Satyricon

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Author: Petronius Arbiter

Chapter the One Hundred and Thirty-First.

Finding myself vigorous in mind and body when I arose next morning, I went down to the same clump of plane trees, though I dreaded the spot as one of evil omen, and commenced to wait for Chrysis to lead me on my way. I took a short stroll and had just seated myself where I had sat the day before, when she came under the trees, leading a little old woman by the hand. "Well, Mr. Squeamish," she chirped, when she had greeted me, "have you recovered your appetite?" In the meantime, the old hag:

A wine-soaked crone with twitching lips

brought out a twisted hank of different colored yarns and put it about my neck; she then kneaded dust and spittle and, dipping her middle finger into the mixture, she crossed my forehead with it, in spite of my protests.

As long as life remains, there’s hope;
Thou rustic God, oh hear our prayer,
Great Priapus, I thee invoke,
Temper our arms to dare!

When she had made an end of this incantation she ordered me to spit three times, and three times to drop stones into my bosom, each stone she wrapped up in purple after she had muttered charms over it; then, directing her hands to my privates, she commenced to try out my virility. Quicker than thought the nerves responded to the summons, filling the crone’s hand with an enormous erection! Skipping for joy, "Look, Chrysis, look," she cried out, "see what a hare I’ve started, for someone else to course!" (This done, the old lady handed me over to Chrysis, who was greatly delighted at the recovery of her mistress’s treasure; she hastily conducted me straight to the latter, introducing me into a lovely nook that nature had furnished with everything which could delight the eye.)

Shorn of its top, the swaying pine here casts a
summer shade
And quivering cypress, and the stately plane
And berry-laden laurel. A brook’s wimpling waters strayed
Lashed into foam, but dancing on again
And rolling pebbles in their chattering flow.
’Twas Love’s own nook,
As forest nightingale and urban Procne undertook
To bear true witness; hovering, the gleaming grass above
And tender violets; wooing with song, their stolen love.

Fanning herself with a branch of flowering myrtle, she lay, stretched out with her marble neck resting upon a golden cushion. When she caught sight of me she blushed faintly; she recalled yesterday’s affront, I suppose. At her invitation, I sat down by her side, as soon as the others had gone; whereupon she put the branch of myrtle over my face and emboldened, as if a wall had been raised between us, "Well, Mr. Paralytic," she teased, "have you brought all of yourself along today?" "Why ask me," I replied, "why not try me instead?" and throwing myself bodily into her arms, I revelled in her kisses with no witchcraft to stop me.

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Chicago: Petronius Arbiter, "Chapter the One Hundred and Thirty-First.," Satyricon, trans. W. C. Firebaugh in Satyricon (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1922), Original Sources, accessed January 17, 2020, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=47Y86DK5LVNMNIH.

MLA: Arbiter, Petronius. "Chapter the One Hundred and Thirty-First." Satyricon, translted by W. C. Firebaugh, in Satyricon, New York, Boni and Liveright, 1922, Original Sources. 17 Jan. 2020. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=47Y86DK5LVNMNIH.

Harvard: Arbiter, P, 'Chapter the One Hundred and Thirty-First.' in Satyricon, trans. . cited in 1922, Satyricon, Boni and Liveright, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 17 January 2020, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=47Y86DK5LVNMNIH.