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Though so lengthy a book should your taste satisfy,
You have asked me for more: but my household will cry
For some food, and the usurer’s drained me quite dry;
So reader … you see what I mean to imply?
You are silent and don’t understand me? Good bye!

[Quamvis tam longo possis satur esse libello,
Lector, adhuc a me disticha pauca petis.
Sed Lupus usuram puerique diaria poscunt.
Lector, solve. Taces dissimulasque? Vale.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 11, epigram 108 (11.108) [tr. Pott & Wright (1921), “A Hint”]
    (Source)

"To the Reader." (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

With my long book thou well may'st glutted be,
Yet thou more epigrams exact'st of me:
But Lupus calls for use, servants for pay,
Discharge them, reader. Now thou'st nought to say,
Dissemblest, as my words thou could'st not spell.
No riddle thou'rt to me, reader, farewell.
[tr. Killigrew (1695)]

Although, reader, you may well be tired of so long a book, you still want a few more distichs from me. But Lupus demands his interest; and my copyists their wages. Pay, reader. You are silent; do you pretend not to hear? Then, goodbye.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

Although with so long a book you may well be sated, reader, yiou still ask for a few distichs from me. But Lupus requires his interest, and my slaves their rations. Reader, pay me. Do you say nothing, and pretend yuo don't understand? Good bye!
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Contented reader -- I had thought to say,
But something's wanting? Then perhaps you'll pay.
My bailiff's broke, my lads for victuals cry;
What? Silent? Can't afford it? Then good-bye.
[tr. Francis & Tatum (1924), ep. 639, "A Postscript"]

I should have thought you'd had your fill
By now -- this book's too long -- yet still
You clamour for couplets. You forget,
My slaves need rations, I'm in debt,
The interest's due ... Dear reader, pay
My creditors for me. Silent, eh?
The puzzled innocent? Good-day!
[tr. Michie (1972)]

Reader, although you might well be satisfied with so long a little book, you ask me for a few couplets more. But Lupus demands his interest and the boys their rations. Pay up, reader. You say nothing and pretend not to hear? Good-bye.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

Reader, so long a book should satisfy you,
yet still "a few more couplets," you reply.
But boys want food and Lupus wants his interest.
Pay up! You're silent, playing deaf? Goodbye.
[tr. McLean (2014)]

A little book this long could satisfy your appetite, reader, but still you ask me for a few couplets more; but Lupus wants his interest, and my boys, their rations. Reader, clear my slate. Nothing to say? Pretending you're deaf? Get lost!
[tr. Nisbet (2015)]

Added on 5-Aug-22 | Last updated 5-Aug-22
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