the philosopher, to the boy Aster, 
if indeed, at your time of lif<', you are still able to learc 
anything in the way of literature. 

* The youth Jleaiii.']-^lle alludes to the Second Eclogue of VirgiL 
The name of tlie youth is suuyosed to have '<eeu Alexander 


Why dost thou gaze upon the skj ? 

Oh, that I were yoii s|)angled sphere, 
\nJ every star should be an eye 

To wander o'er thy beauties here. 

In life thou wert my morning star ; 

And now that death hath stol'n thy light, 
Alas, thou shinest dim and far, 

Like the pale beam that weeps at night."* 

Hear, also, the lines addressed by the same Writer, Tlato, to 
the boys Alexis and Phoedrus, where he addresses them in a 
joint poem. 

" Although I nothing said but this — ' IIow fair 
Alexis is,' all turn and gaze on thee. 
My soul, why show to dogs a bone, and then 
Torment them ? did we not lose Phcedrus thus ?" 

And, again, not to quote any more lines than these, I will 
Just repeat his last distich on Dion of Syracuse, and then make 
an end. 

" Thou sleep'st in honour on thy country's breast, 
Dion, beloved of my extatic soul !" 

But really am I not acting absurdly, even to mention these 
things in court ? and are you not rather acting the part of 
calumniators, even to produce these matters as the grounds 
of your accusation against me : just as though, forsooth, it 
were any proof of a man's mode of life, that he writes wanton 
lines. Have you not read Catullus, where he thus replies to 
the malevolent ? 

" 'Tis fit the worthy poet should be chaste — 
There's no need that his verses should be so." 

The divine Adrian, when he honoured the tomb of his friend 
the poet Voconius with his verse, wrote to tliis effect : — 
" Wanton thou wast in verse, but chaste in mind ;" 

a thing he never woidd have said, if verses somewhat sprightly 
were to be considered as indicative of pruriency of thought. 
I recollect, too, having read many verses of a similar character 
by the divine Adrian himself. Assert then, if you dare, ^mi- 
lianus, that it is evil to do that which the divine Adrian, our 
emperor and censoi', has done, and has handed down to memory 
as having been done by him. Besides, do you suppose tha 

* I] eeps at night.'] — Translated by Thonms Moore. 


258 TftE DEFENei! OF APtTLEItS. 

WTaximus is likely to censure anything that he knows I hafe 
done after the example of Plato ? whose line.«!, which I just 
sow quoted, are the more chaste for being undisguised, the 
more modest for their plainness of expression. For, to dissemble 
and to conceal these and aU such matters, is the part of an 
otFender, while, to discourse of them openly and without dis- 
guise, is the part of him who speaks but in jest; for so it is, 
that by nature ^the powt'r of utterance has been given to in- 
nocence, while silence has been allotted to criminality. 

But I AviU forbear to enlarge upon those deep and holy 
mysteries of the Platonic philosophy, which, while they are 
revealed to but few of the pious, are totally unknown to 
all the profane ; how, that Venus is a twofold goddess, each 
of the pair producing a pecidiar passion, and in different kinds 
of lovers One of them is the " Vulgar," who is prompted by 
the ordinary passion of love, to stimulate not only the humiiu 
feelings, but even those of cattle and wild beasts, to lust, and 
commit the enslaved bodies of beings thus smitten by her to 
immoderate and furious embraces. The other is the "Heavenly" 
Venus, who presides over the purest love, who cai'es for men 
alone and but few of them, and who influences her devotees by 
no stimulants or allurements to base desire. For the love that 
is engendered by her is not a wanton or lascivious love, but, on 
the contrary, it is serious and unadorned, and allures its votaries 
to virtue by its own intrinsic beautj' ; and if at any time 
she does commend a graceful form, she scrupulously protects 
it against all cause for reproach. Nor, indeed, is there any- 
thing else in the beauty of the person deserving of love, beyond 
the fact that it recalls to the mind which took its origin in Deity, 
that beauty which in all its truth and purity it once beheld 
among the gods. Hence it is, that Afranius, with his usual 
eloquence, has left this line : — 

" Where wise men lovcj all others will desire." 

However, ^milianus, if you wish to hear the truth, or if 
you can ever amve at ^ perception of the fact, the wise man 
does not so much love, as recall to mind.* Do pardon, then, 
the philosopher Plato, for his verses on love, that I may not 

• Recall to mind.'] — The beauty of which it was sensible, when in a 
former state. The mind was, according to the Platonic philosophy, a part 
Ot Dejtj. 

A fitscotttist: ON JtAGtc. 259 

feel mybelf lit ^essitated, contrary to the maxim of I^eoptolemus 
in Euniiis,* to "philosophize in detail;" or, at all events, if 
yon decline to do so, I will rca lily pnbrait, with reference to 
verses of this nature, to be censured in company with Plato. 
And to you, ^Maximus, I returc abundant thanks, for having 
so attentively listened to these app(»ndages to my defence, which 
I have deemed ncceesary, inasmuch as they are put forward in 
answer to charges brouglit against me ; and for the same reason 
I request that you will listen as readily and as attentively as 
you have hitherto done, to what 1 have to say, before I come 
to the main charges. 

For next follows the lengthy and cutting attack about the 
looking-glass, upon which, Pudens, screaming aloud, commen- 
surately with tlic atrocity of the oftencc, almost burst him- 
self, crying, " a philosopher has a looking-glass! — a philoso- 
pher possesses a looking-glass!" Let me then confess that I 
have one, lest you should flatter yourself that you had hit me 
hard if I denied it ; but it is by no means a necessary infer- 
ence, that I am in the habit of dressing too before a looking- 
glass. For suppose I were in possession of a theatrical ward- 
robe, would you argue thence that I was in the habit of using 
the long train of the tragedian, the saflron-coloured dress of 
the comedian, or the little mantle of the mimic, as at the 
triennial orgies of Bacchus ? You Avould not, I think. And on 
the other hand, there is manj- a thing of which I am not pos- 
sessed, but of which I still enjoy the use. 

If, then, the possession of a thing is no proof of the use of 
it, or the non-possession of the non-use of it, and if not so 
much the possession of a looking-glass is censured by you, as 
the looking into it, it then necessarily follows, that you must 
shew when and in whose presence I looked into the glass ; 
for, according to the present state of the case, you make it 
a greater ofl^ence for a philosopher to look into a looking- 
glass, than for one of the uninitiated to pry intof the mysteiiea 
of Ceres. 

* In ftmitw.J— We learn from Aulus Gellius, that the maxim here 
alluded to was, ' we ought to philosophize concisely, for to do so in de- 
tail is not pleasant.' Ennius was one of the oldest of the Latin poets. 

t To pry into. — He alludes to the baskets or boxes which were carried 
jy the Canephori in the processions of Ceres, and were supposed to coir 
irfiin imaiies of the oddcs* \-ith other articles of a mystic nature. 



Come now, even if I should confess that I have looked ihto 
it, pray what crime is it to be acquainted with one's own 
features, and to have their image not put up* in one fixed 
spot, but to carry it about in a little mirror, ready to be sur- 
veyed wherever you please ? Are you ignorant that there is 
nothing more deserving to be viewed by a man than his own 
features ? For my part, I know that those sons are the mos 
beloved who bear the strongest resemblance to the parents 
and that a man's own statue is erected at the piblic expense 
in his lionour as the reward of merit, in order :hat he may 
look upon the same ; else what is the use of statues and images 
thus framed with the varied resources of art ? unless, perchance, 
we admit that the very same thing that is worthy of admi- 
ration when produced by artistic skill, is to be deemed cul- 
pable when presented by nature ; whereas, on the contriu"y, 
the readiness and exactness of nature are even still more de- 
serving of our admiration. For in tracing all likenesses by 
the hand, a considerable time is consumed in the Avork, and 
j'et, after all, no resemblance is to be seen comparable with 
that to be viewed in a mirror ; for clay is deficient in vigour, 
stone in colour, painting in firmness, while all are devoid of 
the power of motion, which brings the likeness before us in 
the highest degree. 

For in the mirror is to be seen the image wonderfully re- 
flected, not only with the resemblance traced out, but en- 
dowed, too, with motion, and obedient to every gesture of the 
person Avhom it represents. Then, besides, it is alwaj^s of 
the same age with the beholder, from the earliest boyhood 
down to the very close of old age : so many aspects of life 
does it assume, of such varied conditions of the body does 
it partake, such numerous clianges of the same features, whether 
influenced by joy or by grief, does it imitate. But, on the 
other hand, the resemblance that is moulded from clay, formed 
of molten brass, hewn out of stone, impressed by heat on wax, 
laid on a surface with paint, or represented hj any other re- 
Boui'ce of human art, after no long intcrvid of time becomes 
quite unlike the original ; and besides, it always preserves 
the same rigid unmoved features, just like a corpse. To such 
a degree then, does the highly-wrought smoothness of its po- 

• Xot pui up.] — Tliat is to say, in a portrait. 


lished surface, and artificial brightness of the miiror, surj^ass 
all art in reflecting the likeness of the person. 

Eithnr, then, we are bound to adhere to the opinion of 
Agesilaus the Lacedaemonian, who having but a poor opinion 
of his own ap2)earance, would never .illow himself to be re- 
presented in painting or sculpture, or ^Ise, if the usages of all 
the rest of mankind appear worthy to be retained, and statues 
and images are not to be eschewed, what reason have you to 
be of opinion that each man ought to see his likeness rather 
in stone than in silver, rather in a picture than in a mirror ? 
Do you think it a disgrace for a man carefully to survey his 
own figure ? Is it not said of the philosopher Socrates, that 
he even advised liis disciples to view themselves repeatedly in 
a miiTor, so that he among them who was smitten with his 
own good looks, might be the more scrupulously careful not 
to disgrace the beauty of liis person by bad manners ; while, 
on the other hand, he who thought himself not so highly gifted 
in appearance, might carefully use his best endeavours to screen 
his ugliness by his virtues. And thus did a man, who was 
wiser than all others, make use of the mirror for the purpose 
even of improving moral cultivation. 

Then too, who knows not how Demosthenes, that most ex- 
cellent master in the art of oratory, always got up his causes 
before a mirror, just as though in presence of a master ? So 
that most excellent oralur, after he had learned eloquence from 
the philosopher Plato, and the art of reasoning from Eubulides 
the logician, endeavoured to obtain the extreme perfection of 
the art of oratory bj' the assistance of the mirror. 

Which, then, do you think ought to pay the greater atten- 
tion to grace in the impressive delivery of his language, the 
wrangling rhetorician or the warning philosopher ? the one 
who for a few moments disputes before certain judges who are 
chosen by lot, or the one who is continually discussing ques- 
tions in the presence of all mankind ; he who wrangles about 
the limits of fields, or he Avho defines the limits of good and 
evil ? "Why, if it was only for this purpose, ought not a phi- 
losopher to look into a mirror ? For it is oltcn incumbent upon 
him not only to view his own likeness, but to consider too the 
manner in which that likeness is so reflected ; wliether it is 
that, as Epicurus says, images which emanate from our bodies 
UJ a perpetual flow, being a kiud of slough, t^s it were, us soofl 


as they strike against any smooth and solid surface, are 
thrown back again, and so turned the contrary way; or 
whether it is that, as other philosophers argue, our rays of 
vision, (whether flowing from the middle of the eyes, and 
mingling and uniting with the external light as Plato thinks, 
or whether only proceeding from the eyes without any foreign 
admixture whatever, as Archytas supposes, or whether being 
broken by the tension of the atmosphere, as the Stoics ima- 
gine), when they have struck upon any body that is dense, 
Bmoothj and shining, rebound and return to the features at the 
same angles of incidence at which they have struck that body, 
and so represent in the mirror that which they touch and 
behold externally to it. Does it not seem to you to be a 
matter of duty that philosophers should investigate all these 
subjects and duly enquire into them, and that they ought to 
be the only persons to look into mirrors of all kinds, whether 
with a watery surface or with a dry ? For their province 
it is, besides what I have already mentioned, to enter upon 
that other enquiry, why in mirrors with a plain surface images 
generally appear alike, while in mirrors which are spherical and 
convex in surface, all objects appear diminished, and, on the 
other hand, in those which are concave they are magnified ; 
at what distance and for what reason before a concave mirror 
the left hand takes the place of the right ; in what cases it is 
that the image at one moment withdraws within, and at ano- 
ther, seems to be stepping out* of the same mirror ; why it 
is that a soncave mirror, if it is held facing the sun ignites fuel 
placed close to it : how it happens that distinct rainbows are 
seen in the clouds, and that two suns exactly similar are to 
bo beheld : besides numerous other questions of a similar na- 
ture, which are discussed in the ample volume of Archimedea 
the Syracusan, a man endowed far beyond all other men with 
a wonderful degree of skill in all geometrical subjects ; though 
I am not quite sure but he is worthy of especial note for the 
fact that he consulted the mirror often and carefully. If you 
liad only been acquainted with his book, JEmilianus, and had 
applied yourself not only to your fields and your clods, but to the 
geometrician's board and fine sand, believe me, when I say it, 

* Stepping out.'] — He alludes to the appearance, on advancing the 
inger or other portion of the body to\Y^r4s |n4 witll4r4Wing it from % 


tiiat although yotir extremely ugly features differ but very 
little from those of the Thyestes of tragedy, there is no doubt 
but you would have looked into the mirror with the object 
of learning something new, and would at last have given up 
the plough, in the intensity of your admiration of the numerous 
furrows and wrinkles to be seen in your own face. 

Now, I should not wonder if you took it in very good part 
that I make mention of those most distorted features of yours, 
but am silent as to your manners, which are far more repulsive. 
The fact is, that whereas I am not naturally of a quarrelsome 
disposition, I was, moreover, quite willing xmtil the last few 
days, to remain in ignorance whether you were a white or 
a black man, and even now, by Hercides ! I am far from 
certain on that point. This arises from the fact, that while 
you have been buried in the obscurity of a country life, I 
have been busied with my studies. So, while the shade 
thrown around you bj' your ignoble condition has stood be- 
tween yourself and an observer, I have never made it my 
object to learn the misdeeds of any person, but have always, 
in preference, studied how to veil my own failings rather 
than piy into those of others. I am just in the same position, 
then, with reference to j-ou, as the man who chances to be 
standing in a place upon which a bright ligh is thrown, while 
another, concealed in deep shade, is looking at him. For just 
in a similar manner, while you can easily observe, in your 
obscurity, what I am doing in the open daylight and before 
all the world, )ou yourself, being concealed by your ignoble 
station, and shunning the light, cannot in your tflrn be dis- 
tinguished by mo. 

Hence it is, that whether you have slaves to till your lands, 
or whether you make exchange of labour with your neighbours, 
turn and turn about, I neither know nor am I anxious to 
know ; but you know very wt>ll that in one day I manumitted 
three slaves at CLCa,* and this your advocate, among other 
points upon which he had been instructed by you, made an 
objection against me ; although but very shortly before, he 
had asserted that I had come to O-la with but a single ser- 
vant as my attendant. Now I wish you would answ«r mo 
this : out of one servant how could 1 manumit three, unless 

* Jt (Ea.]—A eitv of Africa, betwffi the greater and the lease* 


this, too, is to be set down to the account of magic ? Am I 
to suppose that such is your blindness in lying, or such the 
inveteracy of that habit in you ? " Apuleius came to (Ea with 
a single servant," and then, after babbling out a few words, 
" Apuleius manumitted three slaves at (Ed in one day." Whj'', 
not even would your story have been credible, had you said 
that I had come attended by three servants, and had liberated 
them all ; and yet if I had done so, why should you look 
upon the possession of but three servants as a mark of poverty, 
rather than the manumission of three as a proof of opulence ? 
You know not, most decidedly you know not, ^milianus, 
how to bring a charge against a philosopher, Avhen you throw 
in my teeth the scantiness of my retinue, a thing that I ought 
rather, for the sake of my own credit, to have feigned, had it 
been necessary so to do, inasmuch as I was well aware that 
not only the philosophers, of whom I profess to be a disciple, 
but even emperors of the Roman people have gloried in the 
small number of their servants. 

And have not your advocates, pray, read to the same effect ? 
How that M. Antonius, a man of consular dignity, had but 
eight servants in his house, and how that Carbo, who attained 
the highest honours, had one less ? And then, again, how 
Manius Curius, who w-as rendered so iUusti'ious by his nume- 
rous victories, for tliree times did he enter at the same gate 
in triumph, how that Manius Caius, I say, employed but two 
camp servants in his expeditions ? So likewise the man who 
triumphed over the Sabincs, the Samnites, and Pyrrhus, had 
fewer servients in number than the triumphs he enjoyed. Then, 
again, Marcus Cato, little expecting that others would mention 
it of him, has left it written in a speech of his, that when he 
set out as consul for Spain, he took witli him from the city 
but three attendants, and no more ; when he arrived, how- 
ever, at the public vilhi,*' these seemed too few for his re- 
quirements, whereupon he ordered two youths to be purchased 
in the forum at the slaves' platform, f and these live he took 

• Public vtUa.'] — The ' piiblica villa' was a house of reception used by 
the Roman people for the entertainment of foreign ambassadors, taking 
the census, and other public purposes. 

f Slaves' platform.'] — ' De mensa.' The ' mensa' here alluded to was 
a stone or platform on which the slaves sto«d when put up for sale by th* 
* prjcco' or ' auctioneer * 


with him to Spain. If Pudens had read all this, according 
to my way of thinking he would either have entirely spared 
this invective, or else in three servants he would have seen 
cause rather to censure the multitude of a philosopher's attend- 
ants, than the scantiness of his retinue. 

lie has even gone so far as to reproach me with my poverty, 
a charge truly acceptahle to a philosopher, and or.e to which 
I readily plead guilty. For Poverty lias long been the hand- 
maid of Philosophy, frugal, temperate, contented with little, 
eager for praise, averse from the things sought by wealth, safe 
in her ways, simple in her requirements, in her counsels a 
promoter of what is right. No one has she ever puffed up 
with pride, no one has she corrupted by the enjoyment of 
power, no one has she maddened with tyrannical ambition ; 
for no pampering of the appetite or of the passions does she 
sigh, nor can she indulge it. 

But it is your fosterlings of wealth who are in the habit of 
perpetrating these disgraceful excesses and others of a kindred 
nature. If you review all the greatest enormities that have 
been committed in the memory of mankind, you will not find 
a single poor man among the perpetrators : whilst, on the 
other hand, in the number of illustrious men, hardly any of 
the rich are to be found ; poverty has nurtured from his very 
cradle every individual in whom we find anything to admire 
and commend. Poverty, I say, she who in former ages was 
the foundress of all cities, the inventress of all arts, she who is 
guiltless of all offence, who is lavish of all glory, who has been 
honoured with every praise among all nations. For this same 
Poverty it was that among the Greeks showed herself just in 
Aristides, humane in Phocion, resolute in Epaminondas, wise 
in Socrates, and eloquent in Homer. It was this same Poverty, 
too, that for the Roman people laid the very earliest founda- 
tions of their sway, and that offers sacrifice to the immortal 
Gods in their behalf with the ladle and the dish of clay, even 
to this day. 

If there were now sitting as judges at this trial, C. Fabri- 
cius, Cneius Scipio, and Manius Curius, whose daughters, by 
reason of their poverty, went home to their husbands portioned 
at the public expense, carrjang with them the glories of their 
family and the money of the public, if Publicola, the ex- 
peller of the kings, and [Meneuius] Agrippa, the i-econciler of 


the people, tlie expense of whose funerals was, in consequence 
of their limited fortunes, defrayed by the Roman people, by 
contributions of the smallest coins ; * if Attilius Regnlus, whose 
little field was, in consequence of- a like poverty, cultiTated at 
the public expense ; if, in fine, all those ancient families, en- 
nobled by consulships, censorships, and triumphs, could obtain 
a short respite, and return to light and take part in this trial, 
would you then have dared to reproach a philosopher for his 
poverty, in the presence of so many consuls distinguished for 
theirs ? 

Or is it that Claudius 3Iaximus appears to you to be a suit- 
able listener, while j^ou are deriding poverty, because he hap- 
pens to be the owner of an ample estate ? You are mistaken, 
-^milianus, and little are you acquainted with his feelings, if 
you form your estimate of him according to the indulgence of 
Fortune, and not according to the strict rules of philosophy ; if 
you suppose that a man of such rigid morals and so long used 
to warfare, is not better disposed towards circumscribed mode- 
ration than fastidious opulence ; if you suppose that he doea 
not approve of wealth on the same pi'inciples that he does a 
garment, rather when it suits the person than when it is re- 
markable for its length. For wealth, too, if it is not conve- 
niently carried, becomes an impediment to us, and trips us up, 
no less than a draggling garment. Indeed, in all matters 
which are needed for the requirements of life, every thing 
that steps beyond becoming moderation is superfluous, and is 
rather a burden to us than useful. Hence it is, that immo- 
derate wealth, just like a loi'ge and disproportioned rudder, is 
more apt to sink tlian to guide, for in such a case people have 
a useless abundance, a pernicious superfluity. 

I see, besides, that among tlie most opulent persons, tliose 
are especially commended who make no bustle, no immo- 
derate show; who live without thrusting their wealth into 
public view, who manage their vast resources without ostenta- 
tion and without pride, and who imitate the poor in the appear- 
ance of limited means. If, then, the rich even seek a certain 
appearance — a colour of poverty — in order to put on the sem- 
blance of limited means, why sliould those who are poorer be 
ashamed of it, when they have to endure a poverty not afi\;cted, 
but real ? 

• Smalleit coins.} — ' Sextant**" .' The ' sextans' WM th» sixth p4rt oi 


T could, indeed, raise an argument with you about the 
very name itself, and I could show that none of us are poor 
who do not wish for superfluities, and who possess the things 
that are necessary, which, by nature, are but few indeed. For 
he has the most who desires the least : he who wants but 
little, is most likely to have as much as he wants. For this 
reason it is that riches are not better estimated according to 
lands and income than according to a man's own mind ; for if 
a man is craving through avarice, and always greedy of gain, 
not even by mountains of gold will he be satisfied, but he will 
be always begging for something, that he may increase his 
store. And this is the real exposition of poverty. For all 
desire of acquiring, arises from the opinion which each man 
entertains as to what is poverty. And it matters not how 
great is the amount of which you are in want — Philus had not 
80 great an estate as Laelius, Lcelius as Scipio, Scipio as Crassus 
the Rich, nor even Crassus the llich as he wished. So that, 
although he surpassed all in wealth, he himself was surpassed by 
his owu avarice, and seemed to be rich in the eyes of all others 
rather than in his own. But, on the other hand, those philoso- 
phers of whom I have made mention, wishing for no more than 
the}' could obtain, and actuated by desires commensurate with 
their means, were rightfully and deservedly rich and opulent. 
For you become poor through the want of acquisition, and rich 
through having no wants to satisfy ; inasmuch as a state of po- 
vei'ty is ascertained from the manifestation of desire, opulence 
from the fact of being satisfied. Therefore, ^Muilianus, if you 
wish me to be accounted poor, j-ou must of necessity first show 
that I am avaricious. For if, in my mind, there is nothing want- 
ing, I care not what external things may be wanting ; for in 
tlie abundance of tliese consists no praise, in the want of them 
no blame. 

Suppose, however, that it is otherwise, and that I really 
am poor, because Fortune has denied me riches ; suppose that, 
as olten is the case, either my guardian has made away with 
them, an enemy robbed nu; of them, or my father failed 
to leave me any ; is a man, then, to be censured for a thing 
which is imj)uted as a fault to no one of the animals, neither 
the eagle, nor the bull, nor the lion ? If a horse has good 
qualities, and is an easy trotter, and swift in his gallop, no 
Qpe censures him for being iu wa^t of fodd^- ; and wiJ you 


impute i: as a fault to me, not that I have said or done 
anything that is bad, but that I live contented with my 
humble means, that I have but few servants, that I eat 
spai-ingly, that I am lightly clad, and that I cater but 
meagrely ? And j'ct, on the other hand, small as you think my 
means in all these respects, I both think them abundant, and 
more than sufficient, and I desire to restrict myself to still 
fewer necessities, being fully assured that I shall be th^ more 
happy, the more circumscribed my wants. For it is wivh the 
mind just as with the body ; in a healthy state it is lightly 
clad, but in eickness it is wrapped in cumbrous clothing ; 
and it is a sure sign of infirmity to have many wants. It is 
with life just as Avith swimming; that man is the most ex- 
pert who is the most disengaged from all encumbrances. Jest 
the same way, amid the stormy tempests of human life, that 
•\vhicli is light tends to our buoyancj', that which is heavy, to 
sink us. 

For my part, I have learned that in this especially the Gods 
surpass mankind, that they have to satisfy no necessities. Hence 
it is, that him among us who has the fewest possible necessities, 
I consider most strongly to resemble a God. I was very well 
pleased, therefore, when you said, intending it as a reproach, 
that my property consisted of a staff and a wallet. And I only 
■wish that I had such perfect control over my mind, that I 
required nothing whatever beyond those articles, and be- 
comingly submitted to the same equipment which Crates, 
throwing all riches aside, spontaneouslj- desired. This Crates, 
if you Avill take my word for it, ^milianus, was a man of the 
liigher class of Thebes, rich, and ennobled in his city througli 
liis love of that very state which you impute to me as a fault. 
He presented his large and ample property to tlie people, and 
putting away his numerous I'etiiuie of servants, made choice oi 

life of solitude : his trees, numerous and fruitful as they 
were, he scorned in comparison with a single staff; his most 
elegant villas he changed for a single scrip; the praises oi 
which he afterwards even sang in verse, on experience oi 
its utility, adapting to the purpose those lines of Homer in 
which he celebrates the Isle of Crete. I will mention the 
Avords with which he commences, that you may not suppose I 
bavo only invented this for the purpose of my defence-^ 


" Scrip is a city's name,* which 'mid dense smoke 
l>ies fair and flourishing." 

Ajid then follow lines so admirable, that, if you were to read 
them, you would be much more inclined to envy me my wallet 
than the hand of Pudentilla. Do you censure philosophers 
for their scrip and staff ? By the same reasoning, you ought to 
censure horsemen for their trappings, foot-soldiers for their 
bucklers, standard-bearers for their ensigns, and those, in fine, 
•who enjoy a triumph for their white steeds, and their robes 
embroidered with sprigs of palm. 

These, hoAvever, are not the equipments of the Platonic sect, 
but they are the insignia of the class of Cynics. Still, the 
scrip and the staff were the same to Diogenes and to An- 
tisthenes, as the diadem to kings, the martial cloak to generals, 
the rounded hat to priests, and the crooked staff to augurs. 
Indeed, Diogenes the Cynic, when disputing with Alexander 
the Great as to who was the true king, boasted of his staff as 
serving him in the stead of a sceptre. Even tlie invincible 
Hercules himself — (you will, no doubt, feel a perfect contempt 
for those others, as a set of mendicants) — Hercules him- 
self, I say, the traveller over the whole earth, the cleanser 
thereof from wild beasts, the subduer of nations, when he was 
travelling through the earth, and shortly before he was sum- 
moned to heaven for his virtues, had no better clothing than a 
single hide, although he was a God, and no other attendants 
than a single staff". 

If, however, you think nothing at all of these instances, and 
have summoned me not to plead a cause, but to discoui-se upon 
my income, that you may not be in ignorance about any of 
my affairs, if, indeed, you are ignorant, I admit that my father 
left me and my brother a little under twenty hundred thou- 
sand sesterces, and that that sum has been a little diminished 
by me, in consequence of prolonged travel, close study, and fre- 
quent donations. For I have given assistance to most of my 
friends, paid their fees to numbers of instructors, and have 
given dowries even to the daughters of some : nor indeed, for 
my own part, should I have hesitated to spend even the whole 
of my patrimony, in order to acquire, what to me is of far 
gi'oater value, a contempt for aU wealth. 

* Scrip is a city's name.'] — He puts Uiipt], a ' scri^/ or 'wallet,' ia 
place of the name of Crete, used hy Hou»«Jf 

2?0 ffit; bfet^NCE at Attiftrtja. 

Yovi, J the other hand, ^milianus, and men like jroU, Ufl* 
polished and uncouth, are to he valued, no doubt, just according 
to what j'ou possess ; just as a barren and unproductive tree, 
which bears no fruit, is to be estimated in value according to 
the amount of timber to be found in its trunk. Nevertheless, 
forbear, ^milianus, from this time forward, to throw his 
poverty in the teeth of any man, seeing that, up to a very re- 
cent date, you used to plough for three days single-handed 
the one little field at Zaratha, which your father left you, witli 
the assistance of a solitary ass to get it ready before the usual 
wet season. Nor is it such a very long time since the nume- 
rous deaths of relatives came to your support, by giving you 
the possession of property that you little deserved ; a cir^^um- 
stance from which, still more than from that most ugly face of 
yours, you have obtained the name of Charon. 

And now as to ray native countr}', and your shewing that 
it is situate on the confines of Numidia and of Getulia, from 
writings of mine, in which I confessed, when I was lecturing 
before that most illustrious man, Lollianus Avitus, that I was 
a Semi-Numidian and a Semi-Getulian ; I do not see what I 
have to be ashamed of in that respect, any more than the 
elder Cyrus, because he was of mingled parentage, being a 
Semi-Median and a Semi-Persian. For the proper subject of 
enquiry is not where a man is born, but what are his man- 
ners ; not in what country, but upon what principle he began 
life is the thing to be considered. It is with good reason 
allowed the gardener and the vintner to recommend vege- 
tables and wine according to the nobleness of the soil ; the wine 
of Thasos,* for instance, and the vegetables of Phlius. For it 
is a fact, that those productions of the earth are much im- 
proved in flavour by the natural fertility of the district, the 
rain of the heavens, the mildness of the breezes, the brightness 
of the sun, and the richness of the soil. 

But, on the other hand, while the mind of man is sojourning 
in the abode of the body which is foreign to it, how can any 
of these particulars in any way add to or subtract from its 
merits or its demerits ? When was it not the case that in every 

* Qf Thasos.'} — Thasos, an island in the -^gean sea, was famous fof 
the excellence of its wines. The vicinity of the city of Plilino, near Ar 
(tM, was equally famous for its growth of vegetahles. 


Qatiotl vafious dispositions were to h", found ? and tins, al- 
thovigh some of them seem to be peculiarly distinguished for 
stupidity, others for talent. Among the Scj-thians, a people 
most remarkable for their stupiditj-, was born the wise Ana- 
charsis ; among the clever Athenians, the fool Melitides. Nor 
do I say this because I am in any way ashamed of my 
country, even though ours had still been the city of Syphax ;* 
we, however, were con(][uered, on which we were presented as 
a gift of the Roman people to king Masinissa, and after that, 
on a new allotment of land being made among the veteran sol- 
diers, we rose to be wliat we now are, a most famous colony. 
In this colony it was, that my fatlier, a man of the highest 
rank, a duumvir, enjoyed every honour ; whose position I 
have occupied in the same community, from tlie time I was 
admitted to tiie rank of decurion, having in no way dege* 
nerated from him, and, I both hope and think, enjoying the 
same amount of honor and of estimation. 

Why do I mention these particulars ? In order that you, 
^milianus, may have tlie fewer pretences for levelling your 
invectives against me in future ; and that you may be the 
more inclined to pardon me, if, in my negligence, I did omit 
to make choice of that Attic Zarathf of yours, to be born 
in. Are you not ashamed of yourselves, thus perseveringly, 
in the presence of such a man, to prefer such accusations as 
these ? To bring forward matters so frivolous, and at the 
same time of so conflicting a nature, and yet to charge me as 
being guilty of them all ? Have you not accused me on con- 
tradictory grounds ? on those of the wallet and the staff, be- 
cause of ray rigidness of lite ; on those of the verses and the 
looking-glass, on account of my frivolity ; of having but one 
servant, as being penurious ; of having three freedmen, as being 
a spendthrift ; and then, besides, of being in eloquence a 
Greek, by birth a barbarian. Why do you not rouse up your 
senses, and recollect that you are pleading your cause before 
Claudius Maximus, before a man of serious habits, and one 
engaged with the affairs of this entire province ? Why not 

* C'iVy of St/phax"} — Who, contrary lo his promise, sided with Han. 
nibal against the Romans, and was afterwards captured by Musinissa, ar.d 
delivered to the Romans, who starved him to death in prison. 

f Attic Zarath] — He says this ironically, and in allusion to the ha» 
Mrism of the city of Zarath in Mauritania 


away with these vain reproaches ? "SVhy not prove, ■whit yott 
have accused me of, heinous crimes, lawless misdeeds, and 
wicked artifices ? Why is your speech thus weak in argu • 
ments, thus mighty in outcry ? 

I now come to the charge itself of magic, that blazing brand 
which you lighted up against me with such immense clamour, 
but which has disappointed the expectation of all, dying 
out into I know not what old woman's stories. Have you 
not, Maximus, sometimes beheld a fire that has broken out 
amid stubble ? how loud its crackling, how large its blaze, how 
rapid its growth, and yet, after all, how slight the fuel on 
which it feeds, how short-lived the flame, that leaves after it 
no remains ! In that flame behold this accusation, which 
began in abuse, which has been fanned by assertions, which 
has failed in its proofs, and which, after your sentence shall 
have been pronounced, is destined to survive in not a single 
remnant of this false charge : a charge which has been en- 
tirely centred by ^milianus in the proof of this one point, 
that I am a magician ; for which reason I may be allowed 
to enquire of these most learned advocates of his, what a 
magician is. 

For if, as I have read in many authors, a magician* means, 
in the language of the Persians, the same thing that the word 
" priest" does in ours, what is the crime, pray, in being a ma- 
gician ? what is the crime in properly knowing, and under- 
standing, and being versed in the laws of ceremonials, tlie 
solemn order of sacred rites, and religious ordinances ? What 
if, indeed, that is magic, which Plato calls " the service of the 
Gods," when he relates with what careful training the Per- 
sians bring up a youth who is destined for the throne. I recollect 
the very words of that divine man, and do you, Maximus, 
recall them to your memory with me : " When he is fourteen 
years of age, those persons take charge of the boy, whom they 
call ' the royal tutors.' These are four persons, whom they 
select from the highest classes of the Persians, and who are ap 
proved of for their age. One of these is the most wise, ano- 
ther the most just, another the most prudent, and th*^ fourth 
the most valiant man. Of these, one instructs him in the 
magic of Zoroaster and of Oromazes, which is the service of 
the Gods. He also teaches him the art of governing." 
* ./ /««yician.] — Magus, 


Do yod not hear then, you who arc so rash as to accuse me 
of it, that magic is an art acceptable to the Gods, one that 
most correctly teaches us how to worsliip and to venerate them ; 
one that is consequently consistent with piety, and skilled in 
all divine matters ; one that has been ennobled from the very 
times of Zoroaster and of Oromazes, its inventors, as being the 
handmaid of the inhabitants ot heaven ? For among the very 
rudiments of the royal training this art is taught : nor is any 
one of the Persians rashly allowed to be a magician, any more 
than he is to be a king. 

The same Plato, in another discourse of his, when speaking 
of a certain Zamolxis, a Thracian by birth, but a man skilled 
in the same art, has left a passage in his writings to the fol- 
lowing effect; — '' But he said, happy man, that the soul is 
healed by certain incantations ; and that these incantations 
are soothing words." And if this is the fact, what reason is 
there why I should not be allowed to understand either the 
soothing words of Zamolxis, or the priestly duties enjoined by 
Zoroaster ? But if, after the common usage, these people ima- 
gine that a magician is properly a person who, from commu- 
nication and discourse with the immortal Gods, is able, by a 
certain incredible power centred in his incantations, to do 
everything he pleases, then I greatly wonder, why they have 
not been afraid to accuse me, when they admit that I am 
possessed of such might}' powers. For you cannot take j^re- 
cautions against a power that is of a nature so mysterious 
and so divine, in the same way that other influences may be 
guarded against. He Avho summons an assassin befoi'e the 
judge, comes there attended by otliers : he \Aho accuses a poi- 
soner, uses every precaution in taking his food ; he who charges 
a man with theft, keeps watch over his property. 

