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MARTIAL (MARCUS VALERIUS MARTIALIS)
Spanish epigrammatic poet
(c. 43 - 104)
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Country in town.
  [Lat., Rus in urbe.]
      - Epigrams (bk. XII, 57, 21) [Country Life]

The African lions rush to attack bulls; they do not attack butterflies.
  [Lat., In tauros Libyci ruunt leones;
    Non sunt papilionibus molesti.]
      - Epigrams (bk. XII, 62, 5) [Success]

When to secure your bald pate from the weather,
  You lately wore a cape of black neats' leather;
    He was a very wag, who to you said,
      "Why do you wear your slippers on your head?"
      - Epigrams (bk. XII, ep. 45),
        (trans. by Hay) [Epigrams]

In all thy humours, whether grave or mellow,
  Thou'rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant fellow;
    Hast so much wit, and mirth, and spleen about thee,
      That there's no living with thee, or without thee.
      - Epigrams (bk. XII, ep. 47),
        (translation by Addison, "Spectator" No. 68)
        [Character]

I have granted you much that you asked: and yet you never cease to ask of me. He who refuses nothing, Atticilla, will soon have nothing to refuse.
      - Epigrams (bk. XII, ep. 79) [Borrowing]

You often ask me, Priscus, what sort of person I should be, if I were to become suddenly rich and powerful. Who can determine what would be his future conduct? Tell me, if you were to become a lion, what sort of a lion would you be?
      - Epigrams (bk. XII, ep. 92) [Wealth]

Attic honey thickens the nectar-like Falernian. Such drink deserves to be mixed by Ganymede.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIII, 108) [Drinking]

Let Nepos place Caeretan wine on table, and you will deem it Setine. But he does not give it to all the world; he drinks it only with a trio of friends.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIII, ep. 124) [Drinking]

As long as I have fat turtle-doves, a fig of your lettuce, my friend, and you may keep your shell-fish to yourself. I have no wish to waste my appetite.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIII, ep. 53) [Eating]

See, how the liver is swollen larger than a fat goose! In amazement you will exclaim: Where could this possibly grow?
      - Epigrams (bk. XIII, ep. 58) [Eating]

Whether woodcock or partridge, what does it signify, if the taste is the same? But the partridge is dearer, and therefore thought preferable.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIII, ep. 76) [Eating]

However great the dish that holds the turbot, the turbot is still greater than the dish.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIII, ep. 81) [Eating]

If my opinion is of any worth, the fieldfare is the greatest delicacy among birds, the hare among quadrupeds.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIII, ep. 92) [Eating]

See how the mountain goat hangs from the summit of the cliff; you would expect it to fall; it is merely showing its contempt for the dogs.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIII, ep. 99) [Epigrams]

The swan murmurs sweet strains with a flattering tongue, itself the singer of its own dirge.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIII, ep. LXXVII) [Swans]

Never think of leaving perfumes or wine to your heir. Administer these yourself, and let him have your money.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIII, sp. 126) [Epigrams]

You crystal break, for fear of breaking it:
  Careless and careful hands like faults commit.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIV, ep. 111),
        (translation by Wright) [Faults]

I'm what I seem; not any dyer gave,
  But nature dyed this colour that I have.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIV, ep. 133),
        (translated by Wright) [Nature]

The swifter hand doth the swift words outrun:
  Before the tongue hath spoke the hand hath done.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIV, ep. 208),
        (translation by Wright), on a shorthand writer
        [Pen]

A cook should double one sense have: for he
  Should taster for himself and master be.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIV, ep. 220) [Cookery]

Why do strong arms fatigue themselves with frivolous dumb-bells? To dig a vineyard is a worthier exercise for men.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIV, ep. 49) [Work]

That which prevents disagreeable flies from feeding on your repast, was once the proud tail of a splendid bird.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIV, ep. 67) [Birds]

If your slave commits a fault, do not smash his teeth with your fists; give him some of the (hard) biscuit which famous Rhodes has sent you.
      - Epigrams (bk. XIV, ep.68) [Cookery]

It is not, believe me, the act of a wise man to say, "I will live." To-morrow's life is too late; live to-day.
  [Lat., Non est, crede mihi sapientis dicere "vivam."
    Sera nimis vita est crastina, vive hodie.]
      - Epigrams (I, 16, 11) [Life]

Some are good, some are middling, the most are bad.
  [Lat., Sunt bona, sunt quaedam mediocria, sunt mala plura.]
      - Epigrams (I, 17, 1) [Comparison]


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