An English translation of the Latin story in Get Started in Latin (pre-2014)

[previously Teach Yourself Beginner’s Latin]

For a translation of the 2014 edition go here.


Unit 1

Paulus in silva (Paul in the wood)
Paul is walking in the wood. The mule is walking with Paul. The mule is not carrying Paul but the sack. Paul is tired and the mule is slow. The mule does not like the wood. The mule watches the wood. The wood watches the mule. The mule is scared.

Mulus lente ambulat (The mule walks slowly)
Paul is a monk. Benedict is also a monk. Benedict desires food. Paul buys food and he is returning to the monastery. Now Paul is walking with the mule in the wood. The food is in the sack. The mule is carrying the sack. The mule walks slowly and watches the wood.


Unit 2

Mulus equos non amat (The mule does not like the horses)
Benedict and Stephen are monks. The monks live in the monastery. Paul is a student in the school. The students live in the monastery with the monks. The mule lives in the field with the horses. The mule often works in the fields. The horses do not work with the mule. The mule does not like the horses.

Umbrae in silvis (Shadows in the woods)
Benedict longs for wine. And so Paul buys wine in the town and walks to the monastery with the mule. The mule carries the wine. Now they are in the wood. The mule often walks in the woods, but he does not like the woods because in the woods there are shadows. The mule likes neither shadows nor sacks. The mule longs for his friends in the field.


Unit 3

Sarcinae onerosae (heavy bags)

Paul and Benedict are monks. Benedict is a priest, and works in the kitchen with the maids. Paul is not a priest but a student. He works in the kitchen and in the library and in the fields. Benedict, when he desires food and wine, sends Paul to the town. Today, therefore, Paul and the mule are coming back from the town through the wood towards the monastery. The field and the monastery are some way off. The sacks are heavy. The sacks are heavy with wine and eggs and oil and perfume. The mule groans. Benedict always wants perfumes and food and wine, but the mule always carries them.  

Monachus in cucullo (a hooded monk)

Paul and the mule are far from the monastery. The mule likes neither the wood nor the bags. ‘Heyup!’ shouts Paul. The mule does not walk.
     Suddenly Paul and the mule hear a horse. Then they see a horse. The horse is coming quickly along the track towards Paul and the mule. On the horse is a monk in a hood. The horse is frightened. The horse sees Paul and the mule, and suddenly swerves off the track. The monk falls from the horse on to the ground, and the horse goes quickly away into the wood. The monk lies on the ground.


Unit 4

Femina in terra iacet  (The woman lies on the ground)

The monk lies on the ground. The horse, frightened by the shadows, flees away from the road into the wood. For the leaves and branches are rustling in the wind, and the horse, fearful of the shadows and branches, now hurries through the woods towards the monastery. The monk lies motionless on the ground. Paul runs to the monk. However, it is not the shape of a monk but of a woman. Paul looks at the woman. The woman’s hood is torn. Paul covers the woman with a tunic.  

Ubi sum? (Where am I?)

Paul can neither see nor hear the woman’s horse. The horse is hurrying from the woods towards the monastery. The woman lies still for a long time. Paul is concerned, and the mule alarmed. ‘You poor girl,’ groans Paul. The woman opens her eyes and looks at Paul. ‘Surely you are dead?’ asks Paul.
  – Dead? No. Where am I? In the woods?
Yes, says Paul
  – Where is my horse? 
Steady, steady! Are you OK? Do you want to drink some water?
  – No, thank you. Is my horse here?
No. It is afraid of the branches and shadows. And you, are you feeling alright?
  – I’m fine. Damn it! shouts the woman.
Gently! Who are you?


Unit 5


 Who are you? Where do you live? asks Paul.
  – In the castle, says the woman.
Are you Egberta, the mistress of the castle?
  – I am not Egberta, but Egberta’s daughter, Lucia. And you, who are you?
I am Paul, and I live in the monastery.
  – Are you a priest?
I am not a priest, but a student. 
  – Are you a student of the bishop?
Not of the bishop but of Stephen.
  – Who is Stephen? Does he live in the monastery?
Stephen is a monk and school master.
  – Oh no! Where is that horse?
Steady! Perhaps it is in the fields with the horses of the monastery. Come on, come with me to the monastery. Get up on to the mule.  

