Wednesday, November 23, 2005


The Happy Life

Martial 10.47 (tr. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey):
Martial, the things that do attain
  The happy life be these, I find:
The richesse left, not got with pain;
  The fruitful ground, the quiet mind;
The equal friend; no grudge, no strife;
  No charge of rule, nor governance;
Without disease, the healthful life;
  The household of continuance;
The mean diet, no delicate fare;
  True wisdom join'd with simpleness;
The night dischargèd of all care,
  Where wine the wit may not oppress.
The faithful wife, without debate;
  Such sleeps as may beguile the night:
Contented with thine own estate
  Ne wish for death, ne fear his might.

Vitam quae faciant beatiorem,
iucundissime Martialis, haec sunt:
res non parta labore sed relicta;
non ingratus ager, focus perennis;
lis numquam, toga rara, mens quieta;
vires ingenuae, salubre corpus;
prudens simplicitas, pares amici;
convictus facilis, sine arte mensa;
nox non ebria sed soluta curis;
non tristis torus et tamen pudicus;
somnus qui faciat breves tenebras:
quod sis esse velis nihilque malis;
summum nec metuas diem nec optes.
"The richesse left" (res ... relicta) means an inheritance.

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