The Satyricon of Petronius

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Charles Carrington, 1902 - English poetry - 421 pages
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Page 146 - I assure you she is capital at the cordax^ no one better." Then putting his hands to his forehead he began to imitate Syrus the comedian, all the servants singing out together, By Jove, well done ! well done, by Jove ! He would also have stepped out and danced, had not Fortunata whispered in his ear and told him, I suppose, that such low diversions were unbecoming a man of his station. But his...
Page 104 - ... for which reason he bought rams at, Tarentum to improve his breed ; he had bees fetched from Athens, that he might have Attic honey home-made ; and that at the same time the native bees might be bettered by a cross with the Greek. It was only the other day he wrote to India for mushroom-seed ; and he has not a single mule but was got by a wild ass. You see all these beds ? There is not one of them but is wadded with the finest purple or scarlet wool. Oh what a happy man he is ! " And don't turn...
Page 134 - In the times of the Republic those who desired to attain to high offices were obliged to observe many little attentions, not only to people of distinction, but also towards the common citizens. Their houses were open to the visits of everybody, and when they were out of doors they were expected to remember all their names, and say something agreeable to them. As it was impossible to recall at a moment the name and circumstances of each one, there were slaves (nomenclatores) whose duty consisted in...
Page 310 - she urged, "to die of famine to bury yourself alive in the tomb, to yield your life to destiny before the Fates demand it? ' "Think you to pleasure thus the dead and gone? '"Nay! rather return to life, and shaking off this womanly weakness, enjoy the good things of this world as long as you may. The very corpse that lies here before your eyes should be a warning to make the most of existence." 'No one is really loath to consent, when pressed to eat or live. The widow therefore, worn as she was with...
Page xxi - With regard to Caius Petronius, his character and life merit a somewhat more particular attention. He passed his days in sleep, and his nights in business, or in joy and revelry. Indolence was at once his passion and his road to fame. What others did by vigour and industry, he accomplished by his love of pleasure and luxurious ease. Unlike the men who profess to understand social enjoyment, and ruin their fortunes, he led a life of expense, without profusion; an epicure...
Page iv - My motive was to supply travellers with an organ which would rescue their observations from the outer darkness of manuscript, and print their curious information on social and sexual matters out of place in the popular book intended for the Nipptisch, and indeed better kept from public view. But, hardly had we begun when " Respectability," that whited sepulchre full of all uncleanness, rose up against us.
Page 242 - ... set foot upon the threshold of the temple, one promises a gift if only he may bury a rich relative; another, if he can but dig up a treasure, and still another, if he is permitted to amass thirty millions of sesterces, in safety! The Senate itself, the exponent of all that should be right and just, is in the habit of promising a thousand pounds of gold to the capitol, and that no one may question the propriety of praying for money, it even decorates Jupiter himself with spoils!
Page 195 - ... thrust off our couches, such was the throng of servants that suddenly invaded the room ; and who should be placed above me but the ingenious cook who had made a goose out of a pig, all stinking of pickle and sauces ? Nor was it enough for him to recline at table, but he must immediately begin to imitate Ephesus the tragedian ; after which he offered his master a bet that at the next chariotraces the green would win.
Page 114 - ... the same person who had already explained other things to me. " Why," said he, " your servant could explain that to you ; it is no riddle ; the thing is quite clear. This boar escaped from yesterday's dinner, where he was presented at the last course and dismissed by the guests, and so he now returns to table as a freedman.
Page xxii - His gaiety recommended him to the notice of the prince. Being in favour at court, and cherished as the companion of Nero in all his select parties, he was allowed to be the arbiter of taste and elegance. Without the sanction of Petronius nothing was exquisite, nothing rare or delicious. Hence the jealousy of Tigellinus, who dreaded a rival in the good graces of the emperor 'almost his equal ; in the science of luxury his superior. Tigellinus determined to work his downfall ; and, accordingly, addressed...

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