Saturday, June 2, 2012

Iustum Petito

192     -     193     -     194

Iustum Petito
Quod iustum est, petito, vel quod videatur honestum;

Nam stultum petere est, quod possit iure negari.

Ask what is right and fair, no more beside;
'Tis vain to crave what may be well denied.

Ask what is right or fair to human eye:
Fools ask what others rightly may deny.

Source: The Distichs of Cato (4th century), 1.31. Meter: Dactylic Hexameter. Note the use of the future imperative: petito.

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:

Ask (petito) for what is right (quod iustum est), or what seems to be to be honorable (vel quod videatur honestum), for it is foolish to ask for (nam stultum petere est) that which can be rightfully refused (quod possit iure negari).

stultus, -a, -um: foolish, silly

honestus -a -um: honorable
iūs iūris n.: right, justice, law
iūstus -a -um: right, just, fair
nam: for, indeed, really
nego -āre: deny, refuse
peto -ere petīvī petītum: seek, aim at
possum posse potuī: be able
qui, quae, quod: who, which, what; quis quid: who? what? which?
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
vel: or else, or; even; vel . . . vel, either… or
video -ēre vīdī vīsum: see