porphyry: (Mackensen)
I read with great amusement a recent post by Jeremy Savile
http://jermynsavile.livejournal.com/57257.html
concerning a young man who was completely oblivious of sarcasm and irony, at least when it was directed to himself.

I could not help but be reminded of the letter of Pliny quote below. In ancient Rome that man would surely have been bombarded with dinner invitations so that the hosts could show off his idiocy to his friends. Today it written up in blogs instead (and I used to think I was with Pliny…but I msut confess I found the story hilarious)

IX. 17.1-2
C. PLINIUS GENITORI SUO S.
1 Recepi litteras tuas quibus quereris taedio tibi fuisse quamvis lautissimam cenam, quia scurrae cinaedi moriones mensis inerrabant. 2 Vis tu remittere aliquid ex rugis? Equidem nihil tale habeo, habentes tamen fero. Cur ergo non habeo? Quia nequaquam me ut inexspectatum festivumve delectat, si quid molle a cinaedo, petulans a scurra, stultum a morione profertur.


I have received your letter in which you complain that although you were at a very fashionable dinner party, you were annoyed because there were ruffians, faggots, and idiots wandering around the tables. Don’t you want to let go of what of whatever is giving you wrinkles of anxiety? Certainly I have nothing of that kind, but I nevertheless do put up with people who have them.

Why don’t I have them?

Because nothing unexpected or agreeable delights me if something effeminate is offered by a faggot, or something bad-tempered from a ruffian, or something foolish from an idiot…

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