Pliny's Letters- 2.20 (Letter 11)- The Legacy Hunter

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  • Created on: 26-12-15 15:11
ASSEM pare et accipe auream fabulam, fabulas immo; nam me priorum nova admonuit, nec refert, a qua potissimum incipiam.
get your penny ready and get a golden story, stories rather; for a new story has reminded me of earlier ones and it does not matter from which one it is best to begin.
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Verania Pisonis graviter iacebat, huius dico Pisonis, quem Galba adoptavit.
Verania, the wife of Piso, was lying seriously ill- I mean the wife of Piso which Galba adopted.
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Ad hanc Regulus venit. Primum impudentiam hominis, qui venerit ad aegram, cuius marito inimicissimus, ipsi invisissimus fuerat! Esto, si venit tantum; at ille etiam proximus toro sedit, quo die, qua hora nata esset interrogavit.
Regulus came to her. First think of the impudence of the man who came to a sick woman, to whose husband he was an enemy, to her herself by whom she was hated.let that be, [if the only thing he did was come to her]; but he even sat very near to the
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Ubi audiit, componit vultum, intendit oculos, movet labra, agitat digitos, computat; nihil.
when he heard, he composes his expression, he focuses his eyes, he moves his lips, he moves his fingers, he counts. nothing.
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Ut diu miseram exspectatione suspendit, "Habes," inquit, "climactericum tempus, sed evades.
so that he can keep the poor woman in suspense for a long time, he says, "you have a critical time but you will escape it.
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Quod ut tibi magis liqueat, haruspicem consulam, quem sum frequenter expertus." Nec mora, sacrificium facit, adfirmat exta *** siderum significatione congruere.
so that it may become more clear to you, i will consult a soothsayer, whom i frequently use." without delay he makes a sacrifice, he declares that the entrails match with the significance of the stars.
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Illa ut in periculo credula poscit codicillos, legatum Regulo scribit. Mox ingravescit; clamat moriens, "O hominem nequam, perfidum, ac plus etiam quam periurum!" qui sibi per salutem filii peierasset.
that woman, credulous as one in danger, demands writing tablets, writes a legacy to regulus, soon she gets worse. she shouts as she is dying, that he is worthless and disloyal and worse than a perjurer since he had sworn on the lfie of her son.
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Facit hoc Regulus non minus scelerate quam frequenter, quod iram deorum, quos ipse quotidie fallit, in caput infelicis pueri detestatur.
Regulus does this no less wickedly than frequently, because he calls down the wrath of the gods, which he himself decieved everyday, onto the head of her unfortunate boy.
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Velleius Blaesus, ille locuples consularis, novissima valetudine conflictabatur.
Vellius Blaesus, that rich man of consular rank, was afflicted by his recent illness.
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Cupiebat mutare testamentum
he wanted to change his will.
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Regulus, qui speraret aliquid ex novis tabulis, quia nuper captare eum coeperat, medicos hortari, rogare, quoquo modo spiritum homini prorogarent.
Regulus, who was hoping for something from the new tablet, because he had recently had begun to ensnare him, encouraged the doctors, asked them to prolong the spirit of the man in whatever way.
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Postquam signatum est testamentum, mutat personam, vertit adlocutionem isdemque medicis:
after the will has been signed, he changes his character, he directs his speech to the smae doctors:
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"Quousque miserum cruciatis? Quid invidetis bonam mortem, cui dare vitam non potestis?" Moritur Blaesus et, tamquam omnia audisset, Regulo ne tantulum quidem.
"How long will torture the poor man? why do you begrudge a good death to a man to whom you cannot give a good life? " Blaesus dies and, as if he heard everything, he left not even a small legacy to Regulus.
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Sufficiunt duae fabulae, an scholastica lege tertiam poscis? est, unde fiat.
are two stories enough, or do you demand a third according to the 'scholistic law'? there is a supply from which it may exist.
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Aurelia, ornata femina, signatura testamentum sumpserat pulcherrimas tunicas.
Aurelia, a distinguished lady, was about to write her will and had put on her most beautiful tunics.
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Regulus *** venisset ad signandum, "Rogo," inquit, "has mihi leges."
when Regulus had came to the signing he said, " i request that you bequeath me those tunics"
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Aurelia ludere hominem putabat, ille serio instabat; ne multa, coegit mulierem aperire tabulas ac sibi tunicas, quas erat induta, legare; observavit scribentem, inspexit, an scripsisset.
Aurelia thought that the man was joking, he kept on insisting with seriousness; to cut it short, he forced the woman to open the tablets and bequeath to him the tunics which she was wearing; he watched her writing, he looked whether she had written.
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Et Aurelia quidem vivit, ille tamen istud tamquam morituram coegit. Et hic hereditates, hic legata, quasi mereatur, accipit!
and indeed Aurelia is still living. He however forced that a sif she were dying. and this man receives inheritances, this man receives bequests as if he deserves them.
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Alla ti diateinomai in ea civitate, in qua iampridem non minora praemia, immo maiora nequitia et improbitas quam pudor et virtus habent?
but why do i continue in this country, in which for a long time now wickedness and dishonesty have not just smaller rewards but even bigger ones than honour and virtue?
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Aspice Regulum, qui ex paupere et tenui ad tantas opes per flagitia processit, ut ipse mihi dixerit, *** consuleret, quam cito sestertium sescenties impleturus esset, invenisse se exta duplicia, quibus portendi, milies et ducenties habiturum.
look at Regulus, who has proceeded form poverty, dire poverty even, to such great wealh through crimes, as he himself said to me, when he was consulting, an oracle how quickly he would be worth 60 mill. sesterces, that he had found double entrails,
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Et habebit, si modo, ut coepit, aliena testamenta, quod est improbissimum genus falsi, ipsis, quorum sunt illa, dictaverit. Vale.
and he will have other wills, if only as he has begun, which is the most wicked kind of fraud, of which those contents he will have dictated to the people themselves.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Verania Pisonis graviter iacebat, huius dico Pisonis, quem Galba adoptavit.

Back

Verania, the wife of Piso, was lying seriously ill- I mean the wife of Piso which Galba adopted.

Card 3

Front

Ad hanc Regulus venit. Primum impudentiam hominis, qui venerit ad aegram, cuius marito inimicissimus, ipsi invisissimus fuerat! Esto, si venit tantum; at ille etiam proximus toro sedit, quo die, qua hora nata esset interrogavit.

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Ubi audiit, componit vultum, intendit oculos, movet labra, agitat digitos, computat; nihil.

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Ut diu miseram exspectatione suspendit, "Habes," inquit, "climactericum tempus, sed evades.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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