The Return of Pico – A Grammatical Commentary / by Anthony Gibbins

Today’s page has an exclamation followed by three sentences. The exclamation is ecce! look! see! lo! behold! The Cassell’s Latin Dictionary says it is an Adverb, used to indicate a thing or person present, or to draw attention to a point.


The bare bones of the first sentence proper are Pico eam visitavit Pico visited her. The context of the story would suggest that her is the shopkeeper. Pico is described as noster our, an affectionate epithet. He is also described as ieiunus hungry, and ieiunus is further expanded upon with the Adverb semper always. For the record, the real Pico was (almost) always hungry. The Pronoun eam is described with a Present Active Participle cenantem dining.

Our Pico – always hungry - visited her (while she was) dining.

The bare bones of the second sentence are illa aliquid Piconi dedit et eum mulsit She gave something to Pico and patted him. The Pronoun illa she tells us that the subject has changed from Pico in the previous sentence. The two Verbs dedit gave and mulsit patted are joined by the conjunction et and. The Object of dedit is aliquid something. Piconi, in the Dative Case, tells us to whom she gave it. Now, aliquid is often used with a Noun in the Genitive Case to mean something of or some of. aliquid cenae, for example, means something or some of dinner. This type of a Genitive is called a Partitive Genitive, for the aliquid is Part of a larger whole. cenae is described by the Reflexive Possessive Adjective suae meaning her own – it ‘reflects’ back onto the sentence’s Subject – in this case illa. Finally, mulsit is expanded upon by the Adverb molliter softly. The Object of mulsit is eum him.

She gave some of her dinner to Pico and patted him softly.

The bare bones of the third sentence are tabernaria animalia amat The shopkeeper loves animals. animalia, by the way, is the Plural of animal. The conjunction enim for signals that this sentence will provide an explanation for what has come before. animalia is described by the Adjective omnia all. valde very much is an Adverb expanding upon amat.

For the shopkeeper loves all animals very much.