Thursday, March 3, 2011

Apuleius, Story of Transformations Book 1


Lucius Apuleius [Apuleius]
125-180 AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Imperial Era)

At ego tibi sermone isto Milesio varias fabulas conseram auresque tuas benivolas lepido susurro permulceam
[Yeah so, let me can tell you the various tales from that language we know as Milesian, and let me deeply stroke your well-wishing ears with a charming whisper--]

modo si papyrum Aegyptiam argutia Nilotici calami inscriptam non spreveris inspicere
[--but only if you should not refuse to gaze on a piece of Egyptian papyrus written upon with the scribble of a reed from the Nile's bank]

figuras fortunasque hominum in alias imagines conversas et in se rursus mutuo nexu refectas ut mireris.
[, so that you might wonder at the figures and fortunes of men, changed into other appearances, and then back to their original selves again by a reverse spell.]

[I will begin.]

"Quis ille?" Paucis accipe.
("Who is this guy?" Understand from a couple of facts;)

Hymettos Attica et Isthmos Ephyrea et Taenaros Spartiatica, glebae felices aeternum libris felicioribus conditae, mea vetus prosapia est.
(Hymettos of Athens, Ephyrea of Corinth and Taenaros of Sparta, lucky men of established land with even more fortunate libraries: my sources are well-established;)

ibi linguam Attidem primis pueritiae stipendiis merui.
(There I gained my Attic tongue in the first tutelage of my childhood;)

Mox in urbe Latin advena studiorum Quiritium indigenam sermonem aerumnabili labore nullo magistro praeeunte aggressus excolui.
(Soon, after my arrival to Rome, the Latin city, I tilled out my native speech from interminable toil in my studies of the Quirites; I lived my life out, though no teacher was available for me;)

En ecce praefamur veniam, siquid exotici ac forensis sermonis rudis locutor offendero.
(But lo and behold, I shall reveal how I came to be a rhetorician of exotic and rustic speech;)

Iam haec equidem ipsa vocis immutatio desultoriae scientiae stilo quem accessimus respondet.
[So in truth, this here unchanging pace of my playful-toned voice answers whomever I approach with the appearance of knowledge.]

fabulam Graecanicam incipimus.
 [We begin our Greek-ish tale.]

Lector intende: laetaberis.
[Reader, pay heed: you'll be pleased.]

Thessaliam — nam et illic originis maternae nostrae fundamenta a Plutarcho illo inclito ac mox Sexto philosopho nepote eius prodita gloriam nobis faciunt — eam Thessaliam ex negotio petebam.
[Thessaly--you see, it was there that the foundations of my mother's origins, produced by that famous man Plutarch, and soon after by his grandson and philosopher Sextus, renders me renown,]

eam Thessaliam ex negotio petebam.
[I was heading for the land of Thessaly on a business matter.]

 Postquam ardua montium ac lubrica vallium et roscida cespitum et glebosa camporum emersi,
[After I underwent the arduous climbs of its mountains, and slick falls of its valleys, and dewiness of its swamps, and fertile plains of its fields,]

in equo indigena peralbo vehens iam eo quoque admodum fesso,
[riding now on a completely white steed, which was already quite worn down at that point,]

ut ipse etiam fatigationem sedentariam incessus vegetatione discuterem in pedes desilio,
[so much that I could break his sluggish fatigue with a respite off his feet, as we tread upon some grass,]

equi sudorem <fronte detergeo>,
[I wiped the sweat off the horse's brow,]

frontem curiose exfrico,
[I rubbed on his forehead whimsically,]

auris remulceo,
[I tickled his ears,]

frenos detraho,
[I pulled his reins down,]

in gradum lenem sensim proveho,
[I led him forth sensibly to gentle gait,]

quoad lassitudinis incommodum alvi solitum ac naturale praesidium eliquaret.
[so that he could leave behind the discomfort of his weariness upon his natural and accustomed station.]

Ac dum is ientaculum ambulatorium prata quae praeterit ore in latus detorto pronus adfectat,
[And while he made the rounds of the meadow his breakfast, where he passes, leaning over with his mouth twisted down to the side,]

duobus comitum qui forte paululum processerant tertium me facio.
[I made myself one of a trio for a while to two comrades who had beforehand showed up by chance.]

Ac dum ausculto quid sermonibus agitarent,
[And while I listened to whatever conversation they brought up,]

alter exserto cachinno:
[one of them said, as I was eavesdropping on their chat:]

"Parce" inquit "in verba ista haec tam absurda tamque immania mentiendo."
["Forgive a man who needs to make things up so absurd and so crazy as these."]

Isto accepto sititor alioquin novitatis:
[When I heard this, I was all the more curious about its strangeness:]

"Immo vero" inquam "impertite sermonem non quidem curiosum sed qui velim scire vel cuncta vel certe plurima;
[I said, "Oh no, really, you guys, you don't have tell your interesting story, although I am one who wishes to either know all or at least most of it;]