But here, on the other hand, he who puts a magician, such 
as they speak of, on trial for his life, by means of what attend- 
ants, what precautions, what guards, is he to ward off a de- 
struction that is as unforeseen as it is inevitable ? Most as- 
tsuredly, "by none : hence a charge of this kind is not likely to 
be preferred by one who believes in its truth. But these accu- 
sations, bj' a kind of error imiversally prevalent among the 
ignorant, are generally made against philosophers ; thus, for 
instance, such of them as make enquiry into the pure and pri- 
mary causes of matter, they look upon as irreligious, and, od 



that account, assert that they deny the existence of Gods ; 
such as Anaxagoras, Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, and 
other advocates of natural causes ; others, again, who, with more 
than ordinary curiosity, enquire into the governance of the 
world, and with the greatest earnestness venerate the Gods, 
to these, too, do the vulgar give the name of magicians; sup- 
posing that they know how to bring about those operations 
Avhich they know to take place : such, for instance, were in 
former days, Epimenides, Orpheus, Pythagoras, and Ostanes.* 
In like manner, the Purifications of Empedocles, the Daemon 
of Socrates, and the abstract " Good" of Plato, became simila* 
objects of suspicion. Consequently, I congratulate myself, 
when I find myself added to this long list of great men. 

Still, I am afraid that the frivolous, silly, and trifling thing' 
that they have alleged against me in support of their charge, 
you will consider to make against me, if only on the ground 
that they have been so alleged. " Why," said he, " have 
you been enquiring after certain kinds of fishes?" Just as 
though a philosopher were not at liberty to do that, in the 
cause of knowledge, which an epicure may do to satisfy his 
gluttony. "Why has a free-born woman married you after 
she has passed fourteen years in a state of widowhood r" Just 
as though it were not a greater cause for wonderment that she 
I'emained uniuarried so many years. "Why, before she was 
married to you, did she write I know not what thoughts of 
hers in a certain letter r" Just as though any one were bound 
to tell another the reasons for his tlioughts. " Then, besides, 
she, a person advanced in years, did not hesitate to marry a 
young man." Why, that very fact aftbrds a proof that there 
was no need of magic to prompt a woman to marry a man, a 
widow a bachelor, one advanced in j-ears, her junior ; and tlien 
come these other points of a similar nature—" Apuleius has 
got something at home which he worships in secret." Just as 
though it would not rather be a ground for crimination not to 
have some object to Avorship. " A boy fell down in the pre- 
sence of Apuleius." And what if a joung man, what if an 
old man even had fallen to the ground wliile I was standing 
by, whether he happened to be attacked b}' some bodily malady, 

* Ottanes] — There were two Persian philosophers of this name. One 
accompanied the expedition of Xerxes against Greece; the other wai 
pstronized b}- Alexander the Grea:. 


or lost his balance through, the slippery natuie of the ground ? 
Is it OL these proofs you would conviot me of magical prac- 
tices — the tumbling down of a boy, the marriage of a woman, 
and the purchase of some fish ? 

For my own part, I certainly could, with entire safety to 
myself, be content, after saying even thus much, to come to a 
conclusion. Still as, in pi-oportion to the lengthiness of the 
speech made for the prosecution, the water [in the clepsydra] 
shows that there is abundance of time left, let us, if you 
think proper, consider things in detail. And, for my part, all 
the charges that have been brought against me, whether they 
are true or false, I shall not deny, but will admit them, just as 
though they really were the fact ; so that all this vast multi- 
tude, which has flocked together from every quarter to hear 
this trial, may fully understand, that not only nothing can be 
truthfully alleged against philosophers, but that nothing even 
can be Msely devised against them, which they would not 
prefer to rebut, although they could deny it, in full reliance 
on their innocence. First, then, I will meet their arguments, 
and will prove that they bear no relation whatever to the 
practice of magic ; and, after that, I will show that, even if I 
had been a magician of first-rate ability, still, no cause or 
opportunity has existed for them to detect me in any mal- 
practice whatever. I will at the same time discuss more fully 
tlieir unfounded envy, their shameful conduct in reading the 
letters of this lady, and their still more disgraceful interpreta- 
tion put upon those letters, with all the circumstances of tho 
marriage between myself and Pudentilla : and I will show that 
I entei'ed into that alliance more from a sense of duty than for 
gain. And, really, what a mighty cause of torment and uneasi- 
ness has this marriage of ours proved to ^milianus ! Hence all 
that anger, and rage, and absolute frenzy, which have found 
a vent in the present prosecution. And if I shall succeed ia 
proving all these points clearly and distinctly, then I shall call 
upon you, Claudius Maximus, and all you who are here present, 
to bear witness that this youth, Sicinius I'udens, my son-in-law, 
in whose name and by whose wish I am accused by his uncle, 
has but just now been removed from m}' charge, since his bro- 
ther Pontianiis, his senior in years, and his superior in character, 
departed this life ; and T will show that he has been thus nefa- 
riously worked udou ainiiust myself and his mother, through 

X 2 


no fault of mine ; and thai , having forsaken the pursuits of 
literature, and abandoned all studies, he is likely, if we raaj 
form a judgment from the wicked plans betrayed in this accu- 
sation, to turn out much more like his uncle -^milianus thsu) 
his brother Pontianus. 

I wiU now proceed, as I originally purposed, to all the frantic 
conceptions of ^mi'lianus here, and I will begin with that 
one which you heard him state at the outset as affording the 
strongest grounds for suspecting me of the practice of magic — 
the fact, I mean, that I have purchased various kinds of iish ot 
some fishermen. Which, now, of these circumstances is it 
that is to lead to a suspicion of magic ? Is it the fact that 
fishermen have endeavoured to procure these fish for me ? I 
suppose, then, this task ought to have been entrusted to some 
dyers or carpenters ; and that, on the same principle, the pur- 
suit of every art ought to have changed hands, so that tlie 
carpenter should have netted fish for me, and the fisherman 
have planed wood. Or, is it that you feel satisfied that fislies 
must be sought for unlawful practices, because they are sought 
on the terms of purchase ? If I had wanted them to set on 
table, I should have tried to get them for nothing, no doubt. 
"Why, then, do you not accuse me in like manner on many other 
points ? For many a time have I, for money, purchased wine, 
vegetables, fruit, and bread. Wh)'', if you carry out this prin- 
ciple, you prescribe starvation to all purveyors of dainties. For 
who will dare to make purchase of them, if it is looked upon 
as a matter of course, tliat all eatables that are procured with 
money are wanted, not for food, but for the purposes of magic ? 

But if there is no suspicion whatever existing, cither in con- 
sequence of the fact of fishermen being induced, for a sum of 
money, to do that which they are in the general liabit of do- 
ing, namely, catching fish — (they have taken care, however, 
to summon none of these fishermen as witnesses, for the best 
of reasons, because none such there were) — nor jct of the fact 
of a price being given for a marketable commodity — (the 
amount of wliich price, however, they have taken care not tc 
state, for fear lest, if they had named a moderate price, theii 
story miglit have met with contempt, and, if an exorbitant 
one, it might not liave been believed) ; if, on these points, I 
say, no ground for suspicion exists, then let ^Emilianus answei 
me, on what evident grounds was he induced to make thia 



charge of magical practices ? ** You endeavoured to procure 
some fish," says he. I do not wish to deny the fact. But tell 
me, 1 l>eg of you, is he who endeavours to procure some fish 
a magician ? For my own part, I don't think he is a bit the 
more so than if he were in search of hares, or boars, or fowl. 
Or is it that fishes alone are in possession of certain pro- 
perties that are hidden from other people, but known to ma- 
gicians ? If you know what this i)roperty is, then it is clear 
that you yourself are a magician ; but if you do not know it, 
then you must, of necessity, confess that you are accusing a 
person of a thing about Avhich you know nothing whatever. 

Are you, then, so unversed in all literature, nay, in all the 
stories of the vulgar, that you cannot so much as coin these 
fictions of yours with some air of probability ? For how 
.=*hoiild a lumpish and chill}'' fish, or anything that is found in 
the sea, be able to kindle the flames of dcsii'e ? But perhaps 
you were induced to frame this falsehood from the circum- 
stance that Venus is said to have arisen from the sea. Take 
note, if you please, Tannonius Budcns, of how much you were 
ignorant, when you imdertook to prove the practice of magic 
from the procuring of fish. Had you been a reader of Virgil, 
you certainly would have known that other things are usually 
sought for such purposes. For, so far as I recollect, that poet 
enumerates fillets of soft wool, unctuous vervain, male frank- 
incense, and threads of various colours ; besides crackling 
laurel, clay that hardens, and wax that liquefies, as well as 
some other things, which he has described in his more serious 

" She sprinkles round, 
With feign'd Avernian drops, the hallow'd ground, 
Culls hoary simples, found by Phoebe's light, 
With brazen sickles reap'd at noon of night ; 
Then mixes baleful juices in a bowl, 
And cuts the forehead of a newborn foal, 
Robbing the mother's love." 

but you, libeller of the fishes, attribute far difi'erent appli* 

* Serious work.'] — He alludes to the iEneid. The quotation is from 

e Fourth Book, translated by Dry den. 

+ The forehead, ^c] — The 'hippomanes ' was a substance said to 
grow on the forehead of the foal, and to be eagerly swallowed by the dam 
Et the moment of its birth. It was much employed in philtres and tncaa< 


ances to magicians ; substances not to be torn off from tender 
foreheads, but to be cut away from scaly backs ; not to be dug 
up from the ground, but to be drawn up from the sea ; not to 
be cropped with the sickle, but to be hooked up with the fisher's 
baru. In fine, for the purpose of incantations, he makes men- 
tion of poisons, you of dainties, he of herbs and suckers, you 
of scales and bones ; he culls fr'om the meadow, you ransack 
the deep. I could also have quoted to you similar passages 
from Theocritus, others, again, from Homer, and a great num- 
ber from Orpheus, and I could have repeated a multitude of 
lines from the Greek comedies and tragedies, as well as from 
the historians, had I not already observed that you were un- 
able to read the letter of Pudentilla, because it was written 
in Greek. I will therefore just dip into one more Latin poet : 
liere are the lines, which those will easily recognise who have 
read Laevius : * 

" Look for your antidote ;t on every side 
They snatch up charms of all sorts, whirling rhombs, 
Of magic potency ; wing tails, and threads 
Of varied colours, and entwined ; wiih roots 
And herbs and suckers ; from the neighing colt 
Torn is the stimulant J of fierce desire." 

If you had had any acquaintance with literature, you would 
liave framed your fictions with much more probability, if you 
liad stated that I had souglit for these and other things ; for 
perhaps, in consequence of the stories so universally spread 
about them, some credit would have then attached to your 
mention of these particulars. But when a fish is caught, what 
is it good for except to be cooked and served xip at table : but 
for magic it is of no avail. 

I will state to you my reasons for thinking so. Many have 
supposed that Pythagoras was a follower of Zoroaster, and wus, 
like him, skilled in magic, and have informed us in their 
writings, that when in the vicinity of Metapoutum, on the 
shores of his own part of Italy which he had made a kind of 
second Greece, § he saw a seine drawn up by certain fisher- 

* Ltpviug.l — It is a matter of doubt whether the reading here is 
♦ Laevius' or ' Laeltius.' Of neither of these poets is anything known. 

t AHtido(e.]—V\iny tells us that the ' Antipathes' was a black stone, 
A'hich was valued as being proof against the operations of witchcraft. 

X The stimulant.'\ — The hipponianes. 

§ Second Greece.]— lie alludes to the south of Italy, which was called 

A DtacotmsK OS magic. 279 

men, wheriupon he purchased the chances of the naul ; an-i 
that after he had paid the money, he immediately gave orders 
that the fisli whieli had been caught shouM be rchased I'roni 
the nets, and returned to ttie deep. Now, I siijipose, he 
would not have let them go out of his hands, if he had found 
in them anything useful for magical purposes. For this man, 
80 well versed in all learning, and so close an imitator of the 
ancients, remembered full well that Homer, a poet gifted with 
universal knowledge, had, in his writings, attributed all the 
power of drugs to the earth, and not to the sea ; for when 
speaking of a certain enchanti'ess, he writes thus : 
" These drugs, so friendly to the joys of life, 

Bright Helen learned from Thone's imperial wife, 

\Vho swayed the sceptre, where prolific Nile 

With various simples clothes the fatten'd soil ; 

With wholesome herbage niix'd, the direful bane 

Of vegetable venom taints the plain."* 

And so likewise in another passage : 

" Thus while he spoke, the sovereign plant he drew, 
Where on th' all-bearing earth unmark'd it grew.^f 
While, on the other hand, you will never find in his writings 
either that Proteus drugged his changing figure with any 
marine and fishy substance, or Ulysses the trench,^ uEolus the 
bag, Helen the goblet, Circe the cup, or Venus her girdle. 
"Why, you are the only people to be found in the memory of 
man who, forming, as it were, a kind of hodge-podge of the 
productions of nature, make nothing of transferring the virtues 
of herbs, and roots, and suckers, and pebbles from the tops 
of moimtains to the depths of the sea, and there sewing then 
up in the bellies of fishes. Hence, just as Mercury, the con- 
veyer of incantations, Venus, the charmer of the soul, Luna, 

Magna Gra;cia. Here Pythagoras set up a school of philosophy at the 
city of Crotona. 

* 7'Ae /^Zflin ]— Odyssey Book IV. 1. 227. Pope's Tran.slation. 

t It i^rtw.]— Odyssey'Book X. 1. 302. 

J The trench.] — He alludes to various passages found in the works of 
Homer; the transformations of Proteus, Book IV.: the trench dug by 
Ulysses when sacrificing to Pluto, Book X. ; the bag in which ^olus eu 
closed the winds for Ulysses, Book X. ; the goblets in which Helen n)ingled 
wine and drugs, to banisn grief and tears, Book IV. ; the cup in which Circe 
mingled the drugs, by means of which she changed the companions of 
Ulysses into swine, Book X. ; and the girdle of Venus, the wsndrous vir- 
tues of which ure mentioned in the Iliud, Book XIY. 


the lookcr-ou in the night, and Trivia, the mistress of ilie 
shades, used to be summoned to the ceremonies of the magi- 
cians ; so, according to your account, henceforth Neptune, in 
company with Salacia, and Portumnus, and the whole tlirong 
of the Nereids, will have been transferred from the surging agi- 
tations of the waves to the agitations of passionate desii-e. 

I have now stated why, in my opinion, there is nothing in 
common between magicians and lislies. But now, if you think 
proper, let us believe, ^'Emilianus, that fishes really are in the 
liabit of promoting magical intiuences. Does it, then, follow, 
as a necessarj' consequence, that whoever seeks for a fish is a 
magician ? By the same rule, the person who tries to procure 
a light cutter is a pirate, he who looks for a crow-bar is a 
housebreaker, and he who seeks a sword is a cut-throat. 
Nothing of ever so harmless a nature can you mention, but 
may possibly be used to man's disadvantage ; and nothing, of 
ever so pleasing a tendenc}', but may be taken in bad part. 
Yet it is not, for all that, a necessary consequence that all 
things should obtain an utterly bad reputation ; as, for instance, 
that you should suppose that frankincense, and cassia, and 
myrrh, and such other aromatics, arc only bought for the pur- 
pose of being used at funerals, seeing that they are also used 
in medical preparations, and in sacrifices. 

But, according to this mode of reasoning about fish, you 
would suppose that the companions of Menelaiis, too, were 
magicians, inasmuch as the greatest of poets says that at the 
island of Pharos they banished hunger by using curved hooks. 
In the same class, too, you will have to place sea-gulls, dol- 
phins, and cray-fish ; and then all epicures, too, who pur- 
chase largely of fishermen ; and even the fishermen them- 
selves, who, in pursuit of their calling, seek for all kinds of 
fish. " Why, then," say you, " do you try to procure tlieui ?" 
Beally I do not choose, no-r do I deem it necessary, to tell 
you ; but show me, I beg of you, if you possibly can, that I 
have tried to procure fish for those purposes you state. Sup- 
pose I had bought hellebore, hemlock, or the juice of poppies, 
and other things, the use of which, in moderation, is conducive 
to health, but which, when mixed or taken in large quan- 
tities, are dangerous; who could with common patience have 
endured it, if you had accused me of poisoning, because by 
tQoans of these things a man may lose his life ? 

A DiscorusiE ojr maoio. 281 

Lt't lis see, however, what were the different kinds of fishes 
Which were so necessary for me to possess, and so rarely to be 
met with, as to deserve to be sought for on the promise of a 
reward. Three only have they named ; in one they Avere 
mistaken, while the other two they invented. They were 
mistaken in saying that the iish was a sea-hare, for it was quite 
a dih'erent kind of fish altogether; one which my servant 
Themiso, a person by no means ignorant of the medical art, 
as A'ou have heai"d from his own lips, brouglit to me quite 
imasked, for me to look at ; for llie fact is, that he has not 
even yet managed to find a sea-liare. Still, 1 am ready to 
admit that I have been in search of other kinds besides, and 
that I have given a commission not only to fishermen, but to 
my friends also, wherever a person meets with a fish of any 
uh usual kind, either to describe to me the form of it, or else 
to show it me alive, or, if he cannot do so, dead. Why I have 
done this, I will presently proceed to inform you. 

But these accusers of mine, so extremely clever, as they 
fancy themselves to be, were guilty of a falsehood, when, to- 
wards the end of their charge, they invented the story that I 
had been in search of two marine productions with indelicate 
names. Those productions, Tannonius here, though he wished 
the genitals of both sexes to be understood, could not, all- 
accomplished pleader as he is, think of mentioning for very 
bash fulness ; and, at last, after much stammering and bun- 
gling, he called the fish he meant, bj' a vile paraphrasis, "the 
marine virile member." * But as for the fish called "feminal,"f 
finding himself unable, in any way whatever, to mention it 
with common decency, he betook himself to my writings, and, 
because he had read a passage from a book of mine, to this 
eftect — " May cover the ' interfeminium' both by crossing the 
thighs and shading it with the hand," in due coniox'mity;J; 
with the gravity of his own character, he imputed it as a fault 
to me, that I was not ashamed to speak decently of shametul 

Why, on the contrary, I might, witli much more justice, 

* The 'nartne vtrile member.] — The fish was the Veretilla, a uayie syiio- 
'.ynious with the male organs of generation. 

t FeminaL] — A Latin name for the female organs ; the name aJso of 
Kind of shell-rish. 

X In due conformtft/.] — This is said ironically. 


have eeiiEured him, uho, whilst he publicly professes the aft 
of eloquence, babbles shamefully even about things that are 
proper to be mentioned, and often, when speaking about sub- 
jects that present not the slightest difficulty, either hems and 
haws, or comes to a dead stop altogether. Now, tell me, if I 
liad said nothing at all about that statue of Venus,* and had 
never mentioned the word " interfeminium," pray, in what 
words would you have accused me on this matter, so suited 
alike to your stupidity and to your tongue ? Can there be 
anything more silly, than from a similarity of names to infer 
a similarity of meaning in things ? And yet, perhaps, you 
thought that you had shown great acuteness in this dis- 
covery of yours. Why, then, you should have invented in 
your charge that I had been in search of these two marine 
productions, the " veretilla" and the "virgiual,"f for ma- 
gical purposes ; for I must teach you the Latin names of things, 
and I therefore give you their various appellations, that you 
may be instructed another time in what language to make your 
charges against me. Bear this in mind, however, that it would 
be as ridiculous an argument to hold, that marine productions 
with obscene names are required for venereal purposes, as it 
would be to say that sea-combs or scallops are sought for the 
purpose of combing the hair, or that the hawk-fish is taken 
for the purpose of catching birds that fly, the boar-fish for 
hunting boars, or sea-slculls with the object of raising the dead. 
I make answer, then, to this position of yours, devised, as it is, 
no less foolishly than absurdly, that I neither obtained these 
marine trifles and gimcracks at any cost whatever, nor yet 

And this answer I give you furthermore, that you did not 
know what it was you were pretending I had been in seai'ch 
of. For these trifles which you have mentioned, are generally 
found lying in abundance on the sea-shores of all couutiies, 
and, without labour on the part of any one, are spontaneously 
thrown up by the tide, however gentle the ripple of the waves. 
"NVliy, then, do you not assert that, just in the same way, pay- 
ing a heavy price for them, I have employed numbers of 

• Statue of Venm.] — In describing which, he made use of the word 

' iaterfeminium.' 

t" ' Virginal. ' — This word seems here to have tlie same meaning »t 
feaiiiial,' prev'ousl^ aUuded tu. 

A DISCOimSE 017 MAGia 2S8 

fishermen to coL'ect on the sea-shore streaked mussels, lumpish 
shells, and smooth pebbles r Why not add the claws of crab?, 
the shells of sea-urchins, the feelers of cuttle-fish, and bits of 
chips, old stumps, scraps of rope, and ■\vorm-piercod oyster- 
shells ?* Why not, in line, moss and sea- weed, and other 
things which are throAvn up by the sea, which are drifted by 
the winds in all quarters upon the shore, cast up on the surface 
with the scum, tossed in the tempests to and fro, and stranded 
in the calm r 

And not a jot the less, in the case of the matters which I have 
mentioned, may similar suspicions be broached, in accord- 
ance with their respective names. You aiBrm that things 
gathered from tbe sea, and that bear the names of the male 
and female organs, are efficacious in venereal matters, be- 
cause of the similitude of the names; how, then, can it 
possibly be other than the fact, that the calculus or smooth 
pebble that is picked up from the same sea-shore bears some 
reference to the bladder, the shell known to us as " testa"f to 
a testamentary devise, tbe cancer to a cancerous ulcer, the 
" alga," or sea-weed, to aguerj 

Assuredly, Claudius Maximus, you are a most forbeai'ing 
man, and one endowed with the greatest humanity, for having, 
by Hercules ! so long tolerated these arguments of theirs. For 
my own part, when these things were stated by them as being 
matters serious and unanswerable, I laughed at their folly, and 
■was surprised at your pow'crs of endurance. But as ^milianus 
is so very anxious about my affairs, he must be made ac- 
quainted Avliy it is that I have examined so many fishes of 
late, and why 1 did not wish to remain unacquainted with any 
of them. Althougb be is well-stricken in years, and in the 
decline of life, still, if he chooses, let him receive some in- 
struction, however late, and in a manner posthumous. Let 
Jiim read the records of the ancient philosophers, that at last 
he may understand, tliat I was not the first to make these 
researches; but that, long before me, my predecessors Aris- 
totle, Theophrastus, Eudemus, Lycon, and others after the time 

* Oyster-shells ] — The word ' pergaini' is not translated, as it is pretty 
clear that it is out of place here. 

t ' 'J'esta.'] — The name of a shell-fish, the present denomination oi 
•• is unknown. 

X To ay«<?,] — 'A'hich is attended with shivering fit*. 

284 TflK DE.VENCE OV AriTLElcr*. 

of P^ato, enquired into these matters ; and .et him know that 
they have left many books which treat of the generation of 
animals, their diet, their formation, and all their classifications. 

It is fortunate, Maximus, that this cause is tried before 
you, who, learned as you are, have no doubt read the numerous 
volumes of Aristotle " On the Generation of Animals," " On 
the Anatomy of Animals," " On the History of Animals ;" be- 
sides iunumcrablo problems of the same writer, as well as 
works written bj' otliers of the same sect, in which various 
mutters of the same nature are treated of. 

If it was honorable and praiseworthy in them to write on 
these particulars which had been investigated with such scru- 
pulous care, why should it be disgraceful for me to try to do 
the same ? And the more especially, when I am making it my 
object to write on the same subjects, both in the Greek and 
Latin languages, with an improved arrangement, and in more 
concise terms, and to ascertain what has been omitted on each 
point, or else to supply what is defective ? Permit, if you 
have the leisure, some of my magical compositions to be read, 
in order that ^milianus may learn that I luive made more care- 
ful researches and enquiries than he imagines. Produce* one 
of my Greek books, which perhaps my friends have brought 
here with them, and which treats on researches into nature, 
and that one, in especial, in which are set forth a great number 
of facts relative to the class of fishes. 

In the meantime, while he is looking for it, I will just men- 
tion an instance appropriate to the present occasion. Sophocles, 
the poet who was the rival of Euripides, and his survivor (for 
he lived to a very advanced age), was accused by his own son 
of madness, as having, througli extreme old age, fallen into a 
state of dotage. On this, it is said he produced his (Edipus 
Coloncus, the most excellent of his Tragedies, and which he 
happened just then to be writing, and having read it to the 
judges, he added not a word in his defence, except that he 
requested them, without hesitation, to pronounce him mad il 
the lines written by him in his old age should show him to 
be so. On that occasion, I find that all the judges arose to 
pay all due respect to a great poet, and wondrously extolled 

* P» oduce.'] — He says this to one of the scribes or clerks of court, in 
»ho8f: hands the documents had been de losited connected with the prose- 

A Discociist oj; magu , 28.5 

kim, botli for the skill displayed in his plot, and tlie tragir. 
elegance of his composition ; and it all but turned out that, 
on the contrary, they pronounced the accuser mad. 

Have you found the book ? I am much obliged to you. 
Come now, let us make trial, whether my literaiy productions 
too will stand my friends in a court of justice ? Head a few 
lines at the beginning, and then something on the subject of 
fishes. And do you, while he is reading it, take care and 
keep the water from dropping.* \The officers read some j^?rt.s- 
mges from the speakers physical works, icliich are noiv lost.] 
You have heard here, Maximus, much that no doubt you have 
read in the writings of the ancient philosophers ; bear in mind, 
too, that these volumes wei"e written by me on the subject of 
fishes alone ; in them you will find it stated, which of them 
are produced from copulation, which are generated from miid, 
how often, and at what time of the year, the females and the 
males of each kind are bent on coupling ; in what parts, and 
from what causes, nature has produced a difference between 
such of them as are viviparous, and such as are oviparous ; 
for by those names I denote those which the Greeks call 
^uoToxa and woroxa. 

And, not to be at the trouble of going through all the genera 
of animals, I will next request a few passages to be read from 
my Latin compositions, which likewise treat of the same kind 
of knowledge, both with reference to their classifications, their 
food, their members, their ages, and numerous other porticu- 
lars, which, necessaiy as they are to be known, have but little 
to (io with a court of justice ; in these, you will find, how- 
ever, facts that are known to but verj' few, as well as some 
names that are even imknown by the Ilomans, and are not 
used, as far as I know, up to the present day; they are 
names, however, which by means of my labour und studj^ have 
been so derived from the Greek, as still to hear upon them the 
stamp of the current Latin coinage. If such is not the fact, 
then, iEmilianus, let your advocates inform us where they 
have read these names eet forth as being Latin words. I will 
only touch upon aquatic animals, and no other class, except Id 

* Water from dropping.'] — He says this to the officer whose charge it 
is to watcli the clepsydra. The time taken up iii reading qiiotaiions oi 
documents was not deemed part of that allowed for the speech in io 


those cases where there are differences of genera in coraraon 
with them and others. 

Lislen now to Avhat I am going to say. You will presently 
cry out, that I am repeating a string of magical terras aftei 
the Egyptian or Babylonian custom — these are the classes— 
atXd'^iia, fj^aXdxicc, /MaXaxoorpaKa, ^yovdpdxanda, oarpaxodip/Ji^a, 
xapy^apobovra, u/Mf)ij3ia, XsTidurd, <po}.idctjrd, bip/Mrrripa, '^i^d, 
/STo^a, /Movyjpn, auvayiXasrix.d. — I could still go on, but it is 
not worth Avhile to consume the day on these subjects, in 
order that I may have time to proceed to otlier points. In 
the meantime, as to the few that I have mentioned, run over 
the names 1 have given them in Latin. \_The Latin names for 
ike same genera of fishes are lost.^ 

Which, then, do you think, in case of a philosopher, not one, 
rude and untaught, in accordance with the impudence of the 
cynics, but one who bears in mind that he belongs to the 
school of Plato, which do you think is the more disgraceful to 
him, to know these matters, or to be ignorant of them ? to 
neglect or to attend to them ? To come to a perception how 
fully, even in these objects, the workings of providence are 
displayed, or merely to take your flither's and mother's word 
as regai'ds belief in the immortal gods ^ 

Q. Ennius, in his work called " Hcdj-phagetica,"* which 
he has written in verse, enumerates the almost numberless 
genera of fish which he had, no doubt curiously, examined. I 
remember a few of his lines, which I will repeat. 

" The best of eel-pouts are at Clypea found ; 
At ^luis sea-loche. From Ahydos come 
Oysters in plenty. Mitylene sends 
Iler scallops. From Ainhracia's rocky shores 
We fetch the sea-goat. Good tliy sargesf are, 
Brundusiiim ; if they're large, make sure and buy. 
Know that Tarentuin sends of boar-like fishj 
The best. Buy sword-fish at Surreutum, buy 
Blue fish at Cumae. But why fail to name 

* ' Ifedt/pfiaf/f/ica.'] — This seems likely to be the most correct reading. 
I'he meaning will be 'a treatise on good eating.' The following lines are 
.11 a most corrupt state. 

f Sftr(/es.'\ — It is not known what fish was called ' sargus. 

t Boar-like fish. '\ — ' Apriculum.' — It is not known what fish was thiM 
jailed by the diminutive of ' ai)cr,' a ' boai.' 


The scarus, equal to the brain of Jove I 

In Nestor's land 'tis found, both fine and good ; 

The black-tail, sea thrush, whiting, an 1 the swift 

Sea-shadow,* the Corcyrean polypus ; 

Atarna's skull-fish fat, the purpura, 

Murex, rauriculus ; sweet urchins, too." 

Others, besides, he has celebrated in many of his lines, and has 
shown in what countries each of them is to be found, and whether 
it has the finest flavour when boiled or pickled; and yet, for all 
this, he is not censured by the learned. Let me not be censured 
then, when I set forth in the Latin tongue, under elegant and 
appropriate names, matters which, having been hitherto treated 
of in Greek, are known to but very few indeed. 

As I have spoken at sufficient length on this subject, next 
hear me on another. Now what can they say against it, pray, 
if, being neither unacquainted with the medical art, nor un- 
skilled in it, I seek for certain antidotes in fishes r for as 
very many such are mingled and implanted in all other ob- 
jects by the bounty of nature, so too there are some, no 
doubt, to be found in fishes. Do you suppose that to under- 
stand the nature of antidotes, and to search for them, is the 
province rather of a magician, than of a physician, or a phi- 
losopher even ? One who is going to use them not lor his own 
profit, but for the purpose of benefiting others ? Why, the 
ancient physicians were even acquainted Avith certain charms 
by way of remedy for wounds, as Homer, that most trust- 
worthy autlior of all antiquity, informs us, when he represents 
the blood that flowed from the wound of Ulysses, as being 
staunclied by means of a charm. f Nothing that is done for 
the ])urpose of ensuring liealth can be criminal in itself. 

" Jiut tlK-n," says he, " for what purpose but a bad one did 
you cut up the fish which j-our servant Themiso brought you?" 
As though, indeed, I did not say, a short time since, that 1 have 
written on the parts of all animals, their position, their num- 
ber, and their purposes ; and that I make it my study to ex- 
amine and to enlarge the works written by Aristotle " On 
Dis.sections." And, indeed, I am surprised that you should 
only know that one little fish has been examined by luv, 

' Sea s/i(uIow.] — 'Umbra manna,' or "^ sea shadow,' so called from 
'\ti swarthy colour. 

t 0/ a charm. — See the Odyssey, Book XIX., e( »eq. L 4r)6. 


when 1 have in the same manner, on previous occasions, 
examined vast numbers of them, ■nhenever they have been 
brought to me ; esi^ecially, seeing that 1 do nothing in secret- 
but everything openly, and any one, a sti^anger even, may 
come and be present as a spectator. Hei'ein I act according to 
the customs and usages of my masters, who say, that a man 
of ingenuous birth and high spirit, ought, if he can, to carry 
his mind pourtrayed in the very front of his foreliead. 

Now this little fish, which you call a sea-hare, I showed to 
a great number of persons who Avere present, and I can not 
yet make up my mind what it shall be called, until I shall 
have made a more careful examination of it ; for among the 
ancient philosophers, I find no account of the properties of 
this fish, although it is the rarest of all kinds, and, bj- Her- 
cules ! one that well deserves to be described. For this is the 
only fish, so far as I know, that, being without bones in other 
parts, has certain bones, twelve in number in the belly, con- 
nected and united one with another, much like the pastern 
bones of a pig in appearance. If Aristotle had been aware 
of this fact, he certainly never would have omitted to commit 
it to writing, since he has mentioned, as a remarkable fact, 
that there is a little heart found in the middle of the belly of 
the codfish, and of that fish alone. 

" You cut up the fish," says he. "Who can endure that being 
a crime in a philosopher, which would not have been so in a 
butcher or a cook .' " You cut up the fish I" Is it because 
it was raw, that you censure me for so doing ? If I had ex- 
amined the belly, after boiling the fish, and liad dug out the 
entrails, just as this stripling, Sicinius Pudens, has learned 
to do at your house,* with fish bought with his own pocket- 
money; would you not have deemed that a fitting ground 
for accusing me ? But know that it is a greater crime for a 
philosopher to eat fishes than to examine them. Shall sooth- 
Bavers, then, be allowed to inspect the entrails, and shall a 
philosopher be forbidden to observe them, when he knows 
that he is the diviner, who gathers omens from all animals; 

* At your house.l — In this passage, he accuses ^Emilianus of neglect- 
ing the duties of an uncle towards Pudens ; while Ive censures the laiter 
for inordinate epicurism ; as, among nice eaters, the entrails of fish were 
generally esteemed the most dainty bits. He seems also 'o hint, that 
i'udens was not over-well fed at tLe house of iEmilianus. 


that he is (he priest of all the Gods ? Do you censure in me, 
the very thing that Maximus and I agree in admiring in 
Aristotle : whose books unless you banish from the libraries, 
and tear them from the hands of the studious, you can bring 
no accusation against me. 

But on this point I have almost said more than I ought. 
Is^ow, only see to what an extent these people confute them- 
selves. They say, that a woman was captivated by rae through, 
luagic arts and charms derived from the sea ; this, too, at a 
time at which they will not deny that I was far inland among 
the mountains of Gaetulia, where may be found fishes left 
b)' Deucalion's flood. I really congratulate myself that they 
were not aware that I have also read the tract of Theo- 
phrastus, " On animals that bite and are venomous," as 
well as the book on antidotes written by Nicander. For in 
such case, they would have accused me of poisoning too, though 
I have only pursued these studies in imitation of Aristotle, 
whose works I have carefully read, my own Plato, in some 
measure, encouraging me thereto, when he says, that he who 
investigates these matters, "knows things that are godlike 
and immortal, if he hits upon the truth." 

Now that their fish story has been sufficiently exposed, 
listen to another invention of theirs, quite its equal in folly, 
but far more absurd and dishonest. They knew, themselves, 
that their fish argument would turn out utterly futile and 
worthless, and ridiculous for its singularitj'. Tor who ever 
heard of fishes being wont to be scaled and boned for magical 
malpractices ? On the contrary, they ought rather to have con- 
cocted something with reference to matters more universally 
known, and that have already obtained credit. 

