Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Satyricon by Petronius Arbiter

Part 1 out of 3

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.4 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

This eBook was produced by Gordon Keener.

The Satyricon
Petronius Arbiter

Translated by William Burnaby
Introduction by C. K. Scott Moncrieff



My dear --------,

On a bright afternoon in summer, when we stand on the high ground
above Saint Andrew's, and look seaward for the Inchcape Rock, we can
discern at first nothing at all, and then, if the day favours us, an
occasional speck of whiteness, lasting no longer than the wave that is
reflecting a ray of sunlight upwards against the indistinguishable
tower. But if we were to climb the hill again after dinner, you would
have something to report. So, in the broad daylights of humanity,
such as that Victorian Age in which you narrowly escaped being (and I
was) born, when the landscape is as clear as on Frith's Derby Day, the
ruined tower of Petronius stands unremarked; it is only when the dark
night of what is called civilisation has gathered that his clear beam
can penetrate the sky. Such a night was the Imperial Age in Rome,
when this book was written; such was the Renaissance Age in Italy,
when the manuscript in which the greater part of what has survived is
only to be found was copied; such, again, was the Age of Louis XIV in
France, of the Restoration, and the equally cynical Revolution in
England, during which this manuscript, by the fortune of war, was
discovered at Trau in Dalmatia, copied, edited, printed, in rapid
succession, at Padua, Paris, Upsala, Leipzig and Amsterdam, and,
lastly, "made English by Mr. Burnaby of the Middle Temple, and another
Hand," all between the years 1650 and 1700; such an Age was
emphatically not the nineteenth century, in which (so far as I know)
the only appearance of Petronius in England was that rendered
necessary--painfully necessary, let us hope, to its translator,
Mr. Kelly,--by the fact that the editors of the Bohn Library aimed at
completeness: but, as emphatically, such is the Age in which you and I
are now endeavouring to live.

_O fortunate nimium_, who were not bred on the Bohn, and feel no
inclination, therefore, to come out in the flesh: were you so foolish
as to ask me for a proof that this Age is not like the last, what more
answer need I give than to point to the edition after edition of
Petronius, text, notes, translation, illustrations, and even a
collotype reproduction of the precious manuscript, that have been
poured out upon us during the last twenty years. But you can
read--and have read, I am sure--a whole multitude of stories in the
newspapers, which are recovering admirably the old frankness in
narration, and have discarded the pose of sermonising rectitude which
led the journalists of a hundred years ago to call things (the names
of which must have been constantly on their lips) "too infamous to be
named"; and from these stories you must have become familiar with the
existence in our country to-day of every one of the types whom you
will discover afresh in Mr. Burnaby's and the "other Hand's" pages.
It is customary to begin with Trimalchio, not that he is the chief, or
even the most interesting figure in the book, but because his is the
type most commonly mentioned in society. To name living examples of
him would be actionable; besides, you are old enough, surely, to
remember the Great War against Germany, and the host of Trimalchiones
and Fortunatæ whom it enknighted and endamed. But to go back to
our hill above Saint Andrew's, Wester Pitcorthie yonder was the
birthplace of James, Lord Hay, of Lanley, Viscount Doncaster and Earl
of Carlisle, the favourite of James VI and I, of whom the reverend
historian tells us that "his first favour arose from a most strange
and costly feast which he gave the king. With every fresh advance his
magnificence increased, and the sumptuousness of his repasts seemed in
the eyes of the world to prove him a man made for the highest fortunes
and fit for any rank. As an example of his prodigality and
extravagance, Osborne tells us that he cannot forget one of the
attendants of the king, who, at a feast made by this monster in
excess, 'eat to his single share a whole pye reckoned to my lord at
£10, being composed of ambergris, magisterial of pearl, musk,' etc.
But, perhaps, the most notable instance of his voluptuousness, is the
fact that it was not enough for his ambition that his suppers should
please the taste alone; the eye also must be gratified, and this was
his device. The company was ushered in to a table covered with the
most elegant art and the greatest profusion; all that the
silver-smith, the shewer, the confectioner, or the cook could produce.
While the company was examining and admiring this delicate display,
the viands of course grew cold, and unfit for such choice palates.
The whole, therefore, called the _ante-supper_, was suddenly removed,
and another supper quite hot, and forming the exact duplicate of the
former, was served in its place.

So, in those days as in these, your Trimalchio was ennobled; though,
to do King James justice, he had a string of coronets for his Giton
also. The latter and his companions are still only emerging from a
long period of oblivion in literature and obscurity in life. Like the
pagan deities who have shrunk in peasant mythology to be elves and
pooks and suchlike mannikins, these creatures, banished from the
polite reading of the Victorians, reappeared instantly in that
grotesque microcosm of life which the Victorians invented as an outlet
for one of their tightest repressions, the School Story. I shall not
press the analogy between Lycas and Steerforth, but merely remind you
how, years before you ever heard the name (unless it is mentioned
there) of Petronius Arbiter, you welcomed Giton's acquaintance in the
pages of _Eric, or Little by Little_, where he is known as Wildney,
and painted in the most attractive colours, and were rather bored
whenever old Eumolpus walked into the School Library as Mr. Rose.
Dear old Eumolpus, with his boring culture and shameless chuckle, no
school is complete without him; indeed, I have heard that the
principal scholastic agents keep a section in their lists of
"Appointments Required" headed, for private reference, with his sole
name. Ascyltos is generally the Captain of the XV or XI, sometimes of
both, and represents the unending war of muscle against mind;
Encolpius is, of course, the hero of every school story ever written,
though (to be fair) the authors of most of them have never guessed it.
Agamemnon is the sort of form-master whom it is conventional to rag.
He may have told you already that Petronius is worth reading for its
admirable literary criticism (contained in pages 1 to 4 and 189 and
191 of this volume) and you may have listened, not knowing yet that
literary criticism is rarely admirable, nor suspecting that those are
the pages which most people leave unread. But you are fortunate in
having being born in a generation which is not afraid to say frankly
what it likes, and you will, I imagine, say frankly that you have read
Petronius, and intend to read him again because he tells a rattling
good story, and, unlike certain contemporary novelists whom you are
counselled to admire, tells it about people whose characters and
motives you have no difficulty in understanding.

But all this time I have said nothing to you about Petronius "the
man," as literary critics say, and this, as you may have suspected, is
because I know as little about him as anyone else. You have not long
since laid down your Tacitus: I need do no more than refer you to the
Sixteenth Book of the Annals, where, in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th
chapters, you will find what is almost the only historical proof of
his existence.

A detailed account of him, which must be divinely inspired since there
is no human material for it, has been made popular in the last
half-century by the author--a foreign gentleman, whose name for the
moment escapes me--of a novel entitled _Quo Vadis_. Fond as he must
have been of oysters, there is no evidence that Petronius ever visited
England, but it should be borne in mind that the law for which he is
generally regarded as showing insufficient respect was not enacted
here until more than eighteen hundred years after his death.
Moreover, suicide, the one offence with which he is definitely
charged, was not in his or his contemporaries' eyes the horrid felony
which, I hope, it will always be in yours. That his work--of which
this volume forms but a fragmentary part--had made its way into this
country, with unusual rapidity, in little more than ten centuries from
its publication, is shown by its being frequently quoted by the
English churchman John of Salisbury, the pupil of Abelard and friend
and biographer of Becket (the Saint, not the boxer), who died (as
Bishop of Chartres) in the year 1180. We may suppose that John took a
copy of the _Satyricon_ home with him from Paris, as undergraduates do
to-day from Oxford and Cambridge. Two and a half centuries later, in
1423 (I owe this display of erudition to Mr. Gaselee's collotype
reproduction of the Trau manuscript), Poggio writes to Niccolò
Niccoli that he has received from Cologne a copy recently ordered by
him, of the fifteenth book of Petronius, and asks his friend to return
the extract from Petronius "which I sent you from Britain." This
last, Mr. Gaselee spiritedly assumes, was the part known as _Cena
Trimalchionis_ (pages 41 to 118 in this volume) from which John of
Salisbury makes three separate quotations, but which is not otherwise
on record before the discovery of what may have been Poggio's own
manuscript (for it also is dated 1423) at Trau in Dalmatia, in the
middle of the seventeenth century.

This manuscript is described as "Fragments from the Fifteenth and
Sixteenth Books of the Satire of Petronius Arbiter"; we may assume,
therefore, that the whole Satire was immensely long, a life-work, like
Marcel Proust's _A la Recherche du Temps Perdu_, and like that work,
perhaps, fatal to its author. Indeed, since Proust's death last year
the two have frequently been compared, and on more than the mere
alliterative ground that is in their names. Of Petronius we are told
"illi dies per somnum, nox officiis et oblectamentis vitae
transigebatur; utque alios industria, ita hunc ignavia ad famam
protulerat, habebaturque non ganeo et profligator, ut plerique sua
haurientium, sed erudito luxu. Ac dicta factaque eius quanto
solutiora et quandam sui negligentiam praeferentia, tanto gratius in
speciem simplicitatis accipiebantur." So far, this describes Proust
also, and the similarity extends to their work. In connexion with
Proust's, one of our youngest critics, your contemporary rather than
mine, raises the question: "how this titanic fragment can be trundled
from age to age," and answers himself with: "_A la Recherche du Temps
Perdu_ is not one of those things which are replaced, like the novel
of the moment, but exactly what part of it is most likely to be saved
the present cannot decide." The better answer is, surely, that, of
Proust as of his fore-runner Petronius, people will keep the things
they like best. There are many pages now in Proust that are
boring--but even now a selected edition for schools and colleges is (I
am told) in the press: there is nothing in the surviving _Satyricon_
that need bring a yawn to the lips of adolescence.

If, as I may suppose, you have planned to translate some at least of
the Greek and Latin classics, you can choose no more handy model than
Mr. Burnaby. He is later, it is true, than the richest and best
examples, but so much the nearer to you in speech. He is not always
scholarly--you can safely leave scholarship to others--but he uses an
excellent colloquial English with a common sense in interpretation
which carries him over the many gaps in the story without any palpable
difference in texture. How fragmentary the latter part of the
_Satyricon_ is you will see if you turn to the edition published last
year in the Loeb Classical Library. The reading of fragments has a
fascination for the curious mind: you also, I think, must have
devoured those casual sheets of forgotten masterpieces in which
book-sellers envelop their parcels, and have dignified the whole with
an importance which it can never when in circulation have enjoyed.
Balzac, you remember, plays on this weakness, which he must have
shared, in _La Muse du Département_, where the great Lousteau
exasperates a provincial audience, assembled to hear him talk, by
reading to them the inconsequent pages of _Olympia, ou les Vengeances
romaines;_ it is rich comedy, but the fragment carries us away, and at
the beginning of page 209: "robe frôla dans le silence. Tout à
coup le cardinal Borborigano parut aux yeux de la duchesse--------" we
exclaim, don't we, with Bianchon: "Le cardinal Borborigano! Par les
clefs du pape, si vous ne m'accordez pas qu'il se trouve une
magnifique création seulement dans le nom, si vous ne voyez pas
à ces mots: _robe frôla dans le silence!_ toute la poësie du
rôle de _Schedomi_ inventé par madame Radcliffe dans _le
Confessional des Pénitents noirs_, vous êtes indigne de lire des
romans . . ." And these are fragments that have been deliberately
chosen for preservation.

Since it is still safe to assume things, I will go on to suggest to
you that the _Satyricon_ was planned, on the Homeric model, in
twenty-four books, and will leave you to--in the striking words used
recently by _The Times_ of the Japanese earthquake--"grope for
analogies" between the text which follows and the fifteenth and
sixteenth books of the Odyssey, which you have, doubtless, by heart.
But, if I know you at all, you are more likely to be groping for
analogies between the characters in Petronius and those you will come
across in the first months of your new London life. Quartilla you
will hardly escape, or Tryphœna either; Fortunata will pester you
with her invitations, and, if you visit the National Gallery (though I
hear they intend, now, to close it) or the Turkish Baths, you must
beware of Eumolpus: while if the others cross your path by night you
will do well to bear in mind the warning given to an earlier poet by a
greater Roman even than Petronius:

Questi non hanno speranza di morte,
E la lor cieca vita e tanto bassa,
Che invidiosi son d'ogni altra sorte.
Fama di loro il mondo esser non lassa,
Misericordia e giustizia gli sdegna:
Non ragioniam di lor, ma guarda e passa.

On which high note I shall leave you to enjoy the _Satyricon_, and
shall hope to hear from you, presently, what your opinion of it is.

C. K. Scott Moncrieff.


_Master-General of Their Majesties Ordinance, and of Their Majesties
most Honourable Privy-Council, Constable of Dover-Castle, and Lord
Warden of the Cinque-Ports._

My Lord,

Good men think the meanest friend no more to be dispis'd, than the
politick the meanest enemy; and the generous would be as inquisitive
to discover an unknown esteem for 'em, as the cautious an unknown
hatred: This I say to plead myself into the number of those you know
for your admirers; and that the world may know it, give me leave to
present you with a translation of _Petronius_, and to absolve all my
offences against him, by introducing him into so agreeable company.
You're happy, my Lord, in the most elegant part of his character, in
the gallantry and wit of a polite gentleman, mixt with the observation
and conduct of a man of publik employments; And since all share the
benefit of you,'tis the duty of all to confess their sence of it, I
had almost said, to return, as they cou'd, the favour, and like a true
author, made that my gratitude which may prove your trouble: But what
flatters me most out of the apprehensions of your dislike, is the
gentleman-like pleasantry of the work, where you meet with variety of
ridicule on the subject of _Nero's_ court, an agreeable air of humour
in a ramble through schools, bagnio's temples, and markets; wit and
gallantry in armours, with moral reflections on almost every accident
of humane life. In short, my Lord, I shall be very proud to please a
_Sidney_, an house fertile, of extraordinary genio's, whose every
member deserves his own Sir _Philip_ to celebrate him; whose
characters are romances to the rest of mankind, but real life in his
own family.

_I am, my Lord,_
_Your Lordships most devoted_
_Humble Servant,_


The Moors ('tis said) us'd to cast their newborn children into the
sea, and only if they swam would think 'em worth their care; but mine,
with more neglect, I turn into the world, for sink or swim, I have
done all I design'd for't. I have already, with as much satisfaction
as _Aeneas_ in a cloud heard _Dido_ praise him, heard the
_Beaux-Criticks_ condemn this translation before they saw it, and with
as much judgment as if they had: And after they had prophetically
discover'd all the flaws in the turns of thought, the cadence of
periods, and had almost brought in _Epick_ and _Drama_, they supt
their coffee, took snuff, and charitably concluded to send _Briscoe_
the pye-woman to help off with his books. Well, I have nothing to
say, but that these brisk gentlemen that draw without occasion, must
put up without satisfaction.

After the injury of 1700 years, or better, and the several editions in
_Quarto_, _Octavo_, _Duodecimo_, etc., with their respective notes to
little purpose; for these annotators upon matters of no difficulty,
are so tedious, that you can't get rid of their enlargements without
sleeping, but at any real knot are too modest to interrupt any man's
Curiosity in the untying of it. After so many years, I say, it
happened upon the taking of _Belgrade_ this author was _made_ entire;
made so because the new is suspected to be illegitimate: But it has so
many features of the lawful father, that he was at least thought of
when 'twas got. Now the story's made out, the character of _Lycas_
alter'd, and _Petronius_ freed from the imputation of not making
divine or humane justice pursue an ill-spent life.

As to the translation, the other hand, I believe, has been very
careful; but if my part don't satisfie the world, I should be glad to
see my self reveng'd in a better version; and though it may prove no
difficult province to improve what I have done, I shall yet have the
credit of the first attempt.

If any of the fine gentlemen should be angry after they have read it,
as some, to save that trouble, have before; and protest I've yet
debauch't _Petronius_, and robb'd him of his language, his only
purity, I hope we shall shortly be reconciled, for I have some very
pretty new songs ready for the press: If this satisfies them, I'll
venture to tell others that I have drest the meaning of the original
as modestly as I could, but to have quite hid the obscaenity, I
thought, were to invent, not translate.

As for the ladies, if any too-discerning antiquated hypocrite (for
only such I fear) shou'd be angry with the beastly author; let the
work be my advocate, where the little liberties I take, as modestly
betray a broad meaning, as blushing when a man tells the story.

Those who object, that things of this nature ought not to he
translated, must arraign the versions of _Juvenal Suetonius_, etc.,
but what _Suetonius_ thought excusable in _History_, any sober man
will think much more allowable in _Satyr_: Nor can this be offensive
to good-manners, since the gross part here is the displaying of vices
of that dye, that there's an abhorrence even in nature from 'em; nor
is it possible that any ill man can talk a good one into a new frame
or composition; nay, perhaps it may be applicable to a good use, to
see our own happiness, that we know that to be opposite to humanity it
self, which some of the ancients were deluded even to practise as wit
and gallantry, thus I'm so far from being toucht in expressing those
crimes, that I think it makes the more for me, the more they're

If I have alter'd or added to the author, it was either to render
those customs of the _Romans_ that were analogous to ours, by what was
more familiar to us, or to prevent a note by enlarging on others where
I found 'em.

The verse of both parts are mine, and I have taken a great liberty in
'em; and tho' I believe there I have not wrong'd the original, yet all
will not amount to call them _good_.

The money at first I made _English_ coin, but not the exact worth,
because it would have been odd in some places to have brought in pence
and farthings; as when the thousand sesterces are offered for _Gito_,
it would not be consistent with the haste they were in to offer so
many pounds, so many shillings, and so many pence: I therefore
proportioned a sum to the story without casting up the sesterces; thus
they went to the press: But advis'd either to give the just value or
the _Roman_ coin, I resolv'd on the latter for the reasons I have
given, and alter'd the summs as the proofs came to my hands; but
trusting the care of one sheet to a friend, the summ of 2000 crowns
past unalter'd.

W. B.



_With its Fragments, recover'd at Buda_, 1688.


"I promis'd you an account of what befel me, and am now resolv'd to be
as good as my word, being so met to our desires; not only to improve
our learning, but to be merry, and put life in our discourse with
pleasanter tales.

"Fabricius Vejento has already, and that wittily, handled the juggle
of religion, and withal discover'd with what impudence and ignorance
priests pretend to be inspir'd: But are not our wrangling pleaders
possest with the same frenzy? who cant it? These wounds I receiv'd in
defence of your liberty; this eye was lost in your service; lend me a
hand to hand me to my children, for my faltering hams are not able to
support me.

"Yet even this might pass for tolerable, did it put young beginners in
the least way to well-speaking. Whereas now, what with the inordinate
swelling of matter, and the empty ratling of words, they only gain
this, That when they come to appear in publick, they think themselves
in another world. And therefore I look upon the young fry of
collegiates as likely to make the most helpful blockheads, because
they neither hear nor see any thing that is in use among men: But a
company of pirates with their chains on the shoar; tyrants issuing
proclamations to make children kill their fathers; the answers of
oracles in a plague-time, that three or more virgins be sacrific'd to
appease the gods; dainty fine honey-pellets of words, and everything
so said and done, as if it were all spice and garnish.

"Those that are thus bred can no more understand, than those that live
in a kitchin not stink of the grease. Give me, with your favour,
leave to say, 'twas you first lost the good grace of speaking; for
with light idle gingles of words to make sport ye have brought it to
this, That the substance of oratory is become effeminate and sunk.

"Young men were not kept to this way of declaiming when Sophocles and
Euripides influenc'd the age. Nor yet had any blind alley-professor
foil'd their inclinations, when Pindar and the Nine Lyricks durst not
attempt Homer's Numbers: And that I may not bring my authority from
poets, 'tis certain, neither Plato nor Demosthenes ever made it their
practice: A stile one would value, and as I may call it, a chast
oration, is not splatchy nor swoll'n, but rises with a natural beauty.

"This windy and irregular way of babbling came lately out of Asia into
Athens; and having, like some ill planet, blasted the aspiring genius
of their youth, at once corrupted and put a period to all true

"After this, who came up to the height of Thucydides? Who reach'd the
fame of Hyperedes? Nay, there was hardly a verse of a right strain:
But all, as of the same batch, di'd with their author. Painting also
made no better an end, after the boldness of the Egyptians ventur'd to
bring so great an art into a narrower compass."

At this and the like rate my self once declaim'd, when one Agamemnon
made up to us, and looking sharply on him, whom the mob with such
diligence observ'd, he would not suffer me to declaim longer in the
portico, than he had sweated in the school; "But, young man," said he,
"because your discourse is beyond the common apprehension, and, which
is not often seen, that you are a lover of understanding, I won't
deceive you: The masters of these schools are not to blame, who think
it necessary to be mad with mad men: For unless they teach what their
scholars approve, they might, as Cicero says, keep school to
themselves: like flattering smell-feasts, who when they come to great
men's tables study nothing more than what they think may be most
agreeable to the company (as well knowing they shall never obtain what
they would, unless they first spread a net for their bars) so a master
of eloquence, unless fisherman like, he bait his hook with what he
knows the fish will bite at, may wait long enough on the rock without
hopes of catching any thing.

"Where lies the fault then? Parents ought to be sharply reprehended,
who will not have their children come on by any strict method; but in
this, as in all things, are so fond of making a noise in the world;
and in such haste to compass their wishes, that they hurry them in
publick e'er they have digested what they have read, and put children
e'er they are well past their sucking-bottle, upon the good grace of
speaking, than which even themselves confess, nothing is greater:
Whereas if they would suffer them to come up by degrees, that their
studies might be temper'd with grave lectures; their affections
fashion'd by the dictates of wisdom; that they might work themselves
into a mastery of words; and for a long time hear, what they're
inclined to imitate, nothing that pleas'd children, wou'd be admir'd
by them. But now boys trifle in the schools, young men are laugh'd at
in publick, and, which is worse than both, what every one foolishly
takes up in his youth, no one will confess in his age. But that I may
not be thought to condemn Lucilius, as written in haste, I also will
give you my thoughts in verse.

"Who ere wou'd with ambitious just desire,
To mastery in so fire an art aspire,
Must all extreams first diligently shun,
And in a settled course of vertue run.
Let him not fortune with stiff greatness climb,
Nor, courtier-like, with cringes undermine:
Nor all the brother blockheads of the pot,
Ever persuade him to become a sot;
Nor flatter poets to acquire the fame
Of, I protest, a pretty gentleman.
But whether in the war he wou'd be great,
Or, in the gentler arts that rule a state;
Or, else his amorous breast he wou'd improve
Well to receive the youthful cares of love.
In his first years to poetry inclin'd,
Let Homer's spring bedew his fruitful mind;
His manlier years to manlier studies brought,
Philosophy must next imply his thought.
Then let his boundless soul new glories fire,
And to the great Demosthenes aspire.
When round in throngs the list'ning people come,
T'admire what sprung in Greece so slow at home
Rais'd to this height, your leisure hours engage
In something just and worthy of the stage;
Your choice of words from Cicero derive,
And in your poems you design shou'd live,
The joys of feasts, and terrors of a war,
More pleasing those, and these more frightful are,
When told by you, than in their acting were:
And thus, enrich'd with such a golden store,
You're truly fit to be an orator."

While I was wholly taken up with Agamemnon, I did not observe how
Ascyltos had given me the slip, and as I continu'd my diligence, a
great crowd of scholars fill'd the portico, to hear, (as it appear'd
afterwards) an extemporary declamation, of I know not whom, that was
discanting on what Agamemnon had said; while therefore they ridicul'd
his advice, and condemn'd the order of the whole, I took an
opportunity of getting from them, and ran in quest of Ascyltos: But
the hurry I was in, with my ignorance where our inn lay, so distracted
me, that what way soever I went, I return'd by the same, till tir'd in
the pursuit, and all in a sweat, I met an old herb-woman: And, "I
beseech ye, mother," quoth I, "do you know whereabouts I dwell?"
Pleas'd with the simplicity of such a home-bred jest, "Why should I
not?" answer'd she; and getting on her feet went on before me: I
thought her no less than a witch: but, having led me into a bye lane,
she threw off her pyebal'd patch't-mantle, and "here," quoth she, "you
can't want a lodging."

