Letter to Albius Tibullus

Quintus Horatius Flaccus

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Horace wrote this letter to cheer up his friend, the poet Albius Tibullus:

Albius, candid critic of my talks, what will I say you are now doing in your land of Pedana? Writing something to outshine the writings of Cassius of Parma? Or strolling peacefully in the healthful woods, musing on all that is worthy of one wise and good? Never were you a body without soul: the gods gave you beauty, the gods gave you wealth, and the art of enjoyment. For what more would a devoted nurse wish for her sweet ward, if he could think and voice his thoughts—if favor, fame, and health fall to him abundantly, with clean living and a never-failing purse?

Amid hopes and cares, amid fears and passions, believe that every day that has dawned is your last. Gratefully will arrive to you another hour unhoped for. As for me, when you want a laugh, you will see me in fine state, fat and flourishing, a hog from Epicurus's herd.

[Epicurean hog]