For this reason it is, that they have trumped up a tale quite 
in accordance with prescribed notions and common report, how 
that, — all overlookers being removed — in a secret spot, with 
lamp and little altar, I bewitched a certain boy by my incan- 
tations — and how that, a few witnesses being privy thereto, 
after he had been enchanted, he feU. to the ground, and after- 
wards awoke in a fit of utter bewilderment. No further, 
however, than this, did they dare to proceed in their fiction ; but 
Btill, that the story might be rendered complete, it was found 
necessary to add, that the same boy had, in a spirit of pro- 
phecy, foretold mauv events, for sm;h. wc generally hear, ia 



the result of employing incantations. And not only by the 
universally received notions of the vulgar, but even by the 
authority of learned men, is this miraculous power of boys con-t 

I remember, that in the works of Varro the philosopher, a 
man who was most intimately acquainted with all learning 
and knowledge, I read the following relation among others of 
a similar nature : — When the people of Tralles were consult- 
ing the magical art, as to what would be the result of the 
Mithridatic war ; a boy,* while looking upon the reflection of 
a statue of Mercury in the water, uttered a prophecy of a hun- 
dred and sixty lines, setting forth what was about to come 
to pass. Furthermore, that Fabius, having lost five hundred 
denars, came to Nigidius,f to consult him ; on which, certain 
boys, who had been inspired by him by means of charms, 
pointed out in what place the purse had been buried, together 
with some part of the money ; how the rest had been distri- 
buted, and how that even M. Cato the philosopher was in 
possession of one of the pieces ; upon which, M. Cato con- 
fessed that he had received that very coin at the hands of an 
attendant of his for the contribution to Apollo. J 

These, and other statements, about boys being employed for 
magical purposes, I certainly have read in many authors ; but 
I am doubtful whether to say that such things are possible, 
or to deny it. Still, I do think with Plato, that there are 

* A boi/.'] — We learn from Mr. Lane, and other travellers in Egypt, 
that it is supposed that boys have, in certain cases, the gift of prophecy 
or omniscience, and that they can see events passing in other parts of 
the world, reflected in a drop of black ink oa the finger nail, or palm of 
the hand. 

t To Niffidius.} — Nigidius Figulus was a Roman philosopher, famous 
for his extraordinary learning. He was noted for his mathematical and 
physical investigations, and followed the secrets of the Pythagorean school 
of philosophy. He was also famed as an astrologer, and in the Eusebian 
Chronicle is called a magician. A letter of Cicero to him is still e.xtant, 
in the Epistles, Ad Familiares, Book IV., ep. 13. He is said to have re- 
ceived the name of ' Figulus,' which means a 'potter,' from the circum- 
stance of having promulgated, on his return from Greece, that the globe 
whirled round with the rapidity of the potter's wheel. 

X To ApoUo-l — It was not considered seendy for the upper classes, 
among the Romans, to carry money in the streets. Consequently, the 
' pedissequi,' or 'footmen,' by whom they were attended, usually carried 
tneir purses for tjiem 


^rtain divin3 powers which are intermediate both in nature 
and locality, between the Gods and mankind, and that these 
powers preside over all divinations and miracles of magicians. 
And I am further of opinion, that the human mind, and espe- 
cially the uncontaminated mind of a boy, may be lulled to 
sleep, and so estranged from the body, as to become oblivioua 
of the present, being either summoned away from it by the 
agency of charms, or else enticed by the allurements of sweet 
odours ; and that so, all remembrance of what is done in the 
body having been banished for a time, it may be restored and 
brought back to its original nature, which no doubt is divine 
and immortal, and thus, being in a kind of trance, as it were, 
may presage future events.* 

iut be this as it may, if any credit is to be given to these 
matters, whatever boy is to prophesy, ought, so far as I can 
understand, to be of graceful features and of unblemished 
bod)-, of quick wit, and fluent in speech ; that so, either the 
Divine power may take up its abode in him, as in a beseeming 
habitation, (if, indeed, it can, under any cii'cumstances, be 
becomingly enclosed in the body of a boy ;) or else, his mind, 
on being released from the body, may quickly return to its 
power of divination ; and that such power being readily within 
its reach, and not blemished or impeded by obliviousness, may 
be the more easily resumed. For, as Pythagoras used to say, 
"It is not out of every log of wood that a Mercury can be 

If, then, such is the ftict, mention the name of this boy, of 
sound mind, good health, quick wits, and singular beauty, 
whom I have thought proper to initiate in these arts, through 
my incantations. As for this Thallus, whom you have named, 
he stands more in need of a physician than of a magician. 
For he, poor creature ! is so affected with epilepsy, that fre- 
quentl)', as many as three or four times in a day, he falls to 
the ground without any incantations whatever, and injures 
all his limbs with the blows so received : he has a face, too, 
full of ulcers ; his head, both before and behind, is covered 

* Future events.] — This notion is very similar to that of the mesmer- 
ists of tlie present day. This similarity has been recently remarked by 
an ingenious correspondent in ' Notes and Queries,' vol. vi., p. 8. The 
divine nature and origin of the human mind or soul, will be fouii'l fully 
discussed in the treatise, ' On the God of Socrates.' 

V 2 


nil over witli bruises ; his siglit is dim, liis nostrilr are ex* 
pandod, and he is quite shaky in the legs. He would be 
the greatest magician of all, in whose presence Thallus could 
stand lip for any length of time together ; so fi'equently does 
he stagger and fall down under the influence of his disease, 
just as though he were fast asleep. And yet you have thought 
proper to assert, that he has been made to fall down through 
my incantations, because he happened to fall on one occasion 
when I was present. Many of his fellow-servants are here, 
whom you gave notice to produce. They can tell j*ou, all 
of them, why they shun the society of Thallus ; why it is that 
no one ventures to eat with him from the same dish, to chink 
with him from the same cup. 

But why speak of the servants ? Deny it yourselves, if you 
dare, that Thallus, long, long before I came to Oiia, was in 
the habit of tailing down when suffering from attacks of thia 
disease, and had been repeatedly in the hands of the phj^sicians. 
Can his fellow-servants, who are in your own service, deny 
that ? I will confess raj'self guilty on all the charges, if he 
has not, this long time past, been banished to a farm at a great 
distance in the country, lest he might infect the whole house- 
hold. That this is the fact, not even they themselves can 
deny. This, too, has been the reason, why he could not be 
produced by vis to-day. For, just in accordance with the pre- 
cipitate and hurried manner in which this accusation wag 
preferred, it was only the day before yesterday, that ^milianuu 
gave us notice to produce our fifteen servants before you. The 
fourteen who were in the city are present. Thallus, as I 
mentioned, is the only one that has been sent away into the 
country, almost a hundred miles out of our sight. Thallus ia 
the only one absent ; but still we have sent a person, post haste, 
for the purpose of bringing him hither. Enquire, Maximum, 
of these fourteen servants, whom we produce, where the boy 
Thallus is, and in what state of health; enquire of the servants 
of my accusers. They Avill not deny the fact, that this most 
unsightly lad has a body rotten and diseased, that he is liable 
to falling fits, is uncouth, and a mere clod. 

A handsome youth, indeed, you have chosen, for any person 
to employ in the sacred rites, to touch his head, [in iniliatiug 
nim], to clothe him with a pure garment, and to expect him 
to give responses ! By Hercules ! I only wish he had been 


ht-rr, 1 -Would luivc luiudcd him over to you, ^milianus, to take 
hold of him, and qut-stion liim yourself. Why, iu the very 
mi(hlle of your examintitiou of him, here, in this same spot, 
and before the very tribunal, he would have fixed his staring 
eyes upon you, slobbered and spit in your face, clenched his 
h-'nds, dropped his head, and, at last, fallen right upon your 
breast. The fourteen servants, whom you demanded, I have 
brought ; why don't you make use of them for examination ? 
Uuj lad; and that one a poor epileptic creature, you ask for, 
when you know, as well as 1 do, that he has long since left this 
place. How can there be a more manliest calumny than this ' 
At your demand, fourteen servants ai'e here — of them you 
take no notice — one young boy is absent, about him you at- 
tack me. 

After all, what is it you want ? Suppose Thallus to be pre- 
sent, do you wish to prove that in my presence he fell to the 
ground ? I am quite ready to admit it. Do you say that this 
was effected througli incantations ? About that, the lad knows 
nothing at all : I will prove that such was not the fact. Nov,' 
that the lad was suffering from epilepsy, not even you jourself 
will dare to deny. Why, then, ought his falling down to be 
attributed to incantations rather tlutn to disease? Could it 
not possibly happen that he should be seized with an attack 
in my presence, just as he has often been seized on other occa- 
sions, while many other persons were present ? If I had con- 
sidered it a matter of great importance to make an epileptic 
l^erson fall down, what necessity was there for me to use in- 
cantations, when the stone called "agate," after being subjected 
to the action of fire, as I read in the writers on Physics, readily 
and easily tests the presence of this malady ? It is by means 
of the smell of this, too, that trial is usually made in the 
slave-markets of the soundness or imsoimdness of the slaves. 
Then besides, the wheel, when whirled round by the potter, 
readily atiects with vertigo a person suftering from this ma- 
lady, so much does the sight of the rotatory motion aft'ect 
his debilitated spirits ; so that a potter is much better able 
than a magician to cause the epileptic to fall prostrate. 

You have asked, and for no purpose, that I should produce 
the servants ; I ask, and not for no purpose, that you will 
mention by name the witnesses who were present at these ue- 
faiioua rites, when I thus brought to the ground the already 


•■ottering Thallus. Only one young lad, after all, do you name, 
this Sicinius Pudens here, in whose name you accuse me ; 
he declares that he was present ; hut eveu it' his boyhood did 
not in the slightest degree detract from his credibility with 
the court, still his position as accuser would impair the value 
of his testimony. It would have been much easier, -^milianus, 
and would have carried much greater weight, if you had said 
you yourself were present, and that in consequence of these 
rites you were first attacked with insanity, rather than entrust 
all this business, as though it were a mere joke, to boys. A boy 
fell down, — a boy saw him fall down, — and may not some boy 
have acted the enchanter too ? Tannonius Pudeus here, craftily 
enough, when he perceived that this lying fiction also fell 
cold and harmless, and that it was all but hissed outright, as- 
serted that he would produce some other bo^-s who had also 
been enchanted by me, that thus at least, by raising your ex- 
pectations, he might luU. the suspicions of some among you : 
and then he passed on to another head of his argument. 

iS^ow, although I might very avcII have taken no notice of 
tliis, still, as I have challenged him to proof on all other points. 
80 I volunteer to do on this. For I long for these boys to 
be produced, who, I hear, have been encouraged to give 
false evidence against me, through hopes held out to them that 
ihey shall thereby gain their liberty. However, no more 
do I say than this : Let them produce them ; I demand. Tan- 
nonius Pudens, and insist that you will fulfil the promise you 
have made. Produce these boys, in whom you have put such 
confidence ; inform us what are their names ; a portion of the 
time that has been allotted for my own speech I give you 
leave to employ for the purpose. Tell us, I say, Tannonius— 
why are you silent ? why do you hesitate ? why cast your 
eyes on the ground ? If he does not know what it is he has 
said, or if he has forgotten the names, then do you, ^mili- 
anus, step this way ; say what were the instructions you gave 
to your counsel ; bring forward the boys ; what makes you 
turn so pale ? why thus silent ? Is this the way to bring au 
accusation of such magnitude ? to make a laughing-stock of 
Claudius Maximus, a man of such exalted station, and to per- 
secute me with your calumnious charges ? 

But if, perchance, your advocate did make a slip, and if 
you have no such boys to produce, at all events employ, fot 

A DlscotRSE o\ MAnrc. 295 

eoine purpose or other, the fourteen servants whom I h«ve 
brought here ; or else why was it that you required such u 
largo household to be brought into court ? Accusing me of 
magic, you have given me notice to produce fifteen servants. 
It' you had accused me of acts of violence, how many servants, 
pray, would you have demanded ? Is it, then, that the fifteen 
servants know all about it, and yet it is a isecret ? or is it 
no secret at all, and yet an affair of magic ? One of these two 
things you must necessarily confess ; either that what I did 
was not unlawful, since I did not fear to allow so many per- 
sons to be privy to it, or else that if it was unlawful, so many 
witnesses ought not to have been pri\y to it. This magic, 
from all I can learn, is a thing denounced by the laws, and 
from the remotest times forbidden by the Twelve Tables, in 
consequence of the incredible blasting of standing corn by 
means of incantations. Consequently, it is a thing no less 
secret in its practices than foul and abominable ; it is gene- 
rally carried on by night, hidden in deep gloom, removed from 
all observation, and effected by whispered spells : a process at 
which few, not to say slaves, but even free men, are allowed 
to be present. 

Do you want to make out that fifteen servants were present 
as spectators ? Was it a wedding, then, or some other cere- 
monial, or an afternoon carousal ? Fifteen servants are here 
taking part in these magic rites, just like so many Quinde- 
cemvirs,*" elected for the performance of sacred duties. But 
to what end should I have employed so large a nurabci", if the 
privity of but one is far more than is requisite ? Fifteen free 
men ! why, that makes a whole borough. f That amount of 
servants ! 'tis a whole household ; the same number, if placed 
in chains, Avould fill a Avhole gaol ; ^ or was it that such a 
multitude as this was necessary to hold the \-ictims for sacrifice ? 
liut all the while you have mentioned no victims except hens. 

* Quindecemvirs'] — These were persons whose especial duty it was to 
preserve the Sibylline books at Rome. As the text informs us, they were 
fifteen in number. 

t ff'hole borough-l — Fifteen free men, with their households, consti- 
tuted a Roman ' pagus,' or Athenian ' demus.' 

X A whole gaol.'l — ' Ergastulum.' This was a place on estates in the 
country, to which refractory slaves were seat from the town residences o( 
the Romans, to work in chains. 


Or were they required to count the grains of fraukinccusc f 
or to knock down Thallus ? 

You stated, besides, that a free-born woman had been 
brought to my house, afflicted with the same malady aa 
Thallus ; that I promised to cure her, and that she, too, tell to 
the ground enchanted by me. So far as I can see, you have 
come here to charge me with being a wrestler, and not a 
magician, seeing that you assert in this fashion that all who 
have come near me have been levelled with the ground. How- 
ever, upon being questioned by you, Maximus, Themiso, the 
doctor, by whom the woman was brought for me to examine, 
denied that anything whatever happened to her, except that 
1 put the question, whether there was a ringing in her ears, 
and if so, in which of them in the greatest degree? upon 
which she made answer, that her right ear was very much dis- 
turbed by it, and immediately after took her departure. 

And here, Maximus, although at the present moment I am 
careful to refrain from praising you, that I may not appear 
to flatter j'ou with a view to this trial, still I cannot forbear 
from praising your acuteness in cross-examination. For just 
now, when these matters were discussed, and they asserted that 
the woman was enchanted, whilst the doctor, who was present, 
denied it, you very sagaciously enquired, what I was to gain 
by thus bewitching her ; on which they answered, that the 
woman should fall to the ground. " Well, what then?" you 
asked, " did she die ?" They said no. " How then," say you, 
" what advantage would it have been to Apuleius if she 
fell?" For to this effect did you fairly and perseveringly 
put the question to them as many as three several times, be- 
cause you well knew that the motives for all actions ought 
most carefully to be enquired into, and that often, when facts 
are admitted, the causes of them become subjects for enquiry ; 
and you were aware that for tliis very reason the advocates of 
persons engaged in suits at law have the name given to tht'm 
of " causidici," because it is their province to explain the causea 
for which each thing has been done. But, on the other hand, 
to deny that a thing has been done is an easj' matter, and 
needs the services of no advocate whatever ; while to show 
that it has been done rightfully or wiongfullj' is a most 
OTQuous and difficult task. It is useless, then, to enquire 
vbether a thing has been done, which has had no evil cause 


to ploiiipl its being done. Hence it is, that lie who is accused 
before a conscientious judge of having done l thing, is free 
from all fears of enquiry, if he has had no reason fur doing 
what was wrong. 

Now, since they have neither proved that the woman was 
enchanted, nor yet that she was thrown to the ground, and as 
1 do not deny that, at the request of a medical man, she was 
examined by me, I will tell you, Maximus, why I did make 
the enquiry about the ringing in the ears ; and I shall do so, 
not so much for the sake of exculpating myself in this affair, 
which you have already pronounced to have nothing in it 
of faultiness or criminalitj', as because I would not wish to be 
silent on any matter that is suited to your ears and your learn- 
ing. 1 will state it, then, as succinctly as possible, seeing that 
you are to be put in mind only, not instructed by me. 

The philosopher Plato, in that most celebrated dialogue of 
his, entitled "Timaeus," after having, with a sort of celestial 
eloquence, explained the structure of the entire universe, most 
ingeniously discussed the threefold powers of our mind, and 
aptly shown why our several parts were formed by tht; Divine 
Providence, proceeds to range the causes of all maladies under 
three heads. The first cause he attributes to the elements of 
our bodies, in cases where the qualities of those elements, being 
the moist and the cold, and the two qualities that are their 
opposites, do not agree the one with the other ; and this takes 
place when any one of them has exceeded its limits, or has 
shifted from its proper locality. The next cause of maladies 
exists in the corruption of those parts which are formed by a 
coaliiion of simple elements, united so as to form a single sub- 
stance ; these arc, for instanee, blood, flesh, bones, and marrow ; 
and then those parts, which are formed from a mixture of 
these several substances. In the tliird place, there are in the 
body collections of various coloured bile, and of restless and 
flatulent wind, and gross humours, all which are most frequent 
causes of diseases. 

In the number of these last is especially to be found the 
primary cause of the falling-sickness, about which I purj)osed 
to speak. For the flesh, through a noxious degree of heat, 
sometimes deliquesces into a moist state, that is, dense and 
cloggy, and a certain flatulency rises therefrom, in consequence 
of the heat of the compressed air, and a corrupt matter of 


whitish and frothy ajjpearance flows from it. Kow, this cor 
nipt matter, if it can find a vent to ooze forth from the bodv; 
is ejected with mox'o unseemliness than danger. For it marks 
the exterior of tlie skin with leprosy, and variegates it with 
all kinds of spots ; the person, however, to whom this happens 
is never afterwards attacked by epilepsy ; and thus it is that 
a most afflicting malady of the mind is compensated by a slight 
disfigurement of the body. 

But, on the other hand, if these pernicious secretions are 
held in check, and become united with the black bile, these, 
raging at large, penetrate through all the vessels ; and when 
they have done this, making their way towards the crown of 
the head, they mingle their destructive humours with the 
brain ; and instantly affect that regal portion of the under- 
standing which, all-important as it is in the reasoning facul- 
ties, has fixed its seat in the head of man as its citadel and its 
palace. For its divers passages and its paths that lead to wis- 
dom, these humours clog up and overwhelm ; this, however, 
they do with less work during the houi-s of sleep, as at such 
times the patient, being filled with food and drink, only 
suffers from a slight attack of impeded respiration, which is 
a symptora of epilepsy. But if the humours increase to such 
a degree as even to attack the head while the patient is awake, 
then, a cloud suddenly comes across the spirit, he becomes 
torpid, the breath ceases, and the body falls to the ground, 
like that of a dead person. 

This our forefathers styled, not only the "major"' and the 
" comitial," but also the " divine" disease ; just as the Greeks, 
with good reason, have styled it hfa voahg, inasmuch as it 
attacks especially the reasoning parts of the mind, which are 
by far its most holy portion. You see, then, Maximus, what 
is the theorj- of Plato, which I have explained as perspicuously 
as I could, considering the time allowed me ; and as I believe 
with him, that the Divine disease [or epilepsy] proceeds from 
these bad humours mounting to the head, it is clear I had 
good reason to make the enquiry, did this woman's head ache, 
was her neck torpid and stifi", and was there a throbbing in 
her temples, and a tingling in her ears ? And, what is still 
more, inasmuch as she admitted that she had a repeated ring- 
ing in the right ear, that was a clear sign that the malady had 

A TliscnCRsi': on maiiic. 299 

taken a deep root. Por as thp. right side of the Dody is the 
fttrongc'st, the less hope of recovery is there left, when even 
that gives way to disease. Aristotle has also left it written in 
his Problems, that, in the case especially of those who aro 
epileptic, and are attacked by the disease on the right side, 
the cure will be most difficult. It would take a long time if I 
were to repeat the opinions stated by Theophrastus also with 
reference to the same malady ; but there is in existence an 
excellent book of his, written on the subject of epilepsy. 
Persons afflicted with this disease, are told in another book 
which he has written "On animals that envy," that the sloughs 
of newts (which those animals, like the rest of the serpent 
tribe, cast aside at stated periods, like a sort of old age,) are 
very useful as a remedy ; but if you do not quickly take them 
away, these animals will instantly turn round and devour 
them, Avhether it is that they act through a malignant pre- 
sage [of their possible usefulness], or through a natural 

These matters I have mentioned, and have been careful to 
name both the points discussed and the books written by these 
celebrated philosophers, while, at the same time, I have not 
thought of giving any of the physicians or poets, in order 
that these people may cease to wonder, if philosophers, by the 
aid of those studies which are peculiar to themselves, gain 
some knowledge of the causes and remedies of diseases. Ad- 
luitted, then, that an afflicted woman was brought to me to 
examine for the purpose of effecting a cure, and that, by the 
confession of the medical man who brought her, I acted rightly, 
tlien I think, they must either come to the conclusion that it is 
tlie part of a magician, and of a man guilty of malpractices, to 
heal diseases, or else, if they do not dare to make such an 
assertion, they must confess that, in the case of the boy and 
the woman afflicted with epilepsy, they have uttered frivolous 
and abortive calumnies. 

Is^ay, if you wish to hear the truth, .^milianus, you yourself 
are much afflicted with the falling-sickness, having fallen flat so 
ol'ten in attempts to calumniate me. For it is not a more grievous 
thing to fail in body than in spirit, to be found gi-ving way 
rather in ttie feet than in the mind, and to be defiled with 
spittle in a private chamber, than to be execrated in this most 
iUustriouB assembly. However, you fancy, i>fcrhi\ps, tiiat you 

300 tm: vp.vv.^cv. ov xvvLT.wn. 

nic Bane in luiud, bcccUisc yoii arc not confined at home, but 
follow your mad fit just where it may chance to lead you. 
Still, if you compare your own madness with that of Thalius, 
you wil> find that there is no such great difl:erence between 
them, except that Thalius attacks himself, while you go so far 
as to attack others. Besides, Thalius distorts his eyes, you 
the truth ; Thalius screws his hands, you your advocates ; 
Thalius falls flat on the pavement, you before the tribunal. In 
fine, whatever he does, he does through infirmity ; he offends 
in ignorance, while you, wretched man, knowingly and advi- 
sedly, are guilty. 

So extreme is the violence of the disease that holds its sway 
over you, that you accuse me of wliat is false as though it were 
the truth ; a thing that was never done, you charge me with 
doing : one whom you know, beyond a doubt, to be innocent, 
you still accuse as though he were guilty. I have omitted, 
besides, to say that there are some things of which you con- 
fess yourself ignorant, and yet persist in charging me with, 
just as though you were fully acquainted with them. For you 
assert that I kept something wrapped up in a napkin in the 
same room with the Lares of Pontianus. What these things 
were, thus wrapped up, and what was their nature, you con- 
fess you know not, and you admit there is no one who has 
seen them ; and yet, at the same time, you assert that they 
were appliances of magic. 

Let no one flatter you, ^^milianus. This is no proof of 
your skill in framing an accusation, nor of your ett'rontery 
even ; so don't you suppose that it is. "What is it then ? It 
is the unhappy frenzy of an embittered spirit, the wretched 
insanity of a soured old age. For, almost in these very words 
did you plead before a judgi> so distinguished for his gravity 
and his shrewdness : " Apuleius kept certain articles ^\ rapped 
up in a linen cloth in the same room with the Lares of Pon- 
tianus. As T do not loiow what these articles were, I assert 
that they were for magical purposes ; believe me, therefore, 
in what I assert, because I am asserting what I know no- 
thing about." An excellent argument, and one that so con- 
vincinglj'^ proves my guilt ! " Such and such it was, because 
I know not what it was." You are the only person that has 
ever yet been found, ^milianus, to know even those very 
things that you do not know. To such a degree as this ha?e 


yai been exalted above all il folh ! TMiilo, on tbc one banl; 
tho ablest and most sagacious of pbilosophers have asserted 
that we must not so much as place conticK'nce in those things 
even which we see ; you, on the other hand, go so far as to 
assert the existence of things that you have never so much as 
scon or heard of. If Pontianus were alive, and you Avere to 
ask him what was within that cover, he Avould tell you ho 
did not know. The freed man, too, who has kept the keys of 
that place up to this very day, and is one of your supporters, 
declares that he never looked into it, although, as being the 
keeper of the books which were put away there, he opened and 
shut the place neaily every day. Many a time has he gone 
into the room with me, and much more frequently alone, and 
has seen a linen cloth l3ing upon the table, without any seal, 
without any fastening upon it. And why so ? Magical imple- 
ments were concealed in it — that was the reason why I kept 
them in such a careless manner. Still more, I needlessly 
exposed them for him to pry into and examine, and even, if 
he had thought fit, to take them away ; I entrusted them 
to the care of another person, I left them at the mercj- of 

What, then, is it that j'ou now want to be believed ? That 
a thing about which Pontianus, who lived on terms of inse- 
parable intimacy with me, knew nothing at all, you are fully 
acquainted with, you, whom, before I met you in this court 
of justice, I never in mj- life set eyes upon? Or is it tliat. 
when a freedman was there at all times and seasons, and had 
every opportunity of examining, you, who never •^■ent there, 
saw a thing which that same freedman never saw? In short, 
do you wish it to be believed that a thing which you never saw, 
is just what you affirm it to have been ? But, you blockhead^ 
if you, this very day, had gained possession of that same nap 
Xin, whatever you might have produced therefrom, I could have 
di'nied that it was ever emploj-ed for magical purposes. 

However, I give you full permission ; invent whatever yoa 
please, plan, devise anything that may possibly appear appli- 
cable to magical practices, I could still dispute the question 
with you ; I could either say that it had been surreptitiously 
placed there, or that it was emjdoye<l as a remedy, or that it 
had been entrusted to me for the performance of sacred rites, 
cr had been recommended to me in a di'.am. Tliere arc a 


thcusand other means by which I could, after the most ordi- 
naiy methods in use, truthfully rebut your assertions. Now, 
this is what you require, that the very thing which, if made 
known and discovered, would not prejudice me before an up- 
right judge, may, while it remains undiscovered and un- 
known, lead to my condemnation, upon an idle suspicion. 
I don't know whether you will again say, as usual with 
you, — "AVhat was it, then, that you kept covered up with 
a linen cloth, and so carefully put away in the same room with 
the Lares r" Is it so, ^milianus ? You make your accusations 
in such a way that you gain all your information from the 
person accused, while you yourself bring forward nothing 
that is known for certain. " For what purpose did you try to 
procure the fishes?" "Why did you examine the sick woman?" 
" What was it you kept in the napkin ?" Which of the two have 
you come here to do, to accuse or to interrogate me ? If to 
accuse me, prove yourself the assertions you make ; if to in- 
terrogate me, do not prejudge the fact, since the very reason 
that makes it necessary for you to interrogate me, is that you 
are ignorant of the fact. 

But really, according to this mode of proceeding, all men 
will have accusations brought against them, if there is to be 
no necessity for one who makes a cliarge against another to 
prove his case, but, on the contrary, he may enjoy every possible 
facility for making enquiries. For in such case, charges of 
magical practices may be made against any body, and every 
thing he may chance to have done, will be brought forward 
against him. " You placed your vow in writing upon the 
thigh of some statue, therefore you are a magician ; if not, 
why did you so place it?" " You silently put up praj'ers 
to the Gods in a temple, therefore you are a magician, or else 
why did you so express your wishes?" On the other liand, 
" You omitted to pray in tlie temple, therefore j^ou are a 
magician, else why did you not address your supplications to 
the Gods?" Just the same may hapjien, whether you present 
some donation, offer up a saeiifice, or take home some of the 
sacred herbs. 

The day would not sufHee for me, if ] were to attempt to 
enumerate all the matters on which a calumnious accuser 
will thus call for an explanation. In especial, what is put 
awaj in one's house, what is placed under seal, what ie 


shut up, and kept there ; all these things, by the same liue 
of reasoning, will be said to be of a magical nature, or else "will 
have to be ti'ansfen-ed from the store-room to the forum, and 
into a court of justice. For my own part, Maximus, I could 
discuss at very considerable length the value to be set upon 
such points as these, what their character is, how large a field 
for calumnious charges is opened by this course adopted by 
JEmilianus, and what an enormous amount of trouble* and 
vexation has been caused to innocent persons by this one singlo 
napkin. I will do, however, as I originally purposed, even 
where there is no necessity that I should do so ; I will give 
him the benefit of an admission, and, as I have been interro- 
gated by ^milianus, I will give him an answer. 

You ask, ^milianus, what it was I had in the napkin. 
Now, although I might utterly deny that any napkin belong- 
ing to me was ever placed in the library of Pontianus, I 
will grant, by all means, that such was the case, as it still 
remains in my power to say, that nothing whatever waa 
wrapped up in that napkin. And if I do say so, by the testi- 
mony of no one, by no proof can I be refuted. For there is 
not a person who ever touched it, and only a single freed man, 
according to your own story, who saw it. Still I tell you, 
60 far as I am concerned, I am quite ready to admit that 
it was stuff'ed full of something ; think so, if you like, just aa 
in daj-s of yore the companions of Ulj'sses fancied that they 
had found a treasure when they fingered the leather bag that 
Avas blown out with the winds. f Would you like me to tell 
you what the things were, thus wrapped up in the napkin 
which I entrusted to the charge of the Lares of Pontianus ? 
You shall be indulged. I have been initiated into most of the 
sacred rites of Greece. Certain of their tokens and insignia, 
Avhich have been given to me by the priests, I carefully keep 
as reminiscences. Of nothing unusual, nothing unheard-of 
am I speaking. You, too, brother members of the college of 
that single God, father Bacchus, who are here present, you, 

* Amount of trouble. 1 — He puns upon 'sudor,' 'sweat,' and ' suda- 
riolum,' a ' sweat cloth,' meaning a napkin or ' handkerchief.' Literally, 
the passage would be, ' and how much sweat has been caused tc- innocent 
persons by tliis one sweat cloth ?' 

t U'ith the winds.] — He alludes to the bag mentioned in the tenth 
book of the Odyssey, as having been given by yEolus to Ulysses, tilled 
nth winds that would ensure his safe return. 


I say, know full \^ ell what it is you keep so carefully trea- 
sured up at home, and what it is that, after excluding the 
uninitiated, you venerate in silence. Well, then, I, as I was 
saying, in mj- eagerness for truth and in performance of my 
duty towards the Gods, have become acquainted with mani- 
fold rites, usages, and ceremonials. I do not invent this to 
suit the pi'eseut occasion ; for nearly three years since, when, 
at the very earliest period after my arrival at Oea, I was de- 
livering a public lecture on the majestic attributes of JEscu- 
lapius, I mentioned the very same thing Avith reference to my- 
self, and reckoned up the number of sacred mysteries with 
which I was acquainted. That lecture of mine is veiy weh 
known ; every bodj- reads it ; it is in the hands of all ; being 
recommended to the religious of Oea, not so much by my own 
eloquence, as by its mention of ^sculapius.* Repeat some 
of you, if there are any who happen to remember it, the be- 
ginning of that discourse. [_It is repeated.'] Do you hear, 
Maximus, how many are able to quote it ? Xay, more, only 
look ; the book is handed to me. I Avill request that those 
same passages be read ; for judging by the very kind expres- 
sion of your countenance, I am fully assured that you will 
not object to hear them read. \_The passages so read are ivant- 
ing.~\ Can it, then, seem wonderful to any man who has any 
thought or regard whatever for religion, that a person who has 
been initiated into so many sacred mysteries of the Gods, keeps 
in his house certain tokens connected with those sacred rites, 
and that he wraps them up in woven linen, a substance that 
forms the purest of all coverings for things of a holy nature ? 

For wool, being an excrement of a most inert body, and 
taken from an animal's back, has ever been held to be an im- 
pure covering, in conformity with the dicta of Orpheus and 
Pythagoras ; while, on the other hand, flax, the purest pro- 
duction of the earth, and one that springs up from tJie ground 
among the choicest of its fruits, is employed by the most holy 
of the priests of the -(?]]gyptians, not only for their dress, but 
also for the purpose of covering things of a sacred nature. 
Still, 1 am quite aware that there are some, and ^Emilianus 
here especially, who make a joke of sacred matters, and laugh 
them to scorn. For, from what I can learn from some of the 

JEsculapius.'] — This God was the patron deity of Oua, wlicre he had 
a fine temple 


people- of Oea, vvho are acquainted with hira, up to thi? pre- 
sent advanced period of life, he has offered his supplications 
to no deity, crossed the threshold of no temple. If he chances 
to pass by any holy place, he holds it an abomination to 
move his hand to his lips for the purpose of shewing venera- 
tion. Not even to the Gods of husbandly, who feed him and 
clothe him, does this man offer any first-fruits of his crops, or 
his vines, or his flocks : no shrine is there built on his estate, 
no consecrated spot or grove is there to be found. Eut why 
do I talk about groves and shrines? Those who have been 
there, declare that they never so much as saw a single anointed 
stone within the boundaries of his estate, or one uranch 
crowned with garlands. Hence it is, that two nicknames 
have been given him, Charon, as I have mentioned already, 
in consequence of the unseemliness of his features and his dis- 
position ; and another, which he likes better, and which is 
given him on account of his contempt for the Gods, namely, 
that of Mezentius.* For this reason, I can very easily un- 
derstand that these initiations into so many sacred rites will 
appear to him to be mere nonsense ; and perhaps, in his con- 
tempt for things divine, he will pcrsiiade liimself not to be- 
lieve me, when I say that I most religiously preserve these 
tokens and reminiscences of so many sacred ceremonials. 

But what Mezentius may choose to think of me, not one 
snap of a finger do I care. To the rest, however, wiio are 
around me, in my loudest voice I give notice, that if any 
one happens to be present who has been initiated into die sani* 
rites as myself, if he will give me the sign, he shall then be at 
liberty to hear what it is I keep with such care. For, so far 
as I am concerned, by no peril will I ever be compelled to dis- 
close to the uninitiated the things that I have had entrusted to 
me on condition of silence. 1 have now then, Maximus, to 
my thinking, fully satisfied the mind of any man, even the 
most unreasonable ; and, so far as the napkin is concerned, 
have wiped away every stain of suspicion ; and I believe I r/iay 
now pass on in perfect security from the suspicions of .3imili- 
anus to the testimony of Crassus, which, next to the preceding 
matters, they adduced as of the greatest importance. 

You heard read in the information, the testimony of a cer- 

* Mezeulms.'] — Tliis contemner of the Gods is mentioned in the (Jhieid, 
«3 one of the allies of I'umus againbt ^lineas. 

306 UnV. DEiT.KCfi 0* ArtJLtltTw. 

tain glutton and desperate debauchee, Junius Crassus by naffle, 
who stated that I had been in the habit of performing sacred 
rites at night in his house, together with my friend Appius 
Quintianus, who had paid a sum for the hire of that house. 
This Crassus affirms, too, that although at that very time ha 
was at Alexandria, he still knows this for a fact, from the smoke 
left by the torches and from the feathers of birds which were 
found there. I suppose he means to say, that while he was 
celebrating his orgies at Alexandria, (for this, you must know, 
is that same Crassus who delights to creep at midday into 
his dens of brothels,) he caught, amid the steams of the 
kitchen, the feathers that had been wafted thither all the 
way from his abode, and that he recognized the smoke of his 
own house, as it curled afar from his paternal roof. If he 
really did manage to see it with his eyes, he certainly is blessed 
with a power of sight that far transcends the wishes and as- 
pirations of Ulysses himself Ulysses, for many a yetir, looked 
out in the distance from the sea-shore, and longed in vain 
to espy the smoke as it ascended from his native land.* Crassus, 
in the few months during which he was absent, without the 
slightest trouble, espied that smoke while seated in a wine- 

And if, too, he managed to snuff up with his nostrils the 
fumes that arose from his house, why, then, he outdoes even 
dogs and vultures in the keenness of his scent. For by what 
dog, by what vulture, under the Alexandrian sky, can any- 
thing possibly be smelt all the way from the confines of Oea ? 
No doubt this Crassus is an inordinate glutton, and far from 
unskilled in all kinds of fumes ; but really, considering his 
fondness for drinking, the only thing for which he has become 
distinguished, it would be much more easy for the fumes of 
ivine, than the smell of smoke to reach him at Alexandria. 
Even he himself was sensible that this would not be easily be- 
lieved. For the report is, that before the second hour of the 
day, with an empty stomach, and before he had taken a drop 
of wine, he made sale of this same testimony of his; upon which, 
he wrote down that he had made this discover}- in the follow- 
ing manner. 

