Shall I only be a listener? Never shall I reply,
Vexed so often by Thesean epic of hoarse Cordus?
So shall this one have recited, unpunished, to me his dramas;
That one his elegies? Unpunished, shall lengthy Telephus have consumed
The day, or Orestes, not finished on the reverse, written with
The margin of the end of the book already full? The house of
None is known more to him than to me what winds can do; the groves
Of Mars and neighboring cave of Vulcan with Aeolean
Crags; what shades Aeacus torments; whence another could drag off
Gold of pilfered fleece; such mountain ashes Monycus could throw;
What always plane trees of Fronto and concusses marbles
Exclaim; and the columns broken by ceaseless reader.
May you expect the same from greatest poet as lowest.
And I thus have removed my hand from the rod, and I
Have given counsel to Sulla: ‘Let him be private that he might sleep
Soundly.’ It is stupid kindness when everywhere you may run
Into so many poets, to save parchments about to go to waste.
Why, though, should it please you the more to run into the field,
Through which great ward of Aurunca turned his horses,
If there is leisure, I shall explain, and may you submit kindly to my reasoning.
Since a tender eunuch leads a wife, and Mevia
Sticks a Tuscan boar and holds spear with bared breast;
Since one can challence all the patricians in riches,
With him cutting my beard, it sounded grave to me as a youth;
Since part of the Nile’s plebs, since family slave of Canopus,
Crispinus, with his shoulder recalling Tyrian cloaks,
Can brandish summer gold with sweating fingers,
Nor can he bear the weight of a greater gem,
It is difficult to not write satire. For who is so enduring
To the iniquity of the city, so iron-hard, that he can check himself,
When new litter of the advocate Matho comes,
Filled by himself, after whom comes a patron’s informer,
Quickly about to seize whatever remains from the devoured
Nobles, whom Massa fears, whom Carus appeases with
Gift, and to whom Thymele was given by fearful latinus;
When they exclude you, they who earn bequests by
Nights, and whom lust of a rich old woman lifts to heaven
(For this now is the best way of greatest advancement)?
Proculius has a twelfth, but Gillo has eleven twelfths,
Each, as heir, takes his parts proportional to the size of his prick.
Indeed, let him accept prize of his cum, and so
Pale, as with bare feet he stepped on a snake
Or the rhetor to speak at Lugdunensian altar.
What should I say, when so in anger my dry liver burns,
When he presses the people, flocked by groups, he, despoiler
Of his pupil, who whores himself, damned by empty
Judgement? Truly, what is a loss of rights when monies are safe?
Exiled Marius, from the eighth hour, drinks and enjoys the
Angry gods, and you, victorious province, do lament!
Shall I not believe these worthy for Venusian lamp?
Shall I not attack them? But why, rather Herculeas
Or Diomedeas, or the roar of the labyrinth,
And the sea, struck by a bot, and the flying craftsman,
When pimp takes a whore’s goods, if there is no right
To the wife to take them, taught to look upon the ceiling,
And taught to snore into his wineglass with dutiful nose;
When he thinks it right to hope for charge of a cohort
Who has gifted his goods to brothels and lacks all
Income of his ancestors, while boy Automedon flies with swift
Axle along Flaminian Way? For he holds the reigns himself,
When he boasted of himself to cloaked mistress.
Does it not please to fill capacious tablets in the midst
Of an intersection, when already he is borne here and there upon
Six shoulders, lying open and with seat nearly bared,
Witness to false will, and muchly bearing likeness of
Supine Maecenas, who has made himself blessed and happy
With small tablets and with a wetted signet ring?
A capable matron, who, about to offer light
Calenian wine to her husband, thirsting, mixes the poison,
And, a superior Lucusta, instructs her less-knowing neighbours,
Before scandal and publicly, to bring forth their sordid husbands.
Dare something worthy of imprisonment and small Gyara,
If you wish to be anything. Virtue is praised and freezes;
Gardens, mansions, tables are owed to the criminal,
Ancient silver and a goat stand in relief on the cup.
Whom does the corrupter of the covetous daughter-in-law allow
To sleep, whom do turpid fiancees and teenage adulterer allow?
If nature objects, indignation makes whatever verse
It is able, just as do I or Cluvienus.
From the time which Deucalion, with storms raising the sea,
Ascended the mountain in a ship and sought prophetic lot,
And soft stones, little by little, grew warm with life
And Pyrrha showed naked girls to males.
Whatever men do–desire, fear, ire, excess,
Joys, discourses–is food for my little book.
And whence has there been more abundant wealth of vices?
When has a greater pocket of avarice lain open? When else has gambling
Consumed these spirits? For he is taken not with small money boxes
To chance of the table, but it is played with a chest placed down.
Such battles there you shall see, with the treasurer
Bearing arms! It is simple madness to lose 100,000 sesterces,
And to them give no tunic to shivering slave?
What ancestor has so often erected villas? Which ate
By himself seven courses? Now small food basket sits
In front the threshold, for snatching by toga-wearing crowd.
The patron, nevertheless, inspects your face, and trembles, lest
Falsely you seek pardons with a false name:
Recognized, you shall receive. He himself commands those of Trojan
Stock be called by herald, for even they, with us, harry
The threshold. ‘Give to the praetor, then give to the tribute.’
But freedman is first: ‘I am here first,’ he says. ‘Why
Should I fear, or doubt to defend my position, whether born
At the Euphrates, which effeminate piercings in my ear might
Show, even though I should deny it?
[Still need to type out the rest]