The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 40r - the cock, continued.


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Commentary, Translation and Transcription

These sections are located below the image on each page, scroll down page and click on the tabs to view them. It is also possible to view the translation alongside the image by clicking the translation icon in the toolbar

It is not part of the project to provide a definitive edition of the text of the Bestiary, but to help readers by providing a transcription and translation of the text. Currently the following editorial conventions obtain:

Text

  1. The original capitalisation is retained, but capitals have been added for personal and place names, excluding deus and diabolus.
  2. The original punctuation, including a point and inverted semi-colon (both serving as commas), and a point (serving as a full stop), is represented by comma, full stop and question-mark; a colon has been inserted before quotations.
  3. Suggested readings are in [ ].
  4. Variants from other Bestiary texts (eg Ashmole 1511 and Patrologia Latina 176) are added where they indicate a corruption, elucidate a meaning and replace excised text. They are represented as [A: PL:]

Translation

  1. Direct quotations from the Bible, where identified, are cited from the Authorised Version in ( ).
  2. Paraphrased quotations are identified where possible and indicated as: (see Job, 18:22).
  3. Suggested translations of corrupt words are in [ ].
  4. Capitalisation is sparing; additional punctuation has been used where necessary to give the sense. Paragraphs have been created to break up the text.
they transform their loud tones into a sweet and gentle voice, drawing attention not so much to the terrors of punishment as to the enticements of reward. They also crow quietly then like cocks because, with the approach of the dawning of divine enlightenment, they preach with a degree of refinement about the mysteries, so that their followers may hear a more detailed account of heavenly things and draw near, as a result, to the light of the truth. The lengthy crowing of the cock rouses those who are asleep; when shorter, it pleases them when awake, as those who have reformed their character take pleasure in learning in detail about the delights of divine rule, having earlier feared the calamity of divine judgement. This is well put by Moses, when God orders him to sound the trumpets in short blasts, in order to send the army forward. For it is written: 'Make thee two trumpets of silver' (Numbers, 10:2); and a little later: 'When ye blow an alarm, then the camps ... shall go forward' (Numbers, 10:5). The army is led by two trumpets, as God's people are summoned by two rules of love to be ready to fight for the faith. The trumpets are ordered to be of silver, for this reason, that the words of preachers should be clearly visible from the brightness of their light so that they should not confuse the mind of their listeners with any obscurity. The trumpets are made of beaten silver, because those who preach of the life to come must grow under the blows of the misfortunes of the present. The text: 'When ye blow an alarm, then the camps ... shall go forward' (Numbers, 10:5), is also apt, because it is a fact that the words of a sermon, when delivered very precisely and with attention to detail, stir the hearts of the listeners with greater fire in the struggle against temptation. There is something else about the cock to which we should give skilful consideration: before it prepares to utter its crow, it first beats its wings, and by striking itself makes itself more alert. We can see this clearly if we look closely at the lives of holy preachers. Before they instruct us with a sermon, they exercise themselves in holy conduct, unwilling to urge others on by voice while they themselves are sluggish in action. First, they give themselves a shake by performing lofty deeds, then they impart to others the desire to act well. First they beat themselves with the wings of thought, in the sense that they detect whatever is uselessly sluggish within themselves

Text

The cock. He crows and beats his wings.

Comment

One text correction 't' in margin.

Folio Attributes

  • Scribal Corrections

    Scribal Corrections

    Scribal Corrections
    The Bestiary scribe ends, the Lapidary scribe begins. Detail from f.94r

    When the ruling was complete the quires were ready to receive the text. At this point the scribe had a clear idea about the precise layout of each page. He had to leave the correct amount of space for the rubrics, capitals and illuminations to be added. The scribal hand is fairly uniform throughout, though Clark (2006, 223) observes the Gothic textura formata (the type of lettering) changes on f.19r, becoming ‘somewhat more compact and rounded’. There is a marked change of hand, below the illustration of the dove and hawk on f.26r, for only 5 lines. The quill is broader and the letters larger but less steady or uniform. Another scribe, with a later thirteenth-century hand, writes the lapidary section of the book, beginning on f.94r. Sometimes the scribe made mistakes or omissions which were picked up by a contemporary editor. On f.17r you can see corrections written lightly in the margin with part of the text erased and corrected accordingly. Most of the corrections occur in the Aviarium section, f.25r-f.63r.

