Saturday, October 30, 2004


A Parcel of Pigeons

Oliver Goldsmith, song from She Stoops to Conquer, Act 1:
Let school-masters puzzle their brain,
With grammar, and nonsense, and learning;
Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
Gives genus a better discerning.
Let them brag of their heathenish gods,
Their Lethes, their Styxes, and Stygians:
Their Quis, and their Quaes, and their Quods,
They're all but a parcel of Pigeons.
                Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.
Lethe and Styx are rivers in the underworld, and the adjective Stygian is derived from Styx. Qui, quae, and quod are nominative singular relative pronouns in Latin, masculine, feminine, and neuter respectively.

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