Seneca, Moral Epistles 75.1-3
“You grumble that my letters to you are not very polished. Well, who speaks with polish unless they want to talk ostentatiously? I want my letters to have the quality of the kind of conversation we’d have while sitting next to each other or walking: easy and unlabored, since there is nothing forced or false about them.
If I could, I would prefer to show rather than tell you what I am feeling. Even if I were debating with you, I wouldn’t stomp my foot, or wave my hands around, or raise my voice–I’d abandon those tricks to the orators because I am happy to have shared my experiences with you without elaborating them or cheapening them.
I wish I could make this single thing clear to you: whatever I say, I don’t just feel it, I mean it. Men kiss their girlfriends one way and their children another, but enough emotion is clear in the parental embrace too, since it is sacred and restrained.”
Minus tibi accuratas a me epistulas mitti quereris. Quis enim accurate loquitur, nisi qui vult putide loqui? Qualis sermo meus esset, si una sederemus aut ambularemus, inlaboratus et facilis, tales esse epistulas meas volo, quae nihil habent accersitum nec fictum. Si fieri posset, quid sentiam, ostendere quam loqui mallem. Etiam si disputarem, nec supploderem pedem nec manum iactarem nec attollerem vocem, sed ista oratoribus reliquissem, contentus sensus meos ad te pertulisse, quos nec exornassem nec abiecissem. Hoc unum plane tibi adprobare vellem: omnia me illa sentire, quae dicerem, nec tantum sentire, sed amare. Aliter homines amicam, aliter liberos osculantur; tamen in hoc quoque amplexu tam sancto et moderato satis apparet adfectus.