Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus
Book V - IV. Asinus et Porcelli Hordeum (Perry
Quidam immolasset uerrem cum sancto Herculi,
cui pro salute uotum debebat sua,
asello iussit reliquias poni hordei.
Quas aspernatus ille sic locutus est:
"Libenter istum prorsus adpeterem cibum,
nisi qui nutritus illo est iugulatus foret."
Huius respectu fabulae deterritus,
periculosum semper uitaui lucrum.
Sed dicis: "Qui rapuere diuitias, habent."
Numeremus agedum qui deprensi perierunt;
maiorem turbam punitorum reperies.
Paucis temeritas est bono, multis malo.
The Man and the Ass (trans. C. Smart)
A certain Man, when he had made
A sacrifice, for special aid
To Hercules, and killed a swine,
Did for his Ass's share assign
All the remainder of the corn;
But he, rejecting it with scorn,
Thus said: "I gladly would partake-
But apprehend that life's at stake;
For he you fatted up and fed
With store of this, is stuck and dead."
Struck with the import of this tale,
I have succeeded to prevail
Upon my passions, and abstain,
From peril of immod'rate gain.
But, you will say, those that have come
Unjustly by a handsome sum,
Upon the pillage still subsist-
Why, if we reckon up the list,
You'll find by far the major part
Have been conducted in the cart:
Temerity for some may do,
But many more their rashness rue.
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.