eLatin eGreek eLearn

More wired than a Roman Internet café

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

Title
: De arboribus pulchris et deformibus: The Trees, Pretty and Ugly, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Arbores complures in eodem creverant loco proceres, rectes enodesque, praeter unam humilem, parvam nodosamque, quam ut deformem pusillamque ceterae ludibrio habere solitae erant. Aedificaturus domum loci dominus iubet omnes excidi, praeter eam quae brevitate et deformitate sua aedificium indecorum redditura videbatur. Ceteris excisis, deformis haec secum dicebat, "De te non amplius querar, Natura, quod me turpem genueris, cum formosis tam magna videam imminere discrimina." Haec fabula nos admonet ne doleamus nos natos esse deformes, cum multis formositas saepe nocuerit.


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


Arbores complures
in eodem creverant loco
proceres, rectes enodesque,
praeter unam
humilem, parvam nodosamque,
quam
ut deformem pusillamque
ceterae
ludibrio habere
solitae erant.
Aedificaturus domum
loci dominus
iubet omnes excidi,
praeter eam
quae
brevitate et deformitate sua
aedificium indecorum
redditura videbatur.
Ceteris excisis,
deformis
haec secum dicebat,
"De te
non amplius querar, Natura,
quod me turpem genueris,
cum
formosis
tam magna
videam imminere discrimina."
Haec fabula nos admonet
ne doleamus
nos natos esse deformes,
cum
multis
formositas saepe nocuerit.

Crossword Puzzle: While I am in the process of moving to North Carolina, I may be slow to add the crossword puzzled, but I'll get caught up eventually. If you subscribe to the Bestiaria Latina round-up, you can find out when new materials are added.



Translation:



There were many trees that had grown in the same place, tall, straight and smooth, except for one tree who was lowly, small and full of knots. The rest of the trees used to hold that tree in mockery for being ugly and puny. When the master of the place was about to build a house, he ordered that all the trees be cut down, except for the one who, because of its shortness and ugliness appeared likely to render the house unattractive. When the other trees had been cut down, the ugly tree said to itself, "Nature, I will no longer complain about the fact that you made me ugly, since I see that such great crises threaten those who are beautiful." This fable warns us not to grieve that we were born ugly, since, for many, beauty is often harmful.



[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 12 (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 a delicate Plantation of Trees that were all Well-grown, Fair and Smooth, save only One Dwarf among them that was Knotty, and Crooked, and the Rest had it in derision. The Master of the Wood, it seems, was to build a House, and appointed his Workmen to supply the Timber out of that Grove, and to cut down every Stick on't that they found fit for Service. They did as they were order'd, and this Ill-favour'd Piece was left alone.
Celebrated Beauties are seldom Fortunate.

Keep up with the latest Bestiaria Latina blog posts... Subscribe by Email. I also post a daily round-up of all the Bestiaria Latina blogs: fables, proverbs, crosswords, and audio.

Views: 42

Comment

You need to be a member of eLatin eGreek eLearn to add comments!

Join eLatin eGreek eLearn

Badge

Loading…

© 2022   Created by Andrew Reinhard.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service