Saturday, September 10, 2005

My thoughts to you boys... I know 'The Art of Love' by Ovid is very long and can be intimidating upon first glance. However, if you read his ancient text you will have accomplished something very special. Ovid was perhaps THE greatest Roman poet who was able to influence western literature. He understands fully the way women and men engage in games with common goals in mind = sex and love. Whether men or women will admit to it...we all play these games...they can be half the fun. If there was no chase, then what would be the point in working towards a goal? Anyway, I am posting the different sections to 'The Art of Love' by Ovid for you to read. Hopefully you will. For if for no other reason than to share with you a beautiful piece of literary history. Enjoy...I have... xxxooo 'Your girl'


SING, and sing again Io Pæan! The quarry that I was hot upon hath fallen into my toils. Let the joyous lover set the laurel crown upon my brow and raise me to a loftier pinnacle than Hesiod of Ascra or the -blind old bard of Mæonia. Thus did Priam's son, crowding on all sail in his flight from warlike Amyclæ, bear with him his ravished bride; and thus, too, Hippodamia, did Pelops, in his victorious chariot, carry thee far from thy native land.
Young man, why wilt thou haste so fast? Thy vessel sails the open sea, and the harbour to which I am steering thee is still far off. It sufficieth not that my verses have brought thy mistress to thine arms; my art hath taught thee how to win her; it must also teach thee how to keep her. Though it be glorious to make. conquests, it is still more glorious to retain them. The former is sometimes the work of chance, the latter is always the work of skill.
Queen of Cythera, and thou her son, if ever ye looked with kindly eye upon me, 'tis, above all, to-day that of your succour I have need. And thee too, Erato, I invoke, for 'tis, from love thou dost derive thy name. Great is the enterprise I have in mind. I am going to tell how Love, that fickle child, may captured be; Love that is wandering up and down in this wide world of ours. Airy is he, possessed of wings to fly withal. How shall we stay his flight?
Minos had left no stone unturned to prevent the escape of his stranger-guest. Yet he dared, with wings, to cleave himself a way. When Dædalus had imprisoned the monster half-man, half-bull, that his erring mother had conceived, he spoke to Minos saying, "O thou who art so just, set a term to my exile; let my native land receive my ashes. If the Fates forbid that I should live in my own country, grant at least that I may die there. Grant that my son may return to his home, even if his father beseeches thee in vain. Or if thou hast no pity for the child, let thy compassion light upon the father." Thus spake Dædalus; but in vain he tried with these and many other words like these, to touch the heart of Minos; inexorable, he was deaf to all his prayers. Seeing his supplications were of no avail, he said to himself, "Behold, here is indeed a chance for thee to prove thy ingenuity. Minos rules the land, and rules the waves; 'tis useless then on sea or land to seek escape. There remains the air; and through the air I'll cleave me a way. Great Jove, pardon the rashness of my under taking. 'Tis not my aim to raise myself to the skyish dwellings of the gods; but there is for me one means, and one alone, whereby I may escape the tyrant. If there were a way across the Styx, the Stygian waters I would not fear to cross. Grant me then to change the laws that rule my nature."
Misfortune ofttimes stimulates invention. Who would ever have thought a man could voyage through the air! Nevertheless, 'tis true that Dædalus wrought himself wings with feathers cunningly disposed like oars, and with thread did fix his flimsy work together. The lower part he bound with wax melted by the fire. And now behold the strange and wondrous work is finished! The boy, with a joyous smile, handles the feathers and the wax, witting not that the wings are destined for his own shoulders. "Behold," cried his father, "the craft that shall bear us to our native land; by its means we shall escape from Minos. Though Minos may have closed all roads to us, he cannot close the highways of the air. Cleave then the air, while still thou mayest, with this my handiwork. But take heed thou draw not too nigh the Virgin of Tegea, or to Orion, who, girt with his sword, doth bear Boötes company. Shape thy course on mine. I will lead the way; be content to follow me; with me to guide thee, thou wilt have nought to fear. For, if in our airy flight we soared too near the sun, the wax of our wings would never bear the heat, and if we flew too low, the moisture of the sea would weight our wings and make them over-heavy for us to move. Fly then midway between; and O, my son, beware the winds. Whithersoever they may blow, thither let them waft thee." Thus he spake, and fitted the wings upon his son's young shoulders and showed him how to move them, even as the mother bird teaches her feeble fledglings how to fly. That done, he fixes wings on to his own shoulders and, half eager, half timid, launches himself on the unfamiliar track. Ere he begins his flight, he kisses his son, and down the old man's cheeks the tears unbidden flow.
Not far from there, stands a hill, which, though less lofty than a mountain, doth yet command the plain. It was from there that they launched themselves on their perilous flight. Dædalus, as he moves his own wings, gazes back at his son's, yet nevertheless keeps steadily on his airy course. At first the novelty of their flight enchants them; and ere long, casting all fear aside, Icarus grows more daring and essays a bolder sweet. A fisherman, about to land a fish with his slender rod, perceives them, and straightway lets it fall. Already they have left Samos behind on the left, and Naxos, and Paros, and Delos dear to Apollo. On their right they have Lebinthos, Calymna shaded with woods, and Astypalæa girdled with pools where fish abound; when lo, young Icarus, growing rash with boyish daring, steers a loftier course and leaves his father. The bonds of his wings relax, the wax melts as the sun grows near, and vainly he waves his arms, they cannot catch the delicate air. Stricken with terror, he looks down from the lofty heavens upon the sea beneath. A darkness born of panic overspreads his eyes. And now the wax has melted, he tosses his naked arms and quakes with fear, for nought is there to upstay him. Down and down he falls, and in his falling cries, "Father, O Father, all is over with me!" And the green waters sealed his mouth for ever. But the unhappy father--a father now no longer--cried, "Icarus, where art thou? Beneath what regions of the sky steerest thou thy flight? Icarus, Icarus," he cried and cried again, when lo, on the waste of waters he descried his wings. The land received the bones of Icarus; the sea retains his name.
Minos was powerless to stay a mortal's flight. I am essaying to hold a winged god. If anyone deems there is any virtue in magic or in potions, he sadly errs. Neither the herbs of Medea nor the incantations of the Marsi will make love endure. If there were any potency in magic, Medea would have held the son of Æson, Circe would have held Ulysses. Philtres, too, that make the face grow pale, are useless when administered to women. They harm the brain and bring on madness. Away with such criminal devices! If you'd be loved, be worthy to be loved. Good looks and a good figure are not enough for that. Though you were Nireus, praised long ago by Homer; ay, were you young Hylas, snatched away by the guilty Naiads, if you would hold your mistress and not one day to be taken aback and find she's left you, add accomplishments of the mind to advantages of the person. Beauty is a fleeting boon; it fades with the passing years, and the longer it lives, the more surely it dies. The violets and wide-cupped lilies bloom not for ever, and, once the rose has blown, its naked stem shows only thorns. Thus, my fair youth, thy hair will soon grow white, and wrinkles soon will line thy face with furrows; so set thy beauty off with talents that shall mock at time; 'tis they alone will last unto the grave. Study the refinements of life, and enrich yourself with the treasures of the Greek and Latin tongues. Ulysses was not handsome, but he was eloquent, and two goddesses were tortured with love for him. How often Calypso groaned when she beheld him preparing to depart, and how she kept telling him that the waves would not suffer him to set sail. Times without number she asked him to tell her o'er again the story of the fall of Troy, times without number he would retell it in a new form. One day they were standing on the seashore: the fair nymph was begging him to tell her how the king of Thrace met his cruel death. Ulysses, with a twig which he chanced to have in his hand, drew her a plan upon the sand. "See, here is Troy," he said, tracing the line of the ramparts. "Here runs the Simois. Say this is my camp, farther along is the plain" (and he drew it) "which we stained with the blood of Dolon who tried to steal the horses of Achilles by night. There stood the tents of Rhesus, king of Thrace, and it was along there that I rode back with the horses that had been stolen from him." And so he was going on with his narrative, when suddenly a wave came and washed away Troy and Rhesus, together with his camp. Then said the goddess, "Seest thou what famous names these waves have swept away, and dost thou hope they will be kind to thee when thou settest sail?"
Well then, whoever you may be, put not too great a trust in the deceptive charm of beauty. Take care to possess something more than mere physical comeliness. What works wonders with the women is an ingratiating manner. Brusqueness and harsh words only promote dislike. We hate the hawk because it spends its life in fighting; and we hate the wolf that falls upon the timid flocks. But man snares not the swallow because it is gentle, and he suffers the dove to make its home in towers that he has built. Away with all strife and bitterness of speech. Pleasant words are the food of love. It is by quarrels that a woman estranges her husband, and a husband his wife. They imagine that in acting so they are paying each other out in their own coin. Leave them to it. Quarrels are the dowry which married folk bring one another. But a mistress should only hear agreeable things. It is not the law that has landed you in bed together. Your law, the law for you and her, is Love. Never approach her but with soft caresses and words that soothe her ear, so that she may always rejoice at your coming.
'Tis is not to the rich that I would teach the art of Love. A man who can give presents has no need of any lessons I can teach him. He has wit enough, and to spare, if he can say when he pleases, "Accept this gift." I give him best. His means are mightier than mine. I am the poor man's poet; because I am poor myself and I have known what it is to be in love. Not being able to pay them in presents, I pay my mistresses in poetry. The poor man must be circumspect in his love-affairs; he mustn't permit himself to use strong language; he must put up with many things that a rich lover would never endure. Once I remember in a fit of ill-temper I ruffled my mistress's hair. It was a fit that robbed me of many and many a happy day. I did not notice that I had torn her dress, and I do not believe I had; but she said I had, and I was obliged to buy her another one. Good friends, be wiser than your master; don't do as he does, or, if you do, look out for squalls. Make war on the Parthians to your heart's content, but live at peace with your mistress; have recourse to playfulness and to whatever may excite love.
If your mistress is ungracious and off-hand in her manner towards you, bear it with patience; she'll soon come round. If you bend a branch carefully and gently, it won't break. If you tug at it suddenly with all your might, you'll snap it off. If you let yourself go with the stream, you'll get across the river in time, but if you try to swim against the tide, you'll never do it. Patience will soften tigers and Numidian lions; and slowly and surely you may accustom the bull to the rustic plough. What woman was ever more tameless than Atalanta of Nonacris; yet, for all her arrogance, she yielded at length to a lover's tender assiduities. They say that many a time, beneath the trees, Milanion wept at his mishaps and at his mistress's unkindness. Often upon his neck he bore, as he was bid, the treacherous toils; and often with his spear he pierced the savage boars. He was even struck by the arrows of Hylæus, but other darts, which were, alas, but too well known to him, had dealt him sorer wounds than that.
I do not bid thee climb, armed with thy bow, the woody heights of Mænalus, or carry heavy nets upon thy back. I do not bid thee bare thy breast to a foeman's arrows. If only thou art prudent, thou wilt find my precepts are not over-hard to carry out. If she's obstinate, let her have her way, and you'll get the better of her in the end. Only whatever she tells you to do, be sure you do it. Blame what she blames; like what she likes; say what she says; deny what she denies. If she smiles, smile too; if she sheds tears, shed them too. In a word, model your mood on hers. If she wants to play draughts, play badly on purpose and let her win the game. If you're playing dice, don't let her be piqued at losing, but make it look as though your luck was always out. If your battle-field's the chessboard, see to it that your men of glass are mown down by the foe.
Be sure and hold her parasol over her; and clear a way for her if she's hemmed in by the crowd; fetch a stool to help her on to the couch; and unlace or lace up the sandals on her dainty feet. And then, though you perish with cold yourself, you will often have to warm your mistress's icy hands in your bosom. And you mustn't mind, although it does seem a little undignified, holding up her mirror, like any slave, for her to look in. Why Hercules himself, who performed such mighty feats of bravery and strength, who won a seat in the Olympian realms he had carried on his shoulders, is said to have dwelt among the Ionian maids as one of them, to have held the work-basket and have spun coarse wool. The Tirynthian hero obeyed his mistress's commands; and will you hesitate to endure what he endured?
If your lady-love arranges to meet you in the Forum, be there well before the appointed time, and wait and wait till the very last minute. If she asks you to meet her somewhere else, leave everything and hurry off; don't let the crowd hinder you. If, at night, after she's been dining out, she calls a slave to see her home, be quick, offer your services. If you are in the country, and she writes saying, " Come at once," go to her, for Love brooks no delay. If you can't get a conveyance, then you must foot it. Nothing should stop you: thunder, heat, snow, nothing!
Love is like warfare. "Faint heart never won fair lady"; poltroons are useless in Love's service. The night, winter, long marches, cruel suffering, painful toil, all these things have to be borne by those who fight in Love's campaigns. Apollo, when he tended the herds of Admetus, dwelt, so 'tis said, in a humble cottage. Who would blush to do as Apollo did? If you would love long and well, you must put away pride. If the ordinary, safe route to your mistress is denied you, if her door is shut against you, climb up on to the roof and let yourself down by the chimney, or the skylight. How it will please her to know the risks you've run for her sake! 'Twill be an earnest of your love. Leander could often have done without his mistress, but he swam the strait to prove his courage.
