aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Lucian, On Salaried Posts in Great Houses 14

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Lucian on the art of arriving fashionably late:

σὺ δὲ ἐσθῆτα καθαρὰν προχειρισάμενος καὶ σεαυτὸν ὡς κοσμιώτατα σχηματίσας λουσάμενος ἥκεις, δεδιὼς μὴ πρὸ τῶν ἄλλων ἀφίκοιο· ἀπειρόκαλον γάρ, ὥσπερ καὶ τὸ ὕστατον ἥκειν φορτικόν. αὐτὸ οὖν τηρήσας τὸ μέσον τοῦ καιροῦ εἰσελήλυθας, καί σε πάνυ ἐντίμως ἐδέξατο, καὶ παραλαβών τις κατέκλινε μικρὸν ὑπὲρ τοῦ πλουσίου μετὰ δύο που σχεδὸν τῶν παλαιῶν φίλων.

Having chosen clean clothes and made yourself as neat as possible you arrive from your visit to the baths, but are afraid of going in before the others – for that would be unsophisticated, just as coming last would be vulgar. So after waiting for the very middle moment of the right time you’ve gone in and he receives you with every courtesy. Someone takes charge of you and sets you in your place, a little up from the rich man, perhaps just next to a couple of his old friends.

Written by aleatorclassicus

April 29, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Lucian

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