Martial, EpigramsMartial, Epigrams, translator anonymous, published in Bohn's Classical Library (1897) (with a few epigrams, missing from Bohn, from the 1919 Loeb edition translated by W. Ker) nobly transformed and placed online by Roger Pearse (Ipswich, UK, 2008) at tertullian.org. This text is in the public domain. This text has 952 tagged references to 271 ancient places.
CTS URN: urn:cts:latinLit:phi1294.phi002; Wikidata ID: Q16604285; Trismegistos: authorwork/2793 [Open Latin text in new tab]
§ 0.1. Martial, Epigrams, translator anonymous, published in Bohn's Classical Library (1897) (with a few epigrams, missing from Bohn, from the 1919 Loeb edition translated by W. Ker) nobly transformed and placed online by Roger Pearse (Ipswich, UK, 2008) at tertullian.org. This text is in the public domain.
§ 1.pr.1 BOOK I. TO THE READER
I trust that, in these little books of mine, I have observed such self-control, that whoever forms a fair judgment from his own' mind can make no complaint of them, since they indulge their sportive fancies without violating the respect due even to persons of the humblest station; a respect which was so far disregarded by the authors of antiquity, that they made free use, not only of real, but of great names. For me; let fame be held in less estimation, and let such talent be the last thing commended in me.
Let the ill-natured interpreter, too, keep himself from meddling with the simple meaning of my jests, and not write my epigrams for me.1 He acted honourably who exercises perverse ingenuity on another man's book: For the free plainness of expression, that is, for the language of epigram, I would apologize, if I were introducing the practice; but it is thus that Catullus writes, and Marsus, and Pedo, and Getulicus, and every one whose writings are read through. If any assumes to be so scrupulously nice, however, that it is not allowable to address him, in a single page, in plain language, he may confine himself to this address, or rather to the title of the book. Epigrams are written for those who are accustomed to be spectators at the games of Flora. Let not Cato enter my theatre; or, if he do enter, let him look on. It appears to me that I shall do only what I have a right to do, if I close my address with the following verses: —
§ 1.pr.2 TO CATO:
Since you knew the lascivious nature of the rites of sportive Flora, as well as the dissoluteness of the games, and the license of the populace, why, stern Cato, did you enter the theatre? Did you come in only that you might go out again?
§ 1.1 TO THE READER.
The man whom you are reading is the very man that you want, — Martial, known over the whole world for his humorous books of epigrams; to whom, studious reader, you have afforded such honours, while he is alive and has a sense of them, as few poets receive after their death.
§ 1.2 TO THE READER; SHOWING WHERE THE AUTHOR'S BOOKS MAY BE PURCHASED:
You who are anxious that my books should be with you everywhere, and desire to have them as companions on a long journey, buy a copy of which the parchment leaves are compressed into a small compass. Bestow book-cases upon large volumes; one hand will hold me. But that you may not be ignorant where I am to be bought, and wander in uncertainty over the whole town, you shall, under my guidance, be sure of obtaining me. Seek Secundus, the freedman of the learned Lucensis, behind the Temple of Peace and the Forum of Pallas.
§ 1.3 THE AUTHOR TO HIS BOOK:
You prefer, little book, to dwell in the shops in the Argiletum, though my book-case has plenty of room for you. You are ignorant, alas! you are ignorant of the fastidiousness of Rome, the mistress of the world; the sons of Man, believe me, are much too critical. Nowhere are there louder sneers; young men and old, and even boys, have the nose of the rhinoceros. After you have heard a loud "Bravo!" and are expecting kisses, you will go, tossed to the skies, from the jerked toga. Yet, that you may not so often suffer the corrections of your master, and that his relentless pen may not so often mark your vagaries, you desire, frolicsome little book, to fly through the air of heaven. Go, fly; but you would have been safer at home.
§ 1.4 TO CAESAR:
If you should chance, Caesar, to light upon my books, lay aside that look which awes the world. Even your triumphs have been accustomed to endure jests, nor is it any shame to a general to be a subject for witticisms. Read my verses, I pray you, with that brow with which you behold Thymele and Latinus the buffoon. The censorship may tolerate innocent jokes: my page indulges in freedoms, but my life is pure.
§ 1.5 THE EMPEROR'S REPLY:
I give you a sea-fight, and you give me epigrams: you wish, I suppose, Marcus, to be set afloat with your book.
§ 1.6 ON A LION OF CAESAR'S THAT SPARED A HARE:
While through the air of heaven the eagle was carrying the youth, the burden unhurt clung to its anxious talons. From Caesar's lions their own prey now succeeds in obtaining mercy, and the hare plays safe in their huge jaws. Which miracle do you think the greater? The author of each is a supreme being: the one is the work of Caesar; the other, of Jove.
§ 1.7 TO MAXIMUS:
The dove, the delight of my friend Stella, — even with Verona listening will I say it, — has surpassed, Maximus, the sparrow of Catullus. By so much is my Stella greater than your Catullus, as a dove is greater than a sparrow.
§ 1.8 TO DECIANUS:
In that you so far only follow the opinions of the great Thrasea and Cato of consummate virtue, that you still wish to preserve your life, and do not with bared breast rush upon drawn swords, you do, Decianus, what I should wish you to do. I do not approve of a man who purchases fame with life-blood, easy to be shed: I like him who can be praised without dying to obtain it.
§ 1.9 TO COTTA:
You wish to appear, Cotta, a pretty man and a great man at one and the same time: but he who is a pretty man, Cotta, is a very small man.
§ 1.10 ON GEMELLUS AND MARONILLA:
Gemellus is seeking the hand of Maronilla, and is earnest, and lays siege to her, and beseeches her, and makes presents to her. Is she then so pretty? Nay; nothing can be more ugly. What then is the great object and attraction in her? — Her cough.
§ 1.11 TO SEXTILIANUS:
Seeing that there are given to a knight twice five pieces, wherefore is twice ten the amount which you spend by yourself, Sextilianus, in drink? Long since would the warm water have failed the attendants who carried it, had you not, Sextilianus, been drinking your wine unmixed.
§ 1.12 ON REGULUS:
Where the road runs to the towers of the cool Tivoli, sacred to Hercules, and the hoary Albula smokes with sulphureous waters, a milestone, the fourth from the neighbouring city, points out a country retreat, and a hallowed grove, and a domain well beloved of the Muses. Here a rude portico used to afford cool shade in summer; a portico, ah! how nearly the desperate cause of an unheard-of calamity: for suddenly it fell in ruins, after Regulus had just been conveyed in a carriage and pair from under its high fabric. Truly Dame Fortune feared our complaints, as she would have been unable to withstand so great odium. Now even our loss delights us; so beneficial is the impression which the very danger produces; since, while standing, the edifice could not have proved to us the existence of the gods.
§ 1.13 ON ARRIA AND PAETUS:
When the chaste Arria handed to her Paetus the sword which she had with her own hand drawn forth from her heart, "If you believe me," said she, "the wound which I have made gives me no pain; but it is that which you will make, Paetus, that pains me."
§ 1.14 TO DOMITIAN:
The pastimes, Caesar, the sports and the play of the lions, we have seen: your arena affords you the additional sight of the captured hare returning often in safety from the kindly tooth, and running at large through the open jaws. Whence is it that the greedy lion can spare his captured prey? He is said to be yours: thence it is that he can show mercy.
§ 1.15 TO JULIUS:
Oh! you who are regarded by me, Julius, as second to none of my companions, if well-tried friendship and longstanding ties are worth anything, already nearly a sixtieth consul is pressing upon you, and your life numbers but a few more uncertain days. Not wisely would you defer the enjoyment which you see maybe denied you, or consider the past alone as your own. Cares and linked chains of disaster are in store; joys abide not, but take flight with winced speed. Seize them with either hand, and with your full grasp; even thus they will oft-times pass away and glide from your closest embrace. 'Tis not, believe me, a wise man's part to say, "I will live." To-morrow's life is too late: live to-day.
§ 1.16 TO AVITUS:
Of the epigrams which you read here, some are good, some middling, many bad; a book, Avitus, cannot be made in any other way.
§ 1.17 TO TITUS:
Titus urges me to go to the Bar, and often tells me, "The gains are large." The gains of the husbandman, Titus, are likewise large.
§ 1.18 TO TUCCA, ON HIS PARSIMONY:
What pleasure can it give you, Tucca, to mix with old Falernian wine new wine stored up in Vatican casks? What vast amount of good has the most worthless of wine done you? or what amount of evil has the best wine done you? As for us, it is a small matter; but to murder Falernian, and to put poisonous wine in a Campanian cask, is an atrocity. Your guests may possibly have deserved to perish: a wine-jar of such value has not deserved to die.
§ 1.19 TO AELIA:
If I remember right, Aelia, you had four teeth; a cough displaced two, another two more. You can now cough without anxiety all the day long. A third cough can find nothing to do in your mouth.
§ 1.20 TO CAECILIANUS:
Tell me, what madness is this? While a whole crowd of invited guests is looking on, you alone, Caecilianus, devour the truffles. What shall I imprecate on you worthy of so large a stomach and throat? That you may eat a truffle such as Claudius ate.
§ 1.21 ON PORSENA AND MUCIUS SCAEVOLA:
When the hand that aimed at the king mistook for him his secretary, it thrust itself to perish into the sacred fire but the generous foe could not endure so cruel a sight, and bade the hero, snatched from the flame, to be set free. The hand which, despising the fire, Mucius dared to burn, Porsena could not bear to look on Greater was the fame and glory of that right hand from being deceived; had it not missed its aim, it had accomplished less.
§ 1.22 TO A HARE:
Why, silly hare, are you fleeing from the fierce jaws of the lion now grown tame? They have not learned to crush such tiny animals. Those talons, which you fear, are reserved for mighty necks, nor does a thirst so great delight in so small a draught of blood. The hare is the prey of hounds; it does not fill large mouths: the Dacian boy should not fear Caesar.
§ 1.23 TO COTTA:
You invite no one, Cotta, except those whom you meet at the bath; and the bath alone supplies you with guests. I used to wonder why you had never asked me, Cotta; I know now that my appearance in a state of nature was unpleasing in your eyes.
§ 1.24 TO DECIANUS:
You see yonder individual, Decianus, with locks uncombed, whose grave brow even you fear; who talks incessantly of the Curii and Camilli, defenders of their country's liberties: do not trust his looks; he was taken to wife but yesterday.
§ 1.25 TO FAUSTINUS:
Issue at length your books to the public, Faustinus, and give to the light the work elaborated by your accomplished mind, — a work such as neither the Cecropian city of Pandion would condemn, nor our old men pass by in silence. Do you hesitate to admit Fame, who is standing before your door; and does it displease you to receive the reward of your labour? Let the writings, destined to live after you, begin to live through your means. Glory comes too late, when paid only to our ashes.
§ 1.26 TO SEXTILIANUS:
Sextilianus, you drink as much as five rows of knights alone: you might intoxicate yourself with water, if you so often drank as much. Nor is it the coin of those who sit near you alone that you consume in drink, but the money of those far removed from you, on the distant benches. This vintage has not been concerned with Pelignian presses, nor was this juice of the grape produced upon Tuscan heights; but it is the glorious jar of the long-departed Opimius that is drained, and it is the Massic cellar that sends forth its blackened casks. Get dregs of Laletane wine from a tavern-keeper, Sextilianus, if you drink more than ten cups.
§ 1.27 TO PROCILLUS:
Last night I had invited you — after some fifty glasses, I suppose, had been despatched — to sup with me to-day. You immediately thought your fortune was made, and took note of my unsober words, with a precedent but too dangerous. I hate a boon companion whose memory is good, Procillus.
§ 1.28 ON ACCERRA:
Whoever believes it is of yesterday's wine that Acerra smells, is mistaken: Acerra always drinks till morning.
§ 1.29 TO FIDENTINUS:
Report says that you, Fidentinus, recite my compositions in public as if they were your own. If you allow them to be called mine, I will send you my verses gratis; if you wish them to be called yours, pray buy them, that they may be mine no longer.
§ 1.30 ON DIAULUS:
Diaulus had been a surgeon, and is now an undertaker. He has begun to be useful to the sick in the only way that he could.
§ 1.31 TO APOLLO, OF ENCOLPUS:
Encolpus, the favourite of the centurion his master, consecrates these, the whole of the locks from his head, to you, O Phoebus. When Pudens shall have rained the pleasing honour of the chief-centurionship, which he has so well merited, cut these long tresses close, O Phoebus, as soon as possible, while the tender face is yet undisfigured with down, and while the flowing hair adorns the milk-white neck; and, that both master and favourite may long enjoy your gifts, make him carry shorn, but late a man.
§ 1.32 TO SABIDIUS:
I do not love you, Sabidius, nor can I say why; I can only say this, I do not love you.
§ 1.33 ON GELLIA
Gellia does not mourn for her deceased father, when she is alone; but if any one is present, obedient tears spring forth. He mourns not, Gellia, who seeks to be praised; he is the true mourner, who mourns without a witness.
§ 1.34 TO LESBIA:
You always take your pleasure, Lesbia, with doors unguarded and open, nor are you at any pains to conceal your amusements. It is more the spectator, than the accomplice in your doings, that pleases you, nor are any pleasures grateful to your taste if they be secret. Yet the common courtesan excludes every witness by curtain and by bolt, and few are the chinks in a suburban brothel. Learn something at least of modesty from Chione, or from Alis: even the monumental edifices of the dead afford hiding-places for abandoned harlots. Does my censure seem too harsh? I do not exhort you to be chaste, Lesbia, but not to be caught.
§ 1.35 TO CORNELIUS:
You complain, Cornelius, that the verses which I compose are little remarkable for their reserve, and not such as a master can read out in his school; but such effusions, as in the case of man and wife, cannot please without some spice of pleasantry in them. What if you were to bid me write a hymeneal song in words not suited to hymeneal occasions? Who enjoins the use of attire at the Florala games, and imposes on the courtesan the reserve of the matron? This law has been allowed to frolicsome verses, that without tickling the fancy they cannot please. Lay aside, therefore, your severe look, I beseech you, and spare my jokes and gaiety, and do not desire to mutilate my compositions. Nothing is more disgusting than Priapus become a priest of Cybele.
§ 1.36 TO THE BROTHERS LUCANUS AND TULLUS:
If, Lucanus, to you, or if to you, Tullus, had been offered such fates as the Laconian children of Leda enjoy, there would have been this noble struggle of affection in both of you, that each would have wished to die first in place of his brother; and he who should have first descended to the nether realms of shade would have said, "Live, brother, thine own term of days; live also mine."
§ 1.37 TO BASSUS:
Yon deposit your excretions, without any sense of shame, into an unfortunate vessel of gold, while you drink out of glass. The former operation, consequently, is the more expensive.
§ 1.38 TO FIDENTINUS:
The book which you are reading aloud is mine, Fidentinus but, while you read it so badly, it begins to be yours.
§ 1.39 TO DECIANUS:
If there be any man fit to be numbered among one's few choice friends, a man such as the honesty of past times and ancient renown would readily acknowledge; if any man thoroughly imbued with the accomplishments of the Athenian and Latin Minervas, and exemplary for true integrity; if there be any man who cherishes what is right, and admires what is honourable, and asks nothing of the gods but what all may hear; if there be any man sustained by the strength of a great mind, may I die, if that man is not Decianus.
§ 1.40 TO AN ENVIOUS MAN:
You who make grimaces, and read these verses of mine with an ill grace, you, victim of jealousy, may, if you please, envy everybody; nobody will envy you.
§ 1.41 TO CAECILIUS:
You imagine yourself Caecilius, a man of wit. You are no such thing, believe me. What then? A low buffoon; such a thing as wanders about in the quarters beyond the Tiber, and barters pale-coloured sulphur matches for broken glass; such a one as sells boiled peas and beans to the idle crowd; such as a lord and keeper of snakes; or as a common servant of the salt-meat-sellers; or a hoarse-voiced cook who carries round smoking sausages in steaming shops; or the worst of street poets; or a blackguard slave-dealer from Gades; or a chattering old debauchee. Cease at length, therefore, to imagine yourself that which is imagined by you alone, Caecilius, you who could have silenced Gabba, and even Testius Caballus, with your jokes. It is not given to every one to have taste; he who jests with a stupid effrontery is not a Testius, but a Caballus.
§ 1.42 ON PORCIA:
When Porcia had heard the fate of her consort Brutus, and her grief was seeking the weapon, which had been carefully removed from her," You know not yet," she cried, "that death cannot be denied: I had supposed that my father had taught you this lesson by his fate. She spoke, and with eager mouth swallowed the blazing coals. "Go now, officious attendants, and refuse me a sword, if you will."
§ 1.43 ON MANCINUS:
Twice thirty were invited to your table, Mancinus, and nothing was placed before us yesterday but a wild-boar. Nowhere were to be seen grapes preserved from the late vines, or apples vying in flavour with sweet honey-combs; nowhere the pears which hang suspended by flexible twigs, or pomegranates the colour of summer roses: nor did the rustic basket supply its milky cheeses, or the olive emerge from its Picenian jar. Your wild-boar was by itself: and it was even of the smallest size, and such a one as might have been slaughtered by an unarmed dwarf. Besides, none of it was given us; we simply looked on it as spectators. This is the way in which even the arena places a wild-boar before us. May no wild-boar be placed before you after such doings, but may you be placed before the boar in front of which Charidemus was placed.
§ 1.44 TO STELLA:
If it seems to you too much, Stella, that my longer and shorter compositions are occupied with the frisky gambols of the hares and the play of the lions, and that I go over the same subject twice, do you also place a hare twice before me.
§ 1.45 ON HIS BOOK:
That the care which I have bestowed upon what I have published may not come to nothing through the smallness of my volumes, let me rather fill up my verses with Τὸν δ̕ ἀπαμειθόμενος.
§ 1.46 TO HEDYLUS:
[From the Loeb translation] When you say "I haste; now is the time," then, Hedylus, my ardour at once flags and weakens.
Bid me wait: more quickly, stayed, shall I speed on. Hedylus, if you do haste, tell me not to haste!
§ 1.47 ON DIAULUS:
Diaulus, lately a doctor, is now an undertaker: what he does as an undertaker, he used to do also as a doctor.
§ 1.48 ON THE LION AND HARE:
The keepers could not snatch the bulls from those wide jaws, through which the fleeting prey, the hare, goes and returns in safety; and, what is still more strange, he starts from his foe with increased swiftness, and contracts something of the great nobleness of the lion's nature. He is not safer when he courses along the empty arena, nor with equal feeling of security does he hide him in his hutch. If, venturous hare, you seek; to avoid the teeth of the hounds, you have the jaws of the lion to which you may flee for refuge.
§ 1.49 TO LICINIANUS:
O you, whose name must not be left untold by Celtiberian nations, you the honour of our common country, Spain, you, Licinianus, will behold the lofty Bilbilis, renowned for horses and arms, and Catus venerable with his locks of snow, and eased Vadavero with its broken cliffs, and the sweet grove of delicious Botrodus, which the happy Pomona loves. You will breast the gently-flowing water of the warm Congedus and the calm lakes of the Nymphs, and your body, relaxed by these, you may brace up in the little Salo, which hardens iron. There Voberca herself will supply for your meals animals which may be brought down close at hand. The serene summer heat you will disarm by bathing in the golden Tagus, hidden beneath the shades of trees; your greedy thirst the fresh Dercenna will appease, and Nutha, which in coldness surpasses snow. But when hoar December and the furious solstice shall resound with the hoarse blasts of the north-wind, you will again seek the sunny shores of Tarraco and thine own Laletania. There you will despatch hinds caught in your supple toils, and native boars; and you will tire out the cunning hare with your hardy steed; the stags you will leave to your bailiff. The neighboring wood will come down into your very hearth, surrounded as it will be with a troop of uncombed children. The huntsman will be invited to your table, and many a guest called in from the neighbourhood will come to you. The crescent-adorned boot will be nowhere to be seen, nowhere the toga and garments smelling of purple dye. Far away will be the ill-favoured Liburnian porter and the grumbling client; far away the imperious demands of widows. The pale criminal will not break your deep sleep, but all the morning long you will enjoy your slumber. Let another earn the grand and wild "Bravo!" Do you pity such happy ones, and enjoy without pride true delight, while your friend Sura is crowned with applause. Not unduly does life demand of us our few remaining days, when fame has as much as is sufficient.
§ 1.50 TO AEMILIANUS:
If your cook, Aemilianus, is called Mistyllus, why should not mine be called Taratalla?
§ 1.51 TO A HARE:
No neck, save the proudest, serves for the fierce lion. Why do you, vain-glorious hare, flee from these teeth? No doubt you would wish them to stoop from the huge bull to you, and to crush a neck which they cannot see. The glory of an illustrious death must be an object of despair to you. You, a tiny prey, canst not fall before such an enemy!
§ 1.52 TO QUINCTIANUS:
To you, Quinctianus, do I commend my books, if indeed I can call books mine, which your poet recites. If they complain of a grievous yoke, do you come forward as their advocate, and defend them efficiently; and when he calls himself their master, say that they were mine, but have been given by me to the public. If you will proclaim this three or four times, you will bring shame on the plagiary.
§ 1.53 TO FIDENTINUS:
One page only in my books belongs to you, Fidentinus, but it bears the sure stamp of its master, and accuses your verses of glaring theft. Just so does a Gallic frock coming in contact with purple city cloaks stain them with grease and filth; just so do Arretine pots disgrace vases of crystal; so is a buck crow, straying perchance on the banks of the Cayster, laughed to scorn amid the swans of Leda: and so, when the sacred grove resounds with the music of the tuneful nightingale, the miscreant magpie disturbs her Attic plaints. My books need no one to accuse or judge you: the page which is yours stands up against you and says, "You are a thief"
§ 1.54 TO FUSCUS:
If, Fuscus, you have room to receive still more affection, (for you have friends around you on all sides), I ask you one place in your heart, if one still remains vacant, and that you will not refuse because I am a stranger to you: all your old friends were so once. Simply consider whether he who is presented to you a stranger is likely to become an old friend.
§ 1.55 TO FRONTO:
If you, Fronto, so distinguished an ornament of military and civil life, desire to learn the wishes of your friend Marcus, he prays for this, to be the tiller of his own farm, nor that a large one, and he loves inglorious repose in as unpretending sphere. Does any one haunt the porticoes of cold variegated Spartan marble, and run to offer, like a fool, his morning greetings, when he might, rich with the spoils of grave and field, unfold before his fire his well-filled nets, and lift the leaping fish with the quivering line, and draw forth the yellow honey from the red cask, while a plump housekeeper loads his unevenly-propped table, and his own eggs are cooked by an unbought fire? That the man who loves not me may not love this life, is my wish; and let him drag out life pallid with the cares of the city.
§ 1.56 TO A VINTNER:
Harassed with continual rains, the vineyard drips with wet. You cannot sell us, vintner, even though you wish, neat wine.
§ 1.57 TO FLACCUS:
Do you ask what sort of maid I desire or dislike, Flaccus? I dislike one too easy, and one too coy. The just mean, which lies between the two extremes, is what I approve; I like neither that which tortures, nor that which cloys.
§ 1.58 DE PUERI PRETIO:
§ 1.59 TO FLACCUS:
The sportula at Baiae brings me in a hundred farthings; of what use is such a miserable sum in the midst of such sumptuous baths? Give me back the darksome baths of Lupus and Gryllus. When I sup so scantily, Flaccus, why should I bathe so luxuriously?
§ 1.60 ON THE LION AND HARE:
Hare, although you enter the wide jaws of the fierce lion, still he imagines his mouth to be empty. Where is the back on which he shall rush? where the shoulders on which he shall flail? where shall he fix those deep bites which he inflicts on young bulls? why do you in vain weary the lord and monarch of the groves? 'Tis only on the wild prey of his choice that he feeds.
§ 1.61 TO LICINIANUS, ON THE COUNTRIES OF CELEBRATED AUTHORS:
Verona loves the verses of her learned Poet; Mantua is blest in her Maro; the territory of Apona is renowned for its Livy, its Stella, and not less for its Flaccus. The Nile, whose waters are instead of rain, applauds its Apollodorus; the Pelignians vaunt their Ovid. Eloquent Cordova speaks of its two Senecas and its single and preeminent Lucan. Voluptuous Gades delights in her Canius, Emerita in my friend Decianus. Our Bilbilis will be proud of you, Licinianus, nor will be altogether silent concerning me.
§ 1.62 ON LAEVINA:
Laevina, so chaste as to rival even the Sabine women of old, and more austere than even her stern husband, chanced, while entrusting herself sometimes to the waters of the Lucrine lake, sometimes to those of Avernus, and while frequently refreshing herself in the baths of Baiae, to fall into flames of love, and, leaving her husband, fled with a young gallant. She arrived a Penelope, she departed a Helen.
§ 1.63 TO CELER:
You ask me to recite to you my Epigrams. I cannot oblige you; for you wish not to hear them, Celer, but to recite them.
§ 1.64 TO FABULLA:
You are pretty, — we know it; and young, — it is true; and rich, — who can deny it? But when you praise yourself extravagantly, Fabulla, you appear neither rich, nor pretty, nor young.
§ 1.65 TO CAECILIANUS:
When I said ficus, you laughed at it as a barbarous word, Caecilianus, and bade me say ficos. I shall call the produce of the fig-tree ficus; yours I shall call ficos.
§ 1.66 TO A PLAGIARIST:
You are mistaken, insatiable thief of my writings, who think a poet can be made for the mere expense which copying, and a cheap volume cost. The applause of the world is not acquired for six or even ten sesterces. Seek out for this purpose verses treasured up, and unpublished efforts, known only to one person, and which the father himself of the virgin sheet, that has not been worn and scrubbed by bushy chins, keeps sealed up in his desk. A well-known book cannot change its master. But if there is one to be found vet unpolished by the pumice-stone, yet unadorned with bosses and cover, buy it: I have such by me, and no one shall know it. Whoever recites another's compositions, and seeks for fame, must buy, not a book, but the author's silence.
§ 1.67 TO CHOERILUS:
"You are too free-spoken," is your constant remark to me, Choerilus. He who speaks against you, Choerilus, is indeed a free speaker.
§ 1.68 ON RUFUS:
Whatever Rufus does, Naevia is all in all to him. Whether he rejoices, or mourns, or is silent, it is ever Naevia. He eats, he drinks, he asks, he refuses, he gesticulates, Naevia alone is in his thoughts: if there were no Naevia, he would be mute. When he had written a dutiful letter yesterday to his father, he ended it with, "Naevia, light of my eyes, Naevia, my idol, farewell" Naevia read these words, and laughed with downcast looks. Naevia is not yours only: what madness is this, foolish man?
§ 1.69 TO MAXIMUS:
Tarentos, which was wont to exhibit the statue of Pan, begins now, Maximus, to exhibit that of Canius.
§ 1.70 TO HIS BOOK:
Go, my book, and pay my respects for me: you are ordered to go, dutiful volume, to the splendid halls of Proculus. Do you ask the way? I will tell you. You will go along by the temple of Castor, near that of ancient Vesta, and that goddess's virgin home. Thence you will pass to the majestic Palatine edifice on the sacred hill, where glitters many a statue of the supreme ruler of the empire. And let not the ray-adorned mass of the Colossus detain you, a work which is proud of surpassing that of Rhodes. But turn aside by the way where the temple of the wine-bibbing Bacchus rises, and where the couch of Cybele stands adorned with. pictures of the Corybantes. Immediately on the left is the dwelling with its splendid facade, and the halls of the lofty mansion which you are to approach. Enter it; and fear not its haughty looks or proud gate; no entrance affords more ready access; nor is there any house more inviting for Phoebus and the learned sisters to love. If Proculus shall say, "But why does he not come himself?" you may excuse me thus, "Because he could not have written what is to be read here, whatever be its merit, if he had come to pay his respects in person."
§ 1.71 TO SLEEP:
Let Laevia be toasted with six cups,. Justine with seven, Lycas with five, Lyde with four, Ida with three. Let the number of letters in the name of each of our mistresses be equalled by the number of cups of Falernian. But, since none of them comes, come you, Sleep, to me.
§ 1.72 TO FIDENTINUS, A PLAGIARIST:
Do you imagine, Fidentinus, that you are a poet by the aid of my verses, and do you wish to be thought so? Just so does Aegle think she has teeth from having purchased bone or ivory. Just so does Lycoris, who is blacker than the falling mulberry, seem fair in her own eyes, because she is painted. You too, in the same way that you are a poet, will have flowing locks when you are grown bald.
§ 1.73 TO CAECILIANUS:
These was no one in the whole city, Caecilianus, who desired to meddle with your wife, even gratis, while permission was given; but now, since you have set a watch upon her, the crowd of gallants is innumerable. You are a clever fellow!
§ 1.74 TO PAULA:
He was your gallant, Paula; you could however deny it He is become your husband; can you deny it now, Paula?
§ 1.75 ON LINUS:
He who prefers to give Linus the half of what he wishes to borrow, rather than to lend him the whole, prefers to lose only the half.
§ 1.76 TO VALERIUS FLACCUS:
Flaccus, valued object of my solicitude, hope and nursling of the city of Antenor, put aside Pierian strains and the lyre of the Sisters; none of those damsels will give you money. What do you expect from Phoebus? The cheat of Minerva contains the cash; she alone is wise, she alone lends to all the gods. What can the ivy of Bacchus give? The dark tree of Pallas bends down its variegated boughs under the load of fruit. Helicon, besides its waters and the garlands and lyres of the goddesses, and the great but empty applause of the multitude, has nothing. What have you to do with Cirrha? What with bare Permessis? The Roman forum is nearer and more lucrative. There is heard the chink of money; but around our desks and barren chairs kisses alone resound.
§ 1.77 ON CHARINUS:
Charinus is perfectly well, and yet he is pale; Charinus drinks sparingly, and yet he is pale; Charinus digests well, and yet he is pale; Charinus suns himself and yet he is pale; Charinus dyes his skin, and yet he is pale; Charinus indulges in [infamous debauchery], and yet he is pale.
§ 1.78 ON FESTUS, WHO STABBED HIMSELF:
When a devouring malady attacked his unoffending throat, and its black poison extended its ravages over his face, Festus, consoling his weeping friends, while his own eyes were dry, determined to seek the Stygian lake. He did not however pollute his pious mouth with secret poison, or aggravate his sad fate by lingering famine, but ended his pure life by a death befitting a Roman, and freed his spirit in a nobler way. This death fame may place above that of the great Cato; for Domitian was Festus' friend.
§ 1.79 TO ATTALUS, A BUSY-BODY:
Attalus, you are ever acting the barrister, or acting the man of business: whether there is or is not a part for you to act, Attalus, you are always acting a part. If lawsuits and business are not to be found, Attalus, you act the mule-driver. Attalus, lest a part should be wanting for you to act, act the part of executioner on yourself..
§ 1.80 TO CANUS:
On the last night of your lift, Canus, a sportula was the object of your wishes. I suppose the cause of your death was, Canus, that there was only one.
§ 1.81 TO SOSIBIANUS:
You know that you are the son of a slave, and you ingenuously confess it, when you call your father, Sosibianus, "master".
§ 1.82 ON REGULUS:
See from what mischief this portico, which, overthrown amid clouds of dust, stretches its long ruins over the ground, lies absolved. For Regulus had but just been carried in his litter under its arch, and had got out of the way, when forthwith, borne down by its own weight, it fell; and, being no longer in fear for its master, it came down free from blood-guiltiness, a harmless ruin, without any attendant anxiety. After the fear of so great a cause for complaint is passed, who would deny, Regulus, that you, for whose sake the fall was harmless, are an object of care to the gods?
§ 1.83 ON MANNEIA:
Your lap-dog, Manneia, licks your mouth and lips: I do not wonder at a dog liking to eat ordure.
§ 1.84 ON QUIRINALIS:
Quirinalis, though he wishes to have children, has no intention of taking a wife, and has found out in what way he can accomplish his object. He takes to him his maid-servants, and fills his house and his lands with slave-knights. Quirinalis is a true pater-familias.
§ 1.85 ON AN AUCTIONEER:
A wag of an auctioneer, offering for sale some cultivated heights, and some beautiful acres of land near the city, says, "If any one imagines that Marius is compelled to sell, he is mistaken; Marius owes nothing: on the contrary, he rather has money to put out at interest." "What is his reason, then, for selling?" "In this place he lost all his slaves, and his cattle, and his profits; hence he does not like the locality." Who would have made any offer, unless he had wished to lose all his property? So the ill-fated land remains with Marius.
§ 1.86 ON NOVIUS:
Novius is my neighbour, and may be reached by the hand from my windows. Who would not envy me, and think me a happy man every hour of the day when I may enjoy the society of one so near to me? But, he is as far removed from me as Terentianus, who is now governor of Syene on the Nile. I am not privileged either to live with him, or even see him, or hear him; nor in the whole city is there any one at once so near and so far from me. I must remove farther off, or he must. If any one wishes not to see Novius, let him become his neighbour or his fellow-lodger.
§ 1.87 TO FESCENNIA:
That you may not be disagreeably fragrant with your yesterday's wine, you devour, luxurious Fescennia, certain of Cosmus's perfumes. Breakfasts of such a nature leave their mark on the teeth, but form no barrier against the emanations which escape from the depths of the stomach. Nay, the fetid smell is but the worse when mixed with perfume, and the double odour of the breath is carried but the farther. Cease then to use frauds but too well known, and disguises well understood; and simply intoxicate yourself!
§ 1.88 ON ALCIMUS:
Alcimus, whom, snatched from your lord in your opening years, the Labican earth covers with light turf, receive, not a nodding mass of Parian marble, — an unenduring monument which misapplied toil gives to the dead, — but shapely box-trees and the dark shades of the palm leaf, and dewy flowers of the mead which bloom from being watered with my tears. Receive, dear youth, the memorials of my grief: this tribute will live for you in all time. When Lachesis shall have spun to the end of my last hour, I shall ask no other honours for my ashes.
§ 1.89 TO CINNA:
You always whisper into every one's ear, Cinna; you whisper even what might be said in the hearing of the whole world. You laugh, you complain, you dispute, you weep, you sing, you criticise, you are silent, you are noisy; and all in one's ear. Has this disease so thoroughly taken possession of you, that you often praise Caesar, Cinna, in the ear?
§ 1.90 ON BASSA:
Inasmuch as I never saw you, Bassa, surrounded by a crowd of admirers, and report in no case assigned to you a favoured lover; but every duty about your person was constantly performed by a crowd of your own sex, without the presence of even one man; you seemed to me, I confess it, to be a Lucretia.
§ 1.91 TO LAELIUS:
You do not publish your own verses, Laelius; you criticise mine. Pray cease to criticise mine, or else publish your own.
§ 1.92 TO MAMURIANUS:
Cestus with tears in his eyes often complains to me, Mamurianus, of being touched with your finger. You need not use your finger merely; take Cestos all to yourself if nothing else is wanting in your establishment, Mamurianus. But if you have neither fire, nor legs for your bare bedstead, nor broken basin of Chione or Antiope; if a cloak greasy and worn hangs down your back, and a Gallic jacket covers only half of your loins; and if you feed on the smell alone of the dark kitchen, and drink on your knees dirty water with the dog;
Non culum, neque enim est cuius, qui non cacat olim,
Sed fodiam digito qui super est oculum.
Nec me zelotypum nec dixeris esse malignum:
Denique paedica, Mamuriane, satur.
§ 1.93 ON AQUINUS AND FABRICIUS:
Here reposes Aquinas, reunited to his faithful Fabricius, who rejoices in having preceded him to the Elysian retreats. This double altar bears record that each was honoured with the rank of chief centurion; but that praise is of still greater worth which you read in this shorter inscription: Both were united in the sacred bond of a well-spent life, and, what is rarely known to fame, were friends.
§ 1.94 TO AEGLE THE FELLATRIX:
[Not translated in the Bohn - adapted from the Loeb]
Badly you sang while you fornicated, Aegle. Now you sing well; but I won't kiss you.
§ 1.95 TO AELIUS:
In constantly making a clamour, and obstructing the pleaders with your noise, Aelius, you act not without an object; you look for pay to hold your tongue.
§ 1.96 TO HIS VERSE, ON A LICENTIOUS CHARACTER:
If it is not disagreeable, and does not annoy you, my verse, say, I pray, a word or two in the ear of our friend Maternus, so that he alone may hear. That admirer of sad-coloured coats, clad in the costume of the banks of the river Baetis, and in grey garments, who deems the wearers of scarlet not men, and calls amethyst-coloured robes the dress of women, however much he may praise natural hues, and be always seen in dark colours, has at the same time morals of an extremely flagrant hue. You will ask whence I suspect him of effeminacy. We go to the same baths; Do you ask me who this is? His name has escaped me.
§ 1.97 TO NAEVOLUS:
When every one is talking, then and then only, Naevolus, do you open your month; and you think yourself an advocate and a pleader. In such a way every one may be eloquent. But see, everybody is silent; say something now, Naevolus.
§ 1.98 TO FLACCUS, ON DIODORUS:
Diodorus goes to law, Flaccus, and has the gout in his feet But he pays his counsel nothing; surely he has the gout also in his hands.
§ 1.99 TO CALENUS:
But a short time since, Calenus, you had not quite two millions of sesterces; but you were so prodigal and open-handed, and hospitable, that all your friends wished you ten millions. Heaven heard the wish and our prayers; and within, I think, six months, four deaths gave you the desired fortune. But you, as if ten millions had not been left to you, but taken from you, condemned yourself to such abstinence, wretched man, that you prepare even your most sumptuous feasts, which you provide only once in the whole year, at the cost of but a few dirty pieces of black coin; and we, seven of your old companions, stand you in just half a pound of leaden money. What blessing are we to invoke upon you worthy of such merits? We wish you, Calenus, a fortune of a hundred millions. If this falls to your lot, you will die of hunger.
§ 1.100 ON AFRA:
Afra talks of her papas and her mammas; but she herself may be called the grandmamma of her papas and mammas.
§ 1.101 ON THE DEATH OF HIS AMANUENSIS DEMETRIUS:
Demetrius, whose hand was once the faithful confidant of my verses, so useful to his master, and so well known to the Caesars, has yielded up his brief life in its early prime. A fourth harvest had been added to his years, which previously numbered fifteen. That he might not, however, descend to the Stygian shades as a slave, I, when the accursed disease had seized and was withering him, took precaution, and remitted to the sick youth all my right over him as his master; he was worthy of restoration to health through my gift. He appreciated, with failing faculties, the kindness which he had received; and on the point of departing, a free man, to the Tartarean waters, saluted me as his patron.
§ 1.103 TO SCAEVOLA:
"If the gods were to give me a fortune of a million sesterces," you used to say, Scaevola, before you were a full knight, "oh how would I live! how magnificently, how happily!" The complaisant deities smiled and granted your wish. Since that time your toga has become much more dirty, your cloak worse; your shoe has been sewn up three and four times; of ten olives the greater portion is always put by, and one spread of the table serves for two meals; the thick dregs of pink Vejentan wine are your drink; a plate of lukewarm peas costs you a penny; your mistress a penny likewise. Cheat and liar, let us go before the tribunal of the gods; and either live, Scaevola, as befits you, or restore to the gods your million sesterces.
§ 1.104 ON A SPECTACLE IN THE ARENA:
When we see the leopard bear upon his spotted neck a light and easy yoke, and the furious tigers endure with patience the blows of the whip; the stags champ the golden curbs; the Libyan bears tamed by the bit; a boar, huge as that which Calydon is said to have produced, obey the purple muzzle; the ugly buffaloes drag chariots, and the elephant, when ordered to dance nimbly, pay prompt obedience to his swarthy leader; who would not imagine such things a spectacle given by the gods? These, however, any one disregards as of inferior attraction who sees the condescension of the lions, which the swift-footed timorous hares fatigue in the chase. They let go the little animals, catch them again, and caress them when caught, and the latter are safer in their captors' mouths than elsewhere; since the lions delight in granting them free passage through their open jaws, and in holding their teeth as with fear, for they are ashamed to crush the tender prey, after having just come from slaying bulls; This clemency does not proceed from art; the lions know whom they serve.
§ 1.105 TO QUINTUS OVIDIUS:
The wine, Ovidius, which is grown in the Nomentan fields, in proportion as it receives the addition of years, puts off, through age, its character and name; and the jar thus ancient receives whatever name you please.
§ 1.106 TO RUFUS:
Rufus, you often pour water into your wine, and, if hard pressed by your companion, you drink just a cup now and then of diluted Falernian. Pray, is it that Naevia has promised you a night of bliss; and you prefer by sobriety to enhance your enjoyment? You sigh, you are silent, you groan: she has refused you. You may drink, then, and often, cups of four-fold size, and drown in wine your concern at her cruelty. Why do you spare yourself, Rufus? You have nothing before you but to sleep.
§ 1.107 TO LUCIUS JULIUS:
You often say to me, dearest Lucius Julius, "Write something great: you take your ease too much." Give me then leisure, — but leisure such as that which of old Maecenas gave to his Horace and his Virgil — and I would endeavour to write something which should live through time, and to snatch my name from the flames of the funeral pyre. Steers are unwilling to carry their yoke into barren fields. A fat soil fatigues, but the very labour bestowed on it is delightful.
§ 1.108 TO GALLUS:
You possess — and may it be yours and grow larger through a long series of years — a house, beautiful I admit, but on the other side of the Tiber. But my garret looks upon the laurels of Agrippa; and in this quarter I am already grown old. I must move, in order to pay you a morning call, Gallus, and you deserve this consideration, even if your house were still farther off. But it is a small matter to you, Gallus, if I add one to the number of your toga-clad visitors; while it is a great matter to me, if I withhold that one. I myself will frequently pay my respects to you at the tenth hour. This morning my book shall wish you "good day" in my stead.
§ 1.109 ON A PET DOG AND THE PAINTER:
Issa is more playful than the sparrow of Catullus. Issa is more pure than the kiss of a dove. Issa is more loving than any maiden. Issa is dearer than Indian gems. The little dog Issa is the pet of Publius. If she complains, you will think she speaks. She feels both the sorrow and the gladness of her master. She lies reclined upon his neck, and sleeps, so that not a respiration is heard from her. And, however pressed, she has never sullied the coverlet with a single spot; but rouses her master with a gentle touch of her foot, and begs to be set down from the bed and relieved. Such modesty resides in this chaste little animal; she knows not the pleasures of love; nor do we find a mate worthy of so tender a damsel. That her last hour may not carry her off wholly, Publius has her limned in a picture, in which you will see an Issa so like, that not even herself is so like herself. In a word, place Issa and the picture side by side, and you will imagine either both real, or both painted.
§ 1.110 TO VELOX:
You complain, Velox, that the epigrams which I write are long. You yourself write nothing; your attempts are shorter.
§ 1.111 TO REGULUS, ON SENDING HIM A BOOK AND A PRESENT OF FRANKINCENSE:
Since your reputation for wisdom, and the care which you bestow on your labours, are equal, and since your piety is not inferior to your genius, he who is surprised that a book and incense are presented to you, Regulus, is ignorant how to adapt presents to deserts.
§ 1.112 ON PRISCUS, A USURER:
When I did not know you, I used to address you as my lord and king. Now, since I know you well, you shall be plain Priscus with me.
§ 1.113 TO THE READER:
If, reader, you wish to employ some good hours badly, and are an enemy to your own leisure, you will obtain whatever sportive verses I produced in my youth and boyhood, and all my trifles, which even I myself have forgotten, from Quintus Pollius Valerianus, who has resolved not to let my light effusions perish.
§ 1.114 TO FAUSTINUS:
These gardens adjoining your domain, Faustinus, and these small fields and moist meadows, Telesphorus Faenius owns. Here he has deposited the ashes of his daughter, and has consecrated the name, which you read, of Antulla; — though his own name should rather have been read there. It had been more just that the father should have gone to the Stygian shades; but, since this was not permitted, may he live to honour his daughter's remains.
§ 1.115 TO PROCILLUS:
A certain damsel, envious Procillus, is desperately in love with me, — a nymph more white than the spotless swan, than silver, than snow, than lily, than privet: already you will be thinking of hanging yourself, But I long for one darker than night, than the ant, than pitch, than the jack-daw, than the cricket. If I know you well, Procillus, you will spare your life.
§ 1.116 ON THE TOMB OF ANTULLA:
This grove, and these fair acres of cultivated land, Faenius has consecrated to the eternal honour of the dead. In this tomb is deposited Antulla, too soon snatched from her family: in this tomb each of her parents will be united to her. If any one desires this piece of ground, I warn him not to hope for it; it is for ever devoted to its owners.
§ 1.117 TO LUPERCUS:
Whenever you meet me, Lupercus, you constantly say, "Shall I send my servant, for you to give him your little book of Epigrams, which I will read and return to you directly?" There is no reason, Lupercus, to trouble your servant. It is a lone journey, if he wishes to come to the Pirus; and I live up three pairs of stairs, and those high ones. What you want you may procure nearer at hand. You frequently go down to the Argiletum: opposite Caesar's forum is a shop, with pillars on each side covered over with titles of books, so that you may quickly run over the names of all the poets. Procure me there; you will no sooner ask Atrectus, — such is the name of the owner of the shop, — than he will give you, from the first or second shelf a Martial, well smoothed with pumice-stone, and adorned with purple, for five denarii "You are not worth so much," do you say? You are right, Lupercus.
§ 1.118 TO CAEDICIANUS:
For him who is not satisfied with reading a hundred epigrams, no amount of trouble is sufficient, Caedicianus.
§ 2.pr BOOK II. TO HIS FRIEND, DECIANUS:
"What do I want," say you, "with a letter? Do I not show you sufficient indulgence by reading your epigrams? Besides, what have you to say in this letter, which you could not say in your verses? I see why tragic and comic writers admit a prologue, — because they are not allowed to speak for themselves. But epigrams have no need of a herald, and are contented with their own liberty of speech. In whatever page they please, they present an epistle. Do not, therefore, I pray, do a ridiculous thing, and clap a long dress on a person going to dance. Consider, too, whether you would choose a wand as a weapon against a retiarius. For myself, I take my seat amongst those who at once object to a contest so unequal" Indeed, Decianus, methinks you say what is just. Is it possible that you knew with what sort of an epistle, and how long a one, you were in danger of being occupied? Be it, then, as you desire. Whatever readers light upon this book, will owe it to you that they come to the first page without being tired.
§ 2.1 TO HIS BOOK:
You could, I admit, have contained three hundred epigrams ; but who, my book, would have contained himself at you, and read you through? Yet learn, what are the advantages of a short book. The first is, that I waste less paper. The next, that the copier finishes it in one hour, and his services will not be confined only to my trifles. A third advantage is, that if any one happens to read you, you will not, though ever so bad, be detested. A person at table will begin to read you with his wine mixed, and finish you before the cup set before him begins to grow warm. Do you imagine that by such brevity you are secure from all objection? Alas! to how many will you even thus be too long!
§ 2.2 TO DOMITIAN:
Crete gave a great name, Africa a greater, to their conquerors, Metellus and Scipio; a still nobler name did Germany confer on you, Caesar, from the subjugation of the Rhine; and even as a boy you were worthy of that name. Your brother earned his triumphs over Idumaea, with the assistance of your father; the laurel which is given from the conquest of the Catti is all your own.
