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Title: Ad Alpēs. A Tale of Roman Life

Date of first publication: 1927

Author: Herbert Chester Nutting (1872-1934)

Date first posted: Aug. 28, 2021

Date last updated: Oct. 14, 2022

Faded Page eBook #20210866

This eBook was produced by: rmedinap, Howard Ross & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net

The Lake Classical Series










University of California






Photograph by R. S. Rogers


Copyright, 1923, 1927, by

H. C. Nutting











The conditions of Latin teaching have changed much in the last fifteen or twenty years. Once the subject was rigidly required, and too often the requirement was ruthlessly administered, without regard for the difficulties encountered by the student, and without any particular care to enlist his interest. Now the gradual shift to an elective basis necessitates certain adjustments.

It has long been recognized that the transition from the conventional beginners' book to Caesar is too abrupt; and there has been more or less agitation for an extension of "beginning Latin" to the end of the third half-year, thus making room for a considerable amount of graded reading before the first Latin author is seriously taken up. Happily this reform seems at length in a fair way to be realized, as indicated by the recent action of the College Entrance Examination Board. It is hoped that the change will result in a large decrease in the excessive mortality that used to mark the end of the first year's work.

Long experience has led the writer to believe that, at the beginning of the third year, there is need of a somewhat similar change of procedure; for it is likely that Cicero will long continue to be the outstanding feature of the reading of that year, and the transition from Caesar is by no means an easy one.

The student who passes directly from one author to the other is confronted simultaneously by three difficulties: (1) an unfamiliar vocabulary, (2) long and complicated sentence structure, and (3) thought and content rather remote from his own experience and very hard to grasp when the reading progresses at the rate of a few lines a day.

In other fields victory has often been won by dividing the difficulties to be overcome; and it is suggested that this successful policy be applied here by concentrating upon a single problem at the start, leaving the others for later treatment.

In pursuance of this plan, the present volume, which is designed primarily for use in the first half of the third year, concerns itself chiefly with the matter of vocabulary. Complexity of sentence structure is everywhere avoided, the thought is simple and directly expressed, and the units are so short that the pupil may hope to accomplish something definite at one sitting.

Casual inspection will doubtless leave the impression that the vocabulary of the book is rather extensive. This is a necessary consequence of the variety of the selections; for the chaffing of slaves, the story of Atalanta's race, and a description of the eruption of Vesuvius each calls for different phraseology. However, about a third of the vocabulary of the volume is made up of words that occur but once; and, with the exception of proper names, these words are given in the footnotes on the page with the text, and they do not appear in the general vocabulary. The latter will be found to be of the same general range and character as in most third-year books, and perhaps even more compact than some.

Here, too, as with other word lists, the student will be much helped by a little previous drill on the meanings of the common prefixes. Indeed, such a background virtually reduces the number of words to be learned; for example, given the verb dūcō, a properly trained pupil should have little need for recourse to the general vocabulary for addūcō, dēdūcō, indūcō, prōdūcō, redūcō, and the like.

If the first semester of the third year is thus devoted chiefly to the task of becoming familiar with the new vocabulary, the facility so gained will do much to rob of their terrors the difficulties postponed to the following term. The conventional practice of attempting everything at once is very discouraging; and it may well be that this policy has helped to foster the much-to-be-regretted tendency to drop Latin at the end of the second year.

In combating this tendency, no third-year book can afford to neglect the element of interest. At this point, too, the conventional program labors under a heavy handicap. Where classes are large and equipment adequate, some enthusiasm may be aroused by such expedients as organizing a "Roman Senate," or the like; but this at best is costly in time and effort, and it is beyond the reach of most schools.

It is a real misfortune that no classical author has bequeathed to us a volume written for the instruction and entertainment of a youthful audience; but scattered here and there through Latin literature is an abundance of material suited to such a purpose; and it has been the task of the writer to bring some of this together and to adapt it to the end in view.

The use of such a compilation can hardly fail to open the eyes of the pupil to the richness and variety of Latin literature. Incidentally, a wealth of information is introduced on points of Roman history; and the thread of a simple story, which gives unity to the whole, makes it possible to bring in naturally frequent reference to Roman life and manners.

The narrative follows the fortunes of a family party traveling by sea from Ephesus to Brundisium, thence northward by the Appian Way to Rome, then onward to the Alps. As they journey, the elders narrate to the children interesting facts and stories suggested by the places visited.

Such a narrative, dealing often with somewhat familiar subject-matter, provides a context most favorable for quick apprehension of the meaning of individual words; and the short sentences, as well as the simplicity of thought and construction, cannot fail to encourage the habit of attacking Latin as Latin, and of taking in the thought of a passage in the order in which it stands. The confidence engendered by such practice is bound to stand the pupil in good stead, whatever reading he next takes up.

The short selections of verse interspersed through the text are chosen for their aptness and without regard to their difficulty. In a volume that aims to give some idea of the extent and character of Latin literature, the appropriateness of including brief specimens of verse is obvious. To forestall a possible difficulty in handling these, and to help to an appreciation of the spirit of the lines, a metrical version or paraphrase has in many cases been provided in the Appendix.

For the most effective use of the book, the class should have access to the works of reference naturally found in a high-school library, such as a history of Rome, a Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, and Johnston's Private Life of the Romans.

At this time, when the point is being pressed home that, if Latin is to continue to hold an honored place in secondary education, the cultural element in its study must be emphasized, there should be an abundant welcome for a book like the present in the third year of the course; especially as the matriculation requirements are now being so liberalized as to give the teacher a very wide range of choice in reading matter.

If not adopted as a regular text, the book may be used for sight reading, from the third year onward. For this purpose the notes at the foot of the page will be found convenient. The difficulty of the Latin is about the same throughout, making it possible to select such parts of the story as individual taste may dictate.

It is no new idea, of course, to enrich the reading program of the third year by including material lying outside the six orations of Cicero conventionally read. For example, considerable use of the letters has been made in this connection, a plan that has not always worked well, because the search for extracts easy to read has led too often to the choice of the pitiable and unmanly messages penned by Cicero during the time of his exile. At the other extreme, it has recently been proposed to supplement Cicero's orations by a random selection from a variety of sources, including such a work as Dē Fīnibus, which is difficult reading even for college seniors.

The present text avoids these rocks and shoals. And the hope is entertained that this new method of approach may bring help and encouragement to many teachers, who are waging a hard fight to save third- and fourth-year Latin, by opening up a vista of attractive reading that will lure on more students into the work of the third year and give them some conception of the richness and variety of Latin literature.

For assistance in bringing out this volume, special thanks are due Professors Katherine Allen and Grant Showerman, of the University of Wisconsin, Professor Charles E. Bennett, of Amherst College, Professor Dwight N. Robinson, of Ohio Wesleyan University, Dr. Robert S. Rogers, of Princeton University, and Professor Harry F. Scott, of Ohio University, all of whom have contributed generously to the illustration of the text.

Other help has been given by Mr. Bernard M. Allen, Professor William F. Badè, of the Pacific School of Religion, and Miss Florence H. Robinson, of Berkeley; and the publishers have spared no pains to provide a suitable and attractive dress for this new venture in the field of Latin bookmaking.

H. C. N.


University of California

    March 15, 1927


List of Maps and Illustrations13
Explanatory Note15
I. At Sea17
Pirates in the Aegean18
Experience of Julius Caesar18
II. At Sea20
Stasimus as an Interpreter20
Hannibal against the Rhodians22
Hannibal against Eumenes22
III. At Sea24
Story of Ariadne24
Hannibal’s Visit to Crete28
IV. At Sea29
Isthmus of Corinth29
The Boastful Host31
Portents in the Behavior of Birds33
V. At Sea35
The Song of Anna36
David and Goliath38
Water from the Well at Bethlehem39
VI. At Sea40
Storm and Shipwreck40
Lighthouse at Brundisium43
VII. At Anchor off Brundisium45
Daniel and the Lions47
VIII. At Anchor off Brundisium50
Stasimus and the Country Slave50
Lullaby of Drusilla54
IX. Landing at Brundisium56
Crossing the Red Sea57
X. At a Villa near Brundisium60
Britain and the Far North60
Androcles and the Lion62
XI. To Tarentum64
The Farmer and the Birds66
XII. At Tarentum70
Death of Archimedes70
Fall of Amphitheater at Fidenae71
Missiles Thrown from Proscenium73
An Actor Who Fell Asleep74
XIII. At Tarentum75
Stasimus and the Crabs75
Nero as an Artist75
Caligula; His Name and Vagaries77
XIV. To Venusia80
Pranks of Nero81
Tossing in a Blanket81
Cruelty of Domitian81
Stories of Bald-headed Men82
Babes in the Woods85
XV. At Venusia86
Innkeeper and Doctor86
Stasimus and the Peddler88
XVI. At a Hamlet91
Ghost Stories91
City Mouse and Country Mouse94
XVII. To Beneventum96
Story of Damocles96
Philoxenus as a Literary Critic97
Diogenes and Aristippus99
Battle of Cannae100
XVIII. To Caudium102
Pyrrhus and His Elephants102
Duels with Elephants102
Elephants Cross Rhone103
Elephants against Serpents104
Battle of the Caudine Forks105
XIX. To Capua108
Eruption of Vesuvius108
XX. To Sinuessa113
Hannibal against Fabius113
Death of Hannibal114
Plan to Poison Pyrrhus114
Boast of Antiochus115
Atalanta’s Race116
XXI. To Fundi118
Cicero on Gladiatorial Combats118
Contest between Prisoners of Hannibal119
Rope-walking Elephants120
Gladiators in Sea-Fights120
XXII. To Appi Forum123
Paul and the Christians123
Canal along the Appian Way129
XXIII. To Rome130
Albanus Mons130
Priests of Diana130
Death of Vitellius133
XXIV. In the Country136
Vespasian in the East137
The Dead Sea137
Forms of Worship in Palestine139
Floating Islands140
Stasimus and the One-eyed Soldier141
XXV. Return to Rome142
Letter from Cornelius142
Sack and Rebuilding of Rome144
Fire in Nero’s Time145
XXVI. To Falerii147
The Mulvian Bridge147
Cicero’s Verse148
March of the Fabii148
Arrival of the Magna Mater at Rome149
Sacrifice of Fabius during the Siege of the Capitolium150
XXVII. At Falerii153
Milo the Athlete153
Polydamas Killed in a Cave155
Sejanus Saves the Life of Tiberius155
Gyges and the Ring156
XXVIII. To Narnia158
An Alarming Omen158
Omens Given a Favorable Turn158
Adventure with Brigands160
XXIX. To Nuceria164
A Night Alarm164
Stasimus and the Irate Farmer165
XXX. To a Certain Villa169
Battle of Sentinum169
Heroism of Marcus Curtius171
The Water Supply of Alexandria173
XXXI. To Fanum Fortunae175
Battle at the Metaurus175
Moses in the Bulrushes178
XXXII. To Ariminum180
Crossing the Rubicon180
Caesar at Corfinium182
Britain Circumnavigated183
XXXIII. To Bononia185
Orpheus and Eurydice185
Charon and the Acheron187
Dido’s Treasure189
Red Beards of the Domitii190
XXXIV. To Parma191
Story of Absalom191
The Old Soldier’s Raven193
The Heroic Centurion194
An Officer Who Believed in Flogging195
XXXV. To Placentia196
Sack of Cremona197
Fail of Jericho199
Rahab and the Spies200
XXXVI. At Placentia203
Story of Achan203
Stasimus and the Crabbed Old Man205
Battles of the Ticinus and the Trebia207
XXXVII. To Mediolanum210
Pyramus and Thisbe211
Sextus and the Farmer’s Apples213
XXXVIII. At Mediolanum215
The Blind Soldier215
Invasions of Britain216
Straying Horse Causes Alarm217
Galba’s Decision Regarding the Ass219
Solomon’s Judgment220
XXXIX. To Comum221
Stasimus and the One-armed Stranger221
The Daughters of Danaus222
Pliny as a Hunter225
Pliny Contributes to the Endowment of a School226
XL. Placentia to Eporedia227
The Inexperienced Traveler227
Significant Dreams228
ad alpēs231
List of Abbreviations240
Brief Subject Index295


Italia (colored)Inside Front Cover
Quō Modō Viātōrēs ex Asiā in Ītaliam et ad Alpēs Iter Fēcērunt16
Isthmus, ut Nunc Perfossus Est30
Forum Rōmānum34
Lītus Galliae et Pharus44
Patria Poētae Catullī49
Quō Modō Rōmānī Saxa Collocābant51
“Silva simul sine murmure stat”55
Via Antīqua65
Via Appia69
Āfrica, Hannibalis Patria83
Via per Rūra Ferēns90
Urbis Porta101
Pars Superior Rhodanī107
Quō Modō Chrīstiānī Rōmae Sepultī Sunt127
Via Appia et Sepulchra131
Urbs Campāniae138
Oppidum ā Vesuviō Obrutum157
Ōstium Tiberis168
Quō Modō Rōmānī Aquam in Urbēs Dūcēbant172
Loca prope Vīllam Poētae Horātī Flaccī179
Lacus Avernus202
Vāsa Fictilia209
Mūrus Hadriānī218
Lacus ad Quem Cōmum Positum Est224
Lītus Britanniae231


The party journeying from Ephesus to Brundisium, and thence to northern Italy, is headed by a certain Publius Cornelius, a Roman official stationed for some time in Asia Minor, but on the death of Hadrian (138 a.d.) recalled to Rome, not knowing to what field of activity he is to be assigned under the new emperor, Antoninus Pius. Other members of the party are:

Drusilla, wife of Cornelius

Publius, eldest son, aged sixteen

Sextus, younger son, aged twelve

Cornelia, daughter, aged ten

Lucius, infant son

Onesimus, a slave of mature years, steward and business manager

Stasimus, a young and pampered slave, who has recently joined the family in Asia Minor

Anna, a maid from Palestine, special attendant upon Lucius




Nāvis iam per undās celeriter prōgrediēbātur, omnēsque ē puppī lītus lēniter ē cōnspectū recēdēns[1] cōnspiciēbant. Ac postrēmō Drūsilla: “Quīnque iam sunt annī,” inquit, “cum[2] in hanc terram barbaram iter fēcimus. Quam[3] gaudeō nōbīs dēnique licēre[4] domum revertī, ut tandem patriam et parentēs meōs vīsāmus!”

Tum Cornēlius: “Rēctē dīcis,” inquit. “Sed dum hīc morābāmur, multa mīranda et iūcunda vīdimus, nec mē paenitet[5] hīs in locīs longinquīs quīnquennium[6] trānsēgisse. Sed nunc domī esse maximē cupiō, ut Pūblius noster et Sextus omnia discant, quae cīvibus Rōmānīs nōta esse dēbent. Et ego ipse forum templaque deōrum libentissimē iterum aspiciam.”

“Urbem vix reminīscī possum,” inquit Cornēlia; “tam eram parvula, cum hūc profectī sumus.” Tum subitō conversa ad Lūcium, quem in gremiō Anna sagō contēctum tenēbat: “Et Lūcius noster eam omnīnō numquam aspexit.” Quae cum dīxisset, frātrem parvum artē amplexa est.

“Suādeō, uxor,” inquit Cornēlius, “ut cum cēterīs tū nunc in cameram redeās; nam ventus incrēbrēscit.[7] Sed ego et fīliī paulō diūtius in puppī ambulābimus.”

Cum Drūsilla in cameram cum līberīs servīsque sē recēpisset, tum Pūblius, dum ultrō citrōque ambulant, patrī: “Videor mihi recordārī,” inquit, “quondam perīculōsum fuisse in marī Aegaeō nāvigāre propter pīrātās, quī ubique castella[8] habērent, unde in nāvēs mercātōrum impetūs facerent subitōs.”

“Per multōs annōs rēs ita sē habēbat,” inquit Cornēlius; “et mercātōrēs hōc modō saepe periērunt, nāvēsque eōrum aut incēnsae sunt aut in marī submersae. Quīn etiam pīrātae istī postrēmō impūnitāte[9] tam audācēs factī sunt, ut nāvīs quoque adorīrentur, quibus[10] vehēbantur magistrātūs nostrī.”

“Papae!” inquit Sextus. “Nōnne nōmen magnum populī Rōmānī veritī sunt? Cūr nōn nāvēs longae istōs scelestōs statim ē marī fugāvērunt?”[11]

“Saepe id temptātum est,” inquit pater; “sed, ut est[12] in vetere prōverbiō,[13] ‘Incipere multō est quam[14] impetrāre[15] facilius.’ Quō modō factum est ut, cum aliōs[16] nāvēs cōnsectārentur, aliī procul praedās agerent; nec fīnis fuit, priusquam custōdia tōtīus ōrae maritimae Gnaeō Pompeiō Magnō commissa est. Is tam ācriter pīrātās lacessīvit, ut omnēs sexāgintā diēbus[17] aut fugerent aut lēgātōs pācis petendae causā ad eum mittere cōgerentur.”

Tum Pūblius: “Nōnne Caesar dictātor[18] in potestātem istōrum pīrātārum ōlim ipse pervēnit?”

“Rēctē quaeris,” inquit Cornēlius. “Nam ille adhūc iuvenis īnsulam Rhodum adīre volēbat, ut Apollōnium Molōnem clārissimum dīcendī magistrum ibi audīret.[19] Hūc cum hībernīs mēnsibus trānsīret, ā pīrātīs captus, apud eōs mānsit diēs ferē quadrāgintā.

“Interim comitēs Rōmam dīmissī sunt pecūniam quaesītum,[20] quā redimerētur. Ipse, inter hostēs relictus, cum pīrātīs cōmiter iocātus[21] saepe adfirmāvit sē reversum dē eīs supplicium summum sūmptūrum.

“Illī scīlicet tum adrīsērunt. Sed Caesar, cum, pecūniā dēmum adlātā, in lītore dēsertō expositus esset, Mīlētum statim perrēxit; ubi classe dēductā pīrātās abeuntēs secūtus est, eōsque omnēs suppliciō eō adfēcit, quod anteā quasi per iocum minātus erat.”

“Quam vellem,”[22] inquit Sextus, “pīrātae hodiē quoque in hōc marī nāvigārent! Sī nostram nāvem adoriantur, ego eīs[23] capita prius abscīdam, quam in puppim ēscendere possint.”

“Heia!” inquit Pūblius, cum sē horrēscere simulāret;[24] “quam bene pīrātīs accidit Sextum nostrum illīs temporibus maria nōn nāvigāsse!”

Tum Sextus irā incensus: “Nōlī tē iactāre, Pūblī; nam etsī maior nātū[25] es, ego tamen sum fortior.”

“Agite, fīliī meī,” inquit Cornēlius. “Inter vōs dēsinite altercārī. Tālēs dissēnsiōnes indecōrae sunt; et exīstimō iam Onēsimum cūrāsse ut esset quod ederēmus.[26] Eāmus intrō.” Quae cum dīxisset, ad cameram pedem convertit; ac Pūblius et Sextus, quī male ēsuriēbant, libenter subsecūtī sunt.

[1] recēdēns: neut.

[2] cum, freely, since.

[3] Quam: adv.

[4] licēre: impers.

[5] paenitet: impers.

[6] quīnquennium, -ī, n., five years.

[7] incrēbrēscō, -crēbrēscere, -crēbruī, intr., freshen.

[8] castellum, -ī, n., stronghold.

[9] impūnitās, -ātis, f., lack of punishment; causal abl.

[10] quibus, freely, on which.

[11] fugāvērunt: not from fugiō.

[12] ut est, as it is said.

[13] prōverbium, -ī, n., proverb.

[14] quam: with the comp.

[15] impetrō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., accomplish.

[16] aliōs: note that aliī follows.

[17] sexāgintā, indecl. num., sixty; with diēbus, time within which.

[18] dictātor: distinguishing Julius Caesar from other Caesars.

[19] audīret, attend the lectures of. Cicero also went abroad in 79 b.c. to study under Greek masters.

[20] quaesītum: supine.

[21] iocor, -ārī, -ātus sum, intr., joke.

[22] Quam vellem: introducing a wish.

[23] eīs: trans. as if gen.

[24] cum . . . simulāret, pretending.

[25] maior nātū (supine), older.

[26] quod ederēmus, something for us to eat.


Illā nāve vehēbantur hominēs plūrimī; sed diēs complūrēs tam asperum[1] erat mare, ut plērīque graviter nauseā[2] adficerentur, paucīque in puppī ambulāre possent. Mīrus et molestissimus est hic morbus; quī enim eō adficitur, prīmō timet nē moriātur, tum metuit nē in vītā retineātur.

Postrēmō autem omnibus melius est factum,[3] rārīque in puppim prōdiērunt. In[4] eīs erat senex quīdam, quī linguā barbarā ūtēbātur, nec quisquam plānē intellegere poterat quid ille dīcere vellet.

Dēnique mercātor dīves, quī frūstrā cum sene loquī cōnātus erat: “Nōnne hīc adest quisquam,” inquit, “cui lingua huius peregrīnī nōta sit?”

Forte Stasimus haud procul stābat. Quī cum haec audīvisset, ut erat vafer,[5] “Mihi,” inquit, “omnēs linguae nōtae sunt. Sī exposueris quid rogāre velīs, ego libenter cum sene loquar.” Quō dictō, ad senem accessit, et sermō huius modī īnstitūtus est:

Stasimus. Salvē multum, senex.

Senex. Avo. Dōnni.[6]

Mercātor. Quid dīcit, obsecrō?

Stasimus. Dīcit sē iubēre tē salvēre,[7] et tibi donum dare velle.

Mercātor. Benignē facit. Sed quaere, quis sit homō, aut[8] unde veniat.

Senex. Mē har bocca.

Stasimus. Dīcit buccam[9] dolōre.

Mercātor. Fortasse nōs esse medicōs putat. Quaere, sīs;[10] nam hospitem sīc errāre nōlō.

Senex. Murph ursa mvulc.

Mercātor. Quid nunc dīcit?

Stasimus. Dīcit sē ursās vēndere velle.

Mercātor. Forsitan bēstiās comparet in amphitheātrō exhibendās.[11]

Senex. Pālu mer ged etha.

Stasimus. Dīcit sē pālās quoque vēndere.

Mercātor. Ad terram effodiendam, crēdō. Sed vix intellegere possum cūr negōtia tam dīversa cōnfundat.

Senex. Murphonnium sucorhim.

Mercātor. Quid dīcit, obsecrō?

Stasimus. Tē iubet sub corbulam rēpere.

Mercātor. Papae! Dēlīrat profectō.

Cum hic sermō habērētur, Pūblius et Sextus prope stābant, vix sē continentēs quōminus in cachinnōs ērumperent.[12] Sed iam ē camerā prōcessit Cornēlius; et Stasimus celeriter in puppim extrēmam[13] sē recēpit. Quō factō, Cornēliō mercātor: “Estne,” inquit, “ille Stasimus servus tuus?”

“Ita,” inquit Cornēlius; “nec usquam est puer scelestior.”

“Haud ita mihi vidētur,” inquit mercātor; “nam modo mihi operam benignē dedit, cum hunc peregrīnum quaedam[14] rogāre vellem.”

“Quō modō, obsecrō, ille tē adiuvāre potuit?” inquit Cornēlius. “Multīs linguīs ego ūtor; sed nē ego quidem paulō ante intellegere poteram quid hic ignōtus dīcere vellet, cum mē appellāret. Stasimus autem nihil nisi Latīnē[15] scit.”

“Suspicor igitur eum mē[16] lūdificāsse,” inquit mercātor rīdēns. “Sed sine dubiō omnia per iocum fēcit; ac spērō dō eō supplicium tē nōn sūmptūrum.”

Tum Cornēlius: “Dolīs eius interdum[17] īrā tantopere incendor, ut vix mē continēre possim quōminus eum in crucem statim agam.[18] Cum[19] autem tū tam clēmenter suādeās, poenās nōn dabit—dōnec aliam noxiam[20] commeruerit.”[21]

Dum illī ita inter sē loquuntur, peregrīnus, ā[22] spē omnī dēstitūtus, caput quassāns trīstis discessit; atque interim Pūblius et Sextus ad prōram prōcesserant, ubi flūctūs magnōs admīrantēs diū stābant.

Tum Sextus: “Hīsne in regiōnibus,” inquit, “pugna nāvālis[23] umquam commissa est?”

“Ōlim,” inquit Pūblius, “in marī Pamphȳliō Hannibal cum Rhodiōrum classe cōnflīxit. Sed multō est mīrābilior pugna, quā Eumenem, rēgem Pergamēnum, Poenus īdem fugāvit.”

“Dē hāc numquam audīvī,” inquit Sextus. “Quid factum est, obsecrō?”

Tum Pūblius: “Modo librum Cornēlī Nepōtis legēbam, quī rem gestam ita trādit: Hannibal nāvium numerō[24] superābātur; itaque dolō eī[25] pugnandum erat. Quārē suōs iussit venēnātās[26] serpentēs vīvās quam[27] plūrimās colligere, eāsque in vāsa fictilia conicere. Cum diēs pugnae vēnisset, imperāvit ut omnēs in Eumenis ipsīus concurrerent nāvem, cēterās autem neglegerent.

“Quod ubi factum est, nāvis Eumenis fugā salūtem petere coācta est, sed cēterae undique classem Hannibalis vehementer premēbant. Tum in eās repente vāsa fictilia, dē quibus suprā mentiōnem fēcī, coniecta sunt. Quibus in puppēs frāctīs, nāvēs

hostium brevī serpentium plēnae erant; atque illī, novā rē territī, terga vertērunt rēgemque Eumenem intrā praesidia,[28] quae in proximo lītore collocāta erant, celeriter subsecūtī sunt.”

“Hahahae!” inquit Sextus. “Hannibal certē dux callidus erat. Vix turpe fuit ā tantō imperātōre vincī.”

Tum Pūblius, post sē respiciēns: “Putō,” inquit, “nōs nunc redīre posse. Stasimus poenās effūgisse vidētur, neque usquam hospes in cōnspectū est.”

Itaque ā prōrā cum recessissent, sē patrī cēterīsque reddidērunt,[29] quī iam passim in puppī sedēbant.

[1] asper, -era, -erum, adj., rough.

[2] nauseā, -ae, f., seasickness.

[3] omnibus melius est factum: i.e., all felt better.

[4] In, among.

[5] ut erat vafer, rascal as he was.

[6] Avo. Dōnni: this gibberish suggests Latin words to S., i.e., avē (‘greetings’) and dōnum.

[7] sē iubēre tē salvēre: i.e., that he wishes you ‘good day.’

[8] aut: trans., ‘and.’

[9] bucca, -ae, f., cheek.

[10] sīs: i.e., sī vīs.

[11] exhibendās: purpose.

[12] quōminus . . . ērumperent, from bursting out.

[13] extrēmam, the farthest part of.

[14] quaedam: note double acc. with rogō.

[15] nisi Latīnē, except Latin; Latīnē is adv.

[16] mē: obj. of infin.

[17] interdum: not interim.

[18] in crucem . . . agam, crucify. Such punishment was often meted out to slaves.

[19] Cum: causal.

[20] noxia, -ae, f., wrong.

[21] commereō, -ēre, -uī, -itus, tr., commit.

[22] ā, by.

[23] nāvālis, -e, adj., naval.

[24] numerō: abl. of specif.

[25] eī: agent.

[26] venēnātus, -a, -um, adj., venomous.

[27] quam, with sup., as . . . as possible.

[28] praesidia, defenses.

[29] sē . . . reddidērunt, with dat., rejoined.



Posterō diē nautae procul terram aspexērunt,[1] omnēsque cupidē ad latus nāvis properāvērunt, quō[2] melius eam vidērent. Tum Cornēliō Sextus: “Quam terram, pater,” inquit, “iam aspicimus?”

“Crētam eam esse crēdō, mī fīlī,” inquit Cornēlius. “Īnsula est magna, ibique multae rēs mīrābilēs factae esse dīcuntur. Abī, sorōrī nūntiā[3] ut hūc veniat. Fortasse ego quaedam reminīscī possum, quae vōs libenter audiātis.”

“Euax!” inquit Sextus. “Abeō.” Et celeriter in cameram sē recēpit, unde brevī cum Cornēliā et quibusdam līberīs aliīs ēgressus est.

“Quantō plūrēs, tantō melius,”[4] inquit Cornēlius rīdēns. “Hūc accēdite, līberī; in vēlī umbrā sedeāmus, dum vōbīs fābulam nārrō.” Tum, cum omnēs ad audiendum compositī et intentī essent, ita loquī incipit:

“Multōs abhinc annōs Crētā[5] Athēnās vēnit Androgeōs,[6] Mīnōis[7] fīlius, ut ibi dēscenderet in certāmina, quae Panathēnāica vocantur. Ubique victor erat. Quārē Aegeus, rēx Athēniēnsium, invidiā commōtus, iuvenī negōtium[8] dedit, ut taurum Marathōnium occīderet, hōc modō ratus sē hospitem ingrātum facile sublātūrum. Neque haec rēs eum fefellit; nam iuvenis ā mōnstrō ipse dīlaniātus est.


“Ubi haec Crētam sunt dēlāta, Mīnōs dolēns et irā commōtus magnum exercitum in fīnēs Athēniēnsium dūxit, eōrumque urbem obsēdit; ac paulō post pestis[9] quoque tam dīra incidit in eōs, ut condiciōnēs pācis petere cōgerentur. Quās acerbissimās accēpērunt; nam Mīnōs postulāvit ut quotannīs[10] septem puerī nōbilēs totidemque puellae Crētam mitterentur, ubi dīlaniārentur[11] ā mōnstrō quōdam, quod ipse domī alēbat.[12] Eī mōnstrō erat nōmen Mīnōtaurus, quia taurī caput sed corpus hūmānum habēbat.”

“Horrēscō audiēns,” inquit Cornēlia, cum ad patrem propius accēderet; “quam gaudeō tālia mōnstra hīs temporibus nusquam reperīrī!”

“Mihi autem,” inquit Sextus, “maximō dolōrī[13] est omnia ista iam occīsa esse; complūra occīdere pervelim.”

At Cornēlius: “Nōnne oblītus es, mī fīlī, mē fābulam nārrāre?”

“Peccāvī, pater,” inquit Sextus. “Veniam dā, obsecrō. Posteā nihil[14] interpellābō.”

Tum Cornēlius: “Mīnōtaurus in labyrinthō latēbat, ubi vorābat adulēscentēs miserōs, quī multiplicibus[15] errōribus impedītī numquam exitum invenīre poterant, cum semel eō[16] intrōductī erant.

“Per multōs annōs Athēniēnsēs illud tribūtum[17] horrendum solverant, cum Thēseus, rēgis Athēniēnsis fīlius, postulāvit ut sibi licēret esse ē numerō iuvenum, quī illō annō Crētam mitterentur. Pater scīlicet fīlium tantō perīculō obicere nōluit. Thēseus autem obstinātā mente in sententiā persevērāvit, rēxque postrēmō concēdere coāctus est.

“Vēla nāvis, quā adulēscentēs īnfēlīcēs vehēbantur, semper sordida erant, quod illī miserī quasi ad fūnus abībant. Sed iam Aegeus imperāvit candida[18] quoque comparārī, fīliōque praecēpit ut, sī omnia prōsperē cessissent, domum rediēns sordida vēla illīs candidīs[19] mūtāret,[20] quō signō procul omnibus nōtum foret[21] Mīnōtaurum occīsum esse.

“Lēnī ventō vectus Thēseus Crētam pervēnit; ubi Ariadna, Mīnōis fīlia, amōre hospitis statim incēnsa est. Gladium igitur eī dedit et fīlum, quō vēstīgia regeret, cum ē labyrinthō exīre cōnārētur. Quō modō Thēseus, mōnstrō occīsō, incolumis ē locō horrendō sē recēpit. Tum cum Ariadnā clam fūgit ex urbe, et eādem nāve domum profectus est.”

“Spērō,” inquit Cornēlia, “eōs salvōs Athēnās pervēnisse. Sine dubiō cīvēs Ariadnae grātiam maximam rettulērunt, quod[22] Thēseum tam callidē adiūverat.”

Tum Cornēlius: “Ariadna numquam Athēnās vīdit. Nam Thēseus eam quādam in īnsulā relīquit, cum domum iter faceret.”

“Rem[23] quam foedam!” inquit Cornēlia. “Spērō eum prō perfidiā tantā poenās maximās dedisse.”

“Ille vērō erat satis īnfēlīx,” inquit pater; “nam oblītus est signum dare, quō patrī ostenderet omnia prōsperē cessisse. Itaque cum nāvis iuvenēs gaudentēs in portum veheret, Aegeus, ē scopulīs prōspiciēns, sordida vēla procul vīdit. Quārē ratus fīlium mortuum esse, ē vertice[24] scopulōrum sē praecipitāvit ac corpus in saxa ēlīsum est. Ita accidit ut Thēseus tantum[25] ad fūnus patris cūrandum domum pervenīret.”

Postquam haec dicta sunt, omnēs aliquamdiū tacitī sēdērunt, cum aspicerent[26] terram, quae usque propius accēdere vidēbātur. Tum Pūblius ē camerā prōdiit, et ille: “Gaudeō,” inquit, “nōs Crētam tam plānē vidēre posse. Semper enim voluī aspicere hanc terram, quō[27] Hannibal exsul[28] ōlim dēvertit.”

“Sed mihi nunc abeundum est,” inquit Cornēlius. “Tū autem, Pūblī, in librō Cornēlī Nepōtis profectō lēgistī, quō modō Hannibal incolās istīus īnsulae ēlūserit. Certō sciō hōs līberōs id audīre velle.”

Tum Cornēlia: “Nārrā, sīs, frāter. Nōs omnēs ad audiendum compositī sumus.”

“Fābula haud longa est,” inquit Pūblius. “Postquam Poenī Zamae[29] dēvictī sunt, aliquamdiū Hannibal in Āfricā mānsit, et multīs modīs patriam suam adiūvit.[30] Postrēmō autem Rōmā lēgātī Carthāginem vēnērunt. Eōs suī poscendī causā missōs ratus, Hannibal nāvem cōnscendit atque in Syriam ad rēgem Antiochum sē contulit; cui persuāsit ut bellum Rōmānīs īnferret.

“Antiochō victō, veritus nē Rōmānīs dēderētur, Crētam Poenus fūgit. Sēcum pecūniam grandem portābat; quam nē raperent Crētēnsēs, cōnsilium tāle[31] iniit: Amphorās aliquot complēvit plumbō,[32] summās[33] autem aurō et argentō operuit. Hās, praesentibus magistrātibus,[34] in templō Diānae collocāvit, cum simulāret sē fortūnās suās ibi custōdiendās[35] relinquere. Interim quāsdam statuās cavās pecūniā suā complēverat, eāsque domī summā neglegentiā[36] servābat, quasi nihilī[37] essent.

“Crētēnsēs, sīc in errōrem inductī, templum magnā cūrā custōdiēbant, nē Hannibal cum suā pecūniā clam abīret. Ille autem, occāsiōne oblātā, statuās in nāvem imposuit, et, fortūnīs ita cōnservātīs, in Pontum incolumis pervēnit.”

“Quantō plūra dē Hannibale audiō,” inquit Sextus, “tantō[38] magis eius sollertiam admīror. Minimē mīrum est eum totiēns imperātōrēs nostrōs superāsse. Sed nunc mē exercēre paulisper iussus sum.” Quae cum dīxisset, surrēxit, omnēsque aliī in aliam[39] partem discessērunt.

[1] aspexērunt, sighted.

[2] quō: replacing ut in purp. clause with comp.

[3] nūntiā: imper.

[4] Quantō plūrēs, etc., the more the better. The abls. express degree of difference.

[5] Crētā: island name; cf. the use of the acc., l. 23.

[6] Androgeōs: nom. sing., Greek decl.

[7] Mīnōis: gen. sing. of Mīnōs, Greek decl.

[8] negōtium, commission.

[9] pestis, -is, f., pestilence.

[10] quotannīs, adv., every year.

[11] dīlaniārentur: note mood.

[12] alō, alere, aluī, altus, tr., keep.

[13] maximō dolōrī: dat. of service.

[14] nihil: adv. acc.

[15] multiplex, -icis, adj., complicated.

[16] eō, therein.

[17] tribūtum, -ī, n., tribute.

[18] candida: sc. vēla.

[19] illīs candidīs: abl.

[20] mūtāret, exchange.

[21] foret, would be.

[22] quod: causal conj.

[23] Rem, etc.: acc. of exclam.

[24] vertex, -icis, m., top.

[25] tantum, adv., only.

[26] cum aspicerent: cf. note on I, 61.

[27] quō, lit., whither.

[28] exsul, -ulis, m., exile; trans., ‘(when) an exile.’

[29] Zamae: loc.

[30] adiūvit: e.g., in finance.

[31] tāle: i.e., the following.

[32] plumbum, -ī, n., lead.

[33] summās: cf. extrēmam, II, 43.

[34] praesentibus magistrātibus: abl. absol.

[35] custōdiendās: cf. exhibendās, II, 30.

[36] neglegentia, -ae, f., carelessness.

[37] nihilī: gen. of value.

[38] Quantō . . . tantō; cf. III, 12.

[39] aliī in aliam: see Vocab.


Circiter merīdiem Cornēlius, cum quaedam Onēsimō dictāvisset,[1] in puppī cum fīliīs ultrō citrōque ambulābat. Iam propter nebulās īnsula Crēta vix cernī poterat, et Sextus: “Quō modō fit,[2] pater,” inquit, “ut tantō circuitū in Ītaliam iter faciāmus? Nōnne est ūlla via brevior, quā ad fīnem dēstinātum perveniāmus?”

“Aliquantō brevior est via,” inquit pater, “sī terrestrī[3] itinere per Achaiam pergere velīs.[4] Et semel et iterum initum est cōnsilium Isthmī[5] perfodiendī,[6] ut eā[7] ex Aegaeō[8] in Īōnium mare nāvēs trānsīre possent. Dictātor Caesar hoc opus prīmus cōgitāvit. Deinde Caligula ad loca dīmētienda centuriōnem mīsit. Postrēmō Nerō rē vērā initium fēcit; quīn etiam ipse rāstrō[9] humum prīmus effōdit et corbulae congestam umerīs extulit. Sed adhūc incohātum[10] modo[11] opus est.”

Dum Cornēlius ita loquitur, in puppim prōdiērunt et mercātor, dē quō ante mentiōnem fēcimus, et[12] peregrīnus īnfēlīx, cuius lingua nēmini nōta erat. Quōs cum aspexisset, mercātōrī Cornēlius: “Illīus īnfēlīcis mē vehementer miseret,”[13] inquit.

“Mē quoque eius miseret,” inquit mercātor; “et libenter haec ā tē audiō. Nam bene sciō plērōsque cīvēs nostrōs peregrīnōs paene omnēs nihilī facere.”


Tum Cornēlius rīdēns: “Fābulamne umquam audīvistī dē peregrīnīs, quī, cum Rōmam pervēnissent, quaerēbant cīvem, quī pollicitus erat sē eōs rēgiē[14] hospitiō acceptūrum, sī quandō in Ītaliam iter fēcissent?”

“Numquam, quod[15] sciam,” inquit mercātor. “Nōnne vīs eam nārrāre?”

“Hic cīvis,” inquit Cornēlius, “ōlim ōtiōsus in forō ambulābat, cum subitō occurrērunt duo hospitēs, quōs splendidē invītāverat, cum ipse peregrīnārētur.[16] Quā rē homō prīmō conturbātus est; nam vērō[17] eī erat domus parva et rēs familiāris tenuis.

“Tum autem, callidē trepidātiōnem suam dissimulāns:[18] ‘Gaudeō,’ inquit, ‘vōs salvōs advēnisse; sed fēcissētis rēctius, sī statim ad mē vēnissētis.’ ‘Id fēcissēmus,’ inquiunt illī, ‘sī domum tuam nōvissēmus.’ ‘Hoc quidem perfacile est,’ inquit homō; ‘omnēs enim dēmōnstrāre possunt aedēs, ubi habitō. Sed īte mēcum.’

“Sequuntur illī, cum intereā[19] eius sermō omnis in ostentātiōne cōnsūmitur: in agrīs quaerit frūmenta[20] quō modō prōveniant, quasi omnia sua sint; queritur quod vīlla sua nūper incēnsa sit.

“Interim, dum tālia loquitur, forte animadvertit aedēs[21] cuiusdam civis locuplētis, ubi convīvae multī exspectābantur; cumque iānitōrī nōtus esset, hospitēs intrōdūxit, quibus: ‘Hic,’ inquit, ‘habitō.’ Interim īnspicit argentum, quod erat expositum, triclīnium vīsit, omnia probat.

“Brevī autem accessit servus, quī hominī clārē dīxit dominum iam ventūrum, sī exīre vellent.[22] ‘Itane?’ inquit ille. Tum hospitibus: ‘Nunc eāmus; frāter enim ex Siciliā vēnit. Ego eī obviam eō; vōs autem hūc decimā hōrā redīte.’

“Hospitēs nihil suspicantēs discessērunt, homō vērō celeriter domum sē contulit. Hōrā cōnstitūtā ad aedēs cīvis locuplētis rediērunt peregrīnī; unde dērīsī in dēversōrium rūrsus sē recipere coāctī sunt.

“Postrīdiē in forō hominem vīdērunt, eumque incūsāvērunt. Ille autem dīxit eōs similitūdine aedium dēceptōs esse, sēque domī multam ad noctem[23] exspectāsse.

“Interim servō suō imperāverat ut ā vīcīnō vāsa, vestīmenta, et eius modī alia ūtenda[24] rogāret. Quae cum comparāta esse putāret, hospitēs domum dēdūxit, cum simulāret[25] sē maiōrēs aedēs suās amīcō cuidam ad nūptiās commodāsse.

“Dum ibi cēnant, subitō puer[26] nūntiat argentum repetī; nam sollicitus factus erat is, quī id commodāverat. ‘Apage!’ inquit cīvis noster ēgregius; ‘aedēs commodāvī, familiam[27] dedī. Argentum quoque vult? Etsī hospitēs habeō, tamen id quoque commodābō; nōs interim Samiīs[28] dēlectābimur.’ ”

“Hahahae!” inquit mercātor. “Spērō hospitēs miserōs cēnam saltem gustāsse, priusquam ea quoque auferrētur.”

“Nihil amplius adeptī sunt,” inquit Cornēlius; “et iūre exīstimāvērunt sēcum male āctum esse.”

At alter:[29] “Hīs[30] audītīs etiam magis mē omnium peregrīnōrum īnfēlīcium miseret. Et maximē doleō exīstimātiōnem[31] populī Rōmānī pendēre cōgī tālibus ex cīvibus, quālem tū modo dīcēbās.”[32] Quae cum dīxisset, in sōle cōnsēdit; Cornēlius autem cum fīliīs ambulāre persevērāvit, dōnec accessit Cornēlia, quae: “Exīstimō,” inquit, “mē avēs quāsdam volantēs procul cernere. Eāsne vidēs, Sexte?”

“Paucās cernere mihi videor,” inquit Sextus. “Ex altō[33] in īnsulam refugere videntur. Fortasse tempestātem coorīrī sentiunt.”

“Quod[34] ōmen dī āvertant!” inquit Cornēlius. “Nam brevī in marī maximō versābimur. Sī nūbēs ātrae in caelō tum cōgentur, nec sōlem nec lūnam aut stellās vidēre poterimus, nec gubernātor sciet quō[35] nāvem dīrigat.”

“Saepe dē avibus scrīptōrēs nostrī mentiōnem faciunt,” inquit Pūblius. “Nōnne sunt quī[36] putent eārum volātū[37] rēs futūrās[38] portendī?”

“Maximē vērō,” inquit pater. “Et profectō tū saepe audīvistī dē pullīs, quōs eī cōnsulunt, quī perīcula sunt aditūrī.”

“Haec mihi nārrā, sīs,” inquit Cornēlia; “ego enim numquam audīvī.”

“Pullī illī,” inquit Cornēlius, “in caveīs custōdiuntur. Cum perīculum adest, ēdūcuntur, cibusque eīs obicitur. Sī edere nōlunt, trīste ōmen; sīn autem vorant tam cupidē ut aliquid ē rōstrīs excutiātur, id est ōmen optimum.”

At Cornēlia: “Estne vērō ēventus semper tālis, quālem pullī portendunt?”

“Vix id audeō dīcere,” inquit pater. “Etsī ōlim bellō Pūnicō prīmō[39] populī Rōmānī dētrīmentō[40] magnō nōnnūllīs vidētur plānum factum esse haud impūne tālia portenta[41] neglegī.

“Nam P. Claudius pullōs, quī caveā līberātī edere nōllent, in marī mergī iussit, cum dīceret[42] eīs[43] bibendum saltem esse, etiam sī edere nōllent. Cuius temeritātem[44] deī graviter ulcīscī vidēbantur, cum classis eius ad pugnam profecta clāde maximā vincerētur.”

“Homō quam impius erat ille Claudius!” inquit Cornēlia. “Certē dignus erat, quī[45] poenās maximās solveret.”

“Ille vērō,” inquit pater, “ā populō condemnātus[46] est; et eius collēga, L. Iūnius, quī alibī nōn pāruerat auspiciīs classemque tempestāte āmīserat, sē ipse interfēcit.”

Dum haec dīcuntur, Drūsilla et Anna cum Lūciō ē camerā prōdiērunt; quō vīsō, gaudiō exsiluērunt līberī, quī cum frātre parvulō lūdere iam diū cupiēbant[47].

[1] dictō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., dictate.

[2] fit, does it happen.

[3] terrestris, -e, adj., land.

[4] velīs: subj. indef. second sing.

[5] Isthmī: the Isthmus of Corinth.

[6] perfodiō, -fodere, -fōdī, -fossus, tr., cut through.

[7] eā, by that route.

[8] Aegaeō: sc. marī.

[9] rāstrum, -ī, n., mattock.

[10] incohō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., begin.

[11] modo, adv., only.

[12] et . . . et, both . . . and.

[13] miseret: impers.

[14] rēgiē, adv., royally.

[15] quod, so far as.

[16] peregrīnor, -ārī, -ātus sum, intr., be abroad.

[17] vērō, in fact.

[18] dissimulō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., conceal.

[19] intereā: i.e., interim.

[20] frūmenta, crops; trans, as subj. of ind. quest.

[21] aedēs, house. Contrast the meaning of the sing. of this word.

[22] sī exīre vellent, if they would please go out.

[23] multam ad noctem, until far into the night; cf. extrēmam, II, 43.

[24] ūtenda, as a loan; cf. exhibendās, II, 30.

[25] cum simulāret: cf. I, 61.

[26] puer: the slave.

[27] familiam, household slaves.

[28] Samiīs: i.e., earthenware; sc. vāsīs; abl. case.

[29] alter: i.e., the trader.

[30] Hīs: sc. verbīs.

[31] exīstimātiō, -ōnis, f., reputation.

[32] dīcēbās, mentioned.

[33] altō: cf. English ‘the deep.’

[34] Quod: mod. of ōmen.

[35] quō: cf. III, 82.

[36] Nōnne sunt quī, Are there not those who?

[37] volātus, -ūs, m., flight.

[38] futūrus, -a, -um, adj., future.

[39] bellō Pūnicō prīmō: abl. of time.

[40] dētrīmentum, -ī, n., disaster; abl. case in text.

[41] portentum, -ī, n., warning.

[42] cum dīceret: cf. cum . . . simulāret, I, 61.

[43] eīs: cf. , II, 73.

[44] temeritās, -ātis, f., rashness, impiety.

[45] quī, etc.: trans. the rel. clause by infin.

[46] condemnō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., condemn.

[47] iam diū cupiēbant, had long since been eager. Note the effect of iam diū on the tense force.



Lūcius autem iam patrem aspexerat, manūsque statim ad eum tendēbat. Tum: “Quam bellus est ille parvulus,” inquit mercātor. “Quem cum videō, admoneor dē versibus illīs lepidīs poētae Catullī:

“ ‘Torquātus volŏ[1] parvulus

Mātris ē gremiō suae

Porrigēns tenerās manus

Dulce[2] rīdeat[3] ad patrem

Sēmihiante[4] labellō.’ ”[5]

“Scīsne,” inquit Sextus, “Pūblium quoque nostrum esse poētam? Versūs lepidōs paene cotīdiē facit.”

Quō audītō, Pūblius ērubuit, et: “Tacē, sīs, Sexte,” inquit. “Nōnne tē pudet[6] tam stultē[7] loquī?”

“Quīn[8] herī,” inquit Sextus, “tē in umbrā vēlī sedentem vīdī, cum aliquid summā cūrā cōnficerēs.”[9]

“Age, fīlī mī,” inquit Cornēlius rīdēns; “verēcundārī[10] nōn tē decet.[11] Audiāmus quae scrīpserīs.”

Tālī cohortātiōne inductus, Pūblius chartam haud invītus prōtulit, et: “Abhinc paucōs diēs,” inquit, “Annam audīvī, cum vesperī lēniter caneret, quō[12] facilius Lūcius obdormīret.

“Canēbat dē labōribus[13] cīvium suōrum, quī domō expulsī Babylōnem in exsilium dēductī sunt. Dulcissimus erat ille cantus, sed etiam maestissimus; cum[14] autem Anna suā linguā ūterētur, vix intellegere potuī quid esset, dē quō dīceret. Sed paulō post mē omnia docuit[15]; ac verbōrum sententiam ego nostrīs modīs exprimere sīc cōnātus sum:

“Sedēmus amnīs ad[16] Babylōniōs,

Nostrōrum amārīs[17] fūnera lacrimīs,

Sīōne victā, conquerentēs[18]

  Exsiliīque gravīs labōrēs.


“Iam victor atrōx increpitāns[19] iocō,

‘Sīōnis,’ inquit, ‘laetificīs[20] modīs

  Cantāte laudēs. Cūr sedētis

    Cōnsimilēs[21] ovibus[22] tacentēs?’


“ ‘Hīc ut canāmus[23] nōs patrium deum

Maestī exsulantēs, barbaricā[24] in domō[25]?

  Sīōn[26], male hostēs sīc cadant[27] ut[28]

    Tē cinerēsque tuōs verēbor.’ ”

“Euge” inquit mercātor; “mihi quidem hī versūs optimī esse videntur. Sī fēlīciter fēceris prōgressum[29], aliquandō poēta vērus esse poteris.”

At nunc Drūsilla līberīs: “Fortasse vōbīs Anna quoque aliquid nārrābit. Eam rogāte.” (Anna enim cum Lūciō interim discesserat, iamque haud procul sedēbat.)

Illa, cum cognōvisset quid līberī vellent: “Multa,” inquit, “sunt clāra facta virōrum gentis meae; diēsque me dēficiat, sī vōbīs omnia nārrāre cōner. Audīvistisne umquam dē homine omnium validissimō?”

“Herculem, ut opīnor, dīcis,”[30] inquit Sextus. “Nam ferunt[31] eum omnēs vīribus[32] superāsse.”

“Herculem nōn dīcō,” inquit Anna, “sed Samsōnem, quī manibus ipsīs[33] leōnem dīlaniāvit.”

“Idem fēcit Herculēs quoque,” inquit Sextus; “nam cum[34] leōnem Nemeaeum nec clāvā[35] nec sagittīs[36] vincere potuisset, manibus ipsīs mōnstrum occīdit.”

“Sed omnia nōndum dīxī,” inquit Anna. “Samsōn, cum in quādam urbe hostēs eum obsidērent, clam noctū ex oppidō ēgressus, postēs[37] portae umerīs abstulit.”

“Eugepae!” inquit Sextus. “Vix crēdō Herculem ipsum id facere potuisse.”

At Anna: “Postrēmō hostēs certiōrēs factī sunt vīrēs Samsōnis in capillō sitās[38] esse; dolōque eum aggressī, capillō prīvāvērunt.[39] Tum ille facile in eōrum potestātem pervēnit; quem, cum oculōs ēripuissent, in pīstrīnum[40] dēdūxērunt, ubi in tenebrīs molam[41] versāre coāctus est.”

“Ēheu,” inquit Cornēlia; “quam mē istīus īnfēlīcis miseret!”

“Ipse sē pulchrē[42] ultus est,” inquit Anna. “Nam ōlim, cum quaedam fēriae[43] habērentur et multitūdō maxima convēnisset, puerum ōrāvit ut manūs suās in columnās[44] templī impōneret (nam ipse iam caecus erat). Quō factō, Samsōn, cui[45] capillus interim rūrsus prōmittēbātur, omnibus vīribus cōnīsus[46] columnās disiēcit,[47] et ruīnā templī hostēs plūrimōs sēcum oppressit.”

“Haec est fābula adprīmē lepida,” inquit Sextus. “Potesne aliquid dē bellātōribus clārīs nārrāre?”

Tum Anna: “Annālēs gentis nostrae exemplīs tālibus abundant. Longum est[48] etiam pauca nārrāre. Sed ōlim erat pāstor, quī vixdum[49] iuvenis ingentem occīdit hostem, ā quō nostrī verbīs contumēliōsīs[50] ad proelium prōvocātī[51] erant.”

“Dē istō nārrā, sīs,” inquit Sextus. “Audīre cupimus.”

At Anna: “Hostis erat gigās, quōcum congredī nēmō audēbat; quārē omnēs crēdēbant hunc iuvenem dēlīrāre, quī certāmen tam impār[52] inīre vellet.[53] Accēdēbat ut[54] armīs mīlitāribus ūtī nescīret; quam ob rem in proelium prōdiit cum fundā tantum[55] et lapidibus quibusdam lēvibus.”[56]

“Āmēns profectō fuit,” inquit Sextus, “quī sīc armātus cum bellātōre ingentī congrederētur.”

“Nūllō modō,” inquit Anna; “nam ā deō auxilium spērābat, neque rēs eum fefellit; priusquam enim hostis propius accēdere posset, lapidem in eius frontem tantā fēlīcitāte[57] impēgit,[58] ut bellātor ingēns subitō corruēns humī prōnus iacēret. Tum adulēscēns, gladiō ipsīus arreptō, caput hostis abscīdit sanguineque cruentum ad rēgem rettulit.”

“Vāh!” inquit Cornēlia. “Facta tālia audiēns horrēscō. Nōnne quidquam laetius nārrāre potes?”

Tum Anna: “Multa laeta quoque commemorāre possum. Quīn etiam recordor quaedam dē hōc ipsō pāstōre adulēscente, quī posteā rēx noster factus est.

“Ōlim, cum bellum cum fīnitimīs gereret, illīque[59] praesidiō occupāvissent urbem, quae erat ipsīus patria,[60] tum rēx, sitī obortā,[61] mīlitibus audientibus: ‘Utinam,’ inquit, ‘nunc bibere possem ē fonte gelidō, quī ad portam patriae est!’

“Quō cognitō, trēs mīlitēs virtūtis maximae, clam ex castrīs ēgressī, per statiōnēs hostium viā gladiīs factā, ad fontem pervēnērunt illum; tum, aquā inde celeriter haustā, ad rēgem incolumēs sē recēpērunt. Quī cum cognōvisset quantō perīculō aqua illa adlāta esset, bibere nōluit eamque lībāns[62] humī perfūdit.”

