Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus
Book II - VII. Muli Duo et Latrones (Perry
Muli gravati sarcinis ibant duo:
unus ferebat fiscos cum pecunia,
alter tumentis multo saccos hordeo.
ille onere dives celsa cervice eminens,
clarumque collo iactans tintinabulum;
comes quieto sequitur et placido gradu.
subito latrones ex insidiis advolant,
interque caedem ferro ditem sauciant:
diripiunt nummos, neglegunt vile hordeum.
spoliatus igitur casus cum fleret suos,
'Equidem' inquit alter 'me contemptum gaudeo;
nam nil amisi, nec sum laesus vulnere'.
Hoc argumento tuta est hominum tenuitas,
magnae periclo sunt opes obnoxiae.
The Mules and Robbers (trans. C. Smart)
Two laden Mules were on the road-
A charge of money was bestowed
Upon the one, the other bore
Some sacks of barley. He before.
Proud of his freight, begun to swell,
Stretch'd out his neck, and shook his bell
The poor one, with an easy pace,
Came on behind a little space,
When on a sudden, from the wood
A gang of thieves before them stood;
And, while the muleteers engage,
Wound the poor creature in their rage
Eager they seize the golden prize,
But the vile barley-bags despise.
The plunder'd mule was all forlorn,
The other thank'd them for their scorn:
" 'Tis now my turn the head to toss,
Sustaining neither wound nor loss."
The low estate's from peril clear,
But wealthy men have much to fear.
Latin text from Phaedrus at The
Latin Library (Ad Fontes), English translations from The
Fables of Phaedrus Translated into English Verse by Christopher Smart
(London: 1913). Ben Perry, Babrius and Phaedrus (Loeb),
contains the Latin texts of Phaedrus, with a facing English translation, along
with a valuable appendix listing all the Aesop's fables attested in Greek and/or
in Latin. Invaluable.