Part 2 out of 3
been a brass kettle, and beat out the bruise: And now the fellow
thought himself in Heaven, in having, as he fansied, gotten the
acquaintance of Cæsar, and the admiration of all: But it fell out
quite contrary: Cæsar asking him if any one knew how to make this
malleable glass but himself? And he answering, there was not, the
Emperor commanded his head to be struck off: 'For,' said he, 'if this
art were once known, gold and silver will be of no more esteem than
"And for silver, I more than ordinarily affect it: I have several
water-pots more or less, whereon is the story how Cassandra killed her
son's, and the dead boys are so well embossed, you'd think them real.
I have also a drinking cup left me by an advocate of mine, where
Dædalus puts Niobe into the Trojan horse, as also that other of
Hermerotes; that they may stand as a testimony, there's truth in cups,
and all this massy; ror will I part with what I understand of them at
While he was thus talking, a cup dropt out of a boy's hand; on which,
Trimalchio looking over his shoulder at him, bad him begone, and kill
himself immediately; "for," said he, "thou art careless and mind'st
not what thou art about." The boy hung his lip, and besought him; but
he said, "What! dost thou beseech me, as if I required some difficult
matter of thee? I only bid thee obtain this of thy self, that thou be
not careless again." But at last he discharged him upon our entreaty.
On this the boy run round the table and cry'd, "Water without doors,
and wine within." We all took the jest, but more especially
Agamemnon, who knew on what account himself had been brought thither.
Trimalchio in the mean time hearing himself commended, drank all the
merrier, and being within an ace of quite out, "Will none of you,"
said he, "invite my Fortunata to dance? Believe me, there's no one
leads a country dance better:" And with that, tossing his hands round
his head, fell to act a jack-pudding; the family all the while
singing, 'youth it self, most exactly youth it self ;' and he had
gotten into the middle of the room, but that Fortunata whispered him,
and I believe told him, such gambols did not become his gravity. Nor
was there any thing more uneven to it self; for one while he turned to
his Fortunata, and another while to his natural inclination: But what
disturbed the pleasure of her dancing, was his notaries coming in;
who, as they had been the acts of a common council, read aloud:
'VII. of the Calends of August born in Trimalchio's manner of cumanum,
thirty boys and forty girls, brought from the threshing-floor into the
granary, five hundred thousand bushels of wheat. The same day broke
out a fire in a pleasure-garden that was Pompey's, first began in one
of his bayliffs houses.'
"How's this," said Trimalchio: "When were those gardens bought for
me?" "The year before," answered his notary, "and therefore not yet
brought to account."
At this Trimalchio fell into a fume; and "whatever lands," said he,
"shall be bought me hereafter, if I hear nothing of it in six months,
let them never, I charge ye, be brought to any account of mine." Then
also were read the orders of the clerks of the markets, and the
testaments of his woodwards, rangers, and park-keepers, by which they
disinherited their relations, and with ample praise of him, declare
Trimalchio their heir. Next that, the names of his bayliffs; and how
one of them that made his circuits in the country, turned off his wife
for having taken her in bed with a barber; the door-keeper of his
baths turn'd out of his place; the auditor found short in his
accounts, and the dispute between the grooms of his chamber ended.
At last came in the dancers on the rope, and a gorbelly'd blockhead
standing out with a ladder, commanded his boy to hopp every round
singing, and dance a jigg on the top of it, and then tumble through
burning hoops of iron, with a glass in his mouth. Trimalchio was the
only person that admir'd it, but withal said, he did not like it; but
there were two things he could willingly behold, and they were the
flyers on the high rope, and quails; and that all other creatures and
shows were meer gewgaws: "For," said he, "I bought once a sett of
stroulers, and chose rather to make them merry-andrews than comedians;
and commanded my bag-piper to sing in Latin to them."
While he was chattering all at this rate, a boy chanced to stumble
upon him, on which the family gave a shriek, the same also did the
guests; not for such a beast of a man, whose neck they could willingly
have seen broken, but for fear the supper should break up ill, and
they be forc'd to wail the death of the boy.
Whatever it were, Trimalchio gave a deep groan; and leaning upon his
arm as if it had been hurt, the physicians ran thick about him, and
with the first, Fortunata, her hair about her ears, a bottle of wine
in her hand, still howling, miserable unfortunate woman that she was!
Undone, undone. The boy on the other hand, ran under our feet, and
beseeched us to procure him a discharge: But I was much concern'd,
lest our interposition might make an ill end of the matter; for the
cook that had forgotten to bowel the hog was still in my thoughts. I
began therefore to look about the room, for fear somewhat or other
might drop through the ceiling; while the servant that had bound up
his arm in white, not scarlet-colour flannen, was soundly beaten: Now
was I much out, for instead of another course, came in an order of
Trimalchio's by which he gave the boy his freedom; that it might not
be said, so honourable a person had been hurt by his slave. We all
commended the action, but chatted among our selves with what little
consideration the things of this world were done. "You're in the
right," said Trimalchio; "nor ought this accident to pass without
booking;" and so calling for the journal, commanded it to be entered;
and with, as little thought, tumbled out these verses:
"What's least expected falls into our dish,
And fortune's more indulgent than our wish:
Therefore, boy, fill the generous wine about."
This epigram gave occasion to talk of the poets, and Marsus, the
Trachian, carry'd the bays a long while: till Trimalchio (turning to
some wit amongst them) "I beseech ye, master of mine," said he, "tell
me what difference take ye between Cicero the orator, and Publius the
poet? for my part I think one was more eloquent, the other the
honester man; for what could be said better than this."
"Now sinking Rome grows weak with luxury,
To please her appetite cram'd peacocks die:
Their gaudy plumes a modish dress supply.
For her the guinnea hen and capon's drest:
The stork it self for Rome's luxurious taste,
Must in a caldron build its humbl'd nest.
That foreign, friendly, pious, long-leg'd thing,
Grateful, that with shrill sounding notes dost sing
All winter's gone; yet ushers in the spring.
Why in one ring must three rich pearls be worn,
But that your wives th' exhausted seas adorn,
Abroad t' increase their lust, at home their scorn?
Why is the costly emerald so desir'd,
Or richer glittering carbuncle admir'd,
Because they sparkle, is't with that you're fir'd?
Well, honesty's a jewel. Now none knows
A modest bride from a kept whore by 'er cloaths;
For cobweb lawns both spouse and wench expose."
"But, now we talk after the rate of the learned, which," said he, "are
the most difficult trades? I think a physician and a banker: a
physician, because he know's a man's very heart, and when the fits of
an ague will return; tho' by the way, I hate them mortally; for by
their good will I should have nothing but slubber-slops: And a banker,
because he'll find out a piece of brass money, tho' plated with
"There are also brute beasts, sheep and oxen, laborious in their kind:
Oxen, to whom we are beholding for the bread we eat; and sheep, for
the wooll, that makes us so fine. But O horrid! we both eat the
mutton, and make us warm with the fleece. I take the bees for divine
creatures; they give us honey, tho' 'tis said they stole it from
Jupiter, and that's the reason why they sting: For where-ever ye meet
any thing that's sweet you'll ever find a sting at the end of it."
He also excluded philosophers from business, while the memoirs of the
family were carrying round the table, and a boy, set for that purpose,
read aloud the names of the presents, appointed for the guests, to
carry home with them. Wicked silver, what can it not? Then a gammon
of bacon was set on the table, and above that several sharp sauces, a
night-cap for himself, pudding-pies, and I know not what kind of
birds: There was also brought in a rundlet of wine, boiled off a third
part, and kept under ground to preserve its strength: There were also
several other things I can give no account of; besides apples,
scallions, peaches, a whip, a knife, and what had been sent him; as
sparrows, a flye-flap, raisons, Attick honey, night-gowns, judges
robes, dry'd paste, table-books, with a pipe and a foot-stool: After
which came in an hare and a sole-fish: And there was further sent him
a lamprey, a water-rat, with a frog at his tail, and a bundle of
Long time we smiled at these, and five hundred the like, that have now
slipt my memory: But now when Ascyltos, who could not moderate
hirnself, held up his hands and laught at every thing; nay so
downright, that he was ready to cry: A free-man of Trimalchio's that
sate next above me, grew hot upon't; and "What," said he, "thou sheep,
what dost thou laugh at? does not this sumptuousness of my master
please you? you're richer (forsooth) and eat better every day; so may
the guardian of this place favour me, as had I sate near him, I'd hit
him a box on the ear ere this: A hopeful cullion, that mocks others;
some pitiful night-walker, not worth the very urine he makes; and
should I throw mine on him, knows not where to dry himself. I am not
(so help me Hercules) quickly angry, yet worms are bred even in tender
flesh. He laughs! what has he to laugh at? what wooll did his father
give for the bantling? Is he a Roman knight? I am the son of a king.
How came I then, you'll say, to serve another? I did it of my self,
and had rather be a citizen of Rome, than a tributary king, and now
hope to live so, as to be no man's jeast. I walk like other men, with
an open face, and can shew my head among the best, for I owe no man a
groat; I never had an action brought against me, or said to me on the
exchange, Pay me what thou owest me. I bought some acres in the
country, and have everything suitable to it: I feed twenty mouths,
besides dogs: I ransomed my bond-woman, lest another should wipe his
hands on her smock; and between our selves, she cost me more than I'll
tell ye at present. I was made a captain of horse gratis, and hope so
to die, that I shall have no occasion to blush in my grave: But art
thou so prying into others, that thou never considerest thy self?
Canst thou spy a louse on another man's coat, and not see the tyck on
thy own? Your master then is ancienter than your self, and 't please
him; but yet thou, whose milk is not yet out of thy nose; that can'st
not say boh to a goose; must you be making observations? Are you the
wealthier man? If you are, dine twice, and sup twice; for my part, I
value my credit more than treasures: Upon the whole matter, where's
the man that ever dunn'd me twice? Thou pipkin of a man, more limber,
but nothing better than a strap of wet leather, I have served forty
years in this house, came into it with my hair full grown; this palace
was not then built, yet I made it my business to please my master, a
person of honour, the parings of whose nails are more worth than thy
whole body. I met several rubs in my way, but by the help of my good
angel, I broke through them all: This is truth; it is as easie to make
a hunting-horn of a sow's tail, as to get into this company. What
make ye in a dump now, like a goat at a heap of stones?"
On this Gito, who stood behind him, burst out a laughing; which the
other taking notice of, fell upon the boy; and, "Do you," said he,
"laugh too, you curl-pated chattering magpye? O the Saturnals! Why
how now, sirrah! is it the month of December? When were you twenty, I
pray? What would this collop dropt from the gibbet, this crows-meat,
be at? I'll find some or other way for Jupiter to plague thee, and
him that bred thee no better, or never let me eat a good meals-meat
again: I could, sirrah, but for the companies sake, I spare thee; tho'
either we understand not aright, or they are sots themselves that
carry no better a hand over thee; for without doubt it is true, like
master like man. I am hot by nature, and can scarce contain my self;
give me but a mess of peaseporridge, and I care not two-pence for my
mother. Very well, I shall meet thee abroad, thou mouse; nay, rather
mole-hill. May I never thrive more, but I'll drive that master of
thine into a blade of rue; nor shalt thou (so help me Hercules) 'scape
me, tho' thou couldst call in Jupiter to thy aid: I shall off with
those locks, and take thee when that trifling master of thine shall be
out of the way; thou wilt certainly fall into my hands, and either I
know not my self, or I'll make thee leave that buffoonry: Tho' thy
beard were of gold, I'll have thee bruised in a mortar, and him that
first taught thee: I never studied geometry, criticism, and meer words
without sence, but I understand the fitting of stones for buildings;
can run you over a hundred things, as to metal, weight, coin, and that
to a tittle; if you have a mind you and I will try it between us: I'll
lay thee a wager, thou wizard, and tho' I am wholly ignorant of
rhetorick, thou'lt presently see thou hast lost: Let no one run about
the bush to me; I come up to him: Resolve me, I say, 'which of us
runs, yet stirs not out of his place: which of us grows bigger, and
yet is less.' Do you scamper? Can't you tell what to make of it, that
you look so like a mouse in a trap? Therefore either hold thy tongue,
or don't provoke a better man than thy self, who does not think thee
fram'd of nature, unless thou fansiest me taken with those yellow
curl'd locks, which thou hast already vowed to some whore or other. O
lucky opportunity! Come, let's walk the exchange, and see which of us
can take up money: You'll be satisfied then, this iron has credit
upon't; a pretty thing, is it not! a drunken fox. So may I gain while
I live, and die well; but the people will brain me if I follow not
that coat on thy back, which is not for thy wearing, where-ever thou
goest: He's a precious tool too, whoever he were, that taught thee; a
piece of green cheese, no master. I have learn'd as well as another
man, and my master said it would be my own another day. Save your
worship! get home as fast as you can, but look well about you, and
have a care how you speak irreverently of your betters, or vie estates
with them; he that does it, his purse shall feel it: For my self, that
you see me as I am, I thank my stars for the art I have."
