The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 42v - the ostrich, 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.
have in themselves no capacity for feeling; they are nevertheless transformed, when kept warm, into living birds. Thus it is undoubtedly a fact that children and young people will remain cold and indifferent unless they are warmed by the careful encouragement of their teacher. Lest they grow inactive and insensitive through neglect, therefore, they must be cherished by the diligent instruction of teachers, until they are able to live by their own capacity for understanding and take flight on the wings of contemplation. Even though hypocrites are forever doing wrong, they never cease to utter pious speeches and by their eloquence produce offspring in the faith or as they go about among men; yet they cannot bring them up properly, by example. It is therefore rightly said of the ostrich that it 'abandons its eggs in the ground'. The hypocrite neglects to take care of his offspring, when he substitutes for intimate love a preoccupation with external things; the more he is absorbed in these, the less he suffers from the absence of his offspring. To abandon eggs in the ground is the same as failing to keep the young, born through association with men, away from earthly things in a protective nest of spiritual encouragement. To abandon eggs in the ground is the same as failing to furnish the young with the example of heavenly life. Because hypocrites are not fired deep down with love, they are untroubled by the inactivity of their offspring, in the same way as the ostrich is untroubled by the coldness of its eggs. The more willingly hypocrites involve themselves in earthly affairs, the more negligent they are in allowing their offspring to lead an earthbound life. But God's care does not desert the neglected offspring of the hypocrites; he warms some of them, foreknown and secretly chosen, with his bountiful grace. It is, therefore, rightly added in the text: 'Can you perhaps warm them in the dust?' (BSV and see NEB, Job, 39:14). As if God were to say: 'As I warm them in the dust, because I kindle with the fire of my love the souls of the young set amidst sinners.' The Lord warms the neglected eggs in the dust, therefore, in the sense that he kindles with the fire of his love the souls of the very young, who have been deprived of the care of his preachers and are, in addition, surrounded by sinners. From this we see that there are many living among the masses who do not share their sluggish way of life. From this we see that there are many

Text

The ostrich and its eggs.

Folio Attributes

  • Ruling

    Ruling

    Ruling
    Ruling continues under the illustration. Detail from f.16r

    After the leaves had been pricked, they were ready for ruling. Most pages up to quire F have 29 lines (except for the heavily illustrated quire A). The remaining quires use 28, 30 or 31 lines. The most regular ruling is found in B and C: the two top and bottom lines extend across the whole page. The lines in A, B and C are ruled in a grey colour. From D onwards the lines are a darker brown. The horizontal lines here are also neater, not overlapping the vertical margins. This would suggest that the ruling in A,B and C was done by a different person from the rest. In D and E there is a triple spaced double line across the top and bottom of the page but thereafter the ruling patterns become somewhat arbitrary. Sometimes there are double spaced top and bottom lines, sometimes the number of lines varies. On f.18v, the normal pattern of 29 lines is inadequate. It would appear that the scribe himself had to add two additional lines below the bottom margin, in order to complete his tale. Generally, the written space is 185 x 110/115mm. The ruling appears to have been made without any plan for the illuminations: on f.14r and f.16r the ruled lines pass under the illustration. Two pairs of leaves were left blank. F.3v-f.4r were probably intended to be glued together in order to support the weight of paint and gold leaf on f.4v. f.6r and f.6v precede the Lion story. In the Ashmole Bestiary, the lion has two full page illustrations, which were probably intended here. Two pairs of leaves are glued together. F.56r has a hole in it, which is concealed by being glued to the next page, f.56v. F.93r is glued to f.93v, probably because of the gilded double illumination on f.93v.

