There are some, whose genius invents nothing but new kinds of pastry. To waste one's care upon one thing, is by no means sufficient; just as if any person should use all his endeavors for this only, that the wine be not bad; quite careless what oil he pours upon his fish. If you set out Massic[*](Pliny advises, that all the best Campanian wines should be exposed night and day to the sun, moon, rain, and winds.) wine in fair weather, should there be any thing thick in it, it will be attenuated by the nocturnal air, and the smell unfriendly to the nerves will go off: but, if filtrated through linen, it will lose its entire flavor. He, who skillfully mixes the Surrentine. wine with Falernian lees, collects the sediment with a pigeon's egg: because the yelk sinks to the bottom, rolling down with it all the heterogeneous parts. You may rouse the jaded toper with roasted shrimps and African cockles; for lettuce after wine floats upon the soured stomach: by ham preferably, and by sausages, it craves to be restored to its appetite: nay, it will prefer every thing which is brought smoking hot from the nasty eating-houses. It is worth while to be acquainted with the two kinds of sauce. The simple consists of sweet oil; which it will be proper to mix with rich wine and pickle, but with no other pickle than that by which the Byzantine jar has been tainted. When this, mingled with shredded herbs, has boiled, and sprinkled with Corycian saffron, has stood, you shall over and above add what the pressed berry of the Venafran olive yields. The Tiburtian yield to the Picenian apples in juice, though they excel in look. The Venusian grape is proper for [preserving in] pots. The Albanian you had better harden in the smoke. I am found to be the first that served up this grape with apples in neat little side-plates, to be the first [likewise that served up] wine-lees and herring-brine, and white pepper finely mixed with black salt. It is an enormous fault to bestow three thousand sesterces on the fish-market, and then to cramp the roving fishes in a narrow dish. It causes a great nausea in the stomach, if even the slave touches the cup with greasy hands, while he licks up snacks, or if offensive grime has adhered to the ancient goblet. In trays, in mats, in sawdust, [that are so] cheap, what great expense can there be? But, if they are neglected, it is a heinous shame. What, should you sweep Mosaic pavements with a dirty broom made of palm, and throw Tyrian carpets over the unwashed furniture of your couch! forgetting, that by how much less care and expense these things are attended, so much the more justly may [the want of them] be censured, than of those things which can not be obtained but at the tables of the rich?
Learned Catius, entreated by our friendship and the gods, remember to introduce me to an audience [with this great man], whenever you shall go to him. For, though by your memory you relate every thing to me, yet as a relater you can not delight me in so high a degree. Add to this the countenance and deportment of the man; whom you, happy in having seen, do not much regard, because it has been your lot: but I have no small solicitude, that I may approach the distant fountain-heads, and imbibe the precepts of [such] a blessed life.
BESIDE what you have told me, O Tiresias, answer to this petition of mine: by what arts and expedients may I be able to repair my ruined fortunes-why do you laugh? Does it already seem little to you, who are practiced in deceit, to be brought back to Ithaca, and to behold [again] your family household gods? 0 you who never speak falsely to any one, you see how naked and destitute I return home, according to your prophecy: nor is either my cellar, or my cattle there, unembezzled by the suitors [of Penelope]. But birth and virtue, unless [attended] with substance, is viler than seaweed.
Since (circumlocutions apart) you are in dread of poverty, hear by what means you may grow wealthy. If a thrush, or any [nice] thing for your own private [eating], shall be given you; it must wing way to that place, where shines a great fortune, the possessor being an old man: delicious apples, and whatever dainties your well-cultivated ground brings forth for you, let the rich man, as more to be reverenced than your household god, taste before him: and, though he be perjured, of no family, stained with his brother's blood, a runaway; if he desire it, do not refuse to go along with him, his companion on the outer side.