Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Horace's Satires I:VI

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Horace's Satires I:VI

Article excerpt

When I am in the mood, I go explore

entirely alone and ascertain

the prices set for vegetables and grain.

As evening falls, I often wander through

the sketchy Circus and the Forum too.

I stand beside astrologers, then troop

back home to have some leek and chickpea soup.

Three slaveboys serve my meals, and polished stone

supports the ladle and two cups I own.

Beside these items is some bric-a-brac

made in Campania: a cheap knick-knack,

an oil-flask with its dish. When supper's done,

I sleep unworried that I'll need to run

out for an early meeting or appear

in front of Marsyas (who is quite clear

that looking at the face of Novius

the Lesser should be viewed as odious).

I lie in bed till ten, then take a stroll,

or read or write a piece I think is droll. …

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