§ 2.3 TO SEXTUS:
You owe nothing, Sextus; you owe nothing, Sextus, I admit; for he only owes, Sextus, who can pay.
§ 2.4 ON AMMIANUS:
Oh, how caressing, Ammianus, are you with your mother! how caressing, Ammianus, is your mother with you! She calls you brother; you call her sister. Why do such strange titles of affection delight you? Why are you not content to be what you are? Do you think this an amusement and a jest? It is not so. A mother, who desires to be a sister, is not satisfied with being either mother or sister.
§ 2.5 TO DECIANUS:
May I perish, Decianus, if I should not like to be with you all day, and all night! But there are two miles that separate us; and these become four, when I have to return. You are often not at home: even when you are, you are often denied; or you have leisure only for your law business or your private concerns. To see you, however, I have no objection to go two miles; but I have great objection to go four miles not to see you.
§ 2.6 TO SEVERUS:
Go now, and bid me publish my little books. When you have scarcely read a couple of pages, you look at the last page, Severus, and give long yawns. These are those epigrams which, when I was reciting them, you used to steal and write out in Vitellian tablets. These are they which you used to carry one by one in your pockets to every feast, and every theatre. These are they, or (if there are any among them that you do not know) better. Of what use is it for me to make my book so thin, as not to be thicker than a mere roller, if it takes you three days to read it through? Never were compositions intended to amuse more listlessly received You are fatigued, and lag so soon in your course; and when you ought to run to Bovillae, you want to unharness your cattle at the temple of the Muses. Go now, and bid me publish my little books.
§ 2.7 TO ATTALUS:
You declaim prettily, Attalus; you plead causes prettily: you write pretty histories, pretty verses. You compose pantomimes prettily, epigrams prettily; you are a pretty grammarian, a pretty astrologer. You sing prettily, Attalus, and you dance prettily: you are a pretty hand with the lyre, a pretty hand with the ball Since you do nothing well, and yet everything prettily, shall I tell you what you are? You are a great busybody.
§ 2.8 TO THE READER:
If in these pages of mine, reader, anything seem to you too obscure, or written in too homely language, the fault is not mine: the copier did the mischief in his over-anxiety to give you the full amount of verses. But if you shall deem, not him, but me to be the culprit, then I shall believe you to have no understanding. "But still those verses of yours are bad." As if I would deny what is evident! They are bad but you do not write better.
§ 2.9 ON NAEVIA:
I wrote to Naevia; she has sent me no answer: She will not then grant me what I want. But I think that she had read what I wrote: she will then grant it.
§ 2.10 TO POSTUMUS:
I commend you, Postumus, for kissing me with only half your lip: you may, however, if you please, withhold even the half of this half, Are you inclined to grant me a boon still greater, and even inexpressible? Keep this whole half entirely to yourself Postumus.
§ 2.11 TO RUFUS:
Though, Rufus, you see Selius with clouded brow; though you see him walking late in the porticoes; though you see his heavy look conceal some mournful feeling, his ugly nose nearly touching the earth, his right hand striking his breast, and tearing his hair, he is not bewailing the loss of a friend or brother. Both his sons are alive, — and I pray they may continue to live! Safe and sound is his wife too, and his furniture, and his slaves; nor has his farmer or his bailiff wasted any part of his property. What then is the cause of his sadness? He dines at home.
§ 2.12 TO POSTUMUS:
What am I to understand from the circumstance, that your kisses always smell of myrrh, and that you never have about you an odour other than unnatural? That you always smell so agreeably, Postumus, makes me suspect that you have something to conceal. He does not smell pleasantly, Postumus, who always smells pleasantly.
§ 2.13 TO PAULINUS:
Nothing does Selius leave untried, nothing unattempted, whenever he sees that he must dine at home. He runs to the portico of Europa, and praises you, Paulinus, and your Achillean swiftness of foot, without ceasing. If Europa does nothing for him, he then goes to the enclosures, to see whether he can gain anything from the sons of Phillyra and Aeson. Disappointed here likewise, he next haunts the Memphitic temple of Isis, and seats himself near the seats of that sad heifer. From this place he goes to the palace suspended upon a hundred columns; thence to the monument of Pompeius' magnificence and his double grove. Nor does he disdain the baths of Fortunatus, or those of Faustus, or the confined and dark ones of Gryllus, or the windy ones of Lupus. As to the warm baths, he bathes in them again and again and again. After doing everything, but without the favour of heaven, he runs back, well washed, to the box-grove of the warm Europa, in case some belated friend may be taking his way there. By yourself, amorous Bull, and by your mistress, whom you carried off, do you, I implore, invite Selius to dinner.
§ 2.14 TO HORMUS:
In offering to no one the cup from which you drink, you give a proof, Hormus, not of pride, but of kindness.
§ 2.15 AGAINST ZOILUS:
Zoilus is ill: his gorgeous bed is the cause of this fever. If he were well, of what use would be these scarlet coverlets, this bed brought from the banks of the Nile, or this, steeped in the perfumes of Sidon? What but an illness displays such idle wealth? What have you to do with physicians? Dismiss all your Machaons. If you wish to get well, use my bed-clothes.
§ 2.16 TO AMMIANUS:
At the very entrance of the Suburra, where hang the bloodstained whips of the torturers, and where many a cobbler blocks up the Argiletum, sits a female hair-cutter. But that female cutter, Ammianus, does not cut hair. "Does not cut hair?" you say. "What does she then?" She shaves.
§ 2.17 TO MAXIMUS:
I court your dinner; alas! I am ashamed of doing so, but, Maximus, I court your dinner: you court some one else's; so we are equal in this matter. I come in the morning to pay my respects to you; I am told that you are gone already to pay your respects elsewhere: again we are equal. I myself am of your escort, and walk before my proud patron; you are of the escort of the other, your patron: again we are equal. It is bad enough to be a servant; but I object to be the servant of a servant. One who is a patron himself Maximus, should not have a patron.
§ 2.18 TO ZOILUS:
Do you think, Zoilus, that I am made happy by an invitation to dinner? Happy by an invitation to dinner, Zoilus, and that dinner yours? That guest deserves to be a guest at the Aricine Hill, who is made happy, Zoilus, by a dinner of yours.
§ 2.19 ON PAULUS:
Paulus buys verses: Paulus recites his own verses; and what you buy you may legally call your own.
§ 2.20 TO POSTUMUS:
To some, Postumus, you give kisses, to some your right hand. "Which do you prefer?" you say, "choose." I prefer your hand.
§ 2.21 TO APOLLO AND THE MUSES:
In what have I offended you, Apollo, and you nine Sisters? For, behold, the Muse of gaiety brings ill to her poet. Postumus before used to kiss me with half a lip. Now he has begun to kiss me with both lips.
§ 2.22 ON POSTUMUS:
I will not say, however closely you press me, who is the Postumus of my book. I will not say; for why should I give offence to these same kisses, which can so well avenge themselves?
§ 2.23 TO CANDIDUS:
"If harsh Fortune should overwhelm you with some terrible accusation; I will attend you in mourning habit, and more pale than a person accused. If she should order you to depart under condemnation from your native land, I will go, through seas, through mountains, your companion in exile." She gives you riches. "Are they the common property of us both?" Will you give me half? "It is a large sum." Candidus, will you give me anything? You will, then, share with me in misfortune only: but if heaven with smiling countenance shows you favour, you will enjoy your happiness, Candidus, alone.
§ 2.24 TO GALLA:
Galla, you never grant, but always promise, favours to any one that asks them. If you always deceive, I beg you, Galla, for the future, to say "No."
§ 2.25 TO BITHYNICUS:
Because Naevia breathes painfully, and has a severe cough, and often sputters out saliva on your breast, do you imagine, Bithynicus, that your fortune is already made? You are mistaken; Naevia is flirting, not dying.
§ 2.26 ON SELIUS, THE DINNER-HUNTER:
Hark how Selius praises you, when spreading his nets for a dinner, whether you are reading your verses, or pleading at the bar. "Excellent! how sagacious! how ready! how clever! well done! how successful!" There, that is all I want; your supper is earned; be quiet.
§ 2.27 TO SEXTILLIUS:
[translated by Craig Williams] Laugh heartily at whoever calls you a cinaedus, Sextillus, and show him your middle finger. And yet you are not one to fuck either asses or cunts, Sextillus, nor do the warm cheeks of Vetustina give you pleasure. I admit it, Sextillus: you are none of these. So what, then, are you? I don’t know, but you know that two things are left.
§ 2.28 TO RUFUS:
Rufus, do you see you person who is, always sitting on the front benches, whose sardonyxed hand glistens even at this distance; whose cloak has so often drunk deep of the Tyrian dye, and whose toga is made to surpass unspotted snow; him, whose well-oiled hair smells of all the essences from Marcellus' shop, and whose arms look sleek and polished, with not a hair unextracted? A latchet of later than yesterday's make sits upon his crescent-adorned leg, a scarlet shoe decks his foot unhurt by its pressure, and numerous patches cover his forehead like stars. Are you ignorant what the thing is? Remove the patches, and you will read his name.
§ 2.29 ON CAIUS:
I asked, by chance, a loan of twenty thousand sesterces, which would have been no serious matter even as a present. He whom I asked was an old acquaintance in good circumstances, whose money-chest finds difficulty in imprisoning his overflowing hoards. "You will enrich yourself, was his reply, "if you will go to the bar." Give me, Caius, what I ask: I do not ask advice.
§ 2.30 TO MARIANUS:
I have often made love to Christina. Do you ask how she returns it? So well, that it is impossible for any one to go beyond her.
§ 2.31 TO PONTICUS:
I have a lawsuit on hand with Balbus: you, Ponticus, are unwilling to offend Balbus: I have one on hand with Licinus; he also is a person of importance. My neighbour Patrobas often trespasses on my little field: you are afraid to oppose a freedman of Caesar. Laronia refuses to restore my slave, and keeps him for herself: you tell me "she is childless, rich, old, a widow." It is idle, believe me, to hope for service from a friend who is himself in service. Let him be a free man, who wishes to be my master.
§ 2.32 ON PHILAENIS:
Why do I not kiss you, Philaenis? you are bald. Why do I not kiss you, Philaenis? you are carrotty. Why do I not kiss you, Philaenis? you are one-eyed. He who kisses you, Philaenis, sins against nature.
§ 2.33 TO GALLA:
In your love for Phileros, whom you have redeemed from slavery with your whole dower, you allow your three sons, Galla, to perish with hunger: so great indulgence do you show to your aged charms, no longer the due objects of even chaste pleasures. May the gods make you for ever the admirer of Phileros; you, a mother, than whom not even Pontia is worse.
§ 2.34 TO PHOEBUS:
Since your legs, Phoebus, resemble the horns of the moon, you might bathe your feet in a cornucopia.
§ 2.35 TO PANNICUS:
I would not have you curl your hair, nor yet would I have you throw it into disorder. Your skin I would have neither over-sleek nor neglected. Your beard should be neither that of an effeminate Asiatic, nor that of an accused person. I alike detest, Pannicus, one who is more, and one who is less than a man. Your legs and breast bristle with shaggy hair; but your mind, Pannicus, shows no signs of manliness.
§ 2.36 TO CAECILIANUS:
Whatever is placed upon table you sweep off right and left; breast of sow, chine of pork, a woodcock prepared for two guests, half a mullet, and a whole pike, the side of a lamprey, and the leg of a chicken, and a wood-pigeon dripping with its sauce. All these articles, wrapped up in your dripping napkin, are handed to your servant to carry home. We sit by with jaws unemployed. If you have any feeling of shame, replace the dinner on the table: it is not for tomorrow, Caecilianus, that I invited you.
§ 2.37 TO LINUS:
Do you ask what profit my Nomentan estate brings me, Linus? My estate brings me this profit, that I do not see you, Linus.
§ 2.38 ON A PRESENT:
You give your mistress scarlet and violet-coloured dresses. If you wish to give her suitable presents, send her a toga.
§ 2.39 ON TONGILIUS:
Tongilius is reported to be consumed with a semi-tertian fever. I know the cunning of the man; he has a hunger-and-thirst fever. He is now craftily spreading nets for fat thrushes, and throwing out a hook for mullet and pike. He wants strained Caecuban wine, and wine ripened in the year of Opimius; and dark Falernian which is stored in small flagons. All the doctors have ordered Tongilius to bathe. Fools! do they think it is a case of fever? It is disease of the throat.
§ 2.40 TO MAXIMINA:
"Laugh if you are wise, girl, laugh," said, I believe, the poet of the Peligni. But he did not say this to all girls. Granting however, that he did say it to all girls, he did not say it to you: you are not a girl, Maximina, and you have but three teeth, and those plainly the colour of pitch and of boxwood. If, therefore, you believe your mirror and me, you should shrink from laughing as much as Spanius dreads the wind, Priscus a touch, Fabulla, with chalked face, a rain-cloud, or Sabella, painted with white-lead, the sun. Put on a countenance more severe than the consort of Priam, and his eldest daughter-in-law. Avoid the pantomimes of the amusing Philistion, and gay feasts, and whatever by its wit and mirth distends the lips with broad laughter. It befits you to sit by the side of an afflicted mother, of a wife lamenting for her husband, or a sister for her affectionate brother, and to seek your recreation only with the tragic Muse. Take my advice, and weep if you art wise, girl, weep.
§ 2.41 TO ZOILUS:
Zoilus, why sully the bath by bathing in it your lower extremities? It could only be made more foul, Zoilus, by your plunging your head in it.
§ 2.42 TO CANDIDUS:
This is your community of goods among friends, Candidus; this is your community of goods which you talk about so grandiloquently day and night. You are clad in a toga washed in the waters of Lacedaemonian Galaesus, or one which Parma supplied from a select flock: but I, in one which the stuffed figure first exposed to the furious horns of the bull, would be unwilling should be called his. The land of Cadmus has provided you with coats dyed by the descendants of Agenor; for my scarlet vestments you would not get three sesterces. Your Libyan tables are supported on feet of Indian ivory; my beechen table is propped up with a potsherd. Immense mullets, on your board, cover dishes of yellow gold; with me, my earthen platter is ruddy with a crawfish of the same colour as itself Your crowd of attendants might vie with the Idaean Ganymede: my hand serves me for an attendant. From such a mass of wealth you give nothing to an old and faithful companion, and do you say, Candidus, that the goods of friends are common?
§ 2.43 ON SEXTUS:
Whether it be a slave that I have bought, or a new toga, or something worth perhaps three or four pounds, Sextus, that usurer, who, you all know, is an old acquaintance of mine, is immediately afraid lest I should ask a loan, and takes his measures accordingly; whispering to himself, but so that I may hear: "I owe Secundus seven thousand sesterces, Phoebus four, Philetus eleven; and there is not a farthing in my cash-box." Profound stratagem of my old acquaintance! It is hard to refuse me a favour, Sextus, when you are asked; how much harder, before you are asked.
§ 2.44 TO GLYPTUS:
§ 2.45 ON NAEVOLUS:
Like as flowery Hybla is variegated with many a colour, when the Sicilian bees are laying waste the fleeting gifts of spring, so your presses shine with piles of cloaks, your wardrobe glistens with uncounted robes. And your white garments, which the land of Apulia produced from more than one flock, would clothe a whole tribe. You look, unmoved, upon your ill-clad friend in the winter months, shame on you! while you yourself fear the cold which pierces my ragged side, What sacrifice would it have been, wretched mortal, to deprive of a couple of habits — (what do you fear?) — not yourself Naevolus, but the moths?
§ 2.46 TO GALLUS:
[mixed translation] Stay dear of the notorious adulteress’ treacherous nets! I’m warning you, Gallus, smoother than Venus’ conch shells. Are you relying on your buttocks? Her husband doesn't go for male bottoms. There are two things he does: oral sex or regular.
§ 2.47 TO RUFUS:
A wine-merchant, a butcher, a bath, a barber, a chessboard and men, and a few books (but give me the selection of them); one companion, not too unpolished; a tall servant, one who preserves his youthful bloom for a long time; a damsel beloved of my servant: secure me these things, Rufus, even though it were at Butunti, and you may keep to yourself the baths of Nero.
§ 2.48 ON TELESINA:
§ 2.49 TO LESBIA:
§ 2.50 ON HYLLUS:
§ 2.51 ON DASIUS:
Dasius is a shrewd hand at counting his female bathers; he asked the bulky Spatale the price of three, and she gave it.
§ 2.52 TO MAXIMUS:
Do you wish to become free? You lie, Maximus, you do not wish it. But if you should wish to become so, you can in this way. You will be free, if you give up dining out; if the Veientan grape assuages your thirst; if you can smile at the golden dishes of the querulous Cinna; if you can be content in a toga like mine; if a plebeian mistress becomes yours for a coupe of small coins; if you can submit to lower your head when you enter your house. If you have strength and force of mind such as this, you may live more free than the monarch of Parthia.
§ 2.53 TO LINUS:
§ 2.54 TO SEXTUS:
Yon wish to be treated with deference, Sextus: I wished to love you. I must obey you: you shall be treated with deference, as you desire. But if I treat you with deference, I shall not love you.
§ 2.55 TO GALLUS:
Among the nations of Libya your wife, Gallus, is unhappily renowned for the disgraceful reproach of immoderate avarice. But what is said of her is pure falsehood; she is not in the habit of receiving always. What then is she in the habit of doing? Granting.
§ 2.56 ON A PRETENDER:
He, whom you see walking slowly along with careless step, who takes his way, in violet-coloured robes, through the middle of the square; whom my friend Publius does not surpass in dress, nor even Cordus himself, the Alpha of Cloaks; he, I say, who is followed by a band of clients and slaves, and a litter with new curtains and girths, has but just now pawned his ring at Claudius' counter for barely eight sesterces, to get himself a dinner.
§ 2.57 TO ZOILUS:
In your new and beautiful robes, Zoilus, you smile at my threadbare clothes. They are threadbare, Zoilus, I admit but they are my own.
§ 2.58 ON A SMALL DINING-HALL:
I am called Mica: what I am you see, a small dining-hall; from me, behold, you view the dome of the imperial Mausoleum. Press the couches; call for wine; crown yourself with roses; perfume yourself with odours: the god himself bids you remember death.
§ 2.59 TO HYLLUS:
Young Hyllus, you are the favoured gallant of the wife of a military tribune; do you fear, in consequence, merely the punishment of a child? Have a care; while thus diverting yourself, your flame will be suddenly extinguished. Will you tell me, "This is not lawful"? Well, and what you are doing, Hyllus, is that lawful?
§ 2.60 ON A SLANDERER:
§ 2.61 TO LABIENUS:
§ 2.62 TO MILICHUS:
You had but a hundred thousand sesterces, Milichus, and those were consumed in ransoming Leda from the Via Sacra. This, Milichus, would have been an act of great extravagance, had you loved at such a price, even though rich. You will at once tell me, "I am not in love." It is still an act of great extravagance.
§ 2.63 TO LAURUS:
While you are thinking of becoming, sometimes a lawyer, sometimes a professor of eloquence, and cannot decide, Laurus, what you mean to be, the age of Peleus, and Priam, and Nestor, has passed by with you, and it would now be late enough for you even to retire from any profession. Begin; three professors of eloquence have died in one year, if you have courage, and any talent in that line. If you decide against the School, all the courts of law are in a perfect fever of litigation; Marsyas himself might become a lawyer. Come, give over this delay; how much longer are we to await your decision? While thus hesitating what to be, you are becoming unfit for anything at all.
§ 2.64 TO SALEIANUS:
Why do we see Saleianus with a sadder air than usual? — Is the reason a trifling one? I have just buried my wife, says he. Oh great crime of destiny! oh heavy chance! Is she dead, she so wealthy, Secundilla, dead, who brought you a dower of a million sesterces? I would not have had this happen to you, Saleianus.
§ 2.65 TO LALAGE:
One ringlet of hair, in the whole circle of Lalage's tresses, was out of its place, haying been badly fixed by an erring pin. This crime she punished with the mirror, by means of which she discovered it, and Plecusa fell to the ground under her blows, in consequence of the cruel hair. Cease now, Lalage, to adorn your fatal locks; let no waiting-woman henceforth touch your outrageous head. Let the salamander leave its venom on it, or the razor pitilessly denude it, that the image may be worthy of your mirror.
§ 2.66 TO POSTUMUS:
In whatever place you meet me, Postumus, you cry out immediately, and your very first words are, "How do you do?" You say this, even if you meet me ten times in one single hour: you, Postumus, have nothing, I suppose, to do.
§ 2.67 TO OLUS:
Because I now address you by your name, when I used before to call you lord and master, do not regard me as presumptuous. At the price of all my chattels I have purchased my cap of liberty. He only wants lords and masters who cannot govern himself and who covets what lords and masters covet. If you can do without a servant, Olus, you can do without a master.
§ 2.68 TO CLASSICUS:
You say, Classicus, that it is against your will that you dine from home. May I perish, Classicus, if you do not lie. Even Apicius himself delighted in going out to dinner, and, when he dined at home, was rather out of spirits. If, however, you go against your will, why, Classicus, do you go at all? "I am obliged," you say. It is true; just as much as Selius is obliged. See now, Melior invites you to a regular dinner, Classicus; where are your grand protestations? if you are a man, say "No."
§ 2.69 TO COTILUS:
§ 2.70 TO CAECILIANUS:
No one is more ingenious than yourself Caecilianus; I have remarked it Whenever I read a few distichs from my own compositions, you forthwith recite some bits of Marsus or Catullus. Do you offer me these, as though what you read were inferior to mine, so that, when placed side by side, my compositions should gain by the comparison? I believe you do. Nevertheless I should prefer, Caecilianus, that you recite your own.
§ 2.71 TO POSTUMUS:
[Not translated] Latinus and Panniculus were two actors in pantomime.
§ 2.72 ON LYRIS:
Lyris wishes to be told what it is she is doing. What? Why, she sullies her mouth even when not intoxicated.
§ 2.73 TO MATERNUS:
Do you notice, Maternus, that Saufeius accompanied in front and behind by a crowd of followers, a crowd as great as that by which Regulus is escorted home after sending off his shaven client to the lofty temples of the gods? Do not envy him. May such an escort never, I pray, be yours. Fuficulenus and Faventinus procure for him these friends and flocks of clients.
§ 2.74 ON A LION:
A lion who had been accustomed to put up with the blows of his unsuspecting master, and quietly to suffer a hand to be inserted in his mouth, has unlearned his peaceful habits, his fierceness having suddenly returned, greater even than it ought to have been on the Libyan mountains. For, cruel and malicious, he slew with furious tooth two boys of that young band whose duty it was to put a new face on the ensanguined arena with their rakes. Never did the theatre of Mars behold a greater atrocity. We may exclaim: "Savage, faithless robber! learn from Rome's sacred wolf to spare children."
§ 2.75 ON MARIUS:
Marius has left you a legacy of five pounds of silver. He, to whom you gave nothing, has given you — words.
§ 2.76 TO COSCONIUS:
You, Cosconius, who think my epigrams long, may possibly be expert at greasing carriage-wheels. With like judgment, you would think the Colossus too tall, and might call Brutus's boy too short. Learn something which you do not know: two pages of Marsus and the learned Pedo often contain only one epigram. Those compositions are not long, in which there is nothing to retrench: but you, Cosconius, write even distichs that are too long.
§ 2.77 TO CAECILIANUS:
Do you ask where to keep your fish in the summer-time? Keep it in your warm baths, Caecilianus.
§ 2.78 TO NASICA:
You invite me then, and then only, Nasica, when you know I am engaged. Excuse me, I pray: I dine at home.
§ 2.79 ON FANNIUS:
Fannius, as he was fleeing from the enemy, put himself to death. Is not this, I ask, madness, — to die for fear of dying?
§ 2.80 TO ZOILUS:
Your litter may, if you please, be larger than an hexaphoros, Zoilus; but as it is your litter, it should be called a bier.
§ 2.81 TO PONTICUS:
Why do you maim your slave, Ponticus, by cutting out his tongue? Do you not know that the public says what he cannot?
§ 2.82 ON A CRUEL HUSBAND:
Husband, you have disfigured the wretched gallant, and his countenance, deprived of nose and ears, regrets the loss of its original form. Do you think that you are sufficiently avenged? You are mistaken: something still remains.
§ 2.83 TO RUFUS, ON SERTORIUS:
§ 2.84 TO A FRIEND:
A bottle of iced water, bound with light basket-work, shall be my offering to you at the present Saturnalia. If you complain, that I sent you in the month of December a gift more suited to the summer, send me in return a light toga.
§ 2.85 TO CLASSICUS, IN DISPARAGEMENT OF DIFFICULT POETIC TRIFLES:
Because I neither delight in verse that may be read backwards, nor reverse the effeminate Sotades; because nowhere in my writings, as in those of the Greeks, are to be found echoing verses, and the handsome Attis does not dictate to me a soft and enervated Galliambic strain; I am not on that account, Classicus, so very bad a poet. What if you were to order Ladas against his will to mount the narrow ridge of the petaurum? It is absurd to make one's amusements difficult; and labour expended on follies is childish. Let Palaemon write verses for admiring crowds. I would rather please select ears.
§ 2.86 TO SEXTUS, A DEFORMED PERSON:
You say, Sextus, that fair damsels are burning with love for you — -for you, who have the face of a man swimming under water!
§ 2.87 TO MAMERCUS:
You recite nothing, and you wish, Mamercus, to be thought a poet. Be whatever you will, only do not recite.
§ 2.88 For delighting to lengthen out the night over too many cups, I pardon you, Gaurus; you have the weakness of Cato. For writing verses without help from Apollo and the Muses, you deserve to be praised; this weakness was that of Cicero. You vomit; that was Antonius' failing; your luxury, that of Apicius. But as to your abominable debauchery, tell me, from whom do you derive that?
§ 2.89 TO QUINTILIAN:
Quintilian, supreme ruler over our unsteady youth, — Quintilian, glory of the Roman toga, do not blame me, that I, though poor yet not useless to my generation, hasten to enjoy life: no one hastens enough to do so. Let him delay doing so, who desires to have a greater estate than his father, and who crowds his lofty halls with countless busts. A quiet hearth delights me, and a house which disdains not the blackness of smoke, a running spring, and a natural piece of turf. May these be mine; a well-fed attendant, a wife not over-learned, nights with sleep, days without strife.
§ 2.90 TO CAESAR, ASKING THE RIGHTS OF A FATHER OF THREE CHILDREN:
Caesar, you who are the certain safety of the empire, the glory of the universe, from whose preservation we derive our belief in the existence of the gods; if my verses, so often read by you in my hastily composed books, have succeeded in fixing your attention, permit that to seem to be which fortune forbids to be in reality, namely, that I maybe regarded as the father of three children. This boon, if I have failed to please you, will be some consolation to me; if I have succeeded in pleasing you, will be some reward.
§ 2.91 TO HIS WIFE:
He, who alone had the power, has granted to my prayer the rights of a father of three children, as a reward for the efforts of my Muse. Goodbye to you, madam wife. The munificence of our lord and master must not be rendered valueless.
§ 2.92 TO REGULUS:
"Where is the first book," you ask, "since this is the second?" What am I to do, if the first book has more modesty than this? If you, however, Regulus, prefer this to be made the first, you can take away "one" from its title.
§ 3.1 BOOK III
TO THE READER:
This book, whatever may be its worth, Gaul, named after the Roman toga, sends from far distant climes. You read it, and award your praise perhaps to the preceding; but both are equally mine, whichever you think the better. That book which saw the light in the city should, indeed, give the greater pleasure; for a book of Roman production should bear the palm over one from Gaul.
§ 3.2 TO HIS BOOK:
To whom, my little book, do you wish me to dedicate you? Make haste to choose a patron, lest, being hurried off into a murky kitchen, you cover tunnies with your wet leaves, or become a wrapper for incense and pepper. Is it into Faustinus' bosom that you flee? you have chosen wisely: you may now make your way perfumed with oil of cedar, and, decorated with ornaments at both ends, luxuriate in all the glory of painted bosses; delicate purple may cover you, and your title proudly blaze in scarlet. With him for your patron, fear not even Probus.
§ 3.3 TO AN ILL-FORMED LADY:
Your face, which is beautiful, you cover with a black veil; but with your person, which is not beautiful, you offend the waters in which you bathe. Imagine that the nymph of the brook herself addresses you in these words of mine: "Either uncover your face, or bathe dressed."
§ 3.4 TO HIS BOOK:
Go your ways to Rome, my book. If Rome shall ask whence you are come, you will say from the quarter to which the Aemilian Way leads. If she shall inquire in what land I am, or in what city, you may reply that I am at Cornelii Forum. If she ask the reason of my absence, make in few words a full confession: "He was not able to endure the wearisomeness and vanity of the toga." If she shall say, "When is he likely to return?" reply, "He departed a poet: he will return when he has learned to play the lyre."
§ 3.5 TO HIS BOOK:
Do you wish, my little book, who are going to the city without me, to have recommendations to several persons? or will one person be sufficient? One, believe me, will be sufficient, — one to whom you will not be a stranger, — Julius, whose name is so constantly on my lips. Him you will seek out without delay, near the very entrance to the Via Tecta; he lives in the house which Daphnis once occupied. He has a wife, who will receive you to her arms and bosom, even were you to go to her covered with dust. Whether you see them together, or either of them first, you will say, "Marcus bids me salute you," and that is enough. Let letters of introduction herald others; he is foolish, who thinks it necessary to be introduced to his own friends.
§ 3.6 TO MARCELLINUS:
This is the third day, Marcellinus, after the Ides of May; a day to be celebrated by you with double rites: for it witnessed the introduction of your father to the light of heaven, and was the first to receive the offering from your blooming cheeks. Although the day conferred on your father the gift of a happy life, yet it never afforded him a greater blessing than your safe arrival at manhood.
§ 3.7 ON THE ABOLITION OF THE SPORTULA BY DOMITIAN:
Farewell at length, you paltry hundred farthings, the patron's largess to his worn-out escort, doled out by the half-boiled bathing-man. What think you, my masters, who starve your friends? The sportula of proud patrons are no more, there is no way of escape: you must now give a regular dinner.
§ 3.8 ON QUINTUS:
"Quintus is in love with Thais." — What Thais? — "Thais with one eye." — Thais wants one eye; he wants two.
§ 3.9 ON CINNA:
Cinna, I am told, is a writer of small squibs against me. A man cannot be called a writer, whose effusions no one reads.
§ 3.10 TO PHILOMUSUS:
Your father, Philomusus, allowed you two thousand sesterces a month, and paid you day by day; because, with you, the wants of the morrow always pressed close on the extravagance of to-day; and consequently it was necessary to allow daily aliment to your vices. Your father is now dead, and has left you his sole heir; and by so doing, Philomusus, he has disinherited you.
§ 3.11 TO QUINTUS:
If your mistress, Quintus, is neither Thais nor one-eyed, why do you imagine my distich to have been levelled against you? — But perhaps there is some similarity in the name; perhaps it said Thais for Lais. — Tell me, what similarity is there between Thais and Hermione? — But you are Quintus, you say; — well, let us change the name of the lover. If Quintus will not have Thais, let Sextus be her swain.
§ 3.12 ON FABULLUS:
The perfumes, I own, were good which you gave your guests yesterday; but you carved nothing. It is a queer kind of entertainment to be perfumed and starved at the same time. A man, Fabullus, who eats nothing, and is embalmed, seems to me a veritable corpse.
§ 3.13 TO NAEVIA:
While you refuse to cut up the hare, Naevia, and the mullet, and spare the boar which is already more than putrid, you accuse and ill-treat your cook, on the pretence that he has served up everything raw and indigestible. At such a banquet I shall never suffer from indigestion.
§ 3.14 ON TUCCIUS:
The hungry Tuccius had left Spain and was coming to Rome. But a rumour about the sportula met him, and he turned back at the Mulvian Bridge.
§ 3.15 ON CODRUS:
No one in the whole city gives more credit than Codrus. — "But since he is so poor, how can that be?" — He bestows his affections with his eyes shut.
§ 3.16 TO A COBBLER:
Cobbler, kinglet of cobblers, you give gladiatorial exhibitions, and what your awl has bestowed the sword destroys. You are intoxicated; for you never would have acted when sober, in such a way as to amuse yourself, cobbler, at the expense of your tanned hides. You have had your sport; and now, be advised, remember to confine yourself within your own natural skin.
§ 3.17 ON SABIDIUS:
A tart, which had been carried round the second course several times, burnt the hand with its excessive heat. But the throat of Sabidius was still more ardent to swallow it; he immediately, therefore, blew upon it three or four times with his mouth. The tart certainly grew cooler, and seemed likely to allow us to touch it. But no one would touch it: it was infected.
§ 3.18 TO MAXIMUS:
In your exordium you complained that you had caught a cold in your throat. Since you have excused yourself; Maximus, why do you recite?
§ 3.19 ON A VIPER:
Close to the hundred columns, where figures of wild beasts adorn the plane-grove, is to be seen a she-bear. The fair Hylas, playing near it, explored its yawning jaws, and buried his tender hand in its mouth; but an accursed viper was lurking in the dark recesses of the brazen throat! and the bear was animated with a breath more deadly than its own. The child did not perceive that any mischief was there, until he was dying from the bite of the snake. Oh, sad misfortune! that the bear was not a real one!
§ 3.20 ON CANIUS:
Tell me, my Muse, what my Canius Rufus is doing. Is he committing to imperishable tablets the history of the family of the Claudii, for future generations to read; or refuting the falsehoods of the historian of Nero? Or is he imitating the jocosity of the plain-speaking Phaedrus? Or is he sporting in elegiacs; or writing gravely in heroic verse? Or is he terrible in the buskin of Sophocles? Or is he idling in the school of the poets, uttering jests seasoned with Attic salt? Or, if he has retired from thence, is he pacing the portico of the temple of Isis, or traversing at his ease the enclosure of the Argonauts? Or rather, is he sitting or walking, in the afternoon, free from cankering cares, in the sunny box-groves of the delicate Europa? Or is he bathing in the warm baths of Titus or of Agrippa, or in that of the shameless Tigillinus? Or is he enjoying the country seat of Tullus and Lucanus? or hastening to Pollio's delightful retreat, four miles from the city? Or has he set out for scorching Baiae, and is he now sailing about on the Lucrine lake? — "Do you wish to know what your Canius is doing? Laughing."
§ 3.21 ON A MASTER AND A SLAVE:
A slave, branded on the forehead by his master, saved him when proscribed. Thus, while the life of the master was preserved, his infamy was perpetuated.
§ 3.22 ON APICIUS:
You had spent, Apicius, sixty millions of sesterces on your belly, but you had still left a loose ten millions. In despair at such a reduction, as if you were condemned to endure hunger and thirst, you took as a last draught, a dose of poison. No greater proof of your gluttony than this, Apicius, was ever given by you.
§ 3.23 TO A NIGGARDLY HOST:
Since you hand over all the dishes to the slaves behind you, why is not your table spread at your back?
§ 3.24 ON A TUSCAN SOOTHSAYER:
A goat, guilty of having gnawed a Vine, was standing doomed before the altar of Bacchus, a grateful victim for his sacred rites. When the Tuscan soothsayer was about to sacrifice him to the god, he chanced to order a rustic and unlettered countryman to castrate the animal quickly with a sharp knife, so that the foul odour from the unclean flesh might pass away. But while he himself, with his body bent over the grassy altar, was cutting the neck of the struggling animal with his knife, and pressing it down with his hand, an immense hernia of his own showed itself at the outraged rites. This the rustic seized and cut, thinking that the ancient rites of sacrifice demanded it, and that the ancient deities were honoured with such offerings. So you, who but a while since were a Tuscan, are become a Gallus; and while you were cutting the throat of a goat, you were cut yourself.
§ 3.25 TO FAUSTINUS, ON A FRIGID RHETORICIAN:
If you wish, Faustinus, a bath of boiling water to be reduced in temperature, — a bath, such as scarcely Julianus could enter, — ask the rhetorician Sabinaeus to bathe himself in it. He would freeze the warm baths of Nero.
§ 3.26 TO CANDIDUS:
Alone you possess your farms, Candidus, alone your cash; alone your golden and murrhine vessels; alone your Massic wine, alone your Caecuban of Opimius' year; alone your heart, alone your wit; alone you possess all your property; (do you think I wish to deny it?) — but your wife, Candidus, you share with all the world.
§ 3.27 TO GALLUS:
You never invite me again, although you frequently accept my invitations. I pardon you, Gallus, provided that you do not invite others. But others you certainly do invite; — we are both in the wrong. "How so?" you ask. I have no common sense; and you, Gallus, no sense of shame.
§ 3.28 TO NESTOR:
You wonder that Marius' ear smells unpleasantly. You are the cause of this, Nestor; you whisper into it.
§ 3.29 TO SATURN, ON ZOILUS:
To you, O Saturn, Zoilus dedicates these chains and these double fetters, his first rings.
§ 3.30 TO GARGULIANUS:
The sportula is no longer given; you dine as an ordinary guest. Tell me then, Gargilianus, how do you contrive to live at Rome? Whence comes your paltry toga, and the rent of your murky den? Whence the money for a bath among the poor? or for the favours of Chione? You say you live in the highest degree reasonably, but you act unreasonably, in my opinion, in living at all.
§ 3.31 TO RUFINUS:
You have, I admit, many a wide acre of land, and many a farm over which Alban household gods preside; crowds of debtors to your well-filled money-chest serve you as their master, and golden tables support your meals. Do not, however, Faustinus, disdain smaller people than yourself: Didymus had more than you have; Philomelus has more.
§ 3.32 TO MATRINIA:
You ask, Matrinia, whether I can love an old woman. I can, even an old woman: but you are not an old woman; you are a corpse. I can love a Hecuba or a Niobe, Matrinia, provided the one has not yet become a hound, or the other a stone.
§ 3.33 THE IDEAL OF HIS MISTRESS:
I prefer a lady; but if such is denied me, my next choice would be a freed-woman. A slave is the last resource; but if her beauty indemnifies the want of birth, I shall prefer her to either.
§ 3.34 TO CHIONE:
Why you are at once deserving and undeserving of your name, I will tell you. You are cold, and you are black. You are not, and you are, Chione.
§ 3.35 ON SOME SCULPTURED FISH:
You see those fish before you, a beautiful example of the sculpture of Phidias; give them water, and they will swim.
§ 3.36 TO FABIANUS:
Such attentions as you receive from a new and lately made friend, Fabianus, you expect to receive also from me. You expect that I should constantly run in dishabille to salute you at the dawn of day, and that your litter should drag me through the middle of the mud; that, worn out, I should follow you at four o'clock or later to the baths of Agrippa, while I myself wash in those of Titus. Is this my reward after twenty winters' service, Fabianus, that I am ever to be in my apprenticeship to your friendship? Is this what I have gained, Fabianus, by my worn-out toga, — and this too my own, — that you do not consider me to have yet earned my discharge?
§ 3.37 TO HIS RICH FRIENDS:
My rich friends, you know nothing save how to put yourselves into a passion. It is not a nice thing for you to do, but it suits your purpose. Do it.
§ 3.38 TO SEXTUS:
What cause or what presumption, Sextus, brings you to Rome? what do you expect or seek here? Tell me. "I will plead causes," you say, "more eloquently than Cicero himself, and in the three forums there shall be no one to equal me." Atestinus pleaded causes, and Civis; you knew both of them; but neither made enough to pay for his lodging. "If nothing is to be gained from this pursuit, I will write verses: when you have heard them, you will say they are Virgil's own." You are mad; all that you see here shivering in threadbare cloaks are Ovids and Virgils. "I will push my way among the great." That trick has found support for but two or three that have attempted it, while all the rest are pale with hunger. "What shall I do? advise me: for I am determined to live at Rome." If you are a good man, Sextus, you will have to live by chance.
§ 3.39 TO FAUSTINUS:
The one-eyed Lycoris, Faustinus, has set her affections on a boy like the Trojan shepherd. How well the one-eyed Lycoris sees!
§ 3.40 TO THELESINUS:
For lending me one hundred and fifty thousand sesterces out of the vast wealth which your heavy chest, Thelesinus, contains, you imagine yourself a great friend to me. You great, for lending? Say rather, I am great, for repaying.
§ 3.41 ON A SCULPTURED LIZARD:
The lizard wrought upon this vessel by the hand of Mentor, is so life-like that the silver becomes an object of terror.
§ 3.42 TO POLLA:
When you try to conceal your wrinkles, Polla, with paste made from beans, you deceive yourself not me. Let a defect, which is possibly but small, appear undisguised. A fault concealed is presumed to be great.
§ 3.43 TO LAETINUS:
You ape youth, Laetinus, with your dyed hair; and you, who were but now a swan, are suddenly become a crow! You will not deceive every one: Proserpine knows that you are hoary, and will snatch the mask from your head.
§ 3.44 TO LIGURINUS:
Do you wish to know the reason, Ligurinus, that no one willingly meets you; that, wherever you come, everybody takes flight, and a vast solitude is left around you? You are too much of a poet. This is an extremely dangerous fault. The tigress aroused by the loss of her whelps, the viper scorched by the midday sun, or the ruthless scorpion, are less objects of terror than you. For who, I ask, could undergo such calls upon his patience as you make? You read your verses to me, whether I am standing, or sitting, or running, or about private business. I fly to the hot baths, there you din my ears: I seek the cold bath, there I cannot swim for your noise: I hasten to dinner, you stop me on my way; I sit down to dinner, you drive me from my seat: wearied, I fall asleep, you rouse me from my couch. Do you wish to see how much evil you occasion? — You, a man just, upright, and innocent, are an object of fear.
§ 3.45 TO THE SAME:
Whether Phoebus fled from the table and supper of Thyestes, I do not know: I flee from yours, Ligurinus. It is certainly a splendid one, and well furnished with excellent dishes, but nothing pleases me when you recite. I do not want you to put upon table turbots or a mullet of two pounds weight, nor do I wish for mushrooms or oysters; what I want is your silence.
§ 3.46 TO CANDIDUS:
You demand from me, without end, the attentions due from a client. I go not myself, but send you my freed-man. "It is not the same," you say. I will prove that it is much more. I can scarcely follow your litter, he will carry it. If you get into a crowd, he will keep it off with his elbow; my sides are weak, and unsuited to such labour. Whatever statement you may make in pleading, I should hold my tongue; but he will roar out for you the thrice-glorious "bravo!" If you have a dispute with any one, he will heap abuse upon your adversary with a stentorian voice; modesty prevents me from using strong language. "Well then, will you show me," say you, "no attention as my friend?" Yes, Candidus, every attention which my freedman may be unable to show.
§ 3.47 TO FAUSTINUS:
Yonder, Faustinus, where the Capene gate drips with large drops, and where the Almo cleanses the Phrygian sacrificial knives of the Mother of the Gods, where the sacred meadow of the Horatii lies verdant, and where the temple of the Little Hercules swarms with many a visitor, Bassus was taking his way in a well-packed chariot, carrying with him all the riches of a favoured country spot. There you might hare seen cabbages with noble hearts, and both kinds of leeks, dwarf lettuces, and beet-roots not unserviceable to the torpid stomach. There, also you might have seen an osier ring, hung with fat thrushes; a hare, pierced by the fangs of a Gallic hound; and a sucking-pig, that had never yet crushed bean. Nor did the running footman go idly before the carriage, but bore eggs safely wrapped in hay. Was Bassus going to town? No, he was going to his country-seat.
§ 3.48 TO OLUS:
Olus built a poor man's cot, and sold his farms. Olus now inhabits the poor man's cot.
§ 3.49 TO A HOST:
You mix Veientan wine for me, while you yourself drink Massic. I would rather smell the cups which you present me, than drink of them.
§ 3.50 TO LIGURINUS:
The reason you ask us to dinner, Ligurinus, is no other than this, that you may recite your verses. I have just put off my shoes, when forthwith in comes an immense volume among the lettuces and sharp-sauce. Another is handed, while the first course is lingering on the table: then comes a third, before even the second course is served. During a fourth course you recite; and again during a fifth. Why, a boar, if so often placed upon table, is unsavoury. If you do not hand over your accursed poems to the mackerel-sellers, Ligurinus, you will soon dine alone.
§ 3.51 TO GALLA:
When I praise your face, when I admire your limbs and hands, you tell me, Galla, "In nature's garments I shall please you still better." Yet you always avoid the same baths with myself! Do you fear, Galla, that I shall not please you?
§ 3.52 TO TONGILIANUS:
You had purchased a house, Tongilianus, for two hundred thousand sesterces; and a calamity but too frequent in this city destroyed it. Contributions poured in to the amount of a million sesterces. May you not, I ask, be suspected of having set fire to your own house, Tongilianus?
§ 3.53 TO CHIONE:
I could do without your face, and your neck, and your hands, and your limbs, and your bosom, and other of your charms. Indeed, not to fatigue myself with enumerating each of them, I could do without you, Chloe, altogether.
§ 3.54 TO GALLA:
Seeing that I cannot give you, Galla, what you ask of me as the price of your favours, it would be much mere simple. Galla, to say No at once.
§ 3.55 TO GELLIA:
Wherever you come, Gellia, we think that Cosmus has migrated, and that his bottles are broken, and his perfumes flowing about. I would not have you delight in outlandish superfluities. You know, I suppose, that in this manner my dog might be made to smell agreeably.
§ 3.56 ON RAVENNA:
At Ravenna, I would rather have a cistern than a vineyard, as I could sell water there for much more than wine.
§ 3.57 ON AN INNKEEPER AT RAVENNA:
A crafty innkeeper at Ravenna lately cheated me. I asked him for wine and water; he sold me pure wine.
§ 3.58 TO BASSUS, ON THE COUNTRY-HOUSE OF FAUSTINUS:
Our friend Faustinus's Baian farm, Bassus, does not occupy an ungrateful expanse of broad land, laid out with useless myrtle groves, sterile plane-trees, and clipped box-rows, but rejoices in a real unsophisticated country scene. Here close-pressed heaps of corn are crammed into every corner, and many a cask is redolent with wine of old vintages. Here, after November, when winter is at hand, the rough vine-dresser brings in the ripened grapes; the savage bulls bellow in the deep valley, and the steer, with forehead still unarmed, yearns for the fight. The whole muster of the farmyard roams at large, the screaming goose, the spangled peacock, the bird which derives its name from its red wings, the spotted partridge, the speckled fowls of Numidia, and the pheasants of the impious Colchians; the proud cocks caress their Rhodian mates, and the turrets resound with the murmur of pigeons. On this side mourns the ringdove, on that the wax-coloured turtle-dove; the greedy swine fellow the apron of the bailiff's wife, and the tender lamb bleats after its well-filled mother. Young house-bred slaves, sleek as milk, surround the cheerful fire, and piles of wood blaze near the joyous Lares. The steward does not, through inactivity, grow pale with enervating ease, nor waste oil in anointing himself for wrestling, but sets crafty nets for greedy thrushes, or draws up fish captured with the tremulous line, or brings home deer caught in the hunter's toils. The productive garden amuses the well-pleased townsmen, and long-haired children, freed from the rule of their instructor, delight to obey the farm-bailiff, and even the effeminate eunuch finds enjoyment in working. Nor does the rustic come empty-handed to pay his respects; he brings with him white honey in its waxen cells, and the conical cheese from the forest of Sassina. This one offers the sleepy dormouse, that the bleating young of the hairy she-goat; another, the capon debarred from loving. Tall maidens, daughters of honest husbandmen, bring their mothers' presents in baskets of osiers. Work being over, the cheerful neighbourhood is invited in; nor does a stinted table reserve its dainties for the morrow, but every one eats his fill, and the well-fed attendant has no cause to envy the reeling guest. But you, Bassus, possess in the suburbs of the city a splendid mansion, where your visitor is starved, and where, from lofty towers, you look over mere laurels secure in a garden where Priapus need fear no thief. You feed your vinedresser on corn which you have bought in town, and carry idly to your ornamental farm vegetables, eggs, chickens, fruits, cheese, and wine. Should your dwelling be called a country-house, or a town-house out of town?