[*](Comes exterior. In walking with a companion, the side which is most exposed was called the outer side. When three people walk together, the middle is, for the same reason, the most honorable place, and is therefore always given to the person of most distinction, interior comes.) What, shall I walk cheek by jole with a filthy Damas? I did not behave myself in that manner at Troy, contending always with the best. You must then be poor. I will command my sturdy soul to bear this evil; I have formerly endured even greater. Do thou, O prophet, tell me forthwith how I may amass riches, and heaps of money. In troth I have told you, and tell you again. Use your craft to lie at catch for the last wills of old men: nor, if one or two cunning chaps escape by biting the bait off the hook, either lay aside hope, or quit the art, though disappointed in your aim. If an affair, either of little or great consequence, shall be contested at any time at the bar; whichever of the parties live wealthy without heirs, should he be a rogue, who daringly takes the law of a better man, be thou. his advocate: despise the citizen, who is superior in reputation, and [the justness of] his cause, if at home he has a son or a fruitful wife. [Address him thus:] "Quintus, for instance, or Publius[*](Quinte, puta, aut Publi. A slave was no sooner made free, than he qualified himself with a surname, such as Marcus, Quintus, Publius, which carried a sort of dignity with it. The Romans saluted each other by their surnames.) (delicate ears delight in the prefixed name), your virtue has made me your friend. I am acquainted with the precarious quirks of the law; I can plead causes. Any one shall sooner snatch my eyes from me, than he shall despise or defraud you of an empty nut. This is my care, that you lose nothing, that you be not made a jest of." Bid him go home, and make much of himself. Be his solicitor yourself: persevere, and be steadfast: whether the glaring dog-star shall cleave the infant statues; or Furius, destined with his greasy paunch,[*](Pingui tentus omaso. Furius, in a poem on the Gallic war, had said, Iupiter hibernas cana nivo conspuet Alpes. Horace applies it to the author himself; adding pingui tentus omaso in ridicule of his appearance. Furius poeta immanis ventris, qui nivem spumam (sputum) Iovis dixit. Ideo hoc ejus persona dedit, tanquam ipse spuat.: Sch. Acr. Orelli considers three several passages of Furius to be referred to: rubra canicula findit infantes statuas, is a passage in which Furius describes a statuary, and thought he had a happy expression in infantes, since statues are ἀγλώττοι. By pingui tentus omasi, some general opposed to Caesar is described as a voracious barbarian. Hibernas, etc., formed the first line of his poetical history of Caesar.) shall spue white snow over the wintery Alps. Do not you see (shall some one say, jogging the person that stands next to him by the elbow) how indefatigable he is, how serviceable to his friends, how acute? [By this means] more tunnies shall swim in, and your fish-ponds will increase.
Further, if any one in affluent circumstances has reared[*](Sublatus. A word taken from a Roman custom of laying their new-born infants on the ground, and educating only those the father took up.) an ailing son, lest a too open complaisance to a single man should detect you, creep gradually into the hope [of succeeding him], and that you may be set down as second heir; and, if any casualty should dispatch the boy to Hades, you may come into the vacancy. This die seldom fails. Whoever delivers his will to you to read, be mindful to decline it, and push the parchment from you: [do it] however in such a manner, that you may catch with an oblique glance, what the first page[*](Prima cera signifies the first page of the will, in which the testator's name was written. Secundo versus was the second line, which contained the names of the heirs and co-heirs.) intimates to be in the second clause: run over with a quick eye, whether you are sole heir, or co-heir with many. Sometimes a well-seasoned lawyer, risen from a Quinquevir,[*](The quinqueviri were a kind of tip-staff or bailiff, in the colonies and municipal towns. A man who had passed through these little offices may well be supposed to be sufficiently knowing in what we call the practice, and from this body public notaries and registers were chosen. Horace therefore means, by scriba recoctus, a notary sufficiently refined in tricks and cunning of the law. Recoctus is properly double-dyed, that hath fully taken its color.) shall delude the gaping raven; and the fortunehunter Nasica shall be laughed at by Coranus.
What, art thou in a [prophetic] raving; or dust thou play upon me designedly, by uttering obscurities? 0 son of Laertes, whatever I shall say will come to pass, or it will not:[*](Quidquid dicam, aut erit, aut non. It is well disputed, whether these words be spoken in jest by Tiresias, to rally the monarch who consults him, or whether he too carelessly discovers his real opinion of his art. There is an acknowledged ambiguity and double meaning in his expression, under which, perhaps, the poet disguises his own sentiments of the skill of these diviners, and the frequent ambiguity of their answers.) for the great Apollo gives me the power to divine. Then, if it is proper, relate what that tale means.
At that time when the youth dreaded by the Parthians, an offspring derived from the noble Aeneas, shall be mighty by land and sea; the tall daughter of Nasica, averse to pay the sum total of his debt, shall wed the stout Coranus. Then the son-in-law shall proceed thus: he shall deliver his will to his father-in-law, and entreat him to read it; Nasica will at length receive it, after it has been several times refused, and silently peruse it; and will find no other legacy left to him and his, except leave to lament.