“Rēgem optimum!” inquit Cornēlia. “Huius modī fābulīs maximē dēlector.”

Sed iam Lūcius, quī diū tacitus sēderat, querellās ēdere coepit, Annaque eum in cameram ad mātrem dēdūxit. Līberī interim abiērunt, sī forte[63] Stasimum invenīre possent.

[1] volo: final o here short in verse.

[2] dulce, adv., sweetly.

[3] rīdeat: dept. on volo, l. 5.

[4] sēmihiāns, -antis, adj., half-opening.

[5] labellum, -ī, n., lip.

[6] pudet: impers.

[7] stultē, adv., foolishly.

[8] Quīn, Why.

[9] cum . . . cōnficerēs: cf. I, 61.

[10] verēcundor, -ārī, intr., be bashful.

[11] decet: impers.

[12] quō: cf. III, 2.

[13] labōribus, trials.

[14] cum: causal.

[15] docuit: with acc. of person and thing.

[16] ad, beside.

[17] amārus, -a, -um, adj., bitter.

[18] conqueror, -querī, -questus sum, tr., lament.

[19] increpitō, -āre, tr., challenge.

[20] laetificus, -a, -um, adj., joyous.

[21] cōnsimilis, -e, adj., like.

[22] ovibus: dat.

[23] ut canāmus, we sing? (rejecting the suggestion).

[24] barbaricus, -a, -um, adj., foreign, strange.

[25] domō, freely, land.

[26] Sīōn: voc.

[27] cadant: a wish.

[28] ut, as.

[29] prōgressus, -ūs, m., progress.

[30] dīcis, mean.

[31] ferunt, they say.

[32] vīribus: abl. of spec.

[33] ipsīs, freely, bare.

[34] cum . . . potuisset: cf. I, 61.

[35] clāva, -ae, f., club.

[36] sagitta, -ae, f., arrow.

[37] postis, -is, m., post.

[38] sitās: see sinō.

[39] prīvō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., deprive.

[40] pīstrīnum, -ī, n., grinding-mill.

[41] mola, -ae, f., millstone.

[42] pulchrē, adv., finely.

[43] fēriae, -ārum, f., festival.

[44] columna, -ae, f., pillar.

[45] cui: trans. as if gen.

[46] cōnītor, -nītī, -nīsus or nīxus sum, intr., strive, strain.

[47] disiciō, -icere, -iēcī, -iectus, tr., push out.

[48] Longum est, ’Twould take long.

[49] vixdum: adv. phrase, scarcely yet.

[50] contumēliōsus, -a, -um, adj., insulting.

[51] prōvocō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., challenge.

[52] impār, -aris, adj., unequal.

[53] vellet: note mood.

[54] Accēdēbat ut, lit., It was added that; trans. freely.

[55] tantum: adv.

[56] lēvis, -e, adj., smooth.

[57] fēlīcitās, -ātis, f., luck, good aim.

[58] impēgit: see impingō.

[59] illī: nom. pl.

[60] patria, birthplace.

[61] oborior, -īrī, -ortus sum, intr., arise, come on.

[62] lībāns, -antis: freely, as a libation (lībō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., libate).

[63] forte, perchance.



Paucōs diēs caelō serēnō[1] nāvigāverant, omnēsque gaudēbant, ratī sine perīculō ūllō iter tōtum cōnficī posse, cum subitō nūbēs ātrae ē marī orīrī vīsae sunt, quae brevī diem ē cōnspectū vectōrum ēripuērunt. Terra iam procul aberat, ventīque turbidī per rudentēs strīdere[2] coepērunt.

Tum nautae vēla contrahere properāvērunt, et omnia quae ūsuī[3] essent ad vim tempestātis lēniendam parāta sunt. Interim magister[4] mulierēs ūnā[5] cum līberīs et servīs camerā sē continēre iussit. Virī autem plērīque in puppī paulisper ambulāre persevērāvērunt, etsī mox ventōrum vī vestis eōrum paene discerpēbātur.

Sed brevī illī quoque in locum tūtum libenter sē recēpērunt; nam in[6] marī iam erat ātra nox, flūctūsque maximī nāvem feriēbant, omniaque mortem minārī vidēbantur. In camerā sedēbant mulierēs et līberī pavidī; interdum[7] enim flūctūs tantopere nāvem quatiēbant, ut vix locō sē tenēre possent.

Pūblius autem, quī nōlēbat quemquam putāre sē esse sollicitum, librum poētae cuiusdam adsiduē legēbat. Cui postrēmō pater: “Quem librum,” inquit, “tam attentē legis, mī fīlī?”

“Hic est liber lepidus poētae Ovidī,” inquit Pūblius. “Dē naufragiō quōdam optimē scrībit. Audīte quam pulchrī sint hī versūs.” Quō dictō, recitāre coepit:

                             “ ‘Totidemque[8] videntur,

Quot[9] veniant flūctūs, ruere atque inrumpere mortēs.

Nōn tenet hic[10] lacrimās; stupet[11] hic; vocat[12] ille beātōs,

Fūnera[13] quōs maneant; hic vōtīs nūmen adōrat

Bracchiaque ad caelum, quod nōn videt, irrita[14] tollēns

Poscit opem.’ ”

Sed iam Drūsilla, quae prae[15] terrōre diū sē vix continēre potuerat: “Dēsine, obsecrō,” inquit, “librumque illum dīrum omitte. Nōnne vidēs nōs quoque magnō in perīculō esse, et omnibus[16] fortasse brevī pereundum?”

“Tranquillō es[17] animō,” inquit Cornēlius. “Valida est nāvis nostra, et nautae exercitātī[18]. In saxa latentia nisi in tenebrīs dēferēmur, omnia tūta sunt.” Tum Pūbliō: “Sed, mī fīlī, cēnseō illud carmen omittendum dōnec omnēs hilariōrēs sint.”

“Quam mox in Ītaliam perveniēmus?” inquit Sextus, quī sub subsellium refūgerat, nē quis scīret sē flēre.

“Aliquamdiū per mare Īōnium iam vectī sumus,” inquit pater, “et spērō haud procul abesse terram Ītalicam.”

Vix ea dicta erant, cum clāmor magnus in puppī exortus est. Quō audītō, Cornēlius et virī aliī ē camerā celeriter prōdiērunt. Undique erant flūctūs velut[19] aquae montēs, quī iam iam[20] nāvem submersūrī vidēbantur; ventīque tantopere furēbant,[21] ut hominēs mālō[22] rudentibusque sē sustinēre cōgerentur, nē vī tempestātis raperentur ē puppī in mortem praesentem.

Nūbēs autem iam rāriōrēs erant, inter quās diēs[23] iterum lūcēbat;[24] et haud procul in marī vāstō cōnspicī poterat nāvicula,[25] quae flūctibus in lītus scopulōsum[26] īnsulae parvae rēctā[27] ferēbātur. Haec erat causa clāmōris, quō vectōrēs ē camerā excitātī erant.

Tum Cornēlius magnā vōce magistrō, quī prope stābat: “Nihilne illīs miserīs hominibus,” inquit, “opitulārī possumus?”

Ille autem maestus abnuit, et: “Vīs ventī nimia est,” inquit. “Eīs sī opitulārī cōnābimur, nostra quoque nāvis in saxa ferētur.”

“Quam hoc est foedum vīsū!”[28] cum gemitū[29] inquit Cornēlius. “Aspice, sīs; mālus iam frāctus est, et vectōrēs īnfēlīcēs vestīs prō vēlīs tendunt; aliī mercēs in mare praecipitant, ut nāvis sublevētur. Omnibus modīs mortem effugere cōnantur.”

Dum haec fīunt, Pūblius quoque ē camerā ēgressus pedetemptim[30] et cautē[31] ad patrem adiit. Quō cum pervēnisset nāvemque vīdisset alteram, “Ēheu!” inquit. “Male metuō nē hodiē vērum naufragium aspiciāmus.”

“Rēctē dīcis,” inquit Cornēlius. “Neque ūllō modō eīs miserīs opitulārī posse vidēmur.”

“Aspice!” inquit Pūblius. “Iam paucī cymbā parvā effugere cōnātūrī sunt. Vidē cymbam, quam effrēnātē[32] in flūctibus saltet! Modo in cōnspectū est, modo[33] aspicī nusquam potest! Nunc in eā sunt trēs hominēs. Iam rēmōs[34] agere incipiunt. Attāt![35] Nunc venit aquae mōns! Cavēte, miserī,[36] cavēte vōbīs!”

Vix haec verba dīxerat, cum flūctus ingēns cymbam parvam ēvertit. Paulisper virī duo in gurgite[37] luctantēs[38] aspiciēbantur; tum in marī mersī sunt.

“Ista diūtius vidēre nōn sustineō,”[39] inquit Cornēlius, et statim in cameram sē contulit. Pūblius autem cupiditāte videndī in puppī morārī persevērāvit; utque[40] pater cum Onēsimō et Stasimō iterum prōdiit, īnsula parva ē cōnspectū recesserat, neque usquam cōnspicī poterat nāvis altera.

Sōl, quī iam coeperat fulgēre, undīs[41] sē condere properābat, cum nautae procul montēs cernere potuērunt; tum omnēs hilarī vultū erant, cum spērārent sē brevī in portum perventūrōs; ac Cornēlius Stasimō: “Abī,” inquit; “dominae nūntiā, ut in puppim prōdeat; nam dēmum terram in cōnspectū esse.”

Stasimus statim discessit, et patrī Pūblius: “Exīstimō nōs Brundisiī[42] ē nāve ēgressūrōs,” inquit. “Nōnne rēs sē ita habet, pater?”

“Ita, mī fīlī,” inquit Cornēlius. “In hāc regiōne orbis terrārum nūllum oppidum portum meliōrem habet. Hic est locus, ut[43] scīs, unde Pompeius Magnus nāvēs solvit, cum Caesarem fugiēns exercitum in Graeciam trādūceret. Et sīcut nōs montēs illōs nunc vidēmus appropinquāre, ita[44] ille tum eōsdem nebulīs procul obscūrōs ē cōnspectū suō discēdere vīdit. Quā dē rē poēta Lūcānus versūs aliquōs fēcit pulcherrimōs.”

Interim Drūsilla cum līberīs ē camerā prōdierat. Brevī tenebrae ē marī surgere coepērunt; ac Cornēlia, quae iam cum patre et frātribus stābat: “Vidēte,” inquit. “Aspicere videor lūmen parvum procul micāre. Quid est, obsecrō?”

“Haec est pharus,”[45] inquit pater, “quae noctū viam nautīs mōnstrat, quō[46] tūtius nāvēs in portum dēdūcere possint. Sine lūmine fortasse ē cursū errārent, nāvēsque in lītus inīquum dēferrentur.”

“Euge!” inquit Cornēlia. “In portum igitur nōs profectō tūtō[47] perveniēmus. Sed nunc mihi intrō eundum est, ut cum Annā sedeam, dum[48] Lūcius obdormiat.”

Itaque illa discessit. Cēterī autem aliquamdiū in puppī ambulābant; nam tempestās iam erat tam serēna ut nēmō intrō sē recipere vellet.

[1] caelō serēnō: attendant circumstance.

[2] strīdō, -ere, -dī, intr., howl.

[3] ūsuī: dat. of service; freely, helpful.

[4] magister, captain.

[5] ūnā: adv.

[6] in, on.

[7] interdum: cf. II, 56.

[8] Totidem: mod. of mortēs, l. 24.

[9] Quot: indecl. adj., as.

[10] hic . . . hic . . . ille, one . . . another . . . another.

[11] stupeō, -ēre, -uī, intr., be stunned.

[12] vocat: sc. eōs.

[13] Fūnera, etc.: i.e., those who (on land) will be properly buried.

[14] irrita: trans., ‘in vain’; mod. of Bracchia.

[15] prae, for.

[16] omnibus: dat.

[17] es: imper.

[18] exercitātus, -a, -um, adj., (well) trained.

[19] velut, like.

[20] iam iam, at any moment.

[21] furō, -ere, intr., rage.

[22] mālō: not adj.; note the ā.

[23] diēs: i.e., daylight.

[24] lūceō, -ēre, lūxī, intr., shine.

[25] nāvicula, -ae, f., small ship.

[26] scopulōsus, -a, -um, adj., rocky.

[27] rēctā: sc. viā; cf. , IV, 9.

[28] vīsū: cf. nātū, I, 65.

[29] gemitus, -ūs, m., groan.

[30] pedetemptim, adv., slowly.

[31] cautē, adv., cautiously.

[32] effrēnātē, adv., wildly.

[33] Modo . . . modo, now . . . now.

[34] rēmus, -ī, m., oar.

[35] Attāt! interj., take care!

[36] miserī: voc.

[37] gurges, -itis, m., flood.

[38] luctor, -ārī, -ātus sum, intr., struggle.

[39] nōn sustineō, cannot bear.

[40] ut, when.

[41] undīs: abl.

[42] Brundisiī: loc. of Brundisium; gen., Brundisī.

[43] ut, as.

[44] sīcut, adv.; sīcut . . . ita, just as . . . so.

[45] pharus, -ī, f., lighthouse.

[46] quō: cf. III, 2.

[47] tūtō: adv.

[48] dum, until.



Posterō diē vectōrēs, maritimā iactātiōne[1] fessī, ē nāvī ēgredī cupiēbant; ac Cornēlius Onēsimum cum Stasimō ad quendam Crassum, hospitem suum, statim mīsit, ut eī nūntiāret ipsum[2] cum uxōre et līberīs in portū esse.

Interim omnēs tempus variē[3] trahēbant; dum enim servī redīrent, Cornēlius incertus erat quō[4] dēverteret. Sed iam accessit mercātor, dē quō suprā dīximus. Ille, ē nāvī ēgressūrus: “Gaudeō,” inquit, “nōs postrēmō ad terram incolumēs pervēnisse. Erat tempus cum putārem nōs numquam vīvōs patriam vīsūrōs esse.”

“Rēctē dīcis,” inquit Cornēlius. “Neptūnō certē grātia maxima habenda est, quod omnia tam fēlīciter ēvēnērunt. Cum illōs naufragōs[5] miserōs in marī mersōs vidērēmus, paulum āfuit quīn[6] īlicō tabulam pictam[7] vovērem,[8] sī ūllō modō vim tempestātis nōs effugere potuissēmus.”

Et mercātor: “Profectō vēra sunt verba eius, quī apud[9] Plautum ita loquitur;

“ ‘Voluptās nūllast nāvitīs,[10] Messēniō,[11]

Maior meō animō,[12] quam quandō ex altō procul

Terram cōnspiciunt.’ ”

“Haec mē admonent,” inquit Pūblius, “dē carmine ā poētā Catullō scrīptō, cum domum redīsset, postquam in Asiā annum āfuit. Verūs aliquōs fortasse memoriā prōnūntiāre possum:

“ ‘Ō quid solūtīs[13] est beātius cūrīs,

Cum mēns onus repōnit,[14] ac peregrīnō

Labōre fessī vēnimus larem[15] ad nostrum

Dēsīderātōque[16] adquiēscimus[17] lectō!’ ”

“Tē laudō, Pūblī,” inquit Cornēlius, “quod tantam operam poētīs nostrīs dās;[18] etsī satis sciō multōs cīvēs nostrōs parvī[19] poētās omnēs facere. Sed nūlla est disciplīna, quā facilius ad hūmānitātem vēram perveniās.”[20]

“Sed mihi nunc abeundum est,” inquit mercātor. “Spērō aliquandō nōs iterum in urbe Rōmā convenīre posse. Iam valēte.”

“Vīve et valē,” inquiunt omnēs, ut mercātor in cymbam dēscendēbat; quī ad terram vectus brevī ē cōnspectū āmissus est inter hominēs quī convēnerant, ut cognōscerent quae nāvēs in portum noctū pervēnissent.

Interim līberī quam[21] longissimē prōspiciēbant, sī forte[22] Onēsimum et Stasimum redeuntēs aspicere possent. Cum autem diū frūstrā exspectāssent, Annam quaerere coepērunt, ratī eī persuādērī posse ut fābulam aliquam nārrāret, quō minus tardē hōrae discēdere vidērentur.

Anna, quae haud procul cum Lūciō cōnsēderat, cum līberōs vīdisset, rīsit et: “Quid nunc, līberī?” inquit. “Nōnne Onēsimus iam rediit?”

“Eum nusquam videō,” inquit Cornēlia. “Nōnne tū vīs aliquid nōbīs nārrāre, quō iūcundius tempus terere possīmus? Plūra dē virīs gentis vestrae audīre cupimus.”

“Vix intellegō unde potissimum[23] incipiam,” inquit Anna; “tam multa simul mihi in mentem veniunt; et ē multīs pauca ēligere haud facile est.”

“Dē bellātōribus aliquid dīc,” inquit Sextus. “Nihil eō[24] est iūcundius.”

At Cornēlia: “Nōlī ita facere, amābō,”[25] inquit. “Caedis et sanguinis mē iam diū taedet.[26] Aliquid et laetum et notābile nārrā, sīs.”

“Difficile est,” inquit Anna, “haec duo cōnfundere; sed experiar quidem: Ōlim erat vātēs, quī longē ā patriā in servitūtem dēductus erat. Diū apud[27] rēgem peregrīnum maximō in honōre habēbātur. Sed prīncipēs eius cīvitātis, invidiā commōtī, quod advena apud rēgem tantum[28] grātiā[29] valēbat, īnsidiās eī[30] fēcērunt.

“Vātēs deum patrium cotīdiē adōrābat, deīs autem aliīs exīstimābat nefās honōrem habērī.[31] Quārē inimīcī, quī haec omnia bene intellegēbant, rēgem dolō adortī, ‘Semper vīvās,[32] ō rēx!’ inquiunt. ‘Quod[33] neque in terrīs neque in caelō est quisquam tēcum cōnferendus, cēnsēmus ut ēdictum prōpōnās, nē quis[34] hīs[35] trīgintā diēbus quemquam nisi[36] tē adōret; sī quis aliter fēcerit, ad bēstiās damnātus estō.’[37]

“Rēx, quem dolus omnīnō fefellerat, honōre sibi habitō laetus, libenter id pollicitus est, atque ēdictum prōposuit. Tum sērō[38] sēnsit sē ā prīncipibus circumventum esse; ēdictum enim rēgis semel prōpositum nec rescindī[39] nec mūtārī poterat.

“Omnia maerēns temptāvit, quō modō vātem cōnservāret, sed nihil reperiēbat; cumque prīncipēs convēnissent hominisque mortem postulārent, trīstis vātem ad bēstiās damnāre coāctus est.”

“Vāh!” inquit Cornēlia. “Haec mihi vehementer displicent.[40] Nōnne modo dīxī mē[41] iam diū[42] caedis sanguinisque taedēre?”

At Anna: “Manēdum,”[43] inquit, “dum reliqua audiās. Vātēs interim nihil[44] terrēbātur; sed in spēluncam leōnum plēnam dēmissus, cum saxum magnum suprā collocātum esset nē quā[45] effugere posset, laudēs tamen clārē deō suō cantāvit.

“Iam rēx, vigiliīs dispositīs, animō maximē conturbātō domum sē contulerat, ubi nec cibum capere nec somnō quiēscere potuit; sed noctem tōtam sollicitus vigilābat. Cum diēs dēmum illūxisset,[46] ē lectō surrēxit et celeriter ad spēluncam pervēnit. Quō ubi ventum est, vōce lāmentābilī: ‘Vērī deī vātēs,’ inquit, ‘adhūc vīvis?’

“Tum ē spēluncā audīta est vōx vātis: ‘Semper vīvās, ō rēx! Salvus sum; nam deus patrius nūntium mīsit, quī faucēs[47] leōnum praeclūderet.’[48] Quō audītō, rēx gaudiō ēlātus saxum āmovērī iussit; vātēsque incolumis ē spēluncā in lūcem redditus est.”

“Euge!” inquit Cornēlia. “Quam gaudeō rem ēventum tam fēlīcem habuisse!”

At Sextus: “Quid factum est,[49] obsecrō, illīs prīncipibus scelestīs, quī tantum dolum frūstrā fabricātī[50] erant?”

“Omnēs,” inquit Anna, “in vincula celeriter coniectī ūnā[51] cum uxōribus līberīsque ad bēstiās damnātī sunt. Quōs, ubi[52] in spēluncam sunt dēmissī, leōnēs saeviter[53] dīlaniāvērunt.” Tum subitō: “Sed Stasimum mihi videor procul aspicere. Nōnne is est?”

“Est profectō ipse,” inquit Sextus; līberīque celeriter abiērunt, ut audīrent quid novī[54] adlātum esset.

[1] iactātiō, -ōnis, f., tossing.

[2] ipsum: i.e., Cornelius.

[3] variē, adv., in various ways.

[4] quō: cf. III, 82.

[5] naufragus, -ī, m., shipwrecked man.

[6] paulum āfuit quīn, it lacked little but that; trans. freely.

[7] pictus, -a, -um, adj., painted; tabula picta, a picture.

[8] voveō, vovēre, vōvī, vōtus, tr., vow.

[9] apud, in.

[10] nāvita, -ae, m., sailor.

[11] Messēniō: voc.

[12] meō animō, in my judgment.

[13] solūtīs, relaxed; with cūrīs (abl. with comp.)

[14] repōnō, -pōnere, -posuī, -positus, tr., lay down.

[15] lār, laris, m., freely, rooftree.

[16] dēsīderātus, -a, -um, adj., longed for; abl. of place where in text.

[17] adquiēscō, -quiēscere, -quiēvī, intr., rest.

[18] quod . . . dās, for giving.

[19] parvī: gen. of value.

[20] perveniās: subj. indef. sec. sing.

[21] quam: cf. II, 74.

[22] forte: cf. V, 112.

[23] potissimum, best, i.e., by preference.

[24] eō: neut. abl., with comp.

[25] amābō: colloquial for obsecrō. It is an expression used mostly by women.

[26] taedet: impers.

[27] apud, at the court of.

[28] tantum: adv., lit., so much.

[29] grātiā: abl. of specif.

[30] eī, against him.

[31] honōrem habērī, that honor be paid. The clause is subject of esse understood.

[32] vīvās: a wish.

[33] Quod, since, in that.

[34] nē quis, (to the effect) that no one.

[35] hīs, these (coming).

[36] nisi: adv.

[37] damnātus estō: fut. imper.

[38] sērō, too late.

[39] rescindō, -scindere, -scidī, -scissus, tr., revoke.

[40] displiceō, -ēre, -uī, -itum, intr., be displeasing.

[41] mē: obj. of taedēre.

[42] iam diū: see note on IV, 114.

[43] -dum: intens. particle, just (wait).

[44] nihil: adv. acc.; cf. III, 40.

[45] quā: cf. , IV, 9.

[46] illūcēscō, -lūcēscere, -lūxī, intr., dawn.

[47] faux, faucis, f.; pl., jaws.

[48] praeclūdō, -clūdere, -clūsī, -clūsus, tr., shut, stop.

[49] factum est, with abl., became (of).

[50] fabricor, -ārī, -ātus sum, tr. devise.

[51] ūnā: adv.

[52] ubi, when.

[53] saeviter, adv., savagely.

[54] novī: neut.; partit. gen.

Photograph by D. N. Robinson



Cum servī in nāvem cōnscendissent, Onēsimus ad Cornēlium accessit, et: “Crassus ille, ere,”[1] inquit, “ad quem missī sumus, negōtiō cum quibusdam colōnīs[2] haud procul habitantibus contractō, hodiē māne rūs profectus est ut eōs convenīret, nec domum ante vesperum est reditūrus.”

“Male[3] hercle nūntiās,” inquit Cornēlius. “Iam hoc tantum[4] reliquum est, ut[5] hīc eius reditum[6] exspectēmus. Quārē tū, Stasime, abī, et Drūsillae nūntiā celeritāte iam nihil[7] opus esse.”

Postquam abiit Stasimus, līberī Onēsimum circumstābant, cupidissimē rogantēs quantum aut[8] quā faciē esset oppidum. Ille autem rēctā ad Annam profectus: “Quam vellem,” inquit, “Stasimum nostrum tū hodiē vidēre potuissēs!”

“Quam ob rem, obsecrō?” inquit illa. “An[9] iste vafer dēnuō lūdōs faciēbat?”

“Et lepidissimōs,” inquit Onēsimus. “Nam, ut ad hospitem vēnimus, summā cōmitāte acceptī in ātriō[10] sedēbāmus, dum quaererētur[11] quam mox dominus reditūrus esset.

“Cum ita morārēmur, subitō intrāvit servus rūsticus, quī nūper ē vīllā in urbem arcessītus erat. Ille raucā vōce: ‘Quī hominēs estis?’ inquit. Ac, priusquam ego respondēre possem, Stasimus, sē magnum ferēns:[12] ‘Ā rēge Indōrum,’ inquit, ‘nōs lēgātī sumus.’ ”

Photograph by R. S. Rogers


“Hahahae!” inquit Anna. “Quid tum fēcit iste rūsticus?”

“Prīmō obstupefactus est,” inquit Onēsimus. “Tum autem alia quaerere coepit, et sermō huius modī īnstitūtus est:

Servus. Dum hūc nāvigātis, multās terrās vōs vidēre oportuit.[13]

Stasimus. Ita vērō. Rēsque mīrandās ubique aspeximus.

Servus. Cum[14] hīc tempus terās, dē hīs rēbus mihi nārrā, sīs.

Stasimus. In Syriā ārdor sōlis maximus est. Sōlstitiālī[15] morbō ibi hominēs ut[16] muscae pereunt.

Servus. Papae! Saepe nostrō in fundō sōl satis fervidus[17] est, sed numquam tam exitiālis.[18]

Stasimus. Alternae arborēs sunt fulgurītae,[19] bovēsque alternīs in sulcīs[20] moriuntur.

Servus. Haec vix crēdere possum!

Stasimus. Quīn etiam multa sunt mīrābiliōra, quae nōndum dīxī. Quōdam locō cymbā vectī sumus ad caput amnis, quī dē caelō exorītur sub soliō Iovis.

Servus. Abī, mē lūdis. Etsī rūsticus sum, mē ita fallere nūllō modō potes. Pater meus in Syriā nātus est; eō praesente[21] tanta mendācia dīcere nōn audērēs.

Stasimus. Quīn etiam idem dīcam, sī avum[22] tuum addūcere velīs. Nōnne vīs reliqua audīre?

Servus. Audiam vērō; sed nihil mē crēditūrum polliceor.[23]

Stasimus. Dum mediō marī iter facimus, saepe sub flūctibus mōnstra mīranda nantia vidimus.

Servus. Sine dubiō multa tālia cēpistis, quae nunc vōbīscum in nāvī habētis.

Stasimus. Nihil cēpimus. Sed diēs complūrēs plānē vidēre poterāmus serpentem maximum oculīs ārdentibus, quī nāvem sescenta[24] mīlia passuum sequēbātur.

Servus. Exspectābat, crēdō, dum aliquis ē nāvī in aquam excideret, ut eius membrīs[25] vēscerētur.

Stasimus. Ōlim bovem, quae forte mortua est, in mare iēcimus, eamque tōtam mōnstrum illud ūnō morsū vorāvit.

Servus. Apage tē! Tālia nōn diūtius audiam.

“Sed iam redierant servī cēterī, quī nōs dē dominī negōtiō certiōrēs fēcērunt. Itaque statim ad nāvem discessimus.”

Tum Anna, cum satis rīsisset: “Male metuō,” inquit, “nē impudentiā suā Stasimus noster in maximum malum aliquandō incidat. Sed certē est puer admodum rīdiculus.”

“Rēctē dīcis,” inquit Onēsimus. “At nunc mihi abeundum est, ut ratiōnēs quāsdam cōnficiam”; quō dictō, lēniter ad cameram ambulāvit. Līberī autem, quī cupidissimē eius verba audierant, adhūc prope Annam morābantur; quam mox rogāvērunt ut sibi aliquid nārrāret.

At illa: “Vōbīs līberīs,” inquit, “nihil umquam satis erit. Quid nunc audīre vultis?”

Tum Cornēlia: “Fābulīs dē virīs vestrae gentis maximē dēlector. Nōnne est aliud eius modī, quod nōbīs nārrāre velīs?”

“Dum verba Onēsimī audiō,” inquit Anna, “mihi in mentem vēnit cuiusdam vātis,[26] quī Iōnās appellābātur. Is quoque multa mīranda in marī passus est.”

“Dē hōc nārrā nōbīs, sīs,” inquit Sextus.

“Ōrāculō quōdam,” inquit Anna, “Iōnās iussus erat Nīnivēn[27] proficīscī, ut oppidānōs dē īrā deī monēret. Cum autem eō[28] iter facere nōllet, nāvem cōnscendit, quae aliās in partēs proficīscēbātur.

“Mox ventō maximō mare turbātum est, ac brevī omnia hominibus mortem praesentem minārī vidēbantur. Iōnās autem somnō cōnsōpītus nihil audīvit, priusquam ā vectōribus cēterīs excitātus est.

“Tum omnēs, ad vōta conversī, suum quisque deum[29] precātī sunt ut ē perīculō tantō ēriperentur. Postrēmō autem ūnus: ‘Nihil hoc prōficit,’ inquit. ‘Sortēs, sociī, coniciāmus, sī forte ita cognōscere possīmus, cuius culpā in hoc tantum[30] malum inciderīmus.’

“Sortibus coniectīs, Iōnās est dēsignātus. Quem igitur in mare ēiēcērunt, ac tempestās serēna statim cōnsecūta est. Iōnam piscis immānis vorāvit, sed tribus post diēbus in lītus incolumem ēiēcit.”

“Hui!” inquit Sextus. “Mihi quidem etiam Stasimō[31] maiōra tū fingere posse vidēris.”

“Haec autem vēra sunt,” inquit Anna īrā incēnsa. “Nihil amplius ā mē hodiē audiētis.” Quae cum dīxisset, sē cum Lūciō in cameram recēpit.

Līberī igitur, ut potuērunt, hōrās diēī longās trahēbant. Sub noctem, cum iam advesperāsceret, vōx canentis[32] ē camerā ad eōrum aurīs adlāta est. “Audīte,” inquit Cornēlia; “māter Lūcium iam cōnsōpīre cōnātur.” Tum, ut omnēs tacentēs sedēbant, vōx Drūsillae plānē audīrī poterat:

“Nunc hominēsque[33] labōre gravātōs,[34][35]

  Nunc requiēs[36] pecudemque vocat;

Omnia lēniter arva[37] nigrēscunt,[38]

  Silva simul sine murmure[39] stat.

Sīdera,[40] parve,[41] micantia somnum

  Iam puerīs avibusque cient;[42]

Nunc oculōs, placidissime,[43] conde,

  Somnia dulcia tē maneant![44]

Lal-la-la, lal-la-la, cāre,[45] quiēsce,

  Mēter enim in tenebrīs vigilat.”

[1] ere: voc.

[2] colōnus, -ī, m., tenant farmer.

[3] Male, etc., I’m very sorry to hear it.

[4] tantum: adv.

[5] ut . . . exspectēmus: substantive clause explaining hoc, line 6.

[6] reditus, -ūs, m., return.

[7] nihil: adv. acc.; trans., ‘no.’

[8] aut: cf. II, 21.

[9] An: sign of a question.

[10] ātrium, -ī, n., hall.

[11] quaererētur: impers.

[12] sē magnum ferēns: i.e., putting on a lordly air.

[13] vōs vidēre oportuit, you must have seen; oportet is impers.

[14] Cum: causal; trans., ‘as.’

[15] sōlstitiālis, -e, adj., of the summer solstice; sunstroke or fever is referred to.

[16] ut, like.

[17] fervidus, -a, -um, adj., hot.

[18] exitiālis, -e, adj., deadly.

[19] fulgurītus, -a, -um, adj., struck by lighting.

[20] sulcus, -ī, m., furrow.

[21] eō praesente: abl. absol.

[22] avus, -ī, m., grandfather.

[23] nihil . . . polliceor, I do not promise that . . . anything.

[24] sescentī, -ae, -a, num. adj., six hundred, an indefinitely large number.

[25] membrum, -ī, n., limb; pl., body.

[26] cuiusdam vātis: gen., as often with verbs of remembering.

[27] Nīnivēn: acc. sing., Greek decl.

[28] eō, thither; cf. quō, whither.

[29] suum quisque deum, each his own god; a sort of parenthesis.

[30] hoc tantum (not adv.): trans. freely.

[31] Stasimō: abl. with comp.

[32] canentis, lit., of one singing.

[33] -que . . . -que: like et . . . et.

[34] gravātus, -a, -um, adj., weary.

[35] Music for this song will be found on page 239.

[36] requiēs, -ētis, f., rest.

[37] arvum, -ī, n., field.

[38] nigrēscō, nigrēscere, intr., grow dark.

[39] murmur, -uris, n., rustling.

[40] sīdus, -eris, n., star.

[41] parve: voc.

[42] cieō, ciēre, cīvī, citus, tr., summon, invite.

[43] placidissime: voc.; trans, as if adv.

[44] maneant, await; a wish.

[45] cāre: voc., darling.



Posterō diē hospes ad lītus māne praestō erat; ubi cymbam condūxit, et ad nāvem celeriter vectus est. Quī cum prīmum Cornēlium vīdit: “Salvē, Cornēlī,” inquit. “Gaudeō tē hūc incolumem pervēnisse. Dum Brundisiī morāberis, spērō tē apud mē in hospitiō futūrum; immō[1] fēcissēs melius, sī statim ad mē vēnissēs.”

Cui Cornēlius: “Benignē facis, Crasse, quī[2] nōs tam cōmiter hospitiō accipere velīs. Ac libenter apud tē paulisper morābimur; sed mox Rōmam prōgrediendum erit.”

Quae cum dicta essent, Cornēlius, portōriō[3] iam solūtō, Onēsimō imperāvit ut Drūsillae nūntiāret omnia iam parāta esse. Quae, nōn multum morāta, cum Annā līberīsque ē camerā ēgressa est; omnēsque cymbīs vectī harēnā optātā brevī potītī sunt.

Līberī, sī licuisset, libentissimē in harēnā lūsissent. Sed pater properāre iussit, nē quid morae[4] esset hospitī optimō, quī iam praeierat ad rēdās, quās ad lītus prōdūxerat, quō celerius Cornēlius cēterīque veherentur ad vīllam suam, quae satis longē ab urbe aberat.

Quō cum ventum esset, līberī gaudiō ēlātī discurrērunt, ut bovēs, ovīs, cēteraque omnia vidērent, quae in fundō habēbantur. Brevī autem revocātī sunt, ut cibum caperent; nam imprānsī[5] ē nāvī ēgressī erant.

Post prandium[6] Cornēlius ad urbem redīre coāctus est, ut quaedam cūrāret, priusquam Rōmam iter tendere inciperet. Līberī interim omnēs in partēs per fundum dēnuō errābant; sed postrēmō dēfessī sē recēpērunt in umbram arborum, ubi Anna servābat Lūcium, quī sēcum[7] in herbā lūdēbat.

Tum Sextus: “Spērō, Anna cāra,” inquit, “tē nōn adhūc nōbīs īrātam esse propter ea quae ego herī imprūdēns dīxī. Lūdendō nōs iam dēfessī sumus. Nōnne vīs aliquid nārrāre dē bellātōribus aut dē rē quāvīs[8] aliā?”

At Anna: “Herī īrā incēnsa sum,” inquit, “quod ea, quae nārrāveram, in sacrīs librīs nostrīs scrīpta sunt. Sī eōs lūdibriō[9] habitūrus es, nihil posthāc vōbīs nārrābō.”

“Nōlī timēre,” inquit Sextus. “Omnīnō nihil ita habēbimus.”

“Tum,” inquit Anna, “aliquid nārrāre cōnābor: Prīscīs temporibus gēns nostra in Aegyptō retinēbātur sub dūrō imperiō rēgis illīus regiōnis, cīvibusque meīs labōrēs multī et gravēs impositī sunt. Cotīdiē laterum[10] numerum certum coquere[11] coāctī, postrēmō sunt iussī laterēs etiam sine stipulā[12] cōnficere.”

“Rēgem quam inhūmānum!” inquit Cornēlia. “Quō modō hominēs miserrimī tantam crūdēlitātem ferre poterant?”

At Anna: “Diū nōn habēbant[13] quid facerent. Sed postrēmō inter eōs exortus est dux, Moysēs appellātus, quī eīs persuāsit ut clam fugerent, et in terram longinquam migrārent.”

“Quid fēcit rēx,” inquit Cornēlia, “cum haec audīvisset?”

“Ille,” inquit Anna, “ut prīmum[14] cognōvit nostrōs effūgisse, exercitum in ūnum locum cōgī iussit, et quam celerrimē cum equitibus profectus est ut fugientēs exciperet.”

At Cornēlia: “Spērō eum cōnsequī nōn potuisse.”

“Mox audiēs,” inquit Anna. “Dum exercitus rēgius cōgitur,[15] nostrī advēnērunt ad mare angustum, quod iter plānē occlūdēbat.[16] Sed forte tum ventus maximus, subitō coortus, aquam tantā vī reppulit,[17] ut via lāta per undās patēret; quā omnēs incolumēs ad lītus ulterius pervēnērunt.”

“Optimē factum!” inquit Sextus. “Interim quid faciēbat rēx?”

Tum Anna: “Rēx, cum eōdem[18] pervēnisset, viam per mare patefactam attonitus[19] vīdit. Quā autem ut ipse cum suīs trānsīre cōnātus est, ventō subitō dēficiente, aqua in locum rediit, rēxque ūnā cum equitibus suīs marī submersus est.”

“Omnēsne periērunt?” inquit Cornēlia.

“Ad ūnum[20] omnēs,” inquit Anna. “Nostrī autem interim ad loca dēserta properābant; ubi multōs annōs errāvērunt, dōnec pervēnērunt in regiōnem, ubi ego nāta sum.”

“Ibi tandem spērō omnia eīs ēvēnisse fēlīciter,” inquit Cornēlia, “et post tantōs labōrēs eōs placidā pāce quiēvisse.”

Sed Anna: “Longē aliter rēs ēvēnit. Nam Palaestīnī, gēns bellicōsissima,[21] tum eam terram incolēbant; quibuscum multōs annōs bella atrōciter[22] sunt gesta. Postrēmō autem hāc regiōne tōtā nostrī potītī sunt.”

Dum haec nārrantur, accessit Pūblius. Quem cum rīdentem animadvertisset, Sextus: “Quid est, frāter?” inquit. “Sī quid novī[23] factum est, nōbīs dīc, obsecrō.”

Tum Pūblius: “Modo in viā obvius fuī cuidam hominī, quī tantō aere aliēnō[24] opprimēbātur, ut omnia bona sua vēndere vellet. Itaque auctiōnem ubique conclāmābat.”

“Quō modō auctiō conclāmābātur?” inquit Cornēlia.

“Hōc modō,” inquit Pūblius: ‘Auctiō fīet māne diē tertiō. Vēnībunt[25] servī, supellex, fundī, aedēs; omnia vēnībunt praesentī pecūniā.[26] Vēnībit—uxor quoque, sī quis ēmptor vēnerit.’ ”

“Hominem īnfēlīcem!” inquit Anna. “Vērī simile est[27] eī esse uxōrem procācem. Sī ita rēs sē habet, crēdō eum omnia vēndere velle, ut aliquō[28] exsulātum[29] abeat.”

Iam autem tempus cēnae erat. Itaque omnēs libenter ad tēcta sē recēpērunt, cum interim Pūblius saepius sēcum:[30] “Ab ōvō usque ad māla.”[31]

“Quid tēcum totiēns loqueris, Pūblī?” inquit Sextus.

“Dīcō mē tam male ēsurīre,” inquit Pūblius, “ut etiam serpentium ōva edere possim.”

“Vāh!” inquit Cornēlia. “Cūr puerī tam foeda semper comminīscuntur?[32] Tālia non diūtius audiam.” Quae cum dīxisset, celeriter intrō praecucurrit.[33]

Interim pater, Brundisiō reversus, sēcum addūxerat quendam L. Torquātum, familiārem veterem, quī forte in oppidō se obtulerat; cui, etsī in Siciliam properābat, Cornēlius facile persuāserat ut ūnam noctem morārī vellet, quō melius amīcitia[34] prīstina renovārētur.

[1] immō, adv., in fact.

[2] quī, freely, in that; but note mood.

[3] portōrium, -ī, n., duty, tax.

[4] morae: partit. gen.

[5] imprānsus, -a, -um, adj., without eating.

[6] prandium, -ī, n., lunch.

[7] sēcum, by himself.

[8] quāvīs, any . . . you please.

[9] lūdibriō: dat. of service; cf. III, 35.

[10] laterum: nom., later.

[11] coquō, coquere, coxī, coctus, tr., make (bricks).

[12] stipula, -ae, f., straw.

[13] nōn habēbant, etc., did not know what to do, i.e., had no redress.

[14] ut prīmum, as soon as.

[15] cōgitur, was being mobilized; note the tense with dum.

[16] occlūdō, -clūdere, -clūsī, -clūsus, tr., block.

[17] repellō, repellere, reppulī, repulsus, tr., drive back.

[18] eōdem: cf. and quō.

[19] attonitus, -a, -um, adj., astounded.

[20] Ad ūnum, to a man.

[21] bellicōsus, -a, -um, adj., warlike.

[22] atrōciter, adv., savagely, fiercely.

[23] novī: cf. VII, 105.

[24] aliēnus, -a, -um, adj., of another, another’s; aes aliēnum, debt.

[25] Vēnībunt: see vēneō.

[26] praesentī pecūniā, for cash.

[27] Vērī simile est, impers. phrase, It is probable.

[28] aliquō: cf. quō, , and eōdem.

[29] exsulātum: supine.

[30] saepius sēcum: supply a verb of saying; saepius, again and again, very often (absolute use of the comparative, to indicate a high degree).

[31] Ab ōvō, etc.: i.e., from the first course to the last. Note the ā of māla.

[32] comminīscor, -minīscī, -mentus sum, tr., think up, imagine.

[33] praecurrō, -currere, -cucurrī, -cursus, tr. and intr., run ahead.

[34] amīcitia, -ae, f., friendship.


Posteā, mēnsīs remōtīs, cum lūmina accēnsa essent, Torquātus, quī iam sermōnī vacābat,[1] ab omnibus interrogātus est dē itineribus suīs; nam longē et lātē terrā marīque iter solēbat facere, ac multa iūcunda et mīrābilia nārrāre poterat.

Ac Pūblius: “Sī nūper,” inquit, “per mare septentriōnāle[2] nāvigāstī, nōs docē, sīs, num[3] ea vēra sint, quae apud Tacitum leguntur dē illō latere mundī.”

“Ego vērō,” inquit Torquātus, “nūper iter maximum sub septentriōnēs[4] fēcī; ac magnā ex parte vēra esse ea repperī, quae apud[5] Tacitum sunt.”

“Vērēne[6] igitur dīcuntur diērum spatia ibi maiōra esse quam in Ītaliā?” inquit Pūblius.

“Ita vērō,” inquit Torquātus. “Quīn etiam in Britanniā noctēs interdum tam sunt brevēs, ut in extrēmā parte īnsulae vix fīnem et initium diēī internōscere[7] possīs.[8] Ac sī nūbēs nōn officiant, quīdam adfirmant sōlis fulgōrem per noctem tōtam aspicī posse, neque eum occidere et surgere, sed velut[9] trānsīre.”

“Papae!” inquit Sextus. “Nōlim[10] diēs tam longōs esse. Puerīne ibi ad sōlis occāsum in lūdō retinentur?”

“Apud Britannōs,” inquit Torquātus rīdēns, “puerī equitant,[11] et armīs mīlitāribus exercentur. Ibi haec studia maximō in honōre sunt.”

“Puerōs fēlīcēs!” inquit Sextus. “Exīstimō mē aliquandō in illam īnsulam beātam migrātūrum.”

“Ego vellem[12] adfuissem,” inquit Pūblius, “cum Caesar prīmum Britanniam attigit. Quantā fuit virtūte ille signifer, quī in flūctūs dēsiluit suōsque in hostēs[13] dūxit!”

“Rēs ibi hodiē longē aliter sē habent,” inquit Torquātus. “Nūllī bellātōrēs barbarī, in lītore congregātī,[14] advenās harēnā prohibent. Sed ubique tūtō mercātōrēs commeant[15] ultrō citrōque.”

“Aliāsne quoque in partēs iter nūper fēcistī?” inquit Cornēlius.

“Maximē vērō,” inquit Torquātus. “Ē Britanniā profectus, usque ad Suionēs pervēnī. Ibi quoque noctēs tam brevēs sunt ut sōlis fulgor stellās obscūret. Quīn etiam aliquōs audīvī, cum dīcerent[16] sē sōlis currum ē marī ēmergentem audīsse, atque fōrmās quoque equōrum vīdisse et capitis radiōs.”

“Illud est maius quam ut ego crēdam,”[17] inquit Sextus. “Tūne,[18] pater, tālia crēdis?”

“Illud quidem vix crēdibile est,” inquit Cornēlius. “Sed, Torquāte, cum loca tam multa adierīs, age nunc, itinera tua ōrdine audiāmus.” Quā cohortātiōne inductus, Torquātus ōrdinem exposuit itinerum suōrum, ab eō tempore exōrsus, quō[19] eum novissimē[20] vīderant.

Iam autem līberīs erat tempus cubitum[21] eundī; ac Sextus et Cornēlia perinvītī cum mātre in conclāvia proxima sē recēpērunt. Tum Sextus: “Perrārō, māter, tū aliquid nōbīs nārrās. Minimē somnīculōsī[22] sumus, et libentissimē ā tē fābulam audiāmus.”

“Sī paucīs verbīs contentī eritis,” inquit Drūsilla, “dē leōne fābulam vōbīs nārrābō.”

“Euax!” inquit Sextus. “Spērō rem fore cruentam, ut Cornēlia artē dormiat.”

“Nōlī timēre, Cornēlia,” inquit māter. “Nihil sanguinis[23] effundētur.”

“Sanguinis iactūram ego doleō,” inquit Sextus; “sed audiāmus.”

Tum Drūsilla: “Ōlim, cum Rōmae spectācula ēderentur magna, et multae bēstiae immānēs in harēnam immitterentur, quīdam hominēs miserī, capitis[24] damnātī, ēlēctī erant, quī cum hīs mōnstrīs dēpugnārent;[25] in[26] quibus erat servus, quī Androclēs appellābātur.

“Maximē cōnspicuus[27] in harēnā erat leō eximius, quī aliās bēstiās omnēs vīribus et magnitūdine corporis longē superābat, quīque terrificō[28] fremitū oculōs omnium spectātōrum in sē saepe convertit. Is leō, cum Androclem aspexisset, prīmō quasi admīrāns paulisper stetit, tum lēniter et placidē ad eum accessit; deinde caudam[29] mōre canum clēmenter et blandē movēre coepit, ac postrēmō manūs hominis perterritī linguā suā permulcēbat.

“Hāc rē novā commōtus, imperātor iussit Androclem arcessī; ā quō quaesīvit cūr leō tam mīrābiliter eī pepercisset. Tum Androclēs rem mīrandam nārrāvit.

“Nam, ut dīcēbat, multō ante in Āfricā fuerat, cum dominus eam prōvinciam prōcōnsulārī[30] imperiō obtinēret;[31] cuius crūdēlitāte coāctus in loca dēserta postrēmō refūgit, ubi spēluncam latebrōsam[32] nactus[33] dēfessus quiēvit.

“Brevī autem, subitō experrēctus, sēnsit leōnem ingentem in spēluncam intrāsse. Prīmō perterritus spem omnem salūtis dīmīsit; tum autem animadvertit leōnem claudum esse ex[34] spīnā magnā, quae in pede dēfīxa erat.

“Interim bēlua lēniter accessit et sublātum pedem ostendit, quasi hominis opem ita peteret. Tum Androclēs, quamvīs[35] perturbātus, spīnam dētrāxit; et deinde per triennium[36] et homō et leō in spēluncā habitāvērunt, cum interim leō cotīdiē vēnātum[37] abīret, et homō, quī ignis cōpiam habēret nūllam, carnem merīdiānō[38] torrēret sōle.

“Sed ōlim Androclēs, quī forte ē spēluncā exierat, ā mīlitibus comprehēnsus ad dominum Rōmam missus est; ubi, ut[39] fugitīvus, ad bēstiās est damnātus. Quō modō factum est ut leō, quī quoque interim captus erat, in harēnā amīcum prīstinum laetus agnōsceret.”

Dum haec nārrantur, Pūblius, quī librum quendam quaerēbat, in conclāve intrāverat, et ille: “Cum tālia de bēstiīs audiō,” inquit, “admoneor dē verbīs poētae Vergilī, quī cecinit[40] quam mīrandae rēs futūrae essent, cum iterum aetās aurea in terrās rediisset:

“ ‘Ipsae[41] lacte[42] domum referent distenta capellae

Ūbera, nec magnōs metuent armenta[43] leōnēs.’ ”

Ac Cornēlia: “Et ego admoneor,” inquit, “dē fābulā, quam Anna nūper dē vāte nārrāvit, quī incolumis in spēluncā leōnum plēnā noctem perēgit.”

Tum, cum grātiae mātrī āctae essent, līberī cubitum iērunt.

[1] vacō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, intr., be at leisure (for).

[2] septentriōnālis, -e, adj., northern.

[3] num, whether.

[4] septentriōnēs, -um, m., (constellation of the) Great Bear.

[5] apud: cf. VII, 16.

[6] Vērēne: i.e., Vērē + ne.

[7] internōscō, -nōscere, -nōvī, -nōtus, tr., distinguish.

[8] possīs: subj. indef. second sing.

[9] velut, as it were.

[10] Nōlim: potential subjv.

[11] equitō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, intr., ride.

[12] vellem: cf. I, 58.

[13] hostēs: drawn up on the shore to prevent a landing.

[14] congregō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., gather.

[15] commeō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, intr., travel.

[16] cum dīcerent: i.e., dīcentēs.

[17] maius quam ut . . . crēdam, too much for me to believe.

[18] Tūne: i.e., + ne.

[19] quō: i.e., when.

[20] novissimē, adv., last.

[21] cubitum: supine.

[22] somnīculōsus, -a, -um, adj., sleepy.

[23] sanguinis: partit. gen.

[24] capitis, to death; gen. of penalty.

[25] dēpugnārent: note mood.

[26] in, among.

[27] cōnspicuus, -a, -um, adj., conspicuous.

[28] terrificus, -a, -um, adj., terrible.

[29] cauda, -ae, f., tail.

[30] prōcōnsulāris, -e, adj., proconsular, indicating that the governor was of the rank of ex-consul.

[31] obtineō, -tinēre, -tinuī, -tentus, tr., govern.

[32] latebrōsus, -a, -um, adj., hidden.

[33] nancīscor, nancīscī, nactus or nānctus, tr., light upon, find.

[34] ex, from the effect of.

[35] quamvīs, though.

[36] triennium, -ī, n., three years.

[37] vēnātum: supine.

[38] merīdiānus, -a, -um, adj., midday.

[39] ut, as (being).

[40] cecinit, predicted; see canō.

[41] Ipsae: i.e., of their own accord.

[42] lāc, lactis, n., milk.

[43] armentum, -ī, n., herd.


Prīmā lūce, cum Crassō bonō et Torquātō “valē” dīxissent, viātōrēs Appiā viā[1] Tarentum versus profectī sunt; atque ante sōlis occāsum iter vīgintī mīlium passuum cōnfēcerant.

Posterō diē longē prōgressī erant ā vīcō, ubi noctem proximam ēgerant, cum subitō rota solūta est. Quārē Stasimus ad vīllam haud procul est remissus, ut inde opem peteret.

Ubi omnēs ē rēdīs dēscendērunt, līberī per prāta lūdēbant laetī, cum interim Drūsilla et Anna cum Lūciō sub arboribus prope viam sedēbant. Tum Cornēlia: “Sine,[2] sīs, māter,” inquit, “Annam nōs comitārī, dum paulō līberius vagāmur. Nam prāta undique flōrum pulcherrimōrum plēna sunt, quōs carpere volō.”

“Fīat,”[3] inquit Drūsilla. “Sed cavēte nē longius[4] abeātis. Nam latrōnēs hīc vagārī dīcuntur; neque vōs vī auferrī volō. Interim ego hīc in umbrā cum Lūciō morābor.”

Sextus autem, quī flōrēs minimī faciēbat,[5] circumspicere coepit, quō modō tempus commodius tereret, ac subitō aspexit Onēsimum, quī prope segetem cōnsōpītus humī iacēbat supīnus.

Quārē fūrtim aggressus, repente magnā vī lapidem in segetem iēcit. Quō sonō audītō, Onēsimus exsiluit et: “Quid factum est, Sexte?” inquit. “Stasimusne iam ē vīllā rediit?”


“Brevi aderit,” inquit Sextus. “Sed ego, cum forte tē hīc cōnsōpītum iacēre aspexissem, anguem ingentem per segetem hūc rēpentem vīdī, cuius oculī sanguine et ignī suffūsī[6] erant, linguaque vibrāns[7] ex ōre ēmicuit. Lapidibus mōnstrum hinc dēterruī. Profectō dīs grātia maxima habenda est, quod[8] ego tam opportūnē adfuī.”

“Anguis vēstīgium nūllum inveniō,” inquit Onēsimus, quī iam fūstī[9] segetem magnā cum cūrā scrūtābātur;[10] “neque vērō ego dormiēbam, cum tū lapidēs iēcistī. Oculōs tantum[11] condideram, quia clārior[12] erat lūx.”

“Quō modō igitur accidit,” inquit Sextus, “ut tē tam quiētum tenērēs?”

At ille: “Audiēbam,” inquit, “quid in segete avēs loquerentur.”

“Quid est hoc quod ā tē audiō?” inquit Sextus. “Num[13] avēs loquī possunt?”

Et Onēsimus: “Sīc trāditum est,” inquit. “Id saltem quōdam in librō lēgī.”

Tum: “Oho,”[14] inquit Sextus. “Numquam suspicābar tē quoque fābulās nārrāre posse. Dīc mihi, sīs, dē avibus, quae loquī possunt.”

“Ōlim,” inquit Onēsimus, “erat avis, quae in segetibus nīdum suum habēbat. Pullī nōndum volāre potuērunt; quārē māter cotīdiē ībat cibum quaesītum. Quae cum abīret, semper pullōs iubēbat, sī quid novī fieret, id animadvertere, ut sibi, cum redīsset, nūntiārent.

“Diū nihil novī accidit; sed postrēmō dominus segetum ad locum accessit, ubi nīdus latēbat, et fīliō vocātō:[15] ‘Vidēsne,’ inquit, ‘frūmentum iam esse mātūrum?[16] Quārē abī statim, amīcōsque nostrōs rogā ut ad frūmentum metendum nōs crās adiuvent.’ Haec ubi dīxit, discessit.

