TO CORNELIUS TACITUS
CERTAINLY YOU will laugh (and laugh you may) when I tell you that your old acquaintance is turned sportsman, and has taken three noble boars. "What?" you say, "Pliny?" Even he. However, I indulged at the same time my beloved inactivity, and whilst I sat at my nets, you would have found me, not with spear and dart, but pen and tablets by my side. I mused and wrote, being resolved if I returned with my hands empty, at least to come home with my pocketbook full. Believe me, this manner of studying is not to be despised; you cannot conceive how greatly exercise contributes to enliven the imagination. Besides the sylvan solitude with which one is surrounded, and the very silence which is observed on these occasions, strongly incline the mind to meditation. For the future therefore let me advise you, whenever you hunt, to take along with you your tablets, as well as your basket and bottle: for be assured you will find Minerva as fond of roaming the hills as Diana. Farewell.