Monday, December 28, 2009

Canis et Lapis: Alius peccat, alius plectitur (Alciato)

SOURCE: The emblems of Alciato, with a convenient bilingual presentation online at Memorial University, and a marvelous collection of illustrated editions at Glasgow. This is emblem 175 in the collection. This not a fable in the Aesopic tradition, but it follows the typical pattern of someone making a "foolish mistake" - compare, for example, the bees who attack the beekeeper in Perry 72. You can find the word list for this fable online at, and use it interactively!

READ OUT LOUD. Choose which marked text you prefer to practice with - macrons in verse form, or macrons in prose order, or accent marks in prose order, or focusing on the meter. You will find materials for all of these options below. :-)

VERSE MACRONS. Here is the verse text with macrons:

Arripit ut lapidem catulus, morsūque fatīgat,
Nec percussōrī mūtua damna facit.
Sīc plērīque sinunt vērōs ēlabier hostēs
Et quōs nulla gravat noxia, dente petunt.

PROSE MACRONS. Here is the same text with macrons written out in prose word order:

Ut catulus lapidem arripit et morsū fatīgat, nec percussōrī mūtua damna facit, sīc plērīque vērōs hostēs ēlabier sinunt et dente petunt quōs nulla noxia gravat.

STRESS (ACCENT) MARKS. Here is the prose text with accents, plus some color-coding for the words of three or more syllables (blue: penultimate stress; red: antepenultimate stress):

Ut cátulus lápidem árripit et morsu fatígat, nec percussóri mútua damna facit, sic pleríque veros hostes elábier sinunt et dente petunt quos nulla nóxia gravat.

ELEGIAC COUPLET METER. Below I have used an interpunct dot to indicate the metrical elements in each line, and a double line || to indicate the hemistichs of the pentameter line.

Arripit· ut lapi·dem catu·lus, mor·sūque fa·tīgat,
Nec per·cussō·rī || mūtua· damna fa·cit.
Sīc plē·rīque si·nunt vē·rōs ē·labier· hostēs

Et quōs· nulla gra·vat || noxia,· dente pe·tunt.

IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source) from a 1534 edition of the emblems:

What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches:
Ut catulus lapidem arripit et morsu fatigat, nec percussori mutua damna facit, sic plerique veros hostes elabier sinunt et dente petunt quos nulla noxia gravat.

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