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Title: De Leone porcum sibi socium eligente: About the lion choosing the pig as his ally, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Leo, cum socios adsciscere sibi vellet, multaque animalia sese illi adiungere optarent, idque precibus et votis exposcerent, ceteris spretis, cum porco solum societatem voluit inire: rogatus autem causam, respondit: Quia hoc animal adeo fidum est, ut amicos et socios in nullo, quantumvis magno, discrimine nunquam relinquat. Haec fabula docet eorum amicitiam appetendam qui adversitatis tempore a praestando auxilio non referunt pedem.


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



Leo,

cum socios adsciscere sibi vellet,
multaque animalia
sese illi adiungere optarent,
idque precibus et votis exposcerent,
ceteris spretis,
cum porco solum
societatem voluit inire:
rogatus autem causam,
respondit:
Quia hoc animal
adeo fidum est,
ut amicos et socios
in nullo, quantumvis magno, discrimine
nunquam relinquat.
Haec fabula docet
eorum amicitiam appetendam
qui
adversitatis tempore
a praestando auxilio
non referunt pedem.


Translation:



When the lion wished to summon allies to aid him, and many animals wanted to join with him, and asked for this with prayers and vows, spurning the rest of them, the lion wanted to enter into an alliance only with the pig. When he was asked the reason, the lion replied: Because this animal is so faithful that it would never abandon its friends and associates in any crisis, no matter how great. This fable shows that we should seek the friendship of those who do not withdraw from offering help even in a time of adversity.



[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 93 (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 Lion that found it extreme irksome to live Alone, gave the Beasts of the Forest to understand, that he was resolv'd to make choice of some or other of his Subjects for a Friend and Companion. There was a mightfy Bustle, who should be the Favourite, and the Wonder of all the rest: The Lion pitch'd upon a Hog: For, says the Lion, he is True and Faithful to his Friend, and will stand by him in all Times and Hazards.
A True Friend can ne'er fail of being a Loyal Subject: And That's the Man that a Brave Prince will make choice of for a Particular Favourite.

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