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The Satyricon

Gaius Petronius Arbiter


[1] “Are our rhetoricians tormented by a new tribe of Furies when they cry: ‘These scars I earned in the struggle for popular rights; I sacrificed this eye for you: where is a guiding hand to lead me to my children? My knees are hamstrung, and cannot support my body’? Though indeed even these speeches might be endured if they smoothed the path of aspirants to oratory. But as it is, the sole result of this bombastic matter and these loud empty phrases is that a pupil who steps into a court thinks that he has been carried into another world. I believe that college makes complete fools of our young men, because they see and hear nothing of ordinary life there. It is pirates standing in chainson the beach, tyrants pen in hand ordering sons to cut off their fathers’ heads, oracles in time of pestilence demanding the blood of three virgins or more, honey-balls of phrases, every word and act besprinkled with poppy-seed and sesame. [2] People who are fed on this diet can no more be sensible than people who live in the kitchen can be savoury. With your permission I must tell you the truth, that you teachers more than anyone have been the ruin of true eloquence. Your tripping, empty tones stimulate certain absurd effects into being, with the result that the substance of your speech languishes and dies. In the age: when Sophocles or Euripides found the inevitable word for their verse, young men were not yet being confined to set speeches. When Pindar and the nine lyric poets were too modest to use Homer’s lines, no cloistered pedant had yet ruined young men’s brains. I need not go to the poets for evidence. I certainly do not find that Plato or Demosthenes took any course of training of this kind. Great style, which, if I may say so, is also modest style, is never blotchy and bloated. It rises supreme by virtue of its natural beauty. Your flatulent and formless flow of words is a modern immigrant from Asia to Athens. Its breath fell upon the mind of ambitious youth like the influence of a baleful planet, and when the old tradition was once broken, eloquence halted and grew dumb. In a word, who after this came to equal the splendour of Thucydides or Hyperides? Even poetry did not glow with the colour of health, but the whole of art, nourished on one universal diet, lacked the vigour to reach the grey hairs of old age. The decadence in painting was the same, as soon as Egyptian charlatans had found a short cut to this high calling.”

[3] Agamemnon would not allow me to stand declaiming out in the colonnade longer than he had spent sweating inside the school. “Your talk has an uncommon flavour, young man,” he said, “and what is most unusual, you appreciate good sense. I will not therefore deceive you by making a mystery of my art. The fact is that the teachers are not to blame for these exhibitions. They are in a madhouse, and they must gibber. Unless they speak to the taste of their young masters they will be left alone in the colleges, as Cicero remarks. Like the toadies [of Comedy] cadging after the rich man’s dinners, they think first about what is calculated to please their audience. They will never gain their object unless they lay traps for the ear. A master of oratory is like a fisherman; he must put the particular bait on his hook which he knows will tempt the little fish, or he may sit waiting on his rock with no hope of a catch. [4] Then what is to be done? It is the parents who should be attacked for refusing to allow their children to profit by stern discipline. To begin with they consecrate even their young hopefuls, like everything else, to ambition. Then if they are in; a hurry for the fulfilment of their vows, they drive the unripe schoolboy into the law courts, and thrust eloquence, the noblest of callings, upon children who are still struggling into the world. If they would allow work to go on step by step, so that bookish boys were steeped in diligent reading, their minds formed by wise sayings, their pens relentless in tracking down the right word, their ears giving a long hearing to pieces they wished to imitate, and if they would convince themselves that what took a boy’s fancy was never fine; then the grand old style of oratory would have its full force and splendour. As it is, the boy wastes his time at school, and the young man is a laughing-stock in the courts. Worse than that, they will not admit when they are old the errors they have once imbibed at school. But pray do not think that I impugn Lucilius’s rhyme about modesty. I will myself put my own views in a poem:

[5] If any man seeks for success in stern art and applies his mind to great tasks, let him first perfect his character by the rigid law of frugality. Nor must he care for the lofty frown of the tyrant’s palace, or scheme for suppers with prodigals like a client, or drown the fires of his wit with wine in the company of the wicked, or sit before the stage applauding an actor’s grimaces for a price.

“But whether the fortress of armoured Tritonis smiles upon him, or the land where the Spartan farmer lives, or the home of the Sirens, let him give the years of youth to poetry, and let his fortunate soul drink of the Maeonian fount. Later, when he is full of the learning of the Socratic school, let him loose the reins, and shake the weapons of mighty Demosthenes like a free man. Then let the company of Roman writers pour about him, and, newly unburdened from the music of Greece, steep his soul and transform his taste. Meanwhile, let him withdraw from the courts and suffer his pages to run free, and in secret make ringing strains in swift rhythm; then let him proudly tell tales of feasts, and wars recorded in fierce chant, and lofty words such as undaunted Cicero uttered. Gird up thy soul for these noble ends; so shalt thou be fully inspired, and shalt pour out words in swelling torrent from a heart the Muses love.”

[6] I was listening to him so carefully that I did not notice Ascyltos slipping away. I was pacing the gardens in the heat of our conversation, when a great crowd of students came out into the porch, apparently from some master whose extemporary harangue had followed Agamemnon’s discourse. So while the young men were laughing at his epigrams, and denouncing the tendency of his style as a whole, I took occasion to steal away and began hurriedly to look for Ascyltos. But I did not remember the road accurately, and I did not know where our lodgings were. So wherever I went, I kept coming back to the same spot, till I was tired out with walking, and dripping with sweat. [7] At last I went up to an old woman who was selling country vegetables and said,”Please, mother, do you happen to know where I live?” She was charmed with such a polite fool.”Of course I do,” she said, and got up and began to lead the way. I thought her a prophetess ...., and when we had got into an obscure quarter the obliging old lady pushed back a patchwork curtain and said,”This should be your house.” I was saying that I did not remember it, when I noticed some men and naked women walking cautiously about among placards of price. Too late, too late I realized that I had been taken into a bawdy-house. I cursed the cunning old woman, and covered my head, and began to run through the brothel to another part, when just at the entrance Ascyltos met me, as tired as I was, and half-dead. It looked as though the same old lady had brought him there. I hailed him with a laugh, and asked him what he was doing in such an unpleasant spot. [8] He mopped himself with his hands and said, “If you only knew what has happened to me.” “What is it?” I said. “Well,” he said, on the point of fainting, “I was wandering all over the town without finding where I had left my lodgings, when a respectable person came up to me and very kindly offered to direct me. He took me round a number of dark turnings and brought me out here, and then began to offer me money and solicit me. A woman got threepence out of me for a room, and he had already seized me. The worst would have happened if I had not been stronger than he.” ...

Every one in the place seemed to be drunk on aphrodisiacs ... but our united forces defied our assailant....

[9] I dimly saw Giton standing on the kerb of the road in the dark, and hurried towards him.... I was asking my brother whether he had got ready anything for us to eat, when the boy sat down at the head of the bed, and began to cry and rub away the tears with his thumb. My brother’s looks made me uneasy, and I asked what had happened. The boy was unwilling to tell, but I added threats to entreaties, and at last he said, “That brother or friend of yours ran into our lodgings a little while ago and began to offer me violence. I shouted out, and he drew his sword and said, ‘If you are a Lucretia, you have found your Tarquin.’”

When I heard this I shook my fist in Ascyltos’s face. “What have you to say?” I cried, “You dirty fellow whose very breath is unclean?” Ascyltos first pretended to be shocked, and then made a great show of fight, and roared out much more loudly: “Hold your tongue, you filthy prizefighter. You were kicked out of the ring in disgrace. Be quiet, Jack Stab-inthe-dark. You never could face a clean woman in your best days. I was the same kind of brother to you in the garden, as this boy is now in the lodgings.”

[10] “You sneaked away from the master’s talk,” I said.”Well, you fool, what do you expect? I was perishing of hunger. Was I to go on listening to his views, all broken bottles and interpretation of dreams? By God, you are far worse than I am, flattering a poet to get asked out to dinner.”

Then our sordid quarrelling ended in a shout of laughter, and we retired afterwards more peaceably for what remained to be done....

But his insult came into my head again. “Ascyltos,” I said, “I am sure we cannot agree. We will divide our luggage, and try to defeat our poverty by our own earnings. You are a scholar, and so am I. Besides, I will promise not to stand in the way of your success. Otherwise twenty things a day will bring us into opposition, and spread scandal about us all over the town.” Ascyltos acquiesced, and said, “But as we are engaged to supper to-night like a couple of students, do not let us waste the evening. I shall be pleased to look out for new lodgings and a new brother to-morrow?” “Waiting for one’s pleasures is weary work,” I replied....

[11] I went sight-seeing all over the town and then came back to the little room. At last I could ask for kisses openly. I hugged the boy close in my arms and had my fill of a happiness that might be envied. All was not over when Ascyltos came sneaking up to the door, shook back the bars by force, and found me at play with my brother. He filled the room with laughter and applause, pulled me out of the cloak I had over me, and said, “What are you at, my pureminded brother, you that would break up our partnership?” Not content with gibing, he pulled the strap off his bag, and began to give me a regular flogging, saying sarcastically as he did so: “Don’t make this kind of bargain with your brother.” ...

[12] It was already dusk when we came into the market. We saw a quantity of things for sale, of no great value, though the twilight very easily cast a veil over their shaky reputations. So for our part we stole a cloak and carried it off, and seized the opportunity of displaying the extreme edge of it in one corner of the market, hoping that the bright colour might attract a purchaser. In a little while a countryman, whom I knew by sight, came up with a girl, and began to examine the cloak narrowly. Ascyltos in turn cast a glance at the shoulders of our country customer, and was suddenly struck dumb with astonishment. I could not look upon the man myself without a stir, for he was the person, I thought, who had found the shirt in the lonely spot where we lost it. He was certainly the very man. But as Ascyltos was afraid to trust his eyes for fear of doing something rash, he first came up close as if he were a purchaser, and pulled the shirt off the countryman’s shoulders, and then felt it carefully. [13] By a wonderful stroke of luck the countryman had never laid his meddling hands on the seam, and he was offering the thing for sale with a condescending air as a beggar’s leavings. When Ascyltos saw that our savings were untouched, and what a poor creature the seller was, he took me a little aside from the crowd, and said, “Do you know, brother, the treasure I was grumbling at losing has come back to us. That is the shirt, and I believe it is still full of gold pieces: they have never been touched. What shall we do? How shall we assert our legal rights?”

I was delighted, not only because I saw a chance of profit, but because fortune had relieved me of a very disagreeable suspicion. I was against any roundabout methods. I thought we should proceed openly by civil process, and obtain a decision in the courts if they refused to give up other people’s property to the rightful owners.

[14] But Ascyltos was afraid of the law: “Nobody knows us in this place,” he said, “and nobody will believe what we say, I should certainly like to buy the thing, although it is ours and we know it. It is better to get back our savings cheaply than to embark upon the perils of a lawsuit:

“Of what avail are laws where money rules alone, and the poor suitor can never succeed? The very men who mock at the times by carrying the Cynic’s scrip have sometimes been known to betray the truth for a price. So a lawsuit is nothing more than a public auction, and the knightly juror who sits listening to the case gives his vote as he is paid.”

But we had nothing in hand except one sixpence, with which we had meant to buy pease and lupines. And so for fear our prize should escape us, we decided to sell the cloak cheaper than we had intended, and so to incur a slight loss for a greater gain. We had just unrolled our piece, when a veiled woman, who was standing by the countryman, looked carefully at the marks, and then seized the cloak with both hands, shouting at the top of her voice, “Thieves!” We were terrified, but rather than do nothing, we began to tug at the dirty torn shirt, and cried out with equal bitterness that these people had taken some spoil that was ours. But the dispute was in no way even, and the dealers who were attracted by the noise of course laughed at our indignation, since one side was laying claim to an expensive cloak, the other to a set of rags which would not serve to make a decent patchwork. [15] Ascyltos now cleverly stopped their laughter by calling for silence and saying, “Well, you see, every one has an affection for his own things. If they will give us our shirt, they shall have their cloak.” The countryman and the woman were satisfied with this exchange, but by this time some policemen had been called in to punish us; they wanted to make a profit out of the cloak, and tried to persuade us to leave the disputed property with them and let a judge look into our complaints the next day. They urged that besides the counter-claims to these garments, a far graver question arose, since each party must lie under suspicion of thieving. It was suggested that trustees should be appointed, and one of the traders, a bald man with a spotty forehead, who used sometimes to do law work, laid hands on the cloak and declared that he would produce it to-morrow. But clearly the object was that the cloak should be deposited with a pack of thieves and be seen no more, in the hope that we should not keep our appointment, for fear of being charged.

It was obvious that our wishes coincided with his, and chance came to support the wishes of both sides. The countryman lost his temper when we said his rags must be shown in public, threw the shirt in Ascyltos’s face, and asked us, now that we had no grievance, to give up the cloak which had raised the whole quarrel....

We thought we had got back our savings. We hurried away to the inn and shut the door, and then had a laugh at the wits of our false accusers and at the dealers too, whose mighty sharpness had returned our money to us. “I never want to grasp what I desire at once, nor do easy victories delight me.”

[16] Thanks to Giton, we found supper ready, and we were making a hearty meal, when a timid knock sounded at the door.

We turned pale and asked who it was. “Open the door,” said a voice, “and you will see.” While we were speaking, the bar slipped and fell of its own accord, the door suddenly swung open, and let in our visitor. It was the veiled woman who had stood with the countryman a little while before. “Did you think you had deceived me?” she said. “I am Quartilla’s maid. You intruded upon her devotions before her secret chapel. Now she has come to your lodgings, and begs for the favour of a word with you. Do not be uneasy; she will not be angry, or punish you for a mistake. On the contrary, she wonders how Heaven conveyed such polite young men to her quarter.” We still said nothing, [17] and showed no approval one way or the other. Then Quartilla herself came in with one girl by her, sat down on my bed, and cried for a long while. We did not put in a word even then, but sat waiting in amazement for the end of this carefully arranged exhibition of grief. When this very designing rain had ceased, she drew her proud head out of her cloak and wrung her hands together till the joints cracked. “You bold creatures,” she said,”where did you learn to outrival the robbers of romance? Heaven knows I pity you. A man cannot look upon forbidden things and go free. Indeed the gods walk abroad so commonly in our streets that it is easier to meet a god than a man. Do not suppose that I have come here to avenge myself. I am more sorry for your tender years than for my own wrongs. For I still believe that heedless youth has led you into deadly sin. I lay tormenting myself that night and shivering with such a dreadful chill that I even fear an attack of tertian ague. So I asked for a remedy in my dreams, and was told to find you out and allay the raging of my disease by the clever plan you would show me. But I am not so greatly concerned about a cure; deep in my heart burns a greater grief, which drags me down to inevitable death. I am afraid that youthful indiscretion will lead you to publish abroad what you saw in the chapel of Priapus, and reveal our holy rites to the mob. So I kneel with folded hands before you, and beg and pray you not to make a laughing-stock of our nocturnal worship, not to deride the immemorial mystery to which less than a thousand souls hold the key.”

[18] She finished her prayer, and again cried bitterly, and buried her face and bosom in my bed, shaken all over with deep sobs. I was distracted with pity and terror together. I reassured her, telling her not to trouble herself about either point. No one would betray her devotions, and we would risk our lives to assist the will of Heaven, if the gods had showed her any further cure for her tertian ague. At this promise the woman grew more cheerful, kissed me again and again and gently stroked the long hair that fell about my ears, having passed from crying to laughter. “I will sign a peace with you,” she said, “and withdraw the suit I have entered against you. But if you had not promised me the cure I want, there was a whole regiment ready for tomorrow to wipe out my wrongs and uphold my honour:

“To be flouted is disgraceful, but to impose terms is glorious: I rejoice that I can follow what course I please. For surely even a wise man will take up a quarrel when he is flouted, while the man who sheds no blood commonly comes off victorious.” ...

Then she clapped her hands and suddenly burst out laughing so loud that we were frightened. The maid who had come in first did the same on one side of us, and also the little girl who had come in with Quartilla. [19] The whole place rang with farcical laughter, while we kept looking first at each other and then at the women, not understanding how they could have changed their tune so quickly....

“I forbade any mortal man to enter this inn to-day, just so that I might get you to cure me of my tertian ague without interruptions.” When Quartilla said this, Ascyltos was struck dumb for a moment, while I turned colder than a Swiss winter, and could not utter a syllable. But the presence of my friends saved me from my worst fears. They were three weak women, if they wanted to make any attack on us. We had at least our manhood in our favour, if nothing else. And certainly our dress was more fit for action. Indeed I had already matched our forces in pairs. If it came to a real fight, I was to face Quartilla, Ascyltos her maid, Giton the girl...

But then all our resolution yielded to astonishment, and the darkness of certain death began to fall on our unhappy eyes....

[20] “If you have anything worse in store, madam,” I said, “be quick with it. We are not such desperate criminals that we deserve to die by torture.”...

The maid, whose name was Psyche, carefully spread a blanket on the floor. Sollicitavit inguina mea mille iam mortibus frigida... Ascyltos had buried his head in his cloak. I suppose he had warning that it is dangerous to pry into other people’s secrets....

The maid brought two straps out of her dress and tied our feet with one and our hands with the other....

The thread of our talk was broken. “Come,” said Ascyltos, “do not I deserve a drink?” The maid was given away by my laughter at this. She clapped her hands and said, “I put one by you, young man. Did you drink the whole of the medicine yourself?” “Did he really?” said Quartilla, “did Encolpius drink up the whole of our loving-cup?” Her sides shook with delightful laughter.... Even Giton had to laugh at last, I mean when the little girl took him by the neck and showered countless kisses on his unresisting lips....

[21] We wanted to cry out for pain, but there was no one to come to the rescue, and when I tried to cry”Help, all honest citizens!” Psyche pricked my cheek with a hair-pin, while the girl threatened Ascyltos with a wet sponge which she had soaked in an aphrodisiac....

At last there arrived a low fellow in a fine brown suit with a waistband ....

Modo extortis nos clunibus cecidit, modo basis olidissimis inquinavit, donec Quartilla balaenaceam tenens virgam alteque succincta iussit infelicibus dari missionem ....

We both of us took a solemn oath that the dreadful secret should die with us....

A number of attendants came in, rubbed us down With pure oil, and refreshed us. Our fatigue vanished, we put on evening dress again, and were shown into the next room, where three couches were laid and a whole rich dinner-service was finely spread out. We were asked to sit down, and after beginning with some wonderful hors d’oeuvres we swam in wine, and that too Falernian. We followed this with more courses, and were dropping off to sleep, when Quartilla said, “Well, how can you think of going to sleep, when you know that is your duty to devote the whole night to the genius of Priapus?” ...

[22] Ascyltos was heavy-eyed with all his troubles, and was falling asleep, when the maid who had been driven away so rudely rubbed his face over with soot, and coloured his lips and his neck with vermilion while he drowsed. By this time I was tired out with adventures too, and had just taken the tiniest taste of sleep. All the servants, indoors and out, had done the same. Some lay anyhow by the feet of the guests, some leaned against the walls, some even stayed in the doorway with their heads together. The oil in the lamps had run out, and they gave a thin dying light. All at once two Syrians came in to rob the dining-room, and in quarrelling greedily over the plate pulled a large jug in two and broke it. The table fell over with the plate, and a cup which happened to fly some distance hit the head of the maid, who was lolling over a seat. The knock made her scream, and this showed up the thieves and woke some of the drunken party. The Syrians who had come to steal dropped side by side on a sofa, when they realized that they were being noticed, with the most convincing naturalness, and began to snore like old-established sleepers.

By this time the butler had got up and refilled the flickering lamps. The boys rubbed their eyes for a few minutes, and then came back to wait. Then a girl with cymbals came in, and the crash of the brass aroused everybody. [23] Our evening began afresh, and Quartilla called us back again to our cups. The girl with the cymbals gave her fresh spirits for the revel....

Intrat cinaedus, homo omnium insulsissimus et plane illa domo dignus, qui ut infractis manibus congemuit, eiusmodi carmina effudit:

“Huc huc cito convenite nunc, spatalocinaedi,

Pede tendite, cursum addite, convolate planta

Femoreque facili, dune 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. [24] Profluebant per frontem sudantis acaciae rivi, et inter rugas malarum tantum erat cretae, ut putares detectum parietem nimbo laborare. 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 ut 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 applicuit. Mox manum etiam demisit in sinum et pertrectato vasculo tam rudi “Haec” inquit “belle cras in promulside libidinis nostrae militabit: hodie enim post asellum diaria non sumo.”

[25] 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, [et] ea ipsa quae primum cum Quartilla in cellam venerat nostram. Plaudentibus ergo universis et postulantibus nuptias [fecerunt] obstupui ego et nec Gitona, verecundissimum puerum, sufficere huic petulantiae affirmavi, 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 inclinata sum, et subinde procedentibus annis maioribus me pueris applicui, 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. [26] Iam Psyche puellae caput involverat flammeo, iam embasicoetas praeferebat facem, iam ebriae mulieres longum agmen plaudentes fecerant thalamumque incesta exornaverant veste, cum 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 applicuerat oculum curiosum lusumque puerilem libidinosa speculabatur diligentia. Me quoque ad idem spectaculum lenta manu traxit, et quia considerantium cohaeserant vultus, quicquid a spectaculo vacabat, commovebat obiter labra et me tanquam furtivis subinde osculis verberabat....

We threw ourselves into bed and spent the rest of the night without terrors....

The third day had come. A good dinner was promised. But we were bruised and sore. Escape was better even than rest. We were making some melancholy plans for avoiding the coming storm, when one of Agamemnon’s servants came up as we stood hesitating, and said, “Do you not know at whose house it is today? Trimalchio, a very rich man, who has a clock and a uniformed trumpeter in his dining-room, to keep telling him how much of his life is lost and gone.” We forgot our troubles and hurried into our clothes, and told Giton, who till now had been waiting on us very willingly, to follow us to the baths. [27] We began to take a stroll in evening dress to pass the time, or rather to joke and mix with the groups of players, when all at once we saw a bald old man in a reddish shirt playing at ball with some long-haired boys. It was not the boys that attracted our notice, though they deserved it, but the old gentleman, who was in his house-shoes, busily engaged with a green ball. He never picked it up if it touched the ground. A slave stood by with a bagful and supplied them to the players. We also observed a new feature in the game. Two eunuchs were standing at different points in the group. One held a silver jordan, one counted the balls, not as they flew from hand to hand in the rigour of the game, but when they dropped to the ground. We were amazed at such a display, and then Menelaus ran up and said, “This is the man who will give you places at his table: indeed what you see is the overture to his dinner.” Menelaus had just finished when Trimalchio cracked his fingers. One eunuch came up at this signal and held the jordan for him as he played. He relieved himself and called for a basin, dipped in his hands and wiped them on a boy’s head.

[28] I cannot linger over details. We went into the bath. We stayed till we ran with sweat, and then at once passed through into the cold water. Trimalchio was now anointed all over and rubbed down, not with towels, but with blankets of the softest wool. Three masseurs sat there drinking Falernian wine under his eyes. They quarrelled and spilt a quantity. Trimalchio said they were drinking his health. Then he was rolled up in a scarlet woollen coat and put in a litter. Four runners decked with medals went before him, and a hand-cart on which his favourite rode. This was a wrinkled blear-eyed boy uglier than his master Trimalchio. As he was being driven off, a musician with a tiny pair of pipes arrived, and played the whole way as though he were whispering secrets in his ear.

We followed, lost in wonder, and came with Agamemnon to the door. A notice was fastened on the doorpost: “NO SLAVE TO GO OUT OF DOORS EXCEPT BY THE MASTER’SORDERS. PENALTY, ONE HUNDRED STRIPES.” Just at the entrance stood a porter in green clothes, with a cherry-coloured belt, shelling peas in a silver dish. A golden cage hung in the doorway, and a spotted magpie in it greeted visitors. [29] I was gazing at all this, when I nearly fell backwards and broke my leg. For on the left hand as you went in, not far from the porter’s office, a great dog on a chain was painted on the wall, and over him was written in large letters”BEWARE OF THE DOG.” My friends laughed at me, but I plucked up courage and went on to examine the whole wall. It had a picture of a slave-market on it, with the persons’ names. Trimalchio was there with long hair, holding a Mercury’s staff. Minerva had him by the hand and was leading him into Rome. Then the painstaking artist had given a faithful picture of his whole career with explanations: how he had learned to keep accounts, and how at last he had been made steward. At the point where the wall-space gave out, Mercury had taken him by the chin, and was whirling him up to his high official throne. Fortune stood by with her flowing horn of plenty, and the three Fates spinning their golden threads. I also observed a company of runners practising in the gallery under a trainer, and in a corner I saw a large cupboard containing a tiny shrine, wherein were silver house-gods, and a marble image of Venus, and a large golden box, where they told me Trimalchio’s first beard was laid up.

I began to ask the porter what pictures they had in the hall. “The Iliad and the Odyssey,” he said,”and the gladiator’s show given by Laenas.” I could not take them all in at once.....

[30] We now went through to the dining-room. At the entrance the steward sat receiving accounts. I was particularly astonished to see rods and axes fixed on the door posts of the dining-room, and one part of them finished off with a kind of ship’s beak, inscribed:

“PRESENTED BY CINNAMUS THE STEWARD TO CAIUS POMPEIUS TRIMALCHIO, PRIEST OF THE COLLEGE OF AUGUSTUS.” Under this inscription a double lamp hung from the ceiling, and two calendars were fixed on either doorpost, one having this entry, if I remember right: “Our master C. is out to supper on December the 30th and 31st,”the other being painted with the moon in her course, and the likenesses of the seven stars. Lucky and unlucky days were marked too with distinctive knobs.