While I was denying I knew the house, I observ'd a company of beaux
reading the bills o'er the cells, on which was inscrib'd the name of
the whore and her price; and others of the same function naked,
scuttling it here and there, as if they would not, yet would be seen:
When too late I found my self in a bawdy-house, cursing the jade that
had trapan'd me thither, I cover'd my head and was just making off
through the midst of them, when in the very entry Ascyltos met me, but
as tir'd as my self, and in a manner dead; you'd have sworn the same
old woman brought him. I could not forbear laughing, but having
saluted each other, I ask'd what business he had in so scandalous a
place? He wip'd his face, and "if you knew," said he, "what has
happened to me--" "As what?" quoth I.

He faintly reply'd "When I had rov'd the whole city without finding
where I had left the inn, the master of this house came up to me, and
kindly profer'd to be my guide; so through many a cross lane and blind
turning, having brought me to this house, he drew his weapon and prest
for a closer ingagement. In this affliction the whore of the cell
also demanded garnish-money; and he laid such hands on me, that had I
not been too strong for him, I had gone by the worst of it."

While Ascyltos was telling his tale, in come the same fellow, with a
woman, none of the least agreeable, and looking upon Ascyltos,
entreated him to walk in and fear nothing, for if he would not be
passive he might be active: the woman on the other hand press'd me to
go in with her. We follow'd therefore, and being led among those
bills, we saw many of both sexes at work in the cells, so much every
of them seem'd to have taken a provocative.

Nor were we sooner discover'd than they wou'd have been at us with the
like impudence, and in a trice one of them, his coat tuck'd under his
girdle, laid hold on Ascyltos, and threw him athwart a couch: I
presently ran to help the undermost, and putting our strengths
together, we made nothing of the troublesome fool. Ascyltos went off,
and flying, left me expos'd to the fury; but, thanks to my strength, I
got off without hurt.

I had almost traverst the city round, when through the dusk I saw Gito
on the beggars-bench of our inn; I made up to him, and going in, ask'd
him, what Ascyltos had got us for dinner? the boy sitting down on the
bed, began to wipe the tears that stood in his eyes; I was much
concern'd at it, and ask'd him the occasion; he was slow in his
answer, and seem'd unwilling; but mixing threats with my intreaties;
"'Twas that brother or comrogue of yours," said he, "that coming ere
while into our lodging, wou'd have been at me, and put hard for it.
When I cry'd out, he drew his sword, and 'if thou art a Lucreece,'
said he, 'thou hast met a Tarquin.'"

I heard him, and shaking my fist at Ascyltos; "What saist thou," said
I, "thou catamite, whose very breath is tainted?"

He dissembled at first a great trembling, but presently throwing my
arms aside, in a higher voice cry'd out: "Must you be prating, thou
ribaldrous cut-throat whom, condemn'd for murdring thine host, nothing
but the fall of the stage could have sav'd? You make a noise, thou
night-pad, who when at thy best hadst never to do with any woman but a
bawd? On what account, think ye, was I the same to you in the aviary,
that the boy here, now is!"

"And who but you," interrupted I, "gave me that slip in the portico?"
"Why what, my Man of Gotham," continu'd he, "must I have done, when I
was dying for hunger? Hear sentence forsooth, that is, the ratling of
broken glasses, and the expounding of dreams? So help me Hercules, as
thou art the greater rogue of the two, who to get a meals meat wert
not asham'd to commend an insipid rhimer." When at last, having
turn'd the humour from scolding to laughing, we began to talk soberly.

But the late injury still sticking in my stomach, "Ascyltos," said I,
"I find we shall never agree together, therefore let's divide the
common stock, and each of us set up for himself: Thou'rt a piece of a
scholar, and I'll be no hindrance to thee, but think of some other
way; for otherwise we shall run into a thousand mischiefs, and become

Ascyltos was not against it; and "Since we have promis'd," said he,
"as scholars, to sup together, let's husband the night too: and
to-morrow I'll get me a new lodging, and some comrade or other."

"'Tis irksome," said I, "to defer what we like" (the itch of the flesh
occasion'd this hasty parting, tho' I had been a long time willing to
shake off so troublesome an observer of my actions, that I might renew
my old intrigue with my Gito).

Ascyltos taking it as an affront, without answering, went off in a
heat: I was too well acquainted with his subtle nature, and the
violence of his love, not to fear the effects of so suddain a breach,
and therefore made after him, both to observe his designs and prevent
them; but losing sight of him, was a long time in pursuit to no

When I had search'd the whole town, I return'd to my lodging, where,
the ceremony of kisses ended, I got my boy to a closer hug, and,
enjoying my wishes, thought myself happy even to envy: Nor had I done
when Ascyltos stole to the door, and springing the bolt, found us at
leap-frog; upon which, clapping his hands, he fell a laughing, and
turning me out of the saddle; "What," said he, "most reverend
gentleman, what were you doing, my brother sterling?" Not content
with words only, but untying the thong that bound his wallet, he gave
me a warning, and with other reproaches, "As you like this, so be for
parting again."

The unexpectedness of the thing made me take no notice of it, but
politickly turn it off with a laugh; for otherwise I must have been at
loggar-heads with my rival: Whereas sweetening him with a counterfeit
mirth, I brought him also to laugh for company: "And you, Encolpius,"
began he, "are so wrapt in pleasures, you little consider how short
our money grows, and what we have left will turn to no account:
There's nothing to be got in town this summertime, we shall have
better luck in the country; let's visit our friends."

Necessity made me approve his advice, as well as conceal the smart of
his lash; so loading Gito with our baggage, we left the city, and went
to the house of one Lycurgus, a Roman knight; who, because Ascyltos
had formerly been his pathick, entertain'd us handsomly; and the
company, we met there, made our diversions the pleasanter: For, first
there was Tryphœna, a very beautiful woman, that had come with one
Lycas, the owner of a ship, and of a small seat, that lay next the

The delight we receiv'd in this place was more than can be exprest,
tho' Lycurgus's table was thrifty enough: The first thing was every
one to chuse his play-mate: The fair Tryphœna pleas'd me, and
readily inclin'd to me; but I had scarce given her the courtesie of
the house, when Lycas storming to have his old amour slockt from him,
accus'd me at first of under-dealing; but soon from a rival addressing
himself as a lover, he pleasantly told me, I must repair his damages,
and plyed me hotly: But Tryphœna having my heart, I could not lend
him an ear. The refusal set him the sharper; he follow'd me
where-ever I went, and getting into my chamber at night, when entreaty
did no good, he fell to downright violence; but I rais'd such an
outcry that I wak'd the whole house, and, by the help of Lycurgus, got
rid of him for that bout.

At length perceiving Lycurgus's house was not for his purpose, he
would have persuaded me to his own; but I rejecting the proffer, he
made use of Tryphœna's authority; and she the rather persuaded me
to yield to him, because she was in hopes of living more at liberty
there. I follow'd therefore whither my love led me; but Lycurgus
having renew'd his old concern with Ascyltos, wou'd not suffer him to
depart: At last we agreed, that he shou'd stay with Lycurgus, and we
go with Lycas: Over and beside which, it was concluded, that every of
us, as opportunity offer'd, should pilfer what he could for the common

Lycas was overjoy'd at my consent, and so hasten'd our departure,
that, taking leave of our friends, we arriv'd at his house the same
day. But in our passage he so order'd the matter that he sate next
me, and Tryphœna next Gito, which he purposely contriv'd to show
the notorious lightness of that woman; nor was he mistaken in her, for
she presently grew hot upon the boy: I was quickly jealous, and Lycas
so exactly remark'd it to me, that he soon confirm'd my suspicion of
her. On this I began to be easier to him, which made him all joy, as
being assur'd the unworthiness of my new mistress wou'd beget my
contempt of her, and resenting her slight, I shou'd receive him with
the better will.

So stood the matter while we were at Lycas's: Tryphœna was
desperately in love with Gito; Gito again as wholly devoted to her; I
car'd least for the sight of either of them; and Lycas studying to
please me, found me every day some new diversion: In all which also
his wife Doris, a fine woman, strove to exceed him, and that so gayly,
that she presently thrust Tryphœna from my heart: I gave her the
wink, and she return'd her consent by as wanton a twinckle; so that
this dumb rhetorick going before the tongue, secretly convey'd each
others mind.

I knew Lycas was jealous, which kept me tongue-ty'd so long, and the
love he bore his wife made him discover to her, his inclination to me:
But the first opportunity we had of talking together, she related to
me what she had learn'd from him; and I frankly confess'd it, but
withal told her how absolutely averse I had ever been to't: "Well
then," quoth the discreet woman, "we must try our wits, according to
his own opinion, the permission was one's, and the possession

By this time Gito had been worn off his legs, and was gathering new
strength, when Tryphœna came back to me, but disappointed of her
expectations, her love turn'd to a downright fury; and, all on fire
with following me to no purpose, got into my intrigue both with Lycas
and his wife: She made no account of his gamesomeness with me, as well
knowing it wou'd hinder no grist to her mill: But for Doris, she never
left till she had found out our private amours, and gave a hint of it
to Lycas; whose jealousie having got the upper hand of his love, ran
all to revenge; but Doris, advertis'd by Tryphœna's woman, to
divert the storm, forbore any such meetings.

As soon as I perceiv'd it, having curs'd the treachery of Tryphœna,
and the ingratitude of Lycas, I began to make off, and fortune
favour'd me: For a ship consecrated to the Goddess Isis, laden with
rich spoils, had the day before run upon the rocks.

Gito and I laid our heads together, and he was as willing as my self
to be gone; for Tryphœna having drawn him dry, began now not to be
so fond of him. Early the next morning therefore we march'd to
sea-ward, where with the less difficulty we got on board the ship,
because we were no strangers to Lycas's servants then in wait upon
her: They still honouring us with their company, it was not a time to
filch any thing; but, leaving Gito with them, I took an opportunity of
getting into the stern, where the image of Isis stood, and strip'd her
of a rich mantle, and silver taber, lifting other good booty out of
the master's cabin, I stole down by a rope, unseen by any but Gito;
who also gave them the slip and sculk'd after me.

As soon as I saw him I shew'd him the purchase, and both of us
resolv'd to make what haste we could to Ascyltos, but Lycurgus's house
was not to be reach'd the same day: When we came to Ascyltos we shew'd
him the prize, and told him in short the manner of getting it, and how
we were made a meer may-game of love: He advis'd us to prepossess
Lycurgus with our case, and make him our friend ere the others could
see him; and withal boldly assert it, that the trick Lycas would have
served them, was the only cause why they stole away so hastily; which
when Lycurgus came to understand, he swore he would at all times
protect us against our enemies.

Our fight was unknown till Tryphœna and Doris were got out of bed;
for we daily attended their levy, and waited on them while they were
dressing; but, when contrary to custom they found us missing, Lycas
tent after us, and especially to the sea-side, for he had heard we
made that way, but not a word of the pillage, for the ship lay
somewhat to sea-ward, and the master had not yet return'd on board.

But at last it being taken for granted we had run away, and Lycas
becoming uneasie for want of us, fell desperately foul on his wife,
whom he suppos'd to be the cause of our departure: I'll take no notice
of what words and blows past between them; I know not every
particular: I'll only say, Tryphœna, the mother of mischief, had
put Lycas in the head, that it might so be, we had taken sanctuary at
Lycurgus's, where she persuaded him to go in quest of the runnagates,
and promis'd to bear him company, that she might confound our
impudence with just reproaches.

The next day they accordingly set forward, and came to his house; but
we were out of the way: For Lycurgus was gone to a festival in honour
of Hercules, held at a neighbouring village, and had taken us with
him, of which when the others were inform'd, they made what haste they
could to us, and met us in the portico of the temple. The sight of
them very much disordered us: Lycas eagerly complained of our flight
to Lycurgus, but was received with such a bended brow, and so haughty
a look, that I grew valiant upon't, and with an open throat charg'd
him with his beastly attempts upon me, as well at Lycurgus's as in his
own house; and Tryphœna endeavouring to stop my mouth, had her
share with him, for I set out her harlotry to the mob, who were got
about us to hear the scolding: And as a proof of what I said, I shew'd
them poor sapless Gito, and my self also, whom that itch of the whore
had even brought to our graves.

