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Fable of the Day: De Viro et Cardinale

[Note: You can find more of these fables at the old blog address for Latin Via Fables.]

Title
: De viro qui ad Cardinalem accessit: The Man Who Approached the Cardinal, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Vir quidam facetus admodum et urbanus, audiens amicum suum ad cardinalatus dignitatem assumptum, ad eum gratulandi gratia accessit. Qui honore tumidus, amicum veterem agnoscere dissimulans, quisnam esse interrogabat. Cui ille ut erat ad iocos promptus, "Miseresco (inquit) tibi, ceterisque qui ad huiusmodi honores perveniunt: quam primum enim dignitates eiusmodi estis assecuti, visum auditumque et ceteros sensus ita amittitis, ut pristinos amicos amplius non dignoscatis." Haec fabula eos notat qui, in altum sublati, veteres despiciunt amicitias.


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



Vir quidam
facetus admodum et urbanus,
audiens
amicum suum
ad cardinalatus dignitatem
assumptum,
ad eum
gratulandi gratia
accessit.
Qui honore tumidus,
amicum veterem agnoscere
dissimulans,
quisnam esse interrogabat.
Cui ille
ut erat ad iocos promptus,
"Miseresco (inquit) tibi,
ceterisque
qui
ad huiusmodi honores perveniunt:
quam primum enim
dignitates eiusmodi estis assecuti,
visum auditumque et ceteros sensus
ita amittitis,
ut pristinos amicos
amplius non dignoscatis."
Haec fabula eos notat
qui,
in altum sublati,
veteres despiciunt amicitias.

Crossword Puzzle: You can play a crossword puzzle based on the vocabulary in this fable.



Translation:



A certain man who was extremely witty and urbane, heard that his friend had been elevated to the rank of cardinal, so he went to see him in order to congratulate him. The man was puffed up with pride at his new rank, and pretended not to recognize his old friend and asked who he was. The man, who was inclined to making jokes, answered the cardinal, "I feel sorry for you and for the others who reach such high positions: as soon as you are achieve such a prestigious post, you lose your sight and hearing and other senses with the result that you no longer recognize your old friends." This fable indicts those who, appointed to high rank, look down on their old friends.



[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.]



Source: Abstemius 23 (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.)



Another English translation. Sir Roger L'Estrange included the fables of Abstemius in his amazing 17th-century edition of Aesop's fables. So, here is L'Estrange's translation:



An Ingenious Cavalier, hearing that an old Friend of his was advanc'd to a Cardinalate, went to Congratulate his Eminence upon his new Honour. Pray Sir, says the Cardinal, looking strangely upon him, Give me the Favour of your Name, and of your Bus'ness. I am come, says the Cavalier, to Condole with your Eminence, and to tell you how heartily I pity Men that are over-charg'd with Dignity and Preferment; for it turns Peoples Brains to that degree that they can neither See nor Hear nor Understand like other Men; and makes them absolutely to forget their Old Friends, as if they had never seen them before in their Lives.
Honours change Manners.

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