Monday, March 21, 2011

Conrad Celtes, Speech in the Exercise Ground

Conradus Celtis [Conrad Celtes]
1459-1508 AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Renaissance Era)



1. Non magno duxissem, patres ornatissimi et adolescentes egregii, me hominem Germanum et gentilem vestrum posse Latine ad vos dicere, si prisca illa Germaniae nostrae ingenia florerent aetasque illa redisset, qua legati nostri Graeco sermone quam Latino dicere maluisse memorantur.
[O most decorated fathers and respectable youths, I shall not have done a great thing to declare that I am a German man and your fellow nobleman who can speak Latin to you all, if that innate talent of old of our German nation had already emerged and turned back to the time when our own ambassadors can recall when they preferred to speak Greek rather than Latin.]

(2) Verum cum iniquitate saeculorum et conversione temporum nedum apud nos,
[But with the decrepit state of our times and generational change, not only in our country, ]

sed et apud genitricem et antiquam litterarum parentem Italiam omnis aliquando splendor litterarum extinctus interiit explosaeque et profligatae per barbaros motus omnes ingenuae disciplinae,
[but even in the mother nation and ancient founder of literature, Italy, at some time or another, the entire splendor of the literature, now extinct, disappear, as well as all the ingenious fields of study that were later destroyed by the invasions of barbarians,]

 non facile me confido pro ingenii mei tarditate et virium tenuitate satis Latine posse ad vos dicere,
[so I must admit that I cannot declare it easy for me to speak Latin to you all, on account of my late-blooming skills and the novice stature of my abilities,]

quandoquidem et mihi non defuisse intelligo,
[and even at times when I know I completely understand,]

quod plerique ex vobis in se iam experti deplorant, id est industriam et probatam praeceptionem.
[whatever any of you folks despise about a man now skilled, I gained it through hard work and qualified training.]

 (3) Ne tamen prorsus silens in hunc locum vestra praesentia ornatissimum processisse arguerer,
[However, so that I might not be forced to proceed to this place--most decorated by your presence--in straightforward silence,]

malui balbutiendo offendere quam amorem in me vestrum et in rem publicam litterariam taciturnitate praeterire facile sperans
[I would rather offend you by bumbling and stuttering around than hoping to skip past your love for me and the literature dedicated to the commonwealth in simple silence,]

 a vobis mihi dari veniam,
[may you forgive me,]

 si considerabitis,
[if only you will consider]

 quod homuncio in media barbarie et, ut aiunt,
[that for little fellow in the middle of the uncivilized world, as they say,]

ebrietate natus minus sobrie dicere queat
[brought up in modest humility...that he can speak,]

quam vestrae dissertissimae aures et is locus per publica mihi in oratoria et poetica ab illustrissimo principe nostro Georgio et vobis viris clarissimis, qui omnium consiliorum suorum conscii estis, designatus exposcit.
[than our ears are the ones that are most eloquent, and this is the place appropriately required for my speeches and poetic recitations in honor of our most illustrious Prince George, and to all you most distinguished men, you who are aware of all of his designs.]

2. Nihil autem plane dignius et iucundius ad vos dicere constitui, quod vel me magis deceat et vos audire conveniat,
[And yet, I decided to speak out loud nothing more worthy and enjoyable to you, anything that may befit myself or you all to hear,]

quam ut vestros animos ad virtutem et optimarum artium studia cohortarer.
[than that I could vocally encourage your minds to virtue and delights of the very best skills.]

 (2) Quibus rebus quam facile vera gloria, immortalis fama et felicitas in hac vita nostra angustissima comparari potest!
[Through this things, how easily can real glory, immortal fame, and happiness be achieved in this most short-lived life of ours!] 

 (3) Nemo ex vobis tam segnis et ignavus inveniri debeat,
[Let no one be found to be so lazy and slothful among you all,] 

qui non pulchrum, egregium magnificumque duxerit pro his maximis rebus contendere, quae possunt beatum facere.
[someone who shall've led a man, fine-looking, distinguished and great, to contend for the greatest of all things, things which can make him happy.]

(4) Nec mihi inpraesentiarum de fortunae corporisve bonis aut eis, quae vilium mancipiorum sunt, voluptatibus animique lumen extinguentibus disserendum aliquo acumine existimavi,
[Nor, regarding these qualities or strifling desires for the fortunes and bodies of unpresentable women, that befit worthless slaves, did I esteem to be a source of light to be distinguished by some brilliance or another]

quod omnia illa fluxa, caduca et cum corpore suo parvo momento temporis interitura aut mox alios dominos habitura sunt.
[since all things are in flux, and will take on death, and when buried for a brief moment of time in accompaniment with one's own body, soon they will take on other masters.]