chronosynclastic aposiopesis...

The Satyricon

- Petronius Arbiter, 60AD

AMONG THE RHETORICIANS

"But look here," I protested, "aren't you professors hounded by just these same Furies of inflated language and pompous heroics? How else can you account for all that wretched rant:

Nay, but gentle sirs, mark ye well these wounds I suffered in the struggle to preserve our common liberties. 'Twas on thy behalf I made the supreme sacrifice of this eye. Vouchsafe me, therefore, a helping hand. Guide me to my children, for my withers are unwrung and support my frame no more...

And so on. "No one would mind this claptrap if only it put our students on the road to real eloquence. But what with all these sham heroics and this stilted bombast you stuff their heads with, by the time your students set foot in court, they talk as though they were living in another world. No, I tell you, we don't educate our children at school; we stultify them and then send them out into the world half-baked. And why? Because we keep them utterly ignorant of real life. The common experience is something they never see or hear. All they know is pirates trooping up the beach in chains, tyrants scribbling edicts compel- ling sons to chop off their fathers' heads or oracles con- demning three virgins-but the more the merrier-to be slaughtered to stop some plague. Action or language, it's all the same: great sticky honey balls of phrases, every sentence looking as though it had been plopped and rolled in poppy seed and sesame. A boy gorged on a diet like this can no more acquire real taste than a cook can stop stinking. What's more, if you'll pardon my bluntness, it was you rhetoricians who more than anyone else strangled true eloquence. By reducing everything to sound, you concocted this bloated puff paste of pretty drivel whose only real purpose is the pleasure of punning and the thrill of ambiguity Result? Language lost its sinew, its nerve. Eloquence died. "But in those great days when Sophocles and Euripides invariably found the exact word, talent had not yet been cramped into the mold of these set-speeches of yours Long before you academic pedants smothered genius with your arrogance, Pindar and the nine lyric poets were still so modest that they declined even to attempt the grand Homeric manner. Nor are my objections based on poetry Lone. What about Plato or Demosthenes? I never heard It said of them that they ever submitted to your sort of formal training. No, great language is chaste language-if you'll let me use a word like 'chaste' in this connection- not turgidity and worked-up purple patches. It soars to life through a natural, simple loveliness. But then, in our own time, that huge flatulent rhetoric of yours moved from Asia to Athens. Like a baleful star, it blighted the minds of the young; their talents shriveled at the very moment when they might have taken wing and gone on to greatness. And once the standards of good speech were corrupted, eloquence stopped dead or stuttered into silence. who, I ask you, has achieved real greatness of style since Thucydides and Hyperides? Poetry herself is sick, her natural glow of color leached away. All the literary arts, in fact, cloyed with this diet of bombast, have stunted or died, incapable of whitening naturally into an honest old age. And in painting you see the same decay: on the very day when Egyptian arrogance dared to reduce it to a set of sterile formulas, that great art died." Agamemnon, however, refused to let me rant on an instant longer than it had taken him to sweat out his declamation in the classroom. "Young man," he broke in I see that you are a speaker of unusual taste and, what is even rarer, an admirer of common sense. So I shan't put you off with the usual hocus-pocus of the profession. But in all justice allow me to observe that we teachers should not be saddled with the blame for this bombast of which you complain. After all, if the patients are lunatics, surely a little professional lunacy is almost mandatory in the doctor who deals with them. And unless we professors spout the sort of twaddle our students admire, we run the risk of being, in Cicero's phrase, 'left alone at our lecterns.' Let me over you by way of analogy those professional sponges in the comic plays who scrounge their suppers by flattering the rich. Like us, they must devote their entire attention to one end-the satisfaction of their audience; for unless their little springes con their listeners' ears, they stand to lose their quarry. We are, that is, rather in the position of a fisherman: unless he baits his hook with the sort of tidbit the little fishes like, he is doomed to spend eternity sitting on his rock without a chance of a bite. "So what should the verdict be? In my opinion, those parents who refuse to impose a stern discipline upon their sons must bear the blame. As with everything else, even their children are sacrificed on the altar of their ambition. Then, in their haste and greed to reap a harvest, they shove these callow, newborn babies into the public arena, and eloquence-that same eloquence which they profess to honor as the crown of a liberal education-is chopped down in size to fit a fetus. If, however, our students' lessons could be graded by order of difficulty; if the minds of the young could be molded and shaped by long years of intimacy with the minds of great thinkers; if these crude attempts to form a style could be ruthlessly chastened and these budding talents steeped in the study of great models, then, and only then, might our great lost art of oratory recover her old magnificence. But what do we find instead? The schoolrooms packed with children wasting their time and playing at learning; our recent graduates disgracing themselves in public life and, what is worst of all, the very things that they mislearned when young, they are reluctant to confess in old age. And lest you think l despise the simplicity and spontaneity of old Lucilius, let me extemporize my sentiments in verse:

ADVICE TO A YOUNG POET

If greatness, poet, is your goal, the craft begins with self-control. For poems are of the poet part, and what he is decides his art. With character true poems begin. Poet, learn your discipline.

Avoid ambition as the blight of talent. If the rich invite you out to dine, be proud; decline. Don't snub your genius in your wine nor pin your Muse to clique or claque. Avoid the postures of the hack.

Whether Athena, poet, from her Parthenon smiles down upon your youth, or Spartan homestead gave you birth, or African Cyrene where the lovely Sirens sang, dedicate, I say, your early years to verse. Drink deep at the great Homeric font and satisfy your thirst. But when you've drunk your fill, then discipline your soul by study with the wise: let logic and the laws of thought be your curriculum and curb. And when at last the great Socratic troupe admits you as their friend, shake loose your reins and give your passions room to run: wield a free man's prose, those weapons forged in war by great Demosthenes. Then let the Roman writers guide you home from Greece; transform your borrowed taste and build a native style. Meanwhile, withdraw from court, and let the epic, martial Muse run proud and free to make such clangor as she, by lightning march and sudden ambush, may unloose. Make war your feast; sing such clamor you unleash the thundered verse of epic Cicero, bloody but unbowed. O poet, gird yourself with every goodness you can get, until the Muse herself usurps your swelling tongue and sets your name beside the great on Helicon!

II
GITON, ASCYLTUS, AND I

But while I was concentrating on Agamemnon's poem, I failed to see Ascyltus slink away...

Some time later, while we were strolling through the garden, still hot in argument, a great crowd of students came pouring out into the portico, just leaving, I supposed, the speech of the professor who had followed Agamemnon. But while they were jeering away at the speaker's ideas and criticizing the whole structure of his speech, I seized my chance and quickly slipped away in pursuit of Ascyltus. But I had forgotten where our rooms were and kept losing my way. Worse, whichever road I took, I somehow kept coming back to the place where I had started. Finally, drenched with sweat and completely limp from running around in circles, I went up to a little old woman who was selling vegetables beside the road. "Excuse me, ma'am," I asked, "but would you happen to know where I live?" Apparently charmed by this genteel stupidity, she said, "But I of course I do." With that, she rose to her feet and started off while I tagged tamely at her heels, thinking she must be a prophetess. A few minutes later, in a much shabbier section of town, she stopped before a door, pulled back the curtain and said, "This must be where you live." I was saying that I'd never seen the place before when I suddenly saw several women walking suggestively to and fro and a number of large posters, each stating a price. Slowly, much too slowly, it dawned on me that the treacherous old hag had led me to a whorehouse. I cursed the old bitch out, covered my head in my robes and sprinted straight through the whorehouse in the direction of the entrance on the next street. There in the doorway, just coming in, who should I meet but Ascyltus himself, looking half-dead and every bit as exhausted as myself. In fact, for an instant I wondered whether the same old woman had brought him there too. Then, with a great laugh of relief, I threw myself into his arms and asked him what in the world he was doing in a place like that. "Gods," he gasped, mopping away the sweat, "if you only knew what I've been through!" "But what happened I asked. He was still panting so furiously he could barely speak. "I've been running around like crazy. I must have covered the whole city, but I couldn't find our rooms anywhere. Then a man came up, respectable family-man type, or so I thought, and very kindly offered to lead me to my rooms. Well, he steered me through a lot of back alleys and finally brought me here. Then he pulled out his wallet and began to proposition me. He'd already paid the Madam of the house for a room. The next thing I knew he was feeling me up, and if I hadn't been stronger than he was, I'd have been damn well raped by now.

Every person in the place seemed to be completely drunk on aphrodisiacs...

But by uniting our forces, we managed to repel the invaders attack...

Dimly, as through a thick fog, I caught sight of Giton standing at the corner of an alley and I raced over...

When I asked the boy whether he had made our supper, he suddenly burst into tears, collapsed on the bed and lay there wiping his eyes with his thumb. Frantic at seeing him in such a state, I begged him to tell me what had happened. Only much later, after my pleas had turned into threats, did he speak, and even then with great reluctance. "It's that man," he sobbed, "the one you call your brother, your friend Ascyltus. He ran up to my garret a little while ago and tried to take me by force. When I screamed for help, he pulled out his sword. 'If you want to play Lucretia, boy,' he cried, 'you've met your Tarquin.' " Furious at such treachery, I rushed across to Ascyltus and shook my fist in his face. "What do you say to that?" I yelled. "You male whore, you! You bugger! Even your breath stinks of buggery!" At first he pretended to be insulted. Then he started throwing his fists around and yelling at the top of his voice. "Shut up!" he bellowed. "You stinking gladiator! Even in the arena you were a washout! Shut up! Thief! You cheap burglar! When were you ever man enough to take on a real woman? No, first it was me in the garden. Now it's this boy in the inn." "What's more," I said bitterly, "you sneaked away when the Professors were debating." "What the hell was I supposed to do, sap?" he shrieked. "Die of hunger? Stand there and listen to that drivel, that rhetoric of broken bottles and cheap dream analysis? By god, you're ten times worse! Trying to scrounge a meal by buttering a poet!" Finally, however, the squalid argument ended and we soon found ourselves laughing and at peace with each other once more and went on to other things...

But the memory of what Ascyltus had done kept coming back and rankling. Finally, I decided to have it out. "Ascyltus," I said, "let's face it: we're not compatible any more. Let's divide our few possessions and strike out for ourselves, each one on his own. You're an educated man, and so am I. But just so we don't tread on each other's toes, I'll arrange to take a different tutoring job. Otherwise we'll have a thousand run-ins every day and get ourselves gossiped about all over town." He agreed. However, for today," he added, 'let's keep together, since our position as professors is worth an invitation to dinner and we don't want to lose it. Then tomorrow, if that's what you want, I'll start looking for another bed and a little friend of my own." "But it's silly," I objected, "to postpone our decision."...

It was sex, of course, that made us part ways so brusquely. For a long time now I had been anxious to remove this obstacle in the way of resuming my old relationship with Giton...

After wandering all over town in a fruitless search for work, I returned to the room. At last I was free to make love to Giton without restraint, and wrapping the boy in the closest of embraces, I took my fill of a bliss that even happy lovers might envy. We were still at it, however, when Ascyltus came tiptoeing up to the door. Finding it locked, he banged so violently that the bolts rattled loose, the door swung open, and he walked in and discovered us at our games. Amused at first, he clapped his hands and roared with laughter till the whole room shook. Then he snatched away the cloak I had thrown over Giton and myself. "Well, well," he sneered, "what's going on here, my saintly friend? Are you sharing something with our little friend?" And not content with sarcasm, he pulled a leather thong from his pack and began to flog me mercilessly, punctuating every blow with fresh sneers: "So that's your notion of sharing with your friends, is it?"

III
LOST TREASURE RECOVERED

It was just turning dark when we came into the market in the main square. There we saw a great deal of merchandise laid out for sale, most of it worthless stuff but its shoddiness or suspect provenance now decently obscured in the half-light. Happening to have the stolen mantle with us, we took advantage of the time and place and unrolled a small strip of it in a dark corner, hoping that the richness and color of the material might attract a buyer. We did not have long to wait. After a few minutes, a peasant-whose face seemed somehow familiar to me-came up, accompanied by a girl, and began to finger the mantle very closely. Ascyltus, for his part, could not keep his eyes off the shoulder of our peasant customer, and then I suddenly saw him blanch and gasp with astonishment. With growing excitement, I began to stare too, for the peasant was strikingly like the man who had found our tunic in the deserted place where we had left it. Finally there could be no doubt: it was the same man. Ascyltus, not daring to believe his eyes and terrified of alarming the man, went up closer and, lifting the hem of the tunic off his shoulder, started to scrutinize it like a prospective buyer. By some absolutely incredible stroke of luck, the peasant had not yet stuck his meddling fingers into the seam; in fact, he was condescendingly offering the tunic for sale as though it were some beggar's castoff. Seeing that our cache was intact and that we were dealing with a fool, Ascyltus motioned me aside. "Friend," he whispered, "do you realize that our treasure has come back to us? That's the same tunic, the one I was so upset at having lost. And, so far as I can tell, the gold is still there in the seams, intact. But what should we do? Should we bring a formal complaint against him in court for the recovery of our property?" Enormously pleased, not only because we had recovered our lost cache, but because our stroke of luck had relieved me of a very ugly suspicion, I told Ascyltus that we should not beat around the bush, but take our complaint directly to the authorities and obtain a court order if the peasant refused to return our property. Ascyltus, having little faith in the authorities, disagreed. "Who can vouch for us here?" he objected. "Who knows us? If you ask me, I think we ought to buy it back, even though it's our own property, rather than risk a chancy lawsuit:

What good are the laws where Money, is king, where the poor are always wrong, and even the mockers who scoff at the times will sell the truth for a song?

The courts are an auction where justice is sold; the judge who presides bangs a gavel of gold."

But except for one small coin which we had put aside to buy lupins and chickpeas, we had literally nothing. So to keep our quarry from leaving with our cache, we decided to sell the mantle cheap, thinking that our profit on the tunic would lighten the loss on the cloak. Acting quickly, we unrolled the mantle completely and the veiled girl who had come with the peasant began a minute inspection of the design. Suddenly she grabbed the cloak with both hands and started to scream Thief! Thief!" We, of course, panicked, but rather than do nothing, we started tuning away at our filthy tattered tunic and screamed "Thief!" too. But the discrepancy in what we were claiming was so great that even the tradesmen who had come running up at the outcry burst out in guffaws. Not without justice, I must admit, since we were struggling for a set of rags that couldn't even have been used for patches, while they were claiming a cloak worth a good sum of money. Finally Ascyltus succeeded in silencing them. "It is obvious," he declared, "that each party prefers his own property Let them give us back our tunic and we'll give them the cloak." This suggestion proved perfectly acceptable to the peasant and the girl, but some local shysters-or better, sneak-thieves- anxious to clear a profit on the mantle, demanded that the articles in dispute should be deposited with them and the whole matter referred to the judge on the following day. Their concern, they said, was less the goods in dispute than the fact that both parties clearly fell under suspicion of theft, a much graver matter. Those in favor of impounding the articles were a majority, and one of the tradesmen, a bald fellow with a hideously splotched forehead who used to plead cases now and then, confiscated the cloak and said that he would produce it in evidence the next day. By now it was perfectly clear what their game was: they would make off with the cloak, while we, of course, would not dare appear in court for fear of being charged with theft.

The suggestion was quite agreeable to us, and a lucky incident served both parties. For our peasant, livid with rage when we demanded that his tattered tunic be publicly exhibited, threw it in Ascyltus' face. Then, since we now had nothing to complain of, he demanded the return of the mantle, the sole article still under dispute.

Having recovered our cache, or so we thought, we hurried back to our room, locked the door securely and burst out laughing both at the tradesmen whose sharp dealing had restored us our property and the naivete of our country opponent.

Too easy victory I find repugnant to my pride. I like the savor of desire before I'm satisfied.

IV
THE PRIESTESS OF PRIAPUS

We had barely finished the supper prepared for us by Giton's kindness when there came a sudden imperious pounding at the door. The blood drained from our faces. "Who is it?" we managed to quaver in chorus. "Open the door and see for yourselves," said a voice. At that moment, of their own accord, the bolts on the door slid back and the door swung wide before the intruder. It was the veiled girl whom we had seen with the peasant in the market only an hour before. "So you thought you'd made a fool of me, did you?" she cried. "Listen. I am the maid of Quartilla, the lady whose secret rites in the grotto of Priapus you disturbed. My mistress has come here in person and asks to be allowed to speak with you. You needn't be alarmed. Far from having come to reproach you or punish you, she would like to know what god has brought two such charming young men into her vicinity." To all this we said not a single word, neither yes or no. An instant later, Quartilla, followed by a little girl, made her entrance. Then, throwing herself down on my bed, she promptly burst into a flood of tears. For a considerable time she sat there sobbing away, while we looked on, too dumfounded by her sobs and this obviously prearranged display of grief to say a word. By degrees the melodramatic storm began to abate and the gusts of sobbing came less frequently. Proudly lifting her head, she removed her veil. Then, twisting her fingers until the knuckles cracked, she spoke: "I confess, gentlemen, I do not know what name to give to this incredible audacity of yours. Where have you learned this daring in which you surpass even the great rogues of mythology? Heaven knows, I pity you. No man on earth may look on forbidden things as you have done and escape punishment. Especially here, a land so infested with divinity that one might meet a god more easily than a man. You must not think I have come here for vengeance. No, the spectacle of your innocent youth moves me far more deeply than any wrong you have done me. Moreover, I believe that your terrible crime was done in youthful ignorance. But all night afterwards, l tossed in terror, shivering so horribly that I felt an attack of malaria coming on. So I asked for a cure in my dreams, and was commanded by a vision to track you down and cure my malaria by a certain stratagem. But it is not the cure that troubles me most; a greater grief ravages my heart and hurries me down to inevitable death. I am afraid that in your youthful indiscretion you may be led to reveal the things you saw in the chapel of Priapus and divulge our mysteries to the world. And so I kneel before you now with outstretched hands and I beg you, I beseech you, not to make a mockery of our nocturnal rites or reveal a secret so jealously guarded over the centuries, a secret which scarcely a thousand men have ever known." She concluded this appeal to our pity by bursting into tears again, buried herself in my bed and lay there, shaken by protracted sobs. Torn as much by fear as pity, I tried to reassure her. On neither score, I said, need she feel concern. No one would betray her rites; as for her malaria, if some god had shown her a cure for it, we would do everything in our power to assist the will of heaven, even if it cost us our lives. Relieved by these promises, she began to brighten up, kissed me several times and ran a caressing hand through the long curls that tumbled down about my ears. "Very well," she laughed, "I'll make my peace with you and settle my case out of court. However, if you had refused to help me with my cure, I would have come here tomorrow with a whole regiment prepared to avenge my honor and wipe out my wrongs:

The shame of defeat, the victor's disdain: I'd rather with neither live. The wise will fight when honor's at stake; the victors are those who forgive."

Then suddenly clapping her hands, she burst out with such an explosive peal of laughter that we were terrified. The maid who had announced her promptly followed suit and even the little girl joined in. For some time the whole room rang with shrieks of theatrical laughter, while we looked first at each other and then at the women, utterly bewildered by the abrupt change in their mood.

"I have given strict orders," Quartilla announced, "that no man is to be allowed to set foot inside this inn today. I am determined to receive my malaria treatments In complete and uninterrupted privacy." At this announcement, Ascyltus went white, while I turned colder than a French winter and couldn't say a word. But on reflection the fact that there were three of us relieved me of my worst fears. After all, if it came to an attempt on our honor, three weak women were hardly a match for us. If nothing else, we had the strength of our sex in our favor and we were not hampered, as they were, by long billowing dresses. In fact, if matters came to a fight, I had already paired us off. I would take on Quartilla, Ascyltus would break a lance with the maid, and the little girl could be left to Giton.

At this unexpected blow, we lost all determination to resist, and the shadow of certain death was already falling on our eyes...

"If you have anything worse than this in store for us, madam," I cried, "for god's sake, despatch us quickly. Our crime is surely not so terrible that we deserve to die in agony.".

The maid, whose name was Psyche, carefully spread a blanket on the floor...

With her hand she began to stroke that part of me which by now was cold as ice, shriveled with a thousand deaths... Thoroughly convinced by now of the dangers of meddling in the secrets of others, Ascyltus buried his head in his robes...

Drawing two straps from her dress, Psyche proceeded to bind us hand and foot.

The conversation was languishing when Ascyltus broke out: "Hey, don't I deserve a drink too?" Psyche, her little plan betrayed by my snickers, clapped her hands with amazement. "Young man," she said to me, "I put the glass beside you. Have you drunk all that medicine by yourself?" "Did he really?" cried Quartilla. "Encolpius drank all our aphrodisiac?"

She shook all over with a wonderful rippling laugh...

In the end even Giton could not keep from laughing too, especially when the little girl threw her arms around his neck and kissed the unresisting boy on the lips at least a thousand times...

In our misery we wanted to scream for help, but there was no one there to come to our aid. Worse, every time I tried to shout, Psyche gouged my cheek with a hairpin, while the little girl stood over poor Ascyltus with a sponge dipped in aphrodisiac...

As the crowning touch to our miseries, in waddled a eunuch dressed in a robe of myrtle-green bound up with a sash... Springing at us again and again, he slobbered our faces with filthy kisses and ground away at us with his buttocks until Quartilla, holding her dress up above her knees, drove him off with a whale-bone-cane and ordered him to leave us poor wretches alone.

We both of us swore the most solemn oaths that this terrible secret would die with us both...

Several masseurs arrived next. After a generous rubdown with oil, we slowly began to revive. Then, feeling more or less ourselves again, we put on dinner-clothes and were conducted into the next room where we found three couches drawn up and a table, very luxuriously laid out, awaiting us. We were invited to take our seats, and the meal began with some sumptuous hors d'oeuvres. As for wine, we were fairly swimming in it, and it was fine Falernian at that. After several more courses we had begun to doze sleepily off, when Quartilla said: "No sleeping, gentlemen. Must I remind you again that the whole night has been consecrated to Priapus?"

Ascyltus, utterly exhausted by his ordeal, had just dozed off when the little maid whom he had driven off so rudely tiptoed up to him while he slept and smeared his face witch soot and painted his lips and shoulders a bright scarlet. By this time my own exhaustion was beginning to tell, and I must have dozed off briefly. The servants in both rooms had already fallen asleep. Some were slumped on the floor at the feet of the guests, others stood propped against the wall, while several lay sprawled, head to head, in the doorway. Meanwhile the oil-lamps had burnt low and gave out only a feeble dying flicker. Suddenly I woke with a start to see two Syrian slaves come gliding stealthily into the room and start to pocket the silver. In their greed, however, they began to fight over a large two-handled pitcher, each one tugging at a handle. Without warning the handles snapped and the pitcher landed with a crash on the table. The table promptly collapsed, showering silver and glassware in every direction, and one heavy goblet landed on the head of a maid who was lying curled up on the couch. The cut was deep, and she screamed with pain, alarming the two thieves and waking the rest of us from our drunken stupor. The Syrians, realizing that they had been discovered, threw themselves on the end of a couch and with great aplomb started to snore away as though they had been asleep for hours. The butler, awakened by the hubbub, rose and refilled the flickering lamps, while the servants, sleepily rubbing their eyes, returned to their posts at our elbows. Then with a great crash of cymbals a girl-musician strode in, woke up the remaining sleepers and the party began all over again. Quartilla kept urging us to drink up, while the girl with the cymbals went marching around the room banging away to get us all back to the proper festive mood.

At this point a second eunuch arrived, so incredibly insipid that he seemed a fitting representative of the whole menage. Clapping his hands for attention, he cleared his throat, grunted, and gave vent to the following:

O fairies, O buggers, O eunuchs exotic! Come running, come running ye anal-erotic!

With soft little hands, with flexible bums, Come, O castrati, unnatural ones!

Having finished his effusion, he promptly started to slobber me with his loathsome kisses, and before I knew it, he had straddled me on the couch and, despite my resistance, pulled off my clothes. Then, for what seemed hours, he worked on me but without the slightest success. Meanwhile a river of sweat and perfume was streaming down his face, leaving his wrinkled cheeks so creviced with powder that he looked like some cracked wall standing desolate under a pelting rain. Finally I was reduced to tears and in my agony cried out to Quartilla, "For god's sake, madam, help me. Even your passive support would be appreciated." At this she clasped her hands with delight. "Oh, what a funny little man it is! What a fountain of with she cried. ' But I'm giving you exactly what you want. Didn't you know we call these fellows passives?" But misery wants company, and so did I. "Madam, I protest," I cried. "Is Ascyltus the only man in the room who gets a holiday?" "That seems only fair," she said. "We must see that Ascyltus has his share of our passive support." The eunuch immediately changed horses and mounted Ascyltus, kissing him so furiously and battering him so hard with his buttocks that he almost murdered him. Giton, meanwhile, had come up closer to get a better view and was splitting with laughter at Ascyltus' plight. Eying him narrowly, Quartilla asked to whom he belonged. When I told her that he was a friend of mine, she said, "Well, doesn't your little friend have a kiss for me?" With that she called him over, pawed him and kissed him a bit and then reached her hand inside his tunic and playfully fondled that poor novice tool of his for some time. "Tomorrow," she laughed, "this will make a fine antipasto for my lechery. But today's entree stuffed me so full, I couldn't swallow even this little tidbit now." Suddenly Psyche sidled up giggling, and whispered something into Quartilla's ear. "A splendid idea," said Quartilla, "I can't imagine a more opportune time for deflowering our little Pannychis." Immediately a rather pretty little girl-the same one who had come with Quartilla to our rooms-was led out. I doubt that she could have been more than seven, but with the exception of myself everybody present applauded the idea and demanded that the marriage be consummated instantly. I was shocked, however, and pointed out that Giton, a very bashful boy, could hardly be expected to undergo such drudgery yet. Besides, I protested, the girl was much too young to be assuming a woman's position. "Pish," snorted Quartilla. "Is she any younger than I was when I had my first man? May Juno strike me dead if I can ever remember being a virgin. When I was a little girl, I played ducks and drakes with the little boys; as I got bigger, I applied myself to bigger boys, until I reached my present age-whence I think the proverb arose, she'll bear the bull that bore the calf." Fearing that Giton might suffer something still worse if I refused, I rose reluctantly to help with the ceremony. Psyche placed a saffron veil on the little girl's head, while a whole troop of drunken women, led by the eunuch with a blazing torch, marched off to prepare the room for this travesty of marriage. Quartilla, flushed and excited by the gross obscenity of the whole affair, took Giton by the hand and led him into the bedroom. In point of fact the boy made no objection and even the little girl appeared quite unmoved by the notion of being a bride. Finally the door was shut, the bolts shot, and we all took up our positions around the door. Then Quartilla, standing in the front row, treacherously cut a skit in the panel and peeked with lecherous curiosity at their innocent childish play. With a gentle caress she drew me to the chink to watch too, and since our faces were often close together, kept turning her lips to me and stealing kisses.

We threw ourselves into bed and spent the remainder of the night unmolested...

V
DINNER WITH TRIMALCHIO

At last the third day had come with its prospect of a free meal and perhaps our last meal on this earth. But by now our poor bodies were so bruised and battered that escape, even if it-cost us a meal, seemed preferable to staying where we were. While we were gloomily wondering how we could avoid the orgy in store for us with Quartilla, one of Agamemnon's slaves came up and dispelled our despair. "What's eating you?" he asked. "Have you forgotten where you're going tonight? Trimalchio's giving the meal. He's real swank. Got a great big clock in his dining room and a uniformed bugler who blows a horn every hour so the old man won't forget how fast his time is slipping away." Needless to say, we forgot our troubles fast when we heard this. We slipped into our best clothes, and when Giton very sweetly offered to act as our servant, we told him to attend us to the baths.

There we wandered around at first without getting undressed. Or rather we went joking around, mixing with various groups of bathers at their games. Suddenly we caught sight of an old, bald man in a long red undershirt, playing ball with a bunch of curly-headed slave boys. It wasn't so much the boys who took our eyes-though they were worth looking at-as the old man himself. There he stood, rigged out in undershirt and sandals, nothing else bouncing a big green ball the color of a leek. When he dropped one ball, moreover, he never bothered to stoop for it, but simply took another from a slave who stood beside him with a huge sack tossing out fresh balls to the players. This was striking enough, but the real refinement was two eunuchs standing on either side of the circle, one clutching a chamber pot of solid silver, the other ticking off the balls. He was not, however, scoring the players' points, but merely keeping count of any balls that happened to drop on the ground. While we were gawking at these elegant gymnastics, Menelaus came rushing up. "That's him!" he whispered, "that's the fellow who's giving the meal. What you're seeing now is just the prelude to the show." These words were hardly out when Trimalchio gave a loud snap with his fingers. The eunuch came waddling up with the chamber pot, Trimalchio emptied his bladder and went merrily on with his game. When he was done, he shouted for water, daintily dipped the tips of his fingers and wiped his hands in the long hair of a slave. But the details of his performance would take too long to tell. We quickly undressed, went into the hot baths, and after working up a sweat, passed on to the cold showers. There we found Trimalchio again, his skin glistening all over with perfumed oil. He was being rubbed down, not with ordinary linen, but with cloths of the purest and softest wool. During this rubdown, right before his eyes, the three masseurs were guzzling away at the finest of his rare Falernian wines. In a minute, moreover, they were squabbling and in the next second the wine had spilled all over the floor. "Tut, a mere trifle," said Trimatchio, they were merely pouring me a toast." He was then bundled into a blazing scarlet wrapper, hoisted onto a litter and trundled off. Before him went four runners in spangled harness and a little wheelbarrow in which the old man's favorite rode, a little boy with a wrinkled face and bleary, mudded eyes, even uglier than his master. A musician with a miniature flute trotted along at Trimalchio's head and during the entire trip played into his master's ear as though whispering him little secrets. Drunk with admiration, we brought up the rear and Agamemnon joined us when we reached Trimalchio's door. Beside the door we saw a sign:

ANY SLAVE LEAVING THE PREMISES WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION FROM THE MASTER WILL RECEIVE ONE HUNDRED LASHES!

At the entrance sat the porter, dressed in that same leekgreen that seemed to be the livery of the house. A cherry colored sash was bound around his waist and he was busily shelling peas into a pan of solid silver. In the doorway hung a cage, all gold, and in it a magpie was croaking out his welcome to the guests. I was gaping at all this in open-mouthed wonder when I suddenly jumped with terror, stumbled, and nearly broke my leg. For there on the left as you entered, in fresco, stood a huge dog straining at his leash. In large letters under the painting was scrawled:

BEWARE OF THE DOG!

The others burst out laughing at my fright. But when I'd recovered from the shock, I found myself following the rest of the frescoes with fascination. They ran the whole length of the wall. First came a panel showing a slave market with everything clearly captioned. There stood Trimalchio as a young man, his hair long and curly in slave fashion; in his hand he held a staff and he was entering Rome for the first time under the sponsorship of Minerva. In the next panel he appeared as an apprentice accountant, then as a paymaster-each step in his career portrayed in great detail and everything scrupulously labeled. At the end of the portico you came to the climax of the series: a picture of Mercury grasping Trimalchio by the chin and hoisting him up to the lofty eminence of the official's tribunal. Beside the dais stood the goddess Fortuna with a great cornucopia and the three Fates, busily spinning out Trimalchio's life in threads of gold, while in the background a group of runners were shown working out with their trainer. In the corner at the end of the portico was a huge wardrobe with a small built-in shrine. In the shrine were silver statuettes of the household gods, a Venus in marble, and a golden casket containing, I was told, the clippings from Trimalchio's first beard. I began questioning the attendant about some other frescoes in the middle. "Acenes from the Iliad and the Odyssey," he explained, "and the gladiator games given by Laenas." But there was far too little time to ask about everything that took my eye. We approached the dining room next where we found the steward at the door making up his accounts. I was particularly struck by the doorposts. For fixed to the jamb were fasces, bundles of sticks with axes protruding from them; but on the lower side the bundles terminated in what looked like the brass ram of a ship, and on the brass this inscription had been engraved:

TO GAIUS POMPEIUS TRIMALCHIO, OFFICIAL OF THE IMPERIAL CULT, FROM HIS STEWARD CINNAMUS.

Hanging from the ceiling on a long chain was a two- bracket lamp with the same inscription, and on each of the doorposts a wooden tablet had been put up. On one of these, if I remember rightly, this memo was written:

"The Master will be dining in town on the 30th and 31st of December."

On the other tablet was a diagram of the orbits of the moon and the seven planets, with the lucky and unlucky days all indicated by knobs of different colors. We duly noted these refinements and were just about to step into the dining room when suddenly a slave- clearly posted for this very job-shouted, RIGHT FEET FIRST!-" Well, needless to say, we froze. Who wants to bring down bad luck on his host by walking into his dining room in the wrong way? However, we synchronized our legs and were just stepping out, right feet first, when a slave, utterly naked, landed on the floor in front of us and implored us to save him from a whipping. He was about to be fiogged, he explained, for a trifling offense. He had let someone steal the steward's clothing, worthless stuff really, in the baths. Well, we pulled back our right feet, faced about and returned to the entry where we found the steward counting a stack of gold coins. We begged him to let the servant off. "Really, it's not the money I mind," he replied with enormous condescension, "so much as the idiot's carelessness. It was my dinner-suit he lost, a birthday present from one of my dependents. Expensive too, but then I've already had it washed. Well, it's a trifle. Do what you want with him." We thanked him for his gracious kindness, but when we entered the dining room up ran the same slave whom we'd just begged off. He overwhelmed us with his thanks and then, to our consternation, began to plaster us with kisses. "You'll soon see whom you've helped," he said. "The master's wine will prove the servant's gratitude." At last we took our places. Immediately slaves from Alexandria came in and poured ice water over our hands. These were followed by other slaves who knelt at our feet and with extraordinary skill pedicured our toenails. Not for an instant, moreover, during the whole of this odious job, did one of them stop singing. This made me wonder whether the whole menage was given to bursts of song, so I put it to the test by calling for a drink. It was served immediately by a boy who trilled away as shrilly as the rest of them. In fact, anything you asked for was invariably served with a snatch of song, so that you would have thought you were eating in a concert-hall rather than a private dming room. Now that the guests were all in their places, the hors d'oeuvres were served, and very sumptuous they were. Trimalchio alone was still absent, and the place of honor- reserved for the host in the modern fashion- stood empty But I was speaking of the hors d'oeuvres. On a large tray stood a donkey made of rare Corinthian bronze; on the donkey's back were two panniers, one holding green olives, the other, black. Flanking the donkey were two side dishes, both engraved with Trimalchio's name and the weight of the silver, while in dishes shaped to resemble little bridges there were dormice, all dipped in honey and rolled in poppyseed. Nearby, on a silver grill, piping hot, lay small sausages, while beneath the grill black damsons and red pomegranates had been sliced up and arranged so as to give the effect of flames playing over charcoal We were nibbling at these splendid appetizers when suddenly the trumpets blared a fanfare and Trimalchio was carried in, propped up on piles of miniature pillows in such a comic way that some of us couldn't resist impolitely smiling. His head, cropped close in a recognizable slave cut, protruded from a cloak of blazing scarlet; his neck, heavily swathed already in bundles of clothing, was wrapped in a large napkin bounded by an incongruous senatorial purple stripe with little tassels dangline down here and there. On the little finger of his left hand he sported an immense gilt ring; the ring on the last joint of his fourth finger looked to be solid gold of the kind the lesser nobility wear, but was actually, I think, an imitation, pricked out with small steel stars. Nor does this exhaust the inventory of his trinkets. At least he rather ostentatiously bared his arm to show us a large gold bracelet and an ivory circlet with a shiny metal plate. He was picking his teeth with a silver toothpick when he first addressed us. "My friends," he said, "I wasn't anxious to eat just yet, but I ve ignored my own wishes so as not to keep you waiting. Still, perhaps you won't mind if I finish my game." At these words a slave jumped forward with a board of juniper wood and a pair of crystal dice. I noticed one other elegant novelty as well: in place of the usual black and white counters, Trimalchio had substituted gold and silver coins. His playing, I might add, was punctuated throughout with all sorts of vulgar exclamations. We, meanwhile, were still occupied with the hors d'oeuvres when a tray was carried in and set down before us. On it lay a basket, and in it a hen, carved from wood, with wings outspread as though sitting on her eggs. Then two slaves came forward and, to a loud flourish from the orchestra, began rummaging in the straw and pulling out peahen's eggs which they divided among the guests. Trimalchio gave the whole performance his closest attention. "Friends," he said, "I ordered peahen eggs to be set under that hen, but I'm half afraid they may have hatched already. Still, let's see if we can suck them." We were handed spoons-weighing at least half a pound apiece- and cracked open the eggs, which turned out to be baked from rich pastry. To tell the truth, I had almost tossed my share away, thinking the eggs were really addled. But I heard one of the guests, obviously a veteran of these dinners, say, "I wonder what little surprise we've got in here." So I cracked the shell with my hand and found inside a fine fat oriole, nicely seasoned with pepper. By this time Trimalchio had finished his game. He promptly sent for the same dishes we had had and with a great roaring voice offered a second cup of mead to anyone who wanted it. Then the orchestra suddenly blared and the trays were snatched away from the tables by a troupe of warbling waiters. But in the confusion a silver side dish fell to the floor and a slave quickly stooped to retrieve it. Trimalchio, however, had observed the accident and gave orders that the boy's ears should be boxed and the dish tossed back on the floor. Immediately the servant in charge of the dishware came pattering up with a broom and swept the silver dish out the door with the rest of the rubbish. Two curly-haired Ethiopian slaves followed him as he swept, both carrying lithe skin bottles like the circus attendants who sprinkle the arena with perfume, and poured wine over our hands. No one was offered water. We clapped enthusiastically for this fine display of extravagance. "The god of war,' said Trimalchio, "ls a real democrat. That's why I gave orders that each of us should have a table to himself. Besides, these stinking slaves will bother us less than if we were all packed in together." Glass jars carefully sealed and coated were now brought in. Each bore this label:

GENUINE FALERNIAN WINE GUARANTEED ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD! BOTTLED IN THE CONSULSHIP OF OPIMIUS.

While we were reading the labels, Trimalchio clapped his hands for attention. "Just think, friends, wine lasts longer than us poor suffering humans. So soak it up, it's the stuff of life. I give you, gentlemen, the genuine Opimian vintage. Yesterday I served much cheaper stuff and the guests were much more important." While we were commenting on it and savoring the luxury, a slave brought in a skeleton, cast of solid silver, and fastened in such a way that the joints could be twisted and bent in any direction. The servants threw it down on the table in front of us and pushed it into several suggestive postures by twisting its joints, while Trimalchio recited this verse of his own making:

Nothin but bones, that's what we are. Death hustles us humans away. Today we're here and tomorrow we're not, so live and drink while you may!

The course that followed our applause failed, however, to measure up to our expectations of our host, but it was so unusual that it took everybody's attention. Spaced around a circular tray were the twelve signs of the zodiac, and over each sign the chef had put the most appropriate food. Thus, over the sign of Aries were chickpeas, over Taurus a slice of beef, a pair of testicles and kidneys over Gemini, a wreath of flowers over Cancer, over Leo an African fig, virgin sowbelly on Virgo, over Libra a pair of scales with a tartlet in one pan and a cheesecake in the other, over Scorpio a crawfish, a lobster on Capricorn, on Aquarius a goose, and two mullets over the sign of the Fishes. The centerpiece was a clod of turf with the grass still green on top and the whole thing surmounted by a fat honeycomb. Meanwhile, bread in a silver chafing dish was being handed around by a black slave with long hair who was shrilling in an atrocious voice some song from the pantomime called Asafoetida. With some reluctance we began to attack this wretched fare, but Trimalchio kept urging us, "Eat up, gentlemen, eat up!" Suddenly the orchestra gave another flourish and four slaves came dancing in and whisked off the top of the tray. Underneath, in still another tray, lay fat capons and sowbellies and a hare tricked out with wings to look like a little Pegasus. At the corners of the tray stood four little gravy boats, all shaped like the satyr Marsyas, with phalluses for spouts and a spicy hot gravy dripping down over several large fish swimming about in the lagoon of the tray. The slaves burst out clapping, we clapped too and turned with gusto to these new delights. Trimalchio, enormously pleased with the success of his little tour de force, roared for a slave to come and carve. The carver appeared instantly and went to work, thrusting with his knife like a gladiator practicing to the accompaniment of a waterorgan. But all the time Trimalchio kept mumbling in a low voice, "Carver, carver, carver carver..." I suspected that this chant was somehow connected with a trick, so I asked my neighbor, an old hand at these party surprises. "Look," he said, "you see that slave who's carving? Well he's called Carver, so every time Trimalchio says 'Carver,' he's also saying 'Carve 'er!' and giving him orders to carve." This atrocious pun finished me: I couldn't touch a thing. So I turned back to my neighbor to pick up what gossip I could and soon had him blabbing away, especially when I asked him about the woman who was bustling around the room. "Her?" he said, "why, that's Fortunata, Trimalchio's wife. And the name couldn't suit her better. She counts her cash by the cartload. And you know what she used to be? Well, begging your Honor's pardon, but you wouldn't have taken bread from her hand. Now, god knows how or why, she's sitting pretty: has Trimalchio eating out of her hand. If she told him at noon it was night, he'd crawl into bed. As for him, he's so loaded he doesn't know how much he has. But that bitch has her finger in everything-where you'd least expect it too. A regular tightwad, never drinks, and sharp as they come. But she's got a nasty tongue; get her gossiping on a couch and she'll chatter like a parrot. If she likes you, you're lucky; if she doesn't, god help you. "As for old Trimalchio, that man's got more farms than a kite could flap over. And there's more silver plate stuffed in his porter's lodge than another man's got in his safe. As for slaves, whoosh! So help me, I'll bet not one in ten has ever seen his master. Your ordinary rich man is just peanuts compared to him; he could knock them all under a cabbage and you'd never know they were gone. "And buy things? Not him. No sir, he raises everything right on his own estate. Wool, citron, pepper, you name it. By god, you'd find hen's milk if you looked around. Now take his wool. The homegrown strain wasn't good enough. So you know what he did? Imported rams from Tarentum, bred them into the herd. Attic honey he raises at home. Ordered the bees special from Athens. And the local bees are better for being crossbred too. And, you know, just the other day he sent off to India for some mushroom spawn. Every mule he owns had a wild ass for a daddy. And you see those pillows there? Every last one is stuffed with purple or scarlet wool. That boy's loaded! "And don't sneer at his friends. They're all ex-slaves, but every one of them's rich. You see that guy down there on the next to last couch? He's worth a cool half-million. Came up from nowhere. Used to tote wood on his back. People say, but I don't know, he stole a cap off a hob- goblin's head and found a treasure. He's the gods' fairhaired boy. That's luck for you, but I don't begrudge him. Not so long ago he was just a slave. Yes sir, he's doing all fight. Just a few days ago he advertised his apartment for rent. The ad went like this:

APARTMENT FOR RENT AFTER THE FIRST OF JULY. AM BUYING A VILLA. SEE G. POMPEIUS DIOGENES.

"And you see that fellow in the freedman's seat? He's already made a pile and lost it. What a life! But I don't envy him. After the first million the going got sticky. Right now I'll bet he's mortgaged every Hair on his head. But it wasn't his fault. He's too honest, that's his trouble, and his crooked friends stripped him to feather their own nests. One thing's sure: once your little kettle stops cooking and the business starts to slide, you get the brushoff from your friends. And, you know, he had a fine, respectable business too. Undertaking. Ate like a King: boars roasted whole, pastry as tall as buildings, pheasants, chefs, pastrycooks-the whole works. Why, he's had more wine spilled under his table than most men have in their cellars. Life? Hell, it was a dream Then when things started sliding, he got scared his creditors would think he was broke. So he advertised an auction:

GAIUS JULIUS PROCULUS WILL HOLD AN AUCTION OF HIS SPARE FURNITURE!

By now the astrological course had been removed, the guests were gaily attacking the wine, and there was a loud hubbub of laughing and chatter. My neighbor's pleasant prattle, however, was interrupted by Trimalchio. Lounging back on his elbow, he burst out: "Gentlemen, I want you to savor this good wine. Fish must swim, and that's a fact. But I'd like to know if you were really taken in by that stuff you saw on the top tray. Is that what you think of me? What does our Vergil say?

Is this what men report of great Ulysses?

