Si curatus inaequali tonsore capillos
occurri, rides; si forte subucula pexae
trita subest tunicae, vel si toga dissidet impar,
rides: quid, mea cum pugnat sententia secum,
quod petiit spernit, repetit quod nuper omisit,
aestuat et vitae disconvenit ordine toto,
diruit, aedificat, mutat quadrata rotundis?
insanire putas sollemnia me neque rides
nec medici credis nec curatoris egere
a praetore dati, rerum tutela mearum
cum sis et prave sectum stomacheris ob unguem
de te pendentis, te respicientis amici.
ad summam: sapiens uno minor est Iove, dives,
liber, honoratus, pulcher, rex denique regum,
praecipue sanus, nisi cum pituita molesta est.
(Horace, Ep. 1.1.94-108)

If some ham-fisted barber has cropped my hair and I
Meet you, you laugh: if I happen to wear a tired shirt
Under my tunic, or my toga sits poorly, all
Awry, you laugh: yet if my judgement contends
With itself, spurns what it craved, seeks what it just put down,
Wavers, inconsistently, in all of life’’s affairs,
Razing, re-building, and altering round to square:
You consider my madness normal, don’’t laugh at all,
Don’’t think I need the doctor, or a legal guardian
The praetor appoints, given you, in charge of all
My affairs, are annoyed by a badly-trimmed nail
Of this friend who looks to you, hangs on your every word.
In sum: the wise man is second only to Jove,
Rich, free, handsome, honoured, truly a king of kings,
Sane, above all, sound, unless he’’s a cold in the head!
(tr. Tony Kline)

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