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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
A Morning Call
By Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84–c. 54 B.C.)
 
Paraphrase of Walter Savage Landor

VARUS would take me t’other day
  To see a little girl he knew,—
Pretty and witty in her way,
  With impudence enough for two.
 
Scarce are we seated, ere she chatters        5
  (As pretty girls are wont to do)
About all persons, places, matters:—
  “And pray, what has been done for you?”
 
“Bithynia, lady!” I replied,
  “Is a fine province for a prætor;        10
For none (I promise you) beside,
  And least of all am I her debtor.”
 
“Sorry for that!” said she. “However,
  You have brought with you, I dare say,
Some litter-bearers; none so clever        15
  In any other part as they.
 
“Bithynia is the very place
  For all that’s steady, tall, and straight;
It is the nature of the race.
  Could you not lend me six or eight?”        20
 
“Why, six or eight of them or so,”
  Said I, determined to be grand;
“My fortune is not quite so low
  But these are still at my command.”
 
“You’ll send them?”—“Willingly!” I told her,        25
  Although I had not here or there
One who could carry on his shoulder
  The leg of an old broken chair.
 
“Catullus! what a charming hap is
  Our meeting in this sort of way!        30
I would be carried to Serapis
  To-morrow!”—“Stay, fair lady, stay!
 
“You overvalue my intention.
  Yes, there are eight … there may be nine:
I merely had forgot to mention        35
  That they are Cinna’s, and not mine.”
 
 
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