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abstemius017

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

 

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DE ANGUILLA CONQUERENTE QUOD MAGIS QUAM SERPENS INFESTARETUR

 

Source: Abstemius 17 (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:

 

Anguilla interrogabat serpentem, quare, cum similes essent atque cognati, homines tamen se potius quam illum insequerentur. Cui serpens: "Quia raro (inquit) me quis laedit impune." Fabula indicat minus laedi solere qui sese ulciscuntur.

 

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

 

Anguilla

interrogabat serpentem,

quare,

cum similes essent atque cognati,

homines tamen

se

potius quam illum

insequerentur.

Cui serpens:

"Quia raro (inquit)

me quis laedit impune."

Fabula indicat

minus laedi solere

qui sese ulciscuntur.

 

Translation: An eel asked a snake why, since they were similar to one another and kindred, people nevertheless persecuted the eel more than they did the snake. The snake said to her: "It's because rarely does anyone wound me unscathed." The fable shows that those who avenge themselves are less likely to be wounded.

 

[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:

 

You and I are so alike, says the Eele to the Snake, that methinks we should be somewhat a-kin; and yet they that persecute me, are afraid of you. What should be the reason of this? Oh (says the Snake) because no body does me an Injury but I make him smart for't. In all Controversies they come off best that keep their Adversaries in fear of a Revenge.

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