Take our advice. Provide yourself with a lamp and a sharp knife; put them in concealment that your husband may not discover them, and when he is sound asleep, slip out of bed, bring forth your lamp, and see for yourself whether what they say is true or not. If it is, hesitate not to cut off the monster's head, and thereby recover your liberty. Psyche resisted these persuasions as well as she could, but they did not fail to have their effect on her mind, and when her sisters were gone, their words and her own curiosity were too strong for her to resist.
So she prepared her lamp and a sharp knife, and hid them out of sight of her husband. When he had fallen into his first sleep, she silently rose and uncovering her lamp beheld not a hideous monster, but the most beautiful and charming of the gods, with his golden ringlets wandering over his snowy neck and crimson cheek, with two dewy wings on his shoulders, whiter than snow, and with shining feathers like the tender blossoms of spring.
As she leaned the lamp over to have a better view of his face, a drop of burning oil fell on the shoulder of the god.
Startled, he opened his eyes and fixed them upon her. Then, without saying a word, he spread his white wings and flew out of the window. Psyche, in vain endeavoring to follow him, fell from the window to the ground. Cupid, beholding her as she lay in the dust, stopped his flight for an instant and said, "Oh foolish Psyche, is it thus you repay my love? After I disobeyed my mother's commands and made you my wife, will you think me a monster and cut off my head? But go; return to your sisters, whose advice you seem to think preferable to mine.
I inflict no other punishment on you than to leave you for ever. Love cannot dwell with suspicion. When she had recovered some degree of composure she looked around her, but the palace and gardens had vanished, and she found herself in the open field not far from the city where her sisters dwelt. She repaired thither and told them the whole story of her misfortunes, at which, pretending to grieve, those spiteful creatures inwardly rejoiced.
Psyche meanwhile wandered day and night, without food or repose, in search of her husband. Casting her eyes on a lofty mountain having on its brow a magnificent temple, she sighed and said to herself, "Perhaps my love, my lord, inhabits there," and directed her steps thither. She had no sooner entered than she saw heaps of corn, some in loose ears and some in sheaves, with mingled ears of barley.
Scattered about, lay sickles and rakes, and all the instruments of harvest, without order, as if thrown carelessly out of the weary reapers' hands in the sultry hours of the day. This unseemly confusion the pious Psyche put an end to, by separating and sorting everything to its proper place and kind, believing that she ought to neglect none of the gods, but endeavor by her piety to engage them all in her behalf.
The holy Ceres, whose temple it was, finding her so religiously employed, thus spoke to her, "Oh Psyche, truly worthy of our pity, though I cannot shield you from the frowns of Venus, yet I can teach you how best to allay her displeasure. Go, then, and voluntarily surrender yourself to your lady and sovereign, and try by modesty and submission to win her forgiveness, and perhaps her favor will restore you the husband you have lost. Psyche obeyed the commands of Ceres and took her way to the temple of Venus, endeavoring to fortify her mind and ruminating on what she should say and how best propitiate the angry goddess, feeling that the issue was doubtful and perhaps fatal.
Venus received her with angry countenance. Or have you rather come to see your sick husband, yet laid up of the wound given him by his loving wife? You are so ill favored and disagreeable that the only way you can merit your lover must be by dint of industry and diligence. I will make trial of your housewifery. But Psyche, in a perfect consternation at the enormous work, sat stupid and silent, without moving a finger to the inextricable heap. While she sat despairing, Cupid stirred up the little ant, a native of the fields, to take compassion on her. The leader of the anthill, followed by whole hosts of his six-legged subjects, approached the heap, and with the utmost diligence taking grain by grain, they separated the pile, sorting each kind to its parcel; and when it was all done, they vanished out of sight in a moment.
Ep. - The Cupid of Love | Yumi's Cells
Venus at the approach of twilight returned from the banquet of the gods, breathing odors and crowned with roses. Seeing the task done, she exclaimed, "This is no work of yours, wicked one, but his, whom to your own and his misfortune you have enticed. Next morning Venus ordered Psyche to be called and said to her, "Behold yonder grove which stretches along the margin of the water.
There you will find sheep feeding without a shepherd, with golden-shining fleeces on their backs.
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Go, fetch me a sample of that precious wool gathered from every one of their fleeces. Psyche obediently went to the riverside, prepared to do her best to execute the command. But the river god inspired the reeds with harmonious murmurs, which seemed to say, "Oh maiden, severely tried, tempt not the dangerous flood, nor venture among the formidable rams on the other side, for as long as they are under the influence of the rising sun, they burn with a cruel rage to destroy mortals with their sharp horns or rude teeth.
But when the noontide sun has driven the cattle to the shade, and the serene spirit of the flood has lulled them to rest, you may then cross in safety, and you will find the woolly gold sticking to the bushes and the trunks of the trees. Thus the compassionate river god gave Psyche instructions how to accomplish her task, and by observing his directions she soon returned to Venus with her arms full of the golden fleece; but she received not the approbation of her implacable mistress, who said, "I know very well it is by none of your own doings that you have succeeded in this task, and I am not satisfied yet that you have any capacity to make yourself useful.
But I have another task for you. Here, take this box and go your way to the infernal shades, and give this box to Proserpine and say, 'My mistress Venus desires you to send her a little of your beauty, for in tending her sick son she has lost some of her own. Psyche was now satisfied that her destruction was at hand, being obliged to go with her own feet directly down to Erebus.
Wherefore, to make no delay of what was not to be avoided, she goes to the top of a high tower to precipitate herself headlong, thus to descend the shortest way to the shades below. But a voice from the tower said to her, "Why, poor unlucky girl, do you design to put an end to your days in so dreadful a manner? And what cowardice makes you sink under this last danger who have been so miraculously supported in all your former?
But the voice added, "When Proserpine has given you the box filled with her beauty, of all things this is chiefly to be observed by you, that you never once open or look into the box nor allow your curiosity to pry into the treasure of the beauty of the goddesses. Psyche, encouraged by this advice, obeyed it in all things, and taking heed to her ways traveled safely to the kingdom of Pluto. She was admitted to the palace of Proserpine, and without accepting the delicate seat or delicious banquet that was offered her, but contented with coarse bread for her food, she delivered her message from Venus.
Presently the box was returned to her, shut and filled with the precious commodity. Then she returned the way she came, and glad was she to come out once more into the light of day. But having got so far successfully through her dangerous task a longing desire seized her to examine the contents of the box. But Cupid, being now recovered from his wound, and not able longer to bear the absence of his beloved Psyche, slipping through the smallest crack of the window of his chamber which happened to be left open, flew to the spot where Psyche lay, and gathering up the sleep from her body closed it again in the box, and waked Psyche with a light touch of one of his arrows.
But now perform exactly the task imposed on you by my mother, and I will take care of the rest. Then Cupid, as swift as lightning penetrating the heights of heaven, presented himself before Jupiter with his supplication. Jupiter lent a favoring ear, and pleaded the cause of the lovers so earnestly with Venus that he won her consent. On this he sent Mercury to bring Psyche up to the heavenly assembly, and when she arrived, handing her a cup of ambrosia, he said, "Drink this, Psyche, and be immortal; nor shall Cupid ever break away from the knot in which he is tied, but these nuptials shall be perpetual.
Thus Psyche became at last united to Cupid, and in due time they had a daughter born to them whose name was Pleasure. Edited by D. The inserted story of Cupid and Psyche is found on pages Lucius Apuleius was born about in northern Africa and was educated in Carthage and Athens.
The account of Cupid and Psyche is presented in his novel The Golden Ass also titled The Metamorphoses , or Metamorphosis as an "old wive's tale" told by an old woman to comfort a young woman who has been abducted by a band of robbers and is being held for ransome. In the main Bulfinch retells Apuleius' story with accuracy and sensitivity, but he does omit a few important details, for example: Psyche is pregnant with Cupid's child throughout her search for her lost husband, a fact emphasized by Apuleius.
Cupid on Valentine’s Day
The cruel treatment meted out to Psyche by her mother-in-law Venus is substantially understated in Bulfinch's account. Aarne-Thompson-Uther type B. That matching between Venus and Mars in an interesting one. Social mores have traditionally taken precedence over sheer human emotion, to the detriment of hearts everywhere.
But Cupid is what he is, capricious and sweet, so just go with the flow and see where he take you. Cupid suffered the same fate in his own way.
Ole Cupid's Arrow (D)
Ordered by Venus to punish her rival Psyche, Cupid was supposed to make her fall in love with a horrible monster. Jupiter took pity upon her and turned her into an immortal, where she eventually married Cupid and became the goddess of the soul. Their daughter was Voluptus or Hedone—sheer pleasure. If you want to give sheer pleasure to your sweetheart, take a tip from the family of Greek gods. Love is like a flower that will always need to be nourished.