Nor must you think it beneath your dignity to ingratiate yourself with her servants, even the humblest of them; greet each of them by name, and take their servile hands in yours. Give them (it will not cost you much) such presents as you can afford; and when the festival of Juno Caprotina comes round, make a handsome present to the lady's-maid. Get on good terms with the occupants of the servants' hall, and don't forget the porter or the slave that sleeps beside your lady's door.
I don't advise you to make costly presents to your mistress; offer her a few trifles, but let them be well chosen and appropriate to the occasion. When the country is displaying all its lavish riches, and the branches of the trees are bending beneath their load, set some young slave to leave a basket of fruit at her door. You can say they come from your place in the country, though in reality you purchased them in Rome. Send her grapes or chestnuts beloved of Amaryllis; though the modern Amaryllis is no longer satisfied with chestnuts. Or, again, a present of thrushes or pigeons will prove that you have her still in mind. I know, of course, that this same policy is followed by the expectant legatees of some rich and childless dame. Out on such mean and calculating generosity, say I! Shall I also advise you to send poetry as well? Alas, verses don't count for much. Verses come in for praise; but they really like gifts that are more substantial than that. Even a barbarian, if only he is rich, is sure to find favour. This is the golden age in very truth. Gold will buy the highest honours; and gold will purchase love. Homer himself, even if he came attended by the nine Muses, would promptly be shown the door if he brought no money to recommend him. Nevertheless, there are some cultured women, but they are rare. There are others who are not cultured but who wish to appear so. You must praise them both in your poetry. Whatever the quality of your lines, you may make them sound well if you know how to read them with effect. Indeed, if the lines be well composed and well delivered, the ladies will perhaps deign to regard them as a trifling, a very trifling, present.
Now, when you have determined to do something that you think will be of service, persuade your mistress to ask you to do it. If you have made up your mind to free one of your slaves, see that he addresses his petition to her; if you've resolved not to punish another slave for some neglect of duty, see that it is she who gets the credit for this act of clemency. You'll get the benefit, she'll get the glory. You'll lose nothing, and she'll think she can twist you round her little finger.
If you want to keep your mistress's love, you must make her think you're dazzled with her charms. If she wears a dress of Tyrian purple, tell her there's nothing like Tyrian purple. If she's wearing a gown of Coan stuff, tell her that there's nothing becomes her so enchantingly. If she's ablaze with gold, tell her that you think gold's less brilliant than her charms. If she's clad in winter furs, tell her they're lovely; if she appears in a flimsy tunic, tell her she sets you on fire, and say you hope she won't catch cold. If she wears her hair parted on her forehead, say you like that style. If she has it frizzed and fuzzy, say, "How I love it frizzed!" Praise her arms when she dances, her voice when she sings, and when she ceases, say how sorry you are it came to an end so soon. If she admits you to her bed, adore the seat of all your bliss, and in tones trembling with delight tell her what a heaven she makes for you. Why, even if she were grimmer than the terrible Medusa, she would grow soft and docile for her love. Be a good dissembler and never let your face belie your words. Artifice is a fine thing when it's not perceived; once it's discovered, discomfiture follows. Confidence is gone for ever.
Often when the autumn is at hand, when the earth is adorned with all its charms, when the ruddy grape swells with its purple juice, when we feel alternately a nipping cold or an oppressive heat, this variation of temperature throws us into a state of languor. May your mistress then retain her health. But if some indisposition should compel her to keep her bed, if she falls a victim to the evil effects of the season, then is the time for you to show her how attentive and loving you can be; then is the time to sow the seeds of the harvest you may gather later on. Be not deterred by the attentions her malady demands. Render her whatever services she will deign to accept; let her behold you shedding tears of compassion; never let her see you do not want to kiss her, and let her parched lips be moistened with your tears; say how you hope she'll soon be well again, and be sure to let her hear you saying it, and always be prepared to tell her you have had a dream of happy augury. Let some old grandam, with trembling hands, come and sweeten her bed and purify her room with sulphur and the expiatory eggs. She will store up the memory of these kindnesses in her heart. Many a time have people had legacies bequeathed them for such trifling things as that. But be careful not to display too much anxiety. Do not be over-busy. Your affection and solicitude should have their limits. Don't make it your business to restrict her diet, or tell her she mustn't eat this or that. Don't bring her nasty medicine to drink; leave all that to your rival.
But the wind to which you spread your sails when leaving port is not the wind you need when you are sailing the open sea. Love is delicate at birth; it becomes stronger with use. Feed it with the proper food, and it will grow sturdy in time. The bull that frightens you to-day, you used to stroke when it was young. The tree that shelters you beneath its shade was once but a frail sapling. A slender rivulet at its source, the river gathers size little by little, and, as it flows, is swollen with innumerable tributaries. See to it that thy mistress grows accustomed to thee: nothing is so potent as habit. To win her heart, let no trouble be too great. Let her see you continually; let her hear none but you. Day and night be present to her sight. But when you are sure that she will long for you, then leave her alone, so that your absence may give her some anxiety. Let her repose awhile: the soil that is given a rest renders with usury the seed that's planted in it, and the ground that is parched greedily soaks in the water from the skies. As long as Phyllis had Demophoön at her side, her love for him was lukewarm. No sooner had he set sail, than she was consumed with passion for him. Ulysses, shrewd man, tortured Penelope by his absence, and with thy tears, Laodamia, didst thou yearn for the return of Protesilaus.
But be on the safe side; don't stay away too long; time softens the pangs of longing. Out of sight, out of mind. The absent lover is soon forgotten, and another takes his place. When Menelaus had departed, Helen grew weary of her lonely couch and sought warmth and consolation in the arms of her guest. Ah! Menelaus, what a fool wast thou! Alone didst thou depart, leaving thy wife beneath the same roof with a stranger. Fool, 'twas like delivering up the timid dove to the devouring kite, or surrendering the lamb to the hungry wolf. No, Helen was not to blame; her lover was not guilty; she was afraid to lie alone. Let Menelaus think what he will; Helen, in my view, was not to blame; all she did was to profit by her most accommodating husband.
But the fierce boar, in its wildest rage, when, making his last stand, he rolls the fleet hounds over and over; the lioness, when she offers her dugs to the cubs that she is suckling; the viper that the wayfarer has trodden upon with careless foot--all are less redoubtable than the woman who has caught another woman in her husband's bed. Her face is distorted with fury. The sword, the firebrand, anything that comes to her hand, she will seize. Casting all restraint aside, she will rush at her foe like a Mænad driven mad by the Aonian god. The barbarous Medea took vengeance on her own children for Jason's misdeeds and for his violation of the nuptial bond; that swallow that you see yonder was also an unnatural mother. See, her breast still bears the stain of blood. Thus do the happiest, the most firmly welded, unions fail. A cautious lover should beware of exciting these jealous furies.
Do not imagine that I am going to act the rigid moralist and condemn you to love but one mistress. The gods forbid. Even a married woman finds it difficult to keep such a vow as that. Take your fill of amusement, but cast the veil of modesty over your peccadilloes. Never make a parade of your good fortune, and never give a woman a present that another woman will recognise. Vary the time and place of your assignations, lest one of them catch you in some familiar place of rendezvous. When you write, be sure and read over what you have written; many women read into a letter much more than it is intended to convey.
Venus, when she is wounded, justly retaliates, gives the aggressor blow for blow and makes him feel, in his turn, the pain that he has caused. So long as Atrides was satisfied with his wife, she was faithful to him; her husband's infidelity drove her from the narrow path. She learned that Chryses, staff in hand and wearing the sacred fillet on his brows, had begged that his daughter should be restored to him, and begged in vain. She learned, O Briseis, of the abduction that pierced your heart with grief, and for what shameful reasons the war was dragging on. Still all this was only hearsay. But with her own eyes she had seen the daughter of Priam, she had, O sight of shame, seen the victor become the slave of his captive. From that day forth, the daughter of Tyndarus made Ægisthus free of her heart and bed, and took guilty vengeance for her husband's crime. Yet if, how well soever you may hide them, your secret amours come to light, never hesitate to deny your guilt. Be neither sheepish nor gushing, for these are sure signs of a guilty conscience. But spare no effort and employ all your vigour in the battle of love. It's the only way to win peace; the only way to convince her of the unreality of her suspicions. Some people would advise you to stimulate your powers with noxious herbs, such as savory, pepper mixed with thistle-seed or yellow fever-few steeped in old wine. In my view these are nothing more nor less than poisons. The goddess, who dwells on the shady slopes of Mount Eryx, approves not such strained and violent means to the enjoyment of her pleasures. Nevertheless, you may take the white onion that comes from Megara and the stimulating plant that grows in our gardens, together with eggs, honey from Hymettus, and the apples of the lofty pine.
But wherefore, divine Erato, do we wander into these details of the Æsculapian art? Let my chariot return to its own particular track. Awhile ago I was counselling you to hide your infidelities: well, turn about, blazon abroad the conquests you have made. The curved ship is not always obedient to the same wind; she fleets o'er the waves, driven now by the North wind, now by the East. Turn by turn, the West wind and the South will fill her sails. Look at that driver on his chariot there. Sometimes he lets his reins hang loose, sometimes, with skilful hand, he restrains the ardour of his fiery steeds. There are lovers whom a hesitant indulgence ill-befriends. Their mistresses begin to languish if the apprehension of a rival comes not to stimulate their affections. Happiness will sometimes make us drunk and render difficult the way of constancy. A little fire will languish if it be not fed, and disappear beneath the grey ashes that accumulate upon it. But add a little sulphur, and lo, fresh flames will leap and sparkle with new splendour! Thus when the heart grows dull and torpid, apply, if you would wake it into life, the spur of jealousy. Give your mistress something to torment her, and bring new heat into her chilly heart. Let her grow pale at the evidence of your inconstancy. What happiness, what untold happiness is his, whose mistress's heart is wrung at the thought of her lover's infidelity. Soon she hears the tidings of his fault; while yet she is fain to hold the news untrue, she swoons and, hapless one, her cheeks grow pale as death, her lips refuse to speak. Oh, would I were that lover! I, whose hair she tears in her wild frenzy, whose face she fiercely scratches with her nails, at whose sight she bursts into floods of tears, but whom she will not, cannot live without! How long, you say, ought one to leave her in despair? Well, hasten to comfort her lest her wrath in the end should harden into bitterness. Hasten to fling thine arms about her snowy neck, and press her tear-stained cheek against thy breast. Kiss away her tears, and with her tears mingle the sweet delights of love. Soon she'll grow calm; that is the only way to soothe her wrath. When her rage is at its height, when it is open war between you, then beg her to ratify a peace upon her bed; she'll soon make friends. 'Tis there that, all unarmed, sweet concord dwells; 'tis there, the cradle of forgiveness. The doves that late were fighting, more tenderly will bill and coo; their murmurs seem to tell how true and tender is their love.
Nature, at first, was but a weltering chaos of sky and land and sea. But soon the heavens rose up above the earth, the sea encircled it with a liquid girdle; and from formless chaos issued forth the divers elements. The woods were peopled with wild things, the air with light-wingèd birds; and the fishes hid themselves beneath the deep waters. In those times men wandered lonely over the face of the earth, and brute strength was their sole resource. The forest was their dwelling-place, the grass their food, dry leaves their bed, and for a long time each man dwelt in ignorance of his fellows. Then came the sweet delights of love, and softened, so they say, these rugged hearts, bringing together man and woman on a single couch. No tutor did they need to tell them what to do; Venus, without recourse to any art, fulfilled her gentle office. The bird has his beloved mate; the fish beneath the waters finds another fish to share his pleasures; the hind follows the stag; the snake mates with the snake; the dog with the bitch; the ewe and the heifer yield themselves with delight to the caresses of the ram and the bull; the goat, noisome though he be, repels not the caresses of his lascivious fellow; the mare, burning with the frenzy of desire, will speed o'er hill and dale, and even through rivers, to join her stallion. Be of good cheer then and employ this potent remedy to calm the anger of thy mistress; 'tis the only sovran cure for her aching sorrow; 'tis a balm sweeter than the juices of Machaon, and if you happen to have erred a little, it will surely bring you pardon.
Such was the burden of my song, when on a sudden Apollo appeared to me and touched with his fingers the chords of a golden lyre; in his hand he bore a branch of laurel; a laurel wreath encircled his brow. Prophetic was his mien and prophetic the voice with which he bade me lead my disciples into his temple. "There," said he," you will find this inscription famous throughout the whole world, 'Man, know thyself.' The man who knows himself follows ever in his love-affairs the precepts of wisdom. He alone hath wit to adapt his enterprises to his powers. If he is endowed with comely looks, if he has a beautiful skin, let him lie, when he is in bed, with his shoulders uncovered; if he is an attractive talker, let him not maintain a glum silence. If he can sing, let him sing; if the wine makes him merry, let him drink. But whatever he is, orator, babbler, or fine frenzied poet, don't let him interrupt the conversation in order to declaim his prose or his verse." Thus spake Phœbus, and, lovers, you will do well to obey him; nought but the truth ever issued from his god-like lips.