Not on your life. At dinner, I say, there should be culture as much as food. My old master-may his bones rest in peace-wanted me to be a man of the world and a gentleman of culture. And I think that last course will show you there isn't much that I don't know. Listen now, and I'll explain to you about the zodiac. This heaven, which is where the twelve gods live, changes into twelve signs. Now sometimes it turns into the Ram, that is, Aries. Everyone who gets himself born under the Ram owns heaps of sheep and lots of wool; besides, his head is hard, his forehead like brass and his horns like swords. That's why many professors and also muttonheads are born under the sign of the Ram." We all applauded our droll astrologer and he continued. "After the Ram, the Universe switches over to the Bull, who's sometimes called Taurus. The people who are born under the Bull include bullies and cowboys and people who lie down in soft pastures. Under the Twins, old Gemini, you get two-horse teams, yokes of oxen, lechers who are led around by their balls, and two-faced politicians. Cancer, or the Crab, is my sign; therefore I walk on many legs and my possessions stretch over land and sea, for the crab is at home in both those elements. That's why I avoided putting anything on my sign for a long time: I didn't want my birth- sign queered. Under Leo the Lion you get gluttons and big shots; under Virgo the Virgin you get useless women, deserters, and those who wear chains on their ankles, fetters for men, bracelets for women. Stinger Scorpio has poisoners and murderers. Under Archer Sagittarius you get cross-eyed thieves who cock an eye at the beets but snitch the ham. Under Capricorn, because it means goat-horn, come men who have horns or corns; corn-men are workers who sweat for their wages and horn-men are cuckolds all. Aquarius is a water carrier, so under him you find innkeepers who water the wine and people who are all wet. But Pisces is for Fishes and he gives us the fishier types of men: gape-mouthed lawyers or just plain fish peddlers. That's why things are as they are. The universe goes whizzing around like a millwheel and is always up to some mischief and people are either dying or just getting born. As for the hunk of earth you saw sitting in the middle, that was packed with meaning too. For dead in the center of everything sits old Mother Earth, as fat as an egg, and loaded with goodies like a honeycomb." We all cheered and cried "Bravo" and swore that Aratus and Hipparchus were mere amateurs, not to be compared with our host. But while we were flattering him, servants came and draped our couches with special covers, each one entirely embroidered with hunting scenes -nets, hunters with spears lying in ambush, and all the rest. We were wondering what all this was leading up to, when suddenly there came a hideous uproar outside the room and then huge Spartan mastiffs came bounding in and began to gallop around the table. Following the dogs came servants with a tray on which we saw a wild sow of absolutely enormous size. Perched rakishly on the sow's head was the cap of freedom which newly freed slaves wear in token of their liberty, and from her tusks hung two baskets woven from palm leaves: one was filled with dry Egyptian dates, the other held sweet Syrian dates. Clustered around her teats were little suckling pigs made of hard pastry, gifts for the guests to take home as it turned out, but intended to show that ours was a broodsow. The slave who stepped up to carve, however, was not our old friend Carver who had cut up the capons, but a huge fellow with a big beard, a coarse hunting cape thrown over his shoulders, and his legs bound up in crossgaiters. He whipped out his knife and gave a savage slash at the sow's flanks. Under the blow the flesh parted, the wound burst open and dozens of thrushes came whirring outl But bird-catchers with limed twigs were standing by and before long they had snared all the birds as they thrashed wildly around the room. Trimalchio ordered that a thrush be given to each guest, adding for good measure; well, that old porker liked her acorns juicy all right.' Then servants stepped forward, removed the baskets hanging from the sow's nose, and divided the dry and sweet dates out equally among the guests. Meanwhile I was desperately trying to figure out why the sow had been brought in with that freedom cap on her head. One after another, I tried all kinds of crazy far- fetched ideas; finally I mustered up my courage and asked my neighbor. 'Why, gods alive,' he snorted, "even your slave could have figured that one out. It's no riddle at all, clear as day. Look: yesterday this sow was served for dinner, but the guests were so stuffed they let it go Get it? They let it go. So today naturally she comes back to the table as a free sow." I cursed myself for being so slow and decided to ask no more questions. Altogether it was beginning to look as though I'd never dined in good company before. During this exchange a pretty little boy came into the room, wearing a wreath of vine leaves and ivy in his hair like a little Bacchus or Father Liber. He did us a number of imitations of Bacchus under various forms: as Lyaeus, Bromius, Evius, and so on. Then, warbling some of Trimalchio's poetry in a shrill soprano, he went around offering the guests grapes from his basket. Finally Trimalchio took notice of the boy's efforts and called him over. "Come here, you baby Dionysus. Little Father Liber, I hereby liberate you." At this the boy snatched the freedom can from the boar's head and stuck it on his own. Trimalchio wheeled back, laughing. "Well, gentlemen, how did you like that? I've liberated Liber. I ve set the wine-god free. So let it flow. And drink up, gentlemen. It's all on me!" We clapped our approval of his elaborate pun and kissed the little boy soundly as he made the round of the couches to be congratulated on his new freedom. At this point Trimalchio heaved himself up from his couch and waddled off to the toilet. Once rid of our table tyrant, the talk began to flow more freely. Damas called for larger glasses and led off himself. "What's one day? Bah, nothing at all. You turn round and it's dark. Nothing for it, I say, but jump right from bed to table. Brrrr. Nasty spell of cold weather we've been having. A bath hardly warmed me up. But a hot drink's the best overcoat of all; that's what I always say. Whoosh; I must have guzzled gallons. I'm tight and no mistake. Wine's gone right to my head . . "As for me;" Seleucus broke in, "I don't take a bath every day. Your bath's a fuller; the water's got teeth like a comb. Saps your vital juices. But once I've had a slug of mead, then bugger the cold. Couldn't have had a bath today anyway. Had to go to poor old Chrysanthus' funeral. Yup, he's gone for good, folded his tent forever. And a grand little guy he was; they don't make 'em any better these days. I might almost be talking to him now. Just goes to show you. What are men anyway but balloons on legs, a lot of blown-up bladders? Flies that's what we are. No, not even flies. Flies have something inside. But a man's a bubble, all air, nothing else. And, you know, Chrysanthus might still be with us if he hadn't tried that starvation diet. Five days and not a crumb of bread, not a drop of water, passed his lips. Tch, tch. And now he's gone, joined the great majority. Doctors killed him. Maybe not doctors, call it fate. What good's a doctor but for peace of mind? But the funeral was fine, they did it up proper: nice bier, fancy drapes, and a good bunch of mourners turned out too. Mostly slaves he'd set free, of course. But his old lady was sure stingy with the tears. Not that he didn't lead her a hard life, mind. But women, they're a race of kites. Don't deserve love. You might as well drop it down a well. And old love's a real cancer..." He was beginning to be tiresome and Phileros shouted him down. "Whoa there," he cut in, "let's talk about the living. He got what was coming to him. He lived well, he died well. What the hell more did he want? And got rich from nothing too. And no wonder, I say. That boy would have grubbed in the gutter for a coin and picked it out with his teeth too. God knows what he had salted away. Just got fatter and fatter, bloated with the stuff. Why, that man oozed money the way a honeycomb oozes honey. But I'll give you the lowdown on him, and no frills either. He talked tough, sure, but he was a born gabber. And a real scrapper too, regular pair of fists on legs. But you take his brother: now that's a real man for you, friendly and generous as they come, and what's more, he knows how to put on a spread. Anyway, as I was saying, what does our boy do but flop on his first big deal and end up eating crow? But come the vintage and he got right back on his feet and sold his wine at his own figure. What really gave him a boost was some legacy he got. And I don't mind telling you, he milked that legacy for all it was worth and then some. So what does the sap do next but pick a fight with his own brother and leave everything to a total strangers I mean, it just shows you. Run from your kin and you run a damn long ways, as the saying goes. Well, you know, he had some slaves and he listened to them as though they were a lot of oracles, so naturally they took him in the end. It's like I always say, a sucker gets screwed. And that goes double when a man's in business. But there's a saying, it isn't what you're given, but what you can get that counts. Well, he got the meat out of that one all his life. He was Lady Luck's fair-haired boy and no mistake. Lead turned to gold in his hand. Of course, it's easy when the stuff comes rolling in on its own. And you know how old he was when he died7 Seventy and then some. But carried it beautifully, hard as nails and his hair as black as a crow. I knew him for ages, and he was horny, right to the end. By god, I'll bet he even pestered the dog. Boys were what he really liked, but he wasn't choosy: he'd jump anything with legs. I don't blame him a bit, you understand. He won't have any fun where he's gone now." But Ganymedes struck in, "Stuff like that doesn't matter a bit to man or beast. But nobody mentions the real thing, the way the price of bread is pinching. God knows, I couldn't buy a mouthful of bread today. And this damn drought goes on and on. Nobody's had a bellyful for years now. It's those rotten officials, you take my word for it. They're in cahoots with the bakers: you scratch me and I'll scratch you. So the little people get it in the neck, but in the rich man's jaws it's jubilee all year. By god, if we only had the kind of men we used to have, the sort I found here when I arrived from Asia. Then life was something like living. Man, milk and honey day in and day out, and the way they'd wallop those blood-sucking officials, you'd have thought old Jupiter was having himself a tantrum. I remember old Safinius now. He used to live down by the old arch when I was a boy. More peppercorn than man. Singed the ground wherever he went. But honest and square and a real friend! Why, you could have matched coins with him in the dark. And in the townhall he'd lay it right on the line, no frills at all, just square on the target. And when he made a speech in the main square, he'd let loose like a bugle blowing. But neat as a pin all the time, never ruffled, never spat: there was something Asiatic about him. And you know, he always spoke to you, even remembered your name, just as though he were one of us. And bread was dirt-cheap in his day. For a penny you got a loaf that two men couldn't finish. Nowadays bulls' eyes come bigger than bread. But that's what I mean, things are just getting worse and worse. Why, this place is running downhill like a heifer's ass. You tell me, by god, the good of this threefig official of ours who thinks more of his graft than what's happening to us. Why, that boy's just living it up at home and making more in a day than most men ever inherit. If we had any balls, let me tell you, he'd be laughing out of the other side of his face. But not us. Oh no, we're big lions at home and scared foxes in public. Why, I've Practically had to pawn my clothes and if bread prices don't drop soon, I'll have to put my houses on the market. Mark my words, we're in for bad times if some man or god doesn't have a heart and take pity on this place. I'll stake my luck on it, the gods have got a finger in what's been happening here. And you know why? Because no one believes in the gods, that s why. Who observes the fast days any more, who cares a rap for Jupiter? One and all, bold as brass, they sit there pretending to pray, but cocking their eyes on the chances and counting up their cash. Once upon a time, let me tell you, things were different. The women would dress up in their best and climb barefoot up to the temple on the hill. Their hair was unbound and their hearts were pure and they went to beg Jupiter for rain. And you know what happened? Then or never, the rain would come sloshing down by the bucket, and they'd all stand there like a pack of drowned rats, just grinning away. Well, that's why the gods have stuffed their ears, because we've gotten unreligious. The fields are lying barren and...' "For god's sake," the ragseller Echion broke in, "cut out the damned gloom, will you? Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad,' as the old peasant said when he sold the spotted pig. Luck changes. If things are lousy today, there's always tomorrow. That's life, man. Sure, the times are bad, but they're no better anywhere else. We're all in the same boat, so what's the fuss? If you lived anywhere else, you'd be swearing the pigs here went waddling around already roasted. And don't forget, there's a big gladiator show coming up the day after tomorrow. Not the same old fighters either; they've got a fresh shipment in and there's not a slave in the batch. You know how old Titus works. Nothing's too good for him when he lets himself go. Whatever it is, it'll be something special. I know the old boy well, and he'll go whole hog. Just wait. There'll be cold steel for the crowd, no quarter, and the amphitheater will end up looking like a slaughterhouse. He's got what it takes too. When the old man died -and a nasty way to die, I'm telling you-he left Titus a cool million. Even if he spent ten thousand, he'd never feel it, and people won't forget him in a hurry either. He's already raked together a troupe of whirling dervishes, and there's a girl who fights from a chariot. And don't forget that steward that Glyco caught in bed with his wife. You just wait, there'll be a regular free-for-all between the lovers and the jealous husbands. But that Glyco's a cheap bastard. Sent the steward down to be pulled to pieces by the wild beasts, you know. So that just gave his little secret away, of course. And what's the crime, I'd like to know, when the poor slave is told to do it? It's that piss-pot-bitch of his that ought to be thrown to the bulls, by god! Still, those who can't beat the horse must whop the saddle. But what stumps me is why Glyco ever thought old Hemmogenes' brat would turn out well anyway. The old man would have pared a hawk's claws in mid-air, and like father, like daughter, as I always say. But Glyco's thrown away his own flesh and blood; he'll carry the marks of this mess as long as he lives and only hell will burn it away. Yes sir, that boy has dug his own grave and no mistake. "Well, they say Mammaea's going to put on a spread. Mmmm, I can sniff it already. There'll be a nice little handout all around. And if he does, he'll knock old Norbanus out of the running for good. Beat him hands down. And what's Norbanus ever done anyway, I'd like to know. A lot of two-bit gladiators and half-dead at that: puff at them and they'd fall down dead. Why, I've seen better men tossed to the wild animals. A lot of little clay statues, barnyard strutters, that's what they were. One was an old jade, another was a clubfoot, and the replacement they sent in for him was half-dead and hamstrung to boot. There was one Thracian with some guts but he fought by the book. And after the fight they had to flog the whole lot of them the way the mob was screaming, 'Let'em have it!' Just a pack of runaway slaves. Well, says Norbanus, at least I gave you a show. So you did, says I, and you got my cheers for it. But tot it up and you'll see you got as much as you gave. So there too, and tit for tat, says I. "Well, Agamemnon, I can see you're thinking, 'What's that bore blabbing about now?' You're the professor here, but I don't catch you opening your mouth. No, you think you're a cut above us, don't you, so you just sit there and smirk at the way we poor men talk. Your learning's made you a snob. Still, let it go. I tell you what. Someday you come down to my villa and look it over. We'll find something to nibble on, a chicken, a few eggs maybe. This crazy weather's knocked everything topsyturvy, but we'll come up with something you like. Don t worry your head about it, there'll be loads to eat. "You remember that little shaver of mine? Well, he'll be your pupil one of these days. He's already doing division up to four, and if he comes through all right, he'll sit at your feet someday. Every spare minute he has, he buries himself in his books. He's smart all right, and there's good stuff in him. His real trouble is his passion for birds. I killed three of his pet goldfinches the other day and told him the cat had got them. He found some other hobby soon enough. And, you know, he's mad about Painting. And he's already started wading into Greek and he's keen on his Latin. But the tutor's a little stuck on himself and won't keep him in line. The older boy now, he's a bit slow. But he's a hard worker and teaches the others more than he knows. Every holiday he spends at home, and whatever you give him, he's content. So I bought him some of those big red lawbooks. A smattering of law, you know, is a useful thing around the house. There's money in it too. He's had enough literature, I think. But if he doesn't stick it out in school, I'm going to have him taught a trade. Barbering or auctioneering, or at least a little law. The only thing that can take a man's trade away is death. But every day I keep pounding the same thing into his head: 'Son, get all the learning you can. Anything you learn is money in the bank. Look at Lawyer Phiteros. If he hadn't learned his law, he'd be going hungry and chewing on air. Not so long ago he was peddling his wares on his back; now hes running neck and neck with old Norbanus. Take my word for it, son, there's a mint of money in books, and learning a trade never killed a man yet.'" Conversation was running along these lines when Trimalchio returned, wiping the sweat from his brow. He splashed his hands in perfume and stood there for a minute in silence. "You'll excuse me, friends," he began, "but I've been constipated for days and the doctors are stumped. I got a little relief from a prescription of pomegranate rind and resin in a vinegar base. Still, I hope my tummy will get back its manners soon. Right now my bowels are bumbling around like a bull. But if any of you has any business that needs attending to, go right ahead; no reason to feel embarrassed. There's not a man been born yet with solid insides. And I don't know any anguish on earth like trying to hold it in. Jupiter himself couldn't stop it from coming.-What are you giggling about! Fortunata? You're the one who keeps me awake all night with your trips to the potty. Well, anyone at table who wants to go has my permission, and the doctors tell us not to hold it in. Everything's ready outside-water and pots and the rest of the stuff. Take my word for it, friends, the vapors go straight to your bram. Poison your whole system. I know of some who've died from being too polite and holding it in." We thanked him for his kindness and understanding, but we tried to hide our snickers in repeated swallows of wine. As yet we were unaware that we had slogged only halfway through this "forest of refinements," as the poets put it. But when the tables had been wiped-to the inevitable music, of course-servants led in three hogs rigged out with muzzles and bells. According to the headwaiter, the first hog was two years old, the second three, but the third was all of six. I supposed that we would now get tumblers and rope dancers and that the pigs would be put through the kind of clever tricks they perform for the crowds in the street. But Trimalchio dispelled such ideas by asking, "Which one of these hogs would you like cooked for your dinner? Now your ordinary country cook can whip you up a chicken or make a Bacchante mincemeat or easy dishes of that sort. But my cooks frequently broil calves whole." With this he had the cook called in at once, and without waiting for us to choose our pig, ordered the oldest slaughtered. Then he roared at the cook, "What's the number of your corps, fellow?" "The fortieth, sir," the cook replied. "Were you born on the estate or bought?" "Neither, sir. Pansa left me to you in his will." "Well," barked Trimalchio, "see that you do a good job or I'll have you demoted to the messenger corps." The cook, freshly reminded of his master's power, meekly led the hog off toward the kitchen, while Trimalchio gave us all an indulgent smile. "If you don't like the wine," he said, "we'll have it changed for you. I'll know by the amount you drink what you think of it. Luckily too I don't have to pay a thing for it. It comes with a lot of other good things from a new estate of mine near town. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm told it adjoins my lands at Terracina and Tarentum. Right now what I'd really like to do is buy up Sicily. Then I could go to Africa without ever stepping off my own property. "But tell me," he said, turning to Agamemnon, "what was the subject of your debate today? Of course, I'm no orator myself, but I've learnt a thing or two about law for use around the place. And don't think I'm one of those people who look down on learning. No sir, I've got two libraries, one Greek and the other Latin. So tell us, if you will, what your debate was about." "Well," said Agamemnon, "it seems that a rich man and a poor man had gone to court..." "A poor man?" Trimalchio broke in, "what's that?" "Very pretty, very pretty," chuckled Agamemnon and then launched out into an exposition of god knows which of his debating topics. But Trimalchio immediately interrupted him: "If that's the case, there's no argument; if it isn't the case, then what does it matter?" Needless to say, we pointedly applauded all of Trimalchio's sallies. "But tell me, my dear Agamemnon," continued our host, "do you remember the twelve labors of Hercules or the story about Ulysses and how the Cyclops broke his thumb trying to get the log out of his eye? When I was a kid, I used to read all those stories in Homer. And, you know, I once saw the Sibyl of Cumae in person. She was hanging in a bottle, and when the boys asked her, 'Sibyl, what do you want?' she said, 'I want to die.'" He was still chattering away when the servants came in with an immense hog on a tray almost the size of the table. We were, of course, astounded at the chef's speed and swore it would have taken longer to roast an ordinary chicken, all the more since the pig looked even bigger than the one served to us earlier. Meanwhile Trimalchio had been scrutinizing the pig very closely and suddenly roared, "What! Whats this? By god, this hog hasn't even been gutted Get that cook in here on the double!" Looking very miserable, the poor cook came shuffling up to the table and admitted that he had forgotten to gut the Pig. "You forgot?" bellowed Trimalchio. "You forgot to gut a pig? And I suppose you think that's the same thing as merely forgetting to add salt and pepper. Strip that man! The cook was promptly stripped and stood there stark naked between two bodyguards, utterly forlorn. The guests to a man, however, interceded for the chef. "Accidents happen," they said, "please don't whip him. If he ever does it again, we promise we won't say a word for him " My own reaction was anger, savage and unrelenting. I could barely restrain myself and leaning over, I whispered to Agamemnon, "Did you ever hear of anything worse? Who could forget to gut a pig? By god, you wouldn't catch me letting him off, not if it was just a fish he'd forgotten to clean." Not so Trimalchio, however. He sat there, a great grin widening across his face, and said: "Well, since your memory's so bad, you can gut the pig here in front of us all." The cook was handed back his clothes, drew out his knife with a shaking hand and then slashed at the pig's belly with crisscross cuts. The slits widened out under the pressure from inside, and suddenly out poured, not the pig's bowels and guts, but link upon link of tumbling sausages and blood puddings. The slaves saluted the success of the hoax with a rousing, "LONG LIVE GAIUSI' The vindicated chef was presented with a silver crown and honored by the offer of a drink served on a platter of fabulous Corinthian bronze. Noticing that Agamemnon was admiring the platter, Trimalchio said, "I'm the only man in the world who owns genuine Corinthian bronze." I expected him to brag in his usual way that he'd had the stuff imported directly from Corinth, but he was way ahead of me "Perhaps he said, "you'd like to know why I'm the onis man who owns genuine Corinthian. Well, I'll tell you. It's because I have it made by a craftsman of mine called Corinthus, and what's Corinthian, I'd like to know, if not something Corinthus makes? And don't think I'm just a stupid half-wit. I know very well how Corinthian bronze got invented. You see, when Troy was taken, there was this fellow called Hannibal, a real swindler, and he ordered all the bronze and gold and silver statues to be melted down in a pile. Well, the stuff melted and made a kind of mixture. So the smiths came and started carting it off and turning out platters and side dishes and little statues. And that's how real Corinthian began, a kind of mishmash metal, and nothing on its own. Af you don't mind my saying so though, I like glass better. It doesn't stink like bronze, and if it weren't so breakable, I'd prefer it to gold. Besides, it's cheap as cheap. "But, you know, there was once a workman who invented a little glass bottle that wouldn't break. Well he got in to see the emperor with this bottle as a present. Then he asked the emperor to hand it back to him and managed to drop it on the floor on purpose. Well, the emperor just about died. But the workman picked the bottle back up from the floor and, believe it or not, it was dented just a little, as though it were made out of bronze. So he pulled a little hammer out of his pocket and tapped it back into shape. Well, by this time he thought he had Jupiter by the balls, especially when the emperor asked him if anyone else was in on the secret. But you know what happened? When the workman told him that nobody else knew, the emperor ordered his head chopped off. Said that if the secret ever got out, gold would be as cheap as dirt. "But silver's my real passion. I ve got a hundred bowls that hold three or four gallons apiece, all of them with the story of Cassandra engraved on them: how she killed her sons, you know, and the kids are lying there dead so naturally that you'd think they were still alive. And there's a thousand goblets too which Mummius left my old master. There's pictures on them too, things like Daedalus locking up Niobe in the Troian Horse. And on my cups, the heavy ones, I've got the fights of Hermeros and Petraites. No sir, I wouldn't take cash down for my taste in silver." In the midst of this harangue, a slave dropped a goblet on the floor. Once he had finished talking, Trimalchio wheeled on him and said, "Why don't you go hang your- self? You're no damn good to me." The slave began to whimper and beg for mercy. But Trimalchio was stem: "Why come whining to me for pity? As if I got you into your mess. Next time tell yourself not to be so damn dumb." However, we interceded once more and managed to get the slave off. The instant he was pardoned, he began to scamper around the table...

Then Trimalchio shouted, "Out with the water, in with the wine!" We dutifully applauded the joke, and partic- ularly Agamemnon who was an old hand at wangling return invitations. By now Trimalchio was drinking heavily and was, in fact, close to being drunk. "Hey, everybody he shouted, "nobody's asked Fortunata to dance. Believe me, you never saw anyone do grinds the way she can." With this he raised his hands over his forehead and did an impersonation of the actor Syrus singing one of his numbers, while the whole troupe of slaves joined in on the chorus. He was just about to get up on the table when Fortunata went and whispered something in his ear, probably a warning that these drunken capers were undignified. Never was a man so changeable: sometimes he would bow down to Fortunata in anything she asked; at other times, as now, he went his own way. But it was the secretary, not Fortunate, who effectively dampened his desire to dance, for quite without warning he began to read from the estate records as though he were reading some government bulletin. "Born," he began, "on July 26th, on Trimalchio's estate at Cumae, thirty male and forty female slaves. "Item, five hundred thousand bushels of wheat transferred from the threshing rooms into storage "On the same date, the slave Mithridates crucified alive for blaspheming the guardian spirit of our master Gaius. "On the same date, the sum of three hundred thousand returned to the safe because it could not be invested. "On the same date, in the gardens at Pompeii, fire broke out in the house of the bailiff Nasta..." "What?" roared Trimalchio. "When did I buy any gardens at Pompeii?" "Last year," the steward replied. "That's why they haven't yet appeared on the books." I don't care what you buy," stormed Trimalchio, "but if it's not reported to me within six months, I damn well won't have it appearing on the books at all!" The reading was then resumed. First came the directives of the superintendents on various estates and then the wills of the gamekeepers, each one excluding Trimalchio by a special clause. There followed a list of his overseers, the divorce of a freedwoman by a nightwatchman for being caught in flagrante with an attendant from the baths, and the banishment of a steward to Baiae. It closed with the accusation against a cashier and the verdict in a dispute between several valets. At long last the tumblers appeared. An extremely insipid clown held up a ladder and ordered a boy to climb up and do a dance on top to the accompaniment of several popular songs. He was then commanded to jump through burning hoops and to pick up a big jug with his teeth. No one much enjoyed this entertainment except Trimalchio who claimed that the stunts were extremefy difficult. Nothing on earth, he added, gave him such pleasure as jugglers and buglers; everything else, such as animal shows and concerts, was utter trash. "I once bought," he bragged, "several comic actors, but I used them for doing farces and I told my flutist to play nothing but Latin songs, the funny ones." Just at this point the ladder toppled and the boy on top fell down landing squarely on Trimalchio. The slaves shrieked, tie guests screamed. We were not, of course, in the least concerned about the boy, whose neck we would have been delighted to see broken; but we dreaded the thought of possibly having to go into mourning for a man who meant nothing to us at all. Meanwhile, Trimalchio lay there groaning and nursing his arm as though it were broken. Doctors came rushing in, Fortunata at their head, her hair flying, a goblet in her hand, and filling the room with wails of distress. As for the boy, he was already clutching us by the legs and begging us to intercede for him. My own reaction was one of suspicion. I was afraid, that is, that these pleas for pity were simply the prelude to one more hoax; for the incident of the slave who had forgotten to gut the pig was still fresh in my mind. So I started to examine the room rather uneasily, half expecting, I suppose, that the walls would Split open and god knows what contraption would appear. And these suspicions were somewhat confirmed when they began flogging a servant for having bound up his master's wounded arm with white, rather than scarlet, bandages. Actually, as it turned out, I was not far wrong, for instead of having the boy whipped, Trimalchio ordered him to be set free, so that nobody could say that the great Trimalchio had been hurt by a mere slave. We gave this ample gesture our approval and remarked on the uncertainties of human existence. "Yes," said Trimalchio, "it would be a shame to let an occasion like this pass by without some enduring record of it." He then called for writing materials and after a brief but harrowing effort produced the following lines:

We think we're awful smart, we think we're awful wise, but when we're least expecting, comes the big surprise. Lady Luck's in heaven and we're her little toys, so break out the wine and fill your glasses, boys!

From this beginning, the conversation went on to poetry, and for a considerable time somebody was maintaining that the best poet of all time was the Thracian poet, Movsus. Then Trimalchio turned to Agamemnon and said, "Professor, what's the difference between Cicero and Publilius in your opinion? To my way of thinking, Cicero jogs along better but Publilius has him all beat when it comes to the message. What, after all, could be more profound than this?

Extravagance and Waste have breach'd our walls, and Mars' vast ramparts crumble down in ruin To please thy palate, Rome, that haughty birds the peacock, glisters in his cage to die; the cock Tom Afric strand thy victim is; upon thy Dlate the capon perisheth. Lot e'en the friendly stork, our peregrine, blest bird of piety that stalks on stilts, cold winter's refugee, who rattleth on the tiles and struts the roof in sign of Spring, now builds his final nest- upon the plate of Greedl Ah, and why should distant Ind produce the harvest of her pearl, that berried stone? That matrons should, forsooth, in baubles dress and raise their shameless legs upon the couch of lust? Why, why should emeralds make magnificence of green, and rubies glow with coruscation of expensive fire unless sweet Chastity, among such stones, ought better blaze her innocence abroad? O shame, that brides in gossamer should go, and filmy gauze their nakedness should gloze!

"But next to literature," he continued, "which profession do you think has the roughest time of it? To my mind, doctors and money-changers are the worst off. Doctors, because they have to guess what's going on in the tummies of poor mankind and when the fever comes. But doctors I despise: they're always sticking me on a diet of roast duck. Money-changers come next because they have to detect the phony copper beneath the silver. Now of dumb animals the ones who have things worst are oxen and sheep. Poor dumb oxen, because it's their work that puts the bread in our mouths, and sheep because the clothes on our backs we owe to! them. And it's a dirty shame, I think, the way we eat their mutton and wear their wool when the poor dumb sheep pay the bill. But bees are really good; thegre almost like gods, I say, because they vomit honey and pretend they got it from Jupiter. Of course, they sting too, but that's because there's a bit of bitterness in all good things..." He had started in easing the philosophers out of their jobs when servants brought around jars from which we all drew slips. Then the boy whose task it was read each of our slips aloud. Every one contained some conundrum or pun which entitled us to a humorous present. Thus when the slip SOUR SILVER SAUCES SOW was read, a leg of ham topped by a silver cruet filled with vinegar was carried in. HEADREST earned a neck of mutton, while HINDSIGHT AND LAMBASTING was matched by a bowl of lamb gravy with buckeyes floating around in it. HORSERADISH AND PRUNES won a riding whip and a pruning knife, and several wrinkled plums and a jar of Attic honey went to the slip reading PLUMAGE AND FLYTRAP. For GOOD FOOD FOR FOOTWEAR? they produced a fillet of sole broiled on the sole of a sandal. SOMETHING FOR THE DOG, SOMETHING FOR THE FEET won a pair of rabbit-lined slippers, while MUSSELS AND SOME LETTERS IN AN ENVELOPE received a mouse tied between two eels and a pod of peas. We chuckled at these jokes, but there were hundreds of them and I have forgotten most of them by now. Ascyltus, however, was no longer able to swallow his snickers and he finally tossed back his head and roared and guffawed until he was almost in tears. At this one of Trimalchio's freedmen friends, the man just above me at the table, took offense and flared out in wild rage. "You cheap muttonhead," he snarled, "what are you cackling about? Entertainment isn't good enough for the likes of you, I suppose? You're richer, huh? And eat better too? I'll bet! So help me, if you were down here by me, I'd stop your damn bleating "Some nerve he's not, laughing at us. Stinking runaway, that's what he is. A burglar. A bum. Bah, he's not worth a good boot in the ass. By god, if I tangle with him, he won't know where he's headed! So help me, I don't often fly off the handle like this Still, if the flesh is soft, I say, the worms will breed. "Still cackling, are you? Who the hell are you to snicker? Where'd your daddy buy you? Think you're made out of gold, eh? So that's it, you're a Roman knight? That makes me a king's son. Then why was I a slave? Because I wanted to be. Because I'd rather be a Roman slave than a tax-paying savage. And as I live and breathe, I hope no man thinks I'm funny. I walk like a free man. I don't owe any man a thing. I've never been hauled into court. That's right: no man ever had to tell me to pay up. I've bought a few little plots of land and a nice bit of silver plate. I feed twenty stomachs, not counting the dog. I bought my wife's freedom so no man could put his dirty paws on her. I paid a good two hundred for my own freedom. Right now, I'm on the board for the emperor's worship, and I hope when I die I won't have to blush for anything. But you're so damn busy sneering at us, you don't look at your own behind. You see the lice on us but not the ticks on yourself. Nobody but you thinks we're funny. Look at your old professor there: he aporeciates us. Bah, youre still sucking tit; you're limp feather, limper, no damn better. Oh you're rich, are you? Then cram down two lunches; bolt two suppers, sonny. As for me, I'd rather have my credit than all your cash. Who ever had to dun me twice? Forty years, boy and man, I spent as a slave, but no one could tell now whether I was slave or free. I was just a curly-headed kid when I came to this place. The town hall wasn't even built then. But I did everything I could do to please my master. He was a good man, a real gentleman, whose fingernail was worth more than your whole carcass. And there were some in that house who would have liked to see me stumble. But thanks to my master I gave them the slip. Those are real trials, those are real triumphs. But when you're born free everything's as easy as saying, 'Hurry on down.' Well, what are you gaping at now, like a goat in vetch?" At these last words, Giton, who was sitting at our feet, went rudely off into a great gale of whooping laughter which he had been trying to stifle for some time. Ascyltus' tormentor promptly trained his fire on the boy. "So you're snorting too, are you, you frizzle-headed scallion? You think it's time for capers, do you, carnival days and cold December? When Aid you pay your freedom tax, eh? Well, what are you smirking at, you little gallowsbird? Look, birdbait, I'll give it to you proper and the same for that master who won't-keep you in line. May I never eat bread again, if I let you off for anyone except our host here; if it weren't for him, I'd fix you right now. We were all feeling good, nice happy party, and then those half-baked masters of yours let you cut out of line. Like master, like slave, I always say. "Damnation, I'm so hopping mad, I can't stop. I'm no sorehead either, but when I let go, I don't give a damn for my own mother. Just you wait, I'll catch you out in the street someday. You mouse, you little potato! And when I do, if I don't knock your master into the cabbage patch, my name's not Hermeros. You can holler for Jupiter on Olympus as loud as you like, and it won't help you one little bit. By god, I'll fix those frizzle-curls of yours, and I'll fix your two-bit master too! You'll feel my teeth, sonny boy. And you won't snicker then, or I don t know who I am. No, not if your beard were made out of golds By god, I'll give you Athena's own anger, and that goes for the blockhead who set you free! I never learned geometry or criticism or hogwash of that kind, but I know how to read words carved in stone and divide up to a hundred, money, measure, or weights. Come on, l'll lay you a little bet. I'll stake a piece of my silver set. You may have learned some rhetoric in school, but let me prove your daddy wasted his money educating you. Ready? Then answer me this: 'I come long and I come broad. What am I?' I'll give you a clue. One of us runs, the other stays put. One grows bigger; the other stays small. Well, that's you, skittering around, bustling and gaping like a mouse in a jug. So either shut up or don't bother your elders and betters who don't know you exist. Or do you think I'm impressed by those phony gold rings of yours? Swipe them from your girl? Sweet Mercury, come down to the main square in town and try to take out a loan. Then you'll see this plain iron ring of mine makes plenty of credit. Hah, that finished you. You look like a fox in the rain. By god, if I don't pull up my toga and hound you all over town, may I fail in my business and die broke! So help me! And isn't he something, that professor who taught you your manners? Him a professor? A bum, that's what he is. In my time, a teacher was a teacher. Why, my old teacher used to say, 'Now, boys, is everything in order? Then go straight home. No dawdling, no gawking on the way. And don't be sassy to your elders.' But nowadays teachers are trash. Not worth a damn. As for me, I'm grateful to my old teacher for what he taught me..." Ascyltus was on the point of replying, but Trimalchio, charmed by his friend's eloquence, broke in first: "Come on now. That's enough. No more hard feelings. I want everyone feeling good. As for you, Herrneros, don't be too hard on the boy. He's a little hotheaded, so show him you're made of better stuff. It's the man who gives ground in arguments like this who wins every time. Besides, when you were just a little bantam strutting around the yard, you were all cockadoodledoo and no damn sense. So let bygones be bygones. Come on, everybody, smiled The rhapsodes are going to perform for us now." Immediately a troupe of rhapsodes burst into the room, all banging away on their shields with spears. Trimalchio hoisted himself up on his pillows and while the rhapsodes were gushing out their Greek poetry with the usual bombast, he sat there reading aloud in Latin. At the end there was a brief silence; then Trimalchio asked us if we knew the scene from Homer the rhapsodes had just recited. "Well," he said, "I'll tell you. You see, there were these two brothers, Ganymede and Diomedes. Now they had this sister called Helen, see. Well, Agamemnon eloped with her and Diana left a deer as a fill-in for Helen. Now this poet called Homer describes the battle between the Trojans and the people of a place called Paros, which is where Paris came from. Well, as you'd aspect, Agamemnon won and gave his daughter Iphigeneia to Achilles in marriage. And that's why Ajax went mad, but here he comes in person to explain the plot himself." At this the rhapsodes burst into cheers, the slaves went scurrying about and promptly appeared with a barbecued calf, with a cap on its head, reposing on a huge platter-it must have weighed two hundred pounds at the very least. Behind it came Trimalchio's so-called Ajax. He pulled out his sword and began slashing away at the calf, sawing up and down, first with the edge and then with the flat of his blade. Then with the point of the sword he neatly skewered the slices of veal he had cut and handed them around to the astounded guests. Our applause for this elaborate tour de force, however, was abruptly cut short. For all at once the coffered ceiling began to rumble and the whole room started to shake. I jumped up in terror, expecting that some acrobat was about to come swinging down through the roof. The other guests, equally frightened, lay there staring at the roof as though they were waiting for a herald from heaven. Suddenly the paneling slid apart and down through the fissure in the ceiling an immense circular hoop, probably knocked off some gigantic cask, began slowly to descend. Dangling from the hoop were chaplets of gold and little jars of perfume, all, we were informed, presents for us to take home. I filled my pockets and then, when I looked back at the table, saw a tray garnished with little cakes; in the center stood a pastry statuette of Priapus with the usual phallus propping up an apron loaded with fruits and grapes of every vanety. You can imagine how greedily we all grabbed, but then a fresh surprise sent us off again into fresh laughter. For at the slightest touch the cakes and fruit all squirted out jets of liquid saffron, splattering our faces with the smelly stuff. Naturally enough, the use of the sacred saffron made us conclude that this course must be part of some religious rite, so we all leaped to our feet and shouted in chorus, LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR, FATHER OF OUR COUNTRY! Even this act of homage, however, failed to prevent some of the guests from pilfering the fruit and stuffine their napkins full. And I, of course, was among the chief offenders, thinking nothing in this world too good to fill the pockets of my Giton. Meanwhile three slaves dressed in snowy tunics had made their entrance. Two of them set out Trimalchio's household gods, small statues with the usual gold medallion of the owner on the chest. The third boy brought around a bowl of wine and solemnly intoned a prayer to the gods for blessings on the house and guests. The names of his household gods, Trimalchio told us, were Fat Profit, Good Luck, and Large Income. And because we saw all the other guests piously kissing Trimalchio's medallion, we felt embarrassed not to do likewise. We then offered our congratulations to our host and wished him the best of health and soundness of mind. Trimalchio now turned to his old friend Niceros. "You used to be better company, my friend," he said, "but now you're solemn and glum, and I don't know why. But if you'd like to make your host happy, why not tell us the story of your famous adventure?' Niceros was delighted to have been singled out. "So help me," he said, but may I never earn a thing, if I'm not ready to burst at your kind words. Well, here goes. Happiness here we come! Though I confess I'm a bit nervous our learned professors are going to laugh me down. Still, so what? I'll tell you my story and let them snicker. Better to tell a joke than be one, I say." With these "winged words" our storyteller began. "When I was still a slave, we used to live in a narrow little street about where Gavilla's house stands now. There the gods decreed that I should fall in love with the wife of the tavernkeeper Terentius. You remember Melissa, don't you? Came from Tarentum and a buxom little package, if ever I saw one. But, you know, I loved her more for her moral character than her body. Whatever I wanted, she gladly supplied, and we always went halves. I gave her everything I had, and she'd stow it all safely away. What's more, she never cheated. "Well, one day, down at the villa, her husband died. Needless to say, I moved heaven and earth to get to her, for a friend in need is a friend indeed. By a stroke of real luck my master had gone off to Capua to do some odds and ends of business. So I grabbed my chance and persuaded one of our guests to go with me as far as the fifth milestone. He was a soldier and strong as the devil. Well, we stumbled off at cockcrow with the moon shining down as though it were high noon. But where the road leads down between the graves, my man went off among the tombstones to do his business, while I sat by the road mumbling a song to keep my courage up and counting the graves. After a while I started looking around for him and suddenly I caught sight of him standing stark naked with all his clothes piled up on the side of the road. Well, you can imagine: l stood frozen, stiff as a corpse, my heart in my mouth. The next thing I knew he was pissing around his clothes and then, presto! he changed into a wolf. Don't think I'm making this up. I wouldn't kid you for anything. But like I was saying, he turned into a wolf, then started to howl and loped off for the woods. At first I couldn't remember where I was. Then I went to get his clothes and discovered they'd been changed into stones. By now, let me tell you, I was scared. But I pulled out my sword and slashed away at the shadows all the way to my girlfriend's house. I arrived as white as a ghost, almost at the last gasp, with the sweat pouring down my crotch and my eyes bugging out like a corpse. I don't know how I ever recovered. Melissa, of course, was surprised to see me at such an hour and said, 'If you'd only come a little earlier, you could have lent us a hand. A wolf got into the grounds and attacked the sheep. The place looked like a butchershop, blood all over. He got away in the end, but we had the last laugh. One of the slaves nicked him in the throat with a spear.' "That finished me. I couldn't sleep a wink the rest of the night and as soon as it was light, I went tearing back home like a landlord chasing the tenants. When I reached the spot where my friend's clothing had been turned into stones there was nothing to be seen but blood. But when I got home, I found the soldier stretched out in bed like a poleaxed bull and the doctor inspecting his neck. By now, of course, I knew he was a werewolf and you couldn't have made me eat a meal with him to save my own life. You're welcome to think what you like of my story, but may the gods strike me dead if I'm feeding you a lie." Far from douing him, we were all dumb with astonishment. "I, for one," said Trimalchio, "wouldn't dream of doubting you. In fact, if you'll believe me, I had goosebumps all over. I know old Niceros and he's no liar. Nope, he's truth itself and never exaggerates. But now I'm going to tell you a horrible story of my own, as weird as an ass on the roof. "When I was just a little slave with fancy curls- I've lived in the lap of luxury from my boyhood on, as coddled as they come-my master's pet slave happened to die one day. He was a jewel all right, a little Dearl of perfection, clever as hell and good as good. Well, while his mother was tearing out her hair and the rest of us were helping out with the funeral, suddenly the witches started to howl. They sounded like a whole pack of hounds on the scent of a hare. Now at that time we had a slave from Cappadocia, a giant of a man, scared of nothing and strong as iron. That boy could have picked up a mad bull with one hand. Well, this fellow whips out his sword and rushes outside with his left arm wrapped in his cloak for a shield. The next thing we knew he had stabbed one of those wild women right through the guts- just about here, heaven preserve the spot! Then we heard groans and when we hooked out, so help me, there wasn't a witch to be seen. Well, our big bruiser came stumbling in and collapsed on a bed. He was covered from head to toe with black and blue spots as though he'd been flogged though we knew it was that evil hand that had touched him. We shut the door and went back to work. But when his mother went to give him a hug, she found there was nothing there but a bundle of straw. No heart, no guts, no anything. As I see it, the witches had made off with the body and left a straw dummy in its place. But it just goes to show you: there are witches and the ghouls go walking at night, turning the whole world upside downs. As for our big meathead, after the witches brought him back, he was never the same again, and died raving mad a few days later." We were, of course, dumfounded, and no less credulous than amazed. So we kissed the table and implored the spirits who walk by night to keep to themselves and leave us in peace when we went home from dinner that night. I must admit that by this time I was beginning to see the lamps burning double and the whole room seemed to be whirling around. But Trimalchio was in splendid form and turned to another of his guests. "Come on, Plocamus," he joshed him, "won't you entertain us with a story? You used to be better company, you know. Remember those bits from the plays you used to recite and the songs you sang? Oh well, I suppose we're all getting along now and we're not what we used to be. So it goes, so it goes." "My rcing days ended," declared Plocamus, "the day I got the gout. But when I was younger, I almost got T.B. from singing so much. Remember? The dancing and the recitations and the good old times we had at the barbershop? Why, except for Apelles, I doubt the world has ever seen my equal." With that, he clapped his hand over his mouth and mumbled some hideous doggerel which he later boasted was Greek. Not to be outdone, Trimalchio promptly launched into an imitation of a bugler. That over, he turned his attention to his pet slave, that cruddy-eyed little boy with hideously stained teeth whom he called Croesus. At the moment Croesus was busily engaged in wrapping up a disgustingly fat lapdog with a Ereen shawl and at the same time trying to force half a loaf of bread down the poor dog's throat, though the dog was on the point of throwing up. This little tableau gave Trimalchio the brilliant idea of having Bowser, "the guardian of my hearth and home," as he expressed it, brought in. Immediately an immense mastiff on a leash was leil into the room and ordered by a kick from the porter to lie down beside the table. Tnmalchio tossed him several chunks of white bread. "Nobody in this whole house," he declared, "loves me as much as that mutt." Croesus, instantly jealous of this handsome praise of Bowser, dropped his lapdog to the floor and sicked him on to yap at the big dog. Dowser naturally responded by filling the room with ear-splitting barks and nearly tore Croesus' dog to pieces. The uproar continued until someone knocked the chandelier onto the table, smashing all the crystal goblets and splattering several of the guests with burning oil. Wishing to appear unruffled by the damage, Trimalchio kissed Croesus and told him to clamber up on his shoulders. This the boy promptly did, riding his master piggyback, beating him with the palms of his hands, and shrieking, "Horsey, horsed guess how many fingers I'm holding upl" For a while the utter confusion and uproar silenced even Trimalchio. But at the first opportunity he ordered a great vat of wine to be mixed and divided among the slaves who were standing about ready to serve us. "If anyone refuses," he barked, "dump it on his head. The day's for work, the evening's for pleasure." Following this extravagant display of kindness came a course the very memory of which, if you will believe me, I still find sickening. For instead of the usual small bird or thrush, each one of us was served a plump chicken and several goose eggs sporting little pasty caps. Trimalchio insisted that we sample the eggs, saying that they were nothing but geese minus the bones. Meanwhile someone was hammering at the door and before long a carouser dressed in a splendid white robe and accompanied by a throng of slaves made his entrance. His face was dignified and stern, so stern in fact that I took him for the oraetor, slammed my bare feet onto the cold floor and mady ready to run for it. But Agamemnon laughed at my fright and said, "Relax, you idiot, it's only Hatinnas. He's an oflficial of the impenal cult and a mason by trade. They say he makes first-rate tombstones." Somewhat reassured, I sat down again but continued to observe Habinnas' entrance with mounting amazement He was already half-drunk and was propping himself up by holding on to his wife's shoulders with both hands. He was literally draped in garlands of flowers and a stream of perfumed oil was running down his forehead and into his eyes. When he reached the place reserved for the praetor, he sat down and called for wine and warm water. Trimalchio was delighted to see his friend in such spirits and called for bigger glasses before asking him how he had eaten. "Only one thing was missing," Habinnas smiled, "and that was you. My heart was really here the whole time. But, by god, Scissa did it up brown. She put on one fine spread for that poor slave's funeral, I'll say that for her. What's more, she set him free after his death. And what with the 5 per cent tax, I'll bet that gesture cost her a pretty penny. The slave himself was valued at about two thousand. Still, it was very nice, though it cut across my grain to have to pour out half my drinks as an offering to the poor boy's bones." 0'But what did they give you to eat?" Trimalchio pressed him "If I can remember, I'll tell you," said Habinnas. "But my memory's so bad these days, I sometimes can't even remember my own name. Let's see, first off we had some roast pork garnished with loops of sausage and flanked with more sausages and some giblets done to a turn. And there were pickled beets and some wholewheat bread made without bleach. I prefer it to white, you know. It's better for you and less constipating too. Then came a course of cold tart with a mixture of some wonderful Spanish wine and hot honey. I took a fat helping of the tart and scooped up the honey generously. Then there were chickpeas and lupins, no end of filberts, and an apple apiece. I took two apples and I've got one wrapped up in my napkin here. If I forgot to bring a little present to my pet slave, I'd be in hot water. And oh yes, my wife reminds me: the main course was a roast of bearmeat. Scintilla was silly enough to try some and almost chucked up her supper. But it reminds me of roast boar, so I put down about a pound of it. Besides, I'd like to know, if bears eat men, why shouldn't men eat bears? To wind up, we had some soft cheese steeped in fresh wine, a snail apiece, some tripe hash, liver in pastry boats and eggs topped with more pastry and turnips and mustard and beans bolted in the pod and-but enough's enough. Oh yes, and they passed around a dish of olives pickled in caraway, and some of the guests had the nerve to walk off with three fistfuls. But we sent the ham back untasted. See here, Gaius, why isn't Fortunata eating?" "You know how she is," said Trimalchio. "Until she's put the silver away and divided the leftovers among the servants, she won't touch even a drop of water." "Well, if she doesn't come and eat right now," said Habinnas, "I'm leaving." With that he started to rise and probably would have left if Trimalchio had not signaled and the whole corps of slaves shouted four or five times in chorus: "FORTUNATA!" She promptly appeared, her dress bound up so high by a pale green sash that beneath her cherry-colored tunic I could glimpse her massive ankle-rings of twisted gold and a pair of golden slippers. She wiped her fingers on the handkerchief she wore around her neck and sat down on the couch beside Habinnas' wife, Scintilla. Scintilla clapped her hands, Fortunata kissed her and burst out, "Why, darling, it's been just ages since I've seen youl" In this way the two women chattered on for some time. The next thing I knew Fortunata was undoing the bracelets on her grotesquely fat arms and showing them off for Scintilla to admire. Then she undid her anklets and finally her hair net, which she kept insisting was woven of pure gold. Trimalchio, who was observing this byplay with interest, ordered all her jewelry brought to him. "Gentlemen," he said, "I want you to see the chains and fetters our women load themselves with; this is how we poor bastards are bankrupted. By god, she must be wearing six and a half pounds of solid gold. Still, I must admit I've got a bracelet that weighs a good ten pounds on its own. That was the value of two or three thousandths of my profits for the year, the same amount I give to Mercury as the patron-god of business." To prove his boast, he ordered a pair of scales brought in and the weights passed around for us to test. For her part, Scintilla was not to be outdone and took off the large locket which she wore around her neck and called her "lucks piece." Out of it she drew a pair of golden earrings and handed them over for Fortunata's inspection. "They're a present from my husband," she said. "Thanks to his generosity, no woman on earth has a finer pair." "Generosity, my ass," snorted Habinnas. "You'd pester the life out of me to get a couple of glass beans. If I had a daughter, so help me, I'd have her ears chopped off. If it weren't for the women, things would be as cheap as dirt. But money-they waste it like water. Swallow it cold and good and piss it hot and useless." By this time both the women were high and sat there giggling and exchanging little hugs and kisses, Fortunata boasting about her abilities as a housekeeper and Scintilla complaining of her husband's favorites and his indifference to her. At one point during this tender scene Habinnas rose stealthily to his feet, tiptoed over behind their couch and, grabbing Fortunata by the knees, toppled her over backwards onto the couch. As she fell her tunic slipped up above her knees. Fortunata gave a piercing shriek, threw herself into Scintilla's arms and tried to hide her blushes in her handkerchief. Once the confusion had died down, Trimalchio ordered the dessert brought on. The servant immediately removed not merely the dirty dishes but the tables themselves and replaced them with fresh ones. The floor was sprinkled with saffron sawdust and powdered mica, something I had never seen used for this purpose before. "Behold your dessert, gentlemen, these fresh tables," said Trimalchio. I've made a clean sweep of everything, and that's all you get. That's what you deserve; that's your dessert. Haw, haw. But if there's still anything in the kitchen worth eating, boys, bring it on." Meanwhile an Alexandrian slave was passing us hot water for our wine and at the same time doing an imitation of a nightingale, but Trimalchio kept muttering, "Change that stinking tune." Then the slave seated at Habinnas feet and clearly acting on his master's orders started to chant a passage from Vergil, the one beginning:

Meanwhile Aeneas' fleet still rode the heavy swell...

