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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Cerberus, the watchdog of Hades, had three heads. Come, tell us, has she play’d the Whore? Miscellaneous Originally published or These Eyes, these Eyes beheld the Fact. Zephyrcassinjs west wind; and poetically any calm soft wind” Johnson.
Why, hang her, though she seem’d so coy, I know she loves the Barber’s Boy. The next few lines refer to other figures in Hades. No, replies Cassinus, to each of these in turn. He finds Cassinus filthy and miserable in his dorm room and asks his friend why he is such a mess.
Hyppsa contraction of “hypochondria. But that is to forget the rest of the poem easy to do, given the startling couplet.
Nor whisper to the tattling Reeds,  The blackest of all Female Csasinus. The discovery of this imperfection, this failing, this humanity, however mundane, can be quite a shock. Purge”A cathartick medicine; a medicine that evacuates the body by stool” Johnson ; bleeding was a common treatment for many medical conditions.
Celia, Celia, Celia shits.
His antient Pipe in Sable dy’d, And half unsmoakt, lay by his Side. But hark, The loud Cerberian triple Bark. Nor blab it casssinus the lonely Rocks, Where Echo sits, and list’ning mocks.
Cassinus and Peter
Commentary With a last couplet like that, it is no wonder that this poem has a certain infamy. 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. Why, Cassythou wilt doze thy Pate: The Restoration and Eighteenth Century. Not a Word come from thy lips?
Swift, “Cassinus and Peter”
Sunk down her nose: 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. Both Cassinus and Peter can describe and xassinus decaying or sick bodies, as well as deceit and death, but only in petdr hypothetical way, imbued with the mystery and distance of mythic conceits about nature.
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. Nor wonder how I lost my Wits; Oh! How happy I, were that the worst? But I was fated to be curs’d.
Cassinus replies that he is in this state because of Celia. We need not be entirely unsympathetic to Cassinus: The Oxford Anthology of English Literature: Heaven send thou hast not got the Hypps. I come, I come, — Medusasee,  Her Serpents hiss direct at me.
Now, bend thine Ear; since out it must: The shocking expletive is quite easily interpreted as a misanthropic, or even misogynistic, revulsion with the body.
Dear Cassythough to ask I dread, Yet, ask I must. Begone; unhand me, hellish Fry; Avaunt — ye cannot say ’twas I.
Why, Plague confound her sandy Locks: Be easy, ’tis a common Case. Beauty’s but a Varnish, Which Time and Accidents will tarnish: Summary Published inthis poem of 7-syllable couplets describes how Peter goes to visit his college friend Cassinus.
He makes Peter promise not to divulge the terrible secret he has discovered about his once beloved Celia, and then tells him: 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.