|3. Ovid, Fasti, 2.557-2.568, 6.570, 6.573-6.648 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)
Tagged with subjects: • Roman state, Bona Dea cult closely associated with • closeness to the gods, of Augustus • closeness to the gods, of Augustus and Fortuna • temples, closed
Found in books: Erker (2023), Ambiguity and Religion in Ovid’s Fasti: Religious Innovation and the Imperial Family, 93, 161; Panoussi(2019), Brides, Mourners, Bacchae: Women's Rituals in Roman Literature, 172; Rüpke (2011), The Roman Calendar from Numa to Constantine Time, History and the Fasti 72
2.557 dum tamen haec fiunt, viduae cessate puellae: 2.558 expectet puros pinea taeda dies, 2.559 nec tibi, quae cupidae matura videbere matri, 2.560 comat virgineas hasta recurva comas. 2.561 conde tuas, Hymenaee, faces et ab ignibus atris 2.562 aufer! habent alias maesta sepulchra faces. 2.563 di quoque templorum foribus celentur opertis, 2.564 ture vacent arae stentque sine igne foci. 2.565 nunc animae tenues et corpora functa sepulcris 2.566 errant, nunc posito pascitur umbra cibo. 2.567 nec tamen haec ultra, quam tot de mense supersint 2.568 Luciferi, quot habent carmina nostra pedes,
6.570 sed superiniectis quis latet iste togis?
6.573 dum dea furtivos timide profitetur amores, 6.574 caelestemque homini concubuisse pudet 6.575 (arsit enim magno correpta cupidine regis 6.576 caecaque in hoc uno non fuit illa viro), 6.577 nocte domum parva solita est intrare fenestra; 6.578 unde Fenestellae nomina porta tenet, 6.579 nunc pudet, et voltus velamine celat amatos, 6.580 oraque sunt multa regia tecta toga. 6.581 an magis est verum post Tulli funera plebem 6.582 confusam placidi morte fuisse ducis, 6.583 nec modus ullus erat, crescebat imagine luctus, 6.584 donec eum positis occuluere togis? 6.585 tertia causa mihi spatio maiore canenda est, 6.586 nos tamen adductos intus agemus equos. 6.587 Tullia coniugio sceleris mercede parato 6.588 his solita est dictis extimulare virum: 6.589 ‘quid iuvat esse pares, te nostrae caede sororis 6.590 meque tui fratris, si pia vita placet? 6.591 vivere debuerant et vir meus et tua coniunx, 6.592 si nullum ausuri maius eramus opus. 6.593 et caput et regnum facio dictale parentis: 6.594 si vir es, i, dictas exige dotis opes. 6.595 regia res scelus est. socero cape regna necato, 6.596 et nostras patrio sanguine tingue manus.’ 6.597 talibus instinctus solio privatus in alto 6.598 sederat: attonitum volgus ad arma ruit. 6.599 hinc cruor et caedes, infirmaque vincitur aetas: 6.600 sceptra gener socero rapta Superbus habet. 6.601 ipse sub Esquiliis, ubi erat sua regia, caesus 6.602 concidit in dura sanguinulentus humo, 6.603 filia carpento patrios initura penates 6.604 ibat per medias alta feroxque vias. 6.605 corpus ut aspexit, lacrimis auriga profusis 6.606 restitit, hunc tali corripit illa sono: 6.607 ‘vadis, an expectas pretium pietatis amarum? 6.608 duc, inquam, invitas ipsa per ora rotas.’ 6.609 certa fides facti: dictus Sceleratus ab illa 6.610 vicus, et aeterna res ea pressa nota. 6.611 post tamen hoc ausa est templum, monumenta parentis, 6.612 tangere: mira quidem, sed tamen acta loquar, 6.613 signum erat in solio residens sub imagine Tulli; 6.614 dicitur hoc oculis opposuisse manum, 6.615 et vox audita est ‘voltus abscondite nostros, 6.616 ne natae videant ora nefanda meae.’ 6.617 veste data tegitur, vetat hanc Fortuna moveri 6.618 et sic e templo est ipsa locuta suo: 6.619 ‘ore revelato qua primum luce patebit 6.620 Servius, haec positi prima pudoris erit.’ 6.621 parcite, matronae, vetitas attingere vestes: 6.622 sollemni satis est voce movere preces, 6.623 sitque caput semper Romano tectus amictu, 6.624 qui rex in nostra septimus urbe fuit. 6.625 arserat hoc templum, signo tamen ille pepercit 6.626 ignis: opem nato Mulciber ipse tulit, 6.627 namque pater Tulli Volcanus, Ocresia mater 6.628 praesignis facie Corniculana fuit. 6.629 hanc secum Tanaquil sacris de more peractis 6.630 iussit in ornatum fundere vina focum: 6.631 hic inter cineres obsceni forma virilis 6.632 aut fuit aut visa est, sed fuit illa magis, 6.633 iussa foco captiva sedet: conceptus ab illa 6.634 Servius a caelo semina gentis habet. 6.635 signa dedit genitor tunc cum caput igne corusco 6.636 contigit, inque comis flammeus arsit apex. 6.637 Te quoque magnifica, Concordia, dedicat aede 6.638 Livia, quam caro praestitit ipsa viro. 6.639 disce tamen, veniens aetas, ubi Livia nunc est 6.640 porticus, immensae tecta fuisse domus; 6.641 urbis opus domus una fuit, spatiumque tenebat, 6.642 quo brevius muris oppida multa tenent, 6.643 haec aequata solo est, nullo sub crimine regni, 6.644 sed quia luxuria visa nocere sua, 6.645 sustinuit tantas operum subvertere moles 6.646 totque suas heres perdere Caesar opes, 6.647 sic agitur censura et sic exempla parantur, 6.648 cum iudex, alios quod monet, ipse facit.'' None
