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Augustus, Chapter 87: His conversation.
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In ordinary conversation, he [Note 1] made use of several peculiar expressions, as appears from letters in his own hand-writing; in which, now and then, when he means to intimate that some persons would never pay their debts, he says, They will pay at the Greek Calends. And when he advised patience in the present posture of affairs, he would say, Let us be content with our Cato. To describe anything done in haste, he said It was sooner done than asparagus is cooked. He constantly puts baceolus for stultus, pullejaceus for pullus, vacerrosus for cerritus, Vapide Se Habere for male, and betizare for languere, which is commonly called lachanizare. Likewise simus for sumus, domos for domus in the genitive singular. With respect to the last two peculiarities, lest any person should imagine that they were only slips of his pen, and not customary with him, he never varies. I have likewise remarked this singularity in his hand-writing: he never divides his words, so as to carry the letters which cannot be inserted at the end of a line to the next, but puts them below the other, enclosed by a bracket. |
Note 1: he = Augustus
|Cotidiano sermone quaedam frequentius et notabiliter usurpasse eum, litterae ipsius autographae ostentant, in quibus identidem, cum aliquos numquam soluturos significare vult, "ad Kal. Graecas soluturos" ait; et cum hortatur ferenda esse praesentia, qualiacumque sint: "contenti simus hoc Catone"; et ad exprimendam festinatae rei velocitatem: "celerius quam asparagi cocuntur"; ponit assidue et pro stulto "baceolum" et pro pullo "pulleiaceum" et pro cerrito "vacerrosum" et "vapide" se habere pro male et "betizare" pro languere, quod vulgo "lachanizare" dicitur; item "simus" pro sumus et "domos" genetivo casu singulari pro domus. Nec umquam aliter haec duo, ne quis mendam magis quam consuetudinem putet. Notavi et in chirographo eius illa praecipue: non dividit verba nec ab extrema parte versuum abundantis litteras in alterum transfert, sed ibidem statim subicit circumducitque.|