Monday, March 31, 2014


De Incommodis Senectutis

Pope Innocent III, On the Misery of the Human Condition, tr. ‎Donald Roy Howard (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill 1969), p. 13 (I.xi = "Of the Discomfort of Old Age"):
But even then, if anyone does reach old age, his heart weakens, his head shakes, his vigor wanes, his breath reeks, his face is wrinkled and his back bent, his eyes grow dim and his joints weak, his nose runs, his hair falls out, his hand trembles and he makes silly gestures, his teeth decay, and his ears get stopped with wax. He will believe anything and question nothing. He is stingy and greedy, gloomy, querulous, quick to speak, slow to to listen, though by no means slow to anger. He praises the good old days and hates the present, curses modern times, lauds the past, sighs and frets, falls into a stupor, and gets sick. Hear what the poet says: Many discomforts surround an old man. But then the old cannot glory over the young any more than the young can scorn the old. For we are what they once were; and some day we will be what they are now.
The Latin, from Pope Innocent III, De Contemptu Mundi sive De Miseria Humanae Conditionis Libri Tres. Edidit Ioann. Henr. Achterfeldt (Bonn: Eduard Weber, 1855), p. 27 (I.xi = "De incommodis senectutis"):
Si quis autem ad senectutem processerit, statim cor eius affligitur, et caput concutitur, languet spiritus, et foetet anhelitus, facies rugatur et statura curvatur, caligant oculi et vacillant articuli, nares effluunt et crines defluunt, tremit tactus et deperit actus, dentes putrescunt et aures surdescunt. Senex facile provocatur, difficile revocatur, cito credit et tarde discredit, tenax et cupidus, tristis et querulus, velox ad loquendum, tardus ad audiendum, sed non tardus ad iram, laudat antiquos, spernit modernos, vituperat praesens, commendat praeteritum, suspirat et anxiatur, torpet et infirmatur. Audi Horatium poetam: Multa senem circumveniunt incommoda. Porro nec senes contra iuvenem glorientur, nec insolescant iuvenes contra senem, quia quod sumus iste fuit, erimus quandoque quod hic est.

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