Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lacerta et Testudo (Desbillons)

SOURCE: For a complete edition of the fables of Desbillons, the 18th-century Jesuit scholar and poet, see GoogleBooks. This is fable 1.4. Although there are many fables about the turtle and her shell (as when Zeus punishes the turtle by making her carry her house, Perry 106), I'm not sure about Desbillons' source for this version. If you have information about that, let me know!

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 iambic meter. You will find materials for all of these options below. :-)

VERSE MACRONS. Here is the verse text with macrons:

Tuī mē miseret, āiēbat testūdinī
Lacerta; quae, quōcumque libeat vādere,
Tuam ipsa tēcum ferre cōgāris domum.
Quod ūtile, inquit illa, nōn grave est onus.

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

Lacerta testūdinī āiēbat mē miseret tuī, quae, quōcumque vādere libeat, ipsa cōgāris domum tuam tēcum ferre. Illa inquit: Quod ūtile, onus grave nōn est.

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):

Lacérta testúdini aiébat me míseret tui, quae, quocúmque vádere líbeat, ipsa cogáris domum tuam tecum ferre. Illa inquit: Quod útile, onus grave non est.

IAMBIC METER. Here is the verse text with some color coding to assist in the iambic meter. The disyllabic elements (iambs/spondees) are not marked, but the trisyllabic elements are color-coded: dactyls are red, anapests are purple, and tribrachs are green (as is any proceleusmaticus, although that is a rare creature); for more information, here are some Notes on Iambic Meter.

Tuī· mē mise·ret, ā·iēbat· testū·dinī
Lacer·ta; quae,· quōcum·que libe·at vā·dere,
Tu~ ip·sa tē·cum fer·re cō·gāris· domum.
Quod ū·til~ in·quit il·la, nōn· grav~ est· onus.

IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source) showing a turtle in its shell:

What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches:
Lacerta testudini aiebat me miseret tui, quae, quocumque vadere libeat, ipsa cogaris domum tuam tecum ferre. Illa inquit: Quod utile, onus grave non est.

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