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MARTIAL (MARCUS VALERIUS MARTIALIS)
Spanish epigrammatic poet
(c. 43 - 104)
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He who prefers to give Linus the half of what he wishes to borrow, rather than to lend him the whole, prefers to lose only the half.
      - Epigrams (bk. I, ep. 75) [Borrowing]

You do not publish your own verse, Laelius; you criticise mine. Pray cease to criticise mine, or else publish your own.
      - Epigrams (bk. I, ep. 91) [Authorship]

When Fannius from his foe did fly
  Himself with his own hands he slew;
    Who e'er a greater madness knew?
      Life to destroy for fear to die.
      - Epigrams (bk. II, 80) [Suicide]

What's this that myrrh doth still smell in thy kiss,
  And that with thee no other odour is?
    'Tis doubt, my Postumus, he that doth smell
      So sweetly always, smells not very well.
      - Epigrams (bk. II, ep. 12) [Epigrams]

Why do I not kiss you, Philaenis? you are bald. Why do I not kiss you, Philaenis? you are carrotty. Why do I not kiss you, Philaenis? you are one-eyed. He who kisses you, Philaenis, sins against nature.
      - Epigrams (bk. II, ep. 33) [Kisses]

Since your legs, Phoebus, resemble the horns of the moon, you might bathe your feet in a cornucopia.
      - Epigrams (bk. II, ep. 35) [Epigrams]

In whatever place you meet me, Postumus, you cry out immediately, and your very first words are, "How do you do?" You say this, even if you meet me ten times in one single hour: you, Postumus, have nothing, I suppose, to do.
      - Epigrams (bk. II, ep. 67) [Epigrams]

If you wish, Faustinus, a bath of boiling water to be reduced in temperature,--a bath, such as scarcely Julianus could enter,--ask the rhetorician Sabinaeus to bathe himself in it. He would freeze the warm baths of Nero.
      - Epigrams (bk. III, ep. 25) [Epigrams]

When you try to conceal your wrinkles, Polla, with paste made from beans, you deceive yourself, not me. Let a defect, which is possibly but small, appear undisguised. A fault concealed is presumed to be great.
      - Epigrams (bk. III, ep. 42) [Age]

I could do without your face, and your neck, and your hands, and your limbs, and your bosom, and other of your charms. Indeed, not to fatigue myself with enumerating each of them, I could do without you, Chloe, altogether.
      - Epigrams (bk. III, ep. 53) [Epigrams]

A beau is one who arranges his curled locks gracefully, who ever smells of balm, and cinnamon; who hums the songs of the Nile, and Cadiz; who throws his sleek arms into various attitudes; who idles away the whole day among the chair of the ladies, and is ever whispering into some one's ear; who reads little billets- doux from this quarter and that, and writes them in return; who avoids ruffling his dress by contact with his neighbour's sleeve, who knows with whom everybody is in love; who flutters from feast to feast, who can recount exactly the pedigree of Hirpinus. What do you tell me? is this a beau, Cotilus? Then a beau, Cotilus, is a very trifling thing.
      - Epigrams (bk. III, ep. 6) [Foppery]

Jack writes severe lampoons on me, 'tis said--
  But he writes nothing, who is never read.
      - Epigrams (bk. III, ep. 9) [Authorship]

Work divided is in that manner shortened.
  [Lat., Divisum sic breve fiet opus.]
      - Epigrams (bk. IV, 83, 8) [Work]

Lycoris has buried all the female friends she had, Fabianus: would she were the friend of my wife!
      - Epigrams (bk. IV, ep. 24) [Epigrams]

The bee is enclosed, and shines preserved, in a tear of the sisters of Phaeton, so that it seems enshrined in its own nectar. It has obtained a worthy reward for its great toils; we may suppose that the bee itself would have desired such a death.
      - Epigrams (bk. IV, ep. 32) [Bees]

You were constantly, Matho, a guest at my villa at Tivoli. Now you buy it--I have deceived you; I have merely sold you what was already your own.
      - Epigrams (bk. IV, ep. 79) [Epigrams]

You give me back, Phoebus, my bond for four hundred thousand sesterces; lend me rather a hundred thousand more. Seek some one else to whom you may vaunt your empty present: what I cannot pay you, Phoebus, is my own.
      - Epigrams (bk. IX, ep. 102) [Borrowing]

The shameless Chloe placed on the tombs of her seven husbands the inscription, "The work of Chloe." How could she have expressed herself more plainly?"
      - Epigrams (bk. IX, ep. 15) [Epitaphs]

You praise, in three hundred verses, Sabellus, the baths of Ponticus, who gives such excellent dinners. You wish to dine, Sabellus, not to bathe.
      - Epigrams (bk. IX, ep. 19) [Eating]

Believing hear, what you deserve to hear:
  Your birthday as my own to me is dear.
    Blest and distinguish'd days! which we should prize
      The first, the kindest bounty of the skies.
        But yours gives most; for mine did only lend
          Me to the world; yours gave to me a friend.
      - Epigrams (bk. IX, ep. 53) [Birthday]

The produce of the vineyards has not failed everywhere, Ovidius. The heavy rains have been productive. Coranus made up a hundred jars by means of the water.
      - Epigrams (bk. IX, ep. 98)
        [Wine and Spirits]

Myrtale often smells of wine, but, wise,
  With eating bay-leaves thinks it to disguise:
    So nott with water tempers the wine's heate,
      But covers it. Henceforth if her you meete
        With red face and swell'd veynes, modesty say,
          "Sure Myrtale hath drunk o' th' bayes today?"
      - Epigrams (bk. V, 4),
        translated in a manuscript, 16th century
        [Drinking]

Thais has black, Laecania white teeth; what is the reason? Thais has her own, Laecania bought ones.
      - Epigrams (bk. V, ep. 43) [Dentistry]

Philo swears that he has never dined at home, and it is so; he does not dine at all, except when invited out.
      - Epigrams (bk. V, ep. 47) [Eating]

Though I often salute you, you never salute me first; I shall therefore, Pontilianus, salute you with an eternal farewell.
      - Epigrams (bk. V, ep. 66) [Farewell]


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