The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 53r - the nightingale, continued. [De ansere]; Of the goose


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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.
she matches it in her devotion to duty. [Of the goose] The goose marks the watches of the night by its constant cry. No other creature picks up the scent of man as it does. It was because of its noise, that the Gauls were detected when they ascended the Capitol. Rabanus says in this context: 'The goose can signify men who are prudent and look out for their own safety.' There are two kinds of geese, domestic and wild. Wild geese fly high, in a an orderly fashion, signifying those who, far away from earthly things, preserve a rule of virtuous conduct. Domestic geese live together in villages, they cackle together all the time and rend each other with their beaks; they signify those who, although they like conventual life, nevertheless find time to gossip and slander. All wild geese are grey in colour; I have not seen any that were of mixed colour or white. But among domestic geese, there are not only grey but variegated and white ones. Wild geese are the colour of ashes, that is to say, those who keep apart from this world wear the modest garb of penitence. But those who live in towns or villages wear clothes that are more beautiful in colour. The goose, more than any other animal, picks up the scent of a someone happening by, as the discerning man knows of other men by their good or bad reputation, even though they live far away. When, therefore, a goose picks up the scent of a man approaching, it cackles endlessly at night, as when a discerning brother sees in others the negligence that comes with ignorance, it is his duty to call attention to it. The cackling of geese on the Capitol once helped the Romans, and in our chapter-house daily, when

Text

The goose. A good animal for guarding.

Illustration

Two aggressive geese in a roundel.

Comment

Rubric missing at the top of the page. Faint correction at bottom right.The verb 'prodest' is missing before the word 'cum' on the last line. There is a slight indication of an editorial insertion in the right margin, but it does not look like 'prodest'. The sentence should read 'The cry of the discerning brother is helpful when he sees negligence.' (Clark, 1992, 227) Initial type 2.

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

imitari, imitatur tamen eum sedulitate pietatis.\ [De ansere] \ Anser vigilias noctis as\ siduitate clangoris te\ statur. Nullum autem animal\ ita odorem hominis sentit ut\ anser. Unde et clangore eius\ Gallorum ascensus in Capito\ lio deprehensus est. Unde Ra\ banus: Hec providos homines et erga custodiam suam bene\ vigilantes, significare potest. Anserum due sunt species\ domestice videlicet et campestres. Campestres in altum\ et ordinate volant, illosque designant qui remoti a terre\ nis ordinem bene vivendi servant. Domestici vero in vicis\ simul habitant, multociens conclamant, seipsos rostris\ lacerant, illos significant qui et si conventus amant, lo\ quacitate tamen et detractioni vacant. Campestres anse\ res omnes sunt coloris cinericii, nec aliquam earum\ variam sive niveam vidi. In domesticis vero non solum ha\ betur color cinericius, sed etiam varius vel albus. In cam\ pestribus habetur color cinericius, id est in his qui a seculo sunt remoti\ penitentie vilis habitus. Hii vero qui in urbibus vel in vicis\ habitant, pulchrioris coloris vestem portant. Anser pre\ ceteris animalibus supervenientis hominis odorem sen\ tit, quia discretus homo per bonam vel malam famam\ alios licet longe remotos, cognoscit. Cum igitur anser odo\ rem supervenientis hominis sentit, nocte clamare non de\ sinit, quia cum negligentias ignorantie discretus frater\ in aliis videt, clamare debet. In Capitolio quondam Ro\ manis profuit clamor anseris, et in Capitolio [PL, capitulo] cotidie cum\

Translation

she matches it in her devotion to duty. [Of the goose] The goose marks the watches of the night by its constant cry. No other creature picks up the scent of man as it does. It was because of its noise, that the Gauls were detected when they ascended the Capitol. Rabanus says in this context: 'The goose can signify men who are prudent and look out for their own safety.' There are two kinds of geese, domestic and wild. Wild geese fly high, in a an orderly fashion, signifying those who, far away from earthly things, preserve a rule of virtuous conduct. Domestic geese live together in villages, they cackle together all the time and rend each other with their beaks; they signify those who, although they like conventual life, nevertheless find time to gossip and slander. All wild geese are grey in colour; I have not seen any that were of mixed colour or white. But among domestic geese, there are not only grey but variegated and white ones. Wild geese are the colour of ashes, that is to say, those who keep apart from this world wear the modest garb of penitence. But those who live in towns or villages wear clothes that are more beautiful in colour. The goose, more than any other animal, picks up the scent of a someone happening by, as the discerning man knows of other men by their good or bad reputation, even though they live far away. When, therefore, a goose picks up the scent of a man approaching, it cackles endlessly at night, as when a discerning brother sees in others the negligence that comes with ignorance, it is his duty to call attention to it. The cackling of geese on the Capitol once helped the Romans, and in our chapter-house daily, when
  • Commentary

