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Many weeks had passed without her
bestowing the least notice on me;
and you will readily believe I did not throw away a single thought on her, while I was so much more pleasingly
engaged I was, at last, disagreeably
surprized with an order to attend her.
I obeyed and soon found that the
Paphian Queen had not suffered her to be so much at ease during this absence, as might have been wished for both our sakes.
Most probably she had....like Phoedra
in Euripides summoned all the pride
of the woman. and the dignity of
the Priestess to repel the invading
passion which harassed her repose
but finding Fate more obstinate than
Reason she had recourse like that
unhappy Princess. to delusive arguments to pacify conscience, and inspire the heroic determination of yielding to destiny.
She resolved to see me;....and satisfied that no indirect overtures would
awaken my raptures she bade adieu
to reserve.. .and, in so many plain words, told me she loved, and expected to have her passion returned.
This confession was accompanied
by the most alluring gestures her
Voluptuous attitude removed all difficulty and invited the most exalted
I cannot even now avoid
blushing at the recollection of this shameful moment Love was profaned human nature degraded!
It was not possible for the Priestess to be more mortified at this scene than
I was I endeavoured to spare her
confusion, and soften the harsh negative I gave her unbridled wishes;......
but the mildness of my accents were little calculated to appease her chagrin her anger raged like a merciless
tempest Her tears Were occasionally
interrupted by the most pathetic exclamations......! was so weak as to be
affected by her undissembled sorrows, and weep over her distress; till, finding every effort useless I did, what
I ought to have done at first I fled.
At night...as usual...I met my beloved Psyche, to whom I imparted all that
happened she feelingly joined her
regrets to mine and we pitied that
boisterous passion which had so little resemblance with the peaceful serenity of durs. '• »
We now began to apprehend that
this.fury would..... sooner or later,
burst out again and fall on both our
To evade discovery we consented... though painfully......to interrupt the
pure delights we partook in each other, by discontinuing our nightly visits for a time.
This was the first bitter drop we had ever tasted in the delicious cup
which Cupid held to our lips and
from which we had been accustomed to sip ineffable delight.
We took leave with aching hearts
something foreboding hung about
us we were both infected by the
fatal presage we embraced parted
returned again....renewed the fond
farewell and had scarcely power to
retire, when the majestic sun arose, and beckoned us away.
I continued my visits to the grove.....
and...in the solitary contemplation of my former happiness.......found relief
for my oppressed heart.
One night I threw myself at the feet of the statue where I had first
seen my beloved Psyche reclining
and overcome by a sudden stupor.....
I lay a considerable time insensible, and motionless. .; ~
When I came to myself again I disT covered a wreath of new-blown flowers
. pendant from the arm of the
Nymph and hanging over me., I
sprang up impatient to unravel the
mystery........and perceived ,a billet .enclosed among the flowers.
"I can no longer resist, my beloved
"Agathon I must see you to-mor
"row night, and at this very spot
so dear to memory Be at ease
", about the Priestess she is ignorant
"of our attachment I do not ask
"you if the hours will appear tedious, "because my own heart tells me, every "moment is an eternity which sepa"rates you from
"Your faithful Psyche."
Grief instantly changed to rapture .....I was wild at this unlooked-for joy AMMtrl .wound the garland round me in
fantastic forms kissed it hugged
it Nay fondled it, till methought I