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Title: De Sene ob impotentiam libidinem carnis relinquente: The Old Man who gave up his carnal pleasures on account of impotence, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Vir quidam, sanctitate praeditus singulari, senem quendam admonebat, ut tandem vitium libidinis dimitteret, cui vehementer insudarat. Cui senex: Obtemperabo, inquit, pater sancte, sanctissimis optimisque admonitionibus tuis. Nam usum Veneris admodum mihi obesse sentio, et virga non amplius erigitur. Fabula indicat, multos non amore virtutis et Dei, sed timore poenae et impotentia consuetis vitiis solere desistere.


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



Vir quidam,
sanctitate praeditus singulari,
senem quendam admonebat,
ut tandem
vitium libidinis dimitteret,
cui vehementer insudarat.
Cui senex:
Obtemperabo, inquit, pater sancte, sanctissimis optimisque admonitionibus tuis.
Nam usum Veneris
admodum mihi obesse
sentio,
et virga non amplius erigitur.
Fabula indicat,
multos
non amore virtutis et Dei,
sed timore poenae et impotentia
consuetis vitiis solere desistere.

Crossword Puzzle: Alas, the wonderful online Crossword Puzzle site I use to create the puzzles is offline tonight. I hope it will be back in operation soon! UPDATE: The Crossword generator came back online, so here is the Crossword Puzzle for today's story.

Translation:



There was a certain man, endowed with an exceptionally holy quality, who kept urging a certain old man to stop indulging in sexual vice, which was wearing the old man out. The old man said to him: Holy father, I will comply with your most holy and excellent exhortations. After all, I can tell that the act of love is doing me harm, and my stick can't stand up any more. The fable shows that many people, not for the love of virtue and for the love of God, but rather from the fear of punishment and from their own impotence are accustomed to put a stop to their usual vices.



[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 74 (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 an Old Tost, that in the very State of Impotence, had still a Whore in the Head of him. His Ghostly Father took Notice of it, and Ply'd him Hard with Wholesome Advice, upon the Subject of the Lusts of the Flesh. This Reverend Fornicator thank'd him most Heartily for his Kind and Christian Councel, and the Grace of Heaven, says he, I'll Follow it; For to tell ye the Plain Truth on't, I am told that 'tis Naught for me; and really, my Body is quite out of Tune for Those Gambols.
When Things are at the Worst they'd Mend.



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