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phaedrus036

Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 12 years, 1 month ago

 

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II.5. Tiberius Caesar ad Atriensem

 

Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 489.

 

Est ardalionum quaedam Romae natio,

trepide concursans, occupata in otio,

gratis anhelans, multa agendo nil agens,

sibi molesta et aliis odiosissima.

hanc emendare, si tamen possum, volo

vera fabella; pretium est operae attendere.

Caesar Tiberius cum petens Neapolim

in Misenensem villam venisset suam,

quae, monte summo posita Luculli manu,

prospectat Siculum et respicit Tuscum mare,

ex alte cinctis unus atriensibus,

cui tunica ab umeris linteo Pelusio

erat destricta, cirris dependentibus,

perambulante laeta domino viridia,

alveolo coepit ligneo conspargere

humum aestuantem, iactans come officiolum:

sed deridetur. inde notis flexibus

praecurrit alium in xystum, sedans pulverem.

agnoscit hominem Caesar, remque intellegit:

'Heus!' inquit dominus. ille enimvero adsilit,

donationis alacer certae gaudio.

tum sic iocata est tanta maiestas ducis:

'Non multum egisti et opera nequiquam perit;

multo maioris alapae mecum veneunt'.

 

Here is the poem in a more prose-like word order for easy reading:

 

Not yet available.

 

Here is the poem with meter marks:

 

Not yet available.

 

Translation:

 

Caesar and His Slave (trans. C. Smart)

There is in town a certain set

Of mortals, ever in a sweat,

Who idly bustling here and there,

Have never any time to spare,

While upon nothing they discuss

With heat, and most outrageous fuss,

Plague to themselves, and to the rest

A most intolerable pest.

I will correct this stupid clan

Of busy-bodies, if I can,

By a true story; lend an ear,

'Tis worth a trifler's time to hear.

Tiberius Caesar, in his way

To Naples, on a certain day

Came to his own Misenian seat,

(Of old Lucullus's retreat,)

Which from the mountain top surveys

Two seas, by looking different ways.

Here a shrewd slave began to cringe

With dapper coat and sash of fringe,

And, as his master walk'd between

The trees upon the tufted green,

Finding the weather very hot,

Officiates with his wat'ring-pot;

And still attending through the glade,

Is ostentatious of his aid.

Caesar turns to another row,

Where neither sun nor rain could go;

He, for the nearest cut he knows,

Is still before with pot and rose.

Caesar observes him twist and shift,

And understands the fellow's drift;

" Here, you sir," says th' imperial lord

The bustler, hoping a reward,

Runs skipping up. The chief in jest

Thus the poor jackanapes address'd

"As here is no great matter done,

Small is the premium you have won:

The cuffs that make a servant free,

Are for a better man than thee."

 

Illustration:

 

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