Peter G. Walsh (ed.), Oxford World's Classics: Apuleius: The Golden Ass

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Editor’s Note30

   One of the party greeted us like this: 'Where are you off to, moonlighting in such a hurry along this road? Aren't you afraid of ghosts and spirits abroad at dead of night? I suppose that as the most dutiful of girls you were hastening to visit your parents? Well, now, we shall escort you, since you are alone, and we shall show you a short-cut to your family.' Suiting the action to the word, he laid hold of the halter and turned me back the other way. He was carrying a knotted club, and did not spare me my customary beating. Since I was now on my way back to face an unwelcome and immediate death, I recalled the pain in my hoof, and I began to limp and let my head sag. 'So,' said the one who had pulled me round, 'are you stumbling and staggering again? Those worthless feet of yours can take off well enough, but now they cannot walk! Only a minute ago you were flying faster than the winged Pegasus!'

   While my friendly companion was making these jokes at my expense and brandishing his cudgel, we had reached the outer enclosure of their base. The sight that greeted us was of the old hag with a rope round her neck, hanging from a branch of pg 118a tall cypress. They dragged her down, and unceremoniously trussed her up with her own rope, and threw her headlong over the cliff. At once they bound the girl tightly with ropes, and then they ravenously attacked the dinner which the poor old woman had prepared with devotion which survived her death.

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Editor’s Note
6.30 Pegasus: the winged horse, born from Medusa's blood when the Gorgon's head was severed by Perseus, and later ridden by Bellerophon to slay the Chimaera, is the theme of Ovid, Met. 4. 785 ff.
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