2.557 But while these rites are enacted, girls, don’t marry: 2.558 Let the marriage torches wait for purer days. 2.559 And virgin, who to your mother seem ripe for love, 2.560 Don’t let the curved spear comb your tresses. 2.561 Hymen, hide your torches, and carry them far 2.562 From these dark fires! The gloomy tomb owns other torches. 2.563 And hide the gods, closing those revealing temple doors, 2.564 Let the altars be free of incense, the hearths without fire. 2.565 Now ghostly spirits and the entombed dead wander, 2.566 Now the shadow feeds on the nourishment that’s offered. 2.567 But it only lasts till there are no more days in the month 2.568 Than the feet (eleven) that my metres possess.
6.570 Fortuna, the same day is yours, your temple
6.573 It’s Servius, that’s for sure, but different reason 6.574 Are given for the drapes, and I’m in doubt. 6.575 When the goddess fearfully confessed to a secret love, 6.576 Ashamed, since she’s immortal, to mate with a man 6.577 (For she burned, seized with intense passion for the king, 6.578 And he was the only man she wasn’t blind to), 6.579 She used to enter his palace at night by a little window: 6.580 So that the gate bears the name Fenestella. 6.581 She’s still ashamed, and hides the beloved feature 6.582 Under cloth: the king’s face being covered by a robe. 6.583 Or is it rather that, after his murder, the people 6.584 Were bewildered by their gentle leader’s death, 6.585 Their grief swelling, endlessly, at the sight 6.586 of the statue, until they hid him under robes? 6.587 I must sing at greater length of a third reason, 6.588 Though I’ll still keep my team on a tight rein. 6.589 Having secured her marriage by crime, Tullia 6.590 Used to incite her husband with words like these: 6.591 ‘What use if we’re equally matched, you by my sister’ 6.592 Murder, I by your brother’s, in leading a virtuous life? 6.593 Better that my husband and your wife had lived, 6.594 Than that we shrink from greater achievement. 6.595 I offer my father’s life and realm as my dower: 6.596 If you’re a man, go take the dower I speak of. 6.597 Crime is the mark of kingship. Kill your wife’s father, 6.598 Seize the kingdom, dip our hands in my father’s blood.’ 6.599 Urged on be such words, though a private citizen 6.600 He usurped the high throne: the people, stunned, took up arms. 6.601 With blood and slaughter the weak old man was defeated: 6.602 Tarquin the Proud snatched his father-in-law’s sceptre. 6.603 Servius himself fell bleeding to the hard earth, 6.604 At the foot of the Esquiline, site of his palace. 6.605 His daughter, driving to her father’s home, 6.606 Rode through the streets, erect and haughty. 6.607 When her driver saw the king’s body, he halted 6.608 In tears. She reproved him in these terms: 6.609 ‘Go on, or do you seek the bitter fruits of virtue? 6.610 Drive the unwilling wheels, I say, over his face.’ 6.611 A certain proof of this is Evil Street, named 6.612 After her, while eternal infamy marks the deed. 6.613 Yet she still dared to visit her father’s temple, 6.614 His monument: what I tell is strange but true. 6.615 There was a statue enthroned, an image of Servius: 6.616 They say it put a hand to its eyes, 6.617 And a voice was heard: ‘Hide my face, 6.618 Lest it view my own wicked daughter.’ 6.619 It was veiled by cloth, Fortune refused to let the robe 6.620 Be removed, and she herself spoke from her temple: 6.621 ‘The day when Servius’ face is next revealed, 6.622 Will be a day when shame is cast aside.’ 6.623 Women, beware of touching the forbidden cloth, 6.624 (It’s sufficient to utter prayers in solemn tones) 6.625 And let him who was the City’s seventh king 6.626 Keep his head covered, forever, by this veil. 6.627 The temple once burned: but the fire spared 6.628 The statue: Mulciber himself preserved his son. 6.629 For Servius’ father was Vulcan, and the lovely 6.630 Ocresia of Corniculum his mother. 