Si tristi domicenio laboras,
Torani, potes esurire mecum.
Non derunt tibi, si soles propinein,
uiles Cappadocae grauesque porri,
diuisis cybium latebit ouis.
Ponetur digitus tenendus unctis
nigra coliculus uirens patella,
algentem modo qui reliquit hortum,
et pultem niueam premens botellus,
et pallens faba cum rubente lardo.
Mensae munera si uoles secundae,
marcentes tibi porrigentur uuae
et nomen pira quae ferunt Syrorum,
et quas docta Neapolis creauit,
lento castaneae uapore tostae:
uinum tu facies bonum bibendo.
Post haec omnia forte si mouebit
Bacchus quam solet esuritionem,
succurrent tibi nobiles oliuae,
Piceni modo quas tulere rami,
et feruens cicer et tepens lupinus.
Parua est cenula--quis potest negare?--
Sed finges nihil audiesue fictum
et uoltu placidus tuo recumbes;
nec crassum dominus leget uolumen
nec de Gadibus inprobis puellae
uibrabunt sine fine prurientes
lasciuos docili tremore lumbos;
sed quod nec graue sit nec infacetum,
parui tibia Condyli sonabit.
Haec est cenula. Claudiam sequeris.
Quam nobis cupis esse tu priorem?
|If you are troubled by the prospect of a cheerless dinner at home, Toranius, you may fare modestly with me. You will not lack, if you are accustomed to an appetizer, cheap Cappadocian lettuces and strong-smelling leeks; a piece of tunny will lie hid in sliced eggs. There will be served--to be handled with scorched fingers--on a black-ware dish light green broccoli, which has just left the cool garden, and a sausage lying on white pease-pudding, and pale beans with ruddy bacon. If you wish for what a dessert can give, grapes past their prime shall be offered you, and pears that bear the name of Syrian, and chestnuts which learned Naples has grown, roasted in a slow heat; the wine you will make good by drinking it. After all this spread, if--as may be--Bacchus rouses a usual appetite, choice olives which Picenian branches have but lately borne will relieve you, and hot chick-peas and warm lupines. My poor dinner is a small one--who can deny it?--but you will say no word insincere nor hear one, and, wearing your natural face, will recline at ease; nor will your host read a bulky volume, nor will girls from wanton Gades with endless prurience swing lascivious loins in practiced writhings; but the pipe of little Condylus shall play something not too solemn nor unlively. Such is your little dinner. You will follow Claudia. What girl do you desire to meet before me?|
Translation adapted from Martial, Epigrams, trans. Walter C. A. Ker, Loeb Classical Library (2 vols.; Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1920).