Altogether it was the most atrocious sound that ever fell on my ears. Not only was his pronunciation barbarous, a kind of sing-song rising and fading of the pitch, but he also jumbled in verses from some obscene farce, so that for the first time in my life Vergil actually jarred on me. At the end, however, Habinnas clapped enthusiastically and said: "You wouldn't believe it, but he's never had any formal training. I sent him off to learn from the hawkers at the fairs, and he can't be beat at imitating muledrivers and barkers. And he's real smart, does everything: makes shoes, cooks, bakes... In fact, he'd be perfect if he didn't have two bad points: he's been circumcised and he snores. He's cross-eyed too, but I don't mind that. Venus has a bit of a squint, they say. And I bought him for next to nothing..." "You haven't mentioned all the little bugger's tricks," broke in Scintilla angrily. "He's a little pimp and a fairy, that's what he is, and someday I'll see he's branded for it." Trimalchio guffawed at this. "Come on, Scintilla, don't be jealous. We know what the score is with you too. And why not, I'd like to know. Cross my heart and hope to die, if I didn't have a few tussles in the sheets with my old master's wife too. In fact, the old man got suspicious, so much so that he shipped me off to a farm in the country. But stop wagging, tongue, and I'll give you some bread to munch." At this point that damned slave of Habinnas, obviously under the impression that we had been praising him, Dulled a clay lamp with a spout out of his tunic and for a Pull half hour sat there mimicking a bugler while Habinnas hummed and fiddled his lower lip up and down in a kind of jew's harp accompaniment. Then, to crown all this, the stave stepped out before us all and first parodied with two straws the flutists at the plays and next, waving a whip and twisting himself in his cloak, did an imitation of a muledriver. Habinnas called him over finally, gave him a kiss and a glass of wine and said, "Nice work, Massa. I'll see that you get a pair of shoes for this." This deadly entertainment would never have ended if the servants had not brought on another course, consisting of pastry thrushes with raisin and nut stuffing, followed by qunces with thorns stuck in them to resemble sea urchins. We could have put up with these dishes, if the last and most sickening course of all had not killed our appetites completely. When it was first brought in, we took it for a fat goose surrounded by fish and little birds of all kinds. But Trimalchio declared, "My friends, everything you see on that Platter has been made from one and the same substance." I, of course, not the man to be deceived by appearances, had to turn and whisper to Agamemnon, ''I'd be very surprised if everything there hadn't been made out of plain mud or clay. At the Carnival in Rome, I've seen whole meals made from stuff like that." I was still whispering when Trimalchio said, "As surely as I hope to get richer-but not fatter, please god- my cook baked all that junk out of roast pork. In fact, I doubt if there's a more valuable chef in the whole world. Just say the word, and he'll whip you up a fish out of sowbelly, pigeons out of bacon, doves from ham and chicken from pigs' knuckles. That's why I've named him Daedalus, and it suits him to a T. And because he's an inventor and a genius, I've brought him back some fine cutlery from Rome." He then ordered the knives brought in and passed around for us to admire and inspect. He also gave us permission to test the blades on the stubble of our cheeks. Suddenly two slaves came rushing in looking as though they'd had an argument while drawing water at the well at least they were carrying large jars on their backs and were obviously furious with each other. Trimalchio offered to act as arbiter of their argument but they refused to abide by his decision and began to pummel each other with their sticks. We were appalled by this drunken insolence but nonetheless kept our eyes glued to the fight. Suddenly we noticed that oysters and mussels were sloshing over from the jugs and a slave caught them as they fell and handed them around in a dish. Unwilling to be outstripped in extravagance, the clever chef matched the oysters by bringing around hot buttered snails on a silver grill and singing all the time in a hideously dismal, quavering voice. What happened next was an extravagance so fantastic that I am almost embarrassed to mention it. However, young slaves with long flowing curls came around to each of us in turn, wreathed our legs and ankles with garlands of flowers and anointed our feet with perfume from a silver bowl. Then a generous amount of this same perfume was poured into the oil lamps and even into the wine bowl. By now Fortunata was almost desperate to dance and Scintilla was clapping her hands even more frequently than she opened her mouth. Suddenly Trimalchio had an idea. "You there, Philargyrus," he called out to a slave, "I know you're a fan of the Greens in the races, but come and sit with us anyway. You too, Cario, and tell your wife to do the same." Well, you can imagine what happened. The dining room was by now so packed with slaves that in the rush for seats the guests were almost shoved bodily from the couches. For my part, I had to endure seeing the cook-the one who had made the goose out of pork and who reeked of pickles and hot sauce-installed just above me on the couch. Worst of all, not content with a place at the table, he had to do an imitation of the tragic actor Ephesus and then had the brass to bet his master that the Greens would win the next race in the Circus. But Trimalchio was charmed by the challenge. "My friends," he brayed, "slaves are human too. They drink the same mother's milk that we do, though an evil fate grinds them down. But I swear that it won t be long -if nothing happens to me-before they all taste the good water of freedom. For I plan to free them all in my will. To Philargyrus here I leave a farm and his woman. Cario inherits a block of flats and the tax on his freedom and his bed and bedding. To my dear Fortunata I leave everything I have, and I commend her to the kindness of my friends. But I'm telling you the contents of my will so my whole household will Love me as much when I'm still alive as after I'm dead." Once the slaves heard this, of course, they burst out with cheers and eflusive thanks. But Trimalchio suddenly began to take the whole farce quite seriously and ordered his will brought out and read aloud from beginning to end while the slaves sat there groaning and moaning. At the close of the reading, he turned to Habinnas. "Well, old friend, will you make me my tomb exactly as I order it? First, of course, I want a statue of myself. But carve my dog at my feet, and give me garlands of flowers, jars of perfume and every fight in Petraites' career. Then, thanks to your good offices, I'll live on long after I'm gone. In front, I want my tomb one hundred feet long, but two hundred feet deep. Around it I want an orchard with every known variety of fruit tree. You'd better throw in a vineyard too. For it's wrong, I think, that a man should concern himself with the house where he lives his life but give no thought to the home he'll have forever. But above all I want you to carve this notice:

THIS MONUMENT DOES NOT PASS INTO THE POSSESSION OF MY HEIRS.

In any case I'll see to it in my will that my grave is protected from damage after my death. I'll appoint one of my ex-slaves to act as custodian to chase off the people who might come and crap on my tomb. Also, I want you to carve me several ships with all sail crowded and a picture of myself sitting on the judge's bench in official dress with five gold rings on my fingers and handing out a sack of coins to the people. For it's a fact, and you're my witness, that I gave a free meal to the whole town and a cash handout to everyone. Also make me a dining room, a frieze maybe, but however you like, and show the whole town celebrating at my expense. On my right I want a statue of Fortunata with a dove in her hand. And oh yes, be sure to have her pet dog tied to her girdle. And don't forget my pet slave. Also I'd like huge jars of wine, well stoppered so the wine won't slosh out. Then sculpt me a broken vase with a little boy sobbing out his heart over it. And in the middle stick a sundial so that anyone who wants the time of day will have to read my name. And how will this do for the epitaph?

HERE LIES GAIUS POMPEIUS TRIMALCHIO MAECENATIANUS, VOTED IN ABSENTIA AN OFFICIAL OF THE IMPERIAL CULT. HE COULD HAVE BEEN REGISTERED IN ANY CATEGORY OF THE CIVIL SERVICE AT ROME BUT CHOSE OTHERWISE PIOUS AND COURAGEOUS, A LOYAL FRIEND, HE DIED A MILLONAIRE, THOUGH HE STARTED LIFE WITH NOTHING LET IT ME SAID TO HIS ETERNAL CREDIT THAT HE NEVER LISTENTD TO PHILOSOPHERS. PEACE TO HIM. FAREWELL.

At the end he burst into tears. Then Fortunata started wailing, Habinnas began to cry, and every slave in the room burst out sobbing as though Trimalchio were dying then and there. The whole room throbbed and pulsed to the sound of mouring. I was almost in tears myself, when Trimalchio suddenly cried, "We all have to die, so let's live while we're walting! Come on, everybody, smile, be happy. We'll all go down to the bath for a dip. The water's hot as an oven." "Hurrah!" shouted Habinnas. "We'll make one day do the work of twol" With that he leaped up in his bare feet and ran after Trimalchio who was clapping his hands with approval and excitement. I turned to Ascyltus. "Well, what do you think? As for me, the mere sight of a bath would finish me off." "Pretend to go along," he whispered back, "and when they head for the baths, we'll make off in the confusion." Agreed on our strategy, we followed Giton's lead through the portico to the main entrance. There, however, we were given a deafening welcome by the chained watchdog, and his furious barking and growlmg so terrified Aseyltus that he tumbled backwards into the fishpond. The mere painting of that same watchdog had nearly been my ruin earlier, and the real thing frightened me so horribly that, between my fear and my drunkenness, I managed to fall into the pool myself while trying to haul Ascyltus out. Fortunately for us the porter soon appeared, which somewhat calmed the dog. Finally the porter succeeded in dragging us both, wet and shivering, out of the pool to terra firma. Meanwhile Giton had prudently made friends with the dog by tossing him all the tidbits we'd carefully saved from supper, and bribed by these offerings, the dog had finally stopped barking. Utterly soaking and shaking all over, we asked the porter to open the gate and let us out. "You're badly mistaken, gentlemen,' he replied, "if you think you can leave by the same way you came. No guest in this house ever goes out by the same door again. There's one way in and another way out." So what were we poor devils to do now, trapped in this strange labyrinth of a placed As it was, we would have given anything in the world to be standing in a hot bath. At last, however, we succeeded in persuading the porter to lead us to the baths. There we stripped off our soaking clothes and went in, leaving Giton at the entrance so he could dry our clothes over the bath furnace. The bath itself was narrow and shaped like a coldwater cistern, and we found Trimalchio standing in the middle of the pool. But even here there was no escape from his revolting bragging. As for himself, he was saying, he preferred to bathe in private, away from the crowd. In this very spot, moreover, there once used to be a bakery which he had bought out, etc., etc. Finally when simple exhaustion forced him to sit down, he became fascinated by the weird acoustics of the vaulted room and began in a drunken bass to murder some of Menecrates' songs. At least I was told by those who pretended to understand his gibberish that they belonged to Menecrates' repertoire. Meanwhile some of the other guests were cavorting around the edge of the pool and screeching out popular songs. Others, holding their hands behind their backs, were trying to pick up rings from the floor with their teeth, and still others, kneeling down on the ground, were attempting to arch themselves backward until they touched their toes. Leaving the drunkards to their games, we went on ahead and sampled the hot bath which had been drawn for Trimalchio. In no time at all the water had cleared the wine fumes from our heads, and we were taken into a second dining room where Fortunata had laid out some of her prize possessions. There was a number of curious lamps, but I particularly remember several figurines of fishermen in bronze and some tables of solid silver covered with gilded goblets into which fresh wine was being strained before our eyes. "My friends," said Trimalchio, apropos of nothing, ' my pet slave is having his first shave today. He's a good boy and a model of thrift. So let's celebrate. We'll drink until dawn!" Pat to these last words, a cock ominously crowed somewhere. Alarmed by the coincidence, Trimalchio superstitiously ordered the servants to Pour some wine under the table and even to sprinkle the tamps with wine. Then he slipped his ring from his left hand to his right and said, "Buglers don't bugle for kicks, and that cockcrow means there's a fire nearby or somebody's died. Don't let it be bad luck for us, please heaven. Whoever fetches me that calamity-crowing rooster first, gets a fat reward." In half a minute, somebody had bought in the rooster from somewhere, and Trimalchio promptly ordered it cooked. The chef, Daedalus, that culinary genius who had whisked up birds and fish from the leg of pork, beheaded the bird and tossed it into a pot. And while the cook drew off the boiling broth, Fortunata ground up the pepper in a little wooden mill We were sampling this unexpected snack, when Trimalchio suddenly remembered that the servants had not yet eaten. "What?" he roared, "you haven't eaten yet? Then off with you. Go eat and send in another shift to take your places." So a fresh shift of slaves soon appeared at the door, all shouting, "Greetings, Gaiusl" while the first shift went out with a cry of "Goodbye, Gaius!" At this moment an incident occurred on which our little party almost foundered. Among the incoming slaves there was a remarkably pretty boy. Trimalchio literally launched himself upon him and, to Fortunata's extreme annoyance, began to cover him with rather Drolonged kisses. Finally, Fortunata asserted her rights and began to abuse him. "You turdl" she shrieked, "you hunk of filth." At last she used the supreme insult: "Dog!" At this Trimalchio exploded with rage, reached for a wine cup and slammed it into her face. Fortunata let out a piercing scream and covered her face with trembling hands as though she'd just lost an eye. Scintilla, stunned and shocked, tried to comfort ha sobbing friend in her arms, while a slave solicitously applied a glass of cold water to her livid cheek. Fortunata herself hunched over the glass heaving and sobbing. But Trimalchio was still shaking with fury. "Doesn't that slut remember what she used to be? By god, I took her off the sale Platform and made her an honest woman. But she blows fierself up like a bullfrog. She's forgotten how lucky she is. She won't remember the whore she used to be. People in shacks shouldn't dream of palaces, I say. By god, if I don't tame that strutting Cassandra, my name isn't Trimalchiol And to think, sap that I was, that I could have married an heiress worth half a million. And that's no lie. Old Agatho, who sells perfume to the lady next door, slipped me the word: 'Don't let your line die out, old boy,' he said. But not me. Oh no, I was a good little boy, nothing fickle about me. And now I've gone and slammed the axe into my shins good and proper.- But someday, slut, you'll come scratching at my grave to get me back And just so you understand what you've done, I'll remove your statue from my tomb. That's an order, Habinnas. No sir, I don't want any more domestic squabbles in my grave. And what's more, just to show her I can dish it out too, I won't have her kissing me on my deathbed." After this last thunderbolt, Habinnas begged him to calm himself and forgive her. "None of us is perfect," he said, "we're men, not gods." Scintilla burst into tears, called him her dear dear Gaius and implored him by everything holy to forgive Fortunata. Finally, even Trimalchio began to blubber. "Habinnas," he whined, "as you hope to make a fortune, tell me the truth; if I've done anything wrong, spit right in my face. So I admit I kissed the boy, not because of his looks, but because he's a good boy, a thrifty boy, a boy of real character. He can divide up to ten, he reads at sight, he's saved his freedom price from his daily allowance and bought himself an armchair and two ladles out of his own pocket. Now doesn't a boy like that deserve his master's affection? But Fortunata says no.-Is that your idea, you high-stepping bitch? Take my advice, vulture, and keep your own nose clean. Don't make me show my teeth, sweetheart, or you'll feel my anger. You know me. Once I make up my mind, I'm as stubborn as a spike in wood. "But the hell with her. Friends, make yourselves comfortable. Once I used to be like you, but I rose to the top by my ability. Guts are what make the man; the rest is garbage. I buy well, I sell well. Others have different notions. But I'm like to bust with good luck.-You slut, are you still blubbering? By god, I'll give you something to blubber about. "But like I was saying, friends, it's through my business sense that I shot up. Why, when I came here from Asia, I stood no taller than that candlestick there. In fact, I used to measure myself by it every day; what's more, I used to rub my mouth with lamp oil to make my beard sprout faster. Didn't do a bit of good, though. For fourteen years I was my master's pet. But what's the shame in doing what you're told to do? But all the same, if you know what I mean, I managed to do my mistress a favor or two. But mum's the word: I'm none of your ordinary blowhards "Well, then heaven gave me a push and I became master in the house. I was my master's brains. So he made me joint heir with the emperor to everything he had, and I came out of it with a senator's fortune. But we never have enough, and I wanted to try my hand at business. To cut it short, I had five ships built. Then I stocked them with wine-worth its weight in gold at the time-and shipped them off to Rome. I might as well have told them to no sink themselves since that's what they did. Yup, all five of them wrecked. No kidding. In one day old Neptune swallowed down a cool million. Was I licked? Hell, no. That loss just whetted my appetite as though nothing had happened at all. So I built some more ships, bigger and better and a damn sight luckier. No one could say I didn't have guts. But big ships make a man feel big himself. I shipped a cargo of wine, bacon, beans, perfume and slaves. And then Fortunata came through nicely in the nick of time: sold her gold and the clothes off her back and put a hundred gold coins in the palm of my hand. That was the yeast of my wealth. Besides, when the gods want something done, it gets done in a jiffy. On that one voyage alone, I cleared about five hundred thousand. Right away I bought up all my old master's property. I built a house, l went into slave-trading and cattle-buying. Everything I touched just grew and grew like a honeycomb. Once I was worth more than all the people in my home town put together, I picked up my winnings and pulled out. I retired from trade and started lending money to ex-slaves. To tell the truth, I was tempted to quit for keeps, but on the advice of an astrologer who'd just come to town, I decided to keep my hand in. He was a Greek, fellow by the name of Serapa, and clever enough to set up as consultant to the gods. Well, he told me things I'd clean forgotten and Laid it right on the line from A to Z. Why, that man could have peeked into my tummy and told me everything except what I'd eaten the day before. You'd have thought he'd lived with me all his life. "Remember what he said, Habinnas? You were there, I think, when he told my fortune. 'You have bought yourself a mistress and a tyrant,' he said, 'out of your own profits. You are unlucky in your friends. No one is as grateful to you as he should be. You own vast estates. You nourish a viper in your bosom.' There's no reason why I shouldn't tell you, but according to him, I have thirty years, four months, and two days left to live. And soon, he said, I am going to receive an inheritance. Now if I could just add Apulia to the lands I own, I could die content "Meanwhile, with Mercury's help, I built this house. As you know, it used to be a shack; now it's a shrine. It has four dining rooms, twenty bedrooms, two marble porticoes, an upstairs dining room, the master bedroom where I sleep, the nest of that viper there, a fine porter's lodge, and guestrooms enough for all my guests. In fact, when Scaurus came down here from Rome, he wouldn't put up anywhere else, though his father has lots of friends down on the shore who would have been glad to have him. And there are lots of other things I'll show you in a bit. But take my word for it: money makes the man. No money and you're nobody. But big money, big man. That's how it was with yours truly: from mouse to millionaire. "In the meantime, Stichus," he called to a slave, "go and fetch out the clothes I'm going to be buried in. And while you're at it, bring along some perfume and a sample of that wine I'm having poured on my bones." Stichus hurried off and promptly returned with a white grave-garment and a very splendid robe with a broad purple stripe. Trimalchio told us to inspect them and see if we approved of the material. Then he added with a smile, "See to it, Stichus, that no mice or moths get into them, or I'll have you burned alive. Yes sir, I'm going to be buried in such splendor that everybody in town will go out and pray for me." He then unstoppered a jar of fabulously expensive spikenard and had us all anointed with it. "I hope," he chuckled, "I like this perfume as much after I'm dead as I do now.' Finally he ordered the slaves to pour the wine into the bowl and said, "Imagine that you're all present at my funeral feast." The whole business had by now become absolutely revolting. Trimalchio was obviously completely drunk, but suddenly he had a hankering for funeral music too and ordered a brass band sent into the dining room. Then he Dropped himself on piles of cushions and stretched out full length along the couch. "Pretend I'm dead," he said, "say something nice about me." The band blared a dead march, but one of the slaves belonging to Habinnas-who was, incidentally, one of the most respectable people present -blew so loudly that he woke up the entire neighborhood. Immediately the firemen assigned to that quarter of town, thinking that Trimalchio's house was on fire, smashed down the door and rushed in with buckets and axes to do their job. Utter confusion followed, of course, and we took advantage of the heaven-sent opportunity, gave Agamemnon the slip, and rushed out of there as though the place were really in flames.

VI
GITON, ASCYLTUS, AND I AGAIN

We had no torch to light us on our way as we wandered, and the lateness of the hour-it was now the dead of night-precluded all hope of meeting someone with a light. Worse still, we were drunk and so unfamiliar with the area that even in broad daylight we would have lost our way. So for nearly an hour we stumbled about, drawing our bleeding feet over the shards and splinters of broken crockery scattered along the streets, and it was only Giton's remarkable act of foresight which saved us in the end. Terrified of getting lost even in daylight, the boy had shrewdly blazed every column and pilaster along our route with chalk, and now, even through the pitch blackness, the blazings shone brightly enough to keep us on our path. At last we reached the inn, only to find that our ordeal was not yet over. For the old landlady had spent the night getting drunk with her boarders and I doubt she would have stirred even if you set the bed on fire. Indeed, we would have been doomed to spending the night on the doorstep if one of Trimalchio's agents had not happened to come by with a convoy of ten wagons. For a short time he pounded and hammered at the door; then, getting no answer, he smashed it down and we entered through the breach.

O gods in heaven, what a night we kept, how soft the bed! Together warmed, we slept so twined in love, so crossed upon a kiss, it seemed his soul was mine and mine was his. Goodbye, I thought, to every grief of man. Farewell, all carel -That night my doom began.

Alas, I boasted of my happiness too soon. For the instant my drunken hands relaxed their grip on Giton, Ascyltus, that wizard of my destruction, ravished the boy away in the darkness to his own bed and took his pleasure of another man's love. Whether Giton felt nothing at all, or merely pretended not to notice, I do not know; but all night long, oblivious of every moral law, eveny human right, he lay with Ascyltus in adulterous embrace. Waking, I went groping with my hand for the boy's body in the bed and found, O gods, my treasure stolen! For one instant-if the word of a lover can be believed-I was tempted to run myself through with my sword and join, as the poets say, that sleep I slept to the endless sleep of death.

But in the end prudence prevailed. I slapped Giton awake, and fixing Ascyltus with a look of terrible fury, I cried, Since, in your perversity, you have broken your promise and trampled upon our friendship, pack your belongings and leave. Go stain some other bed with vour adulteries." He made no objection, and we divided our spoils with painstaking fairness. Then he said: "Very well. Now we split the boy." I took this as merely some feeble parting joke, but the next thing I knew he had wrenched out his sword with fratricidal fury. "No longer, miser," he cried, "shall you hunch over your treasure in lonely lust. Either give me my share, or I'll cut off my piece with my sword in revenge. I pulled out my sword, threw my cloak about my arm and prepared to give battle. Leaping between us as we raved, poor Giton took us by the knees in turn, and with the tears streaming down has face implored us not to let that humble tavern witness a new Thebaid, nor to soil with each other's blood the sanctity of a glorious friendship. "If you must have murder," he cried, "behold, I offer you my throat, bared to your blow; plunge your swords home; kill me, for it was on my account that you broke your word as friends." Touched by this pitiful entreaty, we put our swords away. For his part, Aseyltus promptly proposed a solution to our problem. "Let the boy," he said, "follow the one he prefers. Let him have a free choice of his own lover." Convinced that a relationship as old as Giton's and mine was like a bond of blood, unbreakable, I accepted without fear. In fact, I fairly jumped at the Proposal and the decision wash referred to the judge witfiout delay. With no hesitation, without even the pretense of hesitation, the boy rose and chose-Ascyltus! Thunderstruck by this bolt from the blue, I dropped my sword and collapsed on the bed. Had I not begrudged my enemy a total triumph, I would have done away with myself then and there. Ascyltus, flushed with success, swaggered out with his winnings, leaving me, once the dearest of his friends, the companion of his every joy and sorrow, alone with my anguish and despair, in a strange land, dejected.

Friendsiup lasts while there's profit in the name The dice are fickle; fortune spins about. But oh, my smiling friends of better days, where was your love, when my luck ran out?

The comic actors strut the stage, bow and grin. The cast: old Moneybags, Father and Son. The farce ends, the smiles come off, revealing the true face below, the bestial, leering one.

My suicidal frenzy soon vanished. But fearing that Agamemnon's assistant, Menelaus, might come up and find me in my room alone and so compound my miseries, I packed my possessions and went with my grief to a lonely lodging house along the shore. There, for three days I shut myselfup alone, tasting over and over again all my wrenching loneliness and humiliation. Again and again I beat my breast; my heaving lungs were weak from sobbing and my sighs and groans rose so frequently and so deeply that I could barely give voice to my grief. Over and over again I cried aloud: "O gods, why could not the earth have swallowed me up, or this sea that rages so wildly even against the innocent! Was it for this that I fled from justice, that I deserted the ring and murdered my host? Is this the reward of all my courage and my crimes-to be abandoned, an outcast, a beggar, in a cheap inn in a Greek town? And who is the author of my Loneliness? A young man polluted with every perversion and vice; a man who by his own admission deserves to be banished; who paid for his freedom with his debauchery and his debauchery with his freedom; whose body is bought as one buys a ticket; who was treated like a woman even by those who knew him to be a man! And what of his partner in crime? A little boy who gave up his trousers for skirts; whose mother persuaded him never to be a man; who played the part of a girl in a prison for slaves; who broke his word, destroyed a friendship sanctified by time and usage to go romping in another bed, and then-O unspeakable shame! -sold his all, like a whore, for one night's work! And now the lovers lie all night tangled in each other's arms, and when their lust has run its course, perhaps they mock me, jeering at my loneliness. By god, but they shall pay me for its Either I am no free man, or they shall pay me for this crime with their own lives!" With that, I belted on my sword and sat down to a good meal as a precaution against losing my battle through simple weakness. Then I dashed down into the street and began to race like a madman up and down through the arcades and porticoes. My face was taut with fury, images of blood and slaughter kept pounding through my head, and my hand clutched convulsively at the hilt of my sword. Suddenly some soldier-though deserter or plain thief was probably what he was-caught sight of me. You there, soldier," he shouted, "what's your regiment? Who's your commanding officer?" With splendid presence of mind, I promptly supplied him with a fictitious regiment and imaginary officers. "Since when," he asked me, "do soldiers in your army do their marching in white shoes?" At this my confusion and trembling gave the show away and he ordered me to surrender my sword to him and to look sharper next time. In this way, cheated of both my sword and my revenge, I made my way back to my room. Gradually, however, my temper began to cool and in a short time I was feeling quite grateful to him for his highhandedness in taking away my sword.

Knee-deep in water, the ripe fruit dangling overhead, poor Tantalus stands, devoured by his need. So the miser too, I think, must look, licking with dry tongue, unsatisfied, the taste of greed.

There is little point in expecting much of your own projects, when Fate has projects of her own.







[I] "Num alio genere Furiarum declamatores inquietantur, qui clamant: 'Haec vulnera pro libertate publica excepi; hunc oculum pro vobis impendi: date mihi ducem, qui me ducat ad liberos meos, nam succisi poplites membra non sustinent'? Haec ipsa tolerabilia essent, si ad eloquentiam ituris viam facerent. Nunc et rerum tumore et sententiarum vanissimo strepitu hoc tantum proficiunt ut, cum in forum venerint, putent se in alium orbem terrarum delatos. Et ideo ego adulescentulos existimo in scholis stultissimos fieri, quia nihil ex his, quae in usu habemus, aut audiunt aut vident, sed piratas cum catenis in litore stantes, sed tyrannos edicta scribentes quibus imperent filiis ut patrum suorum capita praecidant, sed responsa in pestilentiam data, ut virgines tres aut plures immolentur, sed mellitos verborum globulos, et omnia dicta factaque quasi papavere et sesamo sparsa.

[II] "Qui inter haec nutriuntur, non magis sapere possunt quam bene olere qui in culina habitant. Pace vestra liceat dixisse, primi omnium eloquentiam perdidistis. Levibus enim atque inanibus sonis ludibria quaedam excitando, effecistis ut corpus orationis enervaretur et caderet. Nondum iuvenes declamationibus continebantur, cum Sophocles aut Euripides invenerunt verba quibus deberent loqui. Nondum umbraticus doctor ingenia deleverat, cum Pindarus novemque lyrici Homericis versibus canere timuerunt. Et ne poetas quidem ad testimonium citem, certe neque Platona neque Demosthenen ad hoc genus exercitationis accessisse video. Grandis et, ut ita dicam, pudica oratio non est maculosa nec turgida, sed naturali pulchritudine exsurgit. Nuper ventosa istaec et enormis loquacitas Athenas ex Asia commigravit animosque iuvenum ad magna surgentes veluti pestilenti quodam sidere adflavit, semelque corrupta regula eloquentia stetit et obmutuit. Ad summam, quis postea Thucydidis, quis Hyperidis ad famam processit? Ac ne carmen quidem sani coloris enituit, sed omnia quasi eodem cibo pasta non potuerunt usque ad senectutem canescere. Pictura quoque non alium exitum fecit, postquam Aegyptiorum audacia tam magnae artis compendiariam invenit."

[III] Non est passus Agamemnon me diutius declamare in porticu, quam ipse in schola sudaverat, sed: "Adulescens, inquit, quoniam sermonem habes non publici saporis et, quod rarissimum est, amas bonam mentem, non fraudabo te arte secreta. (Nihil) nimirum in his exercitationibus doctores peccant qui necesse habent cum insanientibus furere. Nam nisi dixerint quae adulescentuli probent, ut ait Cicero, 'soli in scolis relinquentur'. Sicut ficti adulatores cum cenas divitum captant, nihil prius meditantur quam id quod putant gratissimum auditoribus fore — nec enim aliter impetrabunt quod petunt, nisi quasdam insidias auribus fecerint — sic eloquentiae magister, nisi tanquam piscator eam imposuerit hamis escam, quam scierit appetituros esse pisciculos, sine spe praedae morabitur in scopulo.

[IV] "Quid ergo est? Parentes obiurgatione digni sunt, qui nolunt liberos suos severa lege proficere. Primum enim sic ut omnia, spes quoque suas ambitioni donant. Deinde cum ad vota properant, cruda adhuc studia in forum impellunt, et eloquentiam, qua nihil esse maius confitentur, pueris induunt adhuc nascentibus. Quod si paterentur laborum gradus fieri, ut sapientiae praeceptis animos componerent, ut verba atroci stilo effoderent, ut quod vellent imitari diti audirent, (ut persuaderent) sibi nihil esse magnificum quod pueris placeret: iam illa grandis oratio haberet maiestatis suae pondus. Nunc pueri in scholis ludunt, iuvenes ridentur in foro, et quod utroque turpius est, quod quisque (puer) perperam didicit, in senectute confiteri non vult. Sed ne me putes improbasse schedium Lucilianae humilitatis, quod sentio, et ipse carmine effingam:

[V] "Artis severae si quis ambit effectus
mentemque magnis applicat, prius mores
frugalitatis lege poliat exacta.
Nec curet alto regiam trucem vultu
cliensve cenas inpotentium captet,
nec perditis addictus obruat vino
mentis calorem; neve plausor in scenam
sedeat redemptus histrioniae addictus.
Sed sive armigerae rident Tritonidis arces,
seu Lacedaemonio tellus habitata colono
Sirenumque domus, det primos versibus annos
Maeoniumque bibat felici pectore fontem.
Mox et Socratico plenus grege mittat habenas
liber, et ingentis quatiat Demosthenis arma.
Hinc Romana manus circumfluat, et modo Graio
exonerata sono mutet suffusa saporem.
Interdum subducta foro det pagina cursum,
et fortuna sonet celeri distincta meatu.
Dent epulas et bella truci memorata canore,
grandiaque indomiti Ciceronis verba minentur.
Hi animum succinge bonis: sic flumine largo
plenus Pierio defundes pectore verba."

[VI] Dum hunc diligentius audio, non notavi mihi Ascylti fugam (...) Et dum in hoc dictorum aestu in hortis incedo, ingens scolasticorum turba in porticum venit, ut apparebat, ab extemporali declamatione nescio cuius, qui Agamemnonis suasoriam exceperat. Dum ergo iuvenes sententias rident ordinemque totius dictionis infamant, opportune subduxi me et cursim Ascylton persequi coepi. Sed nec viam diligenter tenebam quia (...) nec quo loco stabulum esset sciebam. Itaque quocumque ieram, eodem revertabar, donec et cursu fatigatus et sudore iam madens accedo aniculam quandam, quae agreste holus vendebat et:

[VII] "Rogo, inquam, mater, numquid scis ubi ego habitem?" Delectata est illa urbanitate tam stulta et: "Quidni sciam?" inquit, consurrexitque et coepit me praecedere. Divinam ego putabam et subinde ut in locum secretiorem venimus, centonem anus urbana reiecit et: "Hic, inquit, debes habitare." Cum ego negarem me agnoscere domum, video quosdam inter titulos nudasque meretrices furtim spatiantes. Tarde, immo iam sero intellexi me in fornicem esse deductum. Execratus itaque aniculae insidias operui caput et per medium lupanar fugere coepi in alteram partem, cum ecce in ipso aditu occurrit mihi aeque lassus ac moriens Ascyltos: putares ab eadem anicula esse deductum. Itaque ut ridens eum consalutavi, quid in loco tam deformi faceret quaesivi.

[VIII] Sudorem ille manibus detersit et: "Si scires, inquit, quae mihi acciderunt. — Quid novi?" inquam ego. At ille deficiens: "Cum errarem, inquit, per totam civitatem nec invenirem quo loco stabulum reliquissem, accessit ad me pater familiae et ducem se itineris humanissime promisit. Per anfractus deinde obscurissimos egressus in hunc locum me perduxit, prolatoque peculis coepit rogare stuprum. Iam pro cella meretrix assem exegerat, iam ille mihi iniecerat manum et nisi valentior fuissem, dedissem poenas. (...) adeo ubique omnes mihi videbantur satureum bibisse (...) iunctis viribus molestum contempsimus.

(...)

[IX] Quasi per caliginem vidi Gitona in crepidine semitae stantem et in eundem locum me conieci. Cum quaererem numquid nobis in prandium frater parasset, consedit puer super lectum et manantes lacrumas pollice extersit. Perturbatus ego habitu fratris, quid accidisset quaesivi. Et ille tarde quidem et invitus, sed postquam precibus etiam iracundiam miscui: "Tuus, inquit, ist frater seu comes paulo ante in conductum accucurrit, coepitque mihi velle pudorem extorquere. Cum ego proclamarem, gladium strinxit et 'Si Lucretia es, inquit, Tarquinium invenisti'". Quibus ego auditis intentavi in oculos Ascylti manus et: "Quid dicis, inquam, muliebris patientiae scortum, cuius ne spiritus purus est?" Inhorrescere se finxit Ascyltos, mox sublatis fortius manibus longe maiore nisu clamavit: "Non taces, inquit, gladiator obscene, quem de ruina harena dimisit? Non taces, nocturne percussor, qui ne tum quidem, cum fortiter faceres, cum pura muliere pugnasti, cuius eadem ratione in viridario frater fui, qua nunc in deversorio puer es. — Subduxisti te, inquam, a praeceptoris colloquio.

[X] — Quid ego, homo stultissime, facere debui, cum fame morerer? An videlicet audirem sententias, id est vitrea fracta et somniorum interpretamenta? Multo me turpior es tu hercule, qui ut foris cenares, poetam laudasti". Itaque ex turpissima lite in risum diffusi pacatius ad reliqua secessimus. (...)

Rursus in memoriam revocatus iniuriae: "Ascylte, inquam, intellego nobis convenire non posse. Itaque communes sarcinulas partiamur ac paupertatem nostram privatis questibus temptemus expellere. Et tu litteras scis et ego. Ne quaestibus tuis obstem, aliud aliquid promittam; alioqui mille causae quotidie nos collident et per totam urbem rumoribus different."

Non recusavit Ascyltos et: "Hodie, inquit, quia tanquam scholastici ad cenam promisimus, non perdamus noctem. Cras autem, quia hoc libet, et habitationem mihi prospiciam et aliquem fratrem. — Tardum est, inquam, differre quod placet."

Hanc tam praecipitem divisionem libido faciebat; iam dudum enim amoliri cupiebam custodem molestum, ut veterem cum Gitone meo rationem reducerem. (...)

[XI] Postquam lustravi oculis totam urbem, in cellulam redii, osculisque tandem bona fide exactis alligo artissimis complexibus puerum, fruorque votis usque ad invidiam felicibus. Nec adhuc quidem omnia erant facta, cum Ascyltos furtim se foribus admovit, discussisque fortissime claustris invenit me cum fratre ludentem. Risu itaque plausuque cellulam implevit, opertum me amiculo evoluit et: "Quid agebas, inquit, frater sanctissime? Quid? Vesticontubernium facis?" Nec se solum intra verba continuit, sed lorum de pera soluit et me coepit non perfunctorie verberare, adiectis etiam petulantibus dictis: "Sic dividere cum fratre nolito." (...)

[XII] Veniebamus in forum deficiente iam die, in quo notavimus frequentiam rerum venalium, non quidem pretiosarum sed tamen quarum fidem male ambulantem obscuritas temporis facillime tegeret. Cum ergo et ipsi raptum latrocinio pallium detulissemus, uti occasione opportunissima coepimus atque in quodam angulo laciniam extremam concutere, si quem forte emptorem splendor vestis posset adducere. Nec diu moratus rusticus quidam familiaris oculis meis cum muliercula comite propius accessit ac diligentius considerare pallium coepit. Invicem Ascyltos iniecit contemplationem super umeros rustici emptoris, ac subito exanimatus conticuit. Ac ne ipse quidem sine aliquo motu hominem conspexi, nam videbatur ille mihi esse, qui tunicam in solitudine invenerat. Plane is ipse erat. Sed cum Ascyltos timeret fidem oculorum, ne quid temere faceret, prius tanquam emptor propius accessit detraxitque umeris laciniam et diligentius temptavit.

[XIII] O lusum fortunae mirabilem! Nam adhuc ne suturae quidem attulerat rusticus curiosas manus, sed tanquam mendici spolium etiam fastidiose venditabat. Ascyltos postquam depositum esse inviolatum vidit et personam vendentis contemptam, seduxit me paululum a turba et: "Scis, inquit, frater, rediisse ad nos thesaurum de quo querebar? Illa est tunicula adhuc, ut apparet, intactis aureis plena. Quid ergo facimus, aut quo iure rem nostram vindicamus?" Exhilaratus ego non tantum quia praedam videbam, sed etiam quod fortuna me a turpissima suspicione dimiserat, negavi circuitu agendum sed plane iure civili dimicandum, ut si nollet alienam rem domino reddere, ad interdictum veniret.

[XIV] Contra Ascyltos leges timebat et: "Quis, aiebat, hoc loco nos novit, aut quis habebit dicentibus fidem? Mihi plane placet emere, quamvis nostrum sit, quod agnoscimus, et parvo aere recuperare potius thesaurum, quam in ambiguam litem descendere:

Quid faciant leges, ubi sola pecunia regnat,
aut ubi paupertas vincere nulla potest?
Ipsi qui Cynica traducunt tempora pera,
non numquam nummis vendere vera solent.
Ergo iudicium nihil est nisi publica merces,
atque eques in causa qui sedet, empta probat."

