Open main menu

Two opposite Lovers maintain their several Passions in Lucian with a deal of Eloquence, but too diffuse for the Sapient Reader. I here cull out the Illustration of an already cited Repartee;

He-brutes do not love their own Gender, because Brutes. Bulls, the Woman’s Man cries, lust not after Bulls. Rams to Rams are not Object of Desire.

This is extreme ill judg’d, replies the Pederast, and if it made an inadvertant Sally, you shou’d have mumbl’d it unintelligibly; for it utterly overthrows your Argument; Bulls are not Bull-lovers; neither are they Philosophers; neither are they Musicians; neither have they Capacity for the Smallest Improvement of Life; a Demonstration that Male-love, like these sublime Sciences, is the distinguishing Portion of Sovereign Man.

Lucian, the Umpire, decides in favour of this Disputant, pronouncing; that, for want of Adherence, and steady Courage, compleat Merit is not in Woman. The Females’ Votary hangs his Head: Our Arbitrator tells him; he was a notable Champion on the weak Side of the Question.

They walk to the Victor’s and are receiv’d with an Elegant Entertainment, tho’ no more than the Ordinary of the House. This Pederast was a spiritual Gallant; but Theomnestes being ask’d by Lucian, what were his Sentiments of the Debate, after holding back a while in Compliment to the learned Wit, thus speaks;

The Man of Taste was mighty sonorous; but too much in the Clouds for me. What; are we perpetually to converse with Youths of Fairness, which only does not overflow the Eyes; and, when we can lay our Lips to it, and take a Draught shall we be such foolish Tantalus’s to suffer Thirst? The airy Food of seeing and hearing does not satisfy a hale Appetite: A Lover erects a Flight of Steps, by which he ascends to the supreme Felicity; first, he paints Passion in his soul-moving Eyes: then so tenderly touches, as tho’ afraid of marking the Wax-like Object; but this light Touch pours thrilling Transport thro’ him. Thus advanced, he gives a Kiss; not yet the gluy one; no; insensibly joins and withdraws his Lips, to cause no Alarm in the Delicate Creature: However this presently inspires him with Boldness; he takes the fair one in his Arms, smuggles him and almost expires with Extasy: Now his Tongue plays in the charming M-th; his left Hand grasps the Pleasure-hills: while the Right presses the gently heaving Breasts, and moves down to the sweetly piercing Spear. To conclude; master’d by Desire, he enters a narrow Passage, which carries to the Ocean of absorbing Rapture. This is my way of Loving. Your high-flown Philosophers, to themselves unintelligible, may lift their spread Eyebrows, and make the World gaze; but Socrates, their great founder, was a most devoted sensual Pederast, so far from being such a fool to let the all-out-looking Alcibiades rise from Bed untouch’d; it might pass so for once to talk of; which Plato pompously does in his Symposium; but that every Author introduces this amiable Sage, a little before his Death, in tender Play with the famous Catamite Phædon’s Hair, and entreating him not to despoil himself of that beautiful Ornament to solemnize the Loss of his beloved Philosopher. Besides; what tolerable Account can be given of Xanthippe’s excessive Rage, but this Part of her Husband’s Character. To exemplify farther: It is not with any Probability to be supposed, Achilles and Patroclus found no better Amusement, than to sit looking at one another: No, no; he who so longingly waited, ’till Æacides clos’d his Song, had a grand Object in View. Love, substantial Love alone, did and cou’d so fast cement them. Destitute Love tore the unconquerable Achillean Heart, when Menætiades was no more. This is well display’d by that Tragedy Poet, who makes the swift Pursuer exclaim in a Burst of Grief, and my Acquaintance with your adorable Thighs, O Patroclus, which far surpast in Delightfulness all I have mention’d. Pray too, what were the handsome Fellows styl’d by our Ancestors, The Curl’d, but Catamites, and nothing else? Your nice People may call this filthy Stuff; but, by Heaven, ’tis all true.

The conclusive Place Lucian Assigns this Opinion, signifies his Approbation of it.

I have heard the foremention’d ever-detestable and accurst Pederasts thus reason in Harangue; The Males of all Brutes are without Dispute more beautiful than the Females; the Peahen cannot equal the Peacocks starry Tail; the Lioness sneaks before the Lion’s majestic Mane; and so on: Is Nature devious only in the human Species? No; consistent, and invariable: The gradual Fall of a Man’s Shape as much excels, as is possible to excel, the almost breaking Nip of a Woman. Delicacy is the same in both, till the Boy is expos’d to all Weathers, while the Girl is hous’d, and her Skin kept nicely clean; but Coarseness and Hairiness, are amply compensated by Strength and Elasticity: Then the Shape weighs down the Scale. And if in Body Man surpasses, the Minds of the Sexes are throughout a Contrast of Beauty and Deformity: Here an even Temper; there Humoursomness: Here a Capacity of assisting others; there an Incapacity of Supporting Self: Here a Nobleness of Nature; there a Cruelty proportion’d to their Fears, which are immoderate: Here a Controul of the Passions and Discernment; there Subjection to hurtful Appetites and an Imbecility which adopts any Error, rather than take the Pains of Enquiry. It is an Advantage past Expression, to have upon Journey a vigorous Second, a clear headed Companion, an Enj-ym-nt piece, that can Enj-y, in one Person; all which is commonly predicable of Man; while your Flat, (Woman so nam’d from undoubted Flatness) ere she sallies, plagues you to Death for Want of Judgment to Dress soon and well; talks Nonsense; falls in Fits; only takes. Your Man does not urge Musick, when you are out of Tune; but the Flat proceeds to Insistence; and deny’d, rages untameable. Forgive what follows, O you who will still dissent, except your Ears are unusually rous’d. With regard to Underm-t-on, by Posture, and by Vigour, Man distances Woman. If you object the Pollutedness of the Male-sh-th, bring to Account menstruous Defluxions; forget not urinary Fur, proper to another Sh-th; and tell me in which the Nose wou’d most delight to dwell. It is urg’d, you have your choice of Sh-ths in a Woman; but do you there meet with the swelling B-lt, to handle which Jove tost from his Grasp the avenging one?