Friday, January 29, 2010

Scarabaeus et Aquila: A minimis quoque timendum (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 169 in the collection. For other versions of this fable, see Perry 3.

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:

Bella gerit scarabaeus, et hostem prōvocat ultrō,
Rōbore et inferior, cōnsiliō superat.
Nam plūmīs aquilae clam sē neque cognitus abdit,
Hostīlem ut nīdum summa per astra petat.
Ōvaque, confodiēns, prohibet spem crescere prōlis:
Hōcque modō illātum dēdecus ultus abit.

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

Scarabaeus bella gerit, et ultrō hostem prōvocat, et, rōbore inferior, cōnsiliō superat. Nam aquilae plūmīs clam neque cognitus sē abdit , ut hostīlem nīdum per astra summa petat: et, ōva confodiēns, spem prohibet prōlis crescere, et abit, hōc modō dēdecus illātum ultus.

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):

Scarabaéus bella gerit, et ultro hostem próvocat, et, róbore inférior, consílio súperat. Nam áquilae plumis clam neque cógnitus se abdit , ut hostílem nidum per astra summa petat: et, ova confódiens, spem próhibet prolis créscere, et abit, hoc modo dédecus illátum ultus.

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.

Bella ge·rit scara·baeus, et· hostem· prōvocat· ultrō,
Rōbor~ et· inferi·or, || cōnsili·ō supe·rat.
Nam plū·mīs aqui·lae clam· sē neque· cognitus· abdit,
Hostīl~· ut nī·dum || summa per· astra pe·tat.
Ōvaque,· confodi·ēns, prohi·bet spem· crescere· prōlis:
Hōcque mo·d~ illā·tum || dēdecus· ultus a·bit.

IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source) from a 1542 edition of the emblems:

Here's another illustration - it's from the Medici Aesop, which is online at the New York Public Library website. This includes the part of the story where the eagle snatches the rabbit, which is what provokes the beetle's revenge:

What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches: Scarabaeus bella gerit, et ultro hostem provocat, et, robore inferior, consilio superat. Nam aquilae plumis clam neque cognitus se abdit , ut hostilem nidum per astra summa petat: et, ova confodiens, spem prohibet prolis crescere, et abit, hoc modo dedecus illatum ultus.

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