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Title: De Agricola quodam et Poeta: A Certain Farmer and a Poet, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Agricola quidam ad Poetam accedens, cuius agros colebat, cum eum inter libros solum offendisset, interrogavit eum quo pacto ita solus vivere posset? Cui ille: Solus, inquit, tantum esse coepi, postquam te huc contulisti. Haec indicat fabula, eruditos viros, qui doctissimorum virorum turba continue stipantur, tunc solos esse, cum inter illiteratos homines fuerint.


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



Agricola quidam
ad Poetam accedens,
cuius agros colebat,
cum eum
inter libros solum offendisset,
interrogavit eum
quo pacto
ita solus vivere posset?
Cui ille:
Solus, inquit, tantum esse coepi,
postquam te huc contulisti.
Haec indicat fabula,
eruditos viros,
qui doctissimorum virorum turba
continue stipantur,
tunc solos esse,
cum inter illiteratos homines fuerint.

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



Translation:



A certain farmer, went to see a poet, whose fields the farmer tended. When he found the man alone amongst his books, he asked him by what arrangement the poet managed to live that way, all alone? The poet said to him: I only started to be alone after you brought yourself in here. This fable shows that the most educated men, who are surrounded continuously by a crowd of the most learned men, are only alone when they find themselves amongst people without education.



[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 75 (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:



A Certain Pragmatical, Senceless Companion would make a Visit to a Philosopher. He found him Alone in his Study, and fell a Wond-ring how he could Endure to lead so Solitary a Life. The Learned Man told him; Sir, says he, You are Exceedingly Mistaken; for I was in very Good Company till You came in.
Good Thoughts and Good Books are very Good Company.



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