6.631 Once, performing sacred rites with her in the due manner, 6.632 Tanaquil ordered her to pour wine on the garlanded hearth: 6.633 There was, or seemed to be, the form of a male organ 6.634 In the ashes: the shape was really there in fact. 6.635 The captive girl sat on the hearth, as commanded: 6.636 She conceived Servius, born of divine seed. 6.637 His father showed his paternity by touching the child’ 6.638 Head with fire, and a cap of flames glowed on his hair. 6.639 And Livia, this day dedicated a magnificent shrine to you, 6.640 Concordia, that she offered to her dear husband. 6.641 Learn this, you age to come: where Livia’s Colonnade 6.642 Now stands, there was once a vast palace. 6.643 A site that was like a city: it occupied a space 6.644 Larger than that of many a walled town. 6.645 It was levelled to the soil, not because of its owner’s treason, 6.646 But because its excess was considered harmful. 6.647 Caesar counteced the demolition of such a mass, 6.648 Destroying its great wealth to which he was heir.'' None
|8. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 3.1, 3.9, 3.14, 7.2, 7.24, 9.36, 9.40 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)
Tagged with subjects: • closure
Found in books: Hanghan (2019), Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus, 87, 170; Hitch (2017), Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world, 87, 170
3.1 To Calvisius. I don't think I ever spent a more delightful time than during my recent visit at Spurinna's house; indeed, I enjoyed myself so much that, if it is my fortune to grow old, there is no one whom I should prefer to take as my model in old age, as there is nothing more methodical than that time of life. Personally, I like to see men map out their lives with the regularity of the fixed courses of the stars, and especially old men. For while one is young a little disorder and rush, so to speak, is not unbecoming; but for old folks, whose days of exertion are past and in whom personal ambition is disgraceful, a placid and well-ordered life is highly suitable. That is the principle upon which Spurinna acts most religiously; even trifles, or what would be trifles were they not of daily occurrence, he goes through in fixed order and, as it were, orbit. In the morning he keeps his couch; at the second hour he calls for his shoes and walks three miles, exercising mind as well as body. If he has friends with him the time is passed in conversation on the noblest of themes, otherwise a book is read aloud, and sometimes this is done even when his friends are present, but never in such a way as to bore them. Then he sits down, and there is more reading aloud or more talk for preference; afterwards he enters his carriage, taking with him either his wife, who is a model lady, or one of his friends, a distinction I recently enjoyed. How delightful, how charming that privacy is! What glimpses of old times one gets! What noble deeds and noble men he tells you of! What lessons you drink in! Yet at the same time it is his custom so to blend his learning with modesty that he never seems to be playing the schoolmaster. After riding seven miles he walks another mile, then he again resumes his seat or betakes himself to his room and his pen. For he composes, both in Latin and Greek, the most scholarly lyrics. They have a wonderful grace, wonderful sweetness, and wonderful humour, and the chastity of the writer enhances its charm. When he is told that the bathing hour has come - which is the ninth hour in winter and the eighth in summer - he takes a walk naked in the sun, if there is no wind. Then he plays at ball for a long spell, throwing himself heartily into the game, for it is by means of this kind of active exercise that he battles with old age. After his bath he lies down and waits a little while before taking food, listening in the meantime to the reading of some light and pleasant book. All this time his friends are at perfect liberty to imitate his example or do anything else they prefer. Then dinner is served, the table being as bright as it is modest, and the silver plain and old-fashioned; he also has some Corinthian vases in use, for which he has a taste though not a mania. The dinner is often relieved by actors of comedy, * so that the pleasures of the table may have a seasoning of letters. Even in the summer the meal lasts well into the night, but no one finds it long, for it is kept up with such good humour and charm. The consequence is that, though he has passed his seventy-seventh year, his hearing and eyesight are as good as ever, his body is still active and alert, and the only symptom of his age is his wisdom. This is the sort of life that I have vowed and determined to follow, and I shall enter upon it with zest as soon as