Fed full of these delights, we tried to get into the dining-room, when one of the slaves, who was entrusted with this duty, cried, “Right foot first!” For a moment we were naturally nervous, for fear any of us had broken the rule in crossing the threshold. But just as we were all taking a step with the right foot together, a slave stripped for flogging fell at our feet, and began to implore us to save him from punishment. It was no great sin which had put him in such peril; he had lost the steward’s clothes in the bath, and the whole lot were scarcely worth ten sesterces. So we drew back our right feet, and begged the steward, who sat counting gold pieces in the hall, to let the slave off. He looked up haughtily, and said,”It is not the loss I mind so much as the villain’s carelessness. He lost my dinner dress, which one of my clients gave me on my birthday. It was Tyrian dve, of course, but it had been washed once already. Well, well, I make you a present of the fellow.”

[31] We were obliged by his august kindness, and when we were in the dining-room, the slave for whom we had pleaded ran up, and to our astonishment rained kisses on us, and thanked us for our mercy. “One word,” he said, “you will know in a minute who owes you a debt of gratitude: ‘The master’s wine is in the butler’s gift.” ‘ ....

At last then we sat down, and boys from Alexandria poured water cooled with snow over our hands. Others followed and knelt down at our feet, and proceeded with great skill to pare our hangnails. Even this unpleasant duty did not silence them, but they kept singing at their work. I wanted to find out whether the whole household could sing, so I asked for a drink. A ready slave repeated my order in a chant not less shrill. They all did the same if they were asked to hand anything. It was more like an actor’s dance than a gentleman’s dining-room. But some rich and tasty whets for the appetite were brought on; for every one had now sat down except Trimalchio, who had the first place kept for him in the new style. A donkey in Corinthian bronze stood on the side-board, with panniers holding olives, white in one side, black in the other. Two dishes hid the donkey; Trimalchio’s name and their weight in silver was engraved on their edges. There were also dormice rolled in honey and poppy-seed, and supported on little bridges soldered to the plate. Then there were hot sausages laid on a silver grill, and under the grill damsons and seeds of pomegranate.

[32] While we were engaged with these delicacies, Trimalchio was conducted in to the sound of music, propped on the tiniest of pillows. A laugh escaped the unwary. His head was shaven and peered out of a scarlet cloak, and over the heavy clothes on his neck he had put on a napkin with a broad stripe and fringes hanging from it all round. On the little finger of his left hand he had an enormous gilt ring, and on the top joint of the next finger a smaller ring which appeared to me to be entirely gold, but was really set all round with iron cut out in little stars. Not content with this display of wealth, he bared his right arm, where a golden bracelet shone, and an ivory bangle clasped with a plate of bright metal. [33] Then he said, as he picked his teeth with a silver quill, “It was not convenient for me to come to dinner yet, my friends, but I gave up all my own pleasure; I did not like to stay away any longer and keep you waiting. But you will not mind if I finish my game?” A boy followed him with a table of terebinth wood and crystal pieces, and I noticed the prettiest thing possible. Instead of black and white counters they used gold and silver coins. Trimalchio kept passing every kind of remark as he played, and we were still busy with the hors d’oeuvres, when a tray was brought in with a basket on it, in which there was a hen made of wood, spreading out her wings as they do when they are sitting. The music grew loud: two slaves at once came up and began to hunt in the straw. Peahen’s eggs were pulled out and handed to the guests. Trimalchio turned his head to look, and said,”I gave orders, my friends, that peahen’s eggs should be put under a common hen. And upon my oath I am afraid they are hard-set by now. But we will try whether they are still fresh enough to suck.” We took our spoons, half-a-pound in weight at least, and hammered at the eggs, which were balls of fine meal. I was on the point of throwing away my portion. I thought a peachick had already formed. But hearing a practised diner say, “What treasure have we here?” I poked through the shell with my finger, and found a fat becafico rolled up in spiced yolk of egg.

[34] Trimalchio had now stopped his game, and asked for all the same dishes, and in a loud voice invited any of us, who wished, to take a second glass of mead. Suddenly the music gave the sign, and the light dishes were swept away by a troop of singing servants. An entrée-dish happened to fall in the rush, and a boy picked it up from the ground. Trimalchio saw him, and directed that he should be punished by a box on the ear, and made to throw down the dish again. A chairman followed and began to sweep out the silver with a broom among the other rubbish. Then two long-haired Ethiopians with little wineskins, just like the men who scatter sand in an amphitheatre, came in and gave us wine to wash our hands in, for no one offered us water.

We complimented our host on his arrangements.”Mars loves a fair field,” said he, “and so I gave orders that every one should have a separate table. In that way these filthy slaves will not make us so hot by crowding past us.”

Just then some glass jars carefully fastened with gypsum were brought on, with labels tied to their necks, inscribed, “Falernian of Opimius’s vintage, 100 years in bottle.” As we were poring over the labels Trimalchio clapped his hands and cried, “Ah me, so wine lives longer than miserable man. So let us be merry. Wine is life. I put on real wine of Opimius’s year. I produced some inferior stuff yesterday, and there was a much finer set of people to dinner.” As we drank and admired each luxury in detail, a slave brought in a silver skeleton, made so that its limbs and spine could be moved and bent in every direction. He put it down once or twice on the table so that the supple joints showed several attitudes, and Trimalchio said appropriately: “Alas for us poor mortals, all that poor man is is nothing. So we shall all be, after the world below takes us away. Let us live then while it goes well with us.”

[35] After we had praised this outburst a dish followed, not at all of the size we expected; but its novelty drew every eye to it There was a round plate with the twelve signs of the Zodiac set in order, and on each one the artist had laid some food fit and proper to the symbol; over the Ram ram’s-head pease, a piece of beef on the Bull, kidneys over the Twins, over the Crab a crown, an African fig over the Lion, a barren sow’s paunch over Virgo, over Libra a pair of scales with a muffin on one side and a cake on the other, over Scorpio a small sea-fish, over Sagittarius a bull’s-eye, over Capricornus a lobster, over Aquarius a goose, over Pisces two mullets. In the middle lay a honeycomb on a sod of turf with the green grass on it. An Egyptian boy took bread round in a silver chafing-dish....

Trimalchio himself too ground out a tune from the musical comedy “Assafoetida” in a most hideous voice. [36] We came to such an evil entertainment rather depressed. “Now,” said Trimalchio, “let us have dinner. This is sauce for the dinner.” As he spoke, four dancers ran up in time with the music and took off the top part of the dish. Then we saw in the well of it fat fowls and sow’s bellies, and in the middle a hare got up with wings to look like Pegasus. Four figures of Marsyas at the corners of the dish also caught the eye; they let a spiced sauce run from their wine-skins over the fishes, which swam about in a kind of tide-race. We all took up the clapping which the slaves started, and attacked these delicacies with hearty laughter. Trimalchio was delighted with the trick he had played us, and said, “Now, Carver.” The man came up at once, and making flourishes in time with the music pulled the dish to pieces; you would have said that a gladiator in a chariot was fighting to the accompaniment of a water-organ. Still Trimalchio kept on in a soft voice, “Oh, Carver, Carver.” I thought this word over and over again must be part of a joke, and I made bold to ask the man who sat next me this very question. He had seen performances of this kind more often. “You see the fellow who is carving his way through the meat? Well, his name is Carver. So whenever Trimalchio says the word, you have his name, and he has his orders.”

[37] I was now unable to eat any more, so I turned to my neighbour to get as much news as possible. I began to seek for far-fetched stories, and to inquire who the woman was who kept running about everywhere. “She is Trimalchio’s wife Fortunata,” he said, “and she counts her money by the bushel. And what was she a little while ago? You will pardon me if I say that you would not have taken a piece of bread from her hand. Now without why or wherefore she is queen of Heaven, and Trimalchio’s all in all. In fact, if she tells him that it is dark at high noon, he will believe it. He is so enormously rich that he does not know himself what he has; but this lynx-eyed woman has a plan for everything, even where you would not think it. She is temperate, sober, and prudent, but she has a nasty tongue, and henpecks him on his own sofa. Whom she likes, she likes; whom she dislikes, she dislikes. Trimalchio has estates wherever a kite can fly in a day, is millionaire of millionaires. There is more plate lying in his steward’s room than other people have in their whole fortunes. And his slaves! My word! I really don’t believe that one out of ten of them knows his master by sight. Why, he can knock any of these young louts into a nettle-bed if he chooses. [38] You must not suppose either that he buys anything. Everything is home-grown: wool, citrons, pepper; you can have cock’s milk for the asking. Why, his wool was not growing of fine enough quality. He bought rams from Tarentum and sent them into his flocks with a smack behind. He had bees brought from Athens to give him Attic honey on the premises; the Roman-born bees incidentally will be improved by the Greeks. Within the last few days, I may say, he has written for a cargo of mushroom spawn from India. And he has not got a single mule which is not the child of a wild ass. You see all the cushions here: every one has purple or scarlet stuffing. So high is his felicity. But do not look down on the other freedmen who are his friends. They are very juicy people. That one you see lying at the bottom of the end sofa has his eight hundred thousand. He was quite a nobody. A little time ago he was carrying loads of wood on his back. People do say — I know nothing, but I have heard — that he pulled off a goblin’s cap and found a fairy hoard. If God makes presents I am jealous of nobody. Still, he shows the marks of his master’s fingers, and has a fine opinion of himself. So he has just put up a notice on his hovel: ‘This attic, the property of Caius Pompeii’s Diogenes, to let from the 1st of July, the owner having purchased a house.’ That person there too who is lying in the freedman’s place is well pleased with himself. I do not blame him. He had his million in his hands, but he has had a bad shaking. I believe he cannot call his hair his own. No fault of his I am sure; there is no better fellow alive; but it is the damned freedmen who have pocketed everything. You know how it is: the company’s pot goes off the boil, and the moment business takes a bad turn your friends desert you. You see him in this state: and what a fine trade he drove! He was an undertaker. He used to dine like a prince: boars cooked in a cloth, wonderful sweet things, game, chefs and confectioners! There used to be more wine spilt under the table than many a man has in his cellars. He was a fairy prince, not a mortal. When his business was failing, and he was afraid his creditors might guess that he was going bankrupt, he advertised a sale in this fashion: “Caius Julius Proculus will offer for sale some articles for which he has no further use.”

[39] Trimalchio interrupted these delightful tales; the meat had now been removed, and the cheerful company began to turn their attention to the wine, and to general conversation. He lay back on his couch and said: “Now you must make this wine go down pleasantly. A fish must have something to swim in. But I say, did you suppose I would put up with the dinner you saw on the top part of that round dish— “Is this the old Ulysses whom ye knew?” — well, well, one must not forget one’s culture even at dinner. God rest the bones of my patron; he wanted me to be a man among men. No one can bring me anything new, as that last dish proved. The firmament where the twelve gods inhabit turns into as many figures, and at one time becomes a ram. So anyone who is born under that sign has plenty of flocks and wool, a hard head and a brazen forehead and sharp horns. Very many pedants and young rams are born under this sign.” We applauded the elegance of his astrology, and so he went on: “Then the whole sky changes into a young bull. So men who are free with their heels are born now, and oxherds and people who have to find their own food. Under the Twins tandems are born, and oxen, and debauchees, and those who sit on both sides of the fence. I was born under the Crab. So I have many legs to stand on, and many possessions by sea and land; for either one or the other suits your crab. And that was why just now I put nothing on top of the Crab, for fear of weighing down the house of my birth. Under the Lion gluttons and masterful men are born; under Virgo women, and runaway slaves, and chained gangs; under Libra butchers, and perfumers, and generally people who put things to rights; poisoners and assassins under Scorpio; under Sagittarius cross-eyed men, who take the bacon while they look at the vegetables; under Capricornus the poor folk whose troubles make horns sprout on them; under Aquarius innkeepers and men with water on the brain; under Pisces chefs and rhetoricians. So the world turns like a mill, and always brings some evil to pass, causing the birth of men or their death. You saw the green turf in the middle of the dish, and the honeycomb on the turf; I do nothing without a reason. Mother Earth lies in the world’s midst rounded like an egg, and in her all blessings are contained as in a honeycomb.”

[40] “Bravo!” we all cried, swearing with our hands lifted to the ceiling that Hipparchus and Aratus Were not to be compared with him, until the servants came and spread over the couches coverlets painted with nets, and men lying in wait with hunting spears, and all the instruments of the chase. We were still wondering where to turn our expectations, when a great shout was raised outside the dining-room, and in came some Spartan hounds too, and began running round the table. A tray was brought in after them with a wild boar of the largest size upon it, wearing a cap of freedom, with two little baskets woven of palm-twigs hanging from his tusks, one full of dry dates and the other of fresh. Round it lay suckingpigs made of simnel cake with their mouths to the teats, thereby showing that we had a sow before us. These sucking-pigs were for the guests to take away. Carver, who had mangled the fowls, did not come to divide the boar, but a big bearded man with bands wound round his legs, and a spangled hunting-coat of damasked silk, who drew a hunting-knife and plunged it hard into the boar’s side. A number of thrushes flew out at the blow. As they fluttered round the dining-room there were fowlers ready with limed twigs who caught them in a moment. Trimalchio ordered everybody to be given his own portion, and added: “Now you see what fine acorns the woodland boar has been eating.” Then boys came and took the baskets which hung from her jaws and distributed fresh and dry dates to the guests.

[41] Meantime I had got a quiet corner to myself, and had gone off on a long train of speculation, — why the pig had come in with a cap of freedom on. After turning the problem over every way I ventured to put the question which was troubling me to my old informant.”Your humble servant can explain that too;” he said,”there is no riddle, the thing is quite plain. Yesterday when this animal appeared as pièce de résistance at dinner, the guests dismissed him; and so to-day he comes back to dinner as a freedman.” I cursed my dullness and asked no more questions, for fear of showing that I had never dined among decent people.

As we were speaking, a beautiful boy with vineleaves and ivy in his hair brought round grapes in a little basket, impersonating Bacchus in ecstasy, Bacchus full of wine, Bacchus dreaming, and rendering his master’s verses in a most shrill voice. Trimalchio turned round at the noise and said, “Dionysus, rise and be free.” The boy took the cap of freedom off the boar, and put it on his head. Then Trimalchio went on:”I am sure you will agree that the god of liberation is my father.” We applauded Trimalchio’s phrase, and kissed the boy heartily as he went round.

After this dish Trimalchio got up and retired. With the tyrant away we had our freedom, and we began to draw the conversation of our neighbours. Dama began after calling for bumpers: “Day is nothing. Night is on you before you can turn round. Then there is no better plan than going straight out of bed to dinner. It is precious cold. I could scarcely get warm in a bath. But a hot drink is as good as an overcoat. I have taken some deep drinks and I am quite soaked. The wine has gone to my head.”

[42] Seleucus took up the tale and said: I do not wash every day; the bathman pulls you to pieces like a fuller, the water bites, and the heart of man melts away daily. But when I have put down some draughts of mead I let the cold go to the devil. Besides, I could not wash; I was at a funeral to-day A fine fellow, the excellent Chrysanthus, has breathed his last. It was but the other day he greeted me. I feel as if I were speaking with him now. Dear, dear, how we bladders of wind strut about. We are meaner than flies; flies have their virtues, we are nothing but bubbles. And what would have happened if he had not tried the fasting cure? No water touched his lips for five days, not a morsel of bread. Yet he went over to the majority. The doctors killed him — no, it was his unhappy destiny; a doctor is nothing but a sop to conscience. Still, he was carried out in fine style on a bier covered with a good pall. The mourning was very good too — he had freed a number of slaves — even though his own wife was very grudging over her tears. I daresay he did not treat her particularly kindly. But women one and all are a set of vultures. It is no use doing anyone a kindness; it is all the same as if you put your kindness in a well. But an old love pinches like a crab.”

[43] He was a bore, and Phileros shouted out: “Oh, let us remember the living. He has got his deserts; he lived decently and died decently. What has he got to grumble at? He started with twopence, and he was always ready to pick a halfpenny out of the dirt with his teeth. So he grew and grew like a honeycomb. Upon my word, I believe he left a clear hundred thousand, and all in hard cash. Still, I have eaten the dog’s tongue, I must speak the truth. He had a rough mouth, and talked continually, and was more of a discord than a man. His brother was a fine fellow, stood by his friends, open-handed and kept a good table. To begin with, he caught a Tartar: but his first vintage set him on his feet: he used to get any price he asked for his wine. And what made him hold up his head was that he came into an estate out of which he got more than had been left to him. And that blockhead, in a fit of passion with his brother, left the family property away to some nobody or other. He that flies from his own family has far to travel. But he had some eaves-dropping slaves who did for him. A man who is always ready to believe what is told him will never do well, especially a business man. Still no doubt he enjoyed himself every day of his life. Blessed is he who gets the gift, not he for whom it is meant. He was a real Fortune’s darling, lead turned gold in his hands. Yes, it is easy when everything goes fair and square. And how many years do you think he had on his shoulders? Seventy and more. But he was a tough old thing, carried his age well, as black as a crow. I had known him world without end, and he was still merry. I really do not think he spared a single creature in his house. No, he was still a gay one, ready for anything. Well, I do not blame him: it is only his past pleasures he can take with him.”

[44] So said Phileros, but Ganymede broke in: “You go talking about things which are neither in heaven nor earth, and none of you care all the time how the price of food pinches. I swear I cannot get hold of a mouthful of bread to-day. And how the drought goes on. There has been a famine for a whole year now. Damn the magistrates, who play ‘Scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours,’ in league with the bakers. So the little people come off badly; for the jaws of the upper classes are always keeping carnival. I do wish we had the bucks I found here when I first came out of Asia. That was life. If the flour was any but the finest, they beat those vampires into a jelly, until they put the fear of God into them. I remember Safinius: he used to live then by the old arch when I was a boy. He was more of a mustard-pot than a man: used to scorch the ground wherever he trod. Still he was straight; you could trust him, a true friend: you would not be afraid to play at morra with him in the dark. How he used to dress them down in the senatehouse, every one of them, never using roundabout phrases, making a straightforward attack. And when he was pleading in the courts, his voice used to swell like a trumpet. Never any sweating or spitting: I imagine he had a touch of the Asiatic style. And how kindly he returned one’s greeting, calling every one by name quite like one of ourselves. So at that time food was dirt-cheap. You could buy a larger loaf for twopence than you and your better half together could get through. One sees a bun bigger now. Lord, things are worse every day. This town goes downhill like the calfs tail. But why do we put up with a magistrate not worth three pepper-corns, who cares more about putting twopence in his purse than keeping us alive? He sits grinning at home, and pockets more money a day than other people have for a fortune. I happen to know where he came by a thousand in gold. If we had any spunk in us he would not be so pleased with himself. Nowadays people are lions in their own houses, and foxes out of doors. I have already eaten my rags, and if these prices keep up, I shall have to sell my cottages. Whatever is to happen if neither the gods nor man will take pity on this town? As I hope to have joy of my children, I believe all these things come from Heaven. For no one now believes that the gods are gods. There is no fasting done, no one cares a button for religion: they all shut their eyes and count their own goods. In old days the mothers in their best robes used to climb the hill with bare feet and loose hair, pure in spirit, and pray Jupiter to send rain. Then it used promptly to rain by the bucket: it was now or never: and they all came home, wet as drowned rats. As it is, the gods are gouty in the feet because we are sceptics. So our fields lie baking—”

[45] “Oh, don’t be so gloomy,” said Echion, the old clothes dealer. “‘There’s ups and there’s downs,’ as the country bumpkin said when he lost his spotted pig. What is not to-day, will be to-morrow: so we trudge through life. I engage you could not name a better country to call one’s own, if only the men in it had sense. It has its troubles now like others. We must not be too particular when there is a sky above us all. If you were anywhere else, you would say that roast pork walked in the streets here. Just think, we are soon to be given a superb spectacle lasting three days; not simply a troupe of professional gladiators, but a large number of them freedmen. And our good Titus has a big imagination and is hot-blooded: it will be one thing or another, something real anyway. I know him very well, and he is all against half-measures. He will give you the finest blades, no running away, butchery done in the middle, where the whole audience can see it. And he has the wherewithal; he came into thirty million when his father came to grief. If he spends four hundred thousand, his estate will never feel it, and his name will live for ever. He has already collected some clowns, and a woman to fight from a chariot, and Glyco’s steward, who was caught amusing Glyco’s wife. You will see the crowd quarrel, jealous husbands against gallants. A twopenny halfpenny fellow like Glyco goes throwing his steward to the beasts. He only gives himself away. It is not the slave’s fault; he had to do as he was told. That filthy wife of his rather deserved to be tossed by the bull. But a man who cannot beat his donkey, beats the saddle. How did Glyco suppose that a sprig of Hermogenes’s sowing would ever come to a good end? He was one for paring the claws of a kite on the wing, and you do not gather figs from thistles. Glyco? why, Glyco has given away his own flesh and blood. He will be branded as long as he lives, and nothing but death will wipe it out. But a man must have his faults. My nose prophesies a good meal from Mammaea, twopence each for me and mine. If he does, he will put Norbanus quite in the shade. You know he will beat him hands down. After all, what has Norbanus ever done for us? He produced some decayed twopenny-halfpenny gladiators, who would have fallen flat if you breathed on them; I have seen better ruffians turned in to fight the wild beasts. He shed the blood of some mounted infantry that might have come off a lamp; dunghill cocks you would have called them: one a spavined mule, the other bandylegged, and the holder of the bye, just one corpse instead of another, and hamstrung. One man, a Thracian, had some stuffing, but he too fought according to the rule of the schools. In short, they were all flogged afterwards. How the great crowd roared at them, Lay it on’! They were mere runaways, to be sure. ‘Still, says Norbanus, I did give you a treat.’ Yes, and I clap my hands at you. Reckon it up, and I give you more than I got. One good turn deserves another. [46] Now, Agamemnon, you look as if you were saying, ‘What is this bore chattering for?’ Only because you have the gift of tongues and do not speak. You do not come off our shelf, and so you make fun of the way we poor men talk. We know you are mad with much learning. But I tell you what; can I persuade you to come down to my place some day and see my little property? We shall find something to eat, a chicken and eggs: it will be delightful, even though the weather this year has made everything grow at the wrong time: we shall find something to fill ourselves up with. My little boy is growing into a follower of yours already. He can do simple division now; if he lives, you will have a little servant at your heels. Whenever he has any spare time, he never lifts his nose from the slate. He is clever, and comes of a good stock, even though he is too fond of birds. I killed three of his goldfinches just lately, and said a weasel had eaten them. But he has found some other hobby, and has taken to painting with great pleasure. He has made a hole in his Greek now, and begins to relish Latin finely, even though his master is conceited and will not stick to one thing at a time. The boy comes asking me to give him some writing to do, though he does not want to work. I have another boy who is no scholar, but very inquiring, and can teach you more than he knows himself. So on holidays he generally comes home, and is quite pleased whatever you give him. I bought the child some books with red-letter headings in them a little time ago. I want him to have a smack of law in order to manage the property. Law has bread and butter in it. He has dipped quite deep enough into literature. If he is restless, I mean to have him learn a trade, a barber or an auctioneer, or at least a barrister, something that he can carry to the grave with him. So I drum it into him every day: Mark my words, Primigenius, whatever you learn, you learn for your own good. Look at Phileros, the barrister: if he had not worked, he would not be keeping the wolf from the door today. It is not so long since he used to carry things round on his back and sell them, and now he makes a brave show even against Norbanus. Yes, education is a treasure, and culture never dies.’”