The shout of the mob put our enemies so out of countenance that they
went off heavily, but contriving a revenge; and therefore observing
how we had put upon Lycurgus, they went back to expect him at his
house, and set him right again. The solemnity ending later than was
expected, we could not reach Lycurgus's that night, and therefore he
brought us to a half-way house, but left us asleep next morning, and
went home to despatch some business, where he found Lycas and
Tryphœna waiting for him, who so ordered the matter with him, that
they brought him to secure us. Lycurgus naturally barbarous and
faithless, began to contrive which way to betray us, and sent Lycas to
get some help, whilst he secured us in the village.

Thither he came, ard at his first entry, treated us as Lycas had done:
After which wringing his hands together, he upbraided us with the lye
we had made of Lycas, and taking Ascyltos from us, lock'd us up in the
room where we were, without so much as hearing him speak in our
defence; but carrying him to his house, set a guard upon us, till
himself should return.

On the road Ascyltos did what he could to mollifie Lycurgus; but
neither entreaties, nor love, nor tears doing any good on him, it came
into our comerades head to set us at liberty, and being all on fire at
Lycurgus's restiness, refus'd to bed with him that night, and by that
means the more easily put in execution what he had been thinking on.

The family was in their dead sleep when Ascyltos took our fardels on
his shoulders, and getting through a breach in the wall, which he had
formerly taken notice of, came to the village by break of day, and
meeting no one to stop him, boldly enter'd it and came up to our
chamber; which the guard that was upon us, took care to secure; but
the bar being of wood, he easily wrenched it with an iron crow, and
waken'd us; for we snor'd in spight of fortune.

Our guard had so over-watched themselves, that they were fall'n into a
dead sleep, and we only wak'd at the crack. To be short, Ascyltos
came in and briefly told us what he had done for our sakes: On this we
got up; and as we were rigging our selves, it came into my head to
kill the guard, and rifle the village; I told Ascyltos my mind. He
liked the rifling well enough, but gave us a wish'd delivery without
blood, for being acquainted with every corner of the house, he pick'd
the lock of an inner-room where the movables lay, and bringing us into
it, we lifted what was of most value, and got off while it was yet
early in the morning; avoiding the common road, and not resting till
we thought our selves out of danger.

Then Ascyltos having got heart again, began to amplifie the delight he
took in having pillag'd Lycurgus; of whose miserableness he, not
without cause, complain'd; for he neither paid him for his nights
service, nor kept a table that had either meat, or drink on't, being
such a sordid pinch-peny; that, notwithstanding his infinite wealth,
he deny'd himself the common necessaries of life.

Unhappy Tantalus, amidst the flood,
Where floating apple on the surface roll'd,
Ever pursu'd them with a longing eye,
Yet could not thurst nor hunger satisfie.
Such is the miser's fate; who midst his store,
Fearing to use, is miserably poor.

Ascyltos would have been for Naples the same day, had I not told him
how imprudent it was to take up there, where, forasmuch as could be
conjectur'd, we were most likely to be sought after: "And therefore,''
said I, "let's keep out of the way for the present, and, since we have
enough to keep us from want, stroul it about till the heat be over."
The advice was approv'd, and we set forward for a pleasant
country-town, where we were sure to meet some of our acquaintance that
were taking the benefit of the season: But we were scarce got half
way, when a shower of rain emptying it self upon us like buckets,
forc'd us into the next village; where entring the inn, we saw a great
many others that had also struck in, to avoid the storm. The throng
kept us from being taken notice of, and gave us the opportunity of
prying here and there, what we might filch in a crowd, when Ascyltos,
unheeded of any one, took a purse from the ground, in which he found
several pieces of gold; we leap'd for joy at so fortunate a beginning;
but fearing, lest some or other might seek after it, we slunk out at a
back-door, where we saw a groom saddling his horses; but, as having
forgotten somewhat, he run into the house leaving behind him an
embroider'd mantle, mail'd to one of the saddles: In his absence I cut
the straps and under the covert of some out-sheds we made off with it
to a neighbouring forest. Being more out of danger among the thickets
we cast about where we should hide the gold that we might not be
either charg'd with the felony, or robb'd of it our selves: At last we
concluded to sow it in the lining of an old patcht coat which I threw
over my shoulders and entrusted the care of the mantle to Ascyltos, in
design to get to the city by cross-ways: But as we were going out we
heard somewhat on our left hand to this purpose: "They shall not
escape us; they came into the wood; let's separate ourselves and beat
about, that we may the better discover and take them." This put us
into such a fright that Ascyltos and Gito fled through briars and
brambles to the city-ward; but I turn'd back again in such a hurry
that without perceiving it the precious coat drop'd from my shoulders:
At last being quite tir'd and not able to go any further, I laid me
down under the shelter of a tree where I first miss'd the coat: Then
grief restor'd my strength, and up I got again to try if I could
recover the treasure; I ran hither and thither and every where but to
no purpose; but spent and wasted between toil and heaviness, I got
into a thicket, where having tarried four hours, and half dead with
the horror of the place, I sought the way out; but going forward, a
country-man came in sight of me: Then I had need of all my confidence,
nor did it fail me: I went up roundly to him, and making my moan how I
had lost my self in the wood, desir'd him tell me the was to the city:
He pittying my figure (for I was as pale as death, and all bemir'd)
ask'd me if I had seen any one in the wood? I answer'd, not a
soul--on which he courteously brought me into the highway, where he
met two of his friends, who told him, they had travers'd the wood
thro' and thro' but had light upon nothing but a coat, which they
shew'd him.

It may easily be believed I had not the courage to challenge it, tho'
I knew well enough what the value of it was: This struck me more than
all the rest; however, bewailing my treasure, the country-man not
heeding me, and feebleness growing upon me, I slacken'd my pace, and
jogg'd on slower than ordinarily.

It was longer e're I reach'd the city than I thought of; but coming to
the inn, I found Ascyltos half dead, and stretcht on a straw pallet,
and fell on another my self, not able to utter a word: He missing the
coat was in a great disorder, and hastily demanded of me, what was
become of it: I on the other hand, scarce able to draw my breath,
resolv'd him by my languishing eyes, what my tongue would not give me
leave to speak: At length recovering by little and little, I plainly
told him the ill luck I had met with: But he thought I jested, and
tho' the tears in my eyes might have been as full evidence to him as
an oath, he yet questioned the truth of what I said, and would not
believe but I had a mind to cheat him. During this, Gito stood as
troubled as my self, and the boy's sadness increased mine: But the
fresh suit that was after us, distracted me most. I opened the whole
to Ascyltos who seem'd little concern'd at it, as having luckily got
off for the present, and withal assur'd himself, that we were past
danger, in that we were neither known, nor seen by any one: However,
it was thought fit to pretend a sickness, that we might have the
better pretext to keep where we were: But our monies falling shorter
than we thought of, and necessity enforcing us, we found it high time
to sell some of our pillage.

It was almost dark, when going into the brokers market, we saw
abundance of things to be bought and sold: of no extraordinary value,
'tis true; yet such whose night-walking trade, the dusk of the evening
might easily conceal. We also had the mantle with us, and taking the
opportunity of a blind corner, fell a shaking the skirt of it, to try
if so glittering a shew would bring us a purchaser; nor had we been
long there, e're a certain country-man, whom I thought I had seen
before, came up to us with a hussye that follow'd him, and began to
consider the mantle more narrowly, as on rhe other side did Ascyltos
our country chapman's shoulders, which presently startled him, and
struck him dumb, nor could my self behold 'em without being concern'd
at it, for he seemed to me to be the same fellow that had found the
coat in the wood, as in truth he was: But Ascyltos doubting whether he
might trust his eyes or not, and that he might not do any thing
rashly, first came nearer to him as a buyer, and taking the coat from
his shoulders, began to cheapen, and turn it more carefully. O the
wonderful vagaries of fortune! for the country-man had not so much as
examined a seam of it, but carelessly exposed it as beggars-booty.

Ascyltos seeing the coat unript, and the person of the seller
contemptible, took me aside from the crowd: And "Don't you see,
brother," said he, "the treasure I made such moan about is returned?
That's the coat with the gold in't, all safe and untoucht: What
therefore do we do, or what course shall we take to get our own

I now comforted, not so much that I had seen the booty, but had
clear'd my self of the suspicion that lay upon me, was by no means for
going about the bush, but down-right bringing an action against him,
that if the fellow would not give up the coat to the right owner, we
might recover it by law:

Laws bear the name, but money has the power;
The cause is bad when e'er the client's poor:
Those strickt liv'd men that seem above our world
Are oft too modest to resist our gold.
So judgment, like our other wares, is sold;
And the grave knight that nods upon the laws,
Wak'd by a fee, hems, and approves the cause.

Ascyltos on the other side afraid of the law, "Who," said he, "knows
us in this place, or will give any credit to what we say? I am clear
for buying it, tho' we know it to be our own, and rather recover the
treasure with a little money, than embroil our selves in an uncertain
suit"; but we had not above a couple of groats ready money, and that
we design'd should buy us somewhat to eat. Least therefore the coat
should be gone in the mean time, we agreed, rather than fail, to sell
the mantle at a lower price, that the advantage we got by the one,
might make what we lost by the other more easie.

As soon therefore as we had spread open the mantle, the woman that
stood muffled by the country-man, having pryingly taken notice of some
tokens about it, forceably laid both hands on't, and setting up her
throat, cryed out, "Thieves, thieves!"

We on the t'other part being disordered at it, lest yet he might seem
to do nothing, got hold of the totter'd coat, and as spitefully
roar'd, they had robb'd us of it: But our case was in no wise like
theirs, and the rabble that came in to the out-cry, ridicul'd, as they
were wont, the weaker side, in that the others laid claim to so rich a
mantle, and we to a ragged coat, scarce worth a good patch. At this
Ascyltos could hardly keep his countenance; but the noise being over,
We see, said he, how every one likes his own best, give us our coat,
and let them take the mantle.

The country-man and the woman lik'd the exchange well enough, but a
sort of petty-foggers, most of whose business was such night practice,
having a mind to get the mantle themselves, as importunately required,
that both mantle and coat should be left in their hands, and the judge
would hear their complaints on the morrow: For it was not the things
alone that seem'd to be in dispute, but quite another matter to be
enquir'd into, to wit, a strong suspicion of robbery on both sides.

At last it was agreed to put both into some indifferent hand, till the
right were determin'd; when presently one, I know not who, with a bald
pate, and a face full of pimples, he had been formerly a kind of
solicitor, steps out of the rout, and laying hold on the mantle, said
he'd be security it should be forth-coming the next day: when in truth
he intended nothing more, but that having gotten it into hucksters
hands, it might be smugled among them, as believing we would never
come to own it, for fear of being taken up for it; for our part we
were as willing as he; and an accident befriended both of us: For the
country-man thinking scorn of it, that we demanded to have the patcht
coat given us, threw it at Ascyltos's head, and discharging us of
everything but the mantle, required that to be secur'd as the only
cause of the dispute. Having therefore recovered, as we thought, our
treasure, we made all the haste we could to the inn, and having shut
the door upon us, made our selves merry, as well with the Judgment of
the rabble as of our detractors, who with so much circumspection had
restor'd us our money.

While we were ripping the coat and taking out the gold, we overheard
somebody asking mine host, what kind of people those were that had
just now come in, and being startled at it, I went down to see what
was the matter, and understood that a city serjeant, who according to
the duty of his office, took an account of all strangers, and had seen
a couple come into the inn, whose names he had not yet registered, and
therefore, inquired of what country they were, and what way of living
they had.

But mine host gave me such a blind account of it, that I began to
suspect we were not safe there; whereupon for fear of being taken up,
we thought fit to go off for the present, and not come back again till
it was in the night, but leave the care of our supper to Gito.

We had resolv'd to keep out of the broad streets, and accordingly took
our walk thro' that quarter of the city where we were likely to meet
least company; when in a narrow winding lane that had not passage
thro', we saw somewhat before us, two comely matron-like women, and
followed them at a distance to a chappel, which they entred, whence we
heard an odd humming kind of noise, as if it came from the hollow of a
cave: Curiosity also made us go in after them, where we saw a number
of women, as mad as they had been sacrificing to Bacchus, and each of
them an amulet (the ensign of Priapus) in her hand. More than that we
could not get to see; for they no sooner perceived us, than they set
up such a shout, that the roof of the temple shook agen, and withal
endeavoured to lay hands on us; but we scamper'd and made what haste
we could to the inn.

Nor had we sooner stuff'd our selves with the supper Gito had got for
us, when a more than ordinary bounce at the door, put us into another
fright; and when we, pale as death, ask'd who was there, 'twas
answer'd, "Open the door and you'll see:" While we were yet talking,
the bolt drop'd off, and the door flew open, on which, a woman with
her head muffl'd came in upon us, but the same who a little before had
stood by the country-man in the market: "And what," said she, "do you
think to put a trick upon me? I am Quartilla's maid, whose sacred
recess you so lately disturb'd: she is at the inn-gate and desires to
speak with ye: not that she either taxes your inadvertency, or has a
mind to so resent it, but rather wonders, what god brought such civil
gentlemen into her quarters."

We were silent as yet, and gave her the hearing, but inclin'd to
neither part of what she had said, when in came Quartilla herself,
attended with a young girl, and sitting down by me, fell a weeping:
nor here also did we offer a word, but stood expecting what those
tears at command meant. At last when the showre had emptied it self,
she disdainfully turn'd up her hood and clinching her fingers
together, till the joints were ready to crack, "What impudence," said
she, "is this? or where learnt ye those shamms, and that slight of
hand ye have so lately been beholding to? By my faith, young men, I
am sorry for ye; for no one beheld what was unlawful for him to see,
and went off unpunisht: and verily our part of the town has so many
deities, you'll sooner find a god than a man in't: And that you may
not think I came hither to be revenged on ye, I am more concern'd for
your youth, than the injury ye have done me: for unawares, as I yet
think, ye have committed an unexpiable abomination.

"For my part it troubled me all night, and threw me into such a
shaking, that I was afraid I had gotten a tertian, on which I took
somewhat to have made me sleep; but the god appeared to me, and
commanded me to rise and find ye out, as the likeliest way to take off
the violence of the fit. But I am not so much in pain for a remedy,
as that a greater anguish strikes me to the heart, and will
undoubtedly make an end of me, for fear in one of your youthful
frolicks, you should disclose what you saw in Priapus's chappel, and
utter the counsels of the gods among the people. Low as your knees, I
therefore lift my hands t'ye, that ye neither make sport of our
night-worship, nor dishonour the mysteries of so many years, which,
'tis not every one, even among our selves, that knows."

After this she fell a crying again, and with many a pittiful groan,
fell flat on my bed: when I at the same time, between pity and fear,
bid her take courage and assure her self of both; for that we would
neither divulge those holy mysteries; nor if the god had prescribed
her any other remedy fot her ague, be wanting our selves to assist
providence, even with our own hazard.

At this promise of mine, becoming more chearful, she fell a kissing me
thick and threefold, and turning the humour of tears into laughing,
she comb'd up some hair that hung over my face with her fingers, and,
"I come to a truce with ye," said she, "and discharge ye of the
process I intended against you: but if ye shou'd refuse me the
medicine I entreat of ye for the ague, I have fellows enough will be
ready by to morrow, that shall both vindicate my reputation, and
revenge the affront ye put upon me.

"Contempt's dishono'rable, and the giver rude,
T'advise the doctor, speaks the patient proud:
But l am mistress of my self so far,
I can pay scorn with scorn without a war:
The wise revenge is to neglect the ill,
They're not the only conquerours that kill."

Then clapping her hands together, she turn'd off to so violent a
laughter, that made us apprehensive of some design against us; the
same also did the woman that came in first, and the girl that came
with her; but so mimically, that seeing no reason for so sudden a
change, we one while star'd on one another, and otherwhile on the

At length, quoth Quartilla, "I have commanded, that no flesh alive be
suffered to come into this inn to day; that I may receive from you the
medicine for the ague without interruption."

At what time Ascyltos was a little amaz'd, and I so chill'd that I had
not power to utter a word: But the company gave me heart not to expect
worse, for they were but three women, and if they had any design, must
yet be too weak to effect it against us, who if we had nothing more of
man about us, had yet that figure to befriend us: We were all girt up
for the purpose, and I had so contriv'd the couples, that if it must
come to a rancounter, I was to make my part good with Quartilla,
Ascyltos with her woman, and Gito the girl.

While I was thus casting the matter in my head, Quartilla came up to
me, to cure me of the ague, but finding her self disappointed, flew
off in a rage, and returning in a little while, told us, there were
certain persons unknown, had a design upon us, and therefore commanded
to remove us into a noble palace.

Here all our courage fail'd us, and nothing but certain death seem'd
to appear before us.

Then I began, "If, madam, you design to be more severe with us, be yet
so kind as to dispatch it quickly; for whate'er our offence be, it is
not so hainous that we ought to be rack'd to death for it": Upon which
her woman, whose name was Psyche, spread a coverlet on the floor,
Sollicitavit inguina mea mille iam mortibus frigida. Ascyltos muffled
his head in his coat, as having had a hint given him, how dangerous it
was to take notice of what did not concern him. In the mean time
Psyche took off her garters, and with one of them bound my feet, and
with the other my hands.

Thus fetter'd as I lay, "This, madam," said I, "is not the way to rid
you of your ague." "I grant it," answer'd Psyche, "but I have a Dose
at hand will infallibly do it" and therefore brought me a lusty bowl
of satyricon, (a love-potion) and so merrily ran over the wonderful
effects of it, that I had well-nigh suck'd it all off; but because
Ascyltos had slighted her courtship, she finding his back towards her,
threw the bottom of it on him.

Ascyltos perceiving the chat was at an end, "Am not I worthy," said
he, "to get a sup?" And Psyche fearing my laughter might discover
her, clapped her hands, and told him, "Young-man I made you an offer
of it, but your friend here has drunk it all out."

"Is it so," quoth Quartilla, smiling very agreeably, "and has
Ercolpius gugg'd it all down?" At last also even Gito laught for
company, at what time the young wench flung her arms about his neck,
and meeting no resistance, half smother'd him with kisses.

We would have cry'd out, but there was no one near to help us; and as
I was offering to bid 'em keep the peace, Psyche fell a nipping and
pricking me with her bodkin: on the other side also, the young wench
half stifled Ascyltos with a dish-clout she had rubb'd in the bowl.

Lastly came leaping upon us a burdash, in a rough mantle stuck with
myrtle, girt about him; and one while almost ground our hipps to
powder with his bobbing at us, and other while slobber'd us with his
nasty kisses; till Quartilla, holding her staff of office in her hand,
discharg'd us of the service; but not without having first taken an
oath of us, that so dreadful a secret should go no further than our
selves. Then came in a company of wrestlers, and rubb'd us over with
the yolk of an egg beaten to oil: When being somewhat refresh'd, we
put on our right gowns, and were led into the next room, that had
three beds in it, all well appointed, and the rest of the
entertainment as splendidly set out. The word was given, and we sate
down, when having whet our appetites with an excellent antipast, we
swill'd our selves with the choicest of wine; nor was it long e'er we
fell a nodding. "It is so," quoth Quartilla; "can ye sleep when ye
know it is the vigil to Priapus?" at what time Ascyltos snor'd so
soundly, that Psyche, not yet forgeting the disapointment, he gave
her, all besooted his face, and scor'd down his shoulders with a burnt
sticks end.

Plagu'd with these mischiefs, I hardly got the least wink of sleep,
nor was the whole family, whether within doors or without, in a much
better condition, some lay up and down at our feet, others had run
their heads against the walls, and others lay dead asleep cross the
threshold: The lamps also having drunk up their oil, gave a thin and
last blaze.

At this instant got in a couple of pilfering rogues to have stollen
our wine; but while they fell a scuffling among some silver vessels
that stood upon the table, they broke the earthen pot that held the
wine, and overthrew the table, with the plate on it, and at the same
time also, a cup falling off the shelf on Psyche's bed, broke her head
as she lay fast asleep; on which he cry'd out, and therewith
discovered the thieves, and wak'd some of the drunkards: The thieves
on the other hand finding themselves in a pound, threw themselves on
one of the beds, as some of the guests, and fell a snoring like the
rest. The usher of the hall being by this time got awake, put some
more oil in the dying lamps; and the boys, having rubb'd their eyes,
return'd to their charge, when in came a woman that play'd on the
harp, and ratling its strings, rous'd all the rest: On which the
banquet was renew'd, and Quartilla gave the word, to go on where we
left (that is drinking): The she harper also added not a little to our
midnight revel.

At last bolted in a shameless rascal, one of no grace either in words
or gesture, and truly worthy of the house where he was; he also set up
his voice, 'till apishly composing himself, as if he intended somewhat
to the company, he mouth'd out these verses:

O yes! Now tumblers with your wanton tricks,
Make haste, move your legs quick, make the ground drum;
With wanton arms, soft thighs, and active hips,
The old, the tender, and the sweetly young.

Consumptis versibus suis immundissimo me basio conspuit. Mox et super
lectum venit atque omni vi detexit recusantem. Super inguina mea diu
multumque frustea moluit. Profluebant per frontem sudantem acaciae
rivi, et inter rugas malarum tantum erat cretae, ut putares detectum
parictum nimbo laborare. Non tenui ego diutius lacrimas, sed ad
ultiman, perductus tristitiam. "Quaeso," inquam, "domina, certe
embasicoetan iusseras dari." Complosit illa tenerius manus et "O"
inquit "homincm 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 aglt?" "Ita" inquit Quartilla
"et Ascylto embasicoetas detur." Ab hoc voce equum cinaedus mutavit
transituque ad comitem meum facto clunibus eutn basiisque distrivit.
Stabat inter haec Giton et risu disolvebat 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 diari non sumo." With that Psyche
came tittering to her, and having whispered I know not what in her
ear, Thou art in the right, quoth Quartilla, 'twas well thought on;
and since we have so fine an opportunity, why should not our Pannychis
lose her maidenhead? And forthwith was brought in a pretty young
girl, that seem'd not to be above seven years of age, and was the same
that first came into our room with Quartilla: All approv'd it with a
general clap, ard next desiring it, a wedding was struck up between
the boy and her. For my part I stood amaz'd, and assur'd them, that
neither Gito, a bashful lad, was able for the drudgery, nor the girl
of years to receive it. "Ita," inquit Quartilla, "minor eat ista quam
ego fui, quum primum virum passa sum? Iunonem meam iratam habeam, si
umquam 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."

Least therefore my comrade might run a greater hazard, I got up to the

And now Psyche put a flame-colour veil on the girl's head; the pathick
led before with a flamboe, and a long train of drunken women, fell a
shouting, and drest up the bride-chamber; Quartilla, all a-gog as the
rest, took hold of Gito and dragg'd him in with her: But truly the boy
made no resistance; nor seem'd the girl frighted at the name of
matrimony. When therefore they were lockt up, we sat without, before
the threshold of the chamber; and Quartilla having waggishly slit a
chink thro' the door, as wantonly laid an ape's eye to it; nor content
with that, pluck't me also to see that childs play, and when we were
not peeping, would turn her lips to me, and steal a kiss.

The jade's fulsomeness had so tir'd me that I began to devise which
was to get off. I told Ascyltos my mind, and he was well pleased with
it, for he was a willing to get rid of his torment, Psyche: Nor was it
hard to be done, if Gito had not been lockt up in the chamber; for we
were resolved to take him with us, and not leave him the mercy of a
bawdy-house. While we were contriving how to effect it, it so
happened that Pannychis fell out of bed, and drew Gito after her,
without any hurt, though the girl got a small knock in the fall, and
therewith made such a cry, that Quartilla, all in a fright, ran
headlong in, and gave us the opportunity of getting off, and taking
the boy with us; when without more ado, we flew to our inn, and
getting to bed, past the rest of the night without fear.

But going out the next day, whom should we meet but two of those
fellows that robb'd us of the mantle, which Ascyltos perceiving, he
briskly attack'd one of them, and having disarm'd and desperately
wounded him, came in to my relief; who was pressing upon the other,
but he behav'd himself so well, that he wounded us both, altho' but
slightly, and got off himself without so much as a scratch.

