Verbis antiquissimis relictisque iam et desitis minime utendum. Verbis uti aut nimis obsoletis exculcatisque aut insolentibus novitatisque durae et inlepidae par esse delictum videtur. Sed molestius equidem culpatiusque esse arbitror verba nova, incognita, inaudita dicere quam involgata et sordentia. 2 Nova autem videri dico etiam ea, quae sunt inusitata et desita, tametsi sunt vetusta. 3 Est adeo id vitium plerumque serae eruditionis, quam Graeci opsimathian appellant, ut, quod numquam didiceris, diu ignoraveris, cum id scire aliquando coeperis, magni facias quo in loco cumque et quacumque in re dicere. Veluti Romae nobis praesentibus vetus celebratusque homo in causis, sed repentina et quasi tumultuaria doctrina praeditus, cum apud praefectum urbi verba faceret et dicere vellet inopi quendam miseroque victu vivere et furfureum panem esitare vinumque eructum et fetidum potare, "hic" inquit "eques Romanus apludam edit et flocces bibit". 4 Aspexerunt omnes, qui aderant, alius alium, primo tristiores turbato et requirente voltu, quidnam illud utriusque verbi foret; post deinde, quasi nescio quid Tusce aut Gallice dixisset, universi riserunt. 5 Legerat autem ille "apludam" veteres rusticos frumenti furfurem dixisse idque a Plauto in comoedia, si ea Plauti est, quae Astraba inscripta est, positum esse. 6 Item "flocces" audierat prisca voce significare vini faecem e vinaceis expressam, sicuti fraces oleis, idque aput Caecilium in Poltimenis legerat, eaque sibi duo verba ad orationum ornamenta servaverat. 7 Alter quoque a lectionibus id genus paucis apirocalus, cum adversarius causam differri postularet: "rogo, praetor," inquit "subveni, succurre! quonam usque nos bovinator hic demoratur?" atque id voce magna ter quaterve inclamavit: "bovinator est". 8 Commurmuratio fieri coepta est a plerisque, qui aderant, quasi monstrum verbi admirantibus. 9 At ille iactans et gestiens: "non enim Lucilium" inquit "legistis, qui tergiversatorem "bovinatorem" dicit?" Est autem in Lucili XI. versus hic:si tricosus bovinatorque ore improbus duro.
That very old words which have become antiquated and obsolete ought not to be used. To use words that are too antiquated and worn out, or those which are unusual and of a harsh and unpleasant novelty, seems to be equally faulty. But for my own part I think it more offensive and censurable to use words that are new, unknown and unheard of, than words that are trite and mean. 2 Furthermore, I maintain that those words also seem new which are out of use and obsolete, even though they are of ancient date.26 3 In fact, it is a common fault of lately acquired learning, or ὀψιμαθία as the Greeks call it, to make a great point anywhere and everywhere, and in connection with any subject whatever, to talk about what you have never learned and of which you were long ignorant, when at last you have begun to know something about it. For instance, at Rome in my presence a man of experience and celebrated as a pleader, who had acquired a sudden and, so to speak, haphazard kind of education, was speaking before the prefect of the city and wished to say that a certain man lived upon poor and wretched food, ate bread made from bran, p317and drank flat and spoiled wine: "This Roman knight," said he, "eats apluda and drinks flocces." 4 All who were present looked at one another, at first somewhat seriously, with a disturbed and inquiring aspect, wondering what in the world the two words meant; then presently they all burst into a laugh, as if he had said something in Etruscan or Gallic. 5 Now that man had read that farmers of ancient days called the chaff of grain apluda, and that the word was used by Plautus in the comedy entitled Astraba,27 if that play be the work of Plautus. 6 He had also heard that flocces in the early language meant the lees of wine pressed from the skins of grapes, corresponding to the dregs of oil from olives. This he had read in the Polumeni28 of Caecilius,29 and he had saved up those two words as ornaments for his speeches.
i numeri non servono per la traduzione