To these [directions I have already given], I subjoin the [following]: if haply a cunning woman or a freedman have the management of an old driveler, join with them as an associate: praise them, that you may be praised in your absence. This too is of service; but to storm [the capital] itself excels this method by far. Shall he, a dotard, scribble wretched verses? Applaud them. Shall he be given to pleasure? Take care [you do not suffer him] to ask you: of your own accord complaisantly deliver up your Penelope to him, as preferable [to yourself]. What-do you think so sober and so chaste a woman can be brought over, whom [so many] wooers could not divert from the right course? Because, forsooth, a parcel of young fellows came,[*](Although Tiresias gives Ulysses no better reason for his wife's virtue than the avarice of her lovers, yet the monarch hears him patiently, since even this reason proves her sufficiently virtuous. Our poet probably took the hint of this passage from homer, who makes Penelope reproach her wooers with their want of generosity, and never having made her any presents. The next line is almost a translation from the Odyssey.) who were too parsimonious to give a great price, nor so much desirous of an amorous intercourse, as of the kitchen. So far your Penelope is a good woman: who, had she once tasted of one old [doting gallant], and shared with you the profit, like a hound, will never be frighted away from the reeking skin [of the new-killed game].
What I am going to tell you happened when I was an old man. A wicked hag at Thebes was, according to her will, carried forth[*](Elata. Carried out to the funeral pile. Ter. Andr. i.Effertur, Imus. ) in this manner: her heir bore her corpse, anointed with a large quantity of oil, upon his naked shoulders; with the intent that, if possible, she might escape from him even when dead: because, I imagine, he had pressed upon her too much when living. Be cautious in your addresses: neither be wanting in your pains, nor immoderately exuberant. By garrulity you will offend the splenetic and morose. You must not, however, be too silent. Be Davus in the play; and stand with your head on one side, much like one who is in great awe. Attack him with complaisance: if the air freshens, advise him carefully to cover up his precious head: disengage him from the crowd by opposing your shoulders to it: closely attach your ear to him, if chatty. Is he immoderately fond of being praised? Pay him home, till he shall cry out, with his hands lifted up to heaven, "Enough:" and puff up the swelling bladder with tumid speeches. When he shall have [at last] released you from your long servitude and anxiety; and being certainly awake, you shall hear [this article in his will]? "Let Ulysses be heir to one fourth of my estate:" "is then my companion Damas now no more? Where shall I find one so brave and so faithful?" Throw out something of this kind] every now and then: and if you can a little, weep for him. It is fit to disguise your countenance, which [otherwise] would betray your joy. As for the monument, which is left to your own discretion, erect it without meanness. The neighborhood will commend the funeral handsomely performed. If haply any of your co-heirs, being advanced in years, should have a dangerous cough; whether he has a mind to be a purchaser of a farm or a house out of your share, tell him, you will [come to any terms he shall propose, and] make it over to him gladly for a trifling sum.[*](Nummo addicere. When a counterfeit sale was made of any thing left by will, the forms of law were to be observed. The buyer and seller went to a public officer called Libripens, or keeper of the scales; and the purchaser, in the presence of witnesses, put a piece of money into the scales, which the seller took out, and the sale was afterward deemed legal. Nummo addicere means here "to sell for nothing.") But the imperious Proserpine drags me hence. Live, and prosper.
This was [ever] among the number of my wishes: a portion of ground not over large, in which was a garden, and a founain with a continual stream close to my house, and a little woodland besides.The gods have done more abundantly, and better, for me [than this]. It is well: 0 son of Maia,[*](Maia nate. He addresses his prayer to Mercury, not only because this god was a patron of poets in general, and that our poet, as we find in his Odes, was particularly obliged to his protection, but because he presided over industry and merchandise, as Hercules did over any sudden, accidental increase of riches. Besides, he was a rural deity, from whence, as Dacier observes, the poet recommends the preservation of his cattle to him, in the fourteenth verse.) I ask nothing more save that you would render these donations lasting to me. If I have neither made my estate larger by bad means, nor am in a way to make it less by vice or misconduct; if I do not foolishly make any petition of this sort"Oh that that neighboring angle, which now spoils the regularity[*](Denormat. We do not find this word in any other author.) of my field, could be added! Oh that some accident would discover to me an urn [full] of money! as it did to him, who having found a treasure, bought that very ground he before tilled in the capacity of an hired servant, enriched by Hercules' being his friend;" if what I have at present satisfies me grateful, I supplicate you with this prayer: make my cattle fat for the use of their master, and every thing else, except my genius:[*](Et caetera praeter ingenium. The Latins, in speaking of style, have expressions not unlike this, pingue et adipatum dicendi genus; poetae pinguae quiddam sonantes. This playing on the double meaning of the word is much in our author's manner. Besides, Mercury was a good humored god, who understood raillery, de Dis non tristibus. Yet, for fear the deity should understand the word caetera in its full extent, and without any exception, the petitioner pleasantly guards against the fatness of his understanding.) and, as you are wont, be present as my chief guardian. Wherefore, when I have removed myself from the city to the mountains and my castle,[*](In arcem. He considers his country-house as a citadel inaccessible to the cares that besieged him at Rome.) (what can I polish, preferably to my satires and prosaic muse?[*](Musaque pedestri. The muse of satire, if such an expression may be allowed, is a muse on foot. She borrowed nothing from poetry but the measures of her verses, tho, only particular in which she differs from prose.)) neither evil ambition destroys me, nor the heavy[*](Plumbeus. This epithet very well expresses the weight of air in autumn, when the south wind was usually attended at Rome with pestilential disorders. Our poet's country-house was covered by mountains, in such a manner, that he had nothing to fear from its bad effects.) south wind, nor the sickly autumn, the gain of baleful Libitina.
