‘Yes, I am Jessica,’ she responds. ‘And I am certain that you are in danger. A private investigator is following you. Hostile people are searching for you. I, however, am able to help you.’
‘I found this letter,’ Macellus says, ‘that announced that I was in danger. The author told me to come [to] here. I am looking for Jessica. Surely you are Jessica?’
si vos valetis, bene est. ego tamen fessus sum. octo nunc menses brevem nuntium cotidie mane scripsi de aliqo Lingae Latinae. per mensem Aprilem ergo Commentarium Grammaticum scribere constitui. quiescere volebam et putabam id multo facilius esse. sed - confiteor - me taedet tantum de rebus grammaticis cotidie scribere. pauci praeterea hos Commentarios legunt. itaque per dies reliquos mensis Aprilis nihil nisi picturam paginae cum fabula Anglice reddita in lucem edam. mense Maio fortior et renovatus reveniam.
gratias vobis omnibus,
Ps. See you May 1st!
Marcellus enters the pet store. ‘Hello mam,’ he says uncertainly. (The name of the shopkeeper is not yet known to Marcellus). ‘Hello,’ Jessica responds, looking at the letter.
Today’s page has two sentences. The bare bones of the first are Marcellus ambulat Marcellus is walking. The Adverb interea meanwhile links this sentence with what has come before. The Prepositional Phrase ad zoopolium to the pet store tells us to where Marcellus is walking. Marcellus is described by the Present Active Participle tenens holding. The Object of tenens is epistolam letter. The Prepositional Phrase in manu in [his] hand tells us where Marcellus is holding it. quam in suo limine modo invenit is a Relative Clause. A Relative Clause tells us a little more about the word to which it relates, which in grammatical terms is called the Antecedent. A Relative Clause begins with a Relative Pronoun - here quam which - that has the same Gender and Number as its Antecedent. The Antecedent of quam is epistolam. The Verb in the Relative Clause is invenit he found. The Adverb modo just tells us when Marcellus found the letter. The Prepositional Phrase in limine on the threshold tells us where he found it. limine is described by the Reflexive Possessive Adjective suo his. (Reflexive simply means that it refers back to the Subject of the sentence, in this case Marcellus.)
Marcellus meanwhile is walking to the pet store holding in his hand the letter which he just found on his threshold.
The bare bones of the second sentence are anxior solito videtur he seems more anxious than usual. The Verb video videre to see has two potential meanings in the Passive Voice, to be seen or to seem. anxior more anxious is the Comparative Form of the Adjective anxius anxious. solito than usual is an Ablative of Comparison. While the Subject of videtur is not written, it can be understood as Marcellus from the Third Person Singular ending of the Verb. This Understood Subject is described by the Present Active Participle circumspectans looking around and the Perfect Passive Participle sollicitatus having been disturbed. omnibus by all the things is an Ablative of Cause (who makes these names up?) working with sollicitatus to tell us what Marcellus has been disturbed by. It may be worth mentioning that omnibus is an Adjective being used Substantively, which means it is playing the role of a Noun. quae modo legit is another Relative Clause. The Relative Pronoun is quae which and its Antecedent is omnibus. The Verb in the Relative Clause is legit read. The Adverb modo just tells us when Marcellus read these things.
He seems more anxious than usual, looking around, disturbed by all the things which he just read.
Today’s page has two sentences. The bare bones of the first are Miranda aliquid invenit Miranda finds something. aliquid something is described with the Superlative Adjective ultissimum very useful. The Adverb mox soon tells us that this is occurring not long after the events of the previous sentence. duas pennas two feathers is in Apposition to aliquid. The duas pennas are described as unam rubram et unam viridem one red and one green. They are also described by the Present Active Participle iacentes which means lying. The Prepositional Phrase in cloaca in the drain tells us where they are lying.
Soon Miranda finds something very useful; two feathers, one red and one green, lying in the drain.
The second sentence has two parts, the Main Clause Miranda sibi dicit Miranda says to herself and a Direct Statement. The bare bones of the Direct Statement are tempus est zoopolium visitare It is time to visit the pet store. tempus est it is time is often followed by an Infinitive Verb, as with visitare to visit here. The Dative mihi for me tells us for whom it is time to visit the pet store. Miranda qualifies her statement with nisi fallor unless I am mistaken. fallor is the First Person Singular Passive Form of the Verb fallo fallere to deceive.
