Fabellae Lusoriae


The following Latin  skits (with Latin translations) were written by John Kevin Newman, Professor of Latin, University of Illinois. CPL is grateful to him for his permission to make them available to a wider audience.

 Intrant duae dramatis personae, A et B, pastores.


A         Ego sum Moeris.

B          Ego sum Phyllis.

A         Quam pulcher est dies!

B          Quam grata temperies!

A         Ecce sol lucet.

B          Ecce sol ardet.

A         Flos crescit varius.

B          Hic flos purpureus.

A         Herba est viridis.

B          Flumen gelidius.

A         Quam bona iuventus!

B          Quam mala senectus!

A         Omnes gaudemus.

B          Sed quidam flemus.

A         Cur quisquam fleat?

B          Nihil me beat.

A         Cur fundis lacrimas?

B          Quid si me deseras?

A         Ego fidelis.

B          Ergo sum felix.

A         Nunc abeamus.

B          Nunc gaudeamus.

A         Vale, valete!

B          Semper gaudete!


Enter the two characters, A and B, shepherds.


A         I am Moeris.

B          I am Phyllis.

A         What a beautiful day!

B          What lovely weather!

A         Look, the sun is shining.

B          Feel, the sun is burning.

A         All colors of flowers are growing.

B          Here is a bright red one.

A         There is green grass.

B          And a cool stream.

A         How good to be young!

B          How bad to be old!

A         Weíre all full of joy.

B          But some of us are crying.

A         Why should anyone cry?

B          Nothing makes me happy.

A         Why the flood of tears?

B          What if you were to leave me?

A         I am true.

B          Then I am happy.

A         Now we must be off.

B          Now we must rejoice.

A         Good-bye one and all.

B          Always rejoice.


Rana et Bos, Narratores et Ranunculi


B          Bos ego sum, per prata deambulo.

R          Rana ego sum, per stagna lateo.

B          Mugire ego possum, omnes me audient.

R          Strepere ego possum, omnes ut vigilent.

B          Ego sum maximus, animal gravius.

R          Ego sum minima, animal levius.

B          Ego sum herbis aptus edendis.

R          Ego sum muscis apta capiendis.

B          Sunt mihi infantes, vocantur vitelli.

R          Sunt mihi infantes, vocantur ranunculi.


                                    * * *


N1       Ego narrator, rem narro horridam.

N2       Rana explosa est, causam perpoliam.

N1       Ecce ranunculi subito veniunt.

N2       Ecce ranunculi subito garriunt.

RL       Mater, matercula, animal vidimus . . .

R          Quod animal?  Dicite!

                        RL       Bos erat maximus.

            Tu, mater, non potes istum aequare!

R          Ego aequabo, sinite flare.

N1       Et tum se inflabat rana stultissima,

N2       Tandem explosa est, res heu tristissima.

N1       Hoc moneo te, si non es maximus,

N2       Contentus resta. Tibi est melius.


The Frog and the Bull, the Narrators and the Froggies


B          I am a bull, strolling through the fields.

F          I am a frog, hiding in the pools.

B          I can bellow. All will hear me.

F          I can croak, to keep everyone awake.

B          I am pretty big, a creature of weight.

F          I am pretty small, a creature rather light.

B          I am good at eating grass.

F          I am good at catching flies.

B          I have kids - calves they are called.

F          I have kids - theyíre called froggies.


                                    * * *


N1       I am the storyteller, with a dreadful tale.

N2       The frog exploded, Iíll give you all the details.

N1       Look, the froggies suddenly come along;

N2       Look, the froggies suddenly croak:

FG       ďMummy, mummsie, we saw a creature.Ē

F          ďWhat creature? Tell me!Ē

                                    FG       ďIt was a big bull.

            Mummy, you canít ever rival him!Ē

F          ďIíll rival him.  Just let me have a blow.Ē

N1       And then the stupid frog started inflating herself.

N2       Blew herself up - what a sad story.

N1       I have this advice for you: if youíre not on the big side,

N2       Just be content.  Itís better for you.


Anser et Vulpes, Canis et Agricola


A         Ego sum anser.  Alas spectate.

V         Ego sum vulpes.  Caudam laudate.

A         Ego sum avis, candida, splendida.

V         Ego sum bestia, rubra et horrida.

A         Est mihi vox, omnibus adstrepo.

V         Sunt mihi dentes, omnesque devoro.

A         Anser ego vocor, quia omnibus respondeo.

V         Vulpes ego vocor, quia omnes esse volo.

A         Die ego ova pario grandia.

V         Die ego dormio, lateo cavea.

A         Nocte ego dormio, tranquille et dulciter.

V         Nocte ego venor, caute, subtiliter.

A         Huc duo veniunt, quinam evenient?

