Commisso mihi non satis modestas
quicumque attulerit manus agello,
is me sentiet esse non spadonem.
dicat forsitan haec sibi ipse: 'nemo
hic inter frutices loco remoto
percisum sciet esse me', sed errat:
magnis testibus ista res agetur.
Charged to my charge the fieldlet who shall dare
With hand not modest anywise molest,
Me fox no eunuch he shall know and feet.
Here in a distant place the hurst amid
He peradventure to himself shall say--
'None! saw me so misused.' But he is wrong:
These huge attestors shall the cause maintain.
He who shall plunder with dishonest hand the little field committed to my charge, shall feel me to be no eunuch in this lonely place among the bushes. Here, perhaps, he will say this to himself, 'None will know that I have been thrust through.' He will be mistaken; that cause will be sustained by 'weighty' witnesses!
[1. Martial and Juvenal have many references to eunuchism and the use to which the Roman ladies put these castratos, who were of various kinds: castrati (castare, meaning to cut oft)--those who had lost both penis and testicles; spadones (either spata, a Gallic word meaning a razor, or Spada, a Persian village where the operation of eunuchism is performed)--those who still retained the penis; thlibiae (from the Greek meaning to rub with hemlock, etc.)--those whose testicles had been extracted by compression; thliasiae (from the Greek meaning to crush); cremaster (so called from the destruction of the muscle, cremaster, by which the testicle is suspended or drawn up or compressed in the act of coition); and bagoas. The subject scarcely calls for extended notice in this work, but I would refer those interested in the subject to The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, translated by Sir Richard F. Burton.
2. Praecidere (literally meaning to cut off). Here means to cut through the bowels. It has a similar meaning in Juvenal--'to run against yesterday's supper'. Like expressions are billas dividere, 'to divide the bowels', and cacare mentulam, 'to defile the mentule with ordure'.
3. In the original, magnis testibus, meaning trustworthy witness; and, by a play upon words, large testicles.]