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Fable of the Day: De patre hortante filium

Title: De patre filium ad virtutes frustra hortante: A Father, urging his son, in vain, to practice the virtues , by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Pater quidam filium, vitiis deditum, multis horabatur verbis, ut derelicta vitiorum via virtutibus invigilaret, quae ei laudem et decus erant pariturae. Cui filius: Frustra, inquit, pater, ad haec facienda hortaris: multos enim praedicatores (ut aiunt) audivi, qui longe te melius ad virtutum hortabantur viam, nunquam tamen eorum admonitionibus obsecutus sum. Fabula indicat viros malignae naturae nullius hortatu a vitiis velle desistere.


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



Pater quidam
filium,
vitiis deditum,
multis horabatur verbis,
ut
derelicta vitiorum via
virtutibus invigilaret,
quae
ei laudem et decus erant pariturae.
Cui filius:
Frustra, inquit, pater,
ad haec facienda hortaris:
multos enim praedicatores (ut aiunt)
audivi,
qui longe te melius
ad virtutum hortabantur viam,
nunquam tamen
eorum admonitionibus obsecutus sum.
Fabula indicat
viros malignae naturae
nullius hortatu
a vitiis velle desistere.

Crossword Puzzle: I haven't added the crossword puzzle yet; check back tomorrow! :-)

Translation:



A certain father, whose son had succumbed to vicious tendencies, was urging the boy at great length that he should quite the way of vices and keep his eye instead on the virtues, which would engender praise and honor for him. The son replied: You are wasting your time, Father, in urging me to do these things, for I have heard many a preacher, so to speak, and they urged me to the path of virtue with far more talent than you, but I have still never taken any of their advice! This fable shows that men who are wickedly inclined will not stop their vicious behavior, no matter who urges them to do so.



[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 77 (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:



It was the Hard Lot of a very Good Man to have a Vicious Young Fellow to his Son; and he did what he could to Reclaim him: But Sir (says he) for Brevity's sake, 'tis only so much Time and Councel thrown away; for all the Parsons about the Town have been Baiting me I know not how long now, upon the same Subject, and I'm not One Jot the Better for't.
Some Men Live as if they had made a Covenant with hell; Let Divines, Fathers, Friends say what they will, they Stop their Ears against them: And Good Councel is wholly Cast away upon them.



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