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II.3. De Successu Improborum


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 64.


Laceratus quidam morsu vehementis canis,

tinctum cruore panem misit malefico,

audierat esse quod remedium vulneris.

Tunc sic Aesopus: "Noli coram pluribus

hoc facere canibus, ne nos vivos devorent,

cum scierint esse tale culpae praemium".

Successus improborum plures allicit.


Here is the poem in a more prose-like word order for easy reading:


Quidam laceratus morsu vehementis canis,

misit malefico panem tinctum cruore,

quod audierat esse remedium vulneris.

Tunc sic Aesopus:

"Noli facere hoc coram pluribus canibus,

ne devorent nos vivos,

cum scierint esse tale praemium culpae."

Successus improborum allicit plures.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Lac'ra~tus qui~dam mor~su ve'e~mentis ~ canis,

tinctum ~ cruo~re pa~nem mi~sit mal'~fico,

audje~rat es~se quod ~ remed~jum vul~neris.

Tunc sic ~ Aeso~pus: "No~li co~ram plu~ribus

hoc fac'~re ca~n'bus, ne ~ nos vi~vos de~vorent,

cum scje~rint es~se ta~le cul~pae prae~mium".

Succes~sus im~probo~rum plu~res al~licit.




A certain man had been mangled by the bite of a violent dog, and he offered the evil-doer a piece of bread infused with his own blood because he had heard this was a way to heal the wound. Then Aesop said these words: "Don't do this thing in front of more dogs, or else they might devour us alive when they find out that this is the reward for their crime." The success of wicked men lures more to do the same.


[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 Man and the Dog (trans. C. Smart)

Torn by a Cur, a man was led

To throw the snappish thief some bread

Dipt in the blood, which, he was told,

Had been a remedy of old.

Then Esop thus: - "Forbear to show

A pack of dogs the thing you do,

Lest they should soon devour us quite,

When thus rewarded as they bite."

One wicked miscreant's success

Makes many more the trade profess.




Here is a picture of Aesop from an early printed edition:




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