Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mus et Felis (Abstemius)

SOURCE: This fable comes from the first Hecatomythium ("100 Fables") of Laurentius Abstemius (Lorenzo Bevilaqua), a fifteenth-century Italian scholar. Of all the neo-Latin fable collections, Abstemius's was the most popular, and his stories are frequently anthologized in the 16th-, 17th- and 18th-century collections of Aesop's fables in Latin. Here is a 1499 edition of the book online. This is fable 67 in the collection.

READ OUT LOUD. Choose which marked text you prefer to practice with - macrons or accent marks - and read the text out loud until you feel comfortable and confident. Then, try reading the unmarked text at the bottom. It should be easy for you after practicing with the marked texts. :-)


MACRONS. Here is the text with macrons:

Mūrēs complūrēs in cavō parietis commorantēs contemplābantur fēlem, quae in tabulātō capite dēmissō et tristī vultū recumbēbat. Tunc ūnus ex eīs: Hoc animal, inquit, benignum admodum et mīt e vidētur. Vultū enim ipsō sanctimōniam quandam praefert, volō ipsum alloquī et cum eō indissolūbilem nectere amīcitiam. Quae cum dīxisset et propius accessisset, ā fele captus et dīlacerātus est. Tunc cēterī hoc videntēs sēcum dīcēbant: nōn est profectō, nōn est vultuī temerē crēdendum. Haec fābula innuit, nōn ex vultū, sed ex operibus hominēs iūdicandōs, cum sub ovīlī pelle saepe ātrōcēs lupī dēlitescant.



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

Mures complúres in cavo paríetis commorántes contemplabántur felem, quae in tabuláto cápite demísso et tristi vultu recumbébat. Tunc unus ex eis: "Hoc ánimal (inquit) benígnum ádmodum et mite vidétur. Vultu enim ipso sanctimóniam quandam praefert; volo ipsum álloqui et cum eo indissolúbilem néctere amicítiam." Quae cum dixísset et própius accessísset, a fele captus et dilacerátus est. Tunc céteri hoc vidéntes secum dicébant: "Non est profécto vúltui témere credéndum." Haec fábula ínnuit, non ex vultu, sed ex opéribus hómines iudicándos, cum sub ovíli pelle saepe atróces lupi delitéscant.



UNMARKED TEXT. Here is the unmarked text - after practicing with the marked text that you prefer, you should not have any trouble with the unmarked text. I've put in some line breaks to show the natural pauses in the story:

Mures complures
in cavo parietis commorantes
contemplabantur felem,
quae in tabulato
capite demisso et tristi vultu
recumbebat.
Tunc unus ex eis:
"Hoc animal (inquit)
benignum admodum et mite videtur.
Vultu enim ipso
sanctimoniam quandam praefert;
volo ipsum alloqui
et cum eo
indissolubilem nectere amicitiam."
Quae cum dixisset
et propius accessisset,
a fele captus et dilaceratus est.
Tunc ceteri
hoc videntes secum dicebant:
"Non est profecto
vultui temere credendum."
Haec fabula innuit,
non ex vultu, sed ex operibus
homines iudicandos,
cum
sub ovili pelle
saepe atroces lupi delitescant.




IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source), showing the eventual fate of the poor foolish mouse:




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