A Level Latin Group 2 text 2020-2022
Translation by J. Arthur Hanson
placet pro bono duabus malis malum consilium, totisque illis tam pretiosis muneribus absconditis, comam trahentes et proinde ut merebantur ora lacerantes simulatos redintegrant fletus. ac sic parentes quoque redulcerato prorsum dolore raptim deserentes, vesania turgidae domus suas contendunt dolum scelestum, immo vero parricidium struentes contra sororem insontem.
interea Psychen maritus ille quem nescit rursum suis illis nocturnis sermonibus sic commonet: ‘videsne quantum tibi periculum? velitatur Fortuna eminus ac, nisi longe firmiter praecaves, mox comminus congredietur. perfidae lupulae magnis conatibus nefarias insidias tibi comparant, quarum summa est, ut te suadeant meos explorare vultus, quos, ut tibi saepe praedixi, non videbis si videris. ergo igitur si posthac pessimae illae lamiae noxiis animis armatae venerint — venient autem, scio — neque omnino sermonem conferas et, si id tolerare pro genuina simplicitate proque animi tui teneritudine non potueris, certe de marito nil quicquam vel audias vel respondeas: nam et familiam nostram iam propagabimus et hic adhuc infantilis uterus gestat nobis infantem alium, si texeris nostra secreta silentio, divinum, si profanaveris, mortalem.’
“This wicked plan seemed a good idea to the two wicked women. They hid all their costly gifts; then, tearing their hair and scratching their cheeks — precisely as they deserved — began renewing their mock lamentations. Thus they quickly frightened their parents by reopening the wound of their grief too. Then, swollen with madness, they hastened to their own homes to plot some heinous crime — even murder — against their innocent sister.
“Meanwhile Psyche was again being warned by her unknown husband in his nightly talks with her. ‘Do you see how much danger you are in?’ he asked. ‘Fortune is now firing at long range, and unless you take very strong precautionary measures, she will soon attack at close quarters. Those deceitful bitches are making great efforts to execute a villainous plot against you, the gist of which is to persuade you to examine my face. As I have often told you before, if you see it, you will never see it again. Therefore, if those horrible harpies armed with their pernicious thoughts come again — and they will come, I know — you must not talk to them at all. And if you cannot bear that because of your simple innocence and tenderheartedness, then at least, if they talk about your husband, neither listen nor answer. You see, we are now about to increase our family, and your womb, still a child’s, bears another child for us, who will be a god if you guard our secret in silence, but a mortal if you profane it.’
nuntio Psyche laeta florebat et divinae subolis solacio plaudebat et futuri pignoris gloria gestiebat et materni nominis dignitate gaudebat: crescentes dies et menses exeuntes anxia numerat, et sarcinae nesciae rudimento miratur de brevi punctulo tantum incrementulum locupletis uteri.
sed iam pestes illae taeterrimaeque Furiae anhelantes vipereum virus et festinantes impia celeritate navigabant. tunc sic iterum momentarius maritus suam Psychen admonet: ‘dies ultima et casus extremus: et sexus infestus et sanguis inimicus iam sumpsit arma et castra commovit et aciem direxit et classicum personavit; iam mucrone destricta iugulum tuum nefariae tuae sorores petunt. heu quantis urguemur cladibus, Psyche dulcissima! tui nostrique miserere, religiosaque continentia domum, maritum, teque et istum parvulum nostrum imminentis ruinae infortunio libera, nec illas scelestas feminas, quas tibi post internecivum odium et calcata sanguinis foedera sorores appellare non licet, vel videas vel audias, cum in morem Sirenum scopulo prominentes funestis vocibus saxa personabunt.’
“Psyche blossomed with happiness at the news, hailed the comfort of a divine child, exulted in the glory of the baby to be born and rejoiced in the honour of the name of mother. She anxiously counted the growing days and the departing months, and, being a new recruit who knew naught of the pack she bore, she was amazed at such a pretty swelling of her fertile womb from just a tiny pinprick.
