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Appendix 9. Aesopus et Scriptor


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 537.


Aesopo quidam scripta recitarat mala,

in quis inepte multum se iactaverat.

Scire ergo cupiens quidnam sentiret senex,

"Numquid tibi" inquit "visus sum superbior?"

Haud vana nobis ingeni fiducia est."

Confectus ille pessimo volumine,

"Ego" inquit "quod te laudas vehementer probo;

namque hoc ab alio numquam contiget tibi."


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


Quidam recitarat Aesopo mala scripta,

in quis iactaverat se multum inepte.

Ergo cupiens scire quidnam senex sentiret,

inquit: "Numquid visus sum tibi superbior?

Fiducia ingeni nobis haud vana est."

Ille confectus pessimo volumine,

inquit: "Ego vehementer probo quod te laudas;

namque hoc numquam contiget tibi ab alio."


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Aeso~po qui~dam scrip~ta rec'~tarat ~ mala,

in quis ~ inep~te mul~tum se ~ iacta~verat.

Scir(e) er~go cup~jens quid~nam sen~tiret ~ senex,

"Numquid ~ tib(i)" in~quit "vi~sus sum ~ super~bior?"

Haud va~na no~bis in~geni ~ fidu~ci(a) est."

Confec~tus il~le pes~simo ~ volu~mine,

"Eg(o)" in~quit "quod ~ te lau~das ve(h)e~menter ~ probo;

namqu(e h)oc ~ ab al~jo num~quam con~tiget ~ tibi."




A certain man had read to Aesop selections from a badly written work in which he stupidly boasted at length about what a great writer he was. The man wanted to know what old Aesop thought, so the writer said to him, 'Surely you do not think I have too high an opinion of myself? My confidence in my own genius is not misplaced?' Aesop, worn out by the wretched book, said: 'I strongly encourage you to praise yourself, since it will never happen to you that anyone else will praise you.'


[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 of Aesop from an early printed edition:



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