But, to my subject. Whosoever loves wisely and follows the precepts of my art is sure to conquer and to attain the object of his heart's desire. The furrows do not always repay with interest the seed that has been sown therein; the winds do not always waft the bark - on its uncertain course. Few pleasures, many pains--such is the lot of lovers. Harsh are the trials which they must expect to face. As numerous as the hares on Athos, as the bees on Hybla, as the olives on the tree of Pallas, as the shells upon the seashore, are the sorrows that Love engenders. The arrows he aims at us are steeped in gall. Perhaps they will tell you that your mistress is out, when you know very well she's in, because you've seen her. Never mind, make believe she is out and that your eyes have deceived you. She has promised to let you in at night, and you find her door shut; be patient and lie down on the cold damp ground. Peradventure, some lying servant will come, .and looking at you with an insolent stare, say, "What does this fellow want, always besieging our door like this? " Then you must turn the other cheek to this grim seneschal and speak him fair, and not him only, but the door as well, and on the threshold lay the roses that adorned your brow. If your mistress gives you, leave, haste to her side; if she will none of you, withdraw. A well-bred man ought never to make himself a burden. Would you compel her to exclaim, "Is there no way of getting rid of this pestilent fellow?" Women often take unreasonable whims into their head. Never mind; put up with all her insults; never mind if she kicks you even; kiss her dainty feet.
But why linger over such minor details? Let us turn to more important themes. I am going to sing of lofty things. Ye lovers all, lend me yours ears. My enterprise is fraught with danger; but without danger, where would courage be? The object I aim at is not easy of attainment. If you have a rival, put up with him without a murmur, and your triumph is assured. You will mount, a conqueror, to Jove's high temple. Believe me, these are not the words of a mere mortal. They are oracles as sure as any that Dodona ever gave. This is the very climax of the art that I impart. if your mistress exchanges meaning glances with your rival--nods and becks and wreathèd smiles--put up with it. If she writes him letters, never scrutinise her tablets; let her come and go as she pleases. Hosts of husbands show this indulgence to their lawful wives, especially when thou, soft slumber, aidest in the deceit. Nevertheless, I confess that, in my own case, I cannot attain this degree of perfection. What am I to do? I cannot rise to the height of my own precepts. If I saw a rival making signs to my mistress before my very eyes, do you think I should put up with it, and not give free rein to my wrath? I remember one day her husband kissed her. How I raved and swore about it! Love is made up of these unreasonable demands. This shortcoming has often been my undoing where women are concerned. It is much cleverer of a man to let others have the entree to his mistress. The really proper course is not to know anything about it. Suffer her to hide her infidelities, lest forcing her to confess them should teach her to control her blushes. Ye youthful lovers, then, take heed not to catch your mistresses in the act, lest, while deceiving you they should imagine you were taken in by,: their fine speeches. Two lovers, who have been found. out, do but love each other the more ardently. When, they share a common lot, they both persist in the conduct that brought about their undoing.
There is a story well known throughout Olympus: 'tis the story of Mars and Venus caught in the act by Vulcan's cunning ruses. Mars, having fallen madly in love with Venus, changed from the grim warrior to the submissive lover. Venus (and never was there a goddess with a heart more tender), Venus showed herself neither awkward nor unfeeling. How many and many a time, they say, the wanton woman laughed at her husband's shambling gait, and at his hands made horny by the heat of the forge and by hard toil. How charming Mars thought her when she imitated the old blacksmith, and how her graceful motions set off her loveliness. To begin with they took the utmost care to conceal their intrigue, and their guilty passion was full of modesty and reserve. But the Sun (nothing ever eludes his glance), the Sun revealed to Vulcan the conduct of his spouse. Ah, Old Sol, what a bad example you set! Demand the favours of the goddess; make her acquiescence the price of your silence; she has the wherewithal to pay you. All around and about his bed Vulcan cunningly stretches a network invisible to every eye. Then he pretends to set out for Lemnos. The two lovers hie them to the familiar spot, and both of them, naked as Cupid himself, are enveloped in the traitorous toils. Then Vulcan calls on the gods to gather round and bids them gaze upon the imprisoned lovers. Venus, so 'tis said, could scarce keep from. weeping. They could not hide their faces in their hands, nor cover their nakedness. One of the onlookers thus spoke jeeringly to Mars: "Valiant Mars," quoth he, if thy chains are too heavy for thee, hand them on to me." At length, yielding to the prayers of Neptune, Vulcan set the two captives free. Mars withdrew to Thrace; Venus to Paphos. Say now, Vulcan, what didst thou gain thereby? Erstwhile they hid their loves; now they freely and openly indulge their passion; they have banished all shame. You'll soon be sorry that you were such a prying fool! Indeed they say that even now you regret that you ever gave way to your anger.
No traps! I forbid you to use them; and Venus herself, who was caught by her spouse, forbids you to make use of tricks, whereof she was the victim. Don't go laying snares for your rival. Don't try and intercept love-letters. Leave such devices, if they think it well to employ them, to lawful husbands whose rights are hallowed by sacred fire and water. As for me, I proclaim it yet again, I only sing of pleasures which the law permits.
Who would dare divulge to the profane the mysteries of Ceres and the pious rites instituted in Samothrace? It redounds but little to our credit to keep silence when we are commanded so to do; but to blurt out things we ought to know should be kept secret is a most grievous thing. Rightly was Tantalus punished for his indiscretion, rightly was he debarred from reaching the fruits that hung above his head; it served him right that he should parch with thirst with water all around him. Cytherea, especially, forbids that her mysteries should be revealed. I give thee warning, no babbling knaves should ever draw near her altars. If the sacred emblems of her worship are not concealed in mystic baskets; if no brazen cymbals are beaten at her festivals; if she opens the doors of her temple to all, it is on condition that none shall divulge her mysteries. Venus herself never putteth off her veil, but with modest hand she covereth her charms. The beasts of the field abandon themselves, in any place and in the sight of all, to the delights of love, and often at the spectacle a young girl will turn away her head; but for our loves we must have a secret bower, closed doors, and we must needs cover with vesture the secret places of our body. Even if we seek not for darkness, we like a certain dimness, at all events something a little less than broad. daylight. Thus when men and women still went unprotected against the sun and the rain, when the oak provided them with food and shelter, 'twas not in the open, but in caves and woods, that they enjoyed the sweet pleasures of love, so great was the respect which mankind, though still uncouth, entertained for the laws of modesty. Now we make a parade of our nocturnal exploits, and people it seems, would pay a high price for the pleasure of divulging them. Nay, isn't it the fashion nowadays to stop and talk to a girl everywhere one goes, so as to be able to say, "You saw that girl, she's another one I've had!" It's all because they want to have someone to point at; so that every woman who is the object of these attentions becomes the talk of the town. But there's nothing really in it. There are men who invent stories which, if they were true, they would repudiate. To hear them talk, you would think that no woman ever resisted them. If they can't touch their person, they at least attack their good name, and though their body be chaste, their reputation is tarnished. Go, thou hateful warder, and shut the doors upon thy mistress; bolt her in with a hundred bolts. What avail such precautions against the slanderer who brags with lying tongue of the favours he has failed to obtain? Let us, on the other hand, speak sparingly of our real amours, and hide our secret pleasures beneath an impenetrable veil.
Never speak to a woman about her defects; many a lover has had occasion to congratulate himself on having observed this very profitable reticence. The wingèd-footed hero, Perseus, never found fault with Andromeda for her swarthy skin. Andromache was, in everyone's opinion, far too tall; Hector was the only one who considered her of the average height. Accustom yourself to the things you don't like; you'll learn to put up with them; habit makes a lot of things acceptable. At first, Love will be put off by the merest trifle. A freshly-grafted branch that is just beginning to draw the sap from the green bark will fall off if the slightest breath of wind disturbs it; but if you give it time to grow strong, it will soon resist the winds and, developing into a sturdy branch, enrich the tree that bears it with its alien fruit. Time effaces everything, even bodily defects, and what we once looked upon as blemishes will one day cease to seem so. At first, our nostrils cannot bear the smell of the hides of bulls; they grow used to it in time and bear it without distress.
Moreover, there are words you can employ to palliate defects. If a woman's skin is blacker than Illyrian pitch, tell her she's a brunette. If she squints a little, tell her she's like Venus. If she's carroty, tell her she's like Minerva. If she's so skinny you would think she was at death's door, tell her she has a graceful figure. If she's short, so much the better, she's all the lighter. If she's thick-waisted, why she's just agreeably plump. Similarly, you must disguise every defect under the name of its nearest quality. Never ask her how old she is, or who was consul when she was born. Leave it to the Censor to perform that uncomfortable duty, especially if she has passed the flower of her youth, if the summer of her days is over, and if she is already compelled to pull out her grey hairs. My young friends, that age, and even an older one than that, is not without its pleasures. It is a field that you should sow and one day You will reap your harvest. Labour while your strength and your youth allow. All too soon tottering eld, with noiseless tread, will be upon you. Cleave the waters of the ocean with your oar, or the glebe with your slough; wield with warlike arm the deadly sword, or devote to women your vigour and your care. 'Tis but another kind of military service, and in it, too, rich trophies may be won.
Nor should it be forgotten that women, who are getting on in years, have experience, and it is only experience that sets the seal of perfection on our natural gifts. They repair by their toilet the ravages of time, and by the care they take of themselves manage to conceal their age. They know all the different attitudes of Love and will assume them at your pleasure. No pictured representation can rival them in voluptuousness. With them pleasure comes naturally, without provocation, the pleasure which is sweeter than all, the pleasure which is shared equally by the man and the woman. I hate those embraces in which both do not consummate; that is why boys please me but little. I hate a woman who offers herself because she ought to do so, and, cold and dry, thinks of her sewing when she's making love. The pleasure that is granted to me from a sense of duty ceases to be a pleasure at all. I won't have any woman doing her duty towards me. How sweet it is to hear her voice quaver as she tells me the joy she feels, and to hear her imploring me to slacken my speed so as to prolong her bliss. How I love to see her, drunk with delight, gazing with swooning eyes upon me, or, languishing with love, keeping me a long while at arms' length.
But these accomplishments are not vouchsafed by nature to young girls. They are reserved for women who have passed the age of thirty-five. Let who will hasten to drink new and immature wine. Let me have a rich mellow vintage dating back to one of our elder consuls. It is only after many years that the plane tree affords a shelter from the scorching sun, and fields but newly reaped hurt the naked foot. What! do you mean to tell me you would put Hermione before Helen? And would Althaea's daughter outrival her mother? If you would enjoy the fruits of love in their maturity, you will obtain, if only you persevere, a reward worthy of your desires.
But already the bed, the minister of their pleasures, has received our two lovers. Stay thy steps, my Muse, at the closed door. They will know well enough, without thy aid, what words to say to one another, and their hands within the bed will not be idle. Their fingers will find the way to those secret places in which Love is wont to proclaim his presence. 'Twas even thus that the valiant Hector, whose skill was not confined to battle, bore himself with Andromache. Thus too the great Achilles fondled his fair captive when, weary of fighting, he lay beside her on the downy couch. Thou didst not fear, Briseis, to yield thyself to the caresses of those hands that bore upon them still the stains of Trojan blood. Was there aught to compare, voluptuous girl, with the pleasure of feeling the pressure of those victorious hands?
If you listen to my advice, you will not be in too great a hurry to attain the limits of your pleasure. Learn, by skilful dallying, to reach the goal by gentle, pleasant stages. When you have found the sanctuary of bliss, let no foolish modesty arrest your hand. Then will you see the love-light trembling in her eyes, even as the rays of the sun sparkle on the dancing waves. Then will follow gentle moanings mingled with murmurings of love, soft groans and sighs and whispered words that sting and lash desire. But now beware! Take heed lest, cramming on too much sail, you speed too swiftly for your mistress. Nor should you suffer her to outstrip you. Speed on together towards the promised haven. The height of bliss is reached when, unable any longer to withstand the wave of pleasure, lover and mistress at one and the same moment are overcome. Such should be thy rule when time is yours and fear does not compel you to hasten your stolen pleasures. Nevertheless, if there be danger in delay, lean well forward, and drive your spur deep into your courser's side.
My task draws toward its end. Young lovers, show your gratitude. Give me the palm and wreathe my brow with the fragrant myrtle. As Podalirius was famous among the Greeks for his skill in curing disease, Pyrrhus for his valour, Nestor for his eloquence; as Calchas was famed for his skill in foretelling the future, Telamon for wielding weapons, Automedon for chariot-racing, so do I excel in the art of Love. Lovers, laud your Poet, sing my praises, so that my name may resound throughout the world. I have given you arms. Vulcan gave arms to Achilles. With them he was victorious. Learn ye too to conquer with mine. And let every lover, who shall have triumphed over a doughty Amazon with the sword I gave him, inscribe on his trophies, "Ovid was my Master."
But now the girls, look you, want me to give them some lessons. You, my dears, shall be my instant care.

