Herinacei, hiemem adventare praesentientes, blande Viperas rogaverunt ut in propria illarum caverna adversus vim frigoris locum sibi concederent. Quod cum illae fecissent, Herinacei, huc atque illuc se provolventes, spinarum acumine Viperas pungebant et vehementi dolore torquebant. Illae, male secum actum videntes, blandis verbis orabant Herinaceos ut exirent, quandoquidem tam multis locus esset angustus nimis. Cui Herinacei: “Exeant (inquiunt) qui hic manere non possunt.” Quare Viperae, sentientes ibi locum non esse, cesserunt hospitio.Herinacei, hiemem adventare praesentientes,
= In the first word we meet one of the main characters in the story: the hedgehogs. Note the accusative plus infinitive construction, hiemem adventare in indirect statement.
blande Viperas rogaverunt
= Here we meet the other main characters in the story: the vipers (who, somewhat surprisingly, turn out to be the victims in this story!).
ut in propria illarum caverna
= The pronoun refers to the vipers: in illarum (viperarum) caverna.
adversus vim frigoris
= The word adversus here is used as a preposition, taking an accusative complement.
locum sibi concederent.
= The subjunctive is introduced by ut, and sibi refers back to the subject of the main verb, the hedgehogs: ut viperae locum (herinaceis) concederent.
Quod cum illae fecissent,
= The relative pronoun connects back to the previous sentence referring to the general situation described there, i.e. the vipers inviting the hedgehogs into their home.
Herinacei, huc atque illuc se provolventes,
= The Latin correlatives huc and illuc are adverbs of motion, equivalent to the somewhat archaic English correlatives "hither" (to here, to this place) and "thither" (to there, to that place).
spinarum acumine Viperas pungebant
= The spinae belong to the hedgehogs. As often, Latin does not use a possessive pronoun, where English chooses to do so: they poked the snakes with the points of (their = the hedgehogs') spines.
et vehementi dolore torquebant.
= The word viperas supplies the object of this verb also.
Illae, male secum actum videntes,
= Accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement: male secum actum (esse), “it had gone badly for them” (secum = cum se, “with them, for them”).
blandis verbis orabant Herinaceos
= Notice that the hedgehogs had asked sweetly, blande, for permission to share the vipers' den, and now the vipers are forced to use blandis verbis to try to get rid of their guests.
= The implied subject of this verb is the hedgehogs: ut (herinacei) exirent.
quandoquidem tam multis
= The adjective multis is dative plural, and refers to "so many (animals)," or "so many (creatures)" living in the vipers' den.
locus esset angustus nimis.
= The subjunctive, introduced by quandoquidem (“since”), gives causal background information; according to the vipers, this is why the hedgehogs need to move out.
= The referent of the relative pronoun is the entire preceding statement: “to (this) the hedgehogs say . . .”
= Note the postpositive use of the verb inquiunt to indicate the beginning of a direct quotation.
qui hic manere non possunt.”
= The referent of the relative pronoun qui is the implied subject of the verb: exeant (ei) qui hic manere non possunt; the subjunctive expresses a wish or command, the result that the hedgehogs expect to happen.
= The word quare is a compound consisting of qua + re, "on account of which thing" (i.e. the attitude of the hedgehogs - and their spines!).
sentientes ibi locum non esse,
= The phrase locum esse is an accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement: “there is no place.”
= The verb cesserunt (“go away from”) takes an ablative complement: the vipers had to abandon their own lodging.
Here is the illustration of the fable by Francis Barlow:
The Aesopus Ning is now open for business - so, for more fables and to share your questions and comments with others, come visit the Ning!