Horace Sermones 1.9

Ibam forte via sacra, sicut meus est mos,
I was going by chance on a sacred road

nescio quid meditans nugarum, totus in illis.
thinking about nonsense, just as is my custom, completely in them.

accurrit quidam notus mihi nomine tantum
A certain someone known to me only by name runs up to me

arreptaque manu: 'quid agis, dulcissime rerum?'
and with my hand having been grabbed he said, "How are you doing, sweetest of things?"

5 'suaviter, ut nunc est' inquam, 'et cupio omnia, quae vis.'
"Pleasantly, as it is now," I said, "and I want what you want."

cum adsectaretur: 'numquid vis?' occupo, at ille
When he had followed: "Whatever do you want?" I interrupted,

'noris nos' inquit, 'docti sumus.' hic ego: 'pluris
and he said that you have gotten to know us; we are learned. Here I say:

hoc' inquam 'mihi eris.' misere discedere quaerens
"You are of much to me because of this" Miserably seeking to leave

ire modo ocius, interdum consistere, in aurem
I was going just now, quicker, at times I paused to say

10 dicere nescio quid puero, cum sudor ad imos
i don't know what in the ears of a slave boy when the sweat flows to the bottom of the ankles

manaret talos. 'o te, Bolane, cerebri
"O you, Bolanus blessed of brain"

felicem' aiebam tacitus, cum quidlibet ille
I said silently when he was chattering whatever when he was praising

garriret, vicos, urbem laudaret. ut illi
the district and the city. As I

nil respondebam: 'misere cupis' inquit 'abire;
was responding nothing: "You desire desperately to leave

15 iam dudum video. sed nil agis; usque tenebo.
I now see but it's no use; I will hold all the way, (I will persist continuously)

persequar hinc, quo nunc iter est tibi.' 'nil opus est te
I will pursue you hence, whither the journey is now for you." "It is not necessary that you

circumagi: quendam volo visere non tibi notum;
are led around in circles: I wish to go and see a certain person not known to you;

trans Tiberim longe cubat is prope Caesaris hortos.'
 

He reclines far off across the Tiber, near the gardens of Ceasar."

'nil habeo, quod agam, et non sum piger: usque sequar te.'
"I have nothing to do, and I am not lazy: therefore I will follow you continuously."

20 demitto auriculas, ut iniquae mentis asellus,
I lower the ears, as the young ass of uneven mind

cum gravius dorso subiit onus. incipit ille:
has undergone a burden more heavily on his back then he began

'si bene me novi, non Viscum pluris amicum,
If I knew myself well, you will not regard Viscus, you will not regard Varius as a friend of more value

non Varium facies: nam quis me scribere pluris
for who is able to write more verses or quicker than me

aut citius possit versus? quis membra movere
who (would be able) to move limbs more flexibly

25 mollius? invideat quod et Hermogenes ego canto.'
Hermogenes would envy what I sing."

interpellandi locus hic erat: 'est tibi mater,
This was the place of/for interrupting: 'Is there a mother to you/do you have a mother,

cognati, quis te salvo est opus?' 'haud mihi quisquam;
(are there) relatives (to you)/(do you have) relatives), for whom there is a need that you be safe?' '(There is not) anyone to me/I have no one;

omnis conposui.' 'felices! nunc ego resto.
I have buried them all.' 'Lucky ones! Now I remain.

confice! namque instat fatum mihi triste, Sabella
Finish me off! For a sad fate presses on me, which a Sabine

30 quod puero cecinit divina mota anus urna:
old woman prophesied to (me as) a boy, with the divine urn (having been) moved:

hunc neque dira venena nec hosticus auferet ensis
,
neither awful poisons nor the enemy sword will bear this one away,

nec laterum dolor aut tussis, nec tarda podagra:
nor a pain of the sides or a cough, nor slow gout:

garrulus hunc quando consumet cumque. loquaces,
a talker will destroy him at some time or another. If he were wise,

si sapiat, vitet, simul atque adoleverit aetas.’
he would avoid loquacious people as soon as his age will have risen.'

35 ventum erat ad Vestae, quarta iam parte diei
It had been come/We had come to the temple of Vesta, with a fourth part of the day

praeterita, et casu tum respondere vadato
already having passed, and then by chance he had to appear in court for the plaintiff/with his guarantee having been obtained,

debebat, quod ni fecisset, perdere litem.
because if he had not done (this), he would have to lose the case.

