Then we all three swore the most solemn oaths the horrid secret should die with us
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.
At this crisis amazement and consternation quite broke our spirit, certain death seeming to stare us miserably in the face. “I beseech you, lady,” I cried, “if you have any sinister design, put us out of our misery at once; we have done nothing so heinous as to deserve torturing to death.” The maid, whose name was Psyche, now carefully spread a rug on the marble floor, and endeavored to rouse my member into activity, but it lay cold as a thousand deaths could make it. Ascyltos had muffled his head in his mantle, having doubtless learned from experience the peril of meddling with other people’s secrets. Meantime Psyche produced two ribbons from her bosom, and proceeded to tie our hands with one and our feet with the other. Finding myself thus fettered, “This is not the way,” I protested, “for your mistress to get what she wants.” “Granted,” replied the maid; “but I have other remedies to my hand, and surer ones.”
So saying, she brought me a goblet full of satyrion, and with quips and cranks and a host of wonderful tales of its virtues, induced me to drain off nearly the whole of the liquor. Then, because he had slighted her overtures a little before, she poured what was left of the stuff over Ascyltos’s back without his noticing. The latter, seeing the stream of her eloquence dried up, exclaimed, “Well! and am I not thought worthy to have a drink too?” Betrayed by my laughter, the girl clapped her hands and cried, “Why! I’ve given it you already, young man; you’ve had the whole draft all to yourself.” “What!” put in Quartilla, “has Encolpius drunk up all our stock of satyrion?” and her sides shook with pretty merriment. Eventually not even Giton could contain his mirth, particularly when the little girl threw her arms round his neck, and gave the boy, who showed no signs of reluctance, a thousand kisses.
We should have cried out for help in our unhappy plight, but there was no one to hear us and besides Psyche pricked my cheeks with her hair pin every time I tried to call upon my fellow countrymen for succor, while at the same time the other girl threatened Ascyltos with a brush dipped in satyrion. Finally there entered a catamite, tricked out in a coat of chestnut frieze, and wearing a sash, who would alternately writhe his buttocks and bump against us, and beslaver us with the most evil-smelling kisses, until Quartilla, holding a whalebone wand in her hand and with skirts tucked up, ordered him to give the poor fellows quarter. Then we all three swore the most solemn oaths the horrid secret should die with us.Continue reading “Satyricon, I need not go to the poets for evidence”