Saturday, July 01, 2017


Lacking in Nothing

Petrarch (1304-1374), Rerum Familiarum Libri 6.3.69-70 (tr. Aldo S. Bernardo):
For where outside of Italy could I find a more peaceful place? You will see me contented with the hospitality of a modest but shady and narrow garden, and my little house, perhaps too little for the visit of so great a guest. You will see me as you wish me, in very good health, lacking in nothing, and expecting nothing in particular from the hands of fortune. You will see me from morning to night, wandering around alone, roving over the meadows and mountains and fountains, living in the woods and in the countryside, fleeing human footsteps, following the birds, loving the shadows, enjoying the mossy caves and the blooming meadows, cursing the cares of the Curia, avoiding the bustle of the cities, shunning the doors of the exalted, mocking the undertakings of the multitude, and keeping equal distance from joy and sadness; enjoying my leisure all day and night, glorying in a partnership with the Muses, amidst the sound of birds and nymphs, and accompanied by few servants but many books. At times you will see me at home, at times out, at times standing still, at times resting my tired head and weary limbs on the babbling river bank and at times on the tender grass, and, to mention something which is not the least part of my pleasure, meeting no one...

ubi enim procul ab Italia possim esse tranquillius? videbis autem modicis sed umbrosis ortulis angustoque contentum hospitio, sed quod tanti hospitis adventu factum putes angustius; videbis quem desideras, optime valentem, nullius egentem rei, nil magnopere de fortune manibus expectantem; videbis a mane ad vesperam solivagum herbivagum montivagum fontivagum silvicolam ruricolam; hominum vestigia fugientem, avia sectantem, amantem umbras, gaudentem antris roscidis pratisque virentibus, execrantem curas curie, tumultus urbium vitantem, abstinentem liminibus superborum, vulgi studia ridentem, a letitia mestitiaque pari spatio distantem; totis diebus ac noctibus otiosum, gloriantem musarum consortio, cantibus volucrum et nimpharum murmure, paucis servis sed multis comitatum libris; et nunc domi esse, nunc ire, nunc subsistere, nunc querula in ripa nunc tenero in gramine lassatum caput et fessa membra proicere; et que non ultima solatii pars est, neminem accedere...

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