My Varus had led me, at leisure, from the forum
To his loves, to visit her
A little whore, as it then immediately seemed to me,
Not really uncharming and not unattractive.
When we came to this place, varied conversations
Fell onto us, in which, what was
now Bithynia, how did it hold itself,
and with just what bronze had Bithynia profited me.
I answered that which was, that nothing neither to themselves
Nor to the praetors nor to the cohort was there;
Why anyone would bring back a oiler head,
Especially [people] to whom the governor was a pervert [irrumator],
and (to whom) didn’t reckon the cohort the value of a hair.
“But certainly nevertheless” they said, “that which it is said to
be born there, you obtained
Men for the purpose of a litter.” I, in order that to the girl
I might make myself (seem) one rather fortunate man,
I said “it was not so badly for me
with the result that because of the bad province that had fallen to my lot,
I was not able to obtain eight straight-backed men.”
But nobody was mine, neither here nor there,
Who was able to place the foot, having been broken,
of an old couch upon his neck.
That woman, as befit a rather slutty girl,
“Please,” she said, “my Catullus, lend to me for a little while
those men: for I wish to be carried to Serapus.”
“Wait,” I said to the girl,
“That thing which just now I had said that I had,
Reason fled me: my mate—
It is Cinna Gaius,--he obtained (the slaves) for himself.
But, whether of that man or of me, what (is it) to me?
I use them as well as (if) I obtained (them) for myself.
But you, uncharming and annoying, live badly,
Through whom is it not permitted to be careless.
Varus me meus ad suos amores
visum duxerat e foro otiosum,
scortillum, ut mihi tum repente visum est,
non sane illepidum neque invenustum.
Huc ut venimus, incidere nobis
sermones varii: in quibus, quid esset
iam Bithynia; quo modo se haberet;
et quonum mihi profuisset aere.
Respondi id quod erat, nihil neque ipsis
nec praetoribus esse nec cohorti,
cur quisquam caput unctius referret,
praesertim quibus esset irrumator
praetor, nec faceret pili cohortem.
"At certe tamen" inquiunt "quod illic
natum dicitur esse, comparasti
ad lecticam homines." Ego, ut puellae
unum me facerem beatiorem,
"non" inquam "mihi tam fuit maligne,
ut, provincia quod mala incidisset,
non possem octo homines parare rectos."
At mi nullus erat nec hic neque illic,
fractum qui veteris pedem grabati
in collo sibi collocare posset.
Hic illa, ut decuit cinaediorem,
"quaeso" inquit "mihi, mi Catulle, paulum
istos commoda, nam volo ad Serapim
deferri." "Mane," inquii puellae,
"istud quod modo dixeram me habere,
fugit me ratio: meus sodalis
Cinna est Gaius - is sibi paravit;
verum utrum illius an mei, quid ad me?
Utor tam bene quam mihi pararim.
Sed tu insulsa male et molesta vivis,
per quam non licet esse neglegentem!"