The Shipwrecked Man and The Sea

A man was shipwrecked and blamed the sea for his troubles. The sea responded saying it was not he but the wind that should be blamed.

Use care to place your blame on the right person.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A shipwrecked man, having been cast upon a certain shore, slept after his buffetings with the deep. After a while he awoke, and looking upon the Sea, loaded it with reproaches. He argued that it enticed men with the calmness of its looks, but when it had induced them to plow its waters, it grew rough and destroyed them. The Sea, assuming the form of a woman, replied to him: “Blame not me, my good sir, but the winds, for I am by my own nature as calm and firm even as this earth; but the winds suddenly falling on me create these waves, and lash me into fury.”

1001Mare et Agricola

Cernens agricola navem, refertam nautis, iam se primum incurvis tinguentem fluctibus, “O pelagus,” inquit, “utinam fuisses numquam secatum rate, immisericors elementum inimicumque mortalibus!” Audivit mare, voceque sumpta muliebri, “Ne me calumnieris,” inquit, “equidem malorum omnino vobis non sum illorum causa, sed auctores venti, quorum ego iaceo media. Quibus absentibus, si me spectes ac naviges, me tua mansuetiorem terra praedicabis.”


Res plurimas, quae sunt bonae, prava ingenia in peius vertunt, ita ut videantur malae.

Perry #168