§ 3.59 ON A COBBLER AND A DYER:
A paltry cobbler, O elegant Bononia, has exhibited to you a show of gladiators; a dyer has done the same to Mutina, Now where will the innkeeper exhibit?
§ 3.60 TO PONTICUS:
Seeing that I am invited to dinner, and am no longer, as before, to be bought, why is not the same dinner given to me, as to you? You partake of oysters fattened in the Lucrine lake; I tear my lips in sucking at a limpet. Before you are placed splendid mushrooms; I help myself to such as are fit only for pigs. You are provided with a turbot; I with a sparulus. The golden turtle-dove fills your stomach with its over-fattened body; a magpie which died in its cage is set before me. Why do I dine without you, Ponticus, when I dine with you? Let it be of some profit to me that the sportula exists no longer; let us eat or the same dishes.
§ 3.61 TO CINNA:
Whatever favour you ask, presuming Cinna, you call it nothing: if you ask for nothing, Cinna, I refuse you nothing.
§ 3.62 TO QUINTUS:
Because you purchase slaves at a hundred and often two hundred thousand sesterces; because you drink wines stored in the reign of Numa; because your not over-large stock of furniture cost you a million; because a pound weight ox wrought silver costs you five thousand; because a golden chariot becomes yours at the price of a whole farm; because your mule cost you more than the value of a house; — do you imagine that such expenses are the proof of a great mind, Quintus? You are mistaken, Quintus; they are the extravagances of a small mind.
§ 3.63 TO COTILUS:
Cotilus, you are a beau; so say many, Cotilus, I hear; but tell me, what is a beau? "A beau is one who arranges his curled locks gracefully, who ever smells of balm, and cinnamon; who hums the songs of the Nile, and Cadis; who throws his sleek arms into various attitudes; who idles away the whole day among the chairs of the ladies, and is ever whispering into some one's ear; who reads little billets-doux from this quarter and that, and writes them in return; who avoids ruffling his dress by contact with his neighbour's sleeve; who knows with whom everybody is in love; who flutters from feast to feast; who can recount exactly the pedigree of Hirpinus." What do you tell me? is this a beau, Cotilus? Then a beau, Cotilus, is a very trifling thing.
§ 3.64 TO CASSIANUS:
The Sirens, those seductive destroyers of mariners with their deceitful blandishments and fatal caresses, whom, once listened to, nobody had before been able to quit, the crafty Ulysses is said to have escaped. Nor do I wonder at it; but I should have wondered, Cassianus, had he escaped from Canius, when reciting his verses.
§ 3.65 TO DIADUMENUS:
The perfume, which is exhaled by the apple bitten by a young damsel; by the zephyr that passes over the saffron-fields of Corycia; by the vine, when it flowers white with its first clusters; by grass just cropped by the sheep; by the myrtle; by the Arabian spice-gatherer; by amber rubbed with the hand; by the fire pale with eastern frankincense; by the turf lightly sprinkled with summer showers; by the chaplet resting loosely on locks dripping with nard: all this fragrance, cruel Diadumenus, is combined in your kisses. What would it not be, were you to grant them without grudging?
§ 3.66 ON MARK ANTHONY AND POTHINUS:
Antony was guilty of a crime similar to that committed by Pothinus; either sword cut off a sacred head. The one, your head, O Rome, when you were celebrating with joy laurelled triumphs; the other, when you were displaying your eloquence. Yet the case of Antony is worse than that of Pothinus; Pothinus did the deed for his master, Antony for himself.
§ 3.67 TO SOME LAZY SAILORS:
You are loitering, sailors, and know nothing of your business, more sluggish than Vaternus and Rasina; through whose sleepy waters while you take your way, you just dip your idle oars to measured time. Already Phaeton is descending, and Aethon is perspiring; the day has reached its greatest heat, and noon unyokes the tired horses of the husbandman. But you, floating negligently on the unrippled waters, enjoy your leisure in a safe bark. You are not sailors, I consider, but Argonauts.
§ 3.68 TO THE MODEST MATRON:
Thus far this book is written entirely for you, chaste matron. Do you ask for whom the sequel is written? For myself. The gymnasium, the warm baths, the race-course, are here; you must retire. We lay aside our garments; spare yourself the sight of us in that state. Here at last, after her wine and crowns of roses, Terpsichore is intoxicated, and, laying aside all restraint, knows not what she says. She names no longer in doubtful guise, but openly, that deity whom triumphant Venus welcomes to her temple in the sixth month of the year; whom the bailiff stations as protector in the midst of his garden, and at whom all modest maidens gaze with hand before the face. If I know you well, you were laying down the long book from weariness; now you will read diligently to the end.
§ 3.69 TO COSCONIUS:
Inasmuch as you write all your epigrams in chaste words, and ribaldry is nowhere to be found in your verses, I admire you, I praise you; no human being is more pure than yourself. But no page of mine is without freedoms of language. Mine, then, let sportive youths, easy damsels, and the old man who is tortured by his mistress, read. But your respectable and immaculate writings, Cosconius, must be read only by children and virgins.
§ 3.70 TO SCAEVINUS:
You, Scaevinus, who were recently the husband of Aufidia, are now her gallant; while he who was your rival is now her husband. Why should you take pleasure in her, as the wife of your neighbour, who, as your own wife, gave you no pleasure? Is it that obstacles alone inspire you with ardour?
§ 3.71 TO NAEVOLUS:
Your slave, Naevolus, is suffering from a disgraceful disease; yourself from one analogous to it. I am no sorcerer, but I know what you are about.
§ 3.72 TO SAUFEIA:
§ 3.73 TO PHOEBUS:
§ 3.74 TO GARGILIANUS:
With the psilothrum you make sleek your face, with the dropax your bald head. Are you afraid of the barber, Gargilianus? How will your nails fare? — for certainly you cannot pare them by means of resin or Venetian clay. Cease, if you have any modesty left, to disgrace your miserable head, Gargilianus: leave such things for the other sex.
§ 3.75 TO LUPERCUS:
§ 3.76 TO BASSUS:
You are all on fire for old women, Bassus, and look with contempt on young ones; and it is not a handsome lady that charms you, but one just on the brink of the tomb. Is not this, I ask, madness? is not your desire insane? To love a Hecuba, and disdain an Andromache!
§ 3.77 TO BAETICUS:
Neither mullet, Baeticus, nor turtle-dove delights you; nor is hare ever acceptable to you, or wild boar. Nor do sweetmeats please you, or slices of cake; nor for you does Libya or Phasis send its birds. You devour capers and onions swimming in disgusting sauce, and the soft part of a gammon of bacon, whose freshness is disputable; and pilchards and tunny, whose flesh is turning white: you drink wines which taste of the resin seal, and abhor Falernian. I suspect that there must be some other more secret vice in your stomach: for why, Baeticus, do you eat disgusting meats?
§ 3.78 TO PAULINUS, ON BOARD SHIP:
You have emptied your vessel once, Paulinus, while the ship was going at full speed. Do you wish again to repeat the act? You will be a Palinurus, if you do.
§ 3.79 ON SERTORIUS:
§ 3.80 TO APICIUS:
You complain of no one, Apicius; you slander no one; and yet rumour says you have an filthy tongue.
§ 3.81 TO BAETICUS:
§ 3.82 TO RUFUS:
He who would consent to be the guest of Zoilus, would not hesitate to sup with the strumpets of the Summoenium, and drink, without a blush, from the broken pitcher of Leda. This, I contend, would be both easier and more decent. Clothed in an effeminate kind of robe, he lies upon a couch which he wholly covers, and, propped up on purple and silk cushions, thrusts aside his guests with his elbows on this side and that. At hand stands a minion, who hands to his master, ready to vomit, red feathers and toothpicks of lentisc wood; while, if he is oppressed by the heat, a concubine, reclining by his side, waves upon him a pleasant coolness with a green fan; and a young slave scares away the flies with a rod of myrtle, A softener, with nimble art, strokes his whole body, and passes her skilled hand over all his limbs, The signal of snapping his fingers is watched by an eunuch, who presents him with the vessel which his copious draughts render indispensable. Meanwhile Zoilus himself, leaning backwards to the crowd at his feet, among the puppies who are licking up the giblets of geese, divides among his athletes the neck of a wild-boar, or bestows upon his favourite the thigh of a turtle-dove; and while to us is offered wine from Ligurian rocks, or such as has been ripened in the smoke of Marseilles, he hands to his creatures Opimian nectar in crystalline and myrrhine vases; and, while he himself is drenched with essences from the stores of Cosmus, he is not ashamed to divide amongst us in a little gilt shell, unguents such as only the lowest women use. Finally, overcome by many draughts from his large cups, he falls snoring asleep. We sit at the table, and, ordered to keep silence while he is grunting, drink each other's healths by signs. Such is the insolence which we have to endure from this presuming Malchion; nor do we ask to be avenged, Rufus. He has a filthy tongue.
§ 3.83 TO CORDUS:
You bid me write shorter epigrams, Cordus. Act me now the part of Chione. I could not say anything shorter.
§ 3.84 TO TONGILION:
What says your trollop, Tongilion? I do not mean your trull? — "What then? " — Your tongue.
§ 3.85 TO A JEALOUS HUSBAND:
Who persuaded you to cut off the nose of your wife's gallant? Wretched husband, that was not the part which outraged you. Fool, what have you done? Your wife has lost nothing by the operation, since that which pleased her in your friend Deiphobus is still safe.
§ 3.86 TO THE CHASTE MATRON:
I forewarned and admonished you, chaste matron, not to read this part of my sportive book: and yet, you see, you continue to read. But if chaste as you are, you go to see the acting of Fanniculus and Latinus, read on; these verses are not more shameless than the pantomimes.
§ 3.87 TO CHIONE:
Rumour says, Chione, that you have never had to do with man, and that nothing can be purer than yourself! And yet when you bathe, you veil not that part which you should veil. If you have any modesty, veil your face.
§ 3.88 ON TWO BROTHERS:
§ 3.89 TO PHOEBUS:
Use lettuces, Phoebus, use laxative mallows; for you have a face like one suffering from constipation.
§ 3.90 ON GALLA:
Galla will, and will not, comply with my wishes; and I cannot tell, with her willing and not willing, what she wills.
§ 3.91 ON A VETERAN SOLDIER:
When a dismissed veteran, a native of Ravenna, was returning home, he joined on the way a troop of the emasculated priests of Cybele. There was in close attendance upon him a runaway slave named Achillas, a youth remarkable far his handsome looks and saucy manner. This was noticed by the effete troop; and they inquired what part of the couch he occupied. The youth understood their secret intentions, and gave them false information; they believed him. After drinking sufficiently, each retired to his couch; when forthwith the malicious crew seized their knives, and mutilated the old man, as he lay on one side of the couch; while the youth was safe in the protection of the inner recess. It is said that a staff was once substituted for a virgin; but in this case something of a different nature was substituted for a stag.
§ 3.92 TO GALLUS:
My wife, Gallus, asks me to allow her one sweetheart, — only one. Shall I not, Gallus, put out his two eyes?
§ 3.93 TO VETUSTILLA:
Though you have seen three hundred consuls, Vetustilla, and have but three hairs, and four teeth, with the chest of a grasshopper, and the legs of an ant; though your forehead shows more folds than a matron's dress, and your bosom resembles a spider's web; though in comparison with your vast jaws the mouth of crocodile of the Nile is small; though the frogs at Ravenna chatter more melodiously than you, and the gnat of Atria sings more sweetly; though your eyesight is no better than the owl's in the morning, and your body exhales the odour of the husband of the she-goat; though your loins are those of a lean duck, and your legs shrunk like those of a withered old Cynic; though the bath-keeper does not admit you into the bath till he has extinguished his light, and then only among the prostitutes that lodge in the tombs; though it is winter with you even in the month of August, and not even a pestilent fever can unfreeze you, you nevertheless dare to think of marriage after two hundred years of widowhood, and insanely expect somebody to fall in love with relics like yours. Who, I ask, even if he were willing to till a rock, would call you wife? — you whom Philomelus but recently called grandmother. But if you will have your corpse meddled with, let Coris the grave-digger prepare you a couch, such as alone befits your nuptial rites, and let the kindler of the funeral pile bear the marriage torches for the new bride. Such a torch is the only one that Hymen can offer you.
§ 3.94 TO RUFUS:
You say the hare is not sufficiently cooked, and call for a whip. You would rather cut up your cook, Rufus, than your hare.
§ 3.95 TO NAEVOLUS:
You never say, "Good day!" first, Naevolus: but content yourself with returning the salute, though even the crow is often in the habit of saying it first. Why do you expect this from me, Naevolus? I pray you, tell me. For I consider, Naevolus, you are neither better than I am, nor have precedence of me in the eyes of the world. Both Caesars have bestowed upon me praise and rewards, and have given me the rights of a father of three children. I am read by many; and fame has given me a name known throughout the cities of the earth, without waiting for my death. There is something, too, in this, that Rome has seen me a tribune, and that I sit in those seats whence Oceanus excludes you. I suspect that your servants are not even as numerous as the Roman citizens that Caesar has made at my request. But you are a debauchee, Naevolus, and play your part excellently in that capacity. Yes, now you take precedence of me, Naevolus; you have decidedly the advantage. Good day to you.
§ 3.96 TO GARGILIUS:
§ 3.97 TO RUFUS:
I advise you, Rufus, not to let Chione read this little book of mine. She is hurt by my verses: and she may hurt me in return.
§ 3.98 TO SABELLUS:
§ 3.99 TO THE COBBLER:
You ought not, cobbler, to be angry with my book; your trade, and not your life, is satirized in my writings. Allow me innocent pleasantries. Why should I not have the right of amusing myself if you have had that of getting throats cut?
§ 3.100 TO RUFUS:
It was twelve o'clock, Rufus, when I sent the messenger to you, and, I suppose, he must have been wet through when he handed you my verses. For it happened that the sky was pouring down floods of rain. This was exactly the weather in which it was proper for the book to be sent.
§ 4.1 BOOK IV
ON THE EMPEROR DOMITIAN'S BIRTH-DAY:
O auspicious birth-day of Caesar, more sacred than that on which the conscious Ida witnessed the birth of Diotaean Jupiter, come, I pray, and prolong your duration beyond the age of Pylian Nestor, and shine ever with your present aspect or with increased brilliancy. Let Caesar, decked with abundance of gold, sacrifice to Minerva on the Alban mount, and let many an oak-garland pass through his imperial hands. Let him welcome the approaching secular games with magnificent sacrifices, and celebrate the solemnities due to Romulean Tarentus. We ask indeed great things, O ye gods, but such as are due to earth; since for so great a god as Caesar what prayers can be extravagant?
§ 4.2 ON HORATIUS:
Horatius, a little while ago, was the only one, among all the spectators of the games, who appeared in black clothes, when the plebeians, the knights, and the senate, with their sacred chief, were sitting in white array. Suddenly snow fell in great abundance; and Horatius became a spectator in white.
§ 4.3 ON THE SNOW WHICH FELL ON DOMITIAN AT THE GAMES:
See how thick a fleece of silent congealed water flows down upon the face and robes of Caesar. Still he pardons Jupiter for sending it, and, with head unmoved, smiles at the waters condensed by the sluggish cold, being accustomed to brave the constellation of the Northern Bootes, and to disregard the Great Bear drenching his locks. Who can be sporting with the dried waters and gambolling in the sky? I suspect this snow came from Caesar s little son.
§ 4.4 TO BASSA:
Of the odour of a lake whence the water has retired; of the miasmata which rise from the sulphureous waters of Albula; of the putrid stench of a marine fish-pond; of a lazy goat in amorous dalliance; of the old shoes of a tired veteran; of a fleece twice drenched in Tyrian dye; of the fasting breath of the Jews; of that of wretches under accusation ; of the expiring lamp of the filthy Leda; of ointment made of the dregs of Sabine oil; of a fox in flight, or of the nest of the viper, — of all these things, Bassa, I would rather smell than smell like you.
§ 4.5 TO FABIANUS:
What do you, Fabianus, an honest and poor man, sincere in speech and in heart, expect from visiting the City? You can neither be a pander nor a parasite, nor, with your monotonous voice, a crier, to call up persons trembling under accusation: nor can you corrupt the wife of your dear friend, nor feel any desire after frozen old women, nor sell empty smoke about the palace; nor award praise to Canus, or to Glaphyrus. How then, unhappy man, will you live? "I am a trustworthy person, a faithful friend." That is nothing at all: it would never make you a Philomelus.
§ 4.6 TO MALISIANUS:
You wish to be thought, Malisianus, as chaste as a modest virgin, and as innocent as a child, although you are more abandoned than he who recites in the house of Stella poems composed in the metre of Tibullus.
§ 4.7 TO HYLLUS:
Why do you refuse, youthful Hyllus, to-day, what you freely gave yesterday? Why are you so suddenly become cruel, who but now were so kind? You now excuse yourself on account of your beard, and your age, and your hairy limbs. O night, how long have you been, that have made a youth into an old man! Why do you mock me, Hyllus? You were yesterday a boy; tell me, how are you to-day a man?
§ 4.8 TO EUPHEMUS:
The first and second hours of the day exhaust the clients who pay their respects to their patrons; the third exercises the lungs of the noisy pleaders; until the fifth Rome employs herself in various occupations; the sixth brings rest to the fatigued; the seventh closes the day's labours. The eighth suffices for the games of the oily palaestra; the ninth bids us press the piled-up couches at table. The tenth is the hour for my effusions, Euphemus, when your skill is preparing ambrosial delicacies, and our excellent Caesar relaxes his cares with celestial nectar, and holds the little cups in his powerful hand. At that time give my pleasantries access to him; my muse with her free step fears to approach Jupiter in the morning.
§ 4.9 TO FABULLA:
Fabulla, daughter of surgeon Sota, you desert your husband to follow Clitus, and give him both presents and love. You act like a sot.
§ 4.10 TO FAUSTINUS:
While my book is yet new and unpolished, while the page scarcely dry fears to be touched, go, boy, and bear the little present to a dear friend, who deserves beyond all others to have the first sight of my trifles. Run, but not without being duly equipped; let a Carthaginian sponge accompany the book; for it is a suitable addition to my present. Many erasures, Faustinus, would not remove all its faults; one sponging would.
§ 4.11 TO SATURNINUS:
While, puffed up beyond measure by an empty name, you were entranced with delight, and were ashamed, unfortunate man, of being merely Saturninus, you stirred up war under the Parrhasian Bear, like he who bore arms for His Egyptian consort. Had you so entirely forgotten the ill-fortune of that name, which the fierce rage of the sea at Actium overwhelmed? Or did the Rhine promise you what the Nile denied to him, and were the northern waters likely to be more propitious? Even Antony fell by our arms, who, compared with you, traitor, was a Caesar.
§ 4.12 TO THAIS:
You deny no one, Thais; but, if you are not ashamed of denying no one, at least be ashamed of denying nothing, Thais.
§ 4.13 TO RUFUS, ON A HAPPY MARRIAGE:
Claudia Peregrina, Rufus, is about to be married to my friend Pudens. Be propitious, Hymen, with your torches. As fitly is precious cinnamon united with nard, and Massic wine with Attic honey. Nor are elms more fitly wedded to tender vines, the lotus more love the waters, or the myrtle the river's bank. May you always hover over their couch, fair Concord, and may Venus ever be auspicious to a couple so well matched. In after years may the wife cherish her husband in his old age; and may she, when grown old, not seem so to her husband.
§ 4.14 TO SILIUS ITALICUS:
Silius, glory of the Castalian sisters, who exposes, in mighty song, the perjuries of barbaric rage, and compels the perfidious pride of Hannibal and the faithless Carthaginians to yield to our great Scipios; lay aside for a while your austere gravity, and while December, sporting with attractive games, resounds on every side with the boxes of hazard, and plays at tropa with-fraudulent dice, accord some indulgence to my muse, and read not with severe but with cheerful countenance my little books, abounding with jocular pleasantries. Just so perhaps might the tender Catullus venture to send his sparrow to the great Virgil.
§ 4.15 TO CAECILIANUS:
When you asked me yesterday for the loan of a thousand sesterces, Caecilianus, for six or seven days, I said, "I have not so much." But, on the pretence of a friend's arrival, you now ask me for a dish and some vases. Are you a fool? Or do you think me a fool, my friend? I refused you a thousand; shall I give you five thousand sesterces?
§ 4.16 TO GALLUS:
It was rumoured, Gallus, that you were not exactly the stepson of your mother, while she was the wife of your father. This however could not be proved while your father was alive. Your father, Gallus, is now no more; yet your step-mother still lives in the house with you. Even if the great Cicero could he recalled from the shades below, and Regulus himself were to defend you, you could not be acquitted; for she who does not cease to be a step-mother after a father's death, Gallus, never was a step-mother.
§ 4.17 TO PAULUS:
You request me to write verses against Lycisca, Paulus, of such a nature that she may be angry on reading them. Paulus, you are unfair; you wish to get her all to yourself.
§ 4.18 ON A YOUTH KILLED BY THE FALL OF A PIECE OF ICE:
Just where the gate near the Portico of Agrippa is always dripping with water, and the slippery pavement is wet with constant showers, a mass of water, congealed by winter's cold, fell upon the neck of a youth who was entering the damp temple, and, when it had inflicted a cruel death on the unfortunate boy, the weapon melted in the warm wound it had made. What cruelties does not Fortune permit? Or where is not death to be found, if you, waters, turn cut-throats.
§ 4.19 ON A CLOAK:
I send you a foreign cloak, the stout workmanship of a Gallic weaver, which, though of a barbarous country, has a Lacedaemonian name; a gift of small value, but not to be despised in cold December. Whether you are rubbing into your skin the clammy wrestler's oil, or playing at tennis to warm you; whether you are catching the dusty ball with your hand, or sharing with your competitors the featherlike weight of the loose bladder, or seeking to surpass the light Athas in the race, this will be a defence to you, that the searching cold may not affect your wet limbs; of unpropitious Iris oppress you with sudden rain. Clad in this gift; you will laugh at winds and showers; nor will you be equally safe in Tyrian silk.
§ 4.20 TO COLLINUS, ON CAERELLIA AND GELLIA:
Caerellia calls herself an old woman, when she is but a girl; Gellia calls herself a girl, when she is an old woman, Nobody can endure either, Collinus; the one is ridiculous, the other disgusting.
§ 4.21 ON SELIUS, AN ATHEIST:
Selius affirms that there are no gods, and that heaven is empty; and thinks he has sufficient proof of his opinion in seeing himself become rich while he maintains it.
§ 4.22 ON CLEOPATRA, HIS WIFE:
Cleopatra, after having submitted to the first embrace of love; and requiring to be soothed by her husband; plunged into a glittering pool, flying from his embrace; but the wave betrayed her in her hiding-place; and she shone through the water though wholly covered by it. Thus lilies are distinctly seen through pure glass, and dear crystal does hot allow roses to be hidden. I leaped in, and, plunging beneath the waves, snatched struggling kisses; more was forbidden by the transparent flood.
§ 4.23 TO THALIA, ON THE POET LUSTISCUS BRUTIANUS:
Whilst you are too dilatory, Thalia, and take long to consider which is the first, which the second, in your estimation, or to whom shall be assigned the palm in Greek Epigram, Callimachus has himself conceded the superiority to the eloquent Brutianus; and if he, satiated with Attic wit, should now sport with our Roman Minerva, make me, I pray you, second to him.
§ 4.24 TO FABIANUS:
Lycoris has buried all the female friends she had, Fabianus; would she were the friend of my wife!
§ 4.25 TO THE BANKS OF ALTINUM AND AQUILEIA:
You banks of Altinum, that rival the rural beauties of Baiae, and you wood that saw the fall of the thunder-stricken Phaeton; you Sola, fairest of the Dryads, who were taken to wife by the Faun of Antenor's land near the Euganean lake; and you, Aquileia, who delight in Ledaean Timavus, at the spot where Cyllarus drank of your seven streams: You shall be the haven and the resting-places of my old age, if my retirement be at my own disposal.
§ 4.26 TO POSTUMUS, AN AVARICIOUS MAN:
By not having been to see you at home in the morning for a whole year, do you wish me to say how much, Postumus, I have lost? I suppose about twice thirty and thrice twenty sesterces. Pardon me, Postumus, I pay more for a toga.
§ 4.27 TO DOMITIAN:
You are in the habit, Caesar, of frequently commending my little books. A jealous rival, behold, says you ought not to do so; yet you do it none the less on that account. You have even not been content to honour me with words alone, but have bestowed on me gifts such as no other could have given me; behold again, my envious rival gnaws his black nails. Give me, Caesar, so much the more, that he may be the more mortified.
§ 4.28 TO CHLOE, SQUANDERING HER PROPERTY ON LUPERCUS:
You have given, Chloe, to the tender Lupercus stuffs from Spain and from Tyre, of scarlet hue, and a toga washed in the warm Galaesus, Indian sardonyxes, Scythian emeralds, a hundred gold pieces newly coined; whatever indeed he asks, you never fail, to give him. Poor shorn lamb! Unhappy woman, your Lupercus will strip you bare.
§ 4.29 TO PUDENS:
The number of my books, dear Pudens, forms an objection to them; the ever-recurring toil fatigues and satiates the reader. Rarity gives a charm: thus early fruits are most esteemed; thus winter roses obtain a higher price; thus coyness sets off an extravagant mistress; and a door ever open attracts no young suitor. Persius is oftener noticed on account of one book, than the empty Marsus for the whole of his Amazonid, For yourself when you are reading any one of my little books, imagine it to be the only one; it will then be of more value in your eyes.
§ 4.30 TO A FISHERMAN, THAT HE MAY SPARE DOMITIAN'S FISH:
Withdraw, fisherman, I warn you, far from the Baian lake, fly, that you may not retire with guilt on your head. These waters are inhabited by sacred fish, who know their sovereign, and lick his hand, a hand than which the world contains nothing more powerful. They even have each its name, and each comes up at the voice of its master, when called. Once, in this deep pool, as an impious Libyan was drawing up his prey with quivering rod, he was suddenly struck with blindness, and unable to see the captured fish; and now, abhorring his sacrilegious hooks, he sits a beggar on the banks of the Baian lake. But do you withdraw while you may, and while you are yet innocent, casting into the waters only harmless morsels of food, and respecting the tender fish.
§ 4.31 TO HIPPODAMUS:
As to your desire to be named and read of in my books, and your belief that it would be something of an honour to you, may I be confounded, if your wish is not most agreeable to me; and I am most anxious to give you a place in my verse. But you have a name imposed upon you unfavourable to the inspiration of the Muses; a name which a barbarous mother gave you, and which neither Melpomene, nor Polyhymnia, nor pious Calliope, nor Phoebus, could pronounce, Adopt, then, some name which is acceptable to the Muses; "Hippodamus" can never be introduced with good effect.
§ 4.32 ON A BEE ENCLOSED IN AMBER:
The bee is enclosed, and shines preserved, in a tear of the sisters of Phaeton 2, so that it seems enshrined in its own nectar. It has obtained a worthy reward for its great toils; we may suppose that the bee itself would have desired such a death.
§ 4.33 TO SOSIBIANUS:
As your desk, Sosibianus, is full of elaborate compositions, why do you publish nothing? "My heirs," you say, "will publish my verses," When? It is already, Sosibianus, time that you should be read.
§ 4.34 TO ATTALUS:
Although, Attalus, your toga is very dirty, whoever says that you have a snow-like toga speaks the truth.
§ 4.35 ON A COMBAT OF DOES IN THE THEATRE:
We hare seen gentle does engage in fight with opposed horns, and fall under the impartial stroke of fate. The hounds gazed on their prey; and the proud huntsman stood amazed that nothing remained for his knife to do. Whence are feeble minds warmed with so great fury? Thus fight bulls; thus fall heroes.
§ 4.36 TO OLUS:
Your beard is white, Olus, your hair is black. The reason is, that you cannot dye your beard, though you can dye your hair.
§ 4.37 TO AFER:
"Coranus owes me a hundred thousand sesterces, Mancinus two hundred thousand, Titius three hundred thousand, Albinus six hundred thousand, Sabinus a million, and Serranus another million; from my lodging-houses and farms I receive three millions, from my Parmesan flocks six hundred thousand." Such are the words, Afer, that you daily din into my ear; and I know them better than my own name. You must pay me something, to enable me to bear this. Dispel my daily nausea with a round sum: I cannot listen to your catalogue, Afer, for nothing.
§ 4.38 TO GALLA:
Galla, say "No:" love is soon sated, unless our pleasures are mixed with some pain; but do not continue, Galla, to say "No" too long.
§ 4.39 TO CHARINUS:
You have bought up all sorts of silver plate; you alone possess the old masterpieces of Myron, and we handiwork of Praxiteles and Scopas; you alone have the productions of Phidias' graver, and the labours of Mentor. Nor are genuine Gratiuses wanting in your collection, nor vases inlaid with Callaic gold, nor embossed ones from the tables of your ancestors. Yet, amidst all your silver, I wonder, Charinus, that you possess none pure.
§ 4.40 TO POSTUMUS:
When the halls of the Pisos, and the thrice-illustrious house of the learned Seneca, were displaying long lines of pedigrees, I preferred you, Postumus, to all such high personages; you were poor and but a knight, but to me you were a consul. With you, Postumus, I counted thirty winters; we had one couch in common between us. Now, full of honours, and rolling in wealth, you can give, you can lavish. I am waiting, Postumus, to see what you will do for me. You do nothing; and it is late for me to look about for another patron. Is this, Fortune, your act? Postumus has imposed upon me.
§ 4.41 TO A POET RECITING BADLY:
Why, when about to recite, do you wrap your neck in wool? That wool would be more proper for our ears.
§ 4.42 TO FLACCUS, ON HIS FAVOURITE AMAZONICUS:
If any one could possibly grant my wishes, hear, Flaccus, what sort of favourite I would desire. The youth should, first, be born on the banks of the Nile; no land knows better how to bestow attractions. Let him be whiter than snow; for in dusky Egypt that colour is more beauteous, as more rare. Let his eyes rival the stars, and his floating locks play upon his neck; I do not love, Flaccus, carefully arranged locks. Let his forehead be small, and his nose slightly aquiline; and let his lips rival Paesten roses in redness. Let him often seek my caresses when I refuse them; refuse his when I seek them; and let him be often more sportive than his master. Let him be jealous of other youths, and ever keep young damsels at a distance; and, while a man to all else, let him be a youth to me alone. "I understand," say you; "you do not deceive me; for I can testify that your description is exact. Such was my Amazonicus."
§ 4.43 TO CORACINUS:
I did not call you, Coracinus, an unnatural debauchee; I am not so rash or daring; nor am I a person to utter falsehoods willingly. If I so spoke of you, Coracinus, may I find the flagon of Pontia and the cup of Metilus hostile to me; I swear to you by the extravagance and madness of the rites of Isis and Cybele. What I said, however, was of a light and trifling nature, — a something well known, and which you yourself will not deny; I said, Coracinus, that you are strangely fond of the female sex.
§ 4.44 ON MOUNT VESUVIUS:
This is Vesuvius, lately green with umbrageous vines; here the noble grape had pressed the dripping coolers. These are the heights which Bacchus loved more than the hills of Nysa; on this mountain the satyrs recently danced. This was the abode of Venus, more grateful to her than Lacedaemon; this was the place renowned by the divinity of Hercules. All now lies buried in flames and sad ashes. Even the gods would have wished not to have had the power to cause such a catastrophe.
§ 4.45 TO APOLLO:
To you, Phoebus, Parthenius, the chamberlain of Domitian makes these offerings, in behalf of his son Burrus, joyfully and with full censer; that he, who this day marks his first five years by entering a second lustrum, may live many Olympiads of years. Grant accomplishment to the prayers of a father; so may your Daphne delight in you, and your sister rejoice in unspotted virginity; so may you glory in perpetual youth; so may Bacchus never possess, Phoebus, locks as long as yours.
§ 4.46 ON SABELLUS:
The Saturnalia have made Sabellus a rich man. Justly does Sabellus swell with pride, and think and say that there is no one among the lawyers better off than himself. All these airs, and all this exultation, are excited in Sabellus by half a peck of meal, and as much of parched beans; by three half pounds of frankincense, and as many of pepper; by a sausage from Lucania, and a sow's paunch from Falerii; by a Syrian flagon of dark mulled wine, and some figs candied in a Libyan jar, accompanied with onions, and shell-fish, and cheese. From a Picenian client, too, came a little chest that would scarcely hold a few olives, and a nest of seven cups from Saguntum, polished with the potter's rude graver, the day workmanship of a Spanish wheel, and a napkin variegated with the laticlave. More profitable Saturnalia Sabellus has not had these ten years.
§ 4.47 ON A FIGURE OF PHAETON:
An encaustic figure of Phaeton is depicted upon this tablet. What do you mean, painter, by burning Phaeton a second time?
§ 4.48 TO PAPILUS:
§ 4.49 TO FLACCUS:
He knows not, Flaccus, believe me, what Epigrams really are, who calls them mere trifles and frivolities. He is much more frivolous, who writes of the feast of the cruel Tereus; or the banquet of the unnatural Thyestes; or of Daedalus fitting melting wings to his son's body; or of Polyphemus feeding his Sicilian flocks. From my effusions all tumid ranting is excluded; nor does my Muse swell with the mad garment of Tragedy. "But everything written in such a style is praised, admired, and adored by all." I admit it. Things in that style are praised; but mine are read.
§ 4.50 TO THAIS:
Why, Thais, are you constantly saying that I am old? One is never too old, Thais, for what you require.
§ 4.51 TO CAECILIANUS:
When you had not six thousand sesterces, Caecilianus, you used to be carried about ostentatiously in a vast litter borne by six men. But since the blind goddess has given you two millions, and your coins have overflowed your coffers, behold you have taken to go on foot. What prayers ought I to offer on your behalf for such merit, such praise-worthy modesty? May the gods restore you, Caecilianus, your litter!
§ 4.52 TO HEDYLUS:
If you do not leave off, Hedylus, being drawn by a yoke of goats, you, who were recently a ficus, will become a caprificus.
§ 4.53 TO COSMUS, ON AN ILLITERATE FELLOW PRETENDING TO BE A CYNIC:
Yonder person, Cosmus, whom you often see in the recesses of the temple of our Pallas, and on the threshold of the new temple,2 — an old man with a stick and a wallet; whose hair bristles white and dirty, and over whose breast a filthy beard descends; whom a wax-coloured cloak, sole partner of his bare bed, covers; and to whom the crowd that encounters him gives food forced from them by his importunity, — him, I say, you take for a Cynic, out you are deceived by a false appearance; he is no Cynic, Cosmus. What then? — a dog.
§ 4.54 TO COLLINUS:
O Collinus, to whom it has been granted to obtain the crown of oak in the Capitol, and to surround your deserving locks with its foliage first of all your race, make the most, if you are wise, of every day, and always imagine that your last is come. No one ever succeeded in moving the three wool-spinning sisters; they observe rigidly the day which they have fixed. Though you be richer than Crispus, more firm-minded than Thrasea's self; more magnificent than the splendid Melior, Lachesis adds nothing to the thread; she unwinds the spindles of her sisters, and one of the three always puts a stop to the prolongation of it.
§ 4.55 TO THE POET LUCIUS:
O Lucius, glory of your age, who does not allow old Gaius and our Tagus to yield the palm to eloquent Arpi, let him who has been born among the cities of Greece sing of Thebes or Mycenae in his lay, or famous Rhodes, or the Ledaean palaestrae of licentious Lacedaemon. For us, born among the Celts and Spaniards, let us not be ashamed of repeating in grateful verse the harsher names of our own land; Bilbilis, renowned for its mines of cruel iron, a town which surpasses in this respect the Chalybes and the Norici; Plates, resounding with the working of its own steel, a town which the river Salo, that tempers arms, surrounds with shallow but unquiet waters; Tutela; the dances of Rixamae; the joyful festivities of Cardua; Peterus, red with intertwined roses; Rigae, and its ancient theatres constructed by our ancestors; the Silai, unerring in the use of the light dart; the lakes of Turgontus and Perusia; the pure waters of the humble Vetonissa; the sacred oak-grove of Buradon, through which even the tired traveller walks; and the fields of the vale of Vativesca, which Manlius tills with lusty steers. Do these rough names excite a smile, fastidious reader? Smile, if you pease; I prefer them, rough as they are, to Butunti.
§ 4.56 TO GARGILIANUS:
Do you wish me, Gargilianus, because you send large presents to old men and widows, to call you munificent? There is nothing on earth more sordid or meaner than you are, who call your snares gifts. In like manner is the guileful hook bountiful to fishes, and the crafty bait a boon to the silly inhabitants of the forests. What the difference is between giving liberally, and making such presents, I will teach you, if you do not know. Make them, Gargilianus, to me.
§ 4.57 TO FAUSTINUS:
Whilst I am detained by the voluptuous waters of the attractive Lucrine lake, and the caves warmed with fountains issuing from the rocks of pumice-stone, you, Faustinus, are dwelling in the domain of the Argive colonists, whither the twentieth milestone from the city brings you. But the bristly cheat of the Nemaean lion is now inflamed with heat, and Baiae glows with more than its own warmth. So, then, farewell, you sacred fountains and grateful shores, the home alike of Nymphs and of Nereids! In the cold winter you were preferable to the mountains of Hercules: but now you must yield to the cool shades of Tibur.
§ 4.58 TO GALLA:
You lament in secret, Galla, the loss of your husband; you are ashamed, Galla, I suppose, to weep for a man.
§ 4.59 ON A VIPER ENCLOSED IN AMBER:
Whilst a viper was crawling on the weeping boughs of the Heliades, an amber-drop flowed upon the reptile as it lay in its way. While wondering at being fettered by the gummy exudation, it suddenly grew stiff, immured in the congealing mass. Pride not yourself, Cleopatra, on your royal sepulchre; for a viper reposes in a tomb still nobler.
§ 4.60 ON CURIATIUS:
Let us in the summer solstice retire to Ardea and the country about Paestum, and to the tract which burns under the Cleonaean constellation; since Curiatius has condemned the air of Tivoli, carried off as he was to the Styx notwithstanding its much-lauded waters. From no place can you shut out fate: when death comes, Sardinia is in the midst of Tivoli itself.
§ 4.61 TO MANCINUS:
A little while ago, Mancinus, you joyfully boasted to us, in an exulting tone, that some friend of yours had made you a present of two hundred thousand sesterces. Only four days ago, as we were talking in the assembly-room of the poets, you told us that your cloak, which had cost ten thousand sesterces, was the gift of Pompulla; you swore that Bassa and Caelia had given you a red sardonyx, a brilliant opal, and two gems, green as the waves of the sea. Yesterday, when you suddenly left the theatre while Pollio was singing, you remarked, as you ran off, that three hundred thousand sesterces had just come to you by a legacy; this morning you spoke of another hundred thousand, and this afternoon of a hundred thousand more. What extraordinary injury have we, your companions, wrought you? Have pity on us, unfeeling mental, and at length hold your peace. Or, if your tongue cannot be silent, tell us now and then something that we should like to hear.
§ 4.62 ON LYCORIS:
Swarthy Lycoris has left Rome for Tivoli, sacred to Hercules; for she imagines that everybody becomes white there.
§ 4.63 ON CAERELLIA:
While Caerellia, the mother of a family, was sailing from Bauli to Baiae, she perished, drowned by the malice of the raging flood. What glory have you lost, you waters! Such a monstrous catastrophe you did not of old allow to Nero, even though commanded to do so.
§ 4.64 ON THE GARDENS OF JULIUS MARTIALIS:
On the long ridge of the Janiculan Hill lie the few acres belonging to Julius Martialis; land more blessed than the gardens of the Hesperides. Secluded retreats are spread over the hills, and the smooth summit, with gentle undulations, enjoys a cloudless sky, and, while a mist covers the hollow valleys, shines conspicuous in a light all its own. The graceful turrets of a lofty villa rise gently towards the stars. Hence you may see the seven hills, rulers of the world, and contemplate the whole extent of Rome, as well as the heights of Alba and Tusculum, and every cool retreat that lies in the suburbs, with old Fidenae and little Rubra, and the fruit-bearing grove of Anna Perenna, which delights in virgins' blood. Thence may be seen the traveller on the Flaminian and Salarian roads, while his carriage is unheard, so that its wheels are no interruption to gentle sleep; neither is it broken by the cry of the boatswain, or the noise of hawsers, although the Mulvian bridge is near, and ships are seen gliding swiftly along the sacred Tiber. This country box, but which ought rather to be called mansion, is rendered additionally agreeable by the welcome of its owner; you will imagine it to be your own; so ungrudgingly, so liberally, is it thrown open to you, and with such refined hospitality. You would deem it the pious abode of Alcinous, or of Molorchus recently made rich. You now, who think all these attractions insignificant, cultivate with a hundred spades cool Tivoli or Praeneste, and give the slopes of Setia to one single husbandman; whilst I, for my part, prefer to all your possessions the few acres of Julius Martialis.
§ 4.65 ON PHILAENIS:
Philaenis is always weeping with one eye. Do you ask how that can be? She has but one.
§ 4.66 TO LINUS:
You have always led the life, Linus, of a country gentleman; an existence than which none can be more inexpensive. It was only on the ides, and occasionally on the kalends of the month, that you put on your toga; and one robe of ceremony lasted you ten summers. The forest sent you wild boars, and the field sent you hares, without cost; the well-searched wood save you fat thrushes. The fish came easily snatched from the watery pool; and the red cask poured forth wines of native growth. No attendant of Grecian birth stood at your orders, but a rustic assemblage from the farm. As often as your amorous fancies were warmed and excited by wine, the housekeeper, or the wife of your hardy labourer, sufficed to appease them. Fire hurt not your house, nor Sirius your lands: no ship of yours was ever sunk in the deep; nor is any one now at sea. In your house dice never supplanted the quiet tali; but all your stake was a few nuts. Tell us, then, where is the million sesterces which your parsimonious mother left you. Nowhere. You have accomplished a difficult thing, Linus.
§ 4.67 TO PRAETOR:
The poor Gaurus begged from Praetor a hundred thousand sesterces, well known to him as he was by long-standing friendship, and told him that he wanted that sum alone to add to his three hundred thousand, to qualify him, as a full knight, to applaud the emperor. Says Praetor: "You know, I shall have to give a sum of money to Scorpus and Thallus; and would that I had only a hundred thousand sesterces to give them!" Ah! shame, shame on your ungrateful coffers, filled to no good purpose! That which you refuse to a knight, Praetor, will you bestow upon a horse?
§ 4.68 TO SEXTUS:
You invite me to a dinner that costs but a hundred farthings, while you yourself dine magnificently. Am I invited to dine with you, Sextus, or to envy you?
§ 4.69 TO PAMPHILUS:
You always, it is true, Pamphilus, place Setine wine, or Massic, on table; but rumour says that they are not so pure as they ought to be. You are reported to have been four times made a widower by the aid of your goblet. I do not think this, or believe it, Pamphilus; but I am not thirsty.
§ 4.70 TO MARULLINUS:
The father of Ammianus, when dying, left him by his will nothing but a dry halter. Who would have thought it possible, Marullinus, that Ammianus could have been made to wish his father still alive?
§ 4.71 TO SAFRONIUS RUFUS:
I have been long seeking, Safronius Rufus, throughout tho city, for a maiden that says No: but not one says No. Just as if it were not right, as if it were disgraceful, as if it were prohibited, No maiden says No. Is there then no maiden chaste? There are a thousand. What then does the chaste one do? She does not say Yes, certainly, but still she does not say No.
§ 4.72 TO QUINTUS:
You beg me, Quintus, to present you my works. I have not a copy, but the bookseller Trypho has. "Am I going to give money for trifles," you say, "and buy your verses while in my sober senses? I shall not do anything so ridiculous." Nor shall I.
§ 4.73 ON VESTINUS:
When Vestinus, overcome with disease, was at his last hour, and just on the point of crossing the Stygian waters, he prayed to the sisters who were spinning his last threads that they would bring their dark twine to an end with little delay. While, dead for himself, he lived a few moments for his dear friends, such affectionate prayers moved the stern goddesses. Then, having divided his great wealth, he retired from the light of day, feeling, after this was done, that he died an old man.
§ 4.74 TO CAESAR, ON SOME DOES FIGHTING:
Do you see what fierce combats the unwarlike does attempt, and how great rage there is in these timid animals? They burn to rush together upon death with their narrow brows. Do you desire to spare the does, Caesar? Let the hounds loose upon them.
§ 4.75 TO NIGRINA:
O Nigrina, happy in your beauty of soul, happy in your consort, chief glory of the daughters-in-law of Latium, it delights you to share with your husband the wealth inherited from your father, rejoicing to associate and participate with him in all things. Though Evadne may have cast herself upon the funeral pyre of her husband, and have been burned; and though a fame in no respect inferior exalt Alcestis to the stars; you have done better; you have gained, by visible evidence, such reputation for affection, that your love needs not to be attested by death.
§ 4.76 TO AN AVARICIOUS FRIEND:
You have sent me six thousand sesterces, when I asked you for twelve: to obtain twelve, I must ask you for twenty-four.
§ 4.77 ON ZOILUS, AN ENVIOUS MAN:
I have never hitherto asked riches of the gods, being content with moderate enjoyments, and happy in what I possess. — But now, poverty, I wish you (pray excuse me) to retire. What is the cause of this new and sudden prayer? I long to see Zoilus hang himself.
§ 4.78 TO AFER:
Although you have seen sixty harvests gathered in, and your face glistens with many a white hair, you run hither and thither wildly throughout the city, and there is no great man's chair to which you do not every morning assiduously pay your respects. Without you no tribune is allowed to leave his house, nor is either of the consuls excused from your dutiful attendance upon him. Ten times a day you return to the palace on the sacred hill, and talk unceasingly of your friends Sigerius and Parthenius. Let young men act thus — but than an officious old man, Afer, there is nothing more offensive.
§ 4.79 TO MATHO:
You were constantly, Matho, a guest at my villa at Tivoli. Now you buy it. — I have deceived you; I have merely sold you what was already your own,
§ 4.80 TO MARO:
You declaim, Maro, when you are ill with a fever. If you are ignorant that this is frenzy, you are not in your right senses, friend Maro. You declaim when out of order; you declaim while a victim to the semitertian ague. If you cannot excite perspiration by any other means, well and good. "Oh! but it is a great thing to do." You are mistaken; when fever is burning your vitals, the great thing is to be quiet, Maro.
