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Title: De Amne suum fontem conviciis lacessente: About the Stream who harangued its spring with complaints, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Amnis quidam suum conviciis fontem lacessebat ut inertem qui immobilis staret nec ullos haberet pisces, se autem plurimum commendabat quod optimos crearet pisces et per valles blando murmure serperet. Indignatus fons in amnem velut ingratum undas repressit. Tunc amnis et piscibus et dulci sono privatus evanuit. Haec fabula eos notat qui bona quae agunt sibi arrogant, non Deo attribuunt a quo ceu largo fonte nostra bona procedunt.


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



Amnis quidam
suum conviciis fontem lacessebat
ut inertem
qui immobilis staret
nec ullos haberet pisces,
se autem plurimum commendabat
quod optimos crearet pisces
et per valles
blando murmure serperet.
Indignatus fons
in amnem velut ingratum
undas repressit.
Tunc amnis
et piscibus et dulci sono privatus
evanuit.
Haec fabula eos notat
qui bona quae agunt
sibi arrogant,
non Deo attribuunt
a quo
ceu largo fonte
nostra bona procedunt.

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



Translation:



A certain stream harangued its spring with complaints that the spring was helpless, standing there in place and not having any fish, while the stream praised itself mightily because it spawned the best fish and glided with a pleasant splashing sound through the valleys. The spring felt insulted and held back its flow into the stream, as it was such an ingrate. Then the stream dried up, with no trace of its fish or its sweet sound. This fable indicts those who take credit for the good things which they do and do not give credit to God from whom, as from a lavish spring, all good things proceed.



[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 57 (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 happen'd a Dispute betwixt a River and a Fountain, which of the Two should have the Preference. The River valu'd it self upon the Plenty and Variety of Fish that it produc'd; the Advantages of Navigation; the many Brave Towns and Palaces that were built upon the Banks of it, purely for the Pleasure of the Situation. And then for the General Satisfaction, in fine, that it yielded to Mankind, in the Matter both of Convenience and Delight: Whereas (says the River) the Fountain passes obscurely through the Caverns of the Earth; lies bury'd up in Moss, and comes creeping into the World, as if it were asham'd to shew the Head. The Fountain took the Insolence and the Vanity of This Reproche so Heinously, that it presently Choak'd up the Spring, and Stopt the Course of its Waters: Insomuch that the Channel was immediately dry'd up, and the Fish left Dead and Stinking in the Mud; as a Just Judgment upon the Stream for Derogating from the Original and Author of All the Blessings it Enjoy'd.
He that Arrogates any Good to Himself, detracts from the Author of all the Good he Enjoys.



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