the benefit which his books have conferred upon people who were still in their infancy to the art of love.
It is only to be regretted that this work, so complete in many respects, is defective in so far as it makes no mention of a custom too common with the Arabs not to deserve particular attention. I speak of the taste so universal with the old Greeks and Romans, namely, the preference they give to a boy before a woman, or even to treat the latter as a boy.
There might have been given on this subject sound advice as well with regard to the pleasures mutually enjoyed by the women called tribades. The same silence has been preserved by the author respecting bestiality. Nevertheless the two stories which he relates, and which speak, one of the mutual caresses of two women, and the other of a woman provoking the caresses of an ass, show that he knew of such matters. It is, therefore, inexcusable that he should not have spoken more particularly on those points. It would certainly have been interesting to know which animals, by reason of their nature and conformation, are fittest to give pleasure either to man or woman, and what would be the result of such copulation.
Lastly, the Cheikh does not mention the pleasures which the mouth or the hand of a pretty woman can give, nor the cunnilinges.
Paediconibus os olere dicis;
Hoc si, sicut ais, Fabulle, verum est,
Quid credis olere cunnilingis?
The mouths of paederasts, you say, smell badly;
If such be true, as you aver, Fabulus,
What about those, think you, that lick the vulva?
MARTIALIS, Book xii., Epig. 86.