my age justifies me in beating a retreat. Meanwhile, I am distracted with a thousand things to attend to, and my only solace therein is the example of Spurinna again, for he undertook official duties, held magistracies, and governed provinces as long as it became him to do so, and earned his present leisure by abundant toil. That is why I set myself the same race to run and the same goal to attain, and I now register the vow and place it in your hands, so that, if ever you see me being carried beyond the mark, you may bring me to book, quote this letter of mine against me and order me to take my ease, so soon as I shall have made it impossible for people to charge me with laziness. Farewell. " 3.9 To Cornelius Minicianus. I can now give you a full account of the enormous trouble entailed upon me in the public trial brought by the Province of Baetica. It was a complicated suit, and new issues kept constantly cropping up. Why this variety, and why these different pleadings? you well ask. Well, Caecilius Classicus - a low rascal who carries his villainy in his face - had during his proconsulship in Baetica, in the same year that Marius Priscus was Governor of Africa, behaved both with violence and rapacity. Now, Priscus came from Baetica and Classicus from Africa, and so there was a rather good saying among the people of Baetica, for even resentment often inspires wit I was acting for the Province, assisted by Lucceius Albinus, an eloquent and ornate speaker, and though we have long been on terms of the closest regard for one another, our association in this suit has made me feel vastly more attached to him. As a rule, and especially in oratorical efforts, people do not run well in double harness in their striving for glory, but he and I were not in any sense rivals and there was no jealousy between us, as we both did our level best, not for our own hand, but for the common cause, which was of such a serious character and of such public importance that it seemed to demand from us that we should not over-elaborate each single pleading. We were afraid that time would fail us, and that our voices and lungs would break down if we tied up together so many charges and so many defendants into one bundle. Again, we feared that the attention of the judges would not only be wearied by the introduction of so many names and charges, but that they would be confused thereby, that the sum-total of the influence of each one of the accused might procure for each the strength of all, and finally we were afraid lest the most influential of the accused should make a scapegoat of the meanest among them, and so slip out of the hands of justice at the expense of someone else - for favour and personal interest are strongest when they can skulk behind some pretence of severity. Moreover, we were advised by the well-known story of Sertorius, who set two soldiers - one young and powerful, and the other old and weak - to pull off the tail of a horse. You know how it finishes. And so we too thought that we could get the better of even such a long array of defendants, provided we took them one by one. Our plan was first to prove the guilt of Classicus himself; then it was a natural transition to his intimates and tools, because the latter could never be condemned unless Classicus were guilty. Consequently, we took two of them and closely connected them with Classicus, Baebius Probus and Fabius Hispanus, both men of some influence, while Hispanus possesses a strong gift of eloquence. To prove the guilt of Classicus was an easy and simple task that did not take us long. He had left in his own handwriting a document showing what profits he had made out of each transaction and case, and he had even despatched a letter couched in a boasting and impudent strain to one of his mistresses containing the words, "Hurrah! hurrah! I am coming back to you with my hands free; * for I have already sold the interests of the Baetici to the tune of four million sesterces." But we had to sweat to get a conviction against Hispanus and Probus. Before I dealt with the charges against them, I thought it necessary to establish the legal point that the execution of an unjust sentence is an indictable offence, for if I had not done this it would have been useless for me to prove that they had been the henchmen of Classicus. Moreover, their line of defence was not a denial. They pleaded that they could not help themselves and therefore were to be pardoned, arguing that they were mere provincials and were