Transcription

adesse cognoscunt, clamoris sui magnitudinem in levitatem\ dulcedinis vertunt, et non tam illa que sunt de penis terribilia quam\ ea que sunt blanda de premiis proferunt. Qui etiam tunc minutis\ vocibus cantant, quia propinquante mane [PL, divine lucis] subtilitate quadam queque\ de misteriis predicant, ut sequaces sui eo minutiora queque de cele\stibus audiant, quo luci veritatis appropinquant. Et quos dormien\tes longus galli cantus excitaverat, vigilantes succisior delec\tat, quatinus correcto cuilibet cognoscere de regno subtiliter\ dulcia libeat, qui prius de iudicio adversa formidabat. Quod bene\ per Moysen exprimitur cum ad producendum exercitum tube clan\gere concisius iubentur. Scriptum namque est: Fac tibi duas tubas ar\genteas ductiles. Et paulo post: Cum concisus clangor increpue\rit, movebuntur [PL, castra]. Per duas enim tubas exercitus ducitur, quia per duo\ precepta caritatis ad procinctum fidei populus vocatur. Que iccirco ar\gentee fieri precipiuntur, ut predicatorum verba lucis nitore pareant,\ et auditorum mentem nulla sui obscuritate confundant. Ic\circo autem ductiles, quia necesse est ut hii qui venturam vitam predicant,\ tribulationum presentium tunsionibus [PL, contusionibus] crescant. Bene autem dicitur:\ Cum concisus clangor increpuerit movebuntur castra, quia ni\mirum predicationis sermo cum subtilius ac minutius agitur, auditorum\ corda contra temptationum certamina ardentius excitantur.\ Est adhuc aliud in gallo sollerter intuendum, quia cum edere\ cantum parat prius alas excutit, et semetipsum feriens vigilian\tiorem reddit. Quod patenter cernimus si sanctorum predicatorum vitam\ vigilanter videmus. Ipsi quippe cum verba predicationis monent, prius\ se in sanctis actionibus exercent, ne in semetipsis torpentes opere, alios\ excitent voce. Sed ante se per sublimia facta excuciunt, et tunc ad\ bene agendum alios sollicitos reddunt. Prius cogitationum\ alis semetipsos feriunt, quia quicquid in se inutiliter torpet, sollicita

Translation

they transform their loud tones into a sweet and gentle voice, drawing attention not so much to the terrors of punishment as to the enticements of reward. They also crow quietly then like cocks because, with the approach of the dawning of divine enlightenment, they preach with a degree of refinement about the mysteries, so that their followers may hear a more detailed account of heavenly things and draw near, as a result, to the light of the truth. The lengthy crowing of the cock rouses those who are asleep; when shorter, it pleases them when awake, as those who have reformed their character take pleasure in learning in detail about the delights of divine rule, having earlier feared the calamity of divine judgement. This is well put by Moses, when God orders him to sound the trumpets in short blasts, in order to send the army forward. For it is written: 'Make thee two trumpets of silver' (Numbers, 10:2); and a little later: 'When ye blow an alarm, then the camps ... shall go forward' (Numbers, 10:5). The army is led by two trumpets, as God's people are summoned by two rules of love to be ready to fight for the faith. The trumpets are ordered to be of silver, for this reason, that the words of preachers should be clearly visible from the brightness of their light so that they should not confuse the mind of their listeners with any obscurity. The trumpets are made of beaten silver, because those who preach of the life to come must grow under the blows of the misfortunes of the present. The text: 'When ye blow an alarm, then the camps ... shall go forward' (Numbers, 10:5), is also apt, because it is a fact that the words of a sermon, when delivered very precisely and with attention to detail, stir the hearts of the listeners with greater fire in the struggle against temptation. There is something else about the cock to which we should give skilful consideration: before it prepares to utter its crow, it first beats its wings, and by striking itself makes itself more alert. We can see this clearly if we look closely at the lives of holy preachers. Before they instruct us with a sermon, they exercise themselves in holy conduct, unwilling to urge others on by voice while they themselves are sluggish in action. First, they give themselves a shake by performing lofty deeds, then they impart to others the desire to act well. First they beat themselves with the wings of thought, in the sense that they detect whatever is uselessly sluggish within themselves
  • Commentary

    Text

    The cock. He crows and beats his wings.

    Comment

    One text correction 't' in margin.

    Folio Attributes

    • Scribal Corrections

      Scribal Corrections

      Scribal Corrections
      The Bestiary scribe ends, the Lapidary scribe begins. Detail from f.94r

      When the ruling was complete the quires were ready to receive the text. At this point the scribe had a clear idea about the precise layout of each page. He had to leave the correct amount of space for the rubrics, capitals and illuminations to be added. The scribal hand is fairly uniform throughout, though Clark (2006, 223) observes the Gothic textura formata (the type of lettering) changes on f.19r, becoming ‘somewhat more compact and rounded’. There is a marked change of hand, below the illustration of the dove and hawk on f.26r, for only 5 lines. The quill is broader and the letters larger but less steady or uniform. Another scribe, with a later thirteenth-century hand, writes the lapidary section of the book, beginning on f.94r. Sometimes the scribe made mistakes or omissions which were picked up by a contemporary editor. On f.17r you can see corrections written lightly in the margin with part of the text erased and corrected accordingly. Most of the corrections occur in the Aviarium section, f.25r-f.63r.