Father of the morning,[*](Matutine pater. The satire properly begins here, and all before this line is a kind of preface. Janus presided over time, and therefore Horace calls him god of the morning, as if time seemed to be renewed every morning.) or Janus, if with more pleasure thou hearest thyself [called by that name], from whom men commence the toils of business, and of life (such is the will of the gods), be thou the beginning of my song. At Rome you hurry me away to be bail; "Away, dispatch, [you cry,] lest any one should be beforehand with you in doing that friendly office"[*](To show that all his distresses begin with the morning, the poet introduces Janus, the god of the morning, pressing them upon him, Urge sive Aquilo, etc.): I must go, at all events, whether the north wind sweep the earth, or winter contracts the snowy day into a arrower circle.[*](Interiore diem. The northern part of the circle which the sun describes in summer is more distant from our earth than the southern part, which he describes in winter. From hence our days are shorter in winter than in summer, and he may therefore be poetically said to drive the day in a smaller course. Horace calls this circle interiorem gyrum, by a figure taken from chariot races, in which the driver who turned nearest the goal marked a narrower circle, and was therefore called interior quadriga, with regard to those who were obliged to take a larger compass, exteriores. ) After this, having uttered in a clear and determinate manner [the legal form], which may be a detriment to me, I must bustle through the crowd; and must disoblige the tardy. "What is your will, madman, and what are you about, impudent fellow?" So one accosts me with his passionate curses. "You jostle every thing that is in your way, if with an appointment full in your mind you are posting away to Maecenas." This pleases me, and is like honey: I will not tell a lie. But by the time I reach the gloomy Esquiliae, a hundred affairs of other people's encompass me on every side: "Roscius begged that you would be with him at the court-house[*](Ad Puteal. He describes a part of the forum by a monument erected there to show that the place had been struck with thunder. Some of the proctors held a kind of sessions there to decide private causes.) to-morrow before the second hour." "The secretaries[*](Horace had purchased an employment of register or secretary to the treasury; from whence he is desired to return early from Maecenas to consult about some important affair that concerned the whole body.) requested you would remember, Quintus, to return to-day about an affair of public concern, and of great consequence." "Get Maecenas to put his signet[*](Imprimat his, cura.Dion informs us, that Maecenas was intrusted with the great seal of the Roman Empire, and was a kind of Lord High Chancellor to Augustus.) to these tablets." Should one say, "I will endeavor at it:" "If you will, you can," adds he; and is more earnest.
The seventh year approaching to the eighth is now elapsed, from the time that Maecenas began to reckon me in the number of his friends; only thus far, as one he would like to take along with him in his chariot, when he went a journey, and to whom he would trust such kind of trifles as these: "What is the hour?" "Is Gallina, the Thracian, a match for [the gladiator] Syrus?" "The cold morning air begins to pinch those that are ill provided against it;" — and such things as are well enough intrusted to a leaky ear. For all this time, every day and hour, I have been more subjected to envy. Our son of fortune here, says every body, witnessed the shows in company with [Maecenas], and played with him in the Campus Martius. Does any disheartening report spread from the rostrum through the streets, whoever comes in my way cousults me [concerning it]: "Good sir, have you (for you must know, since you approach nearer the gods) heard any thing relating to the Dacians?"[*](The Dacians had engaged in Antony's army at the battle of Actium, in 723, and Octavius had disobliged them by refusing some favors which they demanded by their embassadors. He was obliged to send Marcus Crassus against them the year following. SAN.) "Nothing at all for my part," [I reply]. "How you ever are a sneerer!" "But may all the gods torture me, if I know any thing of the matter." "What? will Caesar give the lands[*](Octavius promised the soldiers who had served under him in reducing Sicily, that he would divide some of the conquered lands among them. But the war in which he was engaged against Antony obliged him to defer the division, and immediately after the battle of Actium, the troops, which he had sent to Brundusium, mutinied on this occasion.He went himself to stop the beginning of a revolt, which might have been attended with most dangerous consequences. This affair was all the news at Rome when our poet wrote the present Satire.Sicily was called Triquetra from its triangular figure, and in some ancient coins it is represented under the figure of a woman with three legs.) he promised the soldiers, in Sicily, or in Italy?" As I am swearing I know nothing about it, they wonder at me, [thinking] me, to be sure, a creature of profound and extraordinary secrecy.
