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Fable of the Day: De Trabe et Bobus

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

Title
: De Trabe et Bobus eam trahentibus: The Log and the Oxen Pulling It, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Trabs ulmea de bobus conquerebatur, dicens, "Ingrati, ego multo tempore meis vos frondibus alui, vos vero me nutricem vestram per saxa et luta trahitis." Cui boves, "Gemitus suspiriaque nostra et stimulus, quo pungimur, te docere possunt quod te trahimus inviti." Haec nos docet fabula ne in eos excandescamus, qui non sua sponte nos laedunt.


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


Trabs ulmea
de bobus conquerebatur,
dicens,
"Ingrati,
ego
multo tempore
meis vos frondibus alui,
vos vero
me nutricem vestram
per saxa et luta trahitis."
Cui boves,
"Gemitus
suspiriaque nostra
et stimulus,
quo pungimur,
te docere possunt
quod te trahimus
inviti."
Haec nos docet fabula
ne in eos excandescamus,
qui
non sua sponte
nos laedunt.

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



Translation:



A log of elm was complaining about the oxen, and said: "Ingrates! For such a long time I took care of you with my leafy shade but you are dragging me, your own nurse, through the rocks and the mud." The oxen said to her: "Our groans and sighs, and the goad by which we are stung, can teach you that we are dragging you unwillingly." This fable teaches us that we should not get angry at those who are hurting us against their will.



[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 11 (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:



The Timber was complaining of the Ingratitude of the Oxen. How often, says the Timber, have I fed ye with my Leaves, and reliev'd ye under my Shadow? and for you to drag me now at this Rate, over Dirt and Stones! Alas! cry'd the Oxen: Do not you see how we pant and groan, and how we are goaded on, to do what we do? The Timber consider'd how unwillingly they did it, and so forgave them.
What we are forc'd to do by an Over-ruling Power and Necessity is not properly our own Act.

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