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abstemius038

Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 16 years, 3 months ago

 

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DE URSO ET APIBUS

 

Source: Abstemius 38 (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:

 

Ursus ictus ab ape, tanta ira percitus est ut alvearia, in quibus apes mellificaverant, tota unguibus discerperet. Tunc apes universae, cum domos suas dirui, cibaria auferri, filios necari viderent, facto impetu aculeis ursum invadentes paene necavere, qui ex earum manibus vix elapsus, secum dicebat: "Quanto melius erat apis unius aculeum tolerare, quam tot in me hostes mea iracundia concitare." Haec fabula innuit longe melius interdum esse iniuriam unius sustinere quam, dum unum punire volumus, multos nobis inimicos comparare.

 

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

 

Ursus

ictus ab ape,

tanta ira percitus est

ut alvearia,

in quibus apes mellificaverant,

tota unguibus discerperet.

Tunc apes universae,

cum domos suas dirui,

cibaria auferri,

filios necari

viderent,

facto impetu

aculeis ursum invadentes

paene necavere,

qui

ex earum manibus vix elapsus,

secum dicebat:

"Quanto melius erat

apis unius aculeum tolerare,

quam tot in me hostes

mea iracundia concitare."

Haec fabula innuit

longe melius interdum esse

iniuriam unius sustinere

quam,

dum unum punire volumus,

multos nobis inimicos comparare.

 

Translation: A bear, stung by a bee, was roused up to such a great rage that with his claws he tore apart all the beehives in which the bees had made their honey. Then all the bees, when they say that their homes had been destroyed and their food borne away and their children killed, they launched an assault and attacked the bear with their stingers and practically killed him. When the bear barely managed to escape from their clutches, he said to himself: How much better it was to have put up with the sting of a single bee, than to rouse up in my wrath so many enemies against me. The fable points out that it is sometimes far better to sustain the injury of a single party rather than wanting to punish that one and making many enemies for ourselves in the process.

 

[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:

 

A Bear was so enrag'd once at the Stinging of a Bee, that he ran like mad into the Bee-Garden, and over-turn'd all the Hives in revenge. This Outrage brought them out in whole Troops upon him; and he came afterwards to bethink himself, how much more advisable it had been to pass over one Injury, than by an unprofitable Passion to provoke a Thousand. Better pass over an Affront from one Scoundrel, than draw the whole Herd of the Mobile about a Man's Ears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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