Se em "A Arte de Amar" o autor se dispunha a ajudar todos aqueles que sofrem por amor, esta já é uma obra escrita a pensar naqueles que sofrem por amor. Tem algum sentido, confesse-se, que quem escreve sobre um tema aborde depois o outro, mas a qualidade de ambos os textos é similar, e também este apresenta múltiplos conselhos que ainda são aplicáveis aos dias de hoje.
Aqui ficam algumas citações da obra, exactamente como foi feito para a anterior (a tradução usada pode ser encontrada neste link). Quem quiser saber mais já sabe, pode sempre ler a obra completa, até porque - e exactamente como a anterior - é uma obra relativamente fácil de ler, e em que a mitologia é usada essencialmente nos exemplos das múltiplas situações abordadas pelo autor.
- "Any man who suffers badly from the power of a worthless girl, shouldn’t die, if he understands the help that’s in my art."
- "when you’re ready for my medical arts, first ban idleness, on my advice."
- "You only need to journey far, though strong chains hold you back, and start to travel distant ways: you’ll cry, and your lost girl’s name will oppose it, and your feet will often stop you on the road: but the less you wish to go, the more you should go: endure it, and force unwilling feet to run. Don’t hope for rain, or a foreign Sabbath, to delay you, nor the River Allia noted for its losses. Don’t ask how many miles you’ve done, and how many there are left: nor feign delays so you can stay around: Don’t count the hours, or keep looking back at Rome, but fly."
- "To heal your mind, what would you not accept? So that part is worth more than the body."
- "The entrance to my art is very gloomy, and the greatest task’s to survive the first few hours."
- "Whoever you are who call for help from my art, put no faith in witchcraft and incantations."
- "Tell yourself often what your wicked girl has done, and before your eyes place every hurt you’ve had."
- "As much as you can, disparage your girl’s attractions, and let your judgement fall a little short. Let her be called ‘plump’ if she’s full-figured, ‘black’ if she’s dark: in slenderness there’s the charge of being ‘lean’. And she can be called ‘pert’, who’s not naive, and she can be called ‘naive’, if she’s too honest. Then too, whatever talents your woman lacks, promote those, with flattering words and prayers. Demand the use of song, if the girl’s bereft of voice: make her dance if she doesn’t know how to move her hands. Her speech is barbarous? Make her talk with you a lot: she hasn’t learnt to sweep the chords? Ask for the lyre. She walks awkwardly? Make her walk up and down: Her chest’s all breasts? Let no bindings hide the fault. If her teeth are bad, relate what she’ll laugh at: Her eyes are sensitive? Report what makes her cry."
- "Make love too in a position that you think makes love least likely, and becoming. It’s not hard to do: few truthful girls confess even to themselves that there’s nothing they think unbecoming to them. Then too order all the windows to be opened, and note her worst features in broad daylight."
- "I also urge you to have two girls at once (You’re very brave if you could consider more): When the heart’s divided it goes in both directions, and one love saps the power of the other."
- "If you’re grieving deeply, look happy, lest she see it, and laugh, when tears come to you. Not that I order you to break off in mid-sorrow: my commands aren’t as cruel as that. Pretend to what is not, and that the passion’s over, so you’ll become, in truth, what you are studying to be."
- "He who can imagine he’s well, will be well."
- "If you’re alone, you’ll be sad, and the form of the girl you’ve left will be there before your eyes, so like herself. Because of that, night’s sadder than the daylight: your crowd of friends missing, who might ease the gloom."
- "Say goodbye to mother, sister, and the nurse who’s in the know, and whoever plays any part in your girl’s life."
- "And if you want to know what she’s doing, still, don’t ask: endure! It will profit you to hold your tongue."
- "But it’s wrong to hate the girl you loved, in any way: that conclusion suits uncivilised natures. It’s enough not to care: who ends his love by hating, is either still in love, or finds it hard to leave off being sorry."
- "Shame for a man and woman, once joined, now to be enemies"
- "Tell her to keep the gifts you gave her, without any ruling: small losses are usually a major gain."
- "Don’t let the cause be known why you prefer divorce: don’t say what grieves you: just grieve silently the while. Don’t recall her sins, lest she dilutes them: favour yourself, so that your own cause is better than hers."
- "Don’t re-read the letters you’ve kept from your sweet girl: re-reading letters shakes the steadfast heart. Put them all in the fierce flames (you’ll hate to do it), and say: ‘Let this be the funeral pyre for my passion.’"
- "Unless Apollo, the patron of our work, deceives the poet, rivalry’s the greatest cause that troubles us: so don’t let yourself imagine any rival, and best believe she lies in bed alone."
- "Wine prepares your heart for love, unless you take enough, and your wits are stupefied, overcome by the neat juice."
Sobre todos estes conselhos importa, desta vez, fazer um comentário adicional... se é muito fácil notar que alguns deles são antagónicos, devo explicar que isso se deve não só ao facto de estarem retirados do contexto original mas também devido ao facto do título da obra poder induzir muitos leitores em erro. Como explicado nos versos iniciais, o objectivo da obra é não tanto o de acabar com o amor, enquanto sentimento, mas o de fazer com que ninguém sofra por amor, ou seja, o de prevenir o sofrimento em relações em que só existe amor de uma das partes. Então, os conselhos dirigem-se às duas situações possíveis nesse caso - aqueles que já não amam, e aqueles que não são amados como queriam - e daí alguma confusão que estas citações poderão suscitar.