Friday, September 09, 2005


Publius Ovidius Naso(43 BC - AD17) was born at Sulmo on March 20, 43 BC of wealthy parents who survived the civil war. Ovid and his older brother were taken by their father to study in Rome, where Ovid gave up legal studies for poetry. The popularity of that verse, his family connections and public offices he held all allowed Ovid to move in aristocratic circles, and he married three times. His Ars Amatoria (which referred to the banishment of Augustus's daughter Julia's for an affair with the son of the emperor's old enemy Mark Antony) angered Augustus, however, and Ovid's attempted apology, Remedium Amoris, went in vain. Augustus was particularly offended by Ovid's flippant attitude to his morality drive establishing family values in Rome. Ovid then committed some unknown political indiscretion and found himself banished in AD 8 to the frontier town of Tomi, at the mouth of the Danube on the Black Sea. Attempts at reconciliation failed, even when Augustus was succeeded by Tiberius, and Ovid died in Tomi, probably in AD 17, as much a victim of Imperial politics as his own celebrity among the capital's fast set.
Ovid's poetry was enormously popular in first century Rome, and has been an important influence on European poetry from the Renaissance to the present. The Metamorphoses and Fasti provided abundant material to quarry, and the poetry appealed by its brilliant rhetoric, dissimulation and discrete irony. Ovid's wrote pleasingly from the first. His Amores extolled the charms of his mistress, Corinna, possibly a composite figure. The succeeding Heroides were elegies in the form of imaginary love letters from famous women in Greek mythology. Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) and Remedium Amoris (The Remedy of Love) were not only witty treatises on the art of seduction and intrigue, but went some way towards placing men and women on an equal footing. The Metamorphoses were some 250 interwoven stories written in the epic hexameter. His Fasti, an irreverent but informative poem on the Roman calendar, was terminated by the poet's removal to the Black Sea. There, in a garrison town among non-Latin-speaking barbarians, he wrote Tristia (Sorrows) and Epistulae ex Ponto (Letters from the Black Sea), both protesting at his unjust exile with fine elegy and independence. Augustus and Tiberius remained unmoved by the poet's situation, however, and Ovid was not recalled.

Roman poetry of the silver age

With the death of Virgil, Horace and Catullus, Roman poetry emerged into a new age, one deeply aware of the past Greek and Latin models, but also limited by the authoritarian and sometimes despotic government of Augustas and the early Caesars. Poets needed patrons, and patrons dabbled in poetry themselves, giving public recitations, but both moved warily under a government that blocked any return to the bloody insurrection that ended the last years of the Republic. The old themes continued, but the mythologies wielded little political or social clout. The treatment became more extreme, dealing with horrors, perversions and unpunished crimes, but characters were located in the safely distant past. Seneca's blood-stained tragedies reworked Greek myths, arguing for a return to stoic values. Persius wrote satires in a peculiarly crabbed style. Lucan's epic, the Civil War, became a protest against the political system that produced tyrants like Nero. Only in irreverent and satirical treatment of contemporary immorality did poetry come back into full flower, placing individual and amatory inclinations above matters of public duty. Propertius concerned himself with his mistress Cynthia, and then produced an odd mixture of Greek and Roman themes lit by candid confession. Later poets — Statius, Martial and Juvenal — reacted more sharply to the times, producing in Juvenal a satirist to rival Aristophanes.

