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São relativamente poucas as obras da literatura clássica que eu recomendo a todo o tipo de leitores, mas "A Arte de Amar", de Ovídio, é uma delas. Não só pela sua relativa simplicidade, ou pela forma como o autor inclui a própria mitologia nos muitos exemplos da obra, mas essencialmente pelo carácter prático da mesma, que ainda se aplica, com uma ou outra alteração, aos dias de hoje. Como já cá foi mencionado anteriormente, esta é uma obra "sobre a arte da sedução", em que Ovídio ensina todos os seus leitores a conquistar (e manter) o amor de uma outra pessoa, e é nesse campo que a obra ainda pode ser vista como útil nos dias de hoje. Se existem momentos até um pouco irónicos, são também muitos aqueles em que os conselhos fornecidos pelo autor fazem todo o sentido, e poderão ajudar os amantes. Os que sofrem por amor, esses, são deixados para a obra seguinte, "A Cura do Amor", que será por cá falada mais tarde.
Em relação a esta obra, resolvi então publicar alguns momentos que considerei curiosos. Os aqui reproduzidos são da tradução gratuita de A.S.Kline, mas a edição bilingue (latim-inglês) da Loeb Classical Library é bastante boa, além de também incluir o livro seguinte. Quanto a edições em português, uma busca pelo Google torna fácil encontrá-las; convém, ainda assim, mencionar que as que encontrei nas lojas são absurdas ao ponto de surgirem versos onde não os há e desaparecerem outros quando bem entendem, certamente obra de alguém licenciado a um domingo. Aqui ficam, então, algumas citações; quem quiser apreciar toda a beleza e interesse da obra completa pode sempre consultar as traduções mencionadas acima.
Livro I, sobre a conquista do amor
- "While you’re still free, and can roam on a loose rein, pick one to whom you could say: ‘You alone please me.’ She won’t come falling for you out of thin air: the right girl has to be searched for: use your eyes."
- "Let anything be a reason for you to serve her."
- "Wine rouses courage and is fit for passion"
- "Faults are hidden at night: every blemish is forgiven, and the hour makes whichever girl you like beautiful."
- "Birds will sooner be silent in the Spring, cicadas in summer, an Arcadian hound turn his back on a hare, than a woman refuse a young man’s flattering words: Even she you might think dislikes it, will like it."
- "Whether they give or not, they’re delighted to be asked: And even if you fail, you’ll escape unharmed."
- "But to get to know your desired-one’s maid is your first care: she’ll smooth your way. See if she’s close to her mistress’s thoughts, and has plenty of true knowledge of her secret jests. Corrupt her with promises, and with prayers: you’ll easily get what you want, if she wishes."
- "Let your mistress’s birthday be one of great terror to you: that’s a black day when anything has to be given. However much you avoid it, she’ll still win: it’s a woman’s skill, to strip wealth from an ardent lover."
- "She’ll ask you to look, because you know what to look for: then kiss you: then ask you to buy her something there. She swears that she’ll be happy with it, for years, but she needs it now, now the price is right."
- "Make promises: what harm can a promise do? Anyone can be rich in promises."
- "She reads and won’t reply? Don’t press her: just let her keep on reading your flattery."
- "It’s alright here to speak many secret things, with hidden words she’ll feel were spoken for her alone: and write sweet nothings in the film of wine, so your girl can read them herself on the table"
- "And though drunkenness is harmful, it’s useful to pretend: make your sly tongue stammer with lisping sounds, then, whatever you say or do that seems too forward, it will be thought excessive wine’s to blame."
- "Don’t be shy of promising: promises entice girls: add any gods you like as witness to what you swear. Jupiter on high laughs at lovers’ perjuries, and orders Aeolus’s winds to carry them into the void."
- "As liars by liars are rightfully deceived, wounded by their own example, let women grieve."
- "And tears help: tears will move a stone: let her see your damp cheeks if you can."