E silvis veniunt  (They come out of the woods)

They come through the dark wood towards the monastery. Paul is leading the mule. Lucia sits on the mule. The mule is slow. The woods is full of shadows. Lucia asks Paul: 
Does the holy bishop live in the monastery?
  – The bishop? I don’t know. Holy bishop? Or do you mean horrible?
Surely he is holy?
  – The bishop is horrible, because he is forever telling Stephen to shut us students in the monastery.
Are you students good and hard-working?
  – Sure, all the time.
Surely you students are not good all the time? Perhaps you are troublesome, lazy, sleepy.
  – Troublesome? Lazy? Us? You have a sense of humour.
Why are you taking a walk in the wood? Why aren’t you working diligently in the library?
  – The bishop is certainly bad, greedy, horrible, wine-sodden …
Sssh. You are slandering. The bishop is Egberta’s uncle.
  – Really? The bishop is a kinsman of Egberta? So what? Here, lady, is a mule. The mule is a kinsman of the horses who live in the fields of the monastery – eh mule? Paul laughs. But neither Lucia nor the mule laugh. For now the mule is carrying both Lucia and the bags heavy with much food and wine.
  – I beg your pardon, Lucia, says Paul. They walk on through the woods in silence. Soon they see the monastery’s large walls, and they come out of the woods into the fields. 


Unit 6

In bibliotheca

It is midday. The students and Stephen are in the library. The school master is recounting to the students the story of the Christians and the beasts:
“Many Christians were killed in the amphitheatre. The Romans used to produce games in return for the people’s votes and they would want to show off their wealth. Wretched Christians! The pagans always wanted to see much cruelty. Even educated people would watch the games in the amphitheatre; they did not think them cruel, just foolish. For there was no pity for the victims. Now books, not games, are pleasing to us, eh Paul? Come, is Paul able to read to us? Paul? Where is Paul?”
“Sir, when did the Christians mutilate the pagans in the amphitheatre?” asked Augustine, one of the students.
“Where is Paul?” says Stephen, who does not hear him.
“Today Paul is working in the kitchen,” says Augustine.
“What? Why does Paul want to work in the kitchen? He should be in the school. For Paul isn’t a cook but a student.”  


Soon Stephen returns from the kitchen. “Paul isn’t working in the kitchen, but idling in the woods.”
“He is coming back from the town,” says Augustine, who is friendly to Paul. “Paul is bringing food and wine from the town.”
“Food and wine? Who told Paul to go to the town and buy food and wine?”
“And oil and eggs and perfumes,” says Augustine.
“Perfumes? We are monks! And eggs? There are many eggs here.”
“Not enough for Benedict, Master,” says Augustine. “Paul is always giving food and wine to Benedict. Paul is a slave to the kitchen.”
“Paul’s duty is neither to the cook nor the kitchen, but to the master and school,” wailed the wretched master.
“But now Paul is a slave to Benedict,” says Augustine, “and works in the kitchen with the maids.”
“In the kitchen with the maids?”
“Sir, can we too work in the kitchen?”
“Sssh. Quiet. To your books! Where was I?”
“In the kitchen with the maids?” ask the students.
“Dear me . you foolish boys . ah, I was in the amphitheatre.”


Unit 7

O di immortales!

Stephen was still recounting the story of Rome to the tired students:
“The Romans had many gods and goddesses. Jupiter was the god of heaven, Diana of the woods and of hunting, Mars of war and of soldiers, Venus of love, Neptune of the sea, and Apollo was the god of the sun and of songs. But how can we, as says one of the saints, remember all the names of the gods and goddesses? Indeed what wise and pious man can believe in so many gods?”
“I love Bacchus,” whispered Augustine.
“Nothing, Master.”
“What did you say?”
“I love the book.”
“Good. Soon you will recite the book, and copy it out. Where was I? So in the stories, the gods and goddesses used to behave badly, and now those superstitions are examples for us of disgraceful behaviour. For they neither praised goodness nor cared for the souls of men. However, God is the creator of earth and heaven and of men and beasts, and always cares for us all. Surely, as says St Boethius, God can do no evil? We are all always very special to God .”
“Master, look, there’s Paul!” shouted Augustine.
… “Perhaps with the exception of Paul. Where is that delinquent?” said Stephen, and he hurried to the window. “I can see nothing but oxen and sheep.”
“Paul is walking under the trees with a girl.”
“With a girl?” Stephen caught sight of Paul and Lucia.
“Well I be Hercules!” he said, “That is a girl!” and the students immediately left their books and hurried to the window. “To your books, you foolish creatures, to your books! Food and wine my foot! Paul is one minute with the maids, the next he’s idling with a girl. O immortal gods!”  

Paulus cum diabolo ambulat

In the kitchen the maids are busy preparing a large dinner; for today they expect the abbot from a conference of abbots. Some therefore prepare drinks, others meat, others bread, others cakes, others fruit. Then, tired by their work, they rest in the garden.
        Soon they caught sight of Paul and Lucia. “Who is that? What is the girl’s name?” asked one of the maids. 
“She is the daughter of Count Charles, called Lucia,” says another. Now the maids are able to see the abbess and the abbot, who greet Lucia. Meanwhile Benedict entered the kitchen: “Come on, time flies!” shouted the cook. “Where are the perfumes and wines? Where is the lazy servant?”
“Here is the boy, Father Benedict, now Paul is here.”
“I tell you, that lazy boy is walking with the devil…Holy Mary! Is Paul walking with the abbess? Is the abbess now saying hello to the boy? What’s going on? Now the boy is saying hello to the abbot. Tell me, for I want to know: Who is that girl? Is the boy now an important friend of the abbot? I do Paul a favour and give him gifts, but what does that boy give to Benedict?”
“Look, he’s coming now.”
“Seeing is believing.”
        One of the maids hurried out of the kitchen to Paul. “Come on, Paul, Father Benedict wants the bags!”
“Where is Father Benedict’s self-control?” said Paul.


