13
Eumolpus and the Legacy-hunters

There was a married lady of outstanding respectability called Philomela. She had often exploited the services of her youthful body to wring out numerous legacies, but she was now old, and her beauty's bloom had withered. So she would foist her son and daughter on childless old men, and thus continue to practise her profession by keeping it in the family. For this reason she approached Eumolpus, saying that she wished to entrust her children to his sage counsel and upright nature . . . She was putting herself and her aspirations in his hands; he was the only person in the entire world who could give the young ones a good grounding by teaching them sound principles every day. In short, she was leaving the children in Eumolpus' residence to listen to his discourse;*this was the only legacy which she could pass on to her young charges.

She was as good as her word. She left her stunningly beautiful daughter and the girl's adolescent brother in Eumolpus' apartment, on the pretence that she was off to the temple to recite her vows. Eumolpus, a man of such chaste disposition that he regarded even myself as a likely lad, did not delay in inviting the girl to some sacral sodomy. But he had told everyone that he was gout-ridden and suffering from enervation in his loins, and he was in danger of undermining the entire dramatic performance if he failed to keep the pretence intact.

So to maintain the plausibility of the deception, he entreated the girl to sit on his 'upright nature', and bade Corax crawl under the bed in which he lay, to do press-ups on the floor, and thus keep his master mobile by pushing upwards with his loins. The slave obeyed the instruction in slow measure, alternating his movements with the girl's

-145-

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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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