[47] Gossip of this kind was in the air, when Trimalchio came in mopping his brow, and washed his hands in scent. After a short pause, he said, “You will excuse me, gentlemen? My bowels have not been working for several days. All the doctors are puzzled. Still, I found pomegranate rind useful, and pinewood boiled in vinegar. I hope now my stomach will learn to observe its old decencies. Besides, I have such rumblings inside me you would think there was a bull there. So if any of you gentlemen wishes to retire there is no need to be shy about it. We were none of us born quite solid. I cannot imagine any torture like holding oneself in. The one thing Jupiter himself cannot forbid is that we should have relief. Why do you laugh, Fortunata; it is you who are always keeping me awake all night. Of course, as far as I am concerned, anyone may relieve himself in the dining-room. The doctors forbid retention. But if the matter is serious, everything is ready outside: water, towels, and all the other little comforts. Take my word for it, vapours go to the brain and make a disturbance throughout the body. I know many people have died this way, by refusing to admit the truth to themselves.” We thanked him for his generosity and kindness, and then tried to suppress our laughter by drinking hard and fast. We did not yet realize that we had only got halfway through the delicacies, and still had an uphill task before us, as they say. The tables were cleared to the sound of music, and three white pigs, adorned with muzzles and bells, were led into the dining-room. One was two years old, the keeper said, the second three, and the other as much as six. I thought some ropewalkers had come in, and that the pigs would perform some wonderful tricks, as they do for crowds in the streets. Trimalchio ended our suspense by saying, “Now, which of them would you like turned into a dinner this minute? Any country hand can turn out a fowl or a Pentheus hash, or trifles of that kind. My cooks are quite used to serving whole calves done in a cauldron.” Then he told them to fetch a cook at once, and without waiting for our opinion ordered the eldest pig to be killed, and said in a loud voice,”Which division of the household do you belong to?” The man said he came from the fortieth. “Were you purchased or born on the estate?” “Neither; I was left to you under Pansa’s will.” “Well then,” said Trimalchio, “mind you serve this carefully, or I will have you degraded to the messengers’ division.” [48] So the cook was reminded of his master’s power, and the dish that was to be carried him off to the kitchen. Trimalchio turned to us with a mild expression and said,”I will change the wine if you do not like it. You will have to give it its virtues. Under God’s providence, I do not have to buy it. Anything here which makes your mouths water is grown on a country estate of mine which I know nothing about as yet. I believe it is on the boundary of Terracina and Tarentum. Just now I want to join up all Sicily with properties of mine, so that if I take a fancy to go to Africa I shall travel through my own land. But do tell me, Agamemnon, what declamation did you deliver in school to-day? Of course, I do not practise in court myself, but I learned literature for domestic purposes. And do not imagine that I despise learning. I have got two libraries, one Greek and one Latin. So give me an outline of your speech, if you love me.” Then Agamemnon said: “A poor man and a rich man were once at enmity.” “But what is a poor man?” Trimalchio replied. “Very clever,” said Agamemnon, and went on expounding some problem or other. Trimalchio at once retorted: “If the thing really happened, there is no problem; if it never happened, it is all nonsense.” We followed up this and other sallies with the most extravagant admiration.”Tell me, dear Agamemnon,” said Trimalchio, “do you know anything of the twelve labours of Hercules, or the story of Ulysses and how the Cyclops twisted his thumb with the tongs? I used to read these things in Homer when I was a boy. Yes, and I myself with my own eyes saw the Sibyl hanging in a cage; and when the boys cried at her: Sibyl, Sibyl, what do you want?’ ‘I would that I were dead,’ she used to answer.”

[49] He had still more talk to puff out, when the table was filled by a dish holding an enormous pig. We began to express astonishment at such speed, and took our oath that not even a fowl could have been properly cooked in the time, especially as the pig seemed to us to be much bigger than the boar had been a little while earlier. Trimalchio looked at it more and more closely and then said, “What, what, has not this pig been gutted? I swear it has not. The cook, send the cook up here to us.” The poor cook came and stood by the table and said that he had forgotten to gut it. “What? Forgotten?” shouted rrimalchio. “You would think the fellow had only forgotten to season it with pepper and cummin. Off with his shirt!” In a moment the cook was stripped and stood dolefully between two executioners. Then we all began to beg him off and say: “These things will happen; do let him go; if he does it again none of us will say a word for him.” I was as stiff and stern as could be; I could not restrain myself, but leaned over and said in Agamemnon’s ear: “This must be a most wretched servant; how could anyone forget to gut a pig? On my oath I would not forgive him if he had let a fish go like that.” But Trimalchio’s face softened into smiles. “Well,” he said, “if your memory is so bad, clean him here in front of us.” The cook put on his shirt, seized a knife, and carved the pig’s belly in various places with a shaking hand. At once the slits widened under the pressure from within, and sausages and black puddings tumbled out.

[50] At this the slaves burst into spontaneous applause and shouted, “God bless Gaius!” The cook too was rewarded with a drink and a silver crown, and was handed the cup on a Corinthian dish. Agamemnon began to peer at the dish rather closely, and Trimalchio said, “I am the sole owner of genuine Corinthian plate.” I thought he would declare with his usual effrontery that he had cups imported direct from Corinth. But he went one better: “You may perhaps inquire,” said he, “how I come to be alone in having genuine Corinthian stuff: the obvious reason is that the name of the dealer I buy it from is Corinthus. But what is real Corinthian, unless a man has Corinthus at his back? Do not imagine that I am an ignoramus. I know perfectly well how Corinthian plate was first brought into the world. At the fall of Ilium, Hannibal, a trickster and a great knave, collected all the sculptures, bronze, gold, and silver, into a single pile, and set light to them. They all melted into one amalgam of bronze. The workmen took bits out of this lump and made plates and entree dishes and statuettes. That is how Corinthian metal was born, from all sorts lumped together, neither one kind nor the other. You will forgive me if I say that personally I prefer glass; glass at least does not smell. If it were not so breakable I should prefer it to gold; as it is, it is so cheap. [51] But there was once a workman who made a glass cup that was unbreakable. So he was given an audience of the Emperor with his invention; he made Caesar give it back to him and then threw it on the floor. Caesar was as frightened as could be. But the man picked up his cup from the ground: it was dinted like a bronze bowl; then he took a little hammer out of his pocket and made the cup quite sound again without any trouble. After doing this he thought he had himself seated on the throne of Jupiter, especially when Caesar said to him: ‘Does anyone else know how to blow glass like this?’ Just see what happened. He said not, and then Caesar had him beheaded. Why? Because if his invention were generally known we should treat gold like dirt. Myself I have a great passion for silver. [52] I own about a hundred four-gallon cups engraved with Cassandra killing her children, and they lying there dead in the most lifelike way. I have a thousand jugs which Mummius left to my patron, and on them you see Daedalus shutting Niobe into the Trojan horse. And I have got the fights between Hereros and Petraites on my cups, and every cup is a heavy one; for I do not sell my connoisseurship for any money.”

As he was speaking, a boy dropped a cup. Trimalchio looked at him and said, “Quick, off with your own head, since you are so stupid.” The boy’s lip fell and he began to petition. “Why do you ask me?” said Trimalchio, “as if I should be hard on you! I advise you to prevail upon yourself not to be stupid.” In the end we induced him to let the boy off. As soon as he was forgiven the boy ran round the table ....

Then Trimalchio shouted, “Out with water! In with wine!” ... We took up the joke, especially Agamemnon, who knew how to earn a second invitation to dinner. Trimalchio warmed to his drinking under our flattery, and was almost drunk when he said:”None of you ask dear Fortunata to dance. I tell you no one can dance the cancan better.” He then lifted his hands above his head and gave us the actor Syrus, while all the slaves sang in chorus:



And Trimalchio would have come out into the middle of the room if Fortunata had not whispered in his ear. I suppose she told him that such low fooling was beneath his dignity. But never was anything so variable; at one moment he was afraid of Fortunata, and then he would return to his natural self.

[53] But a clerk quite interrupted his passion for the dance by reading as though from the gazette: “July the 26th. Thirty boys and forty girls were born on Trimalchio’s estate at Cumae. Five hundred thousand pecks of wheat were taken up from the threshing-floor into the barn. Five hundred oxen were broken in. On the same date: the slave Mithridates was led to crucifixion for having damned the soul of our lord Gaius. On the same date: ten million sesterces which could not be invested were returned to the reserve. On the same day: there was a fire in our gardens at Pompeii, which broke out in the house of Nasta the bailiff.” “Stop,” said Trimalchio, “When did I buy any gardens at Pompeii?” “Last year,” said the clerk, “so that they are not entered in your accounts yet.” Trimalchio glowed with passion, and said, “I will not have any property which is bought in my name entered in my accounts unless I hear of it within six months.” We now had a further recitation of police notices, and some foresters’ wills, in which Trimalchio was cut out in a codicil; then the names of bailiffs, and of a freed-woman who had been caught with a bathman and divorced by her husband, a night watchman; the name of a porter who had been banished to Baiae; the name of a steward who was being prosecuted, and details of an action between some valets.

But at last the acrobats came in. A very dull fool stood there with a ladder and made a boy dance from rung to rung and on the very top to the music of popular airs, and then made him hop through burning hoops, and pick up a wine jar with his teeth. No one was excited by this but Trimalchio, who kept saying that it was a thankless profession. There were only two things in the world that he could watch with real pleasure, acrobats and trumpeters; all other shows were silly nonsense. “Why,” said he, “I once bought a Greek comedy company, but I preferred them to do Atellane plays, and I told my flute-player to have Latin songs.”

[54] Just as Trimalchio was speaking the boy slipped and fell [against his arm]. The slaves raised a cry, and so did the guests, not over a disgusting creature whose neck they would have been glad to see broken, but because it would have been a gloomy finish to the dinner to have to shed tears over the death of a perfect stranger. Trimalchio groaned aloud, and nursed his arm as if it was hurt. Doctors rushed up, and among the first Fortunata, with her hair down, and a cup in her hand, calling out what a poor unhappy woman she was. The creature who had fallen down was crawling round at our feet by this time, and begging for mercy. I was very much afraid that his petition was leading up to some comic surprise. The cook who had forgotten to gut the pig had not yet faded from my recollection. So I began looking all round the dining-room, in case any clockwork toy should jump out of the wall, especially after they had begun to beat a servant for dressing the bruise on his master’s arm with white wool instead of purple. And my suspicions were not far out. Instead of punishment there came Trimalchio’s decree that he should be made a free man, for fear anyone might be able to say that our hero had been wounded by a slave.

[55] We applauded his action, and made small talk in different phrases about the uncertainty of man’s affairs.”Ah,” said Trimalchio, “then we should not let this occasion slip without a record.” And he called at once for paper, and after very brief reflection declaimed these halting verses:

“What men do not look for turns about and comes to pass. And high over us Fortune directs our affairs. Wherefore, slave, hand us Falernian wine.”

A discussion of poetry arose out of this epigram, and for a long time it was maintained that Mopsus of Thrace held the crown of song in his hand, until Trimalchio said, “Now, I ask you as a scholar, how would you compare Cicero and Publilius? In my opinion the first has more eloquence, the second more beauty. For what could be better written than these lines?

“‘The high walls of Mars crumble beneath the gaping jaws of luxury. To please thy palate the peacock in his Babylonian vesture of gilded feathers is prisoned and fed, for thee the guinea-fowl, and for thee the capon. Even our beloved foreign guest the stork, type of parental love, with thin legs and sounding rattle, the bird exiled by winter, the harbinger of the warm weather, has now built a nest in thine abhorred cooking-pot. What are pearls of price, the fruits of India, to thee? For thy wife to be adorned with seaspoils when she lies unchecked on a strange man’s bed? For what end dost thou require the green emerald, the precious crystal, or the fire that lies in the jewels of Carthage, save that honesty should shine forth from amid the carbuncles? Thy bride might as well clothe herself with a garment of the wind as stand forth publicly naked under her clouds of muslin.’

[56] “And now,” said he, “what do we think is the hardest profession after writing? I think a doctor’s or a money-changer’s. The doctor’s, because he knows what poor men have in their insides, and when a fever will come — though I detest them specially, because they so often order me to live on duck. The moneychanger’s, because he sees the copper under the silver. Just so among the dumb animals, oxen and sheep are the hardest workers: the oxen, because thanks to the oxen we have bread to eat; the sheep, because their wool clothes us in splendour. It is a gross outrage when people eat lamb and wear shirts. Yes, and I hold the bees to be the most divine insects. They vomit honey, although people do say they bring it from Jupiter: and they have stings, because wherever you have a sweet thing there you will find something bitter too.”

He was just throwing the philosophers out of work, when tickets were carried round in a cup, and a boy who was entrusted with this duty read aloud the names of the presents for the guests. “Tainted metal”; a ham was brought in with a vinegar bottle on top of it. “Something soft for the neck”; a scrap of neck-end was put on. “Repenting at leisure and obstinate badness”; we were given biscuits made with must, and a thick stick with an apple. “Leeks and peaches”; he took a scourge and a dagger. “Sparrows and fly-paper”; he picked up some dried grapes and a honey-pot. “Evening-dress and outdoor clothes”; he handled a piece of meat and some note-books. “Canal and foot-measure”; a hare and a slipper were introduced. “The muræna and a letter”; he took a mouse and a frog tied together, and a bundle of beetroot. We laughed loud and long: there were any number of these jokes, which have now escaped my memory.

[57] Ascyltos let himself go completely, threw up his hands and made fun of everything, and laughed till he cried. This annoyed one of Trimalchio’s fellowfreedmen, the man who was sitting next above me.”What are you laughing at, sheep’s head?” he said.”Are our host’s good things not good enough for you? I suppose you are richer and used to better living? As I hope to have the spirits of this place on my side, if I had been sitting next him I should have put a stopper on his bleating by now. A nice young shaver to laugh at other people! Some vagabond flyby-night not worth his salt. In fact, when I’ve done with him he won’t know where to take refuge. Upon my word, I am not easily annoyed as a rule, but in rotten flesh worms will breed. He laughs. What has he got to laugh about? Did his father pay solid gold for him when he was a baby? A Roman knight, are you? Well, I am a king’s son. ‘Then why have you been a slave?’ Because I went into service to please myself, and preferred being a Roman citizen to going on paying taxes as a provincial. And now I hope I live such a life that no one can jeer at me. I am a man among men; I walk about bare-headed; I owe nobody a brass farthing; I have never been in the Courts; no one has ever said to me in public, ‘Pay me what you owe me.’ I have bought a few acres and collected a little capital; I have to feed twenty bellies and a dog: I ransomed my fellow slave to preserve her from indignities; I paid a thousand silver pennies formy own freedom; I was made a priest of Augustus and excused the fees; I hope to die so that I need not blush in my grave. But are you so full of business that you have no time to look behind you? You can see the lice on others, but not the bugs on yourself. No one finds us comic but you: there is your schoolmaster, older and wiser than you: he likes us. You are a child just weaned, you cannot squeak out mu or ma, you are a clay-pot, a wash-leather in water, softer, not superior. If you are richer, then have two breakfasts and two dinners a day. I prefer my reputation to any riches. One word more. Who ever had to speak to me twice? I was a slave for forty years, and nobody knew whether I was a slave or free. I was a boy with long curls when I came to this place; they had not built the town-hall then. But I tried to please my master, a fine dignified gentleman whose little finger was worth more than your whole body. And there were people in the house who put out a foot to trip me up here and there. But still — God bless my master! — I struggled through. These are real victories: being born free is as easy as saying, Come here.’ But why do you stare at me now like a goat in a field of vetch?”

[58] At this remark Giton, who was standing by my feet, burst out with an unseemly laugh, which he had now been holding in for a long while. Ascyltos’s enemy noticed him, and turned his abuse on to the boy. “What,” he said, “are you laughing too, you curly-headed onion? A merry Saturnalia indeed: what, have we December here? When did you pay five per cent on your freedom? He doesn’t know what to do, the gallows-bird, the crows’-meat. I will call down the wrath of Jupiter at once on you and the fellow who cannot keep you in order. As sure as I get my bellyfull, I would have given you what you deserve now on the spot, but for my respect for my fellow-freedman. We are getting on splendidly, but those fellows are fools, who don’t keep you in hand. Yes, like master, like man. I can scarcely hold myself in, and I am not naturally hot-tempered, but when I once begin I do not care twopence for my own mother. Depend upon it, I shall meet you somewhere in public, you rat, you puff-ball. I will not grow an inch up or down until I have put your master’s head in a nettle-bed, and I shall have no mercy on you, I can tell you, however much you may call upon Jupiter in Olympus. Those pretty eight-inch curls and that twopenny master of yours will be no use to you. Depend upon it, you will come under the harrow; if I know my own name you will not laugh any more, though you may have a gold beard like a god. I will bring down the wrath of Athena on you and the man who first made a minion of you.

“No, I never learned geometry, and criticism, and suchlike nonsense. But I know my tall letters, and I can do any sum into pounds, shillings, and pence. In fact, if you like, you and I will have a little bet. Come on, I put down the metal. Now I will show you that your father wasted the fees, even though you are a scholar in rhetoric. Look here:

‘What part of us am I? I come far, I come wide.

Now find me.’

I can tell you what part of us runs and does not move from its place; what grows out of us and grows smaller. Ah! you run about and look scared and hustled, like a mouse in a pot. So keep your mouth shut, or do not worry your betters who are unaware of your existence; unless you think I have any respect for the boxwood rings you stole from your young woman. May the God of grab be on my side! Let us go on ’Change and borrow money: then you will see that my iron ring commands credit. My word, a draggled fox is a fine creature! I hope I may never get rich and make a good end, and have the people swearing by my death, if I do not put on the black cap and hunt you down everywhere. It was a fine fellow who taught you to behave like this, too; a chattering ape, not a master. We had some real schooling, for the master used to say, ‘ Are all your belongings safe? Go straight home, and don’t stop to look round you; and mind you do not abuse your elders. Count up all the wastrels, if you like; not one of them is worth twopence in the end.’ Yes, I thank God for education; it made me what I am.”

[59] Ascyltos was preparing a retort to his abuse, but Trimalchio was delighted with his fellow-freedman’s readiness, and said, “Come now, stop all this wrangling. It is nicer to go on pleasantly, please do not be hard on the young man, Hermeros. Young blood is hot in him; you must be indulgent. A man who admits defeat in this kind of quarrel is always the winner. And you, too, when you were a young cockerel cried Cock-a-doodle-doo! and hadn’t any sense in your head. So let us do better, and start the fun over again, and have a look at these reciters of Homer.” A troop came in at once and clashed spear on shield. Trimalchio sat up on his cushion, and when the reciters talked to each other in Greek verse, as their conceited wayis, he intoned Latin from a book. Soon there was silence, and then he said, “You know the story they are doing? Diomede and Ganymede were two brothers. Helen was their sister. Agamemnon carried her off and took in Diana by sacrificing a deer to her instead. So Homer is now telling the tale of the war between Troy and Parentium. Of course he won and married his daughter Iphigenia to Achilles. That drove Ajax mad, and he will show you the story in a minute.” As he spoke the heroes raised a shout, and the slaves stood back to let a boiled calf on a presentation dish be brought in. There was a helmet on its head. Ajax followed and attacked it with his sword drawn as if he were mad; and after making passes with the edge and the flat he collected slices on the point, and divided the calf among the astonished company.

[60] We were not given long to admire these eleganttours de force; suddenly there came a noise from the ceiling, and the whole dining-room trembled. I rose from my place in a panic: I was afraid some acrobat would come down through the roof. All the other guests too looked up astonished, wondering what the new portent from heaven was announced. The whole ceiling parted asunder, and an enormous hoop, apparently knocked out of a giant cask, was let down. All round it were hung golden crowns and alabaster boxes of perfumes. We were asked to take these presents for ourselves, when I looked back at the table.... A dish with some cakes on it had now been put there, a Priapus made by the confectioner standing in the middle, holding up every kind of fruit and grapes in his wide apron in the conventional style. We reached greedily after his treasures, and a sudden fresh turn of humour renewed our merriment. All the cakes and all the fruits, however lightly they were touched, began to spurt out saffron, and the nasty juice flew even into our mouths. We thought it must be a sacred dish that was anointed with such holy appointments, and we all stood straight up and cried, “The gods bless Augustus, the father of his country.” But as some people even after this solemnity snatched at the fruit, we filled our napkins too, myself especially, for I thought that I could never fill Giton’s lap with a large enough present. Meanwhile three boys came in with their white tunics well tucked up, and two of them put images of the Lares with lockets round their necks on the table, while one carried round a bowl of wine and cried, “God be gracious unto us.”

Trimalchio said that one of the images was called Gain, another Luck, and the third Profit. And as everybody else kissed Trimalchio’s true portrait we were ashamed to pass it by.

[61] So after they had all wished themselves good sense and good health, Trimalchio looked at Niceros and said, “You used to be better company at a dinner; I do not know why you are dumb now, and do not utter a sound. Do please, to make me happy, tell us of your adventure.” Niceros was delighted by his friend’s amiability and said, “May I never turn another penny if I am not ready to burst with joy at seeing you in such a good humour. Well, it shall be pure fun then, though I am afraid your clever friends will laugh at me. Still, let them; I will tell my story; what harm does a man’s laugh do me? Being laughed at is more satisfactory than being sneered at.” So spake the hero, and began the following story:

“‘While I was still a slave, we were living in a narrow street; the house now belongs to Gavilla. There it was God’s will that I should fall in love with the wife of Terentius the inn-keeper; you remember her, Melissa of Tarentum, a pretty round thing. But I swear it was no base passion; I did not care about her in that way, but rather because she had a beautiful nature. If I asked her for anything it was never refused me; if she made twopence I had a penny; whatever I had I put into her pocket, and I was never taken in. Now one day her husband died on the estate. So I buckled on my shield and greaves, and schemed how to come at her: and as you know, one’s friends turn up in tight places. My master happened to have gone to Capua to look after some silly business or other. [62] I seized my opportunity, and persuaded a guest in our house to come with me as far as the fifth milestone. He was a soldier, and as brave as Hell. So we trotted off about cockcrow; the moon shone like high noon. We got among the tombstones: my man went aside to look at the epitaphs, I sat down with my heart full of song and began to count the graves. Then when I looked round at my friend, he stripped himself and put all his clothes by the roadside. My heart was in my mouth, but I stood like a dead man. He made a ring of water round his clothes and suddenly turned into a wolf. Please do not think I am joking; I would not lie about this for any fortune in the world. But as I was saying, after he had turned into a wolf, he began to howl, and ran off into the woods. At first I hardly knew where I was, then I went up to take his clothes; but they had all turned into stone. No one could be nearer dead with terror than I was. But I drew my sword and went slaying shadows all the way till I came to my love’s house. I went in like a corpse, and nearly gave up the ghost, the sweat ran down my legs, my eyes were dull, I could hardly be revived. My dear Melissa was surprised at my being out so late, and said, ‘If you had come earlier you might at least have helped us; a wolf got into the house and worried all our sheep, and let their blood like a butcher. But he did not make fools of us, even though he got off; for our slave made a hole in his neck with a spear.’ When I heard this, I could not keep my eyes shut any longer, but at break of day I rushed back to my master Gaius’s house like a defrauded publican, and when I came to the place where the clothes were turned into stone, I found nothing but a pool of blood. But when I reached home, my soldier was lying in bed like an ox, with a doctor looking after his neck. I realized that he was a werewolf, and I never could sit down to a meal with him afterwards, not if you had killed me first. Other people may think what they like about this; but may all your guardian angels punish me if I am lying.”

[63] We were all dumb with astonishment, but Trimalchio said, “I pick no holes in your story; by the soul of truth, how my hair stood on end! For I know that Niceros never talks nonsense: he is very dependable, and not at all a chatterbox. Now I want to tell you a tale of horror myself: but I’m a donkey on the tiles compared with him. While I still had hair down my back, for I lived delicately from my youth up, my master’s favourite died. Oh! he was a pearl, one in a thousand, and a mirror of perfection! So while his poor mother was bewailing him, and several of us were sharing her sorrow, suddenly the witches began to screech; you would have thought there was a dog pursuing a hare. We had a Cappadocian in the house at the time, a tall fellow, mighty brave and a man of muscle; he could lift an angry bull off the ground. He rushed boldly out of doors with a naked sword, having carefully wrapped up his left hand, and ran the woman through the middle, just about here — may the spot my finger is on be safe! We heard a groan, but to tell the honest truth we did not see the witches themselves. But our big fellow came back and threw himself on a bed: and his whole body was blue as if he had been flogged, of course because the witch’s hand had touched him. We shut the door and returned to our observances, but when the mother put her arms round the body of her son, she felt it and saw that it was a little bundle of straw. It had no heart, no inside or anything: of course the witches had carried off the boy and put a straw changeling in his place. Ah! yes, I would beg you to believe there are wise women, and night-riders, who can turn the whole world upside down. Well, the tall slave never came back to his proper colour after this affair, and died raving mad in a few days.”

[64] We were full of wonder and faith, and we kissed the table and prayed the Night-riders to stay at home as we returned from dinner.

By this time, I own, the lamps were multiplying before my eyes, and the whole dining-room was altering; then Trimalchio said, “Come you, Plocamus, have you got no story? Will you not entertain us? You used to be more pleasant company, and recite blank verse very prettily, and put in songs too. Dear, dear, all the sweet green figs are fallen!” “Ah, yes,” the man replied, “my galloping days are over since I was taken with the gout. In the days when I was a young fellow I nearly got consumption with singing. How I could dance and recite and imitate the talk in a barber’s shop! Was there ever my equal, except the one and only Apelles?” And he put his hand to his mouth and whistled out some offensive stuff I did not catch: he declared afterwards it was Greek.

Then Trimalchio, after imitating a man with a trumpet, looked round for his favourite, whom he called Croesus. The creature had blear eyes and very bad teeth, and was tying up an unnaturally obese black puppy in a green handkerchief, and then putting a broken piece of bread on a chair, and cramming it down the throat of the dog, who did not want it and was sick. This reminded Trimalchio of his duties, and he ordered them to bring in Scylax, “the guardian of the house and the slaves.” An enormous dog on a chain was at once led in, and on receiving a kick from the porter as a hint to lie down, he curled up in front of the table. Then Trimalchio threw him a bit of white bread and said,”No one in the house loves me better than Scylax.” The favourite took offence at his lavish praise of the dog, and put down the puppy, and encouraged him to attack Scylax. Scylax, after the manner of dogs, filled the dining-room with a most hideous barking, and nearly tore Croesus’s little Pearl to pieces. And the uproar did not end with a dog-fight, for a lamp upset over the table, and broke all the glass to pieces, and sprinkled some of the guests with hot oil. Trimalchio did not want to seem hurt at his loss, so he kissed his favourite, and told him to jump on his back. He mounted his horse at once and went on smacking Trimalchio’s shoulders with his open hand, saying, “How many are we, blind man’s cheek?” After some time Trimalchio calmed himself, and ordered a great bowl of wine to be mixed, and drinks to be served round to all the slaves, who were sitting at our feet, adding this provision: “If anyone refuses to take it, pour it over his head; business in the daytime and pleasure at night.”

