Ad Alpēs/XV

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CAPUT XV

Māne abīre dēstināverant; cum autem gustāssent, Anna maesta nūntiāvit Lūcium tam adsiduē flēre, ut plānē morbō labōrāre vidērētur. Quō audītō, Drūsilla: “Heu,” inquit; “semper metuēbam nē quid malī illī parvulō miserō accideret, cum tam raptim terrā marīque iter facerēmus. Quid nunc faciendum est?”

Interim accesserat caupō avārus; quī, ubi haec audīvit, cum hospitēs tam locuplētēs quam diūtissimē apud sē retinēre vellet: “Etiam dī significāre videntur,” inquit, “hodiē vōbīs nōn abeundum esse. Nam modo in viā aliquem fīcōs[1] vēndentem audīvī, quī identidem ‘cauneās’[2] clāmāret.”

“Quō modo istud ad rem pertinet?” inquit Cornēlius.

“Ōmen manifestum est,” inquit caupō. “Nam etsī homō haud distīnctē[3] prōnūntiābat, idem fit quasi[4] ‘cavē nē eās’[5] dīxisset. Mēlius erit igitur, sī hinc hodiē nōn proficīscēminī.”

“Istīus modī rēs minimī faciō,” inquit Cornēlius; “et properāmus.”

At Drūsilla: “Paulisper, obsecrō, hīc morēmur. Medicum saltem adhibērī[6] volō, priusquam abeāmus.”

“Fīat,” inquit Cornēlius. Tum caupōnī: “Medicus statim arcessātur;[7] et cūrā[8] ut optimus ille sit.”

“Licet,”[9] inquit caupō; “nam haud procul habitat medicus, quō[10] melior etiam Rōmae vix invenīrī potest.” “Bene[11] hercle nūntiās,” inquit Cornēlius. “Perge modo.”[12]

Interim Anna ad Lūcium redierat, ac cēterī, morae impatientēs, in triclīniō sedēbant medicum exspectantēs, quī brevī advēnit. Et Cornēlius: “Salvē, medice,” inquit. “Fīlius meus parvulus minus bene[13] sē habet. Rōmam iter facimus. Celeriter eum sānārī volō.”

“Id quidem perfacile est,” inquit medicus. “Omnia ego facere possum. Modo crūs frāctum Aesculāpiō[14] obligāvī, et bracchium Apollinī. Quīn etiam mortuōs ex īnferīs excitāre soleō.”

At Cornēlius: “Crēdō.[15] Sed nunc expōne quid nōbīs faciendum sit.”

Dum haec fīunt, Anna arcessīta adiit, in gremiō Lūcium fovēns.[16] Quō vīsō, medicus: “Fac ut eius pedēs appāreant,” inquit. Quōs cum pertractāsset,[17] “Aquā gelidā,” inquit, “pedēs lavātō.”[18]

“Tē obsecrō, medice,” inquit Drūsilla. “Febris[19] modo in eum incidit. Male metuō nē gravēdō[20] sequātur, sī aquā gelidā pedēs perfūsī erunt.”

“Sīc faciendum est,” inquit medicus, “sī fīlium salvum optās. Ac interim fac ut hoc medicāmentum tertiā quāque hōrā abundē[21] hauriat.”

Quae cum dīceret, ex amphorā medicāmentum ātrum, picī[22] simile, in pateram[23] effundēbat. “Haec omnia,” inquit, “sī ad[24] praescrīptum[25] fīent, crās puer aut sānātus aut mortuus erit. Tum redībō. Iam valēte.” Quō dictō, domum sē recēpit. Tum Cornēlius īrātus caupōnī: “Quid vīs,[26] sceleste?” inquit. “Audēsne hominem tam stultum et ineptum prō medicō arcessere? Crēdisne mē hōc venēnō meum fīlium interfectūrum esse?” Quae cum dīxisset, medicāmentum per fenestram apertam abiēcit, Annamque iussit Lūcium abdūcere, sī forte quiētō somnō eī melius foret.[27]

Caupō vultū maestō discessit, etsī vērō gaudēbat hospitēs abīre nōndum audēre. Cum illī intus sollicitī exspectārent, subitō per fenestrās apertās audīta est vōx Stasimī, quī in āreā īnstitōrī vagō occurrerat. Inter quōs altercātiō[28] eius modī orta est:

Stasimus. Quis tū es homō, quī tam audācter hās aedēs adīs?

Īnst. Multās mercēs lepidās et mīrandās ego hīc in saccō ferō. Cīvem nōbilem hūc herī advēnisse audiō. Esne tū eius servus?

Stasimus. Ita vērō. Cuius tū servus es?

Īnst. Apage tē, nūgātor. Mēne[29] prō servō habēre[30] audēs? Quīn[31] ego rēgibus antīquīs[32] ortus sum.

Stasimus. Facile crēdō tē ortum rēge—fūrum.

Īnst. Quid ais, furcifer? Mēne fūrem esse īnsimulās?

Stasimus. Haud īnsimulō, quod[33] certō sciō.

Īnst. Cavē malum.[34] Huius modī verba ā servīs ego nūllō modō audīre soleō.

Stasimus. At verbera[35] sentīre solēs, cum dominus tē pendentem[36] paene ad necem[37] caedit.[38]

Īnst. Aisne,[39] carnifex?[40] Hōsne pugnōs[41] vidēs? Tē in somnum longissimum collocābunt, nisi tibi cavēs. Stasimus. Amīcē[42] pollicēris; nam hās[43] noctēs trēs pervigilāvī,[44] atque aliquem quaerō, quī faciat ut dormiam.

