Friday, September 17, 2010

illustrated: Talpa et Lynx


M0188 - M0189 - M0190
189. Talpa et Lynx. Lynx oculata talpae caeco ait, “Cur vitam amare potes, miser, cum scias lucem tibi inutilem esse? Illane vita vocanda est quae munere tanto caret? Ideoque vivus in tumulo lates, degens sub humo. At mihi non lates, quae oculo acuto in abditos sinus terrae penetrare novi.” Talpa contra sic refert, “Quod superum voluntas tibi tam acutum cernere dederit, ultro gratulor; neque ista caecitas me obruit, nam aurium facultas singularis mihi data fuit. Et nunc, certe, nunc aliquem sonum audio, forsan aliquid triste tibi minitantem.” Arcus sonus erat, quem venator abditus tetenderat, vulnus altum adigere destinans. Sagitta volat; lyncis pectus transverberat, et oculos, qui noctem densissimam superare poterant, nox aeterna iam occupat. Natura cuique dotem suam largita est.


(William Mulready, 1807: source)

M0189 (not in Perry). Source: Desbillons 11.24 (adapted into prose; shortened). This fable is not in Perry’s catalog; Desbillons cites La Motte as his source. Although the etymology is not certain, the Greek word “lynx” may be related to the word for light, referring to the lynx’s supposed ability to see in the dark.

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