Sed praeter unum dipondium, quo cicer lupinosque destinaveramus mercari, nihil ad manum erat. Itaque ne interim praeda discederet, vel minoris pallium addicere placuit ut pretium maioris compendii leviorem faceret iacturam. Cum primum ergo explicuimus mercem, mulier operto capite, quae cum rustico steterat, inspectis diligentius signis iniecit utramque laciniae manum magnaque vociferatione latrones tenere clamavit. Contra nos perturbati, ne videremur nihil agere, et ipsi scissam et sordidam tenere coepimus tunicam atque eadem invidia proclamare, nostra esse spolia quae illi possiderent. Sed nullo genere par erat causa, et cociones qui ad clamorem confluxerant, nostram scilicet de more ridebant invidiam, quod pro illa parte vindicabant pretiosissimam vestem, pro hac pannuciam ne centonibus quidem bonis dignam. Hinc Ascyltos bene risum discussit, qui silentio facto:

[XV] "Videmus, inquit, suam cuique rem esse carissimam; reddant nobis tunicam nostram et pallium suum recipiant." Etsi rustico mulierique placebat permutatio, advocati tamen iam paene nocturni, qui volebant pallium lucri facere, flagitabant uti apud se utraque deponerentur ac postero die iudex querelam inspiceret. Neque enim res tantum, quae viderentur in controversiam esse, sed longe aliud quaeri, (quod) in utraque parte scilicet latrocinii suspicio haberetur. Iam sequestri placebant, et nescio quis ex cocionibus, calvus, tuberosissimae frontis, qui solebat aliquando etiam causas agere, invaserat pallium exhibiturumque crastino die affirmabat. Ceterum apparebat nihil aliud quaeri nisi ut semel deposita vestis inter praedones strangularetur, et nos metu criminis non veniremus ad constitutum. (...) Idem plane et nos volebamus. Itaque utriusque partis votum casus adiuvit. Indignatus enim rusticus quod nos centonem exhibendum postularemus, misit in faciem Ascylti tunicam et liberatos querela iussit pallium deponere, quod solum litem faciebat, et recuperato, ut putabamus, thesauro in deversorium praecipites abimus, praeclusisque foribus ridere acumen non minus cocionum quam calumniantium coepimus, quod nobis ingenti calliditate pecuniam reddidissent.

Nolo quod cupio statim tenere,
nec victoria mi placet parata.

[XVI] Sed ut primum beneficio Gitonis praeparata nos implevimus cena, ostium satis audaci strepitu impulsum exsonuit. Cum et ipsi ergo pallidi rogaremus quis esset: "Aperi, inquit, iam scies." Dumque loquimur, sera sua sponte delapsa cecidit reclusaeque subito fores admiserunt intrantem. Mulier autem erat operto capite, et: "Me derisisse, inquit, vos putabatis? Ego sum ancilla Quartillae, cuius vos sacrum ante cryptam turbastis. Ecce ipsa venit ad stabulum petitque ut vobiscum loqui liceat. Nolite perturbari. Nec accusat errorem vestrum nec punit, immo potius miratur, quis deus iuvenes tam urbanos in suam regionem detulerit."

[XVII] Tacentibus adhuc nobis et ad neutram partem adsentationem flectentibus intravit ipsa, una comitata virgine, sedensque super torum meum diu flevit. Ac ne tunc quidem nos ullum adiecimus verbum, sed attoniti expectavimus lacrimas ad ostentationem doloris paratas. Vt ergo tam ambitiosus detonuit imber, retexit superbum pallio caput, et manibus inter se usque ad articulorum strepitum constrictis: "Quaenam est, inquit, haec audacia, aut ubi fabulas etiam antecessura latrocinia didicistis? Misereor mediusfidius vestri; neque enim impune quisquam quod non licuit, aspexit. Vtique nostra regio tam praesentibus plena est numinibus, ut facilius possis deum quam hominem invenire. Ac ne me putetis ultionis causa huc venisse; aetate magis vestra commoveor quam iniuria mea. Imprudentes enim, ut adhuc puto, admisistis inexpiabile scelus. Ipsa quidem illa nocte vexata tam periculoso inhorrui frigore, ut tertianae etiam impetum timeam. Et ideo medicinam sommo petii, iussaque sum vos perquirere atque impetum morbi monstrata subtilitate lenire. Sed de remedio non tam valde laboro; maior enim in praecordiis dolor saenit, qui me usque ad necessitatem mortis deducit, ne scilicet iuvenili impulsi licentia quod in sacello Priapi vidistis vulgetis, deorumque consilia proferatis in populum. Protendo igitur ad genua vestra supinas manus, petoque et oro ne nocturnas religiones iocum risumque faciatis, neve traducere velitis tot annorum secreta, quae vix mille homines noverunt."

[XVIII] Secundum hanc deprecationem lacrimas rursus effudit gemitibusque largis concussa tota facie ac pectore torum meum pressit. Ego eodem tempore et misericordia turbatus et metu, bonum animum habere eam iussi et de utroque esse securam: nam neque sacra quemquam vulgaturum, et si quod praeterea aliud remedium ad tertianam deus illi monstrasset, adiuvaturos nos divinam providentiam vel periculo nostro. Hilarior post hanc pollicitationem facta mulier basiavit me spissius, et ex lacrimis in risum mota descendentes ab aure capillos meos lenta manu duxit et: "Facio, inquit, indutias vobiscum, et a constituta lite dimitto. Quod si non adnuissetis de hac medicina quam peto, iam parata erat in crastinum turba, quae et iniuriam meam vindicaret et dignitatem:

Contemni turpe est, legem donare superbum;
hoc amo, quod possum qua libet ire via.
Nam sane et sapiens contemptus iurgia nectit,
et qui non iugulat, victor abire solet.

Complosis deinde manibus in tantum repente risum effusa est, ut timeremus. Idem ex altera parte et ancilla fecit, quae prior venerat, idem virguncula, quae una intraverat.

[XIX] Omnia mimico risu exsonuerant, cum interim nos quae tam repentina esset mutatio animorum facta ignoraremus, ac modo nosmetipsos, modo mulieres intueremur. (...)

"Ideo vetui hodie in hoc deversorio quemquam mortalium admitti, ut remedium tertianae sine ulla interpellatione a vobis acciperem." Vt haec dixit Quartilla, Ascyltos quidem paulisper obstupuit, ego autem frigidior hieme Gallica factus nullum potui verbum emittere. Sed ne quid tristius expectarem, comitatus faciebat. Tres enim erant mulierculae, si quid vellent conari, infirmissimae, scilicet contra nos, (quibus) si nihil aliud, virilis sexus esset. At praecincti certe altius eramus. Immo ego sic iam paria composueram ut, si depugnandum foret, ipse cum Quartilla consisterem, Ascyltos cum ancilla, Giton cum virgine. (...) Tunc vero excidit omnis constantia attonitis, et mors non dubia miserorum oculos coepit obducere. (...)

[XX] "Rogo, inquam, domina, si quid tristius paras, celerius confice: neque enim tam magnum facinus admisimus, ut debeamus torti perire." Ancilla, quae Psyche vocabatur, lodiculam in pavimento diligenter extendit. Sollicitavit inguina mea mille iam mortibus frigida. Operuerat Ascyltos pallio caput, admonitus scilicet periculosum esse alienis intervenire secretis. Duas institas ancilla protulit de sinu alteraque pedes nostros alligavit, altera manus. (...)

Ascyltos, iam deficiente fabularum contextu: "Quid? Ego, inquit, non sum dignus qui bibam?" Ancilla risu meo prodita complosit manus et: "Apposui: quidem adulescens, solus tantum medicamentum ebibisti? — Itane est? inquit Quartilla, quicquid saturei fuit, Encolpius ebibit?" Non indecenti risu latera commovit. Ac ne Giton quidem ultimo risum tenuit, utique postquam virguncula cervicem eius invasit et non repugnanti puero innumerabilia oscula dedit.

[XXI] Volebamus miseri exclamare, sed nec in auxilio erat quisquam, et hinc Psyche acu comatoria cupienti mihi invocare Quiritum fidem malas pungebat, illinc puella penicillo, quod et ipsum satureo tinxerat, Ascylton opprimebat. (...)

Vltimo cinaedus supervenit myrtea subornatus gausapa cinguloque succinctus ... modo extortis nos clunibus cecidit, modo basiis olidissimis inquinavit, donec Quartilla, ballaenaceam tenens virgam alteque succincta, iussit infelicibus dari missionem. (...)

Vterque nostrum religiosissimis iuravit verbis inter duos periturum esse tam horribile secretum. Intraverunt palaestritae quamplures et nos legitimo perfusos oleo refecerunt. Vtcunque ergo lassitudine abiecta cenatoria repetimus et in proximam cellam ducti sumus, in qua tres lecti strati erant et reliquus lautitiarum apparatus splendidissime eitus. Iussi ergo discubuimus, et gustatione mirifica initiati vino etiam Falerno inundamur. Excepti etiam pluribus ferculis cum laberemur in somnum: "Itane est? inquit Quartilla, etiam dormire vobis in mente est, cum sciatis Priapi genio pervigilium deberi?" (...)

[XXII] Cum Ascyltos gravatus tot malis in somnum laberetur, illa quae iniuria depulsa fuerat ancilla totam faciem eius fuligine longa perfricuit, et non sentientis labra umerosque sopitionibus pinxit.

Iam ego etiam tot malis fatigatus minimum veluti gustum hauseram somni; idem et tota intra forisque familia fecerat, atque alii circa pedes discumbentium sparsi iacebant, alii parietibus appliciti, quidam in ipso limine coniunctis manebant capitibus; lucernae quoque umore defectae tenue et extremum lumen spargebant, cum duo Syri expilaturi lagoenam triclinium intraverunt, dumque inter argentum avidius rixantur, diductam fregerunt lagoenam. Cecidit etiam mensa cum argento, et ancillae super torum marcentis excussum forte altius poculum caput (fere) fregit.

Ad quem ictum exclamavit illa, pariterque et fures prodidit et partem ebriorum excitavit. Syri illi qui venerant ad praedam, postquam deprehensos se intellexerunt, pariter secundum lectum conciderunt, ut putares hoc convenisse, et stertere tanquam olim dormientes coeperunt.

Iam et tricliniarches experrectus lucernis occidentibus oleum infuderat, et pueri detersis paulisper oculis redierant ad ministerium, cum intrans cymbalistria et concrepans aera omnes excitavit.

[XXIII] Refectum igitur est convivium et rursus Quartilla ad bibendum revocavit. Adiuvit hilaritatem comissantis cymbalistria.

Intrat cinaedus, homo omnium insulsissimus et plane illa domo dignus, qui ut infractis manibus congemuit, eiusmodi carmina effudit:
Huc huc convenite nunc, spatalocinaedi,
pede tendite, cursum addite, convolate planta,
femore facili, clune agili et manu procaces,
molles, veteres, Deliaci manu recisi.

Consumptis versibus suis immundissimo me basio conspuit. Mox et super lectum venit atque omni vi detexit recusantem. Super inguina mea diu multumque frustra moluit. Profluebant per frontem sudantis acaciae rivi, et inter rugas malarum tantum erat cretae, ut putares detectum parietem nimbo laborare.

[XXIV] Non tenui ego diutius lacrimas, sed ad ultimam perductus tristitiam: "Quaeso, inquam, domina, certe embasicoetan iusseras dari." Complosit illa tenerius manus et: "O, inquit, hominem acutum atque urbanitatis vernaculae fontem! Quid? Tu non intellexeras cinaedum embasicoetan vocari?" Deinde ne contubernali meo melius succederet: "Per fidem, inquam, vestram, Ascyltos in hoc triclinio solus ferias agit? — Ita, inquit Quartilla, et Ascylto embasicoetas detur". Ab hac voce equum cinaedus mutavit, transituque ad comitem meum facto clunibus eum basiisque distrivit. Stabat inter haec Giton et risu dissolvebat ilia sua. Itaque conspicata eum Quartilla, cuius esset puer diligentissima sciscitatione quaesivit. Cum ego fratrem meum esse dixissem: "Quare ergo, inquit, me non basiavit?" vocatumque ad se in osculum adplicuit. Mox manum etiam demisit in sinum et pertractato vasculo tam rudi: "Haec, inquit, belle cras in promulside libidinis nostrae militabit; hodie enim post asellum diaria non sumo".

[XXV] Cum haec diceret, ad aurem eius Psyche ridens accessit et cum dixisset nescio quid: "Ita, ita, inquit Quartilla, bene admonuisti. Cur non, quia bellissima occasio est, devirginatur Pannychis nostra?" Continuoque producta est puella satis bella et quae non plus quam septem annos habere videbatur, ea ipsa quae primum cum Quartilla in cellam venerat nostram. Plaudentibus ergo universis et postulantibus nuptias, obstupui ego et nec Gitona, verecundissimum puerum, sufficere huic petulantiae adfirmavi, nec puellam eius aetatis esse, ut muliebris patientiae legem posset accipere." Ita, inquit Quartilla, minor est ista quam ego fui, cum primum virum passa sum? Iunonem meam iratam habeam, si unquam me meminerim virginem fuisse. Nam et infans cum paribus inquinata sum, et subinde procedentibus annis maioribus me pueris adplicui, donec ad hanc aetatem perveni. Hinc etiam puto proverbium natum illud, ut dicatur posse taurum tollere, qui vitulum sustulerit." Igitur ne maiorem iniuriam in secreto frater acciperet, consurrexi ad officium nuptiale.

[XXVI] Iam Psyche puellae caput involverat flammeo, iam embasicoetas praeferebat facem, iam ebriae mulieres longum agmen plaudentes fecerant, thalamumque incesta exornaverant veste. Tum Quartilla quoque iocantium libidine accensa et ipsa surrexit, correptumque Gitona in cubiculum traxit.

Sine dubio non repugnaverat puer, ac ne puella quidem tristis expaverat nuptiarum nomen. Itaque cum inclusi iacerent, consedimus ante limen thalami, et in primis Quartilla per rimam improbe diductam adplicuerat oculum curiosum, lusumque puerilem libidinosa speculabatur diligentia. Me quoque ad idem spectaculum lenta manu traxit, et quia considerantium (co)haeserant vultus, quicquid a spectaculo vacabat, commovebat obiter labra et me tamquam furtivis subinde osculis verberabat. (...)

Abiecti in lectis sine metu reliquam exegimus noctem. (...)

Venerat iam tertius dies, id est expectatio liberae cenae, sed tot vulneribus confossis fuga magis placebat quam quies. Itaque cum maesti deliberaremus quonam genere praesentem evitaremus procellam, unus servus Agamemnonis interpellavit trepidantes et: "Quid? vos, inquit, nescitis hodie apud quem fiat? Trimalchio, lautissimus homo. Horologium in triclinio et bucinatorem habet subornatum, ut subinde sciat quantum de vita perdiderit!"

Amicimur ergo diligenter obliti omnium malorum et Gitona libentissime servile officium tuentem iubemus in balneum sequi.

[XXVII] Nos interim vestiti errare coepimus, immo iocari magis et circulis accedere, cum subito videmus senem calvum, tunica vestitum russea, inter pueros capillatos ludentem pila. Nec tam pueri nos, quamquam erat operae pretium, ad spectaculum duxerant, quam ipse pater familiae, qui soleatus pila prasina exercebatur. Nec amplius eam repetebat quae terram contigerat, sed follem plenum habebat servus sufficiebatque ludentibus. Notavimus etiam res novas: nam duo spadones in diversa parte circuli stabant, quorum alter matellam tenebat argenteam, alter numerabat pilas, non quidem eas quae inter manus lusu expellente vibrabant, sed eas quae in terram decidebant.

Cum has ergo miraremur lautitias, accurrit Menelaus: "Hic est, inquit, apud quem cubitum ponitis, et quidem iam principium cenae videtis. Et iam non loquebatur Menelaus cum Trimalchio digitos concrepuit, ad quod signum matellam spado ludenti subiecit. Exonerata ille vesica aquam poposcit ad manus, digitosque paululum adspersos in capite pueri tersit.

[XXVIII] Longum erat singula excipere. Itaque intravimus balneum, et sudore calfacti momento temporis ad frigidam eximus. Iam Trimalchio unguento perfusus tergebatur, non linteis, sed palliis ex lana mollissima factis. Tres interim iatraliptae in conspectu eius Falernum potabant, et cum plurimum rixantes effunderent, Trimalchio hoc suum propinasse dicebat. Hinc involutus coccina gausapa lecticae impositus est praecedentibus phaleratis cursoribus quattuor et chiramaxio, in quo deliciae eius vehebantur, puer vetulus, lippus, domino Trimalchione deformior. Cum ergo auferretur, ad caput eius symphoniacus cum minimis tibiis accessit et tanquam in aurem aliquid secreto diceret, toto itinere cantavit.

Sequimur nos admiratione iam saturi et cum Agamemnone ad ianuam pervenimus, in cuius poste libellus erat cum hac inscriptione fixus:

QVISQVIS SERVVS SINE DOMINICO IVSSV FORAS EXIERIT ACCIPIET PLAGAS CENTVM.

In aditu autem ipso stabat ostiarius prasinatus, cerasino succinctus cingulo, atque in lance argentea pisum purgabat. Super limen autem cavea pendebat aurea in qua pica varia intrantes salutabat.

[XXIX] Ceterum ego dum omnia stupeo, paene resupinatus crura mea fregi. Ad sinistram enim intrantibus non longe ab ostiarii cella canis ingens, catena vinctus, in pariete erat pictus superque quadrata littera scriptum CAVE CANEM. Et collegae quidem mei riserunt. Ego autem collecto spiritu non destiti totum parietem persequi. Erat autem venalicium (cum) titulis pictis, et ipse Trimalchio capillatus caduceum tenebat Minervamque ducente Romam intrabat. Hinc quemadmodum ratiocinari didicisset, deinque dispensator factus esset, omnia diligenter curiosus pictor cum inscriptione reddiderat. In deficiente vero iam porticu levatum mento in tribunal excelsum Mercurius rapiebat. Praesto erat Fortuna cornu abundanti copiosa et tres Parcae aurea pensa torquentes. Notavi etiam in porticu gregem cursorum cum magistro se exercentem. Praeterea grande armarium in angulo vidi, in cuius aedicula erant Lares argentei positi Venerisque signum marmoreum et pyxis aurea non pusilla, in qua barbam ipsius conditam esse dicebant. Interrogare ergo atriensem coepi, quas in medio picturas haberent." Iliada et Odyssian, inquit, ac Laenatis gladiatorium munus."

[XXX] Non licebat (tam multa otiose) considerare. Nos iam ad triclinium perveneramus, in cuius parte prima procurator rationes accipiebat. Et quod praecipue miratus sum, in postibus triclinii fasces erant cum securibus fixi, quorum imam partem quasi embolum navis aeneum finiebat, in quo erat scriptum: C. POMPEIO TRIMALCHIONI SEVIRO AVGVSTALI CINNAMVS DISPENSATOR. Sub eodem titulo et lucerna bilychnis de camera pendebat, et duae tabulae in utroque poste defixae, quarum altera, si bene memini, hoc habebat inscriptum: III ET PRIDIE KALENDAS IANVARIAS C. NOSTER FORAS CENAT, altera lunae cursum stellarumque septem imagines pictas; et qui dies boni quique incommodi essent, distinguente bulla notabantur.

His repleti voluptatibus cum conaremur in triclinium intrare, exclamavit unus ex pueris, qui super hoc officium erat positus: "Dextro pede!" Sine dubio paulisper trepidavimus, ne contra praeceptum aliquis nostrum limen transiret.

Ceterum ut pariter movimus dextros gressus, servus nobis despoliatus procubuit ad pedes ac rogare coepit, ut se poenae eriperemus: nec magnum esse peccatum suum, propter quod periclitaretur; subducta enim sibi vestimenta dispensatoris in balneo, quae vix fuissent decem sestertiorum. Retulimus ergo dextros pedes, dispensatoremque in atrio aureos numerantem deprecati sumus ut servo remitteret poenam. Superbus ille sustulit vultum et: "Non tam iactura me movet, inquit, quam neglegentia nequissimi servi. Vestimenta mea cubitoria perdidit, quae mihi natali meo cliens quidam donaverat, Tyria sine dubio, sed iam semel lota. Quid ergo est? dono vobis eum."

[XXXI] Obligati tam grandi beneficio cum intrassemus triclinium, occurrit nobis ille idem servus, pro quo rogaveramus, et stupentibus spississima basia impegit gratias agens humanitati nostrae." Ad summam, statim scietis, ait, cui dederitis beneficium. Vinum dominicum ministratoris gratia est."

Tandem ergo discubuimus, pueris Alexandrinis aquam in manus nivatam infundentibus, aliisque insequentibus ad pedes ac paronychia cum ingenti subtilitate tollentibus. Ac ne in hoc quidem tam molesto tacebant officio, sed obiter cantabant. Ego experiri volui an tota familia cantaret, itaque potionem poposci. Paratissimus puer non minus me acido cantico excepit, et quisquis aliquid rogatus erat ut daret. Pantomimi chorum, non patris familiae triclinium crederes.

Allata est tamen gustatio valde lauta; nam iam omnes discubuerant praeter ipsum Trimachionem, cui locus novo more primus servabatur. Ceterum in promulsidari asellus erat Corinthius cum bisaccio positus, qui habebat olivas in altera parte albas, in altera nigras. Tegebant asellum duae lances, in quarum marginibus nomen Trimalchionis inscriptum erat et argenti pondus. Ponticuli etiam ferruminati sustinebant glires melle ac papavere sparsos. Fuerunt et tomacula supra craticulam argenteam ferventia posita et infra craticulam Syriaca pruna cum granis Punici mali.

[XXXII] In his eramus lautitiis, cum Trimalchio ad symphoniam allatus est, positusque inter cervicalia minutissima expressit imprudentibus risum. Pallio enim coccineo adrasum excluserat caput, circaque oneratas veste cervices laticlaviam immiserat mappam fimbriis hinc atque illinc pendentibus. Habebat etiam in minimo digito sinistrae manus anulum grandem subauratum, extremo vero articulo digiti sequentis minorem, ut mihi videbatur, totum aureum, sed plane ferreis veluti stellis ferruminatum. Et ne has tantum ostenderet divitias, dextrum nudavit lacertum armilla aurea cultum et eboreo circulo lamina splendente conexo.

[XXXIII] Vt deinde pinna argentea dentes perfodit: "Amici, inquit, nondum mihi suave erat in triclinium venire, sed ne diutius absentivos morae vobis essem, omnem voluptatem mihi negavi. Permittetis tamen finiri lusum." Sequebatur puer cum tabula terebinthina et crystallinis tesseris, notavique rem omnium delicatissimam. Pro calculis enim albis ac nigris aureos argenteosque habebat denarios.

Interim dum ille omnium textorum dicta inter lusum consumit, gustantibus adhuc nobis repositorium allatum est cum corbe, in quo gallina erat lignea patentibus in orbem alis, quales esse solent quae incubant ova. Accessere continuo duo servi et symphonia strepente scrutari paleam coeperunt, erutaque subinde pavonina ova divisere convivis. Convertit ad hanc scenam Trimalchio vultum et: "Amici, ait, pavonis ova gallinae iussi supponi. Et mehercules timeo ne iam concepti sint. Temptemus tamen, si adhuc sorbilia sunt." Accipimus nos cochlearia non minus selibras pendentia, ovaque ex farina pingui figurata pertundimus. Ego quidem paene proieci partem meam, nam videbatur mihi iam in pullum coisse. Deinde ut audivi veterem convivam: "Hic nescio quid boni debet esse", persecutus putamen manu, pinguissimam ficedulam inveni piperato vitello circumdatam.

[XXXIV] Iam Trimalchio eadem omnia lusu intermisso poposcerat feceratque potestatem clara voce, siquis nostrum iterum vellet mulsum sumere, cum subito signum symphonia datur et gustatoria pariter a choro cantante rapiuntur. Ceterum inter tumultum cum forte paropsis excidisset et puer iacentem sustulisset, animadvertit Trimalchio colaphisque obiurgari puerum ac proicere rursus paropsidem iussit. Insecutus est supellecticarius argentumque inter reliqua purgamenta scopis coepit everrere. Subinde intraverunt duo Aethiopes capillati cum pusillis utribus, quales solent esse qui harenam in amphitheatro spargunt, vinumque dederunt in manus; aquam enim nemo porrexit.

Laudatus propter elegantias dominus: "Aequum, inquit, Mars amat. Itaque iussi suam cuique mensam assignari. Obiter et putidissimi servi minorem nobis aestum frequentia sua facient."

Statim allatae sunt amphorae vitreae diligenter gypsatae, quarum in cervicibus pittacia erant affixa cum hoc titulo: FALERNVM OPIMIANVM ANNORVM CENTVM. Dum titulos perlegimus, complosit Trimalchio manus et: "Eheu, inquit, ergo diutius vivit vinum quam homuncio. Quare tangomenas faciamus. Vita vinum est. Verum Opimianum praesto. Heri non tam bonum posui, et multo honestiores cenabant." Potantibus ergo nobis et accuratissime lautitias mirantibus larvam argenteam attulit servus sic aptatam ut articuli eius vertebraeque laxatae in omnem partem flecterentur. Hanc cum super mensam semel iterumque abiecisset, et catenatio mobilis aliquot figuras exprimeret, Trimalchio adiecit:

Eheu nos miseros, quam totus homuncio nil est!
Sic erimus cuncti, postquam nos auferet Orcus.
Ergo vivamus, dum licet esse bene.

[XXXV] Laudationem ferculum est insecutum plane non pro expectatione magnum, novitas tamen omnium convertit oculos. Rotundum enim repositorium duodecim habebat signa in orbe disposita, super quae proprium convenientemque materiae structor imposuerat cibum: super arietem cicer arietinum, super taurum bubulae frustum, super geminos testiculos ac rienes, super cancrum coronam, super leonem ficum Africanam, super virginem steriliculam, super libram stateram in cuius altera parte scriblita erat, in altera placenta, super scorpionem pisciculum marinum, super sagittarium oclopetam, super capricornum locustam marinam, super aquarium anserem, super pisces duos mullos. In medio autem caespes cum herbis excisus favum sustinebat. Circumferebat Aegyptius puer clibano argenteo panem. (...) Atque ipse etiam taeterrima voce de Laserpiciario mimo canticum extorsit. Nos ut tristiores ad tam viles accessimus cibos: "Suadeo, inquit Trimalchio, cenemus; hoc est ius cenae".

[XXXVI] Haec ut dixit, ad symphoniam quattuor tripudiantes procurrerunt superioremque partem repositorii abstulerunt. Quo facto, videmus infra altitia et sumina leporemque in medio pinnis subornatum, ut Pegasus videretur. Notavimus etiam circa angulos repositorii Marsyas quattuor, ex quorum utriculis garum piperatum currebat super pisces, qui (tamquam) in euripo natabant. Damus omnes plausum a familia inceptum et res electissimas ridentes aggredimur. Non minus et Trimalchio eiusmodi methodio laetus: "Carpe!", inquit. Processit statim scissor et ad symphoniam gesticulatus ita laceravit obsonium, ut putares essedarium hydraule cantante pugnare. Ingerebat nihilo minus Trimalchio lentissima voce: "Carpe! Carpe!" Ego suspicatus ad aliquam urbanitatem totiens iteratam vocem pertinere, non erubui eum qui supra me accumbebat, hoc ipsum interrogare. At ille, qui saepius eiusmodi ludos spectaverat: "Vides illum, inquit, qui obsonium carpit: Carpus vocatur. Ita quotiescumque dicit 'Carpe', eodem verbo et vocat et imperat".

[XXXVII] Non potui amplius quicquam gustare, sed conversus ad eum, ut quam plurima exciperem, longe accersere fabulas coepi sciscitarique, quae esset mulier illa quae huc atque illuc discurreret." Vxor, inquit, Trimalchionis, Fortunata appellatur, quae nummos modio metitur. Et modo, modo quid fuit? Ignoscet mihi genius tuus, noluisses de manu illius panem accipere. Nunc, nec quid nec quare, in caelum abiit et Trimalchionis topanta est. Ad summam, mero meridie si dixerit illi tenebras esse, credet. Ipse nescit quid habeat, adeo saplutus est; sed haec lupatria providet omnia, et ubi non putes. Est sicca, sobria, bonorum consiliorum: tantum auri vides. Est tamen malae linguae, pica pulvinaris. Quem amat, amat; quem non amat, non amat. Ipse Trimalchio fundos habet, quantum milvi volant, nummorum nummos. Argentum in ostiarii illius cella plus iacet, quam quisquam in fortunis habet. Familia vero — babae babae! — non mehercules puto decumam partem esse quae dominum suum noverit. Ad summam, quemvis ex istis babaecalis in rutae folium coniciet.

[XXXVIII] " Nec est quod putes illum quicquam emere. Omnia domi nascuntur: lana, credrae, piper; lacte gallinaceum si quaesieris, invenies. Ad summam, parum illi bona lana nascebatur; arietes a Tarento emit, et eos culavit in gregem. Mel Atticum ut domi nasceretur, apes ab Athenis iussit afferri; obiter et vernaculae quae sunt, meliusculae a Graeculis fient. Ecce intra hos dies scripsit, ut illi ex India semen boletorum mitteretur. Nam mulam quidem nullam habet, quae non ex onagro nata sit. Vides tot culcitras: nulla non aut conchyliatum aut coccineum tomentum habet. Tanta est animi beatitudo! Reliquos autem collibertos eius cave contemnas. Valde sucossi sunt. Vides illum qui in imo imus recumbit: hodie sua octingenta possidet. De nihilo crevit. Modo solebat collo suo ligna portare. Sed quomodo dicunt — ego nihil scio, sed audivi — quom Incuboni pilleum rapuisset, et thesaurum invenit. Ego nemini invideo, si quid deus dedit. Est tamen sub alapa et non vult sibi male. Itaque proxime cum hoc titulo proscripsit: C. POMPEIVS DIOGENES EX KALENDIS IVLIIS CENACVLVM LOCAT; IPSE ENIM DOMVM EMIT. Quid ille qui libertini loco iacet? Quam bene se habuit! Non impropero illi. Sestertium suum vidit decies, sed male vacillavit. Non puto illum capillos liberos habere. Nec mehercules sua culpa; ipso enim homo melior non est; sed liberti scelerati, qui omnia ad se fecerunt. Scito autem: sociorum olla male fervet, et ubi semel res inclinata est, amici de medio. Et quam honestam negotiationem exercuit, quod illum sic vides! Libitinarius fuit. Solebat sic cenare, quomodo rex: apros gausapatos, opera pistoria, avis, cocos, pistores. Plus vini sub mensa effundebatur, quam aliquis in cella habet. Phantasia, non homo. Inclinatis quoque rebus suis, cum timeret ne creditores illum conturbare existimarent, hoc titulo auctionem proscripsit: C. IVLIVS PROCVLVS AVCTIONEM FACIET RERVM SVPERVACVARVM."

[XXXIX] Interpellavit tam dulces fabulas Trimalchio; nam iam sublatum erat ferculum, hilaresque convivae vino sermonibusque publicatis operam coeperant dare. Is ergo reclinatus in cubitum: "Hoc vinum, inquit, vos oportet suave faciatis: pisces natare oportet. Rogo, me putatis illa cena esse contentum, quam in theca repositorii videratis?

Sic notus Vlixes?

Quid ergo est? Oportet etiam inter cenandum philologiam nosse. Patrono meo ossa bene quiescant, qui me hominem inter homines voluit esse. Nam mihi nihil novi potest afferri, sicut ille tericulus ia(m se)mel habuit praxim. Caelus hic, in quo duodecim dii habitant, in totidem se figuras convertit, et modo fit aries. Itaque quisquis nascitur illo signo, multa pecora habet, multum lanae, caput praeterea durum, frontem expudoratam, cornum acutum. Plurimi hoc signo scolastici nascuntur et arietilli." Laudamus urbanitatem mathematici; itaque adiecit: "Deinde totus caelus taurulus fit. Itaque tunc calcitrosi nascuntur et bubulci et qui se ipsi pascunt. In geminis autem nascuntur bigae et boves et colei et qui utrosque parietes linunt. In cancro ego natus sum: ideo multis pedibus sto, et in mari et in terra multa possideo; nam cancer et hoc et illoc quadrat. Et ideo iam dudum nihil super illum posui, ne genesim meam premerem. In leone cataphagae nascuntur et imperiosi. In virgine mulieres et fugitivi et compediti; in libra laniones et unguentarii et quicunque aliquid expendunt; in scorpione venenarii et percussores; in sagittario strabones, qui holera spectant, lardum tollunt; in capricorno aerumnosi, quibus prae mala sua cornua nascuntur; in aquario copones et cucurbitae; in piscibus obsonatores et rhetores. Sic orbis vertitur tanquam mola, et semper aliquid mali facit, ut homines aut nascantur aut pereant. Quod autem in medio caespitem videtis et super caespitem favum, nihil sine ratione facio. Terra mater est in medio quasi ovum corrotundata, et omnia bona in se habet tanquam favus."

[XL] "Sophos!" universi clamamus, et sublatis manibus ad camaram iuramus Hipparchum Aratumque comparandos illi homines non fuisse, donec advenerunt ministri ac toralia praeposuerunt toris, in quibus retia erant picta subsessoresque cum venabulis et totus venationis apparatus. Necdum sciebamus (quo) mitteremus suspiciones nostras, cum extra triclinium clamor sublatus est ingens, et ecce canes Laconici etiam circa mensam discurrere coeperunt. Secutum est hos repositorium, in quo positus erat primae magnitudinis aper, et quidem pilleatus, e cuius dentibus sportellae dependebant duae palmulis textae, altera caryatis, altera thebaicis repleta. Circa autem minores porcelli ex coptoplacentis facti, quasi uberibus imminerent, scrofam esse positam significabant. Et hi quidem apophoreti fuerunt.

Ceterum ad scindendum aprum non ille Carpus accessit, qui altilia laceraverat, sed barbatus ingens, fasciis cruralibus alligatus et alicula subornatus polymita, strictoque venatorio cultro latus apri vehementer percussit, ex cuius plaga turdi evolaverunt. Parati aucupes cum harundinibus fuerunt, et eos circa triclinium volitantes momento exceperunt. Inde cum suum cuique iussisset referri, Trimalchio adiecit: "Etiam videte, quam porcus ille silvaticus lotam comederit glandem." Statim pueri ad sportellas accesserunt quae pendebant e dentibus, thebaicasque et caryatas ad numerum divisere cenantibus.

[XLI] Interim ego, qui privatum habebam secessum, in multas cogitationes diductus sum, quare aper pilleatus intrasset. Postquam itaque omnis bacalusias consumpsi, duravi interrogare illum interpretem meum, quod me torqueret. At ille: "Plane etiam hoc servus tuus indicare potest: non enim aenigma est, sed res aperta. Hic aper, cum heri summa cena eum vindicasset, a conviviis dimissus (est); itaque hodie tamquam libertus in convivium revertitur." Damnavi ego stuporem meum et nihil amplius interrogavi, ne viderer nunquam inter honestos cenasse.

Dum haec loquimur, puer speciosus, vitibus hederisque redimitus, modo Bromium, interdum Lyaeum Euhiumque confessus, calathisco uvas circumtulit, et poemata domini sui acutissima voce traduxit. Ad quem sonum conversus Trimalchio: "Dionyse, inquit, liber esto." Puer detraxit pilleum apro capitique suo imposuit. Tum Trimalchio rursus adiecit: "Non negabitis me, inquit, habere Liberum patrem." Laudamus dictum Trimalchionis, et circumeuntem puerum sane perbasiamus.

Ab hoc ferculo Trimalchio ad lasanum surrexit. Nos libertatem sine tyranno nacti coepimus invitare convivarum sermones.

Dama itaque primus cum pataracina poposcisset: "Dies, inquit, nihil est. Dum versas te, nox fit. Itaque nihil est melius quam de cubiculo recta in triclinium ire. Et mundum frigus habuimus. Vix me balneus calfecit. Tamen calda potio vestiarius est. Staminatas duxi, et plane matus sum. Vinus mihi in cerebrum abiit."

[XLII] Excepit Seleucus fabulae partem et: "Ego, inquit, non cotidie lavor; baliscus enim fullo est: aqua dentes habet, et cor nostrum cotidie liquescit. Sed cum mulsi pultarium obduxi, frigori laecasin dico. Nec sane lavare potui; fui enim hodie in funus. Homo bellus, tam bonus Chrysanthus animam ebulliit. Modo, modo me appellavit. Videor mihi cum illo loqui. Heu, eheu! Vtres inflati ambulamus. Minoris quam muscae sumus. (Illae) tamen aliquam virtutem habent; nos non pluris sumus quam bullae. Et quid si non abstinax fuisset! Quinque dies aquam in os suum non coniecit, non micam panis. Tamen abiit ad plures. Medici illum perdiderunt, immo magis malus fatus; medicus enim nihil aliud est quam animi consolatio. Tamen bene elatus est, vitali lecto, stragulis bonis. Planctus est optime — manu misit aliquot — etiam si maligne illum ploravit uxor. Quid si non illam optime accepisset? Sed mulier quae mulier milvinum genus. Neminem nihil boni facere oportet; aeque est enim ac si in puteum conicias. Sed antiquus amor cancer est."

[XLIII] Molestus fuit, Philerosque proclamavit: "Vivorum meminerimus. Ille habet, quod sibi debebatur: honeste vixit, honeste obiit. Quid habet quod queratur? Ab asse crevit et paratus fuit quadrantem de stercore mordicus tollere. Itaque crevit, quicquid crevit, tanquam favus. Puto mehercules illum reliquisse solida centum, et omnia in nummis habuit. De re tamen ego verum dicam, qui linguam caninam comedi: durae buccae fuit, linguosus, discordia, non homo. Frater eius fortis fuit, amicus amico, manu plena, uncta mensa. Et inter initia malam parram pilavit, sed recorrexit costas illius prima vindemia: vendidit enim vinum quantum ipse voluit. Et quod illius mentum sustulit, hereditatem accepit, ex qua plus involavit quam illi relictum est. Et ille stips, dum fratri suo irascitur, nescio cui terrae filio patrimonium elegavit. Longe fugit, quisquis suos fugit. Habuit autem oracularios servos, qui illum pessum dederunt. Nunquam autem recte faciet, qui cito credit, utique homo negotians. Tamen verum quod frunitus est, quam diu vixit. (Datum est) cui datum est, non cui destinatum. Plane Fortunae filius. In manu illius plumbum aurum fiebat. Facile est autem, ubi omnia quadrata currunt. Et quot putas illum annos secum tulisse? Septuaginta et supra. Sed corneolus fuit, aetatem bene ferebat, niger tanquam corvus. Noveram hominem olim oliorum, et adhuc salax erat. Non mehercules illum puto domo canem reliquisse. Immo etiam puellarius erat, omnis Minervae homo. Nec improbo, hoc solum enim secum tulit."

[XLIV] Haec Phileros dixit, illa Ganymedes: "Narratis quod nec ad caelum nec ad terram pertinet, cum interim nemo curat quid annona mordet. Non mehercules hodie buccam panis invenire potui. Et quomodo siccitas perseverat! Iam annum esuritio fuit. Aediles male eveniat, qui cum pistoribus colludunt: 'Serva me, servabo te.' Itaque populus minutus laborat; nam isti maiores maxillae semper Saturnalia agunt. O si haberemus illos leones, quos ego hic inveni, cum primum ex Asia veni. Illud erat vivere. (Si mila Siciliae si inferior esset) larvas sic istos percolopabant, ut illis Iuppiter iratus esset. Sed memini Safinium; tunc habitabat ad arcum veterem, me puero: piper, non homo. Is quacunque ibat, terram adurebat. Sed rectus, sed certus, amicus amico, cum quo audacter posses in tenebris micare. In curia autem quomodo singulos pilabat. Nec schemas loquebatur sed directum. Cum ageret porro in foro, sic illius vox crescebat tanquam tuba. Nec sudavit unquam nec expuit; puto enim nescio quid Asiadis habuisse. Et quam benignus resalutare, nomina omnium reddere, tanquam unus de nobis! Itaque illo tempore annona pro luto erat. Asse panem quem emisses, non potuisses cum altero devorare. Nunc oculum bublum vidi maiorem. Heu heu, quotidie peius! Haec colonia retroversus crescit tanquam coda vituli. Sed quare nos habemus aedilem trium cauniarum, qui sibi mavult assem quam vitam nostram? Itaque domi gaudet, plus in die nummorum accipit quam alter patrimonium habet. Iam scio unde acceperit denarios mille aureos. Sed si nos coleos haberemus, non tantum sibi placeret. Nunc populus est domi leones, foras vulpes. Quod ad me attinet, iam pannos meos comedi, et si perseverat haec annona, casulas meas vendam. Quid enim futurum est, si nec dii nec homines eius coloniae miserentur? Ita meos fruniscar, ut ego puto omnia illa a diibus fieri. Nemo enim caelum caelum putat, nemo ieiunium servat, nemo Iovem pili facit, sed omnes opertis oculis bona sua computant. Antea stolatae ibant nudis pedibus in clivum, passis capillis, mentibus puris, et Iovem aquam exrabant. Itaque statim urceatim plovebat: aut tunc aut nunquam, et omnes ridebant udi tanquam mures. Itaque dii pedes lanatos habent, quia nos religiosi non sumus. Agri iacent...

[XLV] — Oro te, inquit Echion centonarius, melius loquere. 'Modo sic, modo sic', inquit rusticus: varium porcum perdiderat. Quod hodie non est, cras erit: sic vita truditur. Non mehercules patria melior dici potest, si homines haberet. Sed laborat hoc tempore, nec haec sola. Non debemus delicati esse; ubique medius caelus est. Tu si aliubi fueris, dices hic porcos coctos ambulare. Et ecce habituri sumus munus excellente in triduo die festa; familia non lanisticia, sed plurimi liberti. Et Titus noster magnum animum habet, et est caldicerebrius. Aut hoc aut illud erit, quid utique. Nam illi domesticus sum, non est miscix. Ferrum optimum daturus est, sine fuga, carnarium in medio, ut amphitheater videat. Et habet unde. Relictum est illi sestertium tricenties: decessit illius pater male. Vt quadringenta impendat, non sentiet patrimonium illius, et sempiterno nominabitur. Iam Manios aliquot habet et mulierem essedariam et dispensatorem Glyconis, qui deprehensus est cum dominam suam delectaretur. Videbis populi rixam inter zelot et amasiunculos. Glyco autem, sestertiarius homo, dispensatorem ad bestias dedit. Hoc est se ipsum traducere. Quid servus peccavit, qui coactus est facere? Magis illa matella digna fuit quam taurus iactaret. Sed qui asinum non potest, stratum caedit. Quid autem Glyco putabat Hermogenis filicem unquam bonum exitum facturam? Ille miluo volanti poterat ungues resecare; colubra restem non parit. Glyco, Glyco dedit suas; itaque quamdiu vixerit, habebit stigmam, nec illam nisi Orcus delebit. Sed sibi quisque peccat. Sed subolfacio quia nobis epulum daturus est Mammaea, binos denarios mihi et meis. Quod si hoc fecerit, eripiat Norbano totum favorem. Scias oportet plenis velis hunc vinciturum. Et revera, quid ille nobis boni fecit? Dedit gladiatores sestertiarios iam decrepitos, quos si sufflasses, cecidissent; iam meliores bestiarios vidi. Occidit de lucerna equites; putares eos gallos gallinaceos: alter burdubasta, alter loripes, tertiarius mortuus pro mortuo, qui haberet nervia praecisa. Vnus licuius flaturae fuit Thraex, qui et ipse ad dictata pugnavit. Ad summam, omnes postea secti sunt; adeo de magna turba 'Adhibete' acceperant: plane fugae merae. 'Munus tamen, inquit, tibi dedi — et ego tibi plodo.' Computa, et tibi plus do quam accepi. Manus manum lavat.

[XLVI] "Videris mihi, Agamemnon, dicere: 'Quid iste argutat molestus?' Quia tu, qui potes loquere, non loquis. Non es nostrae fasciae, et ideo pauperorum verba derides. Scimus te prae litteras fatuum esse. Quid ergo est? Aliqua die te persuadeam, ut ad villam venias et videas casulas nostras. Inveniemus quod manducemus, pullum, ova: belle erit, etiam si omnia hoc anno tempestas dispare pallavit. Inveniemus ergo unde saturi fiamus. Et iam tibi discipulus crescit cicaro meus. Iam quattuor partis dicit; si vixerit, habebis ad latus servulum. Nam quicquid illi vacat, caput de tabula non tollit. Ingeniosus est et bono filo, etiam si in aves morbosus est. Ego illi iam tres cardeles occidi, et dixi quia mustella comedit. Invenit tamen alias nenias, et libentissime pingit. Ceterum iam Graeculis calcem impingit et Latinas coepit non male appetere, etiam si magister eius sibi placens sit. Nec uno loco consistit, sed venit (raro; scit qui)dem litteras, sed non vult laborare. Est et alter non quidem doctus, sed curiosus, qui plus docet quam scit. Itaque feriatis diebus solet domum venire, et quicquid dederis, contentus est. Emi ergo nunc puero aliquot libra rubricata, quia volo illum ad domusionem aliquid de iure gustare. Habet haec res panem. Nam litteris satis inquinatus est. Quod si resilierit, destinavi illum artificii docere, aut tonstreinum aut praeconem aut certe causidicum, quod illi auferre non possit nisi Orcus. Ideo illi cotidie clamo: "Primigeni, crede mihi, quicquid discis, tibi discis. Vides Phileronem causidicum: si non didicisset, hodie famem a labris non abigeret. Modo, modo, collo suo circumferebat onera venalia; nunc etiam adversus Norbanum se extendit." Litterae thesaurum est, et artificium nunquam moritur".