Unit 8

Quanti diligentiam aestimas?

“The saints show us examples of virtues,” says Stephen, “and the pagans show us examples of vices. The saints teach us the good life, the pagans the bad life. In fact there are many Roman songs filled with superstitions and stories of the gods; but surely the poets thought the gods to be false? Lucretius certainly did not believe in them, and he explained the origin of their superstitions thus: all mortals are repressed by fear. Now we value greatly the works of the poets and we preserve them in the library of the monastery: for we will tolerate the stories as allegories, and not condemn them. How lucky we are! Now we have many books of poetry in the library. So, now we must read… this is the task, this is work.”
“Why are only dead poets pleasing to you, Father Stephen?” says Augustine. “The poet Martial once said: You do not praise poets unless they are dead.”
“Today, boys, we will read the work not of Martial but of Virgil: Dawn now raised her nourishing light upon the suffering mortals and renewed their daily grind … Who is that?”
“Sorry, Father Stephen.”
“Paul? Now you are here? You are a bad student! Why are you idling wantonly in the woods when you ought to be here in the library? You will be sorry, boy, oh yes, and I will punish you.”
“Master, there was a girl in the wood.”
“I’m sure.”
“She was wounded.”
“She was wounded, I think, by love.”
“She fell from her horse, Master.”
“She fell, did she, boy? From where? From the sky? Was the horse flying in the sky? Do girls fall from the sky like fruit from trees?”
The other students laughed.
“Master I am telling you the truth.”
“The truth? What an age! What moral standards! Do you take studies to be trifles? How much do you value hard work?”
“Greatly, Father Stephen, greatly.”
“Paul, I am not a cruel master, but I will teach you attentiveness. Do you see this book?”
“I see it, Master.”
“Today the book is to be copied out; you will also work into the night if necessary.”

Quis philosophus esse vult?

Lucia, the abbess and bishop stand near the gate of the monastery where they are waiting for the horses and carriage. Soon the abbot comes from the monastery and says farewell to them; then two attendants lead the horses and carriage from the stable to the travellers. Lucia herself, however, will not ride because she is still recovering, but she will sit with the abbess in the carriage. Now the bishop climbs onto the horse and rides under the trees with the carriage.
        Meanwhile in the library Paul and Augustine are still working; for Stephen told the two of them to spend the whole day writing out the rule of the monks. Now from the window Augustine caught sight of the travellers leaving the monastery:
“Over there your girl is leaving the monastery. Do you want to see her?”
“Are you still doing nothing, Augustine? We have to finish the work,” says Paul.
“Writing is slow and difficult. As Martial says, to lie awake is unimportant, but to lie awake all night is serious. Look at that girl: she is a friend of the abbot and the abbess; and I reckon she has a bob or two. And you Paul, do you want to have knowledge or money? Or love?”
“Sssh! Now we must write.”
“Who wants to be a philosopher or theologian? I want to have riches:

    Let the philosopher dispute with an empty bowl
    Let him know that knowing is worth less than having.


Unit 9

Regula monachorum

Augustine is still thinking about Lucia: “Your girlfriend has left the monastery and disappeared out of view,” says Augustine to Paul.
        “She isn’t my girlfriend.”
        “Not yours, huh? Fine. I’ll greet the girl myself. Who knows. Fortune favours the bold, as the poets say.”
        “Enough of the poets, Augustine; you must finish your work.”
        “Sweet girl, you are remarkable, and Cupid inflames me with love. I shall dedicate songs to you, Lucia . maybe this one of Propertius: While fate permits us, let us fill our eyes with love. Or perhaps this of Catullus: Let us live, my Lucia, and let us make love.”
        “Hey pal, that’s enough of your poems! Now we must do the copying, please, in silence.”
        “Sorry if I’m troublesome to you,” says Augustine, and he looks at the book. All the pages are filled with the rules of the abbots and monks. Stephen had ordered the two of them to copy out all the rules of the monks. “Surely I don’t have to copy out the whole book?” asked Augustine.
        “Yes,” replied Paul, and at last Augustine begins to write: 1- Love the lord God. 
2 – Do not kill.  3 – Do not commit adultery.  4 – No thieving.  5 – Bury the dead. 
6 – Cause no injury.  7 – Love your enemies.  8. Do not bear false witness. 
9 – Clothe the naked.  10 – Visit the sick.  11 – Do not be proud. 
12 – Harbour no grudge.  13 – Enjoy chastity.  14 – Do not have an appetite for wine … “Heyup, Benedict!” and he sings: “Let him have a drink, and her have one, and let the servant and maid have one too.”  

