Phrugeis

5183_Lifestyle4

This is part 1 of 3. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

Τὸν μὲν οὖν Ἵππαρχον οὐ κατέλαβον ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ οὐδὲ τὴν ἐκείνου γυναῖκα, ἡ δὲ Παλαίστρα τῇ ἑστίᾳ παρήδρευε δεῖπνον ἡμῖν εὐτρεπίζουσα. κἀγὼ εὐθὺς ἔνθεν ἑλών, “ὡς εὐρύθμως,” ἔφην, “ὦ καλὴ Παλαίστρα, τὴν πυγὴν τῇ χύτρᾳ ὁμοῦ συμπεριφέρεις καὶ κλίνεις. ἡ δὲ ὀσφὺς ἡμῖν ὑγρῶς ἐπικινεῖται. μακάριος ὅστις ἐνταῦθα ἐνεβάψατο.” ἡ δὲ – σφόδρα γὰρ ἦν ἰταμὸν καὶ χαρίτων μεστὸν τὸ κοράσιον—”φεύγοις ἄν,” εἶπεν, “ὦ νεανίσκε, εἴ γε νοῦν ἔχοις καὶ ζῆν ἐθέλοις, ὡς πολλοῦ πυρὸς καὶ κνίσης μεστά· ἢν γὰρ αὐτοῦ μόνον ἅψῃ, τραῦμα ἔχων πυρίκαυτον αὐτοῦ μοι παρεδρεύσει, θεραπεύσει δέ σε οὐδεὶς ἀλλ’ οὐδὲ θεὸς ἰατρός, ἀλλ’ ἡ κατακαύσασά σε μόνη ἐγώ, καὶ τὸ παραδοξότατον, ἐγὼ μέν σε ποιήσω πλέον ποθεῖν, καὶ τῆς ἀπὸ τῆς θεραπείας ὀδύνης ἀρδόμενος ἀεὶ  ἀνθέξῃ καὶ οὐδὲ λίθοις βαλλόμενος τὴν γλυκεῖαν ὀδύνην φεύξῃ. τί γελᾷς; ἀκριβῆ βλέπεις ἀνθρωπομάγειρον. οὐ γὰρ μόνα ταῦτα φαῦλα ἐδώδιμα σκευάζω, ἀλλ’ ἤδη τὸ μέγα τοῦτο καὶ καλόν, τὸν ἄνθρωπον, οἶδα ἔγωγε καὶ σφάττειν καὶ δέρειν καὶ κατακόπτειν, ἥδιστα δὲ τῶν σπλάγχνων αὐτῶν καὶ τῆς καρδίας ἅπτομαι.”—”τοῦτο μὲν ὀρθῶς” ἔφην “λέγεις· καὶ γὰρ ἐμὲ πόρρωθεν καὶ μηδὲ ἐγγὺς ὄντα οὐ κατακαύματι μὰ Δί’ ἀλλὰ ὅλῳ ἐμπρησμῷ ἐπέθηκας, καὶ διὰ τῶν ὀμμάτων τῶν ἐμῶν τὸ σὸν μὴ φαινόμενον πῦρ κάτω ἐς τὰ σπλάγχνα τἀμὰ ῥίψασα φρύγεις, καὶ ταῦτα οὐδὲν ἀδικοῦντα· ὥστε πρὸς θεῶν ἴασαί με ταύταις αἷς λέγεις αὐτὴ ταῖς πικραῖς καὶ ἡδείαις θεραπείαις, καί με ἤδη ἀπεσφαγμένον λαβοῦσα δεῖρε, ὅπως αὐτὴ θέλεις.” ἡ δὲ μέγα καὶ ἥδιστον ἐκ τούτου ἀνακαγχάσασα ἐμὴ τὸ λοιπὸν ἦν, καὶ συνέκειτο ἡμῖν, ὅπως, ἐπειδὰν κατακοιμίσῃ τοὺς δεσπότας, ἔλθῃ εἴσω παρ’ ἐμὲ καὶ καθευδήσῃ.
(Lucian, Loukios ē Onos 5-6)

Talking thus to myself, I entered the house. I found neither Hipparchus nor his wife at home, but Palaestra was busy at the fireplace preparing our dinner. I immediately did make my start from thence and said, “Palaestra, you lovely creature, how rhythmically you turn and tilt your buttocks in time with the saucepan! And my word, how nimble too is the motion of your waist. Happy the man who dips his piece in such a dish!” She, being a most lively and attractive little wench, said, “You’d run away, young fellow, if you had any sense and any desire to go on living, for it’s all full of fire and steam here. If you so much as touch it, you’ll have a nasty burn, and won’t be able to budge from here. No one will be able to cure you, no, not even the Healer God himself, but only I who gave you the burn. What’s strangest of all is that I shall make you long for more, and you’ll always submit to being treated with my painful cure and, even though you’re pelted with stones, you’ll never try to escape its sweet pain. Why do you laugh? You see before you a veritable man-cooker. For it’s not merely these common foods that I prepare, but now I know about that great and glorious dish, man. I can kill a man, skin him, and cut him up, and I take particular pleasure in getting my hands right on his inside and his heart.”—”What you say is quite true,” I replied, “for even when I was still a long way off, you didn’t just singe me but plunged me into a general conflagration; you’ve been sending your invisible fire down through my eyes into my inward parts and roasting me, even though I’ve done nothing wrong. Therefore, in heaven’s name, heal me yourself, with that bittersweet treatment of which you’ve been talking and, now that I’m already slaughtered, take me and skin me in any way you yourself please.”

At this she gave a loud and delightful laugh, and thereafter she was mine. We agreed that, once she had seen her master and mistress to bed, she was to come to my room and spend the night there.

(tr. Matthew D. Macleod)

2 thoughts on “Phrugeis”

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