[65] After this display of kindness, some savouries were brought in, the memory of which, as sure as I tell you this story, still makes me shudder. For instead of a thrush a fat chicken was brought round to each of us, and goose-eggs in caps, which Trimalchio kept asking us to eat with the utmost insistence, saying that they were chickens without the bones. Meanwhile a priest’s attendant knocked at the diningroom door, and a man dressed in white for some festivity came in with a number of others. I was frightened by his solemn looks, and thought the mayor had arrived. So I tried to get up and plant my bare feet on the ground. Agamemnon laughed at my anxiety and said, “Control yourself, you silly fool! It is Habinnas of the priests’ college, a monumental mason with a reputation for making first-class tombstones.” I was relieved by this news, and lay down in my place again, and watched Habinnas’ entrance with great astonishment. He was quite drunk, and had put his hands on his wife’s shoulders; he had several wreaths on, and ointment was running down his forehead into his eyes. He sat down in the chief magistrate’s place, and at once called for wine and hot water. Trimalchio was delighted at his good humour, and demanded a larger cup for himself, and asked him how he had been received. “We had everything there except you,” was the reply, “for my eyes were here with you. Yes, it was really splendid. Scissa was having a funeral feast on the ninth day for her poor dear slave, whom she set free on his deathbed. And I believe she will have an enormous sum to pay the tax-collector, for they reckon that the dead man was worth fifty thousand. But anyhow it was a pleasant affair, even if we did have to pour half our drinks over his lamented bones.” [66] “Ah,” said Trimalchio, “but what did you have for dinner?” “I will tell you if I can,” he said, “but my memory is in such a fine way that I often forget my own name. Well, first we had a pig crowned with a wine-cup, garnished with honey cakes, and liver very well done, and beetroot of course, and pure wholemeal bread, which I prefer to white myself; it puts strength into you, and is good for the bowels. The next dish was a cold tart, with excellent Spanish wine poured over warm honey. Indeed I ate a lot of the tart, and gave myself such a soaking of honey. Pease and lupines were handed, a choice of nuts and an apple each. I took two myself, and I have got them here tied up in my napkin: for if I do not bring some present back for my pet slave-boy there will be trouble. Oh! yes, my wife reminds me. There was a piece of bear on a side dish. Scintilla was rash enough to taste it, and nearly brought up her own inside. I ate over a pound myself, for it tasted like proper wild boar. What I say is this, since bears eat up us poor men, how much better right has a poor man to eat up a bear? To finish up with we had cheese mellowed in new wine, and snails all round, and pieces of tripe, and liver in little dishes, and eggs in caps, and turnip, and mustard, and a dish of forcemeat. But hold hard, Palamedes. Pickled olives were brought round in a dish too, and some greedy creatures took three handfuls. For we had let the ham go. [67] But tell me, Gaius, why is Fortunata not at dinner?” “Do you not know her better?” said Trimalchio.”Until she has collected the silver, and divided the remains among the slaves, she will not let a drop of water pass her lips.” “Oh,” replied Habinnas, “but unless she is here I shall take myself off,” and he was just getting up, when at a given signal all the slaves called “Fortunata” four times and more. So she came in with a high yellow waist-band on, which allowed a cherry-red bodice to appear under it, and twisted anklets, and white shoes embroidered with gold. She wiped her hands on a cloth which she had round her neck, took her place on the sofa, where Scintilla, Habinnas’s wife, was lying, kissed her as she was clapping her hands, and said, “Is it really you, dear?”

Fortunata then went so far as to take the bracelets off her fat arms to exhibit them to Scintilla’s admiring gaze. At last she even took off her anklets and her hair-net, which she said was eighteen carat. Trimalchio saw her, and ordered the whole lot to be brought to him. “There,” he said, “are a woman’s fetters; that is how we poor fools are plundered. She must have six pounds and a half of gold on her. I have got a bracelet myself, made out of the percentage which I owe to Mercury, that weighs not an ounce under ten pounds.” At last, for fear we should think he was lying, he ordered the scales to be brought, and had the weight carried round and tested. Scintilla was just as bad. She took off a little gold box from her neck, which she called her lucky box. Then she brought out two earrings, and gave them to Fortunata to look at in her turn, and said, “Thanks to my husband’s kindness, nobody has finer ones.” “What?” said Habinnas, you bullied me to buy you a glass bean. I declare if I had a daughter I would cut off her ears. If there were no women, we should never trouble about anything: as it is, we sweat for them and get cold thanks.”

Meanwhile the tipsy wives laughed together, and gave each other drunken kisses, one prating of her prudence as a housewife, the other of the favourites of her husband and his inattention to her. While they were hobnobbing, Habinnas got up quietly, took Fortunata by the legs, and threw her over on the sofa. She shouted out, “Oh! goodness!” and her dress flew up over her knees. She took refuge in Scintilla’s arms, and buried her burning red face in a napkin.

[68] After an interval, Trimalchio ordered fresh relays of food to be brought in. The slaves took away all the tables, brought in others, and sprinkled about sawdust coloured with saffron and vermilion, and, what I had never seen before, powdered talc. Trimalchio at once said, “I might really be satisfied with this course; for you have got your fresh relays. But if there is anything nice, put it on.”

Meanwhile a boy from Alexandria, who was handing hot water, began to imitate a nightingale, and made Trimalchio shout, “Oh! change the tune.” Then there was another joke. A slave, who was sitting at the feet of Habinnas, began, by his master’s orders I suppose, suddenly to cry in a loud voice:

“Now with his fleet Aeneas held the main.”

No sharper sound ever pierced my ears; for besides his making barbarous mistakes in raising or lowering his voice, he mixed up Atellane verses with it, so that Virgil jarred on me for the first time in my life. All the same, Habinnas supplied applause when he had at last left off, and said, “He never went to school, but I educated him by sending him round the hawkers in the market. So he has no equal when he wants to imitate mule-drivers or hawkers. He is terribly clever; he is a cobbler too, a cook, a confectioner, a slave of all the talents. He has only two faults, and if he were rid of them he would be simply perfect. He is a Jew and he snores. For I do not mind his being cross-eyed; he has a look like Venus. So that is why he cannot keep silent, and scarcely ever shuts his eyes. I bought him for three hundred denarii.” Scintilla interrupted his story by saying, [69] “To be sure you have forgotten some of the tricks of the vile slave. He is a Don Juan; but I will see to it that he is branded.” Trimalchio laughed and said, “Oh! I perceive he is a Cappadocian; he does not deny himself, and, upon my word, I admire him; for no one can send a dead man any fun. And please do not be jealous, Scintilla. Take my word for it, we know you women too. By my hope of salvation, I used to amuse my own mistress, until even the master became suspicious; and so he banished me to a country stewardship. But peace, my tongue, and you shall have some bread.” The worthless slave took a clay lamp out of his dress, as if he had been complimented, and imitated trumpeters for more than half an hour, Habinnas singing with him and pulling his lower lip down. Finally, he came right into the middle of the room, and shook a pipe of reeds in imitation of flute-players, or gave us the mule-driver’s life, with a cloak and a whip, till Habinnas called him and gave him a kiss, and offered him a drink, saying, “Better than ever, Massa. I will give you a pair of boots.”

There would have been no end to our troubles if a last course had not been brought in, thrushes made of fine meal and stuffed with raisins and nuts. There followed also quinces, stuck all over with thorns to look like sea-urchins. We could have borne this, if a far more fantastic dish had not driven us even to prefer death by starvation. What we took to be a fat goose, with fish and all kinds of birds round it, was put on, and then Trimalchio said, “My friends, whatever you see here on the table is made out of one body.” With my usual intelligence, I knew at once what it was; I looked at Agamemnon and said, “I shall be surprised if the whole thing is not made out of filth, or at any rate clay. I have seen sham dinners of this kind served in Rome at the Saturnalia.” I had not finished speaking when Trimalchio said, [70] “As I hope to grow in gains and not in girth, my cook made the whole thing out of a pig. There could not be a more valuable fellow. If you want it, he will make you a fish out of a sow’s belly, a woodpigeon out of bacon, a turtledove out of a ham, and a chicken out of a knuckle of pork. That gave me the idea of putting a very pretty name on him; he is called Daedalus. And because he is so intelligent, I brought him back from Rome some knives, made of steel of Noricum, as a present.” He had these knives brought in at once, and contemplated them with admiration. He even allowed us to try the edge on our cheeks.

Suddenly two slaves came in who had apparently been fighting at a water-tank; at least they still had waterpots on their necks. Trimalchio sat in judgment on the dispute, but neither of them accepted his decision, and they smashed each other’s waterpots With sticks. We were amazed at their drunken folly, and stared at them fighting, and then we saw oysters and cockles fall out of the pots, and a boy picked them up and brought them round on a dish. The clever cook was a match for this exhibition; he offered us snails on a silver gridiron, and sang in an extremely ugly quavering voice.

I am ashamed to tell you what followed: in defiance of all convention, some long-haired boys brought ointment in a silver basin, and anointed our feet as we lay, after winding little garlands round our feet and ankles. A quantity of the same ointment was then poured into the mixing-bowl and the lamp.

Fortunata had now grown anxious to dance; Scintilla clapped her hands more often than she spoke, when Trimalchio said, “Philargyrus, you and Cario, though you are a damned wearer of the green, may sit down and tell your good woman, Menophila, to do the same.” I need hardly say that we were nearly pushed off the sofas with the slaves crowding into every seat. Anyhow, I noticed that the cook, who had made a goose out of the pig, sat stinking of pickle and sauces just above me. Not satisfied with having a seat, he at once began to imitate the tragedian Ephesus, and then invited his own master to make a bet on the green being first in the next games.

[71] Trimalchio cheered up at this dispute and said,”Ah, my friends, a slave is a man and drank his mother’s milk like ourselves, even if cruel fate has trodden him down. Yes, and if I live they shall soon taste the water of freedom. In fact I am setting them all free in my will. I am leaving a property and his good woman to Philargyrus as well, and to Cario a block of buildings, and his manumission fees, and a bed and bedding. I am making Fortunata my heir, and I recommend her to all my friends. I am making all this known so that my slaves may love me now as it I were dead.” They all began to thank their master for his kindness, when he turned serious, and had a copy of the will brought in, which he read aloud from beginning to end, while the slaves moaned and groaned. Then he looked at Habinnas and said, “Now tell me, my dear friend: you will erect a monument as I have directed? I beg you earnestly to put up round the feet of my statue my little dog, and some wreaths, and bottles of perfume, and all the fights of Petraites, so that your kindness may bring me a life after death; and I want the monument to have a frontage of one hundred feet and to be two hundred feet in depth. For I should like to have all kinds of fruit growing round my ashes, and plenty of vines. It is quite wrong for a man to decorate his house while he is alive, and not to trouble about the house where he must make a longer stay. So above all things I want added to the inscription, ‘This monument is not to descend to my heir.’ I shall certainly take care to provide in my will against any injury being done to me when I am dead. I am appointing one of the freedmen to be caretaker of the tomb and prevent the common people from running up and defiling it. I beg you to put ships in full sail on the monument, and me sitting in official robes on my official seat, wearing five gold rings and distributing coin publicly out of a bag; you remember that I gave a free dinner worth two denarii a head. I should like a dining-room table put in too, if you can arrange it. And let me have the whole people there enjoying themselves. On my right hand put a statue of dear Fortunata holding a dove, and let her be leading a little dog with a waistband on; and my dear little boy, and big jars sealed with gypsum, so that the wine may not run out. And have a broken urn carved with a boy weeping over it. And a sundial in the middle, so that anyone who looks at the time will read my name whether he likes it or not. And again, please think carefully whether this in scription seems to you quite appropriate: ‘Here lieth Caius Pompeius Trimalchio, freedman of Maecenas. The degree of Priest of Augustus was conferred upon him in his absence. He might have been attendant on any magistrate in Rome, but refused it. God-fearing, gallant, constant, he started with very little and left thirty millions. He never listened to a philosopher. Fare thee well, Trimalchio: and thou too, passer-by.”‘

[72] After saying this, Trimalchio began to weep floods of tears. Fortunata wept, Habinnas wept, and then all the slaves began as if they had been invited to his funeral, and filled the dining-room with lamentation. I had even begun to lift up my voice myself, when Trimalchio said, “Well, well, if we know we must die, why should we not live? As I hope for your happiness, let us jump into a bath. My life on it, you will never regret it. It is as hot as a furnace.” “Very true, very true,” said Habinnas, “making two days out of one is my chief delight.” And he got up with bare feet and began to follow Trimalchio, who was clapping his hands.

I looked at Ascyltos and said, “What do you think? I shall die on the spot at the very sight of a bath.” “Oh! let us say yes,” he replied, “and we will slip away in the crowd while they are looking for the bath.” This was agreed, and Giton led us through the gallery to the door, where the dog on the chain welcomed us with such a noise that Ascyltos fell straight into the fish-pond. As I, who had been terrified even of a painted dog, was drunk too, I fell into the same abyss while I was helping him in his struggles to swim. But the porter saved us by intervening to pacify the dog, and pulled us shivering on to dry land. Giton had ransomed himself from the dog some time before by a very cunning plan; when it barked he threw it all the pieces we had given him at dinner, and food distracted the beast from his anger. But when, chilled to the bone, we asked the porter at least to let us out of the door, he replied, “You are wrong if you suppose you can go out at the door you came in by. None of the guests are ever let out by the same door; they come in at one and go out by another.” [73] There was nothing to be done, we were victims enwound in a new labyrinth, and the idea of washing had begun to grow pleasant, so we asked him instead to show us the bath, and after throwing off our clothes, which Giton began to dry in the front hall, we went in. It was a tiny place like a cold-water cistern, and Trimalchio was standing upright in it. We were not allowed to escape his filthy bragging even there; he declared that there was nothing nicer than washing out of a crowd, and told us that there had once been a bakery on that very spot. He then became tired and sat down, and the echoes of the bathroom encouraged him to open his tipsy jaws to the ceiling and begin to murder Menecrates’s songs, as I was told by those who could under stand what he said. Other guests joined hands and ran round the edge of the bath, roaring with obstreperous laughter at the top of their voices. Some again had their hands tied behind their backs and tried to pick up rings from the floor, or knelt down and bent their heads backwards and tried to touch the tips of their toes. While the others were amusing themselves, we went down into a deep bath which was being heated for Trimalchio.

Then, having got rid of the effects of our liquor, we were led into another dining-room, where Fortunata had laid out her treasures, so that over the lamps I saw .... little bronze fishermen, and tables of solid silver, and china cups with gold settings, and wine being strained through a cloth before our eyes. Then Trimalchio said, “Gentlemen, a slave of mine is celebrating his first shave to-day: an honest, cheeseparing fellow, in a good hour be it spoken. So let us drink deep and keep up dinner till dawn.”

[74] Just as he was speaking, a cock crew. The noise upset Trimalchio, and he had wine poured under the table, and even the lamp sprinkled with pure wine. Further, he changed a ring on to his right hand, and said, “That trumpeter does not give his signal without a reason. Either there must be a fire, or some one close by is just going to give up the ghost. Lord, save us! So anyone who catches the informer shall have a reward.” He had scarcely spoken, when the cock was brought in from somewhere near. Trimalchio ordered him to be killed and cooked in a saucepan. So he was cut up by the learned cook who had made birds and fishes out of a pig a little while before, and thrown into a cooking-pot. And while Daedalus took a long drink very hot, Fortunata ground up pepper in a boxwood mill.

After the good things were done, Trimalchio looked at the slaves and said, “Why have you not had dinner yet? Be off, and let some others come and wait.” So another brigade appeared, and the old lot shouted,”Gaius, good-bye,” and the new ones, “Hail! Gaius.” After this, our jollity received its first shock; a rather comely boy came in among the fresh waiters, and Trimalchio took him and began to kiss him warmly. So Fortunata, to assert her rights at law, began to abuse Trimalchio, and called him a dirty disgrace for not behaving himself. At last she even added, “You hound.” Her cursing annoyed Trimalchio, and he let fly a cup in her face. She shrieked as if her eye had been put out, and lifted her trembling hands to her face. Scintilla was frightened too, and shielded her quivering friend with her arms. While an officious slave held a cool little jar to her cheek, Fortunata leaned over it and began to groan and cry. But Trimalchio said, “What is it all about? This chorus-girl has no memory, yet I took her off the sale-platform and made her one of ourselves. But she puffs herself up like a frog, and will not spit for luck; a log she is, not a woman. But if you were born in a slum you cannot sleep in a palace. Damn my soul if I do not properly tame this shameless Cassandra. And I might have married ten million, wretched fool that I was! You know I am speaking the truth. Agatho, the perfumer of the rich woman next door, took me aside and said, ‘I entreat you not to let your family die out.’ But I, being a good chap, didn’t wish to seem fickle, and so I have stuck the axe into my own leg. Very well, I will make you want to dig me up with your finger-nails. But you shall understand what you have done for yourself straight away. Habinnas, do not put any statue of her on my tomb, or I shall have nagging even when I am dead. And to show that I can do her a bad turn, I will not have her kiss me even when I am laid out.”

[75] After this flash of lightning Habinnas began to implore him to moderate his wrath. “We all have our faults,” he said, “we are men, not angels.” Scintilla cried and said the same, called him Gaius and besought him by his guardian angel to unbend. Trimalchio no longer restrained his tears, and said, “Habinnas, please, as you hope to enjoy your money, spit in my face if I have done anything wrong. I kissed that excellent boy not because he is beautiful, but because he is excellent: he can do division and read books at sight, he has bought a suit of Thracian armour out of his day’s wages, purchased a round-backed chair with his own money, and two ladles. Does he not deserve to be treated well by me? But Fortunata will not have it. Is that your feeling, my high-heeled hussy? I advise you to chew what you have bitten off, you vulture, and not make me show my teeth, my little dear: otherwise you shall know what my anger is. Mark my words: when once my mind is made up, the thing is fixed with a ten-inch nail. But we will think of the living. Please make yourselves comfortable, gentlemen. I was once just what you are, but by my own merits I have come to this. A bit of sound sense is what makes men; the rest is all rubbish. ‘I buy well and sell well’: some people will tell you differently. I am bursting with happiness. What, you snorer in bed, are you still whining? I will take care that you have something to whine over. Well, as I was just saying, self-denial has brought me into this fortune. When I came from Asia I was about as tall as this candle-stick. In fact I used to measure myself by it every day, and grease my lips from the lamp to grow a moustache the quicker. Still, I was my master’s favourite for fourteen years. No disgrace in obeying your master’s orders. Well, I used to amuse my mistress too. You know what I mean; I say no more, I am not a conceited man. [76] Then, as the Gods willed, I became the real master of the house, and simply had his brains in my pocket. I need only add that I was joint residuary legatee with Caesar, and came into an estate fit for a senator. But no one is satisfied with nothing. I conceived a passion for business. I will not keep you a moment — I built five ships, got a cargo of wine — which was worth its weight in gold at the time — and sent them to Rome. You may think it was a put-up job; every one was wrecked, truth and no fairy-tales. Neptune gulped down thirty million in one day. Do you think I lost heart? Lord! no, I no more tasted my loss than if nothing had happened. I built some more, bigger, better and more expensive, so that no one could say I was not a brave man. You know, a huge ship has a certain security about her. I got another cargo of wine, bacon, beans, perfumes, and slaves. Fortunata did a noble thing at that time; she sold all her jewellery and all her clothes, and put a hundred gold pieces into my hand. They were the leaven of my fortune. What God wishes soon happens. I made a clear ten million on one voyage. I at once bought up all the estates which had belonged to my patron. I built a house, and bought slaves and cattle; whatever I touched grew like a honey-comb. When I came to have more than the whole revenues of my own country, I threw up the game: I retired from active work and began to finance freedmen. I was quite unwilling to go on with my work when I was encouraged by an astrologer who happened to come to our town, a little Greek called Serapa, who knew the secrets of the Gods. He told me things that I had forgotten myself; explained everything from needle and thread upwards; knew my own inside, and only fell short of telling me what I had had for dinner the day before. [77] You would have thought he had always lived with me. You remember, Habinnas? — I believe you were there?— ‘You fetched your wife from you know where. You are not lucky in your friends. No one is ever as grateful to you as you deserve. You are a man of property. You are nourishing a viper in your bosom,’ and, though I must not tell you this, that even now I had thirty years four months and two days left to live. Moreover I shall soon come into an estate. My oracle tells me so. If I could only extend my boundaries to Apulia I should have gone far enough for my lifetime. Meanwhile I built this house while Mercury watched over me. As you know, it was a tiny place; now it is a palace. It has four dining-rooms, twenty bedrooms, two marble colonnades, an upstairs diningroom, a bedroom where I sleep myself, this viper’s boudoir, an excellent room for the porter; there is plenty of spare room for guests. In fact when Scaurus came he preferred staying here to anywhere else, and he has a family place by the sea. There are plenty of other things which I will show you in a minute. Take my word for it; if you have a penny, that is what you are worth; by what a man hath shall he be reckoned. So your friend who was once a worm is now a king. Meanwhile, Stichus, bring me the graveclothes in which I mean to be carried out. And some ointment, and a mouthful out of that jar which has to be poured over my bones.”

[78] In a moment Stichus had fetched a white windingsheet and dress into the dining-room and ... [Trimalchio] asked us to feel whether they were made of good wool. Then he gave a little laugh and said, “Mind neither mouse nor moth corrupts them, Stichus; otherwise I will burn you alive. I want to be carried out in splendour, so that the whole crowd calls down blessings on me.” He immediately opened a flask and anointed us all and said, “I hope I shall like this as well in the grave as I do on earth.” Besides this he ordered wine to be poured into a bowl, and said,”Now you must imagine you have been asked to my funeral.”

The thing was becoming perfectly sickening, when Trimalchio, now deep in the most vile drunkenness, had a new set of performers, some trumpeters, brought into the dining-room, propped himself on a heap of cushions, and stretched himself on his death-bed, saying, “Imagine that I am dead. Play something pretty.” The trumpeters broke into a loud funeral march. One man especially, a slave of the undertaker who was the most decent man in the party, blew such a mighty blast that the whole neighbourhood was roused. The watch, who were patrolling the streets close by, thought Trimalchio’s house was alight, and suddenly burst in the door and began with water and axes to do their duty in creating a disturbance. My friends and I seized this most welcome opportunity, outwitted Agamemnon, and took to our heels as quickly as if there were a real fire.

[79] There was no guiding torch to show us the way as we wandered; it was now midnight, and the silence gave us no prospect of meeting anyone with a light. Moreover we were drunk, and our ignorance of the quarter would have puzzled us even in the daytime. So after dragging our bleeding feet nearly a whole hour over the flints and broken pots which layout in the road, we were at last put straight by Giton’s cleverness. The careful child had been afraid of losing his way even in broad daylight, and had marked all the posts and columns with chalk; these lines shone through the blackest night, and their brilliant whiteness directed our lost footsteps. But even when we reached our lodgings our agitation was not relieved. For our friend the old woman had had a long night swilling with her lodgers, and would not have noticed if you had set a light to her. We might have had to sleep on the doorstep if Trimalchio’s courier had not come up in state with ten carts. After making a noise for a little while he broke down the house-door and let us in by it...

Ah! gods and goddesses, what a night that was, how soft was the bed. We lay in a warm embrace and with kisses everywhere made exchange of our wandering spirits. Farewell, all earthly troubles. So began my destruction.

I blessed my luck too soon. I was overcome with drink and let my shaking hands fall, and then Ascyltos, that fountain of all wickedness, took my little friend away 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, I looked angrily at Ascyltos and said, As you have wickedly broken our agreement and the friendship between us, collect your things at once, and find some other place to corrupt.”

[80] He did not resist, but after we had divided our spoils with scrupulous honesty he said, And now we must divide the boy too.” I thought this was a parting joke. But he drew his sword murderously, and said,”You shall not enjoy this treasure that you brood over all alone. I am rejected, but I must carve off my share too, even with this sword.”

So I did the same on my side; wrapped my cloak round my arm and put myself in position for a fight. As we raved in folly, the poor boy touched our knees, and humbly besought us with tears not to let that quiet lodging-house be the scene of a Theban duel, or stain the sanctity of a beautiful friendship with each other’s blood. “But if you must commit your crime,” he cried, “look here, here is my throat. Turn your hands this way and imbrue your blades. I deserve to die for breaking the oath of friendship.” We put up our swords at his prayers, and Ascyltos spoke first, I will put an end to this quarrel. Let the boy follow the one he prefers, so that he at any rate may have a free choice of brothers.”

I had no fears, imagining that long-standing familiarity had passed into a tie of blood, and I accepted the arrangement in hot haste, and referred the dispute to the judge. He did not even pretend to take time to consider, but got up at once as I finished speaking, and chose Ascyltos for his brother. I was thunderstruck at his choice, and fell down on the bed just as I was, without my sword; I should have committed suicide at the sentence if I had not grudged my enemy this triumph. Ascyltos went stalking out with his winnings, and left his comrade, whom he had loved a little while before, and whose fortunes had been so like his own, in despair in a strange place.

The name of friendship endures so long as there is profit in it: the counter on the board plays a changeable game. While my luck holds you give me your smiles, my friends; when it is out, you turn your faces away in shameful flight.