Unless I am mistaken, it is time for me to visit the pet store.
Today’s page has three sentences. The first contains two parts, the main clause Miranda sibi dicit Miranda says to herself and the Direct Statement nunc intellego now I understand.
‘Now I understand,’ Miranda says to herself.
The second and third sentences are also Direct Statements that Miranda says to herself. The bare bones of the second are femina me effugit the woman escaped me. Miranda describes femina with the Demonstrative Adjective illa that. femina is also described by the Present Active Participle ascendens climbing. Here the Present Active Participle, however, has a meaning more akin to by climbing. ascendens has an Object canalem pipe, which Miranda describes with the Demonstrative Adjective hunc this.
‘That woman escaped me by climbing this pipe.
The bare bones of the third sentence are me oportet cloacam scrutari it behoves me to examine the drain. oportet it behoves is often followed by an Infinitive Verb, as with scutari to examine, here. scrutor scrutari is a Deponent Verb, meaning that even though it looks Passive it is Active. The Prepositional Phrase sub canale under the pipe tells us where the drain is located. The Adverb ergo therefore joins the sentence with what has come before.
It behoves me therefore to examine the drain under the pipe.’
Today’s page has two sentences. The bare bones of the first are Miranda vestigia sequitur Miranda follows the footprints. sequitur she follows is a Deponent Verb, meaning that while it looks Passive it is in fact Active. The Adverb diligenter carefully describes the manner in which she is following them. A second Adverb, postridie the next day, links this sentence to what has come before. The Genitive Case Jessicae of Jessica tells us whose footprints Miranda is following. The vestigia are described by the Perfect Passive Participle inventa having been found. The Adverb modo just now - positioned immediately before inventa - tells us when the footprints were found.
The next day, Miranda is carefully following the footprints of Jessica [which had] just been found.
The bare bones of the second sentence are vestigia custodem publicam ducunt the footprints lead the public guard (police officer). vestigia is described by the Demonstrative Adjective haec these. A Prepositional Phrase ad canalem to the pipe tells us to where the footprints are leading her. canalem is described - perhaps unnecessarily - by the Adjective aquosam having to do with water.
These footprints are leading the police officer to the water pipe.
Today’s page contains two sentences. The bare bones of the first sentence - Miranda is thinking this to herself - are me oportebit revenire it will behove me to return. Notice the Future Tense oportebit it will behove. Two Adverbs tell us when it will behove, and they are cras tomorrow and mane in the morning. Telling us where it will behove Miranda to return, we have the Prepositional Phrase ad illum locum to that place. And ad illum locum is expanded upon with unde femina fugit from which the woman fled.
‘Tomorrow morning it will behove me to return to that place from which the woman fled.
The second sentence has two parts; the second being the Main Clause secum fessa putat she, tired, is thinking with herself. The Verb putat means she is thinking. secum is actually a Prepositional Phrase meaning with herself. If se was any other word it would be written, for example, cum amicis with friends. But when cum appears with certain Pronouns, the Pronoun begins the phrase and the two words meld together. The subject of putat does not need to be stated, as the -at ending confirms that it is Third Person Singular. Therefore, we can assume it is Miranda from the sentences that came before. This assumed Subject is described by the Adjective fessa tired.
Tired, she is thinking to herself…
The first part of the second sentence outlines what Miranda is thinking, in a direct quotation. It contains some interesting grammar. Let’s begin with fortasse perhaps potero I will be able cognoscere to find out. This is followed by an Indirect Question quomodo me effugerit how she escaped me. effugerit is Perfect Subjunctive. The Verb in an Indirect Question is always Subjunctive. The Tense, however, will change. loco inspiciendo means by inspecting the area. inspiciendo is a Gerundive, but it is not a Gerundive of Obligation. A Gerund or Gerundive in the Ablative Case tells us how something is achieved. This is not, by any means, a full explanation, but this is not the place to go into this further.
‘Perhaps by inspecting the area I will be able to find out how she escaped me.’