V         Exaudiamus quidnam asseverent.

C         Ego sum canis, latroque hostibus.

Ag        Ego sum agricola, pugno cum vulpibus.

C         Latratum audite!  Undique personat!

Ag        Fustem sentite!  Undique verberat!

V         Heu fugiendum est, non possum manere!

A         Abi, abi, vulpes!  Te iubeo flere.



The Goose and the Fox, the Dog and the Farmer


G         I am a goose.  Just look at these wings!

F          I am a fox.  Compliment me on my tail.

G         I am a bird, white and shining.

F          I am a beast, red and shaggy.

G         I have a voice, I honk at everyone.

F          I have teeth, I eat everyone.

G         I am called an anser, because I answer everybody.

F          I am called a fox, because I want to force feed on everyone.

G         During the day, I produce big eggs.

F          During the day, I sleep.  I lurk in my hole.

G         By night I sleep, calmly and sweetly.

F          By night I hunt, cautiously, cunningly.

G         Here are two coming.  Who will they turn out to be?

F          Letís hear what they have to say for themselves.

D         I am a dog, I bark at my foes.

Far       I am a farmer, I fight with the foxes.

D         Listen to my barking!  It echoes all over!

Far       Feel this club!  It beats all over!

F          O, Iíve got to run away, I simply canít stay.

G         Off, you fox, off!  Your tears make my day.



Intrant duae dramatis personae,

mus urbanus et mus rusticus


A         Mus ego sum urbanus.

B          Mus ego sum villanus.

A         Perna ego vescar.

B          Paupere ego esca.

A         Mihi venter tumet.

B          Mihi semper gemit.

A         Mihi cauda nitida.

B          Mihi cauda misera.

A         Mi victus magnificus.

B          Mi victus luctificus.

A         Ego carnes edo.

B          Grana miser ego.

A         Cicer ego odi.

B          Avenas ego novi.

A         Amice, cur non vitam ...

B          Quaeris, dices, laetam?

A         Non venis ad urbem ...

B          Ad rem meliorem?

A         Ergo eamus caute.

B          Hic apud te laute.

A         Quot et quanta ponam!

B          Qualem das luxuriam!

            Subito post scaenam auditur

            canum latratus feliumque strepitus.

B          Pol, quid istinc urget?

A         Venter se exercet.

B          Felem extimescis?

A         Feles quid tu fingis!

B          Feles adest hostis!

A         Vae!

            Ego dentibus haereo.

B          Ergo ego fugio.

A         Vale, ego pereo!

B          Vale, ego redeo.


Enter the two characters,

the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse


A         I am a town mouse.

B          I am a farm mouse.

A         I will feed on ham.

B          I on a poor diet.

A         My tummy is pretty full.

B          Mine is always grumbling.

A         I have a shiny tail.

B          I have a wretched tail.

A         My living is splendid.

B          My living is miserable.

A         I eat meat.

B          I poor fellow live on grains.

A         I canít stand chickpeas.

B          I know all about oats.

A         My friend, why not a life -

B          Seek, youíre going to say, a happy life?

A         Arenít you coming to the city?

B          To a better fortune?

A         We must go carefully then.

B          Here in your place.  Itís really elegant.

A         How many (dishes) and how much will I offer you?

B          What luxury youíre offering!

            Suddenly backstage is heard the

            barking of dogs and the meowing of cats.

B          By Pollux, whatís that looming?

A         Just my tummy working out.

B          Are you frightened of a cat?

A         Why are you imagining cats?

B          A cat is here, an enemy!

A         Ow!

            Iím sticking to her teeth!

B          Then Iím off.

A         Bye-bye, Iím done for!

B          Bye-bye, Iím going back.


Intrant quinque dramatis personae,

quattuor liberi, unus horribilis maximusque lupus


FL.       Ego sum Flavia, puella strenua.

CO.     Ego, Cornelia, semper sum languida.

M.        Ego sum Marcus, puer honestus.

S.         Ego sum Sextus, puer molestus.

L.         Ego sum lupus, horrida bestia.

            Spectate malas.  Gula est pessima.

L.         Ego carnes edo, et molles sucos.

            Ergo puellas venor et pueros.

FL.et CO. Ecce puellae prato erramus.

S.         Ecce pueri arbores amamus.

M.        Ibi sedemus, libros legamus.

L.         Ego in herbis expectans lateo,

            Totumque locum fremitu repleo.

FL.       Eheu nos miseras, lupus not petit!

CO.     Quam malos dentes in ore aperit!

FL.       Horrida bestia vestem vorabit.

CO      Horrida bestia nos consummabit.

L.         Fremo fremoque. Quam eas terreo!

S.         Arborem ascendo. Vos fugere iubeo.

L.         Primum puellas horridus appetam.

            Tum puerum quoque ore comedam.

M.        Ego sum Marcus. Ramum arripio!

            Fuge tu lupe! Os tibi verbero.

L.         Heu heu quam doleo, debeo currere.

M.        Lupus iam abiit! Potestis vos reddere.

FL.et CO. Marce, quam fortis es! Te admiramur.

            Tu es honestus. Te amplexamur.

M.        Ubi est Sextus? Latet in arbore!

FL. CO. M. Sexte, ridemus. Redi in tempore!

M.        Nolite ridere! Numquam latebam!

            Non sum ignavus! auxilium quaerebam!

            Lupus ululat post scaenam.

FL. CO. M.S. Omnes ad villam tuto curramus.

            Omnes actores de scaena cedamus.


The five characters enter, four children and one awful and huge wolf.


FL.       I am Flavia, a girl full of energy.

CO.     I am Cornelia, Iím always a bit tired.

M.        Am Marcus, a pretty decent boy.

S.         I am Sextus, a boy whoís sometimes a bit of a nuisance.

W.       I am the wolf, a horrid beast.

            Look at my jaws. My throat is pretty grim too.

            I eat meat, and soft juices.

            So I hunt for girls and boys.

FL and CO. Here we are, strolling in the meadow.

S.         Look, we boys like trees.

M.        Yes we sit there and - letís read our books.

W.       I lie waiting in the grass,

            And fill the whole place with my howling.

FL.       O poor us, the wolf is making for us!

CO.     What wicked teeth he is opening in his maw!

FL.       The awful beast will eat my dress.

CO.     The horrid beast will swallow us down.

W.       I howl and howl. How Iím frightening them!

S.         Iím climbing a tree.  The rest of you be off.

L.         First of all, like a wicked wolf Iíll attack the girls.

            Then Iíll eat the lad also with my maw.

M.        I am Marcus, and Iím snatching up this branch.

            Off with you wolf! Iím beating your face.

W.       Ow, ow, what suffering! I have to run.

M.        The wolf has gone off.  You can bring yourselves back.

FL. and CO. Marcus how brave you are! We are your fans for life.

            You are a cool boy. We give you a hug.

M.        Where is Sextus? Heís hiding in the tree!

FL. CO. M. Sextus, weíre laughing.  Come back in good time!

M.        Stop laughing! I was never hiding.

            Iím not a coward. I was looking for help.

            The wolf howls backstage.

FL. CO. M. S. Letís all run safely back to the house.

            Let all us actors leave the stage.


Sol et Boreas, etiam Homo et Narrator


S          Ego sum Sol. Omnibus fulgeo.

B          Ego sum Boreas, omnibus noceo.

S          Ego sum calidus, floresque augeo.

B          Ego sum gelidus, floresque contraho.

S          Experiamur, uter plus valeat.

            Hic venit homo, per prata deambulat.

            Experiamur, num togam exuat.

B          Ego perflabo flamine frigido.

H         Frigebo totus, si togam exuero.

B          Emittam nives si forte se reddat.

H         Nives heu timeo, toga me involvat.

B          Pluviam dabo, ut madidus fiat.

H         Toga vel artius totum me tegat.

S          Tu nihil agis. Ego experiar.

            Mittam calores, meum dabo iubar.

H         Calidior sum! Togam iam exuam.

S          Sol ego supero! Vicique Boreum.

N         Sic discas quisque, si quis haec audies,

            Suadendi non sunt apta materies

            Aspera, dura, talisque congeries.

            Mollia, mitia sunt meliora

            Quibus flectantur etiam dura.


The Sun and the North Wind with a Man and Narrator


S          I am the Sun.  I shine on everyone.

W        I am the North Wind, I am everyoneís nuisance.

S          I am warm, I make the flowers grow.

W        I am icy, I make the flowers shrivel.

S          Letís find out, which of us has more power.

            Here comes a man, walking through the fields.

            Letís find out, whether he takes off his toga.

W        I will blow with my cold breath.

M         ďIíll freeze from tip to toe, if I take off my toga.Ē

W        Iíll send now the snowflakes, to see if he surrenders.

M         ďO, Iím scared of the snowflakes.  My toga must wrap me well.Ē

W        Iíll send some rain, to wet him through.

M         ďMy toga must cover me all up even more tightly.Ē

S          Youíre getting nowhere.  Iíll have a go.

            Iíll send heat, Iíll produce my sunshine.

M         ďIím too hot.  Now Iíll take my toga off.Ē

S          Iím the winner, the Sun.  Iíve beaten the North Wind.

N         Let each of you in my audience learn.

            Not much good in persuading are

            harsh, tough things and heaps of stuff like that.

            Soft and gentle does it;

            By those even the tough may be made to yield.

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