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Chapter Five: Cupid and Psyche
King had three lovely daughters, youngest outshone sisters - Psyche Fame of her beauty spread across the earth, men came to do her homage as if she was one of the immortals Some said her beauty surpassed that of Venus, worshipped her loveliness, gazed upon her with wonder The honor once given to Venus was given to Psyche, a mere mortal, Venus’ temples were neglected Venus told her son to make Psyche fall in love with the most vile and despicable creature on Earth She showed him Psyche, in her jealous rage not thinking that her son might fall in love with her When he looked upon her, it was as if he had shot one of his own arrows into his heart, he said nothing to his mother Confident he would do what she said, Venus left him, thinking he would bring about Psyche’s ruin Psyche did not fall in love with horrible wretch, did not fall in love at all Men content to look at her and wonder, and then go on to marry someone else, no one fell in love with her Both her two sisters were happily married to kings, but Psyche the beautiful seemed unwanted Father traveled to oracle of Apollo to ask advice on how to get Psyche a good husband God answered, but his words were terrible – Cupid had talked to Apollo beforehand and asked for his help Apollo said that Psyche must dress in clothes of deepest mourning and be left on a rocky hill and left alone, where a winged serpent stronger than the gods himself would make her his wife Psyche dressed as though for her death, and her family carried her to the hill as if it were her tomb, she alone was courageous Zephyr floated her away from the rocky hill to a grassy meadow In the peaceful meadow, her trouble left her and she slept When she woke, she was next a river and a mansion with pillars of gold, walls of silver, and a floor inlaid with precious stones was there Voices spoke, saying she must enter without fear and bathe and refresh herself, voices her servants to do whatever she wished
2 5th Period English Her bath most delightful, food best she had ever eaten, soft music played around her, but she was alone throughout the day except for the voices All her fears left her when her husband came at night, and she was sure he was the lover and husband she had waited for and not a terrible monster One night her dear yet unseen husband warned her that her two sisters were coming to mourn for her, but she must not let them see her She promised, but she cried to think of her sisters the next day and her not being able to see them or comfort them At night, not even her husband could not stop her tears He sorrowfully agreed to let her meet her sisters, but warned her not to be persuaded by anyone to try and see him, on pain of being separated forever The next morning the two came, brought down by Zephyr When they saw the surpassing treasure and rich banquet, they became envious and filled with curiosity to know who her husband was Psyche told them he was away on a hunting expedition, filled their hands with gold and jewels, and had Zephyr take them back to the hill Their hearts were filled with envy and their own good fortune seemed nothing compared to Psyche’s Envious anger made them plot to bring about her ruin Psyche’s husband warned her once more about seeing her sisters, but he gave in to her pleas that she could not even see him, could she not see them as well? Her two sisters came the next day, and asked her what her husband looked like, her faltering descriptions gave Psyche’s secret away They told her they knew her husband to be a fearful monster, and she must tonight kill him with a knife All day Psyche was unsure of what she would do, but she became certain that she would at least look upon him That night she saw that he was the sweetest and fairest of all creatures, and would have plunged the knife into her own breast if some of the hot oil hadn’t fallen on his chest He saw the light and fled from her, his lingering voice told her who he was and that love cannot live where there is not faith Psyche told herself that she would devote the rest of her life searching for him, and would never give up looking for him
3 5th Period English Cupid had gone to his mother’s to get his wound cared for When she found out that it was Psyche whom he had fallen for, she left him in a rage to go find Psyche Venus wished to show her what it meant to bring down the wrath of a goddess Poor Psyche was trying to win over the gods to her cause, but none wanted to become the enemy of Venus by helping Psyche She took a desperate resolve to offer herself as a humble servant to Venus, where she might even find Cupid at his mother’s house When she came into Venus’ presence, the goddess laughed at her and scornfully asked if she was looking for another husband, as the one she had before would have nothing to do with her now Venus said to Psyche that she was an ill-mannered and plain girl who could never get a husband except by the most diligent and painful service Venus took a great quantity of small seeds and put them in a great pile, telling Psyche she must have them all separated by nightfall The ants pitied her and took it upon themselves to organize them for her When Venus came back she was angry to see the seeds perfectly organized, gave Psyche a crust of bread and told her to sleep on the hard floor Venus’ plan was to keep Psyche at hard work so to diminish her beauty and to keep Cupid securely guarded in his room Next, Venus wanted Psyche to get her some of the golden fleece of sheep who lived near the riverbank A little reed at Psyche’s feet told her that when the sheep left to go into the shade of a tree, plenty of their wool would be left and she could take as much as she needed Psyche’s next task was to fill a flask with water from the Styx An eagle took the flask and filled it with the black water for her Venus then gave Psyche a box which she was to journey to the Underworld with and ask Proserpine to fill with some of her beauty A tower directed Psyche how to get to Proserpine safely through the underworld, through the hole in the earth, the river of death, and Cerberus Proserpine gladly put some of her beauty in the box for Venus, and Psyche journeyed back up to the world of the living Curious about what the beauty charm inside was, Psyche opened the box, hoping to maybe use some of it herself so that she might look more beautiful for Cupid
4 5th Period English She fell into a heavy sleep near the palace of Venus Cupid was healed of his wound and longing for Venus, he flew out of his room through the windows and found Psyche He wiped the sleep from her eyes, putting it back into the box Waking her with a light prick from his arrows, he lightly scolded her about her curiosity and bade her take the box to his mother, telling her all would be well Psyche hastened to fulfill her errand, happy with Cupid’s promise Cupid went to Jupiter, wanting to make sure Venus would make no more trouble for them In a great assembly, Jupiter announced to all that Cupid and Psyche were now formally married, and Psyche was to be made immortal Jupiter himself gave Psyche the ambrosia to taste for immortality Venus could not object to having a goddess for a daughter-in-law, and all was well She also reflected that if Psyche was in heaven living with a husband and children, she could not be on Earth as much to turn men’s heads and take attention away from Venus So Love and the Soul found each other, and that bond can never be broken
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