Ohe, libelle!

Paul has now left with his work finished, but Augustine is still writing: 27 – Fear the day of judgement.  28 – Offer the truth from your heart and from your mouth.  29 – Prefer nothing to the love of Christ.  30 – Honour all men.  31 – Do not conceal deceit in your heart.  32 – Do not enjoy strife … “Writing is difficult,” he says, and murmurs a line of Martial: “Woa, now that’s enough, woa, little book,” and shortly afterwards he falls asleep.
         “Heyup! Where’s the Rule?” shouts Stephen, “Are you asleep, Augustine?” and he wakes Augustine from sleep.
         “Rule? No, Sir, I’m not asleep.”
         “Now the Rule must be finished!”
         “Yes indeed, Father Stephen. I was contemplating the rules.”
         “Contemplating or sleeping?”
         “Forgive me, Sir. I am exhausted.” Suddenly Stephen and Augustine hear a fearful cry. One of the monks begins to howl loudly in the monastery.
         “Who is that? Did you hear it?” Stephen hurried to the window. “Over there Theodorus is running from the wood. Why is Theodorus frightened?” and Stephen quickly left the library.


Unit 10

Miserabile corpus

After the death of Theodorus – accidental, as the abbot said, but who can tell? – there were many tears. For Theodorus had been a pious monk and a friend to all. However, fear spread throughout the monastery and the surrounding countryside. For many days the monks were fearful and silent.

In the school Stephen is now saying a few words about the death of Theodorus to his students. Afterwards the sad master reads from the Vulgate: “However, I say this, brothers, since flesh and blood are not able to occupy the kingdom of God…

Paul watches through the window and comtemplates the death of Theodorus. Who had wanted to kill him? He had been a friend to everyone, a pious and humble man. There was a rumour. The Danes? Surely the Danes did not murder Theodorus? The Danes had not been seen in the region now for twenty years.

    “…Where, death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting?” Stephen hears a bell ringing through the monastery and he stops reading. “Now we will bury the body of Theodorus,” he says, “and you boys will work without me for one hour and will finish your tasks.” And he leaves the library, tears pouring down his cheeks.  

Hic iacet Theodorus

“Poor Theodorus,” says Paul as he watches the funeral of Theodorus through the window. It is raining; the monks are carrying Theodorus’ wretched body from the church, and the abbot is leading the scant procession.

The students leave their books and watch the procession through the window. 
    “Look, they will bury Theodorus under the tree where he used to tell us stories,” says one.
    “Why are all the monks not there? Why are they burying him so quickly?” asked another. 
    “Who killed Theodorus?” asked a third. 
    “Who knows?” answered Paul. 
    “When will we know?” asked Augustine.
    “The abbot saw him on the previous night,” said Paul. “Perhaps he will tell Stephen.”
    “The sun can fall and rise. For us once our brief light is out, there is one unending night of sleep,” murmurs Augustine, reciting from his little book of Catullus.
    “Poor Theodorus,” says Paul. “Look, now they are lowering the body into the ground.” Now someone begins to weep.

Soon the abbot and the monks return to the church, except Stephen, who is praying near the grave; it is still raining. Soon they hear Stephen’s voice, repeatedly groaning.

Here lies Theodorus 
a monk of this monastery 
who died
in his twenty-fifth year 
and now rests in peace
with God  


Unit 11

In ecclesia

Not long after the funeral of Theodore there were many people present in the church. The church was filled with candles and the fragrance of incense. The abbot himself celebrated mass with the monks. Lucia was sitting next to her mother in the front pews among the important families. Behind the nobles were pilgrims, farmers, boys, maidservants and serfs. The abbot stood by the altar, resplendent in his purple robe, and the monks and students were singing in the choir behind the altar.
   ‘Our Father, who art in heaven.‘ the abbot started to sing. All the students were singing except Augustine, who was asleep because Stephen had ordered him to write out the letters of St Paul to the Corinthians all through the night. Augustine was being punished for reading the poems of Catullus, not the letters of St Paul.
   ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,’ sang the abbot.

Insolentes monachi

In the church Lucia caught sight of Paul and Augustine, who was still asleep. Now Augustine started to snore. Paul wanted to wake Augustine because he could see Stephen looking at him. 

In the front pews Egberta saw her daughter glancing at one of the students who were singing in the choir.
   ‘Lucia, what are you looking at?’ whispered Egberta.
   ‘Nothing except that student who is asleep,’ Lucia replied. Now Paul was also looking at Lucia.
   ‘Who is that boy who is looking at you?’ asked her mother.
   ‘What boy?’
   ‘That boy who is standing next to the one who is asleep,’ smiled Egberta. ‘Ah, now the abbot is going to preach.’ However, Egberta stopped laughing when she saw Benedict looking at her herself. ‘Disgraceful monks!’ she hissed, and her husband Charles, hearing her, asked: ‘My dearest one, are you alright?’