Among things of this nature the day is wasted by me, mortified as I am, not without such wishes as these: 0 rural retirement, when shall I behold thee? and when shall it be in my power to pass through the pleasing oblivion of a life full of solicitude, one while with the books of the ancients, another while in sleep and leisure? 0 when shall the bean related to Pythagoras,[*](It was one of Pythagoras' precepts, that beans should not be used as food by any of his disciples, lest in the course of transformation the soul of some relative should be placed therein, and thus the impiety (as Lucian, Micyll., represents it) be as great as that of eating human flesh. Hence Horace humorously calls the bean Pythagorae cognata. There are various reasons assigned for the origin of this precept.) and at the same time herbs well larded with fat bacon, be set before me? O evenings, and suppers fit for gods! with which I and my friends regale ourselves in the presence of my household gods; and feed my saucy slaves with viands, of which libations have been made. The guest, according to every one's inclination, takes off the glasses of different sizes, free from mad laws: whether one of a strong constitution chooses hearty bumpers; or another more joyously gets mellow with moderate ones. Then conversation arises, not concerning other people's villas and houses, nor whether Lepos dances well or not; but we debate on what is more to our purpose, and what it is pernicious not to know-whether men are made happier by riches or by virtue; or what leads us into intimacies, interest or moral rectitude; and what is the nature of good, and what its perfection. Meanwhile, my neighbor Cervius prates away old stories relative to the subject. For, if any one ignorantly commends the troublesome riches of Aurelius, he thus begins: "On a time a countrymouse is reported to have received a city-mouse into his poor cave, an old host, his old acquaintance; a blunt fellow and attentive to his acquisitions, yet so as he could [on occasion] enlarge his narrow soul in acts of hospitality. What need of many words? He neither grudged him the hoarded vetches, nor the long oats; and bringing in his mouth a dry plum, and nibbled scraps of bacon, presented them to him, being desirous by the variety of the supper to get the better of the daintiness of his guest, who hardly touched with his delicate tooth the several things: while the father of the family himself, extended on fresh straw, ate a spelt and darnel, leaving that which was better [for his guest]. At length the citizen addressing him, ‘Friend,’ says he, ‘what delight have you to live laboriously on the ridge of a rugged thicket? Will you not prefer men and the city to the savage woods? Take my advice, and go along with me: since mortal lives are allotted to all terrestrial animals, nor is there any escape from death, either for the great or the small. Wherefore, my good friend, while it is in your power, live happy in joyous circumstances: live mindful of how brief an existence you are.’ Soon as these speeches had wrought upon the peasant, he leaps nimbly from his cave: thence they both pursue their intended journey, being desirous to steal under the city walls by night. And now the night possessed the middle region of the heavens, when each of them set foot in a gorgeous palace, where carpets dyed with crimson grain glittered upon ivory couches, and many baskets of a magnificent entertainment remained, which had yesterday been set by in baskets piled upon one another. After he had placed the peasant then, stretched at ease, upon a splendid carpet; he bustles about like an adroit host, and keeps bringing up one dish close upon another, and with an affected civility performs all the ceremonies, first tasting of every thing he serves up. He, reclined, rejoices in the change of his situation, and acts the part of a boon companion in the good cheer: when on a sudden a prodigious rattling of the folding doors shook them both from their couches. Terrified they began to scamper all about the room, and more and more heartless to be in confusion, while the lofty house resounded with [the barking of] mastiff dogs; upon which, says the country-mouse, ‘I have no desire for a life like this; and so farewell: my wood and cave, secure from surprises, shall with homely tares comfort me.’"
I HAVE a long while been attending [to you], and would fain speak a few words [in return; but, being] a slave, I am afraid. "What, Davus?" Yes, Davus, a faithful servant to his master[*](Frugi quod sit satis; hoc est. The common people have always imagined that persons of eminent merit do not live so long as others. From thence the proverb, "Too witty to live long.") and an honest one, at least sufficiently so: that is, for you to think his life in no danger. "Well (since our ancestors would have it so), use the freedom of December: speak on."
