Monday, September 28, 2015


Requests for Letters

Pliny the Younger, Letters 1.11 (to Fabius Justus; tr. Betty Radice):
I have not heard from you for a long time, and you say you have nothing to write about. Well, you can at least write that—or else simply the phrase our elders used to start a letter with: "If you are well, well and good; I am well." That will do for me—it is all that matters. Don't think I am joking; I mean it. Let me know how you are; if I don't know I can't help worrying a lot.

Olim mihi nullas epistulas mittis. Nihil est, inquis, quod scribam. At hoc ipsum scribe, nihil esse quod scribas, vel solum illud unde incipere priores solebant: "Si vales, bene est; ego valeo." Hoc mihi sufficit; est enim maximum. Ludere me putas? serio peto. Fac sciam quid agas, quod sine sollicitudine summa nescire non possum. Vale.
Id., 1.22.12 (to Catilius Severus):
There you have my fears, hopes, and plans for the future; in return, give me news of your own doings, past, present and intended, but please make your letter more cheerful than mine. It will be a great comfort in my trouble if you have no complaints.

Habes quid timeam, quid optem, quid etiam in posterum destinem: tu quid egeris, quid agas, quid velis agere invicem nobis, sed laetioribus epistulis scribe. Erit confusioni meae non mediocre solacium, si tu nihil quereris.
Id., 2.2.2 (to Valerius Paulinus):
It is so long since I have had a letter from you. The only way to placate me is to write me a lot of letters now, at long last—lengthy ones, too. That is how you can honestly win my forgiveness; I shall not hear of anything else.

A te tam diu litterae nullae. Exorare me potes uno modo, si nunc saltem plurimas et longissimas miseris. Haec mihi sola excusatio vera, ceterae falsae videbuntur.
Id., 2.11.24 (to Maturus Arrianus):
So much for the city. Now give me news of the country—how are your fruit trees and your vines, the harvest and your prize sheep? Unless you answer me in as long a letter as this, you can expect nothing in future but the shortest note.

Habes res urbanas; invicem rusticas scribe. Quid arbusculae tuae, quid vineae, quid segetes agunt, quid oves delicatissimae? In summa, nisi aeque longam epistulam reddis, non est quod postea nisi brevissimam exspectes.

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