What can I do in Rome? I can't tell lies; if a bookSo much of what made Juvenal so angry in the second century has just never gone away. Reading his invective, either in Latin or in this biting translation, is a welcome alternative to the bad news in the papers.
is bad I cannot praise it and beg for a copy; the stars
in their courses mean nothing to me; I'm neither willing nor able
to promise a father's death; I've never studied the innards
of frogs; I leave it to others to carry instructions and presents
to a young bride from a lover; none will get help from me
in a theft; that's why I never appear on a governor's staff;
you'd think I was crippled -- a useless trunk with a paralyzed hand.
Who these days inspires affection except an accomplice --
one whose conscience boils and seethes with unspeakable secrets?
-- Decimus Junius Juvenalis, Satire 3: The Evils of the Big City, trans. Rolfe Humphries