    Text

    The goose. A good animal for guarding.

    Illustration

    Two aggressive geese in a roundel.

    Comment

    Rubric missing at the top of the page. Faint correction at bottom right.The verb 'prodest' is missing before the word 'cum' on the last line. There is a slight indication of an editorial insertion in the right margin, but it does not look like 'prodest'. The sentence should read 'The cry of the discerning brother is helpful when he sees negligence.' (Clark, 1992, 227) Initial type 2.

    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
    she matches it in her devotion to duty. [Of the goose] The goose marks the watches of the night by its constant cry. No other creature picks up the scent of man as it does. It was because of its noise, that the Gauls were detected when they ascended the Capitol. Rabanus says in this context: 'The goose can signify men who are prudent and look out for their own safety.' There are two kinds of geese, domestic and wild. Wild geese fly high, in a an orderly fashion, signifying those who, far away from earthly things, preserve a rule of virtuous conduct. Domestic geese live together in villages, they cackle together all the time and rend each other with their beaks; they signify those who, although they like conventual life, nevertheless find time to gossip and slander. All wild geese are grey in colour; I have not seen any that were of mixed colour or white. But among domestic geese, there are not only grey but variegated and white ones. Wild geese are the colour of ashes, that is to say, those who keep apart from this world wear the modest garb of penitence. But those who live in towns or villages wear clothes that are more beautiful in colour. The goose, more than any other animal, picks up the scent of a someone happening by, as the discerning man knows of other men by their good or bad reputation, even though they live far away. When, therefore, a goose picks up the scent of a man approaching, it cackles endlessly at night, as when a discerning brother sees in others the negligence that comes with ignorance, it is his duty to call attention to it. The cackling of geese on the Capitol once helped the Romans, and in our chapter-house daily, when
  • Transcription
    imitari, imitatur tamen eum sedulitate pietatis.\ [De ansere] \ Anser vigilias noctis as\ siduitate clangoris te\ statur. Nullum autem animal\ ita odorem hominis sentit ut\ anser. Unde et clangore eius\ Gallorum ascensus in Capito\ lio deprehensus est. Unde Ra\ banus: Hec providos homines et erga custodiam suam bene\ vigilantes, significare potest. Anserum due sunt species\ domestice videlicet et campestres. Campestres in altum\ et ordinate volant, illosque designant qui remoti a terre\ nis ordinem bene vivendi servant. Domestici vero in vicis\ simul habitant, multociens conclamant, seipsos rostris\ lacerant, illos significant qui et si conventus amant, lo\ quacitate tamen et detractioni vacant. Campestres anse\ res omnes sunt coloris cinericii, nec aliquam earum\ variam sive niveam vidi. In domesticis vero non solum ha\ betur color cinericius, sed etiam varius vel albus. In cam\ pestribus habetur color cinericius, id est in his qui a seculo sunt remoti\ penitentie vilis habitus. Hii vero qui in urbibus vel in vicis\ habitant, pulchrioris coloris vestem portant. Anser pre\ ceteris animalibus supervenientis hominis odorem sen\ tit, quia discretus homo per bonam vel malam famam\ alios licet longe remotos, cognoscit. Cum igitur anser odo\ rem supervenientis hominis sentit, nocte clamare non de\ sinit, quia cum negligentias ignorantie discretus frater\ in aliis videt, clamare debet. In Capitolio quondam Ro\ manis profuit clamor anseris, et in Capitolio [PL, capitulo] cotidie cum\
Folio 53r - the nightingale, continued. [De ansere]; Of the goose | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen