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Fable of the Day: De Viro clusteria recusante

Title: De Viro clusteria recusante: The Man Who Refused An Enema, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Vir quidam natione Germanus, dives admodum, aegrotabat, ad quem curandum plures accesserant medici (ad mel enim catervatim convolant muscae) quorum unus inter cetera dicebat opus esse clusteribus, si vellet convalescere. Quod cum vir huiusmodi insuetus medicinae audiret, furore percitus medicos domo eiici iubet, dicens eos esse insanos, qui, cum caput sibi doleret, podici vellent mederi. Haec fabula innuit omnia etiam salutaria insuetis et inexpertis aspera et obfutura videri.


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



Vir quidam
natione Germanus,
dives admodum,
aegrotabat,
ad quem curandum
plures accesserant medici
(ad mel enim
catervatim convolant muscae)
quorum unus
inter cetera dicebat
opus esse clusteribus,
si vellet convalescere.
Quod
cum vir
huiusmodi insuetus medicinae
audiret,
furore percitus
medicos domo eiici
iubet,
dicens
eos esse insanos,
qui,
cum caput sibi doleret,
podici vellent mederi.
Haec fabula innuit
omnia etiam salutaria
insuetis et inexpertis
aspera et obfutura videri.

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



Translation:



A certain man, German by birth, and exceedingly rich, was ailing. A large number of doctors had come to cure him (flies do indeed come swarming in crowds to honey), and one of them said among other things that the man needed an enema if he wanted to get well. When the man, who was unfamiliar with this medical procedure, heard what the doctor said, he flew into a rage and ordered that the doctors be thrown out of his house, saying that they must be insane since they wanted to cure his butt when it was his head that hurt. This fable shows that even beneficial things all appear to be drastic and sure to hurt for those those who are unfamiliar with them and inexperienced.



[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 63 (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:



When the Patient is Rich, there's no Fear of Physicians about him, as thick as Wasps to a Honey-Pot; and there was a whole College of them call'd to a Consultation upon a Purse-Proud Dutch Man, that was troubled with a Megrim. The Doctors prescrib'd him a Clyster; the Patient fell into a Rage upon't. Why, Certainly these People are all mad, says he, to talk of Curing a Man's Head at his Tail.
He that consults his Physician, and will not follow his Advice, must be his own Doctor: But let him take the old Adage along with him; He that teaches himself, has a Fool for his Master.



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