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barlow025

Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 11 years ago

 

HOME | Barlow's Aesop: Previous Page - Next Page 

 

Barlow 25. DE CANE MORDACI

 

ONLINE FORUM: At the Aesopus Ning Forum, you can ask questions about this fable. You will also  find links there to additional learning materials to help you in reading the Latin (vocabulary, grammar commentary, simplified version, quizzes, macrons, etc.).

 

Cani, saepius homines mordenti, illigavit Dominus nolam, scilicet ut sibi quisque caveret. Canis, ratus virtuti suae tributum hoc decus esse, populares omnes despicit. Accedit tandem ad hunc Canem aliquis, iam aetate et auctoritate gravis, monens eum ne erret. “Nam ista nola (inquit) data est tibi in dedecus, non in decus.”

 

Translation: There was a dog who very often bit people, so his master tied a bell on him, that is, so that everybody would look out for him. The dog thought that this honor was awarded to him for his virtue, and he looked down on all his fellows. But another dog, imposing in both age and authority, came up to him and warned him not to make this mistake: "The fact is that this bell," he said, "was given to you as a badge of shame, not a badge of honor."

 

[This translation is meant as a help in understanding the story, not as a "crib" for the Latin. I have not hesitated to change the syntax to make it flow more smoothly in English, altering the verb tense consistently to narrative past tense, etc.]

 

The Moral of the Story:

 

Eo sunt ingenio plerique,

ut nobiles se esse iactant

cum sunt pauperes et miserrimi;

gloriosus interdum

illud sibi ducit laudi,

quod ipsi est vituperio.

 

Illustration: Here is an illustration from this edition, by the renowned artist Francis Barlow; click on the image for a larger view. Unlike the Latin story, which simply tells us that the dog is wearing a bell, in the illustration the dog is wearing something much more elaborate, called a "clog" in English, which was traditionally a block or heavy piece of wood tied to an animal or even to a human being in order to hobble their movement.

 

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