- "The youth has too much faith in his own beauty, if he waits until she asks him first. The man must approach first: speak the words of entreaty: she courteously receives his flattering prayers. To win her, ask her: she only wants to be asked"
- "What shuns them, they desire the more: they hate what’s there: remove her loathing by pursuing less. The hoped-for love should not always be declared: introduce desire hidden in the name of friendship. I’ve seen the most severe of women fooled this way: he who once was a worshipper, became a lover."
- "It’s not safe to praise your love to a friend: if he believes your praise, he’ll steal her himself."
Livro II, sobre como manter uma relação
- "To be loved be lovable: something face and form alone won’t give you."
- "Whoever you are, fear to rely on treacherous beauty or own to something more than just the flesh."
- "Gentleness especially impresses minds favourably: harshness creates hatred and fierce wars."
- "I’m the poor man’s poet, who was poor when I loved: when I could give no gifts, I gave them words."
- "Only play the part she commands you to. Condemn what she condemns: what she approves, approve: say what she says: deny what she denies. She laughs, you laugh: remember to cry, if she cries: she’ll set the rules according to your expression."
- "I don’t tell you to give your mistress expensive gifts: give little but of that little, skilfully, give what’s fitting."
- "Then what you’re about to do, and think is useful, always get your lover to ask you to do it."
- "But whoever you are, who want to keep your girl, she must think that you’re inspired by her beauty."
- "Admire her limbs as she dances, her voice when she sings, and when it finishes, grieve that it’s finished in words."
- "Though she’s more violent than fierce Medusa, she’ll be ‘kind and gentle’ to her lover. But make sure of this: don’t let your expression give your speech the lie, lest you seem a deceiver with words. Art works when its hidden: discovery brings shame, and time destroys faith in everything of merit."
- "When you’ve more confidence that you’ll be missed, when your absence far away will cause her worry, give her a rest"
- "Don’t give gifts another girl could spot, or have set times for your assignations. And lest a girl catch you out in your favourite haunts don’t meet all of them in one place. And always look closely at your wax tablets, whenever you write: lest much more is read there than you sent."
- "They’ll say she’s gone out: very likely she’s to be seen inside: think that she has gone out, and your vision lied."
- "Above all beware of reproaching girls for their faults, it’s useful to ignore so many things."
- "Don’t ask how old she is"
- "That’s the fullness of pleasure, when man and woman lie there equally spent."
Livro III, para as mulheres
- "Beauty’s a gift of the gods: how many can boast it?"
- "We’re captivated by elegance: don’t ignore your hair"
- "No rankness of the wild goat under your armpits, no legs bristling with harsh hair"
- "Don’t let your lover find cosmetic bottles on your dressing table: art delights in its hidden face."
- "There are many things it’s right men shouldn’t know: most things offend if you don’t keep them secret."
- "Hornless cows are ugly, fields are ugly without grass, and bushes without leaves, and a head without its hair."
- "Conceal your faults, and hide your body’s defects as best you may."
- "If you’re teeth are blackened, large, or not in line from birth, laughing would be a fatal error."
- "There’s a thousand games to be had: it’s shameful for a girl not to know how to play: playing often brings on love."
- "Lovely girls, the crowd is useful to you. (...) So too a lovely woman must let the people see her: and perhaps there’ll be one among them she attracts."
- "Often a lover’s found at a husband’s funeral"
- "Avoid those men who profess to looks and culture, who keep their hair carefully in place. What they tell you they’ve told a thousand girls"
- "And wait a little while before you answer: waiting always arouses love, if it’s only for a short time."
- "Ah! How often a doubting lover’s been set on fire by letters, and good looks have been harmed by barbarous words!"
- "Bright peace suits human beings, anger the wild beast."
- "If you looked in the mirror in your anger, that girl would scarcely know her own face."
- "Also when the lover you’ve just caught falls into the net, let him think that only he has access to your room. Later let him sense a rival"
- "Make us believe (it’s so easy) that we’re loved"
- "Add tears, and feigned grief over a rival, and tear at his cheeks with her nails: he’ll straight away be convinced: and she’ll be pitied, and he’ll say: ‘She’s seized by love of me.’"
- "Even if you’re plain, with drink you’ll seem beautiful, and night itself grants concealment to your failings."
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