Arria translation

  • Created by: Esa
  • Created on: 21-11-18 19:49

Her husband, Caecina Paetus, was ill, and her son was ill, both terminally, so it seemed. The son died; he was remarkably handsome and just as modest, and no less dear to his parents on account of other things than because he was their son. Arria thus prepared the funeral for this boy and even led the funeral procession, with the result that her husband remained unaware. Indeed, whenever she entered his bedroom, she pretended that their son was still alive and even that he was getting better, and in answer to his frequent questions as to how the boy was doing, she would reply: “He has had a good rest and has willingly eaten some food.”
Then, when the tears, which had been held back for so long, overcame her and broke through, she would go out; then she would give herself up to grief; having had her fill of crying, with dry eyes and a calm expression, she would return, as if she had left her bereavement outside. Indeed that noble action is told of the same woman, that she drew a dagger, stabbed herself in the chest, pulled out the dagger, offered it to her husband, adding the immortal and almost divine words; “It doesn’t hurt, Paetus!”
But nevertheless, while she was speaking and acting in this way, there was immortal glory before her eyes; all the greater is, without the reward of immortality and without the reward of glory, to hide her tears, cover up her grief…


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