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II.2. Anus et Puella


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 31.


A feminis utcumque spoliari viros,

ament, amentur, nempe exemplis discimus.

Aetatis mediae quendam mulier non rudis

tenebat, annos celans elegantia,

animosque eiusdem pulchra iuvenis ceperat.

ambae, videri dum volunt illi pares,

capillos homini legere coepere invicem.

qui se putaret fingi cura mulierum,

calvus repente factus est; nam funditus

canos puella, nigros anus evellerat.


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


Nempe exemplis discimus

viros spoliari a feminis,

utcumque ament, amentur.

Mulier mediae aetatis

non rudis, celans annos elegantia,

tenebat quendam,

et pulchra iuvenis ceperat animos eiusdem.

Ambae, dum volunt videri pares illi,

invicem coepere legere capillos homini.

Homo putaret se fingi cura mulierum,

repente calvus factus est;

nam puella canos, anus evellerat nigros funditus.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


A fe~minis ~ utcum~que spol~jari ~ viros,

ament, ~ amen~tur, nem~p(e) exem~plis dis~cimus.

Aeta~tis med~jae quen~dam mul~jer non ~ rudis

tene~bat, an~nos ce~lans e~legan~tia,

an'mos~qu(e) eius~dem pul~chra iuv'~nis ce~perat.

ambae, ~ vide~ri dum ~ volunt ~ illi ~ pares,

capil~los hom'~ni leg'~re coe~per(e) in~vicem.

qui se ~ puta~ret fin~gi cu~ra mul~jerum,

calvus ~ repen~te fac~tus est; ~ nam fun~ditus

canos ~ puel~la, ni~gros an's ~ evel~lerat.




Stories, of course, teach us that men are stripped of their possessions by women, regardless of whether they are in love with him or he with them. Once upon a time there was a woman, no spring chicken but concealing her years with elegance, who had taken a middle-aged man as her lover, and a beautiful young woman had caught the same man's fancy. Both women, because they wanted to seem equal to their man, in turn began to pluck out his hair. The man thought that he was being spruced up by the women's attentions, but he unexpectedly went bald: for the young woman had completely plucked his white hairs, and the old woman had plucked the dark ones.


[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.]


The Bald-pate Dupe (trans. C. Smart)

Fondling or fondled-any how-

(Examples of all times allow)

That men by women must be fleeced.

A dame, whose years were well increased,

But skill'd t' affect a youthful mien,

Was a staid husband's empress queen;

Who yet sequestered halt his heart

For a young damsel, brisk and smart.

They, while each wanted to attach

Themselves to him, and seem his match,

Began to tamper with his hair.

He, pleased with their officious care,

Was on a sudden made a coot;

For the young strumpet, branch and root,

Stripp'd of the hoary hairs his crown,

E'en as th' old cat grubb'd up the brown.




Here is a cartoon image of a bald man:




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