Īnst. Verbum adde ūnum, mastīgia,[45] et tē ad terram colaphīs[46] adflīgam.

Stasimus. Tange[47] modo,[48] custōs carceris. Oculōs[49] tibi effodiam, sī propius accesseris. Vīsne pugnāre?

Īnst. Caupōnem forās ēvocābō. Heus, caupō, exī et istum nūgātōrem hinc abige.

Stasimus. Abī,[50] dormītātor.[51] Fue![52] ālium[53] olēs.[54] Tē āmovē; discēde in maximam malam crucem![55]

Tum autem ex aedibus celeriter ēgressus Pūblius: “Quid fit, Stasime?” inquit. “Nōnne scīs Lūcium dormīre, et omnia hīc tranquilla esse oportēre? Cūr audēs tantās turbās concitāre?”

“Hoc omnīnō oblītus sum,” inquit Stasimus. “propter hunc scelestum, quī modo parentēs suōs interfēcit domumque expīlāvit, atque hūc quoque fūrātum[56] venīre ausus est. Abī, nūgātor, discēde.”

At Pūblius: “Tacē, inquam. Sī hodiē clāmōrem iterum tollēs, maximō malō tuō[57] id faciēs.”

Tum īnstitor Pūbliō: “Tē ōrō, adulēscēns,” inquit, “ut mihi liceat mercēs meās mulieribus ostendere. Certō sciō, sī semel aspexerint, eās multa emere parātās fore.”

“Māter mea iam haud occupāta est,” inquit Publius. “Quārē mē sequere, ac mercēs ostende. Tū interim, Stasime, intempēstīvās[58] facētiās[59] tuās alia in loca aufer.” Quō dictō, aedēs intrāvit, ubi Drūsilla et Cornēlia libentissimē īnspexērunt rēs mīrandās, quās īnstitor ē saccō suō prōmēbat.[60]

Vix erat ille dīmissus, cum Anna nūntiāvit Lūcium placidē quiēvisse, ac eī iam multō melius esse.[61] Quod cum cognitum esset, omnēs gaudēbant; ac Cornēlius Onēsimum statim mīsit, ut caupōnem vocāret.

Iste scīlicet haud libenter audīvit Lūciō melius factum esse. Sed ratiōnem cōnficere[62] coāctus est; ac paulō post, pecūniā solūtā, viātōrēs iterum in raedīs sedēbant, atque equī alacrēs viā strātā vehicula celeriter rapuērunt.

Via per rūra ferēns
Photograph by Grant Showerman
via per rūra ferēns
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References
  1. fīcus, -ī, f., fig.
  2. caunea, -ae, f.; pl., dried figs(from Caunos in Caria).
  3. distīnctē, adv., exactly; cf. Dickens ‘fypunnote for ‘five-pound note.’
  4. idem fit quasi, it amounts to the same thing as if.
  5. cavē nē eās: a form of prohibition.
  6. adhibeō, -ēre, -uī, -itus, tr., call in.
  7. arcessātur, have … summoned.
  8. cūrā, see to it.
  9. Licet, freely, surely.
  10. quō: abl. with comp.
  11. Bene, etc.: cf. VIII, 6.
  12. modo, only.
  13. minus bene, etc., is not very well.
  14. Aesculāpiō: the god of physicians. Being a quack, the doctor makes up in boasting what he lacks in skill.
  15. Crēdō, ironical, very good.
  16. foveō, fovēre, fōvī, fōtus, tr., nurse.
  17. pertractō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus, tr., feel of.
  18. lavātō: fut. imper.
  19. febris, -is, f., fever.
  20. gravēdō, -inis, f., cold.
  21. abundē, adv., copiously.
  22. pix, picis, f., pitch.
  23. patera, -ae, f., dish.
  24. ad, according to.
  25. praescrīptum, -ī, n., orders.
  26. vīs, mean.
  27. foret: i.e., esset.
  28. altercātiō, -ōnis, f., dispute.
  29. Mēne: i.e. + ne.
  30. habēre, take.
  31. Quīn, Why.
  32. rēgibus antīquīs: abl.
  33. quod: rel.
  34. malum: i.e., a beating.
  35. verber, -eris, n.; pl., blows; pun on verba, line 71.
  36. pendentem, triced up.
  37. nex, necis, f., death.
  38. caedit: i.e., with the whip.
  39. Aisne, freely, What's that?
  40. carnifex, -icis, m., wretch (lit., executioner).
  41. pugnus, -ī, m., fist.
  42. amīcē, adv., kindly.
  43. hās, these (past).
  44. pervigilō, -āre, -āvī, -ātum, intr., keep awake.
  45. mastīgia, whipping-post, scoundrel.
  46. colaphus, ī, buffet.
  47. Tange: sc. .
  48. modo, just.
  49. Oculōs, etc.: see the note on XIV, 34.
  50. abigō, -igere, -ēgī, -āctus, tr., drive off.
  51. dormītātor, -ōris, m., loafer.
  52. fue, interj. phew!
  53. ālium, -ī garlic.
  54. oleō, ēre -uī, tr., smell of.
  55. in … crucem: cf. Abī, etc., XIV, 77.
  56. fūror,-ārī, -ātus sum, tr., steal.
  57. maximō malō tuō: abl.
  58. intempestīvus, -a, -um, adj., untimely.
  59. facētiae, -ārum, f., levity.
  60. prōmō, prōmere, prōmpsī, prōmptus, tr., bring forth.
  61. eī iam, etc.; i.e., he was feeling much better.
  62. ratiōnem cōnficere, make out his bill.
Fairytale left blue.png Caput XIV Caput XVI Fairytale right blue.png