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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 15 years, 11 months ago


HOME | Osius: Previous Page - Next Page


Homo et Felis


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 50.


Felis erat cuidam iuveni sua magna voluptas,

Cuius iners stulto captus amore fuit.

Hanc facit insignem Venus exorata puellam,

Ergo mox illis est celebratus hymen.

Hic mutarit an illa suo cum corpore mentem

Scire volens hac tunc utitur arte Venus:

Protinus emisso rem discere Mure laborat,

Quo commota quidem sponsa vagante fuit:

Virgineo sed forte choro quia iuncta sedebat,

Hac vice sese illam continuisse ferunt.

Tunc alium Cytheraea facit procurrere Murem,

Non memor hoc viso iam manet illa sui.

Verum oblita, recens fuerat quam nacta, figurae,

Ipsa suo Murem more secuta fuit.

Hinc animadversum naturae ponere mores

Difficile, hoc nulla scilicet arte licet.

Non licet innatas cui quam dediscere dotes,

Ingenii sequitur semina quisque sui.

Pellere naturam cupiens licet omnia tentes,

Illa diu quamvis dissimulata redit.


Here is the poem in a more prose-like word order for easy reading:


Felis erat cuidam iuveni

sua magna voluptas,

iners captus fuit

stulto amore Felis.

Venus exorata

facit hanc insignem puellam,

ergo mox hymen illis celebratus est.

Hic Venus volens scire

an illa mutarit mentem cum suo corpore,

tunc utitur hac arte.

Protinus laborat discere rem

emisso Mure,

quo vagante

sponsa quidem commota fuit:

sed quia forte sedebat iuncta choro virgineo

hac vice ferunt illam continuisse sese.

Tunc Cytheraea facit alium Murem procurrere,

hoc iam viso

illa non manet memor sui.

Verum oblita figurae,

quam recens nacta fuerat,

ipsa secuta fuit Murem

suo more.

Hinc animadversum est

difficile ponere mores naturae;

scilicet hoc nulla arte licet.

Non licet cuiquam dediscere innatas dotes;

quisque sequitur semina ingenii sui.

Cupiens pellere naturam, licet tentes omnia,

illa redit, quamvis diu dissimulata.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Felis e~rat cui~dam iuve~ni sua ~ magna vo~luptas,

Cuius in~ers stul~to = captus a~more fu~it.

Hanc facit ~ insig~nem Venus ~ exo~rata pu~ellam,

Ergo ~ mox il~lis = est cele~bratus hy~men.

Hic mu~tarit an ~ illa su~o cum ~ corpore ~ mentem

Scire vo~lens hac ~ tunc = utitur ~ arte Ve~nus:

Protinus ~ emis~so rem ~ discere ~ Mure la~borat,

Quo com~mota qui~dem = sponsa va~gante fu~it:

Virgine~o sed ~ forte cho~ro quia ~ iuncta se~debat,

Hac vice ~ ses(e) il~lam = continu~isse fe~runt.

Tunc ali~um Cythe~raea fa~cit pro~currere ~ Murem,

Non memor ~ hoc vi~so = iam manet ~ illa su~i.

Ver(um) ob~lita, re~cens fue~rat quam ~ nacta, fi~gurae,

Ipsa su~o Mu~rem = more se~cuta fu~it.

Hinc ani~madver~sum na~turae ~ ponere ~ mores

Diffici~l(e), hoc nul~la = scilicet ~ arte li~cet.

Non licet ~ inna~tas cui ~ quam de~discere ~ dotes,

Ingeni~i sequi~tur = semina ~ quisque su~i.

Pellere ~ natu~ram cupi~ens licet ~ omnia ~ tentes,

Illa di~u quam~vis = dissimu~lata re~dit.




There was a certain young man who had a cat that was his great delight; that useless man was seized by a foolish love for the cat. He prayed to Venus and she made the cat into a lovely girl, and thus straightaway their wedding was celebrated. At this point Venus, wanting to know if she had changed the mind together with the body, then used a trick. She immediately endeavored to assess the situation by letting loose a Mouse, and as the mouse scurried by, the bride was indeed excited, but because by chance she was sitting next to a group of girls, this time they say she was able to contain herself. Then Venus made another Mouse run by, and when she saw this, the bride no longer remember who she was. Indeed, she forgot the human form which she had recently acquired, and chased the Mouse, as was her habit. Thus it can be noticed that it is difficult to set aside one's natural character; in fact, it's not possible to do so by any strategy. No one is able to unlearn their inborn gifts; each one follows the seeds of his own temperament. If you want to drive out nature, even though you might try everything, nature comes back, although it might have been long disguised.


[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.]




Here is an illustration from the 1575 edition; click on the image for a larger view.


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