Reading the latin

Latin is still read, and the essentials of the language can be learned from books, cassettes, CDs and online. Latin readings can be heard at Harvard Classics, Carmina Latina, Wheelock, viva voce, and Wired for Books (Latin). Modern translations and imitations have various aims, as can be seen in the work of A S Kline, D. Salvit, J.L. May, and A.D. Melville. For technical aspects of Latin verse see loker, wikipedia, barret, middlebury, textkit, hanson, classics page, iona and later latin society. More scholarly articles are at redmond, galinsky, leiden, scholia reviews, hardie et al and bryn mawr. Excellent sites with listings covering many aspects of Ovid, his times, and influence on later literature and thought, can be found at: ovidus, ovid's metamorphoses, kirke, ap latin and o'hara. Online texts and translations are at perseus, virginia and thelatinlibrary. Useful books include: J.W. Duff's A Literary History of Rome (2 vols 1953,1964), G. Williams's Change and Decline: Roman Literature in the Early Empire (1978), B. Otis's Ovid as Epic Poet (1970), G. Galinsky's Ovid's Metamorphoses: An Introduction to the Basic Aspects (1975), F. Verducci's Ovid's Toyshop of the Heart: Epistulae Heroidum (1985), P. Veyne's Roman Erotic Elegy (tr. 1988), J. Booth's Catullus to Ovid: Reading Latin Love Elegy: A Literary Commentary with Latin Text (1999), M. Simpson's The Metamorphoses of Ovid (2001) and P. Hardie's Cambridge Companion to Ovid (2002).

Thursday, September 08, 2005


IF there be anyone among you who is ignorant of the art of loving, let him read this poem and, having read it and acquired the knowledge it contains, let him address himself to Love.

By art the swift ships are propelled with sail and oar; there is art in driving the fleet chariots, and Love should by art be guided. Automedon was a skilled charioteer and knew how to handle the flowing reins; Tiphys was the pilot of the good ship Argo. I have been appointed by Venus as tutor to tender Love. I shall be known as the Tiphys and Automedon of Love. Love is somewhat recalcitrant and ofttimes refuses to do my bidding; but 'tis a boy, and boys are easily moulded. Chiron brought up the boy Achilles to the music of the lyre, and by that peaceful art softened his wild nature; he, before whom his enemies were destined so oft to tremble, who many a time struck terror even into his own companions was, so 'tis said, timid and submissive in the presence of a feeble old man, obedient to his master's voice, and held out to him for chastisement those hands whereof Hector was one day destined to feel the weight. Chiron was tutor to Achilles; I am tutor to Love; both of them formidable youngsters, both of them goddess-born. But the fiery bull has to submit to the yoke; the mettled steed vainly champs at the curb that masters him. I, too, will bring Love to heel, even though his arrows pierce my breast and he brandish over my head his flaming torch. The keener his arrows, the fiercer his fires, the more they stir me to avenge my wounds.

I shall not try, O Apollo, to convey the notion that it was from thee I learned the art which I impart; no birds came and sang it in my ear. Clio and her sisters appeared not to me, grazing my herds, O Ascra, in thy vales. Experience is my guide; give ear to the adept; true are the things I sing. Mother of Love, smile on my undertaking.

Hence, ye narrow frontlets, insignia of chastity, and ye trailing robes that half conceal the feet. I sing of love where danger is not; I sing permitted pilferings; free of all offence my verses are.

You, who for the first time are taking up arms beneath the standard of Venus, find out, in the first place, the woman you are fain to love. Your next task will be to bend her to your will; your third to safeguard that your love shall endure. This is my plan, my syllabus. This is the course my chariot will pursue; such is the goal that it will endeavour to attain.

Now, that you still are fancy-free, now is the time for you to choose a woman and say to her: "You are the only woman that I care for." She's not going to be wafted down to you from heaven on the wings of the wind. You must use your own-eyes to discover the girl that suits you. The hunter knows where to spread his nets in order to snare the stag; he knows the valley where the wild boar has his lair. The birdcatcher knows where he should spread his lime; and the fisherman,, what waters most abound in fish. And thou who seekest out the object of a lasting love, learn to know the places which the fair ones most do haunt. You won't have to put to sea in order to do that, or to undertake any distant journeys. Perseus may bring home his Andromeda from sun-scorched India, and the Phrygian swain may go to Greece to bear away his bride; Rome alone will give you a choice of such lovely women, and so many of them, that you will be forced to confess that she gathers within her own bosom all the treasures that the world can show. As numerous as the ears of corn on Gargarus, grapes in Methymna, fish in the ocean, birds in the thickets, stars in the heavens, so numerous are the beautiful girls you'll find in Rome: Venus has made her seat of empire the city of her beloved Æneas.

If your. tastes incline to a young beauty, in the very flower of girlhood, a really inexperienced girl will offer herself to your gaze; if you prefer one rather more mature, there are hundreds of young women who will take your fancy: 'twill be a veritable embarras de richesses. But perhaps you would rather have someone still older, still more experienced. In that case you've got a yet larger number to choose from. When the sun begins to enter the sign of the Lion, you've only got to take a stroll beneath the cool shade of Pompey's portico, or near that building adorned with foreign marbles erected by a loving mother who united her offerings to those of a dutiful son. Omit not to visit that portico which, adorned with ancient pictures, is called the portico of Livia, after its foundress. There you will see the Danaides plotting the death of their unhappy kinswomen, and their fell sire grasping in his hand a naked sword. And do not miss the festival of Adonis, mourned of Venus, and the rites celebrated every seventh day by the Syrian Jews.

Shun not the Temple of the Cow of Memphis, who persuades so many women to play the part she played to Jupiter. Even the Forum, strange though it sound, is propitious to love-making. Lawyers are by no means proof against the fiery shafts of Love. Hard by the marble temple sacred to Venus, where play the waters of the Appian fount, many an advocate has fallen a victim to the snares of Love; for the man who defends his client cannot always defend himself. In such a pass, words sometimes fail even the most learned orator. The tables are turned and he finds himself obliged to plead his own cause. From her temple close at hand, Venus laughs to see him in such a quandary. A patron but a little while ago, he would now rejoice to be a client.

But it is especially at the theatre you should lay your snares; that is where you may hope to have your desires fulfilled. Here you will find women to your taste: one for a moment's dalliance, another to fondle and caress, another to have all for your own. Even as the ants that come and go in long battalions with their stores of food, or as the bees, when they have found plants to plunder of their honey, hover hither and thither among the thyme and the flowers, so, and no less numerous, you may see crowds of lovely women, gaily dressed, hastening away to the theatre. I have often found it difficult to choose from such a galaxy. They come to see and, more important still, to be seen! The theatre's the place where modesty acts a fall.

It was you, Romulus, who first mingled the cares of love with public games, that far-off day when the rape of the Sabine women gave wives to your warriors who had waited for them so long. No curtains then hung in the marble theatre, nor was the stage made red with liquid saffron. In those days branches from the woods of the Palatine were the only adornment of our simple stage. The people sat on seats of turf, their heads canopied with boughs.

As soon as he had sat him down, each Roman looked about, marking the woman whom he most desired, giving free play to the thoughts that surged within him. Whilst to the sound of a rustic pipe an actor strikes his foot three times upon the levelled earth, amid the unforced applause of the expectant throng (for in those days applause was neither bought nor sold), Romulus signed to his men to seize upon their prey. In a trice, with shouts that made their object clear, they laid their eager hands upon the cowering women. Even as the weak and timid doves flee before an eagle, even as a young lamb quails at the sight of a wolf, so shuddered the Sabine women when they beheld these fierce warriors making towards them. Every one turned pale, terror spread throughout the throng, but it showed itself in different ways. Some tore their hair; some swooned away; some wept in silence; some called vainly for their mothers; some sobbed aloud; others seemed stupefied with fear; some stood transfixed; others tried to flee. Nevertheless, the Romans carry off the women, sweet booty for their beds, and to many of them, terror lends an added charm.

If one shows herself too rebellious and refuses to follow her ravisher, he picks her up and, pressing her lovingly to his bosom, exclaims, "Why with tears do you thus dim the lovely radiance of your eyes? What your father is to your mother, that will I be to you." O Romulus, you are the only one who has ever known how to reward his soldiers; for such pay, I would willingly enrol myself beneath your banners. Ever since those days, the theatres, faithful to this ancient custom, have always been a dangerous lure to loveliness.

Forget not the arena where mettled steeds strive for the palm of Victory. This circus, where an immense concourse of people is gathered, is very favourable to Love. There, if you would express the secret promptings of your heart, there is no need for you to talk upon your fingers, or to watch for signs to tell you what is in your fair one's mind. Sit close beside her, as close as you are able; there's nothing to prevent. The narrowness of the space compels you to press against her and, fortunately for you, compels her to acquiesce. Then, of course, you must think of some means of starting the conversation. Begin by saying the sort of thing people generally do say on such occasions. Some horses are seen entering the stadium; ask her the name of their owner; and whoever she favours, you should follow suit. And when the solemn procession of the country's gods and goddesses passes along., be sure and give a rousing cheer for Venus, your protectress. If, as not infrequently befalls, a speck of dust lights on your fair one's breast, flick it off with an airy finger; and if there's nothing there, flick it off just the same; anything is good enough to serve as a pretext for paying her attention. Is her dress dragging on the ground? Gather it up, and take special care that nothing soils it. Perchance, to reward you for your kindness, she'll grant you the favour of letting you see her leg. And then again, you must keep an eye on the people seated in the row behind and see that no one thrusts his knee into her soft shoulders. The merest trifle is enough to win these butterfly ladies. Why, hosts of men have succeeded with a woman merely by the attentive manner in which they have arranged a cushion for her, or fanned her with a fan, or put a stool beneath her dainty feet. Both the circus and the forum afford opportunities for a love-affair. Love often delights to try his strength there, and many a man, who came to see another wounded, finds that he has been pinked himself. While he is talking and stroking her hand, asking for the race-card and, having put his money on, is inquiring what has won, an arrow pierces him before he knows where he is; he heaves a sigh and, instead of being a mere spectator of the combat, he finds himself a victim.