“Mātrī, cum redīsset, pullī perterritī omnia nārrāvērunt, ac vehementer eam ōrābant ut statim tūtum in locum dēdūcerentur. Illa autem eōs ōtiōsō animō esse iussit: ‘nam,’ inquit, ‘sī amīcōrum operam dominus exspectat, nec[17] crās frūmentum metētur, neque hodiē necesse est ut vōs in alium locum dēdūcam.’

“Posterō diē dominus māne in agrīs praestō erat. Sōl fervet,[18] it diēs,[19] amīcī autem nūllī[20] veniunt. Tum ille rūrsus fīliō: ‘Abī,’ inquit; ‘cognātōs et adfīnēs[21] rogā, ut crās prīmā lūce ad metendum adsint.’

“Haec quoque mātrī pullī nūntiant; illa autem eōs hortātur ut sine metū sint. Nec rēs eam fefellit; nam cognātī et adfīnēs nihilō[22] alacrius ad metendum vēnērunt.

“Quārē fīliō dominus īrātus: ‘Valeant,’[23] inquit, ‘amīcī et propinquī. Tū autem crās prīmā lūce falcēs[24] duās dēprōme. Nōs ipsī frūmentum nostrīs manibus metēmus.’

“Haec ubi ex pullīs māter audīvit: ‘Tempus est abeundī,’[25] inquit; ‘nam sine dubiō id nunc fīet, quod ille dīxit.’ ”

“Ista certē est fābula īnsolita,” inquit Sextus; “nec satis intellegō, quō illa[26] pertineat. Quid significat, obsecrō?”

“Tribus verbīs,” inquit Onēsimus, “fābula haec docet: ‘Suam[27] quisque rem optimē cūrat’; nam neque amīcī nec propinquī dominum segetum tantī[28] faciēbant, ut frūmentum eius metere vellent. Sed nunc eāmus; nam rēda, ut vidētur, paene refecta est.”

Quōs cum appropinquantēs animadverteret, Drūsilla omnīs in partēs sollicita prōspicere coepit, sī forte vidēret Cornēliam et Annam, quae iam diū[29] aberant. Illae autem arboribus tum contēctae sunt; sed brevī manibus plēnīs rediērunt.

Drūsilla, cum violās[30] līliaque[31] candida vīdīsset, rīdēns: “Metuēbam,” inquit, “nē vōs in eundem cāsum incidissētis, quō Prōserpina ablāta est.”

“Numquid[32] malī eī accidit?” inquit Cornēlia.

At Drūsilla: “Mātrī eius saltem satis malī ēvēnit. Nam ōlim, cum Prōserpina, ut flōrēs carperet, ūnā cum puellīs aliīs per prāta vagārētur sinumque complēvisset, subitō ē terrā ēmersit Plūtō, rēx īnferōrum, quī eam in currum suum sustulit.

“Illa perterrita prīmō comitēs mātremque semel atque iterum vocāvit. Sed frūstrā; nam deus in colla[33] equōrum, nōmine quemque hortātus, habēnās excussit, rapidēque cum puellā āvectus[34] est.”

“Rem quam indignam!” inquit Cornēlia. “Ad īnferōsne puella īnfēlīx dēscendere coācta est?”

“Ita vērō,” inquit Drūsilla; “nam etsī nympha Cyanē[35] raptōris[36] curruī obstāre est cōnāta, Plūtō scēptrō[37] terram maximā vī percussit, ictūque viam in Tartara fēcit, quā statim equī et currus ē cōnspectū ablātī sunt.

“Tum per orbem terrārum longē et lātē māter maestissima vagāta est, neque usquam vēstīgium fīliae āmissae reperiēbat, priusquam in fonte Cyanēs[38] zōnam puellae forte animadvertit. Atque haud multō post ā nymphā Arethūsā certior facta est fīliam iam Plūtōnis uxōrem esse et rēgīnam īnferōrum.”

“Ego quidem,” inquit Cornēlia, “istī puellae nōn invideo; nec montēs aureōs merear, ut[39] in loca tam taetra ac terribilia dēscendam.”

Dum haec aguntur, omnia ad iter faciendum parāta sunt. Celeritāte iam erat opus; nam nox suberat, viaeque omnēs latrōnibus[40] īnfestae. Equī autem, morae impatientēs, libenter rēdās dūcēbant; ac viātōrēs, etsī mox tenebrae incēdere coepērunt, tamen longē et lātē prospicere poterant; nam, ut est[41] apud Horātium Flaccum:

“Nox erat et caelō[42] fulgēbat lūna serēnō.”

Sed omnēs cūrā magnā sunt levātī, ubi dēnique moenia Tarentīna[43] vīdērunt et in urbem receptī sunt.

[1] Appiā viā: built about 300 b.c.; paved with stone blocks.

[2] Sine: imper.

[3] Fīat, freely, very well.

[4] longius, too far; cf. saepius, IX, 88.

[5] minimī faciēbat, despised; minimī: gen. of value.

[6] suffundō, -fundere, -fūdī, -fūsus, tr., fill.

[7] vibrāns, -antis, part. as adj., quivering.

[8] quod, conj., that.

[9] fūstī: abl.

[10] scrūtor, -ārī, -ātus sum, tr., prod.

[11] tantum: adv.

[12] clārior: cf. longius, line 15.

[13] Num: marking an incredulous question.

[14] oho, interj., hello!

[15] fīliō vocātō: dat.

[16] mātūrus, -a, -um, adj., ripe.

[17] nec . . . neque, neither . . . nor.

[18] ferveō, -ēre, intr., glow.

[19] it diēs, time passes.

[20] nūllī: i.e., not at all.

[21] cognātōs et adfīnēs, (blood) relations and connections (by marriage).

[22] nihilō: strictly, abl. of degree of difference.

[23] Valeant, freely, a fig for; (represents valēte shifted to third person).

[24] falx, falcis, f., scythe.

[25] abeundī: i.e., to move.

[26] quō illa, etc., what its bearing is; cf. quō, III, 82.

[27] Suam, his own.

[28] tantī: cf. minimī, l. 18.

[29] iam diū: cf. note on IV, 114.

[30] viola, -ae, f., violet.

[31] līlium, -ī, n., lily.

[32] Numquid: Num here merely marks a question, and quid is indef.

[33] in colla, freely, over the backs.

[34] āvehō, -vehere, -vexī, -vectus, tr.; pass., ride away.

[35] Cyanē: nom. sing., Greek decl.

[36] raptor, -ōris, m., abductor.

[37] scēptrum, -ī, n., scepter.

[38] Cyanēs: gen. sing.; cf. line 97.

[39] ut, on condition that.

[40] latrōnibus: causal abl.

[41] est, freely, it reads.

[42] caelō: place where.

[43] Tarentīna, of Tarentum; adj. for gen., as often in Latin.

Photograph by Katherine Allen



Multō māne Onēsimus ad portum missus est, ut quaereret, num quae[1] nāvēs Syrācūsānae nūper eō appulsae essent; nam Cornēlius litterās inde missās spērābat.

Sextus, cum haec mandāta audīret, patrī: “Mihi videor,” inquit, “dē Syrācūsīs[2] ōlim audīvisse. Nōnne est oppidum Siciliēnse?”

“Rēctē dīcis,” inquit pater. “Maxima est urbs, ubi tyrannus Dionȳsius multōs annōs rēgnāvit.[3] Ibi Archimēdēs quoque aetātem ēgit.”

“Nōndum dē Archimēde audīvī,” inquit Sextus. “Eratne ille bellātor clārissimus?”

At pater: “Minimē vērō,” inquit. “Sed artis geōmetricae[4] et numerōrum perītissimus erat; quīn etiam vix aliud cūrābat. Cumque Syrācūsae ā Rōmānīs expugnārentur, adeō erat ille studiīs[5] suīs intentus, ut fremitum et clāmōrēs mīlitum dissonōs[6] nōn audīret, sed interim in terrā līneās[7] radiō scrīberet sēcūrus.”

“Bene certē eī erat, quī ita mala bellī oblīvīscī posset,” inquit Sextus.

“Rēs autem haud fēlīciter ēvēnit,” inquit Cornēlius. “Nam mīles vagus, quī praedandī[8] causā in aedēs inrūperat, strictō gladiō eum interrogāvit, quisnam[9] esset. Ille autem nihil respondit, sed prōtēctō manibus pulvere: ‘Nōlī,’ inquit, ‘circulōs[10] meōs turbāre.’ Quō audītō, mīles, cum sē dērīdērī putāret, Archimēdem gladiō percussit.”

“Cāsum quam atrōcem!” inquit Sextus.

“Sīc omnibus vīsum est,” inquit pater; “et dux Rōmānus suīs dīligenter praecēperat, nē quis hominī tam doctō[11] nocēret, etsī ille māchinīs maximā sollertiā perfectīs[12] victōriae Rōmānōrum multum obstiterat. Sed iam ego et Pūblius abitūrī sumus, ut theātrum īnspiciāmus. Vīsne tū nōbīscum īre?”

“Maximē vērō,” inquit Sextus. “Quam mox proficīscēmur?”

“Pūblium iam diū exspectō,” inquit Cornēlius; “atque opportūnē nunc accēdit. Adde gradum, Pūblī; abīre volō.”

“Invītus tibi in morā fuī,”[13] inquit Pūblius; “sed Stasimus iste scelestus coquum lūdificābat, et paulum āfuit[14] quīn sēriō[15] inter sē pugnārent. Abīre nōluī priusquam omnia componerentur.”

“Rēctē fēcistī, mī fīlī,” inquit Cornēlius, “atque tē laudō. Sed nunc properandum est, ut hīc adsīmus, cum Onēsimus ē portū redībit.” Quae cum dicta essent, alacrēs profectī sunt.

Ad theātrum ubi perventum est, Pūblius et Sextus fundāmenta maxima et spectāculōrum amplitūdinem[16] satis mīrārī nōn potuērunt, et Sextus: “Vix mōtū terrae,” inquit, “mōlem tantam cēnseō commovērī posse.”

At pater: “Rēs certē ita sē habet. Sed alibī interdum subsellia tam temere īnstitūta sunt, ut magnā cum clāde spectātōrum corruerent. Velut[17] Fīdēnīs[18] amphitheātrum ligneum[19] īnstrūxit quīdam Atīlius, quī neque fundāmenta solida subdidit,[20] neque firmīs[21] nexibus[22] trabēs[23] coniūnxit; cumque multitūdō omnis generis eō convēnisset spectāculōque gladiātōrum intenta esset, subitō subsellia concidērunt; quō cāsū quīnquāgintā mīlia hominum aut vulnerāta aut interfecta sunt.”


“Papae!” inquit Pūblius. “Proelium atrōx vix plūs malī intulisset.”

“Nōn sine causā hoc dīcis,” inquit Cornēlius. “Faciēs enim urbis tōtīus mūtāta est, atque, ut[24] antīquitus post proelia fierī solēbat, sīc tum domūs cīvium nōbilium patuērunt et fōmenta ac medicī passim praebitī sunt. Interim hominēs metū pallidī inter acervōs cadāverum[25] dēmenter uxōrēs, līberōs, cognātōsque quaerēbant.”

At iam Sextus: “Quid, obsecrō,” inquit, “est nomen illī mūrō, quī tam altē ēminet?”[26]

“Proscaenium[27] vocātur,” inquit pater. “Cuius ē fastīgiō[28] Rōmae Nerō imperātor saepe lūdōs spectāvit. Cumque pantomīmī[29] aemulī[30] inter sē pugnārent, ille signifer simul et spectātor proeliō[31] aderat; atque ad manūs[32] ubi ventum erat[33] lapidibusque et subselliōrum frāgmentīs[34] contendēbant, tum et ipse multa iaciēbat in populum,[35] atque ōlim etiam praetōris[36] caput graviter vulnerāvit.”

“Lūdum lepidum!” inquit Sextus. “Vellem adfuissem, ut hominēs discurrentēs vidērem!”

“Immō rem foedam, mī fīlī, et imperiō Rōmānō indignam,” inquit Cornēlius.

“At,” inquit Pūblius rīdēns, “imperātor ille, nisi fallor, nōn numquam ea sparsit in populum, quae[37] nēmō invītus reciperet, etsī iniecta erant.”

“Vērum dīcis,” inquit Cornēlius; “nam Lūdīs Maximīs[38] populō dōna grātissima sparsit—avēs cuiusque generis, vestēs, gemmās, aliaque eius modī.”

“Multī hominēs, crēdō,” inquit Pūblius, “capita sua libenter praebeant vulneranda, dummodo aurum et gemmae prō tēlīs sint.”[39]

“Lūdōs aliquōs spectāre pervelim,” inquit Sextus. “Nē histriōnēs[40] quidem in scaenā umquam vīdī. Nōnne spectācula lepida et iūcunda sunt?”

“Interdum et[41] rīdicula,” inquit pater. “Velut erat Fūfius quīdam, quī ōlim partēs[42] mātris dormientis agēbat. Brevī in scaenam prōcessit umbra[43] fīlī inhumātī[44], qui mātrem ōrābat ut corpus sepelīret[45]. Sed Fūfius, quī forte ēbrius erat, iam rē vērā dormiēbat; quārē neque umbram audīre poterat nec quidquam respondit. Quō animadversō, spectātōrēs omnēs ūnā vōce prō umbrā vōciferātī sunt: ‘Māter, tē appellō.’ ”[46]

“Hahahae!” inquit Sextus. “Hoc certē lūculentum fuit.”

“Sed,” inquit Cornēlius, “it diēs. Abeāmus[47] igitur, sī forte Onēsimus iam ē portū redeat.”

Ubi ad dēversōrium ventum est, ā Drūsillā certiōrēs factī sunt Onēsimum nōndum rediisse, et Cornēlius: “Multae nāvēs, ut opīnor,” inquit, “nūper hūc appulsae sunt; et vērī simile[48] est Onēsimum aliquantō diūtius āfutūrum. Quārē omnibus, ut cuique libet[49], sē interim licet oblectāre.” Quae cum dicta essent, aliī in aliam[50] partem discessērunt omnēs.

[1] num quae, whether any.

[2] Syrācūsīs: pl. town name; nom., Syrācūsae.

[3] rēgnō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, intr., rule.

[4] geōmetricus, -a, -um, adj., geometric.

[5] studiīs: dat.

[6] dissonus, -a, -um, adj., discordant.

[7] līnea, -ae, f., line.

[8] praedor, -ārī, -ātus sum, tr. and intr., plunder.

[9] quisnam, who, pray? -nam is intensive.

[10] circulus, -ī, m., circle.

[11] doctus, -a, -um, adj., learned.

[12] perfectīs: modifier of māchinīs.

[13] tibi in morā fuī: i.e., caused you delay.

[14] paulum āfuit: cf. VII, 13.

[15] sēriō, adv., in earnest.

[16] amplitūdō, -inis, f., extent.

[17] Velut, For example.

[18] Fīdēnīs: loc. of Fīdēnae.

[19] ligneus, -a, -um, adj., (made) of wood.

[20] subdō, -dere, -didī, -ditus, tr., put underneath.

[21] firmus, -a, -um, adj., strong.

[22] (nexus, -ūs), m., fastening, clamp.

[23] trabs, -bis, f., beam.

[24] ut, as.

[25] cadāver, -eris, n., dead body.

[26] ēmineō, -ēre, -uī, intr., tower.

[27] proscaenium, -ī, n., proscenium.

[28] fastīgium, -ī, n., top.

[29] pantomīmus, -ī, m., pantomime; a performer who carried on the action by gesture.

[30] aemulus, -a, -um, adj., rival.

[31] proeliō: dat.

[32] ad manūs: i.e., to fisticuffs.

[33] ventum erat: impers.

[34] frāgmentum, -ī, n., piece.

[35] populum: who supported the rival actors.

[36] praetor, -ōris, m., praetor.

[37] ea . . . quae, such things as.

[38] Lūdīs Maximīs: time when.

[39] prō . . . sint, take the place of.

[40] histriō, -ōnis, m., actor.

[41] et, also.

[42] partēs, rôle.

[43] umbra, ghost.

[44] inhumātus, -a, -um, adj., unburied.

[45] corpus sepelīret: cf. the note on VI, 26.

[46] Māter, etc.: the words of the play.

[47] Abeāmus: hortatory.

[48] vērī simile: cf. IX, 84.

[49] libet: impers.

[50] aliī in aliam: cf. III, 111.


Paulō post, cum iterum eōdem convēnissent, Pūbliō Cornēlius: “Modo dīcēbās,” inquit, “Stasimum nostrum coquum lūdificāsse. Quid, obsecrō, factum est?”

“Coquus,” inquit Pūblius, “piscēs in aquā condiderat, ut eōs refrīgerāret[1]. Stasimus autem, coquō nesciō[2], piscēs dētrāxit, et quōsdam cancrōs vivōs intrōdūxit. Cumque coquus imprūdēns manūs in aquam iniēcisset, cancer subitō eius digitum arripuit. Quō vīsō, Stasimus in cachinnōs maximōs effūsus est, coquus autem īrā commōtus cultrum[3] manūi rapuit; ac vērō paulum āfuit quīn hominem occīderet. Sed ego opportūnē proelium dirēmi[4].”

“Aliquandō istum scelestum impudentiae suae paenitēbit,” inquit Cornēlius. “Sed iam adest Onēsimus. Quid novī, Onēsime?”

“Per portum tōtum ambulāvī nāvēsque adiī omnēs,” inquit Onēsimus, “neque ūllam invenīre potuī, quae nūper Syrācūsīs solūta erat. Sed dīcēbant[5] crās duās inde exspectārī.”

Tum Cornēlius: “Etsī multō māne hinc abīre in animō habuī,” inquit, “manendum est, cēnseō; nam iam diū est factum[6], cum litterae nūllae Syrācūsīs mihi adlātae sunt.”

Itaque omnēs, usque ad cēnae tempus modīs dīversīs sē oblectāvērunt. Cum autem mēnsae remōtae essent, patrī Sextus: “Modo maximē dēlectātus sum eīs[7],” inquit, “quae dē imperātōre Nerōne dīxistū. Nōnne vīs alia similia nunc nōbīs nārrāre?”

Ac pater: “Nerō imperātor puer[8] arte mūsicā imbūtus[9] est; cumque sē satis exercuisse exīstīmāret, in scaenam prōdīre cupiit, etsī nōn modo imperātōrī sed etiam senātōrī hoc indecōrum habēbātur. Et prōdiit vērō, Neāpolī[10] prīmum; ubi nē concussō quidem mōtū terrae theātrō[11] prius cantāre dēstitit, quam omnia rīte cōnfecta sunt.

“Posteā, cum magnī[12] putāret sē ostentāre etiam inter peregrīnōs, in Achaiam iter fēcit; ubi mūsica certāmina omnia obiit[13]. Comitātī eunt eum prīncipēs cīvitātis, in quibus erat Vespasiānus, is quī posteā imperātor factus est.”

“Cum imperātor[14] Nerō fuerit,” inquit Cornēlia, “crēdō eum optimē omnium cantāsse.”

“Errās, fīlia mea, cum ita exīstimās[15],” inquit Cornēlius. “Corōnae scīlicet omnēs eī dēlātae sunt. Sed vōx eius parva erat et fusca[16], nec quisquam eam cum voluptāte audiēbat; atque etiam dīcitur Vespasiānus, quī perinvītus imperātōrem comitābātur, saepe eō canente obdormīvisse; unde offēnsam[17] gravissimam contrāxit.

“Quīn etiam, cum canēbat imperātor, nē necessāriā[18] quidem causā cuiquam theātrō excēdere licuit. Quārē, clausīs portīs, multī audiendī taediō[19] fūrtim dē mūrō dēsiluērunt aut morte simulātā fūnere[20] ēlātī sunt.”

“Vix crēdibilia haec videntur,” inquit Drūsilla. “Sed nōnne sunt alia aequē mīranda, quae dē Caligulā imperātōre nārrantur?”

“Sunt vērō,” inquit Cornēlius. “Sed, Sexte, hoc prīmum mihi respondē. Scīsne unde imperātor illud cognōmen[21] trāxerit? Nam prīmō Gāius Caesar appellātus est.”

“Cognōmen Caligulae, crēdō, ē ‘caliga’[22] ductum[23] est,” inquit Sextus; “nesciō autem quō modō factum sit, ut imperātōrī inderētur.”

Tum Cornēlius: “Cognōmen Caligulae ē castrēnsī[24] iocō ille trāxit. Nam in paternīs castrīs ēducātus[25] est, eumque adhūc parvulum māter manipulārī[26] habitū vestiēbat; et, ut scīs, mīlitibus gregāriīs[27] calceāmentum[28] est caliga.”

“Facile conicere possum,” inquit Cornēlia, “quantā fuerit fēstīvitāte[29] puer, cum ita vestītus esset. Nōnne mīlitēs eum maximō studiō colēbant[30]?”

“Ita profectō,” inquit pater; ac ōlim, cum inter Germānicās[31] legiōnēs sēditiō maxima coorta esset, ac māter trīstis cum fīliō parvulō ē castrīs in proximam cīvitātem abīret, quō[32] mūnītiōre locō puer habērētur, tum mīlitēs, subitō ad paenitentiam[33] versī, vehiculum manibus retinuērunt, ōrantēs nē sibi tanta invidia impōnerētur, ut ducis fīlius alibī quam[34] in castrīs suīs vidērētur tūtior.”

“Crēdō,” inquit Cornēlia, “illum saltem optimum fuisse imperātōrem, quī puer tam amābilis fuisset.”

At pater: “Haec opīniō tē multum fallit, fīlia mea. Nam postquam imperātor factus est, multa ille commīsit tam absurda et mīranda, ut plērīsque plānē furiōsus[35] vidērētur.

“Velut cum, maximīs cōpiīs coāctīs, expedītiōnem in Britanniam simulāsset, in lītore Ōceanī[36] mīlitēs īnstrūxit ballistāsque disposuit. Nēmō quid tum āctūrus esset conicere poterat; at repente mīlitibus imperāvit ut conchās legerent galeāsque[37] complērent, cum glōriārētur haec[38] esse ‘spolia[39] Ōceanī’ et ‘Capitōliō[40] dēbita.’

“Quīn etiam in indicium[41] huius ‘victōriae’ altissimam turrim exstrūxit, unde (ut fit Brundisiī) noctū ad regendōs nāvium cursūs ignēs ēmicārent.”

Tum Pūblius: “Haud mihi mīrandum vidētur eum in Britanniam nōn trānsīsse. Nam trāditur, ut meminī, tam ignāvus[42] fuisse, ut ad[43] minima fulgura[44] caput tegere atque etiam sub lectum sē condere solēret.”

“Papae!” inquit Sextus. “Mē pudet tālī imperātōrī populum Rōmānum umquam pāruisse.”

“Dē eius equō quoque quaedam dīcenda sunt,” inquit Cornēlius. “Nam lūdīs circēnsibus[45] maximē studēbat imperātor ac prasinae factiōnī[46] tam erat dēditus, ut saepe in stabulō cēnāret.

“Equō illī erat nōmen ‘Incitātus’;[47] quī nē inquiētārētur, prīdiē lūdōs vīcīniae[48] silentium per mīlitēs imperātor indīcere[49] solēbat.

“Praetereā stabulum marmoreum[50] exstrūxit, equōque familiam et supellectilem dedit, quō lautius[51] eius nōmine ad cēnam invītātī acciperentur. Et vērō eī cōnsulātum quoque trādere dīcitur dēstināsse.”

“Hui!” inquit Sextus. “Ērubēscō audiēns. Spērō illum hōc[52] nihil peius commīsisse.”

“Pecūniae cupiditāte maximē incēnsus,” inquit pater, “cum immēnsōs aureōrum acervōs congessisset, per eōs nūdīs pedibus ambulāre solēbat, et nōn numquam tōtō corpore volūtātus[53] est.”

At iam māter: “Duae hōrae sunt, cum[54] Anna et Lūcius discessērunt; et tempus est, līberī, vōs quoque cubitum īre. Nam crās iter rūrsus est ingrediendum.”

Cornēlia autem: “Sine[55] maneāmus, sīs,” inquit, “dum pater aliquid amplius nārret. Nam haec omnia libentissimē audīvimus.”

“Ūnum modo addam,” inquit Cornēlius. “Tum vōbīs discēdendum erit; nam ego ratiōnēs quāsdam cum Onēsimō cōnficere volō:

“Quaestūs[56] cuiusvīs avidus, Caligula reliquiās omnium spectāculōrum per praecōnem[57] vēndidit; ac vērō usque eō[58] extendēbat[59] pretium, ut nōnnūllī, nūgās[60] immēnsō[61] emere coāctī, bonīs suīs[62] exuerentur[63] vēnāsque sibi aperīrent.

“Ōlim, cum auctiō tālis habērētur, quīdam Apōnius Sāturnīnus in subselliīs obdormīvit. Quō animadversō, imperātor praecōnem monuit nē virum crēbrō capitis mōtū sibi nūtantem praeterīret; nec licendī[64] fīnis factus est, priusquam Apōniō ignōrantī tredecim[65] gladiātōrēs vīlissimī sēstertium[66] nōnāgiēs[67] addictī[68] sunt.”

“Hahahae!” inquiunt līberī, quī iam aequō animō cubitum iērunt.

[1] refrīgerō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., cool.

[2] coquō nesciō: abl. absol.

[3] culter, -trī, m., butcher-knife.

[4] dirimdō, -imere, -ēmī, -ēmptus, tr., stop.

[5] dīcēbant, they said.

[6] est factum: from fīō. Trans. the phrase, ‘a long time has elapsed (in which).’

[7] eīs (abl.), the things.

[8] puer, (as) a lad.

[9] imbuō, -buere, -buī, -būtus, tr., train.

[10] Neāpolī: loc. of Neāpolis.

[11] concussō . . . theātrō: abl. absol.

[12] magnī: gen. of value.

[13] obeō, -īre, -iī, -itus, tr. and intr., enter.

[14] imperātor: pred. nom.

[15] cum ita exīstimās, in thinking so.

[16] fuscus, -a, -um, adj., husky.

[17] offēnsa, -ae, f., displeasure.

[18] necessārius, -a, -um, adj., pressing.

[19] taedium, -ī, n., weariness.

[20] fūnere, in a funeral train.

[21] cognōmen, -inis, n., nickname.

[22] caliga, -ae, f., half-boot.

[23] ductum, derived.

[24] castrēnsis, -e, adj., of the camp.

[25] ēducō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., bring up.

[26] manipulāris, -e, adj., of the rank and file.

[27] gregārius, -a, -um, adj., common.

[28] calceāmentum, -ī, n., footwear.

[29] fēstīvitās, -ātis, f., charm.

[30] colō, -ere, coluī, cultus, tr., regard.

[31] Germānicās, in Germany.

[32] quō: purpose.

[33] paenitentia, -ae, f., repentance.

[34] quam, than.

[35] furiōsus, -a, -um, adj., insane.

[36] Ōceanī: the English Channel.

[37] galea, -ae, f., helmet.

[38] haec: agreeing with pred. noun.

[39] spolium, -ī, n.; pl., spoils.

[40] Capitōliō: to which triumphal processions led.

[41] in indicium, freely, as a token.

[42] ignāvus, -a, -um, adj., timid.

[43] ad, at.

[44] fulgur, -uris, n., lightning.

[45] circēnsis, -e, adj., in the circus; dat. case in text.

[46] prasinae factiōnī, the green.

[47] Incitātus, Flyer.

[48] vīcīnia, -ae, f., neighborhood; dat. case in text.

[49] indīcō, -dīcere, -dīxī, -dictus, tr., order, enjoin.

[50] marmoreus, -a, -um, adj., of marble.

[51] lautē, adv., stylishly.

[52] hōc: abl. with comp.

[53] volūtō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr. and intr.; pass., wallow.

[54] cum, freely, since; but cf. note on XIII, 19.

[55] Sine: imper., governing the following verb.

[56] quaestus, -ūs, m., income, profit.

[57] praecō, -ōnis, m., auctioneer; per praecōnem, at auction.

[58] usque eō, to such a point.

[59] extendō, -tendere, -tendī, -tentus, tr., advance.

[60] nūgae, -ārum, f., trumpery, trifles.

[61] immēnsō: abl. of price.

[62] bonīs suīs: abl. of separ.

[63] exuō, -uere, -uī, -ūtus, tr., strip.

[64] liceor, -ērī, -itus sum, tr. and intr., bid; do not confuse with the impers. licet.

[65] tredecim, indecl. num., thirteen.

[66] sēstertius, -ī, m., sesterce (value about four cents); gen. pl. in text.

[67] nōnāgiēs, adv., ninety times; with sēstertium, centēnīs mīlibus (‘hundreds of thousands’) is understood. The amount then is 9,000,000 sesterces, or nearly $400,000.

[68] addīcō, -dīcere, -dīxī, -dictus, tr., knock down (at auction).


Posterō diē multō māne Onēsimus iterum ad portum profectus est, sī forte nāvis Syrācūsāna noctū appulsa esset. Līberī interim forīs ambulābant, dum quaerunt, quō modō optimē tempus tererent. Ac Sextus: “Pūblium legentem modo animadvertī,” inquit. “Adeāmus. Fortasse ille hodiē nōbīs aliquid nārrāre volet.”

Quae cum dīxisset, ad Pūblium accessit, et: “Quid legēbās, frāter?” inquit. “Nōnne vīs ea nōbīs nārrāre, quae tū modo lēgistī?”

“Librōs Suētōnī Tranquillī legēbam,” inquit Pūblius; “quibus admoneor dē eīs, quae pater nocte proximā dīxit; nam ex hīs librīs sūmpta sunt multa, quae tum audīvistis.”

“Plūra audīre volumus,” inquit Cornēlia. “Dē imperātōre Nerōne amplius lēgistī?”

“Multa vērō,” inquit Pūblius. “Ille, aequē ac[1] Caligula equōrum studiōsus, ab ineunte aetāte factiōni prasinae dēditus erat. Quīn etiam initiō[2] imperiī eburneīs quadrīgīs[3] in abacō[4] cotīdiē lūsisse dīcitur.

“Ōlim adhūc puer inter condiscipulōs[5] querēbātur quendam agitātōrem[6] factiōnis prasinae tractum esse[7]; ob eamque[8] causam cum ā paedagōgō[9] obiūrgātus[10] esset, dē Hectore[11] sē loquī audācter ēmentītus[12] est.”

“Ille igitur nōn modo crūdēlis sed etiam mendāx fuit,” inquit Cornēlia.

“Crūdēlissimus profectō erat,” inquit frāter; “nam nē lūdificāre quidem sine alicuius damnō aut perīculō voluit. Prīmā nocte, galērō capitī adaptātō[13], per viās tabernāsque vagābātur; cumque tabernās effrāctās[14] expīlāvisset, cīvēs ē cēnā domum redeuntēs verberāre solēbat, ac, sī repugnāverant, vulnerāre aut in cloācīs mergere.”

“Vāh!” inquit Sextus. “Facinus imperātōre Rōmānō quam indignum! Cum autem propter galērum ignōtus[15] esset, vix intellegō ex istīs rīxīs quō modō incolumis ēvāserit.”

At frāter: “Oculōrum[16] vērō atque etiam vītae perīculum interdum adiit. Velut ōlim ā quōdam senātōre paene ad mortem verberātus est, quod eius uxōrem in viā appellāverat.”

“Euge!” inquit Cornēlia. “Spērō eum sīc admonitum esse cīvēs Rōmānōs haud impūne lacessī posse.”

“Nūllō modō,” inquit Pūblius. “Sed posteā vesperī numquam prōdiit sine tribūnīs, quī occultē subsequēbantur, ut praestō essent, sī quod[17] in perīculum incidisset.”

“Imperātōrem tam impudīcum ōdī,” inquit Cornēlia. “Dē eō satis audīvimus. An aliī, obsecrō, sē tam turpiter[18] gessērunt?”

“Dē quibusdam,” inquit frāter, “similia nārrantur. Sīc dīcitur imperātor Othō, cum iuvenis esset, per viās noctū vagārī solitus esse; ac sī quis imbēcillus aut ēbrius eī obviam vēnerat, hominem in sagō[19] impositum altē iactābat.”

“Hahahae!” inquit Sextus. “Illud quidem aliquō modō excūsārī[20] potest; nam crēdō hominēs sīc rārō laesōs esse.”

At frāter: “Domitiānus vērō crūdēlitāte ipsā[21] gaudēbat. Quīn etiam trāditum est eum cotīdiē tōtās hōrās in sēcrētō ēgisse, cum interim nihil aliud agere quam ut muscās captāret[22] ac stilō trānsfīgeret acūtō. Ōlim, cum quīdam rogāsset, num quis cum imperātōre intus esset, haud absurdē[23] respōnsum est: ‘Nē musca quidem.’ ”

“Quāle mōnstrum hominis!” inquit Cornēlia. “Tālia perinvīta audiō. Dēsine, obsecrō, plūra eius modī dīcere.”

“Ūnum modo addam,” inquit Pūblius: “Quīdam poēta adeō Domitiānum ōderat[24], ut eum ‘calvum Nerōnem’ appellaret.˝

At Sextus: “Quid est[25], obsecrō, cūr plērīque calvitiem tantopere ōderint? Nam animadvertī paene omnēs calvōs rāritātis capillī suī pudēre.”

“Poēta Aeschylus saltem,” inquit Pūblius, “causam iūstam[26] habuit, cūr eum calvitiēī suae paenitēret[27].”

“Quō modō?” inquit Sextus. “Haec, sīs, nōbīs nārrā.”

“Memoriae[28] trāditum est,” inquit frāter, “illum ōlim, in Siciliā morantem, exīsse ex moenibus urbis et in locō aprīcō[29] sēdisse. Tum aquila, testūdinem rōstrō[30] ferēns, dēcepta splendōre[31] poētae capitis (nam erat capillō vacuum), lapidem esse rata, in id testūdinem immīsit, ut, testā[32] frāctā, carne vēscerētur. Quō cāsū poēta ēgregius occīsus est.”

“Vāh!” inquit Sextus. “Exitum quam mīrandum! Sed haec mē admonent dē fābulā, quam Anna nūper nōbīs nārrāvit.”

“Quid locūta est?” inquit Pūblius.

At Sextus: “Dīxit quondam gentis suae vātem calvum fuisse, quem puerī in viā cōnsectārī solitī essent, cum cantārent: ‘Abī in malam rem[33], calve; abī in malam rem, calve.’ Postrēmō vātēs, īrā incēnsus, ad līberōs conversus eōs exsecrātus[34] est; et statim ē silvā vēnērunt ursae ingentēs, quae eōs līberōs procācēs dīlaniāvērunt.”


“Anna certē rēs mīrandās nārrat,” inquit Pūblius. “Sed tū rēctē dīcis Rōmānōs paene omnēs calvitiem ōdisse. Quīn etiam trādunt[35] dīvum[36] Iūlium libentissimē recēpisse dēcrētum[37], quō eī licēret semper lauream[38] corōnam gestāre[39], quod ita nēmō rāritātem capillī animadverteret[40].”

“Imperātōrēsne omnēs aequē calvitiem ōderant?” inquit Sextus.

“Domitiānus vērō, dē quō modo dīxī,” inquit frāter, “librum dē cūrā capillī scrīpsit; et Caligula imperātor etiam morte multāvit[41] omnēs, quī ex superiōre parte aedium[42] in viam dēspexerant, cum ipse trānsīret.”

Quō dictō, ad tēcta reversī cognōvērunt modo redīsse Onēsimum, omniaque ad iter faciendum iam paene parāta esse.

Mox viātōrēs in rēdās ēscendērunt, brevīque viā strātā rapidē prōgrediēbantur. Sub noctem in vīcum parvum pervēnērunt, ubi cēnātī sine morā cubitum iērunt; nam iter longissimum adhūc erat faciendum.

Māne, cum celeriter gustāvissent, rēdīs per loca prātīs rīvīsque amoena vectī sunt. Ac Pūblius patrī: “Nōnne haec est regiō Ītaliae,” inquit, “ubi Horātius Flaccus nātus est?”

“Rēctē dīcis,” inquit Cornēlius; “nam eius patria erat oppidum Venusia, quō spērō nōs crās perventūrōs.”

“Rūra, ut opīnor,” inquit Pūblius, “ille semper amābat. Ego quidem libenter mēcum saepe meditor[43] quōsdam eius versūs, quī mihi iūcundissimī videntur:

“ ‘Beātus ille[44] quā procul[45] negōtiīs,

  Ut prīsca gēns mortālium,

Paterna rūra[46] bōbus[47] exercet suīs,

  Solūtus omnī faenore[48].

Libet[49] iacēre modo sub antīquā īlice

  Modo[50] in tenācī[51] grāmine[52];

Lābuntur altīs[53] interim rīpīs aquae,

  Queruntur in silvīs avēs,

Frondēsque[54] lymphīs obstrepunt[55] mānantibus,

  Somnōs quod[56] invītet levīs.’ ”

“Lepidissimī profectō sunt hī versūs,” inquit Cornēlius. “Sed umquam audīvistis quid poētae ipsī acciderit, cum adhūc parvulus in silvīs sōlus obdormīvisset?”

“Hoc ego quidem nōn audīvī,” inquit Cornēlia. “Nārrā, sīs, pater.”

“Ōlim,” inquit ille, “puerum amābilem, cum lūdō somnōque fatīgātus humī in silvīs sōpītus[57] iacēret, columbae foliīs ex arboribus dēcerptīs tēxērunt, nē quid malī eī dormientī accideret.”

“Rem quam bellam!” inquit Cornēlia. “Spērō nōs quoque columbās vīsūrōs, cum iter per eam regiōnem faciēmus.”

Sīc hōrās longās sermōnibus variīs terēbant; cumque sub noctem ab amīcō quōdam hospitiō acceptī essent, posterō diē post cēnae tempus Venusiam laetī pervēnērunt. Ubi statim sē contulērunt ad caupōnem; nam Stasimus citō equō praemissus erat quaesītum quō commodissimē dēvertere possent.

[1] aequē ac, equally with.

[2] initiō: abl.

[3] quadrīgae, -ārum, f., four-horse chariot.

[4] abacus, -ī, m., side table.

[5] condiscipulus, -ī, m., fellow pupil.

[6] agitātor, -ōris, m., driver.

[7] tractum esse: i.e., by his horses in an accident.

[8] eamque: -que cannot be attached to ob.

[9] paedagōgus, -ī, m., attendant.

[10] obiūrgō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., reprove.

[11] Hectore: who was dragged around Troy behind the chariot of Achilles.

[12] ēmentior, -mentīrī, -mentītus sum, tr., make up a story.

[13] adaptātus, -a, -um, adj., fitted.

[14] effringō, -fringere, -frēgī, -fractus, tr., break open.

[15] ignōtus, -a, -um, adj., unrecognized.

[16] Oculōrum: eyes were often gouged out in street fights.

[17] quod: modifier of perīculum.

[18] turpiter: adv., disgracefully.

[19] in sagō, etc.: cf. ‘tossing in a blanket.’

[20] excūsō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., excuse.

[21] ipsā, unadulterated.

[22] quam ut . . . captāret, than catch.

[23] absurdē, adv., without point.

[24] ōderat: plup. of this verb stands for any past tense.

[25] Quid est, What is the reason?

[26] iūstus, -a, -um, adj., good.

[27] paenitēret: impers.; (with eum) trans., ‘regret.’

[28] Memoriae: dat.

[29] aprīcus, -a, -um, adj., sunny.

[30] rōstrō: abl. of means; trans., ‘in.’

[31] splendor, -ōris, m., resplendence.

[32] testa, -ae, f., shell.

[33] Abī in malam rem: a common form of malediction.

[34] exsecror, -ārī, -ātus sum, tr., curse.

[35] trādunt: i.e., dīcunt.

[36] dīvus, -a, -um, adj., deified (by action of the senate). Julius Caesar was the first to be so honored.

[37] dēcrētum, -ī, n., decree.

[38] laureus, -a, -um, adj., of laurel.

[39] gestō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., wear.

[40] animadverteret, would notice.

[41] multō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., punish; morte multō, put to death.

[42] aedium, houses.

[43] meditor, -ārī, -ātus sum, tr., con over.

[44] ille, the man.

[45] procul: sc. ā.

[46] rūra, freely, acres.

[47] bōbus: see bōs.

[48] faenus, -oris, n., interest, money cares.

[49] Libet, impers., it is pleasant.

[50] modo . . . Modo: cf. VI, 69.

[51] tenāx, -ācis, adj., clinging, thick, luxuriant.

[52] grāmen, -inis, n., grass.

[53] altīs: the water being low.

[54] frōns, frondis, f., leaf.

[55] obstrepō, -ere, -uī, intr., rustle over.

[56] quod, (in a sound) such as to; the rel. gathers up the general thought of the preceding line.

[57] sōpītus, -a, -um, adj., fast asleep.


Māne abīre dēstināverant; cum autem gustāssent, Anna maesta nūntiāvit Lūcium tam adsiduē flēre, ut plānē morbō labōrāre vidērētur. Quō audītō, Drūsilla: “Heu,” inquit; “semper metuēbam nē quid malī illī parvulō miserō accideret, cum tam raptim terrā marīque iter facerēmus. Quid nunc faciendum est?”

Interim accesserat caupō avārus; quī, ubi haec audīvit, cum hospitēs tam locuplētēs quam diūtissimē apud sē retinēre vellet: “Etiam dī significāre videntur,” inquit, “hodiē vōbīs nōn abeundum esse. Nam modo in viā aliquem fīcōs[1] vēndentem audīvī, quī identidem ‘cauneās’[2] clāmāret.”

“Quō modō istud ad rem pertinet?” inquit Cornēlius.

“Ōmen manifestum est,” inquit caupō. “Nam etsī homō haud distīnctē[3] prōnūntiābat, idem fit quasi[4] ‘cavē nē eās’[5] dīxisset. Melius erit igitur, sī hinc hodiē nōn proficīscēminī.”

“Istīus modī rēs minimī faciō,” inquit Cornēlius; “et properāmus.”

At Drūsilla: “Paulisper, obsecrō, hīc morēmur. Medicum saltem adhibērī[6] volō, priusquam abeāmus.”

“Fīat,” inquit Cornēlius. Tum caupōnī: “Medicus statim arcessātur;[7] et cūrā[8] ut optimus ille sit.”

“Licet,”[9] inquit caupō; “nam haud procul habitat medicus, quō[10] melior etiam Rōmae vix invenīrī potest.”

“Bene[11] hercle nūntiās,” inquit Cornēlius. “Perge modo[12].”

Interim Anna ad Lūcium redierat, ac cēterī, morae impatientēs, in triclīniō sedēbant medicum exspectantēs, quī brevī advēnit. Et Cornēlius: “Salvē, medice,” inquit. “Fīlius meus parvulus minus bene[13] sē habet. Rōmam iter facimus. Celeriter eum sānārī volō.”

“Id quidem perfacile est,” inquit medicus. “Omnia ego facere possum. Modo crūs frāctum Aesculāpiō[14] obligāvī, et bracchium Apollinī. Quīn etiam mortuōs ex īnferīs excitāre soleō.”

At Cornēlius: “Crēdō[15]. Sed nunc expōne quid nōbīs faciendum sit.”

Dum haec fīunt, Anna arcessīta adiit, in gremiō Lūcium fovēns[16]. Quō vīsō, medicus: “Fac ut eius pedēs appāreant,” inquit. Quōs cum pertractāsset[17], “Aquā gelidā,” inquit, “pedēs lavātō[18].”

“Tē obsecrō, medice,” inquit Drūsilla. “Febris[19] modo in eum incidit. Male metuō nē gravēdō[20] sequātur, sī aquā gelidā pedēs perfūsī erunt.”

“Sīc faciendum est,” inquit medicus, “sī fīlium salvum optās. Ac interim fac ut hoc medicāmentum tertiā quāque hōrā abundē[21] hauriat.”

Quae cum dīceret, ex amphorā medicāmentum ātrum, picī[22] simile, in pateram[23] effundēbat. “Haec omnia,” inquit, “sī ad[24] praescrīptum[25] fīent, crās puer aut sānātus aut mortuus erit. Tum redībō. Iam valēte.” Quō dictō, domum sē recēpit.

Tum Cornēlius īrātus caupōnī: “Quid vīs[26], sceleste?” inquit. “Audēsne hominem tam stultum et ineptum prō medicō arcessere? Crēdisne mē hōc venēnō meum fīlium interfectūrum esse?” Quae cum dīxisset, medicāmentum per fenestram apertam abiēcit, Annamque iussit Lūcium abdūcere, sī forte quiētō somnō eī melius foret[27].

Caupō vultū maestō discessit, etsī vērō gaudēbat hospitēs abīre nōndum audēre. Cum illī intus sollicitī exspectārent, subitō per fenestrās apertās audīta est vōx Stasimī, quī in āreā īnstitōrī vagō occurrerat. Inter quōs altercātiō[28] eius modī orta est:

Stasimus. Quis tū es homō, quī tam audācter hās aedēs adīs?

Īnst. Multās mercēs lepidās et mīrandās ego hīc in saccō ferō. Cīvem nōbilem hūc herī advēnisse audiō. Esne tū eius servus?

Stasimus. Ita vērō. Cuius tū servus es?

Īnst. Apage tē, nūgātor. Mēne[29] prō servō habēre[30] audēs? Quīn[31] ego rēgibus antīquīs[32] ortus sum.

Stasimus. Facile crēdō tē ortum rēge—fūrum.

Īnst. Quid ais, furcifer? Mēne fūrem esse īnsimulās?

Stasimus. Haud īnsimulō, quod[33] certō sciō.

Īnst. Cavē malum[34]. Huius modī verba ā servīs ego nūllō modō audīre soleō.

Stasimus. At verbera[35] sentīre solēs, cum dominus tē pendentem[36] paene ad necem[37] caedit[38].

Īnst. Aisne[39], carnifex[40]? Hōsne pugnōs[41] vidēs? Tē in somnum longissimum collocābunt, nisi tibi cavēs.

Stasimus. Amīcē[42] pollicēris; nam hās[43] noctēs trēs pervigilāvī[44], atque aliquem quaerō, quī faciat ut dormiam.

Īnst. Verbum adde ūnum, mastīgia[45], et tē ad terram colaphīs[46] adflīgam.

Stasimus. Tange[47] modo[48], custōs carceris. Oculōs[49] tibi effodiam, sī propius accesseris. Vīsne pugnāre?

Īnst. Caupōnem forās ēvocābō. Heus, caupō, exī et istum nūgātōrem hinc abige[50].

Stasimus. Abī, dormītātor[51]. Fue[52]! ālium[53] olēs[54]. Tē āmovē; discēde in maximam malam crucem[55]!

Tum autem ex aedibus celeriter ēgressus Pūblius: “Quid fit, Stasime?” inquit. “Nōnne scīs Lūcium dormīre, et omnia hīc tranquilla esse oportēre? Cūr audēs tantās turbās concitāre?”

“Hoc omnīnō oblītus sum,” inquit Stasimus, “propter hunc scelestum, quī modo parentēs suōs interfēcit domumque expīlāvit, atque hūc quoque fūrātum[56] venīre ausus est. Abī, nūgātor, discēde.”

At Pūblius: “Tacē, inquam. Sī hodiē clāmōrem iterum tollēs, maximō malō tuō[57] id faciēs.”

Tum īnstitor Pūbliō: “Tē ōrō, adulēscēns,” inquit, “ut mihi liceat mercēs meās mulieribus ostendere. Certō sciō, sī semel aspexerint, eās multa emere parātās fore.”

“Māter mea iam haud occupāta est,” inquit Pūblius. “Quārē mē sequere, ac mercēs ostende. Tū interim, Stasime, intempestīvās [58] facētiās[59] tuās alia in loca aufer.” Quō dictō, aedēs intrāvit, ubi Drūsilla et Cornēlia libentissimē īnspexērunt rēs mīrandās, quās īnstitor ē saccō suō prōmēbat[60].

Vix erat ille dīmissus, cum Anna nūutiāvit Lūcium placidē quiēvisse, ac eī iam[61] multō melius esse. Quod cum cognitum esset, omnēs gaudēbant; ac Cornēlius Onēsimum statim mīsit, ut caupōnem vocāret.

Iste scīlicet haud libenter audīvit Lūciō melius factum esse. Sed ratiōnem cōnficere[62] coāctus est; ac paulō post, pecūniā solūtā, viātōrēs iterum in rēdīs sedēbant, atque equī alacrēs viā strātā vehicula celeriter rapuērunt.

[1] fīcus, -ī, f., fig.

[2] caunea, -ae, f.; pl., dried figs (from Caunos in Caria).

[3] distīnctē, adv., exactly; cf. Dickens’s ‘fypunnote’ for ‘five-pound note.’

[4] idem fit quasi, it amounts to the same thing as if.

[5] cavē nē eās: a form of prohibition.

[6] adhibeō, -ēre, -uī, -itus, tr., call in.

[7] arcessātur, have . . . summoned.

[8] cūrā, see to it.

[9] Licet, freely, surely.

[10] quō: abl. with comp.

[11] Bene, etc.: cf. VIII, 6.

[12] modo, only.

[13] minus bene, etc., is not very well.

[14] Aesculāpiō: the god of physicians. Being a quack, the doctor makes up in boasting what he lacks in skill.

[15] Crēdō, ironical, very good.

[16] foveō, fovēre, fōvī, fōtus, tr., nurse.

[17] pertractō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., feel of.

[18] lavātō: fut. imper.

[19] febris, -is, f., fever.

[20] gravēdō, -inis, f., cold.

[21] abundē, adv., copiously.

[22] pix, picis, f., pitch.

[23] patera, -ae, f., dish.

[24] ad, according to.

[25] praescrīptum, -ī, n., orders.

[26] vīs, mean.

[27] foret: i.e., esset.

[28] altercātiō, -ōnis, f., dispute.

[29] Mēne: i.e., + ne.

[30] habēre, take.

[31] Quīn, Why.

[32] rēgibus antīquīs: abl.

[33] quod: rel.

[34] malum: i.e., a beating.

[35] verber, -eris, n.; pl., blows; pun on verba, line 71.

[36] pendentem, triced up.

[37] nex, necis, f., death.

[38] caedit: i.e., with the whip.

[39] Aisne, freely. What’s that?

[40] carnifex, -icis, m., wretch (lit., executioner).

[41] pugnus, -ī, m., fist.

[42] amīcē, adv., kindly.

[43] hās, these (past).

[44] pervigilō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, intr., keep awake.

[45] mastīgia, whipping-post, scoundrel.

[46] colaphus, -ī, m., buffet.

[47] Tange: sc. .

[48] modo, just.

[49] Oculōs, etc.: see the note on XIV, 34.

[50] abigō, -igere, -ēgī, -āctus, tr., drive off.

[51] dormītātor, ōris, m., loafer.

[52] fue, interj., phew!

[53] ālium, -ī, n., garlic.

[54] oleō, -ēre, -uī, tr., smell of.

[55] in . . . crucem: cf. Abī, etc., XIV, 77.

[56] fūror, -ārī, -ātus sum, tr., steal.

[57] maximō malō tuō: abl.

[58] intempestīvus, -a, -um, adj., untimely.

[59] facētiae, -ārum, f., levity.

[60] prōmō, prōmere, prōmpsī, prōmptus, tr., bring forth.

[61] eī iam, etc.; i.e., he was feeling much better.

[62] ratiōnem cōnficere, make out his bill.

Photograph by Grant Showerman



Iam per montēs via ferēbat[1], ac rēdae tardius prōgrediēbantur. Quō factum est ut sōlis occāsū viātōrēs nōndum Trivīcum pervenīrent, ubi eam noctem morārī cōnstituerant.

Caelum tamen erat serēnum, lūnaque lūcem modicam praebēbat; et equī fessī, quasi praesentīrent[2] pābulum haud procul abesse, ipsī[3] gradum accelerāvērunt. Sīc secundā hōrā noctis in vīcum perventum est.

Cum omnēs cēnātī sedērent ōtiōsī, “Animadvertistisne,” inquit Pūblius, “dum vīcō appropinquāmus, quandam domum magnam, ā viā haud procul collocātam, cuius pars ruīnā concidisse vidēbātur?”

“Ego vīdī,” inquit Cornēlia; “et nocte obscūrā terribilis erat eius faciēs. Nūllā condiciōne mihi persuādērī possit ut ibi noctū vager.”

“Quid timēs?” inquit Sextus. “Ego quidem ubique vel interdiū vel[4] noctū perlibenter vagārī soleō. Nē umbrās quidem mortuōrum timeō, quae noctū prope aedēs dēsertās volitāre dicuntur.”

“Āh[5], nōlī dē mōnstrīs tālibus dīcere,” inquit Cornēlia horrēscēns. Tum patrī: “Rē vērā, obsecrō, imāginēsne mortuōrum per tenebrās volitant et ā mortālibus aspicī possunt?”

“Tranquillō es animō,” inquit Cornēlius. “Imāginēs mortuōrum puellīs bene mōrātīs[6] nihil[7] nocēre possunt; nec tālia umquam ā bonīs līberīs aspiciuntur.”


At Pūblius: “Hīs dē rēbus multa modo lēgī in epistulā Plīnī minōris[8]; ac quaedam ibi trādita mihi quidem maximē mīranda vidēbantur.”

Tum Sextus cupidē: “Quid dīxit?” inquit. “Audīre pervelim.”

“Ōlim,” inquit Pūblius, “Athēnīs[9] erat domus splendida, sed īnfāmis; dīcēbant enim noctū intus audīrī strepitum vinculōrum, longius prīmō, deinde ē proximō. Tum appārēbat umbra horrida[10], senex squālōre[11] cōnfectus, prōmissō capillō et barbā sordidā. Crūribus[12] compedēs[13], manibus vincula gerēbat et quatiēbat.”

“Vāh!” inquit Cornēlia. “Cūr tū rēs tam dīrās legis?” atque ad mātrem propius accessit.

“Hominēs miserī,” inquit Pūblius, “quī ibi habitābant, trīstīs et inquiētās noctēs metū agēbant maximō, cum dormīre nūllō modō possent. Vigiliam[14] morbus sequēbātur, tum morbum mors. Nam etiam interdiū, quamquam discesserat umbra, imāginis memoria tamen eōrum mentēs semper sollicitābat.

“Postrēmō nēmō omnīnō reperīrī poterat, quī hīs in aedibus habitāre vellet, dōnec quīdam philosophus, nōmine Athēnodōrus, titulum[15] lēgit. Quī, pretiō audītō, causam vīlitātis[16] dīligenter quaesīvit. Quam cum cognōvisset, tantō magis aedēs condūcere cupiēbat.”

“Ille certē īnsānus fuit,” inquit Cornēlia, quae prae timōre vix sē continēre poterat quīn[17] dentibus crepitāret[18].

“Nūllō modō,” inquit Pūblius. “Philosophus erat, ut dīxī, atque eius modī rēs[19] summō studiō semper exquīrēbat.

