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

Title
: De Sene puellam in uxorem accipiente: The Old Man Who Took a Young Girl as His Wife, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Vir quidam imprudens, exacto septuagesimo vitae suae anno, puellam duxerat in uxorem, cum ad id tempus in coelibatu permansisset. Cui, cum debitum solvere non posset, dicere solebat, "Quam male vitam meam disposui. Inveni enim mihi uxor deerat, nunc autem senex desum uxori." Haec fabula innuit omnia suo tempore peragenda.


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



Vir quidam imprudens,
exacto septuagesimo vitae suae anno,
puellam duxerat in uxorem,
cum ad id tempus
in coelibatu permansisset.
Cui,
cum debitum solvere non posset,
dicere solebat,
"Quam male
vitam meam disposui.
Inveni enim mihi
uxor deerat,
nunc autem senex
desum uxori."
Haec fabula innuit
omnia suo tempore peragenda.

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



Translation:



A certain muddle-headed man, who had passed the seventieth year of his life, married a young girl, although he had up until then lived as a bachelor. When he was not able to do his conjugal duty, he would say to his wife: "How badly I have arranged my life! I discovered that I was lacking a wife, but now that I am an old man, my wife is lacking a husband." This fable tells us that all things are to be done in their own time.



[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 25 (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:



There was a formal Piece of Gravity that liv'd to about Threescore and Ten, without ever so much as knowing a Woman from a Weather-Cock. The Devil Ought him a Shame, and paid him both Interest and Principal, in making the Old Doting Fop Marry a Young Girl. He would be often Complaining afterward, how Unluckily he had Dispos'd of his Time. When I was a Young Man, says he, I wanted a Wife, and now I'm an Old Man, my Wife wants a Husband.
The Common Fate of Unequal Matches, Especially in the Case of an Old Fellow, and a young Wench, where the Humour is as Contrary as Summer and Winter, Light and Darkness, or Day and Night.

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