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abstemius014

Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 12 years, 8 months ago

 

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DE MULIERE VIRUM MORIENTEM FLENTE ET PATRE EAM CONSOLANTE

 

Source: Abstemius 14 (You can see a 1499 edition of Abstemius online, but I am doing my transcription from the 1568 edition of Aesopi fabulae in the EEBO catalog.)

 

Latin Text:

 

Mulierem adhuc iuvenem, cuius vir animam agebat, pater consolabatur, dicens, "Ne te afflictes tantopere, filia; alium enim virum tibi inveni isto longe formosiorem, qui prioris desiderium facile mitigabit." At mulier doloris impatiens, ut quae maritum ardenti amore prosequebatur, non modo verba parentis non admittebat, sed intempestivam alterius mariti mentionem accusabat. At ubi maritum defunctum videt, inter lacrimas et luctus parentem interrogat, an adsit ibi iuvenis ille, quem sibi in virum dare velle se dixerat. Fabula indicat quam cito defunctorum maritorum amor ex uxorum animo excidere soleat.

 

Here is a segmented version to help you see the grammatical patterns:

 

Mulierem adhuc iuvenem,

cuius vir

animam agebat,

pater consolabatur, dicens,

"Ne te afflictes tantopere, filia;

alium enim virum

tibi inveni

isto longe formosiorem,

qui

prioris desiderium facile mitigabit."

At mulier

doloris impatiens,

ut quae

maritum ardenti amore prosequebatur,

non modo

verba parentis

non admittebat,

sed

intempestivam alterius mariti mentionem

accusabat.

At ubi maritum defunctum videt,

inter lacrimas et luctus

parentem interrogat,

an adsit ibi

iuvenis ille,

quem

sibi in virum dare

velle se

dixerat.

Fabula indicat

quam cito

defunctorum maritorum amor

ex uxorum animo excidere

soleat.

 

Translation: There was a woman, still young, whose husband was dying, and her father consoled her, saying, "Don't get so upset, daughter, for I have found you another man, more handsome than that one by far, who will easily soften your longing for your former husband." But the woman, chafing at her grief, like someone pursuing her husband out of burning love, not only refused to listen to her father's words but even denounced him for the untimely mention of another husband. But when she saw that her husband was deceased, amidst the tears and grieving, she asked her father whether that young man was there, whom he had said he wanted to marry her to. The fable shows how quickly the love for their deceased husbands is accustomed to fall away from the minds of widows.

 

[This translation is meant as a help in understanding the story, not as a "crib" for the Latin. I have not hesitated to change the syntax to make it flow more smoothly in English, altering the verb tense consistently to narrative past tense, etc.]

 

Sir Roger L'Estrange

 

Sir Roger L'Estrange included the fables of Abstemius in his amazing 17th-century edition of Aesop's fables. Here is L'Estrange's translation: :

 

There was a poor Young Woman that had brought her self e'en to Death's Door with Grief for her Sick Husband; but the good Man her Father, did all he could to comfort her. Come, Child, says he, We are all mortal: Pluck up a good Heart, my Girl; for let the worst come to the worst, I have a better Husband in store for thee, when this is gone. Alas, Sir, says she, what d'ye talk of another Husband for? why you had as good have struck a Dagger to my Heart. No, no; if ever I think of another Husband, may --- Without any more ado the Man dies, and the Woman immediately breaks into such Transports of tearing her Hair, and beating her Breast, that every Body thought that she'd have run stark-mad upon't: But upon second Thoughts, she wipes her Eyes; lifts 'em up, and cries, Heaven's Will be done; and then turns to her Father, Pray Sir, says she, About T'other Husband you was speaking of, Is he here in the House? This Fable gives us to understand, that a Widow's Tears are quickly dry'd up, and that it is not impossible for a Woman to out-live the Death of her Husband; and after all the Outrages of her Funeral Sorrow, to propose herself many a merry Hour in the Arms of a second Spouse.

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