frightened into doing anything that a proconsul bade them do. Claudius Restitutus, who replied to me, a practised and watchful speaker who is equal to any emergency however suddenly sprung up upon him, is now going about saying that he never was so dumbfounded and thrown off his balance as when he discovered that the ground on which he placed full reliance for his defence had been cut from under him and stolen away from him. Well, the outcome of our line of attack was as follows In the third action, we thought our best course was to lump the defendants together, fearing lest, if the trial were to be spun out to undue length, those who were hearing the case would grow sick and tired of it, and their zeal for strict justice and severity would abate. Besides, the accused persons, who had been designedly kept over till then, were all of comparatively little importance, except the wife of Classicus, and, although suspicion against her was strong, the proofs seemed rather weak. As for the daughter of Classicus, who was also among the defendants, she had cleared herself even of suspicion. Consequently, when I reached her name in the last trial - for there was no fear then as there had been at the beginning that such an admission would weaken the force of the prosecution - I thought the most honourable course was to refrain from pressing the charge against an innocent person, and I frankly said so, repeating the idea in various forms. For example, I asked the deputation of the Baetici whether they had given me definite instructions on any point which they felt confident they could prove against her; I turned to the senators and inquired whether they thought I ought to employ what eloquence I might possess against an innocent person, and hold, as it were, the knife to her throat; and, finally, I concluded the subject with these words Well, the conclusion of this trial, with its crowd of defendants, was that a certain few were acquitted, but the majority were condemned and banished, some for a fixed term of years, and others for life. In the same decree the senate expressed in most handsome terms its appreciation of our industry, loyalty, and perseverance, and this was the only possible worthy and adequate reward for the trouble we had taken. You can imagine how worn out we were, when you think how often we had to plead, and answer the pleadings of our opponents, and how many witnesses we had to cross-question, encourage, and refute. Besides, you know how trying and vexatious it is to say "no" to the friends of the accused when they come pleading with you in private, and to stoutly oppose them when they confront you in open court. I will tell you one of the things I said. When one of those who were acting as judges interrupted me on behalf of one of the accused in whom he took a special interest, I replied I have brought you up to date as well as I could. You will say, "It was not worthwhile, for what have I to do with such a long letter?" If you do, don\'t ask again what is going on at Rome, and bear in mind that you cannot call a letter long which covers so many days, so many trials, and so many defendants and pleadings. I think I have dealt with all these subjects as briefly as I am sure they are exactly dealt with. But no, I was rash to say "exactly"; I remember a point which I had omitted, and I will tell you about it even now, though it is out of its proper place. Homer does this, and many other authors have followed his example - with very good effect too - though that is not my reason for so doing. One of the witnesses, annoyed at being summoned to appear, or bribed by some one of the defendants in order to weaken the prosecution, laid an accusation against Norbanus Licinianus, a member of the deputation, who had been instructed to get up the case, and charged him with having acted in collusion with the other side in relation to Casta, the wife of Classicus. It is a legal rule in such instances that the trial of the accused must be finished before inquiry is made into a charge of collusion, on the ground that one can best form an opinion on the sincerity of the prosecution by noticing how the case has been carried through. However, Norbanus reaped no advantage from this point of law, nor did his position as member of the deputation, nor his duties as one of those getting up the action stand him in good stead. A storm of prejudice broke out against him, and there is no denying that his hands were crime-stained, that he, like many others, had taken advantage