Did we not see this happen quite recently, when Caesar offered us the spectacle of a sea-fight showing the Persian and the Athenian ships in action. Then indeed, from both seas, youths and maidens flocked to see the show and the whole world was gathered within the City. Which of us, in that vast throng, found not a woman worthy of his love; and, alas, how many were tortured by a foreign flame.

But lo, Caesar makes ready to complete the conquest of the world! Ye far-off countries of the East, to our laws shall ye submit; and you, ye arrogant Parthians, shall be punished as ye deserve. Rejoice, shades of Crassus, and you, ye Roman Eagles, ashamed at your long sojourn in barbarian hands, be of good cheer, your avenger is at hand. Scarce has he essayed to wield his arms, and yet he proves himself a skilful leader. Though he himself is but a boy, he wages a war unsuited to his boyish years. O, ye of little faith, vex not your souls about the age of the gods! Courage in a Caesar does not wait upon the years. Genius divine outpaces time and brooks not the tedium of tardy growth. Hercules was still no more than a child when he 'crushed the serpents in his baby hands. Even in the cradle he proved himself a worthy son of Jove. And you, Bacchus, still glowing with youthful radiance, how mighty wast thou when India trembled at thy conquering Thyrsi! With the auspices and with the courage of thy sire shalt thou wield thine arms, young Caesar; with the courage and with the auspices of thy sire shalt thou overthrow thine enemies. Such a beginning becomes the name thou bearest. To-day thou art Prince of the Youths; one day thou shalt be Prince of the Elders. Since thou hast brothers, avenge thy slaughtered brethren; and since thou hast a sire, defend thy father's rights. It is thy father, thy country's father, who hath armed thee, what time the foe is violently wrestling the sceptre from a parent's struggling hand. Thy sacred cause shall triumph o'er the perjured foe; justice and piety shall march beneath thy standards. The righteousness of our cause shall overcome the Parthians; arms shall drive the victory home, and so to Latium's riches, the wealth of the Orient shall my young hero add. Mars, his sire, and thou Caesar, his sire too, a god the one, the other soon a god to be, watch over him and keep him from all harm. I can read the hidden secrets of the future. Aye, thou wilt conquer. I will sing thy glory in verses consecrate to thee; with a loud voice I will sound thy praise. Standing erect will I depict thee, and urging thy warriors to the combat. Grant that my song be not unworthy of the prowess that it celebrates! I will sing of the Parthian turning to flee, and of the Roman facing the arrows aimed at him by the flying foe. What, Parthian, dost thou leave to the conquered, who seekest victory in flight? Henceforth, for thee Mars forebodeth nought but ill.

That day shall dawn, O fairest of mankind, when, resplendent with gold, by four white horses drawn, thou shalt pass within the City walls. Before thee, laden with chains, shall walk the conquered leaders; nor shall they then, as erst they did, seek safety in flight. Young men and maidens shall with joy behold the sight, and with gladness shall all hearts be filled. Then if some fair one shall ask of thee the name of this or that defeated monarch, what all these emblems mean, what country this, what mountain that, or what that river yonder represents, answer at once, anticipate her questions, speak up with confidence, and even when your mind's a blank, speak up as if you had the knowledge pat. " Here's the Euphrates, with his sedgy crown; and that old fellow there, with sky-blue hair, why, he's the Tigris; and those? . . hum! . . . well, they're Armenians. That woman yonder? She is Persia, where the son of Danaë was born. That town till lately rose up amid the vales of Achæmenes. That prisoner there, or that other one yonder? Oh., they are captured generals." And if you know them, give their names. If you don't, invent them.

Dinners and banquets offer easy access to women's favour, and the pleasures of the grape are not the only entertainment you may find there; Love, with rosy cheeks, often presses in her frail hands the amphora of Bacchus. As soon as his wings are drenched with wine, Cupid grows drowsy and stirs not from his place. But anon he'll be up and shaking the moisture from his wings, and woe betide the man or woman who receives a sprinkling of this burning dew. Wine fills the heart with thoughts of love and makes it prompt to catch on fire. All troubles vanish, put to flight by copious draughts. Then is the time for laughter, the poor man plucks up courage and imagines he's a millionaire. To the deuce with worries and troubles! Brows unpucker and hearts expand; every tongue's inspired by frankness, and calls a spade a spade. We've often lost our heart to a pretty girl at dinner. Bringing love and wine together is adding fuel to fire indeed. Don't judge a woman by candle-light, it's deceptive. If you really want to know what she's like, look at her by daylight, and when you're sober. It was broad daylight, and under the open sky, that Paris looked upon the three goddesses and said to Venus, "You are lovelier than your two rivals." Night covers a multitude of blemishes and imperfections. At night there is no such thing as an ugly woman! If you want to look at precious stones, or coloured cloth, you take them out into the light of day; and it's by daylight you should judge a woman's face and figure.

But if I'm to mention all the places favourable to woman-hunting, I might as well attempt to number the sands of the seashore. Of course, there's Baiæ, with white sails gleaming out in the bay, and its hot sulphur spring. Many a bather, who has gone there for his health, comes away saying, "Those precious baths are not such healthy things as people make out." Not far from the gates of Rome, behold the temple of Diana shaded by trees, the scene of many a hard-fought contest for the prize of Love. Because she's a virgin and hates the darts of Love, Diana has inflicted many a wound there, and will inflict many more.

Thus far my Muse, borne in her chariot with wheels of different height, has, told you, would-be lover, where to seek your prey, and how to lay your snares. Now I'll teach you how to captivate and hold the woman of your choice. This is the most important part of all my lessons. Lovers of every land, lend an attentive ear to my discourse; let goodwill warm your hearts, for I am going to fulfil the promises I made you.

First of all, be quite sure that there isn't a woman who cannot be won, and make up your mind that you will win her. Only you must prepare the ground. Sooner would the birds cease their song in the springtime, or the grasshopper be silent in the summer, or the hare turn and give chase to a hound of Mænalus, than a woman resist the tender wooing of a youthful lover. Perhaps you think she doesn't want to yield. You're wrong. She wants to. in her heart of hearts. Stolen love is just as sweet to women as it is to us. Man is a poor dissembler; woman is much more skilful in concealing her desire. If all the men agreed that they would never more make the first advance, the women would soon be fawning at our feet. Out in the springy meadow the heifer lows with longing for the bull; the mare neighs at the approach of the stallion. With men and women love is more restrained, and passion is less fierce. They keep within bounds. Need I mention Byblis, who burned for her brother with an incestuous flame, and hanged herself to expiate her crime? Or Myrrha, who loved her father, but not as a father should be loved, and now her shame is hidden by the bark of the tree that covered her. O sweetly scented tree, the tears which she distils, to us give perfume and recall the ill-fated maid's unhappy name.

One day in wood-crowned Ida's shady vale, a white bull went wandering by. The pride of all the herd was he. Between his horns was just a single spot of black; save for that mark, his body was as white as milk; and all the heifers of Gnossus and of Cydonia sighed for the joy of his caress. Pasiphaë conceived a passion for him and viewed with jealous eye the loveliest among the heifers. There's no gainsaying it, Crete with her hundred cities, Crete, liar though she be, cannot deny it. 'Tis said that Pasiphaë, with hands unused to undertake such toil, tore from the trees their tenderest shoots, culled from the meadows bunches of sweet grass and hastened to offer them to her beloved bull. Whithersoever he went, she followed him; nothing would stay her. She recked not of her spouse; the bull had conquered Minos. "What avails it, Pasiphaë, to deck yourself in costly raiment? How can your lover of such riches judge? Wherefore, mirror in hand, dost thou follow the wandering herd up to the mountain top? Wherefore dost thou for ever range thy hair? Look in thy mirror: 'twill tell thee thou art no meet mistress for a bull. Ah, what wouldst thou not have given if Nature had but armed thy brow with horns! If Minos still doth hold a corner in thy heart, cease this adulterous love; or if thou must deceive thy spouse, at least deceive him with a man." She hearkens not, but, fleeing from his royal couch, she ranges ever on and on, through forest after forest, like to a Bacchante full of the spirit that unceasingly torments her. How often, looking with jealous anger on a heifer, did she exclaim) "How then can she find favour in his sight? See how she prances before him on the green. Fool, she doubtless deems that thus she is lovelier in his eyes." Then, at her command, the hapless beast is taken from the herd and sent to bow her head beneath the yoke; or else, pretending to offer sacrifice to the gods, she orders her to be slain; at the altar; and then with joy fingers o'er the entrails of her rival. How often, under the guise of one who offers sacrifice, hath she appeased the alleged displeasure of the gods, and waving the bleeding trophies in her hand exclaimed, "Go, get thee to my lover, please him now!" Now she would be Europa; now she would be lo; the one because she was a heifer, the other because a bull bore her on his back. Howbeit, deceived by the image of a cow of maple wood, the king of the herd performed with her the act of love, and by the offspring was the sire betrayed.

Had that other Cretan girl been able to forego her passion for Thyestes (but how hard it is for a woman to love one man alone), Phœbus would not have been compelled to stay his steeds in mid-career, and to have driven his chariot back again towards the Dawn. The daughter of Nisus, because she had stolen from the father's head the fatal lock of hair, is evermore beset by ravening dogs. The son of Atreus, though he escaped the perils of the battlefield and the ocean, died beneath the dagger of his cruel spouse. Who has listened to the love story of Creusa? Who has not hated the mad fury of Medea, a mother stained with her children's blood? Phœnix, the son of Amyntor, wept with his sightless orbs. You, ye steeds, in your terror, tore Hippolytus in pieces. Wherefore, Phineus, didst thou put out the eyes of thy innocent sons? Upon thine own head will that punishment return.

Such are the consequences of woman's unbridled passion. Fiercer it is than ours, with more of frenzy in it.

Be, then, of good cheer, and never doubt that you will conquer. Not one woman in a thousand will seriously resist. Whether a pretty woman grants or withholds her favours, she always likes to be asked for them. Even if you are repulsed, you don't run any danger. But why should a woman refuse? People don't resist the temptation of new delights. We always deem that other people are more fortunate than ourselves. The crop is always better in our neighbour's field; his cows more rich in milk.

Now the first thing you have to do is to get on good terms with the fair one's maid. She can make things easy for you. Find out whether she is fully in her mistress's confidence, and if she knows all about her secret dissipations. Leave no stone unturned to win her over. Once you have her on your side, the rest is easy. Let her watch for a favourable time (that's a precaution that doctors do not neglect); let her take advantage of the moment when her mistress may more easily be persuaded, when she is more likely to surrender to a lover's solicitations. At such times, the whole world seems couleur de rose to her; gaiety dances in her eyes as the golden wheat-ears dance in a fertile field. When the heart is glad, when it is not gripped by sorrow, it opens and expands. Then it is that Love slips gently into its inmost folds. So long as Ilion was plunged in mourning, her warriors kept the Greeks at bay; it was when she was rejoicing and making merry that she received within her walls the fatal horse with its armèd freight. Choose, too, the moment when your charmer is smarting from the insult of a rival; make her see in you a means of wiping off the score. When, in the morning, she is doing her mistress's hair, let the maid foment her anger, let her press on with sail and oar and, sighing, murmur, "Why not, Madam, pay him out in his own coin?" Then let her talk of you; let her adroitly sing your praises and swear that you, poor fellow, are wildly in love with her. But don't lose any time, for fear the wind should drop and the sails hang limp. Fragile as ice, a woman's anger is a transient thing.

"What about the maid herself?" you ask. "Is it well to win her favours first?" Now that's a ticklish business. Sometimes it stimulates their zeal; sometimes the opposite's the case. One girl will do her utmost for her mistress, another will want to keep you for herself. The only thing is just to try, and see how it turns out. On the whole, my advice to you is "Don't." I shouldn't risk these steep and dangerous by-ways myself. If you keep with me, you'll be on the right road. If, however, you are taken with the servant's charms, if you find her as pretty as she's zealous, win the mistress first, and afterwards turn your attention to the maid; but don't begin with her. Only I warn you, if you have any faith in my teaching, if my words are not dispersed by the winds over the seas, don't make the attempt at all unless you carry it right through. Once she herself is well involved, she won't give you away. The bird, with its wings well limed, won't fly far; the boar can't escape from the nets; once a fish is on the hook, he can't get away. So my advice to you is, push your attack well home, and don't be in a hurry to withdraw your forces when the victory's won. Thus she'll be your companion in crime, and she'll never betray you; she'll tell you everything you want to know about her mistress. The great thing is to be careful. If you keep your goings-on with the maid quite dark, you'll hear about everything her mistress does.

Some people think that time and the seasons only concern farmers and seafaring men. They're wrong. just as there's a time to sow, and a time to sail, so there's a time to begin on a pretty girl. Success often depends on your seizing the right moment to open the attack. Keep clear of her birthday, for example, and shun the Kalends of March. Don't begin when there's a big show on at the circus. That would prove the winter of your discontent, when the stormy winds would blow, and you'd do well to hold off. If you launch the ship then, you'll be lucky if you're washed ashore clinging to a spar. If you want a really good opportunity, wait for the anniversary of the fatal day when Roman blood incarnadined the waters of the Allia, or for that one day out of the seven on which the Syrian Jew will do no manner of work. Above all, don't go near her on her birthday; or indeed on any day when you're expected to give a present. However much you try to wriggle out of it, she'll make you buy her something. A woman always knows how to exploit an ardent lover. Some pedlar fellow will be sure to turn up, and since buying's a mania with them all, she'll be sure to find the very things she wants. She'll ask you to look at 'em; then she'll kiss you, and say, " Oh, do buy me that. It'll last for years; it's just the very thing I want, and you couldn't buy me anything I should like more." It's no good saying you haven't got the money on you; she'll ask you to draw a cheque, and then you'll curse the day you learned to write. And how many times you'll have to give her something for her birthday! Every time she wants anything very special, she'll have a birthday. And then she'll come grieving some pretended loss; she'll come to you with eyes all red with weeping and tell you she's lost one of her precious ear-rings. That's the little game they play. Then they'll keep on asking you to lend them money; and once they've got it, I wouldn't give much for your chances of getting it back. You can look on that as gone, and they won't give you so much as a "thank you." Why, if I'd got ten mouths and ten tongues, I couldn't tell you all the tricks our ladies of the demi-monde get up to.

In the first place, it's best to send her a letter, just to pave the way. In it you should tell her how you dote on her; pay her pretty compliments and say all the nice things lovers always say. Achilles gave way to Priam's supplications. Even the gods are moved by the voice of entreaty. And promise, promise, promise. Promises will cost you nothing. Everyone's a millionaire where promises are concerned. Hope, if only she is duly fostered, holds out a long time. She's a deceitful goddess, but a very useful one. If you give your mistress something, she may give you your congé. She will have had her quid pro quo. Always make her think you're just about to give, but never really do so. Thus your farmer will keep on manuring a barren field, hoping it will produce a crop some day. Your gambler will keep throwing good money after bad, in hopes of redeeming all his losses; and thus his greed falls a victim to his hope of gain. The really great problem, the problem that takes all a man's skill to solve, is to win a woman's favours without making her a present. If you succeed in that, she will go on giving, so as not to lose the guerdon of the favours she has already bestowed. So send off your letter and couch it in the sweetest terms; it should be a sort of preliminary reconnaissance and pave the way to her heart. A few characters written on an apple led the young Cydippe astray and, when she had read them, the rash girl found she was ensnared by her own words.

Take my advice, my youthful fellow-citizens, and study the fine arts, not only that you may champion the cause of some trembling dependent. The common herd, the austere judge, and those superior people, the senators, are not the only people who are moved by eloquence. But don't show your hand, and don't be in too much of a hurry to display your powers of speech. And don't put on the professorial style. Who but an idiot would write to his mistress as though he were addressing a meeting. A show-off letter will often turn a woman against you. Be quite natural, quite simple, but engaging. In a word, say just what you would say if you were speaking to her. If she refuses your letter and sends it back unread, don't give up; hope for the best and try again. The unruly bull bows to the yoke in time, and, in time, the most obstreperous colt gets broken in. You can wear through an iron ring by continuous friction; the ploughshare wears away every day against the soil it cleaves. What could you have harder than a rock, or less hard than water? Nevertheless, water will wear away the hardest rock. So keep pegging away, and, given time, you'll get your way with Penelope herself. Troy held out a long time, but it fell at last. Suppose she reads your letter but doesn't answer. So be it. Only keep her busy reading. Since she has condescended to read, she'll answer some fine day. Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour. Peradventure she'll write in a huff and tell you to cease annoying her. If she does, she's trembling lest you take her at her word. She wants you to go on, although she tells you not to. So go on, and soon you'll have your heart's desire.

If you see your mistress being borne along on her litter, goo up to her as if by accident, and say what you've got to say in vague ambiguous language, for fear some busybody should be listening. If you see her hanging about under some portico, as if she didn't know what to do with herself, go and walk there too. Sometimes get in front of her, and sometimes drop behind. Don't be bashful about getting clear of the crowd and crossing over to her side. Don't, on any account, let her go to the theatre, looking her loveliest, without your being there to see. Her bare shoulders will give you something charming to contemplate. And you can look at her and admire her at your leisure; and speak to her with eyes and gestures. Applaud the actor that plays the girl's part; applaud still more the man that plays the lover. If she stands up, stand up too; and while she is sitting, keep your seat; don't worry about the time, squander it as your mistress may require.

And don't, for heaven's sake, have your hair waved, or use powder on your skin. Leave such foppishness as that to the effeminate priests who wail their Phrygian chants in honour of Cybele. Simplicity in dress is what best befits a man. Theseus conquered Ariadne without troubling about the way his hair was done. Phædra fell in love with Hippolytus, who certainly was not a dandy. Adonis, a simple woodlander, was the idol of a goddess. Study to be clean, let your skin be tanned in the open air, wear well-cut clothes, and see there are no spots on them. Have a clean tongue, and let your teeth be free from tartar; and don't slop about in boots that are two or three sizes too big for you.

Don't let your hair stick up in tufts on your head; see that your hair and your beard are decently trimmed. See also that your nails are clean and nicely filed; don't have any hair growing out of your nostrils; take care that your breath is sweet, and don't go about reeking like a billy-goat. All other toilet refinements leave to the women or to perverts.

But lo, Bacchus is summoning his bard; propitious to lovers, he fosters the fires with which he is consumed himself. Ariadne was wandering distraught along the lonely wave-beaten shores of Naxos. Scarce had sleep departed from her eyes, and she wore but an airy shift her feet were bare and her fair tresses were blowing about her shoulders. To the heedless billows she was crying wildly for her Theseus, and tears flowed in torrents down her cheeks. She cried aloud and wept at the same time. But both enhanced her beauty. "Oh, the faithless one," she cried, beating her tender bosom again and again, "he has abandoned me. Oh, what will become of me! What will be my fate!" She spake. And on a sudden, drums and cymbals beaten and tossed by frenzied hands resounded along the shore. Stricken with terror, she fell gasping out a few broken words, and the blood faded from her lifeless corpse. But lo, the Mænads, with their hair floating wildly out behind them, and the light-footed Satyrs, the rout that leads the procession of Apollo, came upon the scene. Behold, old Silenus, reeling-ripe as usual, who can scarce keep his seat on the ass that staggers beneath the heavy burden. He pursues the Mænads, who flee from him and mock him as they flee, and as he belabours his long-eared beast with his staff, the unskilful cavalier tumbles head-foremost from his steed. And all the Satyrs shout, "Up with you, old man Silenus, up with you again!"

Meanwhile from his lofty chariot with vine branches all bedecked, the god, handling the golden reins, drives on his team of tigers. The girl, in losing Theseus, had lost her colour and her voice. Thrice she attempted flight, thrice did fear paralyse her steps; she shuddered, she trembled like the tapering stem or the slender reed that sways at the slightest breath. "Banish all thy fears," cried the god. "In me thou findest a tenderer, more faithful lover than Theseus. Daughter of Minos, thou shalt be the bride of Bacchus. Thy guerdon shall be a dwelling in the sky; thou shalt be a new star and thy bright diadem shall be a guide to the pilot uncertain of his course." So saying he leapt from his chariot lest his tigers should affright her. The sand yielded beneath his feet. Clasping to his breast the swooning, unresisting girl, he bore her away. For a god may do as he wills, and who shall say him nay. Then some sang Hymenæe! and some Evion Evoë! and to these strains the god and his bride consummated their spousals on the sacred couch.