One part of mankind are fond of their vices with some con. stancy and adhere to their purpose: a considerable part fluctuates; one while embracing the right, another while liable to depravity. Priscus, frequently observed with three rings, sometimes with his left hand bare,[*](Laeva Priscus inani. Before the time of Horace it was infamous to wear more than one ring, and when they began to wear more, they carried them only on the left hand, which was less exposed to public view, as if they would seem ashamed of such marks of effeminacy.) lived so irregularly that he would change his robe every hour; from a magnificent edifice, he would on a sudden hide himself in a place, whence a decent freedman could scarcely come out in a decent manner; one while he would choose to lead the life of a rake at Rome, another while that of a teacher at Athens; born under the evil influence of every Vertumnus.[*](Vertumnis natis iniquis. Vertumnus presided over the regular seasons of the year, established by the laws of nature. Priscus was therefore born in despite of the god, because all his changes were an effect of oddness and whim. Horace multiplies this god, Vertumni, from the different forms under which he was represented.) That buffoon, Volanerius, when the deserved gout had crippled his fingers, maintained [a fellow] that he had hired at a daily price, who took up the dice and put them into a box for him: yet by how much more constant was he in his vice, by so much less wretched was he than the former person, who is now in difficulties by too loose, now by too tight a rein. "Will you not tell to-day, you varlet, whither such wretched stuff as this tends?" "Why, to you, I say." "In what respect to me, scoundrel?"
You praise the happiness and manners of the ancient [Roman] people; and yet, if any god were on a sudden to reduce you to them, you, the same man, would earnestly beg to be excused; either because you are not really of opinion that what you bawl about is right; or because you are irresolute in defending the right, and hesitate, in vain desirous to extract your foot from the mire. At Rome, you long for the country; when you are in the country, fickle, you extol the absent city to the skies. If haply you are invited out nowhere to supper, you praise your quiet dish of vegetables; and as if you ever go abroad upon conpulsion, you think yourself so happy, and do so hug yourself, that you are obliged to drink out nowhere. Should Maecenas lay his commands on you to come late, at the first lighting up of the lamps, as his guest; ‘Will nobody bring the oil with more expedition? Does any body hear?’ You stutter with a mighty bellowing, and storm with rage. Milvius, and the buffoons [who expected to sup with you], depart, after having uttered curses not proper to be repeated. Any one may say, for I own [the truth], that I am easy to be seduced by my appetite; I snuff up my nose at a savory smell: I am weak, lazy; and, if you have a mind to add any thing else, I am a sot. But seeing you are as I am, and perhaps something worse, why do you willfully call me to an. account, as if you were the better man; and, with specious phrases, disguise your own vice? What, if you are found out to be a greater fool than me, who was purchased for five hundred drachmas? Forbear to terrify me with your looks; restrain your hand and your anger, while I relate to you what Crispinus' porter taught me.
Another man's wife captivates you; a harlot, Davus: which of us sins more deservingly of the cross? When keen nature inflames me, any common wench that picks me up, dismisses me neither dishonored, nor caring whether a richer or a handsomer man enjoys her next. You, when you have cast off your ensigns of dignity, your equestrian ring and your Roman habit, turn out from a magistrate a wretched Dama,[*](Davus calls his master a judge, because Augustus had granted him the privilege of wearing a ring and a robe, called Angusticlavium. Thus he was in some measure incorporated into the body of Roman knights, whom Augustus appointed to determine civil causes. By "Dama" he means a mere slave.) hiding with a cape your perfumed head: are you not really what you personate? You are introduced, apprehensive [of consequences]; and, as you are altercating with your passions, your bones shake with fear. What is the difference whether you go condemned [like a gladiator], to be galled with scourges,[*](Uri virgis. The people who sold themselves to a master of gladiators, engaged in a form or bond, called auctoramentum, to suffer every thing, sword, fire, whips, chains, and death. They were then received into the profession, and styled auctorati. From thence the terms came to be used for all kinds of infamous engagements.) or slain with the sword; or be closed up in a filthy chest, where [the maid], conscious of her mistress' crime, has stowed you? Has not the husband of the offending dame a just power over both; against the seducer even a juster? But she neither changes her dress, nor place, nor sins to that excess [which you do]; since the woman is in dread of you, nor gives any credit to you, though you profess to love her. You must go under the yoke knowingly, and put all your fortune, your life, and reputation, together with your limbs, into the power of an enraged husband. Have you escaped? I suppose, then, you will be afraid [for the future]; and, being warned, will be cautious. No, you will seek occasion when you may be again in terror, and again may be likely to perish. 0 so often a slave! What beast, when it has once escaped by breaking its toils, absurdly trusts itself to them again? You say, "I am no adulterer." Nor, by Hercules, am I a thief, when I wisely pass by the silver vases. Take away the danger, and vagrant nature will spring forth, when restraints are removed. Are you my superior, subjected as you are, to the dominion of so many things and persons,, whom the prsetor's rod,[*](Vindicta was a rod, which the lictor laid on the head of a person whom the praetor made free. Plautus calls it festuca. (Mil. 961) ) though placed on your head three or four times over, can never free from this wretched solicitude? Add, to what has been said above, a thing of no less weight; whether he be an underling,[*](Nam sive vicarius. The Romans generally had a master-slave in every family, servus atriensis, and all other slaves were called by one common name, vicarii. The first, who commands, is not less a slave than those who obey.) who obeys the master-slave (as it is your custom to affirm), or only a fellow slave, what am I in respect of you? You, for example, who have the command of me, are in subjection to other things, and are led about, like a puppet movable by means of wires not its own.
