De patre filium ebrium redarguente
Pater, cum filii ebrietatem saepius nequicquam redarguisset, conspecto semel in via ebrio, retectis verendis turpiter iacente, pueris quoque, qui multi circumstabant, ridentibus atque illudentibus, filium ad tam verecundum spectaculum vocavit, existimans hoc exemplo ab ebrietate deterreri eum posse. ille autem, viso ebrio: “Roga, pater,” inquit, “ubi est id vinum, quo iste ebrius factus est, ut et ego etiam eius vini dulcedinem degustem!”, non ebrii turpitudine absterritus, sed vini cupiditate commotus.
(Poggio Bracciolini, Confabulationes 73)
On a father who reproached his drunken son
A father who had often reproached his son for drunkenness, but to no avail, seeing one day a drunkard lying in the road with his private parts exposed and in a disgusting condition, with a crowd of little boys around him laughing and jeering at him, asked his son to look upon the sad spectacle, hoping that this example of the vice of drunkenness would serve to scare him off his intemperance. But the young man, seeing the drunkard, said: “Father, ask that man where the wine is that he got drunk on, so that I might taste its sweetness myself!” And he showed himself moved, not by the ugly sight of the drunkard, but by the desire for wine. (tr. based on Edward Storer’s, adapted and debowdlerized by David Bauwens)