Meanwhile Stephen was looking at Augustine who was still asleep and snoring. Paul was watching Stephen and whispered ‘Look out, Augustine! Now you must sing.’
   ‘Go away!’ replied Augustine loudly. ‘I want to sleep.’ All the people in the church were able to hear his voice. 
   ‘Pray for us sinners,’ sang the abbot, raising his palms to the sky.


Unit 12

Si munimentum quaeris, circumspice

The abbot was still preaching in the church: ‘.Here, in the church, where we are sitting, where we pray, where we praise God, is your safety. So if you seek protection, look around you. See the roof! Look at the great walls! Here in the church we have looked after you, we look after you now, and we always shall look after you after your death. The monastery, built with stones, has stood here for a hundred years, and will stand here for a thousand years! Here all things are safe. What can guard your souls can guard your belongings. Again I say to you: in the church not only souls but also material things are safe. Do you know why I say this? We have heard some rumours, not indeed substantiated but nonetheless to be reported. We have seen nothing. Were strangers present in the woods? Did Theodore see strangers in the wood? Who now can say? Poor Theodore! At least Theodore is resting in heaven with the angels. Tomorrow, then, if you want to feel secure, your oxen, sheep, horses and mules should be brought into the fields of the monastery. If you wish, you may also leave your possessions in the monastery. Or, if you prefer, you may keep your things – but watch out.’

Da mi basia mille

‘Now my friends is the time to choose,’ the abbot was still preaching. ‘We monks, who live in the monastery, we are the guardians of knowledge, of the arts, of lives, of souls. God willing, we shall be watchful and look after your property and goods successfully. So now, if you want to sleep free from anxiety, bring your goods and property into the monastery today.’ The abbot’s voice woke Augustine from his sleep.
   ‘Sleep?’ said Augustine. ‘To be sure, I want to sleep free from anxiety.’
   ‘Ssh,’ whispered Paul. ‘Danes were seen near the monastery.’
   ‘I don’t believe it! said Augustine. ‘Whose story is it?’
   ‘Stephen’s? If an elephant sat next to Stephen, our master wouldn’t recognise it.’
   ‘No. Before he died Theodore himself saw Danes in the woods and told Stephen.’
Augustine did not hear Paul but was looking at Lucia in the first pew: ‘Give me some kisses,’ murmured Augustine.
   ‘Give me a thousand kisses.’
   ‘Ssh, be quiet.’
   ‘And then another thousand.’
   I’m certainly not giving you any kisses,’ laughed Paul.
   ‘Oh no!’ Augustine groaned, ‘She is looking exclusively at you, she fancies only you. He seems to me to be equal to a god. No, forgive me, he surpasses the gods.
   ‘Who is he?’ asked Paul.
   ‘Indeed so,’ said Augustine. ‘Cupid is cruel. I’m done for. That boy had unerring arrows.’
   ‘Enough of your poems!’ exclaimed Paul.
   ‘Spring rose, you are lovelier than a lily,’ murmured Augustine. Suddenly Father Stephen appeared:
   ‘Today you will both come with me to Father Richard,’ said the master. ‘He will wallop you most severely.’
   ‘Us? Why?’ asked Augustine.
   ‘You are always chattering in the church. I have warned you before. Now you will pay the penalty.’
   ‘Forgive us. I beg you, Master, don’t take us to Richard. If it pleases you, I shall write out the rule of the monks again.’
   ‘O Blessed Mary!’
   ‘We beg you.’
   ‘You troublesome boys . all right. But if I see you whispering once more in the church, you will both be beaten. The whole book must be copied out, today.’
   ‘As you wish, Master.’
   ‘Ssh, it’s time to sing with the rest of the students.’

At last the abbot stopped preaching. ‘Thanks be to God,’ responded everyone and they started to sing.  


Unit 13

Natalis Christi dies

The months were passing slowly. The winter was very severe and the chill pervaded the monastery. Paul was unable to see Lucia alone, because the girl was always walking with her mother or praying in the church. The poor fellow lay through the long cold nights in his cell gazing at the stars through his window.

Soon Christmas was celebrated by the monks. Charles, Egberta and Lucia came to the monastery to hear mass and afterwards departed home with the bishop and abbess. In the monastery Augustine and the other students were acting a play. Joseph and Mary find a stable after being rejected by the hostels. All the monks were cheered by Augustine’s play except the abbot who called it too flippant. Many jars of wine were consumed, many geese eaten. Thus for a few days all cares were lifted.

For many months the monks had been anxious, the people uncertain. In midwinter few people expected Danes on account of the cold and the rough sea; therefore they kept their possessions with them. However as spring approached their belongings and oxen were brought to the monastery. Initially the store in the church was small because the things belonging to the poor and the serfs were modest. But after a few days earthenware, brooches, shields, linen and other things were handed into the church; and so the store gradually grew.  