[XLVII] Eiusmodi tabulae vibrabant, cum Trimalchio intravit et detersa fronte unguento manus lavit; spatioque minimo interposito: "Ignoscite mihi, inquit, amici, multis iam diebus venter mihi non respondit. Nec medici se inveniunt. Profuit mihi tamen maleicorium et taeda ex aceto. Spero tamen, iam veterem pudorem sibi imponet. Alioquin circa stomachum mihi sonat, putes taurum. Itaque si quis vestrum voluerit sua re causa facere, non est quod illum pudeatur. Nemo nostrum solide natus est. Ego nullum puto tam magnum tormentum esse quam continere. Hoc solum vetare ne Iovis potest. Rides, Fortunata, quae soles me nocte desomnem facere? Nec tamen in triclinio ullum vetuo facere quod se iuvet, et medici vetant continere. Vel si quid plus venit, omnia foras parata sunt: aqua, lasani et cetera minutalia. Credite mihi, anathymiasis si in cerebrum it, et in toto corpore fluctum facit. Multos scio periisse, dum nolunt sibi verum dicere." Gratias agimus liberalitati indulgentiaeque eius, et subinde castigamus crebris potiunculis risum.

Nec adhuc sciebamus nos in medio lautitiarum, quod aiunt, clivo laborare. Nam mundatis ad symphoniam mensis tres albi sues in triclinium adducti sunt capistris et tintinnabulis culti, quorum unum bimum nomenculator esse dicebat, alterum trimum, tertium vero iam sexennem. Ego putabam petauristarios intrasse et porcos, sicut in circulis mos est, portenta aliqua facturos. Sed Trimalchio expectatione discussa: "Quem, inquit, ex eis vultis in cenam statim fieri? Gallum enim gallinaceum, Penthiacum et eiusmodi nenias rustici faciunt: mei coci etiam vitulos aeno coctos solent facere." Continuoque cocum vocari iussit, et non expectata electione nostra maximum natu iussit occidi, et clara voce: "Ex quota decuria es?" Cum ille se ex quadragesima respondisset: "Empticius an, inquit, domi natus? — Neutrum, inquit cocus, sed testamento Pansae tibi relictus sum. — Vide ergo, ait, ut diligenter ponas; si non, te iubebo in decuriam viatorum conici." Et cocum quidem potentiae admonitum in culinam obsonium duxit.

[XLVIII] Trimalchio autem miti ad nos vultu respexit et: "Vinum, inquit, si non placet, mutabo; vos illud oportet bonum faciatis. Deorum beneficio non emo, sed nunc quicquid ad salivam facit, in suburbano nascitur eo, quod ego adhuc non novi. Dicitur confine esse Tarraciniensibus et Tarentinis. Nunc coniungere agellis Siciliam volo, ut cum Africam libuerit ire, per meos fines navigem. Sed narra tu mihi, Agamemnon, quam controversiam hodie declamasti? Ego autem si causas non ago, in domusionem tamen litteras didici. Et ne me putes studia fastiditum, tres bybliothecas habeo, unam Graecam, alteram Latinam. Dic ergo, si me amas, peristasim declamationis tuae."

Cum dixisset Agamemnon: "Pauper et dives inimici erant...", ait Trimalchio: "Quid est pauper? — Vrbane", inquit Agamemnon et nescio quam controversiam euit. Statim Trimalchio: "Hoc, inquit, si factum est, controversia non est; si factum non est, nihil est." Haec aliaque cum effusissimis prosequeremur laudationibus: "Rogo, inquit, Agamemnon mihi carissime, numquid duodecim aerumnas Herculis tenes, aut de Vlixe fabulam, quemadmodum illi Cyclops pollicem poricino extorsit? Solebam haec ego puer apud Homerum legere. Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: "Sibilla, ti thelis?", respondebat illa: "apothanin thelo".

[XLIX] Nondum efflaverat omnia, cum repositorium cum sue ingenti mensam occupavit. Mirari nos celeritatem coepimus, et iurare ne gallum quidem gallinaceum tam cito percoqui potuisse, tanto quidem magis, quod longe maior nobis porcus videbatur esse, quam paulo ante aper fuerat. Deinde magis magisque Trimalchio intuens eum: "Quid? quid? inquit, porcus hic non est exinteratus? Non mehercules est. Voca, voca cocum in medio." Cum constitisset ad mensam cocus tristis et diceret se oblitum esse exinterare: "Quid, oblitus? Trimalchio exclamat, putes illum piper et cuminum non coniecisse! Despolia!" Non fit mora, despoliatur cocus atque inter duos tortores maestus consistit. Deprecari tamen omnes coeperunt et dicere: "Solet fieri. — Rogamus mittas. — Postea si fecerit, nemo nostrum pro illo rogabit." Ego crudelissimae severitatis, non potui me tenere, sed inclinatus ad aurem Agamemnonis: "Plane, inquam, hic debet servus esse nequissimus: aliquis oblivisceretur porcum exinterare? Non mehercules illi ignoscerem, si piscem praeterisset." At non Trimalchio, qui relaxato in hilaritatem vultu: "Ergo, inquit, quia tam malae memoriae es, palam nobis illum exintera." Recepta cocus tunica cultrum arripuit, porcique ventrem hinc atque illinc timida manu secuit. Nec mora, ex plagis ponderis inclinatione crescentibus tomacula cum botulis effusa sunt.

[L] Plausum post hoc automatum familia dedit et "Gaio feliciter!" conclamavit. Nec non cocus potione honoratus est, etiam argentea corona poculumque in lance accepit Corinthia. Quam cum Agamemnon propius consideraret, ait Trimalchio: "Solus sum qui vera Corinthea habeam." Exspectabam ut pro reliqua insolentia diceret sibi vasa Corintho afferri. Sed ille melius: "Et forsitan, inquit, quaeris quare solus Corinthea vera possideam: quia scilicet aerarius, a quo emo, Corinthus vocatur. Quid est autem Corintheum, nisi quis Corinthum habeat? Et ne me putetis nesapium esse, valde bene scio, unde primum Corinthea nata sint. Cum Ilium captum est, Hannibal, homo vafer et magnus stelio, omnes statuas aeneas et aureas et argenteas in unum rogum congessit et eas incendit; factae sunt in unum aera miscellanea. Ita ex hac massa fabri sustulerunt et fecerunt catilla et paropsides (et) statuncula. Sic Corinthea nata sunt, ex omnibus in unum, nec hoc nec illud. Ignoscetis mihi quod dixero: ego malo mihi vitrea, certe non olunt. Quod si non frangerentur, mallem mihi quam aurum; nunc autem vilia sunt.

[LI] "Fuit tamen faber qui fecit phialam vitream, quae non frangebatur. Admissus ergo Caesarem est cum suo munere, deinde fecit reporrigere Caesari et illam in pavimentum proiecit. Caesar non pote valdius quam expavit. At ille sustulit phialam de terra; collisa erat tamquam vasum aeneum. Deinde martiolum de sinu protulit et phialam otio belle correxit. Hoc facto putabat se coleum Iovis tenere, utique postquam illi dixit: 'Numquid alius scit hanc condituram vitreorum?' Vide modo. Postquam negavit, iussit illum Caesar decollari: quia enim, si scitum esset, aurum pro luto haberemus.

[LII] "In argento plane studiosus sum. Habeo scyphos urnales plus minus (C) (... videtur) quemadmodum Cassandra occidit filios suos, et pueri mortui iacent sic uti vivere putes. Habeo capidem quam (mi) reliquit patronorum (meorum) unus, ubi Daedalus Niobam in equum Troianum includit. Nam Hermerotis pugnas et Petraitis in poculis habeo, omnia ponderosa; meum enim intelligere nulla pecunia vendo."

Haec dum refert, puer calicem proiecit. Ad quem respiciens Trimalchio: "Cito, inquit, te ipsum caede, quia nugax es." Statim puer demisso labro orare. At ille: "Quid me, inquit, rogas? Tanquam ego tibi molestus sim. Suadeo, a te impetres, ne sis nugax." Tandem ergo exoratus a nobis missionem dedit puero. Ille dimissus circa mensam percucurrit. Et "Aquam foras, vinum intro " clamavit (Trimalchio). Excipimus urbanitatem iocantis, et ante omnes Agamemnon, qui sciebat quibus meritis revocaretur ad cenam. Ceterum laudatus Trimalchio hilarius bibit et iam ebrio proximus: "Nemo, inquit, vestrum rogat Fortunatam meam, ut saltet? Credite mihi: cordacem nemo melius ducit".

Atque ipse erectis super frontem manibus Syrum histrionem exhibebat concinente tota familia: "madeia perimadeia." Et prodisset in medium, nisi Fortunata ad aurem accessisset; et credo, dixerit non decere gravitatem eius tam humiles ineptias. Nihil autem tam inaequale erat; nam modo Fortunatam suam (verebatur), revertebat modo ad naturam.

[LIII] Et plane interpellavit saltationis libidinem actuarius, qui tanquam Vrbis acta recitavit: "VII kalendas Sextiles: in praedio Cumano, quod est Trimalchionis, nati sunt pueri XXX, puellae XL; sublata in horreum ex area tritici milia modium quingenta; boves domiti quingenti. Eodem die: Mithridates servus in crucem actus est, quia Gai nostri genio male dixerat. Eodem die: in arcam relatum est, quod collocari non potuit, sestertium centies. Eodem die: incendium factum est in hortis Pompeianis, ortum ex aedibus Nastae vilici. — Quid, inquit Trimalchio, quando mihi Pompeiani horti empti sunt? — Anno priore, inquit actuarius, et ideo in rationem nondum venerunt." Excanduit Trimalchio et: "Quicunque, inquit, mihi fundi empti fuerint, nisi intra sextum mensem sciero, in rationes meas inferri vetuo." Iam etiam edicta aedilium recitabantur et saltuariorum testamenta, quibus Trimalchio cum elogio exheredabatur; iam nomina vilicorum et repudiata a circumitore liberta in balneatoris contubernio deprehensa, et atriensis Baias relegatus; iam reus factus dispensator, et iudicium inter cubicularios actum.

Petauristarii autem tandem venerunt. Baro insulsissimus cum scalis constitit puerumque iussit per gradus et in summa parte odaria saltare, circulos deinde ardentes transire et dentibus amphoram sustinere. Mirabatur haec solus Trimalchio dicebatque ingratum artificium esse: ceterum duo esse in rebus humanis, quae libentissime spectaret, petauristarios et cornicines; reliqua, animalia, acroemata, tricas meras esse." Nam et comoedos, inquit, emeram, sed malui illos Atella(na)m facere, et choraulen meum iussi Latine cantare".

[LIV] Cum maxime haec dicente Gaio puer (in lectum) Trimalchionis delapsus est. Conclamavit familia, nec minus convivae, non propter hominem tam putidum, cuius etiam cervices fractas libenter vidissent, sed propter malum exitum cenae, ne necesse haberent alienum mortuum plorare. Ipse Trimalchio cum graviter ingemuisset superque brachium tanquam laesum incubuisset, concurrere medici, et inter primos Fortunata crinibus passis cum scypho, miseramque se atque infelicem proclamavit. Nam puer quidem, qui ceciderat, circumibat iam dudum pedes nostros et missionem rogabat. Pessime mihi erat, ne his precibus per ridiculum aliquid catastropha quaeretur. Nec enim adhuc exciderat cocus ille, qui oblitus fuerat porcum exinterare. Itaque totum circumspicere triclinium coepi, ne per parietem automatum aliquod exiret, utique postquam servus verberari coepit, qui brachium domini contusum alba potius quam conchyliata involverat lana. Nec longe aberravit suspicio mea; in vicem enim poenae venit decretum Trimalchionis, quo puerum iussit liberum esse, ne quis posset dicere tantum virum esse a servo vulneratum.

[LV] Comprobamus nos factum et quam in praecipiti res humanae essent, vario sermone garrimus."Ita, inquit Trimalchio, non oportet hunc casum sine inscriptione transire; statimque codicillos poposcit et non diu cogitatione distorta haec recitavit:

"Quod non expectes, ex transverso fit
et supra nos Fortuna negotia curat:
quare da nobis vina Falerna puer."

Ab hoc epigrammate coepit poetarum esse mentio (...) diuque summa carminis penes Mopsum Thracem commorata est (...) donec Trimalchio: "Rogo, inquit, magister, quid putas inter Ciceronem et Publilium interesse? Ego alterum puto disertiorem fuisse, alterum honestiorem. Quid enim his melius dici potest?

Luxuriae ructu Martis marcent moenia.
Tuo palato clausus pavo pascitur
plumato amictus aureo Babylonico,
gallina tibi Numidica, tibi gallus spado.
Ciconia etiam, grata peregrina hospita
pietaticultrix, gracilipes, crotalistria,
avis exul hiemis, titulus tepidi temporis,
nequitiae nidum in caccabo fecit modo.
Quo margarita cara tibi, bacam Indicam?
An ut matrona ornata phaleris pelagiis
tollat pedes indomita in strato extraneo?
Smaragdum ad quam rem viridem, pretiosum vitrum?
Quo Carchedonios optas ignes lapideos?
Nisi ut scintillet probitas e carbunculis?
Aequum est induere nuptam ventum textilem,
palam prostare nudam in nebula linea?

[LVI] "Quod autem, inquit, putamus secundum litteras difficillimum esse artificium? Ego puto medicum et nummularium: medicus, qui scit quid homunciones intra praecordia sua habeant et quando febris veniat, etiam si illos odi pessime, quod mihi iubent saepe anatinam parari; nummularius, qui per argentum aes videt. Nam mutae bestiae laboriosissimae boves et oves: boves, quorum beneficio panem manducamus; oves, quod lana illae nos gloriosos faciunt. Et facinus indignum, aliquis ovillam est et tunicam habet. Apes enim ego divinas bestias puto, quae mel vomunt, etiam si dicuntur illud a Iove afferre. Ideo autem pungunt, quia ubicunque dulce est, ibi et acidum invenies."

Iam etiam philosophos de negotio deiciehat, cum pittacia in scypho circumferri coeperunt, puerque super hoc positus officium apophoreta recitavit. "Argentum sceleratum": allata est perna, supra quam acetabula erant posita. "Cervical": offla collaris allata est. "Serisapia et contumelia": (xerophagiae ex sale) datae sunt et contus cum malo. "Porri et persica": flagellum et cultrum accepit. "Passeres et muscarium": uvam passam et mel Atticum. "Cenatoria et forensia": offlam et tabulas accepit. "Canale et pedale": lepus et solea est allata. "Muraena et littera": murem cum rana alligatum fascemque betae accepit. Diu risimus. Sexcenta huiusmodi fuerunt, quae iam exciderunt memoriae meae.

[LVII] Ceterum Ascyltos, intemperantis licentiae, cum omnia sublatis manibus eluderet et usque ad lacrimas rideret, unus ex conlibertis Trimalchionis excanduit, is ipse qui supra me discumbebat, et:

"Quid rides, inquit, berbex? An tibi non placent lautitiae domini mei? Tu enim beatior es et convivare melius soles. Ita Tutelam huius loci habeam propitiam, ut ego si secundum illum discumberem, iam illi balatum clusissem. Bellum pomum, qui rideatur alios; larifuga nescio quis, nocturnus, qui non valet lotium suum. Ad summam, si circumminxero illum, nesciet qua fugiat. Non mehercules soleo cito fervere, sed in molle carne vermes nascuntur. Ridet! Quid habet quod rideat? Numquid pater fetum emit lamna? Eques Romanus es? Et ego regis filius. Quare ergo servivisti? Quia ipse me dedi in servitutem et malui civis Romanus esse quam tributarius. Et nunc spero me sic vivere, ut nemini iocus sim. Homo inter homines sum, capite aperto ambulo; assem aerarium nemini debeo; constitutum habui nunquam; nemo mihi in foro dixit: 'Redde quod debes'. Glebulas emi, lamellulas paravi; viginti ventres pasco et canem; contubernalem meam redemi, ne qui in illius capillis manus tergeret; mille denarios pro capite solvi; sevir gratis factus sum; spero, sic moriar, ut mortuus non erubescam. Tu autem tam laboriosus es, ut post te non respicias! In alio peduclum vides, in te ricinum non vides. Tibi soli ridiclei videmur; ecce magister tuus, homo maior natus: placemus illi. Tu lacticulosus, nec 'mu' nec 'ma' argutas, vasus fictilis, immo lorus in aqua: lentior, non melior. Tu beatior es: bis prande, bis cena. Ego fidem meam malo quam thesauros. Ad summam, quisquam me bis poposcit? Annis quadraginta servivi; nemo tamen scit utrum servus essem an liber. Et puer capillatus in hanc coloniam veni; adhuc basilica non erat facta. Dedi tamen operam ut domino satis facerem, homini maiesto et dignitosso, cuius pluris erat unguis quam tu totus es. Et habebam in domo qui mihi pedem opponerent hac illac; tamen — genio illius gratias! — enatavi. Haec sunt vera athla; nam in ingenuum nasci tam facile est quam 'Accede istoc'. Quid nunc stupes tanquam hircus in ervilia?"

[LVIII] Post hoc dictum Giton, qui ad pedes stabat, risum iam diu compressum etiam indecenter effudit. Quod cum animadvertisset adversarius Ascylti, flexit convicium in puerum et: "Tu autem, inquit, etiam tu rides, caepa cirrata? O? Saturnalia? rogo, mensis December est? Quando vicesimam numerasti? Quid faciat crucis offla, corvorum cibaria. Curabo iam tibi Iovis iratus sit, et isti qui tibi non imperat. Ita satur pane fiam, ut ego istud conliberto meo dono, alioquin iam tibi depraesentiarum reddidissem. Bene nos habemus, at isti nugae, qui tibi non imperant. Plane qualis dominus, talis et servus. Vix me teneo, nec sum natura caldicerebrius, (sed) cum coepi, matrem meam dupundii non facio. Recte, videbo te in publicum, mus, immo terrae tuber: nec sursum nec deorsum non cresco, nisi dominum tuum in rutae folium non conieci, nec tibi parsero, licet mehercules Iovem Olympium clames. Curabo longe tibi sit comula ista besalis et dominus dupunduarius. Recte, venies sub dentem: aut ego non me novi, aut non deridebis, licet barbam auream habeas. Athana tibi irata sit curabo, et qui te primus deurode fecit. Non didici geometrias, critica et alogas naenias, sed lapidarias litteras scio, partes centum dico ad aes, ad pondus, ad nummum. Ad summam, si quid vis, ego et tu sponsiunculam: exi, defero lamnam. Iam scies patrem tuum mercedes perdidisse, quamvis et rhetoricam scis. Ecce:

'Qui de nobis? longe venio, late venio: solve me'.

Dicam tibi, qui de nobis currit et de loco non movetur; qui de nobis crescit et minor fit. Curris, stupes, satagis, tanquam mus in matella. Ergo aut tace aut meliorem noli molestare, qui te natum non putat, nisi si me iudicas anulos buxeos curare, quos amicae tuae involasti. Occuponem propitium! Eamus in forum et pecunias mutuemur: iam scies hoc ferrum fidem habere. Vah, bella res est volpis uda! Ita lucrum faciam et ita bene moriar ut populus per exitum meum iuret, nisi te toga ubique perversa fuero persecutus. Bella res et iste, qui te haec docet: mufrius, non magister. (Nos aliter) didicimus. Dicebat enim magister: 'Sunt vestra salva? Recta domum. Cave circumspicias, cave maiorem maledicas'. At nunc mera mapalia: nemo dupondii evadit. Ego, quod me sic vides, propter artificium meum diis gratias ago."

[LIX] Coeperat Ascyltos respondere convicio, sed Trimalchio delectatus colliberti eloquentia: "Agite, inquit, scordalias de medio. Suaviter sit potius, et tu, Hermeros, parce adulescentulo. Sanguen illi fervet, tu melior esto. Semper in hac re qui vincitur, vincit. Et tu cum esses capo, cocococo, atque cor non habebas. Simus ergo, quod melius est, a primitiis hilares et Homeristas spectemus." Intravit factio statim hastisque scuta concrepuit. Ipse Trimalchio in pulvino consedit, et cum Homeristae Graecis versibus colloquerentur, ut insolenter solent, ille canora voce Latine legebat librum. Mox silentio facto: "Scitis, inquit, quam fabulam agant? Diomedes et Ganymedes duo fratres fuerunt. Horum soror erat Helena. Agamemnon illam rapuit et Dianae cervam subiecit. Ita nunc Homeros dicit, quemadmodum inter se pugnent Troiani et Parentini. Vicit scilicet, et Iphigeniam, filiam suam, Achilli dedit uxorem. Ob eam rem Aiax insanit, et statim argumentum explicabit." Haec ut dixit Trimalchio, clamorem Homeristae sustulerunt, interque familiam discurrentem vitulus in lance ducenaria elixus allatus est, et quidem galeatus. Secutus est Aiax strictoque gladio, tanquam insaniret, concidit, ac modo versa modo supina gesticulatus, mucrone frusta collegit mirantibusque vitulum partitus est.

[LX] Nec diu mirari licuit tam elegantes strophas; nam repente lacunaria sonare coeperunt totumque triclinium intremuit. Consternatus ego exsurrexi, et timui ne per tectum petauristarius aliquis descenderet. Nec minus reliqui convivae mirantes erexere vultus expectantes quid novi de caelo nuntiaretur. Ecce autem diductis lacunaribus subito circulus ingens, de cupa videlicet grandi excussus, demittitur, cuius per totum orbem coronae aureae cum alabastris unguenti pendebant. Dum haec apophoreta iubemur sumere, respiciens ad mensam (...).

Iam illic repositorium cum placentis aliquot erat positum, quod medium Priapus a pistore factus tenebat, gremioque satis amplo omnis generis poma et uvas sustinebat more vulgato. Avidius ad pompam manus porreximus, et repente nova ludorum remissio hilaritatem hic refecit. Omnes enim placentae omniaque poma etiam minima vexatione contacta coeperunt effundere crocum, et usque ad nos molestus umor accedere. Rati ergo sacrum esse fericulum tam religioso apparatu perfusum, consurreximus altius et "Augusto, patri patriae, feliciter " diximus. Quibusdam tamen etiam post hanc venerationem poma rapientibus, et ipsi mappas implevimus, ego praecipue, qui nullo satis amplo munere putabam me onerare Gitonis sinum.

Inter haec tres pueri candidas succincti tunicas intraverunt, quorum duo Lares bullatos super mensam posuerunt, unus pateram vini circumferens "dii propitii " clamabat.

Aiebat autem unum Cerdonem, alterum Felicionem, tertium Lucronem vocari. Nos etiam veram imaginem ipsius Trimalchionis, cum iam omnes basiarent, erubuimus praeterire.

[LXI] Postquam ergo omnes bonam mentem bonamque valitudinem sibi optarunt, Trimalchio ad Nicerotem respexit et: "Solebas, inquit, suavius esse in convictu; nescio quid nunc taces nec muttis. Oro te, sic felicem me videas, narra illud quod tibi usu venit." Niceros delectatus affabilitate amici: "Omne me, inquit, lucrum transeat, nisi iam dudum gaudimonio dissilio, quod te talem video. Itaque hilaria mera sint, etsi timeo istos scolasticos ne me rideant. Viderint: narrabo tamen, quid enim mihi aufert, qui ridet? satius est rideri quam derideri."

Haec ubi dicta dedit
talem fabulam exorsus est:

"Cum adhuc servirem, habitabamus in vico angusto; nunc Gavillae domus est. Ibi, quomodo dii volunt, amare coepi uxorem Terentii coponis: noveratis Melissam Tarentinam, pulcherrimum bacciballum. Sed ego non mehercules corporaliter aut propter res venerias curavi, sed magis quod benemoria fuit. Si quid ab illa petii, nunquam mihi negatum; fecit assem, semissem habui; in illius sinum demandavi, nec unquam fefellitus sum. Huius contubernalis ad villam supremum diem obiit. Itaque per scutum per ocream egi aginavi, quemadmodum ad illam pervenirem: nam, ut aiunt, in angustiis amici apparent.

[LXII] "Forte dominus Capuae exierat ad scruta scita expedienda. Nactus ego occasionem persuadeo hospitem nostrum, ut mecum ad quintum miliarium veniat. Erat autem miles, fortis tanquam Orcus. Apoculamus nos circa gallicinia; luna lucebat tanquam meridie. Venimus inter monimenta: homo meus coepit ad stelas facere; sedeo ego cantabundus et stelas numero. Deinde ut respexi ad comitem, ille exuit se et omnia vestimenta secundum viam posuit. Mihi anima in naso esse; stabam tanquam mortuus. At ille circumminxit vestimenta sua, et subito lupus factus est. Nolite me iocari putare; ut mentiar, nullius patrimonium tanti facio. Sed, quod coeperam dicere, postquam lupus factus est, ululare coepit et in silvas fugit. Ego primitus nesciebam ubi essem; deinde accessi, ut vestimenta eius tollerem: illa autem lapidea facta sunt. Qui mori timore nisi ego? Gladium tamen strinxi et (in tota via) umbras cecidi, donec ad villam amicae meae pervenirem. In larvam intravi, paene animam ebullivi, sudor mihi per bifurcum volabat, oculi mortui; vix unquam refectus sum. Melissa mea mirari coepit, quod tam sero ambularem, et: 'Si ante, inquit, venisses, saltem nobis adiutasses; lupus enim villam intravit et omnia pecora tanquam lanius sanguinem illis misit. Nec tamen derisit, etiamsi fugit; senius enim noster lancea collum eius traiecit'. Haec ut audivi, operire oculos amplius non potui, sed luce clara Gai nostri domum fugi tanquam copo compilatus; et postquam veni in illum locum, in quo lapidea vestimenta erant facta, nihil inveni nisi sanguinem. Vt vero domum veni, iacebat miles meus in lecto tanquam bovis, et collum illius medicus curabat. Intellexi illum versipellem esse, nec postea cum illo panem gustare potui, non si me occidisses. Viderint quid de hoc alii exopinissent; ego si mentior, genios vestros iratos habeam."

[LXIII] Attonitis admiratione universis: "Salvo, inquit, tuo sermone, Trimalchio, si qua fides est, ut mihi pili inhorruerunt, quia scio Niceronem nihil nugarum narrare: immo certus est et minime linguosus. Nam et ipse vobis rem horribilem narrabo. Asinus in tegulis.

"Cum adhuc capillatus essem, nam a puero vitam Chiam gessi, ipsimi nostri delicatus decessit, mehercules margaritum, (sacritus) et omnium numerum. Cum ergo illum mater misella plangeret et nos tum plures in tristimonio essemus, subito (stridere) strigae coeperunt; putares canem leporem persequi. Habebamus tunc hominem Cappadocem, longum, valde audaculum et qui valebat: poterat bovem iratum tollere. Hic audacter stricto gladio extra ostium procucurrit, involuta sinistra manu curiose, et mulierem tanquam hoc loco — salvum sit, quod tango! — mediam traiecit. Audimus gemitum, et — plane non mentiar — ipsas non vidimus. Baro autem noster introversus se proiecit in lectum, et corpus totum lividum habebat quasi flagellis caesus, quia scilicet illum tetigerat mala manus. Nos cluso ostio redimus iterum ad officium, sed dum mater amplexaret corpus filii sui, tangit et videt manuciolum de stramentis factum. Non cor habebat, non intestina, non quicquam: scilicet iam puerum strigae involaverant et supposuerant stramenticium vavatonem. Rogo vos, oportet credatis, sunt mulieres plussciae, sunt Nocturnae, et quod sursum est, deorsum faciunt. Ceterum baro ille longus post hoc factum nunquam coloris sui fuit, immo post paucos dies freneticus periit."

[LXIV] Miramur nos et pariter credimus, osculatique mensam rogamus Nocturnas, ut suis se teneant, dum redimus a cena.

Et sane iam lucernae mihi plures videbantur ardere totumque triclinium esse mutatum, cum Trimalchio: "Tibi dico, inquit, Plocame, nihil narras? nihil nos delectaris? Et solebas suavius esse, canturire belle deverbia, adicere melicam. Heu, heu, abistis dulces caricae. — Iam, inquit ille, quadrigae meae decucurrerunt, ex quo podagricus factus sum. Alioquin cum essem adulescentulus, cantando paene tisicus factus sum. Quid saltare? quid deverbia? quid tonstrinum? Quando parem habui nisi unum Apelletem?"

Appositaque ad os manu, nescio quid taetrum exsibilavit quod postea Graecum esse affirmabat. Nec non Trimalchio ipse cum tubicines esset imitatus, ad delicias suas respexit, quem Croesum appellabat. Puer autem lippus, sordidissimis dentibus, catellam nigram atque indecenter pinguem prasina involuebat fascia, panemque semissem ponebat supra torum, ac nausia recusantem saginabat. Quo admonitus officio Trimalchio Scylacem iussit adduci "praesidium domus familiaeque". Nec mora, ingentis formae adductus est canis catena vinctus, admonitusque ostiarii calce ut cubaret, ante mensam se posuit. Tum Trimalchio iactans candidum panem: "Nemo, inquit, in domo mea me plus amat." Indignatus puer, quod Scylacem tam effuse laudaret, catellam in terram deposuit hortatusque (est) ut ad rixam properaret. Scylax, canino scilicet usus ingenio, taeterrimo latratu triclinium implevit Margaritamque Croesi paene laceravit. Nec intra rixam tumultus constitit, sed candelabrum etiam supra mensam eversum et vasa omnia crystallina comminuit, et oleo ferventi aliquot convivas respersit. Trimalchio, ne videretur iactura motus, basiavit puerum ac iussit supra dorsum ascendere suum. Non moratus ille usus est equo, manuque plena scapulas eius subinde verberavit, interque risum proclamavit: "Bucco, bucco, quot sunt hic?" Repressus ergo aliquamdiu Trimalchio camellam grandem iussit misceri potiones(que) dividi omnibus servis, qui ad pedes sedebant, adiecta exceptione: "Si quis, inquit, noluerit accipere, caput illi perfunde. Interdiu severa, nunc hilaria".

[LXV] Hanc humanitatem insecutae sunt matteae, quarum etiam recordatio me, si qua est dicenti fides, offendit. Singulae enim gallinae altiles pro turdis circumlatae sunt et ova anserina pilleata, quae ut comessemus, ambitiosissime (a) nobis Trimalchio petiit dicens exossatas esse gallinas. Inter haec triclinii valvas lictor percussit, amictusque veste alba cum ingenti frequentia comissator intravit. Ego maiestate conterritus praetorem putabam venisse. Itaque temptavi assurgere et nudos pedes in terram deferre. Risit hanc trepidationem Agamemnon et: "Contine te, inquit, homo stultissime. Habinnas sevir est idemque lapidarius, qui videtur monumenta optime facere."

Recreatus hoc sermone reposui cubitum, Habinnamque intrantem cum admiratione ingenti spectabam. Ille autem iam ebrius uxoris suae umeris imposuerat manus, oneratusque aliquot coronis et unguento per frontem in oculos fluente, praetorio loco se posuit, continuoque vinum et caldam poposcit. Delectatus hac Trimalchio hilaritate et ipse capaciorem poposcit scyphum, quaesivitque quomodo acceptus esset. "Omnia, inquit, habuimus praeter te; oculi enim mei hic erant. Et mehercules bene fuit. Scissa lautum novendialem servo suo misello faciebat, quem mortuum manu miserat. Et, puto, cum vicensimariis magnam mantissam habet; quinquaginta enim millibus aestimant mortuum. Sed tamen suaviter fuit, etiam si coacti sumus dimidias potiones super ossucula eius effundere."

[LXVI] — Tamen, inquit Trimalchio, quid habuistis in cena? — Dicam, inquit, si potuero; nam tam bonae memoriae sum, ut frequenter nomen meum obliviscar. Habuimus tamen in primo porcum botulo coronatum et circa sangunculum et gizeria optime facta et certe betam et panem autopyrum de suo sibi, quem ego malo quam candidum; (nam) et vires facit, et cum mea re causa facio, non ploro. Sequens ferculum fuit sciribilita frigida et supra mel caldum infusum excellente Hispanum. Itaque de sciribilita quidem non minimum edi, de melle me usque tetigi. Circa cicer et lupinum, calvae arbitratu et mala singula. Ego tamen duo sustuli et ecce in mappa alligata habeo; nam si aliquid muneris meo vernulae non tulero, habebo convicium. Bene me admonet domina mea. In prospectu habuimus ursinae frustum, de quo cum imprudens Scintilla gustasset, paene intestina sua vomuit; ego contra plus libram comedi, nam ipsum aprum sapiebat. Et si, inquam, ursus homuncionem comest, quanto magis homuncio debet ursum comesse? In summo habuimus caseum mollem et sapam et cocleas singulas et cordae frusta et hepatia in catillis et ova pilleata et rapam et senape et catillum concacatum — pax Palamedes! — Etiam in alveo circumlata sunt oxycomina, unde quidam etiam improbi ternos pugnos sustulerunt. Nam pernae missionem dedimus.

[LXVII] "Sed narra mihi, Gai, rogo, Fortunata quare non recumbit? — Quomodo nosti, inquit, illam, Trimalchio, nisi argentum composuerit, nisi reliquias pueris diviserit, aquam in os suum non coniciet. — Atqui, respondit Habinnas, nisi illa discumbit, ego me apoculo." Et coeperat surgere, nisi signo dato Fortunata quater amplius a tota familia esset vocata. Venit ergo galbino succincta cingillo, ita ut infra cerasina appareret tunica et periscelides tortae phaecasiaeque inauratae. Tunc sudario manus tergens, quod in collo habebat, applicat se illi toro, in quo Scintilla Habinnae discumbebat uxor, osculataque plaudentem: "Est te, inquit, videre?"

Eo deinde perventum est, ut Fortunata armillas suas crassissimis detraheret lacertis Scintillaeque miranti ostenderet. Vltimo etiam periscelides resolvit et reticulum aureum, quem ex obrussa esse dicebat. Notavit haec Trimalchio iussitque afferri omnia et: "Videtis, inquit, mulieris compedes: sic nos barcalae despoliamur. Sex pondo et selibram debet habere. Et ipse nihilo minus habeo decem pondo armillam ex millesimis Mercurii factam." Vltimo etiam, ne mentiri videretur, stateram iussit afferri et circulatum approbari pondus. Nec melior Scintilla, quae de cervice sua capsellam detraxit aureolam, quam Felicionem appellabat. Inde duo crotalia protulit et Fortunatae invicem consideranda dedit et: "Domini, inquit, mei beneficio nemo habet meliora. — Quid? inquit Habinnas, excatarissasti me, ut tibi emerem fabam vitream. Plane si filiam haberem, auriculas illi praeciderem. Mulieres si non essent, omnia pro luto haberemus; nunc hoc est caldum meiere et frigidum potare."

Interim mulieres sauciae inter se riserunt ebriaeque iunxerunt oscula, dum altera diligentiam matris familiae iactat, altera delicias et indiligentiam viri. Dumque sic cohaerent, Habinnas furtim consurrexit, pedesque Fortunatae correptos super lectum immisit. "Au! au!" illa proclamavit aberrante tunica super genua. Composita ergo in gremio Scintillae indecentissimam rubore faciem sudario abscondit.

[LXVIII] Interposito deinde spatio cum secundas mensas Trimalchio iussisset afferri, sustulerunt servi omnes mensas et alias attulerunt, scobemque croco et minio tinctam sparserunt et, quod nunquam ante videram, ex lapide speculari pulverem tritum. Statim Trimalchio: "Poteram quidem, inquit, hoc fericulo esse contentus; secundas enim mensas habetis. (Sed) si quid belli habes, affer".

Interim puer Alexandrinus, qui caldam ministrabat, luscinias coepit imitari clamante Trimalchione subinde: "Muta!". Ecce alius ludus. Servus qui ad pedes Habinnae sedebat, iussus, credo, a domino suo proclamavit subito canora voce:

Interea medium Aeneas iam classe tenebat...

Nullus sonus unquam acidior percussit aures meas; nam praeter errantis barbariae aut adiectum aut deminutum clamorem, miscebat Atellanicos versus, ut tunc primum me etiam Vergilius offenderit. Lassus tamen cum aliquando desisset, adiecit Habinnas et "Nun(quam, in)quit, didicit, sed ego ad circulatores eum mittendo erudibam. Itaque parem non habet, sive muliones volet sive circulatores imitari. Desperatum valde ingeniosus est: idem sutor est, idem cocus, idem pistor, omnis Musae mancipium. Duo tamen vitia habet, quae si non haberet, esset omnium numerum: recutitus est et stertit. Nam quod strabonus est, non curo; sicut Venus spectat. Ideo nihil tacet, vix oculo mortuo unquam. Illum emi trecentis denariis..."

[LXIX] Interpellavit loquentem Scintilla et: "Plane, inquit, non omnia artificia servi nequam narras. Agaga est; at curabo stigmam habeat." Risit Trimalchio et: "Adcognosco, inquit, Cappadocem: nihil sibi defraudit, et mehercules laudo illum; hoc enim nemo parentat. Tu autem, Scintilla, noli zelotypa esse. Crede mihi, et vos novimus. Sic me salvum habeatis, ut ego sic solebam ipsumam meam debattuere, ut etiam dominus suspicaretur; et ideo me in vilicationem relegavit. Sed tace, lingua, dabo panem." Tanquam laudatus esset nequissimus servus, lucernam de sinu fictilem protulit et amplius semihora tubicines imitatus est succinente Habinna et inferius labrum manu deprimente. Vltimo etiam in medium processit et modo harundinibus quassis choraulas imitatus est, modo lacernatus cum flagello mulionum fata egit, donec vocatum ad se Habinnas basiavit, potionemque illi porrexit et: "Tanto melior, inquit, Massa, dono tibi caligas".

Nec ullus tot malorum finis fuisset, nisi epidipnis esset allata, turdi siligine(i) uvis passis nucibusque farsi. Insecuta sunt Cydonia etiam mala spinis confixa, ut echinos efficerent. Et haec quidem tolerabilia erant, si non fericulum longe monstrosius effecisset ut vel fame perire mallemus. Nam cum positus esset, ut nos putabamus, anser altilis circaque pisces et omnium genera avium: "(Amici) , inquit Trimalchio, quicquid videtis hic positum, de uno corpore est factum." Ego scilicet homo prudentissimus, statim intellexi quid esset, et respiciens Agamemnon: "Mirabor, inquam, nisi omnia ista de (fimo) facta sunt aut certe de luto. Vidi Romae Saturnalibus eiusmodi cenarum imaginem fieri".

[LXX] Necdum finieram sermonem, cum Trimalchio ait: "Ita crescam patrimonio, non corpore, ut ista cocus meus de porco fecit. Non potest esse pretiosior homo. Volueris, de vulva faciet piscem, de lardo palumbam, de perna turturem, de colaepio gallinam. Et ideo ingenio meo impositum est illi nomen bellissimum; nam Daedalus vocatur. Et quia bonam mentem habet, attuli illi Roma munus cultros Norico ferro." Quos statim iussit afferri, inspectosque miratus est. Etiam nobis potestatem fecit ut mucronem ad buccam probaremus.

Subito intraverunt duo servi, tanquam qui rixam ad lacum fecissent; certe in collo adhuc amphoras habebant. Cum ergo Trimalchio ius inter litigantes diceret, neuter sententiam tulit decernentis, sed alterius amphoram fuste percussit. Consternati nos insolentia ebriorum intentavimus oculos in proeliantes, notavimusque ostrea pectinesque e gastris labentia, quae collecta puer lance circumtulit. Has lautitias aequavit ingeniosus cocus; in craticula enim argentea cocleas attulit et tremula taeterrimaque voce cantavit.

Pudet referre quae secuntur: inaudito enim more pueri capillati attulerunt unguentum in argentea pelve pedesque recumbentium unxerunt, cum ante crura talosque corollis vinxissent. Hinc ex eodem unguento in vinarium atque lucernam aliquantum est infusum.

Iam coeperat Fortunata velle saltare, iam Scintilla frequentius plaudebat quam loquebatur, cum Trimalchio: "Permitto, inquit, Philargyre et Cario, etsi prasinianus es famosus, dic et Menophilae, contubernali tuae, discumbat. "Quid multa? Paene de lectis deiecti sumus, adeo totum triclinium familia occupaverat. Certe ego notavi super me positum cocum, qui de porco anserem fecerat, muria condimentisque fetentem. Nec contentus fuit recumbere, sed continuo Ephesum tragoedum coepit imitari et subinde dominum suum sponsione provocare si prasinus proximis circensibus primam palmam".

[LXXI] Diffusus hac contentione Trimalchio: "Amici, inquit, et servi homines sunt et aeque unum lactem biberunt, etiam si illos malus fatus oppresserit. Tamen me salvo cito aquam liberam gustabunt. Ad summam, omnes illos in testamento meo manu mitto. Philargyro etiam fundum lego et contubernalem suam, Carioni quoque insulam et vicesimam et lectum stratum. Nam Fortunatam meam heredem facio, et commendo illam omnibus amicis meis. Et haec ideo omnia publico, ut familia mea iam nunc sic me amet tanquam mortuum".

Gratias agere omnes indulgentiae coeperant domini, cum ille oblitus nugarum exemplar testamenti iussit afferri et totum a primo ad ultimum ingemescente familia recitavit. Respiciens deinde Habinnam: "Quid dicis, inquit, amice carissime? Aedificas monumentum meum quemadmodum te iussi? Valde te rogo, ut secundum pedes statuae meae catellam pingas et coronas et unguenta et Petraitis omnes pugnas, ut mihi contingat tuo beneficio post mortem vivere; praeterea ut sint in fronte pedes centum, in agrum pedes ducenti. Omne genus enim poma volo sint circa cineres meos, et vinearum largiter. Valde enim falsum est vivo quidem domos cultas esse, non curari eas, ubi diutius nobis habitandum est. Et ideo ante omnia adici volo: HOC MONUMENTUM HEREDEM NON SEQUATUR. Ceterum erit mihi curae, ut testamento caveam ne mortuus iniuriam accipiam. Praeponam enim unum ex libertis sepulchro meo custodiae causa, ne in monumentum meum populus cacatum currat. Te rogo, ut naves etiam (in fronte) monumenti mei facias plenis velis euntes, et me in tribunali sedentem praetextatum cum anulis aureis quinque et nummos in publico de sacculo effundentem; scis enim, quod epulum dedi binos denarios. Faciatur, si tibi videtur, et triclinia. Facies et totum populum sibi suaviter facientem. Ad dexteram meam pones statuam Fortunatae meae columbam tenentem, et catellam cingulo alligatam ducat, et cicaronem meum, et amphoras copiosas gypsatas, ne effluant vinum. Et urnam licet fractam sculpas, et super eam puerum plorantem. Horologium in medio, ut quisquis horas inspiciet, velit nolit, nomen meum legat. Inscriptio quoque vide diligenter si haec satis idonea tibi videtur:

C. POMPEIVS TRIMALCHIO MAECENATIANVS HIC REQVIESCIT
HVIC SEVIRATVS ABSENTI DECRETVS EST
CVM POSSET IN OMNIBVS DECVRIIS ROMAE ESSE TAMEN NOLVIT
PIVS FORTIS FIDELIS EX PARVO CREVIT SESTERTIVM RELIQVIT TRECENTIES
NEC VNQVAM PHILOSOPHVM AVDIVIT
VALE
ET TV "

[LXXII] Haec ut dixit Trimalchio, flere coepit ubertim. Flebat et Fortunata, flebat et Habinnas, tota denique familia, tanquam in funus rogata, lamentatione triclinium implevit. Immo iam coeperam etiam ego plorare, cum Trimalchio: "Ergo, inquit, cum sciamus nos morituros esse, quare non vivamus? Sic nos felices videam, coniciamus nos in balneum, meo periculo, non paenitebit. Sic calet tanquam furnus. — Vero, vero, inquit Habinnas, de una die duas facere, nihil malo "; nudisque consurrexit pedibus et Trimalchionem gaudentem subsequi.

Ego respiciens ad Ascylton: "Quid cogitas? inquam, ego enim si videro balneum, statim expirabo. — Assentemur, ait ille, et dum illi balneum petunt, nos in turba exeamus".

Cum haec placuissent, ducente per porticum Gitone ad ianuam venimus, ubi canis catenarius tanto nos tumultu excepit, ut Ascyltos etiam in piscinam ceciderit. Nec non ego quoque ebrius, qui etiam pictum timueram canem, dum natanti opem fero, in eundem gurgitem tractus sum. Servavit nos tamen atriensis, qui interventu suo et canem placavit et nos trementes extraxit in siccum. At Giton quidem iam dudum (se) servatione acutissima redemerat a cane: quicquid enim a nobis acceperat de cena, latranti sparserat, et ille avocatus cibo furorem suppresserat. Ceterum cum algentes utique petissemus ab atriense ut nos extra ianuam emitteret: "Erras, inquit, si putas te exire hac posse, qua venisti. Nemo unquam convivarum per eandem ianuam emissus est; alia intrant, alia exeunt."

[LXXIII] Quid faciamus homines miserrimi et novi generis labyrintho inclusi, quibus lavari iam coeperat votum esse? Vltro ergo rogavimus ut nos ad balneum duceret, proiectisque vestimentis, quae Giton in aditu siccare coepit, balneum intravimus, angustum scilicet et cisternae frigidariae simile, in qua Trimalchio rectus stabat. Ac ne sic quidem putidissimam eius iactationem licuit effugere; nam nihil melius esse dicebat quam sine turba lavari, et eo ipso loco aliquando pistrinum fuisse. Deinde ut lassatus consedit, invitatus balnei sono diduxit usque ad cameram os ebrium et coepit Menecratis cantica lacerare, sicut illi dicebant, qui linguam eius intellegebant. Ceteri convivae circa labrum manibus nexis currebant, et gingilipho ingenti clamore exsonabant. Alii autem aut restrictis manibus anulos de pavimento conabantur tollere, aut posito genu cervices post terga flectere, et pedum extremos pollices tangere. Nos, dum alii sibi ludos faciunt, in solium, quod Trimalchioni parabatur, descendimus.

Ergo ebrietate discussa in aliud triclinium deducti sumus ubi Fortunata disposuerat lautitias ita ut supra lucernas (vidi ...) aeneolosque piscatores notaverim et mensas totas argenteas calicesque circa fictiles inauratos et vinum in conspectu sacco defluens. Tum Trimalchio: "Amici, inquit, hodie servus meus barbatoriam fecit, homo praefiscini frugi et micarius. Itaque tangomenas faciamus et usque in lucem cenemus".

[LXXIV] Haec dicente eo gallus gallinaceus cantavit. Qua voce confusus Trimalchio vinum sub mensa iussit effundi lucernamque etiam mero spargi. Immo anulum traiecit in dexteram manum et: "Non sine causa, inquit, hic bucinus signum dedit; nam aut incendium oportet fiat, aut aliquis in vicinia animam abiciat. Longe a nobis! Itaque quisquis hunc indicem attulerit, corollarium accipiet." Dicto citius de vicinia gallus allatus est, quem Trimalchio iussit ut aeno coctus fieret. Laceratus igitur ab illo doctissimo coco, qui paulo ante de porco aves piscesque fecerat, in caccabum est coniectus. Dumque Daedalus potionem ferventissimam haurit, Fortunata mola buxea piper trivit.

Sumptis igitur matteis, respiciens ad familiam Trimalchio: "Quid vos, inquit, adhuc non cenastis? Abite, ut alii veniant ad officium." Subiit igitur alia classis, et illi quidem exclamavere: "Vale Gai ", hi autem: "Ave Gai." Hinc primum hilaritas nostra turbata est; nam cum puer non inspeciosus inter novos intrasset ministros, invasit eum Trimalchio et osculari diutius coepit. Itaque Fortunata, ut ex aequo ius firmum approbaret, male dicere Trimalchionem coepit et purgamentum dedecusque praedicare, qui non contineret libidinem suam. Vltimo etiam adiecit: "canis!". Trimalchio contra offensus convicio calicem in faciem Fortunatae immisit. Illa tanquam oculum perdidisset, exclamavit manusque trementes ad faciem suam admovit. Consternata est etiam Scintilla trepidantemque sinu suo texit. Immo puer quoque officiosus urceolum frigidum ad malam eius admovit, super quem incumbens Fortunata gemere ac flere coepit. Contra Trimalchio: "Quid enim, inquit, ambubaia non meminit se? de machina illam sustuli, hominem inter homines feci. At inflat se tanquam rana, et in sinum suum non spuit, codex, non mulier. Sed hic, qui in pergula natus est, aedes non somniatur. Ita genium meum propitium habeam, curabo domata sit Cassandra caligaria. Et ego, homo dipundiarius, sestertium centies accipere potui. Scis tu me non mentiri. Agatho unguentarius here proxime seduxit me et: 'Suadeo, inquit, non patiaris genus tuum interire.' At ego dum bonatus ago et nolo videri levis, ipse mihi asciam in crus impegi. Recte, curabo me unguibus quaeras. Et, ut depraesentiarum intelligas quid tibi feceris: Habinna, nolo statuam eius in monumento meo ponas, ne mortuus quidem lites habeam. Immo, ut sciat me posse malum dare, nolo me mortuum basiet."

[LXXV] Post hoc fulmen Habinnas rogare coepit ut iam desineret irasci, et: "Nemo, inquit, nostrum non peccat. Homines sumus, non dei." Idem et Scintilla flens dixit, ac per genium eius Gaium appellando rogare coepit ut se frangeret. Non tenuit ultra lacrimas Trimalchio et: "Rogo, inquit, Habinna, sic peculium tuum fruniscaris: si quid perperam feci, in faciem meam inspue. Puerum basiavi frugalissimum, non propter formam, sed quia frugi est: decem partes dicit, librum ab oculo legit, thraecium sibi de diariis fecit, arcisellium de suo paravit et duas trullas. Non est dignus quem in oculis feram? Sed Fortunata vetat. Ita tibi videtur, fulcipedia? Suadeo, bonum tuum concoquas, milva, et me non facias ringentem, amasiuncula: alioquin experieris cerebrum meum. Nosti me: quod semel destinavi, clavo tabulari fixum est. Sed vivorum meminerimus. Vos rogo, amici, ut vobis suaviter sit. Nam ego quoque tam fui quam vos estis, sed virtute mea ad hoc perveni. Corcillum est quod homines facit, cetera quisquilia omnia. Bene emo, bene vendo; alius alia vobis dicet. Felicitate dissilio. Tu autem, sterteia, etiamnum ploras? Iam curabo fatum tuum plores. Sed ut coeperam dicere, ad hanc me fortunam frugalitas mea perduxit.

"Tam magnus ex Asia veni, quam hic candelabrus est. Ad summam, quotidie me solebam ad illum metiri, et ut celerius rostrum barbatum haberem, labra de lucerna ungebam. Tamen ad delicias ipsimi annos quattuordecim fui. Nec turpe est, quod dominus iubet. Ego tamen et ipsimae satis faciebam. Scitis quid dicam: taceo, quia non sum de gloriosis.

[LXXVI] "Ceterum, quemadmodum di volunt, dominus in domo factus sum, et ecce cepi ipsimi cerebellum. Quid multa? coheredem me Caesari fecit, et accepi patrimonium laticlavium. Nemini tamen nihil satis est. Concupivi negotiari. Ne multis vos morer, quinque naves aedificavi, oneravi vinum — et tunc erat contra aurum — misi Romam. Putares me hoc iussisse: omnes naves naufragarunt. Factum, non fabula. Vno die Neptunus trecenties sestertium devoravit. Putatis me defecisse? Non mehercules mi haec iactura gusti fuit, tanquam nihil facti. Alteras feci maiores et meliores et feliciores, ut nemo non me virum fortem diceret. Scis, magna navis magnam fortitudinem habet. Oneravi rursus vinum, lardum, fabam, seplasium, mancipia. Hoc loco Fortunata rem piam fecit: omne enim aurum suum, omnia vestimenta vendidit et mi centum aureos in manu posuit. Hoc fuit peculii mei fermentum. Cito fit quod di volunt. Vno cursu centies sestertium corrotundavi. Statim redemi fundos omnes, qui patroni mei fuerant. Aedifico domum, venalicia coemo, iumenta; quicquid tangebam, crescebat tanquam favus. Postquam coepi plus habere quam tota patria mea habet, manum de tabula: sustuli me de negotiatione et coepi libertos fenerare. Et sane nolente me negotium meum agere exhortavit mathematicus, qui venerat forte in coloniam nostram, Graeculio, Serapa nomine, consiliator deorum. Hic mihi dixit etiam ea, quae oblitus eram; ab acia et acu mi omnia euit; intestinas meas noverat; tantum quod mihi non dixerat, quid pridie cenaveram. Putasses illum semper mecum habitasse.

[LXXVII] "Rogo, Habinna — puto, interfuisti —: 'Tu dominam tuam de rebus illis fecisti. Tu parum felix in amicos es. Nemo unquam tibi parem gratiam refert. Tu latifundia possides. Tu viperam sub ala nutricas' et — quid vobis non dixerim — etiam nunc mi restare vitae annos triginta et menses quattuor et dies duos. Praeterea cito accipiam hereditatem. Hoc mihi dicit fatus meus. Quod si contigerit fundos Apuliae iungere, satis vivus pervenero. Interim dum Mercurius vigilat, aedificavi hanc domum. Vt scitis, casula erat; nunc templum est. Habet quattuor cenationes, cubicula viginti, porticus marmoratos duos, susum cellationem, cubiculum in quo ipse dormio, viperae huius sessorium, ostiarii cellam perbonam; hospitium hospites capit. Ad summam, Scaurus cnm huc venit, nusquam mavoluit hospitari, et habet ad mare paternum hospitium. Et multa alia sunt, quae statim vobis ostendam. Credite, mihi: assem habeas, assem valeas; habes, habeberis. Sic amicus vester, qui fuit rana, nunc est rex. Interim, Stiche, profer vitalia, in quibus volo me efferri. Profer et unguentum et ex illa amphora gustum, ex qua iubeo lavari ossa mea."

[LXXVIII] Non est moratus Stichus, sed et stragulam albam et praetextam in triclinium attulit. (Vitalia Trimalchio accepit) iussitque nos temptare, an bonis lanis essent confecta. Tum subridens: "Vide tu, inquit, Stiche, ne ista mures tangant aut tineae; alioquin te vivum conburam. Ego gloriosus volo efferri, ut totus mihi populus bene imprecetur." Statim ampullam nardi aperuit omnesque nos unxit et: "Spero, inquit, futurum ut aeque me mortuum iuvet tanquam vivum." Nam vinum quidem in vinarium iussit infundi et: "Putate vos, ait, ad parentalia mea invitatos esse".

Ibat res ad summam nauseam, cum Trimalchio ebrietate turpissima gravis novum acroama, cornicines, in triclinium iussit adduci, fultusque cervicalibus multis extendit se super torum extremum et: "Fingite me, inquit, mortuum esse. Dicite aliquid belli." Consonuere cornicines funebri strepitu. Vnus praecipue servus libitinarii illius, qui inter hos honestissimus erat, tam valde intonuit, ut totam concitaret viciniam.

Itaque vigiles, qui custodiebant vicinam regionem, rati ardere Trimalchionis domum, effregerunt ianuam subito et cum aqua securibusque tumultuari suo iure coeperunt. Nos occasionem opportunissimam nacti Agamemnoni verba dedimus, raptimque tam plane quam ex incendio fugimus.

[LXXIX] Neque fax ulla in praesidio erat, quae iter aperiret errantibus, nec silentium noctis iam mediae promittebat occurrentium lumen. Accedebat huc ebrietas et imprudentia locorum etiam interdiu obscura. Itaque cum hora paene tota per omnes scrupos gastrarumque eminentium fragmenta traxissemus cruentos pedes, tandem expliciti acumine Gitonis sumus. Prudens enim pridie, cum luce etiam clara timeret errorem, omnes pilas columnasque notaverat creta, quae lineamenta evicerunt spississimam noctem, et notabili candore ostenderunt errantibus viam. Quamvis non minus sudoris habuimus etiam postquam ad stabulum pervenimus. Anus enim ipsa inter deversitores diutius ingurgitata ne ignem quidem admotum sensisset, et forsitan pernoctassemus in limine, ni tabellarius Trimalchionis intervenisset X vehiculis (deviis). Non diu ergo tumultuatus stabuli ianuam effregit, et nos per eandem festram admisit. (...)

Qualis nox fuit illa, di deaeque,
quam mollis torus! Haesimus calentes
et transfudimus hinc et hinc labellis
errantes animas. Valete curae
mortales. Ego sic perire coepi.

Sine causa gratulor mihi. Nam cum solutus mero remisissem ebrias manus, Ascyltos, omnis iniuriae inventor, subduxit mihi nocte puerum et in lectum transtulit suum, volutatusque liberius cum fratre non suo, sive non sentiente iniuriam sive dissimulante, indormivit alienis amplexibus oblitus iuris humani. Itaque ego ut experrectus pertrectavi gaudio despoliatum torum, si qua est amantibus fides, ego dubitavi, an utrumque traicerem gladio somnumque morti iungerem. Tutius dein secutus consilium Gitona quidem verberibus excitavi, Ascylton autem truci intuens vultu: "Quoniam, inquam, fidem scelere violasti et communem amicitiam, res tuas ocius tolle et alium locum, quem polluas, quaere". Non repugnavit ille, sed postquam optima fide partiti manubias sumus: "Age, inquit, nunc et puerum dividamus".

[LXXX] Iocari putabam discedentem. At ille gladium parricidali manu strinxit et: "Non frueris, inquit, hac praeda super quam solus incumbis. Partem meam necesse est vel hoc gladio contemptus abscindam". Idem ego ex altera parte feci, et intorto circa brachium pallio, composui ad proeliandum gradum. Inter hanc miserorum dementiam infelicissimus puer tangebat utriusque genua cum fletu, petebatque suppliciter ne Thebanum par humilis taberna spectaret, neve sanguine mutuo pollueremus familiaritatis clarissimae sacra. "Quod si utique, proclamabat, facinore opus est, nudo ecce iugulum, convertite huc manus, imprimite mucrones. Ego mori debeo, qui amicitiae sacramentum delevi." Inhibuimus ferrum post has preces, et prior Ascyltos: "Ego, inquit, finem discordiae imponam. Puer ipse, quem vult, sequatur, ut sit illi saltem in eligendo fratre salva libertas." Ego qui vetustissimam consuetudinem putabam in sanguinis pignus transisse, nihil timui, immo condicionem praecipiti festinatione rapui, commisique iudici litem. Qui ne deliberavit quidem, ut videretur cunctatus, verum statim ab extrema parte verbi consurrexit (et) fratrem Ascylton elegit. Fulminatus hac pronuntiatione, sic ut eram, sine gladio in lectulum decidi, et attulissem mihi damnatus manus, si non inimici victoriae invidissem. Egreditur superbus cum praemio Ascyltos, et paulo ante carissimum sibi commilitonem fortunaeque etiam similitudine parem in loco peregrino destituit abiectum.

Nomen amicitiae, sic, quatenus expedit, haeret;
calculus in tabula mobile ducit opus.
Dum fortuna manet, vultum servatis, amici;
cum cecidit, turpi certitis ora fuga.
Grex agit in scaena mimum: pater ille vocatur,
filius hic, nomen divitis ille tenet.
Mox ubi ridendas inclusit pagina partes,
vera redit facies, adsimulata perit.

[LXXXI] Nec diu tamen lacrimis indulsi, sed veritus ne Menelaus etiam antescholanus inter cetera mala solum me in deversorio inveniret, collegi sarcinulas, locumque secretum et proximum litori maestus conduxi. Ibi triduo inclusus, redeunte in animum solitudine atque contemptu, verberabam aegrum planctibus pectus et inter tot altissimos gemitus frequenter etiam proclamabam: "Ergo me non ruina terra potuit haurire? Non iratum etiam innocentibus mare? Effugi iudicium, harenae imposui, hospitem occidi, ut inter audaciae nomina mendicus, exul, in deversorio Graecae urbis iacerem desertus? Et quis hanc mihi solitudinem imposuit? Adulescens omni libidine impurus et sua quoque confessione dignus exilio, stupro liber, stupro ingenuus, cuius anni ad tesseram venierunt, quem tanquam puellam conduxit etiam qui virum putavit. Quid ille alter? qui die togae virilis stolam sumpsit, qui ne vir esset a matre persuasus est, qui opus muliebre in ergastulo fecit, qui postquam conturbavit et libidinis suae solum vertit, reliquit veteris amicitiae nomen et — pro pudor! — tanquam mulier secutuleia unius noctis tactu omnia vendidit. Iacent nunc amatores obligati noctibus totis, et forsitan mutuis libidinibus attriti derident solitudinem meam. Sed non impune. Nam aut vir ego liberque non sum, aut noxio sanguine parentabo iniuriae meae."

[LXXXII] Haec locutus gladio latus cingor, et ne infirmitas militiam perderet, largioribus cibis excito vires. Mox in publicum prosilio furentisque more omnes circumeo porticus. Sed dum attonito vultu efferatoque nihil aliud quam caedem et sanguinem cogito, frequentiusque manum ad capulum, quem devoveram, refero, notavit me miles, sive ille planus fuit sive nocturnus grassator, et: "Quid tu, inquit, commilito, ex qua legione es aut cuius centuria?" Cum constantissime et centurionem et legionem essem ementitus: "Age ergo, inquit ille, in exercitu vestro phaecasiati milites ambulant?" Cum deinde vultu atque ipsa trepidatione mendacium prodidissem, ponere iussit arma et malo cavere. Despoliatus ergo, immo praecisa ultione retro ad deversorium tendo, paulatimque temeritate laxata coepi grassatoris audaciae gratias agere. (...)

Non bibit inter aquas, poma aut pendentia carpit
Tantalus infelix, quem sua vota premunt.
Divitis haec magni facies erit, omnia acervans
qui timet et sicco concoquit ore famem.
Non multum oportet consilio credere, quia suam habet fortuna rationem. (...)

[LXXXIII] In pinacothecam perveni vario genere tabularum mirabilem. Nam et Zeuxidos manus vidi nondum vetustatis iniuria victas, et Protogenis rudimenta cum ipsius naturae veritate certantia non sine quodam horrore tractavi. Jam vero Apellis quam Graeci mon(kthmon appellant, etiam adoravi. Tanta enim subtilitate extremitates imaginum erant ad similitudinem praecisae, ut crederes etiam animorum esse picturam. Hinc aquila ferebat caelo sublimis Idaeum, illinc candidus Hylas repellebat improbam Naida. Damnabat Apollo noxias manus lyramque resolutam modo nato flore honorabat. Inter quos etiam pictorum amantium vultus tanquam in solitudine exclamavi: "Ergo amor etiam deos tangit. Iuppiter in caelo suo non invenit quod diligeret, sed peccaturus in terris nemini tamen iniuriam fecit. Hylan Nympha praedata temperasset amori suo, si venturum ad interdictum Herculem credidisset. Apollo pueri umbram revocavit in florem, et omnes fabulae quoque sine aemulo habuerunt complexus. At ego in societatem recepi hospitem Lycurgo crudeliorem." Ecce autem, ego dum cum ventis litigo, intravit pinacothecam senex canus, exercitati vultus et qui videretur nescio quid magnum promittere, sed cultu non proinde speciosus, ut facile appareret eum (ex) hac nota litterat(or)um esse, quos odisse divites solent. Is ergo ad latus constitit meum.

"Ego, inquit, poeta sum et, ut spero, non humillimi spiritus, si modo coronis aliquid credendum est, quas etiam ad imperitos deferre gratia solet. 'Quare ergo, inquis, tam male vestitus es?' Propter hoc ipsum. Amor ingenii neminem unquam divitem fecit.

"Qui pelago credit, magno se fenore tollit;
qui pugnas et castra petit, praecingitur auro;
vilis adulator picto iacet ebrius ostro,
et qui sollicitat nuptas, ad praemia peccat.
Sola pruinosis horret facundia pannis,
atque inopi lingua desertas invocat artes.

[LXXXIV] "Non dubie ita est: si quis vitiorum omnium inimicus rectum iter vitae coepit insistere, primum propter morum differentiam odium habet: quis enim potest probare diversa? Deinde qui solas exstruere divitias curant, nihil volunt inter homines melius credi, quam quod ipsi tenent. Insectantur itaque, quacunque ratione possunt, litterarum amatores, ut videantur illi quoque infra pecuniam positi. (...)

"Nescio quo modo bonae mentis soror est paupertas. (...)

"Vellem, tam innocens esset frugalilatis meae hostis, ut deliniri posset. Nunc veteranus est latro et ipsis lenonibus doctior". (...)

[LXXXV] EVMOLPVS. "In Asiam cum a quaestore essem stipendio eductus, hospitium Pergami accepi. Vbi cum libenter habitarem non solum propter cultum aedicularum, sed etiam propter hospitis formosissimum filium, excogitavi rationem qua non essem patri familiae suspectus amator. Quotiescunque enim in convivio de usu formosorum mentio facta est, tam vehementer excandui, tam severa tristitia violari aures meas obsceno sermone nolui, ut me mater praecipue tanquam unum ex philosophis intueretur. Jam ego coeperam ephebum in gymnasium deducere, ego studia eius ordinare, ego docere ac praecipere, ne quis praedator corporis admitteretur in domum.

Forte cum in triclinio iaceremus, quia dies sollemnis ludum artaverat pigritiamque recedendi imposuerat hilaritas longior, fere circa mediam noctem intellexi puerum vigilare. Itaque timidissimo murmure votum feci et: "Domina, inquam, Venus, si ego hunc puerum basiavero, ita ut ille non sentiat, cras illi par columbarum donabo". Audito voluptatis pretio puer stertere coepit. Itaque aggressus simulantem aliquot basiolis invasi. Contentus hoc principio bene mane surrexi electumque par columbarum attuli expectanti ac me voto exsolvi.

[LXXXVI] Proxima nocte cum idem liceret, mutavi optionem et: "Si hunc, inquam, tractavero improba manu, et ille non senserit, gallos gallinaceos pugnacissimos duos donabo patienti". Ad hoc votum ephebus ultro se admovit et, puto, vereri coepit ne ego obdormissem. Indulsi ergo sollicito, totoque corpore citra summam voluptatem me ingurgitavi. Deinde ut dies venit, attuli gaudenti quicquid promiseram. Vt tertia nox licentiam dedit, consurrexi ad aurem male dormientis: "Dii, inquam, immortales, si ego huic dormienti abstulero coitum plenum et optabilem, pro hac felicitate cras puero asturconem Macedonicum optimum donabo, cum hac tamen exceptione, si ille non senserit". Nunquam altiore somno ephebus obdormivit. Itaque primum implevi lactentibus papillis manus, mox basio inhaesi, deinde in unum omnia vota coniunxi. Mane sedere in cubiculo coepit atque expectare consuetudinem meam. Scis quanto facilius sit columbas gallosque gallinaceos emere quam asturconem, et, praeter hoc, etiam timebam ne tam grande munus suspectam faceret humanitatem meam. Ergo aliquot horis spatiatus, in hospitium reverti nihilque aliud quam puerum basiavi. At ille circumspiciens ut cervicem meam iunxit amplexu: "Rogo, inquit, domine, ubi est asturco?"

[LXXXVII] Cum ob hanc offensam praeclusissem mihi aditum quem feceram, (mox tamen) iterum ad licentiam redii. Interpositis enim paucis diebus, cum similis casus nos in eandem fortunam rettulisset, ut intellexi stertere patrem, rogare coepi ephebum ut reverteretur in gratiam mecum, id est ut pateretur satis fieri sibi, et cetera quae libido distenta dictat. At ille plane iratus nihil aliud dicebat nisi hoc: "Aut dormi, aut ego iam dicam patri". Nihil est tam arduum, quod non improbitas extorqueat. Dum dicit: "Patrem excitabo ", irrepsi tamen et male repugnanti gaudium extorsi. At ille non indelectatus nequitia mea, postquam diu questus est deceptum se et derisum traductumque inter condiscipulos, quibus iactasset censum meum: "Videris tamen, inquit, non ero tui similis. Si quid vis, fac iterum". Ego vero deposita omni offensa cum puero in gratiam redii, ususque beneficio eius in somnum delapsus sum. Sed non fuit contentus iteratione ephebus plenae maturitatis et annis ad patiendum gestientibus. Itaque excitavit me sopitum et: "Numquid vis?" inquit. Et non plane iam molestum erat munus. Vtcunque igitur inter anhelitus sudoresque tritus, quod voluerat accepit, rursusque in somnum decidi gaudio lassus. Interposita minus hora pungere me manu coepit et dicere: "Quare non facimus?" Tum ego toties excitatus plane vehementer excandui et reddidi illi voces suas: "Aut dormi, aut ego iam patri dicam". (...)

[LXXXVIII] Erectus his sermonibus consulere prudentiorem coepi (atque ab eo) aetates tabularum et quaedam argumenta mihi obscura simulque causam desidiae praesentis excutere, cum pulcherrimae artes perissent, inter quas pictura ne minimum sui vestigium reliquisset. Tum ille: "Pecuniae, inquit, cupiditas haec tropica instituit. Priscis enim temporibus, cum adhuc nuda virtus placeret, vigebant artes ingenuae summumque certamen inter homines erat, ne quid profuturum saeculis diu lateret. Itaque herbarum omnium sucos Democritus expressit, et ne lapidum virgultorumque vis lateret, aetatem inter experimenta consumpsit Eudoxos quidem in cacumine excelsissimi montis consenuit ut astrorum caelique motus deprehenderet, et Chrysippus, ut ad inventionem sufficeret, ter elleboro animum detersit. Verum ut ad plastas convertar, Lysippum statuae unius lineamentis inhaerentem inopia extinxit, et Myron, qui paene animas hominum ferarumque aere comprehenderat, non invenit heredem. At nos vino scortisque demersi ne paratas quidem artes audemus cognoscere, sed accusatores antiquitatis vitia tantum docemus et discimus. Vbi est dialectica? ubi astronomia? ubi sapientiae cultissima via? Quis unquam venit in templum et votum fecit, si ad eloquentiam pervenisset? quis, si philosophiae fontem attigisset? Ac ne bonam quidem mentem aut bonam valitudinem petunt, sed statim antequam limen Capitolii tangant, alius donum promittit, si propinquum divitem extulerit, alius, si thesaurum effoderit, alius, si ad trecenties sestertium salvus pervenerit. Ipse senatus, recti bonique praeceptor, mille pondo auri Capitolio promittere solet, et ne quis dubitet pecuniam concupiscere, Iovem quoque peculio exorat. Noli ergo mirari, si pictura defecit, cum omnibus dis hominibusque formosior videatur massa auri, quam quicquid Apelles Phidiasque, Graeculi delirantes, fecerunt.

[LXXXIX] Sed video te totum in illa haerere tabula, quae Troiae halosin ostendit. Itaque conabor opus versibus pandere:

Iam decuma maestos inter ancipites metus
Phrygas obsidebat messis, et vatis fides
Calchantis atro dubia pendebat metu,
cum Delio profante caesi vertices
Idae trahuntur, scissaque in molem cadunt
robora, minacem quae figurarent equum.
Aperitur ingens antrum et obducti specus,
qui castra caperent. Huc decenni proelio
irata virtus abditur, stipant graves
recessus Danai et in voto latent.
O patria, pulsas mille credidimus rates
solumque bello liberum: hoc titulus fero
incisus, hoc ad fata compositus Sinon
firmabat et mendacium in damnum potens.
Iam turba portis libera ac bello carens
in vota properat. Fletibus manant genae,
mentisque pavidae gaudium lacrimas habet.
Quas metus abegit. Namque Neptuno sacer
crinem solutus omne Laocoon replet
clamore vulgus. Mox reducta cuspide
uterum notavit, fata sed tardant manus,
ictusque resilit et dolis addit fidem.
Iterum tamen confirmat invalidam manum
altaque bipenni latera pertemptat. Fremit
captiva pubes intus, et dum murmurat,
roborea moles spirat alieno metu.
Ibat iuventus capta, dum Troiam capit,
bellumque totum fraude ducebat nova.
Ecce alia monstra: celsa qua Tenedos mare
dorso replevit, tumida consurgunt freta
undaque resultat scissa tranquillo minor,
qualis silenti nocte remorum sonus
longe refertur, cum premunt classes mare
pulsumque marmor abiete imposita gemit.
Respicimus: angues orbibus geminis ferunt
ad saxa fluctus, tumida quorum pectora
rates ut altae lateribus spumas agunt.
Dat cauda sonitum, liberae ponto iubae
consentiunt luminibus, fulmineum iubar
incendit aequor sibilisque undae tremunt.
Stupuere mentes. Infulis stabant sacri
Phrygioque cultu gemina nati pignora
Lauconte. Quos repente tergoribus ligant
angues corusci. Parvulas illi manus
ad ora referunt, neuter auxilio sibi,
uterque fratri; transtulit pietas vices
morsque ipsa miseros mutuo perdit metu.
Accumulat ecce liberum funus parens,
infirmus auxiliator. Invadunt virum
iam morte pasti membraque ad terram trahunt.
Iacet sacerdos inter aras victima
terramque plangit. Sic profanatis sacris
peritura Troia perdidit primum deos.
Iam plena Phoebe candidum extulerat iubar
minora ducens astra radianti face,
cum inter sepultos Priamidas nocte et mero
Danai relaxant claustra et effundunt viros.
Temptant in armis se duces, ceu ubi solet
nodo remissus Thessali quadrupes iugi
cervicem et altas quatere ad excursum iubas.
Gladios retractant, commovent orbes manu
bellumque sumunt. Hic graves alius mero
obtruncat, et continuat in mortem ultimam
somnos; ab aris alius accendit faces
contraque Troas invocat Troiae sacra."

[XC] Ex is, qui in porticibus spatiabantur, lapides in Eumolpum recitantem miserunt. At ille, qui plausum ingenii sui noverat, operuit caput extraque templum profugit. Timui ego, ne me poetam vocaret. Itaque subsecutus fugientem ad litus perveni, et ut primum extra teli coniectum licuit consistere: "Rogo, inquam, quid tibi vis cum isto morbo? Minus quam duabus horis mecum moraris, et saepius poetice quam humane locutus es. Itaque non miror, si te populus lapidibus persequitur. Ego quoque sinum meum saxis onerabo ut, quotiescunque coeperis a te exire, sanguinem tibi a capite mittam". Movit ille vultum et: "O mi, inquit, adulescens, non hodie primum auspicatus sum. lmmo quoties theatrum, ut recitarem aliquid, intravi, hac me adventicia excipere frequentia solet. Ceterum ne et tecum quoque habeam rixandum, toto die me ab hoc cibo abstinebo. — Immo, inquam ego, si eiuras hodiernam bilem, una cenabimus."

Mando aedicularum custodi cenulae officium. (...)

[XCI] Video Gitona cum linteis et strigilibus parieti applicitum tristem confusumque. Scires non libenter servire. Itaque ut experimentum oculorum caperem. (...) Convertit ille solutum gaudio vultum et: "Miserere, inquit, frater. Vbi arma non sunt, libere loquor. Eripe me latroni cruento et qualibet saevitia paenitentiam iudicis tui puni. Satis magnum erit misero solacium tua voluntate cecidisse". Supprimere ego querelam iubeo, ne quis consilia deprehenderet, relictoque Eumolpo — nam in balneo carmen recitabat — per tenebrosum et sordidum egressum extraho Gitona raptimque in hospitium meum pervolo. Praeclusis deinde foribus invado pectus amplexibus, et perfusum os lacrumis vultu meo contero. Diu vocem neuter invenit; nam puer etiam singultibus crebris amabile pectus quassaverat. "O facinus, inquam, indignum, quod amo te quamvis relictus, et in hoc pectore, cum vulnus ingens fuerit, cicatrix non est. Quid dicis, peregrini amoris concessio? Dignus hac iniuria fui?" Postquam se amari sensit, supercilium altius sustulit. (...)

"Nec amoris arbitrium ad alium iudicem tuli. Sed nihil iam queror, nihil iam memini, si bona fide paenitentiam emendas". Haec cum inter gemitus lacrimasque fudissem, detersit ille pallio vultum et: "Quaeso, inquit, Encolpi, fidem memoriae tuae appello: ego te reliqui, an tu me prodidisti? Equidem fateor et prae me fero: cum duos armatos viderem, ad fortiorem confugi". Exosculatus pectus sapientia plenum inieci cervicibus manus, et ut facile intellegeret redisse me in gratiam et optima fide reviviscentem amicitiam, toto pectore adstrinxi.

[XCII] Et iam plena nox erat mulierque cenae mandata curaverat, cum Eumolpus ostium pulsat. Interrogo ego: "Quot estis?" obiterque per rimam foris speculari diligentissime coepi, num Ascyltos una venisset. Deinde ut solum hospitem vidi, momento recepi. Ille ut se in grabatum reiecit viditque Gitona in conspectu ministrantem, movit caput et: "Laudo, inquit, Ganymedem. Oportet hodie bene sit". Non delectavit me tam curiosum principium, timuique ne in contubernium recepissem Ascylti parem. Instat Eumolpus, et cum puer illi potionem dedisset: "Malo te, inquit, quam balneum totum " siccatoque avide poculo negat sibi unquam acidius fuisse." Nam et dum lavor, ait, paene vapulavi, quia conatus sum circa solium sedentibus carmen recitare; et postquam de balneo tanquam de theatro eiectus sum, circuire omnes angulos coepi et clara voce Encolpion clamitare. Ex altera parte iuvenis nudus, qui vestimenta perdiderat, non minore clamoris indignatione Gitona flagitabat. Et me quidem pueri tanquam insanum imitatione petulantissima deriserunt, illum autem frequentia ingens circumvenit cum plausu et admiratione timidissima. Habebat enim inguinum pondus tam grande, ut ipsum hominem laciniam fascini crederes. O iuvenem laboriosum! puto illum pridie incipere, postero die finire. Itaque statim invenit auxilium; nescio quis enim, eques Romanus, ut aiebant, infamis, sua veste errantem circumdedit ac domum abduxit, credo, ut tam magna fortuna solus uteretur. At ego ne mea quidem vestimenta ab officioso recepissem, nisi notorem dedissem. Tanto magis expedit inguina quam ingenia fricare". Haec Eumolpo dicente mutabam ego frequentissime vultum, iniuriis scilicet inimici mei hilaris, commodis tristis. Vtcunque tamen, tanquam non agnoscerem fabulam, tacui et cenae ordinem explicui. (...)

[XCIII] "Vile est, quod licet, et animus errore lentus iniurias diligit.
Ales Phasiacis petita Colchis
atque Afrae volucres placent palato,
quod non sunt faciles: at albus anser
et pictis anas renovata pennis
plebeium sapit. Vltimis ab oris
attractus scarus atque arata Syrtis
si quid naufragio dedit, probatur:
mulus iam gravis est. Amica vincit
uxorem. Rosa cinnamum veretur.
Quicquid quaeritur, optimum videtur."

— Hoc est, inquam, quod promiseras, ne quem hodie versum faceres? Per fidem, saltem nobis parce, qui te nunquam lapidavimus. Nam si aliquis ex is, qui in eodem synoecio potant, nomen poetae olfecerit, totam concitabit viciniam et nos omnes sub eadem causa obruet. Miserere et aut pinacothecam aut balneum cogita." Sic me loquentem obiurgavit Giton, mitissimus puer, et negavit recte facere, quod seniori conviciarer simulque oblitus officii mensam, quam humanitate posuissem, contumelia tollerem, multaque alia moderationis verecundiaeque verba, quae formam eius egregie decebant. (...)

[XCIV] EVMOLPVS AD GITONEM. "O felicem, inquit, matrem tuam, quae te talem peperit: macte virtute esto. Raram fecit mixturam cum sapientia forma. Itaque ne putes te tot verba perdidisse, amatorem invenisti. Ego laudes tuas carminibus implebo. Ego paedagogus et custos, etiam quo non iusseris, sequar. Nec iniuriam Encolpius accipit: alium amat." Profuit etiam Eumolpo miles ille, qui mihi abstulit gladium; alioquin quem animum adversus Ascylton sumpseram, eum in Eumolpi sanguinem exercuissem. Nec fefellit hoc Gitona. Itaque extra cellam processit, tanquam aquam peteret, iramque meam prudenti absentia extinxit. Paululum ergo intepescente saevitia: "Eumolpe, inquam, iam malo vel carminibus loquaris, quam eiusmodi tibi vota proponas. Et ego iracundus sum, et tu libidinosus: vide, quam non conveniat his moribus. Puta igitur me furiosum esse, cede insaniae, id est, ocius foras exi". Confusus hac denuntiatione Eumolpus non quaesiit iracundiae causam, sed continuo limen egressus adduxit repente ostium cellae, meque nihil tale expectantem inclusit, exemitque raptim clavem et ad Gitona investigandum cucurrit.

Inclusus ego suspendio vitam finire constitui. Et iam semicinctium stanti ad parietem spondae iunxeram cervicesque nodo condebam, cum reseratis foribus intrat Eumolpus cum Gitone meque a fatali iam meta revocat ad lucem. Giton praecipue ex dolore in rabiem efferatus tollit clamorem, me utraque manu impulsum praecipitat super lectum: "Erras, inquit, Encolpi, si putas contingere posse, ut ante moriaris. Prior coepi; in Ascylti hospitio gladium quaesivi. Ego si te non invenissem, periturus per praecipitia fui. Et ut scias non longe esse quaerentibus mortem, specta invicem quod me spectare voluisti". Haec locutus mercennario Eumolpi novaculam rapit, et semel iterumque cervice percussa ante pedes collabitur nostros. Exclamo ego attonitus, secutusque labentem codem ferramento ad mortem viam quaero. Sed neque Giton ulla erat suspicione vulneris laesus, neque ego ullum sentiebam dolorem. Rudis enim novacula et in hoc retusa, ut pueris discentibus audaciam tonsoris daret, instruxerat thecam. Ideoque nec mercennarius ad raptum ferramentum expaverat, nec Eumolpus interpellaverat mimicam mortem.

[XCV] Dum haec fabula inter amantes luditur, deversitor cum parte cenulae intervenit, contemplatusque foedissimam volutationem iacentium: "Rogo, inquit, ebrii estis, an fugitivi, an utrumque? Quis autem grabatum illum erexit, aut quid sibi vult tam furtiva molitio? Vos mehercules ne mercedem cellae daretis, fugere nocte in publicum voluistis. Sed non impune. Iam enim faxo sciatis non viduae hanc insulam esse sed Marci Mannicii". Exclamat Eumolpus: "Etiam minaris?"; simulque os hominis palma excussissima pulsat. Ille tot hospitum potionibus liber urceolum fictilem in Eumolpi caput iaculatus est, soluitque clamantis frontem, et de cella se proripuit, Eumolpus contumeliae impatiens rapit ligneum candelabrum, sequiturque abeuntem, et creberrimis ictibus supercilium suum vindicat. Fit concursus familiae hospitumque ebriorum frequentia. Ego autem nactus occasionem vindictae Eumolpum excludo, redditaque scordalo vice sine aemulo scilicet et cella utor et nocte.

Interim coctores insulariique mulcant exclusum, et alius veru extis stridentibus plenum in oculos eius intentat, alius furca de carnario rapta statum proeliantis componit. Anus praecipue lippa, sordidissimo praecincta linteo, soleis ligneis imparibus imposita, canem ingentis magnitudinis catena trahit instigatque in Eumolpon. Sed ille candelabro se ab omni periculo vindicabat.

[XCVI] Videbamus nos omnia per foramen valvae, quod paulo ante ansa ostioli rupta laxaverat, favebamque ego vapulanti. Giton autem non oblitus misericordiae suae reserandum esse ostium succurrendumque periclitanti censebat. Ego durante adhuc iracundia non continui manum, sed caput miserantis stricto acutoque articulo percussi. Et ille quidem flens consedit in lecto. Ego autem alternos opponebam foramini oculos iniuriaque Eumolpi velut quodam cibo me replebam advocationemque commendabam, cum procurator insulae Bargates a cena excitatus a duobus lecticariis mediam rixam perfertur; nam erat etiam pedibus aeger. Is ut rabiosa barbaraque voce in ebrios fugitivosque diu peroravit, respiciens ad Eumolpon: "O poetarum, inquit, disertissime, tu eras? Et non discedunt ocius nequissimi servi manusque continent a rixa?" (...)

BARGATES PROCVRATOR AD EVMOLPVM: "Contubernalis mea mihi fastum facit. Ita, si me amas, maledic illam versibus, ut habeat pudorem".

[XCVII] Dum Eumolpus cum Bargate in secreto loquitur, intrat stabulum praeco cum servo publico aliaque sane modica frequentia; facemque tumosam magis quam lucidam quassans haec proclamavit: "Puer in balneo paulo ante aberravit, annorum circa XVI, crispus, mollis, formosus, nomine Giton. Si quis eum reddere aut commonstrare voluerit, accipiet nummos mille". Nec longe a praecone Ascyltos stabat amictus discoloria veste, atque in lance argentea indicium et fidem praeferebat. Imperavi Gitoni ut raptim grabatum subiret annecteretque pedes et manus institis, quibus sponda culcitam ferebat, ac sic ut olim Vlixes pro arieti adhaesisset, extentus infra grabatum scrutantium eluderet manus. Non est moratus Giton imperium, momentoque temporis inseruit vinculo manus et Vlixem astu simillimo vicit. Ego ne suspicioni relinquerem locum, lectulum vestimentis implevi uniusque hominis vestigium ad corporis mei mensuram figuravi.

Interim Ascyltos ut pererravit omnes cum viatore cellas, venit ad meam, et hoc quidem pleniorem spem concepit, quo diligentius oppessulatas invenit fores. Publicus vero servus insertans commissuris secures claustrorum firmitatem laxavit. Ego ad genua Ascylti procubui, et per memoriam amicitiae perque societatem miseriarum petii, ut saltem ostenderet fratrem. Immo ut fidem haberent fictae preces: "Scio te, inquam, Ascylte, ad occidendum me venisse. Quo enim secures attulisti? Itaque satia iracundiam tuam: praebeo ecce cervicem, funde sanguinem, quem sub praetextu quaestionis petisti". Amolitur Ascyltos invidiam et se vero nihil aliud quam fugitivum suum dicit quaerere, mortem nec hominis concupisse nec supplicis, utique eius quem post fatalem rixam habuit carissimum.

[XCVIII] At non servus publicus tam languide agit, sed raptam cauponi harundinem subter lectum mittit, omniaque etiam foramina parietum scrutatur. Subducebat Giton ab ictu corpus, et reducto timidissime spiritu ipsos sciniphes ore tangebat. (...)

Eumolpus autem, quia effractum ostium cellae neminem poterat excludere, irrumpit perturbatus et: "Mille, inquit, nummos inveni; iam enim persequar abeuntem praeconem, et in potestate tua esse Gitonem meritissima proditione monstrabo". Genua ego perseverantis amplector, ne morientes vellet occidere, et: "Merito, inquam, excandesceres si posses proditum ostendere. Nunc inter turbam puer fugit, nec quo abierit suspicari possum. Per fidem, Eumolpe, reduc puerum et vel Ascylto redde". Dum haec ego iam credenti persuadeo, Giton collectione spiritus plenus ter continuo ita sternutavit, ut grabatum concuteret. Ad quem motum Eumolpus conversus salvere Gitona iubet. Remota etiam culcita videt Vlixem, cui vel esuriens Cyclops potuisset parcere. Mox conversus ad me: "Quid est, inquit, latro? Ne deprehensus quidem ausus es mihi verum dicere. Immo ni deus quidam humanarum rerum arbiter pendenti puero excussisset indicium, elusus circa popinas errarem."

Giton longe blandior quam ego, primum araneis oleo madentibus vulnus, quod in supercilio factum erat, coartavit. Mox palliolo suo laceratam mutavit vestem, amplexusque iam mitigatum, osculis tanquam fomentis aggressus est et: "In tua, inquit, pater carissime, in tua sumus custodia. Si Gitona tuum amas, incipe velle servare. Vtinam me solum inimicus ignis hauriret aut hibernum invaderet mare. Ego enim omnium scelerum materia, ego causa sum. Si perirem, conveniret inimicis." (...)

[XCIX] EVMOLPVS: "Ego sic semper et ubique vixi, ut ultimam quamque lucem tanquam non redituram consumerem". (...)

Profusis ego lacrimis rogo quaesoque, ut mecum quoque redeat in gratiam: neque enim in amantium esse potestate furiosam aemulationem. Daturum tamen operam ne aut dicam aut faciam amplius, quo possit offendi. Tantum omnem scabitudinem animo tanquam bonarum artium magister deleret sine cicatrice." Incultis asperisque regionibus diutius nives haerent, ast ubi aratro domefacta tellus nitet, dum loqueris, levis pruina dilabitur. Similiter in pectoribus ira considit: feras quidem mentes obsidet, eruditas praelabitur. — Vt scias, inquit Eumolpus, verum esse quod dicis, ecce etiam osculo iram finio. Itaque, quod bene eveniat, expedite sarcinulas et vel sequimini me vel, si mavultis, ducite". Adhuc loquebatur, cum crepuit ostium impulsum, stetitque in limine barbis horrentibus nauta et: "Moraris, inquit, Eumolpe, tanquam properandum ignores". Haud mora, omnes consurgimus, et Eumolpus quidem mercennarium suum iam olim dormientem exire cum sarcinis iubet. Ego cum Gitone quicquid erat in alutam compono, et adoratis sideribus intro navigium. (...)

[C] "Molestum est quod puer hospiti placet. Quid autem? Non commune est, quod natura optimum fecit? Sol omnibus lucet. Luna innumerabilibus comitata sideribus etiam feras ducit ad pabulum. Quid aquis dici formosius potest? In publico tamen manant. Solus ergo amor furtum potius quam praemium erit? Immo vero nolo habere bona, nisi quibus populus inviderit. Vnus, et senex, non erit gravis; etiam cum voluerit aliquid sumere, opus anhelilu prodet". Haec ut intra fiduciam posui fraudavique animum dissidentem, coepi somnum obruto tunicula capite mentiri.

Sed repente quasi destruente fortuna constantiam meam eiusmodi vox supra constratum puppis congemuit: "Ergo me derisit?" Et haec quidem virilis et paene auribus meis familiaris animum palpitantem percussit. Ceterum eadem indignatione mulier lacerata ulterius excanduit et: "Si quis deus manibus meis, inquit, Gitona imponeret, quam bene exulem exciperem." Vterque nostrum tam inexpectato ictus sono amiserat sanguinem. Ego praecipue quasi somnio quodam turbulento circumactus diu vocem collegi, tremebundisque manibus Eumolpi iam in soporem labentis laciniam duxi, et: "Per fidem, inquam, pater, cuius haec navis est, aut quos vehat, dicere potes?" Inquietatus ille moleste tulit et: "Hoc erat, inquit, quod placuerat tibi, ut super constratum navis occuparemus secretissimum locum, ne nos patereris requiescere? Quid porro ad rem pertinet, si dixero Licham Tarentinum esse dominum huiusce navigii, qui Tryphaenam exulem Tarentum ferat?"

[CI] Intremui post hoc fulmen attonitus, iuguloque detecto: "Aliquando, inquam, totum me, Fortuna, vicisti!". Nam Giton quidem super pectus meum positus diu animam egit. Deinde ut effusus sudor utriusque spiritum revocavit, comprehendi Eumolpi genua et: "Miserere, inquam, morientium et pro consortio studiorum commoda manum; mors venit, quae nisi per te non licet potest esse pro munere". Inundatus hac Eumolpus invidia iurat per deos deasque se neque scire quid acciderit, nec ullum dolum malum consilio adhibuisse, sed mente simplicissima et vera fide in navigium comites induxisse, quo ipse iam pridem fuerit usurus." Quae autem hic insidiae sunt, inquit, aut quis nobiscum Hannibal navigat? Lichas Tarentinus, homo verecundissimus et non tantum huius navigii dominus, quod regit, sed fundorum etiam aliquot et familiae negotiantis, onus deferendum ad mercatum conducit. Hic est Cyclops ille et archipirata, cui vecturam debemus; et praeter hunc Tryphaena, omnium feminarum formosissima, quae voluptatis causa huc atque illuc vectatur. — Hi sunt, inquit Giton, quos fugimus "; simulque raptim causas odiorum et instans periculum trepidanti Eumolpo exponit. Confusus ille et consilii egens iubet quemque suam sententiam promere, et: "Fingite, inquit, nos antrum Cyclopis intrasse. Quaerendum est aliquod effugium, nisi naufragium ponimus et omni nos periculo liberamus. — Immo, inquit Giton, persuade gubernatori ut in aliquem portum navem deducat, non sine praemio scilicet, et affirma ei impatientem maris fratrem tuum in ultimis esse. Poteris hanc simulationem et vultus confusione et lacrimis obumbrare, ut misericordia permotus gubernator indulgeat tibi". Negavit hoc Eumolpus fieri posse, "quia magna, inquit, navigia portubus se curvatis insinuant, nec tam cito fratrem defecisse veri simile erit. Accedit his, quod forsitan Lichas officii causa visere languentem desiderabit. Vides, quam valde nobis expediat ultro dominum ad fugientes accersere. Sed finge navem ab ingenti posse cursu deflecti, et Licham non utique circuiturum aegrorum cubilia: quomodo possumus egredi nave, ut non conspiciamur a cunctis? opertis capitibus, an nudis? Opertis, et quis non dare manum languentibus volet? Nudis, et quid erit aliud quam se ipsos proscribere?

[CII] — Quin potius, inquam ego, ad temeritatem confugimus, et per funem lapsi descendimus in scapham, praecisoque vinculo reliqua Fortunae committimus? Nec ego in hoc periculum Eumolpon arcesso. Quid enim attinet innocentem alieno periculo imponere? Contentus sum, si nos descendentes adiuverit casus. — Non imprudens, inquit, consilium, Eumolpos, si aditum haberet. Quis enim non euntes notabit? Vtique gubernator, qui pervigil nocte siderum quoque motus custodit. Et utcumque imponi vel dormienti posset, si per aliam partem navis fuga quaereretur: nunc per puppim, per ipsa gubernacula delabendum est, a quorum regione funis descendit, qui scaphae custodiam tenet. Praeterea illud miror, Encolpi, tibi non succurrisse, unum nautam stationis perpetuae interdiu noctuque iacere in scapha, nec posse inde custodem nisi aut caede expelli aut praecipitari viribus. Quod an fieri possit, interrogate audaciam vestram. Nam quod ad meum quidem comitatum attinet, nullum recuso periculum, quod salutis spem ostendit. Nam sine causa spiritum tanquam rem vacuam impendere ne vos quidem existimo velle. Videte, numquid hoc placeat: ego vos in duas iam pelles coniciam vinctosque loris inter vestimenta pro sarcinis habebo, apertis scilicet aliquatenus labris, quibus et spiritum recipere possitis et cibum. Conclamabo deinde nocte servos poenam graviorem timentes praecipitasse se in mare. Deinde cum ventum fuerit in portum, sine ulla suspicione pro sarcinis vos efferam. — Ita vero, inquam ego, tanquam solidos alligaturus, quibus non soleat venter iniuriam facere? an tanquam eos qui sternutare non soleamus nec stertere? An quia hoc genus furti semel (Menelao) feliciter cessit? Sed finge una die vinctos posse durare: quid ergo, si diutius aut tranquillitas nos tenuerit aut adversa tempestas? quid facturi sumus? Vestes quoque diutius vinctas ruga consumit, et chartae alligatae mutant figuram. Iuvenes adhuc laboris expertes statuarum ritu patiemur pannos et vincla? (...) Adhuc aliquod iter salutis quaerendum est. Inspicite quod ego inveni. Eumolpus tanquam litterarum studiosus utique atramentum habet. Hoc ergo remedio mutemus colores a capillis usque ad ungues. Ita tanquam servi Aethiopes et praesto tibi erimus sine tormentorum iniuria hilares, et permutato colore imponemus inimicis. — Quidni? inquit Giton, etiam circumcide nos, ut Iudaei videamur, et pertunde aures, ut imitemur Arabes, et increta facies, ut suos Gallia cives putet: tanquam hic solus color figuram possit pervertere et non multa una oporteat consentiant ratione, (ut) mendacium constet. Puta infectam medicamine faciem diutius durare posse; finge nec aquae asperginem imposituram aliquam corpori maculam, nec vestem atramento adhaesuram, quod frequenter etiam non arcessito ferrumine infigitur: age, numquid et labra possumus tumore taeterrimo implere numquid et crines calamistro convertere? Numquid et frontes cicatricibus scindere? Numquid et crura in orbem pandere? Numquid et talos ad terram deducere? numquid et barbam peregrina ratione figurare? Color arte compositus inquinat corpus, non mutat. Audite, quid dementi succurrerit: praeligemus vestibus capita et nos in profundum mergamus.

[CIII] — Ne istud dii hominesque patiantur, Eumolpus exclamat, ut vos tam turpi exitu vitam finiatis! Immo potius facite quod iubeo. Mercennarius meus, ut ex novacula comperistis, tonsor est: hic continuo radat utriusque non solum capita, sed etiam supercilia. Sequar ego frontes notans inscriptione sollerti, ut videamini stigmate esse puniti. Ita eaedem litterae et suspicionem declinabunt quaerentium et vultus umbra supplicii tegent."

Non est dilata fallacia, sed ad latus navigii furtim processimus, capitaque cum superciliis denudanda tonsori praebuimus. Implevit Eumolpus frontes utriusque ingentibus litteris, et notum fugitivorum epigramma per totam faciem liberali manu duxit. Vnus forte ex vectoribus, qui acclinatus lateri navis exonerabat stomachum nausea gravem, notavit sibi ad lunam tonsorem intempestivo inhaerentem ministerio, execratusque omen, quod imitaretur naufragorum ultimum votum, in cubile reiectus est. Nos dissimulata nauseantis devotione ad ordinem tristitiae redimus, silentioque compositi reliquas noctis horas male soporati consumpsimus. (...)

[CIV] LICHAS: "Videbatur mihi secundum quietem Priapus dicere: Encolpion quod quaeris, scito a me in navem tuam esse perductum". Exhorruit Tryphaena et: "Putes, inquit, una nos dormisse; nam et mihi simulacrum Neptuni, quod Bais tetrastylo notaveram, videbatur dicere: 'In nave Lichae Gitona invenies'. — Hinc scies, inquit Eumolpus, Epicurum esse hominem divinum, qui eiusmodi ludibria facetissima ratione condemnat".

Ceterum Lichas ut Tryphaenae somnium expiavit: "Quis, inquit, prohibet navigium scrutari, ne videamur divinae mentis opera damnare?" Is qui nocte miserorum furtum deprehenderat, Hesus nomine, subito proclamat: "Ergo illi qui sunt, qui nocte ad lunam radebantur pessimo medius fidius exemplo? Audio enim non licere cuiquam mortalium in nave neque ungues neque capillos deponere, nisi cum pelago ventus irascitur".

[CV] Excanduit Lichas hoc sermone turbatus et: "Itane, inquit, capillos aliquis in nave praecidit, et hoc nocte intempesta? Attrahite ocius nocentes in medium, ut sciam quorum capitibus debeat navigium lustrari. — Ego, inquit Eumolpus, hoc iussi. Nec in eodem futurus navigio auspicium mihi feci, sed quia nocentes horridos longosque habebant capillos, ne viderer de nave carcerem facere, iussi squalorem damnatis auferri; simul ut notae quoque litterarum non adumbratae comarum praesidio totae ad oculos legentium acciderent. Inter cetera apud communem amicam consumpserunt pecuniam meam, a qua illos proxima nocte extraxi mero unguentisque perfusos. Ad summam, adhuc patrimonii mei reliquias olent".

Itaque ut Tutela navis expiaretur, placuit quadragenas utrique plagas imponi. Nulla ergo fit mora: aggrediuntur nos furentes nautae cum funibus, temptantque vilissimo sanguine Tutelam placare. Et ego quidem tres plagas Spartana nobilitate concuxi. Ceterum Giton semel ictus tam valde exclamavit, ut Tryphaenae aures notissima voce repleret. Non solum era turbata est, sed ancillae etiam omnes familiari sono inductae ad vapulantem decurrurrit. Iam Giton mirabili forma exarmaverat nautas coeperatque etiam sine voce saevientes rogare, cum ancillae pariter proclamant: "Giton est, Giton; inhibete crudelissimas manus; Giton est, domina, succurre". Deflectit aures Tryphaena iam sua sponte credentes raptimque ad puerum devolat.

Lichas, qui me optime noverat, tanquam et ipse vocem audisset, accurrit et nec manus nec faciem meam consideravit, sed continuo ad inguina mea luminibus deflexis movit officiosam manum, et: "Salve, inquit Encolpi". Miretur nunc aliquis Vlixis nutricem post vicesimum annum cicatricem invenisse originis indicem, cum homo prudentissimus, confusis omnibus corporis orisque lineamentis, ad unicum fugitivi argumentum tam docte pervenerit. Tryphaena lacrimas effudit decepta supplicio — vera enim stigmata credebat captivorum frontibus impressa — sciscitarique summissius coepit quod ergastulum intercepisset errantes, aut cuius iam crudeles manus in hoc supplicium durassent. Meruisse quidem contumeliam aliquam fugitivos, quibus in odium bona sua venissent (...)

[CVI] Concitatus iracundia prosiliit Lichas, et: "O te, inquit, feminam simplicem, tanquam vulnera ferro praeparata litteras biberint. Vtinam quidem hac se inscriptione frontis maculassent: haberemus nos extremum solacium. Nunc mimicis artibus petiti sumus et adumbrata inscriptione derisi". Volebat Tryphaena misereri, quia non totam voluptatem perdiderat, sed Lichas memor adhuc uxoris corruptae contumeliarumque, quas in Herculis porticu acceperat, turbato vehementius vultu proclamat: "Deos immortales rerum humanarum agere curam, puto, intellexisti, o Tryphaena. Nam imprudentes noxios in nostrum induxere navigium, et quid fecissent, admonuerunt pari somniorum consensu. Ita vide ut possit illis ignosci, quos ad poenam ipse deus deduxit. Quod ad me attinet, non sum crudelis, sed vereor ne, quod remisero, patiar." Tam superstitiosa oratione Tryphaena mutata negat se interpellare supplicium, immo accedere etiam iustissimae ultioni. Nec se minus grandi vexatam iniuria quam Licham, cuius pudoris dignitas in contione proscripta sit. (...)

[CVII] EVMOLPVS: "Me, ut puto, hominem non ignotum elegerunt ad hoc officium legatum, petieruntque ut se reconciliarem aliquando amicissimis. Nisi forte putatis iuvenes casu in has plagas incidisse, cum omnis vector nihil prius quaerat, quam cuius se diligentiae credat. Flectite ergo mentes satisfactione lenitas, et patimini liberos homines ire sine iniuria quo destinant. Saevi quoque implacabilesque domini crudelitatem suam impediunt, si quando paenitentia fugitivos reduxit, et dediticiis hostibus parcimus. Quid ultra petitis aut quid vultis? In conspectu vestro supplices iacent iuvenes ingenui, honesti, et quod utroque potentius est, familiaritate vobis aliquando coniuncti. Si mehercules intervertissent pecuniam vestram, si fidem proditione laesissent, satiari tamen potuissetis hac poena, quam videtis. Servitia ecce in frontibus cernitis et vultus ingenuos voluntaria poenarum lege proscriptos." Interpellavit deprecationem supplicis Lichas et: "Noli, inquit, causam confundere, sed impone singulis modum. Ac primum omnium, si ultro venerunt, cur nudavere crinibus capita? Vultum enim qui permutat, fraudem parat, non satisfactionem. Deinde, si gratiam a legato moliebantur, quid ita omnia fecisti, ut quos tuebaris absconderes? Ex quo apparet casu incidisse noxios in plagas, et te artem quaesisse qua nostrae animadversionis impetum eluderes. Nam quod invidiam facis nobis ingenuos honestosque clamando, vide ne deteriorem facias confidentia causam. Quid debent laesi facere, ubi rei ad poenam confugiunt. At enim amici fuerunt nostri: eo maiora meruerunt supplicia; nam qui ignotos laedit, latro appellatur, qui amicos, paulo minus quam parricida." Resolvit Eumolpos tam iniquam declamationem et: "Intellego, inquit, nihil magis obesse iuvenibus miseris, quam quod nocte deposuerunt capillos: hoc argumento incidisse videntur in navem, non venisse. Quod velim tam candide ad aures vestras perveniat, quam simpliciter gestum est. Voluerunt enim, antequam conscenderent, exonerare capita molesto et supervacuo pondere, sed celerior ventus distulit curationis propositum. Nec tamen putaverunt ad rem pertinere, ubi inciperent quod placuerat ut fieret, quia nec omen nec legem navigantium noverant. — Quid, inquit Lichas, attinuit supplices radere? Nisi forte miserabiliores calvi solent esse. Quamquam quid attinet veritatem per interpretem quaerere? Quid dicis tu, latro? Quae salamandra supercilia tua excussit? Cui deo crinem vovisti? Pharmace, responde."

[CVIII] Obstupueram ego supplicii metu pavidus, nec qui in re manifestissima dicerem inveniebam, turbatus (...) et deformis praeter spoliati capitis dedecus superciliorum etiam aequalis cum fronte calvities, ut nihil nec facere deceret nec dicere. Vt vero spongia uda facies plorantis detersa est, et liquefactum per totum os atramentum omnia scilicet lineamenta fuliginea nube confudit, in odium se ira convertit. Negat Eumolpus passurum se ut quisquam ingenuos contra fas legemque contaminet, interpellatque saevientium minas non solum voce sed etiam manibus. Aderat interpellanti mercennarius comes et unus alterque infirmissimus vector, solacia magis litis quam virium auxilia. Nec quicquam pro me deprecabar, sed intentans in oculos Tryphaenae manus usurum me viribus meis clara liberaque voce clamavi, ni abstineret a Gitone iniuriam mulier damnata et in toto navigio sola verberanda. Accenditur audacia mea iratior Lichas, indignaturque quod ego relicta mea causa tantum pro alio clamo. Nec minus Tryphaena contumelia saevit accensa, totiusque navigii turbam diducit in partes. Hinc mercennarius tonsor ferramenta sua nobis et ipse armatus distribuit, illinc Tryphaenae familia nudas expedit manus, ac ne ancillarum quidem clamor aciem destituit, uno tantum gubernatore relicturum se navis ministerium denuntiante, si non desinat rabies libidine perditorum collecta. Nihilo minus tamen perseverat dimicantium furor, illis pro ultione, nobis pro vita pugnantibus. Multi ergo utrinque sine morte labuntur, plures cruenti vulneribus referunt veluti ex proelio pedem, nec tamen cuiusquam ira laxatur. Tunc fortissimus Giton ad virilia sua admovit novaculam infestam, minatus se adbscissurum tot miseriarum causam, inhibuitque Tryphaena tam grande facinus non dissimulata missione. Saepius ego cultrum tonsorium super iugulum meum posui, non magis me occisurus quam Giton, quod minabatur, facturus. Audacius tamen ille tragoediam implebat, quia sciebat se illam habere novaculam, qua iam sibi cervicem praeciderat. Stante ergo utraque acie, cum appareret futurum non tralaticium bellum, aegre expugnavit gubernator ut caduceatoris more Tryphaena indutias faceret. Data ergo acceptaque ex more patrio fide, protendit ramum oleae a Tutela navigii raptum, atque in colloquium venire ausa:

"Quis furor, exclamat, pacem convertit in arma?
Quid nostrae meruere manus? Non Troius heros
hac in classe vehit decepti pignus Atridae,
nec Medea furens fraterno sanguine pugnat,
sed contemptus amor vires habet. Ei mihi, fata
hos inter fluctus quis raptis evocat armis?
Cui non est mors una satis? Ne vincite pontum
gurgitibusque feris alios immittite fluctus."

[CIX] Haec ut turbato clamore mulier effudit, haesit paulisper acies, revocataeque ad pacem manus intermisere bellum. Vtitur paenitentiae occasione dux Eumolpos, et castigato ante vehementissime Licha tabulas foederis signat, queis haec formula erat:

"Ex tui animi sententia, ut tu, Tryphaena, neque iniuriam tibi factam a Gitone quereris, neque si quid ante hunc diem factum est, obicies vindicabisve aut ullo alio genere persequendum curabis; ut tu nihil imperabis puero repugnanti, non amplexum, non osculum, non coitum venere constrictum, nisi pro qua re praesentes numeraveris denarios centum. Item, Licha, ex tui animi sententia, ut tu Encolpion nec verbo contumelioso insequeris nec vultu, neque quaeres ubi nocte dormiat, aut si quaesieris, pro singulis iniuriis numerabis praesentes denarios ducenos."

In haec verba foederibus compositis arma deponimus, et ne residua in animis etiam post iusiurandum ira remaneret, praeterita aboleri osculis placet. Exhortantibus universis odia detumescunt, epulaeque ad certamen prolatae conciliant hilaritate concordiam. Exsonat ergo cantibus totum navigium, et quia repentina tranquillitas intermiserat cursum, alius exultantes quaerebat fuscina pisces, alius hamis blandientibus convellebat praedam repugnantem. Ecce etiam per antemnam pelagiae consederant volucres, quas textis harundinibus peritus artifex tetigit; illae viscatis inligatae viminibus deferebantur ad manus. Tollebat plumas aura volitantes, pinnasque per maria inanis spuma torquebat.

Iam Lichas redire mecum in gratiam coeperat, iam Tryphaena Gitona extrema parte potionis spargebat, cum Eumolpus et ipse vino solutus dicta voluit in calvos stigmososque iaculari, donec consumpta frigidissima urbanitate rediit ad carmina sua coepitque capillorum elegidarion dicere:

Quod solum formae decus est, cecidere capilli,
vernantesque comas tristis abegit hiemps.
Nunc umbra nudata sua iam tempora maerent,
areaque attritis ridet adusta pilis.
O fallax natura deum: quae prima dedisti
aetati nostrae gaudia, prima rapis.
Infelix, modo crinibus nitebas
Phoebo pulchrior et sorore Phoebi.
At nunc levior aere vel rotundo
horti tubere, quod creavit unda,
ridentes fugis et times puellas.
Vt mortem citius venire credas,
scito iam capitis perisse partem.

[CX] Plura volebat proferre, credo, et ineptiora praeteritis, cum ancilla Tryphaenae Gitona in partem navis inferiorem ducit, corymbioque dominae pueri adornat caput. Immo supercilia etiam profert de pyxide, sciteque iacturae liniamenta secuta totam illi formam suam reddidit. Agnovit Tryphaena verum Gitona, lacrimisque turbata tunc primum bona fide puero basium dedit. Ego etiam si repositum in pristinum decorem puerum gaudebam, abscondebam tamen frequentius vultum, intellegebamque me non tralaticia deformitate esse insipitum, quem alloquio dignum ne Lichas quidem crederet. Sed huic tristitiae eadem illa succurrit ancilla, sevocatumque me non minus decoro exornavit capillamento; immo commendatior vultus enituit, quia flavum corymbion erat.

Ceterum Eumolpos, et periclitantium advocatus et praesentis concordiae auctor, ne sileret sine fabulis hilaritas, multa in muliebrem levitatem coepit iactare: quam facile adamarent, quam cito etiam filiorum obliviscerentur, nullamque esse feminam tam pudicam, quae non peregrina libidine usque ad furorem averteretur. Nec se tragoedias veteres curare aut nomina saeculis nota, sed rem sua memoria factam, quam eiturum se esse, si vellemus audire. Conversis igitur omnium in se vultibus auribusque sic orsus est:

[CXI] "Matrona quaedam Ephesi tam notae erat pudicitiae, ut vicinarum quoque gentium feminas ad spectaculum sui evocaret. Haec ergo cum virum extulisset, non contenta vulgari more funus passis prosequi crinibus aut nudatum pectus in conspectu frequentiae plangere, in conditorium etiam prosecuta est defunctum, positumque in hypogaeo Graeco more corpus custodire ac flere totis noctibus diebusque coepit. Sic adflictantem se ac mortem inedia persequentem non parentes potuerunt abducere, non propinqui; magistratus ultimo repulsi abierunt, complorataque singularis exempli femina ab omnibus quintum iam diem sine alimento trahebat. Adsidebat aegrae fidissima ancilla, simulque et lacrimas commodabat lugenti, et quotienscumque defecerat positum in monumento lumen renovabat. "Una igitur in tota civitate fabula erat: solum illud adfulsisse verum pudicitiae amorisque exemplum omnis ordinis homines confitebantur, cum interim imperator provinciae latrones iussit crucibus affigi secundum illam casulam, in qua recens cadaver matrona deflebat.

"Proxima ergo nocte, cum miles, qui cruces asservabat, ne quis ad sepulturam corpus detraheret, notasset sibi lumen inter monumenta clarius fulgens et gemitum lugentis audisset, vitio gentis humanae concupiit scire quis aut quid faceret. Descendit igitur in conditorium, visaque pulcherrima muliere, primo quasi quodam monstro infernisque imaginibus turbatus substitit; deinde ut et corpus iacentis conspexit et lacrimas consideravit faciemque unguibus sectam, ratus (scilicet id quod erat) desiderium extincti non posse feminam pati, attulit in monumentum cenulam suam, coepitque hortari lugentem ne perseveraret in dolore supervacuo, ac nihil profuturo gemitu pectus diduceret: 'omnium eumdem esse exitum et idem domicilium' et cetera quibus exulceratae mentes ad sanitatem revocantur.

"At illa ignota consolatione percussa laceravit vehementius pectus, ruptosque crines super corpus iacentis imposuit. Non recessit tamen miles, sed eadem exhortatione temptavit dare mulierculae cibum, donec ancilla, vini odore corrupta, primum ipsa porrexit ad humanitatem invitantis victam manum, deinde retecta potione et cibo expugnare dominae pertinaciam coepit et: 'Quid proderit, inquit, hoc tibi, si soluta inedia fueris, si te vivam sepelieris, si antequam fata poscant indemnatum spiritum effuderis? Id cinerem aut manes credis sentire sepultos? Vis tu reviviscere! Vis discusso muliebri errore! Quam diu licuerit, lucis commodis frui! Ipsum te iacentis corpus admonere debet ut vivas.' "Nemo invitus audit, cum cogitur aut cibum sumere aut vivere. Itaque mulier aliquot dierum abstinentia sicca passa est frangi pertinaciam suam, nec minus avide replevit se cibo quam ancilla, quae prior victa est.

[CXII] "Ceterum, scitis quid plerumque soleat temptare humanam satietatem. Quibus blanditiis impetraverat miles ut matrona vellet vivere, iisdem etiam pudicitiam eius aggressus est. Nec deformis aut infacundus iuvenis castae videbatur, conciliante gratiam ancilla ac subinde dicente:

'Placitone etiam pugnabis amori? Nec venit in mentem, quorum consederis arvis?'
"Quid diutius moror? Jacuerunt ergo una non tantum illa nocte, qua nuptias fecerunt, sed postero etiam ac tertio die, praeclusis videlicet conditorii foribus, ut quisquis ex notis ignotisque ad monumentum venisset, putasset expirasse super corpus viri pudicissimam uxorem.

"Ceterum, delectatus miles et forma mulieris et secreto, quicquid boni per facultates poterat coemebat et, prima statim nocte, in monumentum ferebat. Itaque unius cruciarii parentes ut viderunt laxatam custodiam, detraxere nocte pendentem supremoque mandaverunt officio. At miles circumscriptus dum desidet, ut postero die vidit unam sine cadavere crucem, veritus supplicium, mulieri quid accidisset exponit: 'nec se expectaturum iudicis sententiam, sed gladio ius dicturum ignaviae suae. Commodaret ergo illa perituro locum, et fatale conditorium familiari ac viro faceret.' Mulier non minus misericors quam pudica: 'Ne istud, inquit, dii sinant, ut eodem tempore duorum mihi carissimorum hominum duo funera spectem. Malo mortuum impendere quam vivum occidere.' Secundum hanc orationem iubet ex arca corpus mariti sui tolli atque illi, quae vacabat, cruci affigi.

"Usus est miles ingenio prudentissimae feminae, posteroque die populus miratus est qua ratione mortuus isset in crucem."

[CXIII] Risu excepere fabulam nautae, erubescente non mediocriter Tryphaena vultumque suum super cervicem Gitonis amabiliter ponente. At non Lichas risit, sed iratum commovens caput: "Si iustus, inquit, imperator fuisset, debuit patris familiae corpus in monumentum referre, mulierem affigere cruci". Non dubie redierat in animum Hedyle expilatumque libidinosa migratione navigium. Sed nec foederis verba permittebant meminisse, nec hilaritas, quae occupaverat mentes, dabat iracundiae locum. Ceterum Tryphaena in gremio Gitonis posita modo implebat osculi pectus, interdum concinnabat spoliatum crinibus vultum. Ego maestus et impatiens foederis novi non cibum, non potionem capiebam, sed obliquis trucibusque oculis utrumque spectabam. Omnia me oscula vulnerabant, omnes blanditiae, quascunque mulier libidinosa fingebat. Nec tamen adhuc sciebam, utrum magis puero irascerer, quod amicam mihi auferret, an amicae, quod puerum corrumperet: utraque inimicissima oculis meis et captivitate praeterita tristiora. Accedebat huc, quod neque Tryphaena me alloquebatur tanquam familiarem et aliquando gratum sibi amatorem, nec Giton me aut tralaticia propinatione dignum iudicabat, aut, quod minimum est, sermone communi vocabat, credo, veritus ne inter initia coeuntis gratiae recentem cicatricem rescinderet. Inundavere pectus lacrimae dolore paratae, gemitusque suspirio tectus animam paene submovit. (...)

In partem voluptatis (Lychas) temptabat admitti, nec domini supercilium induebat, sed amici quaerebat obsequium. ANCILLA TRYPHAENAE AD ENCOLPIUM: "Si quid ingenui sanguinis habes, non pluris illam facies, quam scortum. Si vir fueris, non ibis ad spintriam". (...)

Me nihil magis pudebat, quam ne Eumolpus sensisset quidquid illud fuerat, et homo dicacissimus carminibus vindicaret. (...)

Iurat verbis Eumolpus conceptissimis. (...)

[CXIV] Dum haec taliaque iactamus, inhorruit mare, nubesque undique adductae obruere tenebris diem. Discurrunt nautae ad officia trepidantes, velaque tempestati subducunt. Sed nec certos fluctus ventus impulerat, nec quo destinaret cursum gubernator sciebat. Siciliam modo ventus dabat, saepissime Italici litoris aquilo possessor convertebat huc illuc obnoxiam ratem, et quod omnibus procellis periculosius erat, tam spissae repente tenebrae lucem suppresserant, ut ne proram quidem totam gubernator videret. Itaque pernicies postquam manifesta convaluit, Lichas trepidans ad me supinas porrigit manus et: "Tu, inquit, Encolpi, succurre periclitantibus, et vestem illam divinam sistrumque redde navigio. Per fidem, miserere, quemadmodum quidem soles".

Et illum quidem vociferantem in mare ventus excussit, repetitumque infesto gurgite procella circumegit atque hausit. Tryphaenam autem prope iam (immersam) fidelissimi rapuerunt servi, scaphaeque impositam cum maxima sarcinarum parte abduxere certissimae morti.

Applicitus cum clamore flevi et: "Hoc, inquam, a diis meruimus, ut nos sola morte coniungerent? Sed non crudelis fortuna concedit. Ecce iam ratem fluctus evertet, ecce iam amplexus amantium iratum dividet mare. Igitur, si vere Encolpion dilexisti, da oscula, dum licet, (et) ultimum hoc gaudium fatis properantibus rape". Haec ut ego dixi, Giton vestem deposuit, meaque tunica contectus exeruit ad osculum caput. Et ne sic cohaerentes malignior fluctus distraheret, utrumque zona circumvenienti praecinxit et: "Si nihil aliud, certe diutius, inquit, iunctos nos mare feret, vel si voluerit misericors ad idem litus expellere, aut praeteriens aliquis tralaticia humanitate lapidabit, aut quod ultimum est iratis tiam fluctibus, imprudens harena componet". Patior ego vinculum extremum, et veluti lecto funebri aptatus expecto mortem iam non molestam. Peragit interim tempestas mandata fatorum, omnesque reliquias navis expugnat. Non arbor erat relicta, non gubernacula, non funis aut remus, sed quasi rudis atque infecta materies ibat cum fluctibus. (...)

Procurrere piscatores parvulis expediti navigiis ad praedam rapiendam. Deinde ut aliquos viderunt, qui suas opes defenderent, mutaverunt crudelitatem in auxilium. (...)

[CXV] Audimus murmur insolitum et sub diaeta magistri quasi cupientis exire beluae gemitum. Persecuti igitur sonum invenimus Eumolpum sedentem membranaeque ingenti versus ingerentem. Mirati ergo quod illi vacaret in vicinia mortis poema facere, extrahimus clamantem, iubemusque bonam habere mentem. At ille interpellatus excanduit et: "Sinite me, inquit, sententiam explere; laborat carmen in fine". Inicio ego phrenetico manum, iubeoque Gitona accedere et in terram trahere poetam mugientem.

Hoc opere tandem elaborato casam piscatoriam subimus maerentes, cibisque naufragio corruptis utcumque curati tristissimam exegimus noctem. Postero die, cum poneremus consilium, cui nos regioni crederemus, repente video corpus humanum circum actum levi vortice ad litus deferri. Substiti ergo tristis coepique umentibus oculis maris fidem inspicere et: "Hunc forsitan, proclamo, in aliqua parte terrarum secura expectat uxor, forsitan ignarus tempestatis filius, aut patrem utique reliquit aliquem, cui proficiscens osculum dedit. Haec sunt consilia mortalium, haec vota magnarum cogitationum. En homo quemadmodum natat!" Adhuc tanquam ignotum deflebam, cum inviolatum os; fluctus convertit in terram, agnovique terribilem paulo ante et implacabilem Licham pedibus meis paene subiectum. Non tenui igitur diutius lacrimas, immo percussi semel iterumque manibus pectus et: "Vbi nunc est, inquam, iracundia tua, ubi impotentia tua? Nempe piscibus beluisque eitus es, et qui paulo ante iactabas vires imperii tui, de tam magna nave ne tabulam quidem naufragus habes. Ite nunc mortales, et magnis cogitationibus pectora implete. Ite cauti, et opes fraudibus captas per mille annos disponite. Nempe hic proxima luce patrimonii sui rationes inspexit, nempe diem etiam, quo venturus esset in patriam, animo suo fixit. Dii deaeque quam longe a destinatione sua iacet! Sed non sola mortalibus maria hanc fidem praestant. Illum bellantem arma decipiunt, illum diis vota reddentem penatium suorum ruina sepelit. Ille vehiculo lapsus properantem spiritum excussit, cibus avidum strangulavit, abstinentem frugalitas. Si bene calculum ponas, ubique naufragium est. At enim fluctibus obruto non contingit sepultura: tanquam intersit, periturum corpus quae ratio consumat, ignis an fluctus an mora! Quicquid feceris, omnia haec eodem ventura sunt. Ferae tamen corpus lacerabunt: tanquam melius ignis accipiat! Immo hanc poenam gravissimam credimus, ubi servis irascimur. Quae ergo dementia est, omnia facere, ne quid de nobis relinquat sepultura?" (...)

Et Licham quidem rogus inimicis collatus manibus adolebat. Eumolpus autem dum epigramma mortuo facit, oculos ad arcessendos sensus longius mittit.

[CXVI] Hoc peracto libenter officio destinatum carpimus iter, ac momento temporis in montem sudantes conscendimus, ex quo haud procul impositum arce sublimi oppidum cernimus. Nec quid esset sciebamus errantes, donec a vilico quodam Crotona esse cognovimus, urbem antiquissimam et aliquando Italiae primam. Cum deinde diligentius exploraremus qui homines inhabitarent nobile solum, quodve genus negotiationis praecipue probarent post attritas bellis frequentibus opes: "O mi, inquit, hospites, si negotiatores estis, mutate propositum aliudque vitae praesidium quaerite. Sin autem urbanioris notae homines sustinetis semper mentiri, recta ad lucrum curritis. In hac enim urbe non litterarum studia celebrantur, non eloquentia locum habet, non frugalitas sanctique mores laudibus ad fructum perveniunt, sed quoscunque homines in hac urbe videritis, scitote in duas partes esse divisos. Nam aut captantur aut captant. In hac urbe nemo liberos tollit, quia quisquis suos heredes habet, non ad cenas, non ad spectacula admittitur, sed omnibus prohibetur commodis, inter ignominiosos latitat. Qui vero nec uxores unquam duxerunt nec proximas necessitudines habent, ad summos honores perveniunt, id est soli militares, soli fortissimi atque etiam innocentes habentur. Adibitis, inquit, oppidum tanquam in pestilentia campos, in quibus nihil aliud est nisi cadavera quae lacerantur, aut corvi qui lacerant." (...)

[CXVII] Prudentior Eumolpus convertit ad novitatem rei mentem genusque divitationis sibi non displicere confessus est. Iocari ego senem poetica levitate credebam, cum ille: "Vtinam quidem, (inquit), sufficeret largior scena, id est vestis humanior, instrumentum lautius, quod praeberet mendacio fidem: non mehercules operam istam differrem, sed continuo vos ad magnas opes ducerem". Atquin promitto, quicquid exigeret, dummodo placeret vestis, rapinae comes, et quicquid Lycurgi villa grassantibus praebuisset: "nam nummos in praesentem usum deum matrem pro fide sua reddituram. — Quid ergo, inquit Eumolpus, cessamus mimum componere? Facite ergo me dominum, si negotatio placet." Nemo ausus est artem damnare nihil auferentem. Itaque ut duraret inter omnes tutum mendacium, in verba Eumolpi sacramentum iuravimus: uri, vinciri, verberari ferroque necari, et quicquid aliud Eumolpus iussisset. Tanquam legitimi gladiatores domino corpora animasque religiosissime addicimus. Post peractum sacramentum serviliter ficti dominum consalutamus, elatumque ab Eumolpo filium pariter condiscimus, iuvenem ingentis eloquentiae et spei, ideoque de civitate sua miserrimum senem exisse, ne aut clientes sodalesque filii sui aut sepulcrum quotidie causam lacrimarum cerneret. Accessisse huic tristitiae proximum naufragium, quo amplius vicies sestertium amiserit; nec illum iactura moveri, sed destitutum ministerio non agnoscere dignitatem suam. Praeterea habere in Africa trecenties sestertium fundis nominibusque depositum; nam familiam quidem tam magnam per agros Numidiae esse sparsam, ut possit vel Carthaginem capere. Secundum hanc formulam imperamus Eumolpo, ut plurimum tussiat, ut sit modo solutioris stomachi cibosque omnes palam damnet; loquatur aurum et argentum fundosque mendaces et perpetuam terrarum sterilitatem; sedeat praeterea quotidie ad rationes tabulasque testamenti omnibus (idibus) renovet. Et ne quid scaenae deesset, quotiescunque aliquem nostrum vocare temptasset, alium pro alio vocaret, ut facile appareret dominum etiam eorum meminisse, qui praesentes non essent.

His ita ordinatis, "quod bene feliciterque eveniret " precati deos viam ingredimur. Sed neque Giton sub insolito fasce durabat, et mercennarius Corax, detractator ministerii, posita frequentius sarcina male dicebat properantibus, affirmabatque se aut proiecturum sarcinas aut cum onere fugiturum. "Quid vos, inquit? iumentum me putatis esse aut lapidariam navem? Hominis operas locavi, non caballi. Nec minus liber sum quam vos, etiam si pauperem pater me reliquit." Nec contentus maledictis tollebat subinde altius pedem, et strepitu obsceno simul atque odore viam implebat. Ridebat contumaciam Giton et singulos crepitus eius pari clamore prosequebatur. (...)

[CXVIII] EVMOLPVS. "Multos, inquit Eumolpus, o iuvenes, carmen decepit. Nam ut quisque versum pedibus instruxit sensumque teneriorem verborum ambitu intexuit, putavit se continuo in Heliconem venisse. Sic forensibus ministeriis exercitati frequenter ad carminis tranquillitatem tanquam ad portum feliciorem refugerunt, credentes facilius poema extrui posse, quam controversiam sententiolis vibrantibus pictam. Ceterum neque generosior spiritus vanitatem amat, neque concipere aut edere partum mens potest nisi intrenti flumine litterarum inundata. Refugiendum est ab omni verborum, ut ita dicam, vilitate et sumendae voces a plebe summotae, ut fiat odi profanum vulgus et arceo.

Praeterea curandum est, ne sententiae emineant extra corpus orationis expressae, sed intexto vestibus colore niteant. Homerus testis et lyrici, Romanusque Vergilius et Horatii curiosa felicitas. Ceteri enim aut non viderunt viam qua iretur ad carmen, aut visam timuerunt calcare. Ecce belli civilis ingens opus quisquis attigerit nisi plenus litteris, sub onere labetur. Non enim res gestae versibus comprehendendae sunt, quod longe melius historici faciunt, sed per ambages deorumque ministeria et fabulosum sententiarum tormentum praecipitandus est liber spiritus, ut potius furentis animi vaticinatio appareat quam religiosae orationis sub testibus fides. Tanquam si placet hic impetus, etiam si nondum recepit ultimam manum:

[CXIX] "Orbem iam totum victor Romanus habebat,
qua mare, qua terrae, qua sidus currit utrumque;
nec satiatus erat. Gravidis freta pulsa carinis
iam peragebantur; si quis sinus abditus ultra,
si qua foret tellus, quae fuluum mitteret aurum,
hostis erat, fatisque in tristia bella paratis
quaerebantur opes. Non vulgo nota placebant
gaudia, non usu plebeio trita voluptas.
Aes Ephyreiacum laudabat miles in unda;
quaesitus tellure nitor certaverat ostro;
Hinc Numidae accusant, illinc nova vellera Seres
atque Arabum populus sua despoliaverat arva.
Ecce aliae clades et laesae vulnera pacis.
Quaeritur in silvis auro fera, et ultimus Hammon
Afrorum excutitur, ne desit belua dente
ad mortes pretiosa; fame premit advena classes,
tigris et aurata gradiens vectatur in aula,
ut bibat humanum populo plaudente cruorem.
Heu, pudet effari perituraque prodere fata,
Persarum ritu male pubescentibus annis
surripuere viros, exsectaque viscera ferro
in venerem fregere, atque ut fuga mobilis aevi
circumscripta mora properantes differat annos,
quaerit se natura nec invenit. Omnibus ergo
scorta placent fractique enerui corpore gressus
et laxi crines et tot nova nomina vestis,
quaeque virum quaerunt. Ecce Afris eruta terris
citrea mensa greges servorum ostrumque renidens,
ponitur ac maculis imitatur vilius aurum
quae sensum trahat. Hoc sterile ac male nobile lignum
turba sepulta mero circum venit, omniaque orbis
praemia correptis miles vagus esurit armis.
Ingeniosa gula est. Siculo scarus aequore mersus
ad mensam vivus perducitur, atque Lucrinis
eruta litoribus vendunt conchylia cenas,
ut renovent per damna famem. Iam Phasidos unda
orbata est avibus, mutoque in litore tantum
solae desertis adspirant frondibus aurae.
Nec minor in Campo furor est, emptique Quirites
ad praedam strepitumque lucri suffragia vertunt.
Venalis populus, venalis curia patrum:
est favor in pretio. Senibus quoque libera virtus
exciderat, sparsisque opibus conversa potestas
ipsaque maiestas auro corrupta iacebat.
Pellitur a populo victus Cato; tristior ille est,
qui vicit, fascesque pudet rapuisse Catoni.
Namque — hoc dedecoris populo morumque ruina —
non homo pulsus erat, sed in uno victa potestas
Romanumque decus. Quare tam perdita Roma
ipsa sui merces erat et sine vindice praeda.
Praeterea gemino deprensam gurgite plebem
faenoris inluvies ususque exederat aeris.
Nulla est certa domus, nullum sine pignore corpus,
sed veluti tabes tacitis concepta medullis
intra membra furens curis latrantibus errat.
Arma placent miseris, detritaque commoda luxu
vulneribus reparantur. Inops audacia tuta est.
Hoc mersam caeno Romam somnoque iacentem
quae poterant artes sana ratione movere,
ni furor et bellum ferroque excita libido?
[CXX] "Tres tulerat Fortuna duces, quos obruit omnes
armorum strue diversa feralis Enyo.
Crassum Parthus habet, Libyco iacet aequore Magnus,
Iulius ingratam perfudit sanguine Romam,
et quasi non posset tot tellus ferre sepulcra,
divisit cineres. Hos gloria reddit honores.
Est locus exciso penitus demersus hiatu
Parthenopen inter magnaeque Dicarchidos arva,
Cocyti perfusus aqua; nam spiritus, extra
qui furit effusus, funesto spargitur aestu.
Non haec autumno tellus viret aut alit herbas
caespite laetus ager, non verno persona cantu
mollia discordi strepitu virgulta locuntur,
sed chaos et nigro squalentia pumice saxa
gaudent ferali circum tumulata cupressu.
Has inter sedes Ditis pater extulit ora
bustorum flammis et cana sparsa favilla,
ac tali volucrem Fortunam voce lacessit:
'Rerum humanarum divinarumque potestas,
Fors, cui nulla placet nimium secura potestas,
quae nova semper amas et mox possessa relinquis,
ecquid Romano sentis te pondere victam,
nec posse ulterius perituram extollere molem?
Ipsa suas vires odit Romana iuventus
et quas struxit opes, male sustinet. Aspice late
luxuriam spoliorum et censum in damna furentem.
Aedificant auro sedesque ad sidera mittunt,
expelluntur aquae saxis, mare nascitur arvis,
et permutata rerum statione rebellant.
En etiam mea regna petunt. Perfossa dehiscit
molibus insanis tellus, iam montibus haustis
antra gemunt, et dum vanos lapis invenit usus,
inferni manes caelum sperare fatentur.
Quare age, Fors, muta pacatum in proelia vultum,
Romanosque cie, ac nostris da funera regnis.
Iam pridem nullo perfundimus ora cruore,
nec mea Tisiphone sitientis perluit artus,
ex quo Sullanus bibit ensis et horrida tellus
extulit in lucem nutritas sanguine fruges.'
[CXXI] "Haec ubi dicta dedit, dextrae coniungere dextram
conatus, rupto tellurem soluit hiatu.
Tunc Fortuna levi defudit pectore voces:
'O genitor, cui Cocyti penetralia parent,
si modo vera mihi fas est impune profari,
vota tibi cedent; nec enim minor ira rebellat
pectore in hoc leviorque exurit flamma medullas.
Omnia, quae tribui Romanis arcibus, odi
muneribusque meis irascor. Destruet istas
idem, qui posuit, moles deus. Et mihi cordi
quippe cremare viros et sanguine pascere luxum.
Cerno equidem gemina iam stratos morte Philippos
Thessaliaeque rogos et funera gentis Hiberae.
Iam fragor armorum trepidantes personat aures,
Et Libyae cerno tua, Nile, gementia claustra,
Actiacosque sinus et Apollinis arma timentes.
Pande, age, terrarum sitientia regna tuarum
atque animas accerse novas. Vix navita Porthmeus
sufficiet simulacra virum traducere cumba;
classe opus est. Tuque ingenti satiare ruina,
pallida Tisiphone, concisaque vulnera mande:
ad Stygios manes laceratus ducitur orbis.'
[CXXII] "Vixdum finierat, cum fulgure rupta corusco
intremuit nubes elisosque abscidit ignes.
Subsedit pater umbrarum, gremioque reducto,
telluris pavitans fraternos palluit ictus.
Continuo clades hominum venturaque damna
auspiciis patuere deum. Namque ore cruento
deformis Titan vultum caligine texit:
civiles acies iam tum spirare putares.
Parte alia plenos extinxit Cynthia vultus
et lucem sceleri subduxit. Rupta tonabant
verticibus lapsis montis iuga, nec vaga passim
flumina per notas ibant morientia ripas.
Armorum strepitu caelum furit et tuba Martem
sideribus tremefacta ciet, iamque Aetna voratur
ignibus insolitis, et in aethera fulmina mittit.
Ecce inter tumulos atque ossa carentia bustis
umbrarum facies diro stridore minantur.
Fax stellis comitata novis incendia ducit,
sanguineoque recens descendit Iuppiter imbre.
Haec ostenta brevi soluit deus. Exuit omnes
quippe moras Caesar, vindictaeque actus amore
Gallica proiecit, civilia sustulit arma.
"Alpibus aeriis, ubi Graio numine pulsae
descendunt rupes et se patiuntur adiri,
est locus Herculeis aris sacer: hunc nive dura
claudit hiemps canoque ad sidera vertice tollit.
Caelum illinc cecidisse putes: non solis adulti
mansuescit radiis, non verni temporis aura,
sed glacie concreta rigent hiemisque pruinis:
totum ferre potest umeris minitantibus orbem.
Haec ubi calcavit Caesar iuga milite laeto
optavitque locum, summo de vertice montis
Hesperiae campos late prospexit, et ambas
intentans cum voce manus ad sidera dixit:
'Iuppiter omnipotens, et tu, Saturnia tellus,
armis laeta meis olimque onerata triumphis,
testor ad has acies invitum arcessere Martem,
invitas me ferre manus. Sed vulnere cogor,
pulsus ab urbe mea, dum Rhenum sanguine tingo,
dnm Gallos iterum Capitolia nostra petentes
Alpibus excludo, vincendo certior exul.
Sanguine Germano sexagintaque triumphis
esse nocens coepi. Quamquam quos gloria terret,
aut qui sunt qui bella vident? Mercedibus emptae
ac viles operae, quorum est mea Roma noverca.
At reor, haud impune, nec hanc sine vindice dextram
vinciet ignavus. Victores ite furentes,
ite mei comites, et causam dicite ferro.
Iamque omnes unum crimen vocat, omnibus una
impendet clades. Reddenda est gratia vobis,
non solus vici. Quare, quia poena tropaeis
imminet, et sordes meruit victoria nostra,
iudice Fortuna cadat alea. Sumite bellum
et temptate manus. Certe mea causa peracta est:
inter tot fortes armatus nescio vinci.'
Haec ubi personuit, de caelo Delphicus ales
omina laeta dedit pepulitque meatibus auras.
Nec non horrendi nemoris de parte sinistra
insolitae voces flamma sonuere sequenti.
Ipse nitor Phoebi vulgato laetior orbe
crevit, et aurato praecinxit fulgure vultus.

