7
Giton spurns Encolpius for Ascyltus
79 We had no torch to aid us, to show us the way in our wan-
dering, and as it was now midnight, all was silent, and there
was no likelihood of our encountering such a beacon. To
make matters worse, our drunkenness and ignorance of the
locality would have caused problems even in daylight. So for
almost an hour we dragged our bleeding feet over all the
jagged stones and jutting fragments of broken jars, until we
were finally rescued by Giton's resource. He had wisely put
chalk-marks on every post* and pillar for fear of going astray
even in daylight. These markings pierced the impenetrable
darkness, and their conspicuous whiteness pointed the way
for us as we wandered about. Yet even when we reached the
lodging we still had to sweat it out, for the old hag had been
sousing herself with liquor for quite a time in the company
of her lodgers, so that even if you had set her alight she
would have felt nothing. We might have had to spend the
night on the doorstep, but then Trimalchio's outrider turned
up . . . He didn't spend much time hallooing, but broke down
the door of the lodging, and let us in through it . . .
Ye gods, ye goddesses! How sweet that night!
On that soft couch we swapped our vagrant breath,*
Sweating in close-knit passion, lips pressed tight,
Forgetting mortal cares. Yet this spelt death.
For my self-congratulation proved unfounded. The wine had
caused me to relax and I had loosed my drunken embrace.
During the night Ascyltus, that contriver of all manner of
iniquity, removed the boy from my side, and transferred
him to his own bed. After sporting in considerable freedom
with this brother not his own--Giton remained unconscious,
or pretended to be--he fell asleep in this stolen embrace,

-67-

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The Satyricon
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Satyricon i
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface and Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Select Bibliography xlvi
  • 1 - At the School of Rhetoric 1
  • 2 - Dubious Encounters in the Town 5
  • 3 - Jealousy at the Lodging 7
  • 4 - An Episode in the Market 9
  • 5 - Enter Quartilla, the Priapic Priestess 12
  • 6 - Dinner at Trimalchio's 20
  • 7 - Giton Spurns Encolpius for Ascyltus 67
  • 8 - Eumolpus in the Art Gallery 71
  • 9 - Reconciliation with Giton; Eumolpus as Rival 79
  • 10 - The Episode on Ship. Enter Lichas and Tryphaena 88
  • 11 - The Journey to Croton 110
  • 12 - The Encounter with Circe 124
  • 13 - Eumolpus and the Legacy-Hunters 145
  • Index and Glossary of Names 205
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