Leo, laqueo captus, cum ita se irretitum videret ut nullis viribus sese explicare posset, Murem rogavit, ut, abroso laqueo, eum liberaret, promittens tanti beneficii se non futurum immemorem. Quod cum Mus prompte fecisset, Leonem rogavit ut filiam eius sibi traderet in uxorem. Nec abnuit Leo ut benefactori suo rem gratam faceret. Nova autem nupta, ad virum veniens, cum eum non videret, casu illum pede pressit et contrivit.Leo, laqueo captus,
= Here we meet one of the main characters in the story: a lion.
cum ita se irretitum videret
= The subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information; this is why the lion had to ask the mouse for help. The verb videret introduces an indirect statement, accusative plus infinitive, with se as the accusative subject.
ut nullis viribus sese explicare posset,
= The ut clause expresses the result of being trapped in the snare: the lion cannot untangle himself.
= Here we meet the other main character of the story: a tiny mouse.
ut, abroso laqueo, eum liberaret,
= In this statement, you can get a sense of how the ablative absolute evolved as a grammatical structure in Latin: the chewing through of the snare's ropes (ablative absolute, abroso laqueo) is the means by which the mouse could free the lion.
= The participle agrees with the subject of the main verb, rogavit, the lion.
tanti beneficii se non futurum immemorem.
= Accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement, with se as the accusative subject and immemorem as the predicate adjective: se non futurum (esse) immemorem. The adjective immemorem takes a genitive complement.
Quod cum Mus prompte fecisset,
= The relative pronoun connects back to the previous sentence, referring to the general situation described there, i.e. setting the lion free; the subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information as to why the mouse was able to ask the lion for a favor.
= Can you guess what kind of reward the mouse is going to ask for?
ut filiam eius sibi traderet in uxorem.
= This idiom traderet in uxorem is roughly like the English phrase, “bestow in marriage.”
Nec abnuit Leo
= You can replace the word nec with the words et non to make the meaning of the sentence more clear: et non abnuit leo, “and the lion did not refuse.”
ut benefactori suo rem gratam faceret.
= As often, the English use of the infinitive ("to refuse to do something") is equivalent to an ut clause in Latin.
Nova autem nupta,
= Notice the placement of the postpositive particle in second position, as you would expect.
ad virum veniens,
= The vir here means "husband," not "man" (it refers to a mouse, after all!).
cum eum non videret,
= The subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information; this is why the lioness stepped on the mouse.
casu illum pede pressit et contrivit.
= The lioness brought about this tragedy "casually," so to speak - by chance, casu.
Here is the illustration of the fable by Francis Barlow:
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