When, then, you find yourself at a feast where the wine is flowing freely, and where a woman shares the same couch with you, pray to that god whose mysteries are celebrated during the night, that the wine may not overcloud thy brain. 'Tis then thou mayest easily hold converse with thy mistress in hidden words whereof she will easily divine the meaning. A drop of wine will enable you to draw sweet emblems on the table wherein she will read the proof of the love you have for her. Fix well thine eyes on her and so confirm the message of thy love. Ofttimes, without a word being spoken, the eyes can tell a wondrous tale. When she has drunk, be thou the first to seize the cup, and where her lips have touched, there press thine own and drink. Choose thou the dainties that her fingers have lightly touched, and as thou reachest for them, let thy hand softly encounter hers.

Be courteous to her husband too. Nothing could better serve your plans than to be in his good graces. If, when the dice are thrown, chance crowns thee king of the feast, yield him the honour; take off thy wreath and place it on his brow. Whether he be thy equal or inferior matters not. Let him be served the first, and flatter him in everything you say. The surest and most common means to success is to deceive him under the cloak of friendship. But though 'tis sure and common, 'tis none the less a crime. Sometimes in love the ambassador goes too far and doth exceed the terms of his mandate.

Now I will lay down the limits thou shouldst observe in drinking: never drink enough to cloud your brain or make your gait unsteady; avoid the quarrels that are born of wine and be not prompt to take offence. Follow not the example of Eurytion, who, like a fool, gave up the ghost because he had drunk too much. The food and the wine should inspire a gentle gaiety. If you have a voice, sing; and if your limbs are supple, dance; in short, do everything you can to make a good impression. Downright drunkenness is a loathsome thing; simulated inebriety may serve a useful purpose. Let your tongue falter with a cunning stammer; pretend it's difficult for you to pronounce your words, so that whatever you do or say a little on the risky side may be put down to the fact that you've had too much liquor. Drink to your mistress, and do it openly, and drink to the man that shares her bed-and, under your breath, curse her lawful spouse. When the guests rise up to go, you'll have a good chance to get very close to your lady. Mingle in the crowd, contrive to get near her, press her side with your fingers and rub your foot against hers.

And now, we'll say, you've got her to yourself. Now you can talk to her. Avaunt then, rustic modesty! Fortune and Venus favour the brave. Don't ask me to tell you what to say. just take and begin, the words will come fast enough without your having to search for them. You must play the lover for all you're worth. Tell her how you are pining for her; do everything you know to win her over. She will believe you fast enough. Every woman thinks herself attractive; even the plainest is satisfied with the charms she deems that she possesses. And, then, how often it has happened that the man who begins by feigning love ends by falling in love in real earnest. Ali, my fair ones, look with indulgent eye on those that give themselves a lover's airs; the love, now feigned, will soon be love indeed.

By subtle flatteries you may be able to steal into her heart, even as the river insensibly o'erflows the banks which fringe it. Never cease to sing the praises of her face, her hair, her taper fingers and her dainty foot. The coldest beauty is moved by praises of her charms, and even the innocent and greenest girl takes pride and pleasure in the care of her good looks. If it were not so, wherefore should Juno and Minerva blush even now to have failed to carry off the prize for loveliness, in the woods of Ida? See that peacock there; if you belaud his plumage, he'll spread his tail with pride; but if in silence you look at him, he'll never show his treasures. The courser, in the chariot race, is proud of the admiration bestowed on his well-groomed mane and his proudly arched neck. Be not backward in your promises; women are drawn on by promises; and swear by all the gods that you'll be as good as your word. Jove, from his high abode, looks down and laughs on lovers' perfidies, and gives them to Æolus for the winds to sport with. Often he swore to Juno by the Styx that he'd be faithful, and he broke his vows. His example should lend us courage.

'Tis well that the gods should exist and well that we should believe in them. Let us bring offerings of wine and frankincense to their immemorial altars. They are not sunk in indolent repose and slothful ease. Live then in innocence, for the gods are omnipresent. Fulfil the trust that has been reposed in you; observe the precepts of religion; have nought to do with fraud; stain not your hands with blood. If you are wise, practise deceit on women alone, for that you may do with impunity; but in all other matters let your word be your bond. Deceive them that are deceivers; women for the most part are a perfidious race; let them fall into the snares which they themselves have prepared. Egypt, so they tell, being deprived of the rains which fertilise its soil, had suffered nine years of continuous drought when Thrasius came to Busiris and announced that Jove could be propitiated by the shedding of a stranger's blood. "Then," said Busiris, "thou shalt be the first victim offered to the god; thou shalt be that stranger-guest to whom Egypt shall owe the rain from heaven." Phalaris, too, caused the ferocious Perillus to be burnt within the brazen bull which he had fashioned, and the ill-fated craftsman was the first to put his handiwork to the proof Both penalties were just; and indeed there is no law more righteous than that the contrivens of death should perish by their own inventions. Wherefore, since a lie should pay for a lie, let woman be deceived and let her blame no one but herself for the treachery whereof she set the example.

Tears, too, are a mighty useful resource in the matter of love. They would melt a diamond. Make a point, therefore, of letting your mistress see your face all wet with tears. Howbeit, if you cannot manage to squeeze out any tears--and they won't always flow just when you want them to--put your finger in your eyes. What lover of experience does not know how greatly kisses add. cogency to tender speeches? If she refuse to be kissed, kiss her all the same. She may struggle to begin with. "Horrid man!" she'll say; but if she fights, 'twill be a losing battle. Nevertheless, don't be too rough with her and hurt her dainty mouth. Don't give her cause to say that you're a brute. And if, after you've kissed her, you fail to take the rest, you don't deserve even what you've won. What more did you want to come to the fulfilment of your desires? Oh, shame on you! It was not your modesty, it was your stupid clownishness. You would have hurt her in the struggle, you say? But women like being hurt. What they like to give, they love to be robbed of. Every woman taken by force in a hurricane of passion is transported with delight; nothing you could give her pleases her like that. But when she comes forth scathless from a combat in which she might have been taken by assault, however pleased she may try to look, she is sorry in her heart. Phœbe was raped, and so, too, was her sister Elaira; and yet they loved their ravishers not a whit the less.

A well-known story, but one that may well be told again, is that of Achilles and the maid of Scyros. Venus had rewarded Paris for the homage he had paid to her beauty when at the foot of Mount Ida she triumphed over her two rivals. From a far-off country a new daughter-in-law has come to Priam, and within the walls of Ilion there dwells an Argive bride. The Greeks swore to avenge the outraged husband; for an affront to one was an affront to all. Howbeit, Achilles (shame on him if he had not yielded to a mother's prayers) had disguised his manhood beneath the garments of a girl. "What dost thou there, descendant of Æacus? Dost thou busy thyself with carding wool? Is that a task for a man? It is by other arts of Pallas that thou shouldst seek for fame. What hast thou to do with work-baskets? Thine arm is made to bear the shield. How comes this distaff in the hand that should lay Hector low? Cast from thee these spindles, and let thy doughty hand brandish a spear from Pelion." Once chance brought Achilles and the royal maiden together in the same bedchamber, and then the onslaught she underwent swiftly revealed to her the sex of her companion. Doubtless she yielded only to superior force; so we must of course believe; but at least she was not angry that force gained the day. "Stay yet awhile," she said entreatingly, when Achilles, eager to be gone, had laid aside the distaff to seize his valiant arms. What then has become of this alleged violence? Wherefore, Deidamia, wilt thou retain with pleading tones the author of thy downfall?

True, if modesty does not permit a woman to make the first advance, it nevertheless delights her to yield when her lover takes the initiative. In truth a lover reposes too much confidence in his good looks if he thinks that a woman will be the first to ask. 'Tis for him to begin, for him to entreat her; and to his supplications she will incline her ear. Ask and thou shalt receive; she only waits to be implored. Tell her the cause and origin of your desire. Jove bent the knee to the heroines of old times, and for all his greatness, none ever came of her own accord to entreat him. If, however, you only get disdain for all your pains, draw back and press your suit no farther. Many women long for what eludes them, and like not what is offered them. Cool off; don't let her think you too importunate. Do not betray the hope of too swift a victory; let Love steal in disguised as Friendship. I've often seen a woman thus disarmed, and friendship ripen into love.

A pale complexion ill becomes a sailor. The rays of the sun and the salt spray should have tanned his features; nor does it suit the husbandman who, with plough or heavy rakes, is for ever turning up the soil in the open air; and ye who strive for the athlete's crown of olive, it would ill beseem you to have too white a skin. But every lover should be pale; pallor is the symptom of Love, it is the hue appropriate to Love. So, deceived by your paleness, let your mistress be tenderly solicitous for your health. Orion was pale with love when he wandered after Lyrice in the woods of Dirce. Pale, too, was Daphnis for the Naiad that disdained him. Thinness, too, is an index to the feelings; and be not ashamed to veil your shining hair beneath the hood. Sleepless nights make thin a young man's body. So that thou mayest come to the fruition of your desires, shrink not from exciting pity, that all who behold you may exclaim, "Why, poor wretch, you are in love!" Shall I complain aloud or only whisper it, how virtue is on every side confounded with vice? Friendship and constancy are both but empty names. You cannot with safety tell your friend all the charms of the woman you adore; if he believed what you said of her, he would straightway become your rival. But, you will argue, the grandson of Actor stained not the couch of Achilles; Phædra erred not, at least, not in favour of Pirithoüs; Pylades loved Hermione with a love as chaste as that which Phœbus bore for Pallas, or as the love of Castor and Pollux for their sister Helen. But if you count on miracles like that, you might as well expect to cull apples from the tamarisk, or to gather honey in the middle of a river. Vice is so inviting, and each man seeks but to gratify his own pleasure. And pleasure is sweetest when 'tis paid for by another's pain. Shun those men you think you can rely on, and you'll be safe. Beware alike of kinsman, brother, and dear friend. They are the people who generally make the trouble.

I was on the point of ending here; but let me add that women are things of many moods. You must adapt your treatment to the special case. The same soil is not equally good for everything. This land is good for the vine, and this for olives; and here's the place for corn. You'll find as many dispositions in the world as you meet with different figures and faces. A clever man will know how to adapt himself to this diversity of temper and disposition, and suit his conversation to the needs of the hour, even as Proteus, who is now a graceful wave, now a lion, now a tree, and now a boar with bristling hide. It's the same with fish; some you spear, others you take with the line, and others again in the encircling net. Different methods suit different people. You must vary them according to the age of your mistresses. An old hind will descry your machinations from afar. If you display too much skill to the novice, and too much enterprise to the bashful, you'll frighten her and put her on her guard. Thus it sometimes happens that a woman, who has feared to yield to the caresses of a man of breeding, will fall into the arms of a worthless knave.

A part of my enterprise is now achieved, though more remains behind. Here then let us heave the anchor and give ourselves a little rest.