HE MEETS VARUS AND MISTRESSLed me my Varus to his flame,
As I from Forum idling came.
Forthright some whorelet judged I it
Nor lacking looks nor wanting wit,
When hied we thither, mid us three
Fell various talk, as how might be
Bithynia now, and how it fared,
And if some coin I made or spared.
"There was no cause (I soothly said)
"The Praetors or the Cohort made
Thence to return with oilier head;
The more when ruled by ...
Praetor, as pile the Cohort rating."
Quoth they, "But certes as 'twas there
The custom rose, some men to bear
Litter thou boughtest ?" I to her
To seem but richer, wealthier,
Cry, "Nay, with me 'twas not so ill
That, given the Province suffered, still
Eight stiff-backed loons I could not buy.'
(Withal none here nor there owned I
Who broken leg of Couch outworn
On nape of neck had ever borne!)
Then she, as pathic piece became,
"Prithee Catullus mine, those same
Lend me, Serapis-wards I'd hie."
"Easy, on no-wise, no," quoth I,
"Whate'er was mine, I lately said
Is some mistake, my camarade
One Cinna-Gains-bought the lot,
But his or mine, it matters what?
I use it freely as though bought,
Yet thou, pert troubler, most absurd,
None suffer'st speak an idle word."