Casta est quam nemo rogavit  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
chaste woman

Casta est, quam nemo rogavit is a line of poetry by Ovid from the Amores (Amores 1, 8, 43[1]). It translates as "Chaste is she whom no man has asked", meaning, "the only chaste woman is the one who has not been asked".

The phrase is quoted in the "Sur les dames qui font l'amour et leurs maris cocus," the first chapter of Les vies where it is translated by A. R. Allinson as "chaste, seeing no man ever solicited her favours".

Prosper Mérimée also mentions it in passim in Carmen:

"Il me semble qu'il y a beaucoup d'exagération dans les éloges qu'il accorde à leur chasteté. D'abord, le plus grand nombre est dans le cas de la laide d'Ovide: Casta quam nemo rogavit. Quant aux jolies, elles sont comme toutes les Espagnoles, difficiles dans le choix de leurs amants. Il faut leur plaire, il faut les mériter. M. Borrow cite comme preuve de leur vertu un trait qui fait honneur à la sienne, surtout à sa naïveté."
"An English missionary, Mr. Borrow, the author of two very interesting works on the Spanish gipsies, whom he undertook to convert on behalf of the Bible Society, declares there is no instance of any gitana showing the smallest weakness for a man not belonging to her own race. The praise he bestows upon their chastity strikes me as being exceedingly exaggerated. In the first place, the great majority are in the position of the ugly woman described by Ovid, "Casta quam nemo rogavit." As for the pretty ones, they are, like all Spanish women, very fastidious in choosing their lovers. Their fancy must be taken, and their favour must be earned."

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