Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Satire of the day

Yesterday was the anniversary of the birth of Juvenal, the great satirist, in 55AD. Here's an excerpt:
"Most sick people here in Rome perish for want of sleep, the illness itself having been produced by food lying undigested on a fevered stomach. For what sleep is possible in a lodging? Who but the wealthy get sleep in Rome? There lies the root of the disorder. The crossing of wagons in the narrow winding streets, the cursing of cattle herders when brought to a halt, would make sleep impossible for a Drusus-or a seal. When the rich man has a call of social duty, the mob makes way for him as he is borne swiftly over their heads in a huge Liburnian litter. He writes or reads or sleeps inside as he goes along, for the closed window of the litter induces slumber. Yet he will arrive before us; hurry as we may, we are blocked by a surging crowd in front, and by a dense mass of people pressing in on us from behind: one man digs an elbow into me, another a hard sedan-pole; one bangs a beam, another a wine-cask, against my head. My legs are beplastered with mud; soon huge feet trample on me from every side, and a soldier plants his hobnails firmly on my toe."


Blogger Eurodog said...

Downtown Brussels!

7:35 pm  
Blogger kinglear said...

Downtown Nemsa!!

12:22 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

From "hurry as we may" to the end, it sounds just like a visit to an Italian post office!

11:16 pm  

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