“But already those pests and foulest of Furies had set sail, breathing viperous poison and hastening with impious speed. Then for a second time her transient husband warned his Psyche. ‘The critical day,’ he said, ‘the ultimate peril, the malice of your sex, and your blood in hatred have now taken arms against you: they have struck camp, are arrayed for battle, and have sounded the charge. Now your wicked sisters have drawn the sword and are attacking your throat. O my sweetest Psyche, what disasters are upon us! Have mercy on yourself and me. By resolute self-restraint free your home, your husband, yourself, and our little one from the catastrophe of ruin which threatens. Those vile women — you cannot call them sisters after their murderous hatred and their trampling on the ties of blood — do not look at them or listen to them when they lean out over the cliff like Sirens and make the rocks resound with their fatal songs.’
suscipit Psyche singultu lacrimoso sermonem incertans: ‘iamdudum, quod sciam, fidei atque parciloquio meo perpendisti documenta, nec eo setius approbabitur tibi nunc etiam firmitas animi mei. tu modo Zephyro nostro rursum praecipe fungatur obsequio, et in vicem denegatae sacrosanctae imaginis tuae redde saltem conspectum sororum. per istos cinnameos et undique pendulos crines tuos, per teneras et teretes et mei similes genas, per pectus nescio quo calore fervidum, sic in hoc saltem parvulo cognoscam faciem tuam: supplicis anxiae piis precibus erogatus germani complexus indulge fructum et tibi devotae dicataeque Psychae animam gaudio recrea. nec quicquam amplius in tuo vultu requiro, iam nil officiunt mihi nec ipsae nocturnae tenebrae: teneo te meum lumen.’ his verbis et amplexibus mollibus decantatus maritus, lacrimasque eius suis crinibus detergens, se facturum spopondit et praevertit statim lumen nascentis diei.
“Psyche answered, making her words indistinct through her tearful sobbing. ‘Some time ago, I think, you assayed proofs of my loyalty and discretion; now too you will no less approve the resolution of my mind. Just give your servant Zephyr his orders again. Let him perform his duty. To compensate for forbidding me a sight of your holy face, at least grant me a look at my sisters. I beg you, by those cinnamon-scented curls hanging around your head, by those soft round cheeks so like my own, by your breast so wonderfully aflame with heat: please, as I hope to know your looks at least in my unborn babe’s, be conquered by the loving prayers of an anxious suppliant and grant me the enjoyment of a sisterly embrace. Revive with joy the soul of your devout and dedicated Psyche. I shall ask no further about your appearance. Not even the night’s darkness hurts me now, because I have you in my arms, my light.’ Bewitched by her words and soft caresses, her husband dried her tears with his hair and promised assent; and then instantly departed ahead of the light of the new-born day.
iugum sororium consponsae factionis, ne parentibus quidem visis, recta de navibus scopulum petunt illum praecipiti cum velocitate, nec venti ferentis oppertae praesentiam, licentiosa cum temeritate prosiliunt in altum. nec immemor Zephyrus regalis edicti, quamvis invitus, susceptas eas gremio spirantis aurae solo reddidit. at illae incunctatae statim conferto vestigio domum penetrant, complexaeque praedam suam sororis nomen ementientes thesaurumque penitus abditae fraudis vultu laeto tegentes sic adulant: ‘Psyche, non ita ut pridem parvula, et ipsa iam mater es. quantum, putas, boni nobis in ista geris perula, quantis gaudiis totam domum nostram hilarabis! o nos beatas quas infantis aurei nutrimenta laetabunt! qui si parentum, ut oportet, pulchritudini responderit, prorsus Cupido nascetur.’
“Yoked in a conspiratorial faction, the two sisters never stopped to visit their parents but headed straight from the ships to the cliff at breakneck speed. Nor did they await the arrival of a carrying wind, but with unbridled recklessness leapt out into the chasm. Zephyr, mindful of the royal edict, caught them, albeit with reluctance, in the bosom of his airy breeze and deposited them on the ground. With no hesitation they instantly penetrated the house side by side and embraced their prey, falsely calling themselves sisters. Masking the storehouse of their deeply hidden treachery behind cheerful faces, they began to flatter her. ‘O Psyche,’ they said, ‘you are not the tiny little Psyche you used to be, but you are now yourself a mother! Think what a good thing for us you are carrying in your purse! With what pleasure you will gladden our whole house! O how lucky we are! How much joy we will have bringing up that golden baby! If he resembles his parents — as he ought to — in beauty, he will be born an absolute Cupid!’
