Author: Petronius Arbiter

Chapter the Forty-Second.

Here Seleucus took up the tale. "I don’t bathe every day," he confided, "a bath uses you up like a fuller: water’s got teeth and your strength wastes away a little every day; but when I’ve downed a pot of mead, I tell the cold to suck my cock! I couldn’t bathe today anyway, because I was at a funeral; dandy fellow, he was too, good old Chrysanthus slipped his wind! Why, only the other day he said good morning’ to me, and I almost think I’m talking to him now! Gawd’s truth, we’re only blown-up bladders strutting around, we’re less than flies, for they have some good in them, but we’re only bubbles. And supposing he had not kept to such a low diet! Why, not a drop of water or a crumb of bread so much as passed his lips for five days; and yet he joined the majority! Too many doctors did away with him, or rather, his time had come, for a doctor’s not good for anything except for a consolation to your mind! He was well carried out, anyhow, in the very bed he slept in during his lifetime. And he was covered with a splendid pall: the mourning was tastefully managed; he had freed some slaves; even though his wife was sparing with her tears: and what if he hadn’t treated her so well! But when you come to women, women all belong to the kite species: no one ought to waste a good turn upon one of them; it’s just like throwing it down a well! An old love’s like a cancer!"


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Chicago: Petronius Arbiter, "Chapter the Forty-Second.," Satyricon, trans. W. C. Firebaugh in Satyricon (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1922), Original Sources, accessed March 29, 2023,

MLA: Arbiter, Petronius. "Chapter the Forty-Second." Satyricon, translted by W. C. Firebaugh, in Satyricon, New York, Boni and Liveright, 1922, Original Sources. 29 Mar. 2023.

Harvard: Arbiter, P, 'Chapter the Forty-Second.' in Satyricon, trans. . cited in 1922, Satyricon, Boni and Liveright, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 29 March 2023, from