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clean, he may scorn them both." Though you be like Caelius and Birrius, the robbers, I need not be like Caprius or Sulcius: why should you fear me? I want no stall or pillar to have my little works, so that the hands of the crowd-and Hermogenes Tigellius may sweat over them. Nor do I recite them to any save my friends, and then only when pressed-not anywhere or before any hearers. Many there are who recite their writings in the middle of the Forum, or in the baths. How pleasantly the vaulted space echoes the voice! That delights the frivolous, who never ask themselves this, whether what they do is in bad taste or out of season. You like to give pain," says one, do so with spiteful intent." Where have you found this missile to hurl at me? Does anyone whatever with whom I have lived vouch for it? The man who backbites an absent friend; who fails to defend him when another finds fault; the man who courts the loud laughter of others, and the reputation of a wit; who can invent what he never saw; who cannot keep a secret-that man is black of heart; of him beware, good Roman. Often on each of the three couches you may see four at dinner, among whom one loves to bespatter in any way everyone present except the host who provides the water, and later him as well, when he has well drunk and the truthful god of free speech unlocks the heart's secrets. were usually in arcades, the pillars of which were doubtless used for advertising the books within. One may compare the Parisian kiosques.
Three was the usual number, so that this was a large party. Cicero speaks of five as a great crush: Graeci stipati, quini in lectulis (In Pis. 27. 67).
The god Liber was identified with Bacchus. proverbs olvos kaì áλáðea (Alcaeus), and in vino veritas.
hic tibi comis et urbanus liberque videtur, infesto nigris. ego si risi, quod ineptus pastillos Rufillus olet, Gargonius hircum, lividus et mordax videor tibi ?
mentio si quae1
de Capitolini2 furtis iniecta Petilli
te coram fuerit, defendas ut tuus est mos :
dixero quid, si forte iocosius, hoc mihi iuris
cum venia dabis. insuevit pater optimus hoc me, 105 ut fugerem exemplis vitiorum quaeque notando. cum me hortaretur, parce frugaliter atque viverem uti contentus eo, quod mi ipse parasset : nonne vides, Albi ut male vivat filius, utque Baius inops ? magnum documentum, ne patriam rem perdere quis velit." a1 turpi meretricis amore cum deterreret: "Scetani dissimilis sis."
ne sequerer moechas, concessa cum venere uti possem : deprensi non bella est fama Treboni,"
1 qua KM, II.
2 capitolinis DE, II.
3 animo, prius ut, (= ut prius) Housman. 4 aut E, II: at M.
a Cited from Sat. i. 2. 27. Hic in 1. 90 is Lucilius, who must have described such a banqueting-scene (ll. 86-89) in the first person. See Sat. i. 10. 65, and note.
The crime of which Petillius is said to have been accused, that of stealing the gold crown of Jupiter on the Capitol, was a proverbial one, as is seen from the allusions
Such a man you think genial and witty and frank -you who hate the black of heart. As for me, if I have had my laugh because silly Rufillus smells like a scent-box, Gargonius like a goat," a do you think I am a spiteful, snappish cur? If in your presence somebody hinted at the thefts of Petillius Capitolinus, you would defend him after your fashion : Capitolinus has been a comrade and friend of mine from boyhood; much has he done to serve me when asked, and I rejoice that he is alive and out of danger here in Rome-but still I do wonder how he got out of that trial." Here is the very ink of the cuttlefish; here is venom unadulterate. That such malice shall be far from my pages, and first of all from my heart, I pledge myself, if there is aught that I can pledge with truth.
103 If in my words I am too free, perchance too light, this bit of liberty you will indulgently grant me. 'Tis a habit the best of fathers taught me, for, to enable me to steer clear of follies, he would brand them, one by one, by his examples. Whenever he would encourage me to live thriftily, frugally, and content with what he had saved for me," Do you not see," he would say," how badly fares young Albius, and how poor is Baius? A striking lesson not to waste one's patrimony!" When he would deter me from a vulgar amour, "Don't be like Scetanus." And to prevent me from courting another's wife, when I might enjoy a love not forbidden, "Not pretty," he would say, to it in Plautus, e.g. Trinummus 83, Menaechmi 941. The cognomen Capitolinus gave a handle to his assailants.
The hoc of 1. 105 refers to Horace's freedom of speech (liberius si dixero), while the clause ut fugerem expresses the father's purpose with notando.
a Cf. 1. 28 above.
aiebat. "sapiens, vitatu quidque petitu sit melius, causas reddet tibi: mi satis est, si traditum ab antiquis morem servare tuamque, dum custodis eges, vitam famamque tueri incolumem possum ; simul ac duraverit aetas membra animumque tuum, nabis sine cortice." sic me formabat puerum dictis, et sive iubebat,
ut facerem quid, " habes auctorem quo facias hoc," unum ex iudicibus selectis1 obiciebat ;
sive vetabat, an hoc inhonestum et inutile factu2 necne sit addubites, flagret rumore malo cum hic atque ille ?" avidos3 vicinum funus ut aegros exanimat mortisque metu sibi parcere cogit, sic teneros animos aliena opprobria saepe absterrent vitiis.
Ex hoc ego sanus ab illis,
perniciem quaecumque ferunt, mediocribus et quis 130 ignoscas1 vitiis teneor. fortassis et istinc
largiter abstulerit longa aetas, liber amicus,
consilium proprium; neque enim, cum lectulus aut me porticus excepit, desum mihi : rectius hoc est :
hoc faciens vivam melius: sic dulcis amicis occurram: hoc quidam non belle: numquid ego imprudens olim faciam simile?" haec ego mecum compressis agito labris; ubi quid datur oti,
1 electis M, II: electi E. 3 vides, II. 4 ignoscat, II.
2 factum aDEM.
" A reference to the list of jurors, men of high character, annually empanelled by the praetor to serve in the trial of criminal cases.
is the repute of Trebonius, caught in the act. Your philosopher will give you theories for shunning or seeking this or that enough for me, if I can uphold the rule our fathers have handed down, and if, so long as you need a guardian, I can keep your health and name from harm. When years have brought strength to body and mind, you will swim without the cork." With words like these would he mould my boyhood; and whether he were advising me to do something, "You have an example for so doing," he would say, and point to one of the special judges; or were forbidding me, Can you doubt whether this is dishonourable and disadvantageous or not, when so and so stands in the blaze of ill repute ? As a neighbour's funeral scares gluttons when sick, and makes them, through fear of death, careful of themselves, so the tender mind is oft deterred from vice by another's shame.
129 Thanks to this training I am free from vices which bring disaster, though subject to lesser frailties such as you would excuse. Perhaps even from these much has been withdrawn by time's advance, candid friends, self-counsel; for when my couch welcomes me or I stroll in the colonnade, I do not fail myself: This is the better course: if I do that, I shall fare more happily: thus I shall delight the friends I meet: that was ugly conduct of so and so: is it possible that some day I may thoughtlessly do anything like that?" Thus, with lips shut tight, I debate with myself; and when I find a bit of leisure, I trifle with my
The colonnades, or porticoes, were a striking architectural feature of ancient Rome, and much used for promenading in. The lectulus was an easy couch for reclining upon while reading, corresponding to our comfortable arm-chairs.