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Fable of the Day: De avaro sacculum alloquente

Title: De viro avaro sacculum nummorum alloquente: About the miser speaking to his sack of money, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Vir quidam avarus, qui ingentem aureorum acervum male partum relicturus moriebatur, interrogabat sacculum nummorum, quem morienti sibi iusserat afferri, quibus voluptatem esset allaturus? Cui sacculus: heredibus, inquit, tuis qui nummos tanto sudore quaesitos in scortis et conviviis profundent, et daemonibus qui animam tuam aeternis suppliciis mancipabunt. Haec indicat fabula stultum esse in iis laborare quae aliis gaudium nobis autem sint allatura tormentum.


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



Vir quidam avarus,

qui
ingentem aureorum acervum
male partum
relicturus
moriebatur,
interrogabat sacculum nummorum,
quem morienti sibi iusserat afferri,
quibus voluptatem esset allaturus?
Cui sacculus:
heredibus, inquit, tuis
qui
nummos tanto sudore quaesitos
in scortis et conviviis profundent,
et daemonibus
qui animam tuam
aeternis suppliciis mancipabunt.
Haec indicat fabula
stultum esse
in iis laborare
quae aliis gaudium
nobis autem sint allatura tormentum.


Translation:



There was a certain miserly man who was dying and about to part with his enormous heap of money, ill-gotten as it was. He ordered that the bag of coins be brought to him as he was dying and then asked the bag to whom it would bring pleasure. The bag answered him: I'm going to bring pleasure to your heirs, who will squander these coins, over which you sweated, on their whores and their parties, and I'll also bring pleasure to the demons who are going to turn your soul over to eternal torments. This fable shows that it is a foolish thing to labor for those things which are going to bring joy to others, while bringing damnation on ourselves.



[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 100 (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 Covetous Rich Churl finding himself at the Point of Death, caus'd his Coffers to be brought up, and his Bags laid before him. You and I, says he, must part, and I would willingly bequeath ye to Those that will take most Delight in ye. Why then, say the Bags, you must divide us betwixt your Heirs, and the Devils. Your Heirs will have Drink and Whores for your Money, and the Devils will be as well pleas'd on the other hand, that they are to have your Soul for't.
The Money of a Miser is the last Friend he takes his Leave of in this World.

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