Part 1 of 3. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

Ceterum Ascyltos, intemperantis licentiae, cum omnia sublatis manibus eluderet et usque ad lacrimas rideret, unus ex conlibertis Trimalchionis excanduit, is ipse qui supra me discumbebat, et: ‘quid rides,’ inquit, ‘berbex? an tibi non placent lautitiae domini mei? tu enim beatior es et convivare melius soles. ita tutelam huius loci habeam propitiam, ut ego si secundum illum discumberem, iam illi balatum clusissem. bellum pomum, qui rideatur alios; larifuga nescio quis, nocturnus, qui non valet lotium suum. ad summam, si circumminxero illum, nesciet qua fugiat. non mehercules soleo cito fervere, sed in molle carne vermes nascuntur.’
(Petronius, Sat. 57.1-3)

Ascyltus, with his usual lack of restraint, found everything extremely funny, lifting up his hands and laughing till the tears came. Eventually one of Trimalchio’s freedman friends flared up at him. ‘You with the sheep’s eyes,’ he said, ‘what’s so funny? Isn’t our host elegant enough for you? You’re better off, I suppose, and used to a bigger dinner. Holy guardian here preserve me! If I was sitting by him, I’d stop his bleating! A fine pippin he is to be laughing at other people! Some fly-by-night from god knows where – not worth his own piss. In fact, if I pissed round him, he wouldn’t know where to turn. By god, it takes a lot to make me boil, but if you’re too soft, worms like this only come to the top.’ (tr. John Patrick Sullivan)

2 thoughts on “Circumminxero”

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