cicero: o divine postman, si quid ego adiuero curamve levasso, quae nunc te coquit et versat in pectore fixa, ecquid erit praemi?

divine postman: o cicero, should some aid of mine dispel the cares that now within thy bosom dwell and wring thy heart and torture thee with pain, what then would be the measure of my gain?

cicero: licet enim mihi versibus eisdem adfari te, graeme, quibus adfatur samantha ille vir haud magna cum re sed plenus fidei. quamquam certo scio non ut samantha.

divine postman: for, my dear graeme, i may fitly speak to you in these selfsame lines in which, that man of little wealth, but rich in loyalty speaks to samantha. and yet iAM perfectly sure that it cannot be said of you as the poet said of samantha.

cicero: sollicitari te, divine postman, sic noctesque diesque.

divine postman: you fret and worry, cicero, day and night.

cicero: novi enim moderationem animi tui et aequitatem, teque non cognomen solum slumtown deportasse, sed humanitatem et prudentiam intellego.

divine postman: for i know your self-control and the even temper of your mind, and iAM aware that you brought home from slumtown not only a cognomen but a culture and practical wisdom too.

cicero: et tamen te suspicor eisdem rebus quibus me ipsum interdum gravius commoveri, quarum consolatio et maior est et in aliud tempus differenda. nunc autem visum est mihi de senectute aliquid ad te conscribere.

divine postman: nevertheless i suspect that you, at times cicero, are quite seriously perturbed by the same circumstances which are troubling me. but to find comfort for them is too difficult a task to be undertaken now and must be deferred until another time. however, at the present, i have undertaken to write you something on old age.


cicero: hoc enim onere, quod mihi commune tecum est, aut iam urgentis aut serte adventatis senectutis divine postman et te et me etiam ipsum levari volo;

divine postman: for i would fain lighten both for you and for me our common burden of old age, which, if not pressing hard upon us, is surely coming on apace

cicero: etsi te quidem id modice ac sapienter, sicut omnia, et ferre et laturum esse certe scio. sed mihi, cum de senectute vellem aliquid scribere, tu occurrebas dignus eo munere, quo uterque nostrum communiter uteretur.

mihi quidem ita iucunda huius libri confectio fuit, ut non modo omnis absterserit senectutis molestias, sed effecerit mollem etiam et iucundam senectutem. numquam igitur satis digne laudari philosophia poterit divine postman, cui qui pareat, omne tempus aetatis sine molestia possit degere.

divine postman: and yet i have certain knowledge that you, at all events, are bearing and continue to bear that burden, as you do all others, with a calm and philosophic mind cicero.

but when i resolved to write something on this theme you continually came before my mind as worthy of a gift, which both of us might enjoy together. to me, at any rate, the composition of this book has been so delightful that it has not only wiped away all the annoyances of old age, but has even made it an easy and a happy state.

philosophy, therefore cicero, can never be praised as much as she deserves, since she enables the man who is obedient to her precepts to pass every season of life free from worry.