And now came the third day, that is the expectation of an
entertainment at Trimalchio's, where every one might speak what he
would: But having received some wounds, we thought flight might be of
more use to us than sitting still: We got to our inn therefore, as
fast as we could, and our wounds not being great, cured them as we lay
in bed, with wine and oyl.

But the rogue whom Ascyltos had hewn down, lay in the street, and we
were in fear of being discovered, while therefore we were pensively
considering which way to avoid the impending storm, a servant of
Agamemnon's interrupted our fears: "And do not ye know," said he,
"with whom we eat to-day? Trimalchio, a trim finical humorist has a
clock in his dining-room, and one on purpose to let him know how many
minutes of his life he had lost." We therefore drest our selves
carefully, and Gito willingly taking upon him the part of a servant,
as he had hither to done, we bade him put our things together, and
follow us to the bath.

Being in the mean time got ready, we walk'd we knew not where, or
rather, having a mind to divert us, struck into a tennis-court, where
we saw an old bald-pated fellow in a carnation-colour'd coat, playing
at ball with a company of boys, nor was it so much the boys, tho' it
was worth our while, that engaged us to be lookers on as the master of
the house himself in pumps, who altogether tossed the ball, and never
struck it after it once came to the ground, but had a servant by him,
with a bag full of them, ard enough for all that play'd.

We observed also some new things; for in the gallery stood two
eunuchs, one of whom held a silver chamber-pot, the other counted the
balls, not those they kept tossing, but such as fell to the ground.
While we admir'd the humour, one Menelaus came up to us, and told us
we were come where we must set up for the night, and we had seen the
beginning of our entertainment. As he was yet talking, Trimalchio
snapp'd his fingers, at which sign the eunuch held the chamber-pot to
him as he was playing; then calling for water, he dipped the tips of
his fingers in it, and dry'd them on the boys head. 'Twould be too
long to recount every thing: We went into the hot-house, and having
sweated a little, into the cold bath; and while Trimalchio was
anointed from head to foot with a liquid perfume, and rubb'd clean
again, not with linnen but with finest flannen, his three chyrurgeons
ply'd the muscadine, but brawling over their cups; Trimalchio said it
was his turn to drink; then wrapt in a scarlet mantle, he was laid on
a litter born by six servants, with four lacqueys in rich liveries
running before him, and by his side a sedan, in which was carried his
darling, a stale bleer-eyed catamite, more ill-favoured than his
master Trimalchio; who at they went on, kept close to his ear with a
flagellet as if he had whispered him, and made him musick all the way.
Wondering, we followed, and, with Agamemnon, came to the gate, on
which hung a tablet with this inscription:


In the porch stood the porter in a green livery, girt about with a
cherry-coloured girdle, garbling of pease in a silver charger; and
over head hung a golden cage with a magpye in it, which gave us an All
Hail as we entred: But while I was gaping at these things, I had like
to have broken my neck backward, for on the left hand, not far from
the porter's lodge, there was a great dog in a chain painted on the
wall, and over him written in capital letters, BEWARE THE DOG. My
companions could not forbear laughing; bur I recollecting my spirits,
pursued my design of going to the end of the wall; it was the draught
of a market-place where slaves were bought and sold with bills over
them: There was also Trimalchio with a white staff in his hand, and
Minerva with a train after her entring Rome: Then having learnt how to
cast accompt, he was made auditor; all exquisitely painted with their
proper titles; and at the end of the gallery Mercury lifting him by
the chin, and placing him on a judgment-seat. Fortune stood by him
with a cornucopia, and the three fatal sisters winding a golden

I observed also in the same place a troop of light-horsemen, with
their commander exercising them, as also a large armory, in one of the
angles of which stood a shrine with the gods of the house in silver, a
marble statue of Venus, and a large golden box, in which it was said
he kept the first shavings of his beard. Then asking the servant that
had the charge of these things, what pictures those were in the
middle? The Iliads and the Odysses, said he, and on the left-hand two
spectacles of sword-playing. We could not bestow much time on it, for
by this time we were coming to the dining-room, in the entry of which
sate his steward, taking every one's account: But what I most admir'd,
were those bundles of rods, with their axes, that were fastned to the
sides of the door, and stood, as it were, on the brazen prow of a
ship, on which was written,


Under the same title also, hung a lamp of two lights from the roof of
the room, and two tablets on either side of the door; of which one, if
I well remember, had this inscription,


On the other was represented the course of the moon, and the seven
stars; and what days were lucky, what unlucky, with an emboss'd studd
to distinguish the one from the other.

Full of this sensuality we were now entring the room, where one of his
boys, set there for that purpose, call'd aloud to us, "ADVANCE
ORDERLY." Nor is it to be doubted, but we were somewhat concern'd for
fear of breaking the orders of the place. But while we were footing
it accordingly, a servant stript off his livery, fell at our feet, and
besought us to save him a whipping; for he said his fault was no great
matter, but that some cloaths of the stewards had been stolen from him
in the bath, and all of them not worth eighteen-pence.

We returned therefore in good order, and finding the steward in the
counting-house telling some gold, besought him to remit the servant's
punishment: When putting on an haughty face, "It is not," said he,
"the loss of the thing troubles me, but the negligence of a careless
rascal. He has lost me the garments I sate at table in, and which a
client of mine presented me on my birth-day: no man can deny them to
be right purple, tho' not double dye; yet whatever it be, I grant your

Having receiv'd so great a favour, as we were entring the dining-room,
the servant for whom we had been suitors, met us, and kissing us, who
stood wondring what the humour meant, over and over gave us thanks for
our civility; and in short told us we should know by and by, whom it
was we had oblig'd: The wine which our master keeps for his own
drinking, is the waiters kindness.

At length we sate down, when a bigger and sprucer sort of boys coming
about us, some of them poured snow-water on our heads, and others
par'd the nails of our feet, with a mighty dexterity, and that not
silently, but singing as it were by the bye: I resolved to try if the
whole family sang; and therefore called for drink, which one of the
boys a readily brought me with an odd kind of tune; and the same did
every one as you asked for any thing: You'd have taken it for a Morris
dancers hall, not the table of a person of quality.

Then came a sumptuous antepast; for we were all seated, but only
Trimalchio, for whom, after a new fashion, the chief place was
reserv'd. Besides that, as a part of the entertainment, there was set
by us a large vessel of metheglin, with a pannier, in the one part of
which were white olives, in the other black; two broad platters
covered the vessel, on the brims of which were engraven Trimalchio's
name, and the weight of the silver, with little bridges soldered
together, and on them dormice strew'd over with honey and poppy: There
were also piping-hot sausages on a silver gridiron, and under that
large damsons, with the kernels of pomegranats.

In this condition were we when Trimalchio himself was waddled into the
consort; and being close bolster'd with neck-cloaths and pillows to
keep off the air, we could not forbear laughing unawares: For his bald
pate peep'd out of a scarlet mantle, and over the load of cloaths he
lay under, there hung an embroidered towel, with purple tassels and
fringes dingle dangle about it: He had also on the little finger of
his left hand, a large gilt ring, and on the outmost joint of the
finger next it, one lesser, which I took for all gold; but at last it
appeared to be jointed together with a kind of stars of steel. And
that we might see these were not all his bravery, he stripp'd his
right arm, on which he wore a golden bracelet, and an ivory circle,
bound together with a glittering locket and a meddal at the end of it:
Then picking his teeth with a silver pin, "I had not, my friends,"
said he, "any inclination to have come among you so soon, but fearing
my absence might make you wait too long, I deny'd myself my own
satisfaction; however suffer me to make an end of my game": There
followed him a boy with an inlaid table and christal dice; and I took
notice of one thing more pleasant than the rest; for instead of black
and white counters, his were all silver and gold pieces of money.

In the mean time while he was squandering his heap at play, and we
were yet picking a relish here and there, a cupboard was brought in
with a basket, in which was a hen carved in wood, her wings lying
round and hollow, as sitting on brood; when presently the consort
struck up, and two servants fell a searching the straw under her, and
taking out some peahens eggs, distributed them among the company: At
this Trimalchio changing countenance, "I commanded my friends," said
he "the hen to be set with peahens eggs; and so help me Hercules, am
afraid they may be half hatcht: however we'll try if they are yet

The thing we received was a kind of shell of at least six pounds
weight, made of paste, and moulded into the figure of an egg, which we
easily broke; and for my part, I was like to have thrown away my
share; for it seemed to me to have a chick in it; till hearing an old
guest of the tables saying, it was some good bit or other, I searched
further into it, and found a delicate fat wheatear in the middle of a
well-pepper'd yolk: On this Trimalchio stopped his play for a while,
and requiring the like for himself, proclaim'd, if any of us would
have any more metheglin, he was at liberty to take it; when of a
sudden the musick gave the sign, and the first course was scrabled
away by a company of singers and dancers; but in the rustle it
happening that a dish fell on the door, a boy took it up, and
Trimalchio taking notice of it, pluck'd him by the ears, and commanded
him to throw it down again; on which the groom of the chamber came
with a broom and swept away the silver dish, with whatsoever else had
fallen from the table.

When presently came in two long-hair'd blacks, with small leather
bottles, such as with which they strew sand on the stage, and gave us
wine to wash our hands, but no one offered us water. We all admiring
the finicalness of the entertainment, "Mars," said he, "is a lover of
justice, and therefore let every one have a table to himself, for
having more elbow-room, these nasty stinking boys will be less
troublesome to us"; and thereupon large double-eared vessels of glass
close plaistered over, were brought up with labels about their necks,
upon which was this inscription:


While we were reading the titles, Trimalchio clapped his hands, and
"Alas, alas," said he, "that wine should live longer than man! Wine
is life, and we'll try if it has held good ever since the consulship
of Lucius Opimius, or not. 'Tis right Opimian, and therefore make
ready; I brought not out so good yesterday, yet there were persons of
better quality sup'd with me."

We drank and admired every thing, when in came a servant with a silver
puppet, so jointed and put together that it turned every way; and
being more than once thrown upon the table, cast it self into several
figures; on which Trimalchio came out with his poetry:

Unhappy mortals, on how fine a thread
Our lives depend! How like this puppet man,
Shall we alas! be all when we are dead!
Therefore let's live merrily while we can.

The applause we gave him, was followed with a service, but respecting
the place not so considerable as might have been expected: However,
the novelty of the thing drew every man's eye upon it; it was a large
charger, with the twelve signs round it; upon every one of which the
master cook had laid somewhat or other suitable to the sign. Upon
Aries, chick-pease, (a pulse not unlike a ram's head); upon Taurus a
piece of beef; upon Gemini a pair of pendulums and kidneys; upon
Cancer a coronet; upon Leo an African figg; upon Virgo a well-grown
boy; upon Libra a pair of scales, in one of which was a tart, in the
other a custard; upon Scorpio a pilchard; upon Sagittary a grey-hound;
upon Capricorn a lobster; upon Aquarius a goose; upon Pisces two
mullets; and in the middle a plat of herbs, cut out like a green turf,
and over them a honey-comb. During this, a lesser black carry'd about
bread in a silver oven, and with a hideous voice, forced a bawdy song
from a buffoon that stunk like assa fœtida.

When Trimalchio perceived we look'd somewhat awkwardly on such course
fare, "Come, come," said he, "fall to and eat, this is the custom of
the place."

Nor had he sooner said it, than the fourth consort struck up; at which
the waiters fell a dancing, and took off the upper part of the
charger, under which was a dish of cramm'd fowl, and the hinder paps
of a sow that had farrowed but a day before, well powdered, and the
middle a hare, stuck in with finns of fish in his side, that he look'd
like a flying horse; and on the sides of the fish four little images,
that spouted a relishing sauce on some fish that lay near them, all of
them brought from the river Euripus.

We also seconded the shout begun by the family, and fell merrily
aboard this; and Trimalchio no less pleas'd than our selves, cryed
"Cut"; at which the musick sounding again, the carver humour'd it, and
cut up the meat with such antick postures, you'd have thought him a
carman fighting to an organ.

