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III.4. Lanius et Simius


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 496.


Pendere ad lanium quidam uidit simium
inter relicuas merces atque opsonia;
quaesiuit quidnam saperet. Tum lanius iocans
"Quale" inquit "caput est, talis praestatur sapor."
Ridicule magis hoc dictum quam uere aestimo;
quando et formosos saepe inueni pessimus,
et turpi facie multos cognoui optimos.


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


Not yet available.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Not yet available.




A man noticed a monkey hanging in the butcher's shop amidst the other merchandise and foods for sale, and he asked what the monkey tasted like. 'Well,' joked the butcher, 'its taste is a perfect match for its face!'

I think the butcher's remark is more funny than true; I have often met with beautiful people who actually turned out to be complete scoundrels, while having known some ugly people who were truly excellent individuals.


The Ape's Head (trans. C. Smart)

A certain person, as he stood

Within the shambles buying food,

Amongst the other kitchen fare

Beheld an Ape suspended there;

And asking how 'twould taste, when dress'd,

The butcher shook his head in jest;

"If for such prog your fancy is,

Judge of the flavour by the phiz."

This speech was not so true as keen,

For I in life have often seen

Good features with a wicked heart,

And plainness acting virtue's part.




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