I'm trying to read the opening (Latin) poem of Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy.
Here's a link to the page in the edition.
The title is Democritus Junior ad Librum Suum. For some reason Burton refers to himself as "Democritus Junior".
The poem starts like this:
Vade libur, qualis, non ausim dicere, fœlix
Te nisi fœlicem fecerit Alma dies.
Vade tamen quocunque lubet, quascunque per oras,
Et Genium Domini fac imitere tui.
I blandas inter Charites, mystamque saluta
Musarum quemvis, si tibi lector erit.
Apart from wondering
- whether libur is some strange vocative of liber
- why alma is capitalised
- what mystam might mean, and whether it is masculine (going with quemvis)
... the main thing I'm puzzled by is this expression "Et Genium Domini fac imitere tui"
The thing is, it is remarkably close to the French or Italian construction meaning "to cause someone to do something" i.e. "...fais imiter le génie de ton maître".
But imitere, with an "e", is not imitare, the infinitive. And is in fact the 2nd sing. subjunctive passive present. So on the face of it it appears to mean "make (act such) that you may be imitated". I'm trying to get my head around this because if we have a passive verbal form, how come we can have a noun in the accusative?
Is it the case that this "fac imitere" construction sort of becomes an "honorary active form", thus justifying the accusative "Genium"? Or have I got it completely wrong? Is this a quite common construction, or rare?
NB there is a 17th Century English translation of this poem in this edition, possibly by Burton himself. But it is such a loose, flowery translation it doesn't really help me answer the question.
If the consensus among experts is that imitere is in fact a misspelling of imitare, that would be a very useful thing to know.