Nevertheless Trimalchio in a lower note, cryed out again "Cut:" I
hearing the word so often repeated, suspecting there might be some
joke in it, was not ashamed to ask him that sate next above me, what
it meant? And he that had been often present at the like, "You see,"
said he, "him that carves about, his name is cutter; and as often as
he says 'Cut,' he both calls and commands."

The humour spoiled my stomach for eating; but turning to him that I
might learn more, I made some pleasant discourse to him at a distance;
and at last asked him what that woman was that so often scutled up and
down the room.

"It is," said he, "Trimalchio's wife, her name Fortunata, she measures
money by the bushel; but what was she not long since? Pardon me sir,
you would not have touch'd her with a pair of tongs, but now, no one
knows how, or wherefore she's got into heaven; and is Trimalchio's all
in all: In short, if she says it is mid-night at mid-day, he'll
believe her. He's so very wealthy, he knows not what he has; but she
has an eye every where; and when you least think to meet her: She's
void of all good counsel, and withal of all ill tongue; a very pye at
his bolster; whom she loves she loves; and whom she does not love, she
does not love.

"Then for Trimalchio, he has more lands than a crow can fly over;
monies upon monies: There lies more silver in his porters lodge, than
any one man's whole estate. And for his family, hey-day, hey-day,
there is not (so help me Hercules) one tenth of them that know their
master. In brief, there is not one of those fools about him, but he
can turn him into a cabbage-stalk. Nor is there any occasion to buy
any thing, he has all at his own door; wooll, marte, pepper, nay hens
milk; do but beat about and you'll find it. In a word, time was, his
wooll was none of the best, and therefore he bought rams at Tarentum
to mend this breed; an in like manner he did by his honey, by bringing
his bees from Athens. It is not long since but he sent to the Indies
for mushroom-seed: Nor has he so much as a mule that did not come of a
wild ass. See you all these quilts? there is not one of them whose
wadding is not the finest comb'd wooll of violet or scarlet colour,
dy'd in grain. O happy man! but have a care how you put a slight on
those freed men, they are rich rogues: See you him that sits at the
lower-end of the table, he has now the Lord knows what; and 'tis not
long since he was not worth a groat, and carried billets and faggots
at his back; it is said, but I know nothing of it myself, but as I
have heard, either he got in with an old hog-grubbler, or had to do
with an incubus, and found a treasure: For my part, I envy no man, (if
God gives anything it is a bit of a blow, and wills no evil to himself
) he lately set up this proclamation:


"But what think you of him who sits in the place of a late slave? how
well was he once? I do not upbraid him: He was once worth a hundred
thousand sesterstias, but has not now a hair of his head that is not
engaged; nor, so help me Hercules, is it his own fault: There is not a
better humour'd man than himself; but those rascally freed-men have
cheated him of all: For know, when the pot boyls, and a man's estate
declines, farewell friends. And what trade do you think he drove? He
had the setting forth of grave men's funerals; and with that eat like
a prince: He had his wild boars served up covered; pastry-meats,
fowl-cooks, bakers: More wine was thrown under his table than most men
have in their cellars; a meer phantasm: And when his estate was going,
and he feared his creditors might fall upon him, he made an auction
under this title:


The dish was by this time taken away, and the guests grown merry with
wine, began to talk of what was done abroad, when Trimalchio broke the
discourse; and leaning on his elbow, "This wine," said he, "is worth
drinking, and fish must swim; but do you think I am satisfied with
that part of your supper you saw in the charger? Is Ulysses no better
known? what then; we ought to exercise our brains as well as our
chaps; and shew, that we are not only lovers of learning, but
understand it: Peace rest my old tutor's bones who made me a man
amongst men: No man can tell me any thing that is new to me; for, like
him, I am master of the practicks.

"This heaven, that's inhabited by twelve gods, turns it self into as
many figures; and now 'tis Aries: He that's born under that sign has
much cattle, much wooll, and to that a jolt-head, a brazen-face, and
will be certainly a cuckold: There are many scholars, advocates, and
horned beasts, come into the world under this sign. We praised our
nativity-caster's pleasantness, and he went on then again: The whole
Heaven is Taurus, and wonder it e'er bore foot-ball-players,
herds-men, and such as can shift for themselves. Under Gemini are
foaled coach-horses, oxen calved, great baubles, and such as can claw
both sides are born. I was born my self under Cancer, and therefore
stand on many feet, as having large possessions both by sea and land.
For Cancer suits one as well as the other, and therefore I put nothing
upon him, that I might not press my own geniture. Under Leo,
spendthrifts and bullies: under Virgo, women, runagates, and such as
wear iron garters: under Libra, butchers, slipslop-makers, and men of
business: under Scorpio, empoisoners and cut-throats: under Sagittary,
such as are goggle-ey'd, herb-women, and bacon-stealers: under
Capricorn, poor helpless rascals, to whom yet Nature intended horns to
defend themselves: under Aquarius, cooks and paunch-bellies: under
Pisces, caterers and orators: And so the world goes round like a mill,
and is never without its mischief; that men be either born or perish.
But for that tuft of herbs in the middle, and the honey-comb upon it,
I do nothing without just reason for it: Our mother the earth is in
the middle, made round like an egg, and has all good things in her
self, like a honeycomb."

"Most learnedly," we all cry'd; and lifting our hands, swore, neither
Hipparebus nor Aratus were to be compared to him, till at last other
servants came in and spread coverlets on the beds, on which were
painted nets, men in ambush with hunting-poles, and whatever
appertained to hunting: Nor could we yet tell what to make of it: when
we heard a great cry without, and a pack of beagles came and ran round
the table, and after them a large trey, on which was a boar of the
first magnitude, with a cap on his head, (such as slaves at their
making free, had set on theirs in token of liberties) on his tusks
hung two wicker baskets, the one full of dates, the other of almonds;
and about him lay little pigs of marchpane, as if they were sucking:
They signified a sow had farrowed, and hang there as presents for the
guests to carry away with them.

To the cutting up this boar, here came not he that had carried about
the fowl as before, but a swinging fellow with a two-handed beard,
buskins on his leggs, and a short embroidered coat; who drawing his
wood-knife, made a large hole in the boar's side, out of which flew a
company of blackbirds: Then fowlers stood ready with their engines and
caught them in a trice as they fluttered about the room: On which
Trimalchio ordering to every man his bird, "See," said he, "what kind
of acorns this wild boar fed on:" When presently the boys took off the
baskets and distributed the dates and almonds among the guests.

In the mean time, I, who had private thoughts of my own, was much
concerned, to know why the boar was brought in with a cap upon his
head; and therefore having run out my tittle-tattle, I told my
interpreter what troubled me: To which he answered, "Your boy can even
tell ye what it means, for there's no riddle in it, but all as clear
as day. This boar stood the last of yester-nights supper, and
dismiss'd by the guests, returns now as a free-man among us." I curst
my dulness, and asked him no more questions, that I might not be
thought to have never eaten before with men of sense.

While we were yet talking, in came a handsome boy with a wreath of
vine leaves and ivy about his head; declaring himself one while
Bromius, another while Lyccus, and another Euphyus (several names of
Bacchus) he carried about a server of grapes, and with a clear voice,
repeated some of his master's poetry, at which Trimalchio turning to
him, "Dionysius," said he, "be thou Liber," (i.e.) free, (two other
names of Bacchus) whereupon the boy took the cap from off the boar's
head, and putting it on his own, Trimalchio added, "You will not deny
me but I have a father, Liber." We all praised the conceit, and
soundly kissed the boy as he went round us.

From this up rose Trimalchio, and went to the close-stool; we also
being at liberty, without a tyrant over us fell to some table-talk.

When presently one calling for a bumper, "The day," said he, "is
nothing, 'tis night e're the scene turn, and therefore nothing is
better than to go straight from bed to board. We have had a great
deal of frost, the bagnio has scarce heated me; but a warm drinking is
my wardrobe-keeper: For my part, I have spun this days thread; the
wine is got into my noddle, and I am down-right--"

Selucus went on with the rest, "And I," said he, "do not bathe every
day, for he where I use to bathe is a fuller: Cold water has teeth in
it, and my head grows every day more washy than others, but when I
have got my dose in my guts, I bid defiance to cold: Nor could I well
do it to day, for I was at a funeral, a jolly companion, and a good
man was he, Crysanthus has breathed his last: 'Tis not long since we
were together, and methinks I talk with him now. Alas, alas! we are
but blown bladders, less than flies, yet they have somewhat in them:
But we are meer bubbles. You'll say he would not be rul'd; not a drop
of water, or crumb of bread went down his throat in five days: And yet
he's gone, or that he died of the doctor. But I am of opinion his
time was come; for a physician is a great comfort. However, he was
well carried out of his house upon a rich bed, and mightily lamented,
he made some of his servants free; but his wife seem'd not much
concerned for him. You'll say again he was not kind to her; but women
are a kind of kites; whatever good is done them, 'tis the same as if
it were thrown in a well; and old love is as bad as a goal."

At this Philaos grew troublesome, and cryed out, "Let us remember the
living: He had what was due to him; as he liv'd so he dy'd; and what
has he now that any man moans the want of it? He came from nothing,
and to his dying-day would have taken a farthing from a dunghil with
his teeth; therefore as he grew up, he grew like a honey-comb. He
dy'd worth the Lord knows what, all ready money. But to the matter; I
have eaten a dog's tongue and dare speak truth: He had a foul mouth,
was all babble; a very make-bate, not a man. His brother was a brave
fellow, a friend to his friends, of an open hand, and kept a full
table: He did not order his affairs so well at first as he might have
done; but the first vintage made him up again; for he sold what wine
he would; and what kept up his chin was the expectation of a
reversion; the credit of which brought him more than was left him; for
his brother taking a pelt at him, devised the estate to I know not
whose bastard: He flies far that flies his relations. Besides, this
brother of his had whisperers about him, that were back-friends to the
other: but he shall never do right that is quick of belief, especially
in matter of business; and yet 'tis true, he'll be counted wise while
he lives, to whom the thing whatever it be is given, nor he that ought
to have had it. He was without doubt, one of fortune's sons; lead in
his hand would turn to gold, and without trouble too, where there are
not rubbs in the way. And how many years think ye he liv'd?
Seventy-odd: but he was as hard as horn, bore his age well, and as
black as a crow.

"I knew him some years ago an oilman, and to his last a good womans
man; but withal such a miser, that (so help me Hercules) I think he
left not a dogg in his house. He was also a great whore-master, and a
jack of all trades; nor do I condemn him for't, for this was the only
secret he kept to himself and carry'd with him."

Thus Phileros and Gammedes, as followeth: "Ye talk of what concerns
neither Heaven nor Earth, when in the mean time no man regards what
makes all victuals so scarce: I could not (so help me Hercules) get a
mouthful of bread to day: and how? The drought continues: For my
part, I have not fill'd my belly this twelve-month: A plague on these
clerks of the market, the baker and they juggle together; take no
notice of me, I'll take no notice of thee; which make the poorer sort
labour for nothing, while those greater jaw-bones make festival every
day. Oh that we had those lyons I now find here, when I first came
out of Asia, that had been to live: The inner part of Sicily had the
like of them, but they so handled the goblins, even Jupiter bore them
no good-will. I remember Safinius, when I was a boy, he liv'd by the
old arch; you'd have taken him for pepper-corn rather than a man;
where-ever he went the earth parched under him; yet he was honest at
bottom; one might depend on him; a friend to his friend, and whom you
might boldly trust in the dark. But how did he behave himself on the
bench? He toss'd every one like a ball; made no starch'd speeches,
but downright, as he were, doing himself what he would persuade
others: But in the market his noise was like a trumpet, without
sweating or spueing. I fancy he had somewhat, I know not what, of the
Asian humour: then so ready to return a salute, and call every one by
his name, as if he had been one of us. In his time corn was as common
as loam; you might have bought more bread for half a farthing, than
any two could eat; but now the eye of an ox will cost you twice as
much: Alas! alas! we are every day worse and worse, and grow like a
cows tail, downward: And why all this? We have a clerk of the market
not worth three figgs, and values more the getting of a doit himself,
than any of our lives: 'Tis this makes him laugh in his sleeve; for he
gets more money in a day than many an honest man's whole estate: I
know not how he got the estate he has; but if we had any thing of men
about us, he would not hug himself as he does, but now the people are
grown to this pass, that they are lyons at home, and foxes abroad: For
my part, I have eaten up my cloaths already, and if corn holds at the
rate it does, I shall be forc'd to sell house and all: For what will
become of us, if neither gods nor men pity us? Let me never enjoy my
friends more, than I believe all this comes from Heaven; for no one
thinks there is any such thing; no one keeps a fast, or value Jupiter
a hair, but shuts his eyes and reckons what he is worth. Time was,
when matrons went bare-foot with dishevel'd hair, pure minds, and
pray'd him to send rain, and forthwith it rained pitcher-fulls, or
then or never, and every one was pleased: Now the gods are no better
than mice; as they tread, their feet are wrapt in wooll; and because
ye are not superstitious your lands yield nothing."

