Pliny Epistulae 2.8

by Tom Gardner

Studes an piscaris an venaris an simul omnia? Possunt enim omnia simul fieri ad Larium nostrum. Nam lacus piscem, feras silvae quibus lacus cingitur, studia altissimus iste secessus affatim suggerunt.
2 Sed sive omnia simul siue aliquid facis, non possum dicere “inuideo’; angor tamen non et mihi licere, qui sic concupisco ut aegri vinum balinea fontes. Numquamne hos artissimos laqueos, si soluere negatur, abrumpam? Numquam, puto.
3 Nam veteribus negotiis nova accrescunt, nec tamen priora peraguntur: tot nexibus, tot quasi catenis maius in dies occupationum agmen extenditur. Vale.

1 Do you read or fish or hunt or all of them at the same time? As all of them all can be at once done at our Larium. For the lakes provide fish, and the woods, which surround the lake, provide wild beasts, and that deep solitude of yours abundantly provides for study.
2 But whether you do all of these things or anything, I can’t say I envy you; I am troubled only they are denied to me, for I long for them as sick men long for wine, baths, springs. Will I never be able to sever these constricting snares, if it is refused that I loosen them? Never, I think.
3 For new business grows onto the old business, and nevertheless the earlier matters are not completed, as though the course of my public office is extended each day by so many links to so many more chains. Farewell.