“Aedibus conductīs, cum advesperāscere coepisset, tabulās stilum lūmenque poposcit animumque ad scrībendum intendit. Prīmō ubique erat silentium noctis; deinde procul vincula concutī coepta sunt.

“Ille tamen nec sustulit oculōs nec stilum remīsit. At iam in līmine, iam intrā līmen sonus audītus est. Tum aspexit, ac statim agnōvit umbram nārrātam[20], quae prope stābat ac significābat manū, quasi vocāret. Ille lūmine sublātō sine morā secūtus est.

“Lēniter ībat imāgō, quasi vinculīs gravis; cum autem in āream pervēnisset, subitō ē cōnspectū comitis ēvāsit. Ille vērō ibīdem[21] herbās foliaque collēcta posuit, quō facilius posterō diē locus reperīrī posset.

“Māne ad magistrātūs adiit, quī humum effodī iussērunt. Inventa sunt ossa nūda, catēnīs vīncta[22]. Quae pūblicē[23] sepulta sunt, et posteā haec domus umbrīs[24] caruit, quod[25] corpus iam rīte conditum erat[26].”

Hāc fābulā Cornēlia tantopere commōta est, ut eī nūllō modō persuādērī posset, ut cubitum īret. Et māter, “Agite, līberī,” inquit, “abīte iam, ut cum Onēsimō paulisper loquāminī. Fortasse ille aliquid vōbīs nārrābit.”

Līberī igitur in conclāve propinquum abiērunt, ubi Onēsimus, ratiōnibus omnibus cōnfectīs, sōlus sedēbat. Quī statim: “Quid nunc, līberī?” inquit. “Cūr nōndum cubitum īstis? Multō māne nōbīs hinc proficīscendum est.”

Tum Cornēlia: “Pūblius noster rēs tam terribilēs nārrāvit, ut dubitem an[27] hāc nocte ego umquam quiēscere possim. Nōnne tū nōbīs aliquid iūcundius nārrābis?”

“Nihil iam recordārī possum,” inquit Onēsimus, “nisi fābulam dē mūribus duōbus. Eamne vōs umquam audīvistis?”

“Numquam, quod[28] sciam,” inquit Sextus. “Nōbīs nārrā, sīs.”

“Ut memoriae trāditum est,” inquit Onēsimus, “ōlim mūs rūsticus humilī in cavō suō urbānum amīcum hospitiō accēpit. Mēnsam omnibus rēbus, quās optimās[29] habēbat, studiōsē exstruēbat; sed superbō dente hospes singula vix tetigit, ac postrēmō: ‘Cūr, obsecrō,’ inquit, ‘rūrī miserē[30] vīvere māvīs? In urbe multō melius vīvitur[31]. Nōnne igitur mēcum domum proficīscī vīs, ut ibi dēmum vītam mūre dignam nōscās?’

“Hīs et tālibus[32] mūrī rūsticō persuāsum est ut, silvā relictā, cum amīcō ad urbem pergeret. Quō cum perventum esset, noctū ambō rēpsērunt sub moenia, ac brevī in aedibus cuiusdam hominis locuplētis vēstīgia posuērunt. Intus erant lectī purpureīs[33] aulaeīs[34] strātī mēnsaeque reliquiīs cēnae abundantissimae adhūc complētae.

“Mūs rūsticus, in lectō splendidō recumbēns, avidē gustābat omnia, quae alter benignē adferēbat, cum subitō forum ingentī strepitū ē lectō ambō excussī sunt, ac perterritī omnēs in partēs discurrērunt, exitum dēmenter quaerentēs, cum interim domus canum lātrātū resonārēt.

“Tum amīcō ille rūsticus: ‘Tū tibi haec omnia habē,’ inquit. ‘In silvam ego redeō, ubi ab insidiīs tūtus reliquam vītam meam quiētā mente agam. Tū valē.’ Quō dictō, per fenestram ēvāsit, ac celeriter ex urbe in silvam suam perrēxit.”

“Grātiās maximās tibi agimus,” inquit Cornēlia. “Haec fābula mihi maximē placet. Sed iam est abeundum.” Quae cum dīxisset, cum Sextō discessit, brevīque somnō artissimō ambō cōnsōpītī sunt.

[1] ferēbat, led.

[2] praesentiō, -sentīre, -sēnsī, -sēnsus, tr., divine.

[3] ipsī, of their own accord.

[4] vel . . . vel, either . . . or.

[5] āh, interj., oh!

[6] mōrātus, -a, -um, adj., behaved.

[7] nihil: adv. acc.

[8] minōris, the younger.

[9] Athēnīs: loc. of Athēnae.

[10] horridus, -a, -um, adj., awful.

[11] squālor, -ōris, m., filth.

[12] Crūribus . . . manibus: trans. the abl., ‘on.’

[13] compēs, -edis, f.; pl., fetters.

[14] Vigiliam, loss of sleep.

[15] titulum, placard.

[16] vīlitās, -ātis, f., low price.

[17] quīn, etc.: cf. quōminus, II, 41.

[18] crepitō, -āre, intr., chatter.

[19] rēs: pl. acc.

[20] nārrātam: i.e., which he had heard of.

[21] ibīdem, on the exact spot.

[22] vīncta: not victa.

[23] pūblicē, adv., at public expense.

[24] umbrīs: abl.

[25] quod: conj.

[26] conditum erat: cf. VI, 26.

[27] an, whether.

[28] quod; cf. IV, 26.

[29] optimās: trans. as if with rēbus. Superl. often so attracted.

[30] miserē, adv., wretchedly.

[31] vīvitur: impers.

[32] Hīs et tālibus: sc. verbīs.

[33] purpureus, -a, -um, adj., purple.

[34] aulaeum, -ī, n., coverlet.


Posterō diē viātōrēs, ubi gustāvērunt, iter lēniter faciēbant, cum pater Sextō: “Quā dē rē Onēsimus vōbīscum locūtus est,” inquit, “cum nocte proximā ad eum abīstis?”

“Dē duōbus mūribus dīxit,” inquit Sextus. “Mūs rūsticus, quī ab alterō ad urbem invītātus erat, ut ibi molliter[1] vīveret, amīcum in domum hominis locuplētis secūtus est. Cum autem mūrēs cēnae sūmptuōsae[2] reliquiīs ibi sē oblectārent, subitō cum canibus intrāvit aedium dominus. Tum metū paene exanimātus mūs rūsticus per fenestram ēvāsit, ac libentissimē rūs ad vīctum[3] tenuem iterum sē recēpit.”

“Eī, ut vidētur, accidit idem, quod Dāmoclī factum est,” inquit Pūblius.

At Sextus: “Quis, obsecrō, fuit iste Dāmoclēs? Hoc nōmen anteā numquam audīvī.”

“Tyrannī Dionȳsī adsentātor erat,” inquit Pūblius; “atque ōlim, cum illīus cōpiās, opēs, maiestātem[4] rērumque abundantiam[5] in sermōne commemorāsset, ac negāret umquam[6] beātiōrem quemquam fuisse, tum eī Dionȳsius: ‘Vīsne igitur,’ inquit, ‘quoniam tē haec vīta dēlectat, meam fortūnam ipse experīrī?’

“Ubi Dāmoclēs sē cupere dīxit, tyrannus hominem in lectō splendidō collocārī iussit, mēnsamque argentō aurōque caelātō[7] ōrnāvit. Deinde puerīs eximiā fōrmā imperāvit ut adessent[8], et Dāmoclī studiōsē ministrārent. Aderant unguenta[9], corōnae, incendēbantur odōrēs, mēnsaeque epulīs[10] lūculentīs exstruēbantur.

“Dāmoclēs iam scīlicet sibi fortūnātus vīsus est. Sed subitō tyrannus iussit gladium fulgentem saetā[11] equīnā[12] aptum[13] ē lacūnārī[14] ita dēmittī, ut capitī Dāmoclis impendēret[15]. Quārē ille miser nōn diūtius puerōs aspiciēbat pulchrōs, nec manum in mēnsam porrigēbat. Postrēmō vērō tyrannum ēnīxē ōrāvit ut sibi abīre licēret, quod iam ‘beātus’ esse nōllet[16].”

“Hahahae!” inquit Sextus. “Homō salsus profectō erat ille tyrannus. Dē eō plūra audīre cupiō.”

“Alia dē eō commemorāta,” inquit Cornēlius, “nūllō modō aequē iūcunda sunt. Cum enim metueret nē quis clam sē adorīrētur, vītam suam cūrā maximā custōdiēbat; quam ob rem causā incognitā[17] capitis damnāvit omnēs, quōs vīvere sibi perīculōsum esse putāret.”

“Quam crūdēliter[18] factum!” inquit Cornēlia. “Ille mihi vidētur dignus quī[19] comparētur cum istō Nerōne, dē quō nūper audīvimus.”

“Eī cum Nerōne[20] alia fuit similitūdō,” inquit pater. “Nam nōn modo erat crūdēlissimus, sed etiam sē poētam eximium esse exīstimābat; quārē tragoediās[21] suās in Achaiam mittēbat, cum certāmina ibi habēbantur. Et eī, quamquam versūs eius pessimī erant, ōlim corōna dēlāta est.”

“Prō certōne[22] compertum est,” inquit Sextus, “eius scrīpta[23] tam absurda fuisse?”


Ac Cornēlius: “Sine dubiō pessima fuērunt. Saepe enim domī quoque carmina sua recitābat; cumque adsentātōrēs omnēs in plausūs maximōs sē effundēbant, poēta Philoxenus, quī illīs temporibus apud eum[24] morābātur, semper sedēbat tacitus, aut etiam in cachinnōs ērumpēbat. Quem igitur tyrannus īrātus postrēmō in lautumiās abdūcī iussit.

“Sed nihilōminus vērus iūdex erat poēta. Nam ē lautumiīs dēmum reductus, cum versūs novōs tyrannī audīre cōgerētur, suā sponte surrēxit et recēdēbat. Hōc animadversō, Dionȳsius: ‘Quō abīs, Philoxene?’ At ille: ‘Ad lautumiās redeō,’ inquit.”

“Ille vērō poēta,” inquit Pūblius, “homō erat nōn modo salsus, sed etiam audāx.”

At Cornēlius: “Aequē praeclārum est responsum philosophi Diogenis. Cui holera[25] lavantī[26] cum dīxisset Aristippus: ‘Sī Dionȳsiō adsentārī vellēs, ista nōn ederēs,’ ille: ‘Immō[27],’ inquit, ‘sī tū ista edere vellēs, Dionȳsiō tē adsentārī nōn opus esset.’ ”

“Verba philosophō[28] digna!” inquit Pūblius. “Sed quae sunt istae lautumiae, dē quibus tū modo mentiōnem fēcistī?”

Tum Cornēlius: “Cavernae sunt ingentēs, ex rūpibus[29] cavātae[30], quibus prō carcere tyrannus ūtēbātur.” (Etiam hodiē ūna ex illīs lautumiīs ‘Dionȳsī auris’ appellātur, quod memoriae trāditum est eam ita fōrmātam[31] esse, ut resonandō vōcēs omnēs[32] ūnum in locum adferret; ibique cōnsistentem Dionȳsium solitum esse clam ea audīre, quae miserī intus inclūsī dē ipsō incautī loquerentur.)

“Mihi mīrandum vidētur,” inquit Pūblius, “eius cīvēs tot annōs crūdēlitātem tantam ferre potuisse. Sed dē eō iam satis dictum est; mihi Hannibalis calliditās[33] magis placet. Nōnne hīs in regiōnibus dux ille ōlim cum Rōmānīs manum cōnseruit?”

“Ita vērō,” inquit pater. “Nam haud procul hinc facta est pugna illa[34] Cannēnsis, inter paucās clādēs populī Rōmānī memorābilis. Hōc proeliō nostrī[35] circiter quīnquāgintā mīlia periērunt, ac paulum āfuit quīn illa diēs fīnem bellō adferret.”

“Plūra nārrā, sīs,” inquit Sextus. “Dē proeliīs semper perlibenter audiō, maximē cum Hannibal hostēs dūcit.”

“Alternīs diēbus,” inquit pater, “imperābant cōnsulēs, quōrum alter statim dēcertāre volēbat, alterī[36] vērō bellum prōdūcī melius vidēbātur. Ōlim, cum apud cōnsulem Varrōnem imperium esset, ad manum cum Poenīs cōnserendam exercitus ēductus est.

“Quārē Paulus, cōnsul alter, quamquam dīversa suāserat, tamen in castrīs morārī tantō in discrīmine rērum nōlēbat, ac perinvītus secūtus est; quī, prīmō statim proeliō[37] fundā graviter vulnerātus, suō cornū[38] tamen hostibus diū fortissimē resistēbat.

“Postrēmō autem Rōmānōs, quōs ārdor pugnandī incautōs longius[39] prōvexerat, equitēs hostium subitō ā tergō adortī sunt. Hinc erat initium fugae, ac Cn. Lentulus, tribūnus mīlitum, cum Paulum sanguine respersum in saxō sedentem vīdisset, eī equum suum trādere volēbat. At ille: ‘Abī,’ inquit, ‘et senātuī nūntiā ut urbem mūniat. Ego satis vīxī; hīc mori certum est[40].’

“Hannibal fortasse, sī properāre voluisset, urbem ipsam occupāre potuit; atque, ut id cōnārētur, Maharbal vehementer suāsit. Sed Hannibal, hāc[41] tantā victōriā ēlātus, dēlīberandī[42] tempus poposcit. Quārē Maharbal: ‘Vincere scīs, Hannibal,’ inquit; ‘victōriā ūtī[43] nescīs.’ ”

At iam Drūsilla: “Ego et Cornēlia,” inquit, “carmina proeliīs praepōnimus. Nōnne versūs ūllōs recordārī potes, Pūblī?”

“Cum modo dē Dāmocle loquerēmur,” inquit ille, “mihi in mentem vēnit verbōrum Horātī Flaccī:

“ ‘Dēstrictus ēnsis[44] cui[45] super impiā

Cervīce pendet, nōn Siculae[46] dapēs

  Dulcem ēlabōrābunt[47] sapōrem,

    Nōn avium citharaeque[48] cantūs[49]

Somnum redūcent.’ ”

Dum hōc modō inter sē loquuntur, diēs abiit; ac paulō ante sōlis occāsum libenter oppidum Beneventum haud procul aspexērunt.

[1] molliter, adv., luxuriously.

[2] sūmptuōsus, -a, -um, adj., costly, lavish.

[3] vīctus, -ūs, m., fare.

[4] maiestās, -ātis, f., dignity.

[5] abundantia, -ae, f., abundance.

[6] negāret umquam, declared that . . . never.

[7] caelātus, -a, -um, adj., engraved.

[8] adessent, stand by.

[9] unguentum, -ī, n., ointment.

[10] epulae, -ārum, f., feast.

[11] saeta, -ae, f., hair.

[12] equīnus, -a, -um, adj., horse.

[13] aptum, suspended.

[14] lacūnar, -āris, n., ceiling.

[15] impendeō, -ēre, intr., overhang.

[16] iam . . . nōllet, he no longer wished; note mood, which shows quotation.

[17] causā incognitā: i.e., without trial.

[18] crūdēliter, adv., cruelly.

[19] quī, to be.

[20] Eī cum Nerōne, etc.: i.e., he was like Nero in another way.

[21] tragoedia, -ae, f., tragedy.

[22] certōne: i.e., certō + ne.

[23] scrīptum, -ī, n., writing.

[24] apud eum, at his court.

[25] holus, -eris, n., vegetables.

[26] lavantī, to him (as he was) washing.

[27] Immō, Nay, rather.

[28] philosophō: abl.

[29] rūpēs, -is, f., rock.

[30] cavō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., hollow (out).

[31] fōrmō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., shape.

[32] vōcēs omnēs: i.e., every word spoken.

[33] calliditās, -ātis, f., cleverness.

[34] illa, that famous.

[35] nostrī: nom.; trans., ‘of our men.’

[36] alter . . . alterī, one . . . the other.

[37] prīmō statim proeliō: i.e., at the very outset of the battle.

[38] suō cornū: place where.

[39] longius: cf. XI, 15.

[40] certum est: sc. mihi; I am resolved.

[41] hāc: trans, freely.

[42] dēlīberō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr. and intr., consider.

[43] ūtī: verb.

[44] ēnsis, -is, m., sword.

[45] cui: trans. as if gen.

[46] Siculae: Sicilian feasts were famed for sumptuousness.

[47] ēlabōrō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., contrive to yield.

[48] cithara, -ae, f., lyre.

[49] cantūs, tunefulness.

Photograph by Katherine Allen



Māne aliquantum[1] morae[2] factum est, quod ūnus ex equīs claudus esse vidēbātur, aliusque quaerendus erat. Interim Cornēlius cum fīliīs per oppidum vagābātur, ac pater puerīs multa nārrāvit dē proeliō ibi commissō, quō Pyrrhus rēx ā Māniō Curiō superātus est.

Cum postrēmō Appiā viā veherentur, Sextō Cornēlia: “Quid, obsecrō, vīdistī,” inquit, “dum per oppidum ambulābās?”

“Nihil mīrandum vīdimus,” inquit Sextus. “Sed quaedam audīvī dē rēge Pyrrhō et elephantīs, quōs ille prīmus in Ītaliam trādūxit,[3] quīque vulgō[4] ‘bovēs Lūcae[5]’ appellābantur, quod eorum genus ignōtum erat ac bēstiae prīmum in Lūcāniā vīsae sunt.”

At Cornēlia: “Vellem ego quoque tum adfuissem. Nam dē omnis generis ferīs libentissimē audiō.”

“Dē elephantīs,” inquit Pūblius, “nōn omnia tum commemorāta sunt. Ōlim fābulam lēgī, quae fortasse vōbīs iūcunda videbitur:

“In proeliō, quod ad Thapsum commissum est, virtūs cuiusdam mīlitis legiōnis quīntae maximē ēnituit[6]. Nam cum in sinistrō[7] cornū elephantus vulnerātus et dolōre incitātus in lixam inermem impetum fēcisset hominemque sub pede premeret et necāret, mīles ille sustinēre nōn potuit quīn sē armātum bēstiae offerret.[8]

“Quem postquam elephantus ad sē tēlō īnfestō venīre animadvertit, lixā relictō, mīlitem circumdedit proboscide, atque altē sustulit. Ille interim cōnstanter sē gessit, ac proboscidem, quantum vīribus poterat[9], gladiō caedēbat; nec fīnis fuit, priusquam elephantus, dolōre adductus, abiectō mīlite, maximō cum strīdōre[10] ad reliquās bēstiās sē recēpit.”

“Mīles ille,” inquit Sextus, “profectō fortissimus erat, quī tantō perīculō sē committeret. Nam vīrēs multitūdinis hominum vix cum rōbore[11] ūnīus[12] elephantī sunt comparandae.”

“Rēs ita sē habet,” inquit Cornēlius; “atquī[13] interdum elephantī ā mīlitibus singulīs occīsī sunt. Velut dīcitur Hannibal, cum captīvōs Rōmānōs quondam inter sē dīmicāre coēgisset, ūnum, quī supererat, elephantō obiēcisse, lībertātem hominī pollicitus, sī bēstiam occīdisset.

“Rōmānus sōlus in harēnam prōgressus, magnō Poenōrum dolōre[14] elephantum cōnfēcit, ac līberātus est. Sed Hannibal, ut apud Plīnium est[15], bēstiās fāmā huius dīmicātiōnis[16] in contemptum[17] Rōmānīs[18] ventūrās esse ratus, equitēs mīsit, quī victōrem abeuntem sequerentur atque occīderent.”

“Mihi vix crēdibile vidētur,” inquit Pūblius, “Hannibalem ita fidem fallere voluisse; nam ego eum, etsī Poenus erat, hostem generōsum fuisse semper putāvī.”

At Cornēlius: “Fortasse id, quod modo dīxī, falsō trāditum est.” Tum ad Sextum et Cornēliam conversus: “Vōsne līberī scītis, quō modō Hannibal elephantōs suōs flūmen Rhodanum trādūxerit[19]?”

“Nescimus,” inquit Cornēlia. “Nōnne vīs hoc quoque nōbīs nārrāre?”

Tum pater: “Sunt quī[20] trādant elephantōs nandō ad alteram rīpam trānsīsse; sed magis cōnstat[21] ratibus eōs trānsvectōs esse.

“Mīlitēs ratem pedēs ducentōs[22] longam in flūmen porrēctam terrā iniectā ita cōnstrāvērunt, ut pontis speciem habēret; tum altera ratis centum pedum[23], ad trānseundum apta, huic coniūncta est. Elephantī prīmī, per stabilem ratem quasi per pontem āctī, in minōrem sine timōre prōgressī sunt.

“Tum subitō vincula sunt solūta, ac ratis minor aliquot nāvibus āctuāriīs[24] celeriter ad rīpam alteram rapiēbātur. Ibi prīmīs expositīs, elephantī aliī deinde repetītī sunt et trāductī.

“Nihil sānē timēbant bēstiae, dum[25] velut[26] per continentem pontem agēbantur. Cum ratis minor ab alterā solverētur, tum prīmus erat terror; atque, extrēmīs ab aquā cēdentibus, trepidātiōnis tantum ēdēbant, ut in flūmen exciderent qūidam. Hī autem, pondere suō stabilēs, vada pedibus quaerēbant ac postrēmō incolumēs in rīpam ulteriōrem ēvāsērunt.”

“Vērumne est,” inquit Pūblius, “elephantōs mūrēs aut ōdisse aut timēre?”

“Ita vērō,” inquit Cornēlius. “In Indiā autem et Āfricā sunt mōnstra, quae nōn sine causā ab eīs metuuntur; nam ibi nāscuntur serpentēs tantae magnitūdinis, ut facile elephantōs orbibus suīs obligent. Interdum et elephantus et serpēns simul pereunt, cum elephantus corruēns pondere suō serpentem ēlīdat[27].”

“Vāh!” inquit Cornēlia. “Rem audītū quam foedam!”

At Pūblius: “Ego quidem mihi videor recordārī ā quibusdam prō certō scrīptum esse[28] serpentēs in Indiā tantam ad magnitūdinem pervenīre, ut solidōs[29] hauriant cervōs[30] taurōsque. Atque omnibus nōtum est bellō prīmō Pūnicō ad flūmen Bagradam ā Rēgulō imperātōre serpentem centum vīgintī pedēs longam ballistīs expugnātam esse.”

“Dēsine, obsecrō,” inquit Cornēlia. “Sī tālia nārrātūrus es, ego hāc in rēdā nōn diūtius morābor.”

“Quiētō es[31] animō,” inquit frāter; “nam fīnem iam fēcī.” Tum Cornēliō: “Quod ad oppidum, pater, iam tendimus?”

Ac Cornēlius: “Caudium brevī adībimus; et spērō hodiē nōs etiam Capuam usque iter facere posse.”

“Nōnne Samnītēs,” inquit Pūblius, “clādem maximam in hīs regiōnibus populo Rōmānō ōlim intulērunt?”

“Rēctē quaeris,” inquit Cornēlius; “nam haud longē absunt Furculae Caudīnae, ubi exercitus Rōmānus sub iugum īre coāctus est.”

“Quid est quod ā tē audiō?” inquit Sextus. “An[32] nostrī mīlitēs umquam tantā ignōminiā[33] adfectī sunt?”

“Vellem id vērē negārī posse,” inquit pater. “Sed cōnfitendum est nōn tum sōlum[34] tāle dēdecus[35] admissum esse. Velut apud Horātium Flaccum, ille Rēgulus, dē quō modo audīvistis, cum ex Āfricā Rōmam revertisset:

        “ ‘Signa[36] ego Pūnicīs

Adfīxa dēlūbrīs[37] et arma

Mīlitibus[38] sine caede,’ dīxit,

‘Ērepta vīdī; vīdī ego cīvium

Retorta[39] tergō[40] bracchia līberō[41].’ ”

“Haec certē foedissima sunt,” inquit Sextus; “sed, sī tibi nōn est molestum, dē proeliō audiāmus, quod in hīs locīs commissum est.”

At Cornēlius: “Quādam in convalle[42] undique angustiīs et collibus clausā, Rōmānī, in īnsidiās dēlātī, omnibus ex partibus ab hostibus circumventī sunt. Quārē, cum nē in virtūte quidem spēs ūlla salūtis esset, nostrī summam ad dēspērātiōnem pervēnērunt. Tum hostēs sē Rōmānōs, sub iugum missōs[43], cum singulīs vestīmentīs incolumēs abīre passūrōs pollicitī sunt.

“Condiciōne acceptā, prīmī prōgrediēbantur cōnsulēs sēminūdī, deinde cēterī, cum interim circumstābant hostēs exprobrantēs atque ēlūdentēs. Quīn etiam gladiī sunt dēstrictī, ac Rōmānī aut vulnerātī aut occīsī sunt, quōrum vultūs victōrēs offenderant.

“Nostri, cum omnēs sub iugum missī essent, etsī ante noctem Capuam pervenīre poterant, dē fidē sociōrum[44] incertī, oppidum adīre nōn ausī sunt, ac prope viam passim humī corpora prōstrāvērunt[45]. Quod ubi Capuam dēlātum est, oppidānī, commeātū[46] benignē missō, summā cōmitāte Rōmānōs hospitiō recēpērunt.

“Interim Rōmae maestitia summa erat; quō cum cōnsulēs victī redīssent, senātū vocātō, dēcrētum est ut Samnītibus nūntiārētur irritam esse pācem ā cōnsulibus cōnfirmātam, quod iniussū populī facta esset. Nē[47] quis autem dīcere posset Rōmānōs fidem fefellisse, senātus praetereā dēcrēvit ut cōnsulēs, quī suo arbitriō pācem fēcerant, vīnctī hostibus trāderentur.”

“Nōnne cōnsulēs id recūsāvērunt?” inquit Sextus. “Nam tālēs captīvōs omnī cruciātū[48] necāre putō hostibus licuisse.”

At pater: “Immō alter[49] ex cōnsulibus id ipse vehementer suāsit, rem pūblicam ita omnī religiōne līberātam ratus, sī eī, quī pācem illam fēcerant, hostibus dēditī essent.

“Itaque cōnsulēs sine morā magistrātū sē abdicāvērunt[50] ac Caudium sunt dēductī; cumque ad portam urbis perventum esset, veste dētractā manūs eīs post tergum retortae sunt.

“Ubi ad tribūnal[51] imperātōris hostium vēnērunt Rōmānī, atque ante eum stābant cōnsulēs vīnctī, ille īrā incēnsus negāvit[52] rem ita compōnī posse, omnēsque Rōmam dīmīsit. Iūris haud perītus[53], scīlicet sēcum male āctum esse exīstimāvit; et paulō post bellum ācriter renovātum est.”

Ut haec dicta sunt, Stasimus in oppidum Caudium praemissus est, ut quaereret dēversōrium, ubi viātōrēs edendō vīrēs reficerent, priusquam Capuam inciperent iter tendere.

[1] aliquantus, -a, -um, adj., some; neut. sing, as noun, something.

[2] morae: part. gen.

[3] in Ītaliam trādūxit: later, elephants were sometimes used by the Romans also.

[4] vulgō, adv., commonly.

[5] Lūcae, Lucanian.

[6] ēnitēscō, -nitēscere, -nituī, intr., shine out.

[7] sinister, -tra, -trum, adj., left.

[8] quīn . . . offerret: cf. XVI, 48.

[9] quantum vīribus poterat: i.e., with all his might.

[10] strīdor, -ōris, m., trumpeting.

[11] rōbore, power.

[12] ūnīus, a single.

[13] atquī: not atque.

[14] magnō . . . dolōre, to the great chagrin.

[15] est: cf. XI, 114.

[16] dīmicātiō, -ōnis, f., fight, combat.

[17] contemptus, -ūs, m., contempt.

[18] Rōmānīs: dat.

[19] trādūxerit: with two accs. At the time here referred to, Hannibal was advancing to invade Italy.

[20] Sunt quī: cf. IV, 86.

[21] cōnstō, -stāre, -stitī, -stātūrum, intr.: cōnstat, impers., it is established.

[22] ducentī, -ae, -a, num. adj., two hundred.

[23] centum pedum: gen. of quality.

[24] āctuārius, -a, -um, adj., swift.

[25] dum, so long as.

[26] velut, as it were.

[27] cum . . . ēlīdat: cf. I, 61.

[28] scrīptum esse: impers.

[29] solidōs, whole.

[30] cervus, -ī, m., stag.

[31] es: imper.

[32] An: indicating surprise.

[33] ignōminia, -ae, f., humiliation.

[34] sōlum: adv.

[35] dēdecus, -oris, n., disgrace.

[36] Signa: sc. nostra.

[37] dēlūbrum, -ī, n., shrine.

[38] Mīlitibus: dat. of disadvantage.

[39] Retorta: i.e., tied.

[40] tergō: abl.; trans., ‘on.’

[41] līberō: i.e., of men not slaves by birth.

[42] convallis, -is, f., inclosed valley.

[43] sub iugum missōs: a temporal clause.

[44] sociōrum: i.e., the people of Capua.

[45] prōsternō, -sternere, -strāvī, -strātus, tr., throw down.

[46] commeātus, -ūs, m., supplies.

[47] Nē: purpose.

[48] cruciātus, -ūs, m., torture.

[49] alter, one.

[50] abdicō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr.; sē abdicāre, resign.

[51] tribūnal, -ālis, n., tribunal.

[52] negāvit: cf. negāret, XVII, 17.

[53] Iūris . . . perītus, skilled in law.



Cum hōram ūnam Caudiī morātī essent, rēdīs iterum profectī sunt. Dumque per rūra amoena celeriter vehuntur, Cornēlia: “Vidētisne,” inquit, “cacūmen[1] montis illīus, quī nūbibus miscērī[2] vidētur?” Quibus verbīs mōnstrāvit montem ingentem, quī ad occidentem[3] plānē aspicī poterat.

Et pater: “Hic,” inquit, “est mōns ille[4] Vesuvius, quī semel atque iterum agrōs et urbēs fīnitimās magnā clāde obruit.”

“Dē istīs rēbus,” inquit Sextus, “ego numquam audīvī. Dē hīs amplius, sī vīs.”

“Ē nātūrā locī,” inquit pater, “facile appāret etiam antīquitus clādēs maximās ibi exstitisse; sed patrum memoriā[5] facta est nōtissima illa calamitās[6], dē quā Plīnius loquitur in litterīs, quās ad Tacitum, familiārem suum, scrīpsit. Fortasse Pūblius, sī hās lēgit, vōbīs nārrābit quid ibi invēnerit.”

Quā cohortātiōne inductus Pūblius: “Plīniō erat avunculus[7] eiusdem nōminis, quī tum erat praefectus classī[8], quae Mīsēnī[9] agēbat[10]. Ille Plīnius maior[11] opus magnum cōnficiēbat, cui est nōmen ‘Nātūrālis Historia’; ac summō studiō exquīrēbat omnia, quae mīranda et vīsū aut audītū digna vidēbantur.

“Itaque ōlim, cum subitō eī nūntiātum esset in caelō appārēre nūbem īnsolitā magnitūdine et speciē, ex aedibus ēgressus ēscendit locum, unde commodissimē mīrāculum[12] illud cōnspicī poterat.


“Ibi cognōvit fūmum, immēnsae nūbī similem, orīrī ex monte, quī procul in adversō lītore stābat. Quārē statim Liburnicam parārī iussit, ut sinum trānsīre et rem tam mīrābilem propius nōscere posset.

“Sed iam advēnit tabellārius, litterās adferēns cuiusdam mulieris, quae in vīllā Vesuviō subiacente[13] morābātur. Imminente perīculō perterrita, illa Plīnium ōrābat ut sē discrīminī[14] ēriperet; nam nisi nāvibus nūllam fugae esse spem. Ille igitur cōnsilium mūtāvit et quadrirēmēs[15] aliquot dēdūxit, ut auxilium ferret omnibus, quī ex illō locō effugere vellent.

“Tum rēctum cursum in perīculum tenuit, cum interim summā dīligentiā observābat omnia, quae memorātū digna erant. Mox cinis in nāvēs incidere coepit; cum autem monēret gubernātor ut Mīsēnum redīret, ille vērō: ‘Fortēs,’ inquit, ‘Fortūna adiuvat,’ ac rēctā in perīculum contendit.”

“Ille certē intrepidus[16] erat,” inquit Sextus. “Quem exitum rēs habuit?”

At Pūblius: “Brevī audiēs,” inquit: “Ubi ad lītus nāvēs appulsae sunt, Plīnius in terram ēgressus hominēsque trepidantīs cōnsōlātus,[17] sē in balneum dēferrī iussit, ut suā sēcūritāte[18] timōrem cēterōrum lēnīret; ac paulō post, cum noctū flammae ex monte relūcērent, dictitābat[19] ab agricolīs ignēs relictōs esse vīllāsque dēsertās ārdēre.

“Interim flūctūs magnōs in lītus ventus tam adversus volvēbat,[20] ut inde nūllō modō nāvēs solvī possent. Quārē Plīnius quiētī sē dedit; cumque aliī ānxiā mente vigilārent, ille somnō artissimō quiēscēbat. Postrēmō autem ārea, pūmicibus[21] opplēta, tam altē surrēxerat, ut, sī diūtius intus morārētur, ē cubiculō[22] exīre eī omnīnō nōn licēret.

“Quārē ab amīcīs ex somnō excitātus sē cēterīs reddidit. Tum in commūne[23] cōnsultant utrum in tēctīs maneant an in apertō vagentur; nam tēcta crēbrīs ac vāstīs tremōribus nūtābant, in apertō autem lapidum cāsus metuēbātur.

“Tandem exīre cōnstituērunt, et cervīcālia[24] capitibus imposita sunt, quae contrā incidentēs lapidēs mūnīmentō[25] essent. Iam alibī erat diēs, sed illic nox omnibus noctibus[26] nigrior et dēnsior; quārē lūminibus viam explōrāre necesse erat.

“Placuit[27] iterum lītus adīre, sī forte iam ventus nāvēs solvere sineret; sed ibi omnia adhūc adversa erant. Tum subitō flammae et odor sulpuris[28] aliōs in fugam vertērunt; Plīnius autem, quī interim in harēnā recubuerat, prīmō surrēxit, sed statim concidit ac ibīdem mortuus est, spīritū cālīgine crassiōre[29] obstrūctō.”[30]

“Quid cēterīs[31] factum est?” inquit Cornēlia.

“Illī quidem,” inquit Pūblius, “incolumēs ēvāsērunt. Quī, cum prīmum lūx diēī iterum reddita est, eōdem reversī, eius corpus inlaesum[32] invēnērunt; quīn etiam illīus habitus quiēscentī[33] quam mortuō similior erat.”

At Sextus: “Ubi interim erat ille Plīnius, quī litterās scripsit?”

“Hic,” inquit pater, “Mīsēnī cum mātre relictus, prīmō aliquid temporis studiīs dat; nam tum duodēvīcēsimum[34] annum agēbat.[35] Tum sequitur balneum, cēna, somnusque inquiētus et brevis; nam mōtūs terrae noctū tam validī exstitērunt, ut omnia plānē ēvertī vidērentur.

“Quārē Plīnius et māter, ex aedibus ēgressī, in āreā cōnsēdērunt; ubi iuvenis ultrō librum Titī Līvī poposcit, et quasi ōtiōsus legēbat. Sed etiam in āreā erat magnus et certus ruīnae metus, quod tēcta proxima tremōribus maximīs quatiēbantur.

“Prīmā lūce dēmum oppidō excēdere vīsum est;[36] sed vehicula, quae prōdūcī iusserant, etsī in plānissimō campō, in contrāriās partēs agēbantur, ac nē lapidibus quidem fulta[37] in eōdem vēstīgiō quiēscēbant.

“Iam nūbēs in terram dēscendērunt, omniaque tenebrīs obscūrāta sunt. Tum māter fīlium vehementer hortārī coepit, ut, quō modō[38] posset, sē servāret; sē enim ipsam, annīs ac corpore gravem, bene moritūram, sī fīliō causa mortis nōn fuisset.

“Ille autem, manum eius amplexus, addere gradum coēgit. Brevī autem cinis cadēbat dēnsior; ac dē viā dēflectere[39] necesse erat, nē turbā hominum perterritōrum in tenebrīs obtererentur.[40] Ibi cōnsēdērunt, cum interim ululātus fēminārum, īnfantium vāgītus,[41] clāmōrēsque virōrum omnibus ex partibus audīrentur. Nam aliī parentēs, aliī līberōs, aliī coniugēs vōcibus quaerēbant.

“Iam cadēbat cinis tam multus et gravis, ut identidem surgere eumque excutere cōgerentur; opertī aliter essent et pondere ēlīsī. Sed postrēmō cālīgō tenuāta[42] in fūmum discessit; sōl etiam effulsit,[43] lūridus[44] tamen, quālis esse solet, cum dēficit.[45]

“Plīnius et māter, Mīsēnum reversī, noctem suspēnsam atque inquiētam ēgērunt; nam etiam tum tremōrēs terrae continuābantur.[46] Sed inde abīre nōluērunt, priusquam dē salūte avunculī nūntius certus pervenīret.”

“Multīne hominēs hāc clāde periērunt?” inquit Sextus.

“Plūrimī vērō,” inquit pater; “quīn etiam, ut modo dīxī, oppida tōta obruta sunt.”

Dum haec nārrantur, viātōrēs celeriter Capuam versus vehēbantur, et propinquīs iam tenebrīs in oppidum pervēnērunt.

[1] cacūmen, -inis, n., summit.

[2] misceō, miscēre, miscuī, mixtus, tr.; pass., mingle.

[3] occidēns, -entis, m., the west.

[4] ille: cf. XVII, 79.

[5] memoriā, within the recollection.

[6] calamitās, -ātis, f., calamity.

[7] avunculus: i.e., mother’s brother. He adopted his nephew; hence the latter’s name.

[8] classī: trans. as if gen.

[9] Mīsēnī: loc. of Mīsēnum.

[10] agēbat, was stationed.

[11] maior, elder.

[12] mīrāculum, -ī, n., wonder.

[13] subiaceō, -ēre, -uī, intr., lie near; governs dat.

[14] discrīminī: for dat., cf. XVIII, 103.

[15] quadrirēmis, -is, f., four-decker.

[16] intrepidus, -a, -um, adj., fearless.

[17] cōnsōlor, -ārī, -ātus sum, tr., cheer.

[18] sēcūritās, -ātis, f., freedom from anxiety.

[19] dictitō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., keep saying.

[20] volvō, volvere, volvī, volūtus, tr., roll.

[21] pūmex, -icis, m., pumice stone.

[22] cubiculum, -ī, n., bedroom.

[23] in commūne, together.

[24] cervīcal, -ālis, n., pillow.

[25] mūnīmentum, -ī, n., protection; dat. of service in text.

[26] omnibus noctibus: abl. with comp.

[27] Placuit: impers.

[28] sulpur, -uris, n., sulphur.

[29] crassus, -a, -um, adj., dense.

[30] obstruō, -struere, -strūxī, -strūctus, stop.

[31] cēterīs: abl.; cf. VII, 97.

[32] inlaesus, -a, -um, adj., uninjured.

[33] quiēscentī, to one sleeping; cf. canentis, VIII, 99.

[34] duodēvīcēsimus, -a, -um, num. adj., eighteenth.

[35] agēbat: was (in his —th year).

[36] vīsum est, it seemed best.

[37] fulciō, fulcīre, fulsī, fultus, tr., block.

[38] quō modō, in what(ever) way.

[39] dēflectō, -flectere, -flexī, -flectus, tr. and intr., turn aside.

[40] obterō, -terere, -trīvī, -trītus, tr., trample under foot.

[41] vāgītus, -ūs, m., wailing.

[42] tenuō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr.; pass., thin out.

[43] effulgeō, -fulgēre, -fulsī, intr., shine forth.

[44] lūridus, -a, -um, adj., murky.

[45] dēficit, is in eclipse.

[46] continuō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr.; pass., keep up.


Cum posterō diē iterum profectī essent, Cornēlius: “Haud procul abest locus,” inquit, “ubi Hannibal sollertiā magnā imperātōrem nostrum[1] ēlūsit. Sed dē hīs rēbus tū dīc, Pūblī; nam exīstimō tē apud Cornēlium Nepōtem haec nūper lēgisse.”

Tum Pūblius: “Rōmānīs Cannēnsī pugnā dēvictīs, Hannibal urbēs complūrēs occupāvit et postrēmō nūllō[2] resistente Rōmam profectus, in propinquīs urbī montibus cōnsēdit. Cumque aliquot diēs ibi castra habuisset et Capuam reverterētur, in agrō Falernō eī occurrit Q. Fabius Maximus, dictātor Rōmānus, dē quō dīcit poēta quīdam:

“ ‘Ūnus homō nōbīs cūnctandō[3] restituit rem.[4]

“Hannibal, locī angustiīs clausus, Fabium tamen callidissimē ēlūsit. Nam noctū bovēs, rāmīs in cornibus dēligātīs atque incēnsīs, omnēs in partēs vagātum[5] ēmīsit.

“Quī procul vīsī tantum terrōrem exercituī Rōmānōrum iniēcērunt, ut extrā[6] vāllum[7] ēgredī nēmō audēret; omnēs enim exīstimābant īnsidiās ab hostibus comparārī. Interim Hannibal nūllō prohibente cōpiās suās ē locō perīculōsō ēdūcēbat.”

“Nōnne Hannibal umquam proeliō superātus est?” inquit Sextus. “Mihi vidētur ille semper aut sollertiā aut virtūte suā superāsse.”

“Cum hoc idem bellum iam vīgintī ferē annōs gestum esset,” inquit Cornēlius, “Hannibal, in Āfricam redīre coāctus, Zamae[8] tantā clāde victus est, ut Carthāginiēnsēs sē Rōmānīs dēdere cōgerentur.”

“Quid postrēmō Hannibale ipsō factum est?” inquit Cornēlia.

“Fortasse,” inquit pater, “iam audīvistis eum post clādem acceptam diū cōnsiliō et operā patriam suam adiūvisse, tum autem clam domō abīre coāctum esse, quod suspicārētur sē brevī Rōmam obsidem[9] arcessītum[10] īrī.

“Primō ad rēgem Antiochum dēvertit, cui persuāsit ut bellum Rōmānīs īnferret; deinde, Antiochō victō, Crētam vectus est; unde postrēmō in Pontum ad rēgem Prūsiam sē contulit.

“Ibi cum cognōvisset Rōmānōs mīsisse lēgātōs, quī ā Prūsiā postulārent ut sibi[11] in custōdiam ipse trāderētur, suā sponte venēnum sūmpsit, quod semper sēcum habēre solēbat.”

“Cum mentiō venēnī facta sit,” inquit Pūblius, “mihi recordārī videor ōlim aliquem venēnō rēgem Pyrrhum interficere cōnātum esse. Sed certō sciō nostrōs numquam tantō scelere sē contāmināvisse.”

“Rēctē dīcis,” inquit Cornēlius; “nam Rōmānīs nōn est mōs venēnō bella gerere. Sed quīdam Tīmocharēs, rēgis ipsīus familiāris, ad C. Fabricium cōnsulem vēnit ac pollicitus est sē rēgem, sī praemium satis magnum prōpōnerētur, venēnō brevī sublātūrum; quod facile factū fore dīxit, quoniam fīlius suus in convīviō[12] pōcula[13] rēgī ministrāret.

“Hāc rē Rōmam ad senātum dēlātā, lēgātī statim missī sunt, quī Pyrrhum certiōrem facerent quantō in perīculō versārētur, eumque hortārentur ut īnsidiās cavēret domesticās.[14] Sīc cōnservātus, rēx grātiam maximam populō Rōmānō habuisse trāditur, omnēsque captīvōs, quōs tum habēret, sine mercēde[15] ultrō reddidisse.”

“Ut ad Hannibalem redeam[16],” inquit Pūblius, “nōnne ille aliquid facētē[17] dīxit dē cōpiīs Antiochī, cum ad illum rēgem sē contulisset, postquam domō fugere coāctus est?”

“Maximē vērō,” inquit pater. “Rēgēs barbari inānī[18] speciē mīlitum et fulgōre armōrum vehementer dēlectārī solent; tāliaque saepe plūris[19] faciunt quam rōbur et fortitūdinem.[20]

“Quārē, ut[21] Hannibal ad Antiochum pervēnit, rēx glōriāns, cum cōpiās suās argentō aurōque splendidās īnstrūxisset, Hannibalī: ‘Nōnne putās,’ inquit, ‘satis esse Rōmānīs haec omnia?’ At ille: ‘Satis esse crēdō Rōmānīs haec omnia, etiamsī[22] avārissimī sint.’ ”

“Dignē[23] respōnsum!” inquit Sextus. “Etsī mihi mīrandum vidētur Hannibalem voluisse tam apertē dēspicere cōpiās rēgis, quem ad bellum in Rōmānōs excitāre cuperet.”

Quae cum dicta essent, paulisper omnēs tacentēs sedēbant, dum equī rēdās celeriter viā strātā dūcunt. Tum Cornēlia: “Certīs intervāllīs,” inquit, “per viam lapidēs collocātōs iam diū[24] animadvertō. Cūr ita positī sunt, pater?”

At ille: “Haec sunt mīliāria,” inquit, “in quibus īnscrīptum est quam longē ā Rōmā distent. Ibi in forō est aureum[25] mīliārium, quod quasi[26] centrum[27] imperiī Rōmānī habētur.”

“Sōlāne in viā Appiā,” inquit Sextus, “mīliāria posita sunt?”

“Omnibus in viīs maiōribus Ītaliae inveniuntur,” inquit pater. Quō dictō, omnēs rūrsus conticuērunt.[28]

Interim sōl ārdēns in caelō fulgēbat; ac postrēmō equī aestū labōrāre coepērunt. Quārē, cum iam ventum esset ad locum ubi haud procul ā viā complūrēs arborēs altae umbram grātissimam praebēbant, rēdās cōnsistere Cornēlius iussit.

Hīc līberī, dum equī reficiuntur, aliquamdiū cum Lūciō libenter lūsērunt, quem Anna, palliolō substrātō,[29] humī posuerat. Tum Drūsillae Cornēlia: “Iam diū factum est,[30] māter,” inquit, “cum tū nōbīs nūllam fābulam nārrāvistī. Dē bellīs pater et Pūblius semper loquuntur. Nōnne tū vīs aliquid laetius nārrāre?”

At māter: “Metuō nē haud multa sciam, quae vōs audīre velītis. Sed fortasse numquam audīvistis quō modō Atalanta in mātrimōnium data sit.”

“Id quidem nōn audīvimus,” inquit Cornēlia. “Nārrā, sīs.”

Tum Drūsilla: “Atalanta erat rēgia virgō, quae cursū[31] virōs superāre solēbat; eam autem, cum pulcherrima esset, omnēs iuvenēs in mātrimōnium dūcere cupiēbant. Illa vērō, etsī nūbere nōlēbat, celeritāte tamen suā frēta[32] prōmīsit sē eī nūptūram, quī sē cursū superāsset.

“Lēx autem certāminis erat, ut competītor[33] victus occīderētur. Quā lēge dūrā haud dēterritī, multi, pulchritūdine virginis captī, in certāmen dēscendēbant; ac victī poenās dēdērunt.

“Postrēmō quīdam iuvenis, Hippomenēs nōmine, quī haec omnia procul aspexerat, amōre incēnsus, in certāmen dēscendit. Quī cum in mediō stadiō cōnstitisset, virginī: ‘Cūr facilem titulum tardīs superandīs[34] quaeris?’ inquit. ‘Tē mēcum cōnfer. Ego sum Neptūnī nepōs; ac, sī vincar, tū nōmen magnum et memorābile habēbis.’

“Hōc audītō, virgō, mollī[35] vultū iuvenis mōta, paulisper dubitat an superāre velit, et Hippomenam ā certāmine dēterrēre cōnātur. Ille autem in sententiā persevērat; ac rēx et populus cursum solitum poscunt.

“Tum Hippomenēs clam invocat[36] Venerem, quae forte aderat manū ferēns tria māla[37] aurea, quae modo in agrō sibi dēdicātō ex arbore flāvā dēcerpserat. Haec māla, nūllō[38] cernente, dea iuvenī dedit, docuitque quī[39] ūsus esset in illīs.

“Simulac signum tubā datum est, virgō et iuvenis ventō celerius per harēnam[40] prōvolant.[41] Illa facile superior erat; sed Hippomenēs, ā tergō relictus, subitō dē tribus mālīs ūnum prōiēcit. Virgō cōnstitit ac cupidē sustulit aurum. Interim iuvenis praeterit, et resonant spectācula plausū.

“Atalanta tamen celeriter moram corrēxit,[42] et iuvenem iterum post tergum relīquit. Mālō alterō prōiectō, virgō rūrsus cōnstitit, atque iterum cōnsecūta est. Tum Hippomenēs summā vī mālum tertium longē ā cursū prōiēcit; puella dubitat, tum aurum petīvit. Sīc virgō, morā et mālōrum pondere impedīta, praeterita est, atque Hippomenēs victor praemium cēpit.”

“Euax!” inquit Cornēlia. “Tālia mē dēlectant.”

Mox omnia ad proficīscendum parāta erant; et tantō alacrius equī iam prōgressī sunt, ut hōrā octāvā[43] ad oppidum Sinuessam pervenīrētur;[44] ubi viātōrēs libenter ē rēdīs dēscendērunt.

Drūsilla cum servīs statim sē recēpit in dēversōrium; cēterī autem per oppidum paulisper ambulāre mālēbant. Sed sub cēnae tempus omnēs ad tēcta rediērunt.

[1] nostrum, of ours.

[2] nūllō: replacing the abl. of nēmō.

[3] cūnctor, -ārī, -ātus sum, intr., delay.

[4] rem: sc. pūblicam.

[5] vagātum: supine.

[6] extrā: prep. with acc., beyond.

[7] vāllum, -ī, n., rampart.

[8] Zamae: loc.

[9] obsidem, (as) a hostage.

[10] arcessītum īrī: fut. pass. infin.

[11] sibi (pl.): the Romans.

[12] convīvium, -ī, n., banquet; in convīviō, at table.

[13] pōculum, -ī, n., cup.

[14] domesticus, -a, -um, adj., in the household.

[15] mercēs, -ēdis, f., ransom.

[16] Ut . . . redeam, To return.

[17] facētē, adv., wittily.

[18] inānis, -e, adj., mere.

[19] plūris: gen. of value.

[20] fortitūdō, -inis, f., courage.

[21] ut, when.

[22] etiamsī, conj., even though.

[23] Dignē, adv., rightly.

[24] iam diū: cf. IV, 114.

[25] aureum, gilded.

[26] quasi, as it were.

[27] centrum, -ī, n., center.

[28] conticēscō, -ticēscere, -ticuī, intr., fall silent.

[29] substernō, -sternere, -strāvī, -strātus, tr., spread underneath.

[30] factum est, etc.; cf. note on XIII, 19.

[31] cursū: abl. of spec.

[32] frētus, -a, -um, adj., relying (on).

[33] competītor, -ōris, m., contestant.

[34] tardīs superandīs: abl. of means.

[35] mollis, -e, adj.: freely, boyish.

[36] invocō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., invoke.

[37] māla: note the ā.

[38] nūllō: cf. XX, 7.

[39] quī, what (adj.).

[40] harēnam: i.e., of the course.

[41] prōvolō, -āre, -āvī, intr., fly forward.

[42] corrigō, -rigere, -rēxī, -rēctus, tr., make up for.

[43] octāvus, -a, -um, num. adj., eighth.

[44] pervenīrētur: impers.


Māne, dum viā Appiā celeriter vehuntur, Cornēliō Sextus: “Nūdius tertius,[1] pater,” inquit, “cum Capuae essēmus, aliquem audīvī dīcentem urbem illam ōlim gladiātōribus celeberrimam[2] fuisse. Quō modō hoc factum est?”

Tum pater: “Diū Capuae habēbātur[3] lūdus, ubi gladiātōrēs exercērentur; quī, cum eō genere pugnandī bene īnstitūtī essent, Rōmam missī sunt, ut ibi in harēnā populī dēlectātiōnis grātiā[4] operam ēderent. Neque enim est ūllum genus spectāculī quod plērīsque magis placeat.”

“Mihi quidem,” inquit Drūsilla, “omnia eius modī crūdēlissima videntur, et magis bēluīs digna quam hominibus.[5]

“Semper fuērunt nōnnūllī,” inquit Cornēlius, “quī tēcum sentīrent. Ac Cicerō ipse quōdam locō tālia spectācula hīs verbīs improbat:[6] ‘Quae potest hominī esse polītō[7] dēlectātiō, cum aut homō imbēcillus ā valentissimā[8] bēstiā laniātur,[9] aut praeclāra bēstia vēnābulō trānsverberātur?’

“Atque īdem[10] aliō locō scrīpsit sē cum eīs sentīre, quibus gladiātōrum spectācula inhūmāna vidērentur;—etsī exīstimat antīquitus aliter rem sē habuisse, cum capitis damnātī[11] inter sē dēpugnārent.”

“Dē hōc amplius, sī vīs, pater,” inquit Sextus; “nam dē huius modī certāminibus numquam audīvī.”

Ac pater: “Eīs temporibus, dē quibus dīcit Cicerō, interdum capitis damnātīs data est facultās optandī utrum statim morerentur, an aliquamdiū operam in harēnā eā condiciōne ēderent, ut, sī post certum tempus adhūc superstitēs essent, tum līberī[12] dīmitterentur. Cum hominēs ita inter sē dē lībertāte pugnārent, Cicerō certāmen honestius[13] nec[14] mōribus cīvitātis tam perniciōsum[15] putābat.”

“Nōnne aliquid simile ab Hannibale factum est,” inquit Pūblius, “cum bellum Ītaliae īnferēns Alpēs trānsīret?”

“Rēctē dīcis,” inquit Cornēlius. “Cum enim iam ad summōs[16] montēs pervēnisset et brevī in Ītaliam dēscēnsūrus esset, mīlitēs suōs nōn sōlum verbīs sed etiam rēbus cohortandōs[17] ratus, ad spectāculum eius[18] modī eōs convocāvit:[19]

“Captīvōs montānōs in mediō vīnctōs cōnstituit, armīsque ante pedēs eōrum prōiectīs, interpretem[20] interrogāre iussit num quis ferrō[21] dēcertāre vellet, sī victor[22] lībertātem arma equumque acciperet.

“Montānī omnēs ad ūnum cupidē ferrum pugnamque poposcērunt. Quārē sorte ēlēctī sunt, quī dēpugnārent. Interim aspiciēbant Hannibalis mīlitēs; quōrum mentēs maximē sunt cōnfirmātae, cum vidērent quam laetī in certāmen dēscenderent barbarī, quamque libenter mortem ipsam oppeterent.”

“Hoc quoque crūdēle mihi vidētur,” inquit Cornēlia. “Nūllane sunt spectācula, quae hominēs morī nōn cōgant?”

