BOOK 8
Charite's Revenge and Death: Lucius with the
Catamite Priests

1 As cockcrow signalled the end of night, a young man arrived from the neighbouring city. I assumed that he was one of the servants of Charite, the girl who had endured hardships as trying as mine at the hands of the brigands. As he sat by the fire in the company of his fellow-slaves, he reported the strange and sacrilegious saga of the girl's death and the disaster which had struck her whole house. This was what he told them.

'Grooms, shepherds and herdsmen, our Charite is dead. Poor thing, she has departed to the shades below through the harshest of fates, but she has not gone alone. So that you may know the whole story, I shall tell you what happened from the beginning. It is a sequence of events which persons more learned than I, writers whom Fortune has invested with fluency of the pen, can appropriately commit to paper as an example of historical narrative.

'In a nearby town lived a young man of high birth, his nobility matched by his wealth. But he spent his time in the degenerate pursuits of the tavern, the brothel, and day-long drinking. This had led him to evil association with gangs of robbers, so that his hands were even stained with human blood. His name was Thrasyllus. Rumour circulating about him was matched by the reality.

2 'As soon as Charite had reached marrying-age, he had become one of her chief suitors. He devoted the greatest energy to the task of courting her; but though he was the leading contender among all those of his social rank, and sought to obtain her parents' consent with lavish gifts, his character as a reprobate led to the ignominy of rejection. Our young mistress was then joined in marriage to the worthy Tlepolemus, but Thrasyllus continued to nurture intensely

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