Sacred Texts  Classics  Index  Previous  Next 

Click to enlarge

Psyche Awakened

Part VII.

But Cupid being now healed of his wound and malady, not able to endure the absence of Psyche, got him secretly out at a window of the chamber where he was enclosed, and, receiving his wings, took his flight towards his loving wife; whom when he had found he wiped away the sleep from her face, and put it again into the box, and awaked her with the tip of one of his arrows, saying: "O wretched caitiff, behold thou werest well-nigh perished again with thy overmuch curiosity; well, go thou, and do thy message to my mother, and in the mean season I will provide for all things accordingly." Wherewithal he took his flight into the air, and Psyche brought her present to Venus.

Cupid being more and more in love with Psyche, and fearing the displeasure of his mother, did pierce into the heavens, and arrived before Jupiter to declare his cause. Then Jupiter after that he had eftsoons embraced him, gan say in this manner: "O my well-beloved son, although thou hast not given due reverence and honour unto me as thou oughtest to do, but hast rather soiled and wounded this my breast, whereby the laws and order of the elements and planets be disposed, with continual assaults of terrene luxury and against all laws, and the discipline Julia, and the utility of the public weal, in transforming my divine beauty into serpents, fire, savage beasts, birds and bulls. Howbeit, remembering my modesty, and that I have nourished thee with mine own proper hands, I will do and accomplish all thy desire, so that thou canst beware of spiteful and envious persons. And if there be any excellent maiden of comely beauty in the world, remember yet the benefit which I shall show unto thee, by recompense of her love towards me again." When he had spoken these words, he commanded Mercury to call all the Gods to council, and if any of the celestial powers did fail of appearance, he should be condemned in ten thousand pounds: which sentence was such a terror unto all the Gods, that the high theatre was replenished, and Jupiter began to speak in this sort: "O ye Gods, registered in the books of the Muses, you all know this young man Cupid, whom I have nourished with mine own hands, whose raging flames of his first youth I thought best to bridle and restrain. It sufficeth in that he is defamed in every place for his adulterous living, wherefore all occasion ought to be taken away by mean of marriage: he hath chosen a maiden that fancieth him well, and hath bereaved her of her virginity, let him have her still and possess her according to his own pleasure." Then he returned to Venus, and said: "And you, my daughter, take you no care, neither fear the dishonour of your progeny and estate, neither have regard in that it is a mortal marriage, for it seemeth unto me just, lawful, and legitimate by the law civil."

Next: Part VIII