The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 40v - the cock, continued.


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Commentary, Translation and Transcription

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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.
by careful self-examination, and they correct it by severe self-reproach. First they carefully punish their own faults, weeping as they do so, then they make known the faults of others which should be punished. They flap their wings noisily before they crow, in the sense that before they offer words of encouragement, they proclaim by their deeds all the virtues of which they are going to speak. And when they themselves are fully awake, then they rouse others from their sleep. But from where does the teacher get such understanding, that he stays fully awake to his own state and rouses with his cries those who sleep; that he first carefully scatters the darkness of sin, and afterwards with judgement reveals the light of preaching, showing it to them individually as befits their circumstances, and simultaneously to all who follow them? From where does he get this understanding, which extends to so many things so acutely, unless he be instructed inwardly by the Lord his maker? As it is not a characteristic of a preacher but of an author to praise such great understanding, it is therefore rightly said by the author I have already quoted: 'Who gave the cock its understanding? If not I who created from nothing the minds of teachers, as by a marvel, and taught them, even more marvellously, to understand things which are hidden?' It can also be said on the subject of the cock, that there are certain prelates of the Church [to whom God gave understanding but who do not do anything with it]. They do not flap their wings to bestir themselves, nor do they encourage others to rise and lead good lives. They love themselves and so devote themselves to repose and desire. They do not mark the hours of the night like the cock, in the sense that they do not denounce the guilt of the wicked. They do not apply their judgement to confession or repentance, but use the understanding given to them for the acquisition of transitory things. They have learned how to seek the good of souls, yet they apply their minds entirely to those things which relate to the pleasures of the flesh. There are others who are excessively simple and unlearned, who are poised like cocks on the the perch of government, that is, the perch of preferment

Text

The cock compared to a preacher.

Comment

Addition in margin: 'intelligentsia datur nec tamen iuxta intelligenciam'. This phrase occurs in the standard texts (Clark, 1992, 186). Bottom left margin 'cathedra'. The text refers to the 'perch of prelates', where it should say the 'cathedra' or 'seat of prelates'. (Clark, 1992, 186).

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

investigatione deprehendunt, districta animadversione cor\rigunt. Prius sua punire fletibus curant, et tunc que aliorum\ sunt punienda denuntiant. Prius ergo alis insonant quam\ cantus emittant, quia antequam verba exhortationis proferant\ omne quod locuturi sunt operibus clamant. Et cum perfecte\ insemet ipsis vigilant, tunc dormientes alios ad vigilias\ vocant. Sed unde tanta doctori intelligentia ut et sibi perfecte\ vigilet, et dormientes ad vigilias sub quibusdam clamoris\ provectibus vocet, ut et peccatorum tenebras prius caute discuciat,\ et discrete postmodum lucem predicationis ostendat, vel singu\lis iuxta modum et tempora congruat, et simul omnibus qui\ illos sequantur ostendat? Unde ad tanta et tam subtiliter tenditur,\ nisi intrinsecus ab eo a quo est conditus doceatur? Quia igitur laus\ intelligentie tante non predicatoris virtus est sed auctoris,\ recte per eundem auctorem dicitur: [Vel] quis dedit gallo intel\ligentiam? Nisi ego qui doctorum mentes quas mire ex ni\chilo condidi, ad intelligenda que occulta sunt mirabilius\ instruxi. Potest etiam de gallo dici, quod sint quidam ecclesie\ prelati quibus a Deo [PL, intelligentia datur; nec tamen iuxta intelligentiam a Deo] sibi datam aliquid operantur. Non seipsos alis\ excitant nec alios monent, ut ad bene operandum surgant. \ Seipsos amant et sic ocio et voluptati vacant. Horas noctis\ sicut gallus non annuntiant, quia culpas delinquentium non\ accusant. Confessionis et penitentie discrecionem non atten\dunt, sed in adquirendis rebus transitoriis intelligentiam adeo sibi\ datam ponunt. Animarum lucra querere noverunt ea\tamen que ad delectationem carnis pertineant, tota mente que\runt. Sunt et alii nimis simplices et illiterati, qui quasi gal\lus sedent in pertica regiminis, id est in pertica prelationis, locum

