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phaedrus047

Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 11 years, 5 months ago

 

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III.8. Soror ad Fratrem

 

Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 499.

 

Praecepto monitus saepe te considera.
Habebat quidam filiam turpissimam,
idemque insignem pulchra facie filium.
Hi speculum, in cathedra matris ut positum fuit,
pueriliter ludentes forte inspexerunt.
Hic se formosum iactat; illa irascitur
nec gloriantis sustinet fratris iocos,
accipiens ‹ quid enim? ‹ cuncta in contumeliam.
Ergo ad patrem decurrit laesura inuicem,
magnaque inuidia criminatur filium,
uir natus quod rem feminarum tetigerit.
Amplexus ille utrumque et carpens oscula
dulcemque in ambos caritatem partiens,
"Cotidie" inquit "speculo uos uti uolo,
tu formam ne corrumpas nequitiae malis,
tu faciem ut istam moribus uincas bonis."

 

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

 

Not yet available.

 

Here is the poem with meter marks:

 

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Translation:

 

Pay heed to this advice, and take stock of yourself regularly.

There was a man who had an extremely ugly daughter and a son who was remarkable for his good looks. While the two of them were playing childish games, they happened to look into a mirror which had been left lying on their mother's armchair. The boy boasted about his beauty, and this made the girl angry. She couldn't stand her boastful brother's jokes, since she naturally took everything he said as a slight against herself. Spurred by jealousy, the girl wanted to get back at her brother, so she went running to their father and accused her brother of having touched something that was only for women, even though he was a man. The father hugged and kissed his children, bestowing his tender affection on them both, and said, 'I want for you to use the mirror each and every day: you, my son, so that you will remember not to spoil your good looks by behaving badly, and you, my daughter, so that you will remember to compensate for your appearance by the good quality of your character.'

 

The Brother and Sister (trans. C. Smart)

Warn'd by our council, oft beware,

And look into yourself with care.

There was a certain father had

A homely girl and comely lad.

These being at their childish play

Within their mother's room one day,

A looking-glass was in the chair,

And they beheld their faces there.

The boy grows prouder as he looks;

The girl is in a rage, nor brooks

Her boasting brother's jests and sneers,

Affronted at each word she hears:

Then to her father down she flies,

Arid urges all she can devise

Against the boy, who could presume

To meddle in a lady's room.

At which, embracing each in turn,

With most affectionate concern,

" My dears," he says, " ye may not pass

A day without this useful glass;

You, lest you spoil a pretty face,

By doing things to your disgrace;

You, by good conduct to correct

Your form, and beautify defect."

 

Illustration:

 

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