You alone are entitled to utter any words you please; My tongue will refrain from spoken eloquence: My widowed tongue will refrain from the voice’s duty, While yours says whatever it wants to. I will make no reply to the words you produce, So your tongue shall be free for you alone; You, however, should pay careful attention to yourself, Lest your slippery tongue shamefully exceed safe limits; If you yourself loosen the reins of speech too much, I will be compelled by injury to exceed the same limit. Indeed, he who foolishly says whatever occurs to him Often fears hostile words from his opponent.
[1.] So, my dear colleague, slowed now by timely gray and consumed by funereal old age, we must move more quickly, like intelligent travellers who, because they arise later before starting their journey, compensate for their tardy inertia by rapidity and lively haste. Now it pleases me to set aside epithalamic hymns, hymeneal ditties or harmonies in dance measures, acclamations by attendants, and ridiculous sesquipedalities of speech, and to the best of my ability to pursue briefly and simply some thoughts I have wanted to develop for a long time. So turning my back on all nuptial solemnities, with crude stylus and simple quill or rural reed, I will strive to bring into the light what I have conceived in my mind, my stylus braying with equal ignorance.
[2.] In fact, I will pay little or (what amounts to the same thing) almost no attention to the specifics of the marriage contract’s largesse or dowry and very little to reporting the marriage gift; at worst, I will pass over them all perfunctorily without delay. I will not pursue anything superfluous, either meditated to myself in my mind’s silence or openly verbalized with my tongue. I will not in any way embellish what I now propose to pursue: that since the