Castellum Comitis Karoli

With the coming of summer Paul returned to the town. On a hot day he walked with the mule under blossoming trees along an unfamiliar track; for he wanted to see Lucia’s house. After three miles they came out of the woods and Paul could see the great castle in which Lucia lived with her mother Egberta and father Charles, a very rich nobleman. Count Charles ruled the entire area. Abbot Laurence and Count Charles were the two most powerful men in the district.

Paul watched a number of men working in the fields near the castle. Some were mowing the grass, others carried the hay into the barn. All of a sudden the mule saw other mules and began to bray. ‘Hey!’ shouted Paul, ‘Be quiet!’ He shook the reins and quickly led the mule into the wood. Paul saw a pool near the wood and went over to it, where the mule thirstily drank much water. Then, with the mule tied to a tree in the wood, Paul returned to the pool, took off his clothes and plunged into the cold water: he swam under the water and coming up to the surface he exhaled. ‘I wish I could stay here the whole day,’ sighed Paul, and lazily floated on the surface contemplating the sky. A few moments later he heard the mule braying. ‘What’s the matter with you, mule? Be quiet you troublesome creature!’


Unit 14

Luciae venatus

Meanwhile Lucia was tired from hunting, which had been long and without success. Her horse was also hot and tired. So she had decided to have a swim in the pool, and was now approaching the pool through the wood. However, she heard the mule’s braying ‘Hey, who is this?’ she said and looked around. When no one replied she took an arrow from her quiver and guided her horse slowly towards the sound. In the wood she recognised the mule and Paul’s clothes that had been left there. She got down from the horse and holding her bow and arrow in her hand stealthily approached the pool. 

Paul, who had heard the mule, was still contemplating the sky. Suddenly he heard a voice ‘Lift up your hands!’ ‘Wh .. wh ..who are you?’ he asked stammering with fright, ‘What do you want?’
‘Are you a duck?’ said Lucia laughing, at which point she emerged from the trees holding her bow and arrow.
‘Lucia, it’s me, Paul. Don’t you recognise me?’
‘Yes. Hi, hello! Wow, I was scared stiff by the noise. Do you want to swim? Come on, you may put your bow down.’
‘Why do you come to this place?’
‘I wanted to swim. Please, put your bow down.’
‘I always hold my bow,’ she replied.
‘Are you an archeress?’ he asked.
‘Yes indeed. My father taught me to shoot arrows. And you, where are you heading?’
‘To the town. Forgive me if I’m not permitted to swim in this pool.’
‘It’s fine for you to stay.’
‘Thanks. Where are you aiming the bow?’
‘At that tree,’ said Lucia, pointing to a tree on the bank on the other side.
‘You’ll never hit that,’ Paul laughed. Lucia’s arrow whistled through the air and stuck in the same tree. Paul stammered ‘Unbelievable . remarkable. You truly are a huntress. Do you often kill animals?’
‘From time to time,’ said Lucia laughing, and walked around the pool to recover her arrow. ‘But today we caught nothing.’
‘Except me,’ laughed Paul.
‘Except you. But I’ve seen much fiercer animals than you.’
‘I love all animals and never kill them. We all live under the sky, animals and people..’
‘Sssh, be quiet, who is that?’ said Lucia.
‘Who do you mean?’
‘I can hear voices. Look, some men are approaching the pool.’

Peregrini ad stagnum

‘Who are they?’ asked Paul.
‘I don’t know. I’ve never seen them.
‘Quick, into the water. Hurry!’ Lucia quickly dived into the water and they hid together among the reeds. Soon the strangers reached the pool.
‘. On the day after we’ll help ourselves to the cattle and the gold,’ said one. ‘No,’ said another, ‘the gold should not be taken . only the cattle. The gold is for the church. Everything is to be taken, except the gold and silver.’
Paul recognised the voice, and in astonishment exclaimed ‘It’s Father Richard, our stores supervisor who lives in the monastery!’
‘Sssh!’ whispered Lucia putting her hand to his mouth; Paul kissed it and the girl took it away.
‘What is Richard doing in this place?’ Paul thought to himself. ‘Who are his companions? Traders? They could not see the faces of the men; they heard many other voices but didn’t recognise them. They could also hear the men’s horses drinking. Suddenly Paul’s mule brayed in the wood.
‘What is that?’ shouted one. ‘Hey, it’s OK,’ replied a second, ‘See there, the mules in the fields.’ Shortly afterwards the men went away.
‘Your mule is noisy,’ said Lucia rising out of the water.
‘Where are you going? Don’t you want to swim?’
‘Certainly not! Those voices belonged to Danes.’
‘Those men were Danes? With Richard? Surely you’ve made a mistake?’
‘I am sure. We once received some Danes as guests in our castle. Come on, they must be followed immediately.’
‘Immediately? But I ought to put my clothes on.’
‘Then hurry, in case we lose them!’