of the evil times of Domitian, and that he had been selected by the provincials to get up the case, not as a man of probity and honour, but because he had been a personal enemy of Classicus, by whom, indeed, he had been banished. He demanded that a day should be fixed for his trial, and that the charge against him should be published; both were refused, and he was obliged to answer on the spot. He did so, and though the thorough badness and depravity of the fellow make me hesitate to say whether he showed more impudence or resolution, he certainly replied with great readiness. There were sundry things brought against him which did him much greater damage than the charge of collusion, and two men of consular rank, Pomponius Rufus and Libo Frugi, severely damaged him by giving evidence to the effect that during the reign of Domitian he had assisted the prosecution of Salvius Liberalis before the judge. He was convicted and banished to an island. Consequently, when I was accusing Casta, I especially pressed the point that her accuser had been found guilty of collusion. But I did so in vain, and we had the novel and inconsistent result that the accused was acquitted though her accuser was found guilty of collusion with her. You may ask what we were about while this was going on. We told the senate that we had received all our instructions for this public trial from Norbanus, and that the case ought to be tried afresh if he were proved guilty of collusion, and so, while his trial was proceeding, we sat still. Subsequently Norbanus was present every day the trial lasted, and showed right up to the end the same resolute or impudent front. I wonder if I have forgotten anything else. Well, I almost did. On the last day Salvius Liberalis bitterly assailed the rest of the deputation on the ground that they had not brought accusations against all whom they were commissioned to accuse by the province. He is a powerful and able speaker, and he put them
7.2 To Justus. How can you reconcile your statement that you are kept constantly busy by your never-ceasing engagements, with your request for something of mine to read, when, as a rule, it is all I can do to get people with plenty of leisure to waste time over my writings? I will therefore let the summer go by, when you are always busy and have no time to yourself, and as soon as winter comes - when I suppose you will at least have some leisure at nights - I will look among my trifles for something suitable to lay before you. In the meantime, I shall do well if my letters do not bore you, but, as that is inevitable, they shall be as brief as possible. Farewell. ' "
7.24 To Geminus. Ummidia Quadratilla has died just before reaching her eightieth year. Right up to her last illness she was hale and hearty, for she was physically so strong knit and robust as to be quite an exception to her sex. She died after making a will which does her great credit, as she left two-thirds of her property to her grandson, and the remaining third to her granddaughter. I hardly know the latter, but I am on terms of close friendship with the grandson, a young man of exceptional qualities, who challenges the affection of others besides those who are related to him. In the first place, he is particularly handsome, but he passed through boyhood and youth without a breath of scandal. He married when in his twenty-fourth year, and would now have been a father had Providence permitted. He lived under his grandmother's roof, yet, though she was a woman of luxurious tastes, he never gave way to excesses, and still managed to obey her every whim. She used to keep a troupe of pantomimic artistes, and showed them an extravagant favour which hardly became a lady of her rank. Yet Quadratus never used to witness their performances, either in the theatre or in her house, and she did not require that he should. I have heard the old lady say, when commending her grandson's literary compositions to my notice, * that though she, with a woman's love of indolence, had been in the habit of amusing herself by playing draughts ** and watching the performances of her troupe, she had always urged her grandson to go away and study whenever she intended to amuse herself in either of these two ways. I think she did so from a feeling of shame that her grandson should see her thus engaged, quite as much as from the love she bore him. This will surprise you, as it certainly surprised me. At the last Sacerdotal Games, when, after the pantomimic troupe had appeared