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Title: De Cane oves domini sui occidente, a quo suspensus est: The Dog who slew his master's sheep and was hanged by him , by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Pastor quidem cani oves suas dederat custodiendas, optimis illum pascens cibis. At ille saepe aliquam ovem occidebat. Quod cum pastor animadvertisset, canem capiens, eum volebat occidere. Cui canis: Quid me (inquit) perdere cupis? sum unus ex domesticis tuis, interfice potius lupum, qui continuo tuo insidiatur ovili. Immo, inquit pastor, te quam lupum morte dignum magis puto: ille enim palam se meum hostem profitetur, tu vero sub amicitiae specie quotidie meum imminuis gregem. Haec innuit fabula, longe magis puniendos, qui sub amicitiae specie nos laedunt, quam qui aperte se nostros inimicos profitentur.


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



Pastor quidem
cani oves suas dederat
custodiendas,
optimis illum pascens cibis.
At ille
saepe aliquam ovem occidebat.
Quod
cum pastor animadvertisset,
canem capiens,
eum volebat occidere.
Cui canis:
Quid
me (inquit) perdere cupis?
sum
unus ex domesticis tuis,
interfice potius lupum,
qui continuo tuo insidiatur ovili.
Immo,
inquit pastor,
te
quam lupum
morte dignum
magis puto:
ille enim
palam
se meum hostem profitetur,
tu vero
sub amicitiae specie
quotidie meum imminuis gregem.
Haec innuit fabula,
longe magis puniendos,
qui sub amicitiae specie
nos laedunt,
quam qui aperte
se nostros inimicos profitentur.


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



Translation:



A certain shepherd had given his sheep to a dog for safekeeping, feeding that dog with the best food. But the dog often killed one or other of the sheep. When the shepherd realized this, he grabbed the dog, and wanted to kill him. The dog said to him: Why do you want to destroy me? I am one of your household; kill the wolf instead, who constantly threatens your sheepfold. Indeed, said the shepherd, I think you are more worthy to die than the wolf, for the wolf openly declares himself to be my enemy, but you under the guise of friendship daily are diminishing my flock. This fable indicates that those who injure us under the guise of friendship are far more to be punished than those who openly declare themselves to be our enemies.



[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 78 (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 Certain Shepherd had One Favourite Dog, that he had a Particular Confidence in above all the rest. He fed him with his Own hand, and took more Care of him, in short, then of any of his Fellows. This Kindness went on a Long Time, till in Conclusion, upon the Missing of some Sheep, he fancy'd This Cur to be False to him: After This Jealousy, he kept a Strict Eye upon him, and in fine, found it out, that this Trusty Servant of his was the Felon. Upon the Discovery, he had him presently taken up, bad him prepare for Execution. Alas! Master, says the Dog, I am One of your Family, and 'twould be hard to put a Domestique to Extremities: Turn your Displeasure upon the Wolves rather, that make a Daily Practice on't to Worry your Sheep. No, no, says the Shepherd, I'd sooner Spare Forty Wolves that make it their Profession to Kill Sheep, then One Sheep-biting Cur that's Trusted with the Care of them. There's somewhat of Frankness and Generosity in the One; but the Other is the Basest of Treacheries.
No Perfidy like Breach of Faith and Trust, under the Seal of Friendship: For an Adversary under that Masque, is much more Unpardonable then a Bare-fac'd Enemy.



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