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IN EUM QUI SIBI IPSI[1]
damnum apparat.

One who brings about his own downfall

Capra lupum non sponte meo nunc ubere lacto,
Quod male pastoris provida cura iubet.[2]
Creverit ille simul, mea me[3] post ubera pascet,
Improbitas nullo flectitur obsequio.[4]

I am a goat giving suck against my will - to a wolf. The improvident kindness of the shepherd makes me do this. Once the wolf has grown, after feeding at my teats, he will then eat me. Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: ‘ipsi’ omitted.

2.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.47. For the content cf. Aesop, Fables 313-5.

3.  Corrected from the Errata.

4.  ‘Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered’. See Erasmus, Adagia 1086, Ale luporum catulos.


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QUI ALTA CONTEM-
plantur cadere.

Those who contemplate the heights come to grief

Dum Turdos visco, pedica dum fallit Alaudas,
Et iactam [=iacta] altivolam figit harundo gruem
Dipsada non prudens auceps pede perculit ultrix,
Illa mala [=mali] emissum virus ab ore iacit.
Sic obit extento qui sydera respicit arcu,
Securus fati quod iacit ante pedes.[1]

While he tricks thrushes with bird-lime, larks with snares, while his speeding shaft pierces the high-flying crane, the careless bird-hunter steps on a snake; avenging the injury, it spits the darting venom from its jaws. So he dies, a man who gazes at the stars with bow at the ready, oblivious of the mishap lying before his feet.

Notes:

1.  See Anthologia graeca 7.172 and Aesop, Fables 137.


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