This is a chapter of Evergreen Stories by W. M. L. Hutchinson. It includes the following stories: King Midas and His Strange Adventures — Alcestis, the Noble Wife — The Real Helen — Cupid and Psyche — The Vision of Er
Now while Psyche was journeying from Mount Taenarus to the house of Venus, Cupid had flown up into heaven and pleaded his cause before Jupiter, the supreme king of the gods. He told his love for Psyche, and how in spite of her folly and weakness she so truly loved him that she had sought him through the world, despising hardships and danger; how for his sake she had endured without a murmur the cruelty of Venus and performed all the perilous tasks she laid upon her, even going down alive into Hades. And he besought Jupiter, if ever love had stirred his mighty heart, to have compassion on two faithful lovers and ordain their marriage.
Jupiter bade his herald, Mercury, summon all the gods to a council and proclaim that whoever did not come should be fined ten thousand pounds, which so frightened all the immortals that there was not an empty seat at that council. Jupiter, who presided, thus addressed the assembly:
“Oh, ye celestial senators, enrolled in the register of the muses, hearken to the business before you. You all know this youth, Cupid, the son of my daughter Venus, who stands here to plead his cause. You know that he has a bad name among gods and men because of his wild and lawless ways and his fickle fancies for one sweetheart after another. The best cure for all this is marriage. Now, it appears he has fallen in love with a mortal maiden, whom he has already espoused, but secretly, for fear of his mother’s displeasure. But I say, let their marriage be decreed by us the gods in full council assembled, and celebrated duly in our heavenly halls.” And turning to Venus —for she had come to the council while Psyche was returning from Mount Taenarus— Jupiter added, “And you, my daughter, need fear no disgrace from Cupid’s alliance with a mortal; for our decree will make it a true and lawful marriage and the children born of it will be divine.”
Then all the gods and goddesses present declared with one voice their consent to the marriage of Cupid and Psyche; and Jupiter invited them all to the wedding feast, which he himself would give on the morrow.
So the next day, when Venus and her three handmaids the Graces had dressed Psyche in bridal array, Mercury the herald carried her up to the banqueting hall of Jupiter, where the divine guests were already gathered. Psyche was seated beside her bridegroom on a couch in the place of honor, next to the throne where Jupiter and Juno sat together, the rest of the immortals took their places according to their rank, and the joyous feast began.
Ambrosia was the food, and the drink was nectar, the wine of the gods. Hebe filled the cups for all except Jupiter, whom young Ganymede served as cupbearer. But first, Jupiter himself gave Psyche a platter full of ambrosia, saying, “Eat of this, Psyche, that thou mayest become an immortal goddess, and have Cupid as thine husband forever.”
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Then the Hours crowned the company with roses and other fragrant blooms; the Graces scattered precious balms that scented the air; the muses sang in sweet accord to the music of Apollo’s lyre; Pan made melody with his flute; lastly, Venus danced before them all with such a lovely and swimming gait that she seemed to be gliding over the waves as on the day when she first arose from the seafoam.
Thus was Psyche married to Cupid; and when her time came, she brought forth a beautiful son, whose name was Joy.