Sacred Texts  Classics  Lucian  Fowler Index  Index  Previous  Next 



Ampelis. Chrysis

Am. Well, but, Chrysis, I don't call a man in love at all, if he doesn't get jealous, and storm, and slap one, and clip one's hair, and tear one's clothes to pieces.

Ch. Is that the only way to tell?

Am. To tell a serious passion, yes. The kisses and tears and vows, the constant attendance,--all that only shows that he's beginning to be in love; it's still coming on. But the real flame is jealousy, pure and simple. So if Gorgias is jealous, and slaps you, as you say, you may hope for the best; pray that he may always go on as he has begun!

Ch. Go on slapping me?

Am. No, no; but getting angry if you ever look at any one else. If he were not in love with you, why should he mind your having another lover?

Ch. Oh, but I haven't! It's all a mistake! He took it into his head that old Moneybags had been paying me

p. 63

attentions, because I just happened to mention his name once.

Am. Well, that's very nice, too. You want him to think that there are rich men after you. It will make him all the more angry, and all the more liberal; he'll be afraid of being cut out by his rivals.

Ch. But Gorgias never gives me anything. He only storms and slaps.

Am. Oh, you wait. Nothing tames them like jealousy.

Ch. Ampelis, I believe you want me to be slapped!

Am. Nonsense! All I mean is this: if you want to make a man wildly in love with you, let him see that you can do without him. When he thinks that he has you all to himself, he is apt to cool down. You see I've had twenty years' experience: whereas you, I suppose, are about eighteen, perhaps not that. Come now; I'll tell you what happened to me, not so many years ago. Demophantus was my admirer in those days; the usurer, you know, at the back of the Poecile. He had never given me more than five drachmae at a time, and he wanted to have everything his own way. The fact was, my dear, his love was only skin-deep. There were no sighs or tears with him; no knocking me up at unearthly hours; he would spend an evening with me now and then--very occasionally--and that was all. But one day when he called, I was 'not at home'; I had Callides the painter with me (he had given me ten drachmae). Well, at the time Demophantus said some very rude things, and walked off. However, the days went by, and I never sent to him; and at last (finding that Callides had been with me again) even Demophantus began to catch fire, and to get into a passion about it; so one day he stood outside, and waited till he found the door open: my dear, I don't know what he didn't do! cried, beat me, vowed he would murder me, tore my clothes dreadfully! And it all ended with his

p. 64

giving me a talent; after which I saw no one else for eight months on end. His wife told everybody that I had bewitched him with some drug. ’Twas easy to see what the drug had been: jealousy. Now you should try the same drug upon Gorgias. The boy will have money, if anything happens to his father.


Next: IX