* Hit native land.'] — He alludes to the passage in the first hook of the 
Odyssey, in reference to which, Horace says, that Ulysses ' preferred lu 
behold the smoke rising from his native land, to gaining immortality.' 


Upon his return from Alexandria, he straightway repaired 
to his own house, which Quintianus had just quitted: in the 
vestibule of it he found a great many feathers of birds, and 
perceived that the walls were black with soot. On enquiring 
of his servant, whom he had left at Oea, what was the reason, 
of this, the servant informed him of the nocturnal rites cele- 
brated by me and Quintianus. How very cleverly invented ! 
What a very likely story, that, if I had wanted to do anything 
of that kind, I should not have done it at my own house iu 
preference. That Quintianus here, who is now standing by 
me, (whose name, in consideration of the strictest ties of 
friendship which exist between him and me, of his extraordi- 
nary learning and his most consummate eloquence, I here men- 
tion for the purpose of honouring and extolling him,) that this 
same Quintianus, I say, if he was going to have any fowls for 
his dinner, or if, as they say, he required them to be killed for 
magical purposes, could find no servant to pluck the feathers 
and throw them away ! Moreover, that the smoke was in such 
volumes, that it quite blackened the walls ! and that Quin- 
tianus was willing to put up with this dirty appearance in his 
room, all the time that he was residing there ! 

You make no answer to this, ^milianus ; it is not likely 
you would ; but perhaps Crassus, on his return, did not direct 
his steps to the chamber, but, consistently with his usual prac- 
tice, made straight for the kitchen- stove. But on what ground 
did the servant of Crassus form this suspicion of his, that the 
walls got blackened in the night time precisely ? or why, that 
it was smoke with which they were discoloured ? It is, I sup- 
pose, because smoke that escapes by night, is blacker than the 
smoke of the daytime, and so differs from it in its effect And 
then, Avhy should a servant, so full of his suspicions, and so 
notable a person, allow Quintianus to leave, without having 
the house cleaned out? Why did those feathers, just like so 
many lumps of lead, lie there all that time, even till Crassus 
had returned ? Ought not Crassus to scold his servant for this ? 
No, he has preferred to trump up this falsehood about the soot 
and the feathers, because, even in giving his evidence, he can- 
not tear himself from the kitchen. 

And then, why did you read his evidence from the record ? 
Where is Crassus nimself ? Has he got tired of his house, 
and rcturjifid to Alexandria ? la he busily engaged in cleaning 

X 2 

80d ThS; DEFEtrCE of At'tJtEItJS, 

down those walls of bis ? Or, what is much more likely, is 
that gormandizer at this moment laid up with a fit of in- 
digestion? For I, my own self, iErailianus, saw him no 
longtr ago than yesterday, here at Sabrata,* publicly enough, 
hiccupping away to you, in the middle of the market place. 
Make enquiry then, Maximus, of your clerks of court, although, 
no doubt, he is better known to cookshop-keepers than to clerks 
of court ; still, ask them, I say, whether they have seen here 
Junius Crassus, a native of Oea ; they will not say no. There- 
fore, let ^milianus bring before us this most worthy youth, in 
whose testimony he places such confidence. You see what 
time of the day it is. I am ready to affirm, that long before 
this hour, Crassus has been snoring away dead drunk, or else, 
that he is at this moment taking his second bath, and sweat- 
ing off his wine, that he may be ready for a second drinking 
bout after dinner. This fellow, though he is quite close at 
hand, speaks through the record : not but that he is so utterly 
void of shame, that if even he were in your presence, he would 
lie, without changing colour in the slightest ; but very pro- 
bably, from his drunken habits, he has not been able to exer- 
cise even such a slight degree of control over himself, as to 
keep sober and await this hour. Or else it is, that ^milianua 
has done this designedly, in order that he might not have to 
place him before such scrutinizing eyes as yours ; his object 
being that you might not, from his appearance, form a bad 
opinion of the brute, with his lank jaws, and his sinister aspect ; 
when you saw his head despoiled of beard and hair, though 
he is still a youug man, his eyes distilling rheum, his eyelids 
swollen, his lips bedewed with slaver, his voice quite cracked, 
his hands shaking, as he grinsf and belches by turns. All 
his patrimony he has long ago devoured, and nothing of his 
family possessions is there now left, except one solitary house, 
for the purpose of affording him an opportunity of making sale 
of his false evidence ; and which he has never let at a more 
remunerating rate, than in affording this bit of testimony. 
For this drunken fabrication of his, he has bartered to 

* At Sabrata.'] — This was a city near O'a. There is considerable 
doubt, however, as to the correct reading of tlie passage. 

+ At he ffrms"] — This passage is incomplete in ihe text though both 
vuc words, ' rictum' and ' ructu.' make tlieir appearance. 


^milianiis for three tliousand pieces of money, a fact of ■which 
there is not a person in Oea who is ignorant. Before the bar- 
gain was concluded, we all knew of it, and by giving timely 
information, I might have put a stop to it, if I had not been 
well aware that so silly a lie would do far more harm to ^mi- 
lianus, who Avas making purchase of it to no purpose, than to 
myself, who could well afford to hold it in contempt. I was 
willing that ^railianus should have to suffer a loss, and that 
Crassus should be exposed for the disgraceful character of his 

Why, it is no longer ago than the day before yesterday, that, 
without the slightest attempt at concealment, the transaction 
was concluded, at the house of one llufinus, of whom I shall 
just now have to make mention, the said Rufinus and Calpur- 
nianus acting as the go-betweens and promoters of the trans- 
action. And this part Eufinus was the more ready to act, 
because he felt very sure that Crassus would bring by no 
means the smallest part of his bribe to his own wife, at whose 
intrigues he purposel)' connives. I perceived you too, Maxi- 
mus, the very moment that the information was produced, 
showing, by j-our looks, that you regarded the whole matter 
with contempt ; for, Avith your usual wisdom, you suspected 
their plot, and saw that it was a conspiracy got up against me. 
And yet, after all, possessed though they are of unbridled auda- 
city and insolent effrontery, not even they have dared to read 
through the evidence of Crassus, for they saw that it stunk in 
jour nostrils, nor have they ventured to place any reliauco 
ujwn it. 

Now this is why I have mentioned these things, not that 
with you for my judge, I was frightened by their feathers and 
tlieir smoke stains, but that Crassus might not escape unpu- 
nished for his offence in selling smoke* to a country clown 
like ^milianus. 

Then there was a charge made by them, when they read the 
letters of Pudentilla. It was about a certain little image, 
which they say 1 ordered to be secretly made, of the most 
costly wood, for purposes of magic. They assert, too, that, 
although it was the figure of a skeleton, something quite 
shocking and horrible, I was in the habit of paying the 

* SelU>iff smoke] — A proverbial exprcs!>ion, signifving to ' takf in' a 


greatest veneration to it, and calling it by the Greek name of 
j8atf/X£ug, or "king." If I am not mistaken, I am following 
their steps in regular order, and unravelling the whole tex- 
ture of their cahimnies piecemeal. How can the fabrication 
of the image have possibly been secret, as you allege, when 
you know so well who was the maker of it, that you have given 
him notice to appear ? Look, here is Cornelius Saturninus, the 
carver, a man praised among his fellow-citizens for his skill and 
fisteemed for his character ; the same person, Maximus, who, 
a short time since, when you carefully enquired into all the 
circumstances of the transaction, recounted them with the 
strictest fidelity and veracity. He stated that, after I had 
seen at his house a number of geometrical figures made of box- 
wood, in a very clever and workmanlike manner, I was induced 
by his skill to request him to make for me some mechanical 
implements, and at the same time gave him a commission to 
carve for me the figure of any god he might think fit, and out 
of any material, so long as it was wood, that I might address 
my prayers to it, after my usual practice. Accordingly, he 
tried boxwood first. He also stated that, in the meantime, 
while I was in the country, my son-in-law, Sicinius Pontianus, 
who made it his study how to gratify me, having obtained from 
a most respectable lady, Capitolina by name, some boxes made 
of ebony, brought them to him, and requested him to make the 
implements of that material in preference, as being rarer and 
more durable ; remarking that I should be especially gratified 
by such a present. In conformity with my son-in-law's request, 
he made the articles, as far as the wood of the boxes sufficed, 
and was able to complete besides a small figure of Mercury, 
by putting the layers of ivory piece by piece one upon another, 
in order to give it the requisite thickness. 

As 1 say, all these particulars you heard from him : added 
to which, on examining the son of Capitolina, a most worthy 
voung man, who is now present, you were told to the same 
effect ; how that Pontianus asked for the boxes, and how that 
Pontianus took them to the artist, Saturninus. The fact, 
too, is not denied, that Pontianus received the image when 
completed from Saturninus, and afterwards made a present of 
it to me. All these matters being cleio-ly and distinctly proved, 
what remains after all this, in which any ground for suspicion 
of magical practices can lurk: Or rather, what is thtre Ib 


the whole matter that does not convict you of a manifest lie * 
You declared that the image was made secretly, while the fact 
is, that Pontianus, an illustrious knight, had it made ; and that 
Satuminus, a man of respectability and of high character among 
his fellow-citizens, seated in his own workshop, carved it 
openly and without concealment ; while a lady of the highest 
reputation aided the work by the present she made ; num- 
bers, too, both of my own servants and of my friends, who 
were in the habit of visiting me, knew that it was about to 
be made, and that it was made. 

Were you not ashamed to invent such a lie, and to assert 
that I had gone all the city over in search of the wood, and 
tliat I had token the greatest trouble in so doing, whereas you 
knew full well that at that very time I was absent, and had 
given orders, as was full}' proved, that it was to be made of 
any kind of material ? Your third lie was, that the figure was 
made to resemble a frightful coi'pse, all lean, or rather fleshless, 
quite horrible and spectre-like. Now, if you were aware of 
the existence of such an evident proof of magic, why did you 
not give me notice to produce it ? Was it that you might be 
at liberty to lie as jcu pleased about a thing that was not be- 
fore the court ? Thanks, however, to a certain habit of mine, 
you cannot make this falsehood pass. For it is my custom, 
wherever I go, to caiTy with me the image of some god or 
other stowed awaj- among my books, and to address my prayers 
to it on festive days, together with ofierings of frankincense 
and wine, and sometimes victims. Accordingly, when I heard 
just now that most impudent fabrication of yours about a ske- 
leton, I requested a person to go, post haste, and fetch from 
my lodgings the little imago of Mercury which Saturninus had 
made for me at Oea. 

Come, let them see it ; handle it, examine it. There it 
is before you — the thing that this scoundrel has called a ske- 
leton. Do you not hear the expressions of displeasure so 
loudly uttered by all present ? Do you not hear their con- 
demnation of your falsehood ? Are you not at last utterly 
ashamed of so numy calumnious cluirges? Is this a skeleton? 
Is this tlie figure of a spectre ? Is this a thing that you will 
persist in calling a demon ? Is this an image adapted to ma 
gical practices, or is it one of the usual and ordinary kind ? 
false it, pray, il^ximus, an^ look ^t it : to har^ds 90 pnro wd 


BO holy as yours a sacred thing is well entrusted. There, new, 
j ast look at it ; how beauteous its figure, and how replete with 
stalwart vigour; how smiling are the features of the god; 
how becomingly does tlie first growth of down overspread the 
cheeks, and how gracefully do the crisped locks peep forth upon 
the head from beneath the shelving brim of the cap ! How 
charmingly do the wings shoot forth above his temples ! How 
smartly, too, is the garment laid down in plaits about the 
shoulders ! Any one who dares to call this a skeleton, it if 
clear that he never sees an image of the Gods ; or if he does, 
he passes them all in heedless contempt. Any one who takes 
this to be the figure of a spectre, is a specti'e-strickcn being 

In return, ^milianus, for this lie of yours, may this Di- 
vinity, who visits the Deities above and the shades below, 
bring upon you the enmity of the Gods who dwell in either 
realm, and may he thrust upon 5'our \asion phantoms of the 
dead, all the shades of hell, all the Lemurs, all the Manes, all 
the hobgoblins, all the apparitions of the night, all the spectres 
of the sepulchres, all the terrors of the tombs — from making 
a more intimate acquaintance with which, you are not very 
far distant, both in age and in deserts. But as for us, the dis- 
ciples of Plato, of nothing do we know, except that which 
is festive and joyous, consistent with propriety, divine and 
heavenly. Kay, more, in its aspirations for what is exalted, 
this sect has even explored things loftier than the very heavens, 
and has taken up its abode on the convex side* of the firma- 
ment. Maximus knows that I speak the truth, for he has 
attentively read in the Phajdrus of "the place" which Plato 
mentions as "being above the heavens, and upon the back 
thereof." Maximus, too, understands full well (to answer you 
in relation to the namef) who it is that was called first of 
all, not by me but by Plato, by the title of "Basilcus," the 
first cause, and reason, and primitive origin of universal nature, 
the supreme father of the mind, the eternal preserver of ani- 
mated beings, the ever- watchful artificer of his universe. And, 
indeed, he is an artificer wlio knows not labour, a preserver 
devoid of anxiety, a father without generation, one compre- 

* Convex side.'} — Literally, ' the back of the universe.' 
t To the name.'} — 01 ' Bisjleus,' or ' King :' s^(} to hsvp been p\('n 
Ifv Uiu> to the iimg^- 


hcnded by no space, by no time, by no name, and therefore to 

be conceived by few, to be expressed by none. See, then, I 
volunteer to add to your suspicions of my magical pursuits. 1 
do not answer you, ^milianus, as to who it is I worship under 
the name of " Basileus." 2^ay, more, even if the proconsul 
himself were to ask me who my God is, I should be silent. 
With reference to the name, for the present I have said enougli ; 
as for the rest, I am not unaware that some who stand around 
me are anxious to hear why I wished the image to be made 
not of silver or gold, but of wood especially ; and this I be- 
lieve they desire to know, not so much for the purpose of en- 
suring my acquittal as of gaining information, so that they may 
have their minds set at ease even upon this little matter, when 
they have seen every ground for suspicion abundantly confuted. 

Listen, then, you who wish to know ; listen with the closest 
attention, as though you heard the very words of the sage Plato, 
which are found in his last book, " On the Laws." "It is 
right that a moderate man should present offerings in mo- 
deration to the Gods. But as the earth, like the domestic 
hearth, is sacred to all the Gods, let no one dedicate that a 
second time to the Gods." He gives this prohibition in order 
that no private person may pi'esume to erect a temple on his 
own property. For he thinks that public temples are suffi- 
cient for the citizens for the purpose of immolating victims. 
He then subjoins, " For gold and silver, both in other cities 
and in our own, employed in temples, is an odious thing. 
Ivory, too, as proceeding from a body deprived of life, is not 
a becoming offering. Again, iron and copper are instruments 
of warfare. But of wood, let each person consecrate as much 
as he pleases, so long as it is of a single kind, and the same as 
to stone, in the temples that are common to all." 

The expressions of assent on all sides, and yours especially 
who sit here in judgment, sliow that I have most fortunately 
employed Plato not unly as the guide of my life, but as my ad- 
vocate in this trial, whose directions you see me so ready to 

It is now time* to turn to the letters of Pudentilla, or, in- 

* It u now time'} — Tn many editions this begins what is called the 
* Seoonrl Apology' or ' Defence of Apulcins.' It is clear, however, from 
iuteinal evidence, that the whole sj)eech was delivered on the same oc» 


deed, to go a little further back, and retrace all these eventfi, 
in order that it may be palpaiMe to all, that if I, who, they 
persist in saj-ing, effected an entrance into the house of Puden- 
tilla from motives of cupidity, had thought of any thing like 
gain, I ought rather to have always shunned that house, and 
an alliance that in other respects has turned out for me so 
fur from fortunate. It is one, indeed, that would have proved 
disastrous to me, had it not been that my wife in herself, 
by her many virtues, makes ample amends for disadvantages 
60 numerous ; for really nothing can you find but disappointed 
envy as the prompter of this accusation, and the source of 
many previous perils to which I have been exposed. 

But why, even if he really had found me to be a magician, 
chould ^milianus have been moved to indignation, when not 
only has he never been injured by any act, but not by the 
slightest word even of mine, so as to give him a pretext for 
taking umbrage and entertaining a desire for revenge ? Nor 
yot is it for the sake of renown that he accuses me ; the 
."uling motive when M. Antonius accused Cneius Carbo ; C. 
Mutius, A. Albertius; P. Sulpitius, Cneius Norbanus: C.Furius, 
M. Aquilius ; C. Carlo, Q. Metellus. For all these persons, men 
of tlie greatest learning and in the prime of life, made these 
their first efforts in the forensic art for the sake of gaining re- 
nown ; and their object was, that by engaging in some cele- 
brated cause they miglit become known to their fellow-citizens. 
But this custom, whicli, among those of former times, was 
allowable in rising young men, for the purpose of showing oflf 
the vigour of their intellect, has long since gone out of usage ; 
nnd even if at the present day it were in use, it ought to have 
been resorted to by him the last of all. For neither would 
the boasts of eloquence have become a person so rude and so 
unlearned, the desire of glory one so clownish and so uncouth, 
nor the practice of pleading causes an aged man with one foot 
in the grave ; unless it is, perchance, that .^milianus, in ac- 
cordance Avith nis severity of manners, has wished to set an 
example, and from tlic very hostility that he entertains to vice 
itself, has, in conformity with the unblemished character of 
his morals, taken upon himself to make this cliarge. But this 
1 could hardly have believed even of .'Einilianus, not this 
African one, but him who was called Africanus* Numantinus, 

* ^^^icanus] — I|e puns upop. the resemblance of the n^iiies ' Afei'/ w 


and who had held, too, the office of censor ; much less can I 
entertain the notion that in this stick here there is any 
hatred of crimes, or even so much as a comprehension of what 
they are. 

What is the reason, then ? To any one it is as clear as day 
that it is nothing else but envy that has instigated him and 
his prompter, Hcrennius Eufinus (of whom I shall have to 
speak presently), and the rest of my enemies, to frame these 
calumnious charges of magical practices. 

There are five points, then, which it is incumbent upon 
me to discuss ; for so many, if I remember aright, have they 
objected against me in relation to Pudcntilla. jS^ow, the first 
point is, their assertion that after her first husband's decease 
she would never have mariied again, had she not been forced 
by my incantations ; the second concerns her letters, which 
they consider to be an admission of magical practices ; then, in 
the third and I'ourth places, they have made the objection that 
in the sixtieth year of her age she was man-ied to gratify lustful 
propensities, and that the marriage contract was signed not in 
town, but at her countrj- house. The last and the most odious 
charge is that which bears reference to her fortixne. Into that 
the)- have with all their might discharged their whole venom ; 
upon that point they were most especially anxious, and this is 
what they have alleged ; they say that immediately after we were 
married, at her country house, remote from all witnesses, I ex- 
torted from my fond wife this large fortune of hers. All these 
assertions I will prove to be so false, so worthless, so unfovmded, 
and will so easily and bej'ond all question refute them, that 
truly, Maximus, and you councillors, I do very much fear you 
will think that the accuser has been engaged and suborned by 
me, to give me an opportunity publicly to extinguish the rancor- 
ous hatred with which I have been pursued. Believe me when 
I say it, and the event will prove my words true, that I shall 
have to take all possible pains that you may not suppose rather 
that I have in my craftiness devised, than that they have in 
their folly undertaken so frivolous a ])rosecution. 

Now, while I briefly recount the circumstances of the case in 
their order, and force ^milianus himself to own on what false 
grounds he has been induced to hate me, and that he has wan- 
African by birth, and ' Africanus/ the surname given to P- Coinglius 
gcipio ^railianus, the conc^ueror of Ca^rthsge, 


dercd far indeed from the trutli, I beg that you vrill as carefully 
as you have ah-eady done, or even more so, if possible, consider 
ine very origin and foundation of this trial. 

Emilia Pudentilla, who is now my wife, had, by one Sici- 
nius Amicus, to wliora she was previously married, two 
Bons, Pontianus and Pudens. These cliildren were left orphans, 
and under care of their paternal grandfather (for it so hap- 
pened that Amicus died, leaving liis father surviving him), 
on which she manifested tlie most exemplary affection, and 
brought them up with the greatest care for a period of four- 
teen years. Still, however, it was by no inclination of hers 
that, in the flower of her age, she remained so long in a 
state of widowhood ; but the grandfather of the children used 
all liis endeavours to unite her, mucli against her wish, to 
Sicinius Clarus, another son of his, and for that reason he kept 
all other suitors at a distance, while at the same time he 
threatened that if she should marry a stranger, he would by 
his will leave no portion of their paternal property to her 
sons. Being a woman endowed with prudence and of ex- 
emplarj- affection, and seeing this match so perseveringly 
])roposed to her, she complied, and executed a marriage con- 
tract with Sicinius Clarus, that she might not, through any con- 
duct of hei'S, be the cause of detriment to her children. How- 
over, by resorting to various pretexts, she put off the nuptials 
until such time as the grandfdther of the children had de- 
parted this life, leaving her sons his heirs, and upon the under- 
standing that Pontianus, wlio was the elder, should be the guar- 
dian of his brother. 

On being thus set free from this state of peii^lexity, she was 
sought in marriage by men of the higliest rank, and she accord- 
ingly made up her mind no longer to remain in a state of 
widowhood ; for, although she might have been able to endure 
the tediousness of celibacy, she was quite unable to bear up 
against bodily ailment. A woman of inviolable chastity, Avho 
had lived so many j'ears in a state of M'idowhood, without 
a blemish, without an aspersion on her character, with her 
eystcm torpid from her prolonged disuse of the married state, 
afilicted with a protracted inactivity of the vital parts, the 
interior of her womb disordered — she was often brought by 
her sufferings to extreme peril of her life. Both doctois and 
midwivcB agreed that the disease had taken its vise llu'ough 


disuse of tlic married state, that the malady would guiu strength 
every day, and her weakness become still greater ; and they 
strongly suggested that while some hopes of life were still re- 
maining, recourse ought to be had to marriage. 

Other persons, too, approved of this advice, ^milianus here, 
in especial, the very man who, a short time since, asserted 
with most audacious falsehood, that Pudentilla never enter- 
tained a thought about marriage, until she was coerced by 
me through magical practices ; and that I was the only one 
found to violate the flower of her widowhood, a kind of 
virginity, as it were, by means of my charms and drugs. I 
have many a time heard it said, with verj- good reason too, 
that "A liar ought to have a good memory." Now, did it 
not occur to your recollection, ^milianus, that before I even 
came to Oeo, you had gone so far as to Avrite a letter to 
her son, Pontianus, who was then grown up, and residing at 
Kome, in whicli you recommended that she should marry ? 
Give me the letter, will you, or rather hand it to him ; let 
him read it ; by his own voice and by his own words let him 
convict himself. [iZ"e reads the heginning of the letter.'] Is 
not that your own Avriting ? Why do you turn pale r for 
blush you decidedly cannot. Is not this your signature ? 
Read it, I beg, and aloud, too, so that all may understand what 
a vast difference there is between this man's tongue and his 
hand, and how much less he disagrees w^ith me than with 
himself. \_I7ie clerk of court reads the rest of the letter.] 

Were you not the Avriter, ^milianus, of these words which 
have been read ? "I know that she wishes and ought to 
marry ; but whom she may choose, I do not know." Quite 
right, no doubt you did not know. For Pudentilla, being 
well aware of your spiteful malignity, only thought proper 
to inform you of the fact, but said nothing at all about a 
suitor. You, however, deluded by vain hopes that she would 
marry your brother Clai'us, even went so far as to advise her 
Bon Pontiaims to consent to her marriage. Consequently, if she 
had made choice of Clarus, a clownish and decrepit old man, 
you would have been ready to assert that, quite spontaneously, 
and witliout any magical practices whatever, she had long been 
anxious to marry ; but as she has made choice of such a youth 
as you talk of, you affirm that it Avas b)^ compulsion she did so, 
&ad that, otherwise-, slie always entertained an a-C-ersion to 

818 THE D^FTKCE OF APtTlfiltTS. 

maniacs. You little thought, dishonest man, ihat your letl^ 
on this matter had been preserved ; you little thought that 
you were going to be convicted on your own testimony. Pu- 
dentilla, however, knowing full well how fickle and change- 
able you were, and how untruthful and shameless to boot, 
thought it better to keep this letter than to part with it, as an 
evidence of your own wishes on the subject. 

Besides, she herself wrote to her son, Pontianus, while he 
was at Rome, on the same subject, and entered very fully too 
upon the causes that prompted her to take this resolution. 
She mentioned to him all the matters connected with her 
health, that besides there was no reason why she should per- 
sist any longer in remaining unmarried ; she reminded him, 
how that, disregarding her own welfare, she had, by her pro- 
longed state of widowhood, obtained for them their grand- 
father's property, and had with the most scrupulous carefulness 
increased the same ; that, thanks to the Gods, he himself was 
now of marriageable estate, and his brother ready to assume 
the manly gown :* that they ought now at last to allow her to 
find some alleviation for her state of solitude and sickliness : 
that they need be under no apprehension as to the constancy 
of her affection, and her remembering them in her last will : 
that such as she had shown herself towards them while a 
widow, she would still prove when a wife. I will request the 
copy of this letter to bo read, which she sent to her son. '[The 
copy of the letter of Pudentilla to her son Pontianus is read/\ 

I think that from this letter it may be quite manifest to 
any one that it was not by any incantations of mine that 
Pudentilla was prevailed upon to abandon her prolonged state 
of widowhood, but that having been for a long time not averse 
to marriage, she perchance preferred me to the rest. And 1 
really do not see why this choice made by a woman of such 
respectability, ought to be imputed to me as a crime, rather 
than an honor. But I do wonder that ^milianus and Pufinus 
take amiss this decision of the lady, when those persons who 
aspired to the hand of Pudentilla bear with resignation the 
fact that I was preferred to them. Besides, in so doing, she 
rather consulted her son's wishes, than her own feelings on 
the subject. That such was the fact, not even ^milianus can 

♦ The manly gown-l — The ' toga vi.iiis/ assumed by youths at the ag« 
of Mveuteen. 


▲ blSCOtTRSE ON MAGtO. 819 

Foi Pontiaavis, on receivkig his mother's letter, instautly 
flow hither with all haste from Rome, being greatly afraid, 
if she should take some greedy fellow for a husljaiid, she would 
be earrying off' everything, as too frequently is the ease, to hef 
husband's house. This anxiety intlueuced his feelings in no 
Blight degree : for all the hopes of himself and of his brother 
were centred in possessing the property of their mother. 
Their grandfather had left a small property, their mother's 
possessions amounted in value to four millions of sesterces. 
Out of this sum she did, no doubt, owe some money to her 
sons, which she had borrowed from them without giving any 
vouchers, but simply on her own credit. These apprehensions 
of his he kept secret ; for he did not dare openly to offer op- 
position, lest he should seem to distrust her. While mat- 
ters Avere in this state, the mother being wooed, and the son 
racked with apprehensions, whether it was by chance, or by a 
kind of fatality, I happened to arrive tliere, being on my road 
to Alexandria. " By Hercules, I only wish it had never so 
happened," I might add, if respect for my wife did not pro- 
vent me. It was the winter season. Fatigued by the journey, 
I made a stay of several days at the house of the Appii, old 
friends of mine, whose names I mention to testify for them 
my honor and my esteem. While I was staying there, Pon- 
tianus called upon ine ; for, some few years before, he had 
been introduced to me at Athens, by some common friends of 
ours, and had been subsequently united to me by ties of the 
strictest intimacy. He was in everything sediilous to testify 
his respect for me, to promote my welfare, and dexterously to 
prompt my affections. For he thought that in me he had now 
found a very suitable husband for his mother, and one to whonx 
he might, without any risk, entrust the welfare of the family. 

He began to sound my inclination by hints, and as he per- 
ceived that I was intent upon pursuing my travels, and averse 
to wedlock, he begged that I would at least make a short stay. 
He said that it was his wish to accompany me, that it was un- 
advisable then to proceed on account of the burning heat of 
|_the sands of] the Syrtis, and the wild beasts that infested 
it, and that as my bad state of health had deprived me of tho 
present winter, it would be as well to wait for the next. By 
force of entreaties, he withdrew me from the house of my 
friends, the Appii, to transfer me to his mother's abode, ua 

320 tHE DEPE?refc OP AVrtRil/B. 

likely tc ptovc a more healtlij^ place of residence for me ; l>e. 
sides, 1 should be able from her house to enjoy a verj" exten- 
sive view of the sea, a thing that for me has especial charms. 
He urged these considerations with great earnestness, and in- 
troduced to me his mother and his brother, this same youth. 
They received some assistance from me in their common studies, 
and the intimacy increased apace. In the meantime I re- 
covei'ed my health, and at the request of my friends I gave a 
public lecture. All who were present in the tlironged basilica,* 
the place appointed for its delivery, cried out with one accord, 
requesting that I would remain there, and become a citizen of 
Oea. When the audience had departed, Pontianus addressed 
me, and began by saying that he interpreted this accordance in 
the public voice as an omen from heaven. Then he disclosed 
to me that it was his own wish, if I had no objection, to unite 
me to his mother, whom a great many persons were eager- to 
obtain ; seeing that, as he said, I was the only person in whom 
he placed entire trust and contidence. "Would I take upon me 
that incumbrance ? for it was no pi'etty maiden he offered me, 
but a woman, the mother of children, and of homely features. 
If, on thinking over these things, I should reserve myself for 
some other match, with the view of gaining beauty or riches, 
he would neither take me for a friend nor a true philosopher. 

My speech would be far too long, were I to relate what I 
stated to him in answer ; at what length, and how frequently 
the subject was discussed by us ; with what repeated and earnest 
entreaties he plied me ; and how he never ceased till he had 
finally gained his point. Xot but that having now lived in 
the same house with her a whole year, I had become tho- 
roughly acquainted with Pudentillas character, and had dis. 
covered her virtuous endowments ; still, as I was anxious to 
travel, I declined for some time to marry, as being likel)- to 
prove an impediment to my design. Before verj' long, how- 
ever, I was no more disinclined to take such a woman for my 
wife, than if I had sought her of my own accord. 

Pontianus, too, had prevailed upon his mother to choose me 
in preference to all others, and showed incredible anxiety to 
bring it about as soon as possible. It was with difficulty 
we obtained of him even a short respite, until such time as he 

* Basilica.'} — The ' basilica' was a large building, wbere public meet 
iDgs were held, and <he aiagistrales sat lu judgmeat. 


hiinself sLould have married, and his brother have assumed 
the manly gown ; after which we agreed to be united in mar- 
riage. I wish, by Hercules ! it were possible, "without the 
greatest injury to my cause, to pass over the matters which 
I am obliged next to mention, that I might not appear now to 
accuse Pontianus of fickleness, whom I forgave freely and with- 
out reserve, when he asked forgiveness for his error. For I 
am ready to confess a thing that has been brought forward as 
a charge against me, that, after he was married, he was guilty 
of a breach of that fidelity which he had pledged to me, 
and that, suddenly changing his mind, he endeavoured with 
equal pertinacity to prevent that which he had before endea- 
voured with the greatest zeal to promote — that, in fiict, he was 
ready to submit to anything, to do anything, in oi'der that our 
marriage might not take place. And still, all this luibecoming 
change of mind on his part, and this ill-will against his mo- 
ther, ought not to be imputed as a fault to him, but rather to 
his father-in-law, who stands there, Herennius Rufinus, a man 
who has left not one individual upon the face of the earth more 
vile, more dishonest, or more iniquitous than himself. 

In a very few words, as I am necessitated so to do, I will 
describe the man, but still in language as moderate as I pos- 
sibly can ; lest, if I should be altogether silent about him, he 
should have lost his pains, in using his utmost endeavours 
to create for me all this trouble. For it is he who is the 
instigator of this stripling ; it is he who is the prompter of 
this prosecution ; it is he who is the hirer of these advocates; it 
is he who is the suborner of these witnesses ; it is he who is 
the furnace wherein this calumny has been annealed ; it is he 
who acts as the torch and the goad of ^milianus here ; while 
in the presence of all, he boasts most immoderately that it is 
through his machinations that I have been accused. And, no 
doubt, he has in these matters very good grounds for congra- 
tulating himself. For he is the base contractor of all litigation, 
the inventor of all falsehoods, theframer of all pretences, the hot- 
bed of all mischiefs ; he, too, is a very haunt, a den, a brothel for 
lusts and debaucheries ; from his very earliest age he has been 
universally notorious for his disgraceful vices. Formerly, in 
his boyhood, before he was disfigured by that baldness of his, 
he was subservient to his corrupters in the peipetration of every 
infamous crime; after that, in his youtt, as a dancer on the 

322 fHB DE*"ENCE Oif APtJLElttB. 

stage, he wus so pliant in body as to seem to be iitttrly ^ith- 
cut bones and nerves ; but, from what I hear, he was remark- 
able for a coarse and uncouth effeminacy. Indeed, he is said 
to have had nothing whatever of the actor, except the immo- 
desty. At his present age, too, the years at which he has 
now arrived — may the Gods confound him ! — high commen- 
dations these to be uttered in his hearing — his whole house 
is a brothel, his entire household a mass of corruption, himself 
devoid of all shame, his wife a prostit"ute, his sons just like 
himself. His door, a sport, day and night, for the yoimg nun 
of the place, is battered by their heels, his windows serenaded 
by their ditties, his dining-room kept in an uproar by revellers, 
and his bed-chamber a common thoroughfare for adulterers; 
nor, in fact, has any one the least fear to enter it, with the ex- 
ception of him who has brought no admission-fee to the hus- 
band. In this way is the dishonor of his bed a source of in- 
come to him. Formerly he used to earn money by his own 
person ; now he earns it by letting out the person of liis 

With this same man, many a one — I am telling no falsehood 
— with this same man, I say, many a one has bargained for 
a night with his wife. Hence, then, that collusion which is 
so notorious between the husband and the wife. When people 
have brought a handsome compliment for the woman, no one 
takes any notice of them, and thej- take their departiu'e at their 
own time and pleasure. But as for those who have come not 
so well supplied, on a signal given, tliey are seized as adul- 
terers ; and, as though they had come for the purpose of learn- 
ing a lesson, they do not get away before they have done a 
little writing.* 

Eut really what was the wretched man to do when he had 
lost a very handsome fortune — one, however, wliich he had 
quite unexpectedly picked up through his father's fraudulent 
proceedings ? This father of his, being eaten up by usimoua 
debts due to a great number of creditors, preferred to save 
his money rather than liis honor. For when he was dunned 
on all sides on his bonds, and clutched hold of b}- all who 
met him, just as though he had been a madman — "Have 
patience," he exclaimed; and then he declared it was not in 

* A little writing.'] — They are forced, under fear of maltreatment, to 
jjiYe a promissory-note, or a cheque upon their bankers. 


fiis power to p;iy his di'bis ; laid aside Ms gold rings and all 
the insignia of his rank, and made a composition Avith his 
creditors. But, by a most artful fraud, he managed to trans- 
fer the greater part of his property into the name of his wife ; 
and 80, himself in want, and stripped naked, though covered 
with his ignominy, he left to llufinus here^I am teUing no 
falsehood in so saying — three millions of sesterces for him to 
devour. For fully that sum came to him as his mother's pro- 
perty, free and unencumbered, besides all that his wife has 
earned for him by her marriage-portions* from day to day. 
All these sums, however, this gluttonous wretch has so care- 
fully stowed away in his paunch, and squandered upon his 
orgies of all kinds, that you would really suppose be was afraid 
lest it might be said that he retained possession of anything 
that was the result of his father's frauds. This man, so just 
and so pure in his morals, used his utmost endeavours that 
what was so badly gotten should be as badly lost ; and, from 
being the possessor of this enormous fortune, he has nothing 
left, except a wretched ambition and an insatiate appetite. 

As for his wife, being now an old woman and nearly worn 
out, she has at last given up her disgraceful courses. And then, 
as for his daughter, after having, to no purpose, at the insti- 
gation of her mother, gone the round of all the rich young men, 
and after having been lent even to some of her suitors for them to 
make trial of her, if she had not fallen in with the good-natured, 
easy tempered Pontianus, she would perhaps have been still 
sitting at home a widow before she was a wife. Although we 
most strongly dissuaded him from doing so, Pontianus con- 
'"♦^rred on her the false and misplaced name of wife, not being 
unaware that, shortly before he married her, she had been de- 
serted by a 5'oung man of the highest respectability, who had 
become tired of her, and to whom she had been previously 
engaged. . , . . 