A company acts a farce on the stage: one is called the father, one the son, and one is labelled the Rich Man. Soon the comic parts are shut in a book, the men’s real faces come back, and the make-up disappears.

[81] But still I did not spend much time in weeping. I was afraid that Menelaus the tutor might increase my troubles by finding me alone in the lodgings, so I got together my bundles and took a room in a remote place right on the beach. I shut myself up there for three days; I was haunted by the thought that I was deserted and despised; I beat my breast, already worn with blows, groaned deeply and even cried aloud many times, Could not the earth have opened and swallowed me, or the sea that shows her anger even against the innocent? I fled from justice, I cheated the ring, I killed my host, and with all these badges of courage I am left forsaken in lodgings in a Greek town, a beggar and an exile. And who condemned me to loneliness? A young man tainted by excess of every kind, deserving banishment even by his own admission, a free, yes, a free-born debauchee; his youth was wasted in gambling, and even those who supposed him to be a man treated him like a girl. And his friend? A boy who went into skirts instead of trousers, whose mother persuaded him never to grow up, who was the common sport of the slaves’ quarters, who after going bankrupt, and changing the tune of his vices, has broken the ties of an old friendship, and shamelessly sold everything in a single night’s work like a common woman. Now the lovers lie all night long in each other’s arms, and very likely laugh at my loneliness when they are tired out. But they shall suffer for it. I am no man, and no free citizen, if I do not avenge my wrongs with their hateful blood.”

[82] With these words I put on my sword, and recruited my strength with a square meal to prevent my losing the battle through weakness. I rushed out of doors at once, and went round all the arcades like a madman. My face was as of one dumb foundered with fury, I thought of nothing but blood and slaughter, and kept putting my hand to the sword-hilt which I had consecrated to the work. Then a soldier, who may have been a swindler or a footpad, noticed me, and said, Hullo, comrade, what regiment and company do you belong to?” I lied stoutly about my captain and my regiment, and he said, “Well, do soldiers in your force walk about in white shoes?” My expression and my trembling showed that I had lied, and he ordered me to hand over my arms and look out for myself. So I was not only robbed, but my revenge was nipped in the bud. I went back to the inn, and by degrees my courage cooled, and I began to bless the footpad’s effrontery....

Poor Tantalus stands in water and never drinks, nor plucks the fruit above his head: his own desires torment him. So must a rich great man look when, with everything before his eyes, he fears starvation, and digests hunger dry-mouthed....

It is not much use depending upon calculation when Fate has methods of her own....

[83] I came into a gallery hung with a wonderful collection of various pictures. I saw the works of Zeuxis not yet overcome by the defacement of time, and I studied with a certain terrified wonder the rough drawings of Protogenes, which rivalled the truth of Nature herself. But when I came to the work of Apelles the Greek which is called the One-legged, I positively worshipped it. For the outlines of his figures were defined with such subtle accuracy, that you would have declared that he had painted their souls as well. In one the eagle was carrying the Shepherd of Ida on high to heaven, and in another fair Hylas resisted a tormenting Naiad. Apollo passed judgement on his accursed hands, and adorned his unstrung lyre with the newborn flower. I cried out as if I were in a desert, among these faces of mere painted lovers, “So even the gods feel love. Jupiter in his heavenly home could find no object for his passion, and came down on earth to sin, yet did no one any harm. The Nymph who ravished Hylas would have restrained her passion had she believed that Hercules would come to dispute her claim. Apollo recalled the ghost of a boy into a flower, and all the stories tell of love’s embraces without a rival. But I have taken for my comrade a friend more cruel than Lycurgus himself.”

Suddenly, as I strove thus with the empty air, a white-haired old man came into the gallery. His face was troubled, but there seemed to be the promise of some great thing about him; though he was shabby in appearance, so that it was quite plain by this characteristic that he was a man of letters, of the kind that rich men hate. He came and stood by my side....

“I am a poet,” he said, and one, I hope, of no mean imagination, if one can reckon at all by crowns of honour, which gratitude can set even on unworthy heads. ‘Why are you so badly dressed, then?’ you ask. For that very reason. The worship of genius never made a man rich.

“The man who trusts the sea consoles himself with high profits; the man who follows war and the camp is girded with gold; the base flatterer lies drunk on a couch of purple dye; the man who tempts young wives gets money for his sin; eloquence alone shivers in rags and cold, and calls upon a neglected art with unprofitable tongue.

[84] “Yes, that is certainly true: if a man dislikes all vices, and begins to tread a straight path in life, he is hated first of all because his character is superior; for who is able to like what differs from himself? Further, those who only trouble about heaping up riches, do not want anything to be considered better than what is in their own hands. So they persecute men with a passion for learning in every possible way, to make them also look an inferior article to money....

“Somehow or other poverty is own sister to good sense ...

“I wish he that hates me for my virtue were so guiltless that he might be mollified. As it is he is a past master of robbery, and more clever than any pimp.”

[85] “In Asiam cum a quaestore essem stipendio eductus, hospitium Pergami accepi. Ubi 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. Iam 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, eras 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. [86] 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 obdormiscerem. Indulsi ergo sollicito, totoque corpore citra summam voluptatem me ingurgitavi. Deinde ut dies venit, attuli gaudenti quicquid promiseram. Ut 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. Ego 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?” ...

[87] Cum ob hanc offensam praeclusissem mihi aditum, quem feceram, 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. Utcunque 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 totiens excitatus plane vehementer excandui et reddidi illi voces suas: ‘aut dormi, aut ego iam patri dicam’” ...

[88] Encouraged by his conversation, I began to draw on his knowledge about the age of the pictures, and about some of the stories which puzzled me, and at the same time to discuss the decadence of the age, since the fine arts had died, and painting, for instance, had left no trace of its existence behind. “Love of money began this revolution,” he replied. “In former ages virtue was still loved for her own sake, the noble arts flourished, and there were the keenest struggles among mankind to prevent anything being long undiscovered which might benefit posterity. So Democritus extracted the juice of every plant on earth, and spent his whole life in experiments to discover the virtues of stones and twigs. Eudoxos grew old on the top of a high mountain in order to trave the movements of the stars and the sky, and Chrysippus three times cleared his wits with hellebore to improve his powers of invention. If you turn to sculptors, Lysippus died of starvation as he brooded over the lines of a single statue, and Myron, who almost caught the very soul of men and beasts in bronze, left no heir behind him. But we are besotted with wine and women, and cannot rise to understand even the arts that are developed; we slander the past, and learn and teach nothing but vices. Where is dialectic now, or astronomy? Where is the exquisite way of wisdom? Who has ever been to a temple and made an offering in order to attain to eloquence, or to drink of the waters of philosophy? They do not even ask for good sense or good health, but before they even touch the threshold of the Capitol, one promises an offering if he may bury his rich neighbour, another if he may dig up a hid treasure, another if he may make thirty millions in safety. Even the Senate, the teachers of what is right and good, often promise a thousand pounds in gold to the Capitol, and decorate even Jupiter with pelf, that no one need be ashamed of praying for money. So there is nothing surprising in the decadence of painting, when all the gods and men think an ingot of gold more beautiful than anything those poor crazy Greeks, Apelles and Phidias, ever did.

[89] “But I see your whole attention is riveted on that picture, which represents the fall of Troy. Well, I will try and explain the situation in verse:

“‘It was now the tenth harvest of the siege of the Trojans, who were worn with anxious fear, and the honour of Calchas the prophet stood wavering in dark dread, when at Apollo’s bidding the wooded peaks of Ida were felled and dragged down, and the sawn planks fitted to a shape that resembled a war-horse. Within it a great hollow was opened, and a hidden cave that could shelter a host. In this the warriors who chafed at a war ten years long were packed away; the baleful Greeks fill every corner, and lie waiting in their own votive offering. Ah! my country! we thought the thousand ships were beaten off, and the land released from strife. The inscription carved on the horse, and Sinon’s crafty bearing, and his mind ever powerful for evil, all strengthened our hope.

Now a crowd hurries from the gate to worship, careless and free of the war. Their cheeks are wet with tears, and the joy of their trembling souls brings to their eyes tears that terror had banished. Laocoon, priest of Neptune, with hair unbound, stirs the whole assembly to cry aloud. He drew back his spear arid the belly of the horse, but fate stayed his hand, spear leaped back, and won us to trust the fraud. But he nerved his feeble hand a second time, and sounded the deep sides of the horse with an axe. The young soldiers shut within breathed loud, and while the sound lasted the wooden mass gasped with a terror that was not its own. The prisoned warriors went forward to make Troy prisoner, and waged all the war by a new subtlety.

“‘There followed further portents; where the steep ridge of Tenedos breaks the sea, the billows rise and swell, and the shattered wave leaps back hollowing the calm, sounding like the noise of oars borne far through the silent night, when ships bear down the ocean, and the calm is stirred and splashes under the burden of the keel. We look back: the tide carries two coiling snakes towards the rocks, their swollen breasts like tall ships throwing the foam from their sides. Their tails crash through the sea, their crests move free over the open water, fierce as their eyes; a brilliant beam kindles the waves, and the waters resound with their hissing. Our heartbeats stopped. The priests stood wreathed for sacrifice with the two sons of Laocoon in Phrygian raiment. Suddenly the gleaming snakes twine their bodies round them. The boys throw up their little hands to their faces, neither helping himself, but each his brother: such was the exchange of love, and death himself slew both poor children by their unselfish fear. Then before our eyes the father, a feeble helper, laid his own body down upon his children’s. The snakes, now gorged with death, attacked the man and dragged his limbsto the ground. The priest lies a victim before his altars and beats the earth. Thus the doomed city of Troy first lost her gods by profaning their worship.

“‘Now Phoebe at the full lifted up her white beam, and led forth the smaller stars with her glowing torch, and the Greeks unbarred the horse, and poured out their warriors among Priam’s sons drowned in darkness and wine. The leaders try their strength in arms, as a steed untied from the Thessalian yoke will toss his head and lofty mane as he rushes forth. They draw their swords, brandish their shields, and begin the fight. One slays Trojans heavy with drink, and prolongs their sleep to death that endeth all, another lights torches from the altars, and calls on the holy places of Troy to fight against the Trojans.’” ...

[90] Some of the people who were walking in the galleries threw stones at Eumolpus as he recited. He recognized this tribute to his genius, covered his head, and fled out of the temple. I was afraid that he would call me a poet. So I followed him in his flight, and came to the beach, and as soon as we were out of range and could stop, I said, “Tell me, cannot you get rid of your disease? You have been in my company less than two hours, and you have talked more often like a poet than like a man. I am not surprised that the crowd pursue you with stones. I shall load my pockets with stones too, and whenever you begin to forget yourself I shall let blood from your head.” His expression altered, and he said, “My dear young friend, I have been blessed like this before to-day. Whenever I go into the theatre to recite anything, the people’s way is to welcome me with this kind of present. But I do not want to have anything to quarrel with you about, so I will keep off this food for a whole day.” “Well;” said I, “if you forswear your madness for to-day, we will dine together.” ...

I gave the house-porter orders about our supper....

[91] I saw Giton, with some towels and scrapers, hugging the wall in sad embarrassment. You could see he was not a willing slave. So to enable me to catch his eye he turned round, his face softened with pleasure, and he said, “Forgive me, brother. As there are no deadly weapons here, I speak freely. Take me away from this bloody robber and punish me as cruelly as you like, your penitent judge. It will be quite enough consolation for my misery to die because you wish it.” I told him to stop his lamentation, for fear anyone should overhear our plans. We left Eumolpus behind — he was reciting a poem in the bathroom — and I took Giton out by a dark, dirty exit, and flew with all speed to my lodgings. Then I shut the door and warmly embraced him, and rubbed my face against his cheek, which was wet with tears. For a time neither of us could utter a sound the boy’s fair body shook with continuous sobs. “It is a shame and a wonder!” I cried, “You left me, and yet I love you, and no scar is left over my heart, where the wound was so deep. Have you any excuse for yielding your love to a stranger? Did I deserve this blow?” As soon as he felt that I loved him, he began to hold his head up....

“I laid our love’s cause before no other judge. But I make no complaint, I will forget all, if you will prove your penitence by keeping your word.” I poured out my words with groans and tears, but Giton wiped his face on his cloak, and said, “Now, Encolpius, I ask you, I appeal to your honest memory; did I leave you, or did you betray me? I admit, I confess it openly, that when I saw two armed men before me, I hurried to the side of the stronger.” I pressed my lips to his dear wise heart, and put my arms round his neck, and hugged him close to me, to make it quite plain that I was in amity with him again, and that our friendship lived afresh in perfect confidence.

[92] It was now quite dark, and the woman had seen to our orders for supper, when Eumolpus knocked at the door. I asked, “How many of you are there?” and began as I spoke to look carefully through a chink in the door to see whether Ascyltos had come with him. When I saw that he was the only visitor, I let him in at once. He threw himself on a bed, and when he saw Giton before his eyes waiting at table, he wagged his head and said, “I like your Ganymede. To-day should be a fine time for us.” I was not pleased at this inquisitive opening; I was afraid I had let Ascyltos’s double into the lodgings. Eumolpus persisted, and, when the boy brought him a drink, said,”I like you better than the whole bathful.” He greedily drank the cup dry, and said he had never taken anything with a sharper tang in it. “Why, I was nearly flogged while I was washing,” he cried,”because I tried to go round the bath and recite poetry to the people sitting in it, and when I was thrown out of the bathroom as if it were a theatre, I began to look round all the corners, and shouted for Encolpius in a loud voice. In another part of the place a naked young man who had lost his clothes kept clamouring for Giton with equally noisy indignation. The boys laughed at me with saucy mimicry as if I were crazy, but a large crowd surrounded him, clapping their hands and humbly admiring. Habebat enim inguinum pondus tam grande, ut ipsum hominem laciniam fascini crederes. O iuvenem laboriosum: puto illum pridie incipere, postero die finire. So he found an ally at once: some Roman knight or other, a low fellow, they said, put his own clothes on him as he strayed round, andtook him off home, I suppose, ut tam magna fortuna solus uteretur. I should never have got my own clothes back from the troublesome attendant if I had not produced a voucher. Tanto magis expedit inguina quam ingenia fricare.” As Eumolpus told me all this, my expression kept changing, for of course I laughed at my enemy’s straits and frowned on his fortune. But anyhow I kept quiet as if I did not know what the story was about, and set forth our bill of fare....

[93] “What we may have we do not care about; our minds are bent on folly and love what is troublesome.

“The bird won from Colchis where Phasis flows, and fowls from Africa, are sweet to taste because they are not easy to win; but the white goose and the duck with bright new feathers have a common savour. The wrasse drawn from far-off shores, and the yield of wrinkled Syrtis is praised if first it wrecks a boat: the mullet by now is a weariness. The mistress eclipses the wife, the rose bows down to the cinnamon. What men must seek after seems ever best.”

“What about your promise, that you would not make a single verse to-day?” I said. “On your honour, spare us at least: we have never stoned you. If a single one of the people who are drinking in the same tenement with us scents the name of a poet, he will rouse the whole neighbourhood and ruin us all for the same reason. Spare us then, and remember the picture-gallery or the baths.” Giton, the gentle boy, reproved me when I spoke thus, and said that I was wrong to rebuke my elders, and forget my duty so far as to spoil with my insults the dinner I had ordered out of kindness, with much more tolerant and modest advice which well became his beautiful self...

[94] “Happy was the mother who bore such a son as you,” he said, “be good and prosper. Beauty and wisdom make a rare conjunction. And do not think that all your words have been wasted. In me you have found a lover. I will do justice to your worth in verse. I will teach and protect you, and follow you even where you do not bid me. I do Encolpius no wrong; he loves another.”

That soldier who took away my sword did Eumolpus a good turn too; otherwise I would have appeased the wrath raised in me against Ascyltos with the blood of Eumolpus. Giton was not blind to this. So he went out of the room on a pretence of fetching water, and quenched my wrath by his tactful departure. Then, as my fury cooled a little, I said, “I would prefer even that you should talk poetry now, Eumolpus, rather than harbour such hopes. I am choleric, and you are lecherous: you understand that these dispositions do not suit each other. Well, regard me as a maniac, yield to my infirmity, in short, get out quick.” Eumolpus was staggered by this attack, and never asked why I was angry, but went out of the room at once and suddenly banged the door, taking me completely by surprise and shutting me in. He pulled out the key in a moment and ran off to look for Giton.

I was locked in. I made up my mind to hang myself and die. I had just tied a belt to the frame of a bed which stood by the wall, and was pushing my neck into the noose, when the door was unlocked, Eumolpus came in with Giton, and called me back to light from the very bourne of death. Nay, Giton passed from grief to raving madness, and raised a shout, pushed me with both hands and threw me on the bed, and cried,”Encolpius, you are wrong if you suppose you could possibly die before me. I thought of suicide first; I looked for a sword in Ascyltos’s lodgings. If I had not found you I would have hurled myself to death over a precipice. I will show you that death stands close by those who seek him: behold in your turn the scene you wished me to behold.”

With these words he snatched a razor from Eumolpus’s servant, drew it once, twice across his throat, and tumbled down at our feet. I gave a cry of horror, rushed to him as he fell, and sought the road of death with the same steel. But Giton was not marked with any trace of a wound, and I did not feel the least pain. The razor was untempered, and specially blunted in order to give boy pupils the courage of a barber: and so it had grown a sheath. So the servant had not been alarmed when the steel was snatched from him, and Eumolpus did not interrupt our death-scene.

[95] While this lover’s play was being performed, an inmate of the house came in with part of our little dinner, and after looking at us rolling in disarray on the ground he said, “Are you drunk, please, or runaway slaves, or both? Who turned the bed up there, and what do all these sneaking contrivances mean? I declare you meant to run off in the dark into the public street rather than pay for your room. But you shall pay for it. I will teach you that these lodgings do not belong to a poor widow, but to Marcus Mannicius.” “What?” shouted Eumolpus, “you dare threaten us.’ And as he spoke he struck the man in the face with all the force of his outstretched hand. The man hurled a little earthenware pot, which was empty, all the guests having drunk from it, at Eumolpus’s head, broke the skin of his forehead in the midst of his clamour, and rushed out of the room. Eumolpus would not brook an insult; he seized a wooden candlestick and followed the lodger out, and avenged his bloody forehead with a rain of blows. All the household ran up, and a crowd of drunken lodgers. I had a chance of punishing Eumolpus, and I shut him out, and so got even with the bully, and of course had the room and my sleep to myself without a rival.

Meanwhile cooks and lodgers be laboured him now that he was locked out, and one thrust a spit full of hissing meat into his eyes, another took a fork from a dresser and struck a fighting attitude. Above all, a blear-eyed old woman with a very dirty linen wrap round her. balancing herself on an uneven pair of clogs, took the lead, brought up a dog of enormous size on a chain, and set him on to Eumolpus. But the candlestick was enough to protect him from all danger.

[96] We saw everything through a hole in the folding doors, which had been made by the handle of the door being broken a short time before; and I was delighted to see him thrashed. But Giton clung to compassion, and said we ought to open the door and go and rescue him from peril. My indignation was still awake; I did not hold my hand, I rapped his compassionate head with my sharp clenched knuckles. He cried and sat down on the bed. I put my eyes to the chink by turns, and gorged myself on the miseries of Eumolpus like a dainty dish, and approved their prolongation. Then Bargates, the man in charge of the lodging-house, was disturbed at his dinner, and two chairmen carried him right into the brawl; for he had gouty feet. In a furious vulgar voice he made a long oration against drunkards and escaped slaves, and then he looked at Eumolpus and said, “What, most learned bard, was it you? Getaway quick, you damned slaves, and keep your hands from quarrelling.”..

“My mistress despises me. So curse her for me in rhyme, if you love me, and put shame into her.” ..

[97] While Eumolpus was talking privately to Bargates, a crier came into the house with a municipal slave and quite a small crowd of other people, shook a torch which gave out more smoke than light, and made this proclamation: “Lost recently in the public baths, a boy aged about sixteen, hair curly, low habits, of attractive appearance, answers to the name of Giton. A reward of a thousand pieces will be paid to any person willing to bring him back or indicate his where abouts.” Ascyltos stood close by the crier in clothes of many colours, holding out the reward on a silver dish to prove his honesty. I told Giton to get under the bed at once, and hook his feet and hands into the webbing which held up the mattress on the frame, so that he might evade the grasp of searchers by staying stretched out under the bed, just as Ulysses of old clung on to the ram of the Cyclops. Giton obeyed orders at once, and in a second had slipped his hands into the webbing, and surpassed even Ulysses at his own tricks. I did not want to leave any room for suspicion, so I stuffed the bed with clothes, and arranged them in the shape of a man about my own height sleeping by himself.

Meanwhile Ascyltos went round all the rooms with a constable, and when he came to mine, his hopes swelled within him at finding the door bolted with especial care. The municipal slave put an axe into the joints, and loosened the bolts from their place. I fell at Ascyltos’s feet, and besought him, by the memory of our friendship and the miseries we had shared, at least to show me my brother. Further to win belief in my sham prayers, I said, “I know you have come to kill me, Ascyltos. Else why have you brought an axe with you? Well, satisfy your rage. Here is my neck, shed my blood, the real object of your pretended legal search.” Ascyltos threw off his resentment, and declared that he wanted nothing but his own runaway slave, that he did not desire the death of any man or any suppliant, much less of one whom he loved very dearly now that their deadly dispute was over.

[98] But the constable was not so deficient in energy. He took a cane from the inn-keeper, and pushed it under the bed, and poked into everything, even the cracks in the walls. Giton twisted away from the stick, drew in his breath very gently, and pressed his lips close against the bugs in the bedding... The broken door of the room could not keep anyone out, and Eumolpus rushed in in a fury, and cried, “I have found a thousand pieces; for I mean to follow the crier as he goes away, and betray you as you richly deserve, and tell him that Giton is in your hands.” He persisted, I fell at his feet, besought him not to kill a dying man, and said, “You might well be excited if you could show him the lost one. As it is, the boy has run away in the crowd, and I have not the least idea where he has gone. As you love me, Eumolpus, get the boy back, and give him to Ascyltos if you like.” I was just inducing him to believe me, when Giton burst with holding his breath, and all at once sneezed three times so that he shook the bed. Eumolpus turned round at the noise, and said “Good day, Giton.” He pulled off the mattress, and saw an Ulysses whom even a hungry Cyclops might have spared. Then he turned on me, “Now, you thief; you did not dare to tell me the truth even when you were caught. In fact, unless the God who controls man’s destiny had wrung a sign from this boy as he hung there, I should now be wandering round the pot-houses like a fool.” ...

Giton was far more at ease than I. He first stanched a cut which had been made on Eumolpus’s forehead with spider’s webs soaked in oil. He then took off his torn clothes, and in exchange gave him a short cloak of his own, then put his arms round him, for he was now softening, poulticed him with kisses, and said, “Dearest father, we are in your hands, yours entirely. If you love your Giton, make up your mind to save him. I wish the cruel fire might engulf me alone, or the wintry sea assail me. I am the object of all his transgressions, I am the cause. If I were gone, you two might patch up your quarrel.” ..

[99] “At all times and in all places I have lived such a life that I spent each passing day as though that light would never return.”..

I burst into tears, and begged and prayed him to be friends again with me too: a true lover was incapable of mad jealousy. At the same time I would take care to do nothing more in word or deed by which he could possibly be hurt. Only he must remove all irritation from his mind like a man of true culture and leave no scar. “On the wild rough uplands the snow lies late, but when the earth is beautiful under the mastery of the plough, the light frost passes while you speak. Thus anger dwells in our hearts; it takes root in the savage, and glides over the man of learning.” “There,” said Eumolpus, “you see what you say is true. Behold, I banish my anger with a kiss. So good luck go with us. Get ready your luggage and follow me, or lead the way if you like.” He was still talking, when a knock sounded on the door, and a sailor with a straggly beard stood at the entrance and said, “You hang about, Eumolpus, as if you did not know a Blue Peter by sight.” We all got up in a hurry, and Eumolpus ordered his slave, who had now been asleep for some time, to come out with his baggage. Giton and I put together all we had for a journey; I asked a blessing of the stars, and went aboard.

[100] “I am annoyed because the boy takes a stranger’s fancy. But are not all the finest works of nature common property? The sun shines upon all men. The moon with countless troops of stars in her train leads even the beasts to their food. Can we imagine anything more lovely than water? yet it flows for all the world. Then shall love alone be stolen rather than enjoyed? The truth is that I do not care for possessions unless the common herd are jealous of them. One rival, and he too an old man, will not be troublesome; even if he wants to gain an advantage, his shortness of breath will give him away.” When I had made these points without any confidence, deceiving my protesting spirit, I covered my head in my cloak and pretended to be asleep.

But suddenly, as though fate were in arms against my resolution, a voice on the ship’s deck said with a groan, like this: “So he deceived me, then?” These manly tones were somehow familiar to my ear, and my heart beat fast as they struck me. But then a woman torn by the same indignation broke out yet more vehemently: “Ah, if the gods would deliver Giton into my hands, what a fine welcome I would give the runaway.” The shock of these unexpected sounds drove all the blood out of both of us. I felt as if I were being hunted round in some troubled dream; I was a long while finding my voice, and then pulled Eumolpus’s clothes with a shaking hand, just as he was falling into a deep sleep, and said, “Tell me the truth, father; can you say who owns this ship, or who is on board?” He was annoyed at being disturbed, and replied, “Was this why you chose a quiet corner on deck, on purpose to prevent us from getting any rest? What on earth is the use of my telling you that Lichas of Tarentum is the master of this boat, and is carrying Tryphaena to Tarentum under a sentence of banishment?” [101] I was thunderstruck at this blow. I bared my throat, and cried, “Ah, Fate, at last you have smitten me hip and thigh.” For Giton, who was sprawling over me, had already fainted. Then the sweat broke out on us and called us both back to life. I took Eumolpus by the knees, and cried, “Mercy on us! We are dead men. Help us, I implore you by our fellowship in learning; death is upon us, and we may come to welcome death, unless you prevent us from doing so.”

