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abstemius019

Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 16 years, 4 months ago

 

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DE NAUTIS SANCTORUM AUXILIUM IMPLORANTIBUS

 

Source: Abstemius 19 (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:

 

Nauta quidam in mari subita et atra tempestate deprehensus, ceteris eius sociis diversorum divorum auxilium implorantibus: "Nescitis (inquit) quid petatis. Ante enim quam sancti isti ad deum pro nostra liberatione se conferant, hac imminenti procella obruemur. Ad eum igitur confugiendum censeo, qui absque alterius adminiculo a tantis malis nos poterit liberare." Invocato igitur Dei omnipotentis auxilio, ilico procella cessavit. Fabula indicat ubi potentioris auxilium haberi potest ad imbecilliores non confugiendum.

 

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

 

Nauta quidam

in mari

subita et atra tempestate deprehensus,

ceteris eius sociis

diversorum divorum auxilium implorantibus:

"Nescitis (inquit)

quid petatis.

Ante enim quam sancti isti

ad deum

pro nostra liberatione

se conferant,

hac imminenti procella obruemur.

Ad eum igitur confugiendum

censeo,

qui absque alterius adminiculo

a tantis malis

nos poterit liberare."

Invocato igitur

Dei omnipotentis auxilio,

ilico procella cessavit.

Fabula indicat

ubi potentioris auxilium haberi potest

ad imbecilliores non confugiendum.

 

Translation: There was a certain sailor who was caught up in a sudden, dark storm at sea. As the rest of his fellows were begging for help from various holy ones, he said, "You don't know what you're asking. The fact is that efore those saints of yours make their way to God on behalf of our rescue, we will be overwhelmed by this threatening tempest. Therefore, I think we should have recourse to the one who, without anybody else's help, will be able to rescue us from such great dangers." Thus when the help of the almighty God was invoked, immediately the tempest ceased. The fable shows that when the help of someone more powerful can be obtained, one ought not to have recourse to those who are less effective.

 

[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:

 

It blew a terrible tempest at Sea once, and there was one Seaman took notice that the rest of his Fellows were praying severally to so many Saints. Have a care my Masters, says he, what you do; for what if we should all be drown'd now before the Messenger can deliver his Errand? Would it not be better without going so far about, to pray to Him that can save us without Help? Upon this, they turn'd their Prayers to God himself, and the Wind presently fell. The Shortest and Surest Way of doing Business is Best.

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