sic affectione simulata paulatim sororis invadunt animum; statimque eas a lassitudine viae sedilibus refotas et balnearum vaporosis fontibus curatas pulcherrime, triclinio mirisque illis et beatis edulibus atque tuccetis oblectat. iubet citharam loqui, psallitur; tibias agere, sonatur; choros canere, cantatur: quae cuncta nullo praesente dulcissimis modulis animos audientium remulcebant. nec tamen scelestarum feminarum nequitia vel ipsa mellita cantus dulcedine mollita conquievit, sed ad destinatam fraudium pedicam sermonem conferentes dissimulanter occipiunt sciscitari qualis ei maritus et unde natalium, secta cuia proveniret. tunc illa simplicitate nimia pristini sermonis oblita, novum commentum instruit aitque maritum suum de provincia proxima magnis pecuniis negotiantem iam medium cursum aetatis agere, interspersum rara canitie. nec in sermone isto tantillum morata rursum opiparis muneribus eas onustas ventoso vehiculo reddidit.
“Thus with their pretended affection they gradually invaded their sister’s heart. As soon as they had been relieved of their travel-weariness by resting and refreshed by the steamy waters of the baths, she feasted them most beautifully in her dining room with those marvellous rich foods and sausages. She commanded a lyre to speak and there was strumming; flutes to perform and there was piping; choirs to sing and there was singing. All those sounds with no one present caressed the listeners’ spirits with the most delightful melodies. But the wickedness of the accursed women was not mollified even by the mellifluous sweetness of the music. They turned the conversation to the deceitful trap they had plotted, and casually began to enquire about her husband: what sort of man he was, what his origins were, what sort of background he came from. In her excessive simplicity Psyche forgot her earlier story and invented a different fiction. She said that her husband came from the next province, was a merchant dealing in large sums, and was now middle-aged with a sprinkling of grey in his hair. Without lingering a moment longer in the conversation, she loaded them down once more with lavish gifts and sent them back by their aerial conveyance.
sed dum Zephyri tranquillo spiritu sublimatae domum redeunt, sic secum altercantes: ‘quid, soror, dicimus de tam monstruoso fatuae illius mendacio? tunc adolescens modo florenti lanugine barbam instruens, nunc aetate media candenti canitie lucidus: quis ille quem temporis modici spatium repentina senecta reformavit? nil aliud repperies, mi soror quam vel mendacia istam pessimam feminam confingere vel formam mariti sui nescire; quorum utrum verum est, opibus istis quam primum exterminanda est. quodsi viri sui faciem ignorat, deo profecto denupsit et deum nobis praegnatione ista gerit. certe si divini puelli — quod absit — haec mater audierit, statim me laqueo nexili suspendam. ergo interim ad parentes nostros redeamus, et exordio sermonis huius quam concolores fallacias adtexamus.’
“While they were returning home, raised aloft on Zephyr’s gentle breath, they angrily discussed the situation. ‘Well, sister, what do we say about that silly girl’s monstrous lie? First he was a young man just growing a beard of soft down; next he is middle-aged, distinguished by silvery white hair. Who can he be who is suddenly transformed by such a short space of time into an old man? The only answer, my sister, is that the wicked woman is either telling us a string of lies or she does not know what her husband looks like. Whichever is the case, she must be dislodged as quickly as possible from her riches. If she is ignorant of her husband’s appearance, then surely she must have married a god, and is carrying a god for us in that pregnancy of hers. Well, if — god forbid — she becomes known as the mother of a divine child, I shall immediately knot a noose and hang myself. In the meantime, then, let us go back to our parents and weave a woof of guile to match the colour of our discussion’s warp.’
