Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus
Book III - IV. Lanius et Simius (Perry
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.
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.
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.