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The Metamorphoses Sex Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Line). We used Allen Mandelbaum's translation, but these citations refer not to the lines in Mandelbaum's edition, but to the original Latin.

Quote #10

(Vertumnus, disguised as an old woman):
"And, too, your tastes show similarities:
you tend your fruit with love, but is not he
the first to welcome what you offer – glad
to hold in his right hand your gifts of fruit?
But now he is not bent on what your trees
may bear; nor does he care for garden herbs,
however sweet the juice: what he pursues
is you alone – and nothing else will do.
Have mercy, he is burning; act as if
the plea that you are hearing from my lips
had come from his own self." (14.687-692)

Vertumnus, in attempting to pick up Pomona, brings out some of the usual tricks: sweet-talk about how they have common interests (plants), as well as, of course, asking her to relieve his burning sexual desire. What makes this especially sneaky is that he is in disguise – so that these words come off as impartial advice, instead of his own feelings.

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