§ 4.81 ON FABULLA:
When Fabulla had read that epigram of mine, in which I complain that no maiden says No, she, although asked once, twice, and thrice, disregarded the prayers of her lover. Now, Fabulla, say Yes: I advised you to say No, but not to say No for ever.
§ 4.82 TO RUFUS, WITH TWO BOOKS OF EPIGRAMS FOR VENULEIUS:
Recommend also, Rufus, these little books of mine to Venuleius, and beg him to grant me some few moments of his leisure, and, forgetting awhile his cares and occupations, to examine my trifles with indulgent ear. But let him not read them after either his first or his last glass, but when Bacchus is in his glory, and delights to witness convivial excitement. If it be too much to read two volumes, let him roll up one of them; and the task, thus divided, will seem shorter.
§ 4.83 TO NAEVOLUS:
When you are devoid of care, Naevolus, nobody is more disagreeable than you; when you are in trouble, Naevolus, nobody is more pleasing. When devoid of care you answer nobody's salutation, you look down on every one, you seem to think every one a slave, and no man living worthy of your regard. When you are in trouble, you make presents to one person, you pay your respects to another as your lord and patron, and invite everybody to your house. Pray be always, Naevolus, in trouble.
§ 4.84 ON THAIS:
There is no one among the people, or in the whole town, who who assert that Thais has granted him favours, although many desire and entreat them. Is Thais then, I ask, so pure? By no means; she has a filthy tongue.
§ 4.85 TO PONTICUS:
We drink out of glass, Ponticus; you, out of porcelain. Why? Lest a transparent vessel should betray the better quality of your wine.
§ 4.86 TO HIS BOOK, SENT TO APOLLINARIS:
If you wish to be approved by Attic ears, I exhort and advise you, my little book, to please the learned Apollinaris. No one is more acute than he, or more learned, nor is any one more candid or more indulgent. If he shall receive you to his heart, and repeat you with his lips, you will neither have to dread the sneers of the malignant, nor will you furnish parchment coverings for anchovies. If he shall condemn you, you may run forthwith to the stalls of the salt-meat sellers, to have your back scribbled upon by their boys.
§ 4.87 TO FABULLUS:
Your wife Bassa, Fabullus, has always a child at her side, which she calls her delight and her darling. And, that you may have the greater cause for wonder, she is not at all fond of children. What is her reason, then? She is troubled with wind.
§ 4.88 TO ONE WHO DID NOT ACKNOWLEDGE THE RECEIPT OF MARTIAL'S PRESENT:
You have sent me nothing in return for my little gift, and five of the days of the Saturnalia are passed. Thus neither have six scruples of Septician silver been sent to me, nor a table-cloth, fit present for a complaining client, nor a jar red with the blood of the Antipolitan tunny, nor one containing small prunes, nor a little basket of wrinkled Picenian olives, so as to enable you to say that you have not forgotten me. You may deceive others by your words and your smiling countenance; to me you will be henceforth an unmasked deceiver.
§ 4.89 TO HIS BOOK:
Enough, enough! little book! we have already reached the end of the parchment. You would still go on, and add to your bulk, and cannot confine yourself within due limits; just as if you had not done enough, when you had completed the first page. The reader is now quite querulous, and out of patience; the librarius himself now cries out, "Enough, enough, little book."
§ 5.1 BOOK V
TO DOMITIAN, WITH THE AUTHOR'S BOOK:
This offering, O Caesar, whether you are residing upon the hills of Palladian Alba, and looking thence on the one side upon the temple of Diana, and on the other upon the waters of Thetis, — or whether the truth-telling sisters are learning your oracular responses, where the smooth waters of the straits bathe the suburban meadows; or whether the nurse of Aeneas, or the daughter of the Sun, or Anxur, white with health-giving waters, attracts you; — this offering I send to you, auspicious support and protection of our empire, by whose continued preservation we believe that Jupiter shows his gratitude. Do you but receive it; I will imagine that you have read it, and proudly indulge in Gallic credulity.
§ 5.2 TO HIS READERS:
You matrons, youths, and virgins, to you is our page dedicated. But you who delight in wanton sallies and licentious jests may read my first four books, which are of a more free character. The fifth book is for the amusement of the lord of the world; and is such as Germanicus may read without a blush in the presence of the Cecropian virgin-goddess.
§ 5.3 TO DOMITIAN:
Degis, who now, O Germanicus, lives on the banks of our river, having come to you from the placid waters of the later, is said in his delight and overjoyment at having just seen the guardian of the world, to have addressed his companions thus: — "How much better is my fate than that of my brother, since I am allowed to behold so closely that god whom he adores at so great a distance!"
§ 5.4 TO PAULUS, ON MYRTALE:
Myrtale is wont to smell of deep draughts of wine; but, to deceive us, she eats bay-leaves, and cautiously mingles them in her cups instead of water. Whenever, Paulus, you observe her with flaming face and swollen veins approaching you, you may well say, "Myrtale drinks bays."
§ 5.5 TO SEXTUS:
Sextus, eloquent keeper of the Palatine library, who enjoys the immediate presence of the god that inhabits it (for it is your privilege to learn the cares of the emperor at they rise within him, and to know the secret soul of our ruler), make room somewhere for my little books also, near those of Pedo, of Marsus, of Catullus. Near the heaven-inspired lay of the Capitoline war, place the lofty epic of the sublime Virgil.
§ 5.6 TO THE MUSES. A REQUEST TO PARTHENIUS:
If it is not too much to ask, or too troublesome to you, you Muses, make this request of your favourite Parthenius: — So may a long and happy old ace, under the rule of Caesar, bring your last hour; so may you prosper, even envy herself looking favourably on you; and so may Burrus soon appreciate the virtues of his father, as you shaft admit this timid and small collection within the sacred precincts of the prince's privacy. You know the times when our Jove is at ease, when he beams on us with his own benignant countenance, with which he is wont to refuse nothing to suppliants. You have no reason to fear that our request is extravagant; a book which is decorated with cedar and purple, and swells proudly with dark bosses, never makes too great or inconvenient demands. Yet do not put these compositions too forward; but hold them as if you were offering and contemplating nothing. If I know the votary of the nine sisters, he will of his own accord ask for the purple-covered book.
§ 5.7 TO VULCAN, ON THE RESTORATION OF THE CITY AFTER BEING PARTIALLY DESTROYED BY FIRE:
As the flames renew the nest of the Assyrian phoenix, when ever the solitary bird has lived through its ten centuries so Rome, renewed, has put off her former old age, and has herself assumed the looks of her guardian. Forget at length, I beseech you, Vulcan, your cause of complaint against us, and spare us: we are, it is true, descendants of Mars, but we are also descendants of Venus. Spare us, mighty lord; so may your sprightly consort pardon the nets forged at Lemnos, and resign herself to love you.
§ 5.8 ON PHASIS:
The edict of our supreme lord and ruler, by which the seats in the theatre are more exactly defined, and the knight is allotted a place free from contact with the vulgar, was lately the theme of Phasis' approbation in the theatre, where, flaming with purple robes, he was boasting proudly, and in a pompous tone: "At length we can sit more at our ease; the dignity of the knighthood is now restored; we are not pressed or contaminated by the mob." These and such remarks was this upstart uttering, when Leitus ordered his arrogant purple robes to change their seat.
§ 5.9 TO SYMMACHUS:
I was indisposed; and you straightway came to see me, Symmachus, accompanied by a hundred of your pupils. A hundred hands, frozen by the northern blast, felt my pulse. I had not then an ague, Symmachus, but I have now.
§ 5.10 TO REGULUS:
For what reason shall I say it happens, that fame is refused to writers while living, and that but few readers love the compositions of their own day? It is doubtless the character of envy, Regulus, ever to prefer the ancients to the moderns. Just so, ungrateful as we are, do we frequent the ancient portico of Pompey; just so do old men extol the mean temple of Catulus. Ennius was read by you, O Rome, while Virgil was alive; and Homer was derided by his own age. Barely did the theatres applaud and crown Menander; Ovid was known only to his Corinna. Do not, however, you little books of mine, be in haste for fame: if glory comes only after death, I am in no hurry for it.
§ 5.11 TO SEVERUS, ON THE POET STELLA:
My friend Stella, Severus, wears on his fingers sardonyxes, emeralds, diamonds, jaspers. Though there are many gems on his fingers, there are more in his verses, whence, I conclude, his hand is so decorated.
§ 5.12 ON STELLA:
That Masthlion proudly carries nodding burdens upon his sturdy head, or that the gigantic Ninus holds seven or eight boys on each and, seems to me by no means difficult, when my friend Stella bears, upon any one of his fingers, ten girls.
§ 5.13 TO CALLISTRATUS:
I am, I confess, Callistratus, and have always been, poor; yet I am not an obscure or unknown knight, but am read throughout the world, and people say of me, "That is he!" and, what death has awarded to but few, has become mine during my lifetime. But you have halls, resting upon a hundred columns; your coffers with difficulty contain the wealth which you have gained as a freedman; vast farms in Egyptian Syene are yours; and Gallic Parma shears for you innumerable flocks. Such are you and I; but what I am, you cannot be; what you are, any one of the multitude may be.
§ 5.14 ON NANNEIUS:
Nanneius, having been always accustomed to sit in the front row, at the time when anybody was allowed to take a place, moved his quarters, after being twice or thrice requested to do so, yet still seated himself on the benches of the knights, almost immediately behind Caius and Lucius. Thence for awhile, with his head shrouded in a hood, he remains a spectator of the games; ungracefully peeping with but one eye. Being again ejected, the unhappy wight crossed to the standing way, and, leaning over the end of a seat, half kneeling, he endeavoured to make it appear to the knights that he was sitting, and to Leitus that he was standing.
§ 5.15 TO DOMITIAN:
This is the fifth book, Augustus, of my sportive effusions, and no one complains of having been injured by my verse. But many a reader rejoices in an honoured name, to whom lasting fame is secured by my gift. "And yet of what use are these trifles, however much they respect personal character?" Granted that they are of no use to many, still they amuse me.
§ 5.16 TO THE READER:
That, although I could write on serious, I prefer to write on amusing topics, is your fault, kind reader, who read and repeat my verses all over Rome. But you do not know how much your favour costs me. If I were to plead causes at the temple of the scythe-bearing god, and to sell my words to persons trembling under accusation, many a seaman whom I had defended would send me jars of Spanish wine, and the lap of my toga would be stained with all sorts of coin. But, as it is, my book is merely a guest and sharer of revels, and my page affords amusement for which I receive no pay. Not even the poets of old were content with empty praise; in those days the smallest present made to the immortal bard (Virgil) was Alexis. "You write charmingly," you say, "and we will reward you with praises for ever." — Do you pretend not to understand my hints? You will, I suspect, make me a lawyer.
§ 5.17 TO GELLIA:
While you were telling us of your ancestors, and their ancestors, and the great names of your family, while you looked down on our equestrian order as a mean rank, and while you were asserting that you would marry no one who did not wear the broad border of the senator, you married, Gellia, a porter.
§ 5.18 TO QUINTIANUS:
Since, in this month of December, in which napkins, and elegant shoe-fastenings, and wax-tapers, and tablets, and tapering vases filled with old Damascene plums, fly about in all directions, I have sent you nothing but my little books, the offspring of my study, I may seem to you stingy or rude. But I hate the crafty and mischievous arts of presents. Gifts are like fish-hooks; for who does not know that the greedy char is deceived by the fly which he swallows? Whenever the poor man abstains from making presents to his rich friend, Quintianus, he shows a liberal spirit.
§ 5.19 TO CAESAR:
If any reliance is to be placed on true report, no age, Caesar, can be preferred to yours. When have men had the privilege of beholding triumphs better deserved? When have the Palatine gods done more to merit our gratitude? Under what ruler has Mars's Rome shown herself fairer or greater? Under what prince was there ever so much liberty? This vice, however, exists, and not a small one, although it be but one, that the poor man cultivates friends who simply treat him with ingratitude. Who bestows any portion of his wealth upon his old and faithful friend, or whose train is accompanied by a knight whom he has helped to create? To have sent at the time of the Saturnalia a silver spoon of small weight, or a gaudy toga worth ten scruples, is extravagant liberality; and our proud patrons call such things presents. Perhaps there may be one, who will chink out a few gold pieces. But since these men are not our friends, be you, Caesar, a friend to us; no virtue in a prince can be more pleasing than generosity. But before you have read thus far, Germanicus, you will have been laughing at me to yourself for giving you advice which is for my own benefit.
§ 5.20 TO JULIUS MARTIALIS:
If you and I, dear Martialis, might enjoy our days together free from care, — if it rested with us to dispose of our leisure time, and to spend in each other's company a life of true ease, — we should know no halls or mansions of lordly patrons, nor vexatious lawsuits and troubles of courts, nor proud family busts; but carriage airings, conversation, reading, the Campus Maximus, the shady porticoes, the Virgin water, the warm baths; — such places would be our constant resorts, and such our daily occupation. As it is, neither of us lives for himself, but sees his good days flee from him and vanish; days which are ever being lost to us, and set down to our account. Should any one, then, delay to live, when he knows how?
§ 5.21 TO REGULUS, ON APOLLODOTUS, A PERSON OF WEAK MEMORY:
The rhetorician Apollodotus, Regulus, used formerly to salute Decimus by the name of Quintus; Crassus, by that of Macer. Now he returns the salutation of each by his own name. How much can care and labour effect! He had written the names down, and learned them by heart.
§ 5.22 TO PAULUS:
If I did not wish, as well as deserve, to find you at home this morning, may your Esquiline mansion, Paulus, be removed still farther from me! But I live close to the Tiburtine column, near the spot where rustic Flora looks upon ancient Jove. I must surmount the steep path of the Suburran hill, and the pavement dirty with footsteps never dry; while it is scarcely possible to get clear of the long trains of mules, and the blocks of marble which you see dragged along by a multitude of ropes. Worse than all this is it, that, after a thousand toils, your porter tells me, fatigued as I am, that you are not at home. This is the end of my useless labour and dripping toga: even to have seen Paulus at home in the morning was scarcely worth so much, The most attentive client always meets with most neglect from his friends. Unless you sleep longer in the morning, you cannot be my patron.
§ 5.23 TO BASSUS, PRETENDING TO BE A KNIGHT:
You used to wear garments of the colour of grass, Bassus, while the laws concerning the seats in the theatre were a dead letter. But since the care of a discreet censor has bid them revive, and the knight, more certain of his position, obeys the directions of Oceanus, you shine forth m a garb dyed either with saffron-colour or vermilion, and think you deceive others by such a dress. No cloak, Bassus, is worth four hundred thousand sesterces, or, before all men, my friend Cordus would have been a knight.
§ 5.24 ON HERMES, AN EMINENT GLADIATOR:
Hermes is the pride of his age in martial contests; Hermes is skilled in all kinds of arms; Hermes is a gladiator and a master of gladiators; Hermes is the terror and awe of his whole school; Hermes is he of whom alone Helius is afraid; Hermes is he to whom alone Advolans submits; Hermes is skilled in conquering without a blow; Hermes is his own body of reserve; Hermes makes the fortunes of the letters of seats; Hermes is the object of care and anxiety to the actresses; Hermes walks proudly with the warlike spear; Hermes threatens with Neptune's trident; Hermes is terrible with the helmet shading the face; Hermes is the glory of Mara in every way; Hermes is everything in himself and thrice a man.
§ 5.25 ON CHAERESTRATUS, A KNIGHT IN REDUCED CIRCUMSTANCES:
"You have not four hundred thousand sesterces, Charestratus; rise, Leitus is coming; quick; away with you; run, hide yourself." Does any one call him back, and restore him to the seat he is leaving? Does any patron offer him a share of his lordly riches? Is there such person whose name we may commit in verse to fame and the applause of the people. Where is he, who does not wish to sink in obscurity to the waters of Styx? Would not such generosity, I ask, he better than to sprinkle the stage with a rufous cloud, and to be drenched with a shower of saffron-water? Or than to spend four hundred thousand sesterces upon a horse which will not appreciate it; or that the nose of Scorpus may glisten everywhere in gold? O rich man, rich to no purpose, and faithless to your friend, do you read and approve these verses? What glory do you allow to escape you!
§ 5.26 TO CORDUS:
If in calling you lately, Cordus, in one of my jocose effusions, the alpha of Cloaks, the expression happened to move your indignation, you may call me in return the beta of Togas.
§ 5.27 TO A KNIGHT BY BIRTH, DEFICIENT IN THE FORTUNE REQUIRED BY LAW:
You have, I admit, a knight's intelligence, education manners, and birth; your other qualities you hare in common with the multitude. The fourteen rows of seats are not of so much consequence to you, that you should seat yourself there to grow pale at the sight of Oceanus.
§ 5.28 TO AULUS:
By no excellence of character, Aulus, could you induce Mamercus to think or speak well of you, even though you surpassed the two Curtii in piety, the Nervae in inoffensiveness, the Rusones in courtesy, the Macri in probity, the Maurici inequity, the Reguli in eloquence, the Pauli in wit. Mamercus gnaws everything with his foul teeth. Perhaps you think him envious; I may think him, whom no one can please, a wretch.
§ 5.29 TO GELLIA:
Whenever you send me a hare, Gellia, you say, "Marcus, you will be handsome for seven days." If you are not joking, my darling, and if what you say is true, you, Gellia, have never eaten hare.
§ 5.30 TO VARRO, WITH A PRESENT OF THE AUTHOR'S WORKS:
Varro, whom the tragic muse of Sophocles would not refuse to recognise, and who are not less admirable in Calabrian lays, put aside your work, and let not the scene of the eloquent Catullus detain you, or Elegy with her graceful locks. But read these verses, which are not to be despised in smoky December, and are accordingly sent to you in that month; sent to you in that month; unless perchance you think it fitter and more agreeable, Varro, to lose nuts at the Saturnalia.
§ 5.31 ON A SHOW OF BOYS SPORTING WITH BULLS:
See with what hardihood you troop of children spring upon the quiet bulls, and how the gentle animals delight in their burdens. One hangs upon the tips of the horns; another runs at pleasure along the back, and brandishes his arms over the whole body. But their savageness is unaroused and at rest; the arena would not be safer; a plane surface might even be more dangerous. Nor do the gestures of the children betray any trepidation; but each of them appears sure of gaining the victory, and each of the bulls seems to be anxious not to prevent it.
§ 5.32 TO FAUSTINUS:
Crispus, by his last will, Faustinus, did not give a farthing to his wife. To whom then did he give it? To himself.
§ 5.33 TO A LAWYER:
A certain lawyer is said to carp at my verses. I do not know who he is. If I find out, lawyer, woe to you!
§ 5.34 AN EPITAPH ON EROTION, WHO DIED AT NEARLY SIX YEARS OLD, AFTER HER PARENTS:
To you, O Fronto my father, and to you, O Flaccilla my mother, I commend this child, the little Erotion, my joy and my delight, that she may not be terrified at the dark shades and at the monstrous mouth of the dog of Tartarus. She would just have passed the cold of a sixth winter, had she lived but six days longer. Between protectors so venerable may she sport and play, and with lisping speech babble my name. Let no rude turf cover her tender bones, and press not heavy on her, O earth; she pressed but lightly on you.
§ 5.35 ON EUCLIDES, A PRETENDED KNIGHT, BETRAYED BY DROPPING HIS KEY:
While Euclides, clad in purple robes, was exclaiming that his income from each of his farms at Patras was two hundred thousand sesterces, and from his property near Corinth still more, and while he was tracing down his long pedigree from the beautiful Leda, and resisting Leitus, who was trying to make him leave his seat, suddenly there dropped from the toga of this knight, so proud, so noble, so rich, a large key. Never, Fabullus, was a key a worse friend.
§ 5.36 TO FAUSTINUS:
A certain individual, Faustinus, whom I had praised in a book of mine, affects not to know the fact, as though he owed me nothing; he has deceived me.
§ 5.37 ON THE YOUNG EROTION:
Child, more sweet to me than the song of aged swans, more tender than a lamb of Phalantine Galaesus, more delicate than a shell of the Lucrine lake; you to whom no one could prefer the pearls of the Indian Ocean, or the newly polished tooth of the Indian elephant, or the newly fallen snow, or tho untouched lily; whose hair surpassed the fleece of the Spanish flock, the knotted tresses of the dwellers on the Rhine, and the golden-coloured field-mouse; whose breath was redolent with odours which rivalled the rose-beds of Paestum, or the new honey of Attic combs, or amber just rubbed in the hand; compared to whom the peacock was ugly, the squirrel unattractive, the phoenix a common object; O Erotion, your funeral pyre is yet warm. The cruel law of the inexorable Fates has carried you off, my love, my delight, my plaything, in your sixth winter yet incomplete. Yet my friend Paetus forbids me to be sad, although he smites his own breast and tears his hair equally with myself. "Are you not ashamed (says he) to bewail the death of a little slave? I have buried a wife, — a wife distinguished, haughty, noble, rich, and yet am alive." What fortitude can be greater than that of my friend Paetus? — He inherits (by the death of his wife) twenty millions of sesterces, and yet can live.
§ 5.38 TO SEXTUS, ON CALLIODORUS, WHOSE PROPERTY WITH THAT OF HIS BROTHER AMOUNTED TOGETHER TO THE FORTUNE OF A KNIGHT:
Calliodorus, friend Sextus, possesses (who does not know it?) the fortune of a knight; but Calliodorus has also a brother. He who divides four hundred thousand sesterces would halve a fig. Do you think that two men can sit on one horse? What want you with a brother, a troublesome Pollux? if you had not this Pollux, you would be a Castor. While you are one, you require, Calliodorus, two seats. You are committing a solecism, Calliodorus. Rise, or else imitate the sons of Leda, and, as you cannot sit along with your brother, Calliodorus, occupy the seat by turns.
§ 5.39 TO CHARINUS:
Thirty times in this one year, Charinus, while you have been arranging to make your will, have I sent you cheesecakes dripping with Hyblaean thyme. I am ruined: have pity on me at length, Charinus. Make your will less often, or do that once for all, for which your cough is ever falsely leading us to hope. I have emptied my coffers and my purse. Had I been richer than Croesus, Charinus, I should become poorer than Irus, if you so frequently devoured my poor repast.
§ 5.40 TO ARTEMIDORUS, UNSUCCESSFULLY SACRIFICING TO THE Graces:
You have painted Venus, Artemidorus, while Minerva is the object of your veneration, and do you wonder that your work has not given pleasure?
§ 5.41 TO DIDYMUS:
Though you are more enervated than a languid eunuch, and weaker than the Celaenean minion of the Mother of the Gods, to whom the mutilated priests of that inspiring goddess howl, you prate of theatres, and rows of seats, and edicts, and purple robes, and Ides and buckles, and equestrian incomes; and, with a hand polished with pumice-stone, point out the poor. I shall see, Didymus, whether you are entitled to sit on the benches allotted to the knights; you certainly are not to sit on those of the married men.
§ 5.42 WHAT IS GIVEN TO FRIENDS IS NOT LOST:
A cunning thief may burst open your coffers, and steal your coin; an impious fire may lay waste your ancestral home; your debtor may refuse you both principal and interest; your corn-field may prove barren, and not repay the seed you have scattered upon it; a crafty mistress may rob your steward; the waves may engulf your ships laden with merchandise. But what is bestowed on your friends is beyond the reach of fortune; the riches you give away are the only riches you will possess for ever.
§ 5.43 ON THAIS AND LAECANIA:
Thais has black, Laecania white teeth; what is the reason? Thais has her own, Laecania bought ones.
§ 5.44 TO DENTO:
How has it come about, I ask, how has it so suddenly come about, Dento, that though I have asked you to dinner four times, you have (who would believe it?) constantly presumed to refuse me? You not only avoid looking back when I call, but you flee from me as I follow you, — me whom you so lately used to hunt for at the baths, at the theatres, and at every place of resort? The reason is, that you have been captivated by a more delicate table, and that a richer kitchen has attracted you like a dog. But very soon, when your rich host shall have found you out, and left you in disgust, you will come back to the bones of your old dinner with me.
§ 5.45 TO BASSA:
You say, Bassa, that you are beautiful; you say that you are a maiden. She who is not so, Bassa, is generally ready to say that she is.
§ 5.46 TO DIADUMENUS:
As I dislike all kisses, except those which I have secured with a struggle, and as your anger, Diadumenus, pleases me more than your face, I often flog you that I may often have to solicit you. The result is, that you neither fear me nor love me.
§ 5.47 ON PHILO:
Philo swears that he has never dined at home, and it is so; he does not dine at all, except when invited out.
§ 5.48 ON ENCOLPUS:
To what does not love compel us? Encolpus has shorn his locks, against the wish of his master, who did not even forbid him. Pudens permitted, though lamenting it. Just so did the father, foreboding evil, give up the reins to the rash Phaeton. Just so did the stolen Hylas, and the discovered Achilles, part with their locks, the latter gladly, though to the grief of his mother. But may your beard be in no haste to come, or presume on your shorn hair; but may it be late in appearing, in return for so great a sacrifice.
§ 5.49 TO LABIENUS, PARTIALLY BALD:
When I happened to see you a while ago, Labienus, sitting alone, I thought you were three persons. The number of the divisions of your bald head deceived me. You have on each side locks of hair, which might grace even a youth. In the middle, your head is bare, and not a single hair is to be remarked in the whole of that extensive area. This illusion was of advantage to you in December, when the emperor distributed the presents of the Saturnalia; you returned home with three baskets of provisions. I fancy that Geryon must have resembled you. Avoid, I advise you, the portico of Philippus; if Hercules sees you, it is all over with you.
§ 5.50 TO ACHROPINUS:
Whenever I dine at home, Charopinus, and do not invite you, your anger forthwith exceeds all bounds; you are ready to run me through with a drawn sword, if you discover that my kitchen fire has been lighted without a view to your entertainment. What then, shall I not be allowed for once to defraud you of a dinner? Nothing is more shameless, Charopinus, than that throat of yours. Cease at length, I pray you, to watch my kitchen, and allow my hearth sometimes to disappoint you.
§ 5.51 TO RUFUS, ON A PRETENDED LAWYER:
That person yonder, who has his left arm heavily laden with manuscripts, who is closely pressed by a beardless band of short-hand writers, who fixes a grave look on papers and letters, which people bring him from various quarters, assuming a demeanour like that of Cato, or Cicero, or Brutus, that person, I say, Rufus, even should torture try to compel him, cannot properly utter "good morning," either in Latin or in Greek. If you think I am joking, let us go and address him.
§ 5.52 TO POSTUMUS:
Your services to me I remember, and shall never forget Why then am I silent about them, Postumus? Because you yourself talk of them. Whenever I begin to speak to any one of your favours, he immediately exclaims, "He has told me of them himself." There are certain things which cannot be well done by two people; one is enough in this case. If you wish me to speak, keep silence yourself. Believe me, Postumus, gifts, however great, are deprived of their value by garrulity on the part of the donor.
§ 5.53 TO BASSUS, A WRITER OF TRAGEDIES:
Why, my good sir, do you write about the Colchian queen? why about Thyestes? what have you to do, Bassus, with Niobe, or Andromache? The fittest subject for your pen is Deucalion, or, if he does not please you, Phaeton.
§ 5.54 ON A RHETORICIAN:
My friend, the rhetorician, has become an improvisatore; he had not written down Calpurnius's name, yet he saluted him correctly.
§ 5.55 ON THE IMAGE OF AN EAGLE CARRYING JUPITER:
Tell me whom you are carrying, queen of birds. "The Thunderer." Why does he carry no thunderbolts in his grasp? "He is in love." For whom is he warmed with passion? "For a youth." Why do you, with your mouth open, look round so mildly on Jupiter? "I am speaking to him of Ganymede."
§ 5.56 TO LUPUS:
To what master to entrust your son, Lupus, has been an anxious object of consideration with you for some time. Avoid, I advise you, all the grammarians and rhetoricians; let him have nothing to do with the books of Cicero or Virgil; let him leave Tutilius to his fame. If he makes verses, give him no encouragement to be a poet; if he wishes to study lucrative arts, make him learn to play on the guitar or flute. If he seems to be of a dull disposition, make him an auctioneer or an architect.
§ 5.57 TO CINNA:
When I call you "My lord;" do not be vain, Cinna. I often return your slave's salutation in a similar way.
§ 5.58 TO POSTUMUS:
You tell me, Postumus, that you will live to-morrow; you always say to-morrow, Postumus. Tell me, Postumus, when will that to-morrow arrive? How far is that to-morrow off? Where is it? or where is it to be found? Is it hidden among the Parthians and Armenians? That to-morrow already counts up as many years as those of Priam or Nestor. For how much, tell me, may that to-morrow be bought? You will live to-morrow: even to-day it is too late to begin to live. He is the wise man, Postumus, who lived yesterday.
§ 5.59 TO STELLA:
In forbearing to send you either silver or gold, eloquent Stella, I have acted for your interest. Whoever makes great presents, wishes great presents to be made him in return. By my present of earthenware vases you will be released from such an obligation.
§ 5.60 TO A DETRACTOR:
Although you bark at me for ever and ever, and weary me with your shameless invectives, I am determined to persist in denying you that fame which you have been so long seeking, namely, that you, such as you are, may be read of in my works throughout the whole world. For why should any one know that you ever existed? You must perish unknown, wretched man; it must be so. Still there will not be wanting in this town perhaps one or two, or three or four, who may like to gnaw a dog's hide. For myself I keep my hands away from such corruption.
§ 5.61 TO MARIANUS:
Who is that curly-headed fellow, who is always at the side of your wife, Marianus? Who is that curly-headed fellow? He who is always whispering some soft nothing into my lady's gentle ear, and pressing her chair with his right elbow? He on all of whose fingers is displayed the light summer ring, and whose legs are disfigured by not even a single hair? Do you give me no answer? "He attends," say you, "to my wife's affairs." Truly he is a trustworthy gentleman, and looks like a man of business, — one who bears the character of agent in his very face; the Chian Aufidius will not be more energetic than he. Oh how well, Marianne, you deserve a slap from Latinus! I imagine you will be the successor of Panniculus. He attends to your wife's affairs! Does that curly-headed fellow attend to any affairs? Yes, he attends, not to your wife's affairs, but yours.
§ 5.62 TO HIS GUESTS, OFFERING THEM HIS HOUSE AND GROUNDS UNFURNISHED:
You may remain in my gardens, my guests, as long as you please, if you can submit to lie upon the bare ground, or if plenty of furniture is brought in for your use along with you; for as to mine, it has already suffered sufficiently from former guests. Not one cushion, even emptied of its feathers, remains to cover my broken couches, the sacking of which lies rotting with the cords all severed. Let us share the premises, however, between us. I have bought the gardens; that is the greater part: do you furnish them; that is the less.
§ 5.63 TO PONTIICUS, A FOOLISH WRITER:
"What do you think," say you, "Marcus, of my compositions?" Such is the question which you often and anxiously put to me, Ponticus. I admire them, I am amazed, nothing is more perfect. Regulus himself must bow to your superior genius. "Do you think so?" say you; "then may Caesar, then may Capitoline Jove be propitious to you!" Nay, may he be propitious to you rather!
§ 5.64 TO HIS SERVANTS:
Fill double cups of Falernian, Callistus; dissolve into it, Alcimus, the summer snow. Let my hair drip richly with abundance of nard, and my temples be encircled with wreaths of roses. The Mausoleums, close at hand, bid us live, for they teach us that even gods can die.
§ 5.65 TO CAESAR:
The subjugation of the Nemean lion and the Arcadian wild-boar, — and of the athlete of the Libyan plain, — the conquest of the dread Eryx amid Sicilian dust, — the destruction of Cacos the terror of the woods, who, with stealthy cunning used to draw oxen by their tails to his care, — secured to Alcides, notwithstanding the opposition of his stepmother, a place in heaven among the stars. But how small are such achievements, Caesar, compared to what are performed on your arena! There each new morning exhibits to us greater contests. How many monsters fall, more terrible than that of Nemea! How many Maenalian boars does your spear stretch on the ground! Were the thrice-conquered Iberian shepherd, Geryon, to be restored to life, you have a champion, Caesar, that would conquer even him. And though the hydra of Grecian Lerna be often celebrated for the number of its heads, what is that monster compared to the crocodiles of the Nile? For such exploits, Augustus, the gods awarded early immortality to Alcides; to you they will award it late.
§ 5.66 TO POSTILIANUS:
Though I often salute you, you never salute me first; I shall therefore, Pontilianus, salute you with an eternal farewell.
§ 5.67 ON A SWALLOW:
When the Attic birds, after their custom, were seeking their winter retreats, one of them remained in her nest. The other birds, returning at the approach of spring, discovered the crime, and tore the deserter in pieces. Her punishment came late; the guilty mother had deserved such a death, but it was at the time that she slaughtered Itys.
§ 5.68 TO LESBIA, WITH A LOCK OF HAIR FROM GERMANY:
I send you this tress, Lesbia, from the northern regions, that you may know how much lighter your own is.
§ 5.69 ON MARK ANTONY:
O Antony, you can cast no reproach upon the Egyptian Pothinus, you who did more injury by the murder of Cicero, than by all your proscription lists. Why did you draw the sword, madman, against the mouth of Rome? Such a crime not even Catiline himself would have committed. An impious soldier was corrupted by your accursed gold, and for so much money procured you the silence of a single tongue. But of what avail to you is the dearly-bought suppression of that sacred eloquence? On behalf of Cicero the whole world will speak.
§ 5.70 TO MAXIMUS, ON SYRICUS:
Syriscus, while wandering about among the low taverns in the neighbourhood of the four baths, has dissipated, Maximus, ten whole millions of sesterces, recently lavished upon him by his patron. Oh what gluttony, to have consumed ten millions of sesterces! And how much greater does it appear, when we consider that he consumed it without sitting down to table!
§ 5.71 TO FAUSTINUS, INVITING HIM TO THE COOL GROVES OF TREBULA, A TOWN OF THE SABINES:
Where moist Trebula sinks in cool vales, and the green fields are cool in the raging heat of summer, a country spot, Faustinus, never withered by the ardour of the Cleonaean lion, and a house ever favoured by the Aeolian south wind, invite you. Pass the long days of harvest on these hills; Tivoli shall be your winter retreat.
§ 5.72 TO RUFUS:
He who could call Jupiter the mother of Bacchus, may very well, Rufus, call Semele his father.
§ 5.73 TO THEODORUS:
Do you wonder for what reason, Theodorus, notwithstanding your frequent requests and importunities, I have never presented you with my works? I have an excellent reason; it is lest you should present me with yours.
§ 5.74 ON POMPEY AND HIS SONS:
The sons of Pompey are covered by the soils of Asia and Europe; Pompey himself by that of Africa, if indeed he be covered by any. What wonder that they are thus dispersed over the whole globe? So great a ruin could not have lain in a single spot.
§ 5.75 TO QUINTUS:
Laelia, who has become your wife, Quintus, in compliance with the law, you may fairly call your lawful wife.
§ 5.76 TO CINNA:
Mithridates, by frequently drinking poison, rendered it impossible for any poison to hurt him. You, Cinna, by always dining on next to nothing, have taken due precaution against ever perishing from hunger.
§ 5.77 TO MARULLUS:
A certain person, Marullus, is reported to have made an excellent joke; he said that you carry oil in your ear.
§ 5.78 TO TURANIUS:
If you are suffering from dread of a melancholy dinner at home, Turanius, you may come and fast with me. If you are in the habit of taking a preparatory whet, you will experience no want of common Cappadocian lettuces and strong leeks. The tunny will lurk under slices of egg; a cauliflower hot enough to burn your fingers, and which has but just left the cool garden, will be served freehand green on a black platter; while sausages will float on snow-white porridge, and the pale bean will accompany the red-streaked bacon; If you would know the riches of the second course, raisins will be set before you, and pears which pass for Syrian, and chestnuts to which learned Naples gave birth, roasted at a slow fire. The wine you will prove in drinking it. After all this, if Bacchus perchance, as is his wont, produce a craving, excellent olives, which Picenian branches recently bore, will come to your relief with the hot vetch and the tepid lupine. The dinner is small; who can deny it? — but you will not have to invent falsehoods, or hear them invented; you will recline at ease, and with your own natural look; the host will not read aloud a bulky volume of his own compositions, nor will licentious girls from shameless Cadiz be there to gratify you with wanton attitudes; but (and I hope it will not be unpleasant or distasteful to you) the small reed-pipe will be heard. Such is my little dinner. You will follow Claudia, whom you earnestly wish should be with me before yourself.
§ 5.79 TO ZOILUS:
Eleven times have you risen from the table, Zoilus, at one meal, and eleven times have you changed your dinner-robe, lest the perspiration retained by your damp dress should remain upon your body, and the light air hurt your relaxed skin. Why do not I perspire, Zoilus, who dine with you? why, to have but one robe keeps me very cool.
§ 5.80 TO SEVERUS:
If you have the time, Severus, give something less than an hour — and you may count me your debtor for it — to the perusal and examination of my light effusions. It is hard to lose your holidays; yet I beg you to endure and put up with the loss for once. But if you peruse them in company with the eloquent Secundus — (but am I not too bold?) — this little book will owe you much more than it owes to its master. For it will be released from all anxiety, and will not see the rolling stone of the tired Sisyphus, if polished by the Censorian file of the learned Secundus, in union with my friend Severus.
§ 5.81 TO AEMILIANUS:
If you are poor now, Aemilianus, you will always be poor, Riches are now given to none but the rich.
§ 5.82 TO GAURUS:
Why did you promise me, Gaurus, two hundred thousand sesterces, if you could not give me a single ten thousand? Is it that you can, and will not? Is not that, I ask, still more dishonourable? Go, to the devil with you, Gaurus. You are a pitiful fellow.
§ 5.83 TO DINDYMUS:
You pursue, I fly; you fly, I pursue; such is my Humour. What you wish, Dindymus, I do not wish; what you do not wish, I do.
§ 5.84 TO GALLA, WHO HAD SENT MARTIAL NO PRESENT AT THE SATURNALIA:
The boy now sadly leaves his playthings, and returns at the call of his loud-voiced preceptor; and the drunken gamester, betrayed by the rattling of his seductive dice-box, is imploring mercy of the magistrate, having, but a little while before, been dragged from some obscure tavern. The Saturnalia are quite at an end, and you have sent me, Galla, neither the little nor the lesser gifts, which you used to send. Well, let my December pass thus. You know very well, I suppose, that your Saturnalia, in March, will soon be here. I will then make you a return, Galla, for what you have given me.
§ 6.1 BOOK VI
TO JULIUS MARTIALIS:
To you, Martialis, especially dear to me, I send my sixth book; which if it should be polished with your exact taste, may venture, with little anxiety or apprehension, into the august presence of Caesar.
§ 6.2 TO DOMITIAN:
It used to be a common sport to violate the sacred rites of marriage; a common sport to mutilate innocent males. You now forbid both, Caesar, and promote future generations, whom you desire to be born without illegitimacy. Henceforth, under your rule, there will be no such thing as a eunuch or an adulterer; while before, oh sad state of morals! the two were combined in one.
§ 6.3 TO DOMITIAN, ON THE EXPECTED BIRTH OF A SON BY HIS WIFE DOMITIA:
Spring into light, O child promised to the Trojan Iulus, true scion of the gods; spring into light, illustrious child! May your father, after a long series of years, put into your hands the reins of empire, to hold for ever; and may you rule the world, yourself an old man, in concert with your still more aged sire, for you shall Julia herself with her snow-white thumb, draw out the golden threads of life, and spin the whole fleece of Phrixus' ram.
§ 6.4 TO DOMITIAN:
Most mighty censor, prince of princes, although Rome is already indebted to you for so many triumphs, so many temples, new or rebuilt, so many spectacles, so many gods, so many cities, she owes you a still greater debt in owing to you her chastity.
§ 6.5 TO CAECILIANUS:
I have bought a farm in the country for a great sum of money; I ask you, Caecilianus, to lend me a hundred thousand sesterces. Do you make me no answer? I believe, you are saying within yourself "You will not repay me." It is for that reason, Caecilianus, that I ask you.
§ 6.6 TO LUPERCUS:
There are three actors on the stage; but your Paula, Lupercus, loves a fourth: Paula loves a muta persona.
§ 6.7 TO FAUSTINUS:
From the time when the Julian law, Faustinus, was revived, and modesty was ordered to enter Roman homes, it is now either less, or certainly not more, than the thirtieth day, and Telesilla is already marrying her tenth husband. She who marries so often cannot be said to marry at all; she is an adulteress under cover of the law. An avowed prostitute offends me less.
§ 6.8 TO SEVERUS:
Two auctioneers, four tribunes, seven lawyers, ten poets, were recently asking the hand of a certain young lady from her aged father. Without hesitation, he gave her to the auctioneer Eulogus. Tell me, Severus, did he act foolishly?
§ 6.9 TO LAEVINUS, WHO HAD SEATED HIMSELF AMONG THE KNIGHTS AND PRETENDED TO BE ASLEEP:
You go to sleep in the theatre of Pompeius, Laevinus, and do you complain if Oceanus disturbs you?
§ 6.10 TO DOMITIAN, COVERTLY ASKING HIM FOR MONEY:
A little while ago, when I happened to ask of Jupiter a few thousand sesterces, he replied, "He will give them to you, who has given temples to me." Temples indeed he has given to Jupiter, but to me no thousands at all. I am ashamed, alas! of having asked too little of our Jupiter. Yet how kindly, how undisturbed with anger, and with how placid a countenance, did he read my request! With such did he restore their diadems to the suppliant Dacians, with such does he go and come along the way to the Capitol. O Virgin, confidant of our Jupiter, tell me, I pray you, if he refuses with such a look as this, with what sort is he wont to grant? Thus I besought Pallas, and thus she, laying aside her Gorgon, briefly replied: "Do you imagine, foolish man, that what is not yet given is necessarily refused?"
§ 6.11 TO MARCUS:
Do you wonder, Marcus, that a Pylades and an Orestes are not to be found in the present day? Pylades, Marcus, used to drink the same wine as Orestes; and before Orestes was not set a better kind of bread or a fatter thrush, but there was one and the same entertainment for both. You devour Lucrine oysters; I feed upon those from the waters of Peloris; and yet my taste is not less nice than yours, Marcus. You are clothed from Cadmean Tyre; I, in the coarse garments of Gaul. Do you expect me, clad in a common solder's cloak, to love you who are resplendent in purple? If I am to play Pylades, let some one play Orestes to me; and this is not to be done by words, Marcus. To be loved, show love yourself.
§ 6.12 ON FABULLA:
Fabulla swears that the hair which she has bought is her own. Does she perjure herself, Paulus?
§ 6.13 ON THE STATUE OF JULIA:
Who would not suppose you, Julia, to have been fashioned by the chisel of Phidias, or to be the offspring of the art of Pallas herself? The white Lygdian marble seems to answer in the speaking image, and a life-like gloss beams on your placid countenance. Your hand plays, not ungracefully, with the cestus of the Acidalian goddess, stolen from the neck of little Cupid. To revive the love of Mars and of the supreme Blunderer, let Juno and Venus herself ask of you your cestus.
§ 6.14 TO LABERIUS:
You assert, Laberius, that you can write excellent verses; why then do you not write them? Whoever can write excellent verses, and does not write them, I shall regard as a remarkable man.
§ 6.15 ON AN ANT ENCLOSED IN AMBER:
While an ant was wandering under the shade of the tree of Phaeton, a drop of amber enveloped the tiny insect; thus she who in life was disregarded, became precious by death.
§ 6.16 TO PRIAPUS:
O you who, with your staff, affright men, and with your scythe, debauchees, defend these few acres of sequestered ground. So may no old thieves, but only boys and girls, graced with long tresses, enter your orchards,
§ 6.17 TO CINNAMUS:
You would have us, Cinnamus, call you Cinna. Would not this Cinna, I ask you, be a barbarism? By a similar process, if you had been previously named Roberson, you might now be called Robber.
§ 6.18 TO PRISCUS, ON THE DEATH OF SALONINUS:
The sacred shade of Saloninus, than which no better looks upon the Stygian abodes, reposes in the land of Spain. But we must not lament him; for he who has left you, Priscus, behind him, lives in that part of himself in which he preferred to live.
§ 6.19 TO POSTUMUS:
My suit has nothing to do with assault, or battery, or poisoning, but is about three goats, which, I complain, have been stolen by my neighbour. This the judge desires to have proved to him; but you, with swelling words and extravagant gestures, dilate on the Battle of Cannae, the Mithridatic war, and the perjuries of the insensate Carthaginians, the Sullae, the Marii, and the Mucii. It is time, Postumus, to say something about my three goats.
§ 6.20 TO PHOEBUS:
I asked you, Phoebus, for the loan of a hundred thousand sesterces, in consequence of your having said to me, "What them, do you want nothing of me?" You make inquiries, you doubt, you torment both yourself and me for ten days. Now, pray, Phoebus, refuse me at once.
§ 6.21 ON STELLA AND IANTHIS:
In uniting for ever Ianthis to the poet Stella, Venus gaily said to him, "I could not give you more." This she said before his mistress; but added maliciously in his ear, "Be careful, rash man, not to be guilty of any folly. Often have I, in a rage, beaten the dissolute Mars for his wandering propensities before he was fairly united to me. But now he is my own, he has never wronged me with a rival. Juno would be happy to find Jupiter as well conducted." She spoke, and struck the poet's breast with her mysterious cestus. The blow was sweet: but now, O goddess, spare your votary.
§ 6.22 TO PROCULINA:
When, Proculina, you marry your paramour, and, in order that the Julian law may not touch you, make him your husband who was recently your gallant, it is not a marriage, Proculina, but a confession.
§ 6.23 TO LESBIA:
You wish me, Lesbia, ever to be ready for your service; believe me, a bow is not always strung. However strongly you try to move me with caresses and soothing words, your face invincibly prevents your success.
§ 6.24 ON CHARISIANUS:
Nobody can be more luxurious than Charisianus. He walks about during the Saturnalia clad in a toga.
§ 6.25 TO MARCELLINUS IN DACIA:
Marcellinus, true scion of a worthy sire, you whom the shaggy bear covers with the Parrhasian car, hear what I, the old friend of you and your father, desire for you, and retain these my prayers in your mindful heart: That your valour may not be rash, and that no daring ardour may hurry you into the midst of swords and cruel weapons. Let them who are devoid of reason wish for war and savage Man; you can be the soldier both of your father and of your emperor.
§ 6.26 ON SOTADES:
Our friend Sotades is putting his head in danger. Do you suppose Sotades is accused of any crime? He is not. But, being unable any longer to hold out a stout truncheon, he goes to work with his tongue.
§ 6.27 TO NEPOS, ON THE BIRTH OF HIS DAUGHTER:
O Nepos, who are doubly my neighbour (for you, like myself inhabit a dwelling next to the Temple of Flora, as well as the ancient Ficeliae), to you has been born a daughter, whose face is stamped with the likeness of her father, evidence of her mother's fidelity. Spare not too much, however, the old Falernian, and leave behind you casks filled with money rather than with wine. May your daughter be affectionate and rich, but let her drink new wine; and let the wine-jar, now new, grow old along with its mistress. The Caecuban vintage must not be the drink of those only who have no children; fathers of families, believe me, can also enjoy life.
§ 6.28 EPITAPH ON GLAUCIAS:
Glaucias, the well-known freedman of Melior, at whose death all Rome wept, the short-lived delight of his affectionate patron, reposes beneath this marble sepulchre close to the Flaminian Way, He was a youth of pure morals, of simple modesty, of ready wit, and of rare beauty. To twice six harvests completed, the youth was just adding another year. Traveller, who laments his fate, may you never have ought else to lament!
§ 6.29 ON THE SAME:
Glaucias was not of the lower class of house slaves, nor of such as are sold in the common market: but he was a youth worthy of the tender affection of his master, and, before he could as yet appreciate the kindness of his patron, he was already made the freedman of Melior. This was the reward of his morals and his beauty. Who was more attractive than he? or whose face more resembled that of Apollo? Short is the life of those who possess uncommon endowments, and rarely do they reach old age. Whatever you love, pray that you may not love it too much.
§ 6.30 TO PAETUS:
If you had given me six thousand sesterces forthwith, when you said to me, "Take them, and carry them away, I make you a present of them," I should have felt as much indebted to you, Paetus, as if you had given me two hundred thousand. But now, when you have given them to me after a long delay, — after seven, I believe, or nine months, — I can tell you (shall I?) something as true as truth itself: you have lost all thanks, Paetus, for the six thousand sesterces.
§ 6.31 TO CHARIDEMUS:
You are aware that your physician, Charidemus, is the lover of your wife; you know it, and permit it. You wish to die without a fever?
§ 6.32 ON OTHO:
While Bellona yet hesitated as to the result of the civil war, and the gentle Otho had still a chance of gaining the day, he looked with horror on a contest which would cost great bloodshed, and with resolute hand plunged the sword into his breast. Grant that Cato, in life, was even greater than Caesar; was he greater in death than Otho?
§ 6.33 TO MATHO:
You have never seen any human being more miserable, Matho, than the debauchee Sabellus, than whom, before, no one was more joyful. Thefts, the escape or death of slaves, fires, mournings, afflict the unhappy man. He is so wretched that he even becomes natural in his appetites.
Affligunt hominem; jam miser et futuit.
Dives, pueros deperibat; pauper, mulieribus contentus esse cogitur.
§ 6.34 TO DIADUMENUS:
Give me, Diadumenus, close kisses. "How many?" you say. You bid me count the waves of the ocean, the shells scattered on the shores of the Aegaean Sea, the bees that wander on Attic Hybla, or the voices and clappings that resound in the full theatre, when the people suddenly see the countenance of the emperor. I should not be content even with as many as Lesbia, after many entreaties, gave to the witty Cattullus; he wants but few, who can count them.
§ 6.35 TO CAECILIANUS, A TROUBLESOME PLEADER:
The judge has reluctantly permitted you, Caecilianus, on your long importunity, to exhaust the clepsydra seven times. But you talk much and long; and, bending half backwards, you quaff tepid water out of glasses. To satisfy at once your voice and your thirst, pray drink, Caecilianus, from the clepsydra itself.
§ 6.36 TO PAPILUS:
§ 6.37 TO CHARINUS THE PERVERT:
Medal so fine,
No vain superfluous relics has,
Yet itches from the head to the waist!
O wretch, what pain
Do you sustain?
I've no place for it.
Still love the sport?
§ 6.38 ON THE SON OF REGULUS THE ADVOCATE:
Do you see how the little Regulus, who has not yet completed his third year, praises his father whenever he hears his name mentioned? and how he leaves his mother's lap when he sees his father, and feels that his father's glory is his own? The applause, and the court of the Centumviri, and the closely packed surrounding crowd, and the Julian temple, form the child's delight. Thus the scion of the noble horse delights in the dusty expanse of the plain; thus the steer with tender forehead longs for the combat. Ye gods, preserve, I entreat, to the mother and father the object of their prayers, that Regulus may have the pleasure of listening to his son, and his wife to both.
§ 6.39 TO CINNA:
Marulla has made you, Cinna, the father of seven children, I will not say freeborn, for not one of them is either your own or that of any friend or neighbour; but all being conceived on menial beds or mats, betray, by their looks, the infidelities of their mother. This, who runs towards us so like a Moor, with his crisped hair, avows himself the offspring of the cook Santra; while that other, with flattened nose and thick lips, is the very image of Pannicus, the wrestler. Who can be ignorant, that knows or has ever seen the blear-eyed Dama, that the third is that baker's son? The fourth, with his fair face and voluptuous air, evidently sprung from your favourite Lygdus. You may debauch your offspring if you please; it will be no crime. As to this one, with tapering head and long ears, like asses, who would deny that he is the son of the idiot Cyrrha? The two sisters, one swarthy, the other red-haired, are the offspring of the piper Crotus, and the bailiff Carpus, Your flock of hybrids would have been quite complete, if Coresus and Dyndymus had not been incapable.
§ 6.40 TO LYCORIS:
Then was not a woman that could be preferred to you, Lycoris; there is now none that can be preferred to Glycera. Glycera will be what you are; you cannot be what she is. What power time has! I once desired you; I now desire her.
§ 6.41 ON A HOARSE POET:
Yon poet, who recites with his throat and neck wrapped in wool, intimates that he finds great difficulty in speaking and equal difficulty in keeping silence.
§ 6.42 TO OPPIANUS, IN PRAISE OF THE BATHS OF ETRUSCUS:
Unless you bathe, Oppianus, in the baths of Etruscus you will die unpurified. No waters will receive you so pleasantly; neither the springs of Aponus, forbidden to young maidens; nor the relaxing Sinuessa; nor the stream of the fervid Passer, nor the proud Anxur, nor the baths of Apollo at Cuma, nor those of Baiae, most delightful of all. Nowhere is the air more clear and serene; light itself stays longer, there, and from no spot does day retire more reluctantly. There blaze resplendently the green quarries of Taygetus Tying with rocks of variegated beauty, which the Phrygian and the Libyan have hewn deeply, the dewy onyx emits its dry rays, and the ophites glow with a tiny flame. If the Lacedemonian customs please you, you may, after being gratified with dry heat, plunge into the Virgin or Martian waters; which shine so brilliantly, and are so pure, that you would scarcely suspect any water to be there, and imagine you saw nothing but the polished Lygdian marble. But you are not attending, and have all the while been listening to me with a deaf ear. You will die unclean Oppianus.
§ 6.43 TO CASTRICIUS:
While happy Baiae, Castricus, is showering its favours upon you, and its fair nymph receives you to swim in her sulphureous waters, I am strengthened by the repose of my Nomentan farm, in a cottage which gives me no trouble with its numerous acres. Here is my Baian sunshine and the sweet Lucrine lake; here have I, Castricius, all such riches as you are enjoying. Time was when I betook myself at pleasure to any of the far-famed watering-places, and felt no apprehension of long journeys. Now spots near town, and retreats of easy access, are my delight; and I am content if permitted to be idle.
§ 6.44 TO CALLIORORUS:
You imagine, Calliodorus, that your jesting is witty, and that you above all others overflow with an abundance of Attic salt. You smile at all, you utter pleasantries upon all, and you think that by so doing you will please at the dinner table. But I will tell you something, not very nice, but very true. No one will invite you, Calliodorus, to drink out of his glass.
§ 6.45 ON THE MARRIAGE OF LYGDUS AND LAETORIA:
You have had your diversion; it is enough. You, who have lived so freely, are married, and now only chaste pleasure is allowed you. But is there any chaste pleasure, when Laetoria is married to Lygdus? She will be worse as a wife than she recently was as a mistress.
§ 6.46 TO CATIANUS:
Yon chariot is urged by the unremitting whip of the blue faction driver, yet it moves no faster: truly, Catianus, you do wonders!
§ 6.47 TO THE NYMPH OF A FOUNTAIN:
You household nymph of my friend Stella, who glides, with pure stream, beneath the gemmed halls of your lord, whether the consort of Numa has sent you from the caves of the triple goddess, or whether you come as the ninth of the band of Muses, Marcus releases himself from his vows to you by sacrificing this virgin pig, because, when ill, be drank furtively of your waters. Do you, reconciled to me at length by this expiation, grant me the peaceful delights of your fountain; and let my draughts be always attended with health.
§ 6.48 TO POMPONIUS:
When your crowd of attendants so loudly applaud you, Pomponius, it is not you, but your banquet, that is eloquent.
§ 6.49 PRIAPUS UPON HIMSELF:
I am not carved out of the fragile elm, and this column, which rises so straight and so firm, is not made of wood taken at random, but is produced from the evergreen cypress, which fears neither hundreds of centuries nor the decay of a long-protracted old age. Fear it, evil-doer, whoever you may be; for if you injure with rapacious hand even the smallest cluster on this vine, this cypress shall engraft upon your body, however much you may struggle against it, a fig-tree which will bear fruit.
§ 6.50 TO BITHYNICUS, ON TELESINUS:
While Telesinus was poor, and cultivated virtuous and honest friends, he used to wander about in sorry guise, clad in a chilly little toga. But since he has begun to pay court to persons of licentious character, he can buy himself plate, table services, and farms. Do you wish to become rich, Bithynicus? Become a panderer to vice; virtuous courses will gain you nothing, or very little.
§ 6.51 TO LUPERCUS:
I have found out how to be even with you, Lupercus, for so often having guests at dinner without me. I am in a passion, and however frequently you may invite me, and send for me, and press me — "What will you do?" you say. What will I do? — -I will come.
§ 6.52 EPITAPH ON PANTAGATHUS:
In this tomb reposes Pantagathus, the object of his master's affection and regret, snatched away in the prime of youth. Well skilled was he in clipping stray hairs with scissors that gently touched them, and in trimming bristly cheeks. Earth, be propitious to him, as is right, and lie lightly on him; you cannot be lighter than was the artist's hand.
§ 6.53 TO FAUSTINUS, ON ANDRAGORAS:
Andragoras bathed, and supped gaily with me; and in the morning was found dead. Do you ask, Faustinus, the cause of a death so sudden? He had seen Doctor Hermocrates in a dream.
§ 6.54 TO AULUS, ON SEXTILIANUS:
If, Aulus, you forbid Sextilianus to speak of his "so great" and "so great," the poor fellow will be scarcely able to put three words together. "What does he mean? you ask. I will tell you what I suspect: namely, that Sextilianus is fallen in love with his "so great" and "so great."
§ 6.55 TO CORACINUS:
Because you are always redolent of lavender and cinnamon, and stained with the spoils from the nest of the proud phoenix, exhale the odour of Nicerotius's leaden vases, you smile with contempt, Coracinus, on us, who smell of nothing. I would rather smell of nothing than of scents.
§ 6.56 TO CHARIDEMUS:
§ 6.57 TO PHOEBUS:
You manufacture, with the aid of unguents, a false head of hair, and your bald and dirty skull is covered with dyed locks. There is no need to have a hairdresser for your head. A sponge, Phoebus, would do the business better.
§ 6.58 TO AULUS PUDENS:
While you, Aulus, delight in a near view of the Arcadian bear, and with enduring the climate of northern skies, oh how nearly had I, your friend, been carried off to the waters of Styx, and. seen the dusky clouds of the Elysian plain! My eyes, weak as they were, continually looked round for your countenance, and the name of Pudens was perpetually on my cold tongue. If the wool-spinning sisters do not weave the threads of my life black, and my voice does not address inattentive deities, you will return safe to the cities of Latium to see your friend safe, and, as a deserving knight, be rewarded with the rank of first centurion.
§ 6.59 ON BACCARA:
Baccara, desirous of exhibiting his six hundred fur mantles, grieves and complains that the cold does not attack him. He prays for dark days, and wind, and snow; and hates wintry days which are at all warm. What ill, cruel mortal, have our light cloaks, which the least breath of wind may carry off our shoulders, done you? How much simpler and more honest would it be for you to wear your fur cloaks even in the month of August.
§ 6.60 TO FAUSTINUS:
Pompullus has accomplished his end, Faustinus; he will be read, and his name be spread through the whole world! So may the inconstant race of the yellow-haired Germans flourish, and whoever loves not the rule of Rome! Yet the writing of Pompullus are said to be ingenious; but for fame, believe me, that is not enough. How many eloquent writers are there, who afford food for mites and worms, and whose learned verses are bought only by cooks! Something more is wanting to confer immortality on writings. A book destined to live must have genius.
§ 6.61 ON AN ENVIOUS PERSON:
Rome, city of my affections, praises, loves, and recites my compositions; I am in every lap, and in every hand. But see, yon gentleman grows red and pale by turns, looks amazed, yawns, and, in fact, hates me. I am delighted at the sight; my writings now please me.
§ 6.62 TO OPPIANUS:
Salanus has lost his only son. Do you delay to send presents, Oppianus? Alas, cruel destiny and remorseless Fates! of what vulture shall the corpse of Salanus be the prey?
§ 6.63 TO MARIANUS, DECEIVED BY A FLATTERER:
You know, Marianus, that you are obsequiously courted; you know that he who courts you is a covetous fellow; you know what his attentions mean; and yet you name him in your will, foolish man, as your heir, and destine him, as if you were out of your mind, to take your place. "But he has sent me, you say, large presents." True, but they are a baited hook; and can the fish ever love the fisherman? Will this pretender bewail your death with real sorrow? If you desire him to weep, Marianus, give him nothing.
§ 6.64 TO A DETRACTOR:
Although you are neither sprung from the austere race of the Fabii, nor are such as he whom the wife of Curius Dentatus brought forth when seized with her pains beneath a shady oak, as she was carrying her husband his dinner at the plough; but are the son of a father who plucked the hair from his face at a looking-glass, and of a mother condemned to wear the toga in public; and are one whom your wife might call wife; you allow yourself to find fault with my books, which are known to fame, and to carp at my best jokes, — jokes to which the chief men of the city and of the courts do not disdain to lend an attentive ear, — -jokes which the immortal Silius deigns to receive in his library, which the eloquent Regulus so frequently repeats, and which win the praises of Sura, the neighbour of the Aventine Diana, who beholds at less distance than others the contests of the great circus. Even Caesar himself the lord of all, the supporter of so great a weight of empire, does not think it beneath him to read my jests two or three times. But you, perhaps, have more genius; you have, by the polishing of Minerva, an understanding more acute; and the subtle Athena has formed your taste. May I die, if there is not far more understanding in the heart of the animal which, with entrails hanging down, and large foot, lungs coloured with concealed blood, — an object to be feared by all noses, — is carried by the cruel butcher from street to street You have the audacity, too, to write verses, which no one will read, and to waste your miserable paper upon me. But if the heat of my wrath should burn a mark upon you, it will live, and remain, and will be noted all through the city; nor will even Cinnamus, with all his cunning, efface the stigma. But have pity upon yourself, and do not, like a furious dog, provoke with rabid mouth the fuming nostrils of a living bear. However calm he may be, and however gently he may lick your fingers and hands, he will, if resentment and bite and just anger excite him, prove a true bear. Let me advise you, therefore, to exercise your teeth on an empty hide, and to seek for carrion which you may bite with impunity.
§ 6.65 TO TUCCA:
"You write epigrams in hexameters," is what Tucca, I know, is saying. There are, Tucca, precedents for it; in a word, Tucca, it is allowable. "But this one, you say, is very long." There are precedents for its length also, Tucca, and it is allowable. If you approve of shorter ones, read only my distichs. Let us agree, Tucca, that I shall be at liberty to write long epigrams, and you be at liberty not to read them.
§ 6.66 ON A CRIER SELLING A GIRL:
The crier Gellianus was lately offering for sale a young lady of not over-good reputation, such as sit in the middle of the Suburra. When she had been for sometime standing at a small price, the seller, desiring to prove her purity to all around, drew her towards him, and, while she feigned resistance, kissed her two, three, and four times. Do you ask the result he produced by his kisses? It was, that he who had just offered six hundred sesterces, withdrew his bidding.
§ 6.67 TO PANNICUS:
Do you ask, Pannicus, why your wife Caelia has about her only priests of Cybele? Caelia loves the flowers of marriage, but fears the fruits.
§ 6.68 TO CASTRICUS, ON THE DEATH OF THE YOUNG EUTYCHUS:
Bewail your crime, you Naiads, bewail it through the whole Lucrine lake, and may Thetis herself hear your mourning! Eutychus, your sweet inseparable companion, Castricus, has been snatched away from you, and has perished amid the waters of Bais. He was the partner and kind consoler of all your cares: he was the delight, the Alexis, of our poet. Was it that the amorous nymph saw your charms exposed beneath the crystal waves, and thought that she was sending back Hylas to Hercules? Or has Salmacis at length left her effeminate Hermaphroditus, attracted by the embrace of a tender but vigorous youth? Whatever it may be, whatever the cause of a bereavement so sudden, may the earth and the water, I pray, be propitious to you.
§ 6.69 TO CATULLUS:
I do not wonder that your Bassa, Catullus, drinks water; but I do wonder that the daughter of Bassus drinks water.
§ 6.70 TO MARCIANUS:
Sixty summers, Marcianus, and, I think, two more have been completed by Cotta, and he does not remember ever to have felt the weariness of a bed of sickness even for a single day. With resolute, nay uncourteous feature, he bids the doctors Alcon, Dasius, and Symmachus keep at a distance. If our years were accurately counted, and if the amount subtracted from them by cruel fevers, or oppressive languor, or painful maladies, were separated from the happier portion of our lives, we should be found in reality but infants, though we seem to be old men. He who thinks that the lives of Priam and of Nestor were long is much deceived and mistaken. Life consists not in living, but in enjoying health.
§ 6.71 ON TELETHUSA:
Telethusa, skilled in displaying attractive gestures to the sound of her Spanish castanets, and in dancing the sportive dances of Cadiz; Telethusa, capable of exciting the decrepit Pelias, and of moving the husband of Hecuba at the tomb of Hector; Telethusa inflames and tortures her former master. He sold her a slave, he now buys her back a mistress.
§ 6.72 TO FABULLUS, ON A THIEVISH CILICIAN:
A Cilician, a thief of but too notorious rapacity, wished to rob a certain garden; but in the whole grounds, large as they were, Fabullus, there was nothing save a marble Priapus. As he did not wish to return empty-handed, the Cilician stole Priapus himself.
§ 6.73 ON THE PRIAPUS OF HILARUS:
No rude rustic fashioned me with untaught pruning knife; you behold the noble handywork of the steward. For Hilarus, the most noted cultivator of the Caeretan territory, possesses these hills and smiling eminences. Behold my well-formed face, I do not seem made of wood, nor the arms I bear destined for the flames, but my imperishable sceptre, fashioned of ever-green cypress, in manner worthy of the hand of Phidias, boldly presents itself. Neighbours, I warn you, worship the divinity of Priapus, and respect these fourteen acres.
§ 6.74 TO AEFULANUS:
That guest reclining at his ease on the middle couch, whose bald heed is furnished with three hairs, and half daubed over with pomade, and who is digging in his half-opened month with a lentisc toothpick, is trying to impose upon us, Aefulanus; he has no teeth.
§ 6.75 TO PONTIA:
When you send me a thrush, or a slice of cheesecake, or a hare's thigh, or something of that sort, you tell me, Pontia, that you have sent me the dainties of your choice. I shall not send these to any one else, Pontia, nor shall I eat them myself.
§ 6.76 EPITAPH OF FUSCUS:
Fuscus, lately the guardian of the sacred person of the emperor, the supporter of the Mars who administered civil justice at home, the leader to whom the army of our sovereign lord was entrusted, lies buried here. We may confess this, Fortune, that that stone now fears not the threats of enemies; the Dacian has received our proud yoke with subdued neck, and the victorious shade of Fuscus reposes in a grove which he had made his own.
§ 6.77 TO AFER:
When you are poorer than even the wretched Irus, more vigorous than even Parthenopaeus, stronger than even Artemidorus in his prime, why do you delight to be carried by six Cappadocian slaves? You are laughed at, Afer, and derided much more than you would be were you to walk unattired in the middle of the Forum. Just so do people point at the dwarf Atlas on his dwarf mule, and the black elephant carrying its Libyan driver of similar hue. Do you wish to know why your litter brings you into so much ridicule? You ought not to be carried, even when dead, on a bier borne by six persons.
§ 6.78 TO AULUS:
Phryx, a famous drinker, Aulus, was blind of one eye, and purblind of the other. His doctor Heras said to him, "Beware of drinking; if you drink wine, you will not see at all." Phryx, laughing, said to his eye, "I must bid you farewell!" and forthwith ordered cups to be mixed for him in copious succession. Do you ask the result? While Phryx drank wine, his eye drank poison.
§ 6.79 TO LUPUS:
You are sad in the midst of every blessing. Take care that Fortune does not observe, or she will call you ungrateful.
§ 6.80 TO DOMITIAN, ON HIS WINTER ROSES:
Anxious to pay her court to you, the land of the Nile had sent to you, Caesar, as new gifts, some winter roses. The Memphian sailor felt little respect for the gardens of Egypt, after he had crossed the threshold of your city; such was the splendour of the spring, and the beauty of balmy Flora; and such the glory of the Paestan rose-beds. So brightly, too, wherever he directed his steps or his looks, did every path shine forth with garlands of flowers. But do you, O Nile, since you are compelled to yield to Roman winters, send us your harvests, and receive our roses.
§ 6.81 TO CHARIDEMUS:
§ 6.82 TO RUFUS:
A man, the other day, Rufus, after having diligently contemplated me just as a buyer of slaves or a trainer of gladiators might do, and after having examined me with eye and hand, said, "Are you, are you really, that Martial, whose lively sallies and jests are known to every one who has not a downright Dutchman's ear?" I smiled faintly, and with a careless nod admitted that I was the person he supposed. "Why then," said he, "have you so bad a cloak?" I answered, "Because I am a bad poet." That this, Rufus, may not happen again to your poet, send me a good cloak.
§ 6.83 TO DOMITIAN, IN PRAISE OF HIS CLEMENCY:
As much as the fortune of the father of Etruscus owes to the solicitations of the son, so much, most powerful of princes, do both owe to you; for you have recalled the thunderbolt launched by your right hand; I could wish that the fires of Jupiter were of a similar character. Would that the all-powerful Thunderer had your feelings, Caesar; his hand would then rarely apply its full force to the thunderbolt. From your clemency Etruscus acknowledges that he has received the double boon of being allowed to accompany his father when he went into exile, and when he returned from it.
§ 6.84 TO AVITUS:
Philippus, in good bodily health, is carried, Avitus, in a litter borne by eight men. But if, Avitus, you think him sane, you are yourself insane.
§ 6.85 ON THE DEATH OF RUFUS CAMONIUS:
My sixth book is published without you, Rufus Camonius, for a patron, and cannot hope to have you, my friend, for a reader. The impious land of the Cappadocians, beheld by you under a malignant star, restores only your ashes and bones to your father. Four forth, bereaved Bononia, your tears for your Rufus, and let the voice of your wailing be heard throughout the Aemilian Way. Alas! how sweet an affection, alas! how short a life, has departed! He had seen but just five times the award of prises at the Olympian games. O Rufus, you who were wont to read through my trifles with careful attention, and to retain my jests in your memory, receive this short strain with the tears of your sorrowful friend, and regard them as. incense offered by him who is far removed from you.
§ 6.86 ON BEING REQUIRED TO DRINK HOT WATER WHEN SICK:
O wine of Setia, O excellent snow, O goblets constantly refilled, when am I to drink you with no doctor to prevent me? He is a fool, and ungrateful, and unworthy of so great a boon, who would rather be heir to the rich Midas, than enjoy you. May he who is envious of me possess the harvests of Libya, and the Hermus, and the Tagus, and drink warm water.
§ 6.87 TO DOMITIAN:
May the gods and you yourself indulge you with whatever you deserve! May the gods and you yourself indulge me with whatever I wish, if I have deserved it!
§ 6.88 TO CAECILIANUS:
One morning, Caecilianus, I happened to salute you simply by your name, without calling you, "My Lord." Does any one ask how much that freedom cost me? it has cost me a hundred farthings.
§ 6.89 TO RUFUS, ON PANARETUS, A DRUNKARD:
Panaretus, full of wine, called with eloquent finger, just at midnight, for a vessel necessary for a certain purpose. A Spoletan wine-jar was brought to him; one which he had himself drained to the dregs, but which had not been enough for him, though drinking alone. Most faithfully measuring back to the jar its former contents, he restored the full quantity of wine to its receptacle. Are you astonished that the jar held all that he had drunk? Cease to be astonished, Rufus; he drunk it neat.
§ 6.90 ON GELLIA:
Gellia has but one gallant; this is a great disgrace, but, what is a greater, she is the wife of two husbands.
§ 6.91 TO ZOILUS:
The sacred censorial edict of our sovereign Lord condemns and forbids adultery. Rejoice, Zoilus, that your tastes exempt you from this law.
§ 6.92 TO AMMIANUS, DRINKING BAD WINE:
By the serpent which the art of Myron has graven on your cup, Ammianus, it is indicated that, in drinking Vatican wine, you drink poison.
§ 6.93 ON THAIS:
Thais smells worse than an old jar of a covetous fuller just broken in the middle of the street; worse than a goat after an amorous encounter; than the belch of a lion; than a hide torn from a dog on the banks of the Tiber; than chick rotting in an abortive egg; than a jar fetid with spoilt pickle. Cunningly wishing to exchange this disagreeable odour for some other, she, on laying aside her garments to enter the bath, makes herself green with a depilatory, or conceals herself beneath a daubing of chalk dissolved in acid, or covers herself with three or four layers of rich bean-unguent. When by a thousand artifices she thinks she has succeeded in making herself safe, Thais, after all, smells of Thais.
§ 6.94 ON CALPETIANUS:
Calpetianus' table is always laid with a gold service, whether he dines abroad or at his own house in town. So, too, does he sup even in an inn or at his country house. Has he then nothing else? No! and even that is not his own.
§ 7.1 BOOK VII
TO DOMITIAN, ON HIS ASSUMPTION OF A BREAST-PLATE:
Receive the terrible breastplate of the warlike Minerva, which even the anger of the snaky-locked Medusa dreads. When you do not wear it, Caesar, it may be called a breast-plate; when it sits upon your sacred breast, it will be an aegis.
§ 7.2 TO THE BREASTPLATE ITSELF:
Breastplate of our lord and master, impenetrable to the arrows of the Sarmatians, and a greater defence than the hide worn by Mars among the Getae; breastplate formed of the polished hoofs of innumerable wild boars, which defies the blows even of an Aetolian spear; happy is your lot, to be permitted to touch that sacred breast, and to be warmed with the genius of our god. Go, accompany him, and may you, uninjured, earn noble triumphs, and soon restore our leader to the palm-decked toga.
§ 7.3 TO PONTILIANUS:
Why do I not send you my books, Pontilianus? Lest you should send me yours, Pontilianus.
§ 7.4 TO CASTRICUS, ON OPPIANUS:
Oppianus, having an unhealthy complexion, Castricus, began to write verses.
§ 7.5 TO DOMITIAN, SOLICITING HIM TO RETURN:
If, Caesar, you regard the wishes of your people and senate, and the real happiness of the inhabitants of Rome, restore our deity to our urgent prayers. Rome is envious of the foe that detains him, although many a laurelled letter reaches her. That foe beholds the lord of the earth nearer than we; and with your countenance, Caesar, the barbarian is as much delighted as awed.
§ 7.6 TO FAME:
Is there then any truth in the report that Caesar, quitting the northern climes, is at length preparing to return to Ausonia? Certain intelligence is wanting, but every tongue repeats this news. I believe you, Fame; you are wont to tell the truth. Letters announcing victory confirm the public joy; the javelins of Mars have their points green with laurel. Again, rejoice! Rome proclaims aloud your great triumphs; and your name, Caesar, even though it be against your will, resounds throughout your city. But now, that our joy may have greater grounds for certainty, come yourself; and be your own messenger of your victory over the Sarmatians.
§ 7.7 TO CAESAR:
Though the wintry Northern Bear, the barbarous Peuce, the Danube warmed by the trampling of horses' feet, and the Rhine, with its presumptuous horn already thrice broken, may withhold you from us, O sovereign ruler of the earth, and father of the world, whilst you are subduing the realms of a perfidious race, yet you canst not be absent from our prayers. Even there, Caesar, our eyes and minds are with you; and so fully do you occupy the thoughts of all, that the very crowd in the great Circus know not whether Passerinus is running or Tigris.
§ 7.8 TO THE MUSES, ON DOMITIAN'S RETURN:
Now, O Muses, now, if ever, give vent to joy. Our god is restored to us victorious from the plains of Thrace. You are the first, O December, to confirm the wishes of the people; how we may shout with loud voice, "He is coming." Happy are you, O December, in your lot; you might have assumed equality with January, had you given us the joy which he will give us. The crowned soldier will sport in festal railleries as he walks in procession amid the laurelled steeds. It is not unbecoming even in you, O Caesar, to listen to jests and trivial verses; since the triumphal celebration itself gives a license to amusement.
§ 7.9 ON CASCELLIUS, A LAWYER DEFICIENT IN FLUENCY:
Cascellius numbers sixty years, and is a man of talent. When will he be a man of eloquence?
§ 7.10 TO OLUS, A SLANDERER:
Eros has a Ganymede, Pinna is strangely fond of women; what is it to you, Olus, what either of them does with himself? Matho pays a hundred thousand sesterces to a mistress: what is it to you, Olus? It is not you, but Matho, who will thus be reduced to poverty. Sertorius sits at table till daylight: what is it to you, Olus, when you are at liberty to snore all night long? Lupus owes Titus seven hundred thousand sesterces: what is it to you, Olus? Do not give or lend Lupus a single penny. What really does concern you, Olus, and what ought more intimately to concern you, you keep out of sight. You are in debt for your paltry toga; that, Olus, concerns you. No one will any longer give you a farthing's credit; that, Olus, concerns you. Your wife plays the adulteress; that, Olus, concerns you. Your daughter is grown up, and demands a dowry; that, Olus, concerns you. I could mention some fifteen other things that concern you; but your affairs, Olus, concern me not at all.
§ 7.11 AULUS PUDENS:
You urge me, Pudens, to correct my books for you, with my own hand and pen. You are far too partial, and too kind, thus to wish to possess my trifles in autograph.
§ 7.12 TO FAUSTINUS:
So may the lord of the world, Faustinus, read me with serene countenance, and receive my jests with his wonted attention, as my page injures not even those whom it justly hates, and as no portion of reputation, obtained at the expense of another, is pleasing in my eyes. To what purpose is it that certain versifiers wish publications which are but darts dipped in the blood of Lycambes to be deemed mine, and that they vomit forth the poison of vipers under my name? — versifiers, who cannot endure the rays of the sun and the light of day? My sport is harmless; you know this well; I swear it by the genius of all-powerful Fame, and by the Castalian choir, as well as by the attention you grant me, reader, who, if you are free from the unmanly passion of envy, are to me as a great deity.
§ 7.13 ON LYCORIS:
Lycoris the brunette, having heard that the ivory of an antiquated tooth recovered its whiteness by the action of the sun at Tivoli, betook herself to its hills, sacred to Hercules. How great is the efficacy of the air of the lofty Tivoli! In a short time she returned black.
§ 7.14 TO AULUS:
A frightful misfortune, Aulus, has befallen a fair acquaintance of mine; she has lost her pet, her delight; not such as Lesbia, the mistress of the tender Catullus, bewailed, when she was bereaved of her amorous sparrow; nor such as the dove, sung by my friend Stella, which Ianthis lamented, and whose dark shade now flits in elysium. My fair one is not captivated by trifles, or objects of affection such as those; nor do such losses affect the heart of my mistress. She has lost a young friend numbering twice six years, whose powers had not yet reached maturity.
§ 7.15 TO ARGYNNUS:
What boy is this that retreats from the sparkling waters of Ianthis, and flees from the Naiad their mistress? Is it Hylas? Well is it that Hercules is honoured in this wood, and that he so closely watches these waters. You may minister at these fountains, Argynnus, in security; the Nymphs will do you no harm; beware lest the guardian himself should wish to do so.
§ 7.16 TO REGULUS:
I have not a farthing in the house; one thing only remains for me to do, Regulus, and that is, to sell the presents which I have received from you; are you inclined to buy them?
§ 7.17 TO THE LIBRARY OF JULIUS MARTIALIS:
Library of a charming country retreat, whence the reader can see the neighbouring town, if, amid more serious poems, there be any room for the sportive Thalia, you may place even upon the lowest shelf these seven books which I send you corrected by the pen of their author. This correction gives them their value. And do you, O library of Julius Martialis, to which I dedicate this little present, you that will be celebrated and renowned over the whole globe, guard this earnest of my affection!
§ 7.18 TO GALLA:
§ 7.19 ON A FRAGMENT OF THE SHIP ARGO:
This fragment, which you think a common and useless piece of wood, was a portion of the first ship that ventured on unknown seas, a ship which neither the Cyanean rocks, so fertile in shipwrecks, nor the still more dangerous rage of the Scythian ocean, could formerly destroy. Time has overcome it; but, though it has yielded to years, this little plank is more sacred than an entire ship.
§ 7.20 ON SANTRA:
No one is more pitiable, no one more gluttonous, than Santra, when he is invited and hurries off to a regular supper, to which he has fished for an invitation many days and nights: he asks three times for boar's neck, four times for the loin, and for the two hips and both shoulders of a hare nor does he blush at lying for a thrush, or filching even the livid beards of oysters. Sweet cheese-cakes stain his dirty napkin; in which also potted grapes are wrapped, with a few pomegranates, the unsightly skin of an excavated sow's udder, moist figs, and shrivelled mushrooms. And when, the napkin is bursting with a thousand thefts, he hides in the reeking fold of his dress gnawed fish-bones, and a turtle-dove deprived of its head. He thinks it not disgraceful, too, to gather up with greedy hand whatever the waiter and the dogs have left. Nor does solid booty alone satisfy his gluttony; at his feet he fills a flagon with mingled wines. These things he carries home with him, up some two hundred steps; and locks himself carefully in his garret and bars it; and the next day the rapacious fellow sells them.
§ 7.21 ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH-DAY OF LUCAN:
This is the day which, witness of an illustrious birth, gave Lucan to the people and to you, Polla. Alas, cruel Nero, more detested on account of none of your victims than of this, such a crime at least should not have been permitted you.
§ 7.22 ON THE SAME:
The day returns, memorable for the illustrious birth of a bard inspired by Apollo; Aonian virgins, be propitious to our sacrifices. Baetis, when she gave you, Lucan, to the earth, deserved that her waters should be mingled with those of Castalia.
§ 7.23 TO APOLLO, ON THE SAME:
Phoebus, come great as you were when you gave the second quill of the Latin lyre to the singer of wars. What can I pray for worthy of so glorious a day? That you, Polla, may often venerate the shade of your husband, and that he may be sensible of your veneration.
§ 7.24 ON A SLANDERER:
Perfidious tongue, that would embroil me with my dear friend Juvenal, what will you not have the audacity to say? With you to coin scandalous stories, Orestes would have hated Pylades; the affectionate Pirithous would have shunned Theseus. You would have parted the Sicilian brothers, and the Atridae, still greater names, and the sons of Leda. This I imprecate upon you, O tongue, as a just reward for your doings and your audacious attempts, that you may continue to do what I believe you do already.
§ 7.25 TO A BAD EPIGRAMMATIST:
Although the epigrams which you write are always sweetness itself and more spotless than a white-leaded skin, and although there is in them neither an atom of salt, nor a drop of bitter gall, yet you expect, foolish man, that they will be read. Why, not even food itself is pleasant, if it is wholly destitute of acid seasoning; nor is a face pleasing, which shows no dimples. Give children your honey-apples and luscious figs; the Chian fig, which has sharpness, pleases my taste.
§ 7.26 TO HIS SCAZONS:
Go, my Scazons, and pay your respects to Apollinaris; and, if he be disengaged (for you must not importune him), present him with this collection, whatever may be its worth, a collection in which he himself has a share. May his refined ear grant my verses an audience. If you find yourselves welcomed with open brow, you will ask him to support you with his usual favour. You know his passionate liking for my trifles; not even I myself could love them more. If you wish to be safe against detractors, go, my Scazons, and pay your respects to Apollinaris.
§ 7.27 ON A WILD-BOAR:
A wild boar, a devourer of Tuscan acorns, and heavy with the fruit of many an oak, second in fame only to the monster of Aetolia, a boar which my friend Dexter pierced with glittering spear, lies an envied prey for my kitchen fire. Let my Penates fatten and exude with the pleasing steam, and my kitchen, festally adorned, blaze with a whole mountain of felled wood. But, ah! my cook will consume a vast heap of pepper, and will have to add Falernian wine to the mysterious sauce. No; return to your master, ruinous wild-boar: my kitchen fire is not for such as you; I hunger for less costly delicacies.
§ 7.28 TO FUSCUS, ON SENDING HIM HIS EPIGRAMS:
So may your grove at Tivoli, consecrated to Diana, grow unceasingly, and your wood, though often cut, hasten to recruit itself; so may not your olives, fruit of Pallas, be excelled by the presses of Spain; so may your vast wine-coolers supply you with good wine; so may the courts of law admire and the palace praise you, and many a palm decorate your folding doors, as, while the middle of December affords you a short vacation, you correct with unerring judgment these trifles which you are now reading. "Do you wish to hear the truth? — it is a trying task." But you can say, Fuscus, what you would wish to be said to yourself.
§ 7.29 TO THESTYLUS, THE POET VICTOR'S BOY:
Thestylus, sweet torment of Victor Voconius, you than whom no youth is better known in the whole city, so may you still, though your long hair has been cut, retain your beauty and the affection of your master, and so may no maiden find favour in the eyes of your poet-lord, as you now lay aside for a while his learned compositions, whilst I read to him a few humble verses. Even by Maecenas while Virgil sang of his Alexis, the brown Melaenis of Marsus was not disregarded.
§ 7.30 TO CAELIA:
You grant your favours, Caelia, to Parthians, to Germans, to Dacians; and despise not the homage of Cilicians and Cappadocians. To you journeys the Egyptian gallant from the city of Alexandria, and the swarthy Indian from the waters of the Eastern Ocean; nor do you shun the embraces of circumcised Jews; nor does the Alan, on his Sarmatic steed, pass by you. How comes it that, though a Roman girl, no attention on the part of a Roman citizen is agreeable to you?
§ 7.31 TO REGULUS, ON SENDING HIM BOUGHT PRESENTS:
These shrill-voiced denizens of the hen-coop, these eggs of the matron hens, these Chian figs made yellow by a moderate heat, this young offspring of a plaintive she-goat, these olives yet too tender to bear the cold, and these vegetables hoary with the cold frosts, do you imagine that they are sent from my country-house? Oh, how intentionally you mistake, Regulus! my fields bear nothing but myself. Whatever your Umbrian bailiff or husbandman, or the Etruscan, or the people at Tusculum, or your country-house three miles from Rome, send to you, is all produced for me in the middle of the Suburra.
§ 7.32 TO ATTICUS, COMMENDING HIS EXERCISE IN THE RACE:
O Atticus, who revives the fame of a family renowned for eloquence, and does not allow a mighty house to fall into oblivion, you are accompanied by the pious votaries of the Cecropian Minerva, you are pleased with calm retirement, and beloved by every philosopher, whilst other young men are instructed in boxing by a pugilist at the expense of wounded ears, and the greasy anointer carries off their money, which he little deserves. No ball, no bladder, no feather-stuffed plaything prepares you for the warm baths, nor the harmless blows dealt upon the defenceless wooden image. Neither do you square your arms drenched in stiff wrestler's oil; nor seize at full speed the dusty hand-ball. You only run near the glistening Virgin water, and where the bull shows his affection for the Sidonian maiden. For a young man who can run, to indulge in the various sports that every arena presents is mere idleness.
§ 7.33 TO CINNA:
When your toga, Cinna, is dirtier than mud, and your shoe whiter than the new-born snow, why, foolish man, do you let your garment hang down over your feet? Gather up your toga, Cinna; or your shoe will be quite spoilt.
§ 7.34 TO SEVERUS, ON CHARINUS' EXCELLENT BATHS:
Do you ask, Severus, how it could come to pass that Charinus, the very worst of men, has done one thing well? I will tell you at once. Who was ever worse than Nero? Yet what can be better than Nero's warm baths? But hark, there is not wanting some ill-natured individual to say, immediately, in a sour tone, "What, do you prefer the baths of Nero to the munificent structures of Domitian, our lord and master?" I prefer the warm baths of Nero to the baths of the debauched Charinus.
§ 7.35 TO LAECANIA:
§ 7.36 TO STELLA:
When my crazy farm-house, unable to resist the rain and dropping skies, was inundated by the winter floods, there came to me, sent by your kindness, a supply of tiles, sufficient for a defence against any sudden shower. Hark! inclement December is roaring with the blast of Boreas; Stella, you cover the farm-house, and forget to cover the farmer.
§ 7.37 TO CASTRICUS:
Do you know, Castricus, the quaestor's sign of condemnation to death? It is worth your while to learn the new Theta. He had given orders that every time he blew his nose dropping with cold, the act should be a fatal sign for death. One day, when furious December was blowing with dripping jaws, an unsightly icicle was hanging from his odious nose. His colleagues held his hands. What further do you ask? The wretched man, Castricus, was not allowed to blow his nose.
§ 7.38 TO POLYPHEMUS:
O Polyphemus, slave of my friend Severus, you are of such a size and such a form that the Cyclops himself might wonder at you. Nor is Scylla inferior to you in these respects. If you bring face to face the awful monstrosities of the two, either will be a terror to the other.
§ 7.39 ON CAELIUS:
Caelius, unable any longer to endure with patience the constant running from place to place, the morning calls, and the pride and cold salutations of the great, began to pretend that he had the gout. But, while he was over-eager to prove his disease real, and was plastering and bandaging his sound feet, and walking with laboured step (such is the efficacy of care and art in feigned pain) he ceased to feign.
§ 7.40 EPITAPH ON THE FATHER OF ETRUSCUS:
Here lies that old man, well known at the court of the emperor, whose favour and whose anger he endured with no mean spirit. The affection of his children has laid him with the hallowed ashes of his consort; the Elysian grove holds both. She died first, defrauded of her youthful prime. He lived nearly eighteen Olympiads. But whoever beheld your tears, Etruscus, thought that he had been snatched from you prematurely.
§ 7.41 TO SEMPRONIUS TUCCA:
You think yourself, Sempronius Tucca, a cosmopolite. Vices, Sempronius Tucca, are equally cosmopolitan with virtues.
§ 7.42 TO CASTRICUS:
If any person, Castricus, should wish to rival you in making presents, let him attempt to do so also in making verses. I am but of small resources in either way, and always ready to own myself beaten; hence ease and undisturbed quiet charm me. Do you ask, then, why I have offered you such bad verses? I ask you in return, do you imagine that no one ever offered apples to Alcinous?
§ 7.43 TO CINNA:
The greatest favour that you can do me, Cinna, if I ask anything of you, is to give it me; the next, Cinna, to refuse it at once. I love one who gives, Cinna; I do not hate one who refuses; but you, Cinna, neither give, nor refuse.
§ 7.44 TO QUINTUS OVIDIUS, ON THE BUST OF MAXIMUS CAESONIUS:
This, Quintus Ovidius, is your friend Maximus Caesonius, whose lineaments the living wax still preserves. Him Nero condemned; but you dared to condemn Nero, and to follow the fortunes of the exile instead of your own. You went through the waters of Scylla, a noble companion of his exile; you who, but a little while before, were unwilling to go with him when he was consul. If names that I commit to paper are to live, and destiny wills that I should survive my tomb, present and future generations shall know that you were to turn what he was to his friend Seneca.
§ 7.45 TO THE SAME, ON THE SAME BUST:
This is that Maximus, the powerful friend of the eloquent Seneca, next in his affection to Carus, or more dear to him than Serenus, and whom he salutes with many a charming letter. You, Ovidius, in whose praise no tongue should be silent, followed him through the Sicilian waves, setting at nought the wrath of a furious tyrant. Let antiquity admire her Pylades, who adhered to one exiled by his mother's fury. Who could compare the dangers defied by the two? You adhered to one exiled by Nero.
§ 7.46 TO PRISCUS:
While you are wishing to enhance your present to me by verses, Priscus, and endeavouring to speak more eloquently than the month of Homer ever spoke, you torture both me and yourself for many days, and still your muse says nothing about what concerns me. You may send poetry and sounding verse to the rich; to poor men give substantial presents.
§ 7.47 TO LICINIUS SURA, ON HIS RECOVERY FROM SICKNESS:
O Licinius Sura, most celebrated of learned men, whose eloquence, savouring of antiquity, reminds us of our mighty ancestors, you are — (oh, by what kindness of the Fates!) — restored to us; sent back after having almost tasted the water of Lethe. Our prayers had lost their fear; our sadness wept without relief; and it appeared from our tears that you were quite lost. But the ruler of the silent Avenue feared our displeasure, and has himself restored to the Fates the distaff already snatched from their hands. Thus you know, then, what lamentations the false report of your death caused amongst your fellow-creatures, and you enjoy what will be said of you by posterity. Live as though you were stolen from death, and seize fleeting joys, and thus your recovered life will not have lost a single day.
§ 7.48 ON ANNIUS:
Annius has some two hundred tables, and servants for every table. Dishes run hither and thither, and plates fly about. Such entertainments as these keep to yourselves, you pompous; I am ill pleased with a supper that walks.
§ 7.49 TO SEVERUS:
I send you, Severus, the small offerings of my suburban garden; eggs good for your throat, fruits to please your palate.
§ 7.50 TO THE FOUNTAIN OF IANTHIS, STELLA'S MISTRESS:
Fount of your Mistress, queen of the spot in which Ianthis delights, glory and delight of this splendid retreat, when your brink is adorned with so many snow-white attendants, and your waves reflect a troop of Ganymedes, what is the venerated Alcides doing in the wood near you? Why occupies the god a position so close to you? Is it that he keeps watch over the amorous nymphs, whose manners he so well knows, to prevent so many Hylases from being carried off at once?
§ 7.51 TO URBICUS:
If you are unwilling, Urbicus, to purchase my trifles, and yet desire to have a knowledge of my sportive verses, go find Pompeius Auctus. Perhaps you know him; he sits in the porch of the temple of Mars the Avenger. Though deeply imbued with law, and versed in the various usages of civil life, he is not only my reader, Urbicus, but my book itself. He so faithfully remembers and repeats his absent friend's compositions, that not a single letter of my pages is lost. In a word, if he had chosen, he might have made himself appear the author; but he prefers to assist in spreading my reputation. You may apply to him after the tenth hour of the day, for before that time he will not be sufficiently disengaged; his little dinner will accommodate two. He will read; you may drink; he will recite whether you like it or not: and after you have said "Hold, enough!" he will still continue to recite.
§ 7.52 TO POMPEIUS AUCTUS:
I am delighted, Auctus, that you read my effusions to Celer; I mean, if Celer is also pleased with what you read. He has been governor of my countrymen and the Celtic Iberians, and never was purer integrity seen in our region. The profound reverence I entertain for him fills me with awe; and I regard his ears as those not of an auditor, but of a judge.
§ 7.53 TO UMBER:
You have sent me as a present for the Saturnalia, Umber, everything which you have received during the past five days; twelve note-books of three tablets each, seven tooth-picks; together with which came a sponge, a table-cloth, a wine-cup, a half-bushel of beans, a basket of Picenian olives, and a black jar of Laletanian wine. There came also some small Syrian figs, some candied plums, and a heavy pot of figs from Libya. They were a present worth, I believe, scarcely thirty small coins altogether; and they were brought by eight tall Syrian slaves. How much more convenient would it have been for one slave to have brought me, as he might without trouble, five pounds' weight of silver!
§ 7.54 TO NASIDIENUS:
Every morning you recount to me your idle dreams about myself such as may move and alarm my mind. All my wine of last vintage has been exhausted to the dregs, and even that of the present is failing, while the wise woman is exorcising for me the effects of your nocturnal visions. I have consumed heaps of salted meal and mountains of frankincense; my flocks, by the frequent sacrifices of lambs, have altogether dwindled away. Not a pig, not a fowl of the hencoop, not an egg have I left. Either lie awake, Nasidienus, or sleep and dream for yourself.
§ 7.55 TO CHRESTUS:
§ 7.56 TO RABIRIUS, DOMITIAN'S ARCHITECT:
You have embraced the stars and the skies in your pious mind, Rabirius; such is the wondrous art with which you are erecting the Parrhasian edifice. If Pisa is still preparing to give the Jupiter of Phidias a temple worthy of him, she should request of our Jupiter the aid of your skilful hand.
§ 7.57 ON GABINIA:
Gabinia has made Achilles a Castor out of a Pollux; he was Pyxagathos, now he will be Hippodamus.
§ 7.58 TO GALLA:
§ 7.59 TO TITUS, ON CAECILIANUS:
Our friend Caecilianus, Titus, does not sup without a whole wild-boar on his table. A pretty table-companion Caecilianus has!
§ 7.60 TO JUPITER CAPITOLINUS:
Venerable sovereign of the Tarpeian palace, whom we believe to exist as Lord of the thunder, from the care which you show for the preservation of our prince, when every one importunes you with prayers, and implores you to give what the gods alone can give, be not angry with me, O Jupiter, as though I were proud, because I ask you nothing. It is my duty to supplicate you for Domitian; to supplicate Domitian for myself.
§ 7.61 TO DOMITIAN:
The audacious shopkeepers had appropriated to themselves the whole city, and a man's own threshold was not his own. You, Germanicus, bade the narrow streets grow wide; and what but just before was a pathway became a highway. No column is now girt at the bottom with chained wine-flagons ; nor is the Praetor compelled to walk in the midst of the mud. Nor, again, is the barber's razor drawn blindly in the middle of a crowd, nor does the smutty cookshop project over every street. The barber, the vintner, the cook, the butcher, keep their own places. The city is now Rome; recently it was a great shop.
§ 7.62 ON THE IMPURE AMILLUS:
§ 7.63 ON SILIUS ITALICUS:
You, who read the imperishable volumes of the ever-living Silius and his verses, worthy of the Roman toga, do you think that Pierian retreats, and ivy chaplets, like those of Bacchus binding the hair of the Aonian Virgins, alone gave pleasure to the poet? No! he did not approach the mysteries of the lofty Virgil until he had accomplished the course pursued by the great Cicero. The grave centumviral court of the judges still remembers him with admiration; and many a client speaks of him with grateful lips. After ruling with the twelve fasces the ever-memorable-year which was consecrated by the liberation of the world, he devoted his remaining days to the Muses and Phoebus, and now, instead of the forum, cultivates Helicon.
§ 7.64 TO CINNAMUS:
You, Cinnamus, who were a barber well known over all the city, and afterwards, by the kindness of your mistress, made a knight, have taken refuge among the cities of Sicily and the regions of Aetna, fleeing from the stern justice of the forum. By what art will you now, useless log, sustain your years? How is your unhappy and fleeting tranquillity to employ itself? You cannot be a rhetorician, a grammarian, a school-master, a Cynic, or Stoic philosopher, nor can you sell your voice to the people of Sicily, or your applause to theatres of Some. All that remains for you, Cinnamus, is to become a barber again.
§ 7.65 TO GARGILIANUS:
One suit carried through the three courts, Gargilianus, is wearing you out, now numbering, as you do, the colds of twenty winters since its commencement. Wretched, infatuated man! does any one continue at law for twenty years, Gargilianus, who has the option of losing his suit?
§ 7.66 ON LABIENUS:
Fabius has left Labienus all his property: Labienus says, notwithstanding, that he deserved more.
§ 7.67 IN PHILAENIM TRIBADEM:
§ 7.68 TO INSTANTIUS RUFUS:
Be cautious, I pray you, Instantius Rufus, in commending the effusions of my muse to your father-in-law; perhaps he likes serious compositions. But should he welcome my sportive writings, I may then venture to read them even to Curius and Fabricius.
§ 7.69 TO THE POET CANIUS, ON A PORTRAIT OF THEOPHILIA HIS BETROTHED:
This is that Theophila, Canius, who is betrothed to you, and whose mind overflows with Attic learning. The Athenian garden of the great old man might justly claim her for its own, and the Stoic sect would with equal pleasure call her theirs. Every work will live that you submit to her judgment before publication, so far is her taste above that of her sex, and of the common herd. Your favourite Pantaenis, however well known to the Pierian choir, should not claim too much precedence of her. The amorous Sappho would have praised her verses; Theophila is more chaste than Sappho, and Sappho had not more genius than Theophila.
§ 7.70 TO PHILAENIS:
§ 7.71 ON A CERTAIN FAMILY:
The wife is affected with ficus; the husband is affected the daughter, the son-in-law, and the grandson are alike affected. Nor is the steward, or the farm bailiff free from the disgusting ulcer; nor even the sturdy digger or the ploughman. When thus young and old alike are affected with this disease, it is a marvellous circumstance that not a single plot of their land produces figs.
§ 7.72 TO PAULUS:
So may December be pleasing to you, Paulas, and so may there come to you neither valueless tablets, nor table-cloths too short, nor half-pounds of incense light in weight: but may some influential client, or powerful friend, bring you chargers or goblets that belonged to his ancestors, or whatever delights and fascinates you most; so may you beat Novius and Publius at chess, shutting up their glass men in their squares; so may the impartial judgment of the well-oiled crowd of athletes award you the palm in the warm triangular game at ball, and not bestow greater praise on the left-handed strokes of Polybus: as, if any malignant person shall pronounce verses dripping with black venom to be mine, you lend your voice in my favour, and maintain, with all your might and without remission, "my friend Martial did not write those."
§ 7.73 TO MAXIMUS:
You have a mansion on the Esquiline hill, and a mansion on the hill of Diana; and another rears its head in the Patricians' quarter. From one of your dwellings you behold the temple of the widowed Cybele, from another that of Vesta; from others you look on the old and the new Capitol. Tell me where I may meet you; tell me whereabouts I am to look for you: a man who lives everywhere, Maximus, lives nowhere.
§ 7.74 TO MERCURY; A PRAYER FOR CARPUS AND NORBANA:
O glory of Cyllene and of the skies, eloquent minister of Jove, whose golden wand is wreathed with twisted snakes, so may an opportunity for some fond intrigue never fail you, whether the Paphian goddess, or Ganymede, be the object of your affection; and so may your mother's Ides be adorned with sacred garlands, and your old grandfather be pressed with but a light burden, as Norbana shall ever joyfully keep with her husband Carpus the anniversary of this day on which they first came together in wedlock. He, as your pious votary, consecrates his gifts to wisdom; he invokes you with incense, but is faithful at the same time to our Jove.
§ 7.75 IN ANUM DEFORMEM:
§ 7.76 TO PHILOMUSUS, A BUFFOON:
Though the great hurry you off to their banquets, and walks in the porticoes, and to the theatres; and though they are delighted, whenever you meet them, to make you share their litters, and to bathe with you, do not be too vain of such attentions. You entertain them, Philomusus; you are not an object of their regard.
§ 7.77 TO TUCCA:
You importune me, Tucca, to present you with my books, I shall not do so; for you want to sell, not to read them.
§ 7.78 TO PAPILUS, A MAN NIGGARDLY AND OSTENTATIOUS:
While upon your own table is placed only the tail of a poor Saxetan fish, and, when you dine luxuriously, cabbage drenched with oil; you make presents of sow's udders, wild boar, hare, mushrooms, oysters, mullets. You have neither sense, Fapilus, nor taste.
§ 7.79 TO SEVERUS, ON DRINKING NEW WINE:
I have just drunk some consular wine. You ask how old and how generous? It was bottled in the consul's own year; and he who gave it me, Severus, was that consul himself.
§ 7.80 TO FAUSTINUS:
Inasmuch as Rome now leaves in peace the Getic climes and the hoarse clarions are hushed, you will be able, Faustinas, to send this book to Marcellinus: now he has leisure for books and for amusement. And if you wish to enhance your friend's trifling present, let a young slave carry any verses; not such a one as, fed with the milk of a Getic heifer, plays with Sarmatian hoop upon frozen rivers, but a rosy youth, bought of a Mitylenean dealer, or one from Lacedaemon not yet whipped by his mother's order. My messenger to you will be a slave from the subdued Danube, only fit to tend sheep at Tivoli.
§ 7.81 TO LAUSUS:
In this whole book there are thirty bad epigrams; if there are as many good ones, Lausus, the book is good.
§ 7.82 DE MENOPHILO VERPA:
§ 7.83 ON LUPERCUS:
Whilst the barber Eutrapelus is going the round of Lupercus's face, and carefully smoothing his cheeks, another beard springs up.
§ 7.84 TO HIS BOOK:
While my portrait is being taken for Caecilius Secundus, and the picture, painted by a skilful hand, seems to breathe, go, my book, to the Getic Peuce and the submissive Danube; this is his post, among the conquered people. You will be a little gift to my dear friend, but acceptable: my countenance will be more truly read in my verse than in the picture. Here it will live, indestructible by accidents or lapse of years, when the work of Apelles shall be no more.
§ 7.85 TO SABELLUS:
For sometimes writing quatrains which are not devoid of humour, Sabellus, and for composing a few distichs prettily, I commend you; but I am not astonished at you. It is easy to write a few epigrams prettily; but to write a book of them is difficult.
§ 7.86 TO SEXTUS:
I used to be invited to your birth-day feasts, before I had become your intimate friend, Sextus. How has it come to pass, I ask, how has it so suddenly come to pass, that, after so many pledges of affection on my part, and after the lapse of so many years, I, old friend as I am, am not included in your invitations. But I know the reason; I have not sent you a pound of refined silver, or a fine toga, or a warm cloak. The sportula which is made a matter of traffic, is a sportula no longer. You feed presents, Sextus, and not friends. But you will now tell me, "I will punish the slave omitting to deliver my invitations."
§ 7.87 TO FLACCUS, ON HIS OWN LOVE FOR LABYCAS:
If my friend Flaccus delights in a long-eared lagolopex; if Canius likes a sad-coloured Aethiopian; if Publius is passionately fond of a little puppy; if Cronius loves an ape resembling himself; if a mischievous ichneumon forms the gratification of Marius; if a talkative magpie pleases you, Lausus; if Glaucilla twines an icy snake round her neck; if Tetania has bestowed a tomb on a nightingale; why should not the face of Labycas, worthy of Cupid himself be an object of love to him who sees that things so strange furnish pleasure to his betters?
§ 7.88 TO LAUSUS ON HIS WORKS:
It is reported (if fame says true) that the beautiful town of Vienne counts the perusal of my works among its pleasures. I am read there by every old man, every youth, and every boy, and by the chaste young matron in presence of her grave husband. This triumph affords me more pleasure than if my verses were recited by those who drink the Nile at its very source, or than if my own Tagus loaded me with Spanish gold, or Hybla and Hymettus fed my bees. I am then really something, and not deceived by the interested smoothness of flattery's tongue. I shall henceforth, I think, believe you, Lausus.
§ 7.89 TO A CHAPLET OF ROSES:
Go, happy rose, and wreathe with a delicate chaplet the tresses of my Apollinaris. Remember, also, to wreathe them even after they are grown grey, but far distant be that time! So may Venus ever love you.
§ 7.90 TO CRETICUS:
Matho exults that I have produced a book full of inequalities; if this be true, Matho only commends my verses. Books without inequalities are produced by Calvinus and Umber. A book that is all bad, Creticus, may be all equality.
§ 7.91 TO JUVENAL:
I send you, eloquent Juvenal, some nuts from my little farm as a present for the Saturnalia. The libertine god who protects it, has given the rest of the fruits to amorous young ladies.
§ 7.92 TO BACCARA:
"If you want anything, you know it is not necessary to solicit my assistance," is what you tell me two or three times every day. The stern Secundus calls upon me with harsh voice to repay him. You hear, Baccara, but do not know what I want. My rent is demanded of me, loudly and openly, in your very presence: you hear, Baccara, but do not know what I want. I complain of my worn-out cloak, that will not protect me from the cold: you hear, Baccara, but do not know what I want. I will tell you then what I want; it is that you may become dumb by a sudden stroke of paralysis, and so be unable to talk to me of what I want.
§ 7.93 TO THE TOWN OF NARNIA, WHERE QUINTUS OVIDIUS WAS RESIDING:
Narnia, surrounded by the river Nar with its sulphureous waters, you whom your double heights render almost inaccessible, why does it delight you so often to take from me, and detain with wearisome delay, my friend Quintus? Why do you lessen the attractions of my Nomentan farm. which was valued by me because he was my neighbour there? Have pity on me at length, Narnia, and abuse not your possession of Quintus: so may you enjoy your bridge for ever!
§ 7.94 ON PAPILUS:
What the small onyx box contained was perfume; Papilus smelt it, and it is become a mass of corruption.
§ 7.95 TO LINUS:
It is winter, and rude December is stiff with ice; vet you dare, Linus, to stop every one who meets you, on this side and on that, with your freezing kiss, and to kiss, indeed, the whole of Rome. What could you do more severe or more cruel, if you were assaulted and beaten? I would not have a wife kiss me in such cold as this, or the affectionate lips of an innocent daughter. But you are more polite, more refined, you, from whose dog-like nose depends a livid icicle, and whose beard is as stiff as that of a Cinyphian he-goat, which the Cilician barber clips with shears. I prefer meeting a hundred of the vilest characters, and I have less fear of a recently consecrated priest of Cybele. If, therefore, Linus, you have any sense or decency, defer, I pray you, your winter salutations till the month of April.
§ 7.96 EPITAPH OF URBICUS:
Here I, the child Urbicus, to whom the mighty city of Rome gave both birth and name, repose; an object of mourning to Bassus. Six months were wanting to complete my third year, when the stern goddesses broke my fatal thread. What did my beauty, my prattle, my tender years avail me? You who read the inscription before you, drop a tear upon my tomb. So may he, whom you shall desire to survive yourself be preserved from the waters of Lethe till he has reached an age greater than that of Nestor.
§ 7.97 TO HIS BOOK:
If my book, you are well acquainted with Camus Sabinus, the glory of the mountainous Umbria, the fellow-townsman of my friend Aulus Pudens, you will present these lines to him, even though he be engaged. Though a thousand cares may besiege and press upon him, he will still have leisure for my verses; for he loves me, and will read me next to the noble compositions of Turnus. Oh, what renown is in store for me! what glory! what numbers of admirers! You will be celebrated at feasts, at the bar, in the temples, the streets, the porticoes, the shops. You are sent to one, but you will be read by all.
§ 7.98 TO CASTOR:
You buy everything, Castor; the consequence will be, that you will sell everything.
§ 7.99 TO CRISPINUS:
So, Crispinus, may you always see the Thunderer's face, looking serene, and so may Rome love you not less than your own Memphis, as my verses shall be read in the Parrhasian palace; (for the sacred ear of Caesar usually deigns to listen to them). Take courage to say of me, as a candid reader, "This poet adds something to the glory of your age, nor is he very much inferior to Marsus and the learned Catullus." That is sufficient; the rest I leave to the god himself.
§ 8.pr BOOK VIII
VALERIUS MARTIALIS, TO THE EMPEROR DOMITIANUS, CAESAR AUGUSTUS, GERMANICUS, DACICUS, GREETINGS.
All my books, Sire, to which you have given renown, that is, life, are dedicated to you; and will for that reason, I doubt not, be read. This, however, which is the eighth of my collection, has furnished more frequent opportunities of showing my devotion to you. I had consequently less occasion to produce from my own invention, for the matter supplied the place of thought; yet I have occasionally attempted to produce variety by the admixture of a little pleasantly, that every verse might not inflict on your divine modesty praises more likely to fatigue you than to satisfy me. And though epigrams, addressed even to the gravest persons and to those of the highest rank, are usually written in such a manner that they seem to assume a theatrical licence of speech, I have nevertheless not permitted these to speak with any such freedom. Since, too, the larger and better part of the book is devoted to the majesty of your sacred name, it has to remember that it ought not to approach the temples of gods without religious purification. That my readers also may know that I consider myself bound by this obligation, I have determined to make a declaration to that effect at the commencement of the book in a short epigram:
§ 8.1 TO HIS BOOK:
My book, as you are about to enter the laurel-wreathed palace of the lord of the world, learn to speak with modesty, and in a reverent tone. Retire, unblushing Venus; this book is not for you. Come you to me, Pallas, you whom Caesar adores.
§ 8.2 TO JANUS:
Janus, the author and parent of our annals, when he recently beheld the conqueror of the Danube, thought it not enough to have several faces, and wished that be had more eyes; then, speaking at once with his different tongues, he promised the lord of earth and divinity of the empire an old age four times as long as that of Nestor. We pray you, father Janus, that you would give the promised term in addition to your own immortality.
§ 8.3 TO HIS MUSE:
"Five books had been enough; six or seven are surely too many: why, Muse, do you delight still to sport on? Be modest and make an end. Fame can now give me nothing more: my book is in every hand. And when the stone sepulchre of Messala shall He ruined by time, and the vast marble tomb of Licinus shall be reduced to dust, I shall still be read, and many a stranger will carry my verses with him to his ancestral home." Thus had I concluded, when the ninth of the sisters, her hair and dress streaming with perfumes, made this reply: Can you then, ungrateful, lay aside your pleasant trifling? Can you employ your leisure, tell me, in any better way? Do you wish to relinquish my sock for the tragic buskin, or to thunder of savage wars in heroic verse, that the pompous pedant may read you with hoarse voice to his class, and that the grown-up maiden and ingenuous youth may detest you? Let such poems be written by those who are most grave and singularly severe, whose wretched toilings the lamp witnesses at midnight. But do you season books for the Romans with racy salt; in you let human nature read and recognise its own manners. Although you may seem to be playing on but a slender reed, that reed will be better heard than the trumpets of many.
§ 8.4 TO DOMITIAN:
What a world of people, ye gods, is collected at the Roman altars, offering up prayer and vows for its ruler! These, Germanicus, are not the joys of men only; it seems to me that the gods themselves are celebrating a festival.
§ 8.5 TO MACER:
You have given so many rings to young ladies, Macer, that you have none left for yourself.
§ 8.6 ON EUCTUS:
There is nothing more hateful than the antique vases of old Euctus. I prefer cups made of Saguntine clay. When the garrulous old man boasts the pedigrees of his smoky silver vessels, he makes even the wine seem musty with his talk. "These cups belonged to the table of Laomedon; to obtain which Apollo raised the walls of Troy by the sound of his lyre. With this goblet fierce Rhoecus rushed to battle with the Lapitha; you see that the work has suffered in the struggle. This double vase is celebrated for having belonged to the aged Nestor; the doves upon it have been worn bright by the thumb of the hero of Pylos. This is the tankard in which Achilles ordered wine to be prepared for his friends with more than ordinary copiousness and strength. In this bowl the beauteous Dido drank the health of Bitias, at the entertainment given to the Phrygian hero." When you have done admiring all these trophies of ancient art, you will have to drink Astyanax in the cups of Priam.
§ 8.7 TO CINNA:
Is this pleading causes, Cinna? Is this speaking eloquently, to say nine words in ten hours? Just now you asked with a loud voice for four more clepsydra. What a long time you take to say nothing, Cinna!
§ 8.8 TO JANUS, ON DOMITIAN'S RETURN IN JANUARY:
Although, Janus, you give birth to the swiftly-rolling years, and recall with your presence centuries long past; and although you are the first to be celebrated with pious incense, saluted with vows, and adorned with the auspicious purple and with every honour; yet you prefer the glory, which has just befallen our city, of beholding its god return in your own month.
§ 8.9 TO QUINTUS:
Hylas, the blear-eyed, lately offered to pay you three quarters of his debt; now that he has lost one eye he offers you half. Hasten to take it; the opportunity for getting it may soon pass, for if Hylas should become blind, he will pay you nothing.
§ 8.10 ON BASSUS:
Bassus has bought a cloak for ten thousand sesterces; a Tyrian one of the very best colour. He has made a good bargain. "Is it then," you ask, "so very cheap?" Yes; for he will not pay for it.
§ 8.11 TO DOMITIAN:
The Rhine now knows that you have arrived in your own city; for he too hears the acclamations of your people. Even the Sarmatian tribes, and the Danube, and the Getae, have been startled by the loudness of our recent exultations. While the prolonged expressions of joy in the sacred circus greeted you, no one perceived that the horses had started and run four times. No ruler, Caesar, has Rome ever so loved before, and she could not love you more, even were she to desire it.
§ 8.12 TO PRISCUS:
Do you ask why I am unwilling to marry a rich wife? It is because I am unwilling to be taken to husband by my wife. The mistress of the house should be subordinate to her husband, for in no other way, Priscus, will the wife and husband be on an equality.
§ 8.13 TO GARGILIANUS:
I bought what you called a fool for twenty thousand sesterces. Return me my money, Gargilianus; he is no fool at all.
§ 8.14 TO A FRIEND:
That your tender Cilician fruit trees may not suffer from frost, and that too keen a blast may not nip your young plants, glass frame-works, opposed to the wintry south winds, admit the sunshine and pure light of day without any detrimental admixture. But to me a cell is assigned with unglazed windows, in which not even Boreas himself would like to dwell. Is it thus, cruel man, that you would have your old friend live? I should be better sheltered as the companion of your trees.
§ 8.15 TO DOMITIAN:
While the newly-acquired glory of the Pannonian campaign is the universal theme of conversation, and while every altar is offering propitious sacrifices to our Jupiter on his return, the people, the grateful knights, the senate, offer incense; and largesses from you for the third time enrich the Roman tribes. These modest triumphs, too, Rome will celebrate; nor will your laurels gained in peace be less glorious than your former triumphs in war, inasmuch as you feel assured of the sacred affection of your people. It is a prince's greatest virtue to know his own subjects.
§ 8.16 TO CIPERUS:
You, Cyperus, who were long a baker, now plead causes, and are seeking to gain two hundred thousand sesterces. But you squander what you get, and even go so far as to borrow more. You have not quitted your former profession, Cyperus: you make both bread and flour.
§ 8.17 TO SEXTUS:
I pleaded your cause, Sextus; having agreed to do so for two thousand sesterces. How is it that you have sent me only a thousand? "You said nothing," you tell me; "and the cause was lost through you." You ought to give me so much the more, Sextus, as I had to blush for you.
§ 8.18 TO CIRINIUS:
If, Cirinius, you were to publish your epigrams, you might be my equal, or even, my superior, in the estimation of the reading public; but such is the respect you entertain for your old friend, that his reputation is dearer to you than your own. Just so did Virgil abstain from the style of the Calabrian Horace, although he was well able to excel even the odea of Pindar, and so too did he resign to Varius the praise of the Roman buskin, although he could have declaimed with more tragic power. Gold, and wealth, and estates, many a friend will bestow; one who consents to yield the palm in genius, is rare.
§ 8.19 ON CINNA:
Cinna wishes to seem poor; and is poor.
§ 8.20 TO VARUS:
Though you write two hundred verses every day, Varus, you recite nothing in public. You are unwise, and yet you are wise.
§ 8.21 TO THE MORNING STAR:
Phosphorus (Morning Star), bring back the day; why do you delay our joys? When Caesar is about to return, Phosphorus, bring back the day. Rome implores you. Is it that the sluggish wain of the tame Bootes is carrying you, that you come with axle so slow? You should rather snatch Cyllarus from Leda's twins; Castor himself would to-day lend you his horse. Why do you detain the impatient Titan? Already Xanthus and Aethon long for the bit, and the benign parent of Memnon is up and ready. Yet the lingering stars refuse to retreat before the shining light, and the moon is eager to behold the Ausonian ruler. Come, Caesar, even though it be night: although the stars stand still, day will not be absent from your people when you come.
§ 8.22 TO GALLICUS:
You invite me, Gallicus, to partake of a wild boar; you place before me a home-fed pig. I am a hybrid, Gallicus, if you can deceive me.
§ 8.23 TO RUSTICUS:
I seem to you cruel and too much addicted to gluttony, when I beat my cook for sending up a bad dinner. If that appears to you too trifling a cause, say for what cause you would have a cook flogged?
§ 8.24 TO DOMITIAN:
If I chance in my timid and slender book to make any request of you, grant it, unless my pages are too presumptuous. Or, if you do not grant it, Caesar, still permit it to be made; Jupiter is never offended by incense and prayers. It is not he who fashions divine images in gold or marble, that makes them gods, but he who offers supplications to them.
§ 8.25 TO OPPIANUS:
You have seen me very ill, Oppianus, only once: I shall often see you so.
§ 8.26 TO DOMITIAN:
The huntsman on the banks of the Ganges, looking pale as he fled on his Hyrcanian steed, never stood in fear, amid the Eastern fields, of so many tigers as your Rome, O Germanicus, has lately beheld. She could not even count the objects of her delight. Your arena, Caesar, has surpassed the triumphs of Bacchus among the Indians, and the wealth and magnificence of the conquering deity; for Bacchus, when he led the Indians captive after his chariot, was content with a single pair of tigers.
§ 8.27 TO GAURUS:
He who makes presents to you, Gaurus, rich and old as you are, says plainly, if you have but sense and can understand him, "Die!"
§ 8.28 TO A TOGA, GIVEN HIM BY PARTHENIUS:
Say, toga, rich present from my eloquent friend, of what flock were you the ornament and the glory? Did the grass of Apulia and Ledaean Phalantus spring up for you, where Galaesus irrigates the fields with waters from Calabria? Or did the Tartessian Baetis, the nourisher of the Iberian fold, wash you, when on the back of a lamb of Hesperia? Or has your wool counted the mouths of the divided Timavus, of which the affectionate Cyllarus, now numbered with the stars, once drank? You it neither befitted to be stained with Amyclaean dye, nor was Miletus worthy to receive your fleece. You surpass in whiteness the lily, the budding flower of the privet, and the ivory which glistens on the hill of Tivoli. The swan of Sparta and the doves of Paphos must yield to you; and even the pearl fished from the Indian seas. But though this be a present that vies with new-born snows, it is not more pure than its giver Parthenius. I would not prefer to it the embroidered stuffs of proud Babylon, decorated with the needle of Semiramis; I should not admire myself more if dressed in the golden robe of Athamas, could Phrixus give me his Aeolian fleece. But oh what laughter will my worn-out ragged cloak excite, when seen in company with this regal toga!
§ 8.29 ON DISTICHS:
He who writes distichs, wishes, I suppose, to please by brevity. But, tell me, of what avail is their brevity, when there is a whole book full of them?
§ 8.30 ON THE SPECTACLE OF SCAEVOLA BURNING HIS HAND:
The spectacle which is now presented to us on Caesar's arena, was the great glory of the days of Brutus. See how bravely the hand bears the flames. It even enjoys the punishment, and reigns in the astonished fire! Scaevola himself appears as a spectator of his own act, and applauds the noble destruction of his right hand, which seems to luxuriate in the sacrificial fire; and unless the means of suffering had been taken away from it against its will, the left hand was still more boldly preparing to meet the vanquished flames. I am unwilling, after so glorious an action, to inquire what he had done before; it is sufficient for me to have witnessed the fate of his hand.
§ 8.31 TO DENTO:
You make a pretty confession about yourself Dento, when, after taking a wife, you petition for the rights of a father of three children. But cease to importune the emperor, and return, though a little behind time, to your own country; for, after so long seeking three children far away from your deserted wife, you will find four at home.
§ 8.32 ON THE DOVE OF ARETULLA, WHOSE BROTHER WAS EXILED TO SARDINIA:
A gentle dove, eliding down through the silent air, settled in the very lap of Aretulla as she was sitting. This might have seemed the mere sport of chance, had it not rested there, although undetained, and refused to depart, even when the liberty of flight was granted it. If it is permitted to the affectionate sister to hope for better things, and if prayers can avail to move the lord of the world, this bird is perhaps come to you from the dwelling of the exile in Sardinia, to announce the speedy return of your brother.
§ 8.33 TO PAULUS, ON RECEIVING FROM HIM A CUP OF VERY THIN METAL:
You send me, Paulus, a leaf from a Praetor's crown, and give it the name of a wine-cup. Some toy of the stage has perhaps recently been covered with this thin substance, and a dash of pale saffron-water washed it off. Or is it rather a piece of gilding scraped off (as I think it may be) by the nail of a cunning servant from the leg of your couch? Why, it is moved by a gnat flying at a distance, and is shaken by the wing of the tiniest butterfly. The flame of the smallest lamp makes it flit about, and it would be broken by the least quantity of wine poured into it. With some such crust as this the date is covered, which the ill-dressed client carries to his patron, with a small piece of money, on the first of January. The bean of Egypt produces filaments less flexible; and lilies, which fall before an excessive sun, are more substantial. The wandering spider does not disport upon a web so fine, nor does the hanging silk-worm produce a work so slight. The chalk lies thicker on the face of old Fabulla; the bubble swells thicker on the agitated wave. The net which enfolds a girl's twisted hair is stronger, and the Batavian foam which changes the colour of Roman locks is thicker. With skin such as this the chick in the Ledaean egg is clothed: such are the patches which repose upon the senator's forehead. Why did you send me a wine-cup, when you might have sent me a small ladle, or a spoon even? But I speak too grandly; when you might have sent me a snail-shell; or in a word, when you might have sent me nothing at all, Paulus?
§ 8.34 TO A BOASTER:
You say that you have a piece of plate which is an original work of Mys. That rather is an original, in the making of which you had no hand.
§ 8.35 TO A BAD COUPLE:
Since you are so well matched, and so much alike in your lives, a very bad wife, and a very bad husband, I wonder that you do not agree.
§ 8.36 TO DOMITIAN, ON HIS PALACE:
Smile, Caesar, at the miraculous pyramids of Egyptian kings; let barbarian Memphis now be silent concerning her eastern monuments. How insignificant are the labours of Egypt compared to the Parrhasian palace! The god of day looks upon nothing in the whole world more splendid. Its seven towers seem to rise together like seven mountains; Ossa was less lofty surmounted by the Thessalian Pelion. It so penetrates the heavens, that its pinnacle, encircled by the glittering stare, is undisturbed by thunder from the clouds below, and receives the rays of Phoebus before the nether world illumined, and before even Circe beholds the face of her rising father. Yet though this Palace, Augustus, whose summit touches the stars, rivals heaven, it is not so great as its lord.
§ 8.37 TO POLYCHARMUS, WHO AFFECTED LIBERALITY:
When you have given up to Caietanus his bond, do you imagine that you have made him a present of ten thousand sesterces? "He owed me that sum," you say. Keep the bond, Polycharmus, and lend Caietanus two thousand.
§ 8.38 TO MELIOR, ON HIS TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF THE NOTARY BLAESUS:
He who makes presents with persevering attention to one who can make a return for his liberality, is perhaps angling for a legacy, or seeking some other return. But if any one perseveres in giving to the name which alone remains after death and the tomb, what does he seek but a mitigation of his grief? It makes a difference whether a man is, or only wishes to seem, good. You are good, Melior, and Fame knows it, in that you anxiously prevent with solemn rites the name of the buried Blaesus from perishing: and what you profusely give from your munificent coffers to the observant and affectionate company of notaries to keep his natal day, you bestow purely on Blaesus' memory. This honour will be paid you for many a year, as long as your life shall last, and will continue to be paid after your death.
§ 8.39 TO DOMITIAN, ON HIS PALACE:
There was previously no place that could accommodate the feasts and ambrosial entertainments of the Palatine table. Here you can duly quaff the sacred nectar, Germanicus, and drain cups mixed by the hand of your Ganymede. May it be long, I pray, before you become the guest of the Thunderer; or, if you, Jupiter, are in haste to sit at table with Domitian, come hither yourself!
§ 8.40 TO PRIAPUS:
O Priapus, guardian, not of a garden, nor of a fruitful vine, but of this little grove, from which you were made and may be made again, I charge you, keep from it all thievish hands, and preserve the wood for its master's fire. If this should fall short, you will find that you yourself are but wood.
§ 8.41 TO FAUSTINUS:
Athenagoras says he is sorry that he has not sent me the presents which he usually sends in the middle of December. I shall see, Faustinus, whether Athenagoras is sorry; certainly Athenagoras has made me sorry.
§ 8.42 TO MATHO, ON SENDING HIM A SPORTULA:
If a larger sportula has not attracted you to those who are more favoured by fortune, as is usually the case, you may take a hundred baths, Matho, from my sportula.
§ 8.43 ON FABIUS AND CHRESTILLA:
Fabius buries his wives, Chrestilla her husbands; each shakes a funeral torch over the nuptial couch. Unite these conquerors, Venus, and the result will then be that Libitina will carry them both off together.
§ 8.44 TO TITULLUS:
I admonish you, Titullus, enjoy life; it is already late to do so; it is late, even, to begin under the schoolmaster. But you, miserable Titullus, are not even enjoying life in your old age, but wear, out every threshold with morning calls, and all the forenoon are covered with perspiration, and slobbered with the kisses of the whole city. You wander through the three forums, in face of all the equestrians, the temple of Mars, and the colossus of Augustus; you are running about everywhere from the third to the fifth hour. Grasp, accumulate, spare, and hoard as you will, you must leave all behind you. Though the splendid coffer be pale with closely packed silver coins, though a hundred pages of kalends be filled with your debtors' names, yet your heir will swear that you have left nothing, and, whilst you are lying upon your bier or on, the stones, while the pyre stuffed with papyrus is rising for you, he will insolently patronise your weeping eunuchs; and your sorrowing son, whether you like it or not, will caress your favourite the very first night after your funeral.
§ 8.45 TO FLACCUS, ON THE RETURN OF PRISCUS TERENTIUS:
Priscus Terentius, my dear Flaccus, is restored to me from the coast of Sicily; let a milk-white gem mark this day. Let the contents of this amphora, diminished by the lapse of a hundred consulships, flow forth, and let it grow brighter, turbid as it now is, strained through the purifying linen. When will a night so auspicious cheer my board? When will it be mine to be warmed with wine so fitly quaffed? When Cytherean Cyprus shall restore you, Flaccus, to me, I shall have equally good reason for sucn indulgence.
§ 8.46 TO CESTUS:
How great is your innocent simplicity, how great the childish beauty of your form, youthful Cestus, more chaste than the young Hippolytus! Diana might covet your society, and Doris desire to bathe with you: Cybele would prefer to have you all to herself instead of her Phrygian Atys. You might have succeeded to the couch of Ganymede, but you, cruel boy, would have given kisses only to your lord. Happy the bride who shall move the heart of so tender a husband, and the damsel who shall first make you feel that you are a man!
§ 8.47 TO ONE WHO ARRANGED HIS BEARD IN THREE DIFFERENT WAYS:
Part of your face is clipped, part shaven, part has the hair pulled out. Who would think that you have but one head?
§ 8.48 ON THE STOLEN CLOAK OF CRISPINUS:
Crispinus does not know to whom he gave his Tyrian mantle, when he changed his dress at the bath, and put on his toga. Whoever you are that have it, restore to his shoulders, I pray you, their honours; it is not Crispinus, but his cloak, that makes this request. It is not for every one to wear garments steeped in purple dye; that colour is suited only to opulence. If booty and the vicious craving after dishonourable gain possess you, take the toga, for that will be less likely to betray you.
§ 8.49 ON ASPER:
Asper loves a damsel; she is handsome certainly, but he is blind. Evidently then, such being the case, Asper loves better than he sees.
§ 8.50 TO CAESAR:
Great as is reported to have been the feast at the triumph over the giants, and glorious as was to all the gods that night on which the kind father sat at table with the inferior deities, and the Fauns were permitted to ask wine from Jove; so grand are the festivals that celebrate your victories, O Caesar; and our joys enliven the gods themselves. All the knights, the people, and the senate, feast with you, and Rome partakes of ambrosial repasts with her ruler. You promised much; but how much more have you given! Only a sportula was promised, but you have set before us a splendid supper.
§ 8.51 ON A WINE-CUP RECEIVED FROM INSTANTIUS RUFUS:
Whose workmanship is displayed in this cup? Is it that of the skilful Mys, or of Myron? Is this the handiwork of Mentor, or yours, Polycletus? No tarnish blemishes its brightness, its unalloyed metal is proof against the fire of the assayer. Pure amber radiates a less bright yellow than its metal; and the fineness of its chasing surpasses the carving on snowy ivory. For the work is not inferior to the material; it surrounds the cup, as the moon surrounds the earth, when she shines at the full with all her light. Embossed on it is a goat adorned with the Aeolian fleece of the Theban Phrixus; a goat on which his sister would have preferred to ride; a goat which the Cinyphian shearer would not despoil of his hair, and which Bacchus himself would allow to browse on his vine. On the back of the animal sits a Cupid fluttering his golden wings; and a Palladian flute made of the lotus seems to resound from his delicate lips. Thus did the dolphin, delighted with the Methymnaean Arion, convey his melodious rider through the tranquil waves. Let this splendid gift be filled for me with nectar worthy of it, not by the hand of a common slave, but by that of Cestus. Cestus, ornament of my table, mix the Setine wine; the lovely boy and the goat that carries him both seem to be thirsty. Let the letters in the name of Instantius Rufus determine the number of the cups that I am to drink; for he is the donor of this noble present. If Telethusa comes and proffers me her promised entertainment, I shall confine myself Rufus, for the sake of my mistress, to the third part of the letters in your name; if she delays, I shall indulge in seven cups; if she disappoints me altogether, I shall, to drown my vexation, drain as many cups as there are letters in both your name and hers.
§ 8.52 TO CAEDICIANUS:
Caedicianus, I lent my barber (a young man, but skilled in his art even beyond Nero's Thalamus, whose lot it was to dip the beards of the Drusi) to Rufus, at his request, to make his cheeks smooth for once. But, at Rufus's orders, he was so long occupied in going over the same hairs again and again, consulting the mirror that guided his hand; cleaning the akin, and making a tedious second attack on the locks previously shorn, that my barber at last returned to me with his own beard full grown.
§ 8.53 TO CATULLA:
Most beautiful of all women that are or have been, but most worthless of all that are or have been, oh! how I wish, Catulla, that you could become less beautiful, or more chaste.
§ 8.54 TO DOMITIAN:
Although you make so many liberal donations, and promise even to exceed them, O conqueror of many leaders, as well as conqueror of yourself, you are not loved of the people, Caesar, for the sake of your bounties, but your bounties are loved by the people for your sake,
§ 8.55 TO DOMITIAN, ON HIS LION:
Loud as are the roarings heard through the trackless regions of Massylia, when the forest is filled with innumerable raging lions, and when the pale shepherd recalls his astonished bulls and terrified flock to his Punic huts, so loud were terrific roarings lately heard in the Roman arena. Who would not have thought they proceeded from a whole herd? There was, however, only one lion, but one whose authority the lions themselves would have respected with trembling, and to whom Numidia, abounding in variegated marble, would have given the palm. Oh what majesty sat upon his neck, what beauty did the golden shade of his arched neck display as it bristled! How apt for large hunting spears was his broad chest, and what joy did he feel in so illustrious a death! Whence, Libya, came so noble an ornament to your woods? From the car of Cybele? Or, rather, did your brother, Germanicus, or your father himself send down the mighty animal from the constellation of Hercules?
§ 8.56 TO FLACCUS:
As the age of our ancestors yields to our own, and as Rome has grown greater with her ruler, you wonder that genius like that of the divine Virgil is nowhere found among us, and that no poet thunders or wars with so powerful a clarion. Let there be Maecenases, Flaccus, and there will be no want of Virgils; even your own farm may furnish you with a Maro. Tityrus had lost several acres in the neighbourhood of poor Cremona, and was sadly mourning over the loss of his sheep. The Tuscan knight smiled on him, repelled harsh poverty from his door, and bade it quickly take to flight "Accept," said he "a portion of my wealth, and be the greatest of bards; nay, you may even love my Alexis." That most beautiful of youths used to stand at his master's feasts, pouring the dark Falernian with hand white as marble, and to present him the cup just sipped with his rosy lips; lips which might have attracted the admiration of Jupiter himself. The plump Galatea, and Thestylis, with her ruddy cheeks burnt by the harvest sun, vanished from the memory of the inspired bard. Forthwith he sang of Italy, and "Arms and the man," — he, whose inexperienced strain had scarcely sufficed to lament a gnat. "Why need I mention the Varii and Marsi, and other poets who nave been enriched, and to enumerate whom would be a long task? Shall I, then, be a Virgil, if you give me such rifts as Maecenas gave him? I shall not be Virgil; but I shall be a Marsus.
§ 8.57 ON PICENS:
Picens had three teeth, which he coughed out all together one day, as he was sitting at the place destined for his tomb. He collected in his robe the last fragments of his decayed jaw, and buried them under a heap of earth; His heir need not collect his bones after his death; Picens has already performed that office for himself.
§ 8.58 TO ARTEMIDORUS:
Seeing that your cloak, Artemidorus, is so thick, I might justly call you Sagaris.
§ 8.59 ON A ONE-EYED THIEF:
Do you see this fellow, who has but one eye, and under whose scowling forehead yawns a blind cavity for the other? Do not despise that head; none was ever more acquisitive; nor were even the fingers of Autolycus more sticky. Be cautious how you make him your guest, and watch him closely, for on such occasions he makes one eye do the duty of two. The anxious servants lose cups and spoons; and many a napkin is warmed in the secret folds of his dress. He knows how to catch a cloak as it fells from the arm of a neighbour, and often leaves the table doubly clad. He even feels no remorse in robbing the slumbering slave of his lighted lamp. If he fails to lay hands on anything belonging to others, he will exercise his thievish propensity on his own servant, and steal his slippers from him.
§ 8.60 TO CLAUDIA:
If you had been shorter by a foot and a half, Claudia, you would have been about the same height as the colossus on the Palatine mount.
§ 8.61 TO SEVERUS, ON CHARINUS:
Charinus is pale and bursting with envy; he rages, weeps, and is looking for a high branch on which to hang himself; not, as formerly, because I am repeated and read by everybody, or because I am circulated with elegant bosses, and anointed with oil of cedar, through all the nations that Rome holds in subjection; but because I possess in the suburbs a summer country-house, and ride on mules which are not, as of old, hired. What evil shall I imprecate on him, Severus, for his envy? This is my wish: that he may have mules and a country-house.
§ 8.62 ON PICENS:
Picens writes epigrams upon the back of his paper, and then complains that the god of poetry turns his back upon him.
§ 8.63 ON AULUS:
Aulus loves Thestylus, and yet he is not less fond of Alexis; perhaps be is also growing fond of my Hyacinthus. Go, now, and resolve me whether my friend Aulus loves poets themselves, when he loves what the poets hold dearest.
§ 8.64 TO CLYTUS:
For the purpose of asking and exacting presents, Clytus, your birth-day falls eight times in one year; and you count, I think, only three or four first days of months that are not anniversaries of your coming into the world. Though your face is smoother than the polished stones of the dry shore; though your hair is blacker than the mulberry ready to fall; though the soft delicacy of your flesh surpasses the feathers of the dove, or a mass of milk just curdled; and though your breast is as full as that which a virgin reserves for her husband, you already, Clytus, seem to me to be an old man; for who would believe that Priam and Nestor had as many birth-days as you? Have some sense of moderation, and let there be some limit to your rapacity; for if you still carry on your joke, and if it is not enough for you to be born once a year, I shall not, Clytus, consider you born at all.
§ 8.65 TO DOMITIAN, ON HIS TEMPLE OF FORTUNE AND TRIUMPHAL ARCH:
Here, where the temple dedicated to returning Fortune glistens resplendent far and wide, was formerly a spot of ground of great celebrity. Here Domitian, graced with the dust of the Sarmatian war, halted, his countenance radiating with glory. Here, with locks wreathed with bays, and in white garb, Rome saluted her general with voice and gesture. The great merits of the spot are attested by the other monuments with which it has been honoured; a sacred arch is there erected in memory of our triumphs over subdued nations. Here two chariots number many an elephant yoked to them; the prince himself cast in gold, guides alone the mighty team. This gate, Germanicus, is worthy of your triumphs; such an entrance it is fit the city of Mars should possess.
§ 8.66 ON THE CONSULSHIP OF THE SON OF SILIUS ITALICUS:
Give to the emperor, you Muses, sacred incense and victims on behalf of your favourite Silius. See, the prince bids the twelve fasces return to him in the consulship of his son, and the Castalian abode of the poet resound with the rod of power knocking at his door. O Caesar, chief and only stay of the empire, still one thing is wanting to the wishes of the rejoicing father, — the happy purple and a third consul in his family. Although the senate gave these sacred honours to Pompey, and Augustus to his son-in-law, whose names the pacific Janus thrice ennobled, Silius prefers to count successive consulships in the persons of his sons.
§ 8.67 TO CAECILIANUS:
Your slave, Caecilianus, has not yet announced to you the fifth hour, and yet you are already come to dine with me; although, too, the fourth hour has but just been bawled to adjourn the bail-courts, and the wild beasts of the Floral Games are still being exercised in the arena. Run, Callistus, hasten to call the still unwashed attendants; let the couches be spread; sit down, Caecilianus. You ask for warm water; but the cold is not yet brought; the kitchen is still closed, and the fires not yet lit. You should surely come earlier; why do you wait for the fifth hour? You have come very late, Caecilianus, for breakfast.
§ 8.68 TO ENTELLUS, ON HIS BEAUTFUL GARDENS:
He who has seen the orchards of the king of Corcyra, will prefer the garden of your country-house, Entellus. That the malicious frost mar not nip the purple clusters, and the icy cold destroy the gifts of Bacchus, the vintage lives protected under transparent stone; carefully covered, yet not concealed. Thus does female beauty shine through silken folds; thus are pebbles visible in the pellucid waters. What is not nature willing to grant to genius? Barren winter is forced to produce the fruits of autumn.
§ 8.69 TO VACERRA:
You admire, Vacerra, only the poets of old, and praise only those who are dead. Pardon me, I beseech you, Vacerra, it I think death too high a price to pay for your praise.
§ 8.70 ON NERVA:
Great as is the placidity, equally great is the eloquence of the quiet Nerva; but his modesty restrains his powers and his genius. When he might with large draughts have drained the sacred fountain of the muses, he preferred to keep his thirst within bounds; he was content to bind his inspired brow with a modest chaplet, and not to crowd all sail for fame. But whoever is acquainted with the verses of the learned Nero, knows that Nerva is the Tibullus of our day.
§ 8.71 TO POSTUMIANUS:
Ten years ago, Postumianus, you sent me at the time of the winter solstice four pounds of silver. Next year, when I hoped for a larger present (for presents ought either to stand at the same point or to grow larger), there came two pounds, more or less. The third and fourth years brought still less. The fifth year produced a pound, it is true, but only a Septician pound. In the sixth year it fell off to a small cup of eight unciae; next year came half a pound of silver scrapings in a little cup. The eighth year brought me a ladle of scarcely two ounces; the ninth presented me a little spoon, weighing less than a needle. The tenth year can have nothing less to send me; return, therefore, Postumianus, to the four pounds.
§ 8.72 TO HIS BOOK, ON PRESENTING IT TO ARCANUS:
My little book, though not yet adorned with the purple, or polished with the keen filing of pumice, you are in haste to follow Arcanus, whom beautiful Narbo, the native town of the learned Votienus, recalls to uphold her laws and the annual magistracy; and, what should equally be an object of your wishes, that delightful spot, and the friendship of Arcanus, will at once be yours. How I could wish to be my book!
§ 8.73 TO INSTANTIUS RUFUS:
Instantius, than whom no one is reputed more sincere in heart, or more eminent for unsullied simplicity, if you wish to give strength and spirit to my muse, and desire of me verses which shall live, give me something to love. Cynthia made sportive Propertius a poet; the fair Lycoris was the genius of Gallus. The beautiful Nemesis gave fame to the wit of Tibullus; while Lesbia inspired the learned Catullus. Neither the Pelignians, nor the Mantuans, will refuse me the name of a bard, if I meet with a Corinna or an Alexia.
§ 8.74 TO A BAD DOCTOR:
You are now a gladiator; you were previously an oculist You used to do as a doctor what you now do as a gladiator.
§ 8.75 TO LUCANUS, ON A CORPULENT GAUL:
A Lingonian Gaul, fresh arrived, returning late at night to his lodging, through the Covered and Flaminian ways, struck his toe violently against some obstacle, dislocated his ankle, and fell at full length on the pavement. What was the Gaul to do, how was be to get up? The huge fellow had with him but one little slave, so thin that he could scarcely carry a little lamp. Accident came to the poor fellow's assistance. Four branded slaves were carrying a common corpse, such as poor men's pyres receive by thousands. To them the feeble attendant, in a humble tone, addressed his prayer, entreating that they would carry the dead body of his master whithersoever they pleased. The load was changed, and the heavy burden crammed into the narrow shell, and raised on their shoulders. This gentleman, Lucanus, seems to me one out of many of whom we may justly say, "Mortue Galle."
§ 8.76 TO GALLICUS:
"Tell me, Marcus, tell me the truth, I pray; there is nothing to which I shall listen with greater pleasure." Such is your constant prayer and request to me, Gallicus, both when you recite your compositions, and when you are pleading the cause of a client. It is hard for me to deny your request: hear then what is as true as truth itself. You do not hear truth with pleasure, Gallicus.
§ 8.77 TO HIS FRIEND LIBER:
Liber, dearest object of care to all your friends; Liber, worthy to live in ever-blooming roses; if you are wise, let your hair ever glisten with Assyrian balsam, and let garlands of flowers surround your head; let your pure crystal cups be darkened with old Falernian, and your soft couch be warm with the caresses of love. He who has so lived, even to a middle age, has made life longer than was bestowed on him.
§ 8.78 ON THE GAMES OF STELLA, IN HONOUR OF THE TRIUMPHS OF DOMITIAN:
Games, such as the victory gained over the giants in the Phlegraean plains, such as your Indian triumph, O Bacchus, would have deserved, Stella has exhibited in celebration of the triumph over the Sarmatians; and such is his modesty, such his affection, he thinks these too insignificant. Hermus, turbid with gold cast up from its depths, or Tagus which murmurs in the Hesperian regions, would not be sufficient for him. Every day brings its own gifts; there is no cessation to the rich series of largesses, and many a price falls to the lot of the people. Sometimes playful coins come down in sudden showers; sometimes a liberal ticket bestows on them the animals which they have beheld in the arena. Sometimes a bird delights to fill your bosom unexpectedly, or, without having been exhibited, obtains a master by lot, that it may not be torn to pieces. Why should I enumerate the chariots, and the thirty prizes of victory, which are more than even both the Consuls generally give? But all is surpassed, Caesar, by the great honour, that your own triumph has you for a spectator.
§ 8.79 TO FABULLA:
All your female friends are either old or ugly; nay, more ugly than old women usually are. These you lead about in your train, and drag with you to feasts, porticoes, and theatres. Thus, Fabulla, you seem handsome, thus you seem young.
§ 8.80 TO DOMITIAN, ON HIS REVIVAL OF PUGILISTIC CONTESTS:
You revive among us, Caesar, the wonders of our venerable forefathers, and suffer not ancient customs to expire, for the games of the Latian arena are renewed, and valour contends with the natural weapon, the hand. Thus, under your rule, the respect for the ancient temples is preserved, and the fane where Jupiter was worshipped of old is still honoured by you. Thus, while you invent new things, you restore the old: and we owe to you, Augustus, both the present and the past.
§ 8.81 TO PAPIRIANUS, ON GELLIA:
Gellia swears, not by the mystic rites of Cybele, nor by the bull that loved the heifer of Egypt, nor indeed by any of our gods and goddesses, but by her pearls. These she embraces; these she covers with kisses; these she calls her brothers and sisters; these she loves more ardently than her two children. If she should chance to lose these, she declares she could not live even an hour. Ah! how excellently, Papirianus, might the hand of Amicus Serenus be turned to account!
§ 8.82 TO DOMITIAN:
While the crowd presents to you, Augustus, its humble supplications, we too, in offering to our ruler our poor verses, know that the divinity can find time equally for public affairs and the Muses, and that our garlands also please you. Uphold your poets, Augustus; we are your pleasing glory, your chief care and delight. It is not the oak alone that becomes you, not the laurel of Phoebus; we will wreathe for you a civic crown of ivy.
§ 9.pr BOOK IX
O poet, celebrated, even against your will, for your sublimity of conception, and to whom the tomb will one day bring due honours, let this brief inscription live beneath my bust, which you have placed among those of no obscure persons: — "I am he, second to none in reputation for composing trifles, whom, reader, you do not admire, but rather, I suspect, love. Let greater men devote their powers to higher subjects: I am content to talk of small topics, and to come frequently into your hands."
Hail, my beloved Toranius, dear to me as a brother. The preceding epigram, which is not included in the pages of my book, I addressed to the illustrious Stertinius, who has resolved to place my bust in his library. I thought it well to write to you on the subject, that you might not be ignorant who Avitus really is. Farewell, and prepare to receive me.
§ 9.1 ON THE TEMPLES OF THE FLAVIAN FAMILY:
As long as Janus shall give the years their winters, Domitian their autumns, and Augustus their summers; as long as the glorious day of the Germanic kalends shall recall the mighty name of the subdued Rhine; as long as the Taipeian temple of the chief of the gods shall stand; as long as the Roman matron, with suppliant voice and incense, shall propitiate the sweet divinity of Julia; so long shall the lofty glory of the Flavian family remain, enduring like the sun, and the stars, and the splendour of Rome. Whatever Domitian's unconquered hand has erected, is imperishable as heaven.
§ 9.2 TO LUPUS:
Although you are poor to your friends, Lupus, you are not so to your mistress, and your libidinous desires cannot complain of want of indulgence. The object of your affections fattens upon the most delicate cakes, while your guests feed on black bread. Setine wine, cooled in snow, is placed before your mistress; we drink the black poison of Corsica out of the cask. A small portion of her favours you purchase with your hereditary estates: while your neglected friend is left to plough lands not his own. Your mistress shines resplendent with Erythraean pearls; your client, whilst you are immersed in pleasure, is abandoned to his creditor and dragged to prison. A litter, supported by eight Syrian slaves, is provided for your mistress; while your friend is left to be carried naked on a common bier. It is time for you, Cybele, to mutilate contemptible voluptuaries; such are the characters that deserve the infliction.
§ 9.3 TO DOMITIAN:
If you, O Caesar, were to assume the rights of a creditor, and to demand payment for all that you have given to the gods and to heaven, Atlas, even though a great auction were to take place in Olympus, and the deities were compelled to sell all they have, would be bankrupt, and the father of the gods would be obliged to compound with you in a very small dividend. For what could he pay you for the temple on the Capitol? What for the honour of the glorious Capitoline games? What could the spouse of the Thunderer pay for her two temples? Of Minerva I say nothing; your interests are hers. But what shall I say of the temples to Hercules and Apollo, and the affectionate Lacedemonian twins? What of the Flavian temple which towers to the Roman sky? You must needs be patient and suspend your claims, for Jove's treasury does not contain sufficient to pay you.
§ 9.4 TO AESCHYLUS:
When Galla will grant you her favours for two gold pieces, and what you please for as many more, why is she presented with ten gold pieces on each of your visits, Aeschylus? She does not estimate her utmost favours at so high a price: why then do you give her so much? To stop her mouth?
§ 9.5 TO PAULA:
You wish, Paula, to marry Priscus; I am not surprised; you are wise: Priscus will not marry you; and he is wise.
§ 9.6 TO DOMITIAN:
To you, chaste prince, mighty conqueror of the Rhine, and father of the world, cities present their thanks: they will henceforth have population; it is now no longer a crime to bring infants into the world. The boy is no longer mutilated by the art of the greedy dealer, to mourn the loss of his manly rights; nor does the wretched mother give to her prostituted child the price paid by a contemptuous pander. That modesty, which, before your reign, did not prevail even on the marriage conch, begins, by your influence, to be felt even in the haunts of licentiousness.
§ 9.7 TO AFER:
I have been desirous for five whole days, Afer, to greet you on your return from among the people of Africa. "He is engaged," or "he is asleep," is the answer I have received on calling two or three times. It is enough, Afer; you do not wish me to say "How do you do?" so I'll say "Good bye!"
§ 9.8 TO DOMITIAN:
As if it were but a trifling crime for our sex to bargain away our male children to public lust, the very cradle had become the prey of the pander, so that the child, snatched from its mother s bosom, seemed to demand, by its wailing, the disgraceful pay. Infants born but yesterday suffered scandalous outrage. The father of Italy, who but recently brought help to tender adolescence, to prevent savage lust from condemning it to a manhood of sterility, could not endure such horrors. Before this, Caesar, you were loved by boys, and youths, and old men; now infants also love you.
§ 9.9 TO BITHYNICUS:
Fabius has bequeathed you nothing, Bithynicus, although you used to present him yearly, if I remember right, with six thousand sesterces. He has bequeathed nothing more to any one; so do not complain, Bithynicus; he has at least saved you six thousand sesterces a year.
§ 9.10 TO CANTHARUS:
Though you willingly dine at other people's houses, Cantharus, you indulge yourself there in clamour, and complaints, and threats. Lay aside this fierce humour, I advise you. A man cannot be both independent and a glutton.
§ 9.11 ON EARINUS, THE FAVOURITE OF DOMITIAN:
A name born among violets and the roses, a name which is that of the most pleasant part of the year; a name which savors of Hybla and Attic flowers, and which exhales a perfume like that of the nest of the superb phoenix; a name sweeter than the nectar of the gods, and which the boy, beloved of Cybele, as well as he who mixes the cups for the Thunderer, would have preferred to his own; a name which, if even breathed in the Imperial palace, would be responded to by every Venus and Cupid; a name so noble, soft, and delicate, I wished to utter in not inelegant verse. But you, obstinate syllable, rebel! Yet some poets say Eiarinos; but then they are Greek poets, to whom every license is permitted, and with whom it is lawful to pronounce the word Ares long or short just as they please. We Romans, who court severer muses, dare not take such liberties.
§ 9.12 ON THE SAME:
If Autumn had given me a name, I should have been called Oporinus; if the slivering constellations of winter, Cheimerinus. If named by the summer months, I should have been called Therinus. What is he, to whom the spring has given a name?
§ 9.13 ON THE SAME:
You have a name, which designates the season of the newborn year, when the Cecropian bees plunder the short-lived vernal flowers; a name, which deserves to be written with Cupid's arrow, and which Cytherea would delight in tracing with her needle: a name, worthy of being traced in letters of Erythraean pearls, or gems polished by the fingers of the Heliades, a name which the cranes flying to the sides might describe with their wings, and which is fit only for Caesar's palace.
§ 9.14 ON A PARASITE FRIEND:
Do you think that this fellow, whom your dinners and hospitality have made your friend, is a model of sincere attachment? He loves your wild boars, and your mullets, and your sows' teats, and your oysters — not yourself! If I dined as sumptuously, he would be my friend.
§ 9.15 ON CHLOE:
The shameless Chloe placed on the tomb of her seven husbands the inscription, "The work of Chloe." How could she have expressed herself more plainly?
§ 9.16 ON THE HAIR OF EARINUS:
The youth, who is dearest to the emperor of all that compose his court, and who has a name that denotes the season of spring, has presented his mirror, which showed him how beautiful he was, and his graceful locks, as sacred offerings to the god of Pergamus. Happy is the land that is honoured by such a present! It would not have preferred even the locks of Ganymede.
§ 9.17 ON THE SAME, TO AESCULAPIUS:
Venerable grandson of Latona, who mitigates with healing herbs the rigorous threads and rapid distaffs of the Fates, these tresses, which have attracted the praise of the emperor, are sent to you by the youth, your votary, as his consecrated offerings, from the city of Rome. He has sent with his sacred hair, too, a shining mirror, by the aid of which his beauteous tresses were arranged. Do you preserve his youthful beauty, that be may prove not less handsome with his hair short than long.
§ 9.18 TO DOMITIAN, PETITIONING FOR A SUPPLY OF WATER:
I possess, and pray that I may long continue to possess, under your guardianship, Caesar, a small country seat; I have also a modest dwelling in the city. But a winding machine has to draw, with laborious effort, water for my thirsting garden from a small valley; while my dry house complains that it is not refreshed even by the slightest shower, although the Marcian fount babbles close by. The water, which you will grant, Augustus, to my premises, will be for me as the water of Castalis or as showers from Jupiter.
§ 9.19 TO SABELLUS:
You praise, in three hundred verses, Sabellus, the baths of Ponticus, who gives such excellent dinners. You wish to dine, Sabellus, not to bathe.
§ 9.20 TO DOMITIAN, ON HIS ERECTION OF A TEMPLE ON THE SPOT WHERE HE WAS BORN:
This piece of land, which lies so open to all, And is covered with marble and gold, witnessed the birth of the infant lord of the world. Happy land, that resounded with the cries of so illustrious an infant, and saw and felt his little hands spreading over it! Here stood the venerable mansion, which gave to the earth that which Rhodes, and pious Crete, gave to the starry heaven. The Curetes protected Jupiter by the rattling of their arms, such as Phrygian eunuchs were able to bear. But you, Caesar, the sire of the Immortals protected, and the thunderbolt and aegis were your spear and buckler.
§ 9.21 TO AUCTUS:
Artemidorus possesses a favourite boy, but has sold his farm: Calliodorus received his farm in exchange for the boy. Say, which of the two has done best, Auctus? Artemidorus plays the lover; Calliodorus the ploughman.
§ 9.22 TO PASTOR:
You think, perhaps, Pastor, that I ask riches with the same motive with which the vulgar and ignorant herd ask them; that the soil of Setia may be tilled with my ploughshares, and our Tuscan land resound with the innumerable fetters of my slaves; that I may own a hundred tables of Mauretanian marble supported on pedestals of Libyan ivory, and that ornaments of gold may jingle on my couches; that my lips may press only large cups of crystal, and that my Falernian wine may darken the snow in which it is cooled; that Syrian slaves, clad in Canusian wool, may perspire under the weight of my litter, while it is surrounded by a crowd of fashionable clients; that my guests, full of wine, may envy me the possession of a cupbearer, whom I would not change even for Ganymede; that I may ride a prancing mule to bespatter my Tyrian cloak; or goad with my whip a steed from Marseilles. It is not, I call the gods and the heavens to witness, for any such objects. For what, then? That I may bestow gifts, Pastor and build houses.
§ 9.23 TO CARUS:
O you, whose lot it was to bare your head decorated with the golden virgin crown, say, Carus, where is now your Palladian trophy? "You see the countenance of our emperor resplendent in marble; my crown went of its own accord to place itself on those locks." The sacred oak may be jealous of the Alban olive, for being the first to surround that unconquered head.
§ 9.24 TO THE SAME, ON HIS BUST OF DOMITIAN:
What sculptor, imitating the lineaments of the imperial bust, has surpassed in Roman marble the ivory of Phidias? This is the face that rules the world; these are the features of Jove in his calm majesty; such is the god when he hurls his thunder in a cloudless sky. Pallas has given you, Carus, not only her crown, but the image of your lord, which you have thus honoured.
§ 9.25 TO AFER:
Whenever I glance at your Hyllus as he pours out my wine, Afer, you fix upon me an eye full of mistrust. What harm is there, I ask, in admiring a pretty attendant? We gaze at the sun, the stars, the temples, the gods. Am I to turn away my head and hide my eyes and countenance, as though a Gorgon were handing me the cups? Alcides was severe; yet he permitted Hylas to be looked at; and Mercury is allowed to play with Ganymede. If you do not wish your guests, Afer, to look at your youthful attendants, you should invite only such as Phineus and Oedipus.
§ 9.26 TO NERVA:
He who ventures to send verses to the eloquent Nerva, will present common perfumes to Cosmus, violets and privet to the inhabitant of Paestum, and Corsican honey to the bees of Hybla. Yet there is some attraction in even a humble muse; the cheap olive is relished even when costly daintiest are on the table. Be not surprised, however, that, conscious of the mediocrity of her poet, my Muse fears your judgment. Nero himself is said to have dreaded your criticism, when, in his youth, he read to you his sportive effusions.
§ 9.27 TO CHRESTUS:
§ 9.28 EPITAPH ON LATINUS:
I, that lie here, am Latinus, the pleasing ornament of the stage, the honour of the games, the object of your applause, and your delight; who could have fixed even Cato himself as a spectator, and have relaxed the gravity of the Curii and Fabricii. But my life took no colour from the stage, and I was known as an actor only in my profession. Nor could I have been acceptable to the emperor without strict morality. He, like a god, looks into the inmost recesses of the mind. Call me, if you please, the slave of laurel-crowned Phoebus, provided Rome knows that I was the servant of her Jupiter.
§ 9.29 EPITAPH ON PHILAENIS:
After having lived through a period as long as the age of Nestor, are you then so suddenly carried off; Philaenis, to Pluto's streams below? You had not yet counted the long years of the Cumaean Sibyl; she was older by three months. Alas! what a tongue is silent! a tongue that not a thousand cages full of slaves, nor the crowd of the votaries of Serapis, nor the schoolmaster's curly-headed troop hurrying to their lessons in the morning, nor the bank resounding with flocks of Strymonian cranes, could overpower. Who will henceforth know how to draw down the moon with Thessalian circle? Who will display such skill in managing an amorous intrigue for money? May the earth lie lightly on you, and may you be pressed with a thin covering of sand, that the dogs may not be prevented from rooting up your bones!
§ 9.30 ON THE CONJUGAL AFFECTION OF NIGRINA:
Antistius Rusticus has perished on the barbarian frontiers of the Cappadocians, land guilty of a lamentable crime! Nigrina brought back in her bosom the bones of her dear husband, and complained that the way was not sufficiently long; and, when she was confiding the sacred urn to the tomb, which she envied, she seemed to herself to lose her husband a second time.
§ 9.31 ON THE VOW OF VELIUS:
Velius, while accompanying Caesar on his northern expedition, vowed, for the safety of his leader, to immolate a goose to Mars. The moon had not fully completed eight revolutions, when the god demanded fulfilment of his vow. The goose itself hastened willingly to the altar, and fell a humble victim on the sacred hearth. Do you see those eight medals hanging from the broad beak of the bird? They were recently hidden in its entrails. The victim which offers proptious sacrifices for you, Caesar, with silver instead of blood, teaches us that we have no longer need of steel (the sword).
§ 9.32 ON THE CHOICE OF A MISTRESS:
I prefer one who is free and easy, and who goes about clad in a loose robe; one, who has just before granted favours to my young slave; one, whom a couple of pence will buy. She who wants a great deal of money, and uses grand words, I leave to the fat and foolish Gascon.
§ 9.33 TO FLACCUS:
§ 9.34 TO CAESAR, ON THE TEMPLE OF THE FLAVIAN FAMILY:
Jupiter, when he saw the Flavian temple rising under the sky or Rome, laughed at the fabulous tomb erected to himself on Mount Ida, and, having drunk abundantly of nectar at table, exclaimed, as he was handing the cup to his son Mars, and addressing himself at the same time to Apollo and Diana, with whom were seated Hercules and the pious Arcos, "You gave me a monument in Crete; see how much better a thing it is to be the father of Caesar!"
§ 9.35 TO PHILOMUSUS:
These are the contrivances, Philomusus, by which you are constantly trying to secure a dinner; inventing numbers of fictions, and retailing them as true. You are informed of the counsels of Pacorus at the court of Parthia; you can tell the exact numbers of the German and Sarmatian armies. You reveal the unopened despatches of the Dacian general; you see a laurelled letter, announcing a victory, before its arrival. You know how often dusky Syene has been watered by Egyptian floods; you know how many ships have sailed from the shores of Africa; you know for whose head the Julian olives grow, and for whom the Father of Heaven destines his triumphal crowns. A truce to your arts; you shall dine with me to-day, but only on this condition, Philomusus, that you tell me no news.
§ 9.36 CONVERSATION OF GANYMEDE AND JUPITER ON EARINUS AND OTHER FAVOURITES OF DOMITIAN:
When the Phrygian youth, the well-known favourite of the other Jupiter, had seen the Ausonian attendant with his hair just shaved off, "O sovereign ruler," said he, "concede to your youth what your Caesar has granted to his. The first down upon my chin is now succeeded by longer hairs; your Juno now laughs at me and calls me a man." To whom the Father of Heaven answered, "Oh, sweetest boy, not I, but necessity, denies your request. Our Caesar has a thousand cupbearers like you; and his palace, large as it is, scarcely holds the brilliant troop. But if your hair be shaved, and give you a man's visage, what other youth will be found to mix my nectar for me?"
§ 9.37 TO GALLA:
Though, while you yourself, Galla, are at home, you are being dressed out in the middle of the Suburra, and your locks are prepared for you at a distance; though you lay aside your teeth at night with your silk garments, and lie stowed away in a hundred boxes; though even your face does not sleep with you, and you ogle me from under eyebrows which are brought to you in the morning; though no consideration of your faded charms, which belong to a past generation, moves you; though all this is the case, you offer me six hundred sesterces. But nature revolts, and, blind though she be, she sees very well what you are.
§ 9.38 TO AGATHINUS, A JUGGLER:
Though, Agathinus, you play dangerous tricks with the utmost nimbleness, you still cannot contrive to let your shield fall. It seems to follow you, even against your will, and, returning through the thin air, seats itself either on your foot, or your back, or your hair, or your finger. However slippery the stage may be with showers of saffron, and however the violent south winds may tear the canvass opposed to its fury, the shield, without apparent guidance, freely traverses your limbs, unimpeded by either wind or water. Even though you wished to fail, whatever your endeavours, you could not; and the fall of your shield would be the greatest proof of your art.
§ 9.39 ON THE BIRTH-DAY OF CAESONIA:
This is the anniversary of the first day on which the Palatine Thunderer saw light, a day on which Cybele might have desired to give birth to Jove. On this day, too, the chaste Caesonia was born, the daughter of my friend Rufus; no maiden owes more than she to her mother. The husband rejoices in the double good fortune which awaits his prayers, and that it has fallen to his lot to have two reasons for loving this day.
§ 9.40 ON DIODORUS AND HIS WIFE PHILAENIS:
When Diodorus left Pharos for Rome, to win the Tarpeian crowns, his Philaenis made a vow for his safe return, that a young girl, such as even the chastest woman might love, should prepare her for his embraces. The ship being destroyed by a terrible storm, Diodorus, submerged and overwhelmed in the deep, escaped by swimming, through the influence of the vow. Oh husband too tardy and too sluggish! If my mistress had made such a vow for me upon the shore, I should have returned at once.
§ 9.41 TO PONTICUS:
§ 9.42 TO APOLLO, THAT STELLA MAY HAVE THE CONSULSHIP:
So may you ever be rich, Apollo, in your sea-girt plains; so may you ever have delight in your ancient swans; so may the learned sisters ever serve you, and your Delphic oracles never speak falsely; so may the palace of Caesar worship and love you; as the kind Domitian shall speedily grant and accord to Stella, at my request, the twelve fasces. Happy then shall I be, and, as your debtor for the fulfilment of my prayer, will lead to the rustic altar a young steer with golden horns, as a sacrifice to you. The victim is already born, Phoebus; why do you delay?
§ 9.43 ON A STATUE OF HERCULES, THAT HAD COME INTO THE POSSESSION OF VINDEX:
This great deity, represented by a small bronze image, who mitigates the hardness of the rocks on which he sits by spreading over them his lion's skin; who, with upraised countenance, gazes on the heaven which he once supported; whose left hand is engaged with his club, and his right with a cup of wine, is not a new-born celebrity, or a glory of our own sculptor's art. You behold the noble work of Lysippus, which he presented to Alexander the. Great. This divinity adorned the table of the monarch of Pella, so soon laid in the earth which he had subdued. By this god, Hannibal, when a child, took his oath at the Libyan altar; this god bade the cruel Sulla lay down his kingly power. Offended by the proud despotism or various courts, he now delights to inhabit a private house; and, as he was formerly the guest of the benevolent Molorchus, so he desires now to be the god of the learned Vindex.
§ 9.44 ON THE SAME:
I lately asked Vindex to whose happy toil and workmanship his Hercules owed his existence. He smiled, as is his wont, and, with a slight inclination of head, "Pray," said he, "my dear poet, can you not read Greek? The pedestal bears an inscription which tells you the name." I read the word Lysippus, I thought it had been the work of Phidias.
§ 9.45 TO MARCELLINUS:
You are now about to set out, Marcellinus, as a soldier to the northern climes, to brave the sluggish constellations of the Getic sky: there the Promethean rocks and the fabled mountains, to which you must now go, will be close to your eyes! When you have beheld the rocks, the confidants of the mighty plaints of old Prometheus, you will say, "He was more enduring than they." And you may add, "He who was able to bear such sufferings, was well qualified to fashion the race of mortals."
§ 9.46 ON GELLIUS:
Gellius is always building; sometimes he is laying down thresholds, sometimes fitting keys to doors, and buying locks; sometimes he is changing or replacing windows. He does anything to be engaged in building, and all this that he may be able to say to any friend who asks him for a loan, "I am building."
§ 9.47 TO PANNICE:
Your words with deep recondite lore resound
Of Plato, Zeno, what's severest found
Of those whose horrid images affect
To doom all vice, by their austere aspect;
You play Pythag'ras successor and heir,
Nor 'bate you him in bush of beard a hair.
You've yet, what's shameful, and shou'd ne'er be said,
A wanton mind to this your awful head.
Say you, who th' axioms of all sects do know,
Whose dogma 'tis, the scars of lust to show?
§ 9.48 TO GARRICUS:
As you swore to me, Garricus, by your gods and by your head, that I was to inherit the fourth of your estate, I believed you, (for who would willingly disbelieve what he desires?) and nursed my hopes by continually giving you presents; among which I sent you a Laurentian boar of extraordinary weight; one that you might have supposed to be from Aetolian Calydon. But you forthwith invited the people and the senators; and glutted Rome is not yet free from the taste of my boar. I myself (who would believe it?) was not present even as the humblest of your guests; not a rib, not even the tail, was sent me. How am I to expect from you a fourth part of your estate, Garricus, when not even a twelfth part of my own boar came to me?
§ 9.49 ON A TOGA GIVEN HIM BY PARTHENIUS:
This is that toga much celebrated in my little books, that toga so well known and loved by my readers. It was a present from Parthenius; a memorable present to his poet long ago; in it, while it was new, while it shone brilliantly with glistening wool, and while it was worthy the name of its giver, I walked proudly conspicuous as a Roman knight. Now it is grown old, and is scarce worth the acceptance of shivering poverty; and you may well call it snowy. What does not time in the course of years destroy? this toga is no longer Parthenius's; it is mine.
§ 9.50 TO GAURUS:
You pretend to consider my talent as small, Gaurus, because I write poems which please by being brief. I confess that it is so; while you, who write the grand wars of Priam in twelve books, are doubtless a great man. I paint the favourite of Brutus, and Langon, to the life. You, great artist, fashion a giant in clay.
§ 9.51 ON THE BROTHERS LUCANUS AND TULLUS:
That which you constantly asked of the gods, Lucanus, has, in spite of your brother's remonstrances, fallen to your lot; it has been your fate to die before him. Tullus envies you the privilege; for he desired, though the younger, to go first to the Stygian waters. You are now an inhabitant of the Elysian fields, and, dwelling in the charming grove, are content, for the first time, to be separated from your brother; and if Castor in his turn now comes from the brilliant stars, you, as another Pollux, exhort him not to return to them.
§ 9.52 TO QUINTUS OVIDIUS:
If you but believe me, Quintus Ovidius, I love, as you deserve, the first of April, your natal day, as much as I love my own first of March. Happy is either morn! and may both days be marked by us with the whitest of stones! The one gave me life, but the other a friend. Yours, Quintus, gave me more than my own.
§ 9.53 TO THE SAME:
On your birth-day, Quintus, I wished to make you a small present: you forbade me; you are imperious. I must obey your injunction: let that be done which we both desire, and which will please us both. Do you, Quintus, make me a present.
§ 9.54 TO CARUS:
If I had thrushes fattened on Picenian olives, or if a Sabine wood were covered with my nets; or if the finny prey were dragged on shore by my extended rod, or my branches, thickly limed, held fast the fettered birds; I should offer you, Carus, as an esteemed relative, the usual presents, and neither a brother nor a grandfather would have the preference over you. As it is, my fields resound only with paltry starlings and the plaints of linnets, and usher in the spring with the voice of the shrill sparrow. On one side, the ploughman returns the salutation of the magpie; on the other, the rapacious kite soars towards the distant stars. So I send you small presents from my hencoop; and if you accept such, you will often be my relative.
§ 9.55 TO VALERIUS FLACCUS:
On the day sacred to relatives, on which many a fowl is sent as a present, there throngs around me, while I am preparing some thrushes for Stella, and some for you, Flaccus, an immense and troublesome crowd, of which each individual thinks that he ought to be the first in my affections. My desire was to show my regard for two; to offend a number is scarcely safe; while to send presents to all would be expensive. I will secure their pardon in the only way that remains to me; I will neither send thrushes to Stella nor to you, Flaccus.
§ 9.56 ON SPENDOPHORUS, A FAVOURITE OF DOMITIAN:
Spendophorus, the armour-bearer of our sovereign lord, is setting out for the cities of Libya. Prepare weapons, Cupid, to bestow on the boy; the arrows with which you strike youths and tender maids. Let there be also, however, a smooth spear in his delicate hand. Omit the coat of mail, the shield, and the helmet; and that he may enter the battle in safety, let him go uncovered; Parthenopaeus was hurt by no dart, no sword, no arrow, whilst he was unencumbered with a head-piece. Whoever shall be wounded by Spendophorus, will die of love. Happy is he whom a death so fortunate awaits! But return while you are still a boy, and while your face retains its youthful bloom, and let your Rome, and not Libya, make a man of you.
§ 9.57 ON HEDYLUS:
§ 9.58 TO THE NYMPH OF SABINUS:
Nymph, queen of the Sacred Lake, to whom Sabinus, with pious munificence, dedicates an enduring temple; receive with kindness, I pray you, (so may mountainous Umbria ever worship your source, and your town of Sassina never prefer the waters of Baiae!) my anxious compositions which I offer you. You will be to my muse the fountain of Pegasus. Whoever presents his poems to the temple of the Nymphs, indicates of himself what should be done with them.
§ 9.59 ON MAMURRA:
Mamurra, after having walked long and anxiously in the squares, where golden Rome ostentatiously displays her riches, viewed the tender young slaves, and devoured them with his eyes; not those exposed in the open shops, but those which are kept for the select in private apartments, and are not seen by the people, or such as I am. Satiated with this inspection, he uncovers the tables square and round; and aaks to see some rich ivory ornaments which were displayed on the upper shelves. Then, having four times measured a dinner-couch for six, wrought with tortoise-shell, he sorrowfully regretted that it was not large enough for his citron table. He consulted his nose whether the bronzes had the true Corinthian aroma, and criticised the statues of Polyclitus! Next, complaining that some crystal vases had been spoiled by an admixture of glass, he marked and set aside ten myrrhine cups. He weighed ancient bowls, and inquired for goblets that had been ennobled by the hand of Mentor. He counted emeralds set in chased gold, and examined the largest pearl ear-pendants. He sought on every counter for real sardonyxes, and cheapened some large jaspers. At last, when forced by fatigue to retire at the eleventh hour, he bought two cups for one small coin, and carried them home himself.
§ 9.60 ON A CROWN OF ROSES SENT TO CAESIUS SABINUS:
Whether you were produced in the fields of Paestum or of Tivoli, or whether the plains of Tusculum were decked with your flowers; whether a bailiffs wife culled you in a Praenestine garden, or whether you were recently the glory of a Campanian villa, that you may seem more beauteous to my friend Sabinus, let him think that you come from my Nomentan grounds.
§ 9.61 ON A PLANE-TREE AT CORDOVA, PLANTED BY JULIUS CAESAR:
In the regions about the Tartessus, where the rich lands of Cordova are watered by placid Baetis, where the yellow flocks shine with the gold of the river, and living metal decks the fleece of Hesperian sheep, stands a well-known mansion, and in the midst of its courts, overshadowing the whole of the surrounding buildings, rises the plane-tree of Caesar, with its thick foliage, which was planted by the auspicious right hand of that invincible guest, and tended by it while yet a sapling. This tree seems to acknowledge by its vigour its parent and lord; so richly does it flourish, and lift its branches towards the stars. Often, under this tree, have the playful Fauns sported with their midnight music, and the pipe has startled the quiet homestead; often has the woodland Dryad, while flying from the nocturnal marauder Fan across the solitary fields, sought shelter beneath it; and often have the household gods retained the odour of the Bacchanalian banquets, which by their libations have developed its luxuriance. The turf has been strewed and vermilioned with the chaplets of yesterday, and no man could distinguish the roses that had belonged to his own. O tree, favourite of the gods, tree of the great Caesar, fear not the axe nor the impious fire. You may hope for the glory of an ever-verdant foliage; you were not planted by Pompeian hands.
§ 9.62 ON PHILAENIS:
If Philaenis wears all day and night garments dyed with Tyrian purple, it is not that she is extravagant or proud; it is the odour that pleases her, not the colour.
§ 9.63 TO PHOEBUS:
All the perverts invite you to their tables, Phoebus. He who gets his living with his _____, is not, I consider, respectable company.
Mentula quem pascit, non, puto, parus homo est.
§ 9.64 ON A STATUE OF DOMITIAN IN THE CHARACTER OF HERCULES:
Caesar, haying deigned to assume the form of the mighty Hercules, adds a new temple to the Latian way, at the spot where the traveller, who visits the grove of Diana, reads the inscription on the eighth milestone from the Queen of Cities. Formerly, O Romans, you used to worship Hercules, as the superior, with prayers and abundant blood of victims, now Hercules, as the inferior, worships Domitian. We address our more important prayers, some for wealth, others for honours, to Domitian, who, unsolicitous about inferior requests, leaves the fulfilment of these to Hercules.
§ 9.65 TO HERCULES, ON THE SAME STATUS:
O Hercules, whom the Latian Jupiter must now recognise, since you have assumed the glorious features of the divine Caesar, if you had borne those lineaments and that air when the wild beasts yielded to your prowess, nations would not have beheld you a slave to the Argive tyrant, and submitting to his cruel role; but you would have issued orders to Eurystheus, and the deceiver Lichas would not have brought you the perfidious gift of Nessus. Saved from the torment of the funeral pyre upon mount Oeta, you would have ascended to the heaven of your father above, free from all care, that heaven to which your labours entitled you. Nor would you have twirled the Lydian spindles of a proud mistress, or have looked upon Styx and the dog of Tartarus. Now Juno is favourable to you, now your Hebe indeed loves you; now, if the nymph that carried off your Hylas were to see your majestic appearance, she would send him back to you.
§ 9.66 TO FABULLUS:
When you have a wife, handsome, chaste, and young, Fabullus, why should you supplicate for the rights of a father of three children? That which you ask of our ruler and deity, you will obtain from yourself if you deserve the name of a man.
§ 9.67 TO AESCHYLUS:
§ 9.68 TO THE MASTER OF A NOISY SCHOOL IN HIS NEIGHBOURHOOD:
What right have you to disturb me, abominable schoolmaster, object abhorred alike by boys and girls? Before the crested cocks have broken silence, you begin to roar out your savage scoldings and blows. Not with louder noise does the metal resound on the struck anvil, when the workman is fitting a lawyer on his horse; nor is the noise so great in the large amphitheatre, when the conquering gladiator is applauded by his partisans. We, your neighbours, do not ask you to allow us to sleep for the whole night, for it is but a small matter to be occasionally awakened; but to be kept awake all night is a heavy affliction. Dismiss your scholars, brawler, and take as much for keeping quiet as you receive for making a noise.
§ 9.69 TO POLYCHARMUS:
When you have sex, Polycharmus, you are in the habit of going to the toilet afterwards; when you are sodomised, what, Polycharmus, do you do then?
Cum futuis, Polycharme, soles in fine cacare,
Cum paedicaris, quid, Polycharme facis:
§ 9.70 TO CAECILIANUS:
"O times! O manners!" was of old the cry of Cicero, when Catiline was contriving his impious plot; when father-in-law and son-in-law were engaging in fierce war, and the sad soil of Italy was soaked with civil bloodshed. Bat why do you, Caecilianus, now exclaim "O times! O manners?" What is it that displeases you? We have no cruel leaders, no maddening warfare, but may enjoy settled peace and happiness. It is not our morals, Caecilianus, that disgrace the age of which you complain, but your own.
§ 9.71 ON A LION AND A RAM:
It is astonishing with what attachment this lion, the glory of the Massylian mountains and this husband of the fleecy flock, are united. Behold with your own eyes; they dwell in one stall, and take their social meals in company. Nor do they delight to feed on the brood of forests, or the tender grass; but a small lamb satisfies their joint appetites. What were the merits of the terror of Nemea, or the betrayer of Helle, that they should shine among brilliant constellations in the high heaven? If cattle and wild beasts are worthy of a place m the heavens, this ram and this lion deserve to become stars.
§ 9.72 TO LIBER, A PUGILIST:
O Liber, whose brows are adorned with the Spartan crown, and whose Roman hand strikes blows worthy of Greece, when you send me a dinner, why does the wicker basket, in which it is conveyed, contain no wine-flask as an accompaniment? If you mean to make presents worthy of your name, you are aware, I suppose, what you ought to have sent me.
§ 9.73 TO A COBBLER, WHO HAD OBTAINED A LEGACY BY FRAUD:
You, whose business it once was to stretch old skins with your teeth, and to bite old soles of shoes besmeared with mud, now enjoy the lands of your deluded patron at Praeneste, where you are not worthy to occupy even a stall. Intoxicated with strong Falernian wine, too, you dash in pieces the crystal cups, and plunge yourself in debauchery with your patron's favourite. As for me, my foolish parents taught me letters. What did I want with grammarians and rhetoricians? Break up, my muse, your flowing pen, and tear up your books, if a shoe can secure such enjoyments to a cobbler.
§ 9.74 ON THE PORTRAIT OF CAMONUS:
This picture preserves the likeness of Camonus as a child; it is only his early features, when he was an infant, that remain to us. The affectionate father has kept no likeness of his countenance in the bloom of manhood, dreading to look on so fine a face deprived of animation.
§ 9.75 ON THE WOODEN BATH OF TUCCA:
Tucca has not constructed his bath of hard flint, or of quarry stone, or of baked bricks, with which Semiramis encircled great Babylon, but of the spoils of the forest and masses of pine planks, so that he may sail in his bath. The same magnificent personage has built splendid warm baths of every kind of marble; that which Carystos produces; that which Phrygian Synnas, and African Numidia, sends us; and that which the Eurotas has washed with its verdant stream. But there is no wood in it; put your wooden bath, therefore, Tucca, beneath your warm baths.
§ 9.76 ON THE PORTRAIT OF CAMONUS:
The features you here see are those of my Camonus; each was his face and figure in early youth. That countenance had grown more manly in the coarse of twenty years; a beard seemed delighted to shade his cheeks; and, once clipped, had scattered its ruddy hair from the points of the scissors. One of the three sisters looked with malice on such beauty, and cut the thread of his life before it was fully spun. An urn conveyed his ashes to his father from a far distant pyre; but that the picture may not alone speak of the youth, there shall be a more impressive description in my page.
§ 9.77 ON THE FEAST OF PRISCUS:
The eloquent page of Priscus considers "what is the best kind of feast?" and offers many suggestions with grace, many with force, and all with learning. Do you ask me, what is the best kind of feast? That at which no flute-player is present.
§ 9.78 TO PICENTINUS:
After the deaths of seven husbands, Galla has espoused you, Picentinus. Galla, I suppose, wishes to follow her husbands.
§ 9.79 TO DOMITIAN:
Before your reign, Rome hated the crowd attendant on the emperors, and the haughtiness of the court; but now, such is our love, Augustus, for all that belongs to you, that every one makes the care of his own family of but secondary consideration; so sweet are the tempers of your courtiers, so considerate are they towards us, so much of quiet good-feeling do thev display, and so much modesty is there in their bearing. Indeed, no servant of Caesar (such is the influence of a powerful court) wears his own character — but that of his master.
§ 9.80 ON GELLIUS:
The poor and hungry Gellius married a woman old and rich. He eats and enjoys himself.
§ 9.81 TO AULUS:
My readers and hearers, Aulus, approve of my compositions; but a certain critic says that they are not faultless. I am not much concerned at his censure; for I should wish the dishes on my table to please guests rather than cooks.
§ 9.82 TO MUNNA:
An astrologer declared, Munna, that you would soon come to an end; and I believe he spoke the truth. For, through fear of leaving anything behind you, you have squandered your inheritance in luxuries; your two millions have dwindled away in less than a year. Tell me, Munna, is not this coming soon to an end?
§ 9.83 TO DOMITIAN, ON HIS EXCLUSION OF THE KNIGHTS FROM THE STAGE:
Among the numberless wonders of your arena, Caesar. which surpasses the splendid shows of the old emperors, our eyes confess that they owe you much, but our ears more; inasmuch: as those who used to recite upon the stage are now only spectators.
§ 9.84 TO NORBANUS:
When vour affectionate fidelity, Norbanus, was standing in defence or Caesar against the raging of sacrilegious fury, I, the well-known cultivator of your friendship, was amusing myself with the composition of these verses, in the calm security of Pierian retreats. The Rhaetian spoke of me to you on the borders of Vindelicia, nor was the Northern Bear ignorant of my name. Oh how often, not renouncing your old friend, did you exclaim, "It is my poet, my own!" All my compositions, which for six whole years your reader has recited to you, their author will now present to you in a body.
§ 9.85 TO ATILIUS, ON PAULUS FEIGNING SICKNESS:
If our friend Paulus is ever out of health, Atilius, it is not himself, but his guests, that he deprives of a dinner. You suffer, Paulus, with a sudden and fictitious ailment; but my sportula has given up the ghost.
§ 9.86 TO SILIUS ITALICUS,ON THE DEATH OF HIS SON SEVERUS:
While Silius, whose powers have been displayed in more than one department of Roman literature, was lamenting the premature death of his friend Severus, I expressed my sympathy with him to the Pierian choir and to Phoebus: "I too," said Apollo, "wept for my Linus;" and, looking round at Calliope, who stood next to her brother, he added: "You also have your own sorrow. Behold the Tarpeian and the Palatine Thunderer; Lachesis has audaciously presumed to wound both Jupiters.3" When you see the divinities exposed to the harsh rule of destiny, you may acquit the gods of injustice.
§ 9.87 TO LUPERCUS:
After I have taken seven cups of Opimian wine, and am stretched at full length, and beginning to stammer from the effects of my heavy potations, you bring me some sort of papers, and say, "I have just made Nasta free — he is a slave that I inherited from my father; — please to give me your signature." The business may be better done to-morrow, Lupercus; at present my signet is wanted for the bottle.
§ 9.88 TO RUFUS:
While you were trying to catch me, Rufus, you used to send me presents; since you have caught me, you have given me nothing. To keep me when caught, send presents to me now as you did before, lest the boar, being badly fed, escape from his cage.
§ 9.89 TO STELLA:
By too severe a decree, Stella, you compel your guest to write verses at table. Under such a decree I may certainly write verses, but bad ones.
§ 9.90 TO FLACCUS, RESIDING IN CYPRUS:
So, reclining upon the flowery meads, where rolling pebbles sparkle in the brook, its winding banks glowing on every side, may you break the ice into the goblet of dark wine, far removed from all cares, and your brow wreathed with chaplets of roses; so may you enjoy alone the caresses of a favourite, and the pleasures of a chaste love, as you keep on your guard, I warn and pray you, Flaccus, against the climate of Cyprus, too well known for its excessive heat, when the threshing-floor receives the crackling harvest, and the mane of the tawny lion glows in its fierceness. And do you, goddess of Paphos, send back the youth, send him back unharmed, to my prayers. So may the kalends of March be ever consecrated to you, and may many a slice of cake, with incense, and wine, and offerings, be laid upon your fair altars.
§ 9.91 TO DOMITIAN:
If two messengers were to invite me to dine in different heavens, the one in that of Caesar, the other in that of Jupiter, I should, even if the stars were nearer, and the palace at the greater distance, return this answer: "Seek some other who would prefer to be the guest of the Thunderer; my own Jupiter detains me upon earth."
§ 9.92 TO CONDYLUS:
Of the troubles of a master, and the pleasures of a slave, Condylus, you are ignorant, when you lament that you have been a slave so long. A common rug gives you sleep free from all anxiety; Caius lies awake all night on his bed of down. Caius, from the first dawn of day, salutes with trembling a number of patrons; you, Condylus, salute not even your master. "Caius, pay what you owe me," cries Phoebus on the one side, and Cinnamus on the other; no one makes such a demand on you, Condylus. Do you fear the torturer? Caius is a martyr to the gout in his hands and feet, and would rather suffer a thousand floggings than endure its pains. You indulge neither gluttonous nor licentious propensities. Is not this preferable to being three times a Caius?
§ 9.93 TO CALOCISSUS, HIS SLAVE:
Why, my slave, do you delay to pour in the immortal Falernian? Fill double measures from the oldest cask. Now tell me, Calocissus, to which of all the gods shall I bid you fill six cups? It shall be Caesar. Let ten wreaths of roses be fitted to my locks, to honour the name of him who raised the noble monument to his sacred family. Next give me twice five kisses, the number which denotes the name our divinity acquired from the Sarmatian countries,
§ 9.94 ON HIPPOCRATES:
Hippocrates has given me a cap medicated with wormwood, and now has the presumption to ask of me honeyed wine in return. I do not suppose that even Glaucus was so stupid, who gave his golden armour to Diomede for armour of brass. Can any one expect a sweet gift in return for a bitter one? Let him have it, but on condition that he drink it in hellebore.
