Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fable 46: Leo et Vulpes

Here's the next fable with a kind of running commentary that is not entirely possible within the confines of the forthcoming book from Bolchazy-Carducci. This will be Fable 46 in the book: De Leone et Vulpe. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Leonem aegrotantem visebant animalia. Vulpes solummodo distulit officium. Ad hanc Leo legatum mittit, indicans gratissimam rem aegroto fore eius unius praesentiam. Respondet Vulpes optare se ut Leo convalescat; ceterum se minime visuram, terreri enim vestigiis quae indicabant multum quidem animalium introisse, sed exiisse nullum.
Leonem aegrotantem visebant animalia.
= We meet a main character of the story here in the first word: the lion. Although animalia could be either nominative or accusative, from context you can see that it is the subject of the verb.

Vulpes solummodo distulit officium.
= Here we meet the other main character of the story: the fox. The officium refers to the fox's duty to visit the ailing lion, as the other animals do.

Ad hanc Leo legatum mittit,
= The pronoun hanc refers to the fox, a feminine noun.

= The participle refers to the subject of the main verb, that is the lion. By means of the embassy to the fox, the lion is communicating a message, as we will learn in the following indirect statement.

gratissimam rem aegroto fore
= Accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement, with fore as the future infinitive of esse. Note the use of the superlative here to indicate something "extremely welcome, supremely gratifying."

eius unius praesentiam.
= Note that both the subject and the predicate of the accusative plus infinitive construction are in the accusative case: rem...fore...praesentiam. The pronoun eius (feminine singular genitive) refers to the fox, with the adjective unius in agreement: eius (vulpis) unius praesentiam.

Respondet Vulpes
= Here is the answer that the fox makes to the ambassador sent by the lion.

optare se
= Accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement, with se as the subject of the infinitive, referring back to the subject of the main verb: vulpes.

ut Leo convalescat;
= The ut clause expresses what the fox hopes will indeed happen, that the lion might regain his health.

ceterum se minime visuram,
= Another accusative plus infinitive construction, with se as the accusative subject: se visuram (esse).

terreri enim vestigiis
= There is an implied se which is the subject of this accusative plus infinitive construction: (se) terreri.

quae indicabant
= The referent of the relative pronoun are the vestigia in the previous clause.

multum quidem animalium introisse,
= Accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement; animalium is a partitive genitive with the accusative subject of the infinitive, multum: “a great many (of) animals”.

sed exiisse nullum.
= The accusative plus infinitive construction parallels the previous construction: exiisse nullum (animalium).

Here is the illustration of the fable by Francis Barlow:

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