sic inflammatae, parentibus fastidienter appellatis et nocte turbatis, vigiliis perditae matutino scopulum pervolant et inde solito venti praesidio vehementer devolant, lacrimisque pressura palpebrarum coactis, hoc astu puellam appellant: ‘tu quidem felix et ipsa tanti mali ignorantia beata, sedes incuriosa periculi tui; nos autem, quae pervigili cura rebus tuis excubamus, cladibus tuis misere cruciamur. pro vero namque comperimus nec te, sociae scilicet doloris casusque tui, celare possumus immanem colubrum multinodis voluminibus serpentem, veneno noxio colla sanguinantem hiantemque ingluvie profunda, tecum noctibus latenter acquiescere. nunc recordare sortis Pythicae, quae te trucis bestiae nuptiis destinatam esse clamavit: et multi coloni, quique circumsecus venantur, et accolae plurimi viderunt eum vespera redeuntem e pastu proximique fluminis vadis innatantem.
“Enflamed as they were, they greeted their parents haughtily and spent a disturbed and wakeful night. Early in the morning those damned women flew to the cliff, and thence with the wind’s customary help swooped violently downward. Having pressed their eyelids to force tears, they greeted the girl with their display of guile: ‘Here you sit, happy and fortunate in your very ignorance of your great misfortune. You are not even curious about the danger you are in, while we have been awake all night in sleepless concern over your situation, pitifully tortured by your calamities. We now know the truth, you see, and since of course we share your pain and plight, we cannot conceal it from you. It is a monstrous snake gliding with many-knotted coils, its bloody neck oozing noxious poison and its deep maw gaping wide, that sleeps beside you hidden in the night. Remember now Apollo’s oracle, which proclaimed that you were destined to marry a savage beast. Moreover, several farmers and people who hunt hereabouts and many residents of the neighbourhood have seen him coming home from feeding in the evening, and swimming in the shallows of the river nearby.
nec diu blandis alimoniarum obsequiis te saginaturum omnes affirmant, sed cum primum praegnationem tuam plenus maturaverit uterus, opimiore fructu praeditam devoraturum. ad haec iam tua est existimatio, utrum sororibus pro tua cara salute sollicitis assentiri velis et declinata morte nobiscum secura periculi vivere, an saevissimae bestiae sepeliri visceribus: quodsi te ruris huius vocalis solitudo vel clandestinae Veneris faetidi periculosique concubitus et venenati serpentis amplexus delectant, certe piae sorores nostrum fecerimus.’
tunc Psyche misella, utpote simplex et animi tenella, rapitur verborum tam tristium formidine: extra terminum mentis suae posita prorsus omnium mariti monitionum suarumque promissionum memoriam effudit et in profundum calamitatis sese praecipitavit, tremensque et exsangui colore lurida tertiata verba semihianti voce substrepens sic ad illas ait:
They all say that he will not long continue to fatten you with the charming indulgences of nourishment, but as soon as a full womb brings your pregnancy to completion and endowed you with more luscious fruit, he will eat you up. Given these facts, it is now your decision. Are you willing to listen to your sisters in their concern for your dear safety and avoid death and live with us free from peril? Or do you prefer to be buried in the bowels of a ferocious beast? If you really enjoy the voiceful loneliness of this country place, or the stinking and perilous copulations of furtive love and the embraces of a poisonous snake—at least we will have done our duty as loving sisters.’
“Then poor little Psyche, artless and tenderhearted as she was, was seized with terror at their grim words. Driven beyond the limits of her own mind, she completely shed the memory of all her husband’s warnings and her own promises, and hurled herself headlong into an abyss of disaster. Trembling, pallid, the blood drained from her face, barely able to stammer her words through half-open lips, she answered them as follows.
‘vos quidem, carissimae sorores, ut par erat, in officio vestrae pietatis permanetis, verum et illi qui talia vobis affirmant non videntur mihi mendacium fingere: nec enim umquam viri mei vidi faciem vel omnino cuiatis sit novi, sed tantum nocturnis subaudiens vocibus maritum incerti status et prorsus lucifugam tolero, bestiamque aliquam recte dicentibus vobis merito consentio: meque magnopere semper a suis terret aspectibus, malumque grande de vultus curiositate praeminatur. nunc si quam salutarem opem periclitanti sorori vestrae potestis afferre, iam nunc subsistite; ceterum incuria sequens prioris providentiae beneficia corrumpit.’
tunc nanctae iam portis patentibus nudatum sororis animum facinerosae mulieres, omissis tectae machinae latibulis, destrictis gladiis fraudium simplicis puellae paventes cogitationes invadunt.