Accordinglj^ his new-married wife came home to him full 
of assurance, and unabashed, with her chastity rifled, her vir- 
ginity lost, her nuptial veil all sullied ; after her so recent re- 
pudiation, a virgin once more, but bringing with her rather 
the name than the unblemished character of a maid. In a 
litter supported by eight persons was she borne along. You 

• Her marriage-porliom'[ — That is to say, the presents rereived by 
her from her paramours. 


824 *HE t)Eirt;i?cfc ot- APtLfettta. 

eaw, no doubt, you who were present, how shamtiessly slift 
stared about her at the young men, how immodestly she ex- 
posed herself. Who was there that did not recognize the mo» 
ther's training, when, in the daughter, he beheld the face be- 
plastered with cosmetics, the rouged cheeks, and the ogling 
eyes ? The very day before, her entire fortune Avas swept 
away by a creditor, to the utmost farthing, and certainly a 
larger one than a house impoverished and full of children 
would bespeak.* 

However, this fellow, whose circumstances are as limited as 
his hopes are inordinate, his avarice being commensurate with 
his neediness, had in his vain anticipations gulped up the whole 
four million sesterces belonging to Pudentilla ; and therefore, 
as he thought that I ought to be got out of the way, in order 
that he might more easily practise upon the pliable disposition 
of Pontianus and the solitary state of Pudentilla, he began to 
rate his son-in-law for having engaged his mother to me; 
pi'ompted him, while yet he had the opportunity, as speedily 
as possible, to extricate her foot from such great peril ; told 
him that he himself ought to possess his mother's property, 
rather than purposely hand it over to a stranger; and in case he 
should decline to do so, this crafty knave alarmed the ena- 
moured youth by threatening that he would take home his 
daughter. Why enlarge upon the subject? At his own will 
he led the simple-minded youth, entangled in the allure- 
ments of his new-made bride, quite away from his original 
design. Carrying with him the words of Eufinus, he goes 
straight to his mother. However, after trying in vain to 
shake her constancy, after taking upon himself to censure her 
for levity and fickleness, he had to carry back no pleasing re- 
port to his father-in-law : that, contraiy to her extremely 
mild and imperturbable disposition, his mother had been 
roused to anger by his expostulations, which served in no 
slight degree to support her in her obstinate determination : 
that, finally, sbe declared she was by no means unaware 
that it was through the advice of Ilufinus he expostulated 
with her, for which reason she should be all the mere in- 

* Would bespeak."] — ' Postulabat.' This seems to be the meaning of 
the passage ; and the speaker would almost appear to tint that the in- 
tended fortune of Uie daughter of Kutinus was a very .arge one, but onij 


clined to obtain the protection of a husband against hia Icsjio- 
rate avarice. 

On hearing these words, this pander to his wife so swelled 
with anger, so blazed with rage, that in the presence of her 
own son he said things against this lady, a woman of most 
chaste and modest character, which would have been far 
more befitting his own chamber, and shouted out that she 
was a love-sick creature, and I was a magician and sorcerer ; 
and this in the hearing of many persons, whom, if you desire 
it, I will name ; and declared that with his own hand he would 
put an end to me. Hardly, by Hercules ! can I moderate my 
anger, so great is the indignation which rises in my mind. 
"What, you, you most effeminate wretch ! do you threaten death 
to be dealt with your hand to any man ? With what hand, 
pray ? Is it the hand of Philomela ? or of Medea ? or of Cly- 
temnestra ? whom, when you personate in the dance, such is 
the effeminacy of your disposition, such is your dread of steel, 
that you are afraid to dance with the mimic sword.* 

But, not to digress any further, when Pudentilla saw that 
her son was corrupted contrary to her expectations, she went 
into the country, and there wrote to him that famous letter of 
hers, in which, as they said, she admitted that she had been 
bereft of her senses and induced to love me through my 
magical practices. And yet this very letter, by your order, 
Maxiraus, I copied at length the day before yesterday, in pre- 
sence of the public registrar, and before witnesses, ^Erailianus 
taking a copy at the same time ; and in everj' point it is found 
to tell in my favour, and against their accusations. For even 
if she had distinctly called me a magician, it might seem that 
in excusing herself to her son, she preferred to do so rather on 
the ground of my iiTesistibleness than of her own inclination. 
]s Phaedra the only woman that ever wrote an untrue letter on 
the subject of love ? Is not this a common artifice with all 
females, to try and make it appear that they act by compul- 
sion, when they have once set their minds upon any thing 
of this nature ? 

And even if she did in her own mind think that I was a 
magician, am I any the more a magician, because Pudentilb 

* Mimic sword.] — 'Cludine.' The ' clmkn' was a sword or rtaggcj 
used on the stage, and so contrived that, in seeming to penetrate the hody, 
\tK bMe MI into the hilt. 


has written to that effect ? You, by your tumttTTUa argu- 
ments, your multitude of witnesses, your lengthy oration, 
fail to prove that I am a magician ; was she by a single ex- 
pression of hers to prove it ? And yet of how much greater 
weight ought a charge to be considered which is undertaken 
to be proved in a court of justice, than an assertion merely 
made in a letter ? But why do you not convict me by my own 
actions, and not by the words of another person ? Henceforth, 
on the same principle, many will be accused of all sorts of 
offences, if things are to be held as true which anybody, 
influenced by love or by hatred of another, has written in a 
letter. Pudentilla has wiitten that you are a magician, 
therefore you are a magician. Suppose she had written that 
I was a consul, would it follow that I really am a consul ? 
And what if a painter, what if a physician? what, in fine, if 
she had said I was innocent? would you have believed her in any 
one of these assertions, merely because she said so ? In none 
of them, no doubt. Well, but it is most unjust to give credit 
for evil to one to whom you would decline to give the same 
credit for good; to allow his letters to have power to injiu*e, 
and yet not to have power to save. " But her feelings 
were racked with anxiety," you say; "she loved you to 
distraction." For the moment, I will grant it. Is it the 
fact, then, that all who are beloved are magicians, if the 
person who loves happens to write to that effect ? You must 
admit, now, that at this period Pudentilla did not love me, 
inasmuch as slie wrote that to others which was destined 
to be to my prejudice before the public. In fine, which do 
you wish to assert, that she was sane, or that slie was insane, 
when she wrote the letter ? Sane, do you say ? then she has 
suffered nothing from my magical practices. Insane, will 
you answer ? then she did not know what it was she wrote, 
and therefore we must put no faith in her assertion. 

And then, besides, if she had been insane, she would not 
have known that she was insane. For in the same way that 
the person acts absurdly who says that he is silent, because in 
the very act of saying that he is silent, he is not silent, and by 
his very affirmation he contradicts what he affirms : so, even 
more self- contradictory is the expression, "I am insane," be- 
ca'.ise it is not true, unless he who says it knows what it is to be 
jlts^me. But he who knows what insanity is, is sane ; where£\i 

i. DISOOTTESE ON MA 010. 527 

Insanitj' con no more be sensible of its own existence, than 
blindness can see itself. Consequently, Pudentilla, if she 
fancied that she was not in her senses, was quite in her senses.' 
I could, if I chose, enlarge upon the subject, but I will now 
have done with logic. 1 will have the letter itself read, which 
cries aloud to a far different effect, and which seems as though 
it had been prepared and framed for the very purpose of this 
trial. Take it and read on until I inteiTupt you. [Fart of the 
letter of Pudentilla is read.'] Cease reading for a moment, for 
we have now arrived at the turning point in this matter. 

Thus far, Maximus, from all that I can perceive, this lady 
has no where mentioned the name of magic, but has re- 
counted the veiy same train of circumstances that I did a short 
time since, as to her long widowhood, the cause of her bad 
state of health, her wish to marry, my own good qualities, of 
which she had heard an account from Pontianus, and his re- 
commendation that she should marry me in preference to any 
one else. Thus far has now been read ; there remains the other 
portion of the letter, which, though written in like manner in my 
favour, has been made to turn its horns against me, and which, 
while it was sent for the very pui-pose of I'emoving from me 
all suspicion of magical practices, has, to the transcendent 
glory of Rufus, changed sides, and gone so far as to gain for 
me a quite opposite character in the eyes of certain persons in 
Oea, as though I really wei'c a magician. Much in the inter- 
change of conversation, Maximus, you have heard, still moie 
in reading you liavc learned, and no little knowledge by expe- 
rience you have gained ; but still, you must declare that 
treachery so insidious, and contrived with such astounding 
wickedness, you never heard of. What Palamedcs, what 
Sisyphus, Avhat Eurj-bates, in fine, what Phrynondus^-" could 
have tliought of such a thing ? All those whom I have named, 
and any besides who have been famed for their cunning, if 
put in comparison with this single device of Rufinus, would 
seem to be utter fools and blockheads. wondrous inven- 
tion ! subtlety, worthy of the prison and the dungeon 
cell ! who would have believed that it could come to pass that 
what was a defence, could possibly, while the characters still 

* PhrynonJan.'] — Eurybates and Pluyuoiulas were persons. probaWy 
in«gicians, whose names among the Greeks had become proverbial fot 
eraft and duplicity. 


remained the same, be transformed into an accusation ? By 
Hercules ! it transcends all belief ! 

But how this thing, which so transcends belief, was brought 
about, I will now explain to you. It was the rebuke of a 
mother to her son, because, at the dictation of Rufinus, he was 
now declaring, that I, a man whom he had so highly extolled 
to her, was a magician. The words themselves were to this 
effect : [^n Greek.~\ "Apuleius is a magician, and I have 
been enchanted by him ! I certainly do love him. Come 
then to me, until such time as I shall have recovered my 
senses." Now these words, which I have read in Greek, 
picked out by themselves, and separated from their proper con- 
text, Rufinus showed to everybody, as a confession made by 
the lady, at the same time leading Pontianus with him as he 
hawked them about the forum. 

He allowed the letter which she wrote to be read, just as 
far as I have quoted ; what was written before and after he 
used to conceal, saying, it was of too disgraceful a nature to be 
shewn, and that it was enough to know that the lady had made 
confession of magical practices. What could be wanted more 
It appeared a very probable story to all. The very words that 
had been written for the purpose of exculpating me, stirred 
up intense hatred against me, among those who did not un- 
derstand the matter. This abominable fellow, raving in the 
midst of the forum, like a very bacchanal, collected crowds 
together ; ever and anon opening the letter, he would appeal 
to the citizens, and exclaiming, "Apuleius is a magician, 
what she feels and suffers she herself declares; what more would 
you have ?" There was no one to take my part, and thus to 
answer him, " Have the goodness to give me the whole of the 
letter. AUow me to see every part of it, and to read it from 
beginning to end. There are many things, which when pro- 
duced in an unconnected form, may seem amenable to accusa- 
tion. Any person's language may afford ground for a charge, 
if Avords which are connected with preceding ones are to be 
ciu'tailed of their begiiming ; if certain parts in the current 
order of what has been written are to be suppressed at plea- 
sure ; if what has been asserted ironically, is to be read rather 
in the tone of a person who admits, than of one who indig- 
nantly expostulates." 

How justly these and other sucli remarks might have beei} 


made on those occasions, the tenor itself of the letter will show. 
Now tell us, JEmilianus, whether you did not, in the presence 
of witnesses, copy these words at the same time as myself. 
[/« Greek.~\ " For when I was desirous, for the reasons I 
mentioned, to marry, you yourself persuaded me to choose him 
in preference to all others, because you admired the man, and 
greatly wished, through my means, to make him a connection 
of ours. But now, when wicked and evil-minded men prompt 
you, all on a sudden, Apuleius is a magician, and I have been 
enchanted by him. I certainly do love him. Come then to 
me, until such time as 1 shall have recovered my senses." I 
ask you, Maximus, if letters, some of which are called vocals 
[voivels], could indeed find a voice, if words were winged, 
as poets say, would they not, the instant Eufinus, with such 
bad faith, made these extracts from this letter, and read 
a few words only, while "he purposely withheld the greater 
and better part, — would not the rest of the letters have 
shouted aloud, that they were being wickedly suppressed 
Would not the words so suppressed, have taken flight from 
the hands of Rufinus ? "Would they not have filled the whole 
forum with their outcries ? Would they not have declared 
that they, too, were sent by Pudentilla, that they, too, had 
a message to speak ? Would they not have said this, in order 
that people might not listen to a dishonest and wicked man 
attempting to establish a falsehood by means of the letter of 
another person, but listen in preference to their own decla- 
ration, that Apuleius was not accused by Pudentilla of the prac- 
tice of magic, but when accused by Rufinus, was acquitted by 
her of the fact. AH these things, although not then expressed, 
are now made clearer than daylight, at a time when they are 
of still greater service to me. Your artifices, Rufinus, are ex- 
posed ; your frauds are detected ; your fnlsehoods are set forth 
to view. The tnith, before suppressed by you, now raises it- 
self erect, and emerges as it were from the deep pit of ca- 
lumny. You challenged me to abide by the letter of Puden- 
tilla ; by that letter do I conquer ; and if you choose to hear 
the latter portion of it also, I will not prevent it. Read the 
words with which this spell-bound, insane, demented, and 
lOve-stricken woman closes her epistle : "I have not been 
enchanted at all; that I am in love, is the work of Fato." 
What more than thia lo you requiro > Pudentilla contr^- 


(lids you, and, by proclamation as it were, defends her sanity 
from your calumnious charges. For the cause or necessity of 
her marrying, she ascribes to fate, from whose operations 
magic is far removcni indeed, nay, utterly estranged. For 
■what virtue is there left in spells and enchantments, if the 
fate of each individual thing, like a torrent of most impetuous 
violence, can neither be restrained, nor yet accelerated in its 
course ? Wliy, in this sentence of hers, Pudentilla has not only 
denied that I am a magician, but even that such a thing as 
magic exists. 

It is fortunate that Pontianus, according to his usual cus- 
tom, kept his mother's correspondence safe ; it is fortunate 
that the speedy hearing of this cause has precluded you from 
finding leisiu'e to make any alteration in this letter. This ad- 
vantage is owing to you, Maximus, and to your foresight ; be- 
cause, seeing fi-om the very first into the calumnious nature or 
these charges, you hurried on the hearing of them, in order that 
they might not gain strength by lapse of time ; and so, by 
granting them no respite, you have nipped their growth . 

Suppose, now, that in a letter written in confidence, the mo- 
ther had, as often is the case, made some confession to her son 
with reference to love, would it have been right, Rufinus, not 
to say duteous or manly even, for the contents of such a letter 
to be divulged and published, and that above all, on the infor- 
mation of her son ? But I am a simpleton to expect that 
you should be observant of the fair name of another, seeing 
that you have lost your own. But why do I complain of wliat 
is past, when the present is no less distressing ? That tliis 
boy should be so utterly corrupted by you, as to read aloud 
the letters of liis own mother, which he takes to be of an 
amatory character ! and that he should, before the tribunal 
of a proconsul, before Claudius Maximus, a man of the strictest 
virtue, in presence of these statues of the emperor Pius,* ac- 
cuse his own mother of shameless incontinence ! Who is there 
so meek as not to be incensed at this? What! make it your 
business to pry into your parent's thoughts in such matters ; 
to watch her eyes ; count her sighs ; scrutinize her feelings , 
intercept her letters ; accuse her of amorousness. What ! spy 

* Emperor Pini.] — Antoninus Pius. It was considered criminal and 
i!iipious to use any gross expression, or to make any offensive or oa^•^lU 
i^ioiis chftj-ge, in presence of the statue of <^ Uom^n emperor, 

* A DiaCOtTRSK ON MAfiTC. S^l 

out what Is done In the retirement of the chamber, not to huj 
by your own mother w^hen in love, but by any lady whatsoever ! 
Is it possible you can imagine that she was inspired by any 
other than the affectionate feelings of a parent ? 

Alas! unhappy was thy womb, Pudentilla ! Oh, barren- 
ness, how far preferable to progeny ! Oh, ten months* pro- 
ductive of what unhappiness ! Oh, fourteen years of widow- 
hood thus ill repaid ! The viper, I have heard say, eats through 
the womb of its mother, and crawls forth to light, and so 
owes its birth to parricide. But upon thee, while living, are in- 
flicted wounds still deeper, those, too, by a son who has already 
arrived at years of maturity. Thy state of solitude is lacerated, 
thy fair name is mangled, thy breast is stabbed, thy inmost 
vitals are torn away ! 

Is this the way that, like a good son, you make return to 
your mother for having given you life — for acquiring an in- 
heritance for you — for providing for your support during four- 
teen long years ? Or has your uncle trained you in a course 
like this, in order that you might feel convinced that your 
sons would turn out like yourself, and so might not venture 
to marry ? There is a line of a poetf which is not uncom- 
monly quoted : 

" I hate precocious wisdom in young boys." 
But, still more, who would not hate and detest precocious 
Avickedness in a boy? when he beholds him, like a sort of 
jiionstcr, full grown up in ci'ime before he is mature in years, 
venomous before he is come to his strength, green in boyhood, 
in viUany hoary, and even more baneful because he is sure of 
impunity, and while he is abundantly able to inflict injuries, 
lie is not liable^ to pains and penalties. Injuries, did I S'dj ? 
Nay, crimes rather, and those against a parent; crimes in- 
famous, enormous, astounding ! Why, the Athenians, in con- 
sideration of the common rights of humanity, when the inter- 
cepted letters of Philip of IMacedon, their enemy, were read in 
public, forbade one to be published which had been written by 
Philip to his wife, Olympias. They chose rather to spare an 
enemy than to divulge the secrets which had been entrusted 

* Ten months.] — Of gestation. 

t Of a poet.} — It is not known what yoet is here referred to. 

X Not liable.'] — Not having arrived at man's estate, he was not Ue^bla 
fe^ papital punishment. 


by a husband to bis wife, being of opinion that universal right 
ought to be regarded rather than private vengeance. 

Such did enemies shew themselves towards an enemy ; what 
sort of a son have you shewn yourself towards your mother ? 
Do you see how extremely similar are the cases I compare ? 
And yet you, a son, read letters written by your own mother, 
on amorous subjects, as you allege, in the presence of this 
numerous assemblage, before whom, if )-ou had been requested 
to read some wanton poet, you assuredly would not have ven- 
tured to do so, but would have been prevented by some sense 
of shame ; indeed, if you had ever touched upon letters in 
general, you would never have touched letters* written by 
3'our own mother. But what an epistle of your own was it 
that you ventured to give to be read ! the letter which, most 
disrespectfully, most insultingly, and most basely, you wrote 
about your mother, and secretly sent to Pontianus, at the very 
time that you were still nurtured in her bosom ! in order, I 
suppose, that you might not have sinned once only, and that 
such reputable conduct as yours might not be buried in obli- 
vion. Wretched youth ! you do not perceive that your uncle 
allowed this to be done, in order that he might exculpate him- 
self in the sight of men, when it should become known from 
your own letter, that even before you betook yourself to him, 
even when you were still fawning upon your mother, even 
then you were acting a fox-like and unnatural part. Besides, 
I cannot bring myself to believe that ^milianus is so simple 
as to suppose that the letter of a boy, and that boy my ac- 
:;user, could do me any injury. 

Then, there was that counterfeit letter, which was neither 
written by my hand, nor even forged with any likelihood, by 
which they wished to make it appear that this lady had been 
plied by me with blandishments. "VVhy should I need to re- 
sort to blandishments, if I relied on my magical powcre ? 
Besides, by what means, too, was a letter to come into their 
hands, which was, no doubt, sent to Pudentilla by the hands ot 
some trusty messenger, as usual in matters of this nature ? And 
why should I write in expressions so ungrammatical, in lan- 
guage so barbarous, when they assert that I am far from unac- 
quainted with the Greek language ? Why, too, should I solicit 

♦ Toiiphe4 kHfTf.] — TUis pun exists in the prjgin84f 

A BtSCOtnSE OK ItAGlti. 333 

het* Wltlx cdrnpliments so absurd, so pot-house like,* when they 
Bay that I am able to express myself elegantly in the wanton 
numbers of amatory verse ? The truth, no doubt, is this ; to 
every one it is self-evident : — he who was not able to read the 
letter of Pudentilla, because it was expressed in pui'er Greek, 
could read this more easily, and find himself more at home in 
descanting upon it, because the composition was his own. 

But now, I shall consider that I have said sufficient on the 
subject of these letters, when I shall have added this single 
fact, that Pudentilla, after having written by way of iron- »nd 
joke, " Come until such time as I shall have come to my 
senses," after the date of that very letter invited to her house 
her sons and her daughter-in-law, and lived there with them 
for a period of nearly two months. Let this dutiful son de- 
clare what, during that period, he saw his mother either do or 
say that was unbecoming, in consequence of this insanity of 
hers. Let him deny that she did, in the most intelligent 
manner, audit and sign the accounts of the bailiffs, and the shep- 
herds, and the grooms ; let him deny that his brother Ponti- 
anus was seriously warned by her to be on his guard against 
the insidious designs of Rufinus ; let him deny that he was 
justly censured for having everj'where carried about the letter 
which she had WTitten to him, and yet not having read it 
faithfully ; let him deny that, after all this, his mother was 
married to me at her countr3--house, the place previously agreed 
on between us. 

For we had thought it better for us to be united at her 
countrj'-house in the suburbs, in order that the people of the 
city might not again flock to us for largesses ; as it was not 
very long since Pudentilla had expended fifty thousand pieces 
of money, her own property, upon the public, on the day on 
which Pontianus was married, and this boy was invested with 
the manly gown. Another reason, was our wish to escape nume- 
rous invitations and annoyances which newly-married people 
generally have to submit to. Here, ./Emilianus, you have the 
entire cause why the marriage contract between me and Puden- 
tilla was signed, not in town, but at the country-house, that 
she might not have again to expend fifty thousand pieces of 
money, and that we might not be obliged to feast in your com- 
pany, or at your house. 

* Sopot-houae like] — ' Tanique taliernariis 

334 TttJ-: bfit.'t:j?cfc bf AJ^ttfeits, 

AVas not the cause, theb, a reuFDtiable one ? Still 1 £.tn eiif. 
prised that you, who generally lite in the eolintry, have such 
a remarkable aversion to a country-house. The Julian law, at 
all events, in its ordinances for the regulation of marriages, no- 
•whcre contains any prohibition to this effect — " Marry not a 
wife at a country-house." Nay, to say the truth, a wife is 
married under much better auspices, so far as relates to pro- 
geny, at a country-house, than in a to-mi — upon a truitful soil, 
than in a sterile spot — upon the glebe of the field, than upon 
the stones of the Forum. She who is destined to be a mother, 
ought to enter upon the marriage state in the voiy bosom of 
her mother, among the ripening ears of corn, and iipon the 
■fertile sod; or else she should recline beneath the wedded 
elm, on the lap of her mother earth, amid the offspring of the 
grass, the progeny of the vines, and the offshoots of the trees. 
Closely in accordance with this is that line,* so frequently 
quoted in the comic writers — 

" Children in fields are lawfully begot." 

To the Romans of ancient times, the Quintii,f the Serrani, 
and many others like them, not only wives, but consulships 
even, and dictatorships, were presented in the country. I 
will check, myself, however, in a field of such ample range, 
that I may not gratify you [a rustic] by lavishing praises upon 
a country-house. 

And now, as to the age of Pudentilla, about which, after these 
other matters, you uttered falsehoods with such great assurance, 
as even to assert that she was sixty years of age when she mar- 
ried, I Avill say a few words ; for, on a matter so self evident, it 
is not necessary to descant at any great length. Her fiither, at 
her birth, made the usual declaration, that she was his daughter. 
Her register is preserved, one part in the public registry, the 
counterpart at home, and the latter is now presented before 
your face. Hand that register to ^milianus. Let him see 
the fastenings,^ examine the impression of the seal, read the 
names of the consuls, and count the years. Of the sixty years 

• That line.'] — The author of this line is now unknown. 

t The Quiniii.] — In allusion to Q. Cincinnatus. See Livy, Book iii. 
c. 28. 

J The fastcninffs.'\ — Public documents were preserved in tab'etSj 
through which a string was run, \\hic!i was fjsieued on the outside and 
covered with wax_ stamped with the impression of a seal. 


that lie gave to this ladj-, let hitti prove as muoh as fire aud 
fifty. By a whole lustrum* has he deviated from the truth. 
But that is not enough : I will d^^al with him still more lihe- 
rally. Frr he has made a present of a great number of years 
to rudcntilla ; I shall, therefore, have to give them back to 
him by Avay of return. Like Ulysses, Mczentius f has gone 
astray ten whole years ; let him prove, at least, that this lady 
is fifty years of age. But why use many words ? To deal 
with him as I would with a four-fold informer,^ I will doable 
the five years twice over, and at once strike oft" twenty. 
Order the consuls to be reckoned, Maximus : if I am not mis- 
taken, you will find that Pudentilla is not now much beyond 
her fortieth year. Oh, audacious and outrageous lie, that 
ought to be visited with an exile of twenty years ! Do you 
dare, ^milianus, to amplify your lies, by thus adding to them 
one half as much again ? If it had been thirty years§ that 
you stated instead of ten, you might possibly have appeared to 
have made a mistake in the position of your fingers in count- 
ing, and, where you ought to have contracted the fingers in a 
circle, II to have opened them too wide.^ But when the num- 
ber forty, which is denoted more easily than any of the others, 
by ojDening out the palm of the hand, when this number forty 
j-ou increase by half as much again, you can have made no 
such mistake in the position of your fingers ; unless, perhaps, 
you took the years of Pudentilla to be thirty, and accidentally 
fcdded together the two consuls for each year. 

* Whole lustrum.'] — A period of five years, or, more properly, four years 
»nd a fraction of a fifth. 

+ Mezentius.'] — He has previously called ^milianus by this nick 
name, in consequence of his contempt of the worship of the gods. 

X Four-fold informer.'] — ' Quadruplator.' — This name, signifying ' four- 
folder,' was first given as a name of infamy to the informers at Rome, 
who practised their calling for the purpose of obtaining the four-fold 
penalty on conviction. 

§ Thirty years ]— The ancients, in counting with the fingers, denoted 
ten by touching the joint of the thumb with the forefinger of the same 
hand, while thirty was signified by touching the top of the thumb with 
the forefinger. Forty was denoted by opening the hand wide. He says 
that in counting, it would not have been impossible to mistake the nota- 
tion of ten for thirty, and thus to have made an error of twenty years : 
but that in ths act of signifying forty years, the palm being wide open, ro 
»uch mistake could possibly arise. 

II In a circle.'] — When denoting ten. 

*|j Opened them too wide.^ — liy denoting tliirty. 

836 tHE DEFKXCE 0* AttTLfettTSi 

All these matters I pass by : I now come to the v( ry root of 
this accusation, to the very cause of the alleged magic. Let 
iEmilianus and Eufinus make answer for what profit, even if 
I had been the greatest of magicians, I should by charms and 
by drugs have enticed Pudentilla to marry me. And yet I am 
well aware, that many a person has been accused of a crime., 
where certain motives for the commission of it could be proved 
to exist, and still, has most successfully defended himself by 
shewing that his whole course of life has been utterly averse 
to misdeeds of such a nature ; and that it ought not to prove 
to his detriment if there seemed to exist some inducements 
for the perpetration of the crime. For not every thing which 
possibly may have happened, ought to be considered as really 
having happened. There are various fluctuations in human 
affairs ; but the disposition of each person affords a sure evi- 
dence, for, as it is always affected with the same tendency to- 
wards virtue or towards vice, it affords an unerring proof of the 
readiness to embrace criminality or to reject it. 

Although I might, with the greatest justice, make use of 
these arguments, still, I spare you them ; nor do I deem it 
enough to have abundantly proved my innocence on all the 
points on which you accuse me, and to have never allowed 
the slightest suspicion even of the practice of magic to attach 
to me. Only consider what a degree of confidence in my own 
innocence 1 display, and what supreme contempt of you [my 
accusers], when I say that if even the slightest ground shall 
appear why I should have coveted this match with Pudentilla 
for the sake of any advantage to myself, if you shall prove the 
most trifling gain to me thereby, then maj- I be held to be a 
Phrynondas, a Damigeron,* a Moses, a Jannes, an Apollonius, 
or even Dardanus himself, or any one else, who, since the 

* Damigeron'] — He is mentioned by TertuUian as a famous magician : 
Dardanus was also celebrated for his skill in the same art. Phrynondas, 
Apollonius of Tyana, Zoroaster, and Ostanes have been previously al 
luded to. Moses, the law-giver of the Hebrews, was universally looked 
upon among the heathens as a magician, and is mentioned as such by 
Strabo, Pliny, and Tacitus. Jannes, and his brother Jambres, are sup- 
posed to have been two of the chief magicians who opposed Moses in the 
c(!!irt of Pharaoh. They are also mentioned in the Second Epistle to 
Tiiiicthy, iii. 8. Jannes is also mentioned, together with Moses, by 
Pliny, and he and Jambres are spoken of by N'.inenius and Palladius a« 
most skilful maj;ician&. 

1 Disco tJtoSE OK MiGTti. 33? 

■idyi of Zoroaster and Ostanes, has been celebiated among 

Do see> Maximus, I beg of you> what an uproar they raise, 
merely because 1 have enumerated a few of the magicians 
by name. What am I to do with men so ignorant, so barbar- 
ous ? Am I to toll them over again, that these and very many 
other names I have read in public libraries, in the works of 
authors of the highest reputation ? Or am I to discuss the 
point, that it is one thing to be acquainted with their names, 
but quite another to have been initiated into the art itself, and 
that the appliances of learning, and the recollections of erudi- 
tion, are not to be held to be a confession of criminality ? Or 
shall I do better, and rely, Claudius Maximus, on your learn- 
ing, and extensive information, and not think it wo^th my 
while to make answer on these matters to foolish and illiterate 
men ? I will adopt that course. What they may think of it, 
I care not a nutshell. I will' proceed to prove what I stated : 
that I had no reason whatever tor using incantations to induce 
Pudentilla to form an alliance with me. 

They took it upon themselves to disparage the looks and the 
age of this lady, and then they imputed it to me as a crime, 
that I desired to gain such a wife, in order to satisfy my 
avarice, and that for that reason, at the very earliest moment 
after our union, I wrested from her a large and ample fortune. 
It is not my intention to fatigue you, Maximus, by a lengthencjd 
speech in reply to this- There is no need of words, when th(! 
documents themselves ^peak so much more eloquently ; docu- 
ments by which you will find that I have acted throughout, 
both as regarded present arrangements, and provisions for the 
future, in a manner quite at variance with what they sui-- 
mised of me, in conformity Avith their own rapacious dispo- 
sitions. In the first place, then, the amount put in settle- 
ment by this lady of such vast wealth, you will find to have 
been but small, and that amount not a sum paid down, but 
only secured in remainder. Besides this, you will find that 
the union took place upon these terms ; in case she should 
depart this life without issue by me, the entii'e sum so settled 
was to go to her sons, Pontianus and Pudens; but, if she should 
die, leaving one such son or one daughter surviving her, tlu n, 
in such ease, one half of the sum was to go to the last borji 
%nn, uud the residue to the older ones. This, I sa}', I wili 



prove, from the instrument itself. It may possibly tapjieh, 
that not even then, JEmilianus wiJl believe that only three 
hundred thousand pieces of money "«-ere so settled, atid that by 
titrangeraent they wete to go in reverdon to the sons of Pu- 

Take this document in your own hands, [-^milianus], and 
give it to your prompter, Rufinus, for him to read. Let him 
be ashamed of his swelling aspirations, and his ambitious 
mendicity ; for he himself, though in utter want, and stripped 
naked, gave, as a marriage portion to his daughter, four hun- 
dred thousand pieces of money taken from a creditor ; Pu- 
dentilla, on the other hand, a Avealthy woman, has contented 
herself with a settlement of three hundred thousand pieces, 
and has a husband, too, who, after having many a time re- 
jected settlements of ample sums, rests contented with the 
empty name of such a trifling sum as this, for he reckons all 
other things, except his wife, as nothing at all, and centres 
all his possessions and all his wealth in the concord of the 
marriage state, and in mutual attachment. 

And yet, who, of all men that had the slightest knowledge 
even of the world, would have presumed to censure her, if a 
woman, who was a widow and of average good looks, but be- 
yond mid age, being desirous to marry, had by oftering an 
ample settlement and handsome terms, held out a temptation 
to a young man who was by no means to be despised either for 
his looks, his intellect, or his fortune ? A beauteous virgin, 
even though she may chance to be uttei'ly destitute, is still 
provided with an ample marriage portion ; for she brings to 
her new husband the winning nature of her disposition, the 
charms of her beauty, the first fruits of her maidenhood. The 
very recommendation itself of virginity is rightly and de- 
servedly most highly esteemed by all husbands. For whatever 
else you gain by way of portion, you may, whenever you 
please, return the whole of it, so as to remain under no obli- 
gation whatever. Money you may repay in full, slaves you 
may restore, a house you may quit, an estate you may leave. 
Virginity alone, when once it has been bestowed, can never be 
returned ; of l,he things that form a marriage portion, that alone 
must of necessity remain with the husband. 

A widow, on the other hand, on a divorce taking place, de- 
^)artg just us eho came on marriage ; nothing does she bring 


tliat she may not reclaim ; but she comes to you deflowered by 
another ; to say the least, very far from being an apt scholar in 
carrying out your wishes ; holding her new abode in no less sus- 
picion than that in which, by reason of her separation from her 
former husband, she herself deserves to be held ; whether it is 
that she has lost that husband by death, in which case, as being 
a woman of unlucky omen, and unfortunate in wedlock, she 
ought to be avoided ; or whether it is, that she has been sepa- 
rated from him bv divorce, in which latter case a woman must 
have one or the other of these two faults ; she must have been 
either so unbearable as to have been repudiated, or else so fro- 
Avard as to have divorced herself. For these and other reasons 
it is, that widows generally invite suitors by more ample set- 
tlements ; a thing that Pudentilla, even, might have done in 
the case of another husband, if she had not met with a philo- 
sopher who held all settlements in contempt. 

Well, now, if I had desired to gain this lady in order to 
satisfy my avarice, what plan would there have been more 
feasible by which to gain possession of her house, than to sow 
discord between the mother and her sons ? to erase from her 
feelings all affection for her children, in order that I might the 
more freely and the more certainly, on being left without 
rivals, gain full possession of the desolate woman ? 'Was not 
tliis the part of a robber such as you pretend that I am ? and 
yet I, the author, promoter, and supporter of peace, and con- 
cord, and affection, not only did not sow new dissensions, but 
even utterly eradicated those which pi'eviously existed. I 
prompted my wife, the whole of whose property they assert I 
had already made away with, I prompted her, I say, and at last 
succeeded in persuading her, on her sons demanding repayment 
of their money, as I have already mentioned, to repay them 
without delay, and that in lands valued at a low figure, and at 
whatever price they themselves pleased. Besides this, out of 
her own private property, I persuaded her to give them some 
of the most fertile of her farms, a fine house, too, fitted up in a 
most costly manner, with a great quantity of wheat, barley, 
wine, oil, and other products of the soil ; slaves, too, no less 
than four hundred in number, and cattle not a few, and of no 
Bmall value ; and all this, that she might set them at ease as 
to that portion of her property which she thus gave them, and 
encour;ige them to be of good hopes as to tl!e remainder All 



this I obtained with great difficulty, and by urgent tntrcatieS, 
from the angry and reluctant Pudentilla — tor as such was the 
fact, she will not obj ect to my saying so. I reconciled the mother 
to her sons ; I enriched my step-sons, (who in this first expe- 
rienced the benefit of having a step-father,) Avith a large sum of 
money. Throughoiit the whole city this fact was well known. 
All vented execrations against Rufinus, and lavished commend- 
ations upon me. Pontianus came to us, together with this bro- 
ther of his, so unlike him in disposition, before his mother 
Avould consent to make this gift ; and, throwing himself at our 
feet, asked us to forget and forgive all that had passed, weeping 
and kissing our hands, and saying how much he repented that 
he had listened to Eufinus and those like him. 

