Horace, Satires 2.3.1-3

“This is the common fault of all singers: when they are asked to sing, among their friends, they can never summon up the courage to do it; but when no one asks for a song, they just cannot stop singing.”

Omnibus hoc vitium est cantoribus, inter amicos

ut numquam inducant animum cantare rogati, 

iniussi numquam desistant. 

6 thoughts on “Horace, Satires 2.3.1-3

  1. This rather ties in with the previous post on friendship in Lysis. Hippothales’ friend complains
    καὶ ὅ ἐστιν τούτων δεινότερον, ὅτι καὶ ᾁδει εἰς τὰ παιδικὰ φωνῇ θαυμασίᾳ, ἣν ἡμᾶς δεῖ ἀκούοντας ἀνέχεσθαι.
    And what is more dreadful, he actually sings about the object of his love with an awful voice which we have to endure hearing.
    Plat. Lysis 204

      1. I suppose the modern day equivalent would be the plague of singer-guitarists that sets upon major cities and college campuses.

        (And, as an offender earlier in my life, I can say as much.)

  2. And this one from the Greek anthology

    νυκτικόραξ ᾁδει θανατηφόρον ἀλλ᾽ ὅταν ᾄσῃ
    Δημόφιλος, θνήσκει καὐτὸς ὁ νυκτικόραξ.

    The night raven sings a deadly song
    But when Demophilus sings it is the night raven that dies.
    Anth. Gr. 11.186

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