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Leaving mighty Rome, I found shelter in a modest inn at Aricia, having for companion Heliodorus the rhetorician, far most learned of all Greeks. Next came Appii Forum," crammed with boatmen and stingy tavern-keepers. This stretch we lazily cut in two, though smarter travellers make it in a single day: the Appian Way is less tiring, if taken slowly. Here owing to the water, for it was villainous, I declare war against my stomach, and wait impatiently while my companions dine.
9 Already night was beginning to draw her curtain over the earth and to sprinkle the sky with stars. Then slaves loudly rail at boatmen, boatmen at
slaves : Bring to here! You're packing in hundreds ! Stay, that's enough!" What with collecting fares and harnessing the mule a whole hour slips away. Cursed gnats and frogs of the fens drive off sleep, the boatman, soaked in sour wine, singing the while of the girl he left behind, and a passenger taking up the refrain. The passenger at last tires and falls asleep, and the lazy boatman
The mule was to pull the boat through the canal.
d Some take viator to mean a driver of the mule along the tow-path, but, according to ll. 18, 19, it would seem to - be the boatman who drives the mule and who drops his work to take a nap on the bank.
nauta piger saxo religat stertitque supinus.
Quarta vix demum exponimur hora. ora manusque tua lavimus, Feronia, lympha. milia tum pransi tria repimus atque subimus impositum saxis-late candentibus Anxur. huc venturus erat Maecenas optimus atque Cocceius, missi magnis de rebus uterque legati, aversos soliti componere amicos. hic oculis ego nigra meis collyria lippus illinere. interea Maecenas advenit atque Cocceius Capitoque simul Fonteius, ad unguem factus homo, Antoni non ut magis alter amicus. Fundos Aufidio Lusco praetore libenter linquimus, insani ridentes praemia scribae, praetextam et latum clavum prunaeque vatillum. in Mamurrarum lassi deinde urbe manemus, Murena praebente domum, Capitone culinam. postera1 lux oritur multo gratissima: namque Plotius et Varius2 Sinuessae Vergiliusque occurrunt, animae qualis neque candidiores terra tulit, neque quis me sit devinctior alter.
1 proxima a.
2 varus K, II.
a The word soliti implies at least one previous experience of this sort and probably refers to the treaty of Brundisium,
The Latin expression involves a metaphor from sculpture, for the artist would pass his finger-nail over the marble, to test the smoothness of its joints.
The chief official at Fundi was doubtless an aedile
turns his mule out to graze, ties the reins to a stone, and drops a-snoring on his back. Day was now dawning when we find that our craft was not under way, until one hot-headed fellow jumps out, and with willow cudgel bangs mule and boatman on back and head.
23 At last, by ten o'clock we are barely landed, and wash face and hands in thy stream, Feronia. Then we breakfast, and crawling on three miles climb up to Anxur, perched on her far-gleaming rocks. Here Maecenas was to meet us, and noble Cocceius, envoys both on business of import, and old hands at settling feuds between friends." Here I put black ointment on my sore eyes. Meanwhile Maecenas arrives and Cocceius, and with them Fonteius Capito, a man without flaw, so that Antony has no closer friend.
34 Fundi, with its "praetor" Aufidius Luscus, we quit with delight, laughing at the crazy clerk's gewgaws, his bordered robe, broad stripe, and pan of charcoal. Next, wearied out we stop in the city of the Mamurrae, Murena providing shelter and Capito the larder. Most joyful was the morrow's rising, for at Sinuessa there meet us Plotius, Varius, and Virgil, whitest souls earth ever bore, to whom none can be more deeply attached than I. O the
but as he gave himself airs, Horace dubs him “praetor." Aufidius, like Horace himself, had once been a humble scriba at Rome. In his present exalted position he wears a toga with a purple border, and a tunic with a broad purple stripe. Burning charcoal is carried before him, probably in case some ceremonial sacrifice is seen to be appropriate on the occasion of this visit of Maecenas.
d Mamurra, a notorious favourite of Julius Caesar, came from Formiae.
o qui complexus et gaudia quanta fuerunt! nil ego contulerim1 iucundo `sanus amico.
Proxima Campano ponti quae villula, tectum 45 praebuit, et parochi quae debent ligna salemque. hinc muli Capuae clitellas tempore ponunt. lusum it Maecenas, dormitum ego Vergiliusque : namque pila lippis inimicum et ludere crudis.. hinc nos Coccei recipit plenissima villa, quae super est Caudi2 cauponas.
Nunc mihi paucis
Sarmenti scurrae pugnam Messique Cicirri,
ad pugnam venere. prior Sarmentus : equi te esse feri similem dico.' ridemus, et ipse Messius" accipio," caput et movet.
o tua cornu
ni foret exsecto frons," inquit, " quid faceres, cum sic mutilus minitaris?" at illi foeda cicatrix saetosam laevi frontem turpaverat oris.
Campanum in morbum, in faciem permulta iocatus, pastorem saltaret uti Cyclopa rogabat :
nil illi larva aut tragicis opus esse cothurnis.
1 praetulerim C.
2 caudi DK Porph.: claudi most мss.
3 miniteris DEM.
4 barba DR.
a The villula was probably a small house built for the convenience of persons travelling on public business, where officers were stationed whose duty it was to provide ordinary necessaries. For these officers Horace uses a Greek word (parochi from Tapéxe), the regular Latin word, according to Porphyrio, being copiarii.
In mock-heroic style Horace describes a battle of wit between two buffoons, one of whom, Sarmentus, is a freedman of Maecenas, while the other, Cicirrus, or game-cock," is of the native Oscan stock of Samnium.
embracing! O the rejoicing! Nothing, so long as I am in my senses, would I match with the joy a friend may bring.
45 The little house close to the Campanian bridge put a roof above our heads, and the state-purveyors," as in duty bound, furnished fuel and salt. Next, at Capua, our mules lay aside their saddle-bags at an early hour. Maecenas goes off to ball-playing, Virgil and I to sleep, for such play is hard on the sore-eyed and the dyspeptic. Another stage, and we are taken in at the well-stocked villa of Cocceius, lying above the inns of Caudium.
51 Now, O Muse, recount in brief the contest of Sarmentus the jester and Messius Cicirrus, and the lineage of the two who engaged in the fray. Messius was of famous stock, an Oscan; the mistress of Sarmentus is still living: from such ancestry sprung, they entered the lists. And first Sarmentus : You, say, are like a wild horse.' We laugh, and Messius himself," I grant you," and tosses his head. "Oh !' says Sarmentus, if only the horn had not been cut out of your forehead, what would you do, when you can threaten, thus dehorned?" Now an unsightly scar had disfigured the left side of his bristly brow. With many a joke on his Campanian diseased and on his face, he begged him to dance the Cyclops shepherd-dance he would need neither mask nor
The scholiast on Juvenal, Sat. v. 3, tells us that a certain Sarmentus had been a slave, who on the proscription and death of his master Favonius had been bought by Maecenas and set free. If the Sarmentus of this scene is the same man, the domina is the widow of Favonius.
The scholiast in Cruquius explains this of warts, which left scars when removed.