Sidonius, Letters

LCL 420: 500-501

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The Letters of Sidonius

Liber Nonvs

I Sidonivs Firmino Svo Salvtem

1. Exigis, domine fili, ut epistularum priorum limite irrupto stilus noster in ulteriora procurrat, numeri supradicti privilegio non contentus includi. addis et causas, quibus hic liber nonus octo superiorum voluminibus accrescat: eo quod Gaius Secundus, cuius nos orbitas sequi hoc opere pronuntias, paribus titulis opus epistulare determinet. 2. quae iubes non sunt improbabilia; quamquam et hoc ipsum, quod pie iniungis, arduum existat ac laudi quantulaecumque iam semel partae non opportunum, primum, quod opusculo prius edito praesentis augmenti sera coniunctio est; deinde, quod arbitros ante quoscumque, nisi fallimur, indecentissimum est materiae unius simplex principium, triplices epilogos inveniri. 3. pariter et nescio, qualiter fieri veniabile queat, quod coerceri nostra garrulitas nec post denuntiatum terminum sustinet: nisi quia forsitan qui modus potest1 paginis, non potest poni ipse amicitiis. quapropter esse


Book IX

Book IX

I Sidonius to His Friend Firminus,* Greeting

1. My noble Son, you demand that my pen should break through the bounds set by my former letters and should advance into further regions, not content to be confined within the generous concession of the aforesaid total. You add some reasons why this ninth book should be annexed to the eight earlier ones, pointing out that Gaius Secundus, whose tracks you declare me to be following in this work, completes his collection of letters in the same1 number of parts. 2. Your demand is laudable enough; and yet the task which your affection lays upon me is in itself a difficult one and unlikely to enhance such meagre commendation as I have already gained: first, because the present is a rather late addition to the trifling work previously published, and secondly, because, if I mistake not, any judge must regard it as highly improper that the same body of material should have one single beginning and three epilogues. 3. Moreover, I do not know how it can be found excusable that my loquacity cannot restrain itself even after its declared limit—unless perhaps it is excusable on the ground that the limit for one’s pages cannot be made the limit for one’s friendships.2

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.sidonius-letters.1936