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Title: De Porco et Equo: The Pig and The Horse, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Porcus conscpiens equum bellatorem, qui cataphractus ad pugnam prodibat: Stulte, inquit, quo properas? in pugna enim fortasse morieris. Cui equus: Tibi inter lutum sordesque impinguato, quamvis nihil dignum laude gesseris, cultellus adimet vitam: mortem vero meam comitabitur gloria. Haec fabula innuit, honestius esse rebus praeclare gestis occumbere, quam vitam turpiter actam protrahere.


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



Porcus
conscpiens equum bellatorem,
qui cataphractus ad pugnam prodibat:
Stulte, inquit,
quo properas?
in pugna enim
fortasse morieris.
Cui equus:
Tibi
inter lutum sordesque impinguato,
quamvis nihil dignum laude gesseris,
cultellus adimet vitam:
mortem vero meam
comitabitur gloria.
Haec fabula innuit,
honestius esse
rebus praeclare gestis occumbere,
quam
vitam turpiter actam protrahere.

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



Translation:



A pig saw a war horse who was clad in armor and on his way to battle. The pig said to the horse: You fool, where are you rushing off to? It could happen that you will die in battle. The horse said to the pig: You have grown fat in mud and filth, and while you have accomplished nothing worthy of praise, the knife will take away your life, while renown will accompany my death. This fable indicates that it is more worthy to die having accomplished deeds in a praiseworthy manner, rather than to drag out a life that is conducted in a vile manner.



[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 48 (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 Hog took notice of a Horse in the height of his Courage, that was just advancing to charge an Enemy. Why, what a Fool art thou, says the Hog to him, to make such haste to be destroy'd? That Consideration, says the Horse, may do well enough in the Mouth of a wicked Creature, that's only Fatted up to be kill'd by a Knife; but whenever I'm taken off, I'll leave the Memory of a good Name behind me.
'Tis the Cause makes the Martyr.



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