The Riva degli Schiavoni is Venice's main waterfront promenade, running along the lagoon's northern bank just east of the famous Piazza San Marco. A hotspot for tourists, the Riva offers one of the city's best known views across the water to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
In Greek mythology King Augeas was a powerful ruler whose famous stables had for many years housed a huge number of cattle but, due to administrative oversight, had never been cleaned. Washing the filth away in a single day was assigned as one of the less glamorous labours of the hero Heracles (Latinised as 'Hercules'), who accomplished the task by combining his great strength with lateral thinking and diverting two rivers to run through the stables.
Online overview of mythical sources detailing Heracles' labours, at Theoi.com
A reference to the episode in Part I, Chapter Five of Jonathan Swift's satire Gulliver's Travels (See note to page 27) in which, while visiting the miniature land of Lilliput, the traveller single-handedly saves its Imperial palace from a blaze by extinguishing it with urine. In some later editions the book's more risqué passages were censored, and the exact means Gulliver uses to fight the fire were left to the reader's imagination.
Online edition of Jonathan Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ (1726)
Freud again refers to an episode in a series of grotesque novels by 16th-century French satirist François Rabelais (See note to page 166).
Online edition of François Rabelais' 'Gargantua', as translated by Thomas Urquhart and Peter Antony Motteux, (1534)
A second reference to Spain's unsuccessful invasion of England in 1588 (See note to page 165).
A version of two lines from the opening 'Dedication' to Part I of Faust, a metaphysical tragedy by German polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832):
YE wavering shapes, again ye do enfold me,
As erst upon my troubled sight ye stole;
Shall I this time attempt to clasp, to hold ye?
Still for the fond illusion yearns my soul?
Online text of Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy, (first published 1808)
A reference to Act IV Scene Five of William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One, in which Prince 'Hal' prematurely dons the crown of England. His excuse, that he momentarily thought his father dead, only enrages the king further:
Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought
Online text of the play at MaximumEdge.com
Freud refers to a scene in Act II of La Belle Hélène, by German/French composer Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880). Helen of Troy, finding Paris in her bedchamber, provides him with the perfect excuse for his planned adultery by exclaiming that "Ce n'est qu'un rêve" (It is only a dream).
La Belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach
Clip from a production at the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet, starring Felicity Lott and Yann Beuron, (2001)
Online text of the libretto, by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, (first performed 1864)
A reference to the finale of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's comic cautionary opera Don Giovanni (1787). As the doomed scoundrel enjoys a last, luxurious meal, his orchestra plays snatches of popular 18th-century music, including an aria from the composer's own previous work (See note to page 161).
Online recording of the aria from the Act I finale of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro', (1784)
Online recording from the Act II finale of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 'Don Giovanni' (1784), which quotes the above's melody
Online text of Don Giovanni's libretto, by Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749-1838)