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Quote of the day: What, pray, would have happened if his l
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The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book XI Chapter 12: Latinus wants peace
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Less evil were our case, if long ago
ye had provided for your country's weal,
O Latins, as I [Note 1] urged. It is no time
to hold dispute, while, compassing our walls,
the foeman waits. Ill-omened war is ours
against a race of gods, my countrymen,
invincible, unwearied in the fray,
and who, though lost and fallen, clutch the sword.
If hope ye cherished of Aetolia's power,
dismiss it! For what hope ye have is found
in your own bosoms only. But ye know
how slight it is and small. What ruin wide
has fallen, is now palpable and clear.
No blame I cast. What valor's uttermost
may do was done; our kingdom in this war
strained its last thews. Now therefore I will tell
such project as my doubtful mind may frame,
and briefly, if ye give good heed, unfold:
an ancient tract have I, close-bordering
the river Tiber; it runs westward far
beyond Sicania's bound, and filth it bears
to Rutule and Auruncan husbandmen,
who furrow its hard hills or feed their flocks
along the stonier slopes. Let this demesne,
together with its pine-clad mountain tall,
be given the Teucrian for our pledge of peace,
confirmed by free and equitable league,
and full alliance with our kingly power.
Let them abide there, if it please them so,
and build their city's wall. But if their hearts
for other land or people yearn, and fate
permits them hence to go, then let us build
twice ten good galleys of Italian oak,
or more, if they can man them. All the wood
lies yonder on the shore . Let them but say
how numerous and large the ships they crave,
and we will give the brass, the artisans,
and ship-supplies. Let us for envoys choose
a hundred of the Latins noblest born
to tell our message and arrange the peace,
bearing mild olive-boughs and weighty gifts
of ivory and gold, with chair of state
and purple robe, our emblems as a king.
But freely let this council speak; give aid
to our exhausted cause.

Note 1: I = Venulus

'Ante equidem summa de re statuisse, Latini,
et uellem et fuerat melius, non tempore tali
cogere concilium, cum muros adsidet hostis.
bellum importunum, ciues, cum gente deorum
inuictisque uiris gerimus, quos nulla fatigant
proelia nec uicti possunt absistere ferro.
spem si quam ascitis Aetolum habuistis in armis,
ponite. spes sibi quisque; sed haec quam angusta uidetis.
cetera qua rerum iaceant perculsa ruina,
ante oculos interque manus sunt omnia uestras.
nec quemquam incuso: potuit quae plurima uirtus
esse, fuit; toto certatum est corpore regni.
nunc adeo quae sit dubiae sententia menti,
expediam et paucis (animos adhibete) docebo.
est antiquus ager Tusco mihi proximus amni,
longus in occasum, finis super usque Sicanos;
Aurunci Rutulique serunt, et uomere duros
exercent collis atque horum asperrima pascunt.
haec omnis regio et celsi plaga pinea montis
cedat amicitiae Teucrorum, et foederis aequas
dicamus leges sociosque in regna uocemus:
considant, si tantus amor, et moenia condant.
sin alios finis aliamque capessere gentem
est animus possuntque solo decedere nostro,
bis denas Italo texamus robore nauis;
seu pluris complere ualent, iacet omnis ad undam
materies: ipsi numerumque modumque carinis
praecipiant, nos aera, manus, naualia demus.
praeterea, qui dicta ferant et foedera firment
centum oratores prima de gente Latinos
ire placet pacisque manu praetendere ramos,
munera portantis aurique eborisque talenta
et sellam regni trabeamque insignia nostri.
consulite in medium et rebus succurrite fessis.'