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Stultus et Muli

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Scroll down to find: Overview, Study Guide, Verse, Audio, and Segmented Prose Text

The story of The Fool and The Mules is a poem by Alexander Nequam. It is written in elegiac couplets.

   Use this Study Guide to organize your learning activities.

Here is the poem (click "play" icon for brief audio sample):

Stultus olimpiacum certamine vincere cursum
Posse putans, Mulos emit ad hoc geminos:

Larga quibus praebens studiose pabula, promptos
Ad cursum fieri posse putabat eos.

Tempus erat cursus, bigam conscendit et ambos
Mulos subpositis exagitat stimulis;

Sed quo plus properat, hoc plus animalia tardant,
Et quo progenita sint patre pigra probant.

Attigerant alii cursores iam prope metam,
Vix et adhuc recta coeperat ire via.

Attollit magnum circumstans turba cachinnum
Et Stultum caeno stercorat atque luto.

Ut posset tandem fugiens evadere turbam,
Cedebat Mulos acriter ille suos.

Illorum tunc unus ait: Cur quae meruisti,
Pessime, nos cogis dura flagella pati?

Cum nos emisti, numquid non, rustice, nosti
Natura pigros nos genitos Asino?

Hoc monet exemplum, ne quis committat agendum
Obscure natis nobilis officium.

The following version puts the words in a more prose-like order so that it will be easier for you to read:

Stultus
putans
se posse vincere
certamine
olimpiacum cursum,
mulos geminos emit
ad hoc.

Additional grammar commentary to be added... meanwhile, if you have questions, use the Comments? Questions? Suggestions? link at the top or bottom of this page if you have a query. You might also want to look at these Tips on Using Segmented Texts.

Studiose praebens
larga pabula
mulis,
putabat
eos posse fieri
promptos
ad cursum
.
 
Tempus cursus erat,
et bigam conscendit
et ambos mulos
exagitat
subpositis stimulis.
 
Sed quo plus properat,
hoc plus animalia tardant,
 
et pigra probant
quo patre
progenita sint.
pigra: neuter plural ("the lazy things, lazy creatures")
Alii cursores
attigerant iam prope
metam,
et adhuc
vix coeperat ire
recta via.
 
Turba circumstans
attollit
magnum cachinnum
 
et stercorat
stultum
caeno atque luto.
 
Tandem ut posset
evadere turbam,
fugiens
ille cedebat acriter
mulos suos.
 
Tunc unus illorum ait:
Et cur,
pessime,
cogis nos
dura flagella pati,
quae meruisti tu?
 
Cum nos emisti,
rustice,
numquid non nosti
natura
nos esse pigros,
genitos asino?
 
Hoc exemplum monet,
ne quis committat
nobilis officium
agendum
obscure natis.
 

© The segmented texts, annotations and audio files at BestLatin.net
are copyrighted by Laura Gibbs, 2007. No copyright is claimed for any images.