The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catullus, by Catullus


Marrucine Asini, manu sinistra

Non belle uteris in ioco atque vino:

Tollis lintea neglegentiorum.

Hoc salsum esse putas? fugit te, inepte:

Quamvis sordida res et invenustast. 5

Non credis mihi? crede Polioni

Fratri, qui tua furta vel talento

Mutari velit: est enim leporum

Disertus puer ac facetiarum.

Quare aut hendecasyllabos trecentos 10

Expecta aut mihi linteum remitte,

Quod me non movet aestimatione,

Verumst mnemosynum mei sodalis.

Nam sudaria Saetaba ex Hibereis

Miserunt mihi muneri Fabullus 15

Et Veranius: haec amem necessest

Vt Veraniolum meum et Fabullum.


To M. Asinius who Stole Napery.

Marrúcinus Asinius! ill thou usest

That hand sinistral in thy wit and wine

Filching the napkins of more heedless hosts.

Dost find this funny? Fool it passeth thee

How ’tis a sordid deed, a sorry jest. 5

Dost misbelieve me? Trust to Pollio,

Thy brother, ready to compound such thefts

E’en at a talent’s cost; for he’s a youth

In speech past master and in fair pleasantries.

Of hendecasyllabics hundreds three 10

Therefore expect thou, or return forthright

Linens whose loss affects me not for worth

But as mementoes of a comrade mine.

For napkins Sætaban from Ebro-land

Fabúllus sent me a free-giftie given 15

Also Veránius: these perforce I love

E’en as my Veraniólus and Fabúllus.

Marrucinius Asinius, thou dost use thy left hand in no fair fashion ‘midst the jests and wine: thou dost filch away the napkins of the heedless. Dost thou think this a joke? it flies thee, stupid fool, how coarse a thing and unbecoming ’tis! Dost not credit me? credit thy brother Pollio who would willingly give a talent to divert thee from thy thefts: for he is a lad skilled in pleasantries and facetiousness. Wherefore, either expect hendecasyllables three hundred, or return me my napkin which I esteem, not for its value but as a pledge of remembrance from my comrade. For Fabullus and Veranius sent me as a gift handkerchiefs from Iberian Saetabis; these must I prize e’en as I do Veraniolus and Fabullus.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52