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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Zephyr”The west wind; and poetically any calm soft wind” Johnson. Commentary With a last couplet like that, it is no wonder that this poem has a certain infamy. I come, I come, — Medusasee, [85] Her Serpents hiss direct at me.

He makes Peter promise not to divulge the terrible secret he has discovered about his once beloved Celia, and then tells him: These Eyes, these Eyes beheld the Fact.

Why, hang her, though she seem’d so coy, I know she loves the Barber’s Boy.

Heaven send thou hast not got the Hypps. But hark, The loud Cerberian triple Bark.

He finds Cassinus filthy and miserable in his dorm room and asks his friend why he is such a mess. The discovery of this imperfection, this failing, this humanity, however mundane, can be quite a shock. But I was fated to be curs’d. We need not be entirely unsympathetic to Cassinus: Caswinus Originally published or Hyppsa contraction of “hypochondria.


Summary Published inthis poem of 7-syllable couplets describes how Peter goes to visit his college friend Cassinus. Now, bend thine Ear; since out it must: Beauty’s but a Varnish, Which Time and Accidents will tarnish: 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 Pter that Celia has casslnus human body.

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Nor wonder how I lost my Wits; Oh! Not a Word come from thy lips? Cassinus’s own physical degradation has been jarringly contrasted with the pastoral tropes he employs, and already there is a wide gap between ideals and corporeality.

Cassinus replies that he is in this state because of Celia.

His antient Pipe in Sable dy’d, And half unsmoakt, lay by his Side. Begone; unhand me, hellish Fry; Avaunt — ye cannot say ’twas I. The next few lines refer to other figures in Hades.

Purge”A cathartick medicine; a medicine that evacuates the body by stool” Johnson ; bleeding was a common treatment for many medical conditions. The Oxford Anthology of English Literature: Dear Cassythough to ask Nad dread, Yet, ask I must. The Restoration and Eighteenth Century.


Cerberus, the watchdog of Hades, had three heads. Sunk down peeter nose: But that is to forget the rest of the poem easy to do, given the startling couplet.

Swift, “Cassinus and Peter”

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. 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.

Why, Cassythou wilt doze thy Pate: The shocking expletive is quite easily interpreted as a misanthropic, or even misogynistic, revulsion with the body. No, replies Cassinus, to each of these in turn.