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Title: De Trabe boum pigritiam increpante: The Beam denouncing the laziness of the oxen, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Trabs, quae curru vehebatur, boves ut lentulos increpabat, dicens: "Currite, pigri; onus enim leve portatis." Cui boves, "Irrides nos (responderunt) ignara quae te poena maneat. Onus hoc nos cito deponemus, tuum autem tu quoad rumparis sustinere cogeris." Indoluit trabs nec amplius boves conviciis lacessere ausa est. Haec fabula quemlibet monet ne aliorum insultet calamitatibus, cum ipse possit maioribus subiacere.


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



Trabs,
quae curru vehebatur,
boves ut lentulos increpabat,
dicens:
"Currite, pigri;
onus enim leve portatis."
Cui boves,
"Irrides nos (responderunt)
ignara
quae te poena maneat.
Onus hoc
nos cito deponemus,
tuum autem
tu
quoad rumparis
sustinere cogeris."
Indoluit trabs
nec amplius
boves conviciis lacessere
ausa est.
Haec fabula quemlibet monet
ne aliorum insultet calamitatibus,
cum ipse possit maioribus subiacere.

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



Translation:



A beam, who was being carried in a wagon, accusing the oxen of being slow pokes, saying: Run, you lazy creatures; this is a light load you are carrying." The oxen replied: You mock us, ignorant of the punishment that awaits you. We will put down this burden soon enough, but yours is a burden you will be compelled to lift up to the breaking point." The beam grew sad and did not dare to harass the oxen with reproaches any more. This fable warns everyone not to mock other people's problems when we might face even greater problems of our own.



[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 42 (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:



Why don't you run and make haste? cry'd the Timber in the Cart, to the Oxen that drew it: The Burthen is not so heavy, sure. Well! (said the Oxen) if you did but know your own Fortune, you'd never be so merry at ours. We shall be discharged of our Load so soon as we come to our Journey's End, but you that are design'd for Beams and Supporters, shall be made to bear till your Hearts break. This Hint brought the Timber to a better understanding of the Case.
'Tis matter of Humanity, Honour, Prudence, and Piety, to be tender of one another: for no Man living knows his End, and 'tis the Evening that crowns the Day.
[Note: You can find more of these fables at the old blog address for Latin Via Fables.]
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