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Ne perconteris, fundus meus, optime Quincti, arvo pascat erum an bacis opulentet olivae, pomisne an pratis1 an amicta2 vitibus ulmo, scribetur tibi forma loquaciter et situs agri.
Continui montes, ni3 dissocientur opaca valle, sed ut veniens dextrum latus aspiciat sol, laevum discedens1 curru5 fugiente vaporet. temperiem laudes. quid si rubicunda benigni? corna vepres et pruna ferant? si quercus et ilex multa fruge pecus, multa dominum iuvet umbra? 10 dicas adductum propius frondere Tarentum. fons etiam rivo dare nomen idoneus, ut nec frigidior Thracam nec purior ambiat Hebrus, infirmo capiti fluit utilis, utilis9 alvo.
hae latebrae dulces, etiam, si credis, amoenae, incolumem tibi me praestant Septembribus horis.
1 an pratis E Goth. : et pratis most мss.
2 amica E.
3 si aE (sci A2). The lemma of Porph. gives si but the note supports ni.
5 cursu V.
4 descendens π: decedens Bentley. • quod si a.
8 si omitted by a; et (for si) π.
9 aptus et utilis AaRT.
a Ancient husbandry was chiefly concerned with five products, viz. grain, oil, fruit, cattle, and wine.
i.e. the valley of the Digentia (see Epist. i. 18. 104),
Lest you, my good Quinctius, should have to ask me about my farm, whether it supports its master with plough-land, or makes him rich with olives, whether with apples or with meadows or vine-clad elms," I will describe for you in rambling style the nature and lie of the land.
5 There are hills, quite unbroken, were they not cleft by one shady valley, yet such that the rising sun looks on its right side, and when departing in his flying car warms the left. The climate would win your praise. What if you knew that the bushes bear a rich crop of ruddy cornels and plums, that oak and ilex gladden the cattle with plenteous fruitage, and their lord with plenteous shade? You would say that Tarentum with its verdure was brought nearer home. A spring, too, fit to give its name to a river, so that not cooler nor purer is Hebrus winding through Thrace, flows with healing for sickly heads and sickly stomachs. This retreat, so sweet -yes, believe me, so bewitching-keeps me, my friend, in sound health in September's heat.
now called Licenza. Kiessling prefers the rival reading si dissocientur, with temperiem laudes the main clause in a conditional sentence, meaning: if you picture a mass of hills broken by a valley, you may imagine how pleasant the climate is."
Tu recte vivis, si curas esse quod audis. iactamus iam pridem omnis te Roma beatum ; sed vereor ne cui de te plus quam tibi credas, neve putes alium sapiente bonoque beatum, neu, si te populus sanum recteque valentem dictitet, occultam febrem sub tempus1 edendi dissimules, donec manibus tremor incidat unctis. stultorum incurata pudor malus ulcera celat. Si quis bella tibi terra pugnata marique dicat et his verbis vacuas permulceat auris : tene magis salvum populus velit an populum tu, servet in ambiguo, qui consulit et tibi et urbi, Iuppiter," Augusti laudes agnoscere possis : cum pateris sapiens emendatusque vocari, respondesne tuo, dic sodes, nomine ? nempe vir bonus et prudens dici delector ego ac tu." qui dedit hoc hodie, cras, si volet, auferet, ut3 si detulerit fasces indigno, detrahet1 idem.
'pone, meum est "'inquit: pono tristisque recedo. 35 idem si clamet furem, neget esse pudicum, contendat laqueo collum pressisse paternum, mordear opprobriis falsis mutemque colores? falsus honor iuvat et mendax infamia terret quem nisi mendosum et medicandum5 ?
1 pectus aRT.
2 pateris Porph.: poteris aR: cupias E.
5 mendicandum lπ: mendacem Ma (corrected).
a The ancients ate with their fingers.
According to the scholiasts the verses cited are from
17 And you-you live the true life, if you take care to be what people call you. All we in Rome have long talked of you as happy; but I fear, as touching yourself, that you may give more credit to others than to your own judgement, or that you may think someone other than the wise and good man can be happy; or that, if over and over men say you are in sound and good health, you may, toward the dinner-hour, disguise the hidden fever, until a trembling falls upon your greasy hands." Fools, through false shame, hide the unhealed sore.
25 Suppose a man were to speak of wars fought by you on land and sea, and with words like these flatter your attentive ears :
May He, to whom both thou and Rome are dear,
Keep secret still, which is the fuller truth,
The love of Rome for thee, or thine for her!
you would see in them the praises of Augustus. When you suffer yourself to be called wise and flawless, do you answer, pray tell me, in your own name? To be sure, I like to be called a good man and wise, even as you do.' But they who gave you this title to-day will, if they so please, take it away to-morrow; even as, if they bestow the lictor's rods on one unworthy, they will likewise wrest them from him." Put that down, 'tis ours," they say. I do so, and sadly withdraw. If the same people were to cry after me Thief!", call me Profligate," insist that I strangled my father, ought I to be stung by such lying charges, and change colour? Whom does false honour delight, whom does lying calumny affright, save the man who is full of flaws and needs the doctor?
Vir bonus est quis? 40 qui consulta patrum, qui leges iuraque servat, quo multae magnaeque secantur iudice lites, quo res sponsore1 et quo causae teste tenentur." sed videt hunc omnis domus et vicinia tota
introrsum2 turpem, speciosum pelle decora.
nec furtum feci nec fugi," si mihi dicat3 servus, "habes pretium, loris non ureris," aio.
non hominem occidi": non pasces in cruce corvos. sum bonus et frugi": renuit negitatque1 Sabellus. cautus enim metuit foveam lupus accipiterque suspectos laqueos et opertum miluus hamum. oderunt peccare boni virtutis amore.
tu nihil admittes in te formidine poenae :
spes fallendi, miscebis sacra profanis.
nam de mille fabae modiis cum surripis unum, damnum est, non facinus, mihi pacto lenius isto. vir bonus, omne forum quem spectat et omne tribunal, quandocumque deos vel porco vel bove placat,
Iane pater!" clare, clare cum dixit, "Apollo !" labra movet metuens audiri : pulchra Laverna, 60 da mihi fallere, da iusto sanctoque videri, noctem peccatis et fraudibus obice nubem." Qui melior servo, qui? liberior sit avarus, in triviis fixum cum se demittit8 ob assem,
res sponsore V: responsore мss. 2 introrsus 2: hunc prorsus, II.
negitatque VE: negat atque a.
6 iustum sanctumque ø¥\.
7 qui ... qui V, I: quo
8 demittit E: dimittit a M.
Ll. 41-43 are the reply of the person addressed by the poet. This ought to be Quinctius, but the poet is now