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Fable of the Day: De adolescente et lupo

Title: De adolescente ex coitu infirmo et lupo: About the young man exhausted by having sex and the wolf, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Adolescens quidam uxorem duxerat et ipsam quoque adolescentulam, formosam admodum et libidinosam, cuius effrenae libidini dum satisfacere cupit, ita lumbos exhausit, ut paucis post diebus macilentus fieret et mortuo magis quam vivo similis videretur: non ingredi, non stare, non aliquod opus facere poterat, ut senex quidam in apricatione gaudebat. Dum ergo in aprico stans loco calore solis sese calefaceret, accidit ut venatores, qui lupum fuerant insectati, illac iter haberent, quos cum adolescens interrogaret, cur lupum non ceperant, ob incredibilem, inquiunt, illius velocitatem illum assequi non potuimus. Tunc ait adolescens: Uxorem profecto hic lupus habere non debet: si enim uxori iunctus esset, nunquam tanta pedum pernicitate polleret. Haec indicat fabula, neminem esse adeo robustum et fortem, quem nimius Veneris usus non infirmum et debilem reddat.


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



Adolescens quidam

uxorem duxerat
et ipsam quoque adolescentulam,
formosam admodum et libidinosam,
cuius effrenae libidini
dum satisfacere cupit,
ita lumbos exhausit,
ut paucis post diebus macilentus fieret
et mortuo magis quam vivo similis videretur:
non ingredi, non stare,
non aliquod opus facere poterat,
ut senex quidam in apricatione gaudebat.
Dum ergo in aprico stans loco
calore solis sese calefaceret,
accidit ut venatores,
qui lupum fuerant insectati,
illac iter haberent,
quos
cum adolescens interrogaret,
cur lupum non ceperant,
ob incredibilem, inquiunt, illius velocitatem
illum assequi non potuimus.
Tunc ait adolescens:
Uxorem profecto
hic lupus habere non debet:
si enim uxori iunctus esset,
nunquam tanta pedum pernicitate polleret.
Haec indicat fabula,
neminem esse
adeo robustum et fortem,
quem
nimius Veneris usus
non infirmum et debilem reddat.



Translation:



A certain young man had married a woman who was also quite young, very beautiful and lusty. Wanting to satisfy her boundless appetite for sex, his loins had gotten so worn out that after just a few days he had gotten thin and looked more dead than alive: he could not walk, he could not stand up, he could do any kind of work, and so like some kind of old man he took his pleasure in the sun. So when he was enjoying some sunny place, warming himself by the sun's heat, it happened that some hunters, who had been chasing a wolf, came that way. When the young man asked them why they hadn't caught the wolf, they replied, "We were not able to pursue him because of his incredible swiftness." Then the young man said: "Surely that wolf doesn't have a wife; for if he were married to a wife, he would never enjoy such fleetness of foot." This fable shows that no one is so mighty and strong that too much lovemaking does not render him feeble and weak.



[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 90 (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 Creeping Young Fellow that had Committed Matrimony with a Brisk Gamesome Lass, was so Alter'd upon't in a Few Days, that he was liker a Sceleton than a Living Man. He was Basking himself one time in the Gleam of the Sun, and some Huntsmen pass'd by him upon the Chase of a Wolfe that led 'em That Way. Why how comes it (says he) that you don't Catch That Wolfe? They told him that he was too Nimble for 'em. Well (says he) If my Wife had the Ordering of him, she'd Spoil his Footmanships.
Marriage they say breeds Cares and Cuckolds.

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