Thanks very much imber ranae. That was extremely useful. I have added 'usui est'
to my Anki deck.
I am still having some trouble with this passage, I had some issue with the very next paragraph, but I think I got it:
Cum te gladio vallare sciveris,
tunc vallum ferre desinito.
Is this what it is saying:
To a certain man who, because of the heavy load, became sick, he said:
"You will know how to defend yourself with the sword when you desist in bringing the stakes"
In other words, he is sort of saying, if you don't finish building this fortification, then you better be ready to defend yourself against the enemy using only your sword.....It seems a little akward....
Also, a little farther down there is this really tricky bit:
Cumque ille quaereret
qui custodiae causa
in obsidione Carthaginis,
vocatis ad coenam amicis,
sub figura urbis Carthaginis
in mensa posuerat;
Quia, inquit Scipio,
et notatos a collega,
Here is my go at it:
When he questioned why it is noted that, for the purpose of guarding, he had remained in the fortifications, Scipio responded "I do not love excessively those loving" (huh?)
He took away a horse of a young man that in the siege of Carthage,
calling his friends to dinner, he had placed a shredded(diripiendam?) cake on the table under the shape (sub figura?) of the city of Carthage, and when they asked the reason, Scipio said "because you shredded me before Carthage.
Against Mummius, a friend of Scipio not even himself noted each, and the things noted by the friend that he could, he got rid of the dishonour. (what an earth is this tricky sentence on about??)