Front Page Titles (by Subject) CUPID DISTRESSED. - Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws
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CUPID DISTRESSED. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 4.
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ONE day being in the Idalian grove with the young Cephisa, I found Cupid asleep hid under the flowers, and sheltered by some branches of myrtle, which gently yielded to the breath of the Zephyrs. The Sports and Laughter, who always follow him, were playing at some distance, and he was alone. Cupid was then in my power: his bow and quiver lay by his side; and, if I had pleased, I could have stole the arms of the God of Love.
Cephisa however took the bow, drew an arrow, and, without my perceiving her, let it fly at me. On which I smiling said, Take a second, give me another wound, for this is too sweet. She resolved to let fly another arrow, but it fell at her feet; and she softly cried, This was the heaviest arrow in the quiver of Love. She then taking it up, shot; and striking me, I bowed, crying, O Cephisa, wouldst thou then bring me to my grave?
She then approached nearer to Cupid. He is in a profound sleep, said she; he is fatigued with shooting his arrows; let us gather some flowers, in order to bind his hands and feet. Oh! I can never consent to it, I returned; for he has always favoured us. I will go, then, said she, take his arms, and let fly an arrow at him with all my strength. But he will awake, said I. Well, let him, said she; what can he do but wound us more? No, no, I returned, do not disturb his repose; we will remain near him, and shall by that means be more inflamed.
Cephisa then took the leaves of myrtle and roses, and cried, I am resolved to cover Cupid with them. The Sports and Laughter sought him, but could not find them, when she threw them upon him, and laughed to see the little God almost buried. But what am I amusing myself about, said she? I must cut his wings, that there may be no more inconstant men upon earth; for this God flies from heart to heart, carrying inconstancy with him. She then took her scissars, sat down, and held in her hand the ends of his golden pinions. I felt my heart struck with fear, and cried, Stop, Cephisa! But she heard me not, and having cut the tip of his wings, left her sciffars, and fled.
When Cupid awoke, he endeavoured to fly; but felt an unaccustomed weight; on seeing the clippings of the feathers scattered among the flowers, he began to weep. But Jupiter perceiving him from high Olympus, sent him a cloud that carried him to the Temple of Gnidus, and laid him on the bosom of Venus. Mother, said he, I beat upon your breast with my wings; they are cut, and what will become of me? Son, said the lovely Cypria, do not weep; stay in my bosom, and do not stir; the warmth you will find there will make them grow again. Do you not see that they are already larger? Embrace me; they grow; you will soon find them as before; I already see the tips of the golden feathers; in another moment—’tis enough, fly, fly, my son. Yes, said he, I am going to venture. He flew; he rested himself near the Goddess; and instantly returned to her bosom. He thence took a second flight; rested at a greater distance; and again returned to the bosom of Venus. He kissed it, she smiled; he kissed it again, and played with her: and at length arose into the air, where he reigns over all nature.
Cupid, to be revenged on Cephisa, has rendered her the most volatile of all the fair; and has caused her to burn every day with a fresh flame. She has loved me; she has loved Daphnis; and she still loves Cleon. Cruel Cupid! it is me whom you punish. I would gladly bear the pain inflicted for her crime: but hast thou not other torments for me to suffer?