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Title: De Lepore sese Vulpi praeferente ob pedum velocitatem: The Rabbit boasting about his swift-footedness to the Fox, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Lepus sese dignum reputabat, qui vulpi praeferretur, quoniam longe illam pedum pernicitate superabat. Tunc vulpes: At ego, inquit, ingenium sum sortita praestantius, quo saepius quam tu pernicitate tua, canes eludo. Haec indicat fabula, corporis velocitatem et vires ab ingenio longe superari.


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



Lepus
sese dignum reputabat,
qui vulpi praeferretur,
quoniam
longe illam
pedum pernicitate superabat.
Tunc vulpes:
At ego, inquit,
ingenium sum sortita praestantius,
quo saepius
quam tu pernicitate tua,
canes eludo.
Haec indicat fabula,
corporis velocitatem et vires
ab ingenio longe superari.

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



Translation:



A rabbit considered himself to be a creature worthy of outranking the fox, because the rabbit was able to outdistance the fox by a great distance, thanks to the swiftness of his feet. Then the fox said: But I have been allotted the more excellent slyness, which allows me to escape the dogs on many more occasions than you with your speed. This fable shows that intelligence is far superior to bodily strength of speed.



[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 73 (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 Fox and a hare were in a warm Contest once, which of the Two could make the best Shift in the World. When I am pursu'd, says the Hare, I can shew the Dogs a Fair Pair of Heels, and run away from 'em at pleasure: And yet for all that, says the Fox, I have baffled more of 'em with my Wiles and Shifts, than ever You did with your Footmanship.
Wisdom is as much beyond Force, as Men are beyond Brutes.



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