Wednesday, April 14, 2021
An Avid Reader
On my arrival, seated in the library I found Marcus Cato; I had not known he was there. He was surrounded by piles of books on Stoicism; for he possessed, as you are aware, a voracious appetite for reading, and could never have enough of it; indeed it was often his practice actually to brave the idle censure of the mob by reading in the senate-house itself, while waiting for the senate to assemble,—he did not steal any attention from public business. So it may well be believed that when I found him taking a complete holiday, with a vast supply of books at command, he had the air of indulging in a literary debauch, if the term may be applied to so honourable an occupation.See Stephanie Ann Frampton, "What to Do with Books in the De finibus," Transactions of the American Philological Association 146.1 (Spring, 2016) 117-147.
quo cum venissem, M. Catonem quem ibi esse nescieram vidi in bibliotheca sedentem, multis circumfusum Stoicorum libris. erat enim ut scis in eo aviditas legendi, nec satiari poterat; quippe qui ne reprensionem quidem vulgi inanem reformidans in ipsa curia soleret legere saepe dum senatus cogeretur, nihil operae rei publicae detrahens; quo magis tum in summo otio maximaque copia quasi helluari libris, si hoc verbo in tam clara re utendum est, videbatur.