1. Ut ferme religiosis viantium moris est, cum aliqui lucus aut aliqui locus sanctus in via oblatus est, votum postulare, pomum apponere, paulisper adsidere, 2ita mihi ingresso sanctissimam istam civitatem, quamquam oppido festinem, praefanda venia et habenda oratio et inhibenda properatio est. 3Neque enim iustius religiosam moram viatori obiecerit aut ara floribus redimita aut spelunca frondibus inumbrata aut quercus cornibus onerata aut fagus pellibus coronata, 4vel enim colliculus saepimine consecratus vel truncus dolamine effigiatus vel caespes libamine umigatus vel lapis unguine delibutus. 5Parva haec quippe et quamquam paucis percontantibus adorata, tamen ignorantibus transcursa.
2. At non itidem maior meus Socrates, qui cum decorum adulescentem et diutule tacentem conspicatus foret, “ut te videam,” inquit, “aliquid et loquere.” 2Scilicet Socrates tacentem hominem non videbat; etenim arbitrabatur homines non oculorum, sed mentis acie et animi obtutu
1. It is generally the custom of pious travelers to offer a prayer, leave some fruit, and make a brief halt if their path brings them to some grove or some hallowed place. 2So I too as I enter this most venerable city, though pressed for time, must beg your indulgence, make a speech, and slacken my haste. 3For nothing can more fittingly present a traveler with a pious reason to linger—not an altar garlanded with flowers, a cave shaded by branches, an oak hung with antlers, a beech hung with hides, 4or even a hillock consecrated by a fence, a tree stump carved into an image, an altar of turf moistened by a libation,2 or a stone smeared with unguent. 5For these things are humble, and though they are venerated by the few who inquire about them, the uninformed pass them by.
2. But not so my master Socrates. Whenever he had noticed a handsome youth keeping silent for a while, he would say, “If I am to see you, you must also say something.” 2Clearly, Socrates did not see a silent person, thinking that one needed sharpness of intellect, not of vision,