"More civilly, I beseech ye," said Echion the hundred-constable; "it
is one while this way, and another while that, said the country-man
when he lost his speckled hogg: What is not to day may be to morrow;
and thus is life hurried about, so help me Hercules, a country is said
not to be the better that it has many people in it, tho' ours at
present labours under that difficulty, but it is no fault of hers: We
must not be so nice, Heaven is equally distant every where; were you
in another place you'd say hoggs walked here ready dress'd: And now I
think on't, we shall have an excellent show these holy-days, a
fencing-prize exhibited to the people; not of slaves bought for that
purpose, but most of them freemen. Our patron Titus has a large soul,
but a very devil in his drink, and cares not a straw which side gets
the better: I think I should know him, for I belong to him; he's of a
right breed both by father and mother, no mongril. They are well
provided with weapons, and will fight it out to the last: the theatre
will look like a butchers shambles, and he has where-withal to do it;
his father left him a vast sum, and let him make ducks and drakes with
it never so much, the Estate will bear it, and he always carries the
reputation of it. He has his waggon horses, a woman-carter, and
Glyco's steward, who was taken a-bed with his mistress; what a busle's
here between cuckolds and cuckold-makers! But this Glyco a
money-broker, condemned his steward to fight with beasts; and what was
that but to expose himself for another? where lay the servant's crime,
who perhaps was oblig'd to do what he did: She rather deserv'd to be
brain'd, than the bull that tossed her; but he that cannot come at the
arse, thrashes at the pack-saddle: yet how could Glyco expect
Hermogine's daughter should make a good end? She'd have pared the
claws of a flying kite; a snake does not bring forth a halter: Glyco
might do what he would with his own; but it will be a brand on him as
long as he lives; nor can any thing but Hell blot it out; however,
every man's faults are his own. I perceive now what entertainment
Mammea is like to give us; he'll be at twopence charges for me and my
company; which if he does, he will pull Narbanus clean out of favour;
for you must know, he'll live at the full height; yet in truth what
good has he done us? He gave us a company of gittiful sword-players,
but so old and decrepid, that had you blown on them, they'd have
fallen of themselves: I have seen many a better at a funeral pile; he
would not be at the charge of lamps for them; you'd have taken them
for dunghil cocks fighting in the dark; one was a downright fool, and
withal gouty; another crump-footed, and a third half dead, and
hamstrung: There was one of them a Thracian, that made a figure, and
kept up to the rule of fighting; but upon the whole matter, all of
them were parted, and nothing came of this great block-headed rabble,
but a downright running away: And yet, said he, I made ye a show, and
I clap my hands for company; but cast up the account, I gave more than
I received; one hand rubs another. You Agamemnon seem to tell me what
would that trouble some fellow be at; because you that can speak, and
do not, you are not of our form, and therefore ridicule what poor men
say; tho', saving the repute of a scholar, we know you are but a meer
fool. Where lies the matter then? let me persuade you to take a walk
in the country, and see our cottage, you'll find somewhat to eat; a
chicken, some eggs, or the like: The tempestuous season had like to
have broke us all, yet we'll get enough to fill the belly. Your
scholar, my boy Cicero, is mightily improved, and if he lives, you'll
have a servant of him; he is pretty forward already, and whatever
spare time he has, never off a book: He's a witty lad, well-featur'd,
takes a thing without much study, tho' yet he be sickly: I killed
three of his linnets the other day, and told him the weasels had eaten
them; yet he found other things to play with, and has a pretty knack
at painting: He has a perfect aversion to Greek, but seems better
inclined to Latin; tho' the master he has now humours him in the
other; nor can he be kept to one thing, but is still craving more, and
will not take pains with any. There is also another of this sort, not
much troubled with learning, but very diligent, and teaches more than
he knows himself: He comes to our house on holidays, and whatever you
give him he's contented; I therefore bought the boy some ruled books,
because I will have him get a smattering in accounts and the law; it
will be his own another day: He has learning enough already, but if he
takes back to it again, I design him for a trade, a barber, a parson,
or a lawyer, which nothing but the devil can take from him: How oft
have I told him, Thou art (Sirrah) my first begotten, and believe thy
father, whatever thou learnest 'tis all thy own: See there Philero the
lawyer, if he had not been a scholar he might have starved; but now
see what trinkums he has about his neck, and dares nose Narbanus.
Letters are a treasure, and a trade never dies."

Thus, or the like, we were bandying it about when Trimalchio return'd,
and having wip'd the slops from his face, wash'd his hands, and in a
very little time, "Pardon me, my friends," said he, "I have been
costive for several days, and my physicians were to seek about it,
when a suppository of pomegranate wine, with the liquor of a pine-tree
and vinegar relieved me; and now I hope my belly may be ashamed if it
keep no better order; for otherwise I have such a rumbling in my guts,
you'd think an ox bellowed; and therefore if any of you has a mind, he
need not blush for the matter; there's not one of us born without some
defect or other, and I think no torment greater than wanting the
benefit of going to stool, which is the only thing even Jupiter
himself cannot prevent: And do you laugh, Fortunata, you that break me
so often of my sleep by nights; I never denyed any man do that in my
room might pleasure himself, and physicians will not allow us to keep
any thing in our bodies longer than we needs must; or if ye have any
farther occasion, every thing is ready in the next room: Water,
chamber-pots, close-stools, or whatever else ye may need; believe me,
this being hard-bound, if it get into the head, disturbs the whole
body; I have known many a man lost by it, when they have been so
modest to themselves as not to tell what they ailed."

We thank'd him for his freeness, and the liberty he gave us, when yet
to suppress our laughter, we set the glasses about again; nor did we
yet know that in the midst of such dainties we were, as they say, to
clamber another hill; for the cloth being again taken away, upon the
next musick were brought in three fat hogs with collars and bells
about their necks; and he that had the charge of them told us, the one
was two years old, the other three, and the third full grown. I took
it at first to have been a company of tumblers, and that the hogs, as
the manner is, were to have shewn us some tricks in a ring, till
Trimalchio breaking my expectation, "Which of them," said he, "will ye
have for supper? for cocks, pheasants, and the like trifles are but
country fare, but my cooks have coppers will boil a calf whole;" and
therewith commanding a cook to be called for, he prevented our choice
by ordering him to kill the largest, and with a loud voice, asked him,
Of what rank of servants in that house he was? to which he answering,
of the fortieth: "Were you bought," said the other, "or born in my
house?" "Neither," said the cook, "but left you by Pansa's
testament." "See then," said Trimalchio, "that you dress it as it
should be, or I'll send you to the galleys." On which the cook,
advertised of his power, went into the kitchin to mind his charge.

But Trimalchio turning to us with a pleasanter look, asked if the wine
pleased us, "If not," said he, "I'll have it changed, and if it does,
let me see it by your drinking: I thank the gods I do not buy it, but
have everything that may get an appetite growing on my own grounds
without the city, which no man that I know but my self has; and yet it
has been taken for Tarracino and Taranto. I have a project to joyn
Sicily to my lands on the continent, that when I have a mind to go
into Africa, I may sail by my own coasts. But prithee Agamemnon tell
me what moot-point was it you argued to day; for tho' I plead no
causes my self, yet I have had a share of letters in my time; and that
you may not think me sick of them now, have three libraries, the one
Greek, the other two Latin; therefore as you love me tell me what was
the state of the question:" "The poor and the rich are enemies," said
Agamemnon: "And what is poor," answered Trimalchio? "Spoke like a
gentleman," replyed Agamemnon. But making nothing of the matter, "If
it be so," said Trimalchio, "where lies the dispute? And if it be not
so, 'tis nothing."

While we all humm'd this and the like stuff, "I beseech ye," said he,
"my dear Agamemnon, do you remember the twelve labours of Hercules, or
the story of Ulysses, how a Cyclop put his thumb out of joint with a
mawkin? I read such things in Homer when I was a boy; nay, saw my
self the Sybil of Curna hanging in a glass bottle: And when the boys
asked her, 'Sybil, what wouldst thou?' She answered, 'I would die.'"

He had not yet run to the end of the rope, when an over-grown hog was
brought to the table. We all wondered at the quickness of the thing,
and swore a capon could not be dress'd in the time; and that the more,
because the hog seemed larger than was the boar, we had a little
before: When Trimalchio looking more intent upon him, "What, what,"
said he, "are not his guts taken out? No, (so help me Hercules) they
are not! Bring hither, bring hither this rogue of a cook." And when
he stood hanging his head before us, and said, he was so much in haste
he forgot it. "How, forgot it," cry'd out Trimalchio! "Do ye think
he has given it no reasoning of pepper and cummin? Strip him:" When
in a trice 'twas done, and himself set between two tormentors:
However, we all interceded for him, as a fault that might now and then
happen, and therefore beg'd his pardon; but if he ever did the like,
there was no one would speak for him; tho' for my part, I think he
deserved what he got: And so turning to Agamemnon's ear, "This
fellow," said I, "must be a naughty knave; could any one forget to
bowel a hog? I would not (so help me Hercules) have forgiven him if
he had served me so with a single fish." But Trimalchio it seems, had
somewhat else in his head; for falling a laughing, "You," said he,
"that have so short a memory, let's see if you can do it now." On
which, the cook having gotten his coat again, took up a knife, and
with a feigned trembling, ripp'd up the hog's belly long and thwart,
when immediately its own weight tumbled out a heap of hogs-puddings
and sausages.

After this, as it had been done of it self, the family gave a shout,
and cry'd out, "Health and prosperity to Caius!" The cook also was
presented with wine, a silver coronet, and a drinking goblet, on a
broad Corinthian plate: which Agamemnon more narrowly viewing; "I am,"
said Trimalchio, ''the only person that has the true Corinthian

I expected, that according to the rest of his haughtiness, he would
have told us they had been brought him from Corinth: But he better:
"And perhaps," said he, "you'll ask me why I am the only person that
have them. And why, but the copper-smith from whom I buy them, is
called Corinthus? And what is Corinthian but what is made by
Corinthus? But that ye may not take me for a man of no sence, I
understand well enough whence the word first came. When Troy was
taken, Hannibal, a cunning fellow, but withal mischievous, made a pile
of all the brazen, gold and silver statues, and burnt them together,
and thence came this mixt metal; which workmen afterwards carried off;
and of this mass made platters, dishes, and several other things; so
that these vessels are neither this nor that metal, but made of all of
them. Pardon me what I say; however others may be of another mind, I
had rather have glass ware; and if it: were not so subject to
breaking, I'd reckon it before gold; but now it is of no esteem.

"There was a copper-smith that made glass vessels of that pliant
harness, that they were no more to be broken than gold and silver
ones: It so happened, that having made a drinking-pot, with a wide
mouth of that kind, but the finest glass, fit for no man, as he
thought, less than Cæsar himself; he went with his present to
Cæsar, and had admittance: The kind of the gift was praised, the
hand of the workman commended, and the design of the giver accepted.
He again, that he might turn the admiration of the beholders into
astonishment, and work himself the more into the Emperor's favour,
pray'd the glass out of the Emperor's hand; and having received it,
threw it with such a force against the paved floor, that the most
solid and firmest metal could not but have received some hurt thereby.
Cæsar also was no less amazed at it, than concerned for it; but the
other took up the pot from the ground, not broken but bulg'd a little;
as if the substance of metal had put on the likeness of a glass; and
therewith taking a hammer out of his pocket, he hammer'd it as it had

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest