Those MURDEROUS Hands Take A Vacation

Petrarch, de Otio et Solitudine (3):

The grandson of this man, and even Scipio Africanus himself, just as he was capable of enduring work in a way which stretches the bounds of credulity, was also desirous of tranquil relaxation, and is said to have been ‘accustomed to rusticate’ often and travel about alone with Laelius. The story goes that occasionally, wandering about on the Italian shores, he bent the hand which dominated Carthage and Numantia to pick up sea shells and shiny little pebbles. Thus, with the relaxation of the shortest length, he would restore his mind to the labor which remained. This account is related modestly and with due reverence in Cicero: incredibly, they (let me not misquote) ‘were accustomed to become boys again when they had flown to the country from the city as if from chains.’


Huius nepos, et ipse Africanus Scipio, sicut laboris supra fidem patiens sic otiose cupidus quietis, solus sepe cum Lelio “rusticari” peregrinarique “solitus” traditur; interdumque litoribus italicis vagabundus expugnatricem illam Carthaginis Numantieque dexteram ad marinas conculas lapillosque candidulos interlegendos inclinasse. Sic enim ad illud quod supererat negotiorum otio brevissimi temporis animum reparabat. Verecunde admodum hoc apud Ciceronem reverenterque narratur: eos incredibiliter, ne verba deseram, «repuerascere esse solitos cum rus ex urbe tanquam e vinculis evolassent».

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