“Maximē vērō,” inquit pater. “Saepe populī dēlectātiōnis causā variae rēs īnsolitae et mīrandae indūcuntur.[23] Velut Galba ille, quī posteā imperātor factus est, novum spectāculī genus, elephantōs fūnambulōs,[24] ēdidit.[25] Et ōlim nōtissimus eques Rōmānus, elephantō vectus per fūnem[26] dēcurrit.[27]

“Vellem tum adfuissem,” inquit Cornēlia. “Tālia saltem perlibenter vīdissem. Erantne alia eōrum[28] similia?”

At pater: “Nōmen Daedalī, crēdō, saepe audīvistī. Meministīne quid eius fīliō factum sit?”

“Meminī vērō,” inquit Cornēlia. “Daedalus ālās fēcit, quibus fīlius per āera[29] magnum volāret. Īcarus autem ad sōlem propius[30] accessit; cuius ārdōre, cērā[31] mollītā,[32] ālae solūtae sunt, ac puer īnfēlīx in mare praecipitātus est.”

Tum pater: “Imperātor Nerō ōlim in amphitheātrō idem temptārī voluit,” inquit. “Sed ‘Īcarus’ prīmō statim cōnātū[33] dēcidit[34] atque imperātōrem ipsum sanguine suō respersit.”

“Paene Rōmānī nōminis[35] mē pudet,” inquit Cornēlia, “cum tālia audiō. Imperātōrem quam crūdēlem, qui hominēs tam perīculōsa temptāre coēgerit!”

“Aliud multō inhūmānius fēcit Caligula,” inquit pater. “Ille enim, cum ad cibum ferārum mūnerī praeparātārum[36] pecudēs cārius[37] comparārentur, ex capitis damnātīs dīcitur hominēs ēlēgisse, quibus ferae vēscerentur.”

“Quāle mōnstrum hominis!” inquit Drūsilla, “sī vērō[38] homō omnīnō appellandus est.”

“Naumachiam[39] quoque Nerō exhibuit,” inquit Cornēlius, “in lacū marīnā[40] aquā replētō, ubi etiam bēluae nābant; atque ā Claudiō spectāculum simile ēditum est.

“Hic autem, cum prōpugnātōrēs[41] (ut solent gladiātōrēs) conclāmāssent: ‘Avē,[42] imperātor, moritūrī[43] tē salūtant,’ diū dubitābat an eōs inter sē pugnāre iubēret; postrēmō vērō ad pugnam compulit,[44] signō proeliī ā Trītōne datō, quī māchinā ē mediō lacū ēmerserat.

“Sed iam illīs dē rēbus satis diū locūtī sumus. Fortasse tū, Drūsilla, līberīs aliquid iūcundius nārrābis.”

Illa prīmō abnuit; nam dīcēbat sē nūper minimum temporis lēctiōnī[45] dedisse; cum autem Sextus et Cornēlia blandius ōrārent: “Adhūc[46] puella,” inquit, “saepe dē rēge Midā fābulam audīvī. Hanc, sī vultis, vōbīs fortasse nārrāre possum.”

“Nārrā, sīs,” inquit Cornēlia. “Nōs ad audiendum parātī sumus.”

Tum māter: “Ōlim Midās, Phrygum rēx, grātiam maximam[47] ā deō Bacchō iniit, quod[48] Sīlēnum āmissum ad eum redūxerat. Quārē deus rēgī facultātem dedit optandī quid prō praemiō accipere vellet. Atque ille stultus: ‘Effice,’ inquit, ‘ut omnia, quae corpore contigerō,[49] in aurum flāvum vertantur.’ ”

“Haud stultus mihi rēx fuisse vidētur,” inquit Sextus; “nam istō modō dīvitiās maximās facillimē comparāre potuit.”

“Ipsī quoque,” inquit māter, “rēs prīmō ita sē habēre vidēbātur. Cum autem cibum capere vellet, et ministrī mēnsās dapibus optimīs exstrūxissent, tum haec quoque omnia rēgis tāctū[50] aurea facta sunt; quī, dīves et miser, quid faceret[51] nōn habēbat.”

“Mortālem īnfēlīcem!” inquit Cornēlia. “Quō modō ex tantīs malīs sē expedīvit?”[52]

Tum māter: “Ad caelum bracchia tollēns: ‘Dā veniam, pater Bacche,’ inquit; ‘peccāvī. Sed miserēre,[53] precor, mēque ex hōc malō ēripe.’

“Quō audītō, deus mītis revocāvit mūnus, et Midae imperāvit ut quōdam in fonte lavārētur. Quod cum factum esset, vīs[54] aurea ex corpore rēgis in aquam cessit; ac trāditum est in harēnā flūminis, quod inde orītur, grāna[55] aurea etiam hodiē reperīrī posse.”

“Papae!” inquit Sextus. “Hoc vērum esse vix crēdere possum.”

At māter: “Idem dīcēs, cum vōbīs aliud nārrāverō, quod posteā huic rēgī accidit:

“Nam deus Pān, dum nymphīs tenerīs carmina fistulā[56] modulātur,[57] glōrārī ausus est sē Apollinem ipsum cantū[58] superāre posse. Quārē illī duo ad certāmen sub Tmōlō iūdice[59] vēnērunt; quō in certāmine Pān facile victus est.

“Tmōlī iūdicium omnibus placuit; Midās sōlus dissentiēbat.[60] Quam ob rem prō tantā stultitiā Apollō aurēs rēgis in spatium trāxit, eāsque in speciem asinī aurium mūtāvit. Itaque Midās, ut hoc vitium[61] turpe tegeret, semper posteā caput tiārā[62] vēlāre[63] coāctus est.”

Dum haec dīcuntur, nūbēs in caelō cōgēbantur, brevīque imber frīgidus[64] cōnsecūtus est. Viātōrēs, in vīllā quādam duās hōrās morātī, multō ante noctem tamen potuērunt Fundōs pervenīre; ubi ad dēversōrium sine morā sē contulērunt.

[1] Nūdius tertius: adv. phrase, Day before yesterday.

[2] celeber, -bris, -bre, adj., filled.

[3] habēbātur, was maintained.

[4] grātiā: cf. the use of causā.

[5] bēluīs . . . hominibus: abl.

[6] improbō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., condemn.

[7] polītus, -a, -um, adj., cultured.

[8] valēns, -entis, adj., powerful.

[9] laniō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., tear to pieces.

[10] īdem: i.e., Cicero; trans., ‘likewise.’

[11] capitis damnātī (nom.): with force of a rel. clause. For capitis, see X, 60.

[12] līberī: pred. nom.

[13] honestus, -a, -um, adj., honorable.

[14] nec, and not.

[15] perniciōsus, -a, -um, adj., harmful.

[16] summōs: cf. extrēmam, II, 43.

[17] cohortor, -ārī, -ātus sum, tr., encourage.

[18] eius: i.e., the following.

[19] convocō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., call together.

[20] interpres, -etis, m., interpreter.

[21] ferrō: i.e., gladiō.

[22] victor, freely, in case of victory.

[23] indūcuntur: i.e., are displayed.

[24] fūnambulus, -a, -um, adj., rope-walking.

[25] ēdidit, exhibited.

[26] fūnem, tight-rope.

[27] dēcurrō, -currere, -currī, -cursum, tr. and intr., ride down.

[28] eōrum: neut.; dept. on similia.

[29] āer, āeris, m., the heavens; āera, acc. sing., Greek decl.

[30] propius: cf. longius, XI, 15.

[31] cēra, -ae, f., wax.

[32] molliō, -īre, -īvī, -ītus, tr., soften.

[33] prīmō statim cōnātū: cf. XVII, 91.

[34] dēcidō, -cidere, -cidī, intr., fall down.

[35] Rōmānī nōminis, the nameRoman.’

[36] praeparō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., secure in advance.

[37] cārē, adv., at a high price. For comp., cf. saepius, IX, 88.

[38] vērō, indeed.

[39] naumachia, -ae, f., sham naval battle.

[40] marīnus, -a, -um, adj., sea.

[41] prōpugnātor, -ōris, m., fighter.

[42] aveō, -ēre, intr.; imper., avē, hail.

[43] moritūrī: taking the place of a rel. clause.

[44] compellō, -pellere, -pulī, -pulsus, tr., force.

[45] lēctiō, -ōnis, f., reading.

[46] Adhūc, (while) still.

[47] grātiam maximam, etc., freely, laid the god under very heavy obligation.

[48] quod, in that.

[49] contingō, -tingere, -tigī, -tāctus, tr., touch.

[50] tāctus, -ūs, m., touch.

[51] quid faceret, etc.: cf. IX, 45.

[52] expediō, -īre, -īvī, -ītus, tr.; sē expedīre, escape.

[53] misereor, -ērī, -itus sum, intr., pity. Imper. in text.

[54] vīs, potency.

[55] grānum, -ī, n., grain.

[56] fistula, -ae, f., pipe; trans, abl., ‘on.’

[57] modulor, -ārī, -ātus sum, tr., play.

[58] cantū: abl. of spec.

[59] sub Tmōlō iūdice: i.e., with Tmolus as umpire.

[60] dissentiō, -sentīre, -sēnsī, -sēnsum, intr., dissent.

[61] vitium, -ī, n., blemish.

[62] tiāra, -ae, f., turban.

[63] vēlō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., cover.

[64] frīgidus, -a, -um, adj., cold.


Posterō diē ante hōram quārtam Ānxur facile perventum est; quō in oppidō viātōrēs paulisper cōnstitērunt, ut cibum caperent; nam līberī etiam tum ēsuriēbant.

Cum omnia iterum parāta essent ad iter faciendum, Sextus nusquam reperīrī poterat, dōnec eum aspexit Stasimus in āreā, ubi cupidē audiēbat servōs duōs, quī inter sē loquēbantur.

Puerō revocātō, ex oppidō statim profectī sunt. Ac cum iam lēniter rēdīs veherentur, Sextō Cornēlius: “Quid,” inquit, “inter sē loquēbantur illī servī duo, quōs in āreā audiēbās?”

At Sextus: “Ūnus erat homō senectūte[1] iam cōnfectus, alter autem admodum[2] iuvenis. Senior dīxit sē modo Appī Forō advēnisse.”

“Illud est oppidum,” inquit Cornēlius, “ubi hanc[3] noctem āctūri sumus. Sed quid posteā dictum est?”

“Prīmō,” inquit Sextus, “pauca alia inter sē locūtī sunt; tum ille senior dē temporibus dīcere coepit, cum ipse puer esset.”

“Quid puer[4] fēcit?” inquit Cornēlia.

At Sextus: “Dīxit sē ipsum adfuisse, cum quīdam vir sānctus, Paulus nomine, Rōmam iter faciēns et catēnīs vinctus, Appī Forī cōnstitisset.

“Cum hoc tantum[5] dictum esset, ā Stasimō arcessītus sum; quārē nec quis esset ille Paulus, nec cūr eum catēnīs vīnxissent,[6] cognōscere potuī.”

“Suspicor,” inquit Pūblius, “hōs servōs Chrīstiānōs esse; ac vērī simile est istum Paulum fuisse adfīnem[7] eiusdem superstitiōnis, quī imāginem imperātōris adōrāre nōluisset.”

“Quālēs hominēs sunt Chrīstiānī, pater?” inquit Cornēlia. “Hoc nōmen saepe audīvī, neque umquam quid significāret[8] intellēxī.”

“Dē nātūrā huius superstitiōnis,” inquit pater, “nihil satis compertum est; etsī orbis terrārum nūllus nunc est locus, ubi istī Chrīstiānī nōn reperiantur.

“Sed Plīnius ille, quī dē monte Vesuviō ad Tacitum litterās mīsit, multīs annīs post[9] avunculī mortem prōvinciae Bīthȳniae praepositus, cum incolās plūrimōs Chrīstiānōs esse cognōvisset, dē eīs ad imperātōrem Traiānum accūrātius[10] scrīpsit.

“At haec, crēdō, Pūblius noster nūper lēgit. Quārē ille vōbīs expōnet quō modō Plīnius cum Chrīstiānīs ēgerit.”[11]

Pūblius, tālī cohortātiōne inductus: “Plīnius,” inquit, “hōc modō rem trānsēgit: Eōs, quī ad eum dēferēbantur, interrogābat essentne Chrīstiānī. Sī ita cōnfitēbantur, iterum ac tertiō[12] interrogābat, supplicium quoque minātus.

“Sī etiam tum obstinātā mente idem dīcere persevērābant, ad supplicium[13] dūcī iubēbat (nam, ut ipse dīcit, tālis pertinācia[14] saltem pūnienda[15] erat). Sed eōs, quī cīvēs Rōmānī erant, ad urbem remīsit;[16] cuius generis[17] fortasse erat ille Paulus, dē quō modo loquēbāmur.

“Aliōs, quī negāvērunt[18] sē esse Chrīstiānōs, dīmittēbat, postquam imāginem adōrāverant imperātōris, et Chrīstō male dīxerant (quōrum neutrum[19] facere cōgī posse dīcuntur eī, quī rē vērā Chrīstiānī sunt); ac parī clēmentiā etiam eōs tractāvit, quī dīxērunt sē ōlim Chrīstiānōs fuisse, sed paucīs ante annīs dēstitisse.”

“Quam ob rem ad Traiānum haec omnia scrīpsit Plīnius?” inquit Sextus.

At Pūblius: “Ipse dīxit sē numquam Rōmae causīs[20] Chrīstiānōrum interfuisse, nec scīre quō modō eī tractandī essent. Itaque litterās Rōmam mīsit, ut cognōsceret omniane ā sē rīte agerentur.”

“Saepe audīvī,” inquit Drūsilla, “Chrīstiānōs maleficōs[21] esse hominēs, quī in sē scelera maxima admīsissent.”[22]

“Hoc quidem,” inquit Cornēlius, “vix adfirmāre audeō. Īdem[23] enim Plīnius scrībit sē ex duābus ancillīs etiam tormentīs[24] quaesīvisse, in hīs rūmōribus quid vērī esset.

“Omnium testimōniō comprobātum[25] est Chrīstiānōs certō diē ante lūcem solēre convenīre carmenque Chrīstō quasi deō inter sē dīcere; praetereā sacrāmentō[26] eōs sē nōn in[27] scelus aliquod obligāre, sed nē fūrta[28] facerent, nē fidem fallerent, nē dēpositum[29] abiūrārent,[30] et eius modī alia.”

“Sī haec vēra sunt,” inquit Drūsilla, “nōn intellegō quō modō illī tantam in īnfāmiam[31] pervēnerint.”

“At,” inquit Cornēlius, “Chrīstum plūris faciunt quam aut Caesarem aut imperium Rōmānum. Praetereā hetaeriās[32] amant, quās imperātōrēs propter perīculum coniūrātiōnis prohibēre coāctī sunt.”

“Quid rescrīpsit[33] Traiānus,” inquit Sextus, “cum Plīnī litterae ed eum adlātae essent?”

“Respondit ille,” inquit pater, “nōn esse exquīrendōs Chrīstiānōs; eōs porrō, quī dēferrentur, dīmittendōs esse, sī negāssent sē esse Chrīstiānōs et id fēcissent manifestum deōsque[34] nostrōs adōrāssent.”

“Nisi fallor,” inquit Pūblius, “multīs ante annīs Nerō imperātor cum Chrīstiānīs multō acerbius[35] ēgerat.”[36]

“Rēctē dīcis,” inquit pater. “Cum enim magna pars urbis incendiō dēlēta esset multīque suspicārentur incendium iussū[37] imperātōris ipsīus factum esse, ille, ut[38] ā sē hanc suspīciōnem[39] āverteret, damnum illud ā Chrīstiānīs esse inlātum cōnfirmāre nōn dubitāvit.

“Quārē illī miserī, pellibus[40] ferārum indūtī, canibus saevīs dīlaniandī[41] sunt obiectī, aut, crucibus adfīxī ac oleō[42] perfūsī, cum diēs dēfēcisset, concremātī[43] sunt, ut lūmen nocturnum[44] imperātōrī praebērent.”

“Horrēscō audiēns,” inquit Drūsilla. “Etsī Chrīstiānōs parvī faciō, tamen mihi quidem nefās esse vidētur eōs tantā saevitiā[45] tractāre. Ac cum tālia audiō, interdum paulum ābest quīn velim nōs aliō aevō vīxisse. Nam antīquitus prīncipēs cīvitātis virī erant, quī iūre apud[46] bonōs omnēs summō in honōre habērentur.”

“Crēdō dē Rēgulō et eius[47] similibus tē cōgitāre,” inquit Cornēlius.

“Quis erat ille Rēgulus?” inquit Cornēlia.

“Rēgulus erat imperātor Rōmānus,” inquit pater, “quī in Āfricā serpentem illam ingentem occīdit. Posteā ā Carthāginiēnsibus captus, Rōmam eā lēge remissus est, ut in Āfricam reverterētur, nisi persuāsisset senātōribus ut captīvōs quōsdam commūtārent.[48]


“Ille autem, cum Rōmam pervēnisset, senātuī persuāsit nē hanc condiciōnem acciperet; ac tum aequō animō in Āfricam revertit, nē fidem falleret, etsī plānē sciēbat hostēs summā crūdēlitāte supplicium dē sē sūmptūrōs.”

“Haec,” inquit Pūblius, “mē admonent dē quibusdam versibus eximiī poētae Horātī Flaccī:

“ ‘Virtūs[49] repulsae[50] nescia sordidae

Intāminātīs[51] fulget honōribus,

  Nec sūmit aut pōnit[52] secūrīs[53]

    Arbitriō populāris[54] aurae.[55]

Virtūs reclūdēns[56] immeritīs[57] morī

Caelum, negātā[58] temptat iter viā,

  Coetūsque[59] vulgārīs[60] et ūdam[61]

    Spernit humum fugiente pennā.’ ”[62]

Ac pater: “Et aliō locō poēta īdem verba dīcit, quae Rēgulō dignissima sint:

“ ‘Sī frāctus inlābātur[63] orbis,[64]

Impavidum ferient[65] ruīnae.’ ”

Sed iam Sextus, quī haud attentē haec audierat: “Magnam fossam[66] aquae plēnam haud procul ā viā videō. Quid est, obsecrō, pater?”

“Hic est eurīpus,”[67] inquit Cornēlius, “quō viātōrēs noctū nāvibus vehī solent. Quīn etiam ipse[68] poēta, cuius versūs modo audīvistī, ōlim Appī Forō hōc modō usque ad fontem Fērōniae vectus est, cum Rōmā profectus Brundisium iter faceret.”

“Nōs certē nāvī satis superque[69] vectī sumus,” inquit Drūsilla. “Nunc viā strātā rēdīs prōgredī periūcundum[70] est.”

Ita tempus terēbant, ac dēnique circiter hōrā decimā Appī Forum pervēnērunt dēfessī. Posterō diē Arīciam usque contendērunt.

[1] senectūs, -ūtis, f., old age.

[2] admodum, (a) mere.

[3] hanc, this (coming).

[4] puer, (when) a boy.

[5] tantum: adv.

[6] vīnxissent: subj. indef.

[7] adfīnem, adherent.

[8] significāret, freely, stand for.

[9] post: prep.

[10] accūrātē, adv., in detail.

[11] ēgerit, dealt.

[12] tertiō, adv., a third time.

[13] supplicium: i.e., execution.

[14] pertinācia, -ae, f., obstinacy.

[15] pūniō, -īre, -īvī, -ītus, tr., punish.

[16] ad urbem remīsit, remanded to Rome.

[17] cuius generis: gen. of quality.

[18] negāvērunt: cf. XVII, 17.

[19] neuter, -tra, -trum, adj., neither; quōrum neutrum, neither of which (things).

[20] causīs, trials; dat. case.

[21] maleficus, -a, -um, adj., evil.

[22] in sē . . . admīsissent, had committed.

[23] Īdem, cf. XXI, 17.

[24] tormentum, -ī, n.; pl., torture.

[25] comprobātum est: impers.

[26] sacrāmentum, -ī, n., oath.

[27] in, for.

[28] fūrtum, -ī, n., theft.

[29] dēpositum, -ī, n., deposit.

[30] abiūrō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., deny knowledge of (i.e., when claimed by depositor).

[31] īnfāmia, -ae, f., ill repute.

[32] hetaeria, -ae, f., secret association.

[33] rescrībō, -scrībere, -scrīpsī, -scrīptus, tr., write in reply.

[34] -que: freely, that is.

[35] acerbē, adv., severely.

[36] ēgerat: cf. ēgerit, line 40.

[37] iussū (no nom.), m., order.

[38] ut: purp.; dept. on foll. clause.

[39] suspīciō, -ōnis, f., suspicion.

[40] pellis, -is, f., skin.

[41] dīlaniandī: purp.

[42] oleum, -ī, n., oil.

[43] concremō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., burn up.

[44] nocturnus, -a,-um, adj., night.

[45] saevitia, -ae, f., cruelty, barbarity.

[46] apud, freely, by.

[47] eius: with similibus.

[48] commūtō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., exchange.

[49] Virtūs, true worth; described, in the remainder of the stanza, in terms applicable to a statesman.

[50] repulsa, -ae, f., defeat; obj. gen. in text.

[51] intāminātus, -a, -um, adj., undimmed.

[52] pōnit, lays aside.

[53] secūris, -is, f., ax; symbol of the power of higher officials.

[54] populāris, -e, adj., popular.

[55] aurae, favor.

[56] reclūdō, -clūdere, -clūsī, -clūsus, tr., open, unlock.

[57] immeritus, -a, -um, adj., not deserving. The dat. in the text replaces a rel. clause, and governs foll. infin.

[58] negātā, (usually) closed.

[59] coetus, -ūs, m., throng.

[60] vulgāris, -e, adj., common.

[61] ūdus, -a, -um, adj., dank.

[62] penna, -ae, f., pinion.

[63] inlābor, -lābī, -lāpsus sum, intr., fall in.

[64] orbis, firmament.

[65] ferient: sc. eum.

[66] fossa, -ae, f., ditch.

[67] eurīpus, -ī, m., canal.

[68] ipse, the very.

[69] superque, and more (than enough).

[70] periūcundus, -a, -um, adj., very agreeable.

Photograph by Katherine Allen



Multō māne, paene priusquam cēterī surrēxērunt, Cornēlius et Pūblius forās ēgressī sunt, ut loca circumspicerent. Haud procul montem Albānum vīdērunt, ac longius collēs aliī appārēbant.

Tum Pūblius: “Montem Albānum libentissimē videō,” inquit, “quod ibi trāditum est ab Ascaniō conditam esse urbem,[1] unde (ut dīcit Vergilius) erant ‘Albānī patrēs,’ et postrēmō ‘altae moenia Rōmae.’ ”

“Hīs in regiōnibus sunt alia quoque dignissima, quae[2] aspiciantur,” inquit pater. “Velut haud longē abest fānum Diānae Nemorēnsis.”

“Dē hōc, quod[3] sciam, numquam audīvī,” inquit Pūblius. “Istīus cultūs quid proprium[4] est?”

At pater: “Fānum silvā dēnsissimā est tēctum; ac, mīrābile dictū, sacerdōs est servus fugitīvus, quī numquam nisi cum gladiō forās ēgreditur.”

“Quam ob rem, obsecrō?” inquit Pūblius. “Subitīne impetūs vim timet?”

“Maximē vērō,” inquit pater. “Nam illud sacerdōtium mīrīs modīs trāditur. Ille, quī id adeptus est, rem dīvīnam cūrat, dōnec ab aliō vī aut dolō interficitur. Tum is, quī interfēcit,[5] ipse sacerdōs fit, et armātus ēgreditur, ānxius nē quis alius sē quoque occīdat, ut sacerdōtium adipīscātur.”

“Papae!” inquit Pūblius. “Mīror unde mōs tam mīrābilis


dēductus sit.” Tum ad tēcta respiciēns: “Ecce autem Onēsimus appropinquat, ac crēdō iēntāculum[6] iam parātum esse.”

Quae ut dicta sunt, ad dēversōrium rediērunt; ubi omnēs, cum paulum ēdissent, in rēdās ēscendērunt, brevīque Rōmam versus rapidē vehēbantur.

Ad urbem quō propius accēdēbant, eō[7] plūra vidēbant līberī, quae eōs studiō cognōscendī incenderent. Ac Sextus: “Cūr,” inquit, “prope viam ubique tot sepulchra vidēmus?”

“Antīquitus,” inquit pater, “per lēgēs nōn licuit intrā moenia hominēs sepelīrī. Itaque prīncipēs cīvitātis prope viās, quae ad urbem ferunt,[8] haec monumenta exstrūxērunt, ut posteritātī[9] nōta essent loca, ubi sepūltī essent.

“Posteā rārō permissum est ut in Campō Mārtiō quoque sepulchra splendida exstruerentur; in[10] quibus est illud Mausōlēum Augustī, ubi conditī sunt ipsīus cinerēs et multōrum propinquōrum.”

“Dē hōc monumentō apud Suētōnium mīrābile quiddam est,” inquit Pūblius; “nam paulō ante Nerōnis mortem dīcuntur forēs suā sponte patefactae esse; unde audīta est vōx imperātōrem nōmine vocantis.”[11]

“Nōlī, obsecrō, mī filī,” inquit Drūsilla, “tam dīra nārrāre. Cum audiō, tremor gelidus per ossa īma[12] mihi percurrit.”[13]

At Sextus: “Cūr,” inquit, “illud sepulchrum ‘Mausōlēum’ appellātur? Nōnne hoc est nōmen īnsolitum?”

“Rēctē quaeris, Sexte,” inquit pater. “Vocābulum[14] ductum est ē nōmine Mausōlī, rēgis Cāriae, quī abhinc ferē quīngentōs[15] annōs dēcessit.[16] Quō mortuō, uxor sepulchrum splendidissimum exstrūxit, quod ‘Mausōlēum’ vocābātur. Idem nōmen posteā aliīs quoque sepulchrīs rēgiīs[17] inditum est.”

Tum Pūblius: “Haec mē admonent,” inquit, “dē vōce dētestābilī[18] imperātōris Vitellī, cum sepulchrum Othōnis vidēret.”

“Quid dīxit ille, obsecrō?” inquit Sextus.

Ac Pūblius: “Othō, cum haud procul ā Cremōnā exercitus eius cum cōpiīs Vitelliānīs esset congressus, proeliō facile victus est, ac statim—etsī aliae legiōnēs integrae eī supererant—sē interfēcit, cum nōllet persevērandō damna maiōra cīvitātī īnferre.

“Sine morā sepultus est in agrīs haud procul ā locō ubi proelium commissum erat, ac monumentum modicum est adiectum. Vitellius autem, cum ferē quadrāgintā post diēbus ē Germāniā Rōmam iter faciēns eō pervēnisset et sepulchrum vīdisset humile, Othōnem dēspiciēns, dignum ‘eō Mausōlēō’ eum esse dīxit.”

“Ipsene Vitellius,” inquit Cornēlia, “Mausōlēō splendidō dignus erat?”

“Longē aliter exīstimābant eius cīvēs saltem,” inquit pater. “Nam omnibus sceleribus sē contāmināverat; cumque Vespasiānus imperātor[19] salūtātus esset, ille brevī vītae fīnem factīs suīs dignum invēnit.

“Ubi[20] enim mīlitēs Vespasiānī Rōmam pervēnērunt, veritus nē in eōrum manūs incideret, iste imperātor ēgregius,[21] duōbus sōlīs comitibus—pīstōre et coquō, domō eō cōnsiliō profectus est, ut in Campāniam refugeret.

“Sed ā comitibus dēsertus, in Palātium revertit; cumque zōnā aureōrum plēnā sē circumdedisset, fūgit in cellam[22] iānitōris, religātō[23] prō[24] foribus cane, atque intus lectum et culcitam[25] obiēcit.[26]

“Ā mīlitibus inrumpentibus statim inventus atque ē latebrīs extractus est. Omnibus autem ignōrantibus[27] quis esset, mendāciō fātum paulisper distulit; tum agnitus, retortīs post tergum manibus, veste discissā, sēminūdus per forum tractus est.

“Hominum interim multitūdō magna sequēbātur, cum acerbissimīs contumēliīs rērum[28] et verbōrum caenum[29] coniciēns, dum eius facinora maximā vōce exprobrat. Tandem prope scālās, quae Gemōniae vocantur, minūtissimīs[30] ictibus occīsus est, et inde uncō tractus[31] in Tiberim.”

“Fīnem quam terribilem!” inquit Drūsilla. “Tālia audīre mihi vix magis quam Cornēliae placet.”

“Sed ūnum adhūc est, pater,” inquit Sextus, “quod ego nōn intellegō. Cum prīmō imperātor effugere cōnātus est, cūr, obsecrō, pīstōrem et coquum sēcum dūxit?”

“Cēterīs eius factīs[32] hoc erat pār,” inquit Cornēlius. “Nam semper edendī[33] studiōsus erat. Quīn etiam dīcitur ter et quater[34] in diē cēnāre solitus esse; atque interdum in viīs ex popīnīs[35] fūmantia[36] obsōnia[37] vel[38] prīdiāna[39] suīs manibus rapiēbat.”

“Iam satis est, pater,” inquit Cornēlia. “Dē eō spērō nōs nihil amplius audītūrōs esse.”

Sed iam viātōrēs in urbem portā Appiā ingrediēbantur atque līberī intentī omnia circumspiciēbant. Interim rēdae tardius prōgredī coāctae sunt, cum hominēs multī ex urbe exeuntēs viam frequentārent.[40]

Brevī Stasimus, quī citō equō praemissus erat, sē obviam tulit, quī nūntiāvit avunculum Drūsillae domī esse, ac viātōrēs libentissimē hospitiō acceptūrum.

Quō audītō, Cornēlius Drūsillae: “Tū, uxor,” inquit, “statim cum līberīs et servīs ad avunculum tē cōnferēs.[41] Mihi et Pūbliō cum Onēsimō prius ad Palātium est eundum, ut sine morā dē adventū meō imperātor certior fīat.”

Itaque, cum iam ad portam Capēnam perventum esset, mulierēs lectīcīs[42] levātae cum līberīs ad avunculum Drūsillae ā Stasimō dēductae sunt.

Cornēlius interim cum Pūbliō rēctā Palātium petiit, ac statim ad imperātōrem admissus est. Ibi ōsculō[43] acceptus breviārium[44] ratiōnum suārum porrēxit.

Tum, industriā[45] laudātā, eō mandātō dīmissus est, ut semper omnia in prōmptū[46] habēret, ut sine morā ex urbe proficīscerētur, sī quandō opus esset. Negōtiō sīc cōnfectō, cum Pūbliō ad Drūsillam ac cēterōs libenter sē recēpit.

Deinde diēs duo iūcundē exāctī sunt, cum viātōrēs cōnspicerent omnia, quae maximē mīranda in urbe erant. Tum Drūsilla cum līberīs rūs discessit, ut parentēs vīseret, quī ab urbe longē circiter trīgintā mīlia passuum habitābant. Interim Cornēlius cum Pūbliō Rōmae morābātur, incertus quam mox imperātor operam suam exigeret.

[1] urbem: namely, Alba Longa, the mother city of Rome.

[2] quae: note mood.

[3] quod: cf. IV, 26.

[4] proprius, -a, -um, adj., peculiar; trans. neut. here, ‘the peculiar (feature).’

[5] interfēcit, committed the murder.

[6] iēntāculum, -ī, n., breakfast.

[7] quō . . . eō, the . . . the; cf. III, 12.

[8] ferunt, lead.

[9] posteritās, -ātis, f., posterity.

[10] in, among.

[11] vocantis: cf. canentis, VIII, 99.

[12] ossa īma: i.e., marrow; cf. extrēmam, II, 43.

[13] percurrō, -currere, -currī, -cursus, tr., run (through).

[14] vocābulum, -ī, n., word.

[15] quīngentī, -ae, -a, num. adj., five hundred.

[16] dēcēdō, -cēdere, -cessī, -cessum, intr., die.

[17] rēgiīs: i.e., magnificent.

[18] dētestābilis, -e, adj., shameful.

[19] imperātor: pred. nom.

[20] Ubi, when.

[21] ēgregius: sarcastic.

[22] cella, -ae, f., room, apartment.

[23] religō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., tie.

[24] prō, in front of.

[25] culcita, -ae, f., mattress.

[26] obiēcit: i.e., made a breastwork of.

[27] Omnibus . . . ignōrantibus: abl. absol.

[28] rērum, action.

[29] caenum, -ī, n., filth.

[30] minūtus, -a, -um, adj.; sup., tiny.

[31] uncō tractus: like a common criminal.

[32] Cēterīs . . . factīs: dat.

[33] edendī: obj. gen.

[34] quater, num. adv., four times.

[35] popīna, -ae, f., cook-shop.

[36] fūmāns, -antis, part. as adj., smoking.

[37] obsōnium, -ī, n., viands.

[38] vel, even.

[39] prīdiānus, -a, -um, adj., yesterday’s.

[40] frequentō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., crowd.

[41] tē cōnferēs: fut. approaching force of imper.

[42] lectīca, -ae, f., litter. In the city proper, heavy traffic was restricted.

[43] ōsculō: a court formality.

[44] breviārium, -ī, n., summary.

[45] industria, -ae, f., industry.

[46] prōmptū (abl. only), m.; in prōmptū, in readiness.

Photography by R. S. Rogers



Parentēs Drūsillae scīlicet summō gaudiō fīliam ac nepōtēs ad sē recēpērunt, et maximē Lūcium, quem adhūc numquam vīderant. Cēterī līberī, longō itinere fessī, in agrīs vagantēs lūdendō satiārī[1] nōn poterant; ac Sextus animum mātris magnō in terrōre saepe dētinēbat,[2] cum aut arborēs ēscenderet, ut avium nīdōs īnspiceret, aut piscēs in rīvō capere cōnārētur.

Cum hōc modō diēs complūrēs āctī essent, ex urbe advēnit Pūblius, qui nūntiāvit patrem adhūc mandātum imperātōris exspectāre.

Dum omnēs propter ārdōrem sōlis sub arboribus sedent, ille: “Quam amoenum est rūs!” inquit. “Cum collēs procul videō, admoneor dē versibus lepidīs poētae Horātī Flaccī, quī hinc haud longē vīllam ōlim habēbat:

“ ‘Vidēs ut[3] altā stet nive candidum

Sōracte, nec iam sustineant onus[4]

    Silvae labōrantēs gelūque

        Flūmina cōnstiterint[5] acūtō?’ ”

Tum Sextus: “Hī versūs profectō pulchrī sunt. Sed nūper dē imperātōre Vespasiānō loquēbāmur, et dē eō plūra cognōscere velim. Nōnne pater dīxit eius mīlitēs Vitellium occīdisse?”

At Pūblius: “Hoc erat illud biennium[6] mīrābile,” inquit, “quō quattuor imperātōrēs populī Rōmānī factī sunt; quōrum[7] Galba in forō ā praetōriānīs[8] occīsus est, et Othō (ut audīvistī) sē ipse interfēcit. Interim imperium Vitelliō ā mīlitibus dēlātum erat; ac postrēmō Vespasiānus quoque ā suīs imperātor salūtātus est. Quārē Vitellium tollere necesse erat.”

“Ipsene Vespasiānus aderat, cum Vitellius occīsus est?” inquit Sextus.

“Nūllō modō,” inquit frāter. “Cōpiās suās praemīserat; ipse autem itinere longiōre in Ītaliam tendēbat, atque aliquamdiū in Aegyptō morātus est.”

“Ubi agēbat[9] ille,” inquit Cornēlia, “eō tempore, quō ā mīlitibus imperātor salūtātus est?”

“Erat tum cum exercitū in Iūdaeā,” inquit Pūblius, “ubi incolae sēditiōsē[10] sē gerēbant. Sed gentem illam iam paene subēgerat, obsidiōne[11] Hierosolymōrum exceptā, quam cōnficiendam Titō fīliō relīquit.”

“Nisi fallor,” inquit Drūsilla, “dē patriā Annae nostrae nunc loquiminī.”

Adnuit[12] Anna, quae maesta sedēbat, cum suae gentis prīstinae glōriae[13] eī in mentem venīret.

Tum Cornēlia: “Nōlī maerēre, Anna mea,”[14] inquit. “Nōnne potes aliquid iūcundum reminīscī, quod dē patriā tuā nōbīs nārrāre velīs?”

Illa prīmō negābat; cum autem līberī blandius īnstārent, postrēmō: “Per fīnēs nostrōs,” inquit, “fertur[15] amnis Iordānēs, quī nusquam ad mare pervenit. Ūnum enim atque alterum[16] lacum perfluit,[17] tum tertiō[18] acceptus ibi retinētur; nam hic lacus exitum nūllum habet.


“Cuius lacūs maximus est circuitus, et aquae sapor gustātū acerbior. Odor quoque est pestifer;[19] neque in eō piscēs ūllī vīvere possunt.

“Praetereā (id quod est multō mīrābilius) quaecumque in aquam prōiecta sunt, ea undae attollunt[20] nec mergī patiuntur. Quīn etiam hominēs, nandī quamvīs imperītī,[21] hīc in flūctūs sine metū ingrediuntur; nam mergī nōn possunt, nē sī quidem id maximē volunt.”

“Ille certē est locus,” inquit Drūsilla rīdēns, “ubī mātribus nūlla sit causa timendī, cum puerī nandī grātiā abeunt. Ego autem prae metū vix mē continēre possum, cum prope rīvum Sextus noster sēcūrus[22] lūdit.”

“Nūllum est perīculum, māter,” inquit Sextus. “Aqua nusquam amplius trēs pedēs[23] alta est; et sī quandō inciderō, facillimē ad rīpam ēvādere poterō.” Tum Annae: “Sed plūra dīc, obsecrō. Suntne in patriā tuā templa deōrum magnifica?”

Quō audītō, Anna paulisper tacuit. Tum maesta: “Fuit Hierosolymīs[24] templum omnium splendissimum; sed dēlētum est eō bellō,[25] dē quō mentiō modo facta est. Intus erat sacrārium[26] deī suprēmī.”

“Quā faciē erat deus ille?” inquit Sextus, “aut[27] quanta erat illīus imāgō?”

“Nūlla erat imāgō aut simulācrum,”[28] inquit Anna; “et deī cultōrēs[29] mente sōlā vidēbant nūmen. Nam cīvēs meī putābant nefās esse deōrum imāginēs mortālibus[30] māteriīs etiam hominum in speciēs[31] effingere.”[32]

“Nihil umquam aequē mīrābile audīvī,” inquit Sextus. “Profectō nusquam alibī tōtō orbī terrārum[33] mōs tālis invenīrī potest.”

At Pūblius: “Errās,” inquit, “cum ita exīstimās. Nam apud Cicerōnem scrīptum est Persās templa Athēniēnsium ob eam causam incendisse, quod deōs, quōrum domus esset[34] omnis mundus,[35] inclūsōs parietibus continērī nefās putārent.

“Et aliud quoque dē Vespasiānō adicere possum. Nam ille, paulō priusquam imperātor ā suīs salūtātus est, ad montem vēnit Carmēlum, quī inter Iūdaeam Syriamque est, ut ibi ōrāculum cōnsuleret. Hīc quoque nūlla est deī imāgō, sed āra tantum et reverentia.”[36]

“Lacusne est usquam alius,” inquit Cornēlia, “eī similis, dē quō Anna modo dīxit?”

“Id nesciō,” inquit Pūblius; “sed auctor Plīnius, quī dē Chrīstiānīs litterās illās scrīpsit, quaedam satis mīranda dē lacū sibi nōtō nārrat.”

“Haec quoque dīc, sī vīs,” inquit Sextus. “Audīre cupimus.”

“Illō in lacū,” inquit frāter, “nūlla est nāvis; nam sacer est. Sed ubique innatant[37] īnsulae parvae, in quibus sunt herbae omnis generis et arborēs.

“Ventō appulsae, īnsulae interdum lītus attingunt. Tum pecora, herbās secūta, in eās quasi in extrēmam rīpam procēdunt, nec prius terram mōbilem[38] esse sentiunt quam, īnsulā ventō ā lītore remōtā, sē undique aquā circumfūsa[39] vident.”

“Pecora misera!” inquit Cornēlia. “Quid tum faciunt?”

“Quiēta exspectant,” inquit Pūblius, “dōnec ventus rūrsus īnsulam ad terram appulit. Tum in lītus prōgressa, nihil magis sē dēscendisse sentiunt quam anteā sēnserant sē ascendisse.”

Dum haec dīcuntur, Stasimus prope viam stābat, omnia ōtiōsus circumspiciēns. Sed iam accessit quīdam senex luscus,[40] quī: “Salvē,” inquit. “Mihine mōnstrāre potes quō modō facillimē ad oppidum proximum pervenīre possim?”

“Tuīs ipsīus[41] pedibus, opīnor,” inquit Stasimus; “nisi spērās aliquem tibi equum commodātūrum, Cyclōps.”[42]

Tum ille īrātus: “Cavē malum,” inquit. “Ego sum mīles veterānus; ac, sī sapis, impudentiam tuam statim comprimēs.”

“Age, dīc, senex,” inquit Stasimus. “Quō modō oculum āmīsistī? Eumne uxor effōdit, cum domum ēbrius tē retulissēs?”

“Linguae istī[43] temperāre tē docēbō,” inquit senex. Quae cum dīxisset, collō obtortō[44] Stasimum in viam trāxit et vehementer fūste verberāre coepit.

Ille autem clāmōrēs lāmentābilēs sustulit, ac: “Fidem[45] tuam obsecrō, Pūblī, mē servā,” vōciferātus est; “Cyclōps enim hic mē vorāre[46] parat.” Quō audītō, senex etiam vehementius verberābat, dōnec Stasimus, dolōre victus, rē vērā misericordiam implōrāvit.

Tum Pūblius rīdēns intercessit,[47] et senī: “Maximam tibi grātiam habēmus,” inquit, “quod istum scelestum prō illīus meritīs[48] tam strēnuē[49] tū accēpistī. Spērō eum posteā impudentiam suam magis inhibitūrum.”

Quae cum facta essent, senex ad oppidum versus abiit; ac Stasimus, tergum manibus fricāns,[50] intrō sē recēpit, ut fōmenta quaedam ibi quaereret.

[1] satiō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr.; pass., get (one’s) fill of.

[2] detineō, -tinēre, -tinuī, -tentus, tr., keep.

[3] ut, how.

[4] onus, weight (of snow).

[5] cōnstiterint, etc.: i.e., are turned to ice.

[6] biennium, -ī, n., two years.

[7] quōrum: partit, gen.

[8] praetōriānī, -ōrum, m., the pretorians.

[9] agēbat: cf. XIX, 17.

[10] sēditiōsē, adv., rebelliously.

[11] obsidiō, -ōnis, f., siege.

[12] adnuō, -ere, -uī, intr., nod (assent).

[13] prīstinae glōriae: gen. with verbal phrase of remembering.

[14] mea, freely, dear.

[15] fertur, rolls, flows.

[16] alterum, a second.

[17] perfluō, -fluere, -flūxī, tr., pass through.

[18] tertiō: sc. lacū, namely, the Dead Sea, a detailed description of which is given in the Histories of Tacitus.

[19] pestifer, -era, -erum, adj., unhealthy.

[20] attollō, -ere, tr., bear up.

[21] imperītus, -a, -um, adj., unskilled, ignorant; with obj. gen.

[22] sēcūrus, careless(ly).

[23] trēs pedēs: acc., not affected by the comp.

[24] Hierosolymīs: loc. of Hierosolyma.

[25] eō bellō: time when.

[26] sacrārium, -ī, n., shrine.

[27] aut: cf. II, 21.

[28] simulācrum, -ī, n., statue.

[29] cultor, -ōris, m., worshiper.

[30] mortālibus, perishable.

[31] in speciēs, freely, in the likeness.

[32] effingō, -fingere, -fīnxī, -fictus, tr., fashion.

[33] tōtō orbī terrārum: place where.

[34] esset: trans. as if present.

[35] mundus, -ī, m., universe.

[36] reverentia, -ae, f., feeling of awe.

[37] innatō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, intr., float about.

[38] mōbilis, -e, adj., movable.

[39] circumfundō, -fundere, -fūdī, -fūsus, tr., surround.

[40] luscus, -a, -um, adj., one-eyed.

[41] ipsīus, own.

[42] Cyclōps: so called because he had but one eye.

[43] istī, that . . . of yours.

[44] obtorqueō, -torquēre, -torsī, -tortus, tr., lit., wring; collō obtortō, collared.

[45] Fidem, help.

[46] vorāre: cf. the story of Ulysses.

[47] intercēdō, -cēdere, -cessī, -cessum, intr., intervene.

[48] meritum, -ī, n., desert.

[49] strēnuē, adv., energetically.

[50] fricō, -āre, fricuī, frictus, tr., rub.


Posterō diē paulō post merīdiem, Sextus, quī lātius per fundum vagātus erat, ad tēcta celeriter sē recēpit, ut mātrem certiōrem faceret sē Onēsimum appropinquāre vīdisse.

Quō cognitō, omnēs cupidē forās ēgressī Onēsimum iam ex equō dēscendentem offendērunt.[1] Quī statim ad Drūsillam prōgressus: “Salvē, domina,” inquit. “Ā Cornēliō litterās hodiē scrīptās adferō.”

“Nāviter[2] fēcistī,” inquit Drūsilla, “quī tantō aestū iter longum tam celeriter cōnfēcerīs. Litterās trāde, ac tē in culīnam cōnfer, ubi quod edās[3] inveniēs.”

Litterīs trāditīs, Onēsimus statim tēctum intrāvit; ac Drūsilla, cum omnēs intentī exspectārent, epistulam solvit, cuius exemplum[4] īnfrā scrīptum est:

“Cornēlius Drūsillae Suae S. P. D.[5]

“Sī valētis omnēs, ego valeō. Litterās dabam,[6] quod hodiē māne mandāta ab imperātōre ad mē dēlāta erant, ut intrā quattuor diēs ad Galliam versus proficīscī parātus essem.

“Adhūc nesciō cūr in eās regiōnēs mittar. Cum autem līberī nostrī numquam illa loca vīserint, fortasse vōs mēcum Cōmum usque iter facere volētis, ubi est Gnaeī frātris vīlla.

“Tum, sī mihi ipsī longius prōgrediendum erit, vōs interim apud frātrem manēbitis, dum redeō. Amoenissima est illa pars Ītaliae, et ibi in cōnspectū Alpēs sunt. Sī vērō in mēnsēs hībernōs tempus tractum erit, līberī nive et glaciē[7] profectō dēlectābuntur.

“Quārē, sī mē comitārī vultis, ad urbem statim redīte; sī minus,[8] Onēsimus ad mē mittātur,[9] ut sciam quid factūrī sītis. Cūrā,[10] mea lūx,[11] ut valeās et līberōs nostrōs amēs. Valē.

Dabam Rōmā, Īd. Iūn.”[12]

Cum haec audīta essent, gaudiō exsiluērunt līberī, ac clāmōre maximō mātrem ōrāvērunt, ut statim abīrent. Illa autem ad Pūblium conversa: “Quae tibi est sententia, mī fīlī?” inquit.

“Suādeō ut patrem comitēmur,” inquit ille. “Haec enim est occāsiō optima illīus regiōnis vīsendae, neque exīstimō aliam mox oblātum īrī.”[13]

Rē ita cōnstitūtā, servīs imperātum est ut omnia ad iter faciendum parārent; ac līberī mātūrē cubitum iērunt, ut alacrēs māne proficīscerentur.

Dum rēdīs posterō diē lēniter ad urbem vehuntur, Pūbliō Cornēlia: “Nūper,” inquit, “cum Rōmae essēmus, aedificia splendida et viās lātissimās vix satis mīrārī potuī. Etiamne ab initiō erat urbs tam magnifica?”

“Nūllō modō,” inquit frāter; “nam antīquitus multō minor fuit, atque humillima erant aedificia. Quīn etiam trāditum est Rōmulum occīdisse Remum frātrem, quod mūrōs dērīdēns leviter[14] trānsiluisset. Ā Gallīs illa urbs prīsca magnā ex parte ignī dēlēta est.”

“Nōnne vīs dē hāc clāde amplius dīcere?” inquit Sextus.

Ac Pūblius: “Haud procul ab urbe Rōmānī magnō proeliō ā Gallīs victī sunt; cumque urbs ipsa nōn diūtius dēfendī posset, dēcrētum est ut paucī, armīs et frūmentō collātō,[15] in Capitōlium concēderent, cēterī autem, per agrōs dissipātī, oppida peterent fīnitima.

“Nōnnūllī autem senēs cōnsulārēs,[16] quī fugere sē[17] indignum esse putārent, veste splendidissimā indūtī, per vestibula[18] aedium suārum in sellīs cōnsēdērunt eburneīs; quōs cūm vīdissent, Gallī prīmō mīrāntēs cōnstitērunt. Tum vērō ūnus ex eīs dīcitur barbam cuiusdam senātōris manū suā tetigisse; senex autem īrātus scīpiōne eburneō caput Gallō percussit.

“Ab hōc igitur initium caedis est factum, atque urbī facēs admōtae sunt, cum interim praesidium parvum, ex Capitōliō caedem incendiaque obstupefactum prōspiciēns, opem ferre poterat nūllam. Collem[19] autem ipsum Gallī, etsī semel atque iterum impetum fēcērunt, nūllō modō capere potuērunt.”

“Postquam bellum ad fīnem est adductum,” inquit Sextus, “rēgiumne in modum urbs restitūta est?”

“Immō vērō,” inquit frāter, “temere et raptim exstrūctae sunt aedēs. Saxa et māteriem, unde quisque volēbat, sūmere licuit; et sine ratiōne certā ac prōmiscuē aedificia sunt collocāta. Sīc factum est, ut, viīs antīquīs opertīs et neglēctīs, veterēs cloācae, ōlim per pūblicum[20] ductae,[21] nunc prīvāta passim subeant tēcta.”

At Sextus: “Ego igitur vix intellegō,” inquit, “quō modō ēvēnerit ut urbs nunc tam splendida sit.”

“Augustus urbis ōrnandae initium fēcit,” inquit Pūblius, “neque oblīvīscendum est sub Nerōne iterum incendium ingēns exārsisse,[22] quō multa dēfōrmia[23] ignī obruta sunt.”

“Dēnuō iste Nerō atrōx!” inquit Cornēlia. “Hoc, crēdō, fuit tempus, quō ille suam culpam in Chrīstiānōs miserōs contulit.[24] Nihil profectō tam erat inhūmānum et crūdēle, quod ille nōn cupidē faceret.”

“Erat certē imperātor minimē laudandus,” inquit frāter rīdēns. “Audīvistīne eum[25] semel atque iterum mātrem interficere cōnātum esse?”

“Hoc quidem nōn audīvī,” inquit Cornēlia; “sed facile crēdō rem ita sē habuisse.”

At Pūblius: “Multi tum id prō certō crēdēbant; ac postquam eius māter mortua est, hī versūs sine nōmine prōpositī sunt:

“ ‘Quis negat Aenēae[26] magnā dē stirpe[27] Nerōnem?[28]

    Sustulit hic mātrem sustulit[29] ille[30] patrem.’ ”

“Hahahae!” inquit Sextus. “Profectō ille audācissimus erat, quī volēbat etiam sine nōmine tālia prōpōnere. Sed ut[31] ad priōra redeāmus, vērumne est Nerōnem ipsum Rōmam incendisse?”

“Dē hōc haud satis liquet,”[32] inquit frāter; “etsī dīcitur ille dēfōrmitāte[33] veterum aedificiōrum et angustiīs flexūrīsque[34] viārum offēnsus esse; ac fāma est eum, dum incendium saevit, ē turrī propinquā prōspicientem cantū[35] sē dēlectāsse.

“Sed quōcumque modō[36] haec rēs sē habet, per sex diēs septemque noctēs flammae ārsērunt, ac plēbs[37] inops,[38] ex domiciliīs[39] expulsa, etiam sepulchrīs prō tēctīs ūtī coācta est.

“Posteā, locīs pūrgātīs,[40] aedificia exstrūcta sunt nōn (ut post Gallicum incendium) passim et prōmiscuē, sed dīmēnsīs vīcīs[41] et viīs lātissimīs. Haec est urbs splendida, quam tū tantopere admīrāris.”

Dum haec dīcuntur, equī lēniter prōgrediēbantur; ac Lūcius, aurā tepidā[42] languidus, iam cōnsōpītus erat. Quem cum vīdisset somnō lēnī quiēscentem, Pūblius ex memoriā prōnūntiāre coepit:

“ ‘Somne, quiēs rērum, placidissime,[43] Somne, deōrum,

Pāx animī, quem cūra fūgit,[44] quī corpora dūrīs

Fessa ministeriīs[45] mulcēs[46] reparāsque[47] labōrī.’ ”[48]

“Hī versūs mihi maximē placent,” inquit Drūsilla, “nec meminī mē eōs ante audīre. Unde sunt, obsecrō?”

At Pūblius: “Hōs et multōs aliōs aequē bonōs invēnī apud poētam Ovidium, quem adsiduē legō. Nam paucī sunt, quī tam facile et ēleganter[49] scrībere possint.”

Interim diēs abībat; ac sub vesperum viātōrēs ad domum Drūsillae avunculī pervēnērunt, ubi libenter ā Cornēliō receptī sunt.

[1] offendērunt, found.

[2] nāviter, adv., energetically, well.

[3] quod edās: i.e., something to eat.

[4] exemplum, copy.

[5] S(alūtem) P(lūrimam) D(at): i.e., gives heartiest greeting.

[6] dabam, etc.: tenses chosen to suit the time of receipt of letter.

[7] glaciēs, -ēī, f., ice.

[8] minus, not.

[9] mittātur: hort. subjv.

[10] Cūrā: imper.

[11] mea lūx, a common term of affection.

[12] Īd(ibus) Iūn(iīs), abl., on the Ides of June (i.e., the thirteenth).

[13] oblātum īrī, cf. arcessītum īrī, XX, 32.

[14] leviter, adv., lightly.

[15] collātō: with both ablatives.

[16] cōnsulāris, -e, adj., of consular rank; a term applied to ex-consuls.

[17] sē: abl. pl.

[18] vestibulum, -ī, n., entrance.

[19] Collem: i.e., the Capitoline.

[20] per pūblicum: i.e., along the line of the streets.

[21] ductae, freely, which ran.

[22] exārdēscō, -ārdēscere, -ārsī, -ārsum, intr., break out.

[23] dēfōrmis, -e, adj., ugly. The neut. pl. in the text is used as noun.

[24] in . . . contulit, put off upon.

[25] eum: subject of cōnātum esse.

[26] Aenēae: gen.

[27] stirps, stirpis, f., stock.

[28] Nerōnem: sc. esse.

[29] Sustulit . . . sustulit: punning, carried off. The effect is enhanced by the solemnity of line 93.

[30] hic . . . ille, the one . . . the other.

[31] ut: purp.

[32] liqueō, liquēre, licuī: intr.; liquet, impers., it . . . is clear.

[33] dēfōrmitās, -ātis, f., ugliness.

[34] flexūra, -ae, f., bend, turn.

[35] cantū, music.