'si me amas’ inquit, 'paulum hic ades.' 'inteream, si
He said, 'Please be present here for a little while.' 'May I perish, if

aut valeo stare aut novi civilia iura,
either I am well (enough) to stand or I know the civil laws,

40 et propero, quo scis.' 'dubius sum, quid faciam' inquit,
and I am hastening you know where.' 'I am uncertain what I should do' he said,

'tene relinquam, an rem.' 'me, sodes.' 'non faciam' ille
should I leave you or the case.' 'Me, please.' 'I will not do it,' he (said)

et praecedere coepit. ego, ut contendere durum
and began to go ahead. I, as (it is) hard to contend with

cum victore, sequor. 'Maecenas quomodo tecum?'
a victor, follow. 'How is Maecenas with you/How are things with you and Maecenas?'

hinc repetit, 'paucorum hominum et mentis bene sanae;
From here he resumes, '(a man) of few men and of quite sound mind;

45 nemo dexterius fortuna est usus. haberes
no one has used his fortune more skillfully. You would have

magnum adiutorem, posset qui ferre secundas,
a great helper, who would be able to play your second,

hunc hominem velles si tradere: dispeream, ni
if you were willing to introduce this man (to me): may I perish, if you would not

summosses omnis.' 'non isto vivimus illic,
have removed all (the competition).' We do not live in that manner there,

quo tu rere, modo. domus hac nec purior ulla est
,
in which (manner) you think. There is not any house more pure than this one,

50 nec magis his aliena malis. nil mi officit, inquam,
nor is it more alien to these evils. It interferes with me not at all, I will say,

ditior hic aut est quia doctior: est locus uni
because this is more wealthy: There is his own place

cuique suus.' 'magnum narras, vix credibile.' 'atqui
for each one.' 'You tell a big (story), scarcely believable.'

sic habet.' 'accendis quare cupiam magis illi
'But it is so.' 'You kindle why I desire more to be nearest to him.'

proximus esse.' 'velis tantummodo: quae tua virtus,
You need only wish for it, such is your valor,

55 expugnabis, et est, qui vinci possit, eoque
you will overcome, and he is who is able to be conquered, and therefore

difficilis aditus primos habet.' 'haud mihi dero:
he has difficult first approaches.' 'I will not fail myself:

muneribus servos corrumpam; non, hodie si
I will seduce the slaves with money; I will desist, if today

exclusus fuero, desistam; tempora quaeram,
I will have have been shut out; I will seek times,

occurram in triviis, deducam. nil sine magno
I hurry to meet (him) in the crossroads, I will lead (him).

60 vita labore dedit mortalibus.' haec dum agit, ecce
Life has given nothing to mortals without labor.' While he does these things,

Fuscus Aristius occurrit, mihi carus et illum
behold Fuscus Aristius turns up, dear to me and who

qui pulchre nosset. consistimus. 'unde venis?’ et
knew him well. We stopped. 'Whence you come?' and

‘quo tendis?' rogat et respondet. vellere coepi
Where are you going?' He asked and responded. I begin

et pressare manu lentissima brachia, nutans,
to pull and press his slowest arm with my hand, lingering,

65 distorquens oculos, ut me eriperet. male salsus
twisting the eyes, so that he would rescue me.

ridens dissimulare, meum iecur urere bilis:
He, wickedly funny, laughing, was pretending, anger burned my liver:

'certe nescio quid secreto velle loqui te
'Certainly you were saying that you wanted to speak with me about I

aiebas mecum.' 'memini bene, sed meliore
don't know what secretly.' 'I remember well, but I will speak at a better time:

tempore dicam: hodie tricesima sabbata. vin tu
today is the thirtieth sabbath. Do you want to fart in the face of circumcised Jews.'

70 curtis Iudaeis oppedere?' 'nulla mihi' inquam
I said 'There is no religion to me'

'relligio est.' 'at mi! sum paulo infirmior, unus
'But there is religion to me! I am weaker by little, one of the many.

multorum. ignosces; alias loquar.' huncine solem
You will forgive me; I will another time.' This so dark sun

tam nigrum surrexe mihi! fugit inprobus ac me
has risen for me! He flees and leaves me under the knife.

sub cultro linquit. casu venit obvius illi
By chance the opponent comes to meet him and

75 adversarius et 'quo tu, turpissime?' magna
in a great voice shouts, 'Where are you going, most despicable?' and

inclamat voce, et 'licet antestari?' ego vero
'Is it allowed to call you as a witness?' I indeed

oppono auriculam. rapit in ius: clamor utrimque,
proffer my ear. He snatches into the law court: there is shouting on both sides,

undique concursus. sic me servavit Apollo.
There is running to and fro everywhere. Thus Apollo has saved me.