Cassinus And Peter: A Tragical Elegy · Apollo: Or, A Problem Solved: Written In · The Beasts Confession To The Priest, On Observing How Most Men. The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume English Writing and Culture from the Glorious Revolution to the French Revolution, Vol. editors: Paul. Another exploration of Swift’s anal retentive psychology in which a distraught Cassinus confesses to friend Peter that his beloved Celia has.

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But I was fated to be curs’d. Summary Published inthis poem of 7-syllable couplets describes how Peter goes to visit his college friend Cassinus. The shocking expletive is quite easily interpreted as a misanthropic, or even misogynistic, revulsion with the body.

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Be easy, ’tis a common Case. But hark, The loud Cerberian triple Bark. Hyppsa contraction of “hypochondria. Dear Cassythough to ask I dread, Yet, ask I must. The next few lines refer to other figures in Hades.

Why, hang her, though she seem’d so coy, I know she loves the Barber’s Boy. Nor whisper to the tattling Reeds, [] The blackest of all Female Deeds. Heaven send thou hast not got the Hypps. He makes Peter promise not to divulge the terrible secret he has discovered about his once beloved Celia, and then tells him: For all his knowledge about the world as a young scholar, and despite his facility with the literary trappings of nature, it comes as a terrible shock to Cassinus that Celia has a human body.


Celia, Celia, Celia shits.

I come, I come, — Medusasee, [85] Her Serpents hiss direct at me. But, if you fail, my Spectre dread Attending nightly round your Bed; And yet, I dare confide in you; [] So, take my Secret, and adieu.

Cassinus and Peter: A Tragical Elegy

Commentary With a last couplet like that, it is no wonder that this poem has a certain infamy. Why, Plague confound her sandy Locks: The discovery of this imperfection, this failing, this humanity, however mundane, can be quite a shock. Nor blab it on the lonely Rocks, Where Echo sits, and list’ning mocks. These Eyes, these Eyes beheld the Fact. How happy I, were that the worst?

Cassinus and Peter

But that is to forget the rest of the poem easy to do, given the startling couplet. Nor wonder how I lost my Wits; Oh! Sunk down her nose: We need not be entirely unsympathetic to Cassinus: Now, bend thine Ear; since out it must: Peter wonders if Celia has died; if she has cheated on Cassinus; if she has been struck down by some disfiguring disease; or, ultimately, if there is something terribly wrong with Cassinus.


Come, tell us, has she play’d the Whore?

Both Cassinus and Peter can describe and imagine cassinuus or sick bodies, as well as deceit and death, but only in a hypothetical way, imbued with the mystery and distance of mythic conceits about nature. Beauty’s but a Varnish, Which Time and Accidents will tarnish: Not a Word come from thy lips?

Cerberus, the watchdog of Hades, had three heads. Why, Cassythou wilt doze thy Pate: He finds Cassinus filthy and miserable in his dorm room and asks his friend why he is such a mess.

Begone; unhand me, hellish Fry; Avaunt — ye cannot say ’twas I. Cassinus’s own physical degradation has been jarringly contrasted with the pastoral tropes he petee, and already there is a wide gap between ideals and corporeality. No, replies Cassinus, to each of these in turn.