Transcription

insensibilia in semetipsis sunt; sed tamen calefacta in vivis\ volatilibus convertuntur. Ita nimirum parvuli auditores ac filii\ certum est quod frigidi insensibilesque remaneant, nisi doctoris sui\ sollicita exhortatione calefiant. Ne igitur derelicti in sua in sensibili\ tate torpescant, assidua doctorum voce fovendi sunt, quousque\ valeant et per intelligentiam vivere, et per contemplationem vo\ lare. Quia vero ypocrite quamvis perversa semper operentur, loqui tamen recta non\ desinunt, bene autem loquendo in fide vel in conversationem filios\ pariunt, sed eos bene vivendo nutrire non possunt, recte de hac struci\ one dicitur, que derelinquit in terra ova sua. Curam namque filiorum\ ypocrita negligit qui ex amore intimo rebus se exterioribus subdit, in\ quibus quantomagis extollitur, tanto minus de prolis sue defectu cru\ ciatur. Ova ergo in terra dereliquisse est, natos per conversionem filios\ nequaquam a terrenis actibus interposito exhortationis nido suspen\ dere. Ova in terra dereliquisse est, nullum celestis vite filiis exem\ plum prebere. Quia enim ypocrite per caritatis viscera non calent, \de torpore prolis edite, id est de ovorum suorum frigore nequaquam dolent.\ Et quanto se libentius terrenis actibus inserunt, tanto negligentius\ eos quos generaverint agere terrena permittunt. Sed quia derelictos ypocri-\ tarum filios superna cura non deserit, nonnullos namque etiam ex talibus\ intima electione prescitos, largite gratie respectu calefacit, recte\ subiungitur: Tu forsitan in pulvere calefacies ea? Ac si dicat: Ut\ ego, qui illa in pulvere calefacio, quia [scilicet] parvulorum animas in\ medio peccantium positas, amoris mei igne succendo. Ova ergo\ dominus in pulvere derelicta calefacit, quia parvulorum animas\ predicatorum suorum sollicitudine destitutas, etiam in medio\ peccantium positas, amoris sui igne succendit. Hinc est enim quod\ plerosque cernimus et in medio populorum vivere, et tamen vitam tor\ pentis populi non tenere. Hinc est enim quod plerosque cernimus et\

Translation

have in themselves no capacity for feeling; they are nevertheless transformed, when kept warm, into living birds. Thus it is undoubtedly a fact that children and young people will remain cold and indifferent unless they are warmed by the careful encouragement of their teacher. Lest they grow inactive and insensitive through neglect, therefore, they must be cherished by the diligent instruction of teachers, until they are able to live by their own capacity for understanding and take flight on the wings of contemplation. Even though hypocrites are forever doing wrong, they never cease to utter pious speeches and by their eloquence produce offspring in the faith or as they go about among men; yet they cannot bring them up properly, by example. It is therefore rightly said of the ostrich that it 'abandons its eggs in the ground'. The hypocrite neglects to take care of his offspring, when he substitutes for intimate love a preoccupation with external things; the more he is absorbed in these, the less he suffers from the absence of his offspring. To abandon eggs in the ground is the same as failing to keep the young, born through association with men, away from earthly things in a protective nest of spiritual encouragement. To abandon eggs in the ground is the same as failing to furnish the young with the example of heavenly life. Because hypocrites are not fired deep down with love, they are untroubled by the inactivity of their offspring, in the same way as the ostrich is untroubled by the coldness of its eggs. The more willingly hypocrites involve themselves in earthly affairs, the more negligent they are in allowing their offspring to lead an earthbound life. But God's care does not desert the neglected offspring of the hypocrites; he warms some of them, foreknown and secretly chosen, with his bountiful grace. It is, therefore, rightly added in the text: 'Can you perhaps warm them in the dust?' (BSV and see NEB, Job, 39:14). As if God were to say: 'As I warm them in the dust, because I kindle with the fire of my love the souls of the young set amidst sinners.' The Lord warms the neglected eggs in the dust, therefore, in the sense that he kindles with the fire of his love the souls of the very young, who have been deprived of the care of his preachers and are, in addition, surrounded by sinners. From this we see that there are many living among the masses who do not share their sluggish way of life. From this we see that there are many
  • Commentary

    Text

    The ostrich and its eggs.

    Folio Attributes

    • Ruling

      Ruling

      Ruling
      Ruling continues under the illustration. Detail from f.16r

      After the leaves had been pricked, they were ready for ruling. Most pages up to quire F have 29 lines (except for the heavily illustrated quire A). The remaining quires use 28, 30 or 31 lines. The most regular ruling is found in B and C: the two top and bottom lines extend across the whole page. The lines in A, B and C are ruled in a grey colour. From D onwards the lines are a darker brown. The horizontal lines here are also neater, not overlapping the vertical margins. This would suggest that the ruling in A,B and C was done by a different person from the rest. In D and E there is a triple spaced double line across the top and bottom of the page but thereafter the ruling patterns become somewhat arbitrary. Sometimes there are double spaced top and bottom lines, sometimes the number of lines varies. On f.18v, the normal pattern of 29 lines is inadequate. It would appear that the scribe himself had to add two additional lines below the bottom margin, in order to complete his tale. Generally, the written space is 185 x 110/115mm. The ruling appears to have been made without any plan for the illuminations: on f.14r and f.16r the ruled lines pass under the illustration. Two pairs of leaves were left blank. F.3v-f.4r were probably intended to be glued together in order to support the weight of paint and gold leaf on f.4v. f.6r and f.6v precede the Lion story. In the Ashmole Bestiary, the lion has two full page illustrations, which were probably intended here. Two pairs of leaves are glued together. F.56r has a hole in it, which is concealed by being glued to the next page, f.56v. F.93r is glued to f.93v, probably because of the gilded double illumination on f.93v.

