Cicero, De Inventione 1.41
“For, in all things, familiarity is the mother of boredom”
nam omnibus in rebus similitudo mater est satietatis.
Sidonius, Letters 2.2.7 to Ecdicus
“What more? Nothing will be discovered in these places which might be more sacred to examine. Still, only a few little verses will delay a reader a little bit—and these are only slightly inappropriate. Although they leave no desire to read them again, they can be read completely without boredom.”
quid plura? nihil illis paginis impressum reperietur quod non vidisse sit sanctius. pauci tamen versiculi lectorem adventicium remorabuntur minime improbo temperamento, quia eos nec relegisse desiderio est nec perlegisse fastidio.
Jerome, Letters 43.2
“Why do we, animals of the stomach, ever act this way? If a second hour reading falls on us, we yawn and distract our hunger by rubbing our face with our hands and then, as if after hard work, we distract ourselves with worldly duties again. I won’t even mention the meals by which our burdened minds are oppressed.
It is shameful to mention all the visits to say ‘hello’, how we go daily to someone else’s home or we wait for others to come to ours. When they come, we fall to conversation and our absent friends are attacked; others’ lives are detailed, and as we sink our teeth into others we are chewed on in turn. This is the kind of meal that entertains and then dismisses us. Then, when our friends have left, we add up our accounts. Now our anger dons the face of a lion and now silly concerns work out schemes for many years ahead.”
Quid nos, ventris animalia, tale umquam fecimus? Quos si secunda hora legentes invenerit, oscitamus, manu faciem defricantes continemus stomachum et quasi post multum laborem mundialibus rursum negotiis occupamur. Praetermitto prandia, quibus onerata mens premitur. Pudet dicere de frequentia salutandi, qua aut ipsi cotidie ad alios pergimus aut ad nos venientes ceteros expectamus. Deinceps itur in verba, sermo teritur, lacerantur absentes, vita aliena describitur et mordentes invicem consumimur ab invicem. Talis nos cibus et occupat et dimittit. Cum vero amici recesserint, ratiocinia subputamus. Nunc ira personam nobis leonis inponit, nunc cura superflua in annos multos duratura praecogitat