Unit 15

In dumis se celant

The pilgrims were making their way through the wood towards the monastery, with Lucia and Paul following secretly. Soon the pilgrims came to a halt near the monastery, and Richard showed the church to the others. So Lucia and Paul hid in the undergrowth in order to hear them. 
   ‘There’s the church,’ they could hear Richard’s voice. ‘Now go away because you should not be spotted in this place. Farewell.’
   ‘He is a traitor,’ murmured Paul, ‘Father Richard is a traitor. Evil, disgraceful, cowardly, mean, cruel, wicked.’
   ‘Ssh,’ again she put her hand to his mouth, again Paul kissed it.
   ‘Stop it! Take care that the pilgrims don’t hear us.’
   ‘What is to be done?’ asked Paul.
   ‘Seek out your reliable friends and tell them everything. Which of the monks do you trust?’
   ‘Stephen, the teacher, who is sometimes strict but in reality kindhearted.’
   ‘Then tell him; go, hurry into the monastery! Hey, stop! You must take the mule.’ Saying this Lucia got up on to her horse.
   ‘And you,’ he replied, ‘What do you have in mind?’
   ‘I shall keep an eye on Richard. Now it’s time to go!’ Lucia watched him moving slowly towards the monastery with the mule; then she herself spurred on her horse and set off.  

Credere est intellegere

Stephen was teaching the students theology in the school.
‘Students, I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe so that I may understand. Moreover,’ said Stephen, ‘we come to know philosophy through discussion but the truth itself we recognise by the grace of God. Are you writing? You should be writing.’
   ‘Can we recognise the truth through discussion?’ asked Augustine.
   ‘No,’ replied the master. ‘Why are you always arguing, Augustine? Do you never believe your elders?
   ‘But surely, as Socrates said, a man can come to recognise the truth through argument?’
   ‘Take care you don’t blaspheme,’ warned Stephen. ‘The Greeks indeed were wise, but we are wiser because we have the wisdom of God in addition to their learning. Now we have the truth. Through the truth God’s work on earth is revealed. Now, time to write: to believe is to know, to know is to understand, to understand is to believe.’
   ‘To see is to watch a beautiful woman!’ exclaimed Augustine.
   ‘What did you say?’ asked Stephen.
   ‘Over there is Paul’s girlfriend!’ exclaimed Augustine looking through the window.
   ‘Augustine, if you do not shut up, Father Richard will return to teach you.’
   ‘Paul is there too, leading the mule into the monastery,’ said Augustine.
   ‘Paul? Surely Paul isn’t here?’ said Stephen hurrying to the window. ‘Oh dear, look, the cook is angry. Paul seems to have bought nothing.’
   Soon Paul fled from the kitchen and rushed into the school. ‘Father, father!’ he shouted to Stephen, ‘Father Stephen . Father Richard . Father Richard.’ said Paul stammering.
   ‘Father Richard is not here. What do you want with Father Richard? Tell me.’


Unit 16

Lucia in trabibus celata

Meanwhile Lucia, as she kept an eye on Richard going into the monastery, had climbed onto the  roof of the cloister where she often used to hide (herself) as a girl; for Count Charles was in the habit of bringing her and her mother to the monastery. And so, looking down from the beams Lucia could see Richard sitting alone. At last someone approached Richard.
   ‘Where are our guests?’ asked the newcomer. ‘Are they OK?’
   ‘They’re fine,’ replied the other.
   ‘Is everything ready?’
   ‘Indeed so, Father Abbot.’
Lucia was astounded. The Abbot! She could not hear all their words because the two monks were whispering. 
   ‘Quiet!’ said the Abbot. ‘Someone’s coming, so go away into the church.’ and Richard left. ‘Ah, Father Stephen, greetings.’
   ‘I greet you, Father Abbot,’ replied Stephen. ‘Forgive me, but I bring you serious news, extraordinary for sure, but true.’
   ‘What news do you mean? Tell me, Stephen.’
   ‘One of my students, a shrewd boy, decent, reliable .’
   ‘Which one of your students?’
   ‘Paul. Today, when he was walking towards the town, he saw Danes in the wood in some conspiracy, one of whom he recognised. Father Richard was in the wood with the Danes!’
   ‘Father Richard in the wood? Today? But Richard is not a Dane. The boy is seeing things.’
   ‘But he was with the Danes.’
   ‘Do you believe an error-prone student, Father?’ asked the Abbot. ‘And wasn’t Paul that student who lusted hopelessly after the daughter of Count Charles? Forgive me, but the boy is impetuous with passion,’ laughed the Abbot. ‘He appears to be a student of Venus, not of Christ – eh, Sir?! Let us hear no more of his fables-rather, you should be beating him more frequently. Beat your boy with a rod, as Saint Benedict said, and you will save his soul from death. Rule 28.’
   ‘As you will, my lord, as you will. But I thought the story ought to be reported to you.’
   ‘Of course, Father. Look, now Richard is approaching: let us ask the man himself. Father Richard, would you step over here.’
   ‘I’m always willing to oblige you, my lord .’

