Dialogue in Defence of Ganymede, 1715
A Translation from Lucian's Dialogues
Burlesque upon Burlesque:
Being some of
Newly put into
D I A L O G U E.
Juno and Jupiter
Jun. WHy what a strange Life dost thou lead
Since thou hast got this Ganymede,
I, who have been thy faithful Wife,
Can't get a Kiss to save my Life:
But thou dost look so strangely on me,
As if till now thou ne'er hadst known me.
Jup. What will not Wife thy jealous Pate,
To vex thy self and me, create?
Was such a Jealousie e'er known
To that degree of frenzy grown,
As to run supposition mad
Of a poor silly harmless Lad!
I thought none but the Female Kind
Could raise such Whimsies in thy Mnd.
Jun. Nay faith thou'rt ex'lent at both Trades,
Both at thine Ingles, and thy Jades.
And all my Chiding's to no end;
I think thou art too old to mend:
Else, mauger thy bad Inclination,
Thou'dst tender more thy Reputation.
Dos't fit the King of Gods, I pray,
To Masquerade it ev're Day,
And to transform himself one while
To Gold, a Virgin to beguile;
Another while into a Bull,
To make another Maid a Trull;
And then into a Swan, to try
The treading way of Letchery; [p.163]
And to put on all these strange Shapes,
In order to adultrous Rapes?
And yet for all thy Pranks on Earth,
(Unfitting far thy Place and Birth)
Thou hitherto has ever yet
Had either so much Grace, or Wit,
Manners, or Shame, or all together,
As not to bring thy Trollops hither,
As thou has done this Dandiprat
For all the Gods to titter at:
And all under Pretence, the Youth
Must be your Cup-bearer forsooth;
As all the Gods inhabit here
Unworthy of the Office were;
As if my Daughter Hebe was,
Or Vulcan weary of the Place;
Or any of the Gods indeed,
Might not perform it for a Need
And then, which more does vex me still,
He never does the Goblet fill,
And ready with it waiting stand,
But e'er thou tak'st it at his Hand,
Thou fall'st a kissing him 'fore all
The Gods in the Olympick-Hall;
Which thou dost too with so much Passion,
And after such immodest Fashion,
That the Boy's Kisses one would think
Were sweeter than the Heavenly Drink.
Nay, thou full oft for Drink dost call,
When th'ast no lift to drink at all,
No more than thou has need to piss,
Only a meer Pretence to kiss.
Sometimes thou mak'st him drink to thee,
A kind of slav'ring Letchery,
Of which the Meaning's only this,
To place thy Mouth where he did his,
Which ravishes thee, whilst thou think'st
Thou kissest all the while thou drink'st. [p.164]
'Twas a fine Sight last Day to see
Thy little Catamite and thee
Playing at Nine-pegs with such Heat,
That mighty Jupiter did sweat
In Querpo, to th' Beholders Wonder,
Divested of his Shield and Thunder.
I both know all thy Pranks and thee,
Think not to make a Fool of me.
Jup. Hey! whirr! I think our Dame's grown wild!
What harm's in kissing a fine Child,
And adding that Delight to Nectar,
That I must have this Curtain Ledture?
If thou but tasted hadst the Blisses
Are wrapt up his luscious Kisses,
Thou wouldst be of another Mind,
And not reproach me in this kind.
Jun. I thought that I should trap thee soon;
Now thou speak'st perfect Bougeroon.
I should have little Wit (I trow)
And very little Vertue too,
Should I defile my Lips so much,
As such an Urchin once to touch.
Jup. That Urchin thou dost so despise,
And speak'st of in such taunting wife,
Pleases me more (my haughty Dame)
Than some Body I will not name.
Urge me not to't, thou wer't not best,
And cease my Pleasure to contest.
Jun. Not I, I shall not be so rash:
No, prithee marry thy Bardach
To spight me worse. Go hug thy Chit;
But yet withal do not forget
How thou dost use me on the Score
Of this thy little stripling Whore
Jup. I know what 'tis, thou'dst have thy Cripple
Wait here, and fill me out my Tipple,
When he comes with his dirty Golls
From raking up his smutty Coals, [p.165]
Sweating and stinking from his Forge,
Enough to make one to disgorge;
And in this cleanly plight, I know
Thou fain wouldst have me kiss him too;
Even when he does so nasty seem,
That thou his Mother keck'st at him.
It wuld be wisely done (no doubt)
For such a foul unseemly Lout
To put away my Ganymede,
So sweet a Boy, so finely bred,
And (which thy Mnd does more molest
A hundred times than all the rest)
Whose every delicious Kiss
Is sweeter far than Nectar is.
Juno. I, I, my Son thou dost abhor,
Now thou hast this trim Servitor:
But till thou hadst this Skip-Jack got,
With Vulcan thou didst find no Fault.
And all his Collow, and his Soot,
His Dirt, and Sweat, and Stink to boot,
Not hindred, but thou took'st delight
Both in his Service and his Sight.
Jup. Thou dreadful Scold, thy din surcease,
And (if thou canst) once hold thy Peace.
Thy Jealousie does but improve
My Indignation and my Love.
Let Vulcan serve thee as he did,
If thou dislikest Ganymede:
But hang me if I drink a Sup,
Unless my Boy present the Cup.
Nay, at each Draught, I'll tell thee more,
He'st give me Kisses half a Score.
Come, come, my pretty Favourite,
Do not thou whimper for his Spight:
Lert who dares vex my Boy, thou'st see,
I'll order 'em I warrant thee. [p.166]
* * *
SOURCE: Charles Cotton, The Genuine Works of Charles Cotton, Esq;, London, 1715.
CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Dialogue in Defence of Ganymede, 1715",
Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 14 February 2022