Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113). Letters.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.
CII. To Genitor
I HAVE received your letter, in which you complain of having been highly disgusted lately at a very splendid entertainment, by a set of buffoons, mummers, and wanton prostitutes, who were dancing about round the tables. But let me advise you to smooth your knitted brow somewhat. I confess, indeed, I admit nothing of this kind at my own house; however, I bear with it in others. “And why, then,” you will be ready to ask, “not have them yourself?” The truth is, because the gestures of the wanton, the pleasantries of the buffoon, or the extravagancies of the mummer, give me no pleasure, as they give me no surprise. It is my particular taste, you see, not my judgment, that I plead against them. And, indeed, what numbers are there who think the entertainments with which you and I are most delighted no better than impertinent follies! How many are there who, as soon as a reader, a lyrist, or a comedian is introduced, either take their leave of the company or, if they remain, shew as much dislike to this sort of thing as you did to those monsters, as you call them! Let us bear therefore, my friend, with others in their amusements, that they, in return, may shew indulgence to ours. Farewell.