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abstemius033

Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 15 years ago

 

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DE ANU DAEMONEM ACCUSANTE

 

Source: Abstemius 33 (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:

 

Volunt homines ut plurimum, quando sua culpa aliquid sibi acciderit adversi, in fortunam vel in daemonem culpam conferre, ut se crimine exuant, adeo omnes sibi indulgent. Hoc daemon aegre ferens, cum videret anum quandam arborem ascendentem, ex qua illam ruituram, et in se culpam collaturam praeviderat, accitis testibus dixit: "Videte anum illam absque meo consilio arborem ascendentem, unde eam casuram esse prospicio. Estote mihi testes, me ei non suasisse, ut soleata illic ascenderet. Mox anus cecidit, et cum interrogaretur, cum soleata arborem ascendisset, "Daemon (inquit) me impulit." Tunc daemon adductis testibus probavit id ab anu absque suo factum esse consilio. Fabula indicat homines minime venia dignos, qui, cum libere peccent, fortunam vel daemonem accusant.

 

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

 

Volunt homines ut plurimum,

quando

sua culpa

aliquid sibi acciderit adversi,

in fortunam

vel in daemonem

culpam conferre,

ut se crimine exuant,

adeo omnes sibi indulgent.

Hoc

daemon aegre ferens,

cum videret anum

quandam arborem ascendentem,

ex qua illam ruituram,

et

in se culpam collaturam

praeviderat,

accitis testibus dixit:

"Videte anum illam

absque meo consilio

arborem ascendentem,

unde eam casuram esse

prospicio.

Estote mihi testes,

me

ei non suasisse,

ut soleata illic ascenderet.

Mox anus cecidit,

et cum interrogaretur,

cum soleata arborem ascendisset,

"Daemon (inquit) me impulit."

Tunc daemon

adductis testibus

probavit

id

ab anu

absque suo factum esse consilio.

Fabula indicat

homines

minime venia dignos,

qui,

cum libere peccent,

fortunam vel daemonem accusant.

 

Translation: Whenever through their own fault something bad happens to them, people in general put the blame either on luck or on the devil; in fact, everybody acts this way on their own behalf in order to shed the blame. The devil doesn't like this! It happened that he noticed an old woman climbing a tree, he could anticipate that she was going to fall out of the tree and that she would put the blame on him. So he summoned witnesses and said: "Look at that old woman climbing the tree, not at my recommendation; I can tell she is going to fall out of that tree. So you be my witnesses that I di dnot persuade her to climb up there in her shoes." Soon encough the old woman fell down and when she was asked why she had climbed a tree wearing her shoes she said, "The devil made me do it." Then the devil called forward his witnesses and provided that this thing had been done by the old woman not at his recommendation. The fable shows that people are hardly worthy of forgiveness when they make a mistake at will and then put the blame on luck or on the devil.

 

[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

 

L'Estrange paired this fable with one of the fables from Avianus; here it is, out of sequence from the other Abstemius fables:

 

232. An Old Woman and the Devil.

'Tis a common Practice, when People draw Mischiefs upon their own Heads, to cry, the Devil's in't and the Devil's in't. Now the Devil happen'd to spy an Old Woman upon an Apple-tree. Look ye (says he) you shall see that Beldam catch a Fall there by and by, and break her Bones, and then say 'twas all along of me. Pray, good People, will you bear me Witness, that I was none of her Adviser. The Woman got a Tumble, as the Devil said she would, and there was she at it. The Devil ought her a Shame, and it was the Devil that put her upon't: But the Devil clear'd himself by sufficient Evidence that he had no Hand in't at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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