Ascyltos was making answer to his railing; when Trimalchio, pleased
with that good grace of speaking, "Go to," said he, "no more of this
wild talk, let us rather be pleasant: And you Hermeros, bear with the
young-man, his blood boils; be thou the soberer man; he that is
overcome in this matter, goes off conqueror: Even thy self, when thou
wert such another capon, hadst nothing but coco, coco, and no heart at
all. Let us therefore, which is the better of the two, be heartily
merry, and expect some admirers of Homer, that will be here
Nor were the words scarce out of his mouth, when in came a band of
men, and made a rustling with their spears and targets. Trimalchio
leaned on his pillow, the Homerists ratled out Greek verses, as,
arrogantly enough, they were wont to do, and he read a Latin book with
a loud voice: whereupon silence being made, "Know ye," said he, "what
fable they were upon?
"Diomedes and Ganymede were two brothers, and Helen was their sister;
Agamemnon stole him away, and shamm'd Diana with a hind in his room,
as says Homer in this place; and how the Trojans and the Parentines
fought among themselves; but at last he got the better of it, and
married his daughter Iphigenia to Achilles; on which Ajax run mad.
And there's an end of the tale."
On this the Homerists set up a shout, and a young boiled heifer with
an helmet on her head, was handed in upon a mighty charger: Ajax
followed, and with a drawn sword, as if he were mad, made at it, now
in one place, then in another, still acting a Morris-dancer; till
having cut it into joints, he took them upon the point of his sword,
and distributed them. Nor had we much time to admire the conceit; for
of a sudden the roof gave a crack, and the whole room shook: For my
part, I got on my feet, but all in confusion, for fear some tumbler
might drop on my head; the same also were the rest of the guests;
still gaping and expecting what new thing should come from the clouds:
when straight the main beams opened, and a vast circle was let down,
all round which hung golden garlands, and alabaster pots of sweet
While we were required to take up these presents, I chanced to cast an
eye upon the table, where there lay a fresh service of cheese-cakes
and tarts, and in the midst of them a lusty rundlet, stuck round with
all sorts of apples and grapes, as they commonly draw that figure.
We greedily reached our hands towards it, when of a sudden, a new
diversion gave us fresh mirth; for all the cheese-cakes, apples and
tarts, upon the least touch, threw out a delicious liquid perfurne,
which fell upon us.
We judging the mess to be sacred, that was so gorgeously set out,
stood up and began a health to the august founder, the father of his
country: After which reverence, failing to catch that catch could, we
filled our napkins and I chiefly, who thought nothing too good for my
During this, in came three boys in white, their coats tuck'd about
them; of whom, two set on the table three household gods with broaches
about their necks, and the other bearing round us a goblet of wine,
cry'd aloud, "Be the gods favourable!" "The name of this," said he,
"is cobler, that other's good-luck, and the third's spend-all:" And as
the image of Trimalchio was carryed round, and every one kiss'd it, we
thought it a shame not to do as the rest of the company.
After this, when all of us had wished him health and happiness,
Trimalchio, turning to Niceros, "You were wont," said he, "to be a
good companion, but what's the matter we get not a word from ye now?
Let me entreat ye, as you would see me happy, do not break an old
Niceros, pleased with the frankness of his friend: "Let me never
thrive," said he, "if I am not ready to caper out of my skin, to see
you in so good a humours; therefore what I say shall be all mirth;
tho' I am afraid those grave fopps may laugh: but let them look to 't,
I'll go on nevertheless; for what am I the worse for any one swearing?
I had rather they laugh at what I say, than at my self."
Thus when he spake---- ----he began this tale:--
"While I was yet a servant we liv'd in a narrow lane, now the house of
Gavilla: There, as the gods would have it, I fell in love with
Tarentius's wife; he kept an eating-house. Ye all knew Melissa
Tarentina, a pretty little punching-block, and withal beautiful; but
(so help me Hercules) I minded her not so much for the matter of the
point of that, as that she was good-humour'd; if I asked her any
thing, she never deny'd me; and what money I had, I trusted her with
it; nor did she ever fail me when I'd occasion. It so happened, that
a she-companion of hers had dy'd in the country, and she was gone
thither; how to come at her I could not tell; but a friend is seen at
a dead lift; it also happened my master was gone to Capua to dispatch
somewhat or other: I laid hold of the opportunity, and persuaded mine
host to take an evenings walk of four or five miles out of town, for
he was a stout fellow, and as bold as a devil: The moon shone as
bright as day, and about cock-crowing we fell in with a burying-place,
and certain monument of the dead: my man loitered behind me
a-star-gazing, and I sitting expecting him, fell a singing and
numbering them; when looking round me, what should I see but mine host
stript stark-naked, and his cloaths lying by the high-wayside. The
sight struck me every where, and I stood as if I had been dead; but he
piss'd round his cloaths, and of a sudden was turned to a wolf: Don't
think I jest; I value no man's estate at that rate, as to tell a lye.
But as I was saying, after he was turned to a wolf, he set up a howl,
and fled to the woods. At first I knew not where I was, till going to
take up his cloaths, I found them also turn'd to stone. Another man
would have dy'd for fear, but I drew my sword, and slaying all the
ghosts that came in my way, lighted at last on the place where my
mistress was: I entered the first door; my eyes were sunk in my head,
the sweat ran off me by more streams than one, and I was just
breathing my last, without thought of recovery; when my Melissa coming
up to me, began to wonder why I'd be walking so late; and 'if,' said
she, 'you had come a little sooner, you might have done us a kindness;
for a wolf came into the farm, and has made butchers work enough among
the cattle; but tho' he got off, he has no reason to laugh, for a
servant of ours ran him through the neck with a pitchfork.' As soon as
I heard her, I could not hold open my eyes any longer, and ran home by
daylight, like a vintner whose house had been robb'd: But coming by
the place where the cloaths were turned to stone, I saw nothing but a
puddle of blood; and when I got home, found mine host lying a-bed like
an oxe in his stall, and a chirurgeon dressing his neck. I understood
afterwards he was a fellow that could change his skin; but from that
day forward, could never eat a bit of bread with him, no, if you'd
have kill'd me. Let them that don't believe me, examine the truth of
it; may your good angels plague me as I tell ye a lye."
The company were all wondring, when, "Saving what you have said,"
quoth Trimalchio, "if there be faith in man, my hair stands on end,
because I know Niceros is no trifler; he's sure of what he says, and
not given to talking: Nay, I'll tell ye as horrible a thing my self;
but see there, what's that behind the hangings?
"When I was yet a long-hair'd boy, for even then I liv'd a pleasant
life, I had a minion, and he dy'd: He was (so help me Hercules) a
pearl, a paragon, nay perfection it self: But when the poor mother
lamented him, and we also were doing the same, some witches got round
the house on a sudden, you'd have taken them for hounds hunting a
hare. We had then in the house a Cappadocian, a tall fellow, stout
and hardy, that would not have stept an inch out of his way for
Jupiter. He boldly drew his sword, and wrapping his coat about his
left arm, leaped out of the house, and as it might be here, (no hurt
to the thing I touch) ran a woman clean through. We heard a pitiful
groan, but not to lye, saw none of them. Our champion came in and
threw himself on a bed, but all black and blue, so he had been trosh'd
with flails; for it seems some ill hand had touched him. We shut the
door, and went on with our mourning; but the mother taking her son in
her arms, and stroaking him, found nothing but a bolster of straw; it
had neither heart, entrals, nor any thing, for the fairies belike had
stollen him out of his cradle, and left that of straw instead of him.
Give me credit, I beseech ye, women are craftier than we are, play
their tricks by night, and turn every thing topsy-turvy. After this
our tall fellow never came to his colour again, but in a few days died
We all wondred, as not doubting what he said, and kissing the table in
reverence to him, pray'd the privilege of the night, and that our
places might be kept till we returned.
And now we thought the lamps look'd double, and the whole room seem'd
quite another thing, when Trimalchio again, "I speak to you Plorimus,
won't you come in for a share? Will ye entertain us with nothing,
thou usedst to be a pleasant companion, couldst sing a song and tell a
tale with the best; but alas! alas! the sweetmeats are gone." "My
horses," said the other, "ran away with my coach, I have been troubled
with the gout ever since. When I was a young fellow, I sung so long I
had well nigh brought my self into a consumption. What do ye tell me
of songs, tales, or barber shops? Who ever came near me but one, only
Apelles;" and with setting his hand to his mouth, whistled out
somewhat, I know not what, which afterwards he swore was Greek.
Trimalchio also when he mimicked the trumpets, looked on his minion
and called him Crœsus: Yet the boy was blear-eye'd, and swathing up
a little black bitch with nasty teeth, and over-grown with fat, in
green swadlingclouts, he set half a loaf on the table, which she
refusing, he cram'd her with it: on which Trimalchio commanded the
guardian of his house and family, Scylax, to be brought; when
presently was led in a beautiful mastiff in a chain, who having a hint
given him by a knock of the porter's foot, lay down before the table:
whereupon Trimalchio throwing him a manchet; "There's no one," said
he, "in this house of mine, loves me better than this dog." The boy
taking it in dudgeon that Scylax should be so commended, laid the
bitch on the floor, and challenged the dog to have a rubber with him.
On this Scylax, after the manner of dogs, set up such a hideous
barking, that it fill'd the room; and snapping at him, almost rent off
a brooch that hung on Crœsus's breast; nor did the scuffle end
here, for the great candle being overturn'd on the table, broke all
the chrystal glasses, and threw the scalding oil on the guests.
Trimalchio, not to seem concerned at the loss, kissed the boy, and
commanded him to get on his back; nor was it long e're he was a
cock-horse, and slapping his masters shoulders, and laughing, cry'd
out, "Fool, fool, and how many of them have we here?"
Trimalchio thus kept under for a while, commanded a bumper to be
fill'd and given round to the waiters, with this further, that
whosoever refused it should have it poured down his collar. Thus one
while we were grave, and other while merry.
After this came junkets and made dishes, the very remembrance of
which, if I may be believed, will not yet down with me; for there were
several cram'd hens given about under the notion of thrushes, and
goose eggs with caps upon them; which Trimalchio, nor without
ostentation press'd us to eat; adding withal, that their bones were
Nor were the words scarce out of his mouth, when a beadle rapp'd at
the door, and one in white, with a company of roisters following him,
came in upon us: For my part I was not a little surprized; and by his
lordliness taking him for the Mayor of a town, and our selves within
his liberties, was getting upon my feet. Agamemnon laught to see me
so concerned, and bade me sit still; "for," said he, "this Habinas is
a captain of horse, a good mason, and has a special faculty in making
Recovered again with his words, I kept my seat, and wholly fix'd my
eye on Habinas: He came in drunk, and lolling on his wife's shoulders,
with some garlands about him, his face all trickling down with
ointment, he seated himself at the head of the table, and
incontinently called for wine and hot water.
Trimalchio was pleased with the humour, and calling for a bigger
glass, asked him what entertainment he had whence he came?
"Every thing," said the other, "but thy self; for my inclination was
here; tho' (so help me Hercules) it was all well. Scissa kept a
nine-days feast for his servant Miscellus, whom he infranchised after
he was dead: It is said he had a round sum in the chequer, for they
reckon he died worth 50,000 sesterces; yet this was all done in good
order; tho' every one of us were obliged to pour half his drink on the
"But," said Trimalchio, "what had ye to eat?" "I'll tell ye," quoth
Habinas, "as near as I can, for my memory is not so good, but that
sometimes I forget my own name: However, for the first dish we had a
goodly porker, with a garland upon him, and puddings, goose giblets,
lamb-stones, sweetbreads, and gizzards round him; there were also
beets and houshold-bread of his own baking, for himself, which I would
rather have than white; it makes a man strong, and I never complain of
what I like. The next was a cold tart, with excellent warm honey, and
that Spanish, running upon it. I eat little of the tart, but more of
the honey; I tasted also the red pulse, and lupines, by the advice of
Calvus, and several apples, of which I took away two in my
handkerchief: for if I bring home nothing to my little she slave, I
shall have snubs enough: this dame of mine puts me often in mind of
her. We had also on a side-table the haunch of a bear, which
Scintilla tasting ere she was aware, had like to have thrown up her
guts: I on the other hand eat a pound of it or better, for methought
it tasted like boars flesh; and said I, if a bear eats a man, why may
not a man much more eat a bear? To be short, we had cream cheese,
wine boil'd off to a third part, fry'd snails, chitterlings, livers,
eggs, turneps, mustard, and a bowl that held a gallon. Don't disturb
me, Palamedes; there were also handled about a basket of sugar-cakes,
of which we wantonly took some, and sent away the gammon of bacon.
