Nīl recitās et vīs, Māmerce, poēta vidērī:
quidquid vīs estō, dummodo nīl recitēs.
You recite nothing, Mamercus, and yet you wish to seem to be a poet: be whatever you wish, provided that you recite nothing.
Spectābāt modo sōlus inter omnēs
nigrīs mūnus Horātius lacernīs,
cum plebs et minor ordo maximusque
sanctō cum duce candidus sedēret.
tōtō nix cecidit repente caelō:
albīs spectat Horātius lacernīs.
Alone among all (the spectators), Horatius just now was watching the games, in a black cloak, when the plebs and the lesser order and the greatest along with our holy emperor were sitting dressed in white. Suddenly snow fell from the whole sky: Horatius is watching in a white cloak.
Nullōs esse deōs, ināne caelum
affirmat Segius: probatque, quod sē
factum, dum negat haec, videt beātum.
Segius declares that there are no gods, that heaven is empty: and he proves it, for he sees himself blessed (even) while he denies these things.
Exigis ut dōnem nostrōs tibi, Quinte, libellōs.
non habeō, sed habet bibliopōla Tryphōn.
“aes dabo prō nūgīs et emam tua carmina sānus?
nōn”, inquis, “faciam tam fatuē”. nec ego.
You ask me to give you my little books, Quintus. I don’t have (any copies), but the bookseller Tryphon does. You say “Will I, while I have my wits, give money for trifles and buy your poems? I’ll not act so stupidly”. Nor will I.
Crās tē victūrum, crās dīcis, Postume, semper:
dīc mihi, crās istud, Postume, quando venit?
quam longē crās istud! ubi est? aut unde petendum?
numquid apud Parthōs Armeniōsque latet?
iam crās istud habet Priamī vel Nestoris annōs.
crās istud quantī, dīc mihi, possit emī?
crās vīvēs? hodiē iam vīvere, Postume, sērum est:
ille sapit quisquis, Postume, vixit herī.
Tomorrow, Postumus, you’re always saying you’ll live tomorrow: tell me, Postumus, when is that tomorrow coming? How distant that tomorrow is! Where is it? For from where is it to be sought? Is it lurking among the Parthians and Armenians by any chance? Already that tomorrow has the years of a Priam or a Nestor. Tell me, at what price could that tomorrow be bought? You’ll live tomorrow? It’s already late to be living today: whoever lived yesterday, Postumus, is wise.
Nōn dōnem tibi cūr meōs libellōs
ōrantī totiens et exigentī
mīrāris, Theodōre? magna causa est:
dōnēs tū mihi nē tuōs libellōs.
Are you wondering why, Theodorus, I don’t give you my little books, even though you beg for them and demand them so often? There’s a serious reason: so that you don’t give me your little books.
Dentibus atque comīs - nec tē pudet - ūteris emptīs.
quid faciēs oculō, Laelia? nōn emitur.
You use teeth and hair which you have bought, and you’re not ashamed to do so. What will you do for eyes, Laelia? They aren’t (able to be) bought.
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