Is demum miser est qui aerumnam suam nescit occultare
foris; ita me uxor forma et factis facit, si taceam, tamen indicium,
quae nisi dotem omnia quae nolis habet. qui sapiet, de me discet,
qui quasi †ad hostis† captus liber servio salva urbe atque arce.
quae mihi quidquid placet eo privatu vim me servatam velim?
dum ego eius mortem inhio, egomet inter vivos vivo mortuus.
ea me clam se cum mea ancilla ait consuetum; id me arguit,
ita plorando, orando, instando atque obiurgando me optudit,
eam uti venderem. nunc credo inter suas
aequalis et cognatas sermonem serit:
“quis vostrarum fuit integra aetatula,
quae hoc idem a viro
impetrarit suo, quod ego anus modo
effeci, paelice ut meum privarem virum?”
haec erunt concilia hocedie; differar sermone misere.
(Caecilius Statius, Plocium 136-150 Warmington)
A poor wretch is he surely who doesn’t know how he can hide his troubles out of doors. You see, my wife, even if I say nothing, gives the show away by her looks and by her acts—she who has every thing you wouldn’t want her to have except a dowry. He who’ll be a wise man will learn a lesson from me—I’m free but still a slave to the will of enemies, though yet my town and stronghold are safe. What, am I to wish long life to the woman who is always going to rob me of whatever gives me joy? While I gape for her death, I am a living corpse among the living. She says that unknown to her there is intimacy between me and my handmaid. That’s what she accuses me of; and so by moaning and groaning and bothering and pothering she thumped me into selling her. And now I believe she’s sowing this sort of gossip among her cronies and kinsfolk: “Of all you women who is there, who, in the tender flower of her age, got out of her husband what I, an old woman, have lately accomplished—robbed my husband of his wench?” That’s the sort of mothers’ meetings there’ll be these days. I shall be damnably torn to pieces by gossip. (tr. Eric Herbert Warmington)