Eumolpus was overwhelmed by this attack, and swore by gods and goddesses that he did not understand what had happened, and had no sinister intentions in his mind, but had taken us to share the voyage with him in perfect honesty and absolute good faith; he had been meaning to sail himself some time before. “Is there any trap here?” he said, “and who is the Hannibal we have on board? Lichas of Tarentum is a respectable person. He is not only owner and captain of this ship, but has several estates and some slaves in business. He is carrying a cargo consigned to a market. This is the ogre and pirate king to whom we owe our passage; and besides, there is Tryphaena, loveliest of women, who sails from one place to another in search of pleasure.” “But it is these two we are running away from,” said Giton, and poured out the story of our feud, and explained our imminent danger, till Eumolpus shook. He became muddled and helpless, and asked us each to put forward our views. “I would have you imagine that we have entered the ogre’s den,” he said. “We must find some way out, unless we run the ship aground and tree ourselves from all danger.” “No,” said Gitoii,”persuade the helmsman to run the boat into some harbour. Pay him well, of course, and tell him your brother cannot stand the sea, and is at his last gasp. You will be able to hide your deception by the confused look and the tears on your face. You will touch the helmsman’s heart, and he will do you a favour.” Eumolpus declared that this was impossible: “These large boats only steer into landlocked harbours, and it is incredible that our brother should collapse so soon. Besides, Lichas may perhaps ask to see the sick man as a matter of kindness. You realize what a fine turn we should do ourselves by leading the master up to his runaways with our own hands. But supposing the ship could be turned aside from her long passage, and Lichas did not after all go round the patient’s beds; how could we leave the ship without being seen by every one? Cover our heads, or bare them? Cover them, and every one will want to lend his arm to the poor sick man! Bare them, that is nothing more or less than proscribing ourselves.” [102] “No,” I said, “I should prefer to take refuge in boldness, slip down a rope into the boat, cut the painter, and leave the rest to luck. I do not invite Eumolpus to share the risk. It is not fair to load an innocent person with another’s troubles. I am satisfied if chance will help us to get down.” “It is a clever plan,” said Eumolpus, if there were any way of starting it. But every one will see you going: especially the helmsman, who watches all night long, and keeps guard even over the motions of the stars. Of course you might elude his unsleeping watchfulness, if you wanted to escape off another part of the ship; but as it is, you want to slip off the stern close to the helm itself, where the rope which holds the boat safe hangs just by, Again, I am surprised that it did not occur to you, Encolpius, that one sailor is always on duty night and day lying in the boat, and you cannot turn this sentry out except by killing him, or throw him out except by force. You must ask your own bold heart whether that can be done. As far as my coming with you goes, I do not shirk any danger which offers a chance of safety. But I suppose that even you do not wish to squander your lives like a vain trifle without any reason. Now see whether you approve of this. I will roll you in two bales, tie you up, and put you among my clothes as luggage, of course leaving the ends a bit open, so that you can get your breath and your food. Then I will raise the cry that my slaves have jumped overboard in the dark, being afraid of some heavier punishment. Then after we have arrived in harbour, I will carry you out like baggage without arousing any suspicion.”

“What,” I cried, “tie us up like wholly solid people whose stomachs never make them unhappy? Like people who never sneeze nor snore? Just because this kind of trick on one occasion turned out a success? But even supposing we could endure one day tied up: what if we were detained longer by a calm or by rough weather? What should we do? Even clothes that are tied up too long get creased and spoilt, and papers in bundles lose their shape. Are we young fellows who never worked in our lives to put up with bondage in dirty cloths as if we were statues?... No, we still have to find some way of salvation. Look at what I thought of. Eumolpus, as a man of learning, is sure to have some ink. We will use this medicine to dye ourselves, hair, nails, everything. Then we will stand by you with pleasure like Aethiopian slaves, without undergoing any tortures, and our change of colour will take in our enemies.” “Oh! yes,” said Giton, “and please circumcise us too, so that we look like Jews, and bore our ears to imitate Arabians, and chalk our faces till Gaul takes us for her own sons; as if this colour alone could alter our shapes, when it takes a number of points in unison to make a good lie. Suppose the stain of dye on the face could last for some time; imagine that never a drop of water could make any mark on our skins, nor our clothes stick to the ink, which often clings to us without the use of any cement: but, tell me, can we make our lips swell to a hideous thickness? Or transform our hair with curling-tongs? Or plough up our foreheads with scars? Or walk bow-legged? Or bend our ankles over to the ground? Or trim our beards in a foreign cut? Artificial colours dirty one’s body without altering it. Listen, I have thought of this in desperation. Let us tie our heads in our clothes, and plunge into the deep.”

[103] “God and man forbid,” cried Eumolpus, “that you should make such a vile conclusion of your lives. No, better take my advice. My slave, as you learned by his razor, is a barber. Let him shave the head of each of you this minute, and your eyebrows as well. Then I will come and mark your foreheads with some neat inscription, so that you look like slaves punished by branding. These letters will divert inquisitive people’s suspicions, and at the same time conceal your faces with the shadow of punishment.” We tried the trick at once, and walked cautiously to the side of the ship, and yielded up our heads and eyebrows to the barber to be shorn. Eumolpus covered both our foreheads with enormous letters, and scrawled the usual mark of runaway slaves all over our faces with a generous hand. But one of the passengers, who was extremely seasick, happened to be leaning over the side of the ship to relieve his stomach, and observed the barber in the moonlight busy with his ill-timed work. The man cursed this for an omen, because it looked like the last offering of a doomed crew, and then threw himself back into his bunk. We pretended not to hear his puking curses, and went on with the gloomy business, and then lay down in silence and passed the remaining hours of the night in uneasy sleep...

[104] “I thought I heard Priapus say in my dream: ‘I tell you, Encolpius whom you seek has been led by me on board your ship.” ‘ Tryphaena gave a scream and said, “You would think we had slept together; I dreamed that a picture of Neptune, which I noticed in a gallery at Baiae, said to me: ‘You will find Giton on board Lichas’s ship.” ‘ “This shows you,” said Eumolpus, “that Epicurus was a superhuman creature; he condemns jokes of this kind in a very witty fashion.”.. However, Lichas first prayed that Tryphaena’s dream might mean no harm, and then said, “There is no objection to searching the ship to show that we do not despise the workings of Providence.” Then the man who had caught us at our wretched tricks the night before, whose name was Hesus, suddenly shouted,”Then who are those fellows who were being shaved in the dark by moonlight? A mighty bad precedent, I swear. I am told that no man alive ought to shed a nail or a hair on board ship, unless winds and waves are raging.” [105] At this speech Lichas fired up in alarm, and said, “What, has anyone cut his hair on board my ship, and at dead of night too? Quick, bring the villains out here. I want to know who is to be punished to give us a clear voyage.” “Oh,” said Eumolpus, “I gave those orders. I was not doing anything unlucky, considering that I had to share the voyage myself. It was because these ruffians had long, dirty hair. I did not want to turn the ship into a prison, so I ordered the filth to be cleared off the brutes. Besides, I did not want the marks of branding to be screened and covered by their hair. They ought to show at full length for every one to read. Furthermore, they squandered my money on a certain lady friend of ours; I pulled them away from her the night before, reeking with wine and scent. In fact, they still stink of the shreds of my inheritance.”

So it was decided that forty stripes should be inflicted on each of us to appease the guardian angel of the ship. Not a moment was lost; the angry sailors advanced upon us with ropes-ends, and tried to soften their guardian angel’s heart with our miserable blood. For my part I bore three full blows with Spartan pride. But Giton cried out so lustily the moment he was touched, that his familiar voice filled Tryphaena’s ears. Not only was the lady in a flutter, but all her maids were drawn by the well-known tones, and came running to the victim. Giton’s loveliness had already disarmed the sailors; even without speaking he appealed to his tormentors. Then all the maids screamed out together: “It is Giton, it is; stop beating him, you monsters. Help, ma’am, Giton is here.” Tryphaena had already convinced herself, and inclined her ear to them, and flew on wings to the boy. Lichas, who knew me intimately, ran up as though he had heard my voice too, and did not glance at my hands or face, sed continuo ad inguina mea luminibus deflexis movit officiosam manum, and said, “How are you, Encolpius?” No one need be surprised that Ulysses’s nurse discovered the scar which revealed his identity after twenty years, when a clever man hit upon the one test of a runaway so brilliantly, though every feature of his face and body was disguised. Tryphaena, thinking that the marks on our foreheads were real prisoners’ brands, cried bitterly over our supposed punishment, and began to inquire more gently what prison had stayed us in our wanderings, and what hand had been so ruthless as to inflict such marks upon us. “But, of course,” she said, “runaway slaves who come to hate their own happiness, do deserve some chastisement.”

[106] Lichas leaped forward in a transport of rage and cried, “You silly woman, as if these letters were made by the scars of the branding-iron. I only wish they had defiled their foreheads with this inscription: we should have some consolation left. As it is, we are being assailed by an actor’s tricks, and befooled by a sham inscription.”

Tryphaena besought him to have pity, because she had not lost all her desire for Giton, but the seduction of his wife and the insults offered to him in the Porch of Hercules were still in Lichas’s mind, and he cried out with a look of still more profound agitation, “Tryphaena, I believe you admit that the Gods in Heaven take some trouble about men’s affairs. They brought these sinners on board my boat without their knowledge, and told us what they had done by a coincidence in dreams. Then do consider; how can we possibly pardon people whom a God himself has handed over to us for punishment? I am not a bloodthirsty man, but personally I am afraid that if I let them off anything it will fall on me.” Tryphaena veered round at this appeal to superstition, declined to interfere with the punishment, and declared that she approved of this most proper vengeance. She had been just as gravely wronged as Lichas, considering that her reputation for chastity had been publicly impugned...

[107] “I believe I am a man of some reputation, and they have chosen me for this duty, and begged me to make it up between them and their old friends. I suppose you do not imagine that these young men have fallen into the snare by chance, when the first care of every one who goes a voyage is to find a trustworthy person to depend on. So unbend the sternness which has been softened by revenge, and let the men go free without hindrance to their destination. Even a harsh and unforgiving master reins in his cruelty if his runaways are at last led back by penitence, and we all spare an enemy who surrenders. What do you want or wish for more? These free and respectable young men lie prostrate before your eyes, and what is more important, they were once bound to you by close friendship I take my oath that if they had embezzled your money, or hurt you by betraying your confidence, you might still be satisfied with the punishment you have seen inflicted. Look, you see slavery on their foreheads, and their free faces branded under a selfimposed sentence of punishment.” Lichas interrupted this plea for mercy, saying, “Do not go confusing the issue, but let each single point have its place. And first of all, if they came of their own accord, why have they stripped all the hair off their heads? A man who disguises himself wants to play a trick, not to make amends. Again, if they were contriving some act of grace through a mediator, why did you do everything in your power to hide your protégés away? All this makes it clear that the ruffians fell into the net by accident, and that you hunted for some device to avoid the force of our displeasure. When you try to prejudice us by calling them free and respectable, mind you do not spoil your case by impudence. What should an injured party do, when the guilty run into punishment? Oh! you say, they were once our friends! Then they deserve the harsher treatment. A person who injures a stranger is called a robber, but a man who hurts his friends is practically a parricide.” Eumolpus put an end to this unfair harangue by saying,”I know that nothing is more against the poor young men than their cutting their hair at night. This looks like a proof that they came by chance upon the ship and did not come on purpose. Now I want the plain truth to come to your ears just as simply as it happened. They wanted to relieve their heads of the troublesome and useless weight before they came aboard, but the wind got up and postponed their scheme of treatment. They never thought that it made any difference where they began what they had decided to do; they were quite ignorant of sailors’ omens and sea-law.” “But why should they shave themselves to excite pity?” said Lichas, Unless of course bald people are naturally more pitiable. But what is the use of trying to discover the truth through a third person? Now speak up, you ruffian! Who was the salamander that singed off your eyebrows? What God had the promise of your hair? Answer me, gallows-bird!”

[108] I was dumb with terror of being punished, and too upset to find a word to say, for the case was only too clear....We were in no position to speak, or do anything, for to say nothing of the disgrace of our shaven heads, our eyebrows were as bald as our pates. But when a wet sponge was wiped down my doleful countenance, and the ink ran over all my face and of course blotted out every feature in a cloud of smut, anger passed into loathing. Eumolpus cried out that he would not allow anyone to disfigure free young men without right or reason, and cut short the angry sailors’ threats not only by argument but by force. His slave stood by him in his protest, and one or two of the most feeble passengers, who rather consoled him for having to fight than increased his strength. For my part I shirked nothing. I shook my fist in Tryphaena’s face, and declared in a loud open voice that I would use violence to her if she did not leave off hurting Giton, for she was a wicked woman and the only person on the ship who deserved flogging. Lichas’s wrath blazed hotter at my daring, and he taunted me with throwing up my own case and only shouting for somebody else. Tryphaena was equally hot and angry and abusive, and divided the whole ship’s company into factions. On our side, the slave barber handed out his blades to us, and kept one for himself, on the other side Tryphaena’s slaves were ready with bare fists, and even the cries of women were not unheard on the field. The helmsman alone swore that he would give up minding the ship if this madness, which had been stirred up to suit a pack of scoundrels, did not stop. None the less, the fury of the combatants persisted, the enemy fighting for revenge and we for dear life. Many fell on both sides without fatal results, still more got bloody wounds and retired in the style of a real battle, and still we all raged implacably. Then the gallant Giton turned a razor on himself and threatened to put an end to our troubles by self-mutilation, and Tryphaena averted the horrible disaster by a fair promise of freedom. I lifted a barber’s knife to my throat several times, no more meaning to kill myself than Giton meant to do what he threatened. Still he filled the tragic part more recklessly, because he knew that he was holding the very razor with which he had already made a cut on his throat. Both sides were drawn up in battle array, and it was plain that the fight would be no ordinary affair, when the helmsman with difficulty induced Tryphaena to conclude a treaty like a true diplomat. So the usual formal undertakings were exchanged, and she waved an olivebranch which she took from the ship’s figure-head, and ventured to come up and talk to us: What madness,” she cried, “is turning peace into war? What have our hands done to deserve it? No Trojan hero carries the bride of the cuckold son of Atreus in this fleet, nor does frenzied Medea fight her foe by slaying her brother. But love despised is powerful. Ah! who courts destruction among these waves by drawing the sword? Who does not find a single death enough? Do not strive to outdo the sea and heap fresh waves upon its savage floods.”

[109] The woman poured out these words in a loud excited voice, the fighting died away for a little while, our hands were recalled to the way of peace, and dropped the war. Our leader Eumolpus seized the occasion of their relenting, and after making a warm attack on Lichas, signed the treaty, which ran as follows:”Agreed on your part, Tryphaena, that you will not complain of any wrong done to you by Giton, and if any has been done to you before this date will not bring it up against him or punish him or take steps to follow it up in any other way whatsoever; that you will give the boy no orders which he dislikes, for a hug, a kiss, or a lover’s close embrace, without paying a hundred pieces for it cash down. Furthermore, it is agreed on your part, Lichas, that you will not pursue Encolpius with insulting words or grimaces, nor inquire where he sleeps at night, or if you do inquire will pay two hundred pieces cash down for every injurious act done to him.” Peace was made on these terms, and we laid down our arms, and for fear any vestige of anger should be left in our minds, even after taking the oath, we decided to wipe out the past with a kiss. There was applause all round, our hatred died down, and a feast which had been brought for the fight cemented our agreement with joviality. Then the whole ship rang with songs; and a sudden calm having stayed us in our course, one man pursued the leaping fish with a spear, another pulled in his struggling prey on alluring hooks. Besides all this, some sea-birds settled on one of the yards, and a clever sportsman took them in with jointed rod of rushes; they were snared by these limed twigs and brought down into our hands. The breeze caught their feathers as they flew, and the light foam lashed their wings as they skimmed the sea.

Lichas was just beginning to be friendly with me again, Tryphaena was just pouring the dregs of a drink over Giton, when Eumolpus, who was unsteady with drink himself, tried to aim some satire at bald persons and branded criminals, and after exhausting his chilly wit, went back to his poetry and began to declaim a little dirge on Hair:

“The hair that is the whole glory of the body is fallen, dull winter has carried away the bright locks of spring. Now the temples are bare of their shade and are downcast, and the wide naked space on my old head shines where the hair is worn away. Ye Gods that love to cheat us; ye rob us first of the first joys ye gave to our youth.

Poor wretch, a moment ago thy hair shone bright and more beautiful than Phœbus and the sister of Phoebus. Now thou art smoother than bronze or the round garden mushroom that is born in rain, and turnest in dread from a girl’s mockery. To teach thee how quickly death shall come, know that a part of thine head hath died already.”

[110] He wanted to produce some more lines even more silly than the last, I believe, when Tryphaena’s maid took Giton below decks, and ornamented the boy’s head with some of her mistress’s artificial curls. Further, she also took some eyebrows out of a box, and by cunningly following the lines where he was defaced she restored his proper beauty complete. Tryphaena recognized the true Giton, there was a storm of tears, and she then for the first time gave the boy a kiss with real affection. Of course, I was glad to see him clothed again in his former loveliness, but still I kept hiding my own face continually, for I realized that I was marked with no common ugliness, since not even Lichas considered me fit to speak to. But the same maid came and rescued me from gloom, called me aside, and decked me with equally becoming curls. Indeed, my face shone with a greater glory. My curls were golden ...

Then Eumolpus, our spokesman in peril and the begetter of our present peace, to save our jollity from falling dumb for want of good stories, began to hurl many taunts at the fickleness of women; how easily they fell in love, how quickly they forgot even their own sons, how no woman was so chaste that she could not be led away into utter madness by a passion for a stranger. He was not thinking of old tragedies or names notorious in history, but of an affair which happened in his lifetime. He would tell it us if we liked to listen. So all eyes and ears were turned upon him, and he began as follows:

[111] There was a married woman in Ephesus of such famous virtue that she drew women even from the neighbouring states to gaze upon her. So when she had buried her husband, the common fashion of following the procession with loose hair, and beating the naked breast in front of the crowd, did not satisfy her. She followed the dead man even to his resting-place, and began to watch and weep night and day over the body, which was laid in an underground vault in the Greek fashion. Neither her parents nor her relations could divert her from thus torturing herself, and courting death by starvation; the officials were at last rebuffed and left her; every one mourned for her as a woman of unique character, and she was now passing her fifth day without food. A devoted maid sat by the failing woman, shed tears in sympathy with her woes, and at the same time filled up the lamp, which was placed in the tomb, whenever it sank. There was but one opinion throughout the city, every class of person admitting this was the one true and brilliant example of chastity and love. At this moment the governor of the province gave orders that some robbers should be crucified near the small building where the lady was bewailing her recent loss. So on the next night, when the soldier who was watching the crosses, to prevent anyone taking down a body for burial, observed a light shining plainly among the tombs, and heard a mourner’s groans, a very human weakness made him curious to know who it was and what he was doing. So he went down into the vault, and on seeing a very beautiful woman, at first halted in confusion, as if he had seen a portent or some ghost from the world beneath. But afterwards noticing the dead man lying there, and watching the woman’s tears and the marks of her nails on her face, he came to the correct conclusion, that she found her regret for the lost one unendurable. He therefore brought his supper into the tomb, and began to urge the mourner not to persist in useless grief, and break her heart with unprofitable sobs: for all men made the same end and found the same resting-place, and so on with the other platitudes which restore wounded spirits to health. But she took no notice of his sympathy, struck and tore her breast more violently than ever, pulled out her hair, and laid it on the dead body. Still the soldier did not retire, but tried to give the poor woman food with similar encouragements, until the maid, who was no doubt seduced by the smell of his wine, first gave in herself, and put out her hand at his kindly invitation, and then, refreshed with food and drink, began to assail her mistress’s obstinacy, and say, ‘What will you gain by all this, if you faint away with hunger, if you bury yourself alive, if you breathe out your undoomed soul before Fate calls for it?’ ‘Believest thou that the ashes or the spirit of the buried dead can feel thy woe? Will you not begin life afresh? Will you not shake off this womanish failing, and enjoy the blessings of the light so long as you are allowed? Your poor dead husband’s body here ought to persuade you to keep alive.’ People are always ready to listen when they are urged to take a meal or to keep alive. So the lady, being thirsty after several days’ abstinence, allowed her resolution to be broken down, and filled herself with food as greedily as the maid, who had been the first to yield.

[112] “Well, you know which temptation generally assails a man on a full stomach. The soldier used the same insinuating phrases which had persuaded the lady to consent to live, to conduct an assault upon her virtue. Her modest eye saw in him a young man, handsome and eloquent. The maid begged her to be gracious, and then said, ‘Wilt thou fight love even when love pleases thee? Or dost thou never remember in whose lands thou art resting?’ I need hide the fact no longer. The lady ceased to hold out, and the conquering hero won her over entire. So they passed not only their wedding night together, but the next and a third, of course shutting the door of the vault, so that any friend or stranger who came to the tomb would imagine that this most virtuous lady had breathed her last over her husband’s body. Well, the soldier was delighted with the woman’s beauty, and his stolen pleasure; he bought up all the fine things his means permitted, and carried them to the tomb the moment darkness fell. So the parents of one of the crucified, seeing that the watch was illkept, took their man down in the dark and administered the last rite to him. The soldier was eluded while he was off duty, and next day, seeing one of the crosses without its corpse, he was in terror of punishment, and explained to the lady what had happened. He declared that he would not wait for a court-martial, but would punish his own neglect with a thrust of his sword. So she had better get ready a place for a dying man, and let the gloomy vault enclose both her husband and her lover. The lady’s heart was tender as well as pure. ‘Heaven forbid,’ she replied, ‘that I should look at the same moment on the dead bodies of two men whom I love. No, I would rather make a dead man useful, than send a live man to death.’ After this speech she ordered her husband’s body to be taken out of the coffin and fixed up on the empty cross. The soldier availed himself of this far-seeing woman’s device, and the people wondered the next day by what means the dead man had ascended the cross.”

[113] The sailors received this tale with a roar; Tryphaena blushed deeply, and laid her face caressingly on Giton’s neck. But there was no laugh from Lichas; he shook his head angrily and said: “If the governor of the province had been a just man, he should have put the dead husband back in the tomb, and hung the woman on the cross.”

No doubt he was thinking once more of Hedyle and how his ship had been pillaged on her passionate elopement. But the terms of our treaty forbade us to bear grudges, and the joy which had filled our souls left no room for wrath. Tryphaena was now lying in Giton’s lap, covering him with kisses one moment, and sometimes patting his shaven head. I was gloomy and uneasy about our new terms, and did not touch food or drink, but kept shooting angry looks askance at them both. Every kiss was a wound to me, every pleasing wile that the wanton woman conjured up. I was not yet sure whether I was more angry with the boy for taking away my mistress, or with my mistress for leading the boy astray: both of them were hateful to my sight and more depressing than the bondage I had escaped. And besides all this, Tryphaena did not address me like a friend whom she was once pleased to have for a lover, and Giton did not think fit to drink my health in the ordinary way, and would not even so much as include me in general conversation. I suppose he was afraid of reopening a tender scar just as friendly feeling began to draw it together. My unhappiness moved me till tears overflowed my heart, and the groan I hid with a sigh almost stole my life away...

He tried to gain admission to share their joys, not wearing the proud look of a master, but begging him to yield as a friend...

“If you have a drop of honest blood in you you will think no more of her than of a common woman. Si vir fueris, non ibis ad spintriam” ..

Nothing troubled me more than the fear that Eumolpus might have got some idea of what was going on, and might employ his powers of speech in attacking me in verse...

Eumolpus swore an oath in most formal language...

[114] While we talked over this matter and others, the sea rose, clouds gathered from every quarter, and overwhelmed the day in darkness. The sailors ran to their posts in terror, and furled the sails before the storm. But the wind did not drive the waves in any one direction, and the helmsman was at a loss which way to steer. One moment the wind set towards Sicily, very often the north wind blew off the Italian coast, mastered the ship and twisted her in every direction; and what was more dangerous than any squall, such thick darkness had suddenly blotted out the light that the steersman could not even see the whole prow. Then for a wonder, as the hostile fury of the storm gathered, Lichas trembled and stretched out his hands to me imploringly, and said, “Help us in our peril, Encolpius; let the ship have the goddess’s robe again and her holy rattle. Be merciful, I implore you, as your way is.”

But even as he shouted the wind blew him into the water, a squall whirled him round and round repeatedly in a fierce whirlpool, and sucked him down. Tryphaena’s faithful slaves carried her off almost by force, put her in a boat with most of her luggage, and so rescued her from certain death...

