Page:The works of Horace - Christopher Smart.djvu/163

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most to death: a third, in his flight, has fallen into a merciless gang of thieves: another has paid a fine, [to avoid] corporal [punishment]: the lowest servants have treated another with the vilest indignities. Moreover, this misfortune happened to a certain person, he entirely lost his manhood. Every body said, it was with justice: Galba denied it.

But how much safer is the traffic among [women] of the second rate! I mean the freed-women: after which Sallustius is not less mad, than he who commits adultery. But if he had a mind to be good and generous, as far as his estate and reason would direct him, and as far as a man might be liberal with moderation; he would give a sufficiency, not what would bring upon himself ruin and infamy. However, he hugs himself in this one [consideration]; this he delights in, this he extols: “I meddle with no matron.” Just as Marsæus, the lover of Origo, he who gives his paternal estate and seat to an actress, says, “I never meddle with other men’s wives.” But you have with actresses, you have with common strumpets: whence your reputation derives a greater perdition, than your estate. What, is it abundantly sufficient to avoid the person, and not the [vice] which is universally noxious? To lose one’s good name, to squander a father’s effects, is in all cases an evil. What is the difference [then, with regard to yourself,] whether you sin with the person of a matron, a maiden, or a prostitute?

Villius, the son-in-law of Sylla (by this title alone he was misled), suffered [for his commerce] with Fausta, an adequate and more than adequate punishment, by being drubbed and stabbed, while he was shut out, that Longarenus might enjoy her within. Suppose this [young man’s] mind had addressed him in the words of his appetite, perceiving such evil consequences: “What would you have? Did I ever, when my ardor was at the highest, demand a woman descended from a great consul, and covered with robes of quality?” What could he answer? Why, “the girl was