on the stage and given their performance, Quadratus and I were leaving the theatre, he said to me I give you these details because I know you like to hear any news that is stirring, and besides, it is a pleasure to me to renew my gratification by writing and telling it to you. For I am delighted at the affection shown by the deceased, at the honour in which this excellent young man is held, and I am pleased to think that the house, which once belonged to Caius Cassius - the Cassius who was the founder and principal of the Cassian school of lawyers - will have another equally distinguished man to rule over it. My friend Quadratus will worthily fill it and be a credit to it, and will restore to it its old dignity, fame, and glory, when he, who is as great an orator as Cassius was a lawyer, is daily seen to leave its doors. Farewell. 0 " 9.36 To Fuscus. You ask me how I spend the day on my Tuscan villa in summer time. Well, I wake at my own sweet will, usually about the first hour, though it is often before, and rarely later. I keep my windows shut, for it is remarkable how, when all is still and in darkness, and I am withdrawn from distracting influences and am left to myself, and free to do what I like, my thoughts are not led by my eyes, but my eyes by my thoughts; and so my eyes, when they have nothing else to look at, only see the objects which are present before my mind. If I have anything on hand, I think it over, and weigh every word as carefully as though I were actually writing or revising, and in this way I get through more or less work, according as the subject is easy or difficult to compose and bear in mind. I call for a shorthand writer, and, after letting in the daylight, I dictate the passages which I have composed, then he leaves me, and I send for him again, and once again dismiss him. At the fourth or fifth hour, according as the weather tempts me - for I have no fixed and settled plan for the day - I betake myself to my terrace or covered portico, and there again I resume my thinking and dictating. I ride in my carriage, and still continue my mental occupation, just as when I am walking or lying down. My concentration of thought is unaffected, or rather is refreshed by the change. Then I snatch a brief sleep and again walk, and afterwards read aloud a Greek or Latin speech, as clearly and distinctly as I can, not so much to exercise the vocal organs as to help my digestion, though it does at the same time strengthen my voice. I take another walk, then I am anointed, and take exercise and a bath. While I am at dinner, if I am dining with my wife or a few friends, a book is read to us, and afterwards we hear a comic actor or a musician; then I walk with my attendants, some of whom are men of learning. Thus the evening is passed away with talk on all sorts of subjects, and even the longest day is soon done. Sometimes I vary this routine, for, if I have been lying down, or walking for any length of time, as soon as I have had my sleep and read aloud, I ride on horseback instead of in a carriage, as it takes less time, and one gets over the ground faster. My friends come in from the neighbouring towns to see me, and take up part of the day, and occasionally, when I am tired, I welcome their call as a pleasant relief. Sometimes I go hunting, but never without my tablets, so that though I may take no game, I still have something to bring back with me. Part of my time too is given to my tets - though in their opinion not enough - and their clownish complaints give me a fresh zest for my literary work and my round of engagements in town. Farewell.
9.40 To Fuscus. You say that you were very pleased to receive my letter * describing how I spend my leisure time in summer at my Tuscan villa, and you ask what changes I make in my routine in winter time at my Laurentine house. None at all, unless it be that I do without a sleep at midday and steal a good deal of the night, either before daybreak or after sunset, and if, as often happens in winter, I find I have some urgent business on hand, then I forego listening to a comic actor or music after dinner, and instead, I revise again and again what I have dictated, and at the same time improve my memory by making frequent corrections. So now you know my routine both in summer and winter, and to these you may add the spring and autumn, which come between the two other seasons. During these I take care to lose nothing of the days, and also nibble a little bit off the nights. Farewell. %%% ' " None