I embraced Giton, and wept and cried aloud: “Did we deserve this from the gods, that they should unite us only when they slay? But cruel Fate does not grant us even this. Look! even now the waves will upset the boat; even now the angry sea will sunder a lover’s embrace. So if you ever really loved Encolpius, kiss him while you may, and snatch this last joy as Fate swoops down upon you.” As I spoke Giton took off his clothes, and I covered him with my shirt as he put up his head to be kissed. And that no envious wave should pull us apart as we clung to each other, he put his belt round us both and tied it tight, saying,”Whatever happens to us, at least we shall be locked together a long while as the sea carries us, and if the sea has pity and will cast us up on the same shore, some one may come by and put stones over us out of ordinary human kindness, or the last work of the waves even in their wrath will be to cover us with the unconscious sand.” I let him bind me for the last time, and then waited, like a man dressed for his death-bed, for an end that had lost its bitterness. Meanwhile by Fate’s decree the storm rose to its height, and took by violence all that was left of the ship. No mast, no helm, no rope or oar remained on her. She drifted on the waves like a rough and unshapen lump of wood....

Some fishermen in handy little boats put out to seize their prey. When they saw some men alive and ready to fight for their belongings, they altered their savage plans and came to the rescue...

[115] We heard a strange noise, and a groaning like a wild beast, coming from under the master’s cabin. So we followed the noise, and found Eumolpus sitting there inscribing verses on a great parchment. We were surprised at his having time to write poetry with death close at hand, and we pulled him out, though he protested, and implored him to be sensible. But he was furious at our interruption, and cried: “Let me complete my design; the poem halts at the close.” I laid hands on the maniac, and told Giton to help me to drag the bellowing bard ashore...

When this business was at last completed, we came sadly to a fisherman’s cottage, refreshed our selves more or less with food spoilt by sea-water, and passed a very miserable night. Next morning, as we were trying to decide into what part of the country we should venture, I suddenly saw a man’s body caught in a gentle eddy and carried ashore. I stopped gloomily, and, with moist eyes, began to reflect upon the treachery of the sea. “Maybe,” I cried, “there is a wife waiting cheerfully at home for this man in a far-offland, or a son or a father, maybe, who know nothing of this storm; he is sure to have left some one behind whom he kissed before he went. So much for mortal men’s plans, and the prayers of high ambition. Look how the man floats.” I was still crying over him as a perfect stranger, when a wave turned his face towards the shore without a mark upon it, and I recognized Lichas, but a while ago so fierce and so relentless, now thrown almost under my feet. Then I could restrain my tears no longer; I beat my breast again and again, and cried, “Where is your temper and your hot head now? Behold! you are a prey for fish and savage beasts. An hour ago you boasted the strength of your command, and you have not one plank of your great ship to save you. Now let mortal men fill their hearts with proud imaginations if they will. Let misers lay out the gains they win by fraud for a thousand years. Lo! this man but yesterday looked into the accounts of his family property, and even settled in his own mind the very day when he would come home again. Lord, Lord, how far he lies from his consummation! But it is not the waves of the sea alone that thus keep faith with mortal men. The warrior’s weapons fail him; another pays his vows to Heaven, and his own house falls and buries him in the act. Another slips from his coach and dashes out his eager soul: the glutton chokes at dinner, the sparing man dies of wait. Make a fair reckoning, and you find shipwreck everywhere. You tell me that for those the waters whelm there is no burial. As if it mattered how our perishable flesh comes to its end, by fire or water or the lapse of time! Whatever you may do, all these things achieve the same goal. But beasts will tear the body, you say, as though fire would give it a more kindly welcome! When we are angry with our slaves, we consider burning their heaviest punishment. Then what madness to take such trouble to prevent the grave from leaving aught of us behind!”...

So Lichas was burned on a pyre built by his enemy’s hands. Eumolpus proceeded to compose an epitaph on the dead man, and looked about in search of some far-fetched ideas...

[116] We gladly performed this last office, and then took up our proposed way, and in a short while came sweating to a mountain top, from which we saw, not far off, a town set on a high peak. We had lost ourselves, and did not know what it was, until we learned from a farm-bailiff that it was Croton, a town of great age, and once the first city in Italy. When we went on to inquire particularly what men lived on such honoured soil, and what kind of business pleased them best, now that their wealth had been brought low by so many wars, the man replied, “My friends, if you are business men, change your plans and look for some other safe way of life. But if you profess to be men of a superior stamp and thorough-paced liars, you are on the direct road to wealth. In this city the pursuit of learning is not esteemed, eloquence has no place, economy and a pure life do not win their reward in honour: know that the whole of the men you see in this city are divided into two classes. They are either the prey of legacy-hunting or legacy-hunters themselves. In this city no one brings up children, because anyone who has heirs of his own stock is never invited to dinner or the theatre; he is deprived of all advantages, and lies in obscurity among the base-born. But those who have never married, and have no near relations, reach the highest positions; they alone, that is, are considered soldierly, gallant, or even good. “Yes,” he went on, you will go into a town that is like a plague-stricken plain, where there is nothing but carcasses to be devoured, and crows to devour them.” ..

[117] Eumolpus was more cautious, and directed his attention to the novelty of the case, declaring that this kind of prophecy did not make him uneasy. I thought the old man was joking with the light heart of a poet, but then he said, I only wish I had a more ample background, I mean a more gentlemanly dress, and finer ornaments, to lend colour to my strange tale; I declare I would not put off the business, I would bring you into great wealth in a moment. Anyhow, I promise to do whatever my fellow-robber demands, so long as my clothes are satisfactory, and whatever we may find in Lycurgus’s house when we break in. I am sure that our mother goddess for her honour’s sake will pay up some coin to us for present needs.”...”Well then,” said Eumolpus, “Why shouldn’t we make up a farce? Now appoint me your master, if you like the business.” No one dared to grumble at this harmless device. So to keep the lie safe among us all, we took an oath to obey Eumolpus; to endure burning, bondage, flogging, death by the sword, or anything else that Eumolpus ordered. We pledged our bodies and souls to our master most solemnly, like regular gladiators. When the oath was over, we posed like slaves and saluted our master, and learned all together that Eumolpus had lost a son, a young man of great eloquence and promise, and that the poor old man had left his own country for this reason, to escape seeing his son’s dependants and friends, or the tomb which was the source of his daily tears. His grief had been increased by a recent shipwreck, in which he lost over two million sesterces: it was not the loss that troubled him, but with no servant to wait upon him he could not recognize his own importance. Besides, he had thirty millions invested in Africa in estates and bonds; such a horde of his slaves was scattered over the fields of Numidia that he could positively have sacked Carthage. Under this scheme we ordered Eumolpus to cough frequently, sometimes to be bilious, and to find fault openly with all his food; he must talk of gold and silver and his disappointing farms and the obstinate barrenness of the soil; further, he must sit over his accounts daily, and revise the sheets of his will every month. To make the setting quite complete, he was to use the wrong names whenever he tried to call one of us, so that it would clearly look as though our master had also in his mind some servants who were not present. This was all arranged; we offered a prayer to Heaven for a prosperous and happy issue, and started on our journey. But Giton was not used to a burden and could not bear it, and the slave Corax, a shirker of work, kept putting down his bundle and cursing our hurry, and declaring that he would either throw the baggage away or run off with his load. “You seem to think I am a beast of burden or a ship for carrying stones,” he cried. “You paid for the services of a man, not a horse. I am just as free as you are, although my father did leave me a poor man.” Not satisfied with curses, he kept lifting his leg up and filling the whole road with a disgusting noise and smell. Giton laughed at his impudence and matched every noise he made....

[118] “Yes, my young friends,” said Eumolpus, “poetry has led many astray. As soon as a man has shaped his verse in feet and woven into it a more delicate meaning with an ingenious circumlocution, he thinks that forthwith he has scaled Helicon. In this fashion people who are tired out with forensic oratory often take refuge in the calm of poetry as in some happier haven, supposing that a poem is easier to construct than a declamation adorned with quivering epigrams. But nobler souls do not love such coxcombry, and the mind cannot conceive or bring forth its fruit unless it is steeped in the vast flood of literature. One must flee away from all diction that is, so to speak, cheap, and choose words divorced from popular use, putting into practice, “I hate the common herd and hold it afar.” Besides, one must take care that the epigrams do not stand out from the body of the speech: they must shine with a brilliancy that is woven into the material. Homer proves this, and the lyric poets, and Roman Virgil, and the studied felicity of Horace. The others either did not see the path that leads to poetry, or saw it and were afraid to walk in it For instance, anyone who attempts the vast theme of the Civil War will sink under the burden unless he is full of literature. It is not a question of recording -real events in verse; historians can do that far better. The free spirit of genius must plunge headlong into allusions and divine interpositions, and rack itself for epigrams coloured by mythology, so that what results seems rather the prophecies of an inspired seer than the exactitude of a statement made on oath before witnesses: the following effusion will show what I mean, if it take your fancy, though it has not yet received my final touches....

[119] “The conquering Roman now held the whole world, sea and land and the course of sun and moon. But he was not satisfied. Now the waters were stirred and troubled by his loaded ships; if there were any hidden bay beyond, or any land that promised a yield of yellow gold, that place was Rome’s enemy, fate stood ready for the sorrows of war, and the quest for wealth went on. There was no happiness in familiar joys, or in pleasures dulled by the common man’s use. The soldier out at sea would praise the bronze of Corinth; bright colours dug from earth rivalled the purple; here the African curses Rome, here the Chinaman plunders his marvellous silks, and the Arabian hordes have stripped their own fields bare.

“Yet again more destruction, and peace hurt and bleeding. The wild beast is searched out in the woods at a great price, and men trouble Hammon deep in Africa to supply the beast whose teeth make him precious for slaying men; strange ravening creatures freight the fleets, and the padding tiger is wheeled in a gilded palace to drink the blood of men while the crowd applauds.

I shrink from speaking plain and betraying our destiny of ruin; boys whose childhood is hardly begun are kidnapped in the Persian way, and the powers the knife has shorn are forced to the service of lust, and in order that the passing of man’s finest age may be hedged round with delay and hold back the hurrying years, Nature seeks for herself, and finds herself not. So all take their pleasure in harlotry, and the halting steps of a feeble body, and in flowing hair and numberless clothes of new names, everything that ensnares mankind.

“Tables of citron-wood are dug out of the soil of Africa and set up, the spots on them resembling gold which is cheaper than they, their polish reflecting hordes of slaves and purple clothes, to lure the senses. Round this barren and low-born wood there gathers a crowd drowned in drink, and the soldier of fortune gorges the whole spoils of the world while his weapons rust.

“Gluttony is a fine art. The wrasse is brought alive to table in sea-water from Sicily, and the oysters torn from the banks of the Lucrine lake make a dinner famous, in order to renew men’s hunger by their extravagance. All the birds are now gone from the waters of Phasis; the shore is quiet; only the empty air breathes on the lonely boughs.

“The same madness is in public life, the true-born Roman is bought, and changes his vote for plunder and the cry of gain. The people are corrupt, the house of senators is corrupt, their support hangs on a price. The freedom and virtue of the old men had decayed, their power was swayed by largesse, even their dignity was stained by money and trodden in the dust.

“Cato is beaten and driven out by the mob; his conqueror is more unhappy than he, and is ashamed to have torn the rods of office from Cato. For the shame of the nation and the fall of their character lay in this, that here was not only one man’s defeat. In his person the power and glory of Rome was humbled. So Rome in her deep disgrace was herself both price and prize, and despoiled herself without an avenger. Moreover filthy usury and the handling of money had caught the common people in a double whirlpool, and destroyed them. Not a house is safe, not a man but is mortgaged; the madness spreads through their limbs, and trouble bays and hounds them down like some disease sown in the dumb flesh. In despair they turn to violence, and bloodshed restores the good things lost by luxury. A beggar can risk everything in safety. Could the spell of healthful reason stir Rome from the filth where she rolled in heavy sleep, or only madness and war and the lust wakened by the sword?

[120] Fortune brought forth three generals, and the goddess of War and Death buried them all, each beneath a pile of arms. The Parthian has Crassus in keeping, Pompey the Great lies by the Libyan water, Julius stained ungrateful Rome with his blood; and as though the earth could not endure the burden of so many graves, she has separated their ashes. These are the wages paid by fame.

“Between Parthenope and the fields of the great town of Dicarchis there lies a spot plunged deep in a cloven chasm, wet with the water of Cocytus: for the air that rushes furiously outward is laden with that baleful spray. The ground here is never green in autumn, the field does not prosper or nurture herbage on its turf, the soft thickets never ring nor are loud in springtime with the songs of rival birds, but chaos is there, and gloomy rocks of black pumice-stone lie happy in the gloom of the cypresses that mound them about. From this place the father of Dis lifted his head, lit with funeral flames and flecked with white ashes, and provoked winged Fortune with these words:

“‘Disposer of life in earth and heaven, Chance, always angry against power too firmly seated, everlasting lover of change and quick for saker of thy conquests, dost not thou feel thy spirit crushed under the weight of Rome, and that thou canst not further raise up the mass that is doomed to fall? The youth of Rome contemns its own strength, and groans under the wealth its own hands have heaped up. See, everywhere they squander their spoils, and the mad use of wealth brings their destruction. They have buildings of gold and thrones raised to the stars, they drive out the waters with their piers, the sea springs forth amid the fields: rebellious man turns creation’s order upside down. Aye, they grasp even at my kingdom. The earth is hewn through for their madmen’s foundations and gapes wide, now the mountains are hollowed out until the caves groan, and while men turn precious stones to their empty purposes, the ghosts of hell declare their hopes of winning heaven. Arise, then, Chance, change thy looks of peace to war, harry the Roman, and let my kingdom have the dead. It is long now since my lips were wet with blood, and never has my loved Tisiphone bathed her thirsty limbs since the sword of Sulla drank deep, and the earth stood thick with corn fattened on blood and thrust up to the sun.’

[121] “He spoke and ended, and strained to take her hand in his, till he broke and clove the earth asunder. Then Fortune poured forth words from her fickle heart: ‘Father, whom the inmost places of Cocytus obey, thy prayer shall prosper, if at least I may foretell the truth without fear; for the anger that rises in my heart is stern as thine, and the flame that burns deep in my bones as fierce. I hate all the gifts I have made to towering Rome, and am angry at my own blessings. The god that raised up those high palaces shalldestroy them too. It will be my delight also to burn the men and feed my lust with blood. Lo, already I see Philippi’s field strewn with the dead of two battles, and the blazing pyres of Thessaly and the burial of the people of Iberia. Already the crash of arms rings in my trembling ears. And in Libya I see the barriers of the Nile groan, and the people in terror at the gulf of Actium and the army loved by Apollo. Open, then, the thirsty realms of thy dominion, and summon fresh souls. The old sailor, the Ferryman, will scarcely have strength to carry over the ghosts of the men in his boat; a whole fleet is needed. And thou, pale Tisiphone, take thy fill of wide destruction, and tear the bleeding wounds; the whole world is rent in pieces and drawn down to the Stygian shades.’

[122] “She had scarcely ceased to speak when a cloud shook and was riven by a gleam of lightning, and flashed forth a moment’s burst of flame. The father of darkness sank down, closed the chasm in earth’s bosom, and grew white with terror at the stroke of his brother. Straightway the slaughter of men and the destruction to come were made plain by omens from on high. For Titan was disfigured and dabbled in blood, and veiled his face in darkness: thou hadst thought that even then he gazed on civil strife. In another quarter Cynthia darkened her full face, and denied her light to the crime. The mountain-tops slid down and the peaks broke in thunder, the wandering streams were dying, and no more ranged abroad between their familiar banks. The sky is loud with the clash of arms, the trumpet shakes to the stars and rouses the War God, and at once Aetna is the prey of unaccustomed fires, and casts her lightnings high into the air. The faces of the dead are seen visible among the tombs and the unburied bones, gibbering in dreadful menace. A blazing light girt with unknown stars leads the way for the flames of cities, and the sky rains down fresh showers of blood. In a little while God made these portents plain. For now Caesar shook off all his lingering, and, spurred by the passion of revenge, threw down his arms against Gaul and took them up against Rome.

“In the high Alps, where the rocks trodden by a Greek god slope downward and allow men to ap proach them, there is a place sacred to the altars of Hercules: the winter seals it with frozen snow, and heaves it up on its white top to the sky. It seems as though the sky had fallen away from there: the beams of the full sun do not soften the place, nor the breezes of the springtime, but the soil stands stiff with ice and winter’s frost: its frowning shoulders could support the whole globe. When Caesar with his exultant army trod these heights and chose a place, he looked far over the fields of Hesperia from the high mountaintop, and lifted his voice and both hands to the stars and said: ‘Jupiter, Lord of all, and thou land of Saturn, once proud of my victories and loaded with my triumphs, I call you to witness that I do not willingly summon the War God to these hosts, and that my hand is not raised willingly to strike. But I am driven on by wounds, by banishment from my own city, while I dye the Rhine with blood and cut off the Gauls from the Alps on their second march to our Capitol. Victory makes my exile doubly sure. My rout of the Germans and my sixty triumphs were the beginning of my offences. Yet who is it that fears my fame, who are the men that watch me fight? Base hirelings bought at a price, to whom my native Rome is a stepmother. But I think that no coward shall bind my strong arm unhurt without a blow in return. Come, men, to victory while anger is hot, come, my comrades, and plead our cause with the sword. For we are all summoned under one charge, and the same doom hangs over us all. My thanks are your due, my victory is not mine alone. Wherefore, since punishment threatens our trophies, and disgrace is the meed of conquest, let Chance decide how our lot shall fall. Raise the standard and prove your strength. My pleading at least is accomplished; armed amid so many warriors I cannot know defeat.’ As he spoke these words aloud, the Delphic bird in the sky gave a happy omen, and beat the air as it flew. And from the left quarter of a gloomy grove strange voices sounded and fire flashed thereafter. Even Phoebus glowed with orb brighter than his wont, and set a burning halo of gold about his face.

[123] “Heartened by these omens, Caesar advanced the standards of war, and marched first to open this strange tale of daring. At first indeed the ice and the ground fettered with white frost did not fight against them, and lay quiet in the kindly cold. But then the regiments broke the close-bound clouds, the trembling horses shattered the frozen bonds of the waters, and the snows melted. Soon new-born rivers rolled from the mountain heights, but they, too, stood still as if by some command, and the waves stopped short with ruining floods enchained, and the water that ran a moment before now halted, hard enough to cut. But then, treacherous before, it mocked their steps and failed their footing; horses and men and arms together fell heaped in misery and ruin. Lo! too, the clouds were shaken by a strong wind, and let fall their burden, and round the army were gusts of whirlwind and a sky broken by swollen hail. Now the clouds themselves burst and fell on the armed men, and a mass of ice showered upon them like a wave of the sea. Earth was overwhelmed in the deep snow, and the stars of heaven, and the rivers that clung to their banks. But Caesar was not yet overwhelmed; he leaned on his tall spear and crushed the rough ground with fearless tread, like the son of Amphitryon hastening down from a high peak of Caucasus, or the fierce countenance of Jupiter, when he descended from the heights of great Olympus and scattered the arms of the doomed Giants.

“While Caesar treads down the swelling peaks in his wrath, Rumour flies swift in terror with beating wings, and seeks out the lofty top of the tall Palatine. Then she strikes all the images of the gods with her message of Roman thunder: how ships are now sweeping the sea, and the horsemen red with German blood pouring hotly over the range of the Alps. Battle, blood, slaughter, fire, and the whole picture of war flits before their eyes. Their hearts shake in confusion, and are fearfully divided between two counsels. One man chooses flight by land, another trusts rather to the water, and the open sea now safer than his own country. Some prefer to attempt a fight and turn Fate’s decree to account. As deep as a man’s fear is, so far he flies. In the turmoil the people themselves, a woeful sight, are led swiftly out of the deserted city, whither their stricken heart drives them. Rome is glad to flee, her true sons are cowed by war, and at a rumour’s breath leave their houses to mourn. One holds his children with a shaking hand, one hides his household gods in his bosom, and weeping, leaves his door and calls down death on the unseen enemy. Some clasp their wives to them in tears, youths carry their aged sires, and, unused to burdens, take with them only what they dread to lose. The fool drags all his goods after him, and marches laden with booty to the battle: and all now is as when on high the rush of a strong south wind tumbles and drives the waters, and neither rigging nor helm avail the crews, and one girds together the heavy planks of pine, another heads for quiet inlets and a waveless shore: a third sets sail and flees, and trusts all to Chance. But why sorrow for these petty ills? Pompey the Great, who made Pontus tremble and explored fierce Hydaspes, the rock that broke the pirates, who of late, in his third triumph, shook the heart of Jupiter, to whom the troubled waters of Pontus and the conquered Sea of Bosporus bowed, flees shamefully with the two consuls and lets his imperial title drop, that fickle Chance might see the back of great Pompey himself turned in flight.

[124] “So great a calamity broke the power of the gods also, and dread in heaven swelled the rout. A host of gentle deities throughout the world abandon the frenzied earth in loathing, and turn aside from the doomed army of mankind.

“Peace first of all, with her snow-white arms bruised, hides her vanquished head beneath her helmet, and leaves the world and turns in flight to the inexorable realm of Dis. At her side goes humble Faith and Justice with loosened hair, and Concord weeping with her cloak rent in pieces. But where the hall of Erebus is open and gapes wide, the dreadful company of Dis ranges forth, the grim Fury, and threatening Bellona, Megaera whirling her torches, and Destruction, and Treachery, and the pale presence of Death. And among them Madness, like a steed loosed when the reins snap, flings up her bloody head and shields her face, scarred by a thousand wounds, with a bloodstained helm; her left hand grips her worn martial shield, heavy with countless spear-points, her right waves a blazing brand and carries fire through the world.

“Earth felt that the gods were there, the stars were shaken, and swung seeking their former poise; for the whole palace of the sky broke and tumbled to ruin, And first Dione champions the deeds of Caesar, and Pallas joins her side, and the child of Mars, who brandishes his tall spear. “The sister of Phoebus and the son of Cyllene and the hero of Tiryns, like to him in all his deeds, receive Pompey the Great.

“The trumpets shook, and Discord with dishevelled hair raised her Stygian head to the upper sky. Blood had dried on her face, tears ran from her bruised eyes, her teeth were mailed with a scurf of rust, her tongue was dripping with foulness and her face beset with snakes, her clothes were torn before her writhen breasts, and she waved a red torch in her quivering hand. When she had left behind the darkness of Cocytus and Tartarus, she strode forward to the high ridges of proud Apennine, to gaze down thence upon all the earth and all its shores, and the armies streaming over the whole globe; then these words were wrung from her angry soul: ‘To arms now, ye peoples, while your spirit is hot, to arms, and set your torches to the heart of cities. He that would hide him shall be lost: let no women halt, nor children, nor the old who are now wasted with age; let the earth herself quake, and the shattered houses join the fight. Thou Marcellus, hold fast the law. Thou, Curio, make the rabble quail. Thou, Lentulus, give brave Mars no check. And thou, divine Caesar, why art thou a laggard with thine arms? Crash down the gates, strip towns of their walls and seize their treasure. So Magnus knows not how to hold the hills of Rome? Let him take the bulwarks of Epidamnus and dye the bays of Thessaly with the blood of men.’ Then all the commands of Discord were fulfilled upon the earth.”

Eumolpus poured out these lines with immense fluency, and at last we came into Croton. There we refreshed ourselves in a little inn, but on the next day we went to look for a house of greater pretensions, and fell in with a crowd of fortune-hunters, who inquired what kind of men we were, and where we had come from. Then, as arranged by our common council, a torrent of ready words burst from us, and they gave easy credence to our account of ourselves and our country. They at once quarrelled fiercely in their eagerness to heap their own riches on Eumolpus.

The fortune-hunters all competed to win Eumolpus’s favour with presents....

[125] This went on for a long while in Croton,.... Eumolpus was flushed with success, and so far forgot the former state of his fortunes as to boast to his intimates that no one there could cross his good pleasure, and that his own dependants would escape unpunished by the kindness of his friends if they committed any crime in that city. But though I had lined my belly well every day with the ever-growing supply of good things, and believed that Fortune had turned away her face from keeping a watch on me, still I often thought over my old life and my history, and kept saying to myself, Supposing some cunning legacy-hunter sends a spy over to Africa and finds out our lies? Or supposing the servant grows weary of his present luck and gives his friends a hint, or betrays us out of spite, and exposes the whole plot? Of course we shall have to run away again; we must start afresh as beggars, and call back the poverty we have now at last driven out. Ah! gods and goddesses! the outlaw has a hard life; he is always waiting to get what he deserves.”..

[126] “Because you know your beauty you are haughty, and do not bestow your embraces, but sell them. What is the object of your nicely combed hair, your face plastered with dyes, and the soft fondness even in your glance, and your walk arranged by art so that lever a footstep strays from its place? It means of course that you offer your comeliness freely for sale. Look at me; I know nothing of omens, and I never attend to the astrologer’s sky, but I read character in a man’s face, and when I see him walk I know his thoughts. So if you will sell us what I want, there is a buyer ready: if you will be more gracious and bestow it upon us, let us be indebted to you for a favour. For when you admit that you are a slave of low degree, you fan the passion of a lady who burns for you. Some women kindle for vile fellows, and cannot rouse any desire unless they have a slave or a servant in short garments in their eye. Some burn for a gladiator, or a muleteer smothered in dust, or an actor disgraced by exhibiting himself on the stage. My mistress is of this class; she skips fourteen rows away from the orchestra, and hunts for a lover among the low people at the back.”

