Prodigiosa

Nunc si depositum non infitietur amicus,
si reddat veterem cum tota aerugine follem,
prodigiosa fides et Tuscis digna libellis
quaeque coronata lustrari debeat agna.
egregium sanctumque virum si cerno, bimembri
honc monstrum puero et miranti sub aratro
piscibus inventis et fetae comparo mulae,
sollicitus, tamquam lapides effuderit imber
examenque apium longa consederit uva
culmine delubri, tamquam in mare fluxerit amnis
gurgitibus miris et lactis vertice torrens.
(Juvenal, Sat. 13.60-70)

But these days, if a friend does not renege upon your financial arrangement, if he returns to you your ancient purse with all its rust, it’s a stupendous act of loyalty which calls for a consultation of the Etruscan books and atonement with the sacrifice of a garlanded lamb. If I get a glimpse of an outstanding, honest man, I rank this prodigy with a mutant baby, or the discovery of fish beneath a surprised plough, or a pregnant mule. I am as alarmed as if it had rained stones, or a swarm of bees had settled in a long cluster on the roof of a shrine, or as if a river had gushed a flood of milk with amazing eddies into the sea. (tr. Susanna Morton Braund)

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