[CXXIII] "Fortior ominibus movit Mavortia signa
Caesar, et insolitos gressu prior occupat ausus.
Prima quidem glacies et cana vincta pruina
non pugnavit humus mitique horrore quievit.
Sed postquam turmae nimbos fregere ligatos
et pavidus quadrupes undarum vincula rupit,
incalvere nives. Mox flumina montibus altis
undabant modo nata, sed haec quoque — iussa putares —
stabant, et vincta fluctus stupuere ruina,
et paulo ante lues iam concidenda iacebat.
Tum vero male fida prius vestigia lusit
decepitque pedes; pariter turmaeque virique
armaque congesta strue deplorata iacebant.
Ecce etiam rigido concussae flamine nubes
exonerabantur, nec rupti turbine venti
derant, aut tumida confractum grandine caelum.
Ipsae iam nubes ruptae super arma cadebant,
et concreta gelu ponti velut unda ruebat.
Victa erat ingenti tellus nive victaque caeli
sidera, victa suis haerentia flumina ripis:
nondum Caesar erat; sed magnam nixus in hastam
horrida securis frangebat gressibus arva,
qualis Caucasea decurrens arduus arce
Amphitryoniades, aut torvo Iuppiter ore,
cum se verticibus magni demisit Olympi
et periturorum deiecit tela Gigantum.
"Dum Caesar tumidas iratus deprimit arces,
interea volucer molis conterrita pinnis
Fama volat summique petit iuga celsa Palati,
atque hoc Romano tonitru ferit omnia signa:
iam classes fluitare mari totasque per Alpes
fervere Germano perfusas sanguine turmas.
Arma, cruor, caedes, incendia totaque bella
ante oculos volitant. Ergo pulsata tumultu
pectora perque duas scinduntur territa causas.
Huic fuga per terras, illi magis unda probatur,
et patria pontus iam tutior. Est magis arma
qui temptare velit fatisque iubentibus uti.
Quantum quisque timet, tantum fugit. Ocior ipse
hos inter motus populus, miserable visu,
quo mens icta iubet, deserta ducitur urbe.
Gaudet Roma fuga, debellatique Quirites
rumoris sonitu maerentia tecta relinquunt.
Ille manu pavida natos tenet, ille penates
occultat gremio deploratumque relinquit
limen, et absentem votis interficit hostem.
Sunt qui coniugibus maerentia pectora iungant,
grandaevosque patres onerisque ignara iuventus.
Id pro quo metuit, tantum trahit. Omnia secum
hic vehit imprudens praedamque in proelia ducit:
ac velut ex alto cum magnus inhorruit auster
et pulsas evertit aquas, non arma ministris,
non regumen prodest, ligat alter pondera pinus,
alter tuta sinus tranquillaque litora quaerit:
hic dat vela fugae Fortunaeque omnia credit.
Quid tam parva queror? Gemino cum consule Magnus
ille tremor Ponti saevique repertor Hydaspis
et piratarum scopulus, modo quem ter ovantem
Iuppiter horruerat, quem tracto gurgite Pontus
et veneratus erat submissa Bosporos unda,
pro pudor! imperii deserto nomine fugit,
ut Fortuna levis Magni quoque terga videret.

[CXXIV] "Ergo tanta lues divum quoque numina vidit
consensitque fugae caeli timor. Ecce per orbem
mitis turba deum terras exosa furentes
deserit, atque hominum damnatum avertitur agmen.
Pax prima ante alias niveos pulsata lacertos
abscondit galea victum caput, atque relicto
orbe fugax Ditis petit implacabile regnum.
Huic comes it submissa Fides, et crine soluto
Iustitia, ac maerens lacera Concordia palla.
At contra, sedes Erebi qua rupta dehiscit,
emergit late Ditis chorus, horrida Erinys,
et Bellona minax, facibusque armata Megaera,
Letumque, Insidiaeque, et lurida Mortis imago.
Quas inter Furor, abruptis ceu liber habenis,
sanguineum late tollit caput, oraque mille
vulneribus confossa cruenta casside velat;
haeret detritus laevae Mavortius umbo
innumerabilibus telis gravis, atque flagranti
stipite dextra minax terris incendia portat.
Sentit terra deos, mutataque sidera pondus
quaesivere suum; namque omnis regia caeli
in partes diducta ruit. Primumque Dione
Caesaris acta sui ducit, comes additur illi
Pallas, et ingentem quatiens Mavortius hastam.
Magnum cum Phoebo soror et Cyllenia proles
excipit, ac totis similis Tirynthius actis.
Intremuere tubae, ac scisso Discordia crine
extulit ad superos Stygium caput. Huius in ore
concretus sanguis, contusaque lumina flebant,
stabant aerati scabra rubigine dentes,
tabo lingua fluens, obsessa draconibus ora,
atque inter torto laceratam pectore vestem
sanguineam tremula quatiebat lampada dextra.
Haec ut Cocyti tenebras et Tartara liquit,
alta petit gradiens iuga nobilis Appennini,
unde omnes terras atque omnia litora posset
aspicere ac toto fluitantes orbe catervas,
atque has erumpit furibundo pectore voces:
'Sumite nunc gentes accensis mentibus arma,
sumite et in medias immittite lampadas urbes.
Vincetur, quicumque latet; non femina cesset,
non puer aut aevo iam desolata senectus;
ipsa tremat tellus lacerataque tecta rebellent.
Tu legem, Marcelle, tene. Tu concute plebem,
Curio. Tu fortem ne supprime, Lentule, Martem.
Quid porro tu, dive, tuis cunctaris in armis,
non frangis portas, non muris oppida solvis
thesaurosque rapis? Nescis tu, Magne, tueri
Romanas arces? Epidamni moenia quaere,
Thessalicosque sinus humano sanguine tingue.'
"Factum est in terris quicquid Discordia iussit."
Cum haec Eumolpos ingenti volubilitate verborum effudisset, tandem Crotona intravimus. Vbi quidem parvo deversorio refecti, postero die amplioris fortunae domum quaerentes incidimus in turbam heredipetarum sciscitantium quod genus hominum. aut unde veniremus. Ex praescripto ergo consilii communis exaggerata verborum volubilitate, unde aut qui essemus haud dubie credentibus indicavimus. Qui statim opes suas summo cum certamine in Eumolpium congesserunt. (...)

[CXXV] Dum haec magno tempore Crotone aguntur (...) et Eumolpus felicitate plenus prioris fortunae esset oblitus statum, adeo ut suis iactaret neminem gratiae suae ibi posse resistere impuneque suos, si quid deliquissent in ea urbe, beneficio amicorum laturos. Ceterum ego, etsi quotidie magis magisque superfluentibus bonis saginatum corpus impleveram, putabamque a custodia mei removisse vultum Fortunam, tamen saepius tam consuetudinem meam cogitabam quam causam, et: "Quid, aiebam, si callidus captator exploratorem in Africam miserit mendaciumque deprehenderit nostrum? Quid, si etiam mercennarius praesenti felicitate lassus indicium ad amicos detulerit, totamque fallaciam invidiosa proditione detexerit? Nempe rursus fugiendum erit, et tandem expugnata paupertas nova mendicitate revocanda. Dii deaeque, quam male est extra legem viventibus! quicquid meruerunt, semper expectant". (...)

[CXXVI] CHRYSIS ANCILLA CIRCES AD POLYAENVM: "Quia nosti venerem tuam, superbiam captas vendisque amplexus, non commodas. Quo enim spectant flexae pectine comae, quo facies medicamine attrita et oculorum quoque mollis petulantia; quo incessus arte compositus et ne vestigia quidem pedum extra mensuram aberrantia, nisi quod formam prostituis ut vendas? Vides me: nec auguria novi nec mathematicorum caelum curare soleo; ex vultibus tamen hominum mores colligo, et cum spatiantem vidi, quid cogites scio. Sive ergo nobis vendis quod peto, mercator paratus est, sive, quod humanius est, commodas, effice ut beneficium debeam. Nam quod servum te et humilem fateris, accendis desiderium aestuantis. Quaedam enim feminae sordibus calent, nec libidinem concitant, nisi aut servos viderint aut statores altius cinctos. Arena aliquas accendit, aut perfusus pulvere mulio, aut histrio scaenae ostentatione traductus. Ex hac nota domina est mea; usque ab orchestra quattuordecim transilit, et in extrema plebe quaerit quod diligat."

Itaque oratione blandissima plenus: "Rogo, inquam, numquid illa, quae me amat, tu es?" Multum risit ancilla post tam frigidum schema et: "Nolo, inquit, tibi tam valde placeas. Ego adhuc servo nunquam succubui, nec hoc dii sinant ut amplexus meos in crucem mittam. Viderint matronae, quae flagellorum vestigia osculantur; ego etiam si ancilla sum, nunquam tamen nisi in equestribus sedeo." Mirari equidem tam discordem libidinem coepi atque inter monstra numerare, quod ancilla haberet matronae superbiam et matrona ancillae humilitatem.

Procedentibus deinde longius iocis rogavi ut in platanona produceret dominam. Placuit puellae consilium. Itaque collegit altius tunicam flexitque se in eum daphnona, qui ambulationi haerebat. Nec diu morata dominam producit e latebris, laterique meo applicat mulierem omnibus simulacris emendatiorem. Nulla vox est quae formam eius possit comprehendere, nam quicquid dixero minus erit. Crines ingenio suo flexi per totos se umeros effuderant, frons minima et quae radices capillorum retro flexerat, supercilia usque ad malarum scripturam currentia et rursus confinio luminum paene permixta, oculi clariores stellis extra lunam fulgentibus, nares paululum inflexae et osculum quale Praxiteles habere Dianam credidit. Iam mentum, iam cervix, iam manus, iam pedum candor intra auri gracile vinculum positus: Parium marmor extinxerat. Itaque tunc primum Dorida vetus amator contempsi. (...)

Quid factum est, quod tu proiectis, Iuppiter,armis
inter caelicolas fabula muta taces?
Nunc erat a torva submittere cornua fronte,
nunc pluma canos dissimulare tuos.
Haec vera est Danae. Tempta modo tangere corpus,
iam tua flammifero membra calore fluent.

[CXXVII] Delectata illa risit tam blandum, ut videretur mihi plenum os extra nubem luna proferre. Mox digitis gubernantibus vocem: "Si non fastidis, inquit, feminam ornatam et hoc primum anno virum expertam, concilio tibi, o iuvenis, sororem. Habes tu quidem et fratrem — neque enim me piguit inquirere — sed quid prohibet et sororem adoptare? Eoden gradu venio. Tu tantum dignare et meum osculum, cum libuerit, agnoscere. — Immo, inquam, ego per formam tuam te rogo, ne fastidias hominem peregrinum inter cultores admittere. Invenies religiosum, si te adorari permiseris. Ac ne me iudices ad hoc templum Amoris gratis accedere, dono tibi fratrem meum. — Quid? tu, inquit illa, donas mihi eum, sine quo non potes vivere, ex cuius osculo pendes, quem sic tu amas, quemadmodum ego te volo?" Haec ipsa cum diceret, tanta gratia conciliabat vocem loquentis, tam dulcis sonus pertemptatum mulcebat aera, ut putares inter auras canere Sirenum concordiam. Itaque miranti, et toto mihi caelo clarius nescio quid relucente, libuit deae nomen quaerere. "Ita, inquit, non dixit tibi ancilla mea Circen me vocari? Non sum quidem Solis progenies, nec mea mater, dum placet, labentis mundi cursum detinuit. Habebo tamen quod caelo imputem, si nos fata coniunxerint. Immo iam nescio quid tacitis cogitationibus deus agit. Nec sine causa Polyaenon Circe amat: semper inter haec nomina magna fax surgit. Sume ergo amplexum, si placet. Neque est quod curiosum aliquem extimescas: longe ab hoc loco frater est." Dixit haec Circe, implicitumque me brachiis mollioribus pluma deduxit in terram vario gramine indutam.

Idaeo quales fudit de vertice flores
Terra parens, cum se concesso iunxit amori
Iuppiter et toto concepit pectore flammas:
emicuere rosae violaeque et molle cyperon,
albaque de viridi riserunt lilia prato:
talis humus Venerem molles clamavit in herbas
candidiorque dies secreto favit amori.
In hoc gramine pariter compositi mille osculis lusimus quaerentes voluptatem robustam. (...)

[CXXVIIII] CIRCE AD POLYAENVM: "Quid est? inquit; numquid te osculum meum offendit? Numquid spiritus ieiunio marcet? Numquid alarum negligens sudor? Puto, si haec non sunt, numquid Gitona times?" Perfusus ego rubore manifesto etiam si quid habueram virium, perdidi, totoque corpore velut laxato:

"Quaeso, inquam, regina, noli suggillare miserias. Veneficio contactus sum". (...)

CIRCE: "Dic, Chrysis, sed verum: numquid indecens sum? Numquid incompta? numquid ab aliquo naturali vitio formam meam excaeco? Noli decipere dominam tuam. Nescio quid peccavimus." Rapuit deinde tacenti speculum, et postquam omnes vultus temptavit, quos solet inter amantes risus fingere, excussit vexatam solo vestem raptimque aedem Veneris intravit. Ego contra damnatus et quasi quodam visu in horrorem perductus interrogare animum meum coepi, an vera voluptate fraudatus essem.

Nocte soporifera veluti cum somnia ludunt
errantes oculos effossaque protulit aurum
in lucem tellus: versat manus improba furtum
thesaurosque rapit, sudor quoque perluit ora
et mentem timor altus habet, ne forte gravatum
excutiat gremium secreti conscius auri:
mox ubi fugerunt elusam gaudia mentem
veraque forma redit, animus, quod perdidit, optat
atque in praeterita se totus imagine versat. (...)

GITON AD ENCOLPION: "Itaque hoc nomine tibi gratias ago, quod me Socratica fide diligis. Non tam intactus Alcibiades in praeceptoris sui lecto iacuit".

[CXXIX] ENCOLPIVS AD GITONEM: "Crede mihi, frater, non intellego me virum esse, non sentio. Funerata est illa pars corporis, qua quondam Achilles eram". (...)

Veritus puer ne in secreto deprehensus daret sermonibus locum, proripuit se et in partem aedium interiorem fugit. (...)

Cubiculum autem meum Chrysis intravit, codicillosque mihi dominae suae reddidit, in quibus haec erant scripta: "CIRCE POLYAENO SALVTEM. Si libidinosa essem, quererer decepta; nunc etiam languori tuo gratias ago. In umbra voluptatis diutius lusi. Quid tamen agas quaero, et an tuis pedibus perveneris domum; negant enim medici sine nervis homines ambulare posse. Narrabo tibi, adulescens, paralysin cave. Nunquam ego aegrum tam magno periculo vidi; medius iam peristi. Quod si idem frigus genua manusque temptaverit tuas, licet ad tubicines mittas. Quid ergo est? Etiam si gravem iniuriam accepi, homini tamen misero non invideo medicinam. Si vis sanus esse, Gitonem roga. Recipies, inquam, nervos tuos, si triduo sine fratre dormieris. Nam quod ad me attinet, non timeo ne quis inveniatur cui minus placeam. Nec speculum mihi nec fama mentitur. Vale, si potes." Vt intellexit Chrysis perlegisse me totum convicium: "Solent, inquit, haec fieri, et praecipue in hac civitate, in qua mulieres etiam lunam deducunt. (...) Itaque huius quoque rei cura agetur. Rescribe modo blandius dominae, animumque eius candida humanitate restitue. Verum enim fatendum: ex qua hora iniuriam accepit, apud se non est". Libenter quidem parui ancillae, verbaque codicillis talia imposui:

[CXXX] "POLYAENOS CIRCAE SALVTEM. Fateor me, domina, saepe peccasse; nam et homo sum et adhuc iuvenis. Numquam tamen ante hunc diem usque ad mortem deliqui. Habes confitentem reum: quicquid iusseris, merui. Proditionem feci, hominem occidi, templum violavi: in haec facinora quaere supplicium. Sive occidere placet, ferro meo venio; sive verberibus contenta es, curro nudus ad dominam. Illud unum memento, non me sed instrumenta peccasse. Paratus miles arma non habui. Quis hoc turbaverit nescio. Forsitan animus antecessit corporis moram, forsitan dum omnia concupisco, voluptatem tempore consumpsi. Non invenio quod feci. Paralysin tamen cavere iubes: tanquam iam maior fieri possit, quae abstulit mihi per quod etiam te habere potui. Summa tamen excusationis meae haec est: placebo tibi, si me culpam emendare permiseris." Dimissa cum eiusmodi pollicitatione Chryside curavi diligentius noxiosissimum corpus, balneoque praeterito modica unctione usus, mox cibis validioribus pastus, id est bulbis cochlearumque sine iure cervicibus, hausi parcius merum. Hinc ante somnum levissima ambulatione compositus sine Gitone cubiculum intravi. Tanta erat placandi cura, ut timerem ne latus meum frater convelleret.

[CXXXI] Postero die, cum sine offensa corporis animique consurrexissem, in eundem platanona descendi, etiam si locum inauspicatum timebam, coepique inter arbores ducem itineris expectare Chrysidem. Nec diu spatiatus consederam, ubi hesterno die fueram, cum illa intervenit comitem aniculam trahens. Atque ut me consalutavit: "Quid est, inquit, fastose, ecquid bonam mentem habere coepisti?" Illa de sinu licium prolulit varii coloris filis intortum, cervicemque vinxit meam. Mox turbatum sputo pulverem medio sustulit digito, frontemque repugnantis signavit. (...)

Hoc peracto carmine ter me iussit expuere terque lapillos conicere in sinum, quos ipsa praecantatos purpura involuerat, admotisque manibus temptare coepit inguinum vires. Dicto citius nervi paruerunt imperio, manusque aniculae ingenti motu repleverunt. At illa gaudio exultans: "Vides, inquit, Chrysis mea, vides, quod aliis leporem excitavi?"

Mobilis aestivas platanus diffuderat umbras
et bacis redimita Daphne tremulaeque cupressus
et circum tonsae trepidanti vertice pinus.
Has inter ludebat aquis errantibus amnis
spumeus, et querulo vexabat rore lapillos.
Dignus amore locus: testis silvestris aedon
atque urbana Procne, quae circum gramina fusae
et molles violas cantu sua rura colebant.

(...) Premebat illa resoluta marmoreis cervicibus aureum torum myrtoque florenti quietum (aera) verberabat. Itaque ut me vidit, paululum erubuit, hesternae scilicet iniuriae memor; deinde ut remotis omnibus secundum invitantem consedi, ramum super oculos meos posuit et quasi pariete interiecto audacior facta: "Quid est, inquit, paralytice? Ecquid hodie totus venisti? — Rogas, inquam ego, potius quam temptas?" Totoque corpore in amplexum eius immissus non praecantatis usque ad satietatem osculis fruor. (...)

[CXXXII] [ENCOLPIVS DE ENDYMIONE PVERO: Ipsa corporis pulchritudine me ad se vocante trahebat ad venerem. Iam pluribus osculis labra crepitabant, iam implicitae manus omne genus amoris invenerant, iam alligata mutuo ambitu corpora animarum quoque mixturam fecerant.]

Manifestis matrona contumeliis verberata tandem ad ultionem decurrit, vocatque cubicularios et me iubet cato rigari. Nec contenta mulier tam gravi iniuria mea, convocat omnes quasillarias familiaeque sordidissimam partem, ac me conspui iubet. Oppono ego manus oculis meis, nullisque effusis precibus, quia sciebam quid meruissem, verberibus sputisque extra ianuam eiectus sum. Eicitur et Proselenos, Chrysis vapulat, totaque familia tristis inter se mussat, quaeritque quis dominae hilaritatem confuderit. (...) Itaque pensatis vicibus animosior, verberum notas arte contexi, ne aut Eumolpus contumelia mea hilarior fieret aut tristior Giton. Quod solum igitur salvo pudore poterat contingere, languorem simulavi, conditusque lectulo totum ignem furoris in eam converti, quae mihi omnium malorum causa fuerat:

Ter corripui terribilem manu bipennem,
ter languidior coliculi repente thyrso
ferrum timui, quod trepido male dabat usum.
Nec iam poteram, quod modo conficere libebat;
namque illa metu frigidior rigente bruma
confugerat in viscera mille operta rugis.
Ita non potui supplicio caput aperire,
sed furciferae mortifero timore lusus
ad verba, magis quae poterant nocere, fugi.

Erectus igitur in cubitum hac fere oratione contumacem vexavi: "Quid dicis, inquam, omnium hominum deorumque pudor? Nam ne nominare quidem te inter res serias fas est. Hoc de te merui, ut me in caelo positum ad inferos traheres? ut traduceres annos primo florentes vigore, senectaeque ultimae mihi lassitudinem imponere? Rogo te, mihi apodixin defunctoriam redde." Haec ut iratus effudi, Illa solo fixos oculos aversa tenebat, nec magis incepto vultum sermone movetur quam lentae salices lassove papavera collo. Nec minus ego tam foeda obiurgatione finita paenitentiam agere sermonis mei coepi secretoque rubore perfundi, quod oblitus verecundiae meae cum ea parte corporis verba contulerim, quam ne ad cognitionem quidem admittere severioris notae homines solerent. Mox perfricata diutius fronte: "Quid autem ego, inquam, mali feci, si dolorem meum naturali convicio exoneravi? Aut quid est quod in corpore humano ventri male dicere solemus aut gulae capitique etiam, cum saepius dolet? Quid? Non et Vlixes cum corde litigat suo, et quidam tragici oculos suos tanquam audientes castigant? Podagrici pedibus suis male dicunt, chiragrici manibus, lippi oculis, et qui offenderunt saepe digitos, quicquid doloris habent, in pedes deferunt:

Quid me constricta spectatis fronte Catone,
damnatisque novae simplicitatis opus?
Sermonis puri non tristis gratia ridet,
quodque facit populus, candida lingua refert.
Nam quis concubitus, Veneris quis gaudia nescit?
Quia vetat in tepido membra calere toro?
Ipse pater veri doctus Epicurus in arte
iussit, et hoc vitam dixit habere telos.

Nihil est hominum inepta persuasione falsius nec ficta severitate ineptius".

[CXXXIII] Hac declamatione finita Gitona voco et: "Narra mihi, inquam, frater, sed tua fide: ea nocte, qua te mihi Ascyltos subduxit, usque in iniuriam vigilavit, an contentus fuit vidua pudicaque nocte?" Tetigit puer oculos suos, conceptissimisque iuravit verbis sibi ab Ascylto nullam vim factam.

(...) positoque in limine genu sic deprecatus sum numen aversum:

Nympharum Bacchique comes, quem pulcra Dione
divitibus silvis numen dedit, inclita paret
cui Lesbos viridisque Thasos, quem Lydus adorat
septifluus, templumque tuis imponit Hypaepis:
huc aedes et Bacchi tutor Dryadumque voluptas,
et timidas admitte preces. Non sanguine tristi
perfusus venio, non templis impius hostis
admovi dextram, sed inops et rebus egenis
attritus facinus non toto corpore feci.
Quisquis peccat inops, minor est reus. Hac prece, quaeso,
exonera mentem culpaeque ignosce minori,
et quandoque mihi fortunae arriserit hora,
non sine honore tuum patiar decus. Ibit ad aras,
Sancte, tuas hircus, pecoris pater; ibit ad aras
corniger et querulae fetus suis, hostia lactens.
Spumabit pateris hornus liquor, et ter ovantem
circa delubrum gressum feret ebria pubes."

Dum haec ago curaque sollerti deposito meo caveo, intravit delubrum anus laceratis crinibus nigraque veste deformis, extraque vestibulum me iniecta manu duxit. (...)

[CXXXIV] PROSELENOS ANVS AD ENCOLPIVM: "Quae striges comederunt nervos tuos, aut quod purgamentum nocte calcasti trivio aut cadaver? Nec a puero quidem te vindicasti, sed mollis, debilis, lassus, tanquam caballus in clivo et operam et sudorem perdidisti. Nec contentus ipse peccare, mihi deos iratos excitasti".

Ac me iterum in cellam sacerdotis nihil recusantem perduxit impulitque super lectum, et harundinem ab ostio rapuit iterumque nihil respondentem mulcavit. Ac nisi primo ictu harundo quassata impetum verberantis minuisset, forsitan etiam brachia mea caputque fregisset. Ingemui ego utique propter mascarpionem, lacrimisque ubertim manantibus obscuratum dextra caput super pulvinum inclinavi. Nec minus illa fletu confusa altera parte lectuli sedit aetatisque longae moram tremulis vocibus coepit accusare, donec intervenit sacerdos: "Quid vos, inquit, in cellam meam tanquam ante recens bustum venistis? Vtique die feriarum, quo etiam lugentes rident." PROSELENOS AD OENOTHEAN SACERDOTEM PRIAPI: "O, inquit, Oenothea, hunc adulescentem quem vides, malo astro natus est; nam neque puero neque puellae bona sua vendere potest. Nunquam tu hominem tam infelicem vidisti: lorum in aqua, non inguina habet. Ad summam, qualem putas esse, qui de Circes toro sine voluptate surrexit?" His auditis Oenothea inter utrumque consedit, motoque diutius capite: "Istum, inquit, morbum sola sum quae emendare scio. Et ne putetis perplexe agere, rogo ut adulescentulus tuus mecum nocte dormiat, nisi illud tam rigidum reddidero quam cornu:

Quicquid in orbe vides, paret mihi. Florida tellus,
cum volo, spissatis arescit languida sucis,
cum volo, fundit opes, scopulique atque horrida saxa
Niliacas iaculantur aquas. Mihi pontus inertes
submittit fluctus, zephyrique tacentia ponunt
ante meos sua flabra pedes. Mihi flumina parent
Hyrcanaeque tigres et iussi stare dracones.
Quid leviora loquor? Lunae descendit imago
carminibus deducta meis, trepidusque furentes
flectere Phoebus equos revoluto cogitur orbe.
Tantum dicta valent. Taurorum flamma quiescit
virgineis extincta sacris, Phoebeia Circe
carminibus magicis socios mutavit Vlixis,
Proteus esse solet quicquid libet. Hic ego callens
artibus Idaeos frutices in gurgite sistam,
et rursus fluvios in summo vertice ponam."

[CXXXV] lnhorrui ego tam fabulosa pollicitatione conterritus, anumque inspicere diligentius coepi.

"Ergo, exclamat Oenothea, imperio parete!" detersisque curiose manibus inclinavit se in lectulum ac me semel iterumque basiavit. (...)

Oenothea mensam veterem posuit in medio altari, quam vivis implevit carbonibus, et camellam etiam vetustate ruptam pice temperata refecit. Tum clavum, qui detrahentem secutus cum camella lignea fuerat, fumoso parieti reddidit. Mox incincta quadrato pallio cucumam ingentem foco apposuit, simulque pannum de carnario detulit furca, in quo faba erat ad usum reposita et sincipitis vetustissima particula mille plagis dolata. Vt soluit ergo licio pannum, partem leguminis super mensam effudit iussitque me diligenter purgare. Servio ego imperio, granaque sordidissimis putaminibus vestita curiosa manu segrego. At illa inertiam meam accusans improba tollit, dentibusque folliculos pariter spoliat, atque in terram veluti muscarum imagines despuit.

Mirabar equidem paupertatis ingenium singularumque rerum quasdam artes:

Non Indum fulgebat ebur, quod inhaeserat auro,
nec iam calcato radiabat marmore terra
muneribus delusa suis, sed crate saligna
impositum Cereris vacuae nemus et nova terrae
pocula, quae facili vilis rota finxerat actu.
Hinc molli stillae lacus et de caudice lento
vimineae lances maculataque testa Lyaeo.
At paries circa palea satiatus inani
fortuitoque luto clavos numerabat agrestis,
et viridi iunco gracilis pendebat harundo.
Praeterea quae fumoso suspensa tigillo
conservabat opes humilis casa, mitia sorba
inter odoratas pendebat texta coronas
et thymbrae veteres et passis uva racemis:
qualis in Actaea quondam fuit hospita terra,
digna sacris Hecales, quam Musa loquentibus annis
Baccineas veteres mirando tradidit aevo.

[CXXXVI] Dum illa carnis etiam paululum delibat et dum coaequale natalium suorum sinciput in carnarium furca reponit, fracta est putris sella, quae staturae altitudinem adiecerat, anumque pondere suo deiectam super foculum mittit. Frangitur ergo cervix cucumulae ignemque modo convalescentem restinguit. Vexat cubitum ipsa stipite ardenti faciemque totam excitato cinere pertundit. Consurrexi equidem turbatus anumque non sine meo risu erexi; statimque, ne res aliqua sacrificium moraretur, ad reficiendum ignem in viciniam cucurrit. Itaque ad casae ostiolum processi cum ecce tres anseres sacri qui, ut puto, medio die solebant ab anu diaria exigere, impetum in me faciunt foedoque ac veluti rabioso stridore circumsistunt trepidantem. Atque alius tunicam meam lacerat, alius vincula calcumentorum resoluit ac trahit; unus etiam, dux ac magister saevitiae, non dubitavit crus meum serrato vexare morsu. Oblitus itaque nugarum, pedem mensulae extorsi coepique pugnacissimum animal armata elidere manu. Nec satiatus defunctorio ictu, morte me anseris vindicavi:

Tales Herculea Stymphalidas arte coactas
ad coelum fugisse reor, peneque fluentes
Harpyias, cum Phineo maduere veneno
fallaces epulae. Tremuit perterritus aether
planctibus insolitis, confusaque regia coeli (...)

Iam reliqui revolutam passimque per totum effusam pavimentum collegerant fabam, orbatique, ut existimo, duce redierant in templum, cum ego praeda simul atque vindicta gaudens post lectum occisum anserem mitto, vulnusque cruris haud altum aceto diluo. Deinde convicium verens, abeundi formavi consilium, collectoque cultu meo ire extra casam coepi. Necdum liberaveram cellulae limen, cum animadverto Oenotheam cum testo ignis pleno venientem. Reduxi igitur gradum proiectaque veste, tanquam expectarem morantem, in aditu steti. Collocavit illa ignem cassis harundinibus collectum, ingestisque super pluribus lignis excusare coepit moram, quod amica se non dimisisset tribus nisi potionibus e lege siccatis." Quid porro tu, inquit, me absente fecisti, aut ubi est faba?" Ego, qui putaveram me rem laude etiam dignam fecisse, ordine illi totum proelium eui, et ne diutius tristis esset, iacturae pensionem anserem obtuli. Quem anus ut vidit, tam magnum aeque clamorem sustulit, ut putares iterum anseres limen intrasse. Confusus itaque et novitate facinoris attonitus, quaerebam quid excanduisset, aut quare anseris potius quam mei misereretur.

[CXXXVII] At illa complosis manibus: "Scelerate, inquit, etiam loqueris? Nescis quam magnum flagitium admiseris: occidisti Priapi delicias, anserem omnibus matronis acceptissimum. Itaque ne te putes nihil egisse; si magistratus hoc scierint, ibis in crucem. Polluisti sanguine domicilium meum ante hunc diem inviolatum, fecistique ut me, quisquis voluerit inimicus, sacerdotio pellat.

— Rogo, inquam, noli clamare: ego tibi pro ansere struthocamelum reddam." Dum haec me stupente in lectulo sedet anserisque fatum complorat, interim Proselenos cum impensa sacrificii venit, visoque ansere occiso sciscitata causam tristitiae, et ipsa flere vehementius coepit meique misereri, tanquam patrem meum, non publicum anserem, occidissem. Itaque taedio fatigatus: "Rogo, inquam, expiare manus pretio licet? (...)si vos provocassem, etiam si homicidium fecissem. Ecce duos aureos pono, unde possitis et deos et anseres emere.". Quos ut vidit Oenothea: "Ignosce, inquit, adulescens, sollicita sum tua causa. Amoris est hoc argumentum, non malignitatis. Itaque dabimus operam, ne quis sciat. Tu modo deos roga, ut illi facto tuo ignoscant."

Quisquis habet nummos, secura naviget aura
fortunamque suo temperet arbitrio.
Vxorem ducat Danaen ipsumque licebit
Acrisium iubeat credere quod Danaen.
Carmina componat, declamet, concrepet omnes
et peragat causas sitque Catone prior.
Iurisconsultus 'parret, non parret' habeto,
atque esto quicquid Servius et Labeo.
Multa loquor: quod vis, nummis praesentibus opta,
et veniet. Clausum possidet arca Iovem.

(...) Infra manus meas camellam vini posuit et cum digitos pariter extensos porris apioque lustrasset, avellanas nuces cum precatione mersit in vinum. Et sive in summum redierant, sive subsderant, ex hoc coniecturam ducebat. Nec me fallebat inanes scilicet ac sine medulla ventosas nuces in summo umore consistere, graves autem et plenas integro fructu ad ima deferri. Recluso pectore extraxit fortissimum iecur et inde mihi futura praedixit. Immo, ne quod vestigium sceleris superesset, totum anserem laceratum verubus confixit, epulasque etiam lautas paulo ante, ut ipsa dicebat, perituro paravit. Volabant inter haec potiones meracae.

[CXXXVIII] Profert Oenothea scorteum fascinum, quod ut oleo et minuto pipere atque urticae trito circumdedit semine, paulatim coepit inserere ano meo. Hoc crudelissima anus spargit subinde umore femina mea. Nasturcii sucum cum habrotono miscet, perfusisque inguinibus meis, viridis urticae fascem comprehendit, omniaque infra umbilicum coepit lenta manu caedere. (...)

Aniculae quamvis solutae mero ac libidine essent, eandem viam tentant et per aliquot vicos secutae fugientem "Prende furem!" clamant. Evasi tamen omnibus digitis inter praecipitem decursum cruentatis. (...)

"Chrysis, quae priorem fortunam tuam oderat, hanc vel cum periculo capitis persequi destinat". (...)

"Quid huic formae aut Ariadne habuit aut Leda simile? Quid contra hanc Helene, quid Venus posset? Ipse Paris, dearum libidinantium iudex, si hanc in comparatione vidisset tam petulantibus oculis, et Helenen huic donasset et deas. Saltem si permitteretur osculum capere, si illud caeleste ac divinum pectus amplecti, forsitan rediret hoc corpus ad vires et resipiscerent partes veneficio, credo, sopitae. Nec me contumeliae lassant: quod verberatus sum, nescio; quod eiectus sum, lusum puto. Modo redire in gratiam liceat".

[CXXXIX] Torum frequenti tractatione vexavi, amoris mei quasi quandam imaginem (...)

Non solum me numen et implacabile fatum
persequitur. Prius Inachia Tirynthius ira
exagitatus onus caeli tulit, ante profanam
Iunonem Pelias sensit, tulit inscius arma
Laomedon, gemini satiavit numinis iram
Telephus, et regnum Neptuni pavit Vlixes.
Me quoque per terras, per cani Nereos aequor
Hellespontiaci sequitur gravis ira Priapi.

(...) Quaerere a Gitone meo coepi, num aliquis me quaesisset. "Nemo, inquit, hodie. Sed hesterno die mulier quaedam haud inculta ianuam intravit, cumque diu mecum esset locuta et me accersito sermone lassasset, ultimo coepit dicere, te noxam meruisse daturumque serviles poenas, si laesus in querela perseverasset." (...)

Nondum querelam finieram, cum Chrysis intervenit amplexuque effusissimo me invasit et: "Teneo te, inquit, qualem speraveram: tu desiderium meum, tu voluptas mea, nunquam finies hunc ignem, nisi sanguine extinxeris." (...)

Vnus ex noviciis (Eumolpi) servulis subito accurrit et mihi dominum iratissimum esse affirmavit, quod biduo iam officio defuissem. Recte ergo me facturum, si excusationem aliquam idoneam praeparassem: vix enim posse fieri, ut rabies irascentis sine verbere consideret. (...)

[CXL] Matrona inter primas honesta, Philomela nomine, quae multas saepe hereditates officio aetatis extorserat, tum anus et floris extincti, filium filiamque ingerebat orbis senibus, et, per hanc successionem artem suam perseverabat extendere. Ea ergo ad Eumolpum venit et commendare liberos suos eius prudentiae bonitatique (...)credere se et vota sua. Illum esse solum in toto orbe terrarum, qui praeceptis etiam salubribus instruere iuvenes quotidie posset. Ad summam, relinquere se pueros in domo Eumolpi, ut illum loquentem audirent: quae sola posset hereditas iuvenibus dari. Nec aliter fecit ac dixerat, filiamque speciosissimam cum fratre ephebo in cubiculo reliquit, simulavitque se in templum ire ad vota nuncupanda. Eumolpus, qui tam frugi erat ut illi etiam ego puer viderer, non dislulit puellam invitare ad pygesiaca sacra. Sed et podagricum se esse lumborumque solutorum omnibus dixerat, et si non servasset integram simulationem, periclitabatur totam paene tragoediam evertere. Itaque ut constaret mendacio fides, puellam quidem exoravit ut sederet super commendatam bonitatem, Coraci autem imperavit ut lectum, in quo ipse iacebat, subiret positisque in pavimento manibus dominum lumbis suis commoveret. Ille lente parebat imperio, puellaeque artificium pari motu remunerabat. Cum ergo res ad effectum spectaret, clara Eumolpus voce exhortabatur Coraca, ut spissaret officium. Sic inter mercennarium amicamque positus senex veluti oscillatione ludebat. Hoc semel iterumque ingenti risu, etiam suo, Eumolpus fecerat. Itaque ego quoque, ne desidia consuetudinem perderem, dum frater sororis suae automata per clostellum miratur, accessi temptaturus an pateretur iniuriam. Nec se reiciebat a blanditiis doctissimus puer, sed me numen inimicum ibi quoque invenit. (...)

"Dii maiores sunt, qui me restituerunt in integrum. Mercurius enim, qui animas ducere et reducere solet, suis beneficiis reddidit mihi quod manus irata praeciderat, ut scias me gratiosiorem esse quam Protesilaum aut quemquam alium antiquorum." Haec locutus sustuli tunicam, Eumolpoque me totum approbavi. At ille primo exhorruit, deinde ut plurimum crederet, utraque manu deorum beneficia tractat. (...)

(Eumolpus): "Socrates, deorum hominumque (b(ltistow), gloriari solebat, quod nunquam neque in tabernam conspexerat nec ullius turbae frequentioris concilio oculos crediderat. Adeo nihil est commodius quam semper cum sapientia loqui. — Omnia, inquam, ista vera sunt; nec ulli enim celerius homines incidere debent in malam fortunam, quam qui alienum concupiscunt. Vnde plani autem, unde levatores viverent, nisi aut locellos aut sonantes aere sacellos pro hamis in turbam mitterent? Sicut muta animalia cibo inescantur, sic homines non caperentur nisi spe aliquid morderent." (...)

[CXLI] (Encolpus?): "Ex Africa navis, ut promiseras, cum pecunia tua et familia non venit. Captatores iam exhausti liberalitatem imminuerunt. Itaque aut fallor, aut fortuna communis coepit redire ad paenitentiam suam." (...) (Eumolpus): "Omnes, qui in testamento meo legata habent, praeter libertos meos hac condicione percipient quae dedi, si corpus meum in partes conciderint et astante populo comederint. Apud quasdam gentes scimus adhuc legem servari, ut a propinquis suis consumantur defuncti, adeo quidem ut obiurgentur aegri frequenter, quod carnem suam faciant peiorem. His admoneo amicos meos, ne recusent quae iubeo, sed quibus animis devoverint spiritum meum, eisdem etiam corpus consumant." (...)

Excaecabat pecuniae ingens fama oculos animosque miserorum. Gorgias paratus erat exsequi.

"De stomachi tui recusatione non habeo quod timeam. Sequetur imperium, si promiseris illi pro unius horae fastidio multorum bonorum pensationem. Operi modo oculos, et finge te non humana viscera, sed centies sestertium comesse. Accedit huc, quod aliqua inveniemus blandimenta, quibus saporem mutemus. Neque enim ulla caro per se placet, sed arte quadam corrumpitur, et stomacho conciliatur averso. Quod si exemplis vis quoque probari consilium, Saguntini oppressi ab Hannibale humanas edere carnes, nec hereditatem expectabant. Petelini idem fecerunt in ultima fame, nec quicquam aliud in hac epulatione captabant, nisi tantum ne esurirent. Cum esset Numantia a Scipione capta, inventae sunt matres, quae liberorum suorum tenerent semesa in sinu corpora."

CETERA DESVNT.

"So you thought you'd made a fool of me, did you?" she cried. "Listen. I am the maid of Quartilla, the lady whose secret rites in the grotto of Priapus you disturbed. My mistress has come here in person and asks to be allowed to speak with you. You needn't be alarmed. Far from having come to reproach you or punish you, she would like to know what god has brought two such charming young men into her vicinity."
 

Necessaries, which since have steaded much; so, of his gentleness, knowing I lov'd my books, he furnish'd me from mine own library with volumes that I prize above my dukedom