Phaedrus, Fables

LCL 436: 192-193

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5“Cur” inquit “turbulent am fecisti mihi aquam bibenti?” laniger contra timens: “Qui possum, quaeso, facere quod quereris, lupe? a te decurrit ad meos haustus liquor.” repulsus ille veritatis viribus 10“Ante hos sex menses male” ait “dixisti mihi.” respondit agnus “Equidem natus non eram.” “Pater hercle tuus” ille inquit “male dixit mihi.” atque ita correptum lacerat iniusta nece. Haec propter illos scripta est homines fabula 15qui fictis causis innocentes opprimunt.

2 Ranae Regem Petiervnt

Athenae cum florerent aequis legibus, procax libertas civitatem miscuit frenumque solvit pristinum licentia. hic conspiratis factionum partibus 5arcem tyrannus occupat Pisistratus. cum tristem servitutem flerent Attici, non quia crudelis ille, sed quoniam grave omne insuetis onus, et coepissent queri, Aesopus talem tum fabellam rettulit. 10“Ranae vagantes liberis paludibus clamore magno regem petiere ab Iove, qui dissolutos mores vi compesceret. Pater deorum risit atque illis dedit


Book I, Fable 2

“Why,” said he, “have you roiled the water where I am drinking?” Sore afraid, the woolly one made answer: “Pray, how can I, wolf, be guilty of the thing you charge? The water flows from you downstream to where I drink.” Balked by the power of truth, the wolf exclaimed, “Six months ago you cursed me.” “Indeed,” replied the lamb, “at that time I was not yet born.” “Well, I swear, your father cursed me,” said the wolf, and, with no more ado, he pounced upon the lamb and tore him, and the lamb died for no just cause.

This fable was composed to fit those persons who invent false charges by which to oppress the innocent.

2 The Frogs Asked for a King

In the days when Athens flourished under a democracy, freedom grown rank disturbed the civic calm and licence relaxed the reins of old-time discipline. Then diverse factions formed a common plot and soon a tyrant rose and seized the citadel, Pisistratus. The Athenians now bewailed their dismal state of servitude, not that their ruler was unkind, but any load is hard to bear for those unused to it. When they began to murmur, Aesop told them this little tale:

“The frogs, while enjoying at large the freedom of their marshes, called with loud cries on Jupiter to grant them a king, one who should forcibly restrain their lax morality. The father of the gods laughingly

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.phaedrus-fables.1965