Amores II:7

Do you think it’s my whole purpose in life to defend myself against your new accusations? Even though I succeed, it’s wearing to have to fight all the time.

If I happened to look up at the crowd filling the marble seats of the theater, you picked whichever face you wanted from those many to give me grief about. Or if some handsome woman happened to glance at me without speaking, you claimed that she was giving me a silent come-on. 

If I praised some woman, you clawed at my poor eyes; if I ran her down, you thought I was trying to conceal what I’d been doing with her.

If I’m bright and cheerful, I don’t care how you’re feeling; if I’m under the weather, you say I’m heartsick with love of another.

It’s gotten to the point that I’d like to have done something wrong: those who deserve to be punished can bear it more easily.

When you become furious for no reason and believe all sorts of empty nonsense, you devalue your wrath: remember that even the long-eared donkey, that wretched beast, eventually becomes inured to blows.

Now you’ve come up with an extraordinary accusation: you claim that Cypassis, your clever hairdresser, has besmirched her mistress’ bed! By all the Gods! I hope that if lust does overpower me I can do better than some dirty little slave wench!

When one is able to make love to Venus, why would he want to embrace a body scarred by the welts of Venus’ switch?

In addition there’s the fact that Cypassis is very dutiful at fixing your hair and her skilled craftsmanship makes her one of your favorite servants. Would I risk proving my infidelity with a slave who’s so close to you? Isn’t it obvious that the whole accusation has to be rejected on the evidence?

I swear by Venus and the bow of her winged son that I have done nothing for which you could rightly reproach me!

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