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Fable of the Day: De Erinaceo et Vipera

Title: De Erinaceo Viperam hospitem eiiciente: The Hedgehog who tossed out his host, the Viper, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Erinaceus hiemem adventare praesentiens, blande Viperam rogavit, ut in propria illius caverna adversus vim frigoris locum sibi concederet. Quod cum illa fecisset, erinaceus huc atque illuc se provolvens spinarum acumine viperam pungebat, et vehementi dolore torquebat. Illa, male secum actum videns, quando Erinaceum suscepit hospitio, blandis eum verbis, ut exiret orabat, quandoquidem locus esset ambobus angustus. Cui Erinaceus: Exeat, inquit, qui hic manere non potest. Quare Vipera, sentiens sibi locum ibi non esse, illi cessit hospitio. Fabula indicat, eos in consortia non admittendos, qui nos possunt eiicere.


Here is a segmented version to help you see the grammatical patterns:



Erinaceus
hiemem adventare
praesentiens,
blande Viperam rogavit,
ut in propria illius caverna
adversus vim frigoris
locum sibi concederet.
Quod cum illa fecisset,
erinaceus
huc atque illuc se provolvens
spinarum acumine
viperam pungebat,
et vehementi dolore torquebat.
Illa,
male secum actum
videns,
quando Erinaceum suscepit hospitio,
blandis eum verbis,
ut exiret orabat,
quandoquidem locus esset
ambobus angustus.
Cui Erinaceus:
Exeat, inquit,
qui hic manere non potest.
Quare Vipera,
sentiens
sibi locum ibi non esse,
illi cessit hospitio.
Fabula indicat,
eos
in consortia non admittendos,
qui nos possunt eiicere.

Crossword Puzzle: You can play a crossword puzzle based on the vocabulary in this fable.



Translation:



A hedgehog, sensing that winter was coming, nicely asked the viper if she would grant him a place in her own den against the force of the winter cold. When the viper did this, the hedgehog, as he rolled this way and that, stung the viper with the shape end of his spines and tormented her with a sharp pain. The viper, seeing that she had gotten herself into trouble when she took the hedgehog into her lodging, asked him, nicely, to leave, since the place was too narrow for the both of them. The hedgehog replied: Let the one go out who is unable to remain here. As a result the viper, realizing that there was no place for her there, yield to him as regards the lodging. This fable shows that we should not admit into our company those who are able to toss us out.



[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.]



Source: Abstemius 72 (You can see a 1499 edition of Abstemius online, but I am doing my transcription from the 1568 edition of Aesopi fabulae in the EEBO catalog.)



Another English translation. Sir Roger L'Estrange included the fables of Abstemius in his amazing 17th-century edition of Aesop's fables. So, here is L'Estrange's translation:



A Snake was prevail'd upon in a Cold Winter, to take a Hedge-Hog into his Cell; but when he was once in, the Place was so narrow, that the Prickles of the Hedge-Hog were very troublesome to his Companion: so that the Snake told him, he must needs provide for himself somewhere else, for the Hole was not big enough to hold them both. Why then, says the Hedge-Hog, He that cannot Stay, shall do well to Go: But for my own part, I'm e'en Content where I am; and if You be not so too, y'are free to Remove.
Possession is Eleven Points of the Law.



[Note: You can find more of these fables at the old blog address for Latin Via Fables.]
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