  • Translation
    they transform their loud tones into a sweet and gentle voice, drawing attention not so much to the terrors of punishment as to the enticements of reward. They also crow quietly then like cocks because, with the approach of the dawning of divine enlightenment, they preach with a degree of refinement about the mysteries, so that their followers may hear a more detailed account of heavenly things and draw near, as a result, to the light of the truth. The lengthy crowing of the cock rouses those who are asleep; when shorter, it pleases them when awake, as those who have reformed their character take pleasure in learning in detail about the delights of divine rule, having earlier feared the calamity of divine judgement. This is well put by Moses, when God orders him to sound the trumpets in short blasts, in order to send the army forward. For it is written: 'Make thee two trumpets of silver' (Numbers, 10:2); and a little later: 'When ye blow an alarm, then the camps ... shall go forward' (Numbers, 10:5). The army is led by two trumpets, as God's people are summoned by two rules of love to be ready to fight for the faith. The trumpets are ordered to be of silver, for this reason, that the words of preachers should be clearly visible from the brightness of their light so that they should not confuse the mind of their listeners with any obscurity. The trumpets are made of beaten silver, because those who preach of the life to come must grow under the blows of the misfortunes of the present. The text: 'When ye blow an alarm, then the camps ... shall go forward' (Numbers, 10:5), is also apt, because it is a fact that the words of a sermon, when delivered very precisely and with attention to detail, stir the hearts of the listeners with greater fire in the struggle against temptation. There is something else about the cock to which we should give skilful consideration: before it prepares to utter its crow, it first beats its wings, and by striking itself makes itself more alert. We can see this clearly if we look closely at the lives of holy preachers. Before they instruct us with a sermon, they exercise themselves in holy conduct, unwilling to urge others on by voice while they themselves are sluggish in action. First, they give themselves a shake by performing lofty deeds, then they impart to others the desire to act well. First they beat themselves with the wings of thought, in the sense that they detect whatever is uselessly sluggish within themselves
  • Transcription
    adesse cognoscunt, clamoris sui magnitudinem in levitatem\ dulcedinis vertunt, et non tam illa que sunt de penis terribilia quam\ ea que sunt blanda de premiis proferunt. Qui etiam tunc minutis\ vocibus cantant, quia propinquante mane [PL, divine lucis] subtilitate quadam queque\ de misteriis predicant, ut sequaces sui eo minutiora queque de cele\stibus audiant, quo luci veritatis appropinquant. Et quos dormien\tes longus galli cantus excitaverat, vigilantes succisior delec\tat, quatinus correcto cuilibet cognoscere de regno subtiliter\ dulcia libeat, qui prius de iudicio adversa formidabat. Quod bene\ per Moysen exprimitur cum ad producendum exercitum tube clan\gere concisius iubentur. Scriptum namque est: Fac tibi duas tubas ar\genteas ductiles. Et paulo post: Cum concisus clangor increpue\rit, movebuntur [PL, castra]. Per duas enim tubas exercitus ducitur, quia per duo\ precepta caritatis ad procinctum fidei populus vocatur. Que iccirco ar\gentee fieri precipiuntur, ut predicatorum verba lucis nitore pareant,\ et auditorum mentem nulla sui obscuritate confundant. Ic\circo autem ductiles, quia necesse est ut hii qui venturam vitam predicant,\ tribulationum presentium tunsionibus [PL, contusionibus] crescant. Bene autem dicitur:\ Cum concisus clangor increpuerit movebuntur castra, quia ni\mirum predicationis sermo cum subtilius ac minutius agitur, auditorum\ corda contra temptationum certamina ardentius excitantur.\ Est adhuc aliud in gallo sollerter intuendum, quia cum edere\ cantum parat prius alas excutit, et semetipsum feriens vigilian\tiorem reddit. Quod patenter cernimus si sanctorum predicatorum vitam\ vigilanter videmus. Ipsi quippe cum verba predicationis monent, prius\ se in sanctis actionibus exercent, ne in semetipsis torpentes opere, alios\ excitent voce. Sed ante se per sublimia facta excuciunt, et tunc ad\ bene agendum alios sollicitos reddunt. Prius cogitationum\ alis semetipsos feriunt, quia quicquid in se inutiliter torpet, sollicita
Folio 40r - the cock, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen