Chapter VII, XLVIII
Petronius Arbiter, 60 AD
W.C. Firebaugh translation
|English translations in notes window||Petronius's original Latin|
|A.R. Allinson translation||In NOTES frame|
|W.C. Firebaugh translation||In DEFINTIONS frame|
|Unknown translator||In AUXILARY window|
|Sources for text|
Trimalchio's threatening face relaxed and he turned to us, "If the wine don't please you," he said, "I'll change it; you ought to do justice to it by drinking it. I don't have to buy it, thanks to the gods. Everything here that makes your mouths water, was produced on one of my country places which I've never yet seen, but they tell me it's down Terracina and Tarentum way. I've got a notion to add Sicily to my other little holdings, so in case I want to go to Africa, I'll be able to sail along my own coasts. But tell me the subject of your speech today, Agamemnon, for, though I don't plead cases myself, I studied literature for home use, and for fear you should think I don't care about learning, let me inform you that I have three libraries, one Greek and the others Latin. Give me the outline of your speech if you like me."
"A poor man and a rich man were enemies," Agamemmon began, when: "What's a poor man?" Trimalchio broke in. "Well put," Agamemnon conceded and went into details upon some problem or other, what it was I do not know. Trimalchio instantly rendered the following verdict, "If that's the case, there's nothing to dispute about; if it's not the case, it don't amount to anything anyhow." These flashes of wit, and others equally scintillating, we loudly applauded, and he went on: "Tell me, my dearest Agamemnon, do you remember the twelve labors of Hercules or the story of Ulysses, how the Cyclops threw his thumb out of joint with a pig-headed crowbar? When I was a boy, I used to read those stories in Homer. And then, there's the Sibyl: with my own eyes I saw her, at Cumae, hanging up in a jar; and whenever the boys would say to her 'Sibyl, Sibyl, what would you?' she would answer, 'I would die.'"
Exploring The Waste Land
File date: Sunday, September 29, 2002