1. Audio, quod lectitandis epistulis meis voluptuosam patientiam inpendas. magnum hoc est et litterarum viro convenientissimum, cum studiis ipse maxumis polleas, ea in aliis etiam minima complecti. sed ex hoc ipso consummatissima tibi gloria reponderatur; nam satis eminet meritis ingenii proprii qui fuerit fautor alieni. 2. commendo Vindicium necessarium meum, virum religiosum et leviticae dignitati, quam nuper indeptus est, accommodatissimum. cui meis e pugillaribus transferre quae iusseras non vacans proquam provincia1 fuit, hic vobis aliquid neniarum munusculi vice detuli;2 quamquam, quae tua sanctitas, semper grandia litteras nostras praemia putes. 3. interea necessitatem praefati
1. I hear that you devote pleasurable pains to the reading of my letters. It is a noble trait, and highly becoming in a man of letters, that one who himself excels in literary labours of the greatest importance should welcome even the humblest efforts in others. But this very thing brings you consummate glory as your recompense; for the man who shows favour to another’s talent brings the qualities of his own into special prominence. 2. I commend to you my good friend Vindicius,1 a religious man eminently fitted for the dignity of deacon which he has recently gained. Not having any time to copy for him from my tablets the writing you asked for, as was my duty,2 I have here consigned some doggerel to you as a humble gift—although, in your goodness of heart, you always think a letter from me a great prize. 3. Incidentally, I bring to your notice the
- 1A deacon of Auvergne; cf. VII. 4. 1.
- 2“as was my duty,” i.e. to give to Vindicius for conveyance to Petronius. The reading proquam (Gustafsson) for perquam is very uncertain.—A. We might perhaps read praecinctus (or even procinctus) for provincia, and also read qui with Gustafsson but keep perquam and detulit of the MSS: (Vindicius) “who, not having any time—he has been in a very great hurry” (literally “very girt up”)—“to copy from my tablets the writing which you had asked for, has here brought to you some doggerel as a humble gift.”