F**k the Crowd, My Books Are At Home!

Pliny, Letters 9.6:

I have spent all this time among my books and notebooks in the most peaceful tranquility. You ask, ‘How could you do it in the middle of the city?’ It was the time for the games at the Circus, a spectacle which cannot in the least hold my attention. There is nothing new, nothing different, nothing which it would not suffice to have seen once. And so, I marvel all the more at so many thousands of men who desire in such a childish fashion to see over and over again horses running and people sitting in their chariots. If they were drawn by the speed of the horses or the skill of the people, it would he understandable; …and if in the race course, in the middle of the contest itself, this horse exchanged colors with the other, the zeal and favor of the spectators would change as well, and the drivers of horses would abandon those horses, whom they see from afar, and whose names they shout again and again. So much power there is in one worthless tunic – not among the crowd, which is more worthless than the tunic, but among some of our more serious people. When I recall that they have such insatiable desire in such an inane, cold, and unchanging thing, I take some pleasure in not being taken by that pleasure. And during these days, I spend my free time most gladly in literature, while others waste their time in the most frivolous occupations. Goodbye!

Image result for horse drawing

Omne hoc tempus inter pugillares ac libellos iucundissima quiete transmisi. ‘Quemadmodum’ inquis ‘in urbe potuisti?’ Circenses erant, quo genere spectaculi ne levissime quidem teneor. Nihil novum nihil varium, nihil quod non semel spectasse sufficiat. Quo magis miror tot milia virorum tam pueriliter identidem cupere currentes equos, insistentes curribus homines videre. Si tamen aut velocitate equorum aut hominum arte traherentur, esset ratio non nulla; nunc favent panno, pannum amant, et si in ipso cursu medioque certamine hic color illuc ille huc transferatur, studium favorque transibit, et repente agitatores illos equos illos, quos procul noscitant, quorum clamitant nomina relinquent. Tanta gratia tanta auctoritas in una vilissima tunica, mitto apud vulgus, quod vilius tunica, sed apud quosdam graves homines; quos ego cum recordor, in re inani frigida assidua, tam insatiabiliter desidere, capio aliquam voluptatem, quod hac voluptate non capior. Ac per hos dies libentissime otium meum in litteris colloco, quos alii otiosissimis occupationibus perdunt. Vale.

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