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Fable of the Day: De Viro maligno et Daemone

Title: De Viro maligno et Daemone: The Wicked man and The Devil, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Vir malignus cum plurima perpetrasset scelera et saepius captus et carcere conclusus arctissima et pervigili custodia teneretur, Daemonis auxilium implorat qui saepenumero ei adfuit et e multis eum periculis liberavit. Tandem iterum deprehenso et solitum auxilium imploranti daemon magnum calceorum pertusorum fascem super humeros habens esse non possum, tot enim loca pro te liberando hactenus peragravi ut hos omnes calceos contriverim. Nulla enim mihi superest pecunia qua alios valeam comparare. Quare pereundum est tibi. Haec admonet fabula ne existimemus nostra semper impunita fore peccata.


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



Vir malignus
cum plurima perpetrasset scelera
et saepius captus
et carcere conclusus arctissima
et pervigili custodia teneretur,
Daemonis auxilium implorat
qui
saepenumero ei adfuit
et e multis eum periculis liberavit.
Tandem
iterum deprehenso
et solitum auxilium imploranti
daemon
magnum calceorum pertusorum fascem
super humeros habens
apparuit
dicens:
Amice,
amplius
tibi auxilio esse
non possum,
tot enim loca
pro te liberando
hactenus peragravi
ut hos omnes calceos contriverim.
Nulla enim mihi superest pecunia
qua alios valeam comparare.
Quare pereundum est tibi.
Haec admonet fabula
ne existimemus
nostra semper impunita fore peccata.

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



Translation:



There was a wicked man who had comitted many crimes and had been quite often caught and shut up in the tightest prison and had been held prisoner by an ever-waking guard. Whenever that happened, he summoned the help of a devil who on many occasions came to his aid and rescued him from many dangers. Finally, however, having been caught once again and having called on the devil for help as usual, the devil showed up carrying on his back a huge bundle of worn-out shoes. He said: Friend, I cannot be of help to you any more. By traveling all over to so many places in order to rescue you, I have
worn out all these shoes, and I don't have any money left so that I could buy me some more shoes! Therefore, your doom awaits you. This fable warns us that we should not expect that our sins will always go unpunished.


[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 58 (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 Notorious Malefactor, that had committed I know not how many Villanies, and run thro' the Discipline of as many Gaols, made a Friend of the Devil, to help him out in all his Distresses. This Friend of his brought him off many and many a time, and still he was taken up, again and again, he had his Recourse over and over, to the same Devil for Succour. But upon his Last Summons, the Devil came to him with a great Bag of Old Shoes at his Back, and told him plainly; Friend (says he) I'm at the End of my Line, and can help ye no longer. I have beat the Hoof till I have worn out all these Shoes in your Service, and not One Penny left me to buy more: So that you must e'en excuse me if I drop ye here.
The Devil helps his Servants for a Season; but when they come once to a Pinch, he leaves 'em in the lurch.



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