§ 9.95 ON ATHENAGORAS:
Athenagoras was once Alphius; now, since he has taken a wife, he has begun to call himself Olphius. Do you believe, Callistratus, that his real name is Athenagoras? May I die if I know who Athenagoras is! But suppose, Callistratus, I call him by his real name; if I call him otherwise, it is not I who am at fault, but your friend Athenagoras himself.
§ 9.96 ON HERODES:
The doctor Herodes had filched a cup belonging to his patients. Being detected, he exclaimed, "Fool! what need have you of drink?"
§ 9.97 TO JULIUS:
A certain person, my dearest Julius, is bursting with envy because Rome reads me; he is bursting, I say, with envy. He is bursting with envy, too, bursting with envy, because in every assembly I am pointed out by the finger of admiration. He is bursting with envy, bursting with envy, because both Caesars accorded me the rights of a father of three children. He is bursting with envy, bursting with envy, because I have an agreeable suburban villa and a small house in town. He is bursting with envy, bursting with envy, because I am dear to my friends, and because I am their frequent guest. He is bursting with envy, because I am loved and praised. Whoever is bursting with envy, let him burst.
§ 9.98 TO QUINTUS OVIDIUS:
The produce of the vineyards has not failed everywhere, Ovidius. The heavy rains have been productive. Coranus made up a hundred jars by means of the water.
§ 9.99 TO ATTICUS, ON MARCUS ANTONIUS, TO WHOM HE SENDS HIS BOOK:
Marcus Antonius loves my muse, Atticus, if his complimentary letter but speaks the truth, — Marcus, who is the undeniable glory of Palladian Tolosa, and whom repose, the child of peace, has nurtured. You, my book, who can bear the toil of a long journey, go to him, as a pledge of love from his absent friend. You would be worthless, I admit, if a dealer were to send you: but your coming from the author will give value to the present. It makes a great difference, believe me, whether a draught be taken from the fountain-head, or from the stagnant waters of a sluggish pool.
§ 9.100 TO BASSUS:
You invite me to a supper, Bassus, worth three denarii, and expect me to dance attendance in your antechamber in the morning clad in my toga; and afterwards to keep close to your side, or walk before your chair, while I attend you in your visits to ten or a dozen widows. My toga is threadbare, shabby, and even ragged; yet I could not buy one as good, Bassus, for three denarii.
§ 9.101 FLATTERY OF DOMITIAN:
O Appian way, which Caesar consecrates under the form of Hercules, and renders the most celebrated of Italian roads, if you desire to learn the deeds of the ancient Hercules, listen to me. He subdued the Libyan giant; he carried off the golden apples; he disarmed the Amazonian queen of her shield, though secured by a Scythian girdle; by feat of arms be added the lion's skin to that of the Arcadian boar; he delivered the forest from the brazen-footed stag and the lakes of Arcadia from the Stymphalian birds; he brought from the waters of Styx the infernal dog Cerberus; he prevented the fruitful Hydra from renewing its heads after they had been cut off; he plunged the horned bulls of Hesperia in the Tuscan Tiber. Such were the achievements of the ancient and leaser Hercules. Listen now to the deeds of the greater Hercules, whom the sixth milestone from the citadel of Alba celebrates. He freed the palace from the thralldom of a bad rule. His first wars, as a boy, were waged in defence of his patron Jupiter. When already in sole possession of the Caesarean reins of government, he resigned them to his father, contenting himself to become the third citizen in his own world. Thrice he broke the perfidious horns of the Sarmatian Danube; thrice he cooled his sweating steed in the Getic snows. For bearing to accept the honours of a triumph, and often refusing them, he acquired a title, as a conqueror, from the Northern climes. He gave temples to the gods, morals to his people, rest to the sword, heaven to his family, constellations to the skies, garlands to Jupiter. The divinity of a Hercules is not sufficient for acts so great; our deity should be represented under the form of Tarpeian Jupiter.
§ 9.102 TO PHOEBUS:
You give me back, Phoebus, my bond for four hundred thousand sesterces; lend me rather a hundred thousand more. Seek some one else to whom you may vaunt your empty present: what I cannot pay you, Phoebus, is my own:
§ 9.103 ON HIERUS AND ASILLUS, TWIN-BROTHERS:
What new Leda has produced you these attendants so like each other? What fair Spartan has been captivated by another swan? Pollux has given his face to Hierus, Castor his to Asillus; and in the countenance of each gleams the beauty of their Tyndarean sister (Helen). Had these beautiful figures been in Therapnaean Amyclae, when the inferior present prevailed over those of the two other goddesses, Helen would have remained at Sparta, and Trojan Paris have returned to Phrygian Ida with two Ganymedes.
§ 10.1 BOOK X
THE BOOK TO THE READER:
If I seem to be a book of undue size, with my end too much delayed, read only a small portion of me; I shall then be to you but a little book. Each of my pages is occupied by but three or four short pieces; make me as short as you please for yourself.
§ 10.2 TO THE READER, ON PUBLISHING A SECOND EDITION OF THIS BOOK:
The labour, which I bestowed upon this tenth book, being too hurried, made it necessary that the work, which had slipped from my hands, should be revised. You will read here some pieces which you have had before, but they are now repolished by the file; the new part will be the larger; but be favourable, reader, to both; for you are my true support; since, when Rome gave you to me, she said, "I have nothing greater to give you. By his means you will escape the sluggish waves of ungrateful Lethe, and will survive in the better part of yourself. The marble tomb of Messale is split by the wild fig, and the audacious muleteer laughs at the mutilated horses of the statue of Crispus. But as for writings, they are indestructible either by thieves or the ravages of time; such monuments alone are proof against death."
§ 10.3 TO PRISCUS:
A certain anonymous poet is circulating the jargon of slaves, foul satires, and filthy turpitudes, such as are uttered only by low vagabonds; vulgarisms such as even a dealer in broken Vatinian glass would not purchase at the price of a sulphur match; and these he attempts to pass off as mine. Do you believe, Priscus, that the parrot can speak with the note of the quail, and that Canus would wish to be a bagpiper? Far from my little books be such foul fame; books which the fairest reputation bears aloft on unsullied wing. Why should I labour to attain a disgraceful notoriety, when I can remain silent without loss?
§ 10.4 TO MAMURRA:
You who read of Oedipus, of Thyestes deserted by the sun, of the Colchian princess (Medea), and of the Scyllas, of what do you read but fabulous wonders? Of what advantage to you is the story of the rape of Hylas, or of Parthenopaeus, or of Atys, or of the sleeper Endymion? Or of the youth Icarus despoiled of his falling wings? or of Hermaphroditus, who shuns the amorous waters? What do the empty tales of such frivolous writings profit you? Read in this book of mine of real life, of which you may say, "It is mine." You will not. find here Centaurs, or Gorgons, or Harpies; my pages savour of man. But if you have no wish, Mamurra, to study the manners of the times, or to know yourself you may read the myths of Callimachus.
§ 10.5 ON A SLANDEROUS POET:
Whoever, despising the matron and the noble, whom he ought to respect, has injured them with impious verse; may he wander through town after town, an outcast on bridge and hill, and lowest among craving mendicants, may he entreat for mouthfuls of the spoilt bread reserved for the dogs. May December be dreary to him, and the dripping winter and close cell prolong the cheerless cold. May he call those blessed, and pronounce them happy, who are borne past him upon the funeral bier. And when the thread of his last hour is spun, and the day of death, which has seemed too slow, has arrived, may he hear around him the howling of dogs for his body, and have to drive off the birds of prey by shaking his rags. Nor may the punishment of the abject wretch end with his death; but, sometimes lashed with the thongs of the severe Aeacus, sometimes burdened with the mountain-stone of unresting Sisyphus, sometimes thirsting amid the waters of the babbling old Tantalus, may he exhaust all the fabled torments of the poets; and when the Furies shall have compelled him to confess the truth, may he exclaim, betrayed by his conscience, "I wrote those verses."
§ 10.6 ON THE ARRIVAL OF TRAJAN:
Happy are they whom Fortune has permitted to behold this leader beaming with the rays of northern suns and constellations! When will that day come, on which the fields, and the trees, and every window shall shine resplendent, adorned by the ladies of Rome? When shall be witnessed the delightful halts on the road, the distant clouds of dust telling of Caesar's approach, and the spectacle of all Rome assembled in the Flaminian Way? When will you, Knights, and you Moors clad in rich Egyptian tunics, go forth to meet him? And when will the unanimous voice of the people exclaim, "He comes"?
§ 10.7 TO THE RHINE:
O Rhine, father of the nymphs and streams that drink the northern snows, so may your waters ever flow unconcealed, and no barbarous wheel of insolent rustic traverse or his foot trample your ice-hound surface; so may you pursue your way; receiving your golden tributaries, and owning the sway of Rome on either bank, as you shall send back Trajan to his people and to his city. This does our Tiber, your master, implore of you.
§ 10.8 ON PAULA:
Paula wishes to be married to me; I am unwilling to marry Paula, because she is an old woman; but I should have no objection, if she were still older.
§ 10.9 ON HIMSELF:
I am that Martial known to all nations and people by my verses of eleven feet, my hendecasyllables, and my jokes, which however are without malice. Why do you envy me? I am not better known than the horse Andraemon.
§ 10.10 TO PAULUS, ONE OF THE CONSULS:
While you, who open the year with laurel-wreathed fasces, wear away a thousand door-steps with your morning calls, what remains for me to do? What do you leave to me, Paulus, who am sprung from Numa's people, and am simply one of the plebeian crowd? Shall I salute as lord and king every one who honours me with a look? This you do yourself; and oh! with what superior grace! Shall I follow somebody's litter, or chair? You are not above this office yourself and you even struggle for the distinction of walking foremost through the midst of the mud. Shall I frequently rise to applaud a poet who recites his verses? You remain standing all the time, with both hands stretched out towards the author. What is a poor man to do, when he cannot even be a client? Your purple has supplanted our plain togas.
§ 10.11 TO CALLIODORUS:
You speak of nothing but Theseus and Pirithous, and you imagine yourself equal to Pylades. May I perish if you are worthy to hand a chamber-vessel to Pylades, or to feed Pirithous's pigs. "Yet I have given my friend," say you, "five thousand sesterces, and a toga (O bounty!), not more than three or four times scoured." Munificent gift! Pylades never gave anything to Orestes: a man who gives to his friend, however much, withholds still more.
§ 10.12 TO DOMITIUS:
You who are going to visit the people of Aemilia, and of Vercellae dear to Apollo, and the fields of the Po, renowned for the death of Phaeton, may I perish, Domitius, if I do not cheerfully allow you to depart, although without your society no day is tolerable to me. But what I greatly desire is this; that, if for only one summer, you would relieve your neck of the yoke imposed upon it by a residence in town. Go, I pray you, and inhale the fervid rays of the sun at every pore. How handsome you will become during your journey! And when you return, you will be past recognition by your pale-faced friends, and the pallid crowd will envy the colour of your cheeks. But Rome will soon take away the colour which your journey gives you, even though you should return as black as an Ethiopian.
§ 10.13 TO TUCCA:
While a chariot carries your effeminate minions sitting at their ease, and African out-riders toil in your service along the dusty road; while your sumptuous couches surround your baths which rival those of Baiae, the waters whitened with perfumes; while measures of Setine wine sparkle in your brilliant glasses, and Venus sleeps not on a softer couch; you pass your nights upon the threshold of a proud harlot, and her deaf gate is wet, alas! with your tears; nor do sighs cease to rend your sad breast. Shall I tell you, Tucca, why matters go so ill with you? It is because they go too well.
§ 10.14 TO CRISPUS:
You say, Crispus, that you yield to no one of my friends in affection for me; but what, I pray, do you do to prove the truth of this assertion? When I asked for a loan of five thousand sesterces, you refused me, though your overstocked cash-box could not contain your hoards. When did you give me a bushel of beans or grain, though you have lands ploughed by Egyptian husbandmen? When was even a scanty toga sent me in the cold winter season? When did half a pound of silver find its way to me? I see nothing to make me look upon you as a friend, Crispus, but your habit of putting yourself quite at ease in my presence.
§ 10.15 ON APER:
Aper has pierced the heart of his richly-dowered wife with a sharp arrow. But it was in play. Aper is skilful at play.
§ 10.16 TO CAIUS:
If you call it making a present, Caius, to promise and not to give, I will far outdo you in gifts and presents. Receive from me all that the Asturian has extracted from the mines of Gallicia; all that the golden wave of the rich Tagus possesses ; all that the swarthy Indian finds in the seaweed of the Erythraean sea; all that the solitary bird amasses in its nest; all that industrious Tyre collects in her Phoenician coppers; all that the whole world possesses, receive from me, — -after your own manner of giving.
§ 10.17 TO HIS MUSE, ON MACER:
In vain, my Muse, would you defraud Macer of his tribute at the Saturnalia; you cannot, he himself asks you for it. He demands the customary jokes, and cheerful verses; and complains that he no longer hears my jests. But he is now engaged upon long computations of surveyors; and what will become of you, O Appian Way, if Macer reads my epigrams?
§ 10.18 ON MARIUS:
Marius neither asks any one to dinner, nor sends presents, nor becomes security for any one, nor is willing to lend; indeed he has nothing to lend. Nevertheless a crowd is found to court his barren friendship. Alas, how besotted, Rome, are the wearers of your toga!
§ 10.19 HE SENDS HIS BOOK TO PLINY THE YOUNGER:
Go, my Thalia, and present to the eloquent Pliny my little book, which though not learned enough or very grave, is not entirely devoid of elegance. When you have passed the Suburra, it is no long labour to ascend the steep pathway over the Esquiline hill. There you will see a glittering statue of Orpheus on the top of a perfume-sprinkled theatre, surrounded by beasts wondering at his music; and among them the royal bird which carried off Ganymede for the Thunderer. Near it is the humble house of your friend Pedo, surmounted by an eagle with smaller wings. But take care lest, in a moment of indiscretion, you knock at the learned Pliny's door at an inauspicious time. He devotes his whole days to the severe Minerva, while preparing for the ears of the centumviri that which our own age and posterity may compare even with the eloquent pages of Cicero. You will go with the best chance of success when the evening lamps are lighted. That hour is for you the best when the god or wine reigns, when the rose holds its sway, and the hair is moistened with perfumes. Then even rigid Catos read me.
§ 10.20 TO MANIUS:
That Celtiberian Salo draws me to its auriferous banks, that I am pleased again to visit the dwellings of my native land suspended amid rocks, you, Manius, are the cause; you who have been beloved of me from my infant years, and cherished with affection in the days of my youth; than whom there is no one in all Iberia dearer to me, or more worthy of real regard. With you I should delight even in a tent of the Libyan desert, or a hut of the savage Scythian. If your sentiments are the same, if our affections are mutual, every place will be a Rome to us both.
§ 10.21 TO SEXTUS, A WRITER AFFECTING OBSCURITY:
Why, I ask, Sextus, is it your delight to produce compositions which even Modestus himself, or Claranus, could scarcely understand? Your books require, not a reader, but an Apollo. In your judgment Cinna was a greater poet than Virgil. May your works receive similar praise! As for mine, I am content that they please the Grammarians, provided they please others without the aid of Grammarians.
§ 10.22 TO PHILAENIS:
Do you ask, Philaenis, why I often come abroad with plaster on my chin, or with my lips covered with salve when nothing ails them? I do not wish to kiss you.
§ 10.23 ON M. ANTONIUS PRIMUS:
The happy Antonius Primus now numbers fifteen Olympiads (75 years) passed in tranquillity; he looks back upon the days that are gone, and the whole of his past years, without fearing the waters of Lethe to which he daily draws nearer. Not one day of his brings remorse or an unpleasant reflection; there is none which he would be unwilling to recall. A good man lengthens his term of existence; to be able to enjoy our past life is to live twice.
§ 10.24 ON THE KALENDS, OR FIRST DAY, OF MARCH:
O Kalends of March, anniversary of my birth, day more charming to me than any other kalends, day on which even maidens send me presents, I place upon the hearth, in honour of you, these cakes, and this censer, for the fifty-seventh time. To these years (provided it be for my good) add at my entreaty, I beseech you, twice nine more, so that I may descend to the groves of the Elysian queen while still undisabled with protracted old age, yet having accomplished the three stages of life. After such a Nestor's existence, I will not ask for a single day more.
§ 10.25 ON MUCIUS:
If that Mucius, whom we lately beheld in the arena in the morning, and who thrust his hand into the blaring fire, appears to you to be a man of patience, fortitude, and endurance, you have no more sense than the people of Abdera; for when a man is commanded, with the alternative of the pitched shirt before his eyes, to burn his hand, it would be more courageous to say, "I will not burn it!"
§ 10.26 ON THE DEATH OF THE CENTURION VARUS IN EGYPT:
O Varus, you who were but lately a Roman officer of rank among the Paraetonian cities, and a distinguished leader of a hundred men, are now reposing, a strange shade, on the Egyptian shore; your return is vainly expected by the Ausonian Quirinus. It was not permitted us to moisten your parching lips with our tears, nor to place rich incense on your sad pyre. But an enduring tribute shall be given you in immortal verse. Would you, perfidious Nile, also deprive us of this?
§ 10.27 TO DIODORUS:
On your birth-day, Diodorus, the senate and a great many knights sit as guests at your table; and your sportula is a largess of no less than thirty sesterces to each person. And yet, Diodorus, no one regard's you as a man of birth.
§ 10.28 TO JANUS:
O most honoured father of years, and of this glorious universe, to whom first of all the gods the public vows and prayers are addressed, you were formerly wont to dwell in a small temple, open to all, and through which the busy crowd of Rome wore their constant way. Now your threshold is surrounded with tokens of the munificence of Caesar, and you number, Janus, as many forums as you have faces. But do you, venerable father, in gratitude for such a boon, secure your iron gates with a perpetual bolt.
§ 10.29 TO SEXTILIANUS:
The dish which you were wont to present to me, Sextilianus, at the Saturnalia, you have bestowed on your mistress: and with the price of my toga, which you used to give me on the first of March, you have bought her a green dinner robe. Your mistresses now begin to cost you nothing; you enjoy them at my expense.
§ 10.30 TO APOLLINARIS ON THE CHARMS OF FORMIAE:
O delightful shore of salubrious Formiae; Apollinaris, when he flees from the city of stern Mars, and wearied lays aside his anxious cares, prefers you to every other spot. The charming Tivoli, the birth-place of his virtuous wife, is not to him so attractive, neither are the retreats of Tusculum, or Algidus, or Praeneste, or Antium. He pines not after the bland Circe, or Trojan Caieta, or Marica, or Liris, or the fountain of Salmacis, which feeds the Lucrine lake. At Formiae the surface of the ocean is but gently crisped by the breeze; and though tranquil, is ever in motion, and bears along the painted skiff under the influence of a gale as gentle as that wafted by a maiden's fan when she is distressed by heat. Nor has the fishing-line to seek its victim far out at sea; but the fish may be seen beneath the pellucid waters, seizing the line as it drops from the chamber or the couch. Were Aeolus ever to send a storm, the table, still sure of its provision, might laugh at his railings; for the native fish-pool protects the turbot and the pike; delicate lampreys swim up to their master; delicious mullet obey the call of the keeper, and the old carp come forth at the sound of his voice. But when does Rome permit him to partake of these enjoyments? How many days at Formiae does the year allot to him, closely chained as he is to the pursuits of the city? Happy gate-keepers and bailiffs! These gratifications provided for your masters, are enjoyed by you.
§ 10.31 TO CALLIODORUS:
You sold a slave yesterday for the sum of thirteen hundred sesterces, in order, Calliodorus, that you might dine well once in your life. Nevertheless you did not dine well; a mullet of four pounds' weight, which you purchased, was the chief dish, the very crown of your repast. I feel inclined to exclaim, "It was not a fish, shameless fellow, it was a man, a veritable man, Calliodorus, that you ate."
§ 10.32 TO CAEDICIANUS, ON A LIKENESS OF MARCUS ANTONIUS PRIMUS:
Do you ask, Caedicianus, whose lineaments are traced in this picture, which I am adorning with roses and violets? Such was Marcus Antonius Primus in the prime of life; in this portrait the old man sees himself in his youth. Would that art could have painted his character and his mind There would then be no fairer portrait in the whole world.
§ 10.33 TO MUNATIUS GALLUS:
Munatius Gallus, more simple in manners than the Sabines of old, more virtuous than the Athenian sage (Socrates), so may the chaste Venus bless your union, and give you to inherit the noble mansion of your father-in-law, as you exculpate me from having written any verses, tinged with foul malice, which malevolence may have attributed to me; and as you insist that no poet, who is read, composes such verses. In all my writings my rule has ever been to lash vices without attacking persons.
§ 10.34 TO THE EMPEROR TRAJAN:
May the gods grant you, O Trajan our prince, whatsoever you deserve, and may they ratify in perpetuity whatsoever they grant; you who restores to the patron the right of which he had been deprived. He will no longer be regarded by his freedmen as an exile. You are worthy and able to protect the whole body of citizens, and if occasion serves you will prove the truth of my words.
§ 10.35 PRAISE OF SULPICIA:
Let all maidens, who would please only one husband, read Sulpicia. Let all husbands, who would please only one wife, read Sulpicia. She does not describe the fury of Medea, or paint the feast of the accursed Thyestes; nor does she believe in the existence of Scylla or Byblis; but she tells of chaste and affectionate loves, of pure sports, gratifications, and amusements. He who shall properly estimate her poems, will say that no one is more modest, no one more loving. Such I should suppose were the endearments of Egeria in the cool grotto of Numa. With Sulpicia as fellow-student, or as an instructress, Sappho might have been more learned, and more chaste; and had cruel Phaon seen both at the same time, he would rather have fallen in love with Sulpicia. But in vain; for she would not sacrifice Calenus to become either the queen of the Thunderer, or the beloved of Bacchus or Apollo.
§ 10.36 TO MUNNA, RESIDING AT MARSEILLES:
Whatever the dishonest wine vaults of Marseilles contain, whatever cask has assumed age by the help of the flame, comes to us, Munna, from you: to your unfortunate friends you send, across seas and by circuitous paths, cruel poisons; nor do you supply them on moderate terms, but at a price for which wine from Falernum, or Setis, so esteemed for their cellars, would be sufficient. Your reason for not coming to Rome during so long a period is, I suspect, lest you should have to drink your own wine.
§ 10.37 TO MATERNUS, ACQUAINTING HIM THAT THE AUTHOR IS SETTING OUT FOR BILBILIS:
O Maternus, most scrupulous observer of law and equity, you who rule the Roman forum by your convincing eloquence, have you any commands for the Spanish sea to send by your fellow-townsman and old friend? Or do you imagine it better to catch hideous frogs on the shores of the Tiber, and to angle for poor stickle-backs, than to be able to throw back to its rocky bed the captured mullet because less than three pounds' weight? And to feast, at your principal meal, upon a stale crab or a dish of periwinkles, rather than upon oysters which may compare with those of Baiae, and which even the servants are permitted by their master to eat? At Rome you hunt with much ado a stinking fox into your toils, and the filthy captive wounds your dogs. There (at Bilbilis) the wet fishing nets scarcely drawn up from the depths full of fish, entangle the hares. While I am speaking, see, your fisherman returns with empty creel, and your huntsman comes home proud of having caught a badger; your every feast comes from the city market to the coast. Have you any commands for the Spanish sea?
§ 10.38 TO CALENUS:
Oh how delicious have been the fifteen years of married bliss, Calenus, which the deities have lavished, in full measure, on you and your Sulpicia! Oh happy nights and hours, how joyfully has each been marked with the precious pearls of the Indian shore! Oh what contests, what voluptuous strife between you, has the happy couch, and the lamp dripping with Niceronian perfume, witnessed! You have lived, Calenus, three lustra, and the whole term is placed to your account, but you count only your days of married life. Were Atropos, at your urgent request, to bring back to you just one of those days, you would prefer it to the long life of Nestor quadrupled.
§ 10.39 TO LESBIA:
Why do you swear, Lesbia, that you were born in the consulship of Brutus? Yon say falsely, Lesbia, you were born in the reign of Numa. Should you even admit that, you would seem to say falsely; for, judging by your decrepitude, you must have been formed by the hand of Prometheus.
§ 10.40 TO LUPUS:
As I was constantly told that my mistress Polla indulged in improper connection with a young libertine, I surprised them, and found they were as proper as my own.
§ 10.41 TO PROCULEIA:
On the return of January you desert your old husband, Proculeia, and force him to consent to a separation of property. What, I ask, has happened? Why this sudden discontent? You answer not? I will tell you then: He was elected Praetor; his Megalesian purple robe would have cost you a hundred thousand sesterces, even if you had given shows of the most economical kind: and the public festivities would have cost twenty thousand more. This is not a divorce, Proculeia: it is an artifice to save money.
§ 10.42 TO DINDYMUS:
So light is the down upon your cheeks, and so soft, that a breath, or the heat of the sun, or a light breeze, would disperse it. They are clothed like young quinces which are deprived of their bloom, and become smooth by the touch of a maiden's thumb. Were I to kiss you rather eagerly five times or so, I should become bearded, Dindymus, from the spoil of your lips.
§ 10.43 TO PHILEROS:
Your seventh wife, Phileros, is now being buried in your field. No man's field brings him greater profit than yours, Phileros.
§ 10.44 TO QUINTUS OVIDIUS:
You, Quintus Ovidius, who are about to visit the Caledonian Britons, and the green Tethys, and father Ocean; will you then resign Numa's hills, and the comfort of Nomentan retreats? and does the country, and your own fireside, fail to retain you in your old age? You defer enjoyment, but Atropos does not at the same time lay aside her spindle, and every passing hour is placed to your account. You show by performing a kindness to a dear friend (and who would not praise such conduct?) that a sacred regard to your word is clearer to you than life. But may you at length be restored to your Sabine estate, long to remain there, and remember yourself among your friends!
§ 10.45 TO A READER DIFFICULT TO BE PLEASED:
If my little books contain anything gentle and graceful, if my page teems with pleasing terms of eulogy, you think them insipid; and when I offer you the choicest bits of a Laurentian boar, you prefer to gnaw the bones. Drink Vatican wine, it you like something sour; my spread is not for your stomach.
§ 10.46 TO MATHO:
You are always wishing, Matho, to speak finely; speak sometimes merely well; sometimes neutral; sometimes even ill.
§ 10.47 TO JULIUS MARTIALIS:
The things that make life happy, dearest Martial, are these: wealth not gained by labour, but inherited; lands that make no ill return; a hearth always warm; freedom from litigation; little need of business costume; a quiet mind; a vigorous frame; a healthy constitution; prudence without cunning; friends among our equals, and social intercourse; a table spread without luxury; nights, not of drunkenness, yet of freedom from care; a bed, not void of connubial pleasures, yet chaste; sleep, such as makes the darkness seem short; contentment with our lot, and no wish for change; and neither to fear death nor seek it.
§ 10.48 MARTIAL'S PREPARATION FOR A BANQUET:
The priesthood of the Pharian heifer announce to her the eighth hour, and the guard armed with javelins now return to their quarters. Now the warm baths have acquired a proper temperature; at the preceding hour they exhaled an intolerable excess of steam; at the sixth the heat of the baths of Nero is unsupportable. Stella, Nepos, Canius, Cerealis, Flaccus, are you coming? The sigma (dinner-couch) holds seven: we are only six, add Lupus. My bailiff's wife has brought me mallows, to aid digestion, and other treasures of the garden; among them are lettuces and leeks for slicing; nor is mint, the antidote to flatulence, or stimulant elecampane, wanting. Slices of egg shall crown anchovies dressed with rue; and there shall be sow's teats swimming in tunny-sauce. These will serve as whets for the appetite. My little dinner will all be placed on table at once; there will be a kid snatched from the jaws of the rapacious wolf; there will be tid-bits such as have no need of a carver; there will be haricot beans, and young cabbage sprouts. To these will be added a chicken; and a ham which has already appeared at table three times. For dessert I will give ripe fruits; wine from a Nomentan flagon which was filled in the second consulship of Frontinus. All shall be seasoned with pleasantry free from bitterness; there shall be no licence of speech that brings repentance on the morrow, and nothing said that we should wish unsaid. But my guests may speak of the rival factions in the circus, and my cups shall make no man guilty.
§ 10.49 TO COTTA:
While you yourself Cotta, drink out of Amethystine cups, and regale yourself with the rich wine of Opimius, you offer me new Sabine wine, and say to me, "Will you have it in a cup of gold?" Who would have leaden wine in a golden cup?
§ 10.50 ON THE DEATH OF THE CHARIOTEER SCORPUS:
Let Victory in sadness break her Idumaean palms; O Favour, strike your bare breast with unsparing hand. Let Honour change her garb for that of mourning; and make your crowned locks, O disconsolate Glory, an offering to the cruel flames. Oh! sad misfortune! that you, Scorpus, should be cut off in the flower of your youth, and be called so prematurely to harness the dusky steeds of Pluto. The chariot-race was always shortened by your rapid driving; but O why should your own race have been so speedily run?
§ 10.51 TO FAUSTINUS:
The Tyrian bull now looks back on the constellation of the ram of Phryxus, and the winter flees from Castor, visible alternately with his brother. The country smiles; the earth resumes its verdure, the trees their foliage; and plaintive Philomel renews her strain. Of what bright days at Ravenna does Rome deprive you, Faustinus! O you suns! O retired ease in the simple tunic! O groves! O fountains! O sandy shores moist but firm! O rocky Anxur, towering in splendour above the azure surface! and the couch, which commands the view of more than one water, beholding on one side the ships of the river, on the other those of the sea! But there are no Theatre of Marcellus or of Pompey, no triple baths, no four forums; nor the lofty temple or Capitoline Jove; nor other glittering temples that almost reach the heaven to which they are consecrated. How often do I imagine I hear you, when thoroughly wearied, saying to the Founder of Rome: "Keep what is yours, and restore me what is mine."
§ 10.52 ON A EUNUCH:
Numa, one day, saw the eunuch Thelys dressed in a toga. He remarked that it was a convicted adultress.
§ 10.53 EPITAPH OF THE CHARIOTEER SCORPUS:
O Rome, I am Scorpus, the glory of your noisy circus, the object of your applause, your short-lived favourite. The envious Lachesis, when she cut me off in my twenty-seventh year, accounted me, in judging by the number of my victories, to be an old man.
§ 10.54 TO OLUS:
You put fine dishes on your table, Olus, but you always put them on covered. This is ridiculous; in the same way I could put fine dishes on my table.
§ 10.55 ON MARULLA:
§ 10.56 TO GALLUS:
You expect me, Gallus, to be always at your service, and trudge up and down the Aventine mount three or four times a day. Cascellius extracts or repairs an aching tooth; Hyginus burns away the hairs that disfigure the eye; Fannius relieves, without cutting, the relaxed uvula; Eros effaces the degrading brand-marks from slaves' foreheads; Hermes is a very Podalirius in curing hernia; but tell me, Gallus, where is he that can cure the ruptured?
§ 10.57 TO SEXTUS:
You used to send me a pound weight of silver; it has dwindled to half a pound of pepper! I cannot afford to buy my pepper, Sextus, so dear.
§ 10.58 TO FRONTINUS, EXCUSING HIMSELF FOR HAVING NEGLECTED TO PAY HIS RESPECTS TO HIM:
Whilst I frequented, Frontinus, the calm retreats of Anxur on the sea, and the neighbouring Baiae, with its villas on the shore, the groves free from the troublesome cicadae in the heats of July, and the freshwater lakes, I then was at leisure, in company with you, to cultivate the learned muses; but now mighty Rome exhausts me. Here, when is a day my own? I am tossed about in the vortex of the city; and my life is wasted in laborious nothingness; meantime I cultivate some wretched acres of a suburban farm, and keep my homestead near your temple, O sacred Romulus. But love is not testified solely by day and night attendance on a patron; nor does such waste of time become a poet. By the sacred Muses and by all the gods I swear that I love you, though I fail to exercise the officiousness of a mere client.
§ 10.59 TO A READER DIFFICULT TO PLEASE:
If one subject occupies a whole page, you pass over it; short epigrams, rather than good ones, seem to please you. A rich repast, consisting of every species of dish, is set before you, out only dainty bits gratify your taste. I do not covet a reader with such an over-nice palate; I want one that is not content to make a meal without bread.
§ 10.60 ON MUNNA:
Munna solicited Caesar for the rights of a teacher of three scholars; though he had always been accustomed to teach only two1.
§ 10.61 EPITAPH ON EROTION:
Here reposes Erotion in the shade of the tomb that too early dosed around her, snatched away by relentless Fate in her sixth winter. Whoever you are that, after me, shall rule over these lands, render annual presents to her gentle shade. So, with undisturbed possession, so, with your family ever in health, may this stone be the only one of a mournful description on your domain.
§ 10.62 TO A SCHOOLMASTER:
Schoolmaster, be indulgent to your simple scholars; if you would have many a long-haired youth resort to your lectures, and the class seated round your critical table love you. So may no teacher of arithmetic, or of swift writing, be surrounded by a greater ring of pupils. The days are bright, and glow under the flaming constellation of the Lion, and fervid July is ripening the teeming harvest. Let the Scythian scourge with its formidable thongs, such as flogged Marsyas of Celaenae, and the terrible cane, the schoolmaster's sceptre, be laid aside, and sleep until the Ides of October. In summer, if boys preserve their health, they do enough.
§ 10.63 EPITAPH OH A NOBLE MATRON:
Small though the tomb, traveller, on which you read these lines, it yields not in interest to the sepulchres of Mausolus or the Pyramids. I have lived long enough to be twice a spectator of the Secular Games; and my life lost nothing of happiness before my funeral pyre. Juno gave me five sons, and as many daughters; and their hands closed my dying eyes. Rare conjugal glory, too, was mine; my chaste love knew but one husband.
§ 10.64 TO POLLA, WIFE OF LUCAN THE POET:
Polla, my queen, if you light upon any of my little books, do not regard my sportive sallies with knitted brow. Your own great bard, the glory of our Helicon, while he was sounding fierce wars with his Pierian trumpet, was yet not ashamed to say in sportive verse, "If I am not to play the part of Ganymede, what, Cotta, am I doing here?"
§ 10.65 TO CARMENION, AN EFFEMINATE PERSON:
Whilst you vaunt yourself Carmenion, a citizen of Corinth, and no one questions your assertion, why do you call me brother; I, who was born amongst the Iberians and Celts, a native of the banks of the Tagus? Is it that we seem alike in countenance? You walk about with shining wavy tresses; I with my Spanish crop stubborn and bristling. You are perfectly smooth from the daily use of depilatories; I am rough-haired both in limb and face. You have lisping lips and a feeble tongue; my infant daughter speaks with more force than you. Not more unlike is the dove to the eagle, the timid gazelle to the fierce lion, than you to me. Cease then, Carmenion, to call me brother, lest I call you sister.
§ 10.66 TO THEOPOMPUS, A HANDSOME YOUTH, BECOME A COOK:
Who, I ask, was so unfeeling, who so barbarous as to make you, Theopompus, a cook? Has any one the heart to defile a face such as this with the smut of a kitchen? Can any one pollute such locks with greasy soot? Who could better present cups, or crystal goblets? Out of what hand would the Falernian come with more relish? If this is the destiny of youth of such brilliant beauty, let Jupiter at once make a cook of Ganymede.
§ 10.67 EPITAPH ON PLOTIA, AN OLD WOMAN:
Plotia, the daughter of Pyrrha, the stepmother of Nestor, she whom Niobe, in her youth, saw grey-headed, she whom the aged Laertes called his grandmother, Priam his nurse, Thyestes his mother-in-law; Plotia, older than any crow, is at last laid lusting in this tomb along with bald Melanthion.
§ 10.68 TO LAELIA:
Though, Laelia, your home is not Ephesus, or Rhodes, or Mitylene, but a house in a patrician street at Rome; and though you had a mother from the swarthy Etruscans, who never painted her face in her life, and a sturdy father from the plains of Aricia; yet you (oh shame!) a countrywoman of Hersilia and Egeria, are perpetually repeating, in voluptuous Greek phrase, "My life, my soul." Such expressions should be reserved for the couch, and not even for every couch, but only that which is prepared by a mistress for a wanton lover. You pretend forsooth a wish to know how to speak as a chaste matron, but your lascivious movements would betray you. Though you were to learn all that Corinth can teach, Laelia, and practise it, you would never become a perfect Lais.
§ 10.69 TO POLLA:
You set a watch upon your husband, Polla: you refuse to have any set upon yourself! This, Polla, is making a wife of your husband.
§ 10.70 TO POTITUS:
Because I produce scarcely one book in a whole year, I incur from you, learned Potitus, the censure of idleness. But with how much more justice might you wonder that I produce even one, seeing how fluently my whole day is frittered away! Sometimes I receive friends in the evening, to return my morning calls; others I have to congratulate on preferments, though no one has to congratulate me. Sometimes I am required to seal some document at the temple of the lustrous Diana on Mount Aventine; sometimes the first, sometimes the fifth hour, claims me for its occupations. Sometimes the consul detains me, or the praetor, or the dancers as they return; frequently, listening to a poet's recitation occupies the entire day. Nor can I fairly refuse a few minutes to a pleader, or a rhetorician, or a grammarian, should they make the request. After the tenth hour, I go fatigued to the bath, and to get my hundred farthings. What time have I, Potitus, for writing a book?
§ 10.71 ON RABIRIUS, THE ARCHITECT OF DOMITIAN, PRAISING HIS AFFECTION FOR HIS PARENTS:
Whoever you are that desire for your parents a long and happy life, regard with sympathy the short inscription upon this marble tomb: — " Here Rabirius consigned two dear departed ones to the earth; no aged couple ever died under happier circumstances. Sixty years of married life were gently closed in one and the same night; a single pyre sufficed for both funerals." Yet Rabirius mourns them as though they had been snatched from him in the flower of their youth; nothing can be more unjustifiable than such lamentations.
§ 10.72 IN PRAISE OF TRAJAN:
Flatteries, in vain do you come to me, miserable objects, with prostituted lips! I am not about to celebrate a Lord or a God; there is now no longer any abode for you in this city. Go far away to the turbaned Parthians, and, with base and servile supplications, kiss the feet of their pageant kings. Here there is no lord, but an emperor; as senator, the most just of all the senate; one through whose efforts Truth, simple and unadorned, has been recovered from the Stygian realm. Under this prince, Rome, if you are discreet, beware of speaking in the language used to his predecessors.
§ 10.73 TO MARCUS ANTONIUS PRIMUS:
A letter from my eloquent friend has brought with it a pleasing token of his friendship, an imposing present of a Roman toga; a toga not such as Fabricius, but as Apicius, would have been glad to wear; or as the knight Maecenas, the friend of Augustus, might have chosen, it would have been of less value in my estimation had any other person been the giver; it is not by every hand that a propitious sacrifice may be offered. Coming from you it is grateful to me; but even had I not loved your gift, Marcus, I must naturally love my own name. But more valuable than the gift, and more pleasing than even the name, is the kind attention and favour of so learned a man.
§ 10.74 TO ROME:
Have pity at length, Rome, upon the weary congratulatory the weary client: How long shall I be a dangler at levees, among crowds of anxious clients and toga-clad dependents, earning a hundred paltry coins with a whole day's work, while Scorpus triumphantly carries off in a single hour fifteen heavy bags of shining gold? I ask not as the reward of my little books (for what indeed are they worth?) the plains of Apulia, or Hybla, or the spice-bearing Nile, or the tender vines which, from the brow of the Setian hill, look down on the Pomptine marshes. What then do I desire, you ask? — To sleep.
§ 10.75 ON GALLA:
Once upon a time Galla's demand was twenty thousand sesterces; and I admit she was not much too dear at the price. A year passed by: "I am yours," she said, "for ten thousand sesterces." This seemed to me more than she had asked before. Six months afterwards, when she came down to two thousand, I offered one thousand, which she refused. About two or three months later, so far from refusing this sum, she herself lowered her demand to four gold pieces. I declined to give it, and then she asked me to gave her a hundred sesterces; but even this sum seemed greatly too much. A miserable sportula of a hundred farthings would then have brought us together; that is, she proposed to accept it; but I told her I had bestowed it on my slave. Could she descend lower than this? She did; she now offers herself for nothing; but I decline.
§ 10.76 ON MAEVIUS:
Does this seem just to you, Fortune? A man who is not a native of Syria or of Parthia, not a knight from Cappadocian slave-cages, but one of the people of Remus, and a born subject of Numa, a man of agreeable manners, upright, and virtuous, a trustworthy friend, learned in the Greek and Roman languages, a man whose only fault (but that a great one) is, that he is a poet; — Maevius, I say, shivers in a faded black hood; while the mule-driver Incitatus glitters in purple.
§ 10.77 TO MAXIMUS, ON THE DEATH OF CARUS, A QUACK:
Never did Carus do anything worse, Maximus, than to die of fever; the fever, too, was much in the wrong. The cruel destroyer should at least have been a quartan, so that he might have become his own doctor.
§ 10.78 TO MACER, SETTING OUT FOR HIS PROVINCE OF DALMATIA:
Yon are going, Macer, to the shores of Salona. Rare integrity and the love of justice will accompany you, and modesty follow in the train. A just governor always returns poorer than he went. O happy husbandman of the gold-producing country, you will send back your ruler with his purse empty; you will deplore his return, O Dalmatian, and escort him on his departure with mixed feelings of gratitude and sorrow. I, Macer, shall go among the Celts and the fierce Iberians, with deep regret for the loss of your companionship. But every page of mine that shall be circulated there, written with a pen made from the reeds of the fish-abounding Tagus, will record the name of Macer. So may I be read among old poets, and rank in your esteem as inferior to none but Catullus.
§ 10.79 ON THE RICH TORQUATUS AND THE POOR OTACILIUS:
Near the fourth milestone from the city, Torquatus has a princely mansion: near the fourth milestone, Otacilius purchases a little country-house. Torquatus has built splendid warm baths of variegated marble; Otacilius erects a basin. Torquatus has laid out a plantation of laurels on his land; Otacilius sows a hundred chestnuts. When Torquatus was consul, Otacilius was chief magistrate of the village, and, proud of such a dignity, did not imagine himself a less personage than Torquatus. As, of old, the large ox made the small frog burst, so, I suspect, Torquatus will burst Otacilius.
§ 10.80 ON EROS:
Eros weeps whenever he casts his eye on beautiful vases of mottled myrrha, or on young slaves, or choice specimens of citron-wood; and he sighs from the very bottom of his heart, because, unhappy mortal, he cannot buy them all and carry them home with him. How many persons do the same as Eros, but with dry eyes! The greater portion of mankind laugh at such tears, and yet at heart are like him.
§ 10.81 ON PHYLLIS:
§ 10.82 TO GALLUS:
If discomfort to me is of any advantage to you, I will put on my toga to attend you at dawn, or even at midnight: I will endure the whistling blasts of the keen north wind; I will bear showers of rain, and brave storms of snow. But if you are not a fraction the better for all my sufferings, all these tortures inflicted on a free man, show some indulgence, I pray, to your fatigued client, and excuse him from such pointless toils, which are of no advantage to you, Gallus, and are painful to me.
§ 10.83 TO MARINUS, ON HIS BALDNESS:
You collect your straggling hairs on each side, Marinus, endeavouring to conceal the vast expanse of your shining bald pate by the locks which still grow on your temples. But the hairs disperse, and return to their own place with every gust of wind; flanking your bare pole on either side with crude tufts. We might imagine we saw Hermeros of Cydas standing between Spendophorus and Telesphorus. Why not confess yourself an old man? Be content to seem what you really are, and let the barber shave off the rest of your hair. There is nothing more contemptible than a bald man who pretends to have hair.
§ 10.84 TO CAEDICIANUS, ON AFER, THE HUSBAND OF AN UGLY WIFE:
Do you wonder, Caedicianus, why Afer does not retire to rest? You see with whom he has to share his couch.
§ 10.85 ON LADON:
Ladon, a boatman on the Tiber, bought himself when grown old, a bit of land on the banks of his beloved stream. But as the overflowing Tiber often invaded it with raging floods, breaking into his ploughed fields, converting them in winter into a lake, he filled his worn-out boat, which was drawn up on the beach, with stones, making it a barrier against the floods. By this means he repelled the inundation. who would have believed it? An unseaworthy boat was the safe-guard of the boatman.
§ 10.86 ON LAURUS, A PLAYER AT BALL, IN HIS OLD AGE:
No one was ever so inflamed with ardour for a new mistress, as Laurus with love for the game of ball. But he who, in his prime, was the best of players, is now, after having ceased to play, the best of balls.
§ 10.87 ON THE BIRTH-DAY OF RESTITUTUS, THE ELOQUENT ADVOCATE:
Let Rome gratefully celebrate the first of October, the natal day of the eloquent Restitutus. Let us all join in solemn and pious orisons to celebrate your anniversary. A truce to litigation; let wax tapers, cheap tablets, and little table-napkins, propitatory gifts of the poor client, be deferred until the saturnalia of icy December. Let rich men now vie in the munificence of their offerings. Let the swelling merchant of the Portico of Agrippa bring cloaks from the city of Cadmus. Let him who has been charged with drunkenness and midnight brawling present a dinner-robe to his defender. Has a maiden triumphed over the slanderer of her fair fame, let her, with her own hands, bring pure sardonyxes. Let the antiquary present you with a work from the chisel of Phidias. Let the hunter bring a hare, the farmer a kid, the fisherman a prey from the waters. If every one sends you his own peculiar gift, what do you think, Restitutus, that a poet ought to send you?
§ 10.88 TO COTTA, A DISHONEST PERSON:
You are eager to take charge of all the praetors' bags, and ready to carry their tablets. You really are a very handy man.
§ 10.89 ON A STATUE OF JUNO BY POLYCLETUS:
This Juno, Polycletus, your happy workmanship and masterpiece, which would do honour to the hand of Phidias, displays such beauty, that, had she thus appeared on Mount Ida, the Judge would have felt no hesitation in preferring her to the other goddesses. If Jupiter had not loved his sister Juno, he might, Polycletus, have fallen in love with your Juno.
§ 10.90 TO LIGEIA:
§ 10.91 ON ALMO:
Almo has none but eunuchs about him, and is himself impotent; yet he complains that his wife Polla produces him nothing.
§ 10.92 TO MARIUS, TO WHOSE CARE MARTIAL COMMITS HIS GROUNDS:
To you, Marius, the admirer of a tranquil life, you who shared mine with me, you the glory of the ancient town of Atina, I commend these twin pines, the pride of a rustic grove, these holm oaks sacred to the Fauns, and these altars dedicated to the Thunderer and the shaggy Silvanus, erected by the unpractised hand of my bailiff; altars which the blood of a lamb or a kid has frequently stained. I entrust to you also the virgin goddess, the patroness of this sacred temple; him, too, whom you see the guest of his chaste sister, Mars, my patron deity; and the laurel grove of the tender Flora, into which she fled for refuse