Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff! (literature As A tool)
In connection with the beginnings of the Andria, there have been anecdotes and scholarly theories ever since the time of Suetonius and his sources for the Life of Terence, and they intrigued Donatus in his commentary. Naturally, then, they have developed their own influence in the scholarly tradition. An anecdote recounted by Suetonius, who does not name his source, reports that when Terence delivered his play to the aediles of 166 BCE (who would be producing the comedy at the Megalensian Games), he was ordered (or invited, iussus) to read it first to Caecilius Statius (the current grand old man of Latin Comedy). It happened that Caecilius was dining when Terence appeared, dressed with no distinction and therefore earning the coolness of Caecilius. The old man treated him like a servant and had him seat himself on a stool next to his couch and start reading, so as to disturb his dining as little as possible. However, once Terence began reading his play, after only a few verses, he was invited up to Caecilius' couch and proceeded to read through the remainder of the play to the considerable admiration of his host. Now, scholars have had several things to say about this story. First and most commonly, they have pointed out that good evidence fixes the death of Caecilius in 168, roughly two years before the performance of the Andria; and accordingly this story has no factual substance. Good, there is no reason to try to combat facts: this interesting meeting of Caecilius and Terence never happened. However, we do not need to throw away the Suetonian story as useless trivia. The reason someone devised the story was evidently to bring the older generation of comic poetry into contact with the new and to voice its strong approval of its successor's first product, the Andria. Although Caecilius himself may never have known Terence, the plays of the two were linked by a common impresario, Lucius Ambivius Turpio. The didascaliae to all six plays of Terence credit him with being the producer, and in the so-called second prologue of the Hecyra Ambivius reports that he had troubles producing the plays of Caecilius, as he had recently had with Terence's.
Terence, This is Stupid Stuff! (literature as a tool)
Men. (to himself.) I amquite aware that I am not so overwise, or so very quick-sighted;but this assistant, prompter, and director90 of mine,Chremes, outdoes me in that. Any one of those epithets which are appliedto a fool is suited to myself, such as dolt, post, ass,91 lumpof lead; to him not one can apply; his stupidity surpasses themall.
"Terence, this is stupid stuff: You eat your victuals fast enough; There can't be much amiss, 'tis clear, To see the rate you drink your beer. But oh, good Lord, the verse you make, It gives a chap the belly-ache. The cow, the old cow, she is dead; It sleeps well, the horned head: We poor lads, 'tis our turn now To hear such tunes as killed the cow. Pretty friendship 'tis to rhyme Your friends to death before their time Moping melancholy mad: Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad." Why, if 'tis dancing you would be. There's brisker pipes than poetry. Say, for what were hop-yards meant, Or why was Burton built on Trent? Oh many a peer of England brews Livelier liquor than the Muse, And malt does more than Milton can To justify God's way to man. Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink For fellows whom it hurts to think: Look into the pewter pot To see the world as the world's not. And faith, 'tis pleasnat till 'tis past: The mischief is that 'twill not last. Oh I have been to Ludlow fair And left my necktie God knows where, And carried half-way home, or near, Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer: Then the world seemed none so bad, And I myself a sterling lald; And down in lovely muck I've lain, Happy till I woke again. Then I saw the morning sky: Heigho, the tale was all a lie; The world, it was the old world yet, I was I, my things were wet, And nothing now remained to do But begin the game anew. Therefore, since the world has still Much good, but much less good than ill, And while the sun and moon endure Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure, I'd face it as a wise man would, And train for ill and not for good. 'Tis true the stuff I bring for sale Is not so brisk a brew as ale: Out of a stem that scored the hand I wrung it in a weary land. But take it: if the smack is sour, The better for the embittered hour; It should do good to heart and head When your soul is in my soul's stead; And I will friend you, if I may, In the dark and cloudy day. There was a king reigned in the East: There, when kings will sit to feast, They get their fill before they think With poisoned meat and poisoned drink. He gathered all that springs to birth From the many-venomed earth; First a little, thence to more, He sampled all her killing store; And eas, smiling, seasoned sound, Sate the king when healths went round. They put arsenic in his mear And stared aghast to watch him eat; They poured strychnine in his cup And shook to see him drink it up: They shook, they stared as white's their shirt: Them it was their poison hurt. --I tell the tale that I heard told. Mithridates, he died old.
Terence is CEO and CTO of PatternBuilders, a Big Data Analytics solutions and services company. He has an extensive background in building, implementing, and selling analytically-driven enterprise applications across such diverse domains as enterprise resource planning (ERP), professional services automation (PSA), and semi-conductor process control and analytics in both public and private companies. With over 20 years of experience in both executive and technical management roles with leading-edge private and public technology companies, Terence brings a unique and innovative view of what is needed-from both an operational and technology perspective-to build a world class analytics platform that is focused on the innovative development of analytic applications designed to improve companies' and organizations' profitability and efficiencies. Terence is also a speaker, blogger (on all things big data and analytics plus lots of other stuff), and co-author of "Privacy and Big Data." Never shy to share his opinion, Terence had this to say during a round table discussion at pii2011 about big data information collection that was used to break down the door of an innocent family: "It used to be that it took weeks to accumulate that data. Now technology allows stupid people to be stupid much faster." (T-Shirts are in the works and will be available for purchase soon).
Terence, this is stupid stuff: You eat your victuals fast enough; There can't be much amiss, 'tis clear, To see the rate you drink your beer. But oh, good Lord, the verse you make, It gives a chap the belly-ache. The cow, the old cow, she is dead; It sleeps well the horned head: We poor lads, 'tis our turn now To hear such tunes as killed the cow. Pretty friendship 'tis to rhyme Your friends to death before their time. Moping, melancholy mad: Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad.