Page:The fables of Aesop, as first printed by William Caxton in 1484, with those of Avian, Alfonso and Poggio. Vol 1.djvu/33

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posed of sixty-seven fables. Of these thirty-seven occur in the ordinary Phædrus, and on inspection it becomes clear that they were taken direct from it with only sufficient alteration to turn them from verse to prose.[1] Let us take as an example the Fable of The Wolf and Crane, which will often meet us later on in other connections. Here is Phædrus' rendering:—

Fab. VIII.— Lvpvs et Grvis.

Qui pretium meriti ab improbis desiderat,
Bis peccat: primum, quoniam indignos adiuvat;
Impune abire deinde quia iam non potest.

Os devoratum fauce quum haereret lupi,
5Magno dolore victus coepit singulos
Inlicere pretio, ut illud extraherent malum.
Tandem persuasa est iure iurando gruis,
Gulaeque credens colli longitudinem,
Periculosam fecit medicinam lupo.
10Pro quo cum pactum flagitaret praemium:
Ingrata es, inquit, ore quae nostro caput
Incolume abstuleris, et mercedem postules.

Now let us take Ademar's prose adaptation and arrange it in lines like the original, for

  1. The earliest MS. of Phædrus, the Codex Pithoeanus, is written continuously, as if in prose.