After that, he suppliantly entreated me to excuse him to 
LoUianus Avitus,* that most illustrious man, to whom, shortly 
oefore, he had been recommended by me at the outset of his 
professional career ; f for he had become aware that a few days 
previously I had written and informed Avitus of every thing 
that had taken place. This, too, he prevailed upon me to do. 
Accordingly, furnished with a letter by me, he set out for 
Carthage, where, Maximus, the period of his proconsulship 
being now nearly expired, LoUianus Avitus was awaiting your 
arrival. After reading my letter, in conformity with his usual 
extreme kindness of disposition, he commended Pontianus for 
having so readily made amends for his error, and wi'ote back 
to me, by him, good Gods ! what a letter ! what a style, what 
wit, w^hat grace and sweetness of expression ! He wrote, iu 
fact, just as a good man, and one skilled in the arts of elo- 
quence, ought to write. I am sure, Maximus, that you will 
hear his letter with pleasure ; and if I do read it, it shall be 
with my own lips. Hand me the letter of Avitus, that so, 
what has ever been an ornament to me, may now prove my 
Bafety too. You, in the meantime, may suff'er the water [of the 
Clepsydra] to nm on ; for were I to read over the letter of 
that most excellent man three or four times, I would not 
tliink it lost time. \_He reads the letter of Lollianm Avitus^ 
which h noio lost.~\ 

1 am not unaware that I Oiight, after that letter of Avitus, 
to come to a close. Por whom can I produce to speak moro 

* LoUianus .Jvi/us.'] — The jiroconsul of Africa before Claudius Maximut 
f frofeanional career.'] — Tliat of a pleader or advocate. 


abundantly In my commendation? what witness to my clinrac 
ter more worthy of all coaiidenoe ? what more eloquent advo 
cate. ? Many eloquent men who bore the Roman name liavc I 
known and studied during my life, but never did I admire any 
one so much as him. There is not an individual at this day, 
in my opinion, of any name, of any promise in the arts of elo- 
quence, but would greatly prefer to be Avitus, if, all envy 
laid aside, he would think proper to institute a comparison be- 
tween Avitus and himself. For in this one man are united 
all the various gifts of eloquence, even those that are almost 
opposite in their nature. Whatever the speech Avitus may 
compose, so perfect and finished will it be in all its parts, that 
in it Cato would not fail to find his own gravity, La^Iius his 
smoothness, Gracchus his vehemence, Caesar his vigoi-ous 
subtlety, Hortensius his perspicuity, Calvus his wit, Sallust his 
terseness, nor Cicero his richness of expression ; once, for all, 
I say, not to review each particular, if you were to hear Avitus, 
you would wish nothing added, nothing withdrawn, nothing 
changed. I see, Ma.\iraus, with what pleasure you hear those 
characteristics described, which you recognize as distinguishing 
your friend Avitus. It is j-our kindness that has induced me 
to saj' even this little of him. Eut I will not so far indulge 
your sympathy as to allow myself, nearly exhausted as I now 
am, and my defence drawing to its close, to begin at this late 
hour to descant on his exemplary virtues ; but I will, in pre- 
ference, reserve these topics for my recruited strength and a 
leisure opportunity. 

For now, to my disgust, my discourse must be turned fi'om 
the praises of a man of such eminent worth, to these pestilent 
M'retches. And would you dare tlien, .^milianus, to set your- 
Belf in comparison with Avitus ? Him whom he ])ronounccs to 
be a good man ; him whose manner of life Avitus so abundantly 
commends in his letter, will you pursue with your charges of 
magic and criminality ? Is it for you to be more annoyed at 
my thiTisting mj^self into the house of Pudentilla and plunder- 
ing her of her property, than was Pontianus, who, even in 
my absence, made full amends to me before Avitus, for the en- 
mity of a few days into which he liad been led by your insti- 
gation ; and who expressed his gratitude to me in presence of a 
man of such eminence ? 

yupposc, now, 1 had stated what took nlace before Avitus, 


but had not read his letter, what would you, or what would 
any one, have found to censure in this matter ? Pontianua 
himself declared that it was by my bounty he had received 
what had been presented to him by his mother ; from his in- 
most heart Pontiunus congratulated himself that it had fallen 
to his lot to have me for a step-father, and would that he had 
returned in safety from Carthage ! or, since it was thus decreed 
by Fate, would that you, Rufinus, had not obstructed the 
carrying out of his latest intentions ! What grateful thanks 
would he have expressed to me, either personally or in his 
la^t will ! Still the letters which he sent to me from Carthage, 
as well as while on the road home — those written while in 
robust health, the others when reduced by sickness, but both 
replete with commendations of me, both filled with expressions 
of affection — these, Maximus, I beg you will allow, for a mo- 
ment, to be read, in order that his brother, my accuser, may 
know how different in every respect is the career which he is 
running from that of his brother, a man of most blessed me- 
mory. [The letters of Fontianus are read.^ 

Did you hear the epithets which your brother, Pontianus, 
bestowed on me ; how, both repeatedly on other occasions, 
as also at his latest moments, he called me his parent, his 
master, his instructor ? I could also produce letters of yours 
to the like effect, if I thought it wortli while to waste a mo- 
ment upon them. I would prefer, rather, that your brother's 
last will, unfinished as it is, should be produced, in which he 
makes most affectionate and most honorable mention of me. 
That wiU, however, llufinus would not allow to be seen, nor 
even to be completed, through his vexation at losing the pro- 
perty ; a property which he had valued at the large price of the 
nights of a few months during which he was the father-in-law 
of Pontianus. Besides this, he had consulted some Chaldaean 
astrologers or others, in what way he might dispose of his 
daughter M'ith profit to himself. They, as I hear, and I only 
wish that they had not in this given a true answer, replied that 
her first husband would die in the course of a few months. But 
the rest of their answer, as to his property, they framed, as is 
generally the case, just in conformity with the wishes of the 
person who consulted them. However, the Gods so willed it, 
that just like some blind beast, he opened wide his jaws, but 
^ot u:; thing at all. For Pontianus, on detecting her guilt- 


not only (lid not make the daughter of Rufinus his heir, but 
did not so much as leave her a decent legacy; but ordered 
that, as a mark of disgrace, linen cloth,* of about two hundred 
denars in value, should be presented to her, in order that it 
might be understood that he had disinherited her, prompted 
by a feeling of indignation, and had not omitted her through 

For in this will, as well as in a former one which was read, 
he made his mother and his brother his heirs ; the latter of 
whom, though still a mere boy, as you see, Rufinus is plying 
Avith this same daughter of his, as his engine of attack, throw- 
ing her in his way, and thrusting upon this wretched youth a 
woman greatly his senior in age, and but recently the wife of 
his own brother. As for him, being captivated and enthralled 
by the allurements of the harlot of a daughter and the wiles of 
the pimp of a father, the moment that his brotlier breathed his 
last, he left his mother, and betook himself to his uncle, in order 
that, being at a distance from us, his designs might be the better 
put into execution. For Rufinus is a favourite with ^Emili- 
auus, who wishes him success in his plans. Good ! it is well 
that you have reminded me :f his own expectations, too, this 
worthy uncle, cherishes and promotes, by adopting this course, 
as he well knows that he is more likely ;j: to be the legal heir 
of the boy if he dies intestate, than his appointed heir under a 
Avill. By Hercules ! I should have been sorry if that notion 
had oi'iginated with me. It is not in accordance with my 
moderation openly to give vent to what are the secret suspi- 
cions of all : it was wrong on j'our part to suggest it. 

At all events, yEmilianus, if you would have the truth, 
many persons are surprised at this affection of yours for this 
boy, which has so suddenly sprung up since the death of his 
brother Pontianus ; whereas, before that, you were so much 
a stranger to him, that, many a time when you met him, you 

* Linen cloth.'] — Isidorus, in his ' Origines,' informs us that linen gar- 
ments were in especial worn by courtezans, and that matrons taken in 
adultery were clad in garments of this material. This custom may per- 
haps be here covertly alluded to. 

t Reminded me] — Some of his friends in court have suggested this to 
him as the possible design of iEmilianus. 

% He is more likely.] — And therefore pampers the boy with indu! 
gences, that he may have ^either leisure nor inclination to think of mak'i{( 
9 wil}. 


did not know by face the son of j'our own brothor. l^ow, 
nowever, you show yourself so considerate of hira, so spoil him 
by indulgence, are so careful not to thwart him in any tiling, 
as, by this course, to produce a confirmation of such suspicions. 
You received him from us a stripling ; you instantly invested 
him with the privileges of puberty. As long as he was under 
our management, he was in the habit of attending masters ; 
now, taking a wide flight from them, he makes for the brothel ; 
his friends of steadj" demeanour he shuns, while, at his tender 
age, this young boy passes his life Avith young men of the 
most abandoned chai'acter, amid coui'tesans and cups. It is he 
who is the ruler in your house, it is he who is the head of your 
family, it is he who is the master of your banquets. At the 
gladiatorial exhibitions, too, he is a constant attendant, and, 
like a lad of gentility, he is instructed by his fencing-master 
in the names of the gladiators, their combats, and their 

He never speaks but in the Punic tongue, or any little 
smattering of Greek he may still retain, after learning it from 
his mother. But in Latin he has neither the will nor the 
inclination to speak. You heard, Maximus, a short time ago, 
ray step-son, the brother of Pontianus, a young man who was 
distinguished for his eloquence — shame and disgrace to him ! — 
stammering out with the greatest difficulty a few syllables, at 
the time when you enquired of him whether his mother had 
presented to them the pi"operty which I asserted she had at 
my prompting so presented. I therefore call you to witness, 
Claudius Maximus, and you wlio are sitting here in judgment, 
and you also who aid nie with your presence on this my 
trial, that these corruptions, and scandals in his life, ought 
to be attributed to his luicle here, and to this candidate for 
the honor of being his father-in -law ; and I protest that I shall, 
from this time forward, congratulate myself that such a stej)- 
son as this has shaken oft' froni his neck the yoke of my 
guardianship, and shall no more think of entreating his mother 
in his behalf. 

J'or, — I had all but forgotten to mention it — very recently, 
and since the death of her son Pontianus, Pudentilla, being then 
in bad health, was making her will, on which I had a struggle 
with lier of considerable duration in order to prevent her from 
disinheiitiiiii him. in return for insults so glaring, for injunef 


BO numerous. "With earnest entreaties I begged lier to 'ti ike 
out [of the will] a most severe elianicter of hi in, the whole of 
which, I solemnly declare, she had already written. In iini', 
I threatened to separate from her, if I did not prevail in my 
request. I entreated her to grant me this favour, to conquei 
her wicked son by kindness, and so release me from all chance 
of incurring hatred. Nor did I cease until she had complied 
with my request . 

I am vexed that I have thus removed this ground of anxiety 
from ^milianus, that T have pointed out to him a path so 
entirely unexpected. Do look, I beg of you, Maximus, how, 
on hearing this, he has suddenly become quite bewildered, how 
he has riveted his eyes upon the ground. For he had fancied, 
and not without reason, that the fact was far otherwise. He 
knew that this lady was offended at the insults offered by her 
eon, and was strongly influenced by my attentions to her. As 
regarded me, too, he had good grounds for apprehension. For 
any person, even though he had been as much a despiser of 
wealth as I am, might still not have declined to take his re- 
venge on a step-son who had shown himself so undutiful. It was 
this anxiety, above all, that urged them to bring this accusa- 
tion against me. Arguing from a knowledge of their own 
avarice, they have wrongly conjectured that the whole of her 
property has been left to me. As regards the past time, I will 
release you from that fear ; for neither the opportunity of gain- 
ing property, nor yet revenge, were able to shake mj mind in 
the position which it had taken. I, the step-father, struggled 
with his offended mother in behalf of a wicked step-son, just 
as though I had been a father striving with a step-mother 
in favour of his best of sons ; nor was I content unless I 
checked, far more than I ought to have done, the abundant 
generosity of an affectionate wife, which was ready to be shown 
in my own favour. 

Hand me the will which has been made by the mother 
since her son has been at enmity with her, and of which 
I, whom these people call a robber, prefaced each word witli 
my entreaties. Order, Maximus, that document to be opened ; 
you will find her son named as her heir, while to myself, as a 
mark of regard, there is left some trifling legacy or other ; in 
order that, if anything should happen to her, I, the liusband. 
Blight not find m^- name altogether omitted in the will of mr 


own wife. Take that ■will, written by your mother, a will 
which is truly forgetful of the ties of duty. For why ? In it 
Bhe has disinherited a most attentive husband, while she has 
named as her heir a most vindictive son, or rather, I may say, 
not her son, but the hopes of -^milianus, and the match de- 
signed by Rufiuus, as well as that besotted crew, your para- 

Take it, I say, best of sons, and lay aside for a moment the 
amatory epistles of your mother, and read her will in prefer- 
ence. If she has written anything when labouring under a 
kind of insanity, as it were, here you will find it, ay, and from 
the very beginning — "LctSieiniasPudens,my son, be my heir." 
He who reads that, I admit, will take her to be insane. "Is 
this son [he will say] appointed your heir, who, on the occa- 
sion of the very funeral of his brother, having called together 
a band of most abandoned j-ouths, attempted to exclude you 
from the house which you yourself had presented to him ? A 
youth who was vexed and annoyed that you had been left by 
his brother joint-heir with himself? Who, amid your sorrow 
and mourning, instantlj' abandoned you, and fled from your 
bosom to Rufinus and ^milianus ? Who afterwards, before 
your very face, gave utterance to numerous insults, and, with 
the assistance of his uncle, was guilty of perpetrating others ? 
"Who bandied your name about before tribunals? Who at- 
tempted publicly to cast a stain upon your fair name, by pro- 
ducing your own letters against you ? AMio brought a capital 
charge against tlie husband of whom you had made choice, a 
husband whom, as ho himself objected against you, you loved 
to distraction?" Open, worthy youth, open the will, I beg; 
by so doing you will tlie more easily prove your mother's in- 
sanity. Why do you decline ? Why refuse ? — that, too, 
after you have had all anxiety removed as to the inheritance 
of your mother's property. I will, however, Maximus, place 
this document here, in this spot, before }"our feet, and I protest 
that, from henceforth, I shall take much less interest in what 
it is Pudentilla inserts in her • will. Let him, from thia 
time forward, entreat his mother, as he pleases ; to me he 
has left no grounds for supplicating any more in his behalf. 
Henceforth let him, as he is his own master, and addresses 
most virulent letters to his mother, take upon himself to assuage 
her Avrath. He who could undertake a prosecution, will \>^ 
dble to plead his own c^i^se. 


It is quite enough for me, if I have not only most abun- 
dantly disproved the crimes laid to my charge, but have even 
utterly uprooted the grounds for bringing me to trial — I mean 
the envy on account of the property supposed to have been 
Bought by me. That I may omit no one of all these things, 
I will prove, before I come to a conclusion, that this, too, 
has been falsely laid to my charge. You have asserted that 
with a large sum of money belonging to this lady, I have 
made purchase in my own name of a very fine estate. I 
say, in answer, that it was a small property, worth but sixty 
thousand pieces of money ; and that I was not the purchaser, 
but Pudentilla, who bought the estate in her own name ; that 
the name of Pudentilla is in the purchase-deed, and that it is 
in the name of Pudentilla that the taxes are paid for this farm. 
The public quaestor is here present, to whom they have been 
paid, Corvinus Celer, a man of the highest character. There is 
also here the guardian* and adviser of the lady, a man of the 
greatest respectability and of the most unblemished name, one 
Avho deserves to be mentioned by me with all honor and re- 
spect, Cassius Longinus, I mean. Ask him, Maximus, as in 
making this purchase he acted as her adviser, at what a trifling 
price it was that a lady so wealthy purchased this farm of hers. 
\_Cassms Lo7iginus and Corvinus Celer leing questioned, gave their 
evidence.'] Is it not as I said ? Does my name anywhere ap- 
pear in this purchase ? Is the price paid for this little property 
any ground for complaint ? Or, at all events, has it been trans- 
ferred to me ? 

What is there still remaining, -^i^milianus, that I have not, 
in your judgment, refuted? What reward of my magical 
practices have you discovered ? Why should I work upon the 
feelings of Pudentilla by incantations ? To gain what ad- 
vantages from her ? Was it that she might make a trifling 
settlement upon me in preference to a large one ? charms 
of surpassing excellence ! Or was it that she might enter 
into a new engagement, and settle her fortune in reversion 
upon her sons, rather than leave it to me? What else is 
there that can possibly be added to such a magic as this ? Is 
it the fact that, at my entreaty, she presented the greater por- 
tion of her property to her sons, when, before she was married 

* The guardian ] — His duties were somewhat similar to those of the 
next friend,' l^ lie is now called, in our courts of law. 


to me, she had given them nothing at all — this, too, while eha 
bestowed nothing whatever upon mj'self ? Oh atrocious crime, 
i^hali I saj% or rather, oh kindness ill repaid ? Or is it rather 
the fact that, in the will which she made when angered against 
her son, she left that very son with whom she was oftended 
her heir, rather than myself, to whom she was so much at- 
tached ? This I certainly did, after employing many spells,* 
with the greatest difficulty obtain. 

Suppose, now, that this cause is being tried, not before Clau- 
dius Maximus, a man of equity and scrupulous justice, but 
substitute some other judge, a dishonest and cruel man, one 
who is an encourager of accusations, and anxious to condemn ; 
give him some point upon which to fasten, supply him with 
ever so slight a ground, wearing the semblance of probability, 
on which he may be enabled to pronounce in your favour. At 
least, invent, devise something to say by way of answer, when 
he invites you so to do. And, as it is a matter of necessity 
that some cause or other should precede every effect, state, 
you who say that Apuleius influenced the mind of Pudentilla 
by magic spells, what it was he wanted of her, and why he 
did so. AVas it her beauty he was anxious to gain ? You say 
no. At all events, was it her riches that he coveted ? The 
marriage-contract, the deed of gift, the will, say "no" to that, 
in all of which he is shown not only not to have grasped at 
with greediness, but even to have harshly repulsed, the libe- 
rality of his wife. 

What other ground then is there ? Why are you mute ? 
Why do you not speak ? Where is that fierce commencement 
of your charge, drawn up in the name of my step-son ? " Him, 
my lord Maximus, I have determined to accuse before you." — 
Why did you not add, then, " to accuse my instructor, to Re- 
cuse my step-father, to accuse my mediator?" But what 
comes next ? — " of numerous offences, and those most evi- 
dent." Of these so " numerous," produce but a single one ; 
of these offences " most evident," produce but one which is 
even so much as dubious, one which can even sustain a mo- 
ment's question. 

To each of your innumerable charges I answer in a couple 

* Many spells 2 — There is a pun here in the original upon the word 
' cantaniina,' or 'carmina,' which means, 'spells,' or charms, as also ' re. 
pc4ted estrcatit'S-' 

1 fiiSCOtrfesE oi; MAcid. 549 

df Words.*' " Yoa clean j-our teeth" — Pardon my cleanliness, 
" You look in a mirror" — A philosopher oijght. " You com- 
pose verses" — 'Tis not unlawful to do so. " You exatoine 
fishes" — Aristotle teaches me. " You make Gods of wood" — • 
Plato advises it. "You marry a wife" — The laws enjoin it. 
" She is older than you" — No uncommon thing. " You have 
sought to advantage yourself" — Take up the deed of settle- 
ment, recollect the gifts you have received, read over her will. 
If I have abundantly rebutted all these charges ; if I have 
refuted all these calumnies ; if, amid not only all the accusa- 
tions, but even all the aspersions uttered against me by these 
persons, I have kept philosophy aloof from censure ; if 1 have in 
no way blemished the honour of philosophy, which is dearer to 
me than my own well-being, nay, rather, if I have kept it 
most carefully shielded on every side ; if, in each of these 
respects, what I say is found to be the truth, then I may more 
securely afford to respect your good opinion than to di-ead your 
power ; seeing, I deem it less grievous and less to be dreaded 
by me, to be condemned by a proconsul, than to incm* the 
censure of a man so good and so virtuous as yourself. 

* In a couple of words-l — It must be remembered, tbat in the Es 
glish language his answers cannot be expressed in two words only. 





Plato has made a tn'ple division of all nature, and especially 
of that part of it which comprises animated beings ; and he 

* God ] — In many places, Plato calls the participants of the divinities, 
Gods. Thus, in the Laws a divine soul is called 'a God;' and in the 
Phaedrus. it is said, ' That all the horses and charioteers of the Gods are 
good, and consist of things that are good.' And when he says this, he 
is speaking of divine souls. After this, also, in the same dialogue, he 
still more clearly says, ' And this is the life of the Gods.' What. how. 
ever, is still more remarkable is this, that he denominates those beings 
Gods, who are always united to the Gods, and who, together with them, 
give completion to one series. For in the Phaedrus, Timaeus, and other 
dialogues, he extends the appellation of the Gods as far as to daemons, 
though the latter are essentially posterior to, and subsist about the Gods. 
But what is still more paradoxical, he does not refuse to call certain men 
Gods : for in the ' Sophista,' he thus denominates the Elean guest oi 

According to Plato therefore, one thing is a God simply, another on 
account of union, another through participation, another through con- 
tact, and another through similitude. For of super-essential natures, 
each is primarily a God ; of intellectual natures, each is a God according 
to union ; and of divine souls, each is a God according to participation. 
But divine daemons are Gods, according to contact with the Gods ; and 
the souls of men are allotted this appellation through similitude. 

As the daemon of Socrates, therefore, was doubtless one of the highest 
order, as may be infei^ < fraia the intellectual superiority of Socrates to 
most other men, Apuleiuj is justified in calling this diemon a God. And 
that the daemon of Socratei 'ndeed was divine, is evident from the testi- 
mony of Socrates himself in the First Alcibiades : for in the course of 
that dialogue he clearly says, ' I have long been of opinion that the God 
did not as yet direct me to hold any conversation with you.' And in the 
Apology, he most unequivocally evinces that this daemon is allotted a di- 
vine transcendency, considered as ranking in the order of daemons. 

Ignorance of this distinction has been the source of infinite confusion 
and absurd hypotheses, to the modern writers on the mythology and the 
ology of the Greeks. — Taylor. 


Ib of Opinion, that there af e Gods- of the highest, the middle, 
and the lowest station. Understand, however, that this di- 
vision is based not only upon local separation, but also upon 
comparative dignity of nature, which is itself distinguished not 
in one or two, but in many modes, It was the clearer way, 
however, to begin with the distinction of locality;* for this 
has assigned the heavens to the immortal Gods, confonnably 
to what their majesty demands. And of these celestial Gods, 
some we form a notion of by sight, while others we endeavour 
to comprehend by the intellect. 

You. refulgent ministers of light, 

Who through the heavens conduct the gliding year.f 

"We do not, however, perceive by the eyes, those principal Gods 
only, the Sun the maker of the day, the Moon the rival of 
the Sun, and the glory of night ; whether she is horned or 
divided, J whether gibbous or full ; exhibiting a varying bright- 
ness in her light ; being more largely illuminated the farther 
she departs from the Sim ; and, by an equal increase both of 
her path and her light, defining the month by means of her 
increments, and afterwards by means of her decrements in like 
degree : whether it is, as the Clialdeans think, that she pos- 
sesses a proper or§ permanent light of her own, and is on one 
side gifted with light, but destitute of brightness on the other, 
and so changes her appearance by manifold revolutions of 
her various coloured face ; or whether it is that being wholly 
void of brightness of her own, and standing in need of foreign 
light, with an opaque body, or with a body polished like e 

* Distinction of locality .'\ — It is here requisite to observe, that divine 
natures are not in bodies, but externally rule over them. Hence they 
impart from themselves to bodies every good they are able to receive, but 
they themselves receive nothing from bodies ; so that neither will they 
derive from them certain peculiaritites. By no means, therefore, must it 
be admitted (as lamblichus well observes,) that the cause of the distinc- 
tion of the divine genera is an arrangement with reference to bodies ; as 
of Gods to ethereal bodies, of daemons to aerial bodies, and of souls to 
«uch as are terrene. — Taylor. 

+ The gliding year."] — These lines are taken from Book I. of the Georgics 
of Virgil. 

X Divided.] — In the original, dividua ; and the moon is dividua when 
she is a quarter old. 

§ Or.] — ' Ceu' is no doubt the correct reading bere, meaning the 'or' 
explicative, and not the ' or' aUernative. 

333 Ai'L'Liat's ox Tnfi 

mirror, she receives either obliquely or direct the rays of ihe 
Sua, and, to use the words of Lucretius, Book IV. — 

" Throws from her orb a spurious light." 

Whichever of these opinions is true, (for that I shall afterwards 
consider,) tliere is not any Greek, or any barbarian, who will 
not easily conclude that the Sun and Moon are Gods ; and not 
these only, as I have observed, but also the five stars, which 
are commonly styled " erratic," or "planets,'" bj- the unlearned, 
though, in their undeviating, certain, and established course, 
they perform, by their divine changes, movements most orderly 
and eternal ; movements which are indeed various in appear- 
ance, but which are made with a celeritj' that is always equable, 
and represent with wonderful alternation, at one time pro- 
gressions, and at another retrogressions, according to the posi- 
tion, ellipticity, and inclination of their orbits, with which he 
is well acquainted who understands the risings and settings of 
the stars. 

You who are of the same opinion with Plato, must also rank 
in the same number of visible Gods those other stars, 
The rainy Hyades, Arcturus, both the Bears ; * 

and likewise the other radiant Gods, by whom we perceive, in 
a serene sky, the celestial choir bedecked and cro^-ned, when 
the nights are painted with a severe grace and a stern beauty ; 
beholding, as Ennius says, in this most '' perfect shield of the 
universe," engravings wrought with surprising brilliancy. 

There is another species of Gods, which nature has denied 
to our sight ; and still we may contemplate them with admira- 
tion through intellect, acutely surveying them with the eye of 
the mind. In the number of these are those twelve Godsf 
who are included by P^nuius, with a metrical arrangement of 
their names, in two verses : 

Juno, Vesta, Minerva, Ceres, Diana, Venus, Mars, 
Mercurius, Jovi,J Neptunus, Vulcanus, Apollo; 

and others of the like kind, whose names, indeed, have been 
long known to our ears, but whose powers are conjectured by 

• This verse is taken from Book III. of the iEiieid. 

+ Twelve Gods.] — These Gods form, in the Platonic theology, the 
8U|>er-celestial, or ' liberated' order, being immediately proximate to tlm 
niuiulanc order of Gods. 

J JocL] — Ihe old Jioaunative usca instead of Jupiter. 

on OF SOCRATES. 353 

our minds, our attention being called to them through tlio 
various benefits which they impart to us in the uffairs of life 
in those things over which they severally preside. The crowd, 
however, of the ignorant, who are rejected by Philosophy as 
uninitiated, whose notions of holiness are misplaced, who are 
deprived of genuine reason, who are destitute of religion, and 
incapable of grasping the truth, dishonour the Gods, eithe» by 
a worship most over acted, or a most insolent disdain of theai ; 
one part being always in alarm through superstition, while the 
other is always swelling with contempt. Very many there are 
who venerate all these Gods, established in the lofty heights of 
the firmament, and far removed from human contagion : but 
not in such manner as they ought : all fear them, but through 
ignorance ; a few deny their existence, but in a spirit of im- 
piety. Plato thought these Gods to be incorporeal* and ani- 
mated natures without an end or beginning, but eternal both 
with reference to time past and time to come ; spontaneously 
separated from the contact of the body by the nature peculiar 
to themselves ; through perfection of intellect possessing su- 
preme beatitude ; good, not through participation in any ex- 
traneous good, but of themselves ; and able to procure for 
themselves every thing requisite, with a facility which is prompt, 
simple, unrestrained, and absolute. 

But of the parent of these, who is the lord and author of 
all things, and who is tree from all obligations to act or to 
suffer, not being bound by any necessity to the performance of 
any duties, why should I now begin to speak .^ Por Plato, avIio 
was endowed with a heavenly eloquence, discoursing in lan- 
guage worthy of the immortal Gods, frequently proclaims that 
on account of the incredible and ineffable transcendency of his 
majesty, he cannot possibly be even in the slightest degree com- 
prehended, under any definition, through the poverty of human 
language ; and that the intellectual apprehension of this God 
can hardly flash upon wise men, when they have separated them- 

• To be incorporeal.'] — The Delphin editor of this treatise, who appears 
to have been perfectly ignorant of the philosophy of Plato, says, that 
Plato is of an opinion contrary to what is here asserted by Apuleius, in the 
Epinomis and in the Timaeus, because, in the former dialogue, he gives to 
ihe celestial Gods a most beautiful, and in the latter an igneous body 
liut if rational souls are incorporeal, according to Plato, though con- 
uected with bodies, much mure this must be the case with the Gods. 


Belves from body, as much as possible, through the vigour of the 
intellect ; and that sometimes this Icnowledge does blaze forth 
with a most instantaneous flash, like a dazzling light amid the 
most profound darkness.* I will therefore omit the discussion 
of this theme, for which all words adequate to the amplitude of 
the subject are not only wanting to me, but could not even be 
found by my master Plato. Hence I shall at once sound u 
reti'eat, as to things which very far sui'pass my humble powers, 
and at length bring down my discourse from heaven to earth, 
in which we men are the principal animated things, though 
most of us, through the neglect of training, are so depraved, 
and are so imbued with all errors and the most atrocious crimes, 
and have become so utterly ferocious, through having nearly 
quite abandoned the mildness of our nature, that it may seem 
there is not an animal on the earth more vile than man. Eut 
at present our object is not to discuss feelings, but to treat of 
the natural distribution of things. 

Men, therefore, dwell on the earth, possessing the gift of 
speech, having immortal souls, but mortal members, with fri- 
volous and anxious minds, with bodies brutish and infirm, of 
dissimilar manners, but similar errors, of presumptuous auda- 
city, long-lived hope, labouring in vain, with variable for- 
tunes, severally mortal, but taken altogether in their whole 
species, eternal, quitting the scene in regular succession, and 
leaving offspring to supply their place, fleeting in their time, 
tardy at gaining wisdom, speedy in meeting with death, and dis- 
satisfied in life. You have, then, in the meantime, two kinds 
of animated beings, Gods entu'ely dittering from men, in the 
sublimity of their abode, in the eternity ot their existence, in 
the perfection of their nature, and having no proximate com- 
munication with them;f since those that are supreme are 

* Profound darkneis '\~-1\\\% is a very remarkable passage, but is not 
to be found in any of the writings of Plato that are now extant. Some- 
thing similar to this is said by Plato, in his seventh epistle, respecting the 
intuition of idea, or hit ellectxuxl form; viz- " that from long converse with 
the thing itself, accompanied by a life in conformity with it, on a sudden, 
a light, as if from a leaping tire, will be enkindled in the soul, aud will 
there itself nourish itself." 

t Proximate communication with them.} — A. divine nature is tmme- 
diately present with all things, but all things are not immediately present 
with it; because aptitude in the ])aiticij)ani is here rcquisi'fi to a unio« 
with tb»' which is participable 


separated from the lowest hubitutions bj' su:h a vast inter\-ul 
of distance ; and life is there eternal and never-failing, but 
here decaying and interrupted, and the natures are there subli- 
mated to beatitude, while those below are depressed to wretch- 
edness. What then ? Has rature connected itself by no bond, 
but allowed itself to be separated into the divine and human 
parts, and to be thus split and crippled, as it were ? For, as tho 
same Plato remarks, " No God mingles with men." But this 
is the principal mark of their sublime nature, that they are not 
contaminated by any contact with us.* One part of them 
only is to be seen by us wnth our blunted vision ; as the stars, 
about whose magnitude and colour men are still in doubt, 
wliile the rest are only known to our understandings, and that 
by no prompt perception. This, however, ought by no means 
to be wondered at with reference to the immortal Gods, since 
even among men, who are raised to opulence by the favour ot 
Fortune, and are elevated to the tottering throne and the un- 
steady tribunal of a kingdom, access is rare, all beholders 
being kept at a distance, and they enjoy their dignity in re- 
tirement; familiarity breeds contempt, f but privacy gains 

" What, then, shall I do," some person may object, "after this 
very celestial, but almost inhuman decision of yours? if, so it is, 
that men are entirely removed from the immortal Gods, and are 
BO exiled in these Tartarean realms of earth that all communica- 
tion whatever with the heavenly Gods is denied them, and not 
one of the celestials occasionally visits them, as a shepherd visits 
his Hocks of sheep, a groom his horses, or a herdsman his lowing 
cattle, in order that he may curb the more vicious, heal the 
diseased, and assist those which are in want ? No God, you 
say, interferes in human affairs. To whom, then, shall I ad- 
dress my prayei's ? To whom shall I make my vows ? To 
whomshall I immolate victims? Whom shall I invoke through- 
out my whole life, as the helper of the unfortunate, the fa- 
vourer of the good, and the advcrsiuy of the wicked ? And 
whom, in tine, (a thing for which necessity most fi-equently 

* Cun/uci with M*.] — i.e. By any habitade or alliance to lur nature. 
+ Breeds contempt.} — ' Parit conversatio coiitemptum,' ore of the mosl 
fc.)!;k.nk;d phrases now in existence. 


35G Arci.Eirs ox 

occurs,) shall I adduce as a witness to my oath ? A in I to 
gay, like Virgil's Ascanius,* 

" Now by this head I swear, by which before 
My father used to swear ?" 

Why, no doubt, lulus, your father might use this oath among 
Trojans, who were allied to him by birth, and also perhaps 
among Greeks, who were known to him in battle ; but among 
the Rutuli, who were but recently known by you, if no one 
believed in this head, what God would you have to be surety 
for you ? Would you have your right hand and your dart, 
like the ferocious Mezentius ? For these only, by which he 
defended himself, did he adjure : 

" For me rr,y right hand and the missile dart, 
Which now well-poised I hurl, are each a God."t 

Away, I beseech you, with such sanguinaiy Gods ; a right 
hand weary with slaughter, and a dart rusted with gore. 
Neither of these is a fit object for you to adjure, nor that you 
should swear by them, for this is an honor that is peculiar to 
the highest of the Gods. For a solemn oath, as Eunius says, 
is also called Joviiijurondum. What, then, is your opinion ? 
Am I to swear by Jupiter, in the shape of a stone, after the 
most ancient custom of the Komans : Wliy, if the opinion of 
Plato is true, that God never mingles with men, a stone will 
hear me more easily than Jupiter." 

Such is not the fact : for Plato shall answer for his opinion in 
my words. " I do not affirm," says he, " that the Gods are so far 
separated and ahenated from us, that not even our prayers can 
reach them ; lor I have not removed them from attention to 
the affairs of niimkiml, but only from contact with them." 

Besides, there are certain divine powers of a middle nature, 
situate in this interval of the air, between the highest ether 
and the earth below, through whom our aspirations and our 
deserts are conveyed to the Gods. These the Greeks call by 
name " daemons," and, being placed as messengers between the 
inhabitants of earth and those of heaven, they carrj' from the 
one to the other, prayers and bounties, supplications and as- 
sistance, being a kind of interpreter and message carriers lo' 

« Atcamus.'\ — See Book XI. of the ^neid. 
♦ See Book J'. . of the yEneid, 

TJTK 00I> OF SOCliATKB. 357 

both. Through these same demoap, as Plato eaj's in liis Sym- 
posium, all revelations, the various miracles of magicians, and 
all kinds of presages, are carried on. For specially appointed 
individuals of this number, administer everything according to 
the province assigned to each ; either by framing dreams, or caus- 
ing ominous fissures in entrails, or governing the flights of some 
birds, or instructing others in song, or inspiring prophets, or by 
launching thunders, or causing the lightning to flash intheclouds^ 
or other things to take place by means of which we obtain a know- 
ledge of future events. And we have reason to believe that all 
these particulars are by the will, the power, and the authority 
of the celestial Gods, but through the obedience, aid, and ser- 
vices of demons ; for it was through the employment, the ser- 
vices, and the care of these, that dreams forewarned Hannibal 
of the loss of one of his eyes ; that inspection of the entrails 
foretold to Flaminius a perilous carnage ; and that auguries 
assured to Attius Navius the miracle of the whetstone. Just 
in the same manner, tokens of future empire are imparted be- 
forehand to certain persons ; as, for instance, an eagle hovered 
over the cap on the head of Tarquinius Priscus, and a flame 
shone from the head of Servius Tullius. And lastly, to these are 
owing all the presages of diviners, tlie expiatory sacrifices of 
the Etrurians, the sacrificial enclosure of places struck by light- 
ning, and the verses of the Sibyls ; all which, as I have said, 
are efiected by certain influences that carry on the communica- 
tion between men and Gods. 