Lucia was still motionless on the beams and could not hear everything which the men were saying below. Soon they stopped speaking, and Stephen and Richard went away.  

Mulus et plaustrum

Meanwhile, after Stephen had left the school to find the abbot, Paul himself went off to find Lucia. Paul warned Augustine and the others who wanted to help to stay in the school in case they were seen by Richard or his associates. Shortly afterwards, when Paul was walking alone through the monastery, he heard the bells ringing for the monks to gather together in the church. Therefore, although he too should be there in the church, he secretly went out of the cloister into the garden, where he saw the mule tied to a cart. ‘Heyup mule! Where are you off to in the dead of night? Where are you pulling this cart? What do we have here?’ Then Paul saw in the cart all the things which had to be looked after in the church. He was quite astonished. ‘Heavens! Why are these in the cart?’
Near the cart there was a large sack. ‘Oh no!’ he groaned. ‘Oh! Poor Stephen!’ In the sack he had found the body of his master, who had been stabbed. ‘O Master, it’s my fault that you have been murdered. You should have stayed in the school!’ wept the youth. ‘I shall go at once to the Abbot and tell him everything.’ And with a groan he fled away into the monastery.


Unit 17

Gravis in discipulo stupor

So while Lucia was still hidden in the eaves Paul was going mental as he raced into the cloister to look for the abbot, ‘Father, Father,’ he shouted breathlessly, ‘Father Abbot!’ Lucia could hear his voice and was worried.
‘What is the matter with you, boy?’ asked the abbot.
‘Stephen is dead.’
‘You’re crazy.’
‘I’m telling you the truth!’
‘Foolish boy! Why do you always speak of idle fantasies? Here, I’ll tell you the truth: not long ago Father Stephen went off and entered the church. He was following Father Richard and the others into the church to prepare for vespers.’
‘Please, Father, look out of the window so that you may see the sack which contains Stephen’s body – may he rest in peace.’
‘I can see no sack.’
‘Follow me, Father, so you may see it for yourself.’
Not long afterwards the two men returned. ‘Believe me, Sir,’ Paul was saying, ‘Stephen’s body had been in that sack!’
‘Now that’s enough chatter. This is the time we should be in the church, so we may say vespers. You, boy, have been overcome with an infatuation. Ah, look, Father Richard,’ said the abbot as Richard approached. ‘Father Richard, this student seems to be suffering from a severe case of senselessness; so he should be taken to the doctor immediately.’
‘I’ll take him gladly, my lord,’ replied Richard.
‘No! I speak the truth,’ shouted Paul.
‘The boy is clearly out of his mind.’
Suddenly, in a most furious rage, in rushed breathless Lucia.

Puer turpissimus!

‘Lady Lucia? What business have you in this place?’ asked the abbot, rising from his chair.
‘That fellow is worse than the devil!’ she exclaimed, with a very angry gesture towards the astonished Paul.
‘Please, young lady, calm down,’ said the abbot.
‘He is always sending me insolent verses. I wanted to hush it up, but shame forbids me.’
‘Verses? Whose verses?’
‘Erotic poems of Catullus.’
‘Catullus? In this church? What do you say, boy?’
‘No, I’ve never sent poems of Catullus to this girl,’ said Paul, now himself becoming worried.
‘Look, the book,’ said the young girl, and so saying handed the abbot the book which she had obtained from Augustine. Then she struck Paul’s face with her hand. ‘He is wicked. An absolute disgrace!’
‘My dear girl, stop,’ said the abbot, trying to calm her.
‘Forgive me, Father Abbot,’ and she began to cry.
‘You’ve heard the charges, boy. What do you say?’ By now several monks were nearby.
‘I don’t know, Sir, I don’t know.’
‘Then you will be severely punished, you wretch!’ and he gave Paul a second blow.
‘Father Abbot, stop!’ shouted Lucia.
‘You ask me to stop? But he ought to be punished!’
‘He’ll certainly be punished, but Count Charles wants to resolve it himself. The defendant must be taken immediately to the castle under guard.’
‘Count Charles will want to see him?’
‘Of course. He cares for his daughter.’
‘So be it,’ said the abbot. ‘Some pilgrims will be leaving the monastery today. They can escort you to the castle,’ and saying this he threw Augustine’s book into the fire. Then, after the monks had taken the prisoner away, and everyone other than he himself and Richard had departed, the abbot whispered ‘Tell them to kill the boy and the girl.’


Unit 18

The English translation of Unit 18 (final part of the story) is not included because this is sometimes used as a test piece.