[36] quōcumque modō, howsoever.

[37] plēbs, plēbis, f., the common people.

[38] inops, -opis, adj., destitute.

[39] domicilium, -ī, n., home.

[40] pūrgō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., clear.

[41] vīcīs, wards.

[42] tepidus, -a, -um, adj., warm.

[43] placidissime: voc.; governing partit, gen. deōrum.

[44] fūgit, has left.

[45] ministerium, -ī, n., labor.

[46] mulceō, mulcēre, mulsī, mulsus, tr., soothe.

[47] reparō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., restore.

[48] labōrī, service; dat. of purp.

[49] ēleganter, adv., beautifully.


Māne ab imperātōre adlātae sunt litterae obsignātae cum mandātō, nē prius solverentur quam Placentiam ventum esset. Quibus acceptīs, Cornēlius servīs imperāvit ut omnia ad iter posterō diē faciendum parāta habērent.

Interim Pūblius Sextum abdūxit, quō propius aspiceret monumenta forī et Campī Mārtiī; nam eī et Cornēliae, morae impatientibus, nihil longius vidēbātur quam dum[1] in rēdās iterum ēscendere licēret.

Cum dēmum sellīs[2] ad portam urbis dēductī essent ac iam in rēdīs cōnsēdissent, patrī Sextus: “Quā viā, pater, ab urbe discēdimus?”

At ille: “Viā Flāminiā iter factūrī sumus,” inquit, “Tiberimque ponte Mulviō trānsībimus.”

“Ibi, nisi fallor,” inquit Sextus, “comprehēnsī sunt lēgātī Allobrogum, quibus Lentulus frūstrā persuādēre cōnātus erat, ut cum Catilīnā sē coniungerent.”

“Rēctē dīcis,” inquit pater; “ac per litterās, quae in eōrum comitātū[3] erant, Cicerō cōnsul patefacere potuit cōnsilia impia, quae contrā rem pūblicam mente scelerātā[4] cīvēs improbī inierant.”

Tum Pūblius: “Nōnne sunt quī exīstiment Cicerōnem laudibus nimiīs suās rēs gestās extulisse?”

“Nēmō dubitat,” inquit pater, “quīn[5] ille fuerit vir ēgregius, quī patriam suam ūnicē amāret; sed certē glōriae[6] nimis avidus erat, ac fēcisset rēctius, sī aliīs laudēs dīcendās relīquisset suās. Quīn etiam tam multa dē coniūrātiōne ā sē dētēctā scrīpsit, ut vērē dīceret Seneca philosophus: ‘Cōnsulātus nōn sine causā sed sine fīne laudātus.’ ”

“Dē hōc ipsō cōnsulātū,” inquit Pūblius, “nōnne Cicerō poēma[7] quoque longissimum fēcit?”

“Rēs ita sē habet,” inquit pater; “et aliōs versūs interdum scrībēbat, quibus invidiam maximam sibi comparāvit. In hīs erat nōtissimus ille:

“ ‘Ō fortūnātam nātam[8] mē cōnsule[9] Rōmam!’ ”

“Eugepae!” inquit Pūblius. “Versum quam ineptum! Crēdō meliōrēs facere etiam mē ipsum posse.”

“Sīve meliōrēs sīve peiōrēs versūs tū faciēs,” inquit pater, “spērō saltem tē nihil scrīptūrum tālī iactantiā[10] dēfōrmātum.”[11]

Dum haec dīcuntur, rēdae celeriter prōvehēbantur, ac iam in cōnspectū erat pōns; quō[12] cum flūmen trānsīssent, Cornēlius: “Iam brevī,” inquit, “per Etrūriam iter faciēmus.”

“Haud procul igitur abesse oportet[13] oppidum[14] Vēiōs,” inquit Pūblius. “Multa dē bellīs, quae cum Vēientibus maiōrēs nostrī gessērunt, apud Līvium nūper lēgī; ac dē gente[15] Fabiā ūnum[16] maximē notābile ita repperī.”

“Nārrā, sīs, frāter,” inquit Sextus, “dummodo rēs satis cruenta sit.”

“Satis sanguinis certē effūsum est,” inquit Pūblius. “Sed, ut ā principiō exōrdiar,[17] illō tempore, dē quō dīcō, Rōmānī nōn modo cum Vēientibus sed etiam cum populīs aliīs bellum gerēbant; ac Vēientēs lātē agrōs nostrōs populābantur.[18]

“Quārē Fabia gēns senātum adiit, et cōnsul Caesō Fabius prō gente ōrātiōnem huius modī habuit: ‘Haud magnīs cōpiīs[19] bellum Vēiēns[20] eget. Vōs cētera bella cūrāte, Vēientēs autem nōbīs trādite. Hoc bellum suscipiet gēns Fabia, et suō sūmptū ad fīnem addūcet.’

“Quō audītō, senātus grātiās maximās Fabiō ēgit; cumque ille cōnsul, comitante Fabiōrum agmine, domum redīsset, rēs celeriter omnēs in partēs urbis est dēlāta, atque undique laudibus summīs Fabiī ad caelum ēlātī sunt.

“Posterō diē arma illī capiunt; ac cōnsul domō ēgressus gentem omnem suam īnstrūctō agmine vīdit. Numquam exercitus aut numerō minor aut fāmā clārior per urbem incessit; nam sex et trecentī[21] mīlitēs, omnēs patriciī,[22] omnēs ūnīus gentis, tum ad bellum prōgrediēbantur.”

“Gentem vērē ēgregiam!” inquit Cornēlia. “Bonīs auspiciīs,[23] ut spērō, certamque ad victōriam proficīscēbantur.”

“Dīs aliter vīsum est,”[24] inquit frāter. “Nam etsī Rōmānī prīmō rem fēlīciter gessērunt, postrēmō in īnsidiās dēlātī paene omnēs proeliō periērunt. Quīn etiam memoriae trāditum est ūnum tantum puerum vix pūberem[25] inde incolumem ēvāsisse.”

Iam Drūsilla: “Cornēliae nostrae,” inquit, “cum tālia nārrantur, maestitia magna semper inicitur. Fortasse ego quaedam nārrāre poterō, quae eī magis placēbunt.” Quō dictō, ita exōrsa est:

“Ōlim, cum religiō Magnae Mātris in Ītaliam īnferrētur et imāgō deae mare[26] trānsvecta Ōstiam[27] pervēnisset, omnium ōrdinum multitūdō maxima, ūnā cum mātrōnīs[28] et Vestālibus, obviam sē tulit.

“Tum honōris causā virī, fūnibus arreptīs, summō labōre nāvem flūmine adversō[29] ad urbem dūcere coepērunt. Prīmō rēs prōsperē cessit; deinde autem nāvis in vada incidit subita, neque ūllō modō longius prōvehī potuit.

“Quō ōmine īnfaustō cum omnēs terrērentur, prōdiisse trādunt[30] quandam mulierem Claudiam nōmine, dē quā rūmōrēs īnfāmēs dīvulgābantur.

“Illa clārē deam precāta ut probitātī[31] suae testimōnium daret: ‘Sī proba[32] sum,’ inquit, ‘sequere[33] mē, precor, Magna Māter, ut castitās[34] mea omnibus manifesta sit.’

“Quae cum dīxisset, manūs tenerās ad fūnem admōvit; ac (mīrābile dictū) deā volente nāvis lēniter prōgressa est, atque imāgō sīc ad urbem pervēnit.”

“Haec meliōra sunt,” inquit Cornēlia; “sed etiam nunc fāta inīqua Fabiōrum mentem meam trīstī cōgitātiōne cōnfundunt.”

“At,” inquit pater, “posterī[35] illīus puerī, quī clādī superfuit, saepe operā suā maximē adiūvērunt patriam; ac multa ab eīs splendidē ācta commemorārī possunt.”

“Ea libenter audiam,” inquit Cornēlia, “nisi trīstia sunt.”

“Audī igitur,” inquit pater: “Eō tempore, cum Gallī, per Ītaliam vagātī, incendērunt urbem et praesidium Rōmānum in Capitōliō ā cēterīs relictum undique obsidēbant, iuvenis quīdam ex Fabiā gente facinore praeclārō oculōs et cīvium et hostium omnium in sē convertit.

“Nam Fabiae gentis erat sacrificium[36] statum[37] in Quirīnālī colle; quod[38] ad cūrandum C. Fabius, sacra manibus ferēns, dē Capitōliō dēscendit et per mediās[39] hostium statiōnēs lēniter ad locum cōnstitūtum prōgressus est.

“Ibi rēbus omnibus rīte perāctīs, cōnstantī[40] gradū, haud frūstrā spērāns deōs propitiōs[41] futūrōs, quōrum cultum nē mortis quidem metū dēterritus relīquisset,[42] nūllō prohibente ad suōs rediit.

“Interim enim Gallī quiētī aspiciēbant, sīve quod tantā audāciā[43] erant obstupefactī, sīve quod etiam religiōne movēbantur, cuius nē haec quidem gēns est omnīnō neglegēns, nec vērō sine causā. Nam vērē dictum est: ‘Deōrum iniūriae dīs cūrae[44] sunt.’ ”

“Sed nunc,” inquit Sextus, “ut ad alia veniam, iam dūdum[45] factum est, cum Pūblius nūllōs versūs suōs recitāvit. Nihilne nūper scrīpsistī, Pūblī?”

“Nihil,” inquit ille; “sed modo legēbam carmen ēgregium poētae Horātī Flaccī dē Īnsulīs Fortūnātīs, quās (ut ipse dīcit) Iuppiter gentī piae[46] sēposuit.”[47]

“Hoc audiāmus,” inquit Sextus.

“Tōtum memoriā vix teneō,” inquit ille; “sed hī sunt versūs aliquot:

“ ‘Mella cavā mānant ex īlice, montibus altīs

  Levis crepante[48] lympha dēsilit pede.

Illic iniussae[49] veniunt ad mulctra capellae,

  Refertque tenta[50] grex amīcus[51] ūbera,

Nec vespertīnus[52] circumgemit[53] ursus ovīle,[54]

  Neque intumēscit[55] alta vīperīs[56] humus;

Nūlla nocent pecorī contāgia,[57] nūllĭus[58] astrī[59]

  Gregem aestuōsa[60] torret impotentia.’ ”[61]

“Optimē,” inquit pater. “Vellem mē quoque tam multa meminisse posse.”

Dum haec fīunt, per loca amoena via ferēbat; cum autem hōrā ferē nōnā ad oppidum Falēriōs perventum esset, viātōrēs libenter ad caupōnem dēvertērunt.

[1] quam dum, than until.

[2] sellīs: to comply with traffic rules; cf. XXIII, 112.

[3] comitātus, -ūs, m., retinue.

[4] scelerātus, -a, -um, adj., criminal.

[5] quīn, that.

[6] glōriae: obj. gen.

[7] poēma, -atis, n., poem.

[8] nātam: i.e., born again.

[9] mē cōnsule: abl. absol., in my consulship.

[10] iactantia, -ae, f., boastfulness.

[11] dēfōrmō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., mar.

[12] quō: the bridge.

[13] oportet, impers., it must (be that).

[14] oppidum: acc.; subj. of abesse.

[15] gente, family.

[16] ūnum: neut.

[17] ut . . . exōrdiar: purp.

[18] populor, -ārī, -ātus sum, tr., ravage.

[19] magnīs cōpiīs: abl.

[20] Vēiēns, neut. adj.

[21] trecentī, -ae, -a, num. adj., three hundred.

[22] patricius, -a, -um, adj., patrician.

[23] Bonīs auspiciīs: abl. of attendant circumstance.

[24] vīsum est: impers.

[25] pūber, -eris, adj., full-grown.

[26] mare: acc. retained with pass.

[27] Ōstiam: port at the mouth of the Tiber.

[28] mātrōna, -ae, f., lady.

[29] flūmine adversō, upstream.

[30] trādunt: i.e., dīcunt.

[31] probitās, -ātis, f., uprightness, character.

[32] probus, -a, -um, adj., virtuous.

[33] sequere: imper.

[34] castitās, -ātis, f., innocence.

[35] posterī: nom. pl.

[36] sacrificium, -ī, n., sacrifice.

[37] status, -a, -um, adj., regularly recurring.

[38] quod: the sacrifice.

[39] mediās: cf. extrēmam, II, 43.

[40] cōnstāns, -antis, adj., steady.

[41] propitius, -a, -um, adj., well disposed, kind.

[42] relīquisset: force of neg. continues with this verb.

[43] audācia, -ae, f., boldness.

[44] dīs cūrae: double dat.

[45] iam dūdum, etc., it has been a long time that. Cf. XIII, 19.

[46] pius, -a, -um, adj., righteous.

[47] sēpōnō, -ponēre, -posuī, -positus, tr., set apart.

[48] crepō, -āre, -uī, -itum, intr., plash.

[49] iniussus, -a, -um, adj., uncalled.

[50] tentus, -a, -um, adj., distended, i.e., full.

[51] amīcus, -a, -um, adj., willing.

[52] vespertīnus, -a, -um, adj., at night.

[53] circumgemō, -gemere, tr., growl around.

[54] ovīle, -is, n., sheep-fold.

[55] intumēscō, -tumēscere, -tumuī, intr., swell, abound (in).

[56] vīpera, -ae, f., serpent.

[57] contāgium, -ī, n.; pl., infection.

[58] nūllius: with ĭ in verse.

[59] astrum, -ī, n., star.

[60] aestuōsus, -a, -um, adj., burning.

[61] impotentia, -ae, f., violence, rage.

Photograph by C. E. Bennett



Nōndum aderat cēnae tempus; quārē līberī paulisper ōtiōsī vagābantur, cum nescīrent quid potissimum[1] facerent. Tum Sextus: “Multōs diēs Onēsimus omnīnō nihil nōbīs nārrāvit. Eum adeāmus, sī forte nunc aliquid recordārī possit.”

“Fīat,”[2] inquit Cornēlia. “Semper enim ille dīcit digna, quae[3] audiantur.”

Quōs ubi appropinquantēs vīdit, Onēsimus: “Cūr vōs sīc languidōs videō, līberī? Lūdendō etiam nunc fatīgātī estis?”

“Ita vērō,” inquit Sextus; “nec scīmus quid potissimum faciāmus. Nōnne tū vīs aliquid nōbīs nārrāre, quō celerius tempus abeat?”

Tum ille: “Hae ratiōnēs, quās vidētis, prius cōnficiendae sunt. Posteā, sī interim mihi molestī nōn fueritis, experiar quid facere possim.”

Quō audītō, līberī discessērunt. Ac paulō post, cum iterum conclāve intrāssent, sē[4] exspectantem Onēsimum invēnērunt, quī: “Dē Milōne, āthlētā nōbilissimō,” inquit, “fābulās vōbīs nārrābō, sī audīre vultis.”

“Mīror,” inquit Sextus, “isne fuerit homō tantīs vīribus quantīs fuit Herculēs aut ille Samsōn, dē quō ōlim Anna nōbīs quaedam mīranda nārrāvit.”

“Milō quidem,” inquit Onēsimus, “satis validus profectō erat; quī etiam dīcitur ōlim Olympiae[5] per stadium ingressus esse, cum umerīs sustinēret bovem.”

“Papae!” inquit Sextus. “Vellem hoc ego vidissem. Sed vix intellegere possum, quō modō homō onus tantum sustinēre potuerit, etsī vīribus maximīs erat.”

“Memoriae trāditum est,” inquit Onēsimus, “Milōnem prīmō vitulum cotīdiē tulisse, neque id intermīsisse facere, dōnec vitulus esset bōs factus. Sīc onus semper maius sustinēre potuit, quod[6] ipsīus vīrēs pariter[7] crēscēbant.”

“Callidus certē erat,” inquit Cornēlia, “quī sē tam scienter[8] exercēret.”

“Aliud quoque dē eō nārrāre possum,” inquit Onēsimus, “quod fortasse vōbīs etiam notābilius vidēbitur.”

“Quid est?” inquit Sextus. “Audīre cupimus.”

At ille: “Milō ōlim, cum iam senior per silvam sōlus iter faceret, arborem cōnspexit, quae cuneīs[9] fissa erat. Quā animadversā, cum vellet experīrī num vīrēs prīstinae adhūc integrae essent, digitīs in rīmam arboris īnsertīs,[10] rōbur dīdūcere cōnātus est.

“Ac mediam quidem partem dīvellit. Cum autem manūs laxāsset[11] (ratus sē iam perfēcisse,[12] quod cōnātus erat), arbor, quae duās in partēs dīducta erat, subitō in locum rediit, manūsque hominis artē compressit.

“Rēs[13] iam in summum discrīmen est adducta; nam senis īnfēlīcis vīrēs dēfēcerant, nec ūllō modō arborem iterum dīdūcere aut manūs suās revellere potuit. Quārē, ā[14] ferīs ibi repertus, foedē[15] dīlaniātus est, cum nōn diūtius sē dēfendere posset.”

“Ēheu!” inquit Cornēlia. “Omnēs, dē quibus audiō, exitūs miserōs invenīre videntur.”

At iam Pūblius, quī modo conclāve intrāverat: “Quid est, soror mea,” inquit, “quod nunc tibi molestum est?”

“Dē quōdam āthlētā clārō,” inquit Cornēlia, “fābulam audiēbāmus; quī miser, iam senex factus, in silvīs ā ferīs occīsus est.”

“Ego quoque dē āthlētā quōdam aliquid nārrāre possum,” inquit Pūblius, “nisi iam satis superque[16] dē eius generis hominibus audīvistis.”

“Perge porrō dīcere,” inquit Sextus. “Ego saltem audīre volō.”

Tum frāter: “Polydamās, āthlēta nōbilis, dīcitur ōlim tempestāte subitā in spēluncam cum comitibus aliquot refugere esse coāctus. Sed brevī aquae incursū[17] spēlunca ipsa labefactārī coepta est,[18] ac comitēs, ruīnam veritī, celeriter forās sē prōiēcērunt.

“Ipse autem Polydamās intus sōlus restābat, umerīs validīs sē mōlem quamvīs[19] magnam sustinēre posse ratus. Quae rēs eum multum fefellit; nam onere hūmānō corpore[20] potentiōre[21] ēlīsus est.”

“Haec quoque trīstia sunt,” inquit Cornēlia. “Sed istīus hominis mē minus miseret, quod in eō tanta erat stultitia.”

“Aliud est simile apud Tacitum,” inquit Pūblius; “etsī ibi dē mīlite, nōn dē āthlētā agitur.”

“Hoc quoque,” inquit Sextus, “libenter audiēmus.”

Tum frāter: “Ōlim, cum imperātor Tiberius cum quibusdam comitibus in spēluncā cibum caperet, subitō dēlāpsīs saxīs quīdam[22] ex servīs ēlīsī sunt.

“Convīvae cēterī, summā celeritāte ē spēluncā fūgērunt; Seiānus autem, genū[23] et manibus super Tiberium suspēnsus,[24] saxīs incidentibus sē opposuit,[25] atque tālī habitū repertus est ā mīlitibus, quī celeriter subsidiō vēnērunt.”

“Ambōne[26] erant ēlīsī,” inquit Cornēlia, “cum ā mīlitibus repertī essent?”

“Nūllō modō,” inquit Pūblius; “qūin etiam incolumēs ambō ē spēluncā ēductī sunt. Sed posteā Seiānus contrā Tiberium coniūrātiōnem fēcit, cum spērāret sē ipsum ā mīlitibus imperātōrem salūtātum īrī. Propter haec ā senātū capitis[27] damnātus est.”

“Dēnuō exitum miserum!” inquit Cornēlia. “Vellem Seiānī facinus sōlum[28] ēgregium audīssēmus.”

“Cum dē spēluncīs modo mentiōnem fēcerīmus,” inquit Pūblius, “fābulamne umquam audīvistis dē pāstōre, quī ānulum aureum sub terrā repperit?”

“Crēdō mē numquam audīvisse,” inquit Cornēlia. “Nārrā, sīs, dummodo ēventus minus trīstis sit.”

Tum frāter: “Trādunt quendam Gȳgem, rēgiōrum pecorum pāstōrem, in spēluncam imbribus factam dēscendisse, ibique invēnisse aēneum equum, cuius in lateribus forēs essent. Quibus patefactīs, corpus hominis mortuī intus inventum est ānulusque in digitō.

“Quō celeriter dētractō, Gȳgēs, ē spēluncā ēgressus, in pāstōrum concilium[29] sē recēpit; ubi rēs nova, subitō oblāta,[30] eum admīrātiōne[31] maximā dēfīxit. Nam, cum pālam ānulī ad palmam[32] suam converterat, ā nūllō poterat cernī, ipse autem omnēs vidēbat; cum vērō eam in locum inverterat,[33] rūrsus poterant omnēs eum cernere.

“Quārē, opportūnitāte ānulī ūsus, rēgīnam convēnit, cum eā coniūrātiōnem contrā rēgem fēcit, occīditque omnēs, qūos cōnsiliīs suīs officere putābat; neque in hīs facinoribus quisquam eum vidēre potuit. Quō modō ānulī beneficiō[34] rēx ipse brevī factus est.”

“Heia!” inquit Sextus. “Quam vellem ego quoque ānulum similem inveniīre possem!”

“Quid tum facerēs,” inquit Cornēlia, “sī habērēs?”

At ille: “Modo in dēversōriō servōs audīvī,” inquit, “cum inter sē loquerentur[35] dē latrōnibus, quī dīcuntur omnibus in partibus Etrūriae vagārī. Ānulum tālem sī habērem, nihil inde[36] timendum esset; nam sīcubi[37] illī scelestī subitō in nōs impetum facerent, mediōs in eōs cum gladiō inruerem, ubi, nūllō cernente, strāgem[38] ēderem maximam.”

“Prūdentiam[39] tuam laudō,” inquit Pūblius rīdēns. “Sed iam Stasimum appropinquantem videō, et cēnae tempus crēdō adesse. Eāmus.” Quō audītō, līberī libenter secūtī sunt.

[1] potissimum: adv.; cf. VII, 50.

[2] Fīat, freely, very well.

[3] digna, quae, etc., worth hearing.

[4] sē: pl.; obj. of part.

[5] Olympiae: loc. The Olympic games continued until 394 a.d.

[6] quod, conj.

[7] pariter, adv., equally, at an equal rate.

[8] scienter, adv., skillfully.

[9] cuneus, -ī, m., wedge.

[10] īnserō, -serere, -seruī, -sertus, tr., insert.

[11] laxō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., relax.

[12] perfēcisse: sc. id.

[13] Rēs, situation.

[14] ā, by (the beasts being thought of as agents).

[15] foedē, adv., horribly.

[16] superque, and more (than enough).

[17] incursus, -ūs, m., inrush.

[18] coepta est: pass. because of pass. infin.

[19] quamvīs, adv., however; mod. of magnam.

[20] hūmānō corpore: abl. with comp.

[21] potēns, -entis, adj., powerful. The weight was too great for human strength.

[22] quīdam, some.

[23] genū, -ūs, n., knee.

[24] suspēnsus, -a, -um, part., arched over.

[25] oppōnō, -pōnere, -posuī, -positus, tr., oppose, set against.

[26] Ambōne: i.e., Ambō + -ne.

[27] capitis: cf. X, 60.

[28] sōlum: adv.

[29] concilium, -ī, n., meeting, gathering.

[30] oblāta, freely, developing.

[31] admīrātiō, -ōnis, f., wonder.

[32] palma, -ae, f., palm (of hand).

[33] invertō, -vertere, -vertī, -versus, tr., turn back.

[34] beneficium, -ī, n., help.

[35] cum . . . loquerentur: i.e., loquentēs.

[36] inde, from that source (i.e., the brigands).

[37] sīcubi, if . . . anywhere.

[38] strāgēs, -is, f., slaughter.

[39] prūdentia, -ae, f., caution.



Posterō diē, cum iam omnia ad iter faciendum parāta essent, Drūsilla, forās ēgrediēns, forte līmen pede offendit; quō cāsū paulum āfuit quīn in caput praecipitārētur. Quae: “Ēheu!” inquit. “Ōmen quam īnfaustum! Profectō dī nōs vetant hodiē iter facere.”

“Nōlī tam facile perturbārī,” inquit Cornēlius. “Haec omnia sunt fortuīta; nec nōs decet religiōne[1] vānā terrērī. Audācter in rēdam ēscende. Simulatque iter facere incipiēmus, tū nōn diūtius hoc memineris.”[2]

Tālī cohortātiōne inducta Drūsilla in rēdam ēscendit, etsī mēns eius adhūc ōmine īnfaustō sollicita erat. Cornēlius autem, quō facilius uxōris animum ā cūrīs tālibus āverteret, praetervolantēs aquilās quāsdam dēmōnstrāns: “Aspice,” inquit, “ōmen pulcherrimum. Rōmānae avēs, quasi ducēs viae, praeeunt; optimīs certē auspiciīs eās sequimur.”

“Nōnne memoriae trāditum est,” inquit Pūblius, “imperātōrem Vitellium ōlim fortiter accēpisse ōmen etiam magis horrendum?”

“Rēctē quaeris,” inquit pater. “Nam eō ipsō diē, quō ā mīlitibus imperātor salūtātus est, triclīnium flagrāvit. Cumque omnēs quasi ōmine adversō ānxiī essent, ille sōlus hilaris: ‘Bonō,’ inquit, ‘animō estōte; nōbīs adlūxit!’[3] Quibus verbīs ōmen in bonum vertit.

“Ac dē dictātōre Caesare aliquid eius generis scrīptum esse recordor. Nam ille in Āfricam ōlim trānsvectus, cum ex nāve ēgressus ad lītus cymbā pervēnisset, pede offēnsō, prōnus in harēnam prōlāpsus est.[4] Quō cāsū comitēs perterritī sunt, at ille: ‘Aspice ōmen optimum,’ inquit; ‘Āfricam oppressī!’ ”[5]

“Apud Suētōnium,” inquit Pūblius, “aliud memoriā dignum nūper animadvertī. Cum enim Līvia Augusta vīllam suam Vēientānam ōlim revīseret,[6] aquila praetervolāns in eius gremium dīcitur dēmīsisse gallīnam albam,[7] quae rāmulum laurī rōstrō tenēret.

“Cumque nūtrīrī gallīnam rāmulumque pangī Līviae placuisset,[8] tanta gallīnārum subolēs[9] prōvēnit, ut posteā ea vīlla ‘ad Gallīnās’[10] vocārētur, tāle vērō laurētum,[11] ut inde rāmulōs Caesarēs triumphātūrī[12] dēcerperent.

“Quotiēnscumque arbor discerpta erat, altera[13] eōdem locō pangēbātur. Et observātum est sub mortem cuiusque imperātōris arborem ab ipsō īnstitūtam ēlanguisse.[14] Novissimō igitur Nerōnis[15] annō silva tōta rādīcitus[16] exāruit,[17] omnēsque gallīnae illae periērunt; nam prōgeniēs[18] Caesarum in Nerōne dēfēcit.”

Dum hīs et tālibus sē oblectant, Drūsilla cūrās suās paulum remīsit; cumque iam ferē quīndecim[19] mīlia passuum fēcissent iter, līberī, quī male ēsuriēbant, patrem ōrāvērunt, ut equōs cōnsistere iubēret, sub arboribus ut cibum ederent, quem corbulīs sēcum portāvissent.

Potestāte factā, omnēs libenter ex rēdīs dēscendērunt ac mox per herbam ōtiōsī dispositī sunt. Līberī, cibō cōnsūmptō, longius vagātī erant, qūo lātius loca explōrārent, cum subitō Sextus maximō clāmōre ē silvā parvā ērūpit, ac quantum[20] celeritāte potuit ad rēdās tendēbat.

“Periī!” inquit Drūsilla, perterrita exsiliēns. “Ubi est Cornēlia? Mē miseram! Nesciō quid[21] malī puellae accidit? Haud falsō admonuī hunc diem nōbīs īnfaustum fore! Ō mē miseram! Quō mē vertam?”[22]

Interim Cornēlius et Pūblius cum servīs obviam Sextō properāverant, ut līberīs opitulārentur, sī quid[23] opus esset. At Sextus, cum patris complexū receptus esset, prīmō prae metū nihil omnīnō ēnūntiāre potuit. Tum, singultū vōcem[24] interpellante, dīxit duōs hominēs, quī subitō ex arborum umbrā exsiluissent, Cornēliam arreptam in silvam dēnsiōrem sēcum abstulisse.

Quō audītō, omnēs sine morā in silvam sē praecipitāvērunt; ubi autem, etsī longē et lātē quaerēbant, puellae vēstīgium reperīre potuērunt nūllum. Quārē ad rēdās reversī inter sē breviter[25] cōnsuluērunt, quid iam optimum factū esset.

Interim Drūsilla dolōre paene āmēns, veste discissā ultrō citrōque cursitābat, sē suōsque omnēs vehementer incūsāns quod ōmine tam manifestō nōn admonitī essent et deīs invītīs iter facere eō diē persevērāssent.

Cui tandem Cornēlius: “Nōlī dēspērāre, uxor,” inquit. “Sine dubiō hī hominēs latrōnēs sunt; sed pecūniā[26] tantum[27] opus est, quā fīlia redimātur. Puellam ipsam laedere nōn volent.”

At iam subitō Pūblius: “Quid est hoc,” inquit, “quod videō? Nōnne procul est mulier, quae aliquid nōbīs manū significāre cōnātur?” Quae cum dīceret, digitō mōnstrābat saxum, in quō stābat mulier, quae modo dīversā ex parte silvae ēgressa erat.

Photograph by C. E. Bennett


“Ita est, ut tū dīcis,” inquit Cornēlius. “Mulier manū aliquid tenēre vidētur, quod nunc in saxō pōnit. Iam autem in silvam sē recēpit. Tū, Pūblī, cum Onēsimō et Stasimō ad saxum properā, ut statim sciātur[28] quid sit id, quod ibi ab eā relictum est.” Quō audītō, illī celeriter abiērunt.

In saxō inventa est charta, litterīs cruentīs īnscrīpta, quam Stasimus effūsō cursū ad dominum rettulit. Chartā raptim perlēctā,[29] Cornēlius ēnūntiāvit fīliam ā latrōnibus captam esse, quī spondērent[30] sē puellam incolumem parentibus trāditūrōs, sī intrā diēs trēs pater inermis sine comite ad saxum illud trīgintā sēstertia[31] adferret, quibus fīlia redimerētur; aliter puellam gladiō occīsum īrī.[32]

Quae ubi cognita sunt, Drūsilla ululātū ācrī in terram cecidit, ibique exanimāta iacēbat. Quam cum Anna cūrāret, Stasimō Cornēlius imperāvit ut summā celeritāte contenderet ad oppidum Nārniam (quod iam haud procul aberat), ut inde equōs citōs addūceret.

Tum, Drūsillā in rēdam sublātā, omnēs maestī ad oppidum profectī sunt. Sed dīmidium viae vix cōnfectum erat, cum occurrit Stasimus equīs cum recentibus.

Hōs ipsī et Onēsimō trādidit Cornēlius, cum mandātō ut Rōmam quam celerrimē properārent, ut inde reportārent pecūniam, quā iam opus esset; nē diem noctemve[33] intermitterent,[34] nēve[35] aut sibi aut equīs parcerent.

Servī libenter cursū incitātō abiērunt. Cornēlius autem cum cēterīs in oppidum perrēxit, ubi nox sollicita et inquiēta exācta est.

Sed māne praeter opīniōnem[36] Onēsimus et Stasimus praestō fuērunt, quī nūntiāvērunt sē in itinere obviōs factōs esse cuidam Tulliō, amīcō Cornēlī, quī pecūniam grandem sēcum portāret, quīque mūtuum[37] dare vellet quodcumque ad puellam līberandam opus[38] esset.

Quō audītō, omnēs gaudiō et spē suspēnsī, adventum Tullī cupidē exspectābant. Quī, cum hōrā ferē quārtā pervēnisset, crumēnā[39] solūtā, Cornēliō trigintā sēstertia in mēnsā numerāvit.[40]

Tum ille[41] cum Stasimō sōlō profectus, ut[42] ad locum pervēnit ubi rēdae prīdiē cōnstiterant, ibi servum quoque relīquit et inermis ad saxum cōnstitūtum prōgressus est.

Iam subitō ē silvā signum est audītum, latrōque ingēns ē latebris ad saxum rēctā prōcessit. Quī cum vīdisset Cornēlium inermem pecūniam attulisse, signum alterum dedit, ac mulier Cornēliam ē silvā prōdūxit.

Dum illa, gaudiō ēlāta, in complexum patris sē praecipitat, latrō, pecūniā arreptā, in silvam cum muliere celeriter rediit; utque prīmum Cornēlius et fīlia sē circumspexērunt, nēmō iam in cōnspectū erat.

Quō animadversō, Cornēlius: “Age, fīlia mea,” inquit; “adde gradum. Stasimus cum equīs haud procul exspectat; ac brevī in gremiō eris mātris, quae nunc in dēversōriō metū exanimāta iacet.”

Quae cum dīceret, Cornēliam ad equōs dūcēbat; quibus celeriter in oppidum prōvectī, ab omnibus summō gaudiō acceptī sunt; ac māter et fīlia in lacrimās effūsae, mūtuō complexū tenēbantur.

[1] religiōne, scruples.

[2] memineris: the only future this verb can make.

[3] adlūceō, -lūcēre, -lūxī, intr., shine forth; adlūxit, impers., light has shone forth.

[4] prōlābōr, -lābī, -lāpsus sum, intr., fall (forward).

[5] oppressī, punning, I have crushed.

[6] revīsō, -ere, tr., go out to.

[7] albus, -a, -um, adj., white; a lucky color with the Romans.

[8] placuisset: impers.

[9] subolēs, -is, f., brood.

[10] ad Gallīnās: keep the Latin name.

[11] laurētum, -ī, n., laurel grove.

[12] triumphō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr. and intr., celebrate a triumph.

[13] altera, a second, i.e., another.

[14] ēlanguēscō, -languēscere, -languī, intr., wither away.

[15] Nerōnis: i.e., of Nero’s reign.

[16] rādīcitus, adv., from the roots.

[17] exārēscō, -ārēscere, -āruī, intr., dry up.

[18] prōgeniēs, -ēī, f., line (of descent).

[19] quīndecim, indecl. num., fifteen.

[20] quantum, etc.: cf. XVIII, 28.

[21] Nesciō quid, Something or other; the phrase is subj. of accidit.

[22] vertam: subjv.

[23] quid: adv. acc.

[24] vōcem: obj. of verb of abl. absol.

[25] breviter, adv., briefly.

[26] pecūniā: abl. with opus est.

[27] tantum: adv.

[28] sciātur: impers.

[29] perlegō, -legere, -lēgī, -lēctus, tr., read (through).

[30] spondeō, spondēre, spospondī, spōnsus, tr., agree, promise.

[31] trīgintā sēstertia: about $1200. See Vocab., and note on XIII, 122.

[32] occīsum īrī: cf. arcessītum īrī, XX, 32.

[33] nē . . . intermitterent: prohibition in ind. disc.

[34] -ve, conj., or.

[35] nēve: i.e., ei + .

[36] praeter opīniōnem, contrary to expectation.

[37] mūtuum, as a loan; neut. acc.

[38] opus: here indecl. adj., needful.

[39] crumēna, -ae, f., money-bag.

[40] numerō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., count out.

[41] ille: i.e., Cornelius.

[42] ut: temporal.


Māne viātōrēs, cum grātiās maximās Tulliō ēgissent, Nūceriam versus profectī sunt; quō pervēnērunt, cum iam nūbēs nigrae in caelō cōgerentur. Paulō post imber est cōnsecūtus.

Haec nox haud sine trepidātiōne perācta est. Nam cum omnēs, dē itinere fessī mātūrē cubitum discessissent, subitō mediā nocte vōx audīta est Cornēliae, quae perterrita opem implōrābat.

Quō clāmōre audītō, Drūsilla, ē somnō excussa, lūmine accēnsō ad fīliae lectum quam celerrimē perrēxit. Ibi in lacrimās effūsa et terrōre paene exanimāta sedēbat Cornēlia; cui māter: “Quid factum est, fīliola mea?” inquit, cum puellam trepidantem complexū suō reciperet.

“Ō māter, māter!” inquit Cornēlia. “Mihi vīsa sum iterum in silvā errāre. Et ē spēluncā subitō ērūpit gigās immānis, quī vōce horrendā clāmāvit: ‘Ubi est puella mea?’ Tum ego trepidāns: ‘Quae est puella tua?’ inquam. At ille, mē digitō ingentī dēmōnstrāns: ‘Tū, tū,’ inquit. Quō audītō, clāmōrem sustulī maximum, ac tū statim cum lūmine ad mē vēnistī.”

Vix ea dicta erant, cum repente forīs audīta est vōx dīcentis: ‘Tū, tū,’ ac Cornēlia cōnsternāta mātrem artē amplexa est.

Illa autem rīdens: “Quid, fīlia mea? Nōnne tū umquam noctuam audīvistī? Accēde hūc ad fenestram. Nūbēs iam discessērunt, et nox clāra et serēna est.”

Cum Cornēlia ē fenestrā stellās aspiceret, iterum ex arbore propinquā audīta est vōx noctuae: ‘Tū, tū.’ Tum puella quoque adrīsit. Quīn etiam vānī terrōris eam iam pudēbat; quārē rūrsus quiētī sē dedit, nec quidquam ultrā trepidātiōnis hāc nocte fuit.

At posterō diē aliquid morae erat, quod, cum hōra profectiōnis adesset, Stasimus nusquam reperīrī potuit. Dum autem Cornēlius vehementer commōtus neque vōcī[1] neque īrae parcit, accessit caupōnis servus, quī dīxit Stasimum multō māne ad quendam fundum vīcīnum abiisse, sī forte ibi ōva recentia reperīret.

“Celeritāte,[2] nōn ōvīs, nunc opus est,” inquit Cornēlius adhūc īrā incēnsus; “et iūre istī scelestō accidat,[3] sī sine eō hinc proficīscāmur. Ī, Onēsime, trēs equōs quaere, ut temporis minimum[4] āmittātur.”

Equīs adductīs, Pūblius et Onēsimus celeriter ēscendērunt atque ad fundum profectī sunt, cum equum tertium habēnīs dūceret Onēsimus, ut Stasimus quoque vehī[5] posset, cum ad dēversōrium redīrent.

Ubi ad fundum appropinquāvērunt, in mūrō magnīs litterīs īnscrīptus hic titulus appārēbat: CAVĒ CANEM; ac ultrā mūrum audiēbātur canis lātrātus et vōcēs hominum altercantium.

“Crēdō Stasimum, ut solet, in aliquod perīculum incidisse,” inquit Pūblius. Quae cum dīxisset, equō dīmissō,[6] in saxum ēscendit, unde aspicere poterat quae ultrā mūrum fierent.

Tum vidēbat Stasimum, quī temere mūrum trānsiluerat, ā cane in arborem refugere coāctum esse. Ibi in rāmō sedēns, ille servus vafer lūdificābat agricolam īrātum, quī furcā armātus īnfrā stābat. Interim canis frūstrā in arborem saltū cōnābātur ēscendere, cum loca longē et lātē lātrātū resonārent.

“Dēscende īlicō,” inquit agricola, “aut tē, ut[7] fūrem manifestum, furcā trānsfīgam.”

“Surdus[8] sum,” inquit Stasimus, ad aurem manū admōtā. “Maius[9] clāmā, sī vīs.”

Tum maximā vōce agricola: “Dēscende, mastīgia, priusquam tē hāc furcā trānsfīgam.”

“Tantum strepitum facit canis,” inquit Stasimus, “ut nihil plānē audīre possim. Dīxistīne tē mihi aliquid datūrum?”

“Ita vērō,” inquit agricola, īrā ēlātus. “Malum[10] maximum tibi dabō, furcifer, sī umquam manūs tibi iniciam.”

At Stasimus, quasi audīre attentē cōnārētur: “Mālae[11] meae rēctē sē habent,” inquit, “sed aurēs mūnere suō fungī nōlunt.”

“Haec furca mūnere suō fungētur,” inquit agricola, “nisi tū īlicō in terram tē dēmittēs. Dēscendis an nōn dēscendis?”

“Nunc quidem,” inquit Stasimus, “nōn dēscendō;[12] nam in rāmō sedeō.”

Quō audītō, agricola furibundus[13] in arborem furcam prōicere parābat, cum Pūblius ē saxō vōcem ēmittēns:[14] “Heus tū,” inquit. “Quid, obsecrō, factum est? Servum nostrum Stasimum ego quaerō. Sī eum in hīs locīs vagantem vīdistī, ostende, sīs.”

Cui agricola: “Quisquis[15] es, adulēscēns, hominī negōtiōsō molestiam[16] exhibēs. Nam fūrem manifestum canis in hanc arborem refugere coēgit, cui nūllō modō persuādēre potuī ut inde dēscenderet.”

“Id minimē mirandum est,” inquit Pūblius rīdēns, “cum[17] canis saevus arborem custōdiat et tū hominem dēscendentem[18] furcā accipere parātus sīs. Sed suspicor hunc esse servum, quem quaerō. Māne ille ē dēversōriō ōva ēmptum profectus est; at nunc, ut vidētur, mōre suō turbās hīc impudenter[19] concitat.”

“Quis sit, plānē nesciō,” inquit agricola dentibus frendēns.[20] “Sed prō impudentiā suā certō sciō eum hodiē mihi poenās maximās datūrum.”

“Ōhē, senex,” inquit Pūblius; “nōlī saevīre. Sine hominem impūne dēscendere, ac tibi hoc accipe.” Quō dictō, aureum prōiēcit, quī in terram ante pedēs agricolae cecidit; cuius īra, aureō vīsō, paulātim resīdere coepit.

“Celeritāte nunc opus est,” inquit Pūblius. “Iam diū in oppidō exspectāmur. Canem revocā, senex.”

Tum ille, aureō sublātō, canem vinculō redūcere coepit; Stasimus autem celeriter ex arbore dēsiluit, et cursū effūsō mūrum petīvit.

Canis, cum hostem fugientem vīdisset, summā vī adnīsus[21] vinculum rūpit, et Stasimum, quantum celeritāte poterat, secūtus est. Ille vix in mūrum ēscendēbat, cum canis saltū sē prōiciēns vestem eius dentibus apprehendit[22] pannumque[23] inde dēripuit longum.

Pūblius et agricola, cum Stasimum vīdissent in mūrō stantem, dum vestem discissam trīstis aspicit, in cachinnōs maximōs effūsī sunt. Ille autem ex mūrō dēsiluit, arreptōque lapide iterum celeriter ascendit.

Quō animadversō, canis dēnuō in mūrum impetum fēcit; sed inde ācriter ululāns[24] refūgit, cum Stasimus lapidem summā vī in eius caput impēgisset.

Quā iniūriā incēnsus, agricola cum furcā subsidiō[25] canī prōcurrit.[26] Cēterī autem celeriter in equōs ēscendērunt, atque incitātō cursū ad oppidum revectī[27] sunt.

Quōs cum vīdisset, Cornēlius: “Quid tibi vīs,[28] Stasime?” inquit. “Propter tē duārum hōrārum iactūram iam fēcimus. Sīcubi nōs posthāc ita dēserēs, tē nōn exspectābimus. Etiam nunc vix contineor quōminus tē, ut merēris, ulcīscar.”

“Veniam dā, ere, obsecrō,” inquit Stasimus. “Putāvī ōva recentia ē fundō līberīs grāta fore, nec dubitāvī quīn multō ante tempus profectiōnis ego redīre possem.”

“Cūr igitur nōn temperī[29] redīstī?” inquit Cornēlius.

At ille: “Dum ōva quaerō, dē viā errāvī. Tum mihi obviam vēnit sīmius mōrōsus, quī in rāmō arboris mē sedēre coēgit, cum interim canis saevus circumsilīret.”[30]

Quō audītō, Cornēlius quamvīs[31] invītus rīsit omnēsque in rēdās iussit sine morā ēscendere. Cuius dictō[32] viātōrēs libenter pāruērunt ac brevī ex oppidō equīs volentibus vectī sunt.

[1] neque vōcī, etc.: i.e., he stormed about angrily.

[2] Celeritāte: cf. pecūniā, XXVIII, 74.

[3] accidat: impers.

[4] minimum, as little as possible.

[5] vehī, ride.

[6] equō dīmissō: i.e., leaving his horse.

[7] ut, as (being).

[8] surdus, -a, -um, adj., deaf.

[9] Maius, louder; cognate acc.

[10] Malum: i.e., a beating.

[11] Mālae, punning on Malum, line 63.

[12] nōn dēscendō: punning on the tense.

[13] furibundus, -a, -um, adj., crazed with anger.

[14] ēmittō, -mittere, -mīsī, -missus, tr., send forth; vōcem ēmittere, shout.

[15] quisquis, quicquid, indef. rel. pron., whoever, whatever.

[16] molestia, -ae, f., annoyance.

[17] cum, in view of the fact that.

[18] dēscendentem: the part. approximates the force of a cond. clause.

[19] impudenter, adv., shamelessly.

[20] frendēns, -entis, part., grinding.

[21] adnītor, -nītī, -nīsus or nīxus, intr., struggle.

[22] apprehendō, -prehendere, -prehendī, -prehēnsus, tr., catch.

[23] pannus, -ī, m., strip.

[24] ululāns, -antis, part., yelping.

[25] subsidiō: dat.

[26] prōcurrō, -currere, -currī and -cucurrī, -cursum, intr., run forward.

[27] revehō, -vehere, -vexī, -vectus, tr.; pass., ride back.

[28] Quid tibi vīs? freely, What do you mean?

[29] temperī, adv., in time.

[30] circumsiliō, -īre, intr., dance about.

[31] quamvīs: with invītus.

[32] dictum,-ī, n., order.



Postquam aliquamdiū tacitī provectī sunt, patri Pūblius: “Ubi hanc noctem āctūrī sumus?” inquit.

“Vereor nē necesse sit aliquam in vīllam hāc nocte dēvertere,” inquit Cornēlius. “Nam in hīs regiōnibus, quō tendimus, nūlla sunt oppida magna.”

“Putāvī nōs fortasse Sentīnī[1] morātūrōs,” inquit Pūblius.

“Hoc oppidum ā viā nimis longē abest,” inquit pater, “et celeritātī studeō.”

“Ecquid[2] clārum Sentīnī umquam factum est?” inquit Sextus.

“Maximē vērō,” inquit pater. “Sed dē proeliō ōlim ibi commissō fortasse Pūblius quaedam nārrāre potest.”

Quibus verbīs inductus, Pūblius haud invītus: “Abhinc annōs amplius quadringentōs,”[3] inquit, “Rōmānī ad Sentīnum ācerrimē cum Samnītibus et Gallīs pugnāvērunt.

“Cōnsul ūnus, cum Samnītibus congressus, prīmō satis habēbat[4] sē ab hostibus dēfendere, ratus sī proelium diūtius extractum esset, fore ut hostium sīc minuerētur impetus, Rōmānīs autem vīrēs paene integrae servārentur.

“Alterō autem in cornū P. Decius Mūs, quī contrā Gallōs cōnstiterat, quia lentius[5] vidēbātur pedestre[6] certāmen, equitēs vehementer in pugnam concitāvit. Quōs autem, cum in cōnfertissimōs Gallōs impetum fēcissent, novum genus pugnae perterruit.

“Iam enim advēnerant hostēs recentēs, essedīs[7] carrīsque[8] superstantēs,[9] quī ingentī sonitū rotārum cōnsternābant equōs, quibus tālis tumultus īnsolitus erat. Quae rēs Rōmānīs[10] victōriam paene explōrātam in fugam vertit.

“Decius, cum frūstrā suīs cēdentibus resistere cōnātus esset: ‘Quid[11] ultrā moror,’[12] inquit, ‘mortem fātō dēbitam? Nostrae enim gentī datum est,[13] ut dēpellendīs cīvitātis perīculīs[14] piāculō[15] sīmus. Qūarē ego, ut anteā[16] pater, nunc et mē ipsum et hostium legiōnēs dīs īnferīs dabō.’[17]

“Haec locūtus, M. Līvium, pontificem, quem abīre ā sē vetuerat, praeīre[18] iussit verba, quibus sē legiōnēsque hostium prō exercitū populī Rōmānī dēvovēret. Quō rīte factō, quā cōnfertissima cernēbātur Gallōrum aciēs, eā[19] concitāvit equum, īnfestīsque tēlīs sē īnferēns statim occīsus est.”

“Heu!” inquit Cornēlia. “Quā rē fit, obsecrō, ut fortissimī et optimī omnēs[20] exitūs tam miserōs inveniant?”

“Deciō quidem,” inquit pater, “illa mors prō patriā oppetītā pulcherrima vidēbātur; et populō Rōmānō certē multum[21] prōfuit.[22] Nam mīlitibus perterritīs iam rediit animus, et eō diē victōria clāra ā nostrīs parta est.”

“Quō modō animus mīlitibus redīre potuit,” inquit Cornēlia, “cum dux ab hostibus occīsus esset?”

At pater: “Pontificī Līviō līctōrēs[23] Decius trādiderat, eumque iusserat imperium suum recipere; quī, cum cōnsulem occīsum vīdisset, statim clāmāre coepit Rōmānōs vīcisse, quod dux mortuus ad īnferōs sēcum dēvōtam hostium aciem vocāret, et iam apud Gallōs omnia terrōris plēna esse.

“Eōdem ferē tempore opportūnē subvēnērunt mīlitēs recentēs, quōs cōnsul alter, Samnītibus fugātīs, collēgae[24] auxiliō mīserat. Itaque Gallī, etsī exstrūctīs ante sē scūtīs[25] cōnfertī stābant, impetum Rōmānōrum sustinēre nōn potuērunt. Multī, ubi cōnstiterant, ibīdem cecidērunt, aliī ā tergō circumventī et trucīdātī sunt.”

“Haec mē admonent,” inquit Pūblius, “dē aliō facinore ēgregiō, quod ā scrīptōre Līviō memoriae trāditum est.”

“Quid factum est, obsecrō?” inquit Sextus. “Eōdemne modō posteā cīvis alius prō victōriā Rōmānōrum tēlīs hostium sē obiēcit?”

“Pater eiusdem Decī sē similiter[26] prō patriā dēvōvit,” inquit frāter; “sed aliud erat, dē quō cōgitābam:

“Ōlim Rōmae, aut mōtū terrae aut aliquā vī aliā hiātus immēnsae altitūdinis[27] subitō in forō factus est, quī congestiōne[28] terrae quamvīs adsiduā nūllō modō complērī potuit.

“Vātēs canēbant[29] id, quod optimum[30] Rōmānī habērent, eī locō dēdicandum esse, sī rem pūblicam perpetuam[31] esse vellent. Quārē diū quaesitum est quid esset illud optimum.

“Tum ferunt M. Curtium, iuvenem bellō ēgregium, cīvēs suōs castīgāsse, quod dubitārent an ūllum Rōmānīs bonum maius esset quam arma et virtūs.

“Deinde, ubi silentium factum est, templa deōrum immortālium[32] Capitōliumque intuēns,[33] et manūs nunc in caelum nunc in patentem[34] terrae hiātum porrigēns, ille sē dēvōvit; tum, equō quam poterat maximē ōrnātō īnsidēns,[35] armātus sē in hiātum immīsit.

Photograph by R. S. Rogers


“Dōna et frūgēs[36] super eum ā multitūdine virōrum et mulierum congesta[37] sunt; et locus ‘lacus Curtius’ appellātus est, quod ille vītam suam ibi prō perpetuitāte[38] reī pūblicae largītus erat.”[39]

“Mihi quidem,” inquit Cornēlius, “ille vir vidētur etiam tālī ēlogiō[40] dignus, quāle Simōnidēs scrīpsit in[41] Lacedaemoniōs, quī Thermopylīs[42] cecidērunt:

“ ‘Dīc, hospes, Spartae,[43] nōs tē hīc vīdisse iacentīs,

    Dum sānctīs patriae lēgibus obsequimur.’ ”[44]

“Haec omnia ēgregia et maximē laudanda sunt,” inquit Cornēlia; “sed exitūs habent, quī maestitiam maximam mihi iniciant. Nōnne tū vīs, pater, aliquid iūcundius nārrāre?”

“Ita vērō,” inquit ille. “Expōnam, sī vīs, quō modō Caesar dictātor inopiam aquae sublevāverit, cum Alexandrēae[45] ab hostibus obsidērētur:

“Urbs illa est ferē tōta suffossa,[46] specūsque[47] ad flūmen Nīlum pertinentēs[48] habet, quibus aqua in prīvātās domōs indūcitur; ubi paulātim liquēscit[49] ac subsīdit.[50] Nam cum prīmō ē Nīlō īnfluit, adeō est līmōsa[51] et turbida, ut multīs variīsque morbīs eōs adficiat, quī statim bibunt.

“Aquā ex hīs specibus extractā Caesar quoque aliquamdiū ūtēbātur. Tum hostēs, ratī fore ut Rōmānī sē dēdere cōgerentur, sī aquātiōne[52] prohibitī essent, magnum et difficile opus aggressī sunt.

“Nam rotīs et māchinīs maximam vim aquae ex marī exhausērunt, quam in loca ā Caesare occupāta fundere nōn intermittēbant. Quō modō aqua, quae ē specibus ā Rōmānīs trahēbātur, in diēs[53] salsior fīēbat, adeō[54] ut postrēmō bibī omnīnō nōn posset.

“Tum nostrī ad summam dēspērātiōnem pervēnērunt; Caesar autem eōrum timōrem cohortātiōne et ratiōne minuit. Nam docuit, puteīs fossīs, aquam dulcem reperīrī posse, quia lītora omnia nātūrā[55] aquae dulcis vēnās habērent; sīn autem hōc modō aquārī nōn possent, aditum[56] ad mare patēre, et cotīdiē nāvibus sē aquam petītūrum.

“Tālī ōrātiōne cōnfirmātīs suīs, centuriōnibus negōtium dedit ut, reliquīs operibus intermissīs, ad fodiendōs puteōs animum cōnferrent. Quō susceptō negōtiō atque omnium animīs ad labōrem incitātīs, ūnā nocte inventa est magna vīs aquae dulcis, nec posteā similī inopiā labōrātum est.”[57]

“Optimē!” inquit Cornēlia. “Vellem fābulae omnēs exitūs tam iūcundōs habērent.”

Dum haec fīunt, rēdae celeriter prōvehēbantur; ac vesperāscente[58] iam diē viātōrēs ad quandam vīllam hospitiō acceptī sunt.

[1] Sentīnī: loc. of Sentīnum.

[2] Ecquid, pron., interrog. and indef., Did anything . . . ?

[3] quadringentī, -ae, -a, num. adj., four hundred.

[4] satis habēbat, was satisfied.

[5] lentus, -a, -um, adj., slow; for comp., cf. note on longius, XI, 15.

[6] pedester, -tris, -tre, adj., infantry.

[7] essedum, -ī, n., chariot.

[8] carrus, -ī, m., truck.

[9] superstāns, -antis, part., erect (upon).

