My Epistolary Friend

Seneca, Moral Epistles 67.1-2

“I’ll make a common beginning: spring has started to show itself, but even though we are leaning toward summer when it ought to be warm, it is still cold and there’s nothing sure about it. Often, we turn back to winter. Do you want to know how shaky it still is? I don’t yet trust myself in a cold bath since even now I disturb its temperature.

You can say, “This is no way to endure either heat nor cold.” That’s true, Lucilius, but I am of the age happy with its own chill. I barely thaw out in the heat. So, the greater part of the year finds me wrapped in blankets. I am grateful to old age because it keeps me in bed. Why shouldn’t I be thankful to it for this reason? I can’t do the very things I don’t want to do. Most of my conversation is with books. When your letters come, I imagine I am with you and I don’t feel like I am writing to you, but just responding instead. So, let us talk about your question, whatever it is, as if we were together.”

Vt a communibus initium faciam, ver aperire se coepit, sed iam inclinatum in aestatem, quo tempore calere debebat, intepuit nec adhuc illi fides est. Saepe enim in hiemem revolvitur. Vis scire, quam dubium adhuc sit? Nondum me committo frigidae verae, adhuc rigorem eius infringo. “Hoc est,” inquis, “nec calidum nec frigidum pati.” Ita est, mi Lucili; iam aetas mea contenta est suo frigore.

Vix media regelatur aestate. Itaque maior pars in vestimentis degitur. Ago gratias senectuti, quod me lectulo adfixit. Quidni gratias illi hoc nomine agam? Quicquid debebam nolle, non possum. Cum libellis mihi plurimus sermo est. Si quando intervenerunt epistulae tuae, tecum esse mihi videor et sic adficior animo, tamquam tibi non rescribam, sed respondeam. Itaque et de hoc, quod quaeris, quasi conloquar tecum, quale sit, una scrutabimur.

Colo photograph of two figures holding hands. They are visible only from waist to shoulders and are women-presenting, facing each other
Picture from Wikimediacommons, Mathias Klang from Göteborg, Sweden “Friednship

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