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[24]

‘“But it is the bitterest thing of all that you, O Aulus. Hirtius, who have been distinguished by Caesar's kindness, and who have been left by him in a condition which you yourself marvel at.
***”’

I can not indeed deny that Aulus Hirtius was distinguished by Caesar, but such distinctions are only of value when conferred on virtue and industry. But you, who can not deny that you also were distinguished by Caesar, what would you have been if he had not showered so many kindnesses on you? Where would your own good qualities have borne you? Where would your birth have conducted you? You would have spent the whole period of your manhood in brothels, and cook-shops and in gambling and drinking, as you used to do when you were always burying your brains and your beard in the laps of actresses.

‘“And you too, O boy—”’

He calls him a boy whom he has not only experienced and shall again experience to be a man, but one of the bravest of men. It is indeed the name appropriate to his age; but he is the last man in the world who ought to use it, when it is his own madness that has opened to this boy the path to glory.

‘“You who owe every thing to his name—”’

He does indeed owe every thing, and nobly is he paying it.

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load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1918)
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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 29
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