[10] Rōmānīs: dat. of disadvantage.

[11] Quid, Why.

[12] moror: here trans., keep waiting, put off.

[13] datum est, it has been assigned.

[14] dēpellendīs . . . perīculīs: dat. of purp.

[15] piāculum, -ī, n., sacrifice; dat. of service in text.

[16] anteā: sc. fēcit.

[17] dabō, I will doom.

[18] praeīre, dictate.

[19] quā . . . eā, advs., where . . . there.

[20] omnēs: mod. of optimī.

[21] multum, adv.

[22] prōsum, prōdesse, prōfuī, intr., profit.

[23] līctor, -ōris, m., lictor. The lictors represented his authority as commander.

[24] collēgae: dat.

[25] scūtum, -ī, n., shield.

[26] similiter, adv., in like manner.

[27] altitūdō, -inis, f., depth.

[28] congestiō, -ōnis, f., accumulation.

[29] canēbant, predicted.

[30] id . . . optimum, the best thing which. Cf. XVI, 85.

[31] perpetuus, -a, -um, adj., everlasting.

[32] immortālis, -e, adj., immortal.

[33] intueor, -tuērī, -tuitus sum, tr., turn (one’s) glance on.

[34] patentem: as adj., yawning.

[35] īnsidēns, -entis, part., sitting astride.

[36] frūx, frūgis, f., fruit of the earth.

[37] congesta: neut.; ref. to things.

[38] perpetuitās, -ātis, f., continuance, immortality.

[39] largior, -īrī, -ītus sum, tr., sacrifice.

[40] ēlogium, -ī, n., epitaph.

[41] in, for.

[42] Thermopylīs: loc. of Thermopylae.

[43] Spartae: loc.

[44] obsequor, -sequī, -secūtus sum, intr., be obedient; trans. phrase, ‘in obedience to,’ etc.

[45] Alexandrēae: loc.

[46] suffosus, -a, -um, part., undermined.

[47] specūs: acc. pl.

[48] ad . . . pertinentēs: i.e., connected (by a main channel) with the river.

[49] liquēscō, liquēscere, licuī, intr., become clear.

[50] subsīdō, -sīdere, -sēdī, -sessum, intr., settle.

[51] līmōsus, -a, -um, adj., muddy.

[52] aquātiō, -ōnis, f., water-supply.

[53] in diēs, daily.

[54] adeō, so much so.

[55] nātūrā, by (a law of) nature.

[56] aditus, -ūs, m., approach.

[57] labōrātum est: impera.; trans., ‘did they suffer.’

[58] vesperāscō, -ere, -āvī, intr., incline toward evening.


Cibō et somnō refectī māne abiērunt, ac quārtā ferē hōrā ad flūmen Metaurum pervēnērunt. Quod cum ponte trānsīrent, Cornēlius: “Ad hoc flūmen,” inquit, “commissum est proelium, quod spēs omnēs Hannibalis funditus[1] ēvertit.”

“Ipsene aderat,” inquit Sextus, “cum hīc pugnātum est?”

“Immō longē aberat,” inquit pater, “ac Rōmānī hōc locō congressi sunt cum eius frātre, Hasdrubale, quī ex Hispāniā cum exercitū subsidiō properābat.”

“Minus igitur mīrandum est,” inquit Sextus, “sī Poenī victī sunt. Nam Hannibal, cum ipse cōram[2] adesset, perrārō superātus esse vidētur. Sed dē hōc proeliō plūra libenter audiāmus. Ā prīncipiō exōrdīre,[3] sī vīs.”

Tum pater: “Hannibal haud procul ā Venusiā trahēbat bellum, spērāns brevī adfore frātrem; quārē nōndum volēbat dēcertāre cum cōnsule C. Claudiō Nerōne, quī haud longē castra posuerat.

“Cum alter cōnsul, M. Līvius, adventum Hasdrubalis exspectāret hīs in regiōnibus, per quās nunc iter facimus, forte equitēs hostium, quī litterās ad Hannibalem dēferēbant, ā Rōmānīs sunt interceptī[4] et ad Nerōnem adductī.

“Cōnsiliō Poenōrum ex hīs cognitō, Nerō, relictō Q. Catiō lēgātō, quī castrīs[5] praeesset, ipse magnīs itineribus ad collēgam Līvium contendit. Tum, coniūnctīs cōpiīs, cōnsulēs Hasdrubalem sē recipere cōnantem cōnsecūtī sunt atque inīquō locō proelium committere coēgērunt.

“Cum diū atque ācriter dīmicātum esset, Nerō ē dextro cornū (ubi sēgnius[6] pugnābātur) cohortēs aliquot dētrāxit, quās post aciem circumductās[7] subitō in dextrum hostium latus immīsit. Tum omnibus ex partibus, ā fronte, ā latere, ā tergō, hostēs trucīdātī sunt.

“Elephantī[8] vērō ā suīs rēctōribus plūrēs quam ā Rōmānīs sunt interfectī. Nam rēctōrēs scalprum[9] cum malleō[10] habēbant. Id, cum saevīre bēstiae ac ruere in suōs coeperant, rēctor inter aurēs positum,[11] in articulō[12] quō coniungitur capitī cervīx, quam maximā poterat vī adigēbat.[13] Quō vulnere elephantī statim concidērunt.

“Interim Hasdrubal officiō bonī imperātōris fungēbātur. Ille pugnantēs hortandō sustinuit, ille fessōs nunc precandō nunc castīgandō accendit, ille fugientēs revocāvit omissamque[14] pugnam aliquot locīs restituit.

“Postrēmō, cum haud dubia victōria Rōmānōrum esset, nē superstes esset exercituī tantō, in hostēs concitātō equō sē immīsit. Ibi, ut patre Hamilcare et Hannibale frātre dignum erat,[15] pugnāns cecidit.”

“Dēnuō quaerō,” inquit Cornēlia, “cūr optimī et fortissimī semper exitūs tam miserōs inveniant.”

“Eratne autem Hasdrubal vir vērē optimus?” inquit Sextus. “Semper audīvī Poenōs paene omnēs perfidōs et impiōs fuisse.”

“Sīc memoriae trāditum est,” inquit pater. “Quīn etiam hodiē quoque ‘Pūnica fidēs’ prō ‘perfidia’ saepe dīcitur.[16] Sed maiōrēs nostrī, virī reī pūblicae[17] amantissimī, gloriam cīvitātis sē auctūrōs[18] fortasse putābant, sī hostēs quam maximē īnfāmēs fēcissent.

“Quārē operae pretium est[19] animadvertere scrīptōris Līvī verba repugnantia; quī, etsī inhūmānam crūdēlitātem in Hannibale fuisse dīcit, commemorat tamen post proelium ad lacum Trasumēnum commissum Poenum fūneris causā corpus Flāminī cōnsulis magnā dīligentiā quaesīvisse; quod[20] nōn fēcisset profectō, sī mōnstrum hominis fuisset.”

“Quid agēbat Hannibal,” inquit Sextus, “dum fortūna ita frātrem dēserit?”

“Castrīs[21] sē tenēbat,” inquit pater, “nec suspicātus est quantum malī suis rēbus accidisset, priusquam Nerō victor rediit. Tum caput Hasdrubalis, quod cōnsul magnā cūrā servātum attulerat, ante statiōnēs hostium prōiectum est. Quō signō Hannibal cognōvit sē omnia perdidisse.”

“Vāh!” inquit Cornēlia horrēscēns; “mihi quidem in cōnsule Rōmānō inhūmāna crūdēlitās fuisse vidētur.”

“Dē dēspērātiōne Hannibalis,” inquit Pūblius, “cum cognōvisset frātrem occīsum esse, dīcit poēta Horātius; cuius verba, sī poterō, memoriā referam:

“ ‘Carthāginī[22] iam nōn ego nūntiōs

Mittam superbōs. Occidit, occidit

  Spēs omnis et fortūna nostrī

    Nōminis, Hasdrubale interēmptō.’ ”[23]

“Bellumne tōtum ita ad fīnem adductum est?” inquit Sextus.

“Nūllō modō,” inquit pater. “Sed Hannibal in extrēmās Ītaliae partēs sē recipere coāctus, postrēmō in Āfricam revocātus est, ut patriam dēfenderet. Rōmānī enim iam eō cōpiās trānsvexerant.”

Cum haec dicta essent, ad locum amoenum perventum est, ubi viātōrēs ex rēdīs dēscendērunt, ac, per herbam dispositī, cēpērunt cibum, cum interim equī in umbrā reficiēbantur. Tum iterum profectī hōrā nōnā Fānum Fortūnae pervēnērunt, quō in oppidō hanc[24] noctem agere cōnstituerant.

Mox līberī, quī cupidē cēnae tempus exspectābant, ad Annam accessērunt, quae Lūcium humī lūdentem servābat;[25] et Cornēlia: “Adeō ēsurīmus,” inquit, “ut quō modō tempus terātur excōgitāre nōn possīmus. Nōnne tū nōs adiuvāre potes?”

Tum illa: “Meministisne,” inquit, “mē quondam vōbīs multa nārrāre quōdam dē Moyse, quī gentem meam servitūte līberāvit et ex Aegyptō ēdūxit in fīnēs maiōribus nostrīs ā deō dēstinātōs?”

“Haec omnia memoriā tenēmus,” inquit Sextus. “Perge porrō dīcere.”

“Eō tempore,” inquit Anna, “quō Moysēs nātus est, rēx eārum regiōnum ēdictum prōposuerat ut[26] puerī īnfantēs gentis nostrae occīderentur omnēs. Nam in diēs[27] crēscēbat multitūdō, ac metuēbat rēx nē quandō populus, quem servitūte premēbat, sēditiōnem commovēret et summā rērum[28] potīrētur.

“Moysem autem īnfantem māter domī trēs mēnsēs occultāvit. Tum alveō factō imposuit puerum, atque inter harundinēs prope flūminis rīpam abscondit. Interim soror puerī haud procul ēventum exspectābat.

“Paulō post ad lavandum rēgis fīlia flūmen adiit; dumque ancillae in rīpā vagantur, alveum animadvertit. Quō apertō, rēgia virgō, cum īnfantem flentem vīdisset, misericordiā mōta: ‘Hic est,’ inquit, ‘ūnus dē īnfantibus prōscrīptīs.’[29]

“Tum subitō soror praestō:[30] ‘Vīsne mē vocāre mulierem,’ inquit, ‘quae īnfantem nūtrīre possit?’ ‘Ī, eam arcesse,’ inquit illa. Puella igitur laeta abiit, suamque statim mātrem vocāvit.

“Hōc modō Moysēs servātus est; quem, cum iam iuvenis esset, fīlia rēgis in locum fīlī adoptāvit.”

“Haec est fābula lepidissima,” inquit Cornēlia.

At Sextus: “Tuīs verbīs,” inquit, “dē cāsū[31] Rōmulī et Remī admoneor, quī quoque in alveō[32] expositī sunt. Sed mīror quam mox edāmus.” Tum post sē respiciēns: “Nōnne Onēsimum iam appropinquantem videō? Is certē est. Eāmus.” Quō dictō, celeriter līberī abiērunt.

[1] funditus, adv., utterly.

[2] cōram, adv., in person.

[3] exōrdīre: imper.

[4] intercipiō, -cipere, -cēpī, -ceptus, tr., intercept.

[5] castrīs: dat.

[6] sēgniter, adv., with little spirit.

[7] circumdūcō, -dūcere, -dūxī, -ductus, tr., lead around.

[8] Elephantī: trans. nom. as if partit. gen.

[9] scalprum, -ī, n., chisel.

[10] malleus, -ī, m., hammer.

[11] positum: modifier of Id, line 33.

[12] articulus, -ī, m., joint.

[13] adigō, -igere, -ēgī, -āctus, tr., drive home.

[14] omissam, given up, discontinued.

[15] ut . . . dignum erat, freely, as accorded (with).

[16] dīcitur, is used.

[17] reī pūblicae: obj. gen.

[18] augeō, augēre, auxī, auctus, tr., increase.

[19] operae pretium est, it is worth while.

[20] quod, (a thing) which.

[21] Castrīs: abl.

[22] Carthāginī: poetic use of dat. for acc.

[23] interimō, -imere, -ēmī, -ēmptus, tr., cut off.

[24] hanc, that.

[25] servābat, was watching.

[26] ut, (to the effect) that.

[27] in diēs: diff. from cotīdiē; action progressive (crēscō).

[28] summa, -ae, f.; summa rērum, control of affairs.

[29] prōscrīptus, -a, -um, part., proscribed, condemned to die.

[30] praestō, freely, stepping up.

[31] cāsū, experience.

[32] in alveō, etc.: the wolf episode.

Photograph by C. E. Bennett



Posterō diē via dūcēbat secundum[1] lītus maris Hadriāticī, ubi ventī recentēs vim equīs incutiēbant,[2] ac Cornēlius: “Omnia prōsperē cēdere videntur, et spērō nōs hodiē Arīminum usque prōgredī posse.”

Hōc audītō, Pūblius: “Mihi recordārī videor,” inquit, “flūmen Rubicōnem haud procul ab Arīminō in mare īnfluere.”

“Quīn etiam,” inquit pater, “ōstium flūminis quīnque ferē mīlia passuum ab oppidō abest.”

“Cūr tam multa dē flūmine Rubicōne?” inquit Sextus. “Ecquid[3] memoriā dignum ibi factum est?”

“Dignissimum vērō,” inquit pater. “Parvus scīlicet est amnis, sed ab Ītaliā reliquā dīvidēbat[4] prōvinciam ōlim Caesarī dictātōrī dēcrētam. Quārē cum ille Rubicōnem trānsībat, bellum patriae apertē īnferēbātur.”

“Cum rēs tantum in discrīmen addūcerētur,” inquit Sextus, “crēdō eum diū dubitāsse utrum trānsīret necne.”

“Rēctē dīcis,” inquit pater. “Sed Pūblius noster dē hāc rē profectō saepe lēgit, nec dubitō quīn ille libenter quaedam vōbīs nārrātūrus sit.”

“Optimē,” inquit Sextus. “Quō modō rēs ācta est, frāter?”

Tum ille: “Caesar in commentāriīs[5] suīs plūrima dīcit dē iniūriīs sibi inlātīs, et dē causīs cūr arma sūmenda essent; sed dē trānsitū[6] huius flūminis ipse nihil trādit.

“Apud Suētōnium autem multa inveniō, quae ad hanc rem pertinent. Nam ille dīcit Caesarem, cum ad flūmen vēnisset, conversum ad proximōs dīxisse: ‘Etiam nunc redīre possumus; sīn autem hunc pontem parvum trānsierimus, omnia armīs agenda erunt.’

“Tum quīdam iuvenis ēgregiā corporis magnitūdine et speciē prope sedēns repente appāruit, quī harundine canēbat.[7] Ad quem audiendum nōn sōlum pāstōrēs sed etiam mīlitēs concurrērunt.

“In eīs erant aeneātōrēs[8] quīdam; quōrum[9] ab ūnō tubā arreptā, iuvenis ad flūmen prōsiluit[10] et ingentī spīritū classicum[11] exōrsus ad alteram rīpam contendit.

“Tum Caesar: ‘Sequāmur,’ inquit, ‘quō deōrum ostenta[12] et inimīcōrum iniūriae vocant. Iacta est ālea.’[13] Hoc modō flūmen trānsitum est.”

At Sextus: “Cum haec rēs Rōmam dēlāta esset,” inquit, “vereor nē[14] Pompeius nūntium haud libenter accēperit.”

“Commōtus est nōn sōlum Pompeius,” inquit Pūblius, “sed etiam cīvitās tōta; multīque statim ex urbe ēgressī salūtem fugā petiērunt. Etiam Cicerō multum dubitābat utrum uxōrī fīliaeque suādēret ut Rōmae manērent necne.”[15]

“Quid, obsecrō, eīs timēbat?” inquit Cornēlia. “Caesar certē cum fēminīs nōn bellum gestūrus erat.”

“Rēctē conicis,” inquit pater. “Sed omnia tum turbida erant; ac Cicerō etiam hōc modō loquitur: ‘Sīn homō āmēns[16] dīripiendam urbem datūrus est’—quibus verbīs ostendit quantō in perīculō omnia versārī exīstimāverit.”

“Mihi quoque maximē mīrandum vidētur,” inquit Pūblius, “Cicerōnem et aliōs prīncipēs cīvitātis tantam inhūmānitātem[17] Caesarī imputāsse.”[18]

At pater: “Dē eius rēbus in Galliā gestīs fāma iam ēvulgāta erat; nec vērō Gallīs aut Germānīs umquam pepercerat Caesar, sī eōrum supplicium cēterīs documentō[19] futūrum esse putābat. Propter haec, ut opīnor, dē eius voluntāte[20] in[21] rem pūblicam omnēs tantopere timuērunt.

“Quam eōrum opīniōnem ēventus tamen multum fefellit. Nam Caesar, simulatque Rubicōnem trānsiit et cum cīvibus Rōmānīs bellum est susceptum, omnīs summā cōmitāte tractābat.

“Nam quō modō cum cīvibus āctūrus esset, statim ille ostendit, cum Corfīnium cēpit, ubi L. Domitius ā Pompeiō relictus erat, cum ipse ex Ītaliā fugeret.”

“Quid factum est?” inquit Sextus.

“Urbe dēditā,” inquit pater, “praefectī ex castrīs ēgressī sunt. Tum Caesar, apud eōs pauca dē ipsōrum ingrātō animō locūtus, Domitium reliquōsque incolumēs dīmīsit; mīlitēs autem suum in exercitum recēpit.”

“Hui!” inquit Cornēlia. “Quis putāret[22] Caesarem tam mītem fore?”

Et Sextus: “Prō tantā clēmentiā, opīnor, omnēs eī grātiam maximam habuērunt.”

“Rēs longē aliter ēvēnit,” inquit pater. “Mīlitēs quidem sē satis fidēliter[23] gessērunt, sed Domitius et reliquī praefectī paene omnēs statim sē contulērunt ad Caesaris inimīcōs, ut alibī[24] in aciē contrā eum pugnāre possent.”

“Videō,” inquit Pūblius, “Sextum haec haud ita attentē audīre. Crēdō mē posse aliud nārrāre, quod eī magis placeat.”

At Sextus: “Age, dīc, frāter,” inquit. “Haec quae audīvimus optima sunt, sed mē minus dēlectant.”

“Ōlim,” inquit Pūblius, “cum Agricola Britanniam armīs subigeret, cohors quaedam Usīpōrum memorābile ausa est facinus; occīsō enim centuriōne et mīlitibus, quī ad trādendam disciplinam[25] manipulīs[26] immixtī erant, trēs nāvēs occupāvērunt, cum gubernātōrēs vī ac minīs[27] sēcum ascendere cōgerent.

“Tum secundum lītus vectī, etsī saepe ad aquandum et cibum raptum[28] ē nāvibus ēgressī erant, postrēmō in tantam pervēnērunt inopiam, ut prīmō īnfirmissimīs[29] suōrum,[30] tum aliīs sorte ductīs vēscerentur.”

“Vāh!” inquit Cornēlia. “Intellegere nōn possum cūr rēs tam foedās audīre cupiās, Sexte.”

“Hoc adprīmē bonum est,” inquit ille. “Quid tum, Pūblī?”

At frāter: “Usīpī, hōc modō Britanniam circumvectī,[31] nāvibus īnscientiā[32] regendī āmissīs, in continentī[33] prō latrōnibus habitī sunt. Multī ā Suēbīs et Frīsiīs sunt aut interfectī aut captī; atque eōrum,[34] quī ita in servitūtem redāctī erant, nōnnūllī mūtātiōne ēmptōrum usque ad nostram rīpam[35] pervēnērunt.”

Ita inter sē usque ad merīdiem viātōrēs locūtī sunt; tum cōnstitērunt quōdam in locō, unde mare longē et lātē aspicī poterat. Quārē līberī cupidē petiērunt ut sibi licēret in lītore paulisper vagārī, cum equī pābulō reficerentur.

Drūsilla prīmō negāvit; nam adhūc mentem eius sollicitābat memoria illīus diēī, quō Cornēlia ā latrōnibus capta erat. Sed postrēmō, cum līberī pollicitī essent sē haud longē vagātūrōs, Onēsimō et Stasimō imperātum est ut eōs comitārentur nēve umquam ē cōnspectū suō paterentur abīre.

Laetī in lītore līberī cursitābant, conchās undique ēligentēs; tum, sinū replētō, Cornēlia in saxō paulō suprā[36] aquam prōminente[37] cōnsēdit.

Dum ibi conchīs suīs intenta morātur, Sextus ā tergō clam accessit, et subitō magnā vōce: “Cavē latrōnēs!” inquit.

Quō audītō, Cornēlia perterrita exsiluit, et, pede fallente, in undās praecipitāta est. Tum Sextus clāmōrēs lāmentābilēs sustulit; servī autem, cum celeriter in aquam sē prōiēcissent, puellam pavidam ad harēnam trāxērunt.

Deinde omnēs vultū dēmissō ad rēdās sē recēpērunt, cum Sextus longē ā tergō sequerētur, Cornēlia autem metū et frīgore tremere[38] nōn dēsineret.

Quōs cum aspexisset, Drūsilla terrōre ēlāta: “Quid nunc malī accidit?” inquit. “Cūr hās vestēs madidās videō?”

Nēmō vōce Sextum prōdere[39] voluit; sed Pūblius, qūi frātrem trīstem procul sequī animadverterat: “Suspicor,” inquit, “quid factum sit. Sextus noster, ut opīnor, dēnuō sorōrem lūdificāvit.”

Tum Cornēlius vultū torvō:[40] “Satis in praesēns[41] iam dictum est. Sed cum Arīminum pervēnerimus, tum haec rēs dīiūdicābitur. Interim in sōle vestēs madidae siccentur.”[42]

Quod cum factum esset, iterum profectī, sub vesperum ad caupōnem dēvertērunt.

[1] secundum: prep.

[2] incutiō, -cutere, -cussī, -cussus, tr., inspire.

[3] Ecquid: indef. and intr.; cf. XXX, 9.

[4] dīvidō, -videre, -vīsī, -vīsus, tr., divide.

[5] commentārius, -ī, m., commentary.

[6] trānsitus, -ūs, m., crossing.

[7] canēbat, was playing (on).

[8] aeneātor, -ōris, m., trumpeter.

[9] quōrum: partit. with ūnō.

[10] prōsiliō, -īre, -uī, intr., leap forward.

[11] classicum, -ī, n., call (to advance).

[12] ostentum, -ī, n., sign, leading.

[13] ālea, -ae, f., die.

[14] vereor nē, I am inclined to think that.

[15] necne, or not.

[16] homō āmēns: i.e., Caesar.

[17] inhūmānitās, -ātis, f., brutality, barbarity.

[18] imputō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., ascribe.

[19] documentum, -ī, n., warning; dat. of service in text.

[20] voluntās, -ātis, f., attitude.

[21] in, toward.

[22] putāret, would have thought.

[23] fidēliter, adv., loyally.

[24] alibī: Domitius opposed Caesar at Marseilles, and fell in the rout after the Battle of Pharsalus.

[25] ad trādendam disciplīnam: i.e., to impart a knowledge of tactics.

[26] manipulus, -ī, m., maniple.

[27] minae, -ārum, f., threats.

[28] raptum: supine.

[29] īnfirmus, -a, -um, adj., weak.

[30] suōrum: partit. gen.

[31] circumvehor, -vehī, -vectus sum, tr., circumnavigate.

[32] īnscientia, -ae, f., ignorance.

[33] continentī, mainland.

[34] eōrum: partit. gen.

[35] nostram rīpam: the west bank of the Rhine, Gaul being early organized as a Roman province.

[36] suprā, out over.

[37] prōmineō, -minēre, -minuī, intr., project.

[38] tremō, -ere, -uī, intr., shake.

[39] prōdō, -dere, -didī, -ditus, tr., betray.

[40] torvus, -a, -um, adj., stern.

[41] in praesēns, for the present.

[42] siccō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., dry; siccentur, have . . . dried, the subjv. expressing a command, as often.


Māne, cum rēdae adductae essent, omnēs alacrēs cōnscendērunt. Sextus autem diū maestus sēcum sedēbat; nam ā patre vehementer castīgātus erat, eumque suae imprūdentiae[1] maximē paenitēbat; nisi enim prīdiē Onēsimus et Stasimus praestō fuissent, Cornēlia fortasse in flūctibus periisset.

Postrēmō hilariōre vultū sē circumspicere coepit; cum autem locō idōneō viātōrēs constitissent, ut cibus dēprōmerētur, in umbrā adhūc quiētus sedēbat, neque ōrāvit ut sibi licēret per agrōs vagārī. Ē contrāriō[2] ā mātre petiit ut sibi aliquid nārrāret.

Drūsilla, prīmō recūsāre cōnāta: “Hīs diēbus,” inquit, “pauca legō. Sed fortasse nōn audīvistī dē itinere Orpheī, quī ad īnferōs dēscendit, ut inde uxōrem Eurydicēn[3] redūceret.”

“Haec nārrā, sīs, māter,” inquit Cornēlia. “Ego quoque audīre volō.”

“Memoriae trāditum est,” inquit Drūsilla, “Eurydicēn, dum in herbā vagātur sēcūra, dentem serpentis in pedem recēpisse; quō vulnere celeriter exanimāta est.

“Quam cum Orpheus diū dēplōrāsset, cōnstituit ipse dēscendere ad umbrās,[4] sī forte cantū suo dīs īnferīs persuādēre posset, ut Eurydicēn ad superōs[5] redūcī paterentur.

“Quārē sine morā profectus, per ‘templa[6] alta Orcī pallida lētō,[7] nūbila[8] tenebrīs loca’[9] iter fēcit, ipsamque Prōserpinam impavidus et rēgem īnferōrum adiit.


“Apud quōs lyrā[10] personat,[11] nervōsque[12] ad verba[13] movēns ōrat ut uxor sibi reddātur. Interim, dulcēdine[14] cantūs[15] captae, umbrae undique flēbant. Quīn etiam Tantalus nōn diūtius aquam captāre cōnātus est, et Ixīōn vultū rīsit invītō.[16]

“Hīs precibus[17] resistere nec Prōserpina neque ipse Plūtō poterat, et Eurydicē vocāta est. Accessit uxor adhūc dē[18] vulnere tarda; quam Orpheus laetus recēpit. Sed dīmissus est cum mandātō ut abīret statim, nēve prius respiceret quam ē rēgnō[19] īnferōrum esset ēgressus; aliter irritum dōnum futūrum.

“Silentiō Orpheus et Eurydicē ascendērunt clīvum[20] arduum,[21] obscūrum, cālīgine ātrā dēnsum; nec procul āfuērunt ā margine[22] ōrae superae,[23] cum ille, veritus nē uxor dēficeret, amāns oculōs retorsit.

“Quō factō, illa statim relāpsa est;[24] neque Orpheō, etsī Charontem ēnīxē ōrāvit, flūmen iterum trānsire licuit, nec posteā uxōrem umquam aspexit.”

“Tū quoque, māter,” inquit Cornēlia, “audītū trīstia nārrās. Vix lacrimās teneō, cum dē Orpheō miserō cōgitō.”

“At,” inquit Sextus, “quis est ille Charōn, aut quō modō is Orphea[25] prohibēre potuit quōminus redīret, ut iterum uxōrem peteret?”

Tum Pūblius: “Charōn erat portitor,”[26] inquit, “quī umbrās cymbā trāns flūmen Acherontem vehēbat. Dē hīs rēbus multa dīcit poēta Vergilius, quī refert[27] quō modō hērōs[28] quoque Aenēās ad īnferōs dēscenderit, ut ibi patrem Anchīsēn[29] convenīret.”

“Dē hōc amplius, sī vīs,” inquit Sextus. “Libenter tē audiō.”

“Aenēās, cum classem ad Ītaliam appulisset,” inquit Pūblius, “Sibyllam statim adiit, quae ad īnferōs dux viae[30] esset.[31] Illa autem eī respondit:

            “ ‘Facilis dēscēnsus[32] Avernō;[33]

Noctēs atque diēs patet ātrī[34] iānua Dītis.[35]

Sed revocāre gradum superāsque ēvādere ad aurās,[36]

Hoc opus, hic[37] labor est.’

“Praetereā monuit paucōs admodum fuisse, quī umquam ad ōrās rediissent superās, cum semel eō dēscendissent; sīn autem ille perīculum tantum subīre parātus esset, in opācā[38] silvā inveniendum esse rāmum aureum, quī, ut[39] mūnus acceptissimum, ad Prōserpinam dēferrētur.

“Aenēās, fortūnā adiūtus, rāmum invēnit, et Sibyllā duce per spēluncam ātram progressus iter īnferōrum[40] brevī carpēbat. Prīmō occurrunt speciēs horrendae, quās hērōs, timōre commōtus, gladiō strictō trānsfīgere parābat. Sibylla autem docuit illās esse umbrās tantum, quae nec laedere nec laedī possent.

“Sīc ad rīpam Acherontis pervēnērunt. Quōs cum appropinquantēs vīdisset Charōn, statim abīre iussit; nam sibi nefās esse corpora vīva trādūcere cymbā. Postquam autem rāmum aspexit aureum, sine morā Aenēān comitemque in cymbam recēpit.

“Illa,[41] quae umbrās tantum portāre solēbat, sub pondere gemuit;[42] Aenēās autem incolumis ad rīpam pervēnit alteram, et in Nemoribus Fortūnātōrum[43] postrēmō repperit patrem.”

Sed iam equī recreātī sunt, ac Cornēlius omnēs in rēdās cōnscendere iussit; nam spērābat ante vesperum Faventiam usque pervenīrī posse.

Cum dēnuō iter carperent, Sextus: “Modo dīxistī, Pūblī,” inquit, “Aenēān classem ad Ītaliam appulisse. Unde, obsecrō, nāvēs solverat?”

“Ā Siciliā tum vēnerat,” inquit Pūblius; “sed anteā nāvēs solverat Carthāgine, quam urbem[44] Dīdō condidit, cum crūdēlitāte frātris domō expulsa omnibus cum opibus trāns mare fūgisset, ut locīs longinquīs cīvitātem novam īnstitueret.”

“Opēsne eius magnae erant?” inquit Sextus.

“Permagnae fuisse dīcuntur,” inquit Pūblius. “Et multīs post saeculīs,[45] imperātor Nerō, cum fiscum[46] maximīs sūmptibus exhausisset et pecūniā egēret, in spem summam ērēctus est ex indiciō cuiusdam equitis Rōmānī, quī prō certō nūntiābat thēsaurōs[47] maximōs, quōs Dīdō Tyrō fugiēns sēcum extulisset, adhūc integrōs esse in Āfricā, invāstissimīs cavernīs absconditōs, ac posse parvō labōre effodī. Posteā imperātor, cum haec spēs eum fefellisset, rapīnīs[48] intendit animum.”

“Hem!”[49] inquit Cornēlia. “Istīus mōnstrī nōmen ipsum[50] vix audīre sustineō.”

“Atquī quiddam est,” inquit Pūblius, “quod dē eius familiā forsitan libenter audiās.”

“Perge porrō dīcere,” inquit Sextus. “Ego quidem tē dē eō loquentem libenter audiō.”

“Nerō erat ē gente[51] Domitiā,” inquit Pūblius, “ē quā duae familiae illūstrēs[52] fuērunt, Calvīnōrum et Ahēnobarbōrum;[53] et ipse Lūcius Domitius Ahēnobarbus vocābātur, dōnec ab imperātōre Claudiō est adoptātus.

“Memoriae trāditum est prīscīs temporibus cuidam L. Domitiō, rūre ad urbem[54] redeuntī, in viā obviam factōs esse duōs iuvenēs augustiōre[55] speciē, quī eum iubērent senātuī ac populō nūntiāre victōriam maximam ā Rōmānīs ad lacum Rēgillum modo partam esse.

“Cum autem ille dubitāret utrum eīs fidem habēret necne, iuvenēs, ut auctōritātem suam dīvīnam esse probārent, mālās eius manibus suīs permulsērunt; ac statim ē[56] nigrā hominis barba rutila atque aerī[57] similis facta est; unde cognōmen ‘Ahēnobarbus.’[58] Quod īnsigne[59] adhūc manet; nam posteā ex illā familiā multī barbā rutilā fuērunt.”

“Hoc magis placet,” inquit Cornēlia, “etsī mihi quidem vix crēdibile vidētur.”

Interim rēdās equī libenter dūcēbant; ac hōrā ferē ūndecimā ad oppidum Faventiam perventum est. Posterō diē viātōrēs contendērunt Bonōniam usque, ubi in hospitium amīcī dēvertērunt.

[1] imprūdentia, -ae, f., thoughtlessness.

[2] Ē contrāriō, On the contrary.

[3] Eurydicēn: acc. sing., Greek decl.

[4] umbrās: i.e., the (realm of the) dead.

[5] superōs, the world above (vs. īnferōs).

[6] templa, expanses.

[7] lētum, -ī, n., destruction.

[8] nūbilus, -a, -um, adj., clouded, dark.

[9] loca: in app. with templa, line 21.

[10] lyra, -ae, f., lyre.

[11] personō, -āre, -uī, -itus, tr. and intr., play.

[12] nervus, -ī, m., string.

[13] ad verba, to accompany (his) words.

[14] dulcēdō, -inis, f., sweetness.

[15] cantūs: gen.

[16] vultū . . . invītō: i.e., involuntarily.

[17] (prex, precis), f., entreaty.

[18] dē, from, i.e., as a result of.

[19] rēgnum, -ī, n., realm.

[20] clīvus, -ī, m., slope.

[21] arduus, -a, -um, adj., steep.

[22] margō, -inis, f., edge, level.

[23] superae: cf. superōs, line 20.

[24] relābor, -lābī, -lāpsus sum, intr., slip back.

[25] Orphea: acc. sing.; Greek decl.

[26] portitor, -ōris, m., ferryman.

[27] refert, tells.

[28] hērōs, -ōis, m., hero; Greek decl.

[29] Anchīsēn: Greek decl.

[30] dux viae, conductor.

[31] esset: note mood.

[32] dēscēnsus, -ūs, m., descent.

[33] Avernō, to the Lower World; cf. Carthāginī, XXXI, 72.

[34] ātrī: as connected with death.

[35] Dītis, nom. Dis: a name of Pluto.

[36] aurās, atmosphere.

[37] Hoc . . . hic: agreeing with the pred. nouns. Hoc scans as a long syllable.

[38] opācus, -a, -um, adj., dark, shady.

[39] ut, as.

[40] īnferōrum: trans. the gen., ‘to.’

[41] Illa: the boat.

[42] gemō, -ere, -uī, intr., groan.

[43] nemus, -oris, n., grove; Nemora Fortūnātōrum, Elysium.

[44] quam urbem, a city which.

[45] saeculum, -ī, n., generation.

[46] fiscus, -ī, m., the imperial treasury.

[47] thēsaurus, -ī, m., treasure.

[48] rapīna, -ae, f.; pl., plundering; dat. in text.

[49] hem, interj., hah!

[50] ipsum, (the) mere.

[51] gente, clan.

[52] illūstris, -e, adj., famous.

[53] Calvīnōrum, etc., (namely, the families) of the C. and the A.

[54] urbem: i.e., Rome.

[55] augustus, -a, -um, adj., stately.

[56] ē, from (being).

[57] aerī: dat. with similis.

[58] Ahēnobarbus, lit., Bronze-bearded.

[59] īnsigne, -is, n., mark.


Inde māne profectī, ante merīdiem pervēnērunt ad rīvum amoenum, ubi duās hōrās morātī sunt. Postquam gustāvērunt, Anna cum Lūciō in herbā cōnsēdit, ac līberī ab eā petīvērunt ut aliquid sibi nārrāret.

Atque illa: “Ūnum tantum nunc recordārī possum,” inquit, “neque id permagnum. Sed sī audīre vultis, ego incipiam.”

“Nārrā, obsecrō,” inquit Sextus. “Nam Pūblius aliquō[1] sōlus abiit, cēterīque quiētī sē dedisse videntur.”

“Fortasse,” inquit Anna, “meministis mē ōlim quaedam loquī dē iuvene pāstōre, quī gigantem occīdit rēxque posteā factus est.”

“Ita vērō,” inquit Cornēlia. “Plūra audīre volumus.”

Tum Anna: “Illī rēgī fuit fīlius, quem ūnicē amābat. Puer erat īnsignī[2] pulchritūdine; sed cum iam adultus[3] esset, coniūrātiōnem in patrem fēcit, cum spērāret sē ipsum rēgem fore.

“Hāc coniūrātiōne dētēctā, pater prīmō salūtem fugā petiit; sed postrēmō, cōpiīs coāctīs, bellum cum fīliō gerere invītus parāvit.

“Eō diē, quō exercitūs dēcertātūrī erant, omnēs rēgem ēnīxē ōrāvērunt nē sē ipsum[4] perīculō obiceret. Quārē, cum cēteri ad pugnam proficīscerentur, ipse ad oppidī portam relictus est.

“Fīlium quamvīs perfidum pater tamen vehementer amābat. Quārē lēgātō suō abeuntī dīligenter praecēperat, nē quid[5] iuvenī ipsī nocerētur; et iam sollicitā mente ēventum exspectābat, dum speculator ē mūrō attentē prōspicit.

“Ā rēgiīs cōpiīs magna victōria parta est; ac fīlius, asinō vectus, per silvam effugere cōnābātur. Capillō tamen, quī eī[6] prōmissus erat, rāmīs implicātō,[7] asinus abiit, hominemque in arbore pendentem relīquit.

“Hōc cognitō, lēgātus rēgius, tribus lanceīs arreptīs, in silvam properāvit iuvenemque ter per pectus trānsverberāvit. Tum comitēs, cum prius hominem exanimātum gladiīs aggressī essent, dēmpsērunt[8] corpus; quod in foveam[9] abiectum saxīs multīs mīlitēs obruērunt.

“Interim rēx sollicitus nūntiōs pugnae spērābat; ubique[10] speculātor clāmāvit cursōrem procul cōnspicī posse, rēx, in summam exspectātiōnem[11] ērēctus, vix hominis adventum manēre potuit; cumque eī victōria magna nūntiāta esset, hoc tantum rogābat: ‘Estne iuvenis salvus?’

“Cursor sē nescīre dīxit. Sed alter, quī celeriter subsecūtus erat, cum ab eō idem quaesītum esset: ‘Utinam,’ inquit, ‘ō rēx, omnibus[12] inimīcīs tuīs ita esset, ut nunc est illī iuvenī!’

“Quod ubi audīvit, rēx summō maerōre[13] adflīctus sē in sēcrētum recepit, cum identidem lāmentābilī vōce dēplōrāret: ‘Ō fīlī cāre, utinam ego prō tē periissem, fīlī mī!’ ”

“Nē tū quidem hodiē laeta loqueris, Anna,” inquit Cornēlia. “Tālium iam satis est; et mīror ubi Pūblius tam diū morētur.”

“ ‘Ecce tibi[14] lupus[15] in fābulā,’ ”[16] inquit Sextus, cum digitō mōnstrāret Pūblium, quī lēniter accēdēbat.

Quī, simulac propius accessit: “Sibyllam,” inquit, “modo vīdī. Nōnne vultis mēcum īre, ut eam cōnsultēmus?”

“Nōs lūdificāre cōnāris,” inquit Sextus; “et ego saltem ad īnferōs[17] dēscendere minimē cupiō.”

“Veniātis,[18] suādeō,” inquit frāter. “Illa quidem certē digna est, quae ā vōbīs aspiciātur.”

Quibus verbīs inductī, Sextus et Cornēlia secūtī sunt; quōs Pūblius rēctā per agrōs dūxit ad parvam casam, quae haud procul cōnspicī poterat.

Quō cum perventum esset, anum;[19] dēcrepitā[20] aetāte vīdērunt, quae rāmulōs āridōs[21] legēbat. “Em,”[22] inquit Pūblius rīdēns, “Sibyllam aspicite. Ego quidem nihil umquam similius vīdī.”

Dum līberī, quī sēcum male āctum esse putābant, tamen videndī studiō circumspiciunt, subitō ē casā ad eōrum aurīs adlāta est vōx horrenda: “Tōtam[23] cōnsūmpsī. Cedo[24] alteram.”

Quā audītā, Cornēlia pallidō ōre: “Fugiāmus,” inquit. “Male metuō nē intus sit mōnstrum eīs simile, quae Aenēae occurrērunt, cum ad īnferōs dēscenderet. Iam ūnam puellam vorāsse vidētur.”

Pūblius autem audācter ad iānuam prōcessit, et cēterōs ut sequerentur hortātus est. Tum autem iterum audīta est illa vōx: ‘Cedo alteram,’ ac Cornēlia perterrita iam fugitūra erat, cum Pūblius, quī casam introspexerat,[25] in cachinnōs effūsus: “Accēdite,” inquit, “ut ‘mōnstrum’ illud videātis.”

Quō audītō, Sextus et Cornēlia timidē[26] et lēniter prōgressī, intus vīdērunt corvum, quī placentās, quās mīles porrigēbat singulās, avidē vorābat, cum interdum ‘Cedo alteram’ raucā vōce dīceret.

Pūbliō et līberīs animadversīs, mīles placentās cēterās corvō prōiēcit, et: “Salvēte omnēs,” inquit. “Ego sum veterānus, quī prō patriā pugnāns vulnera multa accēpī; tum, bracchiō amputātō,[27] domum remissus sum. Haec casa est mea; sī intrāre vultis, quō poterō hospitiō vōs libenter accipiam.”

Quārē omnēs ingressī sunt ac dīversīs locīs cōnsēdērunt. Sed etiam tum Cornēlia ānxia corvum observābat; quī autem, placentīs intentus, nihil amplius locūtus est.

Tum mīlitī Pūblius: “Tū, nisi fallor,” inquit, “saepe adfuistī, cum ācriter pugnārētur.”

“Vēra dīcis,” inquit mīles. “Longinquās in ōrās penetrāvī, et terrā marīque proeliīs multīs interfuī.”

“Nōnne vīs,” inquit Pūblius, “dē hīs rēbus aliquid nōbīs nārrāre?”

“Dē meīs rēbus gestīs semper invītus loquor,” inquit veterānus. “Sed quīdam centuriō, familiāris meus, facinora ēgregia saepe ausus est, quae ego verbīs satis dignīs[28] exprimere nūllō modō possum.”

“Dē eō igitur dīc,” inquit Pūblius, “sī dē tē ipsō nihil vīs loquī.”

At mīles: “Ōlim, cum lēgātus per expedītiōnem abesset, ille centuriō in praesidiō[29] aeger[30] relictus erat. Morbō tantopere vexābātur,[31] ut diem iam quīntum cibō carēret,[32] cum subitō in illa castra hostēs impetum ācerrimum fēcērunt.

“Tum ille, suae[33] atque omnium salūtī diffīsus,[34] cum inermis ē tabernāculō prōdiisset, hostēs vidēbat maximē imminēre remque summō in discrīmine esse.

“Arma igitur cēpit ā proximīs, atque ipsā in portā castrōrum fortissimē cōnstitit sōlus. Hunc autem celeriter secūtī sunt centuriōnēs eius cohortis, quae eō tempore in statiōne erat.

“Ita proelium est restitūtum. Iam autem, gravibus acceptīs vulneribus, hominem animus relīquit[35], ac vix per manūs trāditus[36] servātus est.

“Hōc tamen spatiō interpositō,[37] reliquī, mente iam cōnfirmātā, mūnītiōnēs[38] virtūte tantā dēfendērunt, ut hostēs, dēspērātā castrōrum expugnātiōne,[39] trāns flūmen Rhēnum brevī sē reciperent.”

“Optimē factum!” inquit Pūblius. Tum ex ōstiō prōspiciēns: “Sed servum nostrum Onēsimum appropinquantem videō, et exīstimō statim nōbīs proficīscendum esse. Quārē vīve et valē, senex, et hanc tibi accipe.” Quō dictō, hominī gemmam parvam trādidit.

“Cedo alteram,” inquit corvus, quī iam placentās omnēs cōnsūmpserat.

Quō audītō, omnēs rīsērunt; et Pūblius, dum ad rēdās sē recipiunt: “Verbīs huius corvī,” inquit, “admoneor dē quōdam centuriōne, quī ōlim in Germāniā ōrdinem dūxit.[40]

“Eī per iocum mīlitēs cognōmen ‘Cedo-alteram’ indidērunt, quod, cum virgam in tergō mīlitis frēgerat, alteram clārā vōce ac rūrsus aliam poscēbat.”

“Hahahae!” inquit Sextus. “Cognōmen aptum! Sed gaudeō mē in illō exercitū nōn stīpendia fēcisse.”

Iam ad rēdās perventum est; ubi Drūsilla, cum ēscenderet, lagunculam[41] ē manū forte dīmīsit; quō cāsū frācta est. Itaque Annae illa: “Cedo alteram,” inquit.

Quō dictō, rīsus maximus exortus est; cumque mātrī, tantae hilaritātis[42] causam quaerentī, tōtam rem exposuissent, līberī posteā temperāre nōn potuērunt quīn interdum ex intervāllō haec omnia reminīscerentur cachinnōsque revocārent.

Sīc huius diēī iter tōtum fēlīciter cōnfectum est, atque sōlis occāsū Mutinam pervēnērunt. Parmae[43] noctem ēgērunt proximam.

[1] aliquō: cf. eō, quō, etc.

[2] īnsignis, -e, adj., unusual.

[3] adultus, -a, -um, adj., grown up.

[4] sē ipsum: i.e., his own person.

[5] nē quid, lit., that in no respect (adv. acc.).

[6] eī, in his case; dat. of reference.

[7] Capillō . . . implicātō: abl. absol. (implicō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., tangle).

[8] dēmō, dēmere, dēmpsī, dēmptus, tr., take down.

[9] fovea, -ae, f., pit.

[10] ubique: i.e. ubi + -que.

[11] exspectātiō, -ōnis, f., expectation.

[12] omnibus, etc.: dat.

[13] maeror, -ōris, m., grief.

[14] tibi: ethical dat.; omit in trans.

[15] lupus, -ī, m., wolf.

[16] Ecce, etc.: cf. ‘Speak of the devil,’ etc.

[17] ad īnferōs; cf. XXXIII, 52.

[18] Veniātis: governed by suādeō.

[19] anus, -ūs, f., old woman.

[20] dēcrepitus, -a, -um, adj., feeble.

[21] āridus, -a, -um, adj., dry.

[22] Em, There!

[23] Tōtam, etc.: note the gender, which misleads Cornelia.

[24] Cedo: irreg. imper., give (me).

[25] intrōspiciō, -spicere, -spexī, -spectus, tr., look into.

[26] timidē, adv., cautiously.

[27] amputō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., cut off.

[28] satis dignīs: i.e., adequate.

[29] praesidiō, entrenched post.

[30] aeger, -gra, -grum, adj., sick.

[31] vexō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., torment.

[32] carēret, was abstaining.

[33] suae, etc., for his own, etc.

[34] diffīdō, -fīdere, -fīsus sum, intr., be alarmed.

[35] animus relīquit: i.e., the man fainted.

[36] per manūs trāditus: i.e., hauled along from one to another.

[37] interpōnō, -pōnere, -posuī, -positus, tr., interpose.

[38] mūnītiō, -ōnis, f., fortification.

[39] expugnātiō, -ōnis, f., storming.

[40] ōrdinem dūxit: i.e., commanded a company.

[41] laguncula, -ae, f., small bottle.

[42] hilaritās, -ātis, f., high spirits.

[43] Parmae: loc.


Cum rūrsus iter ingredī coepissent, Cornēlius: “Hodiē,” inquit, “spērō nōs Placentiam perventūrōs, ubi dēmum solvendae sunt litterae, quās nōbīscum obsignātās portāmus. Tum cognōscētur[1] quō[2] ab imperātōre abīre iussus sim.”

Ac Drūsilla: “Itinerī adhūc tam intenta fuī, ut paene oblīvīscerer tē brevī ā nōbīs discessūrum. Sed nunc nihil mihi longius vidētur quam dum[3] istae litterae solvantur, ut sciāmus quam longē absint loca ea, quō tibi eundum est.”

“Quam vellem,” inquit Pūblius, “ut mihi tē comitārī licēret, pater!”

“Id nūllō modō fierī potest, Pūblī,” inquit Cornēlius, caput quassāns. “Sed tū mox togam[4] virīlem[5] sūmptūrus es ac, dum aberō, prō patre familiās[6] eris, tibique omnia committō.”

Quō audītō, honōre īnspērātō[7] ēlātus Pūblius hilariōre vultū sē circumspicere coepit, ac paulō post: “Nōnne nunc, pater,” inquit, “in eās regiōnēs pergimus, ubi Vitelliānī cum cōpiīs Othōnis ōlim cōnflīxērunt?”

“Probē dīcis,” inquit Cornēlius. “Interiacet[8] flūmen Padus; sed ā[9] viā, quā nunc iter facimus, vix decem mīlia passuum distat oppidum Cremōna, apud[10] quod commissum est illud proelium, dē quō mentiōnem facis.

“Vitellius tum ipse, ut forte meministī, ē Germāniā nōndum pervēnerat nec proeliō interfuit. Cum autem Rōmam iter faciēns in hās regiōnēs esset prōgressus, ac sepulchrum Othōnis vidēre vellet, Cremōnēnsēs, ārīs exstrūctīs caesīsque victimīs,[11] laurū rosāque[12] viam cōnstrāvērunt, quasi rēx ille esset Persārum.

“Cuius adūlātiōnis[13] oppidānī īnfēlīcēs posteā poenās maximās dedērunt. Nam ubi Vespasiānus, ā mīlitibus suīs imperātor salūtātus, in Ītaliam cōpiās praemīsit, cum hīs ad Cremōnam congressī, Vitelliānī fugātī sunt, et sē recēpērunt in urbem; hostēs autem sub moenibus necessāriō cōnstitērunt.

“Ibi dubitābant paulisper utrum urbs sine morā oppugnārētur[14] necne. Tum factus est impetus ācerrimus, cui Vitelliānī et oppidānī fortiter restitērunt. Sed frūstrā; nam brevī īnfulās[15] et rāmōs oleae[16] ē mūrō ostendere coāctī sunt.

“Quō animadversō, Antōnius Prīmus, quī cōpiās Vespasiānī dūcēbat, tēla suōrum inhibērī iussit, ac Vitelliānī victī signa et aquilās maestī extulērunt. Quōs tamen Antōnius clēmenter adlocūtus est,[17] etsī dē oppidānīs nihil certī[18] prōmīsit.

“Ipsīus mīlitēs, praedae cupiditāte commōtī, sē in urbem nōn statim immissōs[19] molestē iam ferēbant,[20] cum rēs fortuīta clādem imminentem Cremōnēnsibus miserīs accelerāvit.

Photograph by R. S. Rogers


“Nam Antōnius, quī ad sanguinem abluendum[21] balneās petierat, aquae tepōrem[22] cāsū[23] incūsāvit. Cumque servus respondisset statim fore ut incalēsceret,[24] haec verba ambigua cupidē excepta sunt; et celeriter dīvulgātum est Antōnium ipsum sīc locūtum esse, atque hīs verbīs Cremōnae incendendae signum dedisse, quae rē vērā iam flagrābat.

“Quadrāgintā mīlia armātōrum in urbem inrūpērunt; ubi nec dignitās[25] sua nec aetās quemquam prōtegēbat. Nam grandaevī[26] senēs fēminaeque prōvectā aetāte, vīlēs ad[27] praedam, lūdibriō habēbantur, et pecūnia deōrum ac templōrum dōna dīrepta sunt. Cumque praeda omnis ēlāta erat, mīlitēs facēs in domōs ac templa vacua iaciēbant. Quattuor diēs Cremōna flagrāvit, omniaque sacra et profāna[28] ignī cōnsūmpta sunt.”

Haec verba prīmō omnium animōs trīstī imāgine cōnfūdērunt; cumque paulisper tacitī sēdissent, Pūblius summissā vōce:

“ ‘Tum vērō omne mihi vīsum cōnsīdere in ignīs

Īlium,[29] et ex īmō[30] vertī[31] Neptūnia[32] Trōia.’ ”

Interim equī libenter rēdās vehēbant, dōnec paulō post merīdiem viātōrēs cōnstitērunt, ut famēs cibō dēpellerētur. Tum līberī Annam rogāvērunt, ecquid[33] ex annālibus gentis suae nārrāre vellet.

Illa autem: “Dum dē oppugnātiōne[34] Cremōnae pater vester loquitur,” inquit, “mihi in mentem vēnit, quō modō urbs Ierīcō ā nostrīs expugnāta esset. Sī audīre vultis, hoc vōbīs dīcere possum.”

“Iam quidem nihil magis cupimus,” inquit Sextus. “Quārē incipe, sīs.”

“Urbe undique obsessā,” inquit Anna, “Iōsue,[35] quī nostrōs dūcēbat, ā deō monitus, sacerdōtēs ē penetrālibus[36] sacra prōlāta iussit circum[37] moenia dūcere, cum interim clārē tubīs canerent.

“Sacerdōtēs[38] mīlitēs armātī antecēdēbant;[39] cētera turba pōne[40] sequēbātur. Sed clāmor omnīnō aberat, nec vōx ūlla est audīta.

“Hoc idem reliquīs deinceps[41] diēbus factum est. Sed diē septimō,[42] māne profectī, moenia septiēs[43] circumiērunt[44] omnēs. Tum tubae cecinērunt ac clāmor maximus sublātus est. Quō sonitū moenia labefactāta corruērunt; et nostrī, undique adortī, per ruīnās mūrī impetum fēcērunt atque urbe potītī sunt.

“Ibi mulier, Rāhāba nōmine, quae quōsdam speculātōrēs nostrōs anteā benignē acceptōs occultāverat, ūnā cum suīs omnibus servāta est; sed hostēs cēterī ad ūnum trucīdātī sunt, atque etiam pecora ferrō periērunt.”

“Dē speculātōribus istīs,” inquit Sextus, “amplius audīre velim.”

“Illī,” inquit Anna, “paucīs ante mēnsibus ad urbem vēnerant, ut loca explōrārent; quōque[45] occultius id facerent, ad Rāhābam dēvertērunt. Adventū tamen eōrum cognitō, rēx nūntiōs ad mulierem mīsit, ut[46] statim trāderet eōs, quōs apud sē habēret.

“Quae autem hospitēs ad sōlārium[47] aedium dēductōs ibi occultāvit, ac nūntiīs respondit hominēs modo ad flūmen Iordānem profectōs facile comprehendī posse, sī mīlitēs statim īnsequī vellent.

