Wednesday, June 15, 2016


In the Country

Aonio Paleario (1500-1570), Letters 4.28 (to Pterigi Gallo; tr. Henry Duncan Skrine):
Let the garden be put in order that we may live on vegetables, for the expenses of the town have exhausted my resources. The country will furnish us with herbs, snails, eggs, fish, chickens, and thrushes: surely suppers are more healthy when composed of what the ground produces, and what is fed at home, or caught with nets, than by that which is bought in the market. If we want a more sumptuous repast, your cheese and salt fish will be royal food; if difficult of digestion, we must work in the garden and assist digestion. So get ready; and see that there is at the villa a saw, axe, wedge, pickaxe, rake, and spade, and till we are well we will plant trees for the rising generation.

Fac hortum parent, vt olusculis nos queant pascere. Vrbanis sumtibus plane sum exhaustus. Helluellas, cochleas, oua, pisces, pullos, turdos rus suppeditabit: & omnino coenae salubriores & suauiores sunt ex his, quae ex terra nascuntur, aut aluntur domi, aut a nobis ipsis retibus comparantur, quam quae e macello petuntur. Quod si lautius velimus accumbere, erit tyrotarichus ille tuus obsonium regium: qui si facile concoqui non poterit, rusticabimur. Opus faciemus, vt defatigemur, eum vsque vt concoquamus. Proinde tu te para: cura, vt ruri serrula sit, securis, cuneus, bidens, rastrum, ligo. Interea dum non bellissime nos habemus, seramus arbores, alteri seculo profuturas.
The last sentence echoes Cicero, On Old Age 7.24 (Cicero is quoting a line from Caecilius Statius, Synephebi):
serit arbores quae alteri saeculo prosient.

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