Leo et Ursus, simul magnum adepti hinnulum, de eo concertabant. Graviter autem a se ipsis affecti, ut ex multa pugna etiam vertigine corriperentur, defatigati iacebant. Vulpes interea, circumcirca eundo ubi prostratos eos vidit et hinnulum in medio iacentem, hunc, per utrosque percurrendo, rapuit fugiensque abivit. At illi videbant quidem furacem Vulpem sed, quia non potuerunt surgere, “Eheu nos miseros,” dicebant, “quia Vulpi laboravimus.”Leo et Ursus,
= We meet here in the opening words two of the main characters in the fable: the lion and the bear.
simul magnum adepti hinnulum,
= The phrase magnum hinnulum wraps around the participle; the deponent participle is transitive and takes a direct object in the accusative.
de eo concertabant.
= The pronoun refers to the hinnulum which they have caught and are now fighting over.
Graviter autem a se ipsis affecti,
= The reflexive pronoun se is ablative plural, referring to the compound subject of the verb: leo et ursus. Note the postpositive particle in second position, just as you would expect.
ut ex multa pugna etiam vertigine corriperentur,
= This is the result of their mutual attack, expressed in the form of an ut clause.
= The participle agrees with the implied subject of the verb: leo et ursus.
= The third character in the fable arrives on the scene: the fox.
= Note the use of the gerund in the ablative case; although the gerund is a noun, it has the qualities of a verb, too, as shown by the presence of the adverb circumcirca.
ubi prostratos eos vidit
= The pronoun eos refers to the lion and the bear (hence the masculine plural form).
et hinnulum in medio iacentem,
= In addition to seeing the lion and the bear, the fox also sees what those two combatants are fighting over!
hunc, per utrosque percurrendo, rapuit
= The pronoun refers to the fawn: hunc (hinnulum) rapuit. Note here another gerund in the ablative case. The pronoun utrosque refers to the lion and the bear.
= The fox, unfatigued, is able to make a quick escape!
At illi videbant quidem furacem Vulpem
= The postpositive particle quidem adds a special emphasis to the preceding word: the lion and bear were able to see the fox, it’s true, but all they could do was watch - they could not chase after her.
sed, quia non potuerunt surgere,
= Mighty though they might be, the lion and the bear were not able to rise to the occasion, so to speak.
“Eheu nos miseros,” dicebant,
= An exclamation using the accusative, with the interjection eheu. Notice that the verb of speaking introduces direct quoted speech here, rather than indirect speech.
“quia Vulpi laboravimus.”
= They labored, that is, to catch the prey in the first place, which the fox carried off effortlessly!
Here is the illustration of the fable by Francis Barlow:
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