Translation:Catullus 39

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Catullus 39 "The Smiling Spaniard"
by Catullus, translated from Latin by Wikisource
Literal English Translation Original Latin Line

Egnatius, because he has bright white teeth,
always smiles: If someone comes to the defendant's
bench, when the speaker arouses weeping,
he grins; If there is mourning at the funeral pyre of
a dutiful son, when the bereaved mother weeps for her only son,
he grins. Whatever it is, wherever he is,
whatever he is doing, he grins: he has this disease,
neither elegant, I think, nor refined.
Therefore I must warn you, my good Egnatius.
If you were a city man or a Sabine or a Tiburnan
or a thrifty Umbrian or a fat Etruscan
or a swarthy and toothy Lanuvian or
a Transpadane, to touch on my own people as well,
or anyone you like who cleans his teeth with clean water,
I still should not want you to smile on all occasions:
for nothing is more silly than a silly smile.
Now you are a Celtiberian: in the land of Celtiberia,
whatever each man has urinated, with this he is accustomed
in the morning to rub his teeth and his red gums,
so that the more polished those teeth of yours are,
the more urine they proclaim you to have drunk.

Egnātius, quod candidōs habet dentēs,
renīdet ūsque quāque. Sī ad reī ventum est
subsellium, cum ōrātor excitat flētum,
renīdet ille; sī ad piī rogum fīlī
lūgētur, orba cum flet ūnicum māter,
renīdet ille. Quidquid est, ubīcumque est,
quodcumque agit, renīdet: hunc habet morbum,
neque ēlegantem, ut arbitror, neque urbānum.
Quārē monendum est tē mihī, bone Egnātī.
Sī urbānus essēs aut Sabīnus aut Tīburs
aut pinguis Umber aut obēsus Ētruscus
aut Lānuvīnus āter atque dentātus
aut Trānspadānus, ut meōs quoque attingam,
aut quīlubet, quī pūriter lavit dentēs,
tamen renīdere ūsque quāque tē nōllem:
nam rīsū ineptō rēs ineptior nūlla est.
Nunc Celtibēr es: Celtibēria in terrā,
quod quisque mīnxit, hōc sibī solet māne
dentem atque russam dēfricāre gingīvam,
ut quō iste vester expolītior dēns est,
hōc tē amplius bibisse praedicet lōtī.


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