Translation

by careful self-examination, and they correct it by severe self-reproach. First they carefully punish their own faults, weeping as they do so, then they make known the faults of others which should be punished. They flap their wings noisily before they crow, in the sense that before they offer words of encouragement, they proclaim by their deeds all the virtues of which they are going to speak. And when they themselves are fully awake, then they rouse others from their sleep. But from where does the teacher get such understanding, that he stays fully awake to his own state and rouses with his cries those who sleep; that he first carefully scatters the darkness of sin, and afterwards with judgement reveals the light of preaching, showing it to them individually as befits their circumstances, and simultaneously to all who follow them? From where does he get this understanding, which extends to so many things so acutely, unless he be instructed inwardly by the Lord his maker? As it is not a characteristic of a preacher but of an author to praise such great understanding, it is therefore rightly said by the author I have already quoted: 'Who gave the cock its understanding? If not I who created from nothing the minds of teachers, as by a marvel, and taught them, even more marvellously, to understand things which are hidden?' It can also be said on the subject of the cock, that there are certain prelates of the Church [to whom God gave understanding but who do not do anything with it]. They do not flap their wings to bestir themselves, nor do they encourage others to rise and lead good lives. They love themselves and so devote themselves to repose and desire. They do not mark the hours of the night like the cock, in the sense that they do not denounce the guilt of the wicked. They do not apply their judgement to confession or repentance, but use the understanding given to them for the acquisition of transitory things. They have learned how to seek the good of souls, yet they apply their minds entirely to those things which relate to the pleasures of the flesh. There are others who are excessively simple and unlearned, who are poised like cocks on the the perch of government, that is, the perch of preferment
  • Commentary

    Text

    The cock compared to a preacher.

    Comment

    Addition in margin: 'intelligentsia datur nec tamen iuxta intelligenciam'. This phrase occurs in the standard texts (Clark, 1992, 186). Bottom left margin 'cathedra'. The text refers to the 'perch of prelates', where it should say the 'cathedra' or 'seat of prelates'. (Clark, 1992, 186).

    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
    by careful self-examination, and they correct it by severe self-reproach. First they carefully punish their own faults, weeping as they do so, then they make known the faults of others which should be punished. They flap their wings noisily before they crow, in the sense that before they offer words of encouragement, they proclaim by their deeds all the virtues of which they are going to speak. And when they themselves are fully awake, then they rouse others from their sleep. But from where does the teacher get such understanding, that he stays fully awake to his own state and rouses with his cries those who sleep; that he first carefully scatters the darkness of sin, and afterwards with judgement reveals the light of preaching, showing it to them individually as befits their circumstances, and simultaneously to all who follow them? From where does he get this understanding, which extends to so many things so acutely, unless he be instructed inwardly by the Lord his maker? As it is not a characteristic of a preacher but of an author to praise such great understanding, it is therefore rightly said by the author I have already quoted: 'Who gave the cock its understanding? If not I who created from nothing the minds of teachers, as by a marvel, and taught them, even more marvellously, to understand things which are hidden?' It can also be said on the subject of the cock, that there are certain prelates of the Church [to whom God gave understanding but who do not do anything with it]. They do not flap their wings to bestir themselves, nor do they encourage others to rise and lead good lives. They love themselves and so devote themselves to repose and desire. They do not mark the hours of the night like the cock, in the sense that they do not denounce the guilt of the wicked. They do not apply their judgement to confession or repentance, but use the understanding given to them for the acquisition of transitory things. They have learned how to seek the good of souls, yet they apply their minds entirely to those things which relate to the pleasures of the flesh. There are others who are excessively simple and unlearned, who are poised like cocks on the the perch of government, that is, the perch of preferment
  • Transcription
    investigatione deprehendunt, districta animadversione cor\rigunt. Prius sua punire fletibus curant, et tunc que aliorum\ sunt punienda denuntiant. Prius ergo alis insonant quam\ cantus emittant, quia antequam verba exhortationis proferant\ omne quod locuturi sunt operibus clamant. Et cum perfecte\ insemet ipsis vigilant, tunc dormientes alios ad vigilias\ vocant. Sed unde tanta doctori intelligentia ut et sibi perfecte\ vigilet, et dormientes ad vigilias sub quibusdam clamoris\ provectibus vocet, ut et peccatorum tenebras prius caute discuciat,\ et discrete postmodum lucem predicationis ostendat, vel singu\lis iuxta modum et tempora congruat, et simul omnibus qui\ illos sequantur ostendat? Unde ad tanta et tam subtiliter tenditur,\ nisi intrinsecus ab eo a quo est conditus doceatur? Quia igitur laus\ intelligentie tante non predicatoris virtus est sed auctoris,\ recte per eundem auctorem dicitur: [Vel] quis dedit gallo intel\ligentiam? Nisi ego qui doctorum mentes quas mire ex ni\chilo condidi, ad intelligenda que occulta sunt mirabilius\ instruxi. Potest etiam de gallo dici, quod sint quidam ecclesie\ prelati quibus a Deo [PL, intelligentia datur; nec tamen iuxta intelligentiam a Deo] sibi datam aliquid operantur. Non seipsos alis\ excitant nec alios monent, ut ad bene operandum surgant. \ Seipsos amant et sic ocio et voluptati vacant. Horas noctis\ sicut gallus non annuntiant, quia culpas delinquentium non\ accusant. Confessionis et penitentie discrecionem non atten\dunt, sed in adquirendis rebus transitoriis intelligentiam adeo sibi\ datam ponunt. Animarum lucra querere noverunt ea\tamen que ad delectationem carnis pertineant, tota mente que\runt. Sunt et alii nimis simplices et illiterati, qui quasi gal\lus sedent in pertica regiminis, id est in pertica prelationis, locum
Folio 40v - the cock, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen