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26. But what shall I say of the desires with which it is written in your books, and contained in your writers, that the holy immortals lusted after women? For is it by us that the king of 485the sea is asserted in the heat of maddened passion to have robbed of their virgin purity Amphitrite,42214221    These names are all in the plural in the original. Hippothoe, Amymone, Menalippe, Alope?42224222    So LB. and Orelli, reading Alopas, from Clem. Alex., for the ms. Alcyonas. that the spotless Apollo, Latona’s son, most chaste and pure, with the passions of a breast not governed by reason, desired Arsinoe, Æthusa, Hypsipyle, Marpessa, Zeuxippe, and Prothoe, Daphne, and Sterope?42234223    These names are all in the plural in the original. Is it shown in our poems that the aged Saturn, already long covered with grey hair, and now cooled by weight of years, being taken by his wife in adultery, put on the form of one of the lower animals, and neighing loudly, escaped in the shape of a beast? Do you not accuse Jupiter himself of having assumed countless forms, and concealed by mean deceptions the ardour of his wanton lust? Have we ever written that he obtained his desires by deceit, at one time changing into gold, at another into a sportive satyr; into a serpent, a bird, a bull; and, to pass beyond all limits of disgrace, into a little ant, that he might, forsooth, make Clitor’s daughter the mother of Myrmidon, in Thessaly? Who represented him as having watched over Alcmena for nine nights without ceasing? was it not you?—that he indolently abandoned himself to his lusts, forsaking his post in heaven? was it not you? And, indeed, you ascribe42244224    Lit., “you add.” to him no mean favours; since, in your opinion, the god Hercules was born to exceed and surpass in such matters his father’s powers. He in nine nights begot42254225    In the original, somewhat at large—unam potuit prolem extundere, concinnare, compingere. with difficulty one son; but Hercules, a holy god, in one night taught the fifty daughters of Thestius at once to lay aside their virginal title, and to bear a mother’s burden. Moreover, not content to have ascribed to the gods love of women, do you also say that they lusted after men? Some one loves Hylas; another is engaged with Hyacinthus; that one burns with desire for Pelops; this one sighs more ardently for Chrysippus; Catamitus is carried off to be a favourite and cup-bearer; and Fabius, that he may be called Jove’s darling, is branded on the soft parts, and marked in the hinder.


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