But tell me Caius, I beseech you, what's the matter that Fortunata
sits not among us?" "How came you to know her?" quoth Trimalchio;
"for till she has gotten her plate together, and distributed what we
leave among the servants, not a sip of any thing goes into her mouth."
"But unless she sits down," replied Habinas, "I'll be gone"; and was
getting up, but that the word being four times given about for her,
she came at last in a greenish gown and a cherry-colour'd stomacher,
beneath which might be seen her petticoat and embroidered garters;
then wiping her hands on her neckcloth, she sate on that bed whereon
Scintilla the wife of Habinas was; and having given her a kiss, told
her it was in compliment to her that she was there. At length it came
to this, that she took off her weighty bracelets, and shewed them to
Scintilla, which she admiring, she also unbuckled her garters and a
net-work purse, which she said was of the finest gold.
Trimalchio observed it, and commanding all to be laid before him,
"See," said he, "this womans finery, and what fools our wives make us;
they should be six pound and a half; yet I've another of Mercury's
making, that weighs ten": And that he might not be thought to tell a
lye, called for his gold scales, and commanded them to be weighed: Nor
had Scintilla more wit than t'other, for pulling a golden box out of
her bosom, which she called good luck, she took out of it two large
pearl pendants, giving them in like manner to Fortunata to view:
"See," quoth she, "what 'tis to have a kind husband, I am sure no
woman has better." "What," said Habinas, "hast thou put the sham on
me? thou toldst me thou couldst be contented with glass beads; and for
this trick, if I had a daughter I'd cut off her ears; tho' were there
no women what were the rest worth? This is to piss warm and drink
Mean time the women perceiving they were toucht, twitter'd among
themselves, and being got drunk, fell to kissing one another; one
commended the mistress of the house, t'other the master: when during
this chatter, Habinas stealing behind Fortunata, gave her such a toss
on the bed, that her heels flew as high as her head, on which she gave
a squeak or two, and finding her thighs bare, ran her head under
This held a while, till Trimalchio calling for a second service to
entertain his new guests, the servants took away the tables that were
before us, and having brought others, strew'd the room with pin-dust,
mixt with vermillion and saffron; and what I never saw before, the
dust of a looking-glass ground to powder.
When immediately, quoth Trimalchio, "I could have been contented with
those first dishes; but since we have got other tables, we must also
have another service; and if there be any thing worth our having,
On which, a spruce boy that served us with warm water, began to
imitate a nightingale; till Trimalchio giving the word, a servant that
waited on Habinas, set up another humour, and, as I believe, commanded
by his master, nois'd out;
"Mean time Æneas had put off to sea."
Nor was there ever a harsher sound yet pierced my ears; for besides
his disordered country tone, his pitiful and starvling way of
delivery, he so stufft it with scraps of verses, that even Virgil then
first disrelished me; till at last so tyr'd, that he could hold no
longer; "D'ye think," said Habinas, "this boy has learn'd nothing? I
bred him with juglers that follow the fair: Nor has he his fellow,
whether he humours a muliteer or a jester. This never-be-good has
abundance of wit; he's a taylor, a cook, a baker, a jack of all
trades, and but for two faults, were exact to a hair: He's
crack-brain'd, and snores in his sleep: For that cast of his eye I
value it not, he looks like Venus, and therefore his tongue is ever
running; and were that eye out he were worth the money I gave for
On which Scintilla interrupting him, told him he was a naughty man,
for not telling all his servant's good qualities: "He's a pimp," said
he, "if not worse, but I'll take care he be branded for that."
Trimalchio laught, and said he knew he was a Cappadocian that never
beguiled himself of any thing, and "(so help me Hercules) I commend
him for 't: when will you find such another, but Scintilla, you must
not be jealous! Believe me, and I know you too; may I so enjoy the
health you wish me, as I play'd at leap-frog so long with our boy,
that my master grew jealous, and sent me to dig in the country: But
hold thy tongue and I'll give thee a loaf." I marvel," said I,
"whether they be all mash'd together or made of loam; for in a
Saturnal at Rome, my self saw the like imaginary shew of a supper."
Nor had I scarce said it, when--quoth Trimalchio, "Let me so grow in
estate, not bulk, as my cook made all of this out of one hog; there is
not an excellenter fellow than himself; he shall, if he please, make
ye a poll of ling of a sows tripe; a wood-culver of fat bacon; a
turtle of a spring of pork; and a hen of a collar of brawn; and
therefore of my own fancy, I gave him a name proper to him, for he is
called Dædalus: And because he understands his business, I had
chopping-knives of the best steel brought him from Rome"; and with
that, calling for them, he turn'd them over, and admiring them,
offered us the liberty of trying their edge on his cheek.
On this came in two servants as quarrelling about their collars, at
which each of them had a large earthen pot hanging; and when
Trimalchio determined the matter between them, neither of them stood
to his sentence, but fell to club-law, and broke each others pots.
This drunken presumption put us out of order; yet casting an eye on
the combatants, we saw oisters and scallops running from the pots, and
another boy receiving them in a charger, which he carried round the
Nor was the cook's ingenuity short of the rest, for he brought us a
dish of grill'd snails on a silver gridiron, and with a shrill
unpleasant voice, sang as he went. I am asham'd of what follow'd;
for, what was never heard of till then, the boys came in with a bason
of liquid perfumes, and first binding our legs, ancles and feet, with
garlands, anointed them with it, and put the rest into the wine vessel
and the lamps.
And now Fortunata began to dance, and Scintilla's hands went faster
than her tongue; when, quoth Trimalchio, "Sit down Philargyrus; I give
ye leave, and you Carrio, because you are a green-ribbon-man, and you
Minophilus bid your comrade do the like"; what shall I say more? The
family so crowded upon us, that we were almost thrust off our beds;
and who should be seated above me, but the cook who had made a goose
of a hog, all stinking of pickle and kitchen-stuff; nor yet content
that he sate amongst us, he fell immediately to personate Thespis the
tragedian, and dare his master to a wager which of them two should win
the prize next wrestling.
Trimalchio abash'd at the challenge; "My friends," said he, "even
servants are men; and however oppress'd by ill luck, sucked the same
milk our selves did; and for mine, it shall not be long e're I make
them free without prejudice to my self: to be short, I enfranchise all
of them by my last will and testament.
"I give Philargus a country farm, and his she-comrade; to Carrio an
island, with a twentieth part of my moveables, a bed and its
furniture; for I make Fortunata my heiress, whom I recommend to all my
friends, and publish what I have done, to the end my family may so
love me now, as if I were dead."
All thanked their master for his kindness; and he, as having forgotten
trifles, called for a copy of his will, which he read from one end to
the other, the family all the while sighing and sobbing; afterwards
turning to Habinas, "Tell me, my best of friends," said he, "do you go
on with my monument as I directed ye, I earnestly entreat ye, that at
the feet of my statue you carve me my little bitch, as also garlands
and ointments, and all the battles I have been in, that by your
kindness I may live when I am dead: Be sure too that it have an
hundred feet as it fronts the highway, and as it looks towards the
fields two hundred: I will also, that there be all sorts of fruit and
vines round my ashes, and that in great abundance: For it is a gross
mistake to furnish houses for the living, and take no care of those we
are to abide in for ever: And therefore in the first place, I will
have it engraven--
'LET NO HEIR OF MINE PRETEND TO THIS MONUMENT.'
"And that I may receive no injury after I am dead, I'll have a codicil
annext to my will, whereby I'll appoint one of my freed-men the keeper
of this monument, that the people make not a house-of-office of it.
Make me also, I beseech you, on this my monument, ships under full
sail, and my self in my robes sitting on the bench, with five gold
rings on my fingers, and scattering moneys among the common people;
for you know I have ordered ye a funeral feast, and two-pence a-piece
in money. You shall also, if you think fit, shape me some of these
beds we now sit on, and all the people making their court to me. On
my right hand place my Fortunata's statue, with a dove in one hand,
and leading a little dog in her girdle with the other: As also my
Cicero, and large wine vessels close cork'd that the wine don't run
out, and yet carve one of them as broken, and a boy weeping over it;
as also a sun-dial in the middle, that whoever comes to see
what's-a-clock, may read my name whether he will or no. And lastly,
have a special consideration whether you think this epitaph sufficient
'HERE RESTS CAIUS POMPEIUS TRIMALCHIO, PATRON OF THE LEARNED. A TROOP
OF HORSE WAS DECREED HIM, WITHOUT SUING FOR, AND MIGHT HAVE BEEN A
SENATOR WOULD HE HAVE ACCEPTED IT. A PIOUS MAN, HONEST, VALIANT, AND
TRUE TO HIS FRIEND. HE RAISED HIMSELF FROM LITTLE OR NOTHING, BUT
LEFT BEHIND HIM A PRODIGIOUS ESTATE, YET NEVER HEARD A PHILOSOPHER.
FAREWELL TO YOU ALSO.'"
This said, Trimalchio wept plentifully, Fortunata wept, Habinas wept,
and the whole family set up a cry as it had been his funeral; nay, I
also whin'd for company: when, quoth Trimalchio, "Since you know we
must die, why don't we live while we may? so let me live my self to
see you happy; as, if we plunge our selves in the bath we shall not
repent it: At my peril be it; I'll lead the way, for this room is
grown as hot as an oven." "Say you so," quoth Habinas, "nor am I
afraid to make two days of one"; and therewith got up barefoot and
I on the other hand turning to Ascyltos, asked him what he thought of
it, for "if I but see the bath I shall swoon away."
"Let's lagg behind then," said he, "and whilst they are getting in,
we'll slip off in the crowd."
The contrivance pleased us; and so Gito leading the way through the
portico, we came to the last gate, where a chained dog bolted upon us
so furiously, that Ascyltos fell into the fishpond. I, who had been
frighted at the painted dog, and now gotten as drunk as Ascyltos,
while I endeavoured to get hold of him, fell in my self; at last the
porter's coming in saved us, for he quieted the dog and drew us out;
but Gito, like a sharp rascal, delivered himself, for whatever had
been given him at supper to carry home with him, he threw it the dog,
and that mollified him.
But, when shivering with cold, we desired the porter to let us out:
"You're mistaken," said he, "if ye think to go out the same way ye
came in, for no guest ere yet did; they came in at one gate and are
let out by another."
In this sad pickle, what should we do? we found ourselves in a new
kind of labyrinth, and for bathing, we'd enough of it already:
However, necessity enforcing us, we pray'd him to show us the way to
the bath: and Gito having hung out our cloaths a drying in the porch,
we entred the bath, which was somewhat narrow, and sunk in the earth,
not unlike a rainwater cistern; in this stood Trimalchio stark-naked:
Nor could we avoid his filthy tricks; for he said, nothing was better
than to bathe in a crowd; and that every place had in times past been
a grinding-house. Being weary at length, he sate down, and provok'd
by the noisiness of the bath, set up his drunken throat, and fell a
murdering some songs of Menecrates, as they that understood him told
Other guests ran round the cistern with their arms across, and made a
clamorous slap with their mouths; others either try'd to take up a
ring from the pavement, with their hands bound behind them, or putting
one knee to the ground, to kiss their great toes backward.
While they thus entertained one another, we went into the hot-house
that had been heated for Trimalchio; and being now recovered of our
drunkenness, were brought into another room, where Fortunata had set
out a fresh entertainment. Above the lamps I observed some women's
gewgaws. The tables were massy silver, the earthen ware double gilt,
and a conduit running with wine; when, quoth Trimalchio, "This day, my
friends, a servant of mine opened a barber's shop; he's well to pass,
a thrifty fellow, and a favourite of mine: Come, let the floor have a
drink as well as our selves; and for our part, we'll sit to it till
While he was yet speaking, a cock crow'd, at which Trimalchio grew
disordered, and commanded the wine to be thrown under table, and
sprinkle the larnps with it; then changing a ring to his right hand,
"it is not for nothing," said he, "this trumpeter has given us notice;
for either the house should be on fire, or one of the neighbourhood
will kill himself: Far from us be it, and therefore, whoever brings me
this discoverer I'll give him a reward."
When immediately a cock was brought in, and Trimalchio, commanding to
have him drest he was torn in pieces by that exquisite cook, who a
little before had make us fish and fowl of a hog, and put in a
stew-pan, and while Dædalus was taking a lusty draught, Fortunata
After which Trimalchio taking some of the banquet, bid the waiters go
to supper, and let others supply their places.
Whereupon came in another rank of servants, and as the former going
cry'd out, "Farewell, Caius," those coming in cry'd out, "Sit thou
And here our mirth first began to be disturb'd; for a beautiful boy
coming in among those new servants, Trimalchio plucked the boy to him,
and did nothing but kiss him over and over: Whereupon Fortunata to
maintain her right, began to rail at Trimalchio, called him pitiful
fellow, one that could not bridle his lust, shame and dishonour to an
honest woman, and a very dog. Trimalchio on the other hand, all
confounded and vex'd at her taunts, threw a goblet at her head: She
fell a roaring as if she had lost an eye, and clapt both her hands
Scintilla also stood amazed, and covered Fortunata all trembling as
she was, in her bosom; the boy also put a cold pitcher to her cheek,
on which she leaned and made a lamentable wailing and blubbing.
But Trimalchio quite contrary; "for," said he, "what am I the better
for this graceless buttock? 'Tis well known I took her out of a
bawdy-house, and made her an honest woman, but now blown up like a
frog she bespatters herself; a very block, no woman: But this poor boy
born in a hovel, never dreams of palaces. May my good genius so
befriend me, as I'll bring down this seeming saint, but in her actions
a whore rampant: As inconsiderable as she makes me, I might have had a
wife with two hundred and fifty pistols; you know I don't lye; but she
was somewhat in years, and Agatho the sweet oilman, persuaded me not
to let my name run out, when instead of doing good to her, I have put
a thorn in my own foot: but I'll have a care that she dig me not out
of my grave with her nails: And that she may know what I'll do at
present, I will not, Habinas, have you put her statue in my monument,
that I have no words with her when I am dead: Nay, that she may know I
am able to plague her, she shall not so much as kiss me when I die."
After this ratling, Habinas entreated him to give over his anger;
"There's none of us all," said he, "but some time or other does amiss;
we are but men, not gods." Weeping Scintilla said the same, called
him Caius, and by his own good nature, besought him to be pacified.
Trimalchio not able to hold tears any longer, "I beg of you, Habinas,"
said he, "and as you wish to enjoy what you have gotten, if I have
done any thing without cause, spit in my face: I kiss'd the boy 'tis
true, not for his beauty, but that he's a hopeful thrifty lad: He has
several sentences by heart, can read a book at first sight; saves
money out of his days provision; has a binn of his own to keep it, and
two drinking cups; and does he not deserve to be in my eye? but
Fortunata, forsooth, will not have it so; your bandy legs won't away
with it. Be content with your own, thou she-kite, and don't disquiet
me, thou harlotry, or otherwise thou'lt find what I am; thou knowest
well enough, if I once set on't, 'tis immoveable. But we'll remember
"Come, my friends, let's see how merry ye can be, for in my time I
have been no better than your selves, but by my own industry I am what
I am: 'Tis the heart makes a man, all the rest is but stuff. I buy
cheap and sell dear; another man may sell ye other things, but I enjoy
my self; and thou dunghillraker, are thou yet gruntling, I'll make ye
hereafter do it for somewhat.
"But as I was saying my frugality brought the fortune I have: I came
out of Asia no taller than this candlestick, and daily measured my
self by it: and that I might get a beard the sooner, rubb'd my lips
with the candle-grease; yet I kept Ganymede to my master fourteen
years (nor is any thing dishonourable that the master commands) and
the same time contented my mistress: Ye know what I mean, I'll say no
more, for I am no boaster. By this means, as the gods would have it,
the governing the house was committed to me, and nothing was done but
by my guidance: What need many words? He made me joint-heir with
Cæsar, and I had by it a Senator's estate; but no man thinks he has
enough, and I had a mighty desire to turn merchant. Not to detain you
longer; I built five ships, freighted them with wines, which at that
time were as dear as gold, and sent them to Rome; you'll think I
desir'd to have it so: All my ships founder'd at sea; 'tis a great
truth, no story; Neptune swallowed me in one day three hundred
thousand sesterties. Do ye think I broke upon 't, (so help me
Hercules) no; the loss was but a flea-bite: For, as if there had been
no such thing, I built others, larger, better, and more fortunate than
the former; so that every one called me a man of courage. As you know
a great ship carries a great deal of force, I loaded them again with
wine, bacon, beans, unguents, planes: And here Fortunata shewed her
affection; for she sold what she had; nay, her very cloaths, and put a
round sum in my pocket; tho' yet it was but a pig of my own sow. What
the gods will is quickly done; I got an hundred thousand sesterties by
the voyage, and forthwith redeemed the lands my patron had left me,
built me a house, bought cattle to sell them again, and whatever I
went about gathered like a snow-ball: But when I grew richer than all
the country besides, I took up; and from a merchant turn'd usurer, and
"Thus resolved to give over trading, a certain astrologer that chanc'd
to light on this village, would have persuaded me to the contrary. He
was a Græcian, his name Sœrapa, one that held correspondence
with the gods. He told me a deal that I had forgotten, and laid
everything before me from top to bottom: He knew all I had within me,
and told me what I had the night before to supper; you'd have thought
he had liv'd with me all his life.
"I beseech you, Habinas, for I think you was there; he told me the
intrigue between my mistress and me; that I had but ill luck at
friends; that no one ever made me a return of my kindnesses: That I
had large possessions, but nourished a viper in my bosom: Why should I
not tell you all? I have by his account, thirty years, four months,
and two days yet to live; and in a short time shall have another
estate left me.
"Thus my fortune-teller. But if I can join my lands here to those in
Apulia, I shall do well enough: in the mean, and while Mercury is my
guardian, I have built this house: it was once you know, a pitiful
cabin, but now as magnificent as a temple: it has four dining rooms,
twenty bed-chambers two marble porticoes, a gallery above stairs, my
own apartment, another for this viper; a very good porter's lodge, and
the house capable of receiving a thousand guests: To be short, when
ever Scaurus comes this way, he had rather lodge here than at his own
house, tho' it lie to the seaward: and many other conveniences it has,
which I'll shew you by and by. Believe me, he that has a penny in his
purse, is worth a penny: Have and you shall be esteemed. And so your
friend, once no better than a frog, is now a king.
"And now Stichus bring me the furniture in which I design to be
carried to my funeral pile; bring also the unguent, and some of that
pot, which I ordered for the cleansing my bones."
Stichus lingered not, but brought in a white coverlet, and robe of
state, and pray'd us to try if they were not fine wooll, and well
woven. "And see you Stichus," said Trimalchio smiling, "that neither
mice nor moths come at them, for if they do I'll burn you alive. I
will be brought out in pomp, that all the people may speak well of
With that opening a glass bottle of spicknard, he caused us all to be
anointed; and "I hope," said he, "it will do as much good when I am
dead, as it does while I am living": Then commanding the wine vessels
to be filled again; "Fausie," said he, "you are invited to my funeral
feast." We by this time nauseated, were ready to vomit; Trimalchio
also was gotten confoundedly drunk, when behold, a new interlude; he
called for the coronets to come in; and, underset with pillows, and
stretching himself at length on the bed, "suppose me," said he, "now
dead, say somewhat, I beseech you, in praise of me."
Whereupon the coronets sounded as it had been at a funeral; but one
above the rest, a servant of that freed-man of Trimalchio's, that was
best condition'd of 'em all, made such a thundring, that it rais'd the
neighbourhood: On which the watch thinking the house was on fire,
broke open the gate, and making an uproar after their manner, ran in
with water and hatchets: When finding so fair an opportunity, we gave
Agamemnon the slip, and scamper'd off, as if it had been a real fire.
Not a star appear'd to direct us in our way, nor would the dead of the
night give us hopes of meeting a stranger that could; with these, the
wine we had drank, and our ignorance of the place, even in the day
time, conspir'd to mis-direct us. When we had wander'd almost an
hour, with our feet all bloody, over sharp pebbles and broken hills of
gravel, Gito's diligence at last deliver'd us: for the day before,
fearing we might be at a loss, tho' we had the sun to our help, he had
providently mark'd every post and pillar with a chalk, the greatest
darkness was not able to obscure, by whose shineing whiteness we found
our way. But we had as many fears after we got to an inn; for the
hostess, having drank a little too long with her guests, had so
intirely lost her senses, a burning could not have made her feel; that
perhaps, we had been forc'd to have taken up our lodging in the
street, if a letter-carrier that belong'd to Trimalchio, with ten
carriages of his master's revenue, had not come in the mean time; who
without much ado beat down the door, and let us in at the same gap.
After we enter'd the bed-chamber, having plentifully feasted; prest by
impatient nature, I took my Gito aside; and wrapt in pleasures, spent
Who can the charms of that blest night declare,
How soft ye gods! our warm embraces were?
We hugg'd, we cling'd, and thro' each other's lips,
Our souls, like meeting streams, together mixt;
Farewell the world, and all its pageantry!
When I, a mortal! so begin to dye.
'Tis without reason I hug myself; Ascyltos, omnis iniuriae inventor,
subduxit mihi nocte puerum et in lectum transtulit suum, volutatusque
liberius cum fratre non suo, sive non sentiente iniuriam sive
dissimulante, indormivit alienis amplexibus oblitus iuris humani.
Itaque ego ut experrectus pertrectavi gaudio despoliatum torum. Si
qua est amantibus fides, ego dubitavi, an utrumque traicerem gladio
somnumque morti iungerem. Tutius dein secutus consilium Gitona quidem
verberibus excitavi, and looking as sternly as I cou'd upon Ascyltos,
thus address'd my self: "Since you've play'd the villain by your
treachery, and breaking the common laws of friendship, pack up your
matters quickly, and find another comrade to abuse."
Ascyltos consented; and, after we had made an exact division of our
booty; "Now," says he, "let's share the boy too": I believ'd it a jest
at parting, but, he with a murderous resolution, drew his sword; "nor
shall you," added he, "think to ingross this prize, which should, like
the rest, be common to us both. I must have my share, or with this
sword will be content to take it." Upon which, on the other side,
having twisted my gown under my arm, I made advances to ingage.
The unhappy boy rush'd between, and kissing both our knees, with
tears, entreated that we would not expose our selves in a pitiful
alehouse, nor with our blood pollute the rites of so dear a
friendship: but, raising his voice, says he, "if there must be murder,
behold my naked bosom, hither direct your fury: 'Tis I deserve death,
who violated the sacred laws of friendship."
Upon which we sheath'd our swords; and first Ascyltos, "I'll," says
he, "end the difference: Let the boy himself follow the man he likes,
that, in chusing a friend, at least, he may have an unquestion'd
I, that presum'd so long an acquaintance, had made no slight
impressions on his nature, was so far from fearing, that with an eager
haste I accepted the proffer, and to the judge committed the dispute:
Gito, that he might not seem to consider, at my consent jump'd up, and
I, like one thunderstruck, at the sentence, void of defence, fell upon
the bed, and had not surviv'd the loss, if envy of my rival had not
stopp'd my sword.
Ascyltos, proud of the conquest, goes off with the prize, leaving me
expos'd in a strange place, that before he caress'd as a friend and
sharer of his fortune:
'Tis in the world, as in a game of chess;
We serve our friends but where our profit is.
When fortune smiles, we're yours, and yours alone;
But when she frowns, the servile herd are gone.
So, in a play, they act with mimick art,
Father, or son, or griping miser's part:
But when at last the comic scenes are o'er,
They quit the visards they assum'd before.
Nor did I there very long complain, for fearing one Menelaus, an usher
of a school, might, among other misfortunes, find me alone in the inn,
I made up my wallet, and, very pensive, took me a lodging in a private
place near the sea: there, after I had been mewd up for three days,
reflecting afresh on my despis'd and abject condition, I beat my
breast, as sick as it was; and, when my deep sighs would suffer me,
often cry'd out; "Why has not the earth burst open, and swallow'd me?
Why has not the sea o'erwhelm'd me that respects not even the innocent
themselves? Have I been a murderer? when I had violated Lycas's wife,
have I fled justice? have I escap'd even when I was condemn'd to dye,
to live in a strange place, to have my name recorded only among
beggars and vagabonds? and who condemn'd me to this solitude?--A boy!