  • Translation
    have in themselves no capacity for feeling; they are nevertheless transformed, when kept warm, into living birds. Thus it is undoubtedly a fact that children and young people will remain cold and indifferent unless they are warmed by the careful encouragement of their teacher. Lest they grow inactive and insensitive through neglect, therefore, they must be cherished by the diligent instruction of teachers, until they are able to live by their own capacity for understanding and take flight on the wings of contemplation. Even though hypocrites are forever doing wrong, they never cease to utter pious speeches and by their eloquence produce offspring in the faith or as they go about among men; yet they cannot bring them up properly, by example. It is therefore rightly said of the ostrich that it 'abandons its eggs in the ground'. The hypocrite neglects to take care of his offspring, when he substitutes for intimate love a preoccupation with external things; the more he is absorbed in these, the less he suffers from the absence of his offspring. To abandon eggs in the ground is the same as failing to keep the young, born through association with men, away from earthly things in a protective nest of spiritual encouragement. To abandon eggs in the ground is the same as failing to furnish the young with the example of heavenly life. Because hypocrites are not fired deep down with love, they are untroubled by the inactivity of their offspring, in the same way as the ostrich is untroubled by the coldness of its eggs. The more willingly hypocrites involve themselves in earthly affairs, the more negligent they are in allowing their offspring to lead an earthbound life. But God's care does not desert the neglected offspring of the hypocrites; he warms some of them, foreknown and secretly chosen, with his bountiful grace. It is, therefore, rightly added in the text: 'Can you perhaps warm them in the dust?' (BSV and see NEB, Job, 39:14). As if God were to say: 'As I warm them in the dust, because I kindle with the fire of my love the souls of the young set amidst sinners.' The Lord warms the neglected eggs in the dust, therefore, in the sense that he kindles with the fire of his love the souls of the very young, who have been deprived of the care of his preachers and are, in addition, surrounded by sinners. From this we see that there are many living among the masses who do not share their sluggish way of life. From this we see that there are many
  • Transcription
    insensibilia in semetipsis sunt; sed tamen calefacta in vivis\ volatilibus convertuntur. Ita nimirum parvuli auditores ac filii\ certum est quod frigidi insensibilesque remaneant, nisi doctoris sui\ sollicita exhortatione calefiant. Ne igitur derelicti in sua in sensibili\ tate torpescant, assidua doctorum voce fovendi sunt, quousque\ valeant et per intelligentiam vivere, et per contemplationem vo\ lare. Quia vero ypocrite quamvis perversa semper operentur, loqui tamen recta non\ desinunt, bene autem loquendo in fide vel in conversationem filios\ pariunt, sed eos bene vivendo nutrire non possunt, recte de hac struci\ one dicitur, que derelinquit in terra ova sua. Curam namque filiorum\ ypocrita negligit qui ex amore intimo rebus se exterioribus subdit, in\ quibus quantomagis extollitur, tanto minus de prolis sue defectu cru\ ciatur. Ova ergo in terra dereliquisse est, natos per conversionem filios\ nequaquam a terrenis actibus interposito exhortationis nido suspen\ dere. Ova in terra dereliquisse est, nullum celestis vite filiis exem\ plum prebere. Quia enim ypocrite per caritatis viscera non calent, \de torpore prolis edite, id est de ovorum suorum frigore nequaquam dolent.\ Et quanto se libentius terrenis actibus inserunt, tanto negligentius\ eos quos generaverint agere terrena permittunt. Sed quia derelictos ypocri-\ tarum filios superna cura non deserit, nonnullos namque etiam ex talibus\ intima electione prescitos, largite gratie respectu calefacit, recte\ subiungitur: Tu forsitan in pulvere calefacies ea? Ac si dicat: Ut\ ego, qui illa in pulvere calefacio, quia [scilicet] parvulorum animas in\ medio peccantium positas, amoris mei igne succendo. Ova ergo\ dominus in pulvere derelicta calefacit, quia parvulorum animas\ predicatorum suorum sollicitudine destitutas, etiam in medio\ peccantium positas, amoris sui igne succendit. Hinc est enim quod\ plerosque cernimus et in medio populorum vivere, et tamen vitam tor\ pentis populi non tenere. Hinc est enim quod plerosque cernimus et\
Folio 42v - the ostrich, continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen