Monday, March 12, 2012

Sermones blandos...

Here is today's distich by Cato (so-called), 3.4, with English translations by Duff and Chase. There is a famous Aesop's fable about flattery, when the fox uses sermones blandi to get the crow to drop the cheese.

Sermones blandos blandosque cavere memento:
Simplicitas veri forma est, laus ficta loquentis.

Deem soft cajoling speech an empty cheat;
Truth naked is, but flatt'ry cloaks deceit.

Beware of software whispered flatteries:
Frankness is mark of truth, flattery of lifes.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There is only one word in this poem that is not on the DCC list:

simplicitas, simplicitātis f. - simplicity, candor, honesty

blandus -a -um: alluring, charming
caveo -ēre cāvī cautum: be on guard, beware
fingo -ere finxī fictum: shape; invent
fōrma -ae f.: shape; beauty
laus, laudis f.: praise, glory
loquor loquī locūtus sum: speak, talk
meminī meminisse: remember, recollect
que: and (enclitic)
sermo -ōnis m.: conversation, discourse
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
vērus -a -um: true; vērē, truly