One who is a prostitute to all manner of lust; and by his own
confession deserves to dye; whom vice has enobl'd from a slave; who
was publickly contracted with as a girl, by one that knew he was of
the other sex: and what a wretch is that other, ye gods! whom, when he
might have writ man, his mother perswaded even out of his sex, and
putting on petty-coats, was condemn'd to a maids office in a prison:
who, after he had spent what he had, and chang'd the scene of his
lust; having contracted an old friendship, basely left it; and,
frontless impudence! like a hot whore, for one night's pleasure, sold
his friend. Now the lovers lye whole nights lockt in each other's
arms, and who knows but in those intervals they recruit their weary'd
strength, may laugh at me: but they shan't go off so, for if I'm a
man, or a free-born one at least, I'll make their blood compensate the
Having thus said I girt on my sword; and lest I shou'd be too weak to
maintain the war, encourag'd my self with a lusty meal, and making out
of doors, like one possesst, search'd every place: but whilst, with a
wild distracted countenance, I thought of nothing but blood and
slaughter; and oft with execrations laying my hand on my sword, a
souldier, perhaps some cheat or padder, observ'd me, and making up to
me, askt to what regiment or company I, his brother souldier,
belong'd? when, with a good assurance, I had cheated him into a belief
of the regiment and company; well, but friend, said he, looking down,
doe the souldiers of your company walk in such shoes? I began to look
guilty, and by my trembling discover'd the lye I had told him: upon
which he made me lay down my arms, and bid me take care of the worst.
Thus stript, nay and thus rob'd of my revenge, I return'd to my
lodging, where by degrees my fears abating, I began in my mind to
thank the robber.
But finding it difficult to wean my self from the love of revenge, I
spent half the night very pensively; and rising by day-break, to ease
me of my grief, and thoughts of my injury, I rov'd about every where,
till at last going in to a publick gallery, very wonderful for several
sorts of excellent painting; I saw some by Zeuxy's hand, that had not
yet yielded to the injuries of time: And, not without an awful
reverence, behold others by Protogenes, which tho' they were first
tryals, yet disputed for exactness, even with nature it self: but on
the other side viewing a celebrated piece drawn by Apelles; I even
ador'd the work of so great a master: 'twas so correctly finisht to
the life, you'd have sworn it an image of the soul too. One side gave
the story of the eagle bearing Jupiter to heaven, the other the fair
Hylas repelling the addresses of the lew'd naiad: in another part was
Apollo, angry at himself for killing his boy Hyacinth; and, to shew
his love, crown'd his harp with the flower that sprung from his blood.
In this gallery, as in a vision of living images, I cry'd out; and are
not the gods themselves secure from love? Jupiter in his seraglio
above, not finding one that can please his appetite, sins upon earth,
yet injures nobody: the nymph wou'd have stifl'd her passion for
Hylas, had she believ'd the lusty Hercules wou'd have been his rival:
Apollo turns Hyacinth into a flower: and every image enjoy'd its
wishes without a rival: but I have caress'd, as the dearest friend,
the greatest villain.
While I was thus talking to my self, there enter'd the gallery an old
man, with a face as pale as age had made his hair; and seem'd, I know
not how, to bring with him the air of a great soul; but viewing his
habit, I was easily confirm'd in my opinion, since fortune seldom
deals favourably with learned men. In short, he made up to me, and
addressing himself, told me he was a poet; and, as he hop'd, above the
common herd: if, added he, my merrit don't suffer by applause that's
promiscuously given, to the good and bad.
Why, therefore, interrupted I, are you so meanly clad? On this
account return'd he, because learning never made any man rich.
The merchant's profit well rewards his toil:
The souldier crowns his labours with the spoil:
To servile flattery we altars raise:
And the kind wife her stallion ever pays:
But starving wit in rags takes barren pain:
And, dying, seeks the muses aid in vain.
"'Tis certain," added he, "that a lover of virtue, on account of his
singularity, meets with contempt; for who can approve what differs
from himself? And that those who admire riches, wou'd fain possess
every body, that nothing is more reasonable than their opinion; whence
they ridicule, as well as they can, the learned few; that they, like
themselves, might seem within the power of money."
"I don't know, how learning and poverty became relations," said I, and
sigh'd: "You justly lament," return'd he, "the condition of scholars."
"You mistake me," said I, "that's not the occasion of my sighs,
there's another and much greater cause:" And, as all men are naturally
inclin'd to communicate their grief; I laid open my case to him,
beginning with Ascyltos's treachery, which I aggravated; and, with
repeated sighs, often wisht his injustice to me might have deserv'd
pardon: but that now he was a staunch villain, and in lust more subtle
than the bawds themselves.
The old man, seeing me sincere, began to comfort me; and the better to
effect it, told me what formerly had happen'd to himself on the like
"In Asiam cum a quaestore essem stipendio eductus, hospitium Pergami
accepi. Ubi cum libenter habitarem non solum propter cultum
aedicularum, sed etiam propter hospitis formosissimum filium,
excogitavi rationem, qua non essem patri familiae suspectus amator.
Quotiescunque enim in convivio de usu formosorum mentio facta est, tam
vehementer excandui, tam severa tristitia violari aures meas obsceno
sermone nolui, ut me mater praecipue tanquam unum ex philosophis
intueretur. Iam ego coeperam ephebum in gymnasium deducere, ego
studia eius ordinare, ego docere ac praecipere, ne quis praedator
corporis admitteretur in domum. . . .
"Forte cum in triclinio iaceremus, quia dies sollemnis ludum artaverat
pigritiamque recedendi imposuerat hilaritas longior, fere circa mediam
noctem intellexi puerum vigilare. Itaque timidissimo murmure votum
feci et 'domina' inquam 'Venus, si ego hunc puerum basiavero, ita ut
ille non sensiat, cras illi par columbarum donabo.' Audito voluptatis
pretio puer stertere coepit. Itaque aggressus simulantem aliquot
basiolis invasi. Contentus hoc principio bene mane surrexi electumque
par columbarum attuli expectanti ac me voto exsolvi.
"Proxima nocte cum idem liceret, mutavi optionem et 'si hunc' inquam
'tractavero improba manu, et ille non senserit, gallos gallinaceos
pugnacissimos duos donabo patienti.' Ad hoc votum ephebus ultro se
admovit et, puto, vereri coepit, ne ego obdormiscerem. Indulsi ergo
sollicito, totoque corpore citra summam voluptatem nne ingurgitavi.
Deinde ut dies venit, attuli gaudenti quicquid promiseram. Ut tertia
nox licentiam dedit, consurrexi . . . ad aurem male dormientis 'dii'
inquam 'immortales, si ego huic dormienti abstulero coitum plenum et
optabilem, pro hac felicitate cras puero asturconem. Macedonicum
optimum donabo, cum hac tamen exceptione, si ille non senserit.'
Nunquam altiore somno ephebus obdormivit. Itaque primum implevi
lacentibus papillis manus, mox basio inhaesi, deinde in unum omnia
vota coniunxi. Mane sedere in cubiculo coepit atque expectare
consuetudinem meam. Scis quanto facilius sit, columbas gallosque
gallinaceos emere quam asturconem, et praeter hoc etiam timebam, ne
tam grande munus suspectam faceret humanitatem meam. Ego aliquot
horis spatiatus in hospitium reverti nihilque aliud quam puerum
basiavi. At ille circumspiciens ut cervicem meam iunxit amplexu,
'rogo' inquit 'domine, ubi est asturco?'
"Cum ob hanc offensam praeclusissem mihi aditum, quem feceram, iterum
ad licentiam redii. Interpositis enim paucis diebus, cum similis
casus nos in eandem fortunam rettulisset, ut intellexi stertere
patrem, rogare coepi ephebum, ut reverteretur in gratiam mecum, id est
ut pateretur satis fieri sibi, et cetera quae libido distenta dictat.
At ille plane iratus nihil aliud dicebat nisi hoc: 'aut dormi, aut ego
iam dicam patri.' Nihil est tam arduum, quod non improbitas
extorqueat. Dum dicit: 'patrem excitabo,' irrepsi tamen et male
repugnanti gaudium extorsi. At ille non indelectatus nequitia mea,
postquam diu questus est deceptum se et derisum traductumque inter
condiscipulos, quibus iactasset censum meum, 'videris tamen' inquit
'non ero tui similis. Si quid vis, fac iterum.' Ego vero deposita
omni offensa cum puero in gratiam redii ususque beneficio eius in
somnum delapsus sum. Sed non fuit contentus iteratione ephebus planae
maturitatis et annis ad patiendum gestientibus. Itaque excitavit me
sopitum et 'numquid vis?' inquit. Et non plane iam molestum erat
munus. Utcunque igitur inter anhelitus sudoresque tritus, quod
voluerat, accepit, rursusque in somnum decidi gaudio lassus.
Interposita minus hora pungere me manu coepit et dicere: 'quare non
facimus?' tum ego totiens excitatus plane vehementer excandui et
reddidi illi voces suas: 'aut dormi, aut ego iam patri dicam.'"
This discourse diverting my grief, I began to question the old
gentleman about the antiquity of some pieces, the stories of others I
was not acquainted with, the reason why this age don't come up to the
former, and why the most excellent arts are lost, of which painting
has not left the least sign of its being? "Our love of riches,"
reply'd he, "has been the only occasion: for in old time, when virtue
was admir'd for its own sake, all liberal arts flourisht, and the only
emulation among men, was to make discoveries that might profit the
age. 'Twas in those times Democritus, content with poverty, found out
the vertue of most herbs; and lest there might be any hidden
excellence in stones and trees, spent the rest of his life in
experiments about them: 'Twas then Eudoxus abandon'd the world, to
live on the top of a high mountain, to discover the motions of the
heavens and Crisippus, the better to qualify his mind for invention,
went thrice through a course of physick.
"But to return to imagery, Lysippus with that diligence imploy'd
himself about one statue, that, neglecting his living, he dyed, for
want: and Myron, whose brazen images of men and beasts, you might have
mistaken for living ones, dy'd very poor: but our age is so wholly
devoted to drinking and whoring, we're so far from inventing, that we
don't acquaint our selves even with those arts that are found to our
hands: But, accusing antiquity, our schools become seminaries of vice
only: what's our logick? How little do we know of astronomy? Where's
our philosopher? What master of eloquence could indure to hear it so
murdred in a pulpit? What wise man cou'd suffer the noise? Our
business in the temple is not to inform our minds, or correct our
lives; but as soon as we enter the place, one out of love to his
friend, being made his heir, promises a sacrifice to the gods, if
they'd please to take him out of this troublesome world; another, if
they'd direct him to a treasure: the like a third promises if they'd
make him happy in a small estate of 300l. per an. or so: The very
Senate that shou'd show an exemplary conduct, in occasions of doubtful
events, have devoted mighty sums of gold to religious uses: And who
wou'd not but admire, that, he is perswaded hath charms enough to make
the gods themselves comply! You need not wonder why painting is lost,
when gold appears more beautiful both to gods and men, than any thing
Apelles or Phidias are now esteem'd madly to have spent their time
about: But seeing your curiosity is wholly taken up with that piece,
that shews you a contracted history of the Siege of Troy: I'll try to
give you the story more at large in verse.
"Now Troy had felt a siege of ten long years,
Concern and sorrow in each face appears:
The Grecian prophet too, with terrour fill'd,
What fate decree'd, but doubtfully reveal'd:
When thus Apollo----
From the proud top of Ida's rising hill
A lofty pile of mighty cedars fell,
Whose trunks into a dreadful fabrick force,
And, let it bear the figure of a horse:
The spacious hollows, of whose mountain-womb,
The choice and flower of your troops entomb.
The Greeks, enrag'd to be so long repell'd,
With their chief troops the beasts vast bowel's fill'd,
And thus their arms and all their hopes conceal'd.
Strange was the fate the rul'd unhappy Troy,
Who thought them gone, and lasting peace t'enjoy,
So the inscription of the machine said,
And treacherous Synon, for their ruin made.
All from their arms at once, and troubles run
To view the horse, and left th' unguarded town
So over-joy'd they wept: Thus even fears
When joy surprizes, melt away in tears.
Enrag'd Laocoon, with prophetick beat,
Prest thro' the crowd, that on his humour wait;
And with a javelin pierc'd the fatal horse,
But fate retards the blow, and stopt its force:
The spear jumpt back upon the priest, so nigh,
It gave new credit to the treachery.
Yet to confirm how weak was the attempt
'Gainst what the gods will have, his javelin sent,
Resum'd with double fury, thro' his side,
And the large concave of the machine try'd:
When from within the captive Grecians roar;
And the beast trembles with another's fear.
Yet to the town the present they convey,
Thus a new stragem does Troy betray;
While to the taken, she becomes a prey.
But other monsters there enform our eyes,
What mighty seas from Teuedos arise!
The frighted Neptune seems to seek the shore,
With such a noise, with such a dreadful roar:
As in a silent night, when, from afar,
The dismal sound of wrecks invades the ear:
When rolling on the waves two mighty snakes,
Unhappy Troy descry'd; whose circling stroaks,
Had drove the swelling surges on the rocks.
Like lofty ships they on the billows ride,
And with rais'd breasts the foaming flood divide:
Their crests they brandish and red eye-balls raise,
That all around dispence a sulphurous blaze.
To shore advancing, now the waves appear
All fire; unwonted ratlings fill the air.
The ocean trembles at their dreadful hiss;
All are amaz'd: When in a Trojan dress;
And holy wreaths their sacred temples bind,
Laocoon's sons were by the snakes entwin'd:
Now t'wards heaven their little hands are thrown
Each for his brother, not himself does moan,
And prays to save his ruin by his own.
Both dye at last, thro' fear each other shou'd,
And to give death a greater pomp, the good
Laocoon to their rescue vainly run,
Now gorg'd with death, they drag him on the ground
Up to the altar, where devoted lies
The priest himself, a panting sacrifice.
Thus with his blood the temple they prophane;
Losing their gods; Troy's ruin thus began:
Now the bright taper of the night appears,
Gayly attended with a train of stars:
When midst the Trojans, dead in sleep and wine,
The Grecians execute their dire design:
When from the open'd caverns of the horse,
Like a large flood, their hidden troops did gush;
And now deliver'd, leave their horse and fear,
With the same wanton motions colts appear:
When from the plow, and heavy collar freed,
They shake their rising crests, and try their speed.
Their swords they brandish, and their shields they rear,
And fix their helmets, then begin the war:
A party here o' th' drunken Trojans light,
And send them snoring to eternal night;
Another there now made their altars smoke,
And against Troy, Troy's guardian gods invoke."
When Eumolpus had gone thus far in his story, the people that were
walking there, began to fling stones at him: But he, conscious of his
merit, cover'd his head, and took up his heels: I, fearing they wou'd
have taken me for a poet too, made after him: When we were out of
stone shot of the enemy, "I beseech you, sir," said I, "what will you
do with this disease of yours? I don't wonder at the peoples humour,
since I have hardly been acquainted with you two hours, and your
entertainment has been more poetry than the conversation of a man. I
think I must fill my pocket with stones, that when I perceive you
going into a fit, I may bleed you in the head for it, with one of
He turn'd to me, and, "Dear child," said he, "I rose to day without
consulting my fortune; tho' 'tis confest I seldom appear even on the
stage, but such a mobb as this are laughing at me: But that I may not
be at difference with you too, I'll tye my self up from this humour of
poetry:" "Well, well," said I, "on that condition I sup with you;"
upon which, going into the poor cottage I lodg'd at, we order'd the
master of it to get us a supper, and in the mean time we went to the
bagnio, where I saw Gito standing against the wall, with towels and
rubbing brushes in his hand; his troubl'd countenance easily perswaded
me he serv'd on compulsion: As soon as he saw me, with joy addressing
himself, he told me, that since I was not in that martial posture that
once frighted him to belye his affections, he cou'd freely speak to
me, upon which he entreated me to pity his circumstances; and, if I
cou'd but deliver him from so barbarous a master, since he was now
sorry he was forc'd to be my judge, I might take my satisfaction in
any punishment I'de please to inflict; "for," added he, "if I must
dye, 'twill be comfort enough to so unhappy a wretch to think that you
are pleas'd in 't."
I desir'd him wave his complaints, lest our design shou'd be
discover'd, and leaving Eumolpus (for in the bath he was versifying)
we made off thro' a dirty back-entry, as privately as we could to my
lodgings: Where, shutting the door, I threw my arms about his neck,
and, tho, he was all in tears, half smother'd him with kisses: Thus we
continu'd without a word from either side: Gito's repeated sobs so
disturb'd him, he could not speak: When after a long time spent in
that posture, "how unaccountable is it," began I, "to love him that
once forsook me! And that in this breast I shou'd feel so great a
wound, yet have no sign of its being there! what's you' pretence for
chusing Ascyltos? Have I deserv'd such usage?"
After he found I still had love for him, he began to look less
concerned: "When," added I, "I'm so far from desireing an umpire to
judge of th' ingratitude of your choice, that I neither complain of,
or design to remember it; if I find you sincere."
I cou'd not tell him this without a tear: When, wiping his face, says
he, "Encolpius, I appeal to your memory, whether I left, you, or you
betray'd me. I must confess, and hope you can't blame me; when I saw
two at daggers-drawing, that I ran to the strongest."
I cou'd not but admire his wit, and to convince him of a perfect
reconciliation, sealed it with repeated kisses.
'Twas now quite dark, and our supper was dishing up, when Eumolpus
knock'd at the door: I ask'd how many there was of 'em: And took an
opportunity through a chink, to see whether Ascyltos was with him: But
finding him alone, I soon open'd the door: He had hardly fixt himself
on his couch, when seeing Gito in waiting, "on my word," said he, "a
very Gannymed; sure Encolpius, you'll have no reason to complain to
I did not like to observing an entry; and was afraid I had entertain'd
another Ascyltos. Eumolpus pursuing his humour, when the boy fill'd
him a glass, "I had rather," said he, "be in possession of thee, than
the whole bagnio"; and greedily drinking it off, "the heat I've been
in," added he, "made this the pleasantest draught I ever took: For to
deal freely with ye, I narrowly scap'd a beating, for attempting, when
I was in the bath, to deliver my thoughts of it in verse: And after I
was turn'd out of the bagnio, as I us'd to be out of the theatre; I
search'd every place, crying as loud as I cou'd, 'Encolpius,
Encolpius.' A naked youth that had lost his cloaths, as strongly
echo'd back to me, 'Gito, Gito': The boys, believing me mad, ridicul'd
me with their mimikry: But the other was attended with a great
concourse of people, that with an awful admiration prais'd the youth:
For nature had so largely qualify'd him for a lover, his body seem'd
but as the skirt of the mighty member it bore: A lusty rogue! I'll
warrant, he'd maintain the field four and twenty hours! He therefore
soon found relief, for some debauch'd spark, a Roman knight, as was
reported, flung his cloak over him, and took him home, with hopes, I
presume to engross so great a prize: But I was so far from meeting
such civility, that even my own cloaths were kept from me, till I
brought one that knew me, to satisfie 'em in my character: So much
more profitable 'tis to improve the body than the mind."
Whilst Eumolpus was telling his story, I often chang'd countenance:
Looking glad at the ill fortune of my rival, but troubled at his good:
yet did not interrupt him, lest he shou'd discover my concern: and
when he had done, I told him what we had for supper.
I had hardly given him an account, e're our entertainment came in:
'Twas common homely food, but very nourishing: Our half starv'd doctor
attacqu'd it very briskly, but when he had well fill'd himself, began
to tell us, philosophers were above the world, and to ridicule those
that condemn every thing, because 'tis common, and only to admire
those things that are difficult to be had: "These vicious appetites,"
added he, "that despise what they can cheaply come by, never taste any
thing pure, but, like sick men, love only those things that are
hurtful to 'em.
"What's soon obtain'd, we nauseously receive,
All hate the victory that's got with leave:
We scorn the good our happy isle brings forth,
But love whatever is of foreign growth:
Not that the fish that distant waters feed,
Do those excel that in our climate breed;
But these are cheaply taken, those came far,
With difficulty got, and cost us dear:
Thus the kind she, abroad, we admire above
Th' insipid lump, at home of lawful love:
Yet once enjoy'd, we strait a new desire,
And absent pleasures only do admire."
"Is this," said I, interrupting him, "what you promis'd, that you
wou'd not versifie to day agen? I beseech you, sir, at least spare us
that never pelted you: For if any of the inn shou'd find we have a
poet in our company, the whole neighbourhood wou'd be rais'd, and we
shou'd dye martyrs for a wrong opinion: If nothing else will make you
pity us, think of the galery and bath you came from": when I had
treated him after this rate, the good natur'd Gito, correcting me,
said, I did very ill to rail at a man so much my elder; and that
having offer'd a gentleman the curtsie of my table, I shou'd not so
far forget good breeding, to affront him when he came: With many the
like expressions, attended with a blush at their delivery, that
extreamly became him.
"Happy the woman," said Eumolpus, "that's blest with such a son!
Heaven encrease your virtue: so much sense, and so much beauty we
seldom meet with in any one person: But, lest you shou'd think your
civility thrown away, you have found a lover for it: I'll give the
world your praises in verse: I'll be your servant, your gardian, and
will follow you every where: Nor can Encolpius think himself injur'd,
he loves another."
Eumolpus was oblig'd to the souldier that robb'd me of my sword, else
I had turn'd the fury upon him I meant for Ascyltos: Gito reading it
in my countenance, under pretence of fetching water, prudently
withdrew: And allay'd my heat, by removing one cause of it: But my
rage reviving, "Eumolpus," said I, "I had rather have heard even your
verses, that you propose to your self such hopes: I am very
passionate, and you are very lustful: Consider how improbable 'tis we
shou'd agree; believe therefore I am mad, and humour the phrenzy; that
is, be gone immediately."
At this Eumolpus was in great confusion, and, without asking the
occasion of my passion, presently made out: But drawing the door after
him, what I did not in the least suspect, he lock'd me in, and
stealing the key out of the door, ran in pursuit of Gito.
The rage I was in to be so abus'd, put me upon hanging my self; and
having ty'd an apron, I found in the room, to the bed-stead, committed
my neck to the noose I had made with its strings: When Eumolpus and
Gito came to the door, and entering, prevented my design: Gito, his
grief growing to a rage, made a great out-cry, and forcing me on the
bed, "You're mistaken," said he, "Encolpius, if you fancy it possible
for you to dye before me: I was first in the design, and had not
surviv'd my choice of Ascyltos; if I had met with an instrument of
death: But had not you come to my relief in the bath, I had resolv'd
to throw my self out of the window: And that you may know how ready
death is to wait those that desire it: see--I've got what you so
Upon which, having snatch'd a rasor from Eumolpus's servant, he struck
three or four times 't his throat, and fell down before us: frightened
at the accident, I cry'd out, and falling upon him e're he had reached
the ground, with the same weapon, endeavoured to follow him: But
neither had Gito any appearance of a wound, nor did I feel my self
hurt: For it happen'd to be a dull rasor, design'dly made so, to
prepare learners of the art to handle a sharper which was the reason
Eumolpus did not offer to prevent our mimick deaths, nor his man look
concern'd when the rasor was snatch'd from him.
While this scene was acting, the inn-keeper came in upon us, with the
other part of our supper; and viewing the obscene posture we were in,
"I beseech you, sirs," said he, "are ye drunk, or have fled justice,
and are acting it on your selves, or both? ho! who was going to make a
gibet of the bed? What private designs are here on foot? What--was
your going out but now with intent to bilke me? But you shall feel
fo't: I'll soon make ye know who rules here."
"What, you rascal," crys Eumolpus, "do you threat too?" And without
more ado flung his fist in his face: The inn-keeper took up an earthen
pitcher we so oft had empty'd, and sending it at Eumolpus, broke his
forehead, and immediately ran down stairs: Eumolpus, impatient of
revenge, snatching up a great wooden candlestick, made after him; and
pouring his blows very thick on the inn-keeper, repair'd the injury
with interest: This alarm'd the whole house, and whilst the rest of
his guess, that by this time were most of 'em drunk; ran to see what
was the matter, taking an opportunity to revenge the injury Eumolpus
had offer'd me, I lock'd him out; and turning thus his trick upon
himself, at once, enjoy'd the bed and board without a rival.
In the mean time, the islanders (that came in at the bustle) and cooks
with all their kitchin artillery set upon Eumolpus: One throws at his
head a hot spit with the meat on't; another with a pitchfork puts
himself in a martial posture against him; but especially a blear-ey'd
old woman, who tucking up the dirty apron she had about her, with one
shoe on, and another off, hall'd a great mastiff and set him at
Eumolpus: But with the wooden candlestick he defended himself against
all his enemies.
We saw all through a hole they had made by wrenching the latch from
the door: I wish'd him well you may imagine; but Gito had compassion
and wou'd have succour'd the distrest Eumolpus; upon which, my rage
continuing, I gave his pitying head two or three blows with my fist;
he sate down on the bed and cry'd: but I so eagerly ply'd the hole, I
made my eyes relieve each other; and, encouraging the people against
him, with great satisfaction beheld the conflict: when the bailiff of
the island, one Bargates, whom the scuffle had rais'd from supper; was
brought into the room, supported by others legs, for he was troubl'd
with the gout, he cou'd not use his own: And having in his clownish
manner, with a great deal of heat, made a long harangue against
drunkards and vagabonds, looking on Eumolpus, "ha! what is it you,"
says he, "the excellent poet? What--has these rogues been abusing you
all this while?" At what time he goes up to Eumolpus, and in a
whisper, "I have a maid," says he, "that flouts at me when I ask her
the question; prithee, if you have any love for me, abuse her in a
copy of verses till she's ashamed of her self."
While Eumolpus was thus ingag'd with Bargates, the cryer of the town,
and some other officer, attended with a great concourse of people,
entred the inn; and, shaking a smoaky rather than lighted torch he
carried, mouths out this; viz.
NOT LONG AGO, RUN AWAY FROM THE BATH, A VERY PRETTY BOY, WITH CURL'D
HAIR, BY NAME, GITO.
IF ANY MAN, OR WOMAN, IN CITY, OR COUNTRY CAN TELL TALE OR TIDINGS OF
HIM, SHALL HAVE FOR HIS REWARD 1000 SESTERCES.
Not far from the cryer, stood Ascyltos, clad with a coat of many
colours; who, to incourage any discoverer, held the reward in a silver
charger before him.
Upon this, I order'd Gito to steal under the bed, and thrust his feet
and hands through the cords that, as Ulysses formerly hid in a sheeps
hide, so extended he might cheat the searchers.
Gito immediately obey'd the motion, and fixing himself, as I directed,
out-did Ulysses in his native art: But, that I might leave no room for
suspicion, I so disposed the bed-cloaths, that none could believe more
than my self had lain there.
We had just done, when Ascyltos, with a beadle, having search'd the
other chambers, came to ours, which gave him greater hopes, because he
found the door so barr'd: But the petty officer he brought, with an
iron crow, forc'd it open.
Upon Ascyltos's entry, I threw my self at his feet, and beseech'd him,
if he had any memory of our past friendship; or any respect for one
that had shar'd misfortunes with him, he wou'd at least let me see the
still dear Gito: And to give my sham-intreaties a better colour, "I
see," says I, "Ascyltos, you are come with designs on my life; for to
what other end could you bring those ministers of justice? Therefore
satisfie your rage, behold my naked bosom, let out that blood, which,
under pretence of a search, you come to seek."
Ascyltos, now laying aside his old grudge to me; profess'd he came in
pursuit of nothing but Gito, that had run from him; nor desir'd the
death of any man, much more of one that falls before him; and whom,
after a fatal quarrel with him, he held most dear.
The petty officer was not so easie to me, for taking a stick out of
the inn-keeper's hand, he felt under the bed with it, and run it into
every hole he found in the wall: Gito drew his body out of the stick's
way, and, breathing as gently as fear cou'd make him, held his mouth
close to the cords.
They were hardly gone, e're Eumolpus bounc'd in upon us, for the
broken door cou'd stop nobody, and, in a great heat, cry'd out, "I'll
earn the reward: I'll make after the Cryer, and let him know how soon
Gito may be in his custody."
Eumolpus pursuing his design, I kist his knees, and intreated him not
to anticipate the end of dying men; "you wou'd be justly angry," added
I, "if you shou'd discover to 'em how you are deceiv'd: The boy run
into the crowd undiscovered, and where he is gone, my self can't
suspect. I beseech you, Eumolpus, bring back the boy, or at least
restore him even to Ascyltos."
Just as I had worked him to a belief, Gito, with restraining his
breath, snees'd thrice so thoroughly, that he shook the bed; at which
Eumolpus, turning about, saluted him with, "God bless you, sir;" and,
taking the bedding aside, saw the little Ulysses, who might have
raised compassion, even in a blood-thirsty Cyclops: then looking upon
me, "Thou villain," says he, "how have you shamm'd me? Durst you not
tell truth, even when you was catch'd in a roguery? If some god, that
has the care of humane affairs, had not forc'd the boy to discover
himself, I had wander'd in search of him to a fine purpose." But
Gito, that cou'd fawn much better than I, took a cobweb dipt in oyl,
and apply'd to the wound in his forehead: And changing his torn coat
for his own mantle, imbrac'd the now reconcil'd Eumolpus, and stuck to
his lips: at last he spoke, and, "Our lives," said he, "most indulgent
father, our lives are in your power; if you love your Gito, convince
him that you do, by preserving him: O! could I now meet a grave in
flames or waves, that I, the only cause of all, might end your
Eumolpus, concern'd at our grief, and particularly mindful of Gito's
tenderness to him; "surely," says he, "y'are the greatest of fools,
who have souls enrich'd with virtues, that may make ye happy, yet live
a continu'd martyrdom, raising to your selves every day new occasions
of grief; I, wherever I am, make my life as pleasant and free from
trouble, as if I expected no more of it: If you'll imitate me, never
let cares disturb your quiet. And to avoid Ascyltos that haunts ye in
these parts, I am taking a voyage to a foreign country, and shou'd be
glad of your company: I believe to morrow night I shall go on board
the vessel: I am very well known there, and you need not doubt of a
His advice appear'd to me both wise and profitable; for at once it
deliver'd me from Ascyltos, and gave me hopes of living more happy:
Thus oblig'd by Eumolpus's good nature, I was sorry for the late
injury I had done him, and began to repent I appear'd his rival, since
it had occasion'd so many disasters.
At last, with tears, I beseech'd him to be friends with me too, for
that it was not in a rival's power to bound his rage; yet, that I
wou'd try neither to say, or do any thing that may offend him: and
hop'd so wise and good a man as he, wou'd leave in his mind no sign of
a former quarrel: for 'twas with men as with countrys, on rude
neglected grounds snows lay very long, but where the fruitful earth
was improv'd by culture, they presently melt off, and hardly leave a
print behind: Thus unfashion'd minds can't discharge their passions
suddenly, but where souls are inrich'd with instruction, they but
appear and vanish.
"And to confirm the truth of what you say," return'd Eumolpus, "all my
heat expires in this kiss; but, to prevent the designs of your
enemies, hasten with your wallets, and either follow me, or, if ye
like it, act the leaders."
He had not done speaking, when, hearing the door move, we turn'd
about, and saw a seaman, with a beard that made him appear terribly
grim: who saluted Eumolpus with a "Why dy'e stay, as if you did not
know how near the time 'twas?"
All immediately prepared for the march, Eumolpus loads his servants,
who had been all this while asleep; I, and Gito, pack'd our things
together, and, thanking our stars, enter'd the vessel.
We fixt our selves, as much out of the way as we could, under deck:
and it being not yet day, Eumolpus fell a-sleep: I, and Gito, cou'd
not take a wink: when reflecting afresh, that I had harbour'd in my
acquaintance, a rival more powerful than Ascyltos; I began to be much
troubled: but wisely allaying my grief, I thus reason'd with my self:
Is it so troublesom to share what we love? when the best of nature's
works are in common? The sun throws his rays on all. The moon, with
her infinite train of stars, serves to light even beasts to their
fodder: What below can boast an excellence of nature above the waters?
Yet they flow in publick for the use of all: only love seems sweeter
stol'n than when it's given us: so it is, we esteem nothing, unless
'tis envy'd by others; but what have I to fear in a rival, that age
and impotence conspire to render disagreeable? Who, when he has an
inclination, his body jades under him before he can reach the goal.
When I had cheated my self with this assurance, I muffled my head in
my coat, and feign'd my self asleep: but on a sudden, as if fortune
had resolv'd to ruin my quiet; I heard one above deck groaning out:
"And has he scorn'd me?" This struck me with a trembling, for it was
a man's voice, and one I was afraid I knew: but at a greater distance,
with the same heat, I heard a woman lamenting: "O that some god," said
she, "wou'd bring my Gito to my arms; tho' he banish'd himself thence;
how kindly wou'd I receive him!"
So unexpected a thing drove the colour from our cheeks; I especially,
as in a trance, was a long time speechless; when, trembling with fear,
I pull'd Eumolpus by the coat, who was now asleep; and "I beseech you,
father," said I, "do you know the owner of this vessel, or who the
passengers are?" He was very angry to be disturbed: "And was it for
this reason," said he, "that we chose the most private place in the
ship; that none but your self might disturb us: or what will it
signifie if I tell you, that one Lycas a Tarentine owns her, and is
carrying one Tryphœna to Tarentum?"
For a while I stood like one thunder-struck, when opening my bosom, I
trembling, cry'd out; "At last, Fortune, you have ruin'd every part of
me:" for Gito, my better half, lean'd on my breast, as if he had
breath'd his last: when our sweating through fear, had a little
recover'd our spirits: I fell at Eumolpus feet, and intreated him to
have compassion of two dying wretches: that is, to assist us in the
means of escaping the impending mischief: "Tho' death," I added,
"wou'd be more grateful to us, if the happiness of enjoying you, did
not make us envy life."
Eumolpus was glad to serve us, and swore by all that's sacred, he was
privy to no design against us; and that he had very innocently brought
us hither, for no other end, than for our company, having hir'd the
vessel before he was acquainted with us: "But what designs on your
lives are here?" added he, "Or have we a pyrate Hannibal on board?"
"Lycas," continued he, "a very honourable man, is not only master and
owner of this vessel, but of a good estate, and having inclinations to
traffick, freights his vessel himself: Is this the terrible Cyclops?
Is this the dreadful cut-throat, we must pay our carriage to? And
besides him, is the beautiful Tryphœna that other emblem of
terrour, who for her pleasure only goes with Lycas."
"These are the very two," reply'd Gito, "we strove to avoid": and, in
a low voice, made Eumolpus, that trembled at the story, at once
understand the occasions of their malice to us, and our present
Eumolpus was so distracted in his thoughts, he cou'd not advise, but
bid each of us give him his opinion; "And presume," says he, "we had
just enter'd the Cyclops den, where Jove's thunderbolts are made. We
must seek a means of delivery, except we design to free us from all
danger, by sinking the vessel."
"No, no," began Gito, "rather offer the pilot a reward, to direct the
vessel to some port: and affirm the sea so disagrees with your friend,
that if he is not so kind, you fear he'll dye: you may colour the
pretence with tears, and appear much concern'd, that, mov'd with
compassion, the pilot may befriend you."
Eumolpus reply'd, that could not be effected, for not only the
difficulty of guiding so great a ship to a port, but a suspicion he
wou'd necessarily have, that his friend cou'd not be so suddenly very
ill, conspir'd against it: Then next perhaps, Lycas wou'd have a
curiosity to visit his sick passenger: "Can you propose to escape by a
means that will discover ye to him ye'd avoid? But presuming the ship
cou'd be stopt in her rapid course, and that Lycas shou'd not visit
his sick on board: How can we get out, but all must see us? With our
heads muffled, or bare? If cover'd, we move every one to lend a hand
to sick persons; if bare, we discover our selves."
"A desperate disease," said I, "must have a desperate cure; I know no
better expedient of our delivery, than to slide into the long boat,
and cutting the cord, leave the rest to Fortune: Nor do I desire
Eumolpus to share the danger: For what wou'd it signifie to involve an
innocent person in other mens deserv'd misfortunes? We shall think
our selves happy, if Fortune be kind."
"'Twas not ill advised," said Eumolpus, "if it cou'd be done; for do
you think to stir in the ship unobserved, when the distant motion of
the stars themselves can't escape the pilot's diligence? You must
pass the only guarded part of the ship near which place the rope that
holds the boat is tyed: Besides, Encolpius, I wonder you did not
remember that one seaman was upon constant duty night and day in the
boat it self; nor will be mov'd from his post, without you cut his
throat, or fling him overboard; which consider whether you can dare
attempt; for my part, to go with you I would refuse no danger that
could give me the least hopes of getting off; but to put so low a
value on life, to throw it away as a useless thing, I believe even
your selves are unwilling: Hear whether you like my proposal; I'll put
ye into two mantles I have here, and making holes to breathe and eat
through, will place you amongst my other goods for baggage, next
morning I allarm the whole ship, crying out, my servants, fearing a
greater punishment, in the night jump into the sea; that when the ship
made to land, I might carry you off for baggage."
"Very well," said I, "but do you design to tye us as stocks, within
which nature does not labour to be freed; or as those that use to
sneeze and snore? Or, because I once succeeded in a like deceit? But
suppose we cou'd hold out a day so ty'd up, what shall we do if we're
put to't longer? Will the thoughts of a quiet life without cares, or
of our adverse fortune entertain us most? our very cloaths long bound
up will rot upon our backs: Can we, d'ye think, that are young, and
not inur'd to labour, endure to be clad like statues, and wear our
cords as insensibly? Since we are yet to seek a way of escape, for no
proposal has been made without an objection; see what I have thought
on: The studious Eumolpus, I presume, never goes unfurnisht with ink;
is there a better expedient, than washing our hands, face, and hair,
with that, to appear like Æthiopian slaves? when without wringing
our limbs, we can't but be merry, to act a cheat, that so nearly
imposes on our enemies?"
"And why would you not have us circumcis'd too," interrupted Gito,
"that we may appear like Jews; and have our ears bor'd, to persuade
them we came from Arabia? and why did not you advise our faces to be
chalk'd as well as ink'd, that we might pass for Frenchmen, as if our
colour would make such a mighty alteration? Has a foreigner but one
mark of distinction? Can you think anybody so ignorant to mistake you
for one, by that sign only? Grant our dawb'd faces wou'd keep their
colour: Suppose it wou'd not wash off, nor our cloaths stick to the
ink, how can we imitate their black swollen lips? the short curl of
their hair? the seams on their foreheads? their circular way of
treading? their splay feet? or the mode of their beards? an artificial
colour rather stains than alters the body; but, if you'll be rul'd by
a madman, let's cover our heads, and jump into the sea?"
"Nor Heaven nor man," cry'd Eumolpus, "cou'd suffer ye make so ill an
end; rather pursue this advice: My slave, as you may imagine by his
rasor, is a piece of a barber; let him shave not only your heads, but,
as a mark of greater punishment, your eye-brows too, and Ill finish
your disguise with an inscription on your foreheads, that you may
appear as slaves branded for some extraordinary villany: Thus the same
letters will at once divert their suspicion, and conceal your
countenance under the mask of punishment."
We lik'd the advice, and hasten'd the execution, when stealing to the
side of the vessel, we committed our heads and eye-brows to the
barber: Eumolpus in the meantime fill'd our foreheads with great
letters, and very liberally dispenc'd the known marks of fugitives
through the other parts of our faces; one of the passengers, easing
his o're-charg'd stomach o're the side of the ship, by the moon
perceiving the reflection of a barber busie at so unseasonable a time,
and, cursing the omen that he thought presag'd a shipwreck, ran to his
hammock, upon which we dissembled the same, but indeed had an equal
though different concern; and the noise over, we spent the rest of the
night without resting much.
The next day Eumolpus, when he found Tryphœna was stirring, went to
visit Lycas; and after he had talk'd with him about the happy voyage
he hop'd from the clearness of the heavens, Lycas, turning to
Tryphœna, "Methoughts," said he, "about midnight the vision of
Priapus appear'd to me, and told me, he had lately brought into my
ship Encolpius that I sought for": Tryphœna was startl'd, "And
you'd swear we slept together," reply'd she, "for methoughts the image
of Neptune having struck his trident thrice against the Bajœ, told
me that in Lycas' ship I shou'd meet my Gito."
"Hence, proceeds," said Eumolpus, interrupting 'em, "that veneration I
pay the divine Epicurus, who so wittily has discovered such illusions.
"When in a dream presented to our view,
Those airy forms appear so like the true;
Nor heaven nor hell the fancy'd visions sends,
But every breast its own delusion lends:
For when soft sleep the body wraps in ease,
And from th' unactive mass our fancy frees,
Whatever 'tis in which we take delight,
And think of most by day, we dream at night.
Thus he, the now sackt city justly fear'd,
Who all around had death and ruin shar'd.
From fancy'd darts believes a darkned sky,
And troops retreating in confusion fly:
There the sad funeral pomp of kings; here
Conscious plains, half drown'd in blood, appear
He that by day has nois'd it at the bar,
Of knaves and fools now sees the great resort,
And to meet justice vainly fears in court.
Misers amidst their heaps are raising new,
And think they oft their old hid treasure view.
And huntsmen the imagin'd chace pursue.
The merchant dreams of wrecks, the ship wou'd save,
Or now, by sinking it, himself preserve.
The mistress to her distant lover writes;
And, as awake, with flames and darts indites:
The good wife dreaming of her stallion's charms,
Oft seeks the pleasure in her cuckold's arms.
Dogs on full cry, in sleep, the hare pursue,
And hapless wretches their old griefs renew."
But Lycas, when he had thank'd his stars for their care of him, "That
we may not seem," said he, "to condemn the divine powers, what hinders
but we search the vessel?"
Upon which one Æsius, the passenger that had discover'd us by our
reflection in the water, cry'd out, "these are the men that were
shav'd by moonshine to night. Heaven avert the omen! I thought the
ceremony of cutting the nails and hair, was never perform'd but as a
solemn sacrifice to appease a storm."
"Is 't so," says Lycas, in a great heat, "did any in the ship offer to
shave themselves, and at midnight too? Bring 'em quickly hither, that
I may know who they are that deserve to die a sacrifice for our
"'Twas I," quoth Eumolpus, "commanded it, not wishing ill to the ship,
but ease to my self; for they are my slaves, and having long staring
hairs, I order'd the uncomely sight to be taken away; not only that I
might not seem to make a prison of the ship; but that the mark of
their villany might more plainly appear; and to let you know how
richly they deserve the punishment; among other rogueries, they rob'd
me of a considerable sum of money, and spent it with all the luxury of
rich debauches, on a trull that was at both their services, whom I
catcht them with last night. In short, they yet smell of the wine
they profusely gave themselves with my money."
Lycas, that the offenders might atone for their crime, order'd each of
them forty stripes; we were immediately brought to the place of
execution; where the enrag'd seamen set upon us with ropes-ends, and
try'd to offer our blood a sacrifice for their safety. I bore three
stripes very heroically. Gito, who had not so much passive valour at
the first blow, set up such an out-cry that the known sound of his
voice reach'd Tryphœna's ear; who in great disorder attended with
her maids, that were all like her self surpriz'd at the voice, run to
Gito's admirable beauty had soften'd their rage, and seem'd without
speaking to intreat their favour; when the maids unanimously cry'd
out, "'tis Gito, 'tis Gito; hold your barbarous hands, help madam,
Tryphœna to their cry inclin'd her ears, that already had
anticipated her belief, and with eager haste flew to the boy.
Upon which Lycas that knew me very well, as much satisfied as he had
heard my voice, ran to me, and taking my other parts on content, sed
contiguo ad inguina mea luminibus deflexis movit officiosam manum
"your servant Encolpius," says he, "'twill be no wonder how Euryclea
that nurs'd Ulysses, at his return after twenty years absence, shou'd
know him by a scar on his forehead, when 'tis consider'd, the most
discreet Lycas, not beholden to the marks of any seen part of the
body, so judiciously discover'd me by the most hid:" Tryphœna,
having cheated herself into a belief that those marks of slavery we
wore on our foreheads were real, wept; and began in a low voice, to
inquire what prison cou'd stop us in our rambles; or whose cruel hands
cou'd finish such a punishment without reluctancy. "I confess," added
she, "they deserve some punishment with whom their masters are so
Lycas was in great heat at Tryphœna's tenderness. "And thou
foolish woman," said he, "can you believe, those marks were cut before
the ink was laid? We should be too happy were those stains not to be
rub'd off, and had justly been, as they design'd us, the subject of
their laughter, if we had suffer'd our selves to be so grossly impos'd
on in a sham inscription."
Tryphœna, who was not yet unmindful of our former amours, wou'd
have pity'd us. When Lycas, still resenting the abuse he received in
his vitiated wife, and the affronts at the porch of Hercules' temple,
with greater rage cry'd out, "I thought you had been convinc'd,
Tryphœna, that Heaven has the care of humane affairs, when it not
only brought our enemies into our power, which they strove to avoid,
but reveal'd it in a vision to us both; see what you'l get by
pardoning them, whom Heaven it self has brought to punishment, for my
part, I am not naturally so cruel, but am afraid the judgment I shou'd
prevent from justly falling upon others, may light on my own head."
This superstitious harangue, turn'd Tryphœna from hindring our
punishment to hasten its execution. When she began afresh as highly
to resent the former affronts that was offer'd her, as Lycas did the
repute of his modesty that he had lost in the peoples esteem.
When Lycas found Tryphœna was with himself eagerly inclin'd to
revenge, he order'd to increase our punishments, which when Eumolpus
perceiv'd, he endeavour'd to mitigate after this manner.
"I pity the wretches," said he, "that lie at your mercy. Lycas, they
implore your compassion, and choosing me as a man not altogether
unknown to 'em to perform the office, desire to be reconcil'd to them
they once held most dear. Can you believe, 'twas by accident they
fell into your hands, when all passengers make it their chief business
to enquire to whose care they are to trust themselves? When you are
satisfied of their intentions, can you be so barbarous to continue
your revenge, but suffer free-born men to go uninjur'd where they have
design'd. Even barbarous and implacable masters allay their cruelty
when their slaves repent; and all give quarter to the enemy that
surrenders himself. What can you, or will you desire more? You have
at your feet repenting supplicants; they're gentlemen, and men of
worth; and what's more prevailing than both, were once caress'd as
your dearest friends. Had they rob'd you of your money, or betray'd
your trust, by Hercules the punishment they've inflicted on themselves
might have satisfied your rage; don't you see the marks of slaves on
their faces; who, though free, to attone their injuries to you,
"To avoid confusion," interrupted Lycas, "give me a reason for all
particulars as I shall ask you; and first, if they came with design to
surrender themselves, why did they cut off their hair? for all
disguises are assum'd rather to deceive than satisfie the injur'd.
"Next, if they expected to ingratiate them selves by their
embassadour, why have you endeavoured in everything, to conceal them
you were to speak for? whence it plainly appears, 'twas by accident
the offenders were brought to punishment, and that you have us'd this
artifice to divert our suspicion. Sure you thought to raise our envy,
by ringing in our ears, that they were gentlemen, and men of worth;
but have a care their cause don't suffer by your impudence; what
shou'd the injur'd do when the guilty come to 'em to be punisht? And
if they were my friends, they deserve to be more severely treated; for
he that wrongs a stranger is call'd a rogue, but he that serves a
friend so, is little less than a parricide."
"I am sencible," said Eumolpus, answering this dreadful harangue,
"that nothing cou'd happen to these unhappy young men more unfortunate
than the cutting their hair off at midnight, which is the only
argument that may perswade you to mistake their voluntary coming here,
for accidental; but I shall as candidly endeavour to undeceive you, as
it was innocently acted: before they imbarkt they had designs to ease
their heads of that, as troublesome as useless weight, but the
unexpected wind that hasten'd us on board, made 'em defer it; nor did
they suspect it to be of any moment where 'twas done, being equally
ignorant of the ill omen, and customs of mariners."
"What advantage," reply'd Lycas, "cou'd they propose to themselves by
the loss of their hair? unless they thought baldness might sooner
raise our compassion: Or can you believe I wou'd be satisfy'd in your
relation? when addressing himself to me, What poyson, said he, thou
villain, has eat your hair off? To what god have your sacrilegious
hands offer'd it?"
The fear of punishment struck me speechless; nor cou'd I find any
thing to urge in my defence against so plain an accusation. Then the
confusion I was in, my disfigur'd face, with the equal baldness of my
head and eye-brows, gave a ridiculous air to everything I said or did;
but when they wip'd us with a wet spunge, the letters melting into
one, spread o'er our faces such a sooty cloud that turn'd Lycas's rage
to a perfect loathing. Eumolpus cou'd not endure to see free-born men
against all law and justice so abus'd, and returning their threats
with blows, not only was our advocate but champion too. He was
seconded by his man, and two or three sick passengers appear'd our
friends, that serv'd rather to encourage us, than encrease our force.
Upon which I was so far from begging pardon, that without any respect
I held my fists at Tryphœna, and plainly told her she shou'd feel
me, if her lecherous ladiship, who only in the ship deserv'd to be
punisht, was not content to decline her pretentions to Gito.
The angry Lycas was all rage at my impudence; and very impatient of
revenge when he found, without any concern for my own cause, I stood
up for another's.
Nor was Tryphœna less disturb'd at my contempt of her; at what time
every one in the vessel choose his side and put himself in a posture
On our side Eumolpus's slave distributed the instruments of his trade,