Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Canis et Luna: Inanis impetus (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 165 in the collection. Although this is not found in the classic Aesop's fables, it shares the motif of the dog fooled by an illusion with the famous story of the dog crossing the stream, Perry 133.

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:

Lūnārem noctū, ut speculum, canis inspicit orbem,
Sēque vidēns, alium crēdit inesse canem,
Et lātrat: sed frustrā agitur vox irrita ventīs,
Et peragit cursūs surda Diāna suōs.


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

Canis orbem lūnārem noctū inspicit, ut speculum, et, sē vidēns, crēdit canem alium inesse, et lātrat: sed frustrā vox irrita ventīs agitur, et Diāna, surda, cursūs suōs peragit.


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):

Canis orbem lunárem noctu ínspicit, ut spéculum, et, se videns, credit canem álium inésse, et latrat: sed frustra vox írrita ventis ágitur, et Diána, surda, cursus suos péragit.


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.

Lūnā·rem noc·t~, ut specu·lum, canis· inspicit· orbem,
Sēque vi·dēns, ali·um || crēdit i·nesse ca·nem,
Et lā·trat: sed· frustr~ agi·tur vox· irrita· ventīs,
Et pera·git cur·sūs || surda Di·āna su·ōs.


IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source) from a 1621 edition of the emblems:


What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches: Canis orbem lunarem noctu inspicit, ut speculum, et, se videns, credit canem alium inesse, et latrat: sed frustra vox irrita ventis agitur, et Diana, surda, cursus suos peragit.

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