Villius, Sulla’s ‘son-in-law’, suffered enough and more
Because of Fausta – he, poor wretch, deceived by her name –
He was punched, and attacked with a sword, and shown
The door, while his rival Longarenus was there inside.
In the face of such problems if a man’s lust were to say:
‘What are you up to? In all my wildness did I ever insist
On a c*nt in a robe descended from some mighty consul?’
Would he really reply: ‘But she’s a great man’s daughter.’
If you’d only manage things sensibly, and not confuse
What’s desirable with what hurts you, how much wiser
The opposite advice Nature, rich in her own wealth, gives.
Do you think it’s irrelevant whether your problems
Are your fault or fate’s? Stop angling for wives if you don’t
Want to be sorry, Your more likely to gain from it pain
And effort, rather than reaping the fruits of delight.
Cerinthus, her leg is no straighter, her thigh no softer,
Among emeralds or snowy pearls, whatever you think,
And it’s often better still with a girl in a cloak.
At least she offers her goods without disguise, shows
What she has for sale openly, won’t boast and flaunt
Whatever charms she has, while hiding her faults.