Who then is free? The wise man, who has dominion over himself; whom neither poverty, nor death, nor chains affright; brave in the checking of his appetites, and in contemning honors; and, perfect in himself, polished and round as a globe,[*](Teres atque rotundus. The metaphor is taken from a globe, and our vices are those inequalities which stop us in our course of virtue.) so that nothing from without can retard, in consequence of its smoothness; against whom misfortune ever advances ineffectually. Can you, out of these, recognize any thing applicable to yourself? A woman demands five talents of you, plagues you, and after you are turned out of doors, bedews you with cold water: she calls you again. Rescue your neck from this vile yoke; come, say, I am free, I am free. You are not able: for an implacable master oppresses your mind, and claps the sharp spurs to your jaded appetite, and forces you on though reluctant. When you, mad one, quite languish at a picture by Pausias;[*](Pausias was a famous flower-painter. Lucullus gave a thousand crowns for a picture, in which he drew his mistress Glycera sitting, and making a wreath of flowers. He was a contemporary of Apelles.) how are you less to blame than I, when I admire the combats of Fulvius and Rutuba and Placideianus, with their bended knees, painted in crayons[*](Masters of gladiators hung the pictures of their best champions, such as Fulvius, Rutuba, or Placideianus, at the door of the house where they fought.) or charcoal, as if the men were actually engaged, and push and parry, moving heir weapons? Davus is a scoundrel and a loiterer; but you have the character of an exquisite and expert connoisseur in antiquities. If I am allured by a smoking pasty, I am a good-for-nothing fellow: does your great virtue and soul resist delicate entertainments? Why is a tenderness for my belly too destructive for me? For my back pays for it. How do you come off with more impunity, since you hanker after such dainties as can not be had for a little expense? Then those delicacies, perpetually taken, pall upon the stomach; and your mistaken feet refuse to support your sickly body. Is that boy guilty, who by night pawns a stolen scraper for some grapes? Has he nothing servile about him, who in indulgence to his guts sells his estates? Add to this, that you yourself can not be an hour by yourself, nor dispose of your leisure in a right manner; and shun yourself as a fugitive and vagabond, one while endeavoring with wine, another while with sleep, to cheat care-in vain: for the gloomy companion presses upon you, and pursues you in your flight. "Where can I get a stone?" "What occasion is there for it?" "Where some darts?" "The man is either mad, or making verses." "If you do not take yourself away in an instant, you shall go [and make] a ninth laborer[*](Accedes opera.Opera for servus. Slaves who were employed in tilling their lands were generally chained, so that the threat was enough to alarm Davus, and end the conversation.) at my Sabine estate."
How did the entertainment of that happy fellow Nasidienus please you? for yesterday, as I was seeking to make you my guest, you were said to be drinking there from mid-day.[*](Nasidienus, to give himself an air of a rake, dines three or four hours before the usual time; or perhaps Fundanius would insinuate that this was too solemn a feast for vulgar hours.) [It pleased me so], that I never was happier in my life. Say (if it be not troublesome) what food first calmed your raging appetite.
In the first place, there was a Lucanian boar, taken when the gentle south wind blew,[*](Either by buying it cheap, or keeping it too long, the boar was tainted; but our host would insinuate that it had a particular flavor, by being taken when the wind was south, which made it delicate and tender.) as the father of the entertainment affirmed; around it sharp rapes, lettuces, radishes; such things as provoke a languid appetite; skirrets, anchovies, dregs of Coan wine. These once removed, one slave, tucked high with a purple cloth,[*](The table was made of maple, a cheap and common wood; but Nasidienus, in an air of polite extravagance, makes the slaves wipe it with a purple napkin.) wiped the maple table, and a second gathered up whatever lay useless, and whatever could offend the guests;[*](This was the pretense, that nothing might offend his guests, but his design was that nothing might be lost. ) swarthy Hydaspes advances like an Attic maid with Ceres' sacred rites, bearing wines of Caecubum; Alcon brings those of Chios, undamaged by the sea.[*](It was customary to mix sea-water with the strong wines of Greece; but Fundanius, when he tells us that the wine Alcon carried had not a drop of water in it, would have us understand that this wine had never crossed the seas, and that it was an Italian wine which Nasidienus recommended for Chian.) Here the master [cries], "Maecenas, if Alban or Falernian wine delight you more than those already brought, we have both."