With my ears full of her winning words I then said,”It is not you, I suppose, who love me so?” The girl laughed loudly at such a clumsy turn of speech, and said, “Pray do not be so conceited. I never yielded to a slave yet, and God forbid that I should throw my arms round a gallows-bird. The married women may see to that, and kiss the scars of a flogging; I may be only a lady’s maid, for all that I never sit down in any seats but the knights’.” I began to marvel at their contrary passions, and to count them as portents, the maid having the pride of a married lady, and the married lady the low tastes of a wench.

Then as our jokes proceeded further, I asked the maid to bring her mistress into the grove of planetrees. The plan pleased the girl. So she gathered her skirts up higher, and turned into the laurel grove which grew close to our path. She was not long away before she led the lady out of her hidingplace, and brought her to my side. The woman was more perfect than any artist’s dream. There are no words that can include all her beauty, and whatever I write must fall short of her. Her hair grew in natural waves and flowed all over her shoulders, her forehead was small, and the roots of her hair brushed back from it, her brows ran to the edge of her cheekbones and almost met again close beside her eyes, and those eyes were brighter than stars far from the moon, and her nose had a little curve, and her mouth was the kind that Praxiteles dreamed Diana had. And her chin and her neck, and her hands, and the gleam of her foot under a light band of gold! She had turned the marble of Paros dull. So then at last I put my old passion for Doris to despite....

“What is come to pass, Jupiter, that thou hast cast away thine armour, and now art silent in heaven and become an idle tale? Now were a time for thee to let the horns sprout on thy lowering forehead, or hide thy white hair under a swan’s feathers. This is the true Danae. Dare only to touch her body, and all thy limbs shall be loosened with fiery heat.” ...

[127] She was happy, and smiled so sweetly that I thought the full moon had shown me her face from behind a cloud. Then she said, letting the words escape through her fingers, “If you do not despise a rich woman who has known a man first this very year, dear youth, I will give you a new sister. True, you have a brother, too, for I made bold to inquire, but why should you not take to yourself a sister as well? I will come as the same kind of relation. Deign only to recognize my kiss also when it is your good pleasure.”

“I should rather implore you by your beauty,” I replied, “not to scorn to enrol a stranger among your worshippers. You will find me a true votary, if you allow me to kneel before you. And do not think that I would enter this shrine of Love without an offering; I will give you my own brother.”

“What,” she said, “you give me the one without whom you cannot live, on whose lips you hang, whom you love as I would have you love me?” Even as she spoke grace made her words so attractive, the sweet noise fell so softly upon the listening air, that you seemed to have the harmony of the Sirens ringing in the breeze. So as I marvelled, and all the light of the sky somehow fell brighter upon me, I was moved to ask my goddess her name. “Then my maid did not tell you that I am called Circe?” she said. “I am not the Sun-child indeed, and my mother has never stayed the moving world in its course while she will. But I shall have a debt to pay to Heaven if fate brings you and me together. Surely now, the Gods with their quiet thoughts have some plan in the making. Circe does not love Polyaenus without good reason; when these two names meet, a great fire is always set ablaze. Then take me in your embrace if you like. You need have no fear of any spy; your brother is far away from here.”

Circe was silent, folded me in two arms softer than a bird’s wing, and drew me to the ground on a carpet of coloured flowers.

“Such flowers as Earth, our mother, spread on Ida’s top when Jupiter embraced her and she yielded her love, and all his heart was kindled with fire: roses glowed there, and violets, and the tender flowering rush; and white lilies laughed from the green grass: such a soil summoned Venus to the soft grasses, and the day grew brighter and looked kindly on their hidden pleasure.”

We lay together there among the flowers and exchanged a thousand light kisses, but we looked for sterner play....

[128] “Tell me,” she cried, “do you find no joy in my lips? Nor in the breath that faints with hunger? Nor in my body wet with heat? If it is none of these, are you afraid of Giton?” I crimsoned with blushes under her eyes, and lost any strength I might have had before, and cried as though there were no whole part in my body, “Dear lady, have mercy, do not mock my grief. Some poison has infected me.”.

“Speak to me, Chrysis, tell me true: am I ugly or untidy? Is there some natural blemish that darkens my beauty? Do not deceive your own mistress. I know not how, but I have sinned.” She then snatched a glass from the silent girl, and after trying every look that raises a smile to most lovers’ lips, she shook out the cloak the earth had stained, and hurried into the temple of Venus. But I was lost and horror-stricken as if I had seen a ghost, and began to inquire of my heart whether I was cheated of my true delight.

As when dreams deceive our wandering eyes in the heavy slumber of night, and under the spade the earth yields gold to the light of day: our greedy hands finger the spoil and snatch at the treasure, sweat too runs down our face, and a deep fear grips our heart that maybe some one will shake out our laden bosom, where he knows the gold is hid: soon, when these pleasures flee from the brain they mocked, and the true shape of things comes back, our mind is eager for what is lost, and moves with all its force among the shadows of the past ..

“So in his name I give you thanks for loving me as true as Socrates. Alcibiades never lay so unspotted in his master’s bed.” ..

[129] “I tell you, brother, I do not realize that I am a man, I do not feel it. That part of my body where I was once an Achilles is dead and buried.” ...

The boy was afraid that he might give an opening for scandal if he were caught in a quiet place with me, and tore himself away and fled into an inner part of the house....

Chrysis came into my room and gave me a letter from her mistress, who wrote as follows: “Circe greets Polyaenus. If I were a passionate woman, I should feel betrayed and hurt: as it is I can be thankful even for your coldness. I have amused myself too long with the shadow of pleasure. But I should like to know how you are, and whether your feet carried you safely home; the doctors say that people who have lost their sinews cannot walk. I tell you what, young man, you must beware of paralysis. I have never seen a sick person in such grave danger; I declare you are as good as dead. If the same mortal chill attacks your knees and hands, you may send for the funeral trumpeters. And what about me? Well even if I have been deeply wounded, I do not grudge a poor man a cure. If you want to get well, ask Giton. I think you will recover your sinews if you sleep for three days without your brother. So far as I am concerned, I am not afraid of finding anyone who dislikes me more. My looking-glass and my reputation do not lie. Keep as well as you can.”

When Chrysis saw that I had read through the whole of this complaint, she said: “These things often happen, especially in this town, where the women can even draw down the moon from the sky, and so attention will be paid to this matter also. Only do write back more gently to my mistress, and restore her spirits by your frank kindness. For I must tell you the truth: she has never been herself from the moment you insulted her.”

[130] I obeyed the girl with pleasure and wrote on a tablet as follows: “Polyaenus greets Circe. Dear lady, I admit my many failings; for I am human, and still young. But never before this day have I committed deadly sin. The culprit confesses to you; I have deserved whatever you may order. I have been a traitor, I have destroyed a man, and profaned a temple: demand my punishment for these crimes. If you decide on execution, I will come with my sword; if you let me off with a flogging, I will run naked to my lady. Illud unum memento, non me sed instrumenta peccasse. Paratus miles arma non habui. Who upset me so I know not. Perhaps my will ran on while my body lagged behind, perhaps I wasted all my pleasure in delay by desiring too much. I cannot discover what I did. But you tell me to beware of paralysis: as if the disease could grow worse, which has taken away from me the means of making you my own. But my apology amounts to this — I will do your pleasure if you allow me to mend my fault.” ...

Chrysis was sent off with this promise, and I paid great attention to my offending body, and after leaving my bath anointed myself in moderation, and then fed on strong foods, onions, I mean, and snails’ heads without sauce, and drank sparingly of wine. I then settled myself with a gentle walk before bed, and went into my room without Giton. I was so anxious to please her that I was afraid my brother might take away my strength. [131] Next day I got up sound in mind and body, and went down to the same grove of planetrees, though I was rather afraid of the unlucky place, and began to wait among the trees for Chrysis to lead me on my way.

After walking up and down a short while, I sat where I had been the day before, and Chrysis came under the trees, bringing an old woman with her. When she had greeted me, she said, “Well, disdainful lover, have you begun to come to your senses?” Then the old woman took a twist of threads of different colours out of her dress, and tied it round my neck. Then she mixed some dust with spittle, and took it on her middle finger, and made a mark on my forehead despite my protest ....

After this she ordered me in a rhyme to spit three times and throw stones into my bosom three times, after she had said a spell over them and wrapped them in purple, and laid her hands on me and began to try the force of her charm.... Dicto citius nervi paruerunt imperio manusque aniculae ingenti motu reple verunt. At illa gaudio exsultans “Vides” inquit”Chrysis mea, vides, quod aliis leporem excitavi?” ...

The stately plane-tree, and Daphne decked with berries, and the quivering cypresses, and the swaying tops of the shorn pines, cast asummer shade. Among them played the straying waters of a foamy river, lashing the pebbles with its chattering flow. The place was proper to love; so the nightingale of the woods bore witness, and Procne from the town, as they hovered about the grasses and the tender violets, and pursued their stolen loves with a song....

She was stretched out there with her marble neck pressed on a golden bed, brushing her placid face with a spray of myrtle in flower. So when she saw me she blushed a little, of course remembering my rudeness the day before; then, when they had all left us, she asked me to sit by her, and I did; she laid the sprig of myrtle over my eyes, and then growing bolder, as if she had put a wall between us, “Well, poor paralytic,” she said, “have you come here to-day a whole man?” “Do not ask me,” I replied, “try me.” I threw myself eagerly into her arms, and enjoyed her kisses unchecked by any magic until I was tired .....

[132] The loveliness of her body called to me and drew us together. There was the sound of a rain of kisses as our lips met, our hands were clasped and discovered all the ways of love, then our bodies were held and bound by our embrace until even our souls were made as one soul....

My open taunts stung the lady, and at last she ran to avenge herself, and called her chamber grooms, and ordered me to be hoisted for flogging. Not content With this black insult, the woman called up all her low spinsters, and the very dregs of her slaves, and invited them to spit upon me. I put my hands to my eyes and never poured forth any appeal, for I knew my deserts, and was beaten and spat upon and thrown out of doors. Proselenos was thrown out too, Chrysis was flogged, and all the slaves muttered gloomily to themselves, and asked who had upset their mistress’s spirits.... So after considering my position I took courage, and carefully hid the marks of the lash for fear Eumolpus should exult or Giton be depressed at my disgrace. | Quod solum igitur salvo pudore poteram, 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.

Nee 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, imagis 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 traducers


annos primo florentes vigore senectaeque ultimae mihi lassitudinem imponeres? 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.

Then, after rubbing my forehead for a long while, I said, “But what harm have I done if I have relieved my sorrow with some free abuse? And then there is the fact that of our bodily members we often damn our guts, our throats, even our heads, when they give us much trouble. Did not Ulysses argue with his own heart, while some tragedians curse their eyes as if they could hear? Gouty people damn their feet, people with chalk-stones their hands, blear-eyed people their eyes, and men who have often hurt their toes put down all their ills to their poor feet:

“Why do ye, Cato’s disciples, look at me with wrinkled foreheads, and condemn a work of fresh simplicity? A cheerful kindness laughs through my pure speech, and my clean mouth reports whatever the people do. All men born know of mating and the joys of love; all men are free to let their limbs glow in a warm bed. Epicurus, the true father of truth, bade wise men be lovers, and said that therein lay the crown of life.” ...

There is nothing more insincere than people’s silly convictions, or more silly than their sham morality....

[133] When my speech was over, I called Giton, and said, Now tell me, brother, on your honour. That night when Ascyltos took you away from me, did he keep awake until he had wronged you, or was he satisfied with spending the night decently alone?” The boy touched his eyes and swore a most precise oath that Ascyltos had used no force to him....

I kneeled down on the threshold and entreated the favour of the gods in these lines:

“Comrade of the Nymphs and Bacchus, whom lovely Dione set as god over the wide forests, whom famous Lesbos and green Thasos obey, whom the Lydian worships in perpetual celebration, whose temple he has set in his own city of Hypaepa: come hither, guardian of Bacchus and the Dryads’ delight, and hear my humble prayer. I come not to thee stained with dark blood, I have not laid hands on a temple like a wicked enemy, but when I was poor and worn with want I sinned, yet not with my whole body. There is less guilt in a poor man’s sin. This is my prayer; take the load from my mind, forgive a light offence; and whenever fortune’s season smiles upon me, I will not leave thy glory without worship. A goat shall walk to thine altars, most holy one, a horned goat that is father of the flock, and the young of a grunting sow, atender sacrifice. The new wine of the year shall foam in the bowls, and the young men full of wine shall trace their joyous steps three times round thy sanctuary.”...

As I was doing this and making clever plans to guard my trust, an old woman in ugly black clothes, with her hair down, came into the shrine, laid hands on me, and drew me out through the porch....

[134] “What screech-owl has eaten your nerve away, what foul thing or corpse have you trodden on at a cross-road in the dark? Never even in boyhood could you hold your own, but you were weakly, feeble, tired, and like a cab-horse on a hill you wasted your efforts and your sweat. And not content with failing yourself, you have roused the gods to wrath against me...

And she took me unresisting into the priestess’s room again, and pushed me over the bed, and took a cane off the door and beat me again when I remained unresponsive. And if the cane had not broken at the first stroke and lessened the force of the blow, I daresay she would have broken my head and my arm outright. Anyhow I groaned at her dirty tricks, and wept abundantly, and covered my head with my right arm, and leaned against the pillow. She was upset, and cried too, and sat on another piece of the bed, and began to curse the delays of old age in a quavering voice, when the priestess came in.

Why have you come into my room as if you were visiting a fresh-made grave?” she said. “Especially on a holiday, when even mourners smile.” “Ah, Oenothea,” said the woman, “this young man was born under a bad planet; he cannot sell his treasure to boys or girls either. You never beheld such an unlucky creature: he is a piece of wash-leather, not a real man. Just to show you, what do you think of a man who can come away from Circe without a spark of pleasure?” When Oenothea heard this she sat down between us, shook her head for some time, and then said, “I am the only woman alive who knows how to cure that disease. Et ne me putetis perplexe agere, rogo ut adulescentulus mecum nocte dormiat..

nisi illud tam rigidum reddidero quam cornu:

“Whatever thou seest in the world is obedient to me. The flowery earth, when I will, faints and withers as its juices dry, and, when I will, pours forth its riches, while rocks and rough crags spurt waters wide as the Nile. The great sea lays its waves lifeless before me, and the winds lower their blasts in silence at my feet. The rivers obey me, and Hyrcanian tigers, and serpents, whom I bid stand still. But I will not tell you of small things; the shape of the moon is drawn down to me by my spells, and Phoebus trembles and must turn his fiery steeds as I compel him back in his course. So great is the power of words. The flaming spirit of bulls is quenched and calmed by a maiden’s rites, and Circe, the child of Phoebus, transfigured Ulysses’s crew with magic songs, and Proteus can take what form he will. And I, who am cunning in these arts, can plant the bushes of Mount Ida in the sea, or set rivers back on lofty peaks.”

[135] I shrank in horror from her promised miracles, and began to look at the old woman more carefully....”Now,” cried Oenothea, “obey my orders!” and she wiped her hands carefully, leaned over the bed, and kissed me once, twice ....

Oenothea put up an old table in the middle of the altar, and covered it with live coals, and repaired a wine-cup that had cracked from age with warm pitch. Then she drove in once more on the smoky wall a nail which had come away with the wooden winecup when she took it down. Then she put on a square cloak, and laid an enormous cooking-poton the hearth, and at the same time took off the meat-hooks with a fork a bag which had in it some beans put by for use, and some very mouldy pieces of a brain smashed into a thousand fragments. After unfastening the bag she poured out some of the beans on the table, and told me to shell them carefully. I obeyed orders, and my careful fingers parted the kernels from their dirty covering of shell. But she reproved me for laziness, snatched them up in a hurry, tore off the shells with her teeth in a moment, and spat them on to the ground like the empty husks of flies...

I marvelled at the resources of poverty, and the art displayed in each particular. ‘No Indian ivory set in gold shone here, the earth did not gleam with marble now trodden upon and mocked for the gifts she gave, but the grove of Ceres on her holiday was set round with hurdles of willow twigs and fresh cups of clay shaped by a quick turn of the lowly wheel. There was a vessel for soft honey, and wicker-work plates of pliant bark, and a jar dyed with the blood of Bacchus. And the wall round was covered with light chaff and spattered mud; on it hung rows of rude nails and slim stalks of green rushes. Besides this, the little cottage roofed with smoky beams preserved their goods, the soft service-berries hung entwined in fragrant wreaths, and dried savory and bunches of raisins; such a hostess was here as was once on Athenian soil, worthy of the worship of Hecale, of whom the Muse testified for all ages to adore her, in the years when the poet of Cyrene sang.’

[136] While she was having a small mouthful of meat as well,... and was replacing the brain, which must have been born on her own birthday, on the jack with her fork, the rotten stool which she was using to increase her height broke, and the old woman’s weight sent her down on to the hearth. So the neck of the pot broke and put out the fire, which was just getting up. A glowing brand touched her elbow, and her whole face was covered with the ashes she scattered. I jumped up in confusion and put the old woman straight, not without a laugh.... She ran off to her neighbours to see to reviving the fire, to prevent anything keeping the ceremony back.... So I went to the door of the house,... when all at once three sacred geese, who I suppose generally demanded their daily food from the old woman at mid-day, made a rush at me, and stood round me while I trembled, cackling horribly like mad things. One tore my clothes, another untied the strings of my sandals and tugged them off; the third, the ringleader and chief of the brutes, lost no time in attacking my leg with his jagged bill. It was no laughing matter: I wrenched off a leg of the table and began to hammer the ferocious creature with this weapon in my hand. One simple blow did not content me. I avenged my honour by the death of the goose.

‘Even so I suppose the birds of Stymphalus fled into the sky when the power of Hercules compelled them, and the Harpies whose reeking wings made the tantalizing food of Phineus run with poison. The air above trembled and shook with unwonted lamentation, and the palace of heaven was in an uproar.’..

The remaining geese had now picked up the beans, which were spilt and scattered all over the floor, and having lost their leader had gone back, I think, to the temple. Then I came in, proud of my prize and my victory, threw the dead goose behind the bed, and bathed the wound on my leg, which was not deep, with vinegar. Then, being afraid of a scolding, I made a plan for getting away, put my things together, and started to leave the house. I had not yet got outside the room, when I saw Oenothea coming with a jar full of live coals. So I drew back and threw off my coat, and stood in the entrance as if I were waiting for her return. She made up a fire which she raised out of some broken reeds, and after heaping on a quantity of wood, began to apologize for her delay, saying that her friend would not let her go until the customary three glasses had been emptied. “What did you do while I was away?” she went on, “and where are the beans?” Thinking that I had done something which deserved a word of praise, I described the whole of my fight in detail, and to put an end to her depression I produced the goose as a set-off to her losses. When the old woman saw the bird, she raised such a great shriek that you would have thought that the geese had come back into the room again. [137] I was astonished and shocked to find so strange a crime at my door, and I asked her why she had flared up, and why she should be more sorry for the goose than for me. But she beat her hands together and said, “You villain, you dare to speak. Do you not know what a dreadful sin you have committed? You have killed the darling of Priapus, the goose beloved of all married women. And do not suppose that it is not serious; if any magistrate finds out, on the cross you go. My house was spotless until to-day, and you have defiled it with blood, and you have given any enemy of mine who likes the power to turn me out of my priesthood.” ...

“Not such a noise, please,” I said; “I will give you an ostrich to replace the goose.” ...

I was amazed, and the woman sat on the bed and wept over the death of the goose, until Proselenos came in with materials for the sacrifice, and seeing the dead bird, inquired why we were so depressed. When she found out she began to weep loudly, too, and to compassionate me as if I had killed my own father instead of a common goose. I grew tired and disgusted, and said, “Please let me cleanse my hands by paying; it would be another thing if I had insulted you or done a murder. Look, I will put down two gold pieces. You can buy both gods and geese for that.” When Oenothea saw the money, she said,”Forgive me, young man, I am troubled on your account. I am showing my love and not my ill-will. So we will do our best to keep the secret. But pray the gods to pardon what you have done.”

“Whoever has money sails in a fair wind, and directs his fortune at his own pleasure. Let him take Danae to wife, and he can tell Acrisius to believe what he told Danae. Let him write poetry, make speeches, snap his fingers at the world, win his cases and outdo Cato. A lawyer, let him have his ‘Proven’ and his Not proven,’ and be all that Servius and Labeo were. I have said enough: with money about you, wish for what you like and it will come. Your safe has Jupiter shut up in it.” ...

She stood a jar of wine under my hands, and made me stretch all my fingers out, and rubbed them with leeks and parsley, and threw filberts into the wine with a prayer. She drew her conclusions from them according as they rose to the top or sank. I noticed that the nuts which were empty and had no kernel, but were filled with air, stayed on the surface, while the heavy ones, which were ripe and full, were carried to the bottom....

She cut the goose open, drew out a very fat liver, and foretold the future to me from it. Further, to remove all traces of my crime, she ran the goose right through with a spit, and made quite a fine meal for me, though I had been at death’s door a moment ago, as she told me....

Cups of neat wine went swiftly round with it...

[138] 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 infraumbilicum coepitlentamanu caedere...

Though the poor old things were silly with drink and passion they tried to take the same road, and pursued me through several streets, crying “Stop thief!” But I escaped, with all my toes running blood in my headlong flight ...

“Chrysis, who despised your lot before, means to follow you now even at peril of her life.”...

“Ariadne and Leda had no beauty like hers. Helen and Venus would be nothing beside her. And Paris himself, who decided the quarrel of the goddesses, would have made over Helen and the goddesses too to her, if his eager gaze had seen her to compare with them. If only I were allowed a kiss, or could put my arms round the body that is heaven’s own self; maybe my body would come back to its strength, and the part of me that is drowsed with poison, I believe, might be itself again. No insult turns me back; I forget my floggings, and I think it fine sport to be flung out of doors. Only let her be kind to me again.” ...

[139] I moved uneasily over the bed again and again, as if I sought for the ghost of my love ....

‘I am not the only one whom God and an inexorable doom pursues. Before me the son of Tiryns was driven from the Inachian shore and bore the burden of heaven, and Laomedon before me satisfied the ominous wrath of two gods. Pelias felt Juno’s power, Telephus fought in ignorance, and Ulysses was in awe of Neptune’s kingdom. And me too the heavy wrath of Hellespontine Priapus follows over the earth and over the waters of hoary Nereus.’ ...

I began to inquire of Giton whether anyone had asked for me. “No one to-day,” he said, “but yesterday a rather pretty woman came in at the door, and talked to me for a long while, till I was tired of her forced conversation, and then began to say that you deserved to be hurt and would have the tortures of a slave, if your adversary persisted with his complaint.”...

I had not finished grumbling, when Chrysis came in, ran up and warmly embraced me, and said, “Now I have you as I hoped; you are my desire, my pleasure, you will never put out this flame unless you quench it in my blood.” ...

One of the new slaves suddenly ran up and said that my master was furious with me because I had now been away from work two days. The best thing I could do would be to get ready some suitable excuse. It was hardly possible that his savage wrath would abate without a flogging for me ...

[140] 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 distulit puellam invitare ad pigiciaca 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 ...

“Socrates, the friend of God and man, used to boast that he had never peeped into a shop, or allowed his eyes to rest on any large crowd. So nothing is more blessed than always to converse with wisdom.”

“All that is very true,” I said, “and no one deserves to fall into misery sooner than the covetous. But how would cheats or pickpockets live, if they did not expose little boxes or purses jingling with money, like hooks, to collect a crowd? Just as dumb creatures are snared by food, human beings would not be caught unless they had a nibble of hope.”...

[141] “The ship from Africa with your money and slaves that you promised does not arrive. The fortunehunters are tired out, and their generosity is shrinking. So that unless I am mistaken, our usual luck is on its way back to punish you.”...

“All those who come into money under my will, except my own children, will get what I have left them on one condition, that they cut my body in pieces and eat it up in sight of the crowd.” ...

“We know that in some countries a law is still observed, that dead people shall be eaten by their relations, and the result is that sick people are often blamed for spoiling their own flesh. So I warn my friends not to disobey my orders, but to eat my body as heartily as they damned my soul.” ...

His great reputation for wealth dulled the eyes and brains of the fools. Gorgias was ready to manage the funeral....

“I am not at all afraid of your stomach turning. You will get it under control if you promise to repay it for one unpleasant hour with heaps of good things. Just shut your eyes and dream you are eating up a solid million instead of human flesh. Besides, we shall find some kind of sauce which will take the taste away. No flesh at all is pleasant in itself, it has to be artificially disguised and reconciled to the unwilling digestion. But if you wish the plan to be supported by precedents, the people of Saguntum, when Hannibal besieged them, ate human flesh without any legacy in prospect. The people of Petelia did likewise in the extremities of famine, and gained nothing by the diet, except of course that they were no longer hungry. And when Numantia was stormed by Scipio, some women were found with the half-eaten bodies of their children hidden in their bosoms.” ...


[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:
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
Et collegae quidem mei riserunt. Ego autem collecto spiritu non destiti totum parientem 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:
Sub eodem titulo et lucerna bilychnis de camera pendebat, et duae tabulae in utroque poste defixae, quarum altera, si bene memini, hoc habebat inscriptum:
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:
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:
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:

[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: "Narrat is quod 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:
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:

[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?'
"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 repene 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."

in girum imus nocte et consumimur igni