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quae tu pulchra putas. fornix tibi et uncta popina incutiunt urbis desiderium, video, et quod angulus iste feret piper et tus ocius uva, nec vicina subest vinum praebere taberna quae possit? tibi, nec meretrix tibicina, cuius 25 ad strepitum salias terrae gravis ; et tamen urges iampridem non tacta ligonibus arva bovemque disiunctum curas et strictis frondibus exples ; addit opus pigro rivus, si decidit imber, multa mole docendus aprico parcere prato. 30
Nunc age, quid nostrum concentum” dividat audi. quem tenues decuere togae nitidique capilli, quem scis immunem Cinarae placuisse rapaci, quem bibulum liquidi media de luce Falerni, cena brevis iuvat et prope rivum somnus in herba ; 35 nec lusisse pudet, sed non incidere ludum. non istic obliquo oculo mea commoda quisquam limat, non odio obscuro morsuque venenat : rident vicini glaebas et saxa moventem. cum servis urbana diaria: rodere mavis ;
40 horum tu in numerum voto ruis ; invidet usum lignorum et pecoris tibi calo argutus et horti. optat ephippia bos, piger optat arare caballus. quam scit uterque libens censebo exerceat artem.
possit E, II : posset aR. consensum E.
3 cibaria R Goth.
a In the mouth of the bailiff, angulus is a term of contempt. The same expression, however, is used elsewhere by Horace of a place unique in his affections, “ ille terrarum mihi praeter omnis angulus ridet” (Odes ii. 6. 13).
b i.e. although you have no pleasures. From l. 22 to 1. 30 Horace repeats some of the grumbling remarks of the bailiff.
lovely, and hates what you believe so beautiful. 'Tis the brothel, I see, and greasy cookshop that stir in you a longing for the city, and the fact that that poky spota will grow pepper and spice as soon as grapes, and that there is no tavern hard by that can supply you with wine and no flute-playing courtesan, to whose strumming you can dance and thump the ground. And yet you toil over fields long untouched by the hoe, you care for the ox after he is unyoked, and you fill him up with fodder you have stripped ; when you are dead tired, the brook brings fresh work, for if rain has fallen, it must be taught by many a mounded dam to
meadow. 31 Now come, hear what makes the discord in our common song. One whom fine-spun clothes became, and shining locks, one who, as you know, though empty-handed, found favour with greedy Cinara, and in midday hours would drink the clear Falernian, now takes pleasure in a simple meal, and a nap on the grass beside the stream: nor is it shameful to have once been foolish, but not to cut folly short. Where you live, no one with eye askance detracts from my comforts, or poisons them with the bite of secret hate. As I move sods and stones the neighbours laugh. You would rather be munching rations with the slaves in town ; it is their number you fain would join : my sharp-witted groom envies you the use of fuel, flock, and garden. The ox longs for the horse's trappings : the horse, when lazy, longs to plough. What I shall advise is that each contentedly practise the trade he understands.
c The verb limat (lit.“ files away "), as used with obliquo oculo, involves a play upon limis oculis (cf. Sat. ii. 5. 53).
ORDERED by his physician to take the cold-water cure, Horace writes to his friend Vala for information about two seaside places, Velia and Salernum, especially as to the climate, people, drinking water, game, and fish. As such an interest in personal luxuries
may seem quite inconsistent with doctrines he has often preached, Horace humorously admits that he is like the well-known Maenius, who would loudly proclaim the blessings of a simple life, but, if he had the chance, would indulge his appetite to the full.
The opening paragraph (1-25) is loosely framed, with lengthy parentheses, giving an air of careless freedom of style, after the fashion of conversation in real life. Numonius Vala, who had a country house in southern Italy, belonged to a family of some distinction in Lucania, as is evidenced by coins and inscriptions.
Quae sit hiems Veliae, quod caelum, Vala, Salerni, quorum hominum regio et qualis via (nam mihi Baias Musa supervacuas Antonius, et tamen illis me facit invisum, gelida cum perluor unda per medium frigus. sane murteta relinqui
5 dictaque cessantem nervis elidere morbum sulfura contemni vicus gemit, invidus aegris, qui caput et stomachum supponere fontibus audent Clusinisi Gabiosque petunt et frigida rura. mutandus locus est et deversoria? nota
10 praeteragendus equus. “quo tendis? non mihi Cumas est iter aut Baias,” laeva stomachosus habena dicet: eques ; sed equi frenato4 est auris in ore); maior utrum populum frumenti copia pascat ; collectosne bibant imbres puteosne perennis 15 iugis5 aquae (nam vina nihil moror illius orae: rure meo possum quidvis perferre patique ; ad mare cum veni, generosum et lene requiro, quod curas abigat, quod cum spe divite manet in venas animumque meum, quod verba ministret, 20 quod me Lucanae iuvenem commendet amicae); 1 Clusinos VE.
2 diversoria ERøy. 3 dicit E.
equis frenato a. 5 dulcis VE.
6 commendat aR. a Baiae was famous for its hot sulphur baths, but Musa has prescribed the cold-water treatment, which is not to be had there.