Ill-fated riches! But, Fundanius, I am impatient to know, who were sharers-in this feast where you fared so well. I was highest, and next me was Viscus Thurinus, and below, if I remember, was Varius; with Servilius Balatro, Vibidius, whom Maecenas had brought along with him, unbidden guests. Above [Nasidienus] himself was Nomentanus, below him Porcius, ridiculous for swallowing whole cakes at once. Nomentanus [was present] for this purpose, that if any thing should chance to be unobserved, he might show it with his pointing finger. For the other company, we, I mean, eat [promiscuously] of fowls, oysters, fish, which had concealed in them a juice far different from the known: as presently appeared, when he reached to me the entrails of a plaice and of a turbot, such as had never been tasted before. After this he informed me that honey-apples were most ruddy when gathered under the waning moon. What difference this makes you will hear best from himself. Then [says] Vibidius to Balatro; "If we do not drink to his cost, we shall die in his debt;" and he calls for larger tumblers. A paleness changed the countenance of our host, who fears nothing so much as hard drinkers: either because they are more freely censorious; or because heating wines deafen the subtle [judgment of the] palate. Vibidius and Balatro, all following their example, pour whole casks into Alliphanians;[*](Large cups, so called from Allifae, a town of Samnium.) the guests of the lowest couch did no hurt to the flagons. A lamprey is brought in, extended in a dish, in the midst of floating shrimps. Whereupon, "This," says the master, "was caught when pregnant; which, after having young, would have been less delicate in its flesh." For these a sauce is mixed up; with oil which the best cellar of Venafrum pressed, with pickle from the juices of the Iberian fish, with wine of five years old, but produced on this side the sea, while it is boiling (after it is boiled, the Chian wine suits it so well, that no other does better than it) with white pepper, and vinegar which, by being vitiated, turned sour the Methymnean grape.
I first showed the way to stew in it the green rockets and bitter elecampane: Curtillus, [to stew in it] the sea-urchins unwashed, as being better than the pickle which the sea shell-fish yields.
In the mean time the suspended tapestry made a heavy downfall upon the dish, bringing along with it more black dust than the north wind ever raises on the plains of Campania. Having been fearful of something worse, as soon as we perceive there was no danger, we rise up. Rufus, hanging his head, began to weep, as if his son had come to an untimely death: what would have been the end, had not the discreet Nomentanus thus raised his friend! "Alas! 0 fortune, what god is more cruel to us than thou? How dost thou always take pleasure in sporting with human affairs!" Varius could scarcely smother a laugh with his napkin. Balatro, sneering at every thing, observed: "This is the condition of human life, and therefore a suitable glory will never answer your labor. Must you be rent and tortured with all manner of anxiety, that I may be entertained sumptuously; lest burned bread, lest ill-seasoned soup should be set before us; that all your slaves should wait, properly attired and neat? Add, besides, these accidents; if the hangings should tumble down, as just now, if the groom slipping with his foot should break a dish. But adversity is wont to disclose, prosperity to conceal, the abilities of a host as well as of a general." To this Nasidienus: "May the gods give you all the blessings, whatever you can pray for, you are so good a man and so civil a guest;" and calls for his sandals.[*](That he might rise from table. The guests laid their slippers at the end of the bed when they went to supper.) Then on every couch you might see divided whispers buzzing in each secret ear. I would not choose to have seen any theatrical entertainments sooner than these things. But come, recount what you laughed at next. While Vibidius is inquiring of the slaves, whether the flagon was also broken,[*](Vibidius asks whether the groom had broken the bottle at the same time that he broke the dish, for quoque certainly refers to patinam lapsus frangat agaso. He seems to insinuate that Nasidienus had given orders to his slaves not to be in too much haste to supply the guests with wine, but to let them call for it more than once.) because cups were not brought when he called for them; and while a laugh is continued on feigned pretences, Balatro seconding it; you, Nasidienus, return with an altered countenance, as if to repair your ill-fortune by art. Then followed the slaves, bearing on a large charger the several limbs of a crane besprinkled with much salt, not without flour, and the liver of a white goose fed with fattening figs, and the wings of hares torn off, as a much daintier dish than if one eats them with the loins. Then we saw blackbirds also set before us with scorched breasts, and ringdoves without the rumps: delicious morsels! did not the master give us the history of their causes and natures: whom we in revenge fled from, so as to taste nothing at all; as if Canidia, more venomous than African serpents, had poisoned them with her breath.