Dulce est desipere in loco.
(Horace, Odes 4.12.28)

It is sweet to play the fool for a little while.

pron = DOOL-kay ehst day-SIH-peh-reh ihn LOH-koh

Comment: This is the last line of a sympotic poem (written for the men's club when they gather to eat and drink and tell stories) in the last of Horace's four books of odes. The themes here are those that Horace uses in the other sympotic odes of the earlier books: it is spring, and he invites a man too busy with business to stop and rest and enjoy the countryside and good wine and company. Of course, the man is too busy for such. The last line is the last friendly or not so friendly urge: it really can be just what the doctor ordered to just be silly for a little while. (For a much better commentary, cf. Timothy Johnson's Symposium of Praise, U of Wisconsin Press, 2004.)

Play. Take off. Rest. Do nothing worth while. Play the fool. And if done on the spur of the moment, all the better.

Bob Patrick
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day Archive