To feasts and theatres you love to go
With men of rank and, when you chance to meet.
To lounge with them about a portico
Or street.
They let you bathe and dine with them, but what
Your dullard pride will never comprehend
Is that you are their mountebank, and not
Their friend.

[Quod te diripiunt potentiores
Per convivia, porticus, theatra,
Et tecum, quotiens ita incidisti,
Gestari iuvat et iuvat lavari:
Nolito nimium tibi placere.
Delectas, Philomuse, non amaris.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 7, epigram 76 (7.76) [tr. Pott & Wright (1921), “The Toady”]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

When dukes to town ask thee to dine,
To rule their roast, and smack their wine,
Or take thee to their country-seat,
To mark their dogs, and bless their meat,
Ah! dream not on preferment soon:
Thou'rt not their friend, but their buffoon.
[tr. Hoadley (fl. 18th C)]

All the great men take you away
To dinner, coffee-house, or play.
Nor happier are, than when you chance
To hunt with them, or take a dance.
Yet do not pride yourself too soon:
You're not a friend, but a buffoon.
[tr. Hay (1755)]

Thee the great may tear away
To the banquet, porch, or play;
And with thee may make their pride,
Or to talk, or bathe, or ride.
Yet thou may'st mistake with ease.
Thou delight'st; but dost not please.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), Book 7, ep. 4]

That men of rank take you along with them almost by force to their banquets, to porticos, and theatres; and that when they meet you they have pleasure in carrying you in their vehicles, and going along with you to the same baths; -- let not this puff you up with self-satisfaction, Philomusus; all this is because you are entertaining, not because you are beloved.
[tr. Amos (1858)]

Though the great hurry you off to their banquets, and walks in the porticoes, and to the theatres; and though they are delighted, whenever you meet them, to make you share their litters, and to bathe with you, do not be too vain of such attentions. You entertain them, Philomusus; you are not an object of their regard.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

Because men of influence vie in hurrying you off to entertainments, colonnades, theatres, and enjoy, whenever you happen to meet them, being carried in litters with you and enjoy bathing with you, by no means fancy yourself too much. You entertain them, Philomusus, you are not loved.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

If important people compete for your company at dinner tables an din the colonnades and theaters and like to ride with you and bathe with you as often as you turn up, don't get too conceited. It's your company they like, Philomusus, not you.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993): literally, "you give them pleasure, you are not loved."]

The rich folk ask you out to dine,
Or ride with them, or drink their wine,
Or take a bath, or just hang out --
Now Philomusus, please don't pout --
You only entertain their crew:
They're really not so into you.
[tr. Ericsson (1995)]

If powerful men take you up,
at meals, theatres, and porticos,
like riding and bathing with you,
wherever you happen to go,
don’t be too proud, Philomusus:
you give pleasure, it isn’t love.
[tr. Kline (2006), "The Reality"]

If powerful men -- at banquets, porticoes,
and plays -- compete to have you by their side;
if every time they meet you, they’re delighted
to offer you a hot bath or a ride;
don’t get too vain about it, Philomusus.
They love not you, but pleasure you provide.
[tr. McLean (2014)]

See Ben Jonson, "To Mime," which ends, "Men love thee not for this: They laugh at thee."

Added on 30-Jun-23 | Last updated 30-Jun-23
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Martial

Thoughts? Comments? Corrections? Feedback?