Quid me, etsi valeam, parare carmen Fescenninicolae iubes Diones inter crinigeras situm catervas et Germanica verba sustinentem, laudantem tetrico subinde vultu quod Burgundio cantat esculentus infundens acido comam butyro?
Why – even supposing I had the skill – do you bid me compose a song dedicated to Venus the lover of Fescennine mirth, placed as I am among long-haired hordes, having to endure German speech, praising oft with wry face the song of the gluttonous Burgundian who spreads rancid butter on his hair?Carmen 12, line 1; vol. 1, p. 213.
Nam qui maxume doctus sibi videtur, dictionem sanam et insanam ferme appetitu pari revolvit, non amplius concupiscens erecta quae laudet quam despecta quae rideat. atque in hunc modum scientia pompa proprietas linguae Latinae iudiciis otiosorum maximo spretui est, quorum scurrilitati neglegentia comes hoc volens tantum legere, quod carpat, sic non utitur litteris, quod abutitur.Sidonius ApollinarisFor the man who considers himself the best critic generally studies sound and unsound composition with equal interest, being no more greedy for lofty utterances to praise than for contemptible ones to ridicule. In this way technique, grandeur, and propriety in the use of the Latin language are particularly underrated by the armchair critics, who, with an insensibility which goes hand in hand with scurrility, and wishing to read only what they may criticize, cannot, by their very abuse of literature, be making a proper use of it.Lib. 3, Ep. 14, sect. 2; vol. 2, p. 59.
O neccessitas abiecta nascendi, vivendi misera dura moriendi.Sidonius ApollinarisHow dismal the necessity of birth! how miserable the necessity of living! how hard the necessity of death!Lib. 8, Ep. 11, sect. 4; vol. 2, p. 463.
Mors obruit illos, non timor; invicti perstant animoque supersunt jam prope post animam.Sidonius ApollinarisDeath may overwhelm them, but not fear; unconquerable they stand their ground, and their courage well-nigh outlives their lives.Carmen 5, line 251; vol. 1 p. 83.
Ex hoc barbaricis abacta plectris spernit senipedem stilum Thalia, ex quo septipedes videt patronos.Sidonius ApollinarisDriven away by barbarian thrumming the Muse has spurned the six-footed exercise ever since she beheld these patrons seven feet high.Carmen 12, line 9; vol. 1, p. 213.
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