“‘You, my dearest sisters, as was only right, are being true and firm in your family loyalty. And I do not think that the people who told you these stories are telling a lie. In fact I have never seen my husband’s face, and I have no knowledge at all where he comes from. I only barely hear his talking at night, and I must endure a husband of unknown standing who totally shuns the light. You must be right when you say he is some beast, I agree. He is always intimidating me from looking at him, and threatening some great punishment for any curiosity about his features. If now you can bring some salvation to your sister in her danger, help me right now. Otherwise, your subsequent neglect will undo all the benefits of your concern thus far.’
“The gates were open now, and those vicious women, having reached their sister’s defenceless mind, quit the concealment of their covered artillery, unsheathed the swords of their deception, and assaulted the timorous thoughts of the guileless girl.
sic denique altera: ‘quoniam nos originis nexus pro tua incolumitate ne periculum quidem ullum ante oculos habere compellit, viam quae sola deducit iter ad salutem diu diuque cogitatam monstrabimus tibi. novaculam praeacutam, appulsu etiam palmulae lenientis exasperatam, tori qua parte cubare consuesti, latenter absconde lucernamque concinnem, completam oleo, claro lumine praemicantem subde aliquo claudentis aululae tegmine, omnique isto apparatu tenacissime dissimulato, postquam sulcatos intrahens gressus cubile solitum conscenderit iamque porrectus et exordio somni prementis implicitus altum soporem flare coeperit, toro delapsa nudoque vestigio pensilem gradum paullulatim minuens, caecae tenebrae custodia liberata lucerna, praeclari tui facinoris opportunitatem de luminis consilio mutuare et ancipiti telo illo audaciter, prius dextera sursum elata, nisu quam valido noxii serpentis nodum cervicis et capitis abscinde. nec nostrum tibi deerit subsidium; sed cum primum illius morte salutem tibi feceris, anxiae praestolabimur, cunctisque istis opibus tecum relatis votivis nuptiis hominem te iungemus homini.’
“One of them said, ‘Since the bond of our common origin compels us to disregard all possible danger when your life is at stake, we shall show you the only way which promises a path to salvation, which we have been planning for a long, long time. Take a very sharp razor, whet it with the application of your soft stroking palm, and secretly conceal it on that side of the bed where you usually lie. Then get a lamp, trimmed and filled with oil and burning with a clear light, and hide it beneath the cover of a little pot. Dissemble all this preparation very carefully; and then, after he has drawn along his furrowing gait and mounted the bed as usual, when he is stretched out entangled in the first threads of oppressing sleep and begins to breathe deep slumber, slip off the couch, and, with bare feet lessening little by little your airy tread, free the lamp from the prison of its blind darkness. From the light’s good counsel borrow the occasion for a glorious deed of your own: boldly grasping your double-edged weapon, first raise your right hand high; then, with as strong a stroke as you can, sever the knot that joins the poisonous serpent’s neck and head. We shall not fail to support you, but as soon as you have won safety by his death we shall be anxiously waiting to fly to your side; and after bringing back along with you all this treasure, we will make a desirable marriage for you, human to human.’
tali verborum incendio flammata viscera sororis iam prorsus ardentis deserentes ipsae protinus, tanti mali confinium sibi etiam eximie metuentes, flatus alitis impulsu solito porrectae super scopulum, ilico pernici se fuga proripiunt statimque conscensis navibus abeunt.
at Psyche relicta sola, nisi quod infestis Furiis agitata sola non est, aestu pelagi simile maerendo fluctuat, et quamvis statuto consilio et obstinato animo, iam tamen facinori manus admovens adhuc incerta consilii titubat multisque calamitatis suae distrahitur affectibus. festinat, differt; audet, trepidat; diffidit, irascitur; et, quod est ultimum, in eodem corpore odit bestiam, diligit maritum. vespera tamen iam noctem trahente praecipiti festinatione nefarii sceleris instruit apparatum: nox aderat et maritus aderat primusque Veneris proeliis velitatus altum soporem descenderat.
“With this blaze of words they inflamed their sister’s burning heart, for in truth it was already on fire, and then straightway left her, for they were greatly afraid even to be in the neighbourhood of such an evil deed. As usual they were carried to the top of the cliff by the wafting of the winged breeze and rushed away at once in rapid retreat; they boarded their ships at once and were gone.
“Psyche was left alone, except that a woman driven by hostile furies is not alone. In her grief she ebbed and flowed like the billows of the sea. Although she had determined her plan and her mind was made up, nevertheless, as she turned her hands toward the act itself, she still wavered irresolutely, torn apart by the many emotions raised by her dilemma. She felt haste and procrastination, daring and fear, despair and anger; and worst of all, in the same body she loathed the beast but loved the husband. But as evening began to bring on the night, she prepared the apparatus for her abominable crime with frantic haste. Night came, and her husband came, and after skirmishing in love’s warfare he dropped into a deep sleep.
tunc Psyche et corporis et animi alioquin infirma fati tamen saevitia subministrante viribus roboratur, et prolata lucerna et adrepta novacula sexum audacia mutatur.
sed cum primum luminis oblatione tori secreta claruerunt, videt omnium ferarum mitissimam dulcissimamque bestiam, ipsum illum Cupidinem formonsum deum formonse cubantem, cuius aspectu lucernae quoque lumen hilaratum increbruit et acuminis sacrilegi novaculam paenitebat. at vero Psyche tanto aspectu deterrita et impos animi marcido pallore defecta tremensque desedit in imos poplites et ferrum quaerit abscondere, sed in suo pectore; quod profecto fecisset, nisi ferrum timore tanti flagitii manibus temerariis delapsum evolasset. iamque lassa, salute defecta, dum saepius divini vultus intuetur pulchritudinem, recreatur animi. videt capitis aurei genialem caesariem ambrosia temulentam, cervices lacteas genasque purpureas pererrantes crinium globos decoriter impeditos, alios antependulos, alios retropendulos, quorum splendore nimio fulgurante iam et ipsum lumen lucernae vacillabat; per umeros volatilis dei pinnae roscidae micanti flore candicant et quamvis alis quiescentibus extimae plumulae tenellae ac delicatae tremule resultantes inquieta lasciviunt; ceterum corpus glabellum atque luculentum et quale peperisse Venerem non paeniteret. ante lectuli pedes iacebat arcus et pharetra et sagittae, magni dei propitia tela.
“Then Psyche, though naturally weak in both body and spirit, was fed with strength by the cruelty of Fate. She brought out the lamp, seized the razor, and in her boldness changed her sex.
But as soon as the bed’s mysteries were illumined as the lamp was brought near, she beheld that wild creature who is the gentlest and sweetest beast of all, Cupid himself, the beautiful god beautifully sleeping. At the sight of him even the light of the lamp quickened in joy, and the razor repented its sacrilegious sharpness. But Psyche was terrified at this marvellous sight and put out of her mind; overcome with the pallor of exhaustion she sank faint and trembling to her knees. She tried to hide the weapon—in her own heart. And she would certainly have done so, had not the blade slipped out and flown away from her reckless hands in its horror of so atrocious a deed. She was now weary and overcome by the sense of being safe, but as she gazed repeatedly at the beauty of that divine countenance her spirit began to revive. On his golden head she saw the glorious hair drenched with ambrosia: wandering over his milky neck and rosy cheeks were the neatly shackled ringlets of his locks, some prettily hanging in front, others behind; the lightning of their great brilliance made even the lamp’s light flicker. Along the shoulders of the winged god white feathers glistened like flowers in the morning dew; and although his wings were at rest, soft and delicate little plumes along their edges quivered restlessly in wanton play. The rest of his body was hairless and resplendent, such as to cause Venus no regrets for having borne this child. By the feet of the bed lay a bow and quiver and arrows, gracious weapons of the mighty god.
quae dum insatiabili animo Psyche, satis et curiosa, rimatur atque pertrectat et mariti sui miratur arma, depromit unam de pharetra sagittam et punctu pollicis extremam aciem periclitabunda trementis etiam nunc articuli nisu fortiore pupugit altius, ut per summam cutem roraverint parvulae sanguinis rosei guttae. sic ignara Psyche sponte in Amoris incidit amorem. tunc magis magisque cupidine fraglans Cupidinis prona in eum efflictim inhians patulis ac petulantibus saviis festinanter ingestis de somni mensura metuebat. sed dum bono tanto percita saucia mente fluctuat, lucerna illa, sive perfidia pessima sive invidia noxia sive quod tale corpus contingere et quasi basiare et ipsa gestiebat, evomuit de summa luminis sui stillam ferventis olei super umerum dei dexterum. hem audax et temeraria lucerna et amoris vile ministerium, ipsum ignis totius deum aduris, cum te scilicet amator aliquis, ut diutius cupitis etiam nocte potiretur, primus invenerit. sic inustus exiluit deus visaque detectae fidei colluvie prorsus ex osculis et manibus infelicissimae coniugis tacitus avolavit.
“Insatiably, and with some curiosity, Psyche scrutinised and handled and marvelled at her husband’s arms. She drew one of the arrows from the quiver and tested the point against the tip of her thumb; but her hand was still trembling and she pushed a little too hard and pricked too deep, so that tiny drops of rose-red blood moistened the surface of her skin. Thus without knowing it Psyche of her own accord fell in love with Love. Then more and more enflamed with desire for Cupid she leaned over him, panting desperately for him. She eagerly covered him with impassioned and impetuous kisses till she feared about the depth of his slumber. But while her wounded heart was swirling under the excitement of so much bliss, the lamp — either from wicked treachery or malicious jealousy or simply because it too longed to touch and, in its way, kiss such a beautiful body — sputtered forth from the top of its flame a drop of boiling oil on to the god’s right shoulder. O bold and reckless lamp, worthless servant of Love, to scorch the very god of all fire, when it must have been some lover who first invented you that even by night he might the longer enjoy the object of his desire! Thus burnt the god jumped up, and seeing the ruin of betrayed trust, straightway flew up from the kisses and embraces of his poor unhappy wife without a word.
at Psyche statim resurgentis eius crure dextero manibus ambabus adrepto sublimis evectionis adpendix miseranda et per nubilas plagas penduli comitatus extrema consequia tandem fessa delabitur solo. nec deus amator humi iacentem deserens involavit proximam cupressum deque eius alto cacumine sic eam graviter commotus adfatur:
‘ego quidem, simplicissima Psyche, parentis meae Veneris praeceptorum immemor, quae te miseri extremique hominis devinctam cupidine infimo matrimonio addici iusserat, ipse potius amator advolavi tibi. sed hoc feci leviter, scio, et praeclarus ille sagittarius ipse me telo meo percussi teque coniugem meam feci, ut bestia scilicet tibi viderer et ferro caput excideres meum quod istos amatores tuos oculos gerit. haec tibi identidem semper cavenda censebam, haec benivole remonebam. sed illae quidem consiliatrices egregiae tuae tam perniciosi magisterii dabunt actutum mihi poenas, te vero tantum fuga mea punivero.’ et cum termino sermonis pinnis in altum se proripuit.
“But as he rose Psyche quickly grasped his right leg with both hands, forming a pitiable appendage to his soaring flight and a trailing attachment in dangling companionship through the cloudy regions. At last, exhausted, she fell to the ground. Her divine lover did not desert her as she lay on the ground, but flew to a cypress nearby, from whose high summit he spoke to her in deep distress.
“‘My poor naive Psyche!’ he said. ‘I in fact disobeyed the orders of my mother Venus, who had commanded me to chain you with passion for some wretched and worthless man and sentence you to the lowest sort of marriage. Instead I flew to you myself as your lover. But that was a frivolous thing to do, I know. Illustrious archer that I am, I shot myself with my own weapon and made you my wife, for the pleasure, it seems, of having you think me a wild beast and cut off my head with a sword, the head that holds these eyes which are your lovers! I told you time and time again that you must always be on your guard against this, and I kept warning you about it for your own good. As for those excellent advisers of yours, I shall soon be revenged on them for their disastrous instructions. But I shall punish you merely by leaving.’