The antique fables of amorous goddesses and drunken Bacchantes the superhuman voluptuousness unknown in terrestrial pleasures were in reach of his hand, separated from him only by the shadow of this sleeping old man. But a shadow was ever between them it was honor. His eyes, as if lost in thought, were fixed straight before him on the curtain opposite the chimney.
In another part is Mercury preparing the banquet, while Psyche is bathing, with the Bacchantes sounding instruments; and there are the Graces adorning the table with flowers in a beautiful manner.
Troops of fanaticized and hysterical women rambled round with them, scouring the country like your true bacchantes, clawing the unfortunate wretches who fell into their hands, burning farms and harvests, broaching barrels of wine and oil, and crowning these exploits by orgies with "the Athletes of Christ."
When he made his entry into Ephesus, the women met him dressed up like Bacchantes, and the men and boys like Satyrs and Fauns, and throughout the town nothing was to be seen but spears wreathed about with ivy, harps, flutes, and psaltries, while Antony in their songs was Bacchus the Giver of Joy and the Gentle.
The fury of intoxication had risen to madness, Senators were no longer to be distinguished from actors, dancers and hetæræ, slaves and bacchantes mingled in the hall, wine flowed from the skins upon the floor, the lamps were extinguished with it, and darkness covered the foul scene. The only window in the apartment was a round one in the ceiling which admitted the fresh air.
In the middle of the vaulted chamber was a huge stone coffin, carved with revelling Bacchantes, and grim tragic masks at its corners; and all round the coffin, broken in one of its flanks by the tools of the treasure-seeker, lay bones and skulls, dispersed on the damp ground even as the Goths had left them.
'Theophile Gautier said of some other fellow's Bacchantes that they had got drunk on "philosophical" wine. He might, I fear, have said it of mine. Anyway, I felt I was not made for Bacchantes so I fell back on the usual thing.
The entire human race, from base to summit, is delivered over to the Furies. If the least sparkle of free will shows itself, it is trampled under foot, and the isolated independent is torn to pieces as Pentheus was torn to pieces by the Bacchantes. But this frenzy does not disturb the calm vision of the thinker. To Nicolai, the paroxysm he contemplates seems the last flicker of the torch.
It belonged to Fusconi, physician to Paul III, and was for a long time in the Pighini palace at Rome, whence Clement XIV had it conveyed to the Vatican. 103 and 104. Two busts, called TRAGEDY and COMEDY. These colossal heads of Bacchantes adorned the entrance of the theatre of the Villa-Adriana at Tivoli.
If you are quite sure that the ladies in Brixton, the moment they give up cooking, will beat great gongs and blow horns to Mumbo-Jumbo, then I will agree that the occupation is at least human and is more or less entertaining. Women have been set free to be Bacchantes; they have been set free to be Virgin Martyrs; they have been set free to be Witches.