I keep changing up this blog's name. This is the third entry in a blog that takes dirty little snippets from literary works that can be quite racy. This week's entry:
The Satyricon by Petronius Arbiter.
Yes. That disturbing Fellini film is actually based on a classic book written during the reign of the Caesars in The Roman Empire (1st century CE). Surprisingly, Fellini did not need to add much to the story. The main character, Encolpius, has trouble keeping his easily-seduced boy-lover from being led astray by other men, including a rival. As a result they get themselves in all sorts of adventures. In the scene below, Encolpius, at the behest of a maid named Chrysis, offers himself to her mistress:
She was in an undress, reclining on a flowry bank, and diverting her self with a myrtle branch; as soon as I appear'd, she blusht, as mindful of her disappointment: Chrysis, very prudently withdrew, and when we were left together, I approacht the temptation; at what time, she skreen'd my face with the myrtle, and as if there had been a wall between us, becoming more bold; "what, my chill'd spark," began she, "have you brought all your self to day?"
"Do you ask, madam," I return'd, "rather than try?" And throwing my self to her, that with open arms was eager to receive me, we kist a little age away; when giving the signal to prepare for other joys, she drew me to a more close imbrace; and now, our murmuring kisses their sweet fury tell; now, our twining limbs, try'd each fold of love; now, lockt in each others arms, our bodies and our souls are join'd; but even here, alas! even amidst these sweet beginnings, a sudden chilliness prest upon my joys, and made me leave 'em not compleat.
As you can see (or in this case, read) he did not bring all of his "self" that day. He seeks to remedy the problem:
...therefore as the only way to disguise my misfortune, I began to dissemble sickness, and having got in bed, to revenge my self of that part of me, that had been the cause of all my misfortunes; when taking hold of it,
With dreadful steel, the part I wou'd have lopt,
Thrice from my trembling hand the razor dropt.
Now, what I might before, I could not do,
For cold as ice the fearful thing withdrew;
And shrunk behind a wrinkled canopy,
Hiding his head from my revenge and me.
Thus, by his fear, I'm baulkt of my design,
When I in words more killing vent my spleen.
At what time, raising myself on the bed, in this or like manner, I reproacht the sullen impotent: With what face can you look up, thou shame of heaven and man? that can'st not be seriously mention'd. Have I deserv'd from you, when rais'd within sight of heavens of joys, to be struck down to the lowest hell? To have a scandal fixt on the very prime and vigour of my years, and to be reduc'd to the weakness of an old man? I beseech you, sir, give me an epitaph on my departed vigour; tho' in a great heat I had thus said,
He still continu'd looking on the ground,
Nor more, at this had rais'd his guilty head,
Than th' drooping poppy on its tender stalk.
Thus he decides against separating himself from his member.
Excerpts taken from the 1694 William Burnaby translation via Project Gutenberg
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