O noctes cenaeque deum, quibus ipse meique
ante Larem proprium vescor vernasque procaces
pasco libatis dapibus. prout cuique libido est,
siccat inaequales calices conviva solutus
legibus insanis, seu quis capit acria fortis
pocula, seu modicis uvescit laetius. ergo
sermo oritur, non de villis domibusve alienis,
nec male necne Lepos saltet, sed, quod magis ad nos
pertinet et nescire malum est, agitamus: utrumne
divitiis homines an sint virtute beati,
quidve ad amicitias, usus rectumne, trahat nos
et quae sit natura boni summumque quid eius.
(Horace, Serm. 2.6.65-76)

O heavenly night-time dinners, when I and my friends
Eat beside my own Lar, and feed jostling servants
On left-over offerings. Each guest drinks as he wishes
Large glasses or small, free from foolish rules, whether
He downs the strong stuff, nobly, or wets his whistle
In more carefree style. And so the conversation starts.
Not about other men’’s houses in town, their country
Villas, or whether Lepos dances well or not: no,
We talk about things one should know, that matter more:
Whether it’s wealth or character makes men happier:
Whether self-interest or virtue make men friends:
And the nature of the good, and its highest form.
(tr. Tony Kline)

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