Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quintilian, Declamations I

Marcus Fabius Quintilianus [Quintilian]
35-100 AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Imperial Era)


Quidam, cui erat filius caecus,
[There was a man, whose son was blind]

quem heredem instituerat,
[a son whom he had previously made his heir]

 induxit illi novercam
[and he gave his stepsister to him]

iuvenemque in secreta domus parte seposuit.
[and he secluded the young boy in a secret part of his house.]

 Is noctu, dum in cubiculo cum uxore iaceret, occisus est
[One night, this man, while he was lying asleep in his bed next to his wife, was murdered]

 inventusque postero die habens gladium filii defixum in vulnere,
[and the very next day, he was found holding his son's sword planted down into his wound,]

 pariete ab ipsius ad filii cubiculum vestigiis palmae cruentato.
[with a trail of bloody handprints leading from the wall of his room to his son's bedroom.]

Accusant se invicem caecus et noverca.
[The blind boy and his stepsister now accuse each other in turn.]

[1] Si iuvenis innocentissimus, iudices, uti vellet ambitu tristissimae calamitatis, poterat allegare vobis amissam cum oculis cogitationum omnium temeritatem;
[If the most innocent of youths, you judges, were wishing to commit on the most tragic of calamities, he could connect the brashness of all his ideas with his eyes;]

 sed, cum ostendere innocentiam suam moribus malit quam adversis,
[but, while he prefers to prove his own innocence, and rather through his adverse customs,]

neque pietatis neque conscientiae suae gravem ferre contumeliam potest,
[he can neither endure the burdensome blow of mercy, nor awareness,]

ut parricidium non fecisse videatur beneficio caecitatis.
[with the outcome being that he can seem to have committed the murder of his parents through the use of his blindness.]

 Quare igitur non petit,
[For which reason he does not therefore seek,]

 ut illum miserum putetis,
[that you feel sorry for him,]

 nisi et innocens fuerit;
[and not unless he be found innocent;]

 non petit, ut adflictum allevetis,
[He does not ask that you lesson his affliction,]

nisi et probaverit esse se infeliciorem quod patrem amisit, quam quod oculos.
[until he shall've proved too that he is more unfortunate that he now lacks a father than that lacks eyes to see with.]