Rufus the Blockhead

Ausonius, Epigrams:

“This is Rufus’ tablet: nothing could be more true. Where is Rufus himself? In the cathedral. What’s he doing? The same thing as on the tablet.” *

Haec Rufi tabula est: nil verius. Ipse ubi Rufus?
In cathedra. Quid agit? Hoc, quod et in tabula.

“Rufus said, ‘I recall’ in his poem. The verse doesn’t – no, rather, Rufus doesn’t have a heart [cor].”**

Reminisco Rufus dixit in versu suo.
Cor ergo versus, immo Rufus non habet.

“He wrote ‘I recall’ [reminisco] and thinks that he can speak Latin. He would read heart [cor] where co is written – if he had a heart.”

Qui Reminisco putat se dicere posse Latine;
Hic, ubi CO scriptum est, legeret COR, si COR haberet.


“Rufus the professor was once invited to a wedding with (as it happens) a crowded party. In order to show everyone that he was learned, he pronounced this wish for the connubial consummation: ‘give birth to children of the masculine, feminine, and neuter gender.’”

Rufus vocatus rhetor olim ad nuptias
Celebri (ut fit) convivio,
Grammaticae ut artis se peritum ostenderet,
Haec vota dixit nuptiis:
Et masculini, et feminini gignite,
Generisque neutri filios.


*That is, Rufus is silent.

** These ‘cor’ epigrams make fun of Rufus’ solecism in writing ‘reminisco’ in place of the standard deponent form ‘reminiscor’.

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