Nor, indeed, would it be conformable to the majesty of the 
celestial Gods, that any one of them should either frame a 
dream for Hannibal, or withdraw the victim from Flaminius, 
or direct the flight of the bird for Attius J^avius, or form in 
verse the predictions of the Sibyl, or be Avilling to snatch the 
hat from the head of Tarquin, and restore it, or place a 
splendid flame upon the head of Servius, but so as not to 
burn him. It is not becoming that the Gods of heaven 
should condescend to things of this nature. This is the pro- 
vince of the intermediate Gods, who dwell in the regions of 
the air, which are adjacent to the earth, and on the confinea of 
the heavens, just as in each part of the world there are animals 
peculiarly adapted to it, those which fly living in the air, and 
those which walk, on the earth. For since there are four ele- 
ments universally known, nature being as it were divided into four 

S68 AVVLmvi ojr 

graiul [uiitions, and there are animals peculiar to earth, wntef, 
aad flame ; (for Aristotle informs us that certain animals pecu* 
liar thereto, and furnished with wings, fly about in burning 
furnaces, and pass the whole period of their existence in fire,* 
come to life therein, and with it die), and besides this, 
since, as we have already observed, so many stars are t-eheld 
floating above in sether, that is to say, in the veiy brightest 
lieat of fire,-)- — since this is the case, why should nature suffer 
this fourth element, the air, which is so widely extended, to 
h(; the only one void of every thing, and destitute of its own 
inhabitants? Why should not animated beings be generated 
in this air in the same manner as animals that exist in flame 
are generated in tire, animals that float, in water, and those 
of an earthly nature, on earth ? For you have every reason 
to pronounce his opinion false who assigns the birds to the 
air; for not one of them raises itself above the summit of 
Mount Olympus, which, though it is said to be the highest of 
all mountains, yet if you measure its height in a straight line, 
the distance to its summit is not equal, according to the 
opinions of geometricians, to ten stadia ; whereas the immense 
mass of air extends as far as the nearest portion of the cycle of 
the moon, bej'ond which aether takes its rise in an upward 
direction. What, then, are Ave to say of such a vast body of 
air, which ranges in extent from the nearest part of the revo- 
lutions of the moon as far as the highest summit of Mount 
Olympus ? Will that, pray, be destitute of its own appropriate 
animated beings, and will this part of nature be without life, 
and impotent? Moreover, if you attentively consider tlie 
matter, birds themselves may, with greater propriety, be said 
to be tei'restrial than aerial animals; for their whole living is 
always on the earth ; there they procure food, and there they 
rest ; and they only make a passage through that part of the 
air in flying which lies nearest to the earth. But, when tliey 
are wearied by the rowing motion of their wings, the earth is 
to them as a harbour. If, therefore, reason evidently requires 
that its appropriate animals must also be admitted to exist in 

* In fire."] — This is asserted by Aristotle, in Book V. chap. xix. of hi 
History of Animals. 

t Heat of fire."] — It must be observed, however, that the fire of \\\\^ 
eether consists, and also the stars, for the most part, aie, according to I'la / 
ti'iilc aiui iitburning. 


the air, it remains for us to consider what they arc, and what 
is their nature. 

They are then by no means animals of an earthly nature, 
for such have a downward tendency, through their gravity. 
But neither are they of a fiery nature, lest they should be 
carried aloft by their heat. A certain middle nature, there- 
fore, must be conceived by us, in conformity to the middle 
position of their locality, that so the nature of the inhabitants 
maj^ be conformable to the nature of the region. Well, then, 
let us form in our mind and generate in our ideas bodies so 
constituted as neither to be so sluggish as terrestrial, nor so 
light as ethereal, but in a certain measure distinct from both, 
or else composed of a mixture of both, either removed from, 
or modified by, a participation of both. They will, however, 
be more easily conceived, if admitted to be a mixture of both, 
than if they assumed to be mingled with neither. The bodies 
of these demons, therefore, must have some little weight, in 
order that they may not be carried aloft ; and they must also 
have some lightness, in order that they may not be precipitated 
to the realms below. However, that I may not appear to you 
to be devising things that are incredible, after the manner of 
the poets, I will just give you an example of this equipoised 
middle nature. We see the clouds unite in a way not much 
different from this tenuit)'' of body ; but if these were equally 
light as those bodies which are entirely devoid of weight, 
they would never cap the heights of a iofty mountain with, as 
it were, certain wreathed chains, depressed beneath its ridges, 
as we frequently perceive they do. On the other hand, if they 
were naturally so dense and so ponderous that no union with 
a moi*e active levity could elevate them, they would certainly 
strike against the earth, of their own tendency, just like a mass 
of lead and stone. As it is, however, being pendulous and 
moveable, they are guided in this direction and in that by the 
winds amid the sea of air, in the same manner as ships, shift- 
ing sometimes in proximity and remoteness ; for, if they are 
teeming with the moisture of water, they are depressed 
downward, as though for the purpose of bringing forth. And 
on this account it is that ciouas that are more moist desci^nd 
lower, in dusky masses, and with a slower motion, while those 
that are serene ascend higher, and are impelled like fleeces of 
Woolj in white masses, and with a more rapid flight. Have 

360 APULEita ox 

you not heard how Lucretius most eloquently expressea himafU 
concerning thunder in his Sixth Book ? 

" The azure heavens with dreadful thunders shake, 
Because th' ethereal clouds, ascending high, 
Dash on each other, driven by adverse winds." 

liut if the clouds fly aloft, all of which originate from the 
earth, and again flow downward to it, pray what should you 
conclude as to the bodies of demons, which are so much more 
attenuated in their composition ? For thej^ are not heaped 
up from feculent vapours and dense mists, as is the nature of 
clouds, but they are formed of the most pure liquid and serene 
element of air, and on this account they are not visible on 
every occasion to the human eye, but only when by divine 
command they allow themselves to be seen. For in them no 
earthly density occupies the place of light, so as to encounter 
our perception, and necessarily to arrest our visual ray by that 
solidity ; but the lineaments of the bodies which they have 
are rare, shining, and attenuated, to such a degree, that 
they allow all the rays of our vision to pass through them 
in consequence of their rarity, refract them by theii* bright- 
ness, and bafile them by their subtlety. Hence tliat de- 
scription of Minerva, in Homer, presenting herself in tho 
midst of the assembly of the Greeks, for the purpose of check- 
ing the wrath of Achilles. If you will wait a moment I will 
give you the Geeek line in Latin, and here it is on the spur of 
tlie moment. Minerva, then, as I said, by the command of 
Juno came, in order to moderate the wrath of Achilles, 

" Seen by him only, by the rest unseen.",* 

Hence, also, Virgil's Juturna, when in the midst of many thou- 
sands of men, for the purpose of aiding her brother, 

" With soldiers mingled, though by none perceived," f 

fully accomplishing that which the captain in Plautus boasted 
of having ettected by his shield, 

" Which dazzled by its hght the vision of his foes." 
And not to discuss prolixly the rest of the instances, the poets, 
from this multitude of demons, are accustomed, in a way by 

• Vnteen.'] — Soli perspicua est, aliorum nemo tuetur. "liad, lib Lv. 198 
■f i£ne(d, lib. xii. 

tui'; col) i)V socitATKS. 3G1 

no means remote from the truth, to feign the Gods to le haters 
and lovers of certain men, and to give prosperity and promotion 
to some, and to oppose and afflict others. Hence, they are in- 
fluenced by pity, moved by indignation, racked with vexation, 
elated with joy, and are subject to all the affections of tho 
human mind ; and are agitated by all the fluctuations of 
human thought, with similar commotions of the spirit and 
agitations of the feelings.* All which storms and tempests 
are far alien from the tranquil state of the celestial Gods. For 
all the celestials always enjoy the same state of mind, with an 
eternal equanimity, which in them is nerer driven from its 
own fixed state either in the direction of pleasure or of pain ; 
nor is it moved by any thing from its own everlasting rule, 
towards any sudden line of conduct ; neither by any external 
foi'ce, because there is nothing more powerful than deity ; nor 
of their own impulse, becaiise nothing is more perfect than 

And furthermore, how can he appear to have been per- 
fect, who moves from a former condition of being to another 
condition which is better ? And this the more especially, as 
no one spontaneously embraces any thing new, nnless he is 
tired of what he had before ; for a new mode of proceeding 
cannot be adopted, without disapproving the preceding modes. 
Hence, it foUows, that a God ought not to be employed in any 
temporal functions either of beneficence or love ; and, therefore, 
is neither to be influenced by indignation nor by pity, nor to 
be disquieted by any anxiety, nor elated by any hilarity ; but 
he is free from all the passions of the mind, so as never either 
to grieve or to rejoice, nor on sudden impulse to will or 

But all these, and other qualities of the like kind, properly 

* Agitations of the feelings.'] — According to the ancient theolog)', the 
lowest order of those powers that are the perpetual attendants of the 
Gods, preserve the characteristics of their leaders, though in a partia 
manner, and are called by their names. Hence, the passions of the sub- 
'ects of their government are, in fables, proximately referred to these. 

+ Will or unwill.l — " Divinity," says Sallust (in chap. xiv. of his 
treatise on the Gods and the World), "neither rejoices; for that which 
rejoices is also influenced by sorrow ; nor is angry ; for anger is passion : 
por is appeased by gifts ; for then he would be influenced by delight. Nor 
1 U lawful that a divine nature should be well or ill affected froc uuiuai; 


accord Avith the middle nature of demons.* For thoy afe 5o« 
termediate between us and the Gods, both in the place ol' their 
habitation, and in their nature ; having immortality in common 
with the Gods of heaven, and passions in common with sub- 
ordinate beings. For they are capable, just as we are, of being 
affected by all that soothes as well as all that moves the mind ; so 
as to be stimulated by anger, influenced by pity, allured bj- gifts, 
appeased by prayers, exasperated by affronts, soothed by ho- 
nours, and swayed by all other circumstances, just in the same 
way that we are. For, to embrace the nature of them in a de- 
finition, demons are as to genus animated beings, as to mind 
rational, as to feelings passive, as to body aerial, as to duration 
eternal. Of these five characteristics which I have mentioned, 
the three first are the same as those which Ave possess, the 
fourth is peculiar to themselves, and the last they possess in 
common with the immortal Gods, from whom they ditt'er in 
being subject to passion. Hence, according to my idea, I have 
not absurdly called demons passive, because they are subject to 
the same perturbations as we are : and on this account it is 
that we may place some confidence in the different observances 
of religions, and the various propitiatoiy offerings made in sacred 
rites. There are likewise some among this number of Gods who 
rejoice in victims, or ceremonies, or observances, nocturnal or 
diurnal, public or performed in secret, replete with the greatest 
joy or marked with extreme sadness. Thus, the Egyptian deities 
are almost allot them delighted witli lamentations, the Grecian in 
general with dances, and those of the Barbarians with the sound 
produced by cymbals, tambourines, and pipes. So. in like 
manner, other points relating to sacred rites present consider- 
able diversities, according to ditterent regions ; as, for instance, 
the crowds that swell the sacred processions, the mysteries, 
the duties performed by the priests, and the observances per- 

concerns : for the divinities are perpetually good and profitable, but are 
rever noxious, and ever subsist in the same uniform mode of l)eing. But 
we, when we are virtuous, are conjoined with the Gods through similitude : 
but when vicious, we are separated from them through dissimilitude. 
And while we live according to virtue, we partake of the Gods, but when 
we become evil, we cause them to become our enemies ; not that they are 
angry, but because guile prevents us from receiving the illuminations o( 
the Gods, and subjects us to the power of avenging demons." 

* Ofiif.ions.] — This, liowever, applies ouly to the lowest orc'ir ol 


foimed by the devotees: and then, again, the imngrs ;£ (he 
Gods, and their insignia, the rites performed in, and the situa- 
tions of, their temples, and the variety of blood and colour iu 
their victims. All these particulars arc regulated and set forth 
in the accustomed form peculiar to the usage of each jdace, so 
much so that we have frequently ascertained by means of 
dreams, oracles and prophecies especially, that the Divinities 
have been indignant, if anything in their sacred rites has been 
neglected through slothfulness or contumacy ; of which cir- 
cumstances I have an abundance of examples. They are, how- 
ever, so universally mentioned, and so generally known, that 
no one could attempt to recount them, without omitting a great 
number more than he mentioned. On this account, I shall 
desist for the present from expending words upon these parti- 
culars, which if they have not obtained assured eredit with all 
men, still, at least, are universally within the knowledge of all. 
It will be more advisable, therefore, to discuss this point in the 
Latin tongue, that there are kinds of demons enumerated by 
the philosophers, in order that you may more clearly and more 
fully come to an understanding on the presage of Socrates, and 
his familiar demon. 

Now, according to a certain signification, the human soul, 
even when it is still situate in the body, is called a demon. 

" say, Euryahis, do Gods inspire 
In minds this ardour, or does fierce desire 
Rule as a God iu its possessor's breast ?"* 

If, then, this is the case, a longing of the soul that is of gooo 
tendency is a good demon. Hence it is that some think, as we 
have already observed, that the blessed are called sudai/xovsg, 
cudamones, the demon of Avhom is good, that is, whose mind is 
perfect in virtue. You may call this demon in our language, 
according to my mode of interpretation, by the name of 
" Genius," whether quite correctly I am not altogether sure, 
but at all events, at any risk you may so call it ; because this 
God, who is the mind of every one,f though immortal, is never- 

* These verses are taken from Book IX. of the ^Eneid. 

t Every one."] — " The soul," says Proclus, in his Commentary on the 

First Alcibiades, "that, through its similitude to the demoniacal genus, 

produces energies more wonderful thjKi those which belong to human iia- 

ture, and which suspends the whole of its life from demons, is a demon 

ftccordmg to habitude' (i. c. itruxiuiUy or alliance). Hut an csse'Uialilo> 

364 AtULEiia oil 

theless, after a certain manner, generated with man ; so that 
those prayers in which we implore the Genius, and which we 
employ when we embrace the knees [genua] of those whom 
we supplicate, seem to me to testify this connexion and 
union, since they comprehend in two words the body and 
the mind, through the communion and conjunction of which 
■we exist. 

There is also another species of demons, according to a se- 
cond signification, and this is the human soul, after it has per- 
formed its duties in the present life, and quitted the bod}- : I 
find that this is called in the ancient Latin language by the 
name of Lemur. Now, of these Lemures, tlie one who, under- 
taking the guardianship of his posterity, dwells in a house 
with propitious and tranquil influence, is called the "familiar" 
Lar. But those who, having no fixed habitation of their own, 
are punished with vague wandering, as with a kind of exile, 
on account of the evil deeds of their life, are usually called 
" Larvae," thus becoming a vain terror to the good, but a 
source of punishment to the bad. But when it is uncertain 
what is the allotted condition of any one of these, and whether 
it is Lar or Larva, it is called a God ^Manes ; the name of God 
being added for the sake of honor. For those only are called 
Gods, who being of the number of the Lemures, and having 
regulated the course of their life justly and prudently, have 
afterwards been celebrated by men as divinities, and are uni- 
versally worshipped with temples, and religious rites ; such, 
for instance, as Araphiaraus in Boeotia, Mopsus in Africa, Osiris 
in Egypt, and others in other nations, but Esculapius every- 
where. All this distribution, however, has been made of 
those demons, who once existed in a human body. 

But there is another species of demons, more exalted and 
august, not fewer in number, but far superior in dignity, who, 
being for ever liberated from the bonds and conjunction of the 
body, preside over certain powers. In the number of these 
are Sleep and Love, who possess powers of a different nature ; 
Love, of exciting to wakefulness, Sleep of lulling to rest. 

mon is neither called a demon through habitude to secondary natures, nor 
through an assimilation to somi'thing different from himself; but is al- 
lotted this peculiarity from himself, and is defined by a certain summit, or 
flower of essence, by appropriate powers, and by different modes of 


From this more elevated order of demons, Plato is of opiiiiou 
that a peculiar demon is allotted to every man, to be a witness 
and a guardian* of his conduct in life, who, without being 
visible to any one, is always present, and is an overseer not 
only of his actions, but even of his thoughts. But when life 
is finished, and the soul has to return to its judges, then the 
demon who has presided over it immediately seizes, and leads 
it as his charge to judgment, and is there present with it while 
it pleads its cause ; and censures it if it is guilty of any un- 
truthfulness ; corroborates what it says, if it asserts what ia 
true ; and conformably to its testimony, sentence is passed. All 
you, therefore, who hear this divine opinion of Plato, as ex- 
plained by me, so adapt your minds to whatever you may have 
to do, or to whatever may be the subject of your meditation, as 
men Avho know that there is nothing concealed from those 
guardians either within the mind or external to it ; but that 
the demon scrupulouslj' takes part in all these matters, sees 
all things, understands all things, and dwells in the most 
profound recesses of the mind, in the place of conscience.! 

* A guardian.'] — According to Plato, our guardian demons belong to 
that order of demons which is arranged under the Gods that preside over 
the ascent and descent of souls. Oiympiodorus, iu bis Commentary on 
the Phaedo of Plato, observes, " that there is one demon who leads the 
soul to its judges from the present life ; another who is rainistrant to the 
judges, giving completion, as it were, to the sentence which is passed ; 
and a third, who is again allotted the guardianship of life " 

t Of conscience.'] — In the original, ia ipsis peritissimis menfibus vice 
conscientice diversetur. This is a most remarkal)le passage, since it per- 
fectly accords with what Oiympiodorus says of our allotted demon, in his 
Scholia on the First Alcibiailes of Plato, and contains a dogma concern- 
ing this demon, which is only to be found explicitly maintained in these 
Scholia. The words of Oiympiodorus are as follows : — " This is what is 
said by the interpreters [of Plato] concerning demons, and those which 
are allotted to us. We, however, shall endeavour to discuss these parti- 
culars In such a way as to reconcile them with what is at present said by 
Plato; for Socrates was condemned to take poison, in consequence of in- 
troducing to young men novel demoniacal jTOwers, and for thinking those 
to be Gods which were not admitted to be so by the city. It must be 
said, therefore, that the allotted demon is conscience, which is the supreme 
^ower of the soul, is guiltless in us, is an inflexible judge, and a witness 
to Minos and Rhadamanthus of the transactions of the present life. This 
also becomes the cause to us of our salvation, as always remaining: in us 
without guilt, and not assenting to the errors of the soul, but disdaining 
thetu, and converting the soul to wliat is proper. You will not err, there- 

866 APULKITTS 01^ 

He of whom I speak is entirely our guuidian, our incividuai 
keeper, our -svatcher at home, our own proper regulator, a 

fore, in calling the allotted demon conscience. But it is requisite to know 
that, of conscieiKe, one kind pertains to our gnostic powers, and whic » 
is denominated conscience {co-intdligence), homonyniously with tlie genus." 
In this passage, as Creuzer, the editor of these Scholia, well observes, 
something is wanting at the end ; and a part of what is deficient. I con- 
ceive to be the words, to ci tni ralg ^wrt'/caic, i. c. but another kind to 
our vital powers ; for the great division of the powers of the soul is into 
the gnostic and vital. 

The singularity in this dogma of Olympiodorus, respecting our allotted 
demon, is, that in making it to be the same with conscience, if conscience 
is admitted to be a part of the soul, the dogma of Plotinus must also be 
admitted, " that the whole of our soul does not enter into the body, hut 
that something belonging to it always abides in the intelligible world." 
But this dogma appears to have been opposed by all the Platonists pos- 
terior to Plotinus ; and Proclus has confuted it in the last proposition of 
his Elements of Theology ; for he there demonstrates, " that every par- 
tial soul, in descending into generation [or the sublunary realms], descends 
wholly ; nor does one part of it remain on high, and another part de- 
scend." But his demonstration of this is as follows : — " For if something 
pertaining to tlie soul remain on high, in the intelligible world, it will 
always perceive intellectually, without transition, or transitively. But if 
without transition, it will be intellect, and not a part of the soul, and 
this partial soul will proximately participate of intellect [i e. not through 
the medium of demoniacal and divine souls]. This, however, is impos- 
sible. But if it perceives intellectually witli transition, from that which 
always, and from that which sometinies, energizes intellectually, one 
essence will be formed. This, however, is also impossible ; for these 
always differ, as lias been demonstrated, 'i'o which may be added, the 
absurdity resulting from supposing that the summit of the soul is always 
perfect, and yet does not rule over the other jrowers, and cause them to 
1)6 perfect. Every partial soul, therefore, wholly descends." Hence, if 
Olympiodorus was likewise hostile to this dogma of Plotinus, it must 
follow, according to him, that conscience is not a part of the soul, but 
something superior to it, and dwelling in its summit. Perhaps, therefore, 
Olympiodorus on this account calls the allotted demon the supreme 
flouer of the soul. For the summit, or the one of the soul, is frequently 
called by Platonic writers, to dfOog, the flower, hut not uk^ov av9o^, 
the supreme floiver ; so tliat the addition of supreme will distinguish tlie 
presiding daemon from ihe summit of the soid. Tlie place in which this 
dogma of Plotinus is to be found, is at tlie end of his treatise oh the 
Descent of the Soul. 

I only add, that the celebrated poet Meuander appears to have been 
the source of this dogma, that conscience is our allotted demon; for Mte 
of the E.\cerpta2 from his fragments is, " To every mortal conscience v 
a God." — Taylor. 


searcher Into our inmost fibres, our coustant observer, our in- 
separable witness, a reprover of our evil actions, an approver 
of our good ones ; if he is becomingly attended to, sedulously 
examined and devoutly worshipped, in the way in which ho 
was worshipped by Socrates in justice and in innocence ; he is 
our forewarner in uncertainty, our monitor in matters ot 
doubt, our defender in danger, and our assistant in need. He 
is able also by dreams, and by tokens, and perhaps even 
openly, when necessity demands it, to avert from you evil, to 
increase your blessings, to aid you when depressed, to support 
you when falling, to lighten your darkness, to regulate your 
prosperity, and modifj^ your adversity. 

What wonder, then, if Socrates, who was a man perfect in 
the highest degree, and wise even by the testimony of Apollo, 
should know and venerate this his God ; and that hence, this 
Lar, his keeper, and nearly, as I may say, his co-mate and his 
domestic associate, should repel from him everything whicli 
ought to be repelled, foresee what ought to be foreseen, and 
forewarn him of what he ought to be forewarned of, if at any 
time, the functions of wisdom falling short, he stood in need, 
not of counsel, but foreknowledge ; in order that when he was 
vacillating through doubt, he might take a firm stand through 
being forewarned. For thci'e are many things respecting 
which even wise men have recourse to diviners and oracles. 
Do you not verj' clearly perceive in Homer, as in a kind of 
large miiTor, these two properties of divination and of wisdom 
separated widely from each other ? For when those two pillars 
of the whole expedition disagreed, Agamemnon potent in sway, 
and Achilles powerful in battle, and a man famed for his elo- 
quence and renowned for his skill, was wanting, who might 
allay the pride of the son of Atreus, and curb the anger of the sou 
of Peleus, command the attention of both by the weight of his 
character, admonish them by examples, and soothe them by his 
words ; who, then, on such an occasion undertook to speak ? 
Why, Nestor, the Pylian orator, who was so bland in his elo- 
quence, wary through experience, and venerable for his age ; 
who was known by all to have a body weakened by years, but 
a mind vigorous in counsel, and words flowing with lioneyed 

In like manner, when in dubious and adverse ciicumstanoi s, 
spies are to be chosen, to penetrate into the camp of Lb« 


ent'/ny at midniglit, are not Tllysses and Diomedes Belectod for 
that purpose, as counsel and aid, mind and hand, spirit and 
Hword ? But, on the other hand, when the Greeks are detained 
in Aulis, kept back by the winds, and through weariness are 
shrinking from the difficulties of the war ; when the means of 
proceeding, tne tranquillity of the sea, and the clemency of the 
winds, have to be ascertained by means of the indications of 
the enti'ails, the courses taken by birds, and the food de- 
voured by serpents ;* then were those two supreme summits of 
the Grecian wisdom, the Ithacan and the Pylian, both of them 
silent ; but Culchas, who was far more skilful in divining, as 
soon as he had surveyed the birds, and the altars, and the tree, 
immediately through his divination appeased the tempests, 
brought the fleet out to the sea, and foretold a war which 
should last ten years. Just so in the Trojan army also, when 
affairs required the aid of divination, that wise senate is silent, 
nor does either Hicetaon, Lampus, or Clytius, presume to give 
any opinion ; but all of them listen in silence, either to the 
distasteful auguries of Helenus, or to the discredited predic- 
tions of Cassandra. After the same manner, Socrates too, if at 
any time advice not within the province of wisdom was re- 
quisite, was then governed by the prophetic power of his 
dmeon ; and he was sedulously attentive to his admonitions, 
and on that account was acceptable in a far higher degree to 
his God. 

The reason also, has been in some measure already stated, 
why the demon of Socrates was gc^uerally in the habit of for- 
bidding him to do certain things, but never exhorted him to 
the performance of any act, For Socrates, being of himself a 
num exceedingly perfect, and prompt to the performance of all 
requisite duties, never stood in need of any one to exhort him ; 
though sometimes he required one to forbid him, if danger 
happened to lurk in any of his undertakings; in order that, 
being admonished, he might use due precaution, and desist for 
the present from his attempt, either to resume it more safely 

* Devoured by serpenfs.'] — Apiileius here alludes to the serpent which, 
in the presence of the Greeks at Aulis, ascended into a plane tree, and 
devoured eight little sparrows, together with their mother. Whence 
Calchas prophesied that the Trojan war would last nine years, hut that 
the citv would be captured in the tenth year. See the Iliad, lib. ii. 
▼. 300.' 

TITK nop OF SOCr.ATES. 369 

at a future period, or filter iij)on it in some other way. On 
Kccasions of this kind, he used to say, " That he heard a cer- 
tain voice, which proceeded from the divinity." For so it is 
asserted by Plato ; and let no one suppose that he was in tho 
habit of deriving omens from the ordinary conversation of men. 
Once, for example, when he was with Phaedrus, bej-ond the 
precincts of the city, under the covering of a sliady tree, 
and at a distance from all overlookers, he perceived a sign 
which announced to him that he must not pass over the small 
stream of the river llissus, until he had appeased Love, who 
was indignant at hiiJ censure of him, by a recantation. ••' And 
then, besides, if he had been an observer of omens, ho would 
sometimes also have received positive encouragement from them, 
as we see frequently the ease with many of those, who, through 
a too superstitious observance of omens, are not directed bj' their 
own minds, but by the words of others ; and who creeping 
about the lanes, gather counsel from the remarks of strangers, 
and, if I may use the expression, do not think with the under- 
standing, but with the ears. 

But be this as it may, it is certain that those who hear the 
words of soothsayers, generally receive a voice with their ears, 
concerning the nature of which they have no doubt, and which 
they know to proceed from the human mouth. But Socrates 
did not simply say that he heard a voice, but a " certain 
voice," transmitted to him : by which addition, you must 
certainly understand, that neither an ordinary nor a human 
voice is signified ; for had it been so, it would have been no 
use to say a " certain" voice, but rather " a voice," " or tlie 
voice of some one," as the courtesan in Terence says, 
" I thought just now I heard the captain's voice. "+ 
]5ut he who says that he heard a certain voice, is either igno- 
rant whence that voice originated, or is in some doubt con- 
•iei'ning it, or shows that it had something unusual and mys- 
terious about it, as Socrates did of that voice, which lie said 
WHS transmitted to him opportunely and from a divine source. 
And, indeed, I think that he used to perceive indications of his 
flemon, not only with his ears, but even with his eyes ; for he 

* Recantation.} — See the Phaedrus of Plato. 

f Voice.] — 'Audire voccni visa sum niodo militis.' This verse is frooo 
the Eunuch of Terence. 

S70 APULKirrs ow 

very frequently declared that not a voice, but a divine sign, 
had been presented to him. This sign too might have been 
the form of his demon, which Socrates alone beheld, just as, 
in Homer, Achilles beheld Minerva. 

I suppose that most of you will with difficulty believe what I 
have just said, and will greatly wonder what was the form of 
the demon Socrates was in the habit of seeing. Aristotle, 
however, who is a pretty good authority, I think, informs us that 
it was usual with the Pythagoreans to express great surprise 
if any one denied that he had ever seen a demon. If, there- 
fore, the power of beholding a divine form may be possessed 
by any one, v/hy might it not, in an especial degree, fall to 
the lot of Socrates, whom the dignity of wisdom rendered 
equal to the very highest divinity? For nothing is more 
similar and more acceptable to Deity, than a man intellectually 
good in a perfect degree, for he as much excels other men as 
he himself is surpassed by the immortal Gods. Do we not, 
then, ourselves feel elevated by the example and mention of 
Socrates ? And ought we not to devote ourselves to the feli- 
citous study of a like philosophy, and stand in awe of like 
Divinities ? A study from which we allow ourselves to be 
drawn away, for what reason I know not. And nothing is 
there which excites in me so much sui'prise, as that all nun 
should desire to live most happily, and should know that they 
cannot so live in any other way than by cultivating the mind, 
and y(!t leave their minds uncultivated. Just so, if any one 
wishes to see clearlj% it is requisite that he should pay atten- 
tion to his eyes by wliich he sees ; if he desires to run swiftly, 
attention must be paid to the feet by wliich he runs ; and so, 
too, if you wish to be a stout pugilist, your arms must be 
strengthened with which you engage in that exercise. So it 
is with all the other members ; the care of each must be made 
your study. And, as all men may easily see that this is true, 
I cannot sufficiently ai;count to myself, and wonder to the 
extent that the thing deserves, why they do not, with the aid 
of reason, cultivate their minds. For this art of living is 
equally necessary for all ; whereas the same is not the case 
with the art of painting, nor Avith the art of singing, whieh 
any worthy man may despise, without any censure upon his 
understanding, without baseness, and without disgrace. 1 
know not how to play on the flute like Ismeuias, still 1 fee! 


no shame that I am not a player on the flute : I know not 
how to paint in colours like Apelles, nor to carve like Lysip- 
pus, still I am not ashamed that I am not an artist ; and the 
same as to other arts, not to recount them all individually ; 
you are at liberty to be ignorant of them, and yet not to feel 
ashamed. But, on the other hand, be good enough to say, I 
know not how to live aright as Socrates, as Plato, and as 
Pythagoras lived, and I feel no shame that I know not how to 
live aright. This you will never dare to say. 

It is, however, especially to be wondered at, that people 
should still neglect to learn those things of which they by no 
means wish to appear ignorant, and shun at one and the same 
moment, both acquaintance with and ignorance of the same 
art. Hence, if you examine their daily outlay, you will 
find that they are prodigally profuse in their ordinary ex- 
penditure, but bestow nothing on themselves; I mean on 
proper attention to their demon, which proper attention is 
nothing else than the secret obligations of philosophy. They 
build sumptuous viUas, no doubt, richly decorate their houses, 
and collect a numerous household ; but in all these, and amidst 
such vast affluence, there is nothing to be ashamed of but tlio 
master himself, and with good reason ; for they have an accu- 
mulation of things which they liave collected with exquisite 
care, while they themselves M'andcr about among them, rude, 
uncultivated, and ignorant. 

Accordingly, you will find the things on which they have 
lavished tbeir patrimony, to be most pleasing to the view, and 
most exquisitely built ; villas raised that rival cities, houses 
decorated like temples, most numerous retinues of servants, 
with carefully curled locks, costly furniture, every thing be- 
tokening affluence, every thing bespeaking opulence, every 
thing bearing marks of refinement, excei)tthe master liimself; 
who alone, just like Tantalus, needy, poor, and in want in tho 
midst of his riches, though he does not snatch at retreating 
fruit, nor endeavour to quench liis thirst with shifting water, 
still hungers and thirsts for want of true beatitude, that is to 
say, a genuine life,* and a happy and discreet existence. For 
he does not perceive that 't is usual to look upon rich men in 
the same way that we do horses when we buy them; for iu 

* Gemdite life.'] — In the coinuion text, ' secuiidae vitae;' but we lead, 
with tlif Roman edition, ' sinceix vita:.' 

£B 2 


purcliasing horses wc do not look to tlic trappings, nor the 
decorations of the helt, nor do we contemplate the riches of 
the neck with all its ornaments, and examine whether chains 
of various patterns, and made of silver, gold, or gems, are 
hanging from it ; whether elaborate baubles surround the head 
and neck ; whether the hits are embossed, the saddle painted, 
and the girths gilt ; but all this outside show being removed, 
we survey the bare horse itself, and direct our attention ouly 
to his body and his temper, in order to ascertain whether he 
is of handsome form, vigorous for the race, and strong for 
purposes of carriage. In the first place, we consider whether 
there is in his body 

" A head that's slender, and a belly small, 
A back obese, and animated breast. 
In brawny flesh luxuriant."* 

A.nd besides, whether a twofold spine passes along his loins ; 
for I would have him not only to carry me swiftly, but to 
afford me an easy seat. 

In a similar manner, therefore, in examining men, do not 
take into account these foreign particulars, but closely consider 
the man himself, and look upon him in a state of poverty, as 
was my Socrates. But I call those things foreign which our 
parents have produced, and which Fortune has bestowed, none 
of which do I mingle with the praises of my Socrates ; no 
nobility of birth, no high pedigree, no long line of ancestors, 
no envied riches, for all these, I say, are foreign. It is glory 
sufficient derived from Protaonius, if he was such a man that 
he was not a disgrace to his grandson. In like manner, may 
you enumerate every thing of a foreign nature. Is he of nol)lo 
birth ? You praise his parents. Is he rich ? I put no trust 
in Fortune; nor do I admire these things a bit the more. Is 
he strong? He will be weakened bj' sickness. Is he swift 
in the race ? He will Ml into old age. Is he beautiful ? 
Wait a little, and he will be so no longer. Btit is he well in- 
structed, and extremely learned in the pursuits of [)hilosopliy, 
and wise, and skilled in the knowledge of good, as much as it 
is possible for man to be ? Now, then, at last you praise the 
man himself. For this is neither an hereditary possession 
from his father, nor depending on chance, nor yet on the siif- 
t'rages of the people, nor subject to bodih' decay, nor niutabla 
* These lines are taken from Book III. of the Georgics of ViisjU. 


through age. All these my Socrates possessed, and therefore 
cared not for the possession of other things. Why, then, do 
not you apply yourself to the study of wisdom, or, at least, 
strive that you may hear nothing of an alien nature in your 
praises ? but that he who wishes to compliment you, may 
praise you in the same manner as Accius praises Ulysses, in 
his Philoctetes, where he says, at the beginning of that tragedy 
*' Fam'd hero, in a little island born, 
Of celebrated name and powerful mind, 
Once to the Grecian ships war's leading light, 
And to the Dardan race th' avenger dire, 
Son of Laertes." 