“Mīlitibus ad flūmen dīmissīs, Rāhāba hospitēs dē sōlāriō redūxit, atque eīs pollicita est sē exitum[48] tūtum ostentūram esse eā condiciōne, ut iūrārent sē invicem[49] grātiam relātūrōs, sī quandō urbs ā nostrīs capta esset. Condiciōne acceptā, speculātōrēs mulierem iussērunt urbe captā[50] in fenestrā fūniculum[51] coccineum[52] ostentāre, quō facilius domus eius ex interitū ūniversō eximerētur.[53]

“Hīs rēbus cōnstitūtīs, hominēs per fūnem dēmissum ad terram lāpsī sunt; nam domus moenibus urbis coniūncta erat. Cumque[54] ad vada flūminis mīlitēs rēgis properāvissent, speculātōrēs montēs petiērunt, ubi sē occultārent, dōnec clam ēvādendī facultās esset oblāta.”

Cum Anna fīnem dīcendī faceret, accessit Pūblius. Quem cum rīdentem animadvertisset, Cornēlia: “Numquid[55] novī factum est, frāter?” inquit. “Cūr rīdēs?”

At ille: “Dum in agrīs vagor,” inquit, “servō cuidam et ancillae haud procul occurrī. Ille ambulābat sēcūrus, ancilla autem mulctra gravia ferēbat. Tum servō ego: ‘Quō nōmine tē vocem?’ inquam. Ac ille: ‘Crāstinum mē vocant.’

“ ‘Neque ēcastor[56] sine causā ita faciunt,’ inquit ancilla asperius.[57] ‘Tū enim tam iners[58] es, ut numquam faciās ea, quae ūllō modō in posterum diem[59] differrī possint.’

“ ‘Ōhē, mel meum,’ inquit ille. ‘Cūr semper mihi tam saeva?’

“At ancilla: ‘Cavē[60] mē mel tuum vocēs, stulte,[61] aut tē statim docēbo linguae tuae melius moderārī’; quō dictō, mulctrum graviter in eius caput impēgit. Haec cum vīdissem, sine morā abiī, cum nescīrem quō[62] rēs dēnique ēvāsūra esset.”

“Eōs requīrāmus,”[63] inquit Sextus. “Fortasse rīxa nōndum ad fīnem est adducta; atque ego libentissimē tālia videō.”

“Sērō[64] hoc rogās,” inquit Pūblius; “omnia enim ad proficīscendum parāta sunt, ac pater Placentiam quam prīmum venīre vult, ut itineris cōnficiendī cōnsilium hodiē cōnstituātur.”

Quae ubi dicta sunt, omnēs in rēdās ēscendērunt; ac hōrā ferē nōnā moenia urbis iam in cōnspectū erant.

[1] cognōscētur: impers.

[2] quō: adv.

[3] quam dum: cf. XXVI, 7.

[4] toga, -ae, f., toga.

[5] virīlis, -e, adj., of manhood.

[6] patre familiās, head of the family; familiās is an old gen.

[7] īnspērātus, -a, -um, adj., unexpected.

[8] interiaceō, -iacēre, -iacuī, intr., lie between; interiacet, lies between (us and it).

[9] ā, from.

[10] apud, near.

[11] victima, -ae, f., victim.

[12] rosa, -ae, f., rose; the sing. is here used collectively.

[13] adūlātiō, -ōnis, f., flattery, adulation. The gen. in the text modifies poenās; trans., ‘for.’

[14] oppugnō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., attack.

[15] īnfula, -ae, f., fillet.

[16] olea, -ae, f., olive tree. The things mentioned in the text are tokens of surrender.

[17] adloquor, -loquī, -locūtus sum, tr., address.

[18] certī: partit. gen.

[19] immissōs (sc. esse), had . . . been let loose.

[20] molestē, adv. with irritation; molestē ferre, be indignant, be aggrieved (that).

[21] abluō, -luere, -luī, -lūtus, tr., wash off.

[22] tepor, -ōris, m., lukewarmness.

[23] cāsū: i.e., forte; trans. the phrase, ‘chanced to.’

[24] incalēscō, -calēscere, -caluī, intr., grow hot.

[25] dignitās, -ātis, f., rank.

[26] grandaevus, -a, -um, adj., patriarchal.

[27] ad, for.

[28] profānus, -a, -um, adj., profane, secular.

[29] Īlium: a name of Troy.

[30] ex īmō: i.e., from its foundations.

[31] vertī: i.e., ēvertī.

[32] Neptūnia: called ‘Neptunian’ because its walls were said to have been built by Neptune.

[33] ecquid, whether . . . anything.

[34] oppugnātiō, -ōnis, f., attack (upon).

[35] Iōsue: nom. sing.

[36] penetrālia, -ium, n., inmost shrine.

[37] circum, prep. with acc., around.

[38] Sacerdōtēs: acc.

[39] antecēdō, -cēdere, -cessī, -cessus, tr., precede.

[40] pōne, adv., behind.

[41] deinceps, adv., in turn.

[42] septimus, -a, -um, num. adj., seventh.

[43] septiēs, num. adv., seven times.

[44] circumeō, -īre, -iī, -itus, tr., march around.

[45] quōque: i.e., quō + -que.

[46] ut, (with orders) that.

[47] sōlārium: derived from sōl.

[48] exitum, way of escape.

[49] invicem, adv., in turn.

[50] urbe captā: takes the place of a condition.

[51] fūniculus, -ī, m., cord.

[52] coccineus, -a, -um, adj. of scarlet.

[53] eximō, -imere, -ēmī, -ēmptus, tr., exempt.

[54] Cum: causal.

[55] Numquid: cf. XI, 86.

[56] ēcastor, interj., by Castor, truly.

[57] asperē, adv., tartly.

[58] iners, -ertis, adj., lazy.

[59] in posterum diem: cf. crās, whence the nickname Crāstinus (‘Tom Morrow’).

[60] Cavē, etc.: prohibition.

[61] stulte: here as noun.

[62] quō: cf. eō, eōdem, etc.

[63] requīrō, -quīrere, -quīsīvī, -quīsītus, tr., look for.

[64] Sērō, Too late.

Photograph by Katherine Allen



Ubi in oppidum perventum est, viātōrēs statim ad caupōnem dēvertērunt, ut sine morā litterae obsignātae solverentur. Intus scrīptum erat Lugdūnum[1] Cornēliō iter faciendum esse, eumque ibi cognitūrum quid porrō agendum esset.

“Omnia tam incerta sunt!” inquit Drūsilla suspīrāns.[2] “Fortasse, coniūnx, annum tōtum ā nōbīs aberis.”

“Ūnum saltem certum est,” inquit Cornēlius. “Māne ad Galliam Trānsalpīnam mihi est proficīscendum. Nunc autem ratiōnēs quaedam sunt cōnficiendae; et nōnnūlla sunt, quae Pūbliō nostrō praecipere volō.”

Quae cum dīxisset, Onēsimum arcessīvit, ac cum Pūbliō sē recēpit in conclāve parvum; ubi duās hōrās negōtiīs variīs opera data est.

Interim līberī, quī nōn habēbant quō modō sē oblectārent, paulisper tacentēs sēdērunt. Tum Annae Sextus: “Lepida fuērunt ea, quae hodiē nōbīs nārrāvistī,” inquit; “et ūnum adhūc restat, quod ego rogāre velim. Dīxistī etiam pecora esse trucīdāta, cum Ierīcō capta esset. Quid, obsecrō, dē aurō[3] argentōque et cēterīs opibus incolārum est factum?”

“Urbs tōta est incēnsa,” inquit Anna; “sed aurum argentumque et vāsa aut aēnea aut ferrea in aerārium[4] deī suprēmī dēlāta sunt omnia; nam ita praeceptum erat.”

“Nihilōminus,” inquit Sextus, “mihi mīrandum vidētur mīlitēs voluisse tantam praedam ē manibus suīs dīmittere.”

“Ūnus erat, Āchān nōmine,” inquit Anna, “quī cupiditātī suae moderārī nōn potuit, ac quandam vestem splendidam magnamque vim aurī et argentī in tabernāculum reportāvit suum ibique humī[5] operuit.

“Nec vērō deus īrae suae signa dubia dedit. Cum enim nostrī iterum cum hostibus proeliō congressī essent, magnā caede fūsī terga vertērunt; nam nōn diūtius aspectum[6] adversāriorum[7] ferre poterant.

“Hāc mūtātiōne rērum vehementer commōtus, Iōsue deum cōnsuluit quam ob causam hoc[8] tantum malum incidisset. Cui respōnsum est aliquem, cupiditāte inductum, aurum argentumque sacrum in suum tabernāculum reportāsse; quī ut[9] ēligerētur, sortēs dūcendās esse.

“Hōc respōnsō acceptō, Iōsue populum per gentēs familiāsque ēvocāvit; ac, sortibus ductīs, Āchān dēsignātus est. Tum ille dīxit sē, praedā optimā oblātā, temperāre nōn potuisse quīn vestem et aurum argentumque sibi auferret.

“Quae ubi cognita sunt, missī[10] ad tabernāculum praedam absconditam invēnērunt. Tum Iōsue et populus ūniversus in quandam vallem[11] cīvem scelestum et fīliōs fīliāsque ūnā cum bōbus et asinīs dēdūxērunt.

“Ibi cum sontēs[12] saxīs obrutī essent, strue[13] factā, Āchān et līberī, ūnā cum pecudibus et ipsō tabernāculō tōtāque praedā, ignī cōnsūmptī sunt. Sīc īra deī plācāta[14] est.”

Tum Drūsilla, quae quoque haec attentē audierat: “In avāritiā,”[15] inquit, “quantum est malī! Profectō ā poētā probē dictum est:

    “ ‘Quid nōn mortālia pectora cōgis,[16]

Aurī[17] sacra famēs!’ ”

Postquam grātiae Annae āctae sunt, līberī paulisper cum Lūciō lūsērunt. Tum cēnae tempus haud aequō animō exspectābant; sed postrēmō pater et Pūblius, negōtiō cōnfectō, ad cēterōs rediērunt, ac simul nūntiatum est cēnam adpositam esse.

Interim Stasimus sē immiscuerat sermōnibus[18] servōrum, quī in dēversōriō habitābant; et post cēnam in culīnā clārē resonābant frequentēs[19] cachinnī. Postrēmō intrat senex mōrōsus, quī ab omnibus cōnservīs[20] suīs lūdibriō habēbātur; quem ut lūdificāret, hōc modō incipit Stasimus:

Stasimus. Quid nunc, pater? Quid agis?[21]

Senex. Iuvenem scelestum atque adeō[22] impudīcum aspiciō.[23]

Stasimus. Itane vērō? Ubi est ille, obsecrō? Nam ego quidem eum nusquam videō.

Senex. Sī nōn vidēs, at[24] sentiēs[25] dēmum, cum prō dēlictīs[26] tuīs tergum virgīs caedētur.

Stasimus. Nōlī maledīcere.[27] Quid, obsecrō, hodiē fēcistī?

Senex. Nēmō mē[28] miserior vīvit! Duās hōrās tōtās aquam ē fonte ferre coāctus sum; nec quisquam mē adiuvāre voluit.

Stasimus. Quō modō tē nunc adiuvāre possumus?

Senex. Ēheu!

Stasimus. Ēheu? Ita quidem tē libenter adiuvābō.

Senex. Miser sum; argentī nihil habeō—

Stasimus. Ēheu!

Senex. Nec mihi ūlla grātia est.

Stasimus. Ēheu!

Senex. Cotīdiē labōribus adsiduīs cōnficior.

Stasimus. Ēheu!

Senex. Istō modō mē adiuvās, mastīgia?

Stasimus. Dō quod mihi est; dīvitiās aliās nūllās habeō.

Senex. Apage ā mē istās dīvitiās.

Stasimus. Hoc animadverte,[29] senex. Nōnne vīs nunc saltāre?

Senex. Abī[30] in maximam malam crucem. Mēne īnsānīre[31] putās?

Stasimus. Nōnne igitur manibus[32] ambulāre vīs?

Senex. Papae! Dēlīrat profectō. Quid nunc nōbīs faciendum est?

Stasimus. Bacchus[33] mē in montēs vocat; sed abīre nōn possum quod domus sīmiīs opplēta est, et portam occupat hic canis rabidus.

Senex. Vae mihi! Canem rabidum mē esse dīcit. Ut[34] oculī scintillant![35] Male metuō nē in mē inruat.

Stasimus. Nunc manū fūstem capiō, quō caput illī canī rabidō comminuam.[36]

Quae cum dīxisset, scīpiōne arreptō, in senem impetum tam subitō fēcit, ut ille terrōre āmēns forās maximīs clāmōribus ērumperet, cum reliquī semel atque iterum tollerent cachinnōs.

Hōc tumultū audītō, Cornēlius: “Suspicor,” inquit, “Stasimum istum scelestum rūrsus dolōs suōs versāre. Abī, Pūblī, atque exquīre quid factum sit.”

Paulō post reversus Pūblius rīdēns: “Stasimus lūdificāns, ut solet,” inquit, “sē īnsānum esse simulābat, et cuidam senī mōrōsō tantum iniēcit terrōrem, ut ille summō cursū forās effugeret.

“Cēterī autem, quī maximā dēlectātiōne haec omnia vīderant, cum senex perterritus forās fūgisset, in cachinnōs tantōs ērūpērunt, ut subitō corrueret subsellium, in quō sedēbant duo servī obēsī;[37] quī ita humī effūsī sunt[38] supīnī.”

“Hahahae!” inquit Sextus. “Vellem adfuissem. Profectō nihil est Stasimō nostrō[39] facētius.”

Tum Cornēlius, quī ipse vix rīsum continēre potuerat: “Facētus certē est,” inquit; “sed, ut saepe iam dīxī, maximē metuō nē quandō in aliquod malum magnum incidat. Nam haud omnēs tam toleranter[40] eius argūtiās[41] ferent.”

Haec ubi sunt dicta, omnēs libenter ēgressī sunt in hortum,[42] ubi subsellia complūra collocāta erant; nam tempestās erat serēna.

Cum ibi cōnsēdissent, patrī Sextus: “Utinam,” inquit, “Cremōnae adeundae facultās darētur! Ego enim urbem ignī dēlētam numquam vīdī.”

“Metuō nē tū in errōrem magnum inciderīs, mī fīlī,” inquit Cornēlius. “Nam post incendium imperātor Vespasiānus ut Cremōna restituerētur hortātus est, et mūnicipia[43] fīnitima omnibus modīs adiūvērunt oppidānōs, quī domōs et templa reficere volēbant. Sīc factum est ut urbs brevī dēnuō flōrēret.”[44]

“Nōnne etiam secundō bellō Pūnicō quaedam in hīs regiōnibus ācta sunt?” inquit Pūblius.

“Maximē vērō,” inquit Cornēlius. “Quīn etiam Placentia ipsa tum Rōmānīs aliquamdiū erat sēdēs bellī, atque hūc sē recēpit Scīpiō[45] vulnerātus, cum ad flūmen Tīcīnum equestrī proeliō victus esset.”

“Quid deinde ā nostrīs factum est?” inquit Sextus.

“Cum cōpiae Hannibalis quoque Padum trānsīssent,” inquit pater, “Scīpiō obviam iit usque ad flūmen Trebiam, quod hinc minus quīnque mīlia passuum abest. Ibi castra posuit, ut adventum Semprōnī, collēgae suī, exspectāret.

“Collēga, cum pervēnisset, coniūnctīs cōpiīs statim dēcertāre voluit; Scīpiō autem, quī modo equestrī proeliō victus et vulnerātus esset, ut bellum traherētur hortātus est.

“Hiems erat et tempestās perfrīgida.[46] Sed subitō māne equitēs Numidae[47] flūmen trānsgressī,[48] ad castra Rōmānōrum accessērunt, sī forte nostrōs ad pugnam ēlicere[49] possent.

“Tum Semprōnius, morae impatiēns et cupiditāte pugnandī ēlātus, cōnsiliō collēgae repudiātō,[50] mīlitēs ē castrīs ēdūxit; cumque cōnsultō[51] Numidae cessissent et aquam ingressī essent, omnibus cōpiīs ille secūtus est.

“Vīs[52] frīgoris tanta erat, ut nostrīs,[53] cum ē flūmine ēmersissent, manūs gelū rigidae[54] arma vix tenēre possent. Nihilōminus refugientēs Numidās cōnstanter īnsequēbantur, cum subitō occurrit maior pars hostium, quae adhūc quiēta exspectāverat.

“Cum hīs quoque Rōmānī congressī fortiter pugnāvērunt. Sed iam ex lateribus equitēs hostium fēcērunt impetum; ac Māgō, quī in īnsidiīs collocātus erat, ā tergō quoque aggressus, maximum tumultum ac terrōrem intulit. Quibus rēbus nostrī in orbem[55] pugnāre coāctī sunt.

“Postrēmō circiter decem mīlia, impetū ācerrimō factō, per mediam aciem perrūpērunt[56] hostium, ac Placentiam sē recēpērunt. Multī in proeliō iam perierant; aliī autem aut aquā haustī sunt aut in rīpīs flūminis ab hostibus oppressī.

“Poenī tamen dīcuntur in castra sua tam torpentēs[57] gelū rediisse, ut vix laetitiam victōriae sentīrent. Rōmānī dissipātī, quī ex proeliō supererant, Padum[58] trānsvectī, ā Scīpiōne Cremōnam dēductī sunt, nē duōrum exercituum hībernīs ūna urbs premerētur.”

Cum tandem nox tenebrās suās attulisset, māter līberōs hortāta est ut cubitum īrent, quod pater posterō diē māne abitūrus esset; illī autem ōrāvērunt ut sibi hāc nocte ultimā diūtius morārī licēret. Potestāte factā, ad multam[59] noctem tempus sermōne variō trahēbātur; tum omnēs sē quiētī dedērunt.

[1] Lugdūnum: on the Rhone.

[2] suspīrāns,-antis, part., sighing.

[3] dē aurō, etc.: cf. VII, 97.

[4] aerārium, -ī, n., treasury.

[5] humī, in the ground.

[6] aspectus, -ūs, m., sight.

[7] adversārius, -ī, m., enemy; pl., the enemy.

[8] hoc: trans. freely, or omit.

[9] quī ut, and that he.

[10] missī, men sent.

[11] vallēs, -is, f., valley.

[12] sōns, sontis, m. and f., offender, criminal.

[13] struēs, -is, f., heap.

[14] plācō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., appease.

[15] avāritia, -ae, f., avarice.

[16] cōgis: facere may be supplied.

[17] Aurī: obj. gen.

[18] sermōnibus: dat.

[19] frequēns, -entis, adj., frequent.

[20] cōnservus, -ī, m., fellow servant.

[21] Quid agis? How are you?

[22] adeō, thereto.

[23] aspiciō: punning on agis, line 63 (Quid agis? lit., What are you doing?)

[24] at, at any rate.

[25] sentiēs: a not very brilliant rejoinder. If S. cannot see, he can be made to feel.

[26] dēlictum, -ī, n., sin.

[27] maledīcō, -dīcere, -dīxī, -dictum, intr., be rude, revile.

[28] mē: abl.

[29] Hoc animadverte, freely, See here.

[30] Abī, etc.: cf. XIV, 77.

[31] īnsāniō, -īre, -īvī, -ītum, intr., be crazy.

[32] manibus: abl.; trans., ‘on.’

[33] Bacchus, etc.: S. feigns insanity.

[34] Ut, How.

[35] scintillō, -āre, -āvī, intr., gleam.

[36] comminuō, -minuere, -minuī, -minūtus, tr., smash; subjv. in text.

[37] obēsus, -a, -um, adj., fat.

[38] effūsī sunt: i.e., sprawled.

[39] Stasimō nostrō: abl.

[40] toleranter, adv., easily, good-naturedly.

[41] argūtiae, -ārum, f., foolery.

[42] hortus, -ī, m., garden.

[43] mūnicipium, -ī, n., country town.

[44] flōreō, -ēre, -uī, intr., be prosperous.

[45] Scīpiō: father of the elder Africanus.

[46] perfrīgidus, -a, -um, adj., very cold.

[47] Numidae: trans. as masc. adj.

[48] trānsgredior, -gredī, -gressus sum, tr., cross.

[49] ēliciō, -licere, -licuī, tr., lure out.

[50] repudiō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., reject.

[51] cōnsultō, adv., purposely.

[52] Vīs, intensity.

[53] nostrīs: dat. of disadvantage.

[54] rigidus, -a, -um, adj., stiff.

[55] in orbem: i.e., in circular formation.

[56] perrumpō, -rumpere, -rūpī, -ruptus, tr. and intr., break (through).

[57] torpēns, -entis, part. as adj., numb.

[58] Padum: acc. retained with pass.

[59] multam: cf. IV, 57.



Prīmā lūce Cornēlius, cum mandāta ultima Pūbliō dedisset, uxōrem līberōsque amplexus, in rēdam cum Onēsimō ēscendit, ac celeriter profectus est; nec Drūsilla aut Cornēlia lacrimīs eum abeuntem prōsequī[1] prius dēstitit quam omnīnō ē cōnspectū discessit.

Tum Pūblius, suā auctōritāte īnsolitā laetus, tabellāriō Cōmum citō equō ad patruum praemissō, in rēdās omnēs ēscendere iussit, atque ex oppidō cursum dīrēxit. Cui Sextus, dum flūmen Padum ponte trānseunt: “Quō nunc tendimus, frāter?” inquit. “Quam longē abest Cōmum et patruī vīlla?”

At Pūblius: “Sī omnia prōsperē prōcēdent,” inquit, “hodiē Mediōlānum usque iter faciēmus. Crās spērō nōs ad fīnem itineris perventūrōs esse.”

“Mīror quam mox litterae ā patre adferantur,” inquit Cornēlia. “Lacrimās vix teneō, dum cōgitō eum fortasse multōs mēnsēs āfutūrum.”

“Bonō es animō,” inquit Drūsilla, quae vultū laetitiam simulābat, cum dolōrem magnum mente sentīret. “Pollicitus est sē certīs intervāllīs missūrum tabellāriōs, et litterās aliās quoque datūrum,[2] quotiēnscumque occurrisset[3] aliquis, quī in Ītaliam iter faceret. Cum dēmum Lugdūnum pervēnerit, tum dēnique ille coniectūram facere poterit, quam mox ad nōs redīre possit.”

Tum Sextus: “Pūblius,” inquit, “onere officī susceptī tam occupātus esse vidētur, ut nōbīscum vix colloquī velit. Quārē necessāriō ad[4] tē, māter, spectāmus, ut aliquid nārrēs, quō iūcundius diēs trānseat.”

Ac Drūsilla, quae mentēs līberōrum ā discessū[5] patris āvertere volēbat: “Meminī,” inquit, “mē saepe audīre fābulam dē iuvene et puellā, quī Babylōne[6] abhinc multōs annōs inīquō fātō periērunt. Dē hīs audīre vultis?”

“Ego audīre volō,” inquit Cornēlia, “nisi fābula nimis trīstis est.”

“Exitum certē haud laetum habet,” inquit māter; “sed rēs ipsa memorātū dignissima est.”

“Ecquid[7] inest,”[8] inquit Sextus, “dē elephantīs aut aliīs bēluīs, quae in illīs regiōnibus longinquīs reperiuntur?”

“Brevī sciēs,” inquit Drūsilla, cum Lūcium Annae trāderet: “Pȳramus et Thisbē, dē quibus haec fābula nārrātur, domōs habēbant vīcīnās. Diū inter sē amābant; cum autem Pȳramus virginem in mātrimōnium dūcere vellet, pater vetuit.

“Prīmō amantēs, ab[9] omnī spē dēstitūtī, quid facerent nōn habēbant. Tum forte animadvertērunt parietem utrīque domuī commūnem fissum esse tenuī rīmā, quam dūxerat[10] multō ante, cum fieret.

“Quam rimam verbōrum iter fēcērunt. Cumque cōnstiterant, hinc Thisbē, illinc[11] Pȳramus, summissā vōce inter sē multa loquēbantur. Tum sub vesperum, postquam uterque suae partī parietis ōscula dederat, ‘valē’ maestī dīcēbant.

“Postrēmō, huius morae tam longae[12] impatientēs, silentiō noctis custōdēs fallere[13] cōnstituērunt et forās exīre, ut dēmum nūllō prohibente līberē colloquerentur. Atque in tenebrīs nē errārent, locus certus haud procul ā fonte gelidō cōnstitūtus est, quō convenīre possent.

“Thisbē prior ēgressa, incolumis ad locum dēstinātum pervēnit. Dum autem ibi sub arbore sedet, ecce leō, quī modo bovem dīlaniāverat, ut sitim dēpelleret, ad fontem accessit. Quō vīsō, Thisbē pavida in spēluncam vīcīnam refūgit, vēlāmine relictō, quod ā tergō dēlāpsum erat.

“Leō, sitī dēpulsā, dum in silvās redit, vēlāmen forte inventum ōre cruentō discerpsit; quod sanguine tīnctum[14] cum Pȳramus, sērius ēgressus, per lūnam[15] animadvertisset, perterritus sē circumspiciēns in altō pulvere ferae certa vēstīgia vīdit.

“Tum iuvenis, vix compos mentis,[16] Thisbēn sine dubiō dīlaniātam esse ratus, sē vehementer incūsāns, quod puellam teneram in loca tam perīculōsa sōlam prōdīre passus esset, vēlāmen sublātum ad arborem sēcum tulit; atque ibi, cum vestī nōtae lacrimās et ōscula multa dedisset, in gladium suum incubuit.

“Dum ille humī moribundus iacet, Thisbē, nē amantem falleret,[17] ē spēluncā rediit, etsī magnō ex metū nōndum sē recreāverat. Quae cum Pȳramum moribundum et vāgīnam[18] gladiō[19] vacuam vīdisset, capillō discissō clārē clāmāvit, corpusque amantis amplexa, ad vītam eum revocāre cōnāta est. Sed frūstrā.

“Tum: ‘Tua manus,’ inquit, ‘amorque tē perdidit, īnfēlīx. Et[20] mihi est manus fortis et amor. Cōnsequar tē mortuum, nec vērō morte ipsā ā mē dīvellī poteris.’

“Quō dictō, ea quoque in gladium incubuit. Sīc illī, quōs parentēs dīiungere[21] voluerant, in morte coniūnctī sunt, atque ambōrum cinis ūnā in urnā requiēscit.”[22]

Līberī animīs intentīs mātrem haec nārrāntem audierant, Cornēlia vērō vultū haud hilarī, sed Sextus: “Mīror, māter,” inquit, “tē tālia nārrāre audēre, cum Pūblius adest. Semper enim ille dē puellīs cōgitat, ac metuō nē quandō Pȳramum aemulārī[23] cōnētur.”

“Etiam tacēs?”[24] inquit Pūblius ērubēscēns. “Puerum tē[25] procāciōrem numquam vīdī! Sī sapiēs, malum cavēbis.”

“Nōlī īrāscī, mī fīlī,” inquit Drūsilla; “id enim nihil[26] prōficit. Nam aliquis bene dīxit: ‘Sprēta[27] exolēscunt;[28] sī īrāscāre,[29] agnita videntur.’ ”

“Haec verba nōn intellegō, māter,” inquit Cornēlia. “Nōnne plānius sententia dīcī potest?”

“Multō vērō,” inquit Drūsilla. “Vidē sī hoc facilius intellegī potest: ‘Sī maledicta[30] neglegās, omnēs ea oblīvīscuntur; sīn autem īrāscāre, tum omnēs crēdunt vēra esse ea, quae dicta sunt.’ ”

“Iam intellegō,” inquit Cornēlia; “et hīs verbīs bene praecipī[31] ego quoque exīstimō.”

Viātōrēs, cum complūra mīlia passuum iter fēcissent, paulō ante merīdiem cōnstitērunt hōramque ferē in umbrā arborum morātī sunt, ut equī reficerentur.

Interim Sextus, quī lātius vagātus erat, ad Pūblium accessit, et: “Cum tū,” inquit, “nunc tē prō patre familiās gerās, cēnseō omnia ad tē referenda esse. In agrō haud procul est arbor, cuius in rāmīs cōpiam maximam pōmōrum optimōrum animadvertī. Rogō ut mihi liceat in hanc arborem ēscendere, ut pōma pauca inde legam.”

Pūblius, frātris obsequentiā[32] tam īnsolitā gaudēns: “Licet,”[33] inquit. “Agricola profectō nōbīs pauca pōma nōn invidēbit.”

Tum Sextus: “Maximās tibi grātiās agō, frāter,” inquit, “quī potestātem mihi tam cōmiter fēcerīs. Nunc aequō animō cōnfitērī possum mē iam paulō ante ēscendisse in arborem, et, pede fallente, rāmōs aliquot frēgisse. Gaudeō id nōn iniussū tuō factum esse.”

Quō audītō: “Quid est, puer nēquam?”[34] inquit Pūblius īrā incēnsus. “Itane mē impūne lūdificārī posse putās? Moriar,[35] nisi efficiam ut[36] tē paeniteat umquam in istum agrum pervēnisse!”

“Cūr, obsecrō, frāter?” inquit Sextus, quasi iniūriā increpitus;[37] “nōnne tū ipse mihi permīsistī, ut in arborem ēscenderem?”

Priusquam Pūblius respondēre posset, advēnit agricola, quī prō damnō inlātō satisfactiōnem[38] postulābat. Quem cum Pūblius aureō contentum dīmīsisset, omnēs iterum in rēdās ēscendērunt, et lēniter Mediōlānum versus vectī sunt.

Interim Sextus, astūtiā[39] suā ēlātus, interdum ex intervāllō rīdēbat. Sed Pūblius, auctōritātem suam ita lūdibriō habitam dolēns, duās per hōrās cum cēterīs vix colloquī voluit.

Haud multō ante vesperum in oppidum perventum est; ubi viātōrēs ad quendam caupōnem, cuius fāma ad eōs Placentiam usque pervēnerat, libenter dēvertērunt.

[1] prōsequor, -sequī, -secūtus sum, tr., follow, watch.

[2] datūrum, would dispatch.

[3] occurrisset: sc. sibi.

[4] ad, to.

[5] discessus, -ūs, m., departure, absence.

[6] Babylōne: loc. of Babylōn.

[7] Ecquid: cf. XXX, 9.

[8] īnsum, inesse, īnfuī, intr., be in.

[9] ab, by.

[10] dūxerat, had acquired.

[11] hinc . . . illinc, advs., on this side . . . on that.

[12] tam longae: trans. freely.

[13] fallere, give the slip to.

[14] tingō, tingere, tīnxī, tinctus, tr., stain.

[15] per lūnam, in the moonlight.

[16] compos, -otis, possessed (of); compos mentis, in (one’s) senses.

[17] falleret, disappoint.

[18] vāgīna, -ae, f., scabbard.

[19] gladiō: abl.

[20] Et: i.e., etiam.

[21] dīiungō, -iungere, -iūnxī, -iūnctus, tr., separate.

[22] requiēscō, -quiēscere, -quiēvī, -quiētum, intr., rest.

[23] aemulor, -ārī, -ātus sum, tr., rival.

[24] Etiam tacēs? Will you be still?

[25] tē: abl.

[26] nihil: adv. acc.

[27] sprēta, neut. part., things ignored; or a rel. clause may be used.

[28] exolēscō, -olēscere. -olēvī, -olētum, intr., be forgotten.

[29] īrāscāre: subj. indef. second sing.

[30] maledictum, -ī, n., taunt.

[31] praecipī: impers. infin.

[32] obsequentia, -ae, f., deference.

[33] Licet, freely, Very well.

[34] nēquam, indecl. adj., worthless, good for nothing.

[35] Moriar: a wish.

[36] efficiam ut, etc., make you regret.

[37] increpō, -crepāre, -crepuī, -crepitus, tr., blame, rebuke.

[38] satisfactiō, -ōnis, f., payment.

[39] astūtia, -ae, f., smartness.

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Post cēnae tempus līberī aliquamdiū lūsērunt; tum, lūminibus accēnsīs, cum mātre sedēbant, dum Anna Lūcium cōnsōpīre cōnātur. Et postrēmō Cornēlia: “Mīror,” inquit, “quō pater hodiē pervēnerit.”

“Nesciō,” inquit Drūsilla; “sed profectō Tīcīnum usque prōgressus est; ac fortasse etiam longius iter fēcit, et nunc aliquā in vīllā noctem agere parat.”

“Meminī,” inquit Sextus, “patrem mentiōnem facere dē flūmine Tīcīnō, ubi Scīpiō ab Hannibale equestrī proeliō victus est. Eōdemne igitur nōmine et urbs et flūmen vocantur, māter?”

“Nōmina similia sunt,” inquit illa; “sed flūmen est Tīcīnus, et oppidum Tīcīnum. Urbs in rīpā flūminis posita est.”

Sed iam Pūblius, quī aliquamdiū āfuerat, ad cēterōs rediit, et: “Ad iter crās conficiendum,” inquit, “omnia nunc dēmum parāta sunt.”

“Cūr tam diū aberās?” inquit Cornēlia.

At ille: “Dum forīs negōtiīs variīs operam dō, caecum mīlitem vīdī, quī dīxit sē ōlim in Britanniā stīpendia fēcisse.”

“Quō cāsū ēvēnit,” inquit Sextus, “ut caecus esset? In aciē vulnerātus est?”

“Ipse fundā sē in adversum ōs[1] percussum esse dīxit,” inquit frāter. “Sed haec omnia abhinc multōs annōs accidērunt; et nunc cāsum suum aequissimō animō fert. In viā canis fidēlis[2] eius vēstīgia regēbat; ac mihi grātiās maximās ēgit, cum eī in manum dēnāriōs[3] aliquot trādidissem. Diū cum eō loquī voluī; sed rēs tam multae et variae cūrandae erant, ut ibi morārī nōn possem.”

“Age, Pūblī,” inquit Sextus, “ā prīncipiō exōrsus aliquid dē Britanniā nōbīs nārrā.”

Quō audītō, Pūblius: “Ante adventum Caesaris in Galliam haec īnsula paene incognita erat. Quīn etiam ipse dīcit tum vix ūllōs[4] praeter[5] mercātōrēs eam adīre solitōs esse, neque hīs ipsīs[6] quidquam ultrā ōram maritimam nōtum fuisse.

“Quārē Caesar, cum eō trānsīre in animō habēret, C. Volusēnum cum nāvī longā praemīsit, quī omnia prius explōrāret. Eō regressō,[7] ipse trānsvectus est, ac prīmō rem fēlīciter gessit.

“Sed noctū nāvēs longae, quae in lītus subductae[8] erant, aestū maximō complētae sunt; et onerāriae,[9] quās ad ancorās[10] dēligāverat, flūctibus sunt adflīctātae.[11]

“Quā rē ēvulgātā, Britannī, fortūnae opportūnitāte ūsī, bellum alacrēs renovāvērunt. Quōs tamen Caesar proeliīs fūdit prōsperīs; tum, quod hiems suberat,[12] obsidibus acceptīs, ad continentem sē recēpit.

“Postero annō in īnsulam reversus, cum ultrā flūmen Tamesim prōgressus esset, hostibus undique superātīs, obsidēs plūrēs imperāvit, atque extrēmā aestāte in Galliam iterum trānsvectus est.

“Sed nē proxima quidem pars īnsulae ita ab eō perdomita erat. Et scrīptor Tacitus iūre dīcit Caesarem, etsī prōsperīs pugnīs terruerit incolās et lītore potītus sit, Britanniam posterīs magis ostendisse[13] vidērī quam trādidisse.

“Posteā īnsulae longa oblīviō[14] fuit; sed annōrum ferē centum intervāllō[15] opus renovātum est ab imperātōre Claudiō, quō auctōre[16] legiōnēs sunt trānsvectae, victae gentēs, et rēgēs quīdam captī sunt.

“Ex illō tempore pars proxima Britanniae paulātim in fōrmam prōvinciae redācta est. Variā autem fortūnā rēs agēbātur, dōnec Iūlius Agricola, Tacitī socer,[17] īnsulae praepositus est.

“Ille incolās et aestāte et hieme lacessīvit. Quīn etiam longē in Calēdoniam penetrāvit, cum prius, ubi[18] īnsula angustissima est, praesidia tam multa collocāvisset, ut hostēs quasi in aliam īnsulam summovērentur.[19]

“Sed nē tum quidem perdomita est terra tōta; ac multīs post annīs ab imperātōre Hadriānō ferē eōdem locō līmes[20] trānsversus[21] ā lītore ad lītus ductus est, quō facilius impetūs barbarōrum coërcērī[22] possent. Nam etiam[23] hodiē hominēs, quī Calēdoniam incolunt, cultum Rōmānum abnuunt, ac semper rēbus novīs[24] student.”

“Haec omnia mē cupiditāte īnsulae adeundae incendunt,” inquit Sextus; “etsī haud velim, ut iste veterānus īnfēlīx, ibi oculōs perdere.”

“Mē spē oblectō,” inquit Drūsilla, “nōs diū pāce fruī[25] iam posse. Prō patriā mori decorum[26] est, sī ita fāta ferunt;[27] sed optima est vīta quiēta.”

Iam autem tumultū subitō forīs exortō, vōx audīta est ancillae, quae clārē clāmābat latrōnēs in tēcta inrumpere.

Photograph by R. S. Rogers


Quō audītō, Pūblius, gladiō arreptō, forās celeriter ēgressus est, ut, sī opus esset, ministrīs subsidiō venīret. Interim Sextus sub subsellium refūgit, Drūsilla autem cum cēterīs trepida ēventum exspectābat.

Timor tamen nōn diūtinus[28] fuit; nam brevī Pūblius haud sine rīsū rediit, quī nūntiāvit ūnum ex equīs, vinculō ruptō, per āream vagantem ancillae terrōrem iniēcisse tantum, ut crēderet latrōnēs adesse.

Cum omnēs sē recreāssent ex timōre, et Sextus clam ē latebrīs prōdiisset: “Haec rēs mē admonet,” inquit Pūblius, “dē iūdiciō quōdam Servī Galbae, quī priusquam ā mīlitibus imperātor salūtātus est, prōvinciae Āfricae ōlim praeerat.”

“Haec nārrā, sīs, frāter,” inquit Sextus, quī nōlēbat quemquam sentīre sē nūper in latebrīs fuisse.

“Ōlim asinus erat,” inquit Pūblius, “cuius dē proprietāte[29] contrōversia fuit. Rēs in iūdicium dēlāta est. Testibus[30] autem levibus ob eamque rem difficilī vērī[31] coniectūrā, Galba imperāvit ut asinus ad lacum, ubi adaquārī[32] solēbat, dūcerētur capite opertō; tum, capite revēlātō,[33] trāderētur eī, ad quem suā sponte ā pōtiōne[34] rediisset.”

“Ille certē erat iūdex sollers,”[35] inquit Drūsilla. Tum Sextō et Cornēliae: “Sed vōbīs līberis tempus cubitum eundī iam adest. Crās enim multō māne est surgendum, ut, sī fierī possit, ad patruī vīllam ante noctem perveniāmus.”

“Velim nōbīs paulō diūtius morārī liceat,” inquit Cornēlia; “nam crēdō Annam quoque aliquid nārrāre nōn nōlle.”

Quō audītō, Anna adrīsit, et māter: “Licet,” inquit, “dummodo fābula brevis sit.”

“Euge!” inquit Cornēlia. “Anna nostra semper iūcunda audītū nārrat.”

Tum Anna: “Rēx noster Salomōn, hominum omnium sapientissimus,[36] maximā sollertiā contrōversiās dīiūdicābat. Velut ōlim ad eum vēnērunt duae mulierēs, quae sēcum ūnum īnfantem adferēbant, quem utraque suum esse adfirmāvit.

“Ē quibus altera:[37] ‘Nūper, ō rēx,’ inquit, ‘ex mē et ex istā muliere fīliī nātī sunt. Sed ista, suō puerō mortuō, cum meum fīlium abstulisset, in gremiō meō īnfantem mortuum dēposuit. Quārē ego, ubi experrēcta sum, alterius[38] fīlium in gremiō invēnī.’

“Tum altera: ‘Nōlī, ō rēx, eī crēdere,’ inquit. ‘Hoc tōtum[39] fictum est. Ego huius puerī vēra sum māter.’

“Rēx, cum haec audīvisset, ministrō imperāvit ut gladium statim adferret. Quō adlātō, iussit īnfantem vīvum in partēs duās discindī, ut mulier utraque aequam partem habēret.

“Tum illa, quae vērē māter erat, in lacrimās effūsa: ‘Istī mulierī improbae,’ ōrat, ‘parvulum miserum trāde incolumem, ō rēx. Nōlī, obsecrō, eum trucīdāre.’ Sed altera: ‘Statim discindātur, ut utraque nostrum[40] aequam partem habeat.’

“Quō audītō, rēx ministrum iussit gladium recondere,[41] puerum autem eī trādidit, quae amōre suō comprobāverat sē esse mātrem vēram.”

“Haec est fābula adprīmē lepida,” inquit Cornēlia; “et gaudeō me ūnam dēmum rem audīvisse, cuius ēventus pulcherrimus erat.”

Līberī tum alacrēs discessērunt; ac brevī cēterī quoque cōnsecūtī sunt.

[1] in adversum ōs, full in the face.

[2] fidēlis, -e, adj., faithful.

[3] dēnārius, -ī, m., denarius (worth about fifteen cents).

[4] ūllōs, anyone.

[5] praeter, excepting.

[6] ipsīs, even.

[7] regredior, -gredī, -gressus sum, intr., return.

[8] subdūcō, -dūcere, -dūxī, -ductus, tr., draw up.

[9] onerāria, -ae, f., transport.

[10] ancora, -ae, f., anchor.

[11] adflīctō, -ārī, -āvī, -ātus, tr., rack.

[12] subsum, -esse, intr., be near.

[13] ostendisse, to have opened up.

[14] oblīviō, -ōnis, f., neglect.

[15] intervāllō, after an interval.

[16] quō auctōre, under whose command.

[17] socer, -erī, m., father-in-law.

[18] ubi, at the point where.

[19] summoveō, -movēre, -mōvī, -mōtus, tr., remove, shut off.

[20] līmes, -itis, m., fortified wall.

[21] trānsversus, -a, -um, adj., straight across.

[22] coërceō, -ercēre, -ercuī, -ercitus, tr., check.

[23] etiam, even.

[24] rēbus novīs, dat., revolution.

[25] fruor, fruī, frūctus sum, intr., enjoy.

[26] decōrus, -a, -um, adj., seemly, glorious. The sentiment is quoted from Horace.

[27] ferunt, demand.

[28] diūtinus, -a, -um, adj., long continued.

[29] proprietās, -ātis, f., ownership.

[30] testis, -is, m. and f., witness. Two abl. absolutes are connected by ob eamque rem. (cf. note on XIV, 20).

[31] vērī: obj. gen.

[32] adaquō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., lead to water.

[33] revēlō, -vēlāre, -vēlāvī, -vēlātus, tr., uncover.

[34] pōtiō, -ōnis, f., watering.

[35] sollers, -ertis, adj., resourceful.

[36] sapiēns, -entis, adj., wise.

[37] Ē quibus altera, One of whom.

[38] alterius: supplying the missing gen. of alius.

[39] Hoc tōtum, This whole story.

[40] nostrum: partit. gen.

[41] recondō, -condere, -condidī, -conditus, tr., sheathe.


Posterō diē, priusquam reliquī gustāvērunt, Stasimus forās ēgressus in viā cum obviīs[1] loquēbātur; cum enim hās regiōnēs numquam anteā vīsisset, summō studiō exquīrēbat omnia.

Postrēmō occurrit homō habitū peregrīnō, quī ōlim cāsū aliquō manum āmīserat; prō quā uncō ferreō ūtēbātur. Ad quem Stasimus propius accessit ac dē rēbus variīs loquī coepit.

Cumque uncum ferreum aliquamdiū attentius observāsset: “Dīc, hospes,” inquit; “quō cāsū miserō manum tuam āmīsistī?”

Ille autem nihil respondit, ac statim aliā dē rē loquī contendit. Sed Stasimus, cognōscendī cupiditāte incēnsus, īnstābat ācrius et negābat[2] sē umquam hominem dīmissūrum, nisi id sibi respondisset.

Tum alter: “Hoc tibi respondēbō,” inquit, “sī prius iūrāveris tē posteā dē hāc rē nihil amplius rogātūrum.”

“Optimē,” inquit Stasimus. “Per deōs[3] deāsque omnēs iūrō mē nihil dē hāc rē posteā rogātūrum, sī modo[4] hoc ūnum mihi responderis.”

“Manus mea,” inquit alter, “bēluae immānis morsū dērepta est.”

Tum omnēs, quī circumstābant, cachinnōs maximōs sustulērunt; nam Stasimus, cognōscendī studiō etiam vehementius incēnsus, iūre iūrandō tamen impediēbātur quōminus plūra quaereret. Sed opportūnē hōra profectiōnis iam aderat; quārē ille haud invītus sē recēpit ad rēdās, quae ante ōstium stābant.

Brevī omnēs forās ēgressī ēscendērunt et laetī profectī sunt; nam hōc diē ad fīnem itineris longī sē perventūrōs spērābant. Nec vērō prius cōnstitērunt, ut cibus dēprōmerētur, quam dīmidium viae iam cōnfectum est.

Līberī, cum paulisper in umbrā lūsissent, mātrem rogāvērunt numquid memoriā dignum recordārī posset.

Illa autem: “Brevī proficīscendum est,” inquit; “sed fortasse pauca dīcere possum dē facinore atrōcī fīliārum Danaī, sī haec numquam audīvistis.”

“Ego quidem numquam audīvī,” inquit Cornēlia. “Perge porrō dīcere, sī vīs, māter.”

“Danaō, quī fuit Libyae rēx, quīnquāgintā erant fīliae,” inquit Drūsilla; “frāter autem Aegyptus, rēx Arabiae, fīliōs totidem habēbat. Sed inter Danaum et fīliōs Aegyptī dissēnsiō orta est, atque ille, īnsidiās veritus, Libyā relictā sēdēs novās in Graeciā quaesīvit.

“Paucīs autem post annīs fīliī Aegyptī, mare[5] trānsvectī, patruum suum adiērunt rogātum ut eius fīliae sibi in mātrimōnium darentur.

“Danaus, quī iniūriārum sibi inlātārum nondum oblītus erat, sē fīliās datūrum pollicitus est. Sed clam virginibus praecēpit ut in thalamōs[6] sēcum adferrent gladiōs, ut noctū iuvenēs cōnsōpītōs singulae singulōs[7] aggressae occīderent.

“Nūptiīs factīs, cum novī marītī somnō sepultī essent, tum mulierēs ē lectīs surgentēs suum quaeque[8] trucīdāvērunt. Et fāma est propter hoc scelus eās apud īnferōs ad aquam semper ferendam damnātās esse. Nam iussae sunt dōlium[9] complēre, cuius per fundum rīmōsum[10] statim effluit[11] aqua, quam illae urnīs īnfundere[12] numquam dēsinunt.”

“Fābulam quam trīstem!” inquit Cornēlia: “etsī illae scelestae certē poenā maximā dignae erant, quae imperiō patris tam impiō pāruissent.”

“Ūna tamen erat,” inquit Drūsilla, “quam marītī adulēscentis tantopere miseruit, ut foribus patefactīs eum dīmitteret, ut patrem et patriam repeteret incolumis.”

“Eam summīs laudibus extulit poēta Horātius,” inquit Pūblius. “Nam ab eō ‘splendidē mendāx’ vocātur, et ‘in omne[13] virgō nōbilis[14] aevum.’ Nec quidquam eīs verbīs[15] generōsius est, quibus illa marītum dīmittit:

“ ‘Mē pater saevīs oneret[16] catēnīs,

Quod virō clēmēns[17] miserō pepercī;

Mē vel[18] extrēmōs[19] Numidārum in agrōs

    Classe relēget:[20]


Ī pedēs quō tē rapiunt et aurae,[21]

Dum favet[22] nox et Venus;[23] ī secundō

Ōmine, et nostrī[24] memorem[25] sepulchrō[26]

    Scalpe[27] querellam.’ ”

“Quid vērō puellā factum est, māter?” inquit Cornēlia.

“Prīmō in vincula coniecta est,” inquit Drūsilla. “Sed posteā resēdit īra patris, et marītus revocātus spōnsam[28] ad sē recēpit.”

Iam autem tempus abeundī erat. Quārē omnēs, cum surrēxissent, ad rēdās rediērunt, brevīque rūrsus Cōmum versus prōgrediēbantur.


“Quam vellem,” inquit Cornēlia, “pater quoque nunc adesset! Ego quidem nōn intellegō quō modō hōs[29] mēnsēs eō carēre[30] possīmus.”

“Bonō es animō,” inquit māter, “et scītō[31] patrem, quam prīmum potuerit, ad nōs reditūrum esse.”

Tum Pūblius, ut ad rēs aliās mentēs līberōrum āverteret: “Vōbīsne nōtum est,” inquit, “urbem, ad quam properāmus, patriam esse illīus Plīnī, quī litterās dē monte Vesuviō scrīpserit?”

“Id numquam audīvī,” inquit Sextus. “Dē eius factīs amplius, sīs.”

“Plīnius erat vir urbānus,” inquit Pūblius, “hūmānitātī ac litterīs[32] dēditus. Ōlim amīcō suō Tacitō scrīpsit sē nūper īsse vēnātum aprōsque trēs cēpisse. Quōque mīrābilior rēs esse videātur, commemorat sē nec vēnābulum nec lanceam portāsse, sed manū tenuisse stilum et pugillārēs. Dum autem ad rētia[33] sedet, ecce trēs aprī[34] in plagās[35] incurrunt!”[36]

“Hahahae!” inquit Cornēlia. “Vēnātiōnem sānē facilem!”

“Ipse, ut suspicor,” inquit Pūblius, “litterīs magis quam vēnātiōnī studēbat.[37] Dīcit saltem sē prō lanceā stilum attulisse, ut, sī manūs vacuās, plēnōs tamen pugillārēs domum reportāret. Addit quoque animum mīrābiliter mōtū corporis excitārī, ac silvās et sōlitūdinem[38] vēnātiōnī datam[39] magna cōgitātiōnis incitāmenta[40] esse. Quārē adfirmat nōn Diānam magis in montibus quam Minervam errāre.”

“Hoc haud intellegō,” inquit Cornēlia. “Cēnsēbatne hodiē deās ipsās in montibus vagārī?”

“Nūllō modō,” inquit māter. “Diāna vēnātiōnī studet, Minerva autem artium litterārumque est cultrīx.[41] Plīnius igitur vult dīcere nōn modo vēnātōrēs[42] sed etiam scrīptōrēs in montibus loca ad operam suam ēdendam apta invenīre posse.”

“Ego quidem metuō,” inquit Pūblius, “nē ille interdum ostentātiōnis causā nōnnūlla fēcerit. Nam fortasse meministis eum, cum adulēscēns Mīsēnī cum mātrē relictus esset, librum Titī Līvī in āreā lēgisse, cum cēterī, ignibus ē Vesuviō relūcentibus perterritī, ex oppidō undique fugerent.

“Quaedam autem perūtilia[43] certē ab illō excōgitāta sunt. Velut eō auctōre Cōmēnsēs lūdum aperuērunt. Nam ōlim Cōmī,[44] cum ad eum salūtātum vēnisset cuiusdam vīcīnī fīlius praetextātus,[45] puerum rogāvit ubi studēret.[46] Ille autem respondit: ‘Mediōlānī.’

“ ‘Cūr nōn hīc?’ inquit Plīnius.

“Tum pater puerī, quī forte aderat: ‘Quod nūllōs hīc praeceptōrēs habēmus.’

“Opportūnē accidit ut complūrēs patrēs audīrent, et Plīnius: ‘Quārē nūllōs?’ inquit. ‘Quantō melius sit līberōs vestrōs hīc potissimum[47] discere! Quid sī ad praeceptōrēs condūcendōs pecūniam cōnferātis omnem, quam nunc in[48] habitātiōnēs,[49] in viātica,[50] in ea quae peregre[51] emuntur, impenditis?’[52]

“Nē longum sit,[53] Plīnius pollicitus est sē ipsum datūrum tertiam partem eius, quod cēterīs placēret. Tōtum[54] enim ipse dare nōluit, quod exīstimābat parentēs, sī partem mūneris sustinērent, maiōre cūrā praeceptōrēs ēlēctūrōs esse.”

Viātōrēs, cum haec et tālia inter sē loquerentur, celeriter prōgrediēbantur; ac sub vesperum Cōmum tandem perventum est, ubi Cornēlī frāter grātissimō hospitiō eōs accēpit.

[1] obviīs: i.e., people coming up.

[2] negābat: cf. XVII, 17.

[3] per deōs, etc.: a comic oath.

[4] modo, only.

[5] mare: acc. retained with pass.

[6] thalamus, -ī, m., marriage chamber.

[7] singulae singulōs: i.e., each her own.

[8] suum quaeque: cf. VIII, 84.

[9] dōlium, -ī, n., cask.

[10] rīmōsus, -a, -um, adj., leaky.

[11] effluō, -fluere, -flūxī, intr., flow out.

[12] īnfundō, -fundere, -fūdī, -fūsus, tr., pour in.

[13] omne: modifier of aevum.

[14] nōbilis, famed (cf. nōscō).

[15] eīs verbīs: abl.

[16] onerō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., load down; oneret, hort. subjv. with concessive force.

[17] clēmēns, -entis, adj., merciful(ly).

[18] vel, even.

[19] extrēmōs, far distant.

[20] relēgō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., banish.

[21] pedēs . . . aurae: with reference to travel by land and sea.

[22] faveō, favēre, fāvī, fautūrus, intr., be propitious.

[23] Venus: i.e., love.

[24] nostrī: for meī; obj. gen.

[25] memor, -oris, adj., reminding (of).

[26] sepulchrō: place where.

[27] scalpō, scalpere, scalpsī, scalptus, tr., carve, inscribe.

[28] spōnsa, -ae, f., bride.

[29] hōs, these (coming).

[30] carēre, get along without.

[31] scītō: fut., as regularly with this verb.

[32] litterīs, literature.

[33] rēte, -is, n., net.

[34] aper, -prī, m., boar.

[35] plagae, -ārum, f., trap.

[36] incurrō, -currere, -currī or cucurrī, -cursum, intr., run (into).

[37] studēbat, had an eye (to).

[38] sōlitūdō, -inis, f., isolation.

[39] datam: i.e., incidental (to).

[40] incitāmentum, -ī, n., encouragement.

[41] cultrīx, -īcis, f., patroness.

[42] vēnātor, -ōris, m., hunter.

[43] perūtilis, -e, adj., very useful.

[44] Cōmī: loc. of Cōmum.

[45] praetextātus, -a, -um, adj., wearing the toga praetexta, (a mark of childhood; cf. XXXV, 12).

[46] studēret, went to school.

[47] hīc potissimum, here of all places.

[48] in: for.

[49] habitātiō, -ōnis, f., rooms.

[50] viāticum, -ī, n., traveling money.

[51] peregre, adv., out of town.

[52] impendō, -pendere, -pendī, -pēnsus, tr., spend.

[53] Nē longum sit, freely, Not to make a long story of it.

[54] Tōtum, the whole (sum).


Dum Placentiā Pūblius cum cēterīs Cōmum versus iter facit, Cornēlius et Onēsi