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abstemius058

Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 15 years, 1 month ago

 

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DE VIRO MALIGNO ET DAEMONE

 

Source: Abstemius 58 (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:

 

Vir malignus cum plurima perpetrasset scelera et saepius captus et carcere conclusus arctissima et pervigili custodia teneretur, Daemonis auxilium implorat qui saepenumero ei adfuit et e multis eum periculis liberavit. Tandem iterum deprehenso et solitum auxilium imploranti daemon magnum calceorum pertusorum fascem super humeros habens esse non possum, tot enim loca pro te liberando hactenus peragravi ut hos omnes calceos contriverim. Nulla enim mihi superest pecunia qua alios valeam comparare. Quare pereundum est tibi. Haec admonet fabula ne existimemus nostra semper impunita fore peccata.

 

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

 

Vir malignus

cum plurima perpetrasset scelera

et saepius captus

et carcere conclusus arctissima

et pervigili custodia teneretur,

Daemonis auxilium implorat

qui

saepenumero ei adfuit

et e multis eum periculis liberavit.

Tandem

iterum deprehenso

et solitum auxilium imploranti

daemon

magnum calceorum pertusorum fascem

super humeros habens

apparuit

dicens:

Amice,

amplius

tibi auxilio esse

non possum,

tot enim loca

pro te liberando

hactenus peragravi

ut hos omnes calceos contriverim.

Nulla enim mihi superest pecunia

qua alios valeam comparare.

Quare pereundum est tibi.

Haec admonet fabula

ne existimemus

nostra semper impunita fore peccata.

 

Translation: There was a wicked man who had committed many crimes and had been quite often caught and shut up in the tightest prison and had been held prisoner by an ever-waking guard. Whenever that happened, he summoned the help of a devil who on many occasions came to his aid and rescued him from many dangers. Finally, however, having been caught once again and having called on the devil for help as usual, the devil showed up carrying on his back a huge bundle of worn-out shoes. He said: Friend, I cannot be of help to you any more. By traveling all over to so many places in order to rescue you, I have worn out all these shoes, and I don't have any money left so that I could buy me some more shoes! Therefore, your doom awaits you. This fable warns us that we should not expect that our sins will always go unpunished.

 

[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 Notorious Malefactor, that had committed I know not how many Villanies, and run thro' the Discipline of as many Gaols, made a Friend of the Devil, to help him out in all his Distresses. This Friend of his brought him off many and many a time, and still he was taken up, again and again, he had his Recourse over and over, to the same Devil for Succour. But upon his Last Summons, the Devil came to him with a great Bag of Old Shoes at his Back, and told him plainly; Friend (says he) I'm at the End of my Line, and can help ye no longer. I have beat the Hoof till I have worn out all these Shoes in your Service, and not One Penny left me to buy more: So that you must e'en excuse me if I drop ye here. The Devil helps his Servants for a Season; but when they come once to a Pinch, he leaves 'em in the lurch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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