He mentions his father last of all. But you have heard aL 
the praises of that man ; Laertes, Anticlea, and Acrisius, claim 
no share of it. The whole of the praises are, as you see, a 
possession belonging to Ulysses alone. !N^or does Homer teach 
you anything else with regard to the same Ulysses, in alwaj-s 
representing Wisdom as his companion, whom he poetically 
calls Minerva. Hence, attended by her, he encounters all 
terrific dangers, and rises superior to all adverse circumstances. 
For, assisted by her, he entered the cavern of the Cyclops, but 
escaped from it ; saw the oxen of the Sun, but abstained trom 
them, and descended to the realms beneath, but emerged from 
them. With the same Wisdom for his companion, he passed 
by Scylla, and was not seized by her ; he was surrounded by 
Charj^bdis, and was not retained by her ; he drank the cup of 
Circe, and was not transformed ; he came to the Lotophagi, 
yet did not remain with them ; he heard the Sirens, yet did 
not approach them.* 

* Approach them.'] — The concluding part of this treatise on the God 
of Socrates has a great resemblance to the conclusion of the dissertation 
of Maximus Tyrius, entitled, Whether there is a Sect in Philosophy, 
according to Homer? and which is as follows: " And with respect to 
Ulysses himself, do you not see how virtue, and the confidence which he 
acquires through her aid, preserve him, while he opposes art to all-various 
calamities .* This is the ntoly in the island of Circe, this is the fillet in 
the sea, this delivered him from the hands of Polyphemus, this led him 
from Hades, this constructed for him a raft, this persuaded Alcinous, this 
enabled him to endure the blows of the suitors, the wrestling with Irus, 
and the insolence of Melanthius. This liberated his palace, this avenged 
the injuries of his wife, this made the man a descendant of Jupiter, like 
the Gods, and such a one as the happy man is according to Plato." 




It is a common custom with religious travellers, when they 
come upon some grove or sacred place, to beseech favour, offer 
up prayers, and sit down a while ; in like manner, now 
that I have entered this most hallowed city, though I am in 
great haste, I must entreat favour, make oration, and check 
my hurry. For the traveller can find no fitter motives for 
a religious pause in an altar decked with flowers, or a dell 
shaded with foliage, or an oak loaded with horns, or a beech 
festooned with skins, or even a consecrated and enclosed hil- 
lock, or a trunk chiselled into the form of an image, or a turf 
redolent of libation, or a stone bedewed with ointment. These 
are small things indeed, and though adored by the few who 
Ecrutinise them, are passed unnoticed by those who are not 
aware of them. 


But not so my predecessor, Socrates, who, when he had 
looked for some time upon a handsome but silent youth, ex- 
claimed : " Say something, that I may see you." Socrates saw 
not a silent man ; for he thought that men were to be considered 
not with the eyes, but with the rays of the intellect and the 
gaze of the soul. In this he difiered in opinion with the 
soldier in Plautus, who says : " One eye-witness is worth more 
than ten ear-witnesses." Nay, he held the converse of this 
verse with regard to the examination of men : " One ear- 
witness is worth more than ten eye-witnesses." But if the 
judgments formed by the eyes were more valued than those of 
the mind, the palm of wisdom would be due to the eagle. For 
we men can neither discern things far away nor very near us, 
but are all in a measure blind ; and if you consider us only 


tt'ith regarl lo our 03-08, and our earthly and dull vision, truly 
the great poet has -well said that there is a mist, as it were, 
before our 63-08, and that Ave cannot see clearl3' be3'ond a stone's 
throw. But the eagle when he has soared aloft as high as the 
clouds, sweeping with his wings all that space in Avhich it 
rains and snows, a height beyond which there "S no place for 
the thunder or lightning, on the very base of the ether and 
Bummit of the tempest, so to speak ; the eagle when he has 
Boared thither, glides along bodily, with a gentle inclination left 
or right, turning his sail-spread wings in whatever direction he 
pleases, using his tail as a small helm. Looking down thence 
on all below him, with unwearied rowing of his wings, and with 
his flight stayed awhile, he remains at gaze suspended nearly in 
the same spot, and considers in what direction he shall swoop 
down on his prey like a thunderbolt ; seeing at one glance, 
himself unseen in the heavens, cattle in the fields, wild beasts 
on the mountains, and men in the towns, he considers where 
he may pierce with his beak or hook with his talons a heed- 
less lamb or timid hare, or any living thing that chance may 
offer him to tear and devour. 


H5^agnis, as we have heard say, was the father and teacher 
of Marsyas the flute-player, and surpassed all in his perform- 
ance in an age as 5'et uncultivated in music ; not that he 
pla5-ed, indeed, with such soul-subduing tone as later musicians, 
or with such manifold modulations, or on a pipe of so man\' 
holes ; for the art had been but recently invented, and was 
then in its infancy. Nothing can be perfect in the beginning, 
but in almost all cases some rudiment of the promised thing 
precedes its consummation. Before Hyagnis appeared then, 
most people could do no more than, like the shepherd or neat- 
herd in Virgil, 

" Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw."* 
And if there was any one who appeared to have made some- 
what more progress in the art, even he too, followed the common 
practice of playing onlj- on one pipe, just as on one trumpet. 
H3'agni8 was the first who separated the hands in playing ; the 
first who gare breath to two pipes ; the first who mingled 4 

* Grate, Sfc] — This line, from Milton's /.yc/rfas, is a pretty close tran«» 
tation ol one from Virgil's third eclogue. 


Bhrill and a grure tone m musical concert, by means of left 
and right apertures. His son Marsyas, when he had acquired 
the paternal art of minstrelsy — a Phrygian and a barljarian 
he was, a rough bnitish-looking fellow, hirsute, with a dirty 
beard, covered with bristles and hairs, — is said (oh monstrous !) 
to have contended with Apollo : a Thersitcs with a beautiful 
youth, a clown with a scholar, a brute with a god ! The Muses 
Avith Minerva sat as judges by way of a joke, to laugh at 
the barbarity of that monster, and no less to punish his stu- 
pidity. But Marsyas, not perceiving that he was made a 
laughing stock, which is the greatest proof of folly, before he 
began to play, sputtered out some barbarous nonsense about 
himself and Apollo, praising himself because he had short 
crisp hair, a squalid beard, a shaggy breast, was in art a flute- 
player, and in fortune needy ; on the other hand, ridiculous to 
relate, he decried the opposite merits as so many faults in 
ApoUo, saying : that Apollo had unshorn locks, a handsome 
face, and a smooth body ; iSlat he was of manifold proficiency 
in art, and opulent in fortune. In the first place, said he, his 
locks flow freely, those in front being drawn forward, those be- 
liind tossed back ; liis whole form is beautiful ; his limbs are 
smooth and fair ; his tongue is prophetic, and endowed with 
equal eloquence in prose and verse. What ! his garment is 
fine in texture, soft to the touch, and glowing with purple. 
What ! his lyre is ruddy with gold, white with ivory, and 
variegated with gems. Wliat ! he trills most skilfully and most 
sweetly. " All these prettinesses," he says, " are by no means 
becoming to virtue, but adapted to luxury, whereas the native 
quality of my own person exhibits the greatest comeliness." 
The Muses laughed when they heard things like these, which 
a wise man might well desire, cliarged as crimes against Apollo ; 
and when the flute-player had been beaten in the contest, they 
left him, like a two-footed bear, stripped of his skin, with his 
flesh naked and torn. Thus Marsyas played for punishmeni, 
and sufiered it. But ApoUo was ashamed of so low a victory. 


Antigenidas was a certain flute-player, a honeyed modulator 
of every tone, and a skilled performer in every mode, whether 
it were the simple JEolian, the varied Asian, the plaintive 
Lydian the religious Phrygian, or the warlike Dorian. Being 


thus a most distinguished flutist, he used to say, that uothing 
BO vexed and fretted his mind, as, that the horn-playere at t'line- 
rals were called flutists. But he would have patiently endured 
this community of names if he had seen mimes. Then he 
would have seen some commanding, others suffering blows, 
and all dressed nearly alike in purple. So also if he saw our 
games : for there too he would see a man preside, a man fight. 
He would see the toga employed both for the registering of a 
vow and for a funeral. Likewise he would see corpses covered, 
and philosophers clad with a pallium. 


For you have assembled in the theatre with good will, as 
knowing that the place does not detract from the weight of 
what is delivered there ; but that the chief thing to be con- 
sidered is, what you find in the theatre. For if it is a mime, 
you may laugh ; if it is a rope-dancer, you may be alarmed ; 
if it is a comedy, you may applaud ; if it is a philosopher, you 
may learn. 


The Indians are a populous nation of vast extent of terri- 
tory, situated far from us to the East, near the reflux of the 
ocean and the rising of the sun, under the first beams of the 
stars, and at the extreme verge of the earth, beyond the learned 
Egyptians, and the superstitious Jews, and the mercantile Na- 
bathaeans, and the flowing robed Arsacidae, and the Ityraeans, 
poor in crops, and the Arabians rich in perfumes. Now I do 
not so much admire the heaps of ivory of these Indians, their 
harvests of pepper, their bales of cinnamon, their tempered 
steel, their mines of silver, and their golden streams ; nor that 
among them the Ganges, the greatest of all rivers, 

Rolls like a monarch on his course, and pours 
His eastern waters through a hundred streams, 
Mingling with ocean by a hundred mouths ; 

nor that those Indians, though situated at the dawn of day, 
are yet of the colour of night ; nor that among them immense 
dragons fight with enormous elephants, with parity of danger, 
to their mutual destruction ; for they hold them enwrapped in 
their slippery folds, so that when the elephants cannot dis- 
engage their legs, or in any way extricate themselves ii'om the 


ecaly bonds of the tenacioits dragons, they are forced to seek 
revenge from the fall of their o\ira bulk, and to crush their 
captors by the mass of their bodies,- There are among them 
jdso various kinds of inhabitants. I will rather speak of the 
marvellous things of men than of those of nature. There is 
among them a race who know nothing but how to tend cattle ; 
whence they are called neatherds. There are races clever in 
trafficking with merchandise, and others stout in fight, whether 
with arrows or hand-to-hand with swords. There is also 
among them a pre-eminent race called Gj'ranosophists. These 
I exceedingly admire, for they are men skilled not in propa- 
gating the vine, nor in grafting trees, nor in tilling the 
ground. Thej' know not how to cultivate the fields, or to wash 
gold, or to break horses, or to tame bulls, or to shear or feed 
pheep or goats. "What is it then r They know one thing in- 
stead of all these. They cultivate wisdom, both the aged pro- 
fessors and the young students. Nothing do I so much applaud 
in them as that they hate torpor of mind and sloth. Accordingly, 
when the table is laid, before the meal is served up, all the 
young men assemble round it from their several places and 
occupations, and the masters enquire what good thing each has 
done that day since sunrise. Thereupon one relates that hav- 
ing been chosen arbitrator between two, he has allayed their 
quarrel, restored good will, cleared up suspicion, and changed 
them from enemies to friends. Another states that he has 
obeyed some command or another of his parents ; and another, 
tliat he has found out something by his own reflection, or from 
another's teaching. In short, all tell their tale. He who has 
no cause to offer why he should dine, is turned out of doors, 
and sent about his business without a dinner. 


It was the will of Alexander, that most excellent of all 
kings, who received the surname of the Great for his achieve- 
ments, that he who had attained that singular glory, should 
never be named without praise. For he alone, since the begin- 
ning of time, as far as human memory extends, having pos- 
sessed himself invincibly of the dominion of the world, was 
greater than his fortune, and both induced its vast successes 
by his valour, and equalled them by his meiits, and surpassed 
them by his superior greatness. He alone was so illustrious 


l^oTond all rivalry, that no one can dare to hope for his excel- 
lence or covet his fortune. You would he wearied with ad- 
miring the lofty deeds of that great Alexander, whether those 
which he achieved in war, or those which he wisely accom- 
plished in peace ; all which, my Clemens, the most learned 
and sweetest of poets, has imdertaken to illustrate in e very 
hoautiful poem. Now this is a most signal fact respecting 
Alexander, that in order to have his image descend the more 
authentically to posterity, he n^ould not allow it to be vulgar- 
ised by many artists, but commanded throughout all his em- 
pire, that no one should presumptuously make the king's like- 
ness in brass, or in painting, or with the graver ; but that 
Pol5-cktus alone should mould it in brass, Apelles alone deli- 
neate it in colours, Pyrgoteles alone should elaborate it with 
the graver. Besides these three artists, far the most eminent 
in their several kinds, if any other was found to have put his 
liands to the king's most sacred image, he should be punished 
just as one who had committed sacrilege. The consequence 
of that fear imposed on all was, that Alexander was presented 
with singular excellence in all his likenesses ; so tliat in all 
statues, pictures, and engraved gems, he appears with the 
same vigorous aspect of a most intrepid warrior, the same 
genius of a mighty hero, the same beauty and freshness of 
youth, the same noble expansion of forehead. Now I would 
that in like manner, it were a valid decree of philosophy that 
no one should presumptuously attempt its likeness; that a few 
good artists, and those soundly instructed, should consider the 
Btudy of philosophy in every way, and that no rude, squalid, 
ignorant pretenders should imitate philosophers as far as re- 
gards their garb, and should disgrace that royal science which 
was devised both for speaking well and living well, by talk- 
ing ill and living no better. Both which things are indeed 
very easy ; for what can be easier than rabidness of tongue and 
baseness of conduct, the former from contempt of others, the 
latter from self contempt ? For to conduct oneself basely is 
self-contempt ; to vilify others barbarously, is insolence to- 
wards one's heai'ers. Does he not insult you in the highest 
degree who supposes you to delight in slanders against any 
g<;od man ; who thinks you do not understand bad and vicious 
words, or that if you understand, you like them ? ^Vllere is 
the clown, the porter, or the pothouse sot, so silly that if 

380 tit" i'LotiiDA OK Ai't-LKitrs- 

he had a mind to put on the pallium, he could rail in bettef 
terms ? 

For he owes more to you than to his dignity, although that 
is not common to him with others. For out of countless men 
there are hut few senators, and of senators few are of noble 
birth ; and of those consular men few are good, and of those 
good, moreover, few are learned. But to speak only of hia 
dignity, its insignia are not to be lightly assumed either in 
the garments or the foot-dress. 


If perchance in this fair assembly sits any malicious person 
of the number of those my enemies — since in a great city that 
kind of men is also found who like rather to rail at their betters 
than to imitate them, and who affect enmity towards those 
whom they cannot hope to resemble ; men whose own names 
being obscure, wish to become known through mine ; if, then, 
any of those croakers has come hither to be a blot upon this 
brilliant assembly, I should like him to run his eyes for a 
wliile over this incredible concourse ; and having contemplated 
such a crowd as never before my time was seen gathered to- 
gether to listen to a philosopher, let him compute in his own 
mind, how great a risk of sustaining his reputation is here en- 
countered, by one who has not been used to be contemned ; 
since it is an arduous and very difficult thing to satisfy even 
the moderate expectations of a few, especially for me, whom my 
acquired reputation, and your favourable predisposition towards 
me, suffer not to utter any thing negligently, and without 
deep reflection. For which of you would forgive me a single 
solecism ? Which of you would absolve me for one syllable 
of barbarous pronunciation ? Wliich of you would permit me 
to jabber, like crazy people, any unauthorised and corrupt 
words that come uppermost ? Yet these faults you easily and 
very justly pardon in others. But every phrase of mine you 
scrutinise keenly, weigh it carefidly, test it by the file and the 
rule, and again compare it with the lathe and the buskin. * 
Lowliness is as much excused as dignity is difficult to sus- 

* The lathe and the buskin.'] — That is, you require it to be as smooth &% 
if turned in the lathe, and to have the sententious gravity »f tragedy 
(the buskin"!. 


tain. I acknowledge then my difficulty, and do not desiro 
you to think otherwise of it. Nor let a paltry and spurious 
similitude mislead you, since, as I have often said, certain 
cloaked lies* walk about. The crier ascends the tribunal with 
the proconsul, and he too is seen there dressed in the toga ; 
and indeed he stands there a long while, or he walks about, 
or he bawls often with all his might ; but the proconsol him- 
self speaks in a moderate tone, rarely, and in a sitting pos- 
ture, and he generally reads from a tablet. For the crier'a 
garrulous voice is the function of his office ; but the tablet 
is the proconsol's sentence, which when once read, cannot be 
lengthened or shortened by a single letter, but as soon as it ii 
pronounced, it is inserted in the registry of the province. I, 
in my degree, suffer something like this in my studies. For 
whatever I have delivered to you is immediately taken up and 
recited, nor is it free to me to recall any part of it, or to 
change or correct it in any respect. Wherefore, I must be 
the more scrupulous in speaking, and that too not in one kind 
of matter only. For there are extant more works of mine in 
the Muses than of Hippias in art. What that means, give me 
your attention, and I will diligently and accurately set forth. 

This Hippias was one of the sophists, superior to all in the 
number of the arts he knew, inferior to none in eloquence. 
He was contemporary with Socrates, a native of Elis, of what 
family is not known. His glory was great, his fortune small ; 
but his genius was great, his memory excellent, his studies 
various, his rivals many. This Hippias came once to Pisa to 
the Olympic games, where he was not less remarkable for the 
ornaments he wore tlian for the fact that he had wrought 
them himself. Of all tliose things he liad with him he liad 
pui'chascd not one, but had made tlicm v/ith his own hands ; 
the garments in which he was clad, the shoes on his feet, and 
everything he carried on his person. For clothing he had an 
inner tunic of verj^ fine texture, of triple thread, and double 
purple dye. He had wrought it single-handed at home. He 
was girt with a belt adorned with a sort of Babj-lonian pic- 
ture of admirable colours. Nor had any one helped him in 
that work. His outer covering was a white cloak, Avhich 
bIso is known to have been his own handiwork. Also he 

* Cloaked liet.} — Impostors who are bearded and cloaked like jiSilo- 


Lad put together the soles of his own foot gear ; and as for the 
gold ring on his left hand, bearing a most skilfully cut seal 
which he often exhibited, he hinibtlf had rounded the ring, 
and had closed the pallet, and engraved the gem. I have not 
yet told all he did. For I shall not be loth to relate what he 
was not ashamed to display, who asserted in a large assembly 
that he had also made himself an oil flask which he carried 
about him, of a lenticular form, of a rounded outline and 
small convexity ; and with it a neat little scraper to be used 
in the bath, with a convenient handle and tubulated face, so 
that it might be held steadily in the hand, and that the sweat 
might flow out of it in a stream. Who will not extol a man 
skilled in so many arts ; illustrious for such manifold know- 
ledge ; a Dsedalus iji the use of so many tools ? Certainly, I 
admire Hippias, but I would rather rival the fecundity of his 
genius in matters of learning, than in multitudinous appliances 
for personal use. 

I confess, indeed, that I am not expert in handicraft arts ; 
that I buy my garments at the clothier's — these shoes at the 
shoe-maker's ; that I wear no ring, and hold gems and gold of 
no more account than lead and pebbles ; that I buy a scraper, a 
flask, and other bath utensils at the shops. I am far from 
denying that I do not know how to use the loom, or the awl, 
or the tile, or the lathe, or any such implements ; instead of 
these, I confess I prefer to compose with a writing reed, poems 
of all kinds adapted to the laurel branch,* the lyre, the sock, 
the buskin ; likewise satires and enigmas ; likewise various 
histories; as, also, orations praised by the eloquent, and dia- 
logues praised by philosophers ; and to compose these and such 
like works, both in Greek and Latin, with two-fold study, Avith 
equal diligence and in similar style. These things I would, 
indeed, Proconsul, excellent man, that I could lay before you 
not singly and jnece-meal, but collectively in one heap, and 
enjoy your honourable testimony regarding all my literary 
labours. It is not, indeed, from penury of fame that I de- 
sire this, for fame lias long subsisted for me, bright and \m- 
broken among all your predecessors, down to yourself ; but 
because by no one am I more desirous of being esteemed than 

* T/ie laurel branch.^. Those who recited poenis in public or at private 
enterlaiiuiieiits, carried a hraiich of laurel or myrtle in their hands, whence 
they were called by the Greeks i>aiV.u.Z'>' and Hx<-o^oi. 


by him whlcli I justly esteem above all others. For it is a 
law of nature that whom you praise, him you also love ; and 
moreover, whom you love, by him you would wish to be praised. 
K^ow I profess myself one who prizes you dearlj', being bound 
to you by no private, but by all manner of public favours. I 
have, indeed, obtained nothing from you, for nothing have I 
asked. But philosophy has taught me to love not only kind- 
ness but injury, and rather to do homage to reason than to 
seek my own advantage, and to prefer public expediency to 
my own. Hence, whilst the majority love the beneficial effects 
of your goodness, I love its principle. And this I have begun 
to do whilst considering your conduct in the affairs of the inha- 
bitants of this province, for which they ought to love you 
intensely : such of them as have felt it in their own persons, 
for sake of the benefit they have received ; such as have not 
personally experienced it for sake of the example. For you 
have benefited many individually, and all by your example. 
For who does not delight to learn from j'ou by what adjust- 
ment may be acquired that pleasant gravity of yours, that 
mild austerity, that placid firmness, that gracious vigour of 
mind. Never, to my knowledge, did the province of Africa 
ever revere more, and fear less any proconsul ; in no 5'ear of 
administration but yours, had shame more power than fear 
towards resti'aiuing offi'iices. No one but you has used the 
like power so often to serve, so seldom to te^rifJ^ No one has 
brought with him a son more resembling himself in virtue. 
Hence, no proconsul has remained longer in Carthage. For at 
the time you made a tour of the province, while Honorinus 
remained with us, we did not feel your absence so much as 
rather to wish you back. There is in the son the equity of 
the father, in the j'outh the prudence of the old man, in the 
legate the personal weight of the consul. So thoroughly doea 
he copy and reflect all your good qualities, that truly, such ex- 
cellence would be more worthy of admiration in the youiig 
man than in you, were it not that you had imparted it to him. 
Would that we might always enjoy it ! What to us are theso 
changes of proconsuls r What these bri(;f years and rapid 
months ? O swift days of good men ! quickly lapsing tenuru 
of the best governors ! Our whole province, Severianus, now 
grieves to lose you. But Honorinus is called b^' his own worth 
lo the praetorship, and tlie favour of the Caesars is pieparing 


him for the consulship : our love beholds him, at present; and 
the hope of Carthago promises for the future, relying on liie 
sole consolation of your example, that he who leaves us a 
legate, soon returns to us as proconsul. 


" Sun, who with burnished car and rushing steeds 
Display'st thy radiant flames and glowing fire." * 

Likewise the!Moon, imitatress of his light, and the five other 
powers of the planets, power beneficent in Jupiter, volujitu- 
ous in Yenus, swift in Mercury, pernicious in Saturn, fier\- in 
Mars. There are also other intermediate powers of god-?, 
■which we can feel, but which it is not given us to see ; as ut' 
Love and the like, whose form is unseen, their force kno\\ ii : 
that 2)ower, likewise, which in one part of the earth reared 
the lofty peaks of mountains, and elsewhere levelled the ex- 
panse of plains, as the design of Providence required ; like- 
wise, that which everywhere defined the courses of rivers, the 
green vigour of the meadows, and gave flight to birds, gliding 
folds to serpents, swift feet to wild beasts, and upright gait 
to men. 


For just as those who have tlie misfortune to cultivate a 
sterile farm, and a stony field, mere rocks and bz*ambles, 
since there is no produce in their unkindly ground, and they 
see in it no other growth, but 

" Unlucky darnel and unfruitful straw," + 

lacking harvest of their own, go and thieve from others, an<l 
pluck their neighboiu's' flowers, to mingle them forsooth with 
their own thistles ; just so does he who has no virtue of his 


The parrot is a bird of India, m form a little less than the 
dove ; but its colour is not that of the dove, for it is not 
white, nor blackish, or yellowish on either side, or variegated ; 
but the parrot's colour is green both in its inner down and 
its outer feathers, except that it is varied in the neck alone. 

* Sun, 8fc.'] — From the I'licenissffi of L. Attius or Accius. 
+ iW.'- *-v darnel, ^c] — From Virgil, Eclogue V. 


For its neck is encompassed and girded with a red circle, 
like a gold necklace, and of equal splendour. Its beak is 
hard in the highest degree. When it swoops down from its 
highest flight upon a rock, it lights there upon its beak, and 
fixes itself as with an anchor. Its head too, is as hard as its 
beak. When it is compelled to imitate our speech, its head is 
beaten with a little iron rod, to make it attend to the commands 
of its master. This is the ferula beneath which it learns. Its 
schooling begins when it is but a chick, and continues until its 
Becond year, as long as its mouth is easy to mould, and its 
tongue is pliable. If taken old, it is indocile and forgetful. 
But that kind of parrot is apter to learn human speech which 
feeds on nuts, and which has feet with five toes like man ; for 
all parrots have not that characteristic ; biit it is common to 
them all to have the tongue broader than that of other birds, 
whereby they more easily articulate human words, as having 
a more expanded plectrum and palate. But what it has learned 
it sings, or rather speaks, like us, so that if you heard it, you 
would suppose it was the voice of a man ; but if you saw it, 
you would say it was not speaking, but trjdng to do so. Now 
both the crow and the parrot pronounce only what they have 
been taught. If you teach a parrot ribaldry, he will be a 
ribald, screaming scurrility day and night. This is its song ; 
this it considers warbling. When it has run through all the 
scurrilous phrases it has learned, it begins the same strain over 
again. If you would be free from its ribaldry, you must cut out 
its tongue, or at once send it back to its woods. 


For philosophy has not bestowed on me that kind of speech, 
as nature has endowed some birds with a brief and periodical 
Bong, a morning song to swallows, a mid-day to cicalas, an after- 
noon to buzzards, an evening to screech owls, a nocturnal to 
horned owls, a peep of day song to cocks. All these creatures 
differ from each other in the period and the manner of their 
song ; the cocks sing with an awakening strain, the homed owls 
moan, the screech owls are querulous, the buzzards have inflected 
notes, the cicalas are obstreperous, the swallows twitter shrilly. 
But the discourse of the philosopher is practised at all season a, 
and is reverend to hear, useful to understand, and omnisoiiant 
in compass. 




Crates, tho follower of ])iogenes, who was adored like a 
domestic Lar by the Athenians of his time, was one against 
whom no door was ever shut ; nor had any father of a family 
a secret so profound as not to admit the seasonable interposi- 
tion of Crates, the analyser and arbitrator of aU. disputes and 
altercations between relations. As the poets relate that Hercules 
formerly quelled by his valour horrid monsters, both human and 
brute, so was that philosopher a Hercules against anger and 
envy, avarice and lust, and other monsters and enormities of 
the human mind. All these pests he drove out from the minds 
of men, purged families of them, and quelled malevolence. 
He, too, was half naked, and notable for his club ; he was 
likewise a native of Thebes, whence Hercules is known to 
have derived his birth. Before he became dowm-ight Crates, 
he was numbered among the nobles of Thebes : his family 
was one of the best, his household numerous, his dwelling 
adorned with an ample vestibule. He himself was well 
dressed, and well endowed with lands. Afterwards he came 
to understand that no security was bequeathed him with his 
wealth that he shoidd enjoy it all his life ; that aU things 
are unstable and insecure ; that all the riches under the 
sky avail nothing towards a happy life. AVhen Crates 
learned these and similar truths, partly from Diogenes and 
partly from his own reflection, he at last went out into the 
ibrum, and threw down his wealth like a load of dung, more 
fatiguing than useful. Then when a great crowd had as- 
sembled, he cried out, "Crates manumits Crates." Thence- 
forth he lived happily all his days, not only without servants, 
but also bare and disencumbered of every thing. And so 
much was he sought after, that a noble virgin, scorning younger 
wooers, voluntarily chose him for her own. And when Crates 
uncovered his shoulders and showed how he was hunchbacked, 
and laid his wallet and staff and liis cloak on the ground, tell- 
ing her that these were his worldly gear, and that such as she 
had seen was his beauty, and bidimg her therefore ponder 
carefully, that she might not find reason to complain after- 
wards, Hipparche still accepted the proposed conditions. She 
replied that she had already sufficiently considered the matter ; 
that she could nowhere in the world find a richer or a hand- 

*Hls txofiroA OP Aputunrs. 387 

Bomcr husband ; and he. might therefore talie her where he 
pleased. The cynic led her to the portico, and there laj'^ with 
her in a frequented spot, publiclj- in broad daylight ; and he 
would have deflowered her in all men's sight, prepared as 
she was to bear it with equal indifference, had not Zeno con- 
cealed his master from the gaze of the surrounding throng, 
by hanging his tattered cloak before him. 


Samos is an island of moderate extent in the Icarian Sea, 
opposite Miletus, situated to the westward of it, and separated 
from it by no great breadth of sea. Passing with easy sail 
from one to the other, the second day puts you in port. The 
soil of the island is inapt for corn, unfit for the plough, more 
productive of olives, nor is it dug by the vinegrower or the 
gardener. Its whole cultivation consists in hoeing and plant- 
ing rows of olives, from the produce of which the island is 
more fructiferous than frugiferous.* Furthermore, it abounds 
in inhabitants, and is much frequented by strangers. It has 
a town by no means corresponding to its reputation ; but that 
it was once large is shown by the ruins of walls in many 
places. There stands the most celebrated temple of Juno. It 
stands near the sea-shore, at a distance, if I remember rightly, 
of not more than twenty stadia from the town. It contains a 
most opulent shrine of the goddess, and a vast quantity of 
silver in platters, mirrors, cups, and such lilie utensils. There 
is also a great amount of bronze, in various figures, of very 
ancient and handsome workmanship. For instance, there is 
before the altar a statue of Eathyllus, dedicated by the tyrant 
Polycrates, than which I do not think I have seen anything 
more exquisite. Some erroneoiisly suppose it to be the statue 
of Pythagoras. It is a youth of remarkable beauty, with harr 
parted on the forehead, and ftdling evenly on the cheeks ; but 
behind the hair is longer, and covers the neck, which shines 
through them as far as the verge of the shoulders. The neck 
is plump, the cheeks round and beardless, and there is a little 
dimple in the chin ; the costume is exactly that of a harper ; 
he looks towards the goddess like one who is singing : he 

* Fructiferous than frugiferous.'] — It abounds more in fruit (frucfut) 
tlian in corn and garden stuff {/ruffes). This is an example of thai 
)ingliiig of words in which Apuleius so inordinately delights. : -« 



wears a figured and coloured tunic, flowing down to his feet, 
■with a zone in the Greek fashion ; and a chlamys covering 
both arms to the wrists. The other histrionic ornaments 
hang upon the figure. The lyre is suspended from a short en- 
graved baldrick. The hands are delicate ; the left is stretched 
out, and touches the strings with its spread fingers ; the right 
applies the plectrum to the Ip-e, as if ready to strike the chord? 
Avhen the voice has paused in singing. Meanwhile he seems 
to pour out his song from his rounded mouth, with lips inten- 
tionally half opened. Now this is the statue of a certain 
youth beloved by Polycrates, the tyrant, whom Anacreon, the 
Teian, celebrates in song for friendship's sake. But it is far 
from being the statue of Pythagoras, the philosopher. 

The latter was by birth a Samian, most remarkable for beauty, 
deeply versed in minstrelsy and all kinds of music, and 
he lived about the time when Polycrates ruled in Samos. 
But the philosopher was by no means a favourite with the 
tyrant. Just after the latter had began to rule, Pythagoras 
fled privily from the island, having lately lost his father 
Mnesarchus, whom I find to have been an artist, and to have 
acquired reputation rather than wealth, by very cleverly en- 
graving gems. Some say that Pythagoras was at that time 
conveyed to Egypt among the captives of king Cambyses, and 
that he had for teachers the Persian magi, and especially Zo- 
roaster, the adept in everj' divine mysterj' ; and that he was 
afterwards received by a certain Gillus, a leading man among 
the inhabitants of Crotona. But the more generally received 
story is. that he went of his own accord to acquire the learn- 
ing of Egypt, and that he was there taught by the priests the 
incredible powers of ceremonies, the wonderful commuttitions 
of numbers, and the most ingenious figures of geometry ; but 
thnt not satisfied with these mental accomplishments, he 
afterwards visited the Chaldaeans and the Brahmins, and 
among the latter the Gymnosophists. The Chaldaeans taught 
him the stars, the definite orbits of the planets, and the various 
effects of both kinds of stars upon the nativity of men : as also, 
for much money, the remedies for human use derived from the 
earth, and the air, and the sea. But the Brahmins taught 
him the greater part of his philosophy : what are the rules 
and principles of the understanding ; what the functions ol 
the body ; how many are the faculties of the soul, how many 


the mutations of life ; what torments or rewards devolve upoa 
the souls of the dead according to their respecive deserts. 
Moreover, there was Pherecydcs, a native of the island of 
Syros, who was the first who ventured to reject the fetters of 
verse, and to write in prose : him, too, Pythagoras waited on 
as another master, and when turned into a scab of creeping 
things by the corruption of a most horrible disease, he buried 
him religiously. He is said also to have discussed natural 
science under Anaximander, the Milesian ; to have followed 
for instruction Epimenides, of Crete, the illustrious seer and 
poet ; and likewise Leodamas, the disciple of Creophylus, which 
latter is said to have been the host of the poet Homer, and his 
imitator in song. 

Instructed by so many masters, having drunk of so many 
various fountains of knowledge all over the world, this man of 
surpassingly mighty genius, and of more than human grandeur 
of soul, the first namer and founder of philosophy, taught his 
disciples nothing in the first place but to be silent. With 
him the first study imposed upon the future sage was to hold 
his tongue altogether, and as for the words which poets call 
winged, to pluck their plumes and shut them up within the 
walls of his white teeth. This was, I say, absolutely the 
first rudiment of wisdom, to learn to think, and unlearn to 
prate. But they did not abstain from speaking all their lives 
long, nor did all follow their master in silence during an 
equally long period ; but silence observed during a short space 
of time was thought enough for men of graver disposition, 
whilst the more talkative were punished by a silence of five 
years, their voice being sent, as it were, into exile. Now our 
master, Plato, imitates Pythagoras, diff'ering in little or no de- 
gree from his sect. I, too, among a great many men, having 
been admitted into his sect by my teachers, have learned both 
these things in academic meditations : to speak with all my 
might when speech is required ; and when silence is required, 
to hold my tongue willingly. Through this moderation I 
think I have obtained credit from all your predecessors, not 
less for my opportune silence, than for my timely speaking. 


Before I begin, noblemen of Africa, to thank you for the 
statue which you did me the honour to propose dui'ing my pre^ 


eence here, and which you kindly decreed to erect to me during 
my absence, I wish first to acquaint you with the reason why 
I have not been seen by this assembly for a good many days, 
having betaken myself to the Persian waters, so pleasant to 
healthy bathers, and so curative to the sick. For I have 
made it my resolution thus to submit the whole course of my 
time to your approval, to whom I have perpetually dedicated 
myself. Never will I do anything, great or small, of which I 
will not make you cognizant and judges. That you may 
know, therefore, why I suddenly disappeared from the sight 
of this your illustrious assemblage, I will relate an almost . 
parallel case of the comic writer, Philemon, as an example of 
what unforeseen dangers suddenlj' befal men. You who know 
enough of his genius, hear a few words about his death. Do 
you wish me to say a few words also about his genius ? This 
Philemon was a poet, and a writer of the middle comedy. He 
produced pieces for the stage along with Menander, and con- 
tended with him, being perhaps inferior to him, but at all 
events his rival. For that he was often victorious over him is 
a shameful thing to tell. iN^evertheless, we find in him much 
wit ; plots ingeniously involved ; recognitions clearly made 
out ; personages suited to the matter ; phrases appropriate to 
each character ; gaieties not beneath the sock ; gravities not 
quite up to the buskin. Impurities are rai'c in his works, 
and amours are admitted as errors. Nevertheless, you find in 
him the perjured pimp, the hot lover, the cunning slave, the 
wheedling mistress, the peremptory wdfe, the indulgent mo- 
ther, the scolding uncle, the helpful friend, and the fighting 
soldier, together with various parasites, and stingy parents, 
and wanton harlots. 

Distinguished by these merits as a comic writer, it hap- 
pened that he recited part of a play he had recently com- 
posed. When he had come to the third act, and was exciting 
those pleasant emotions which comedy delights in, a sudden 
shower of rain coming on, as very lately happened to myself 
when speaking before you, compelled him to dismiss his audi- 
ence and suspend liis reading. Eut many persons calling for 
the remainder, he promised that he would deliver it on the 
following day without interruption. Next day, accordingly, a 
great concourse assembled, extremely eager for what was to 
oowc, and every one took the nearest seat he could find oppo- 


feite the reader's place. The late comer nodded to his friend?, 
who found sitting room for him. The whole theatre being 
crammed, the pressure was grea