'ride si sapis, o puella, ride,'
Paelignus, puto, dixerat poeta;
sed non dixerat omnibus puellis.
uerum ut dixerit omnibus puellis,
non dixit tibi: tu puella non es,
et tres sunt tibi, Maximina, dentes,
sed plane piceique buxeique.
quare si speculo mihique credis,
debes non aliter timere risum
quam uentum Spanius manumque Priscus,
quam cretata timet Fabulla nimbum,
cerussata timet Sabella solem.
uultus indue tu magis seueros
quam coniunx Priami nurusque maior.
mimos ridiculi Philistionis
et conuiuia nequiora uita
et quidquid lepida procacitate
laxat perspicuo labella risu.
te maestae decet adsidere matri
lugentique uirum piumue fratrem,
et tantum tragicis uacare Musis.
at tu iudicium secuta nostrum
plora, si sapis, o puella, plora.
I think the Paelignian poet said, 'Laugh if you're clever, girl, laugh!' But he didn't say it to all girls. Or if he really did say it to all girls, he didn't say it to you: you're not a girl. You have three teeth, Maximina, but they're completely pitch- and boxwood-coloured. Therefore, if you trust your mirror and me, you ought to fear laughter just as much as Spanius fears the wind and Priscus fears a hand, as much as Fabulla with her powder fears a rain-cloud and Sabella with her white lead fears the sun. Put on faces that are grimmer than Priam's wife and the greater of his daughters-in-law. Avoid the mimes of clown Philistion and naughty parties and anything which with charming shamelessness relaxes the lips in a radiant smile. You ought to sit by a sorrowful mother or one who is mourning her husband or devoted brother, and have time only for the tragic Muses. So then, follow my advice: weep if you're clever, girl, weep!'