17. Yet Catullus had no haunting fears concerning the genuineness of her love for him. He was so completely mastered by his own passion that he could not doubt hers. Their meetings, necessarily secret for the most part, on account of the lady's position, took place at the house of a friend (c. 68.68). But not even the possibility of discovery restrained the ardor of the poet's soul. He poured forth his feelings most simply and unrestrainedly in a series of charming trifles. Mere childlike delight in multitudinous kisses (cc. 5, 7), daintiest pretence of lover's jealousy at the favors accorded Lesbia's sparrow (c. 2), gentle, half-smiling sympathy with her over the untimely death of her pet (c. 3), flow from his pen with a perfect freedom of movement and yet with an exquisite grace and perfection in every part. And the mere thought that any proud damsel could once claim comparison with his Lesbia rouses him to hot scorn (cc. 43, 86).
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Friends and foes.
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