Wednesday, February 09, 2011


The Scholar and His Dog

John Marston (1576-1634), The Scholar and His Dog (from the play What You Will, Act 2, Scene 2):
I was a scholar: seven useful springs
Did I deflower in quotations
Of cross'd opinions 'bout the soul of man;
The more I learnt, the more I learnt to doubt.
Delight, my spaniel slept, whilst I baus'd leaves,
Toss'd o'er the dunces, pored on the old print
Of titled words: and still my spaniel slept.
Whilst I wasted lamp-oil, baited my flesh,
Shrunk up my veins: and still my spaniel slept.
And still I held converse with Zabarell,
Aquinas, Scotus, and the musty saw
Of antick Donate: still my spaniel slept.
Still on went I; first, an sit anima;
Then, an it were mortal. Oh, hold, hold! at that
They're at brain buffets, fell by the ears amain
Pell-mell together; still my spaniel slept.
Then, whether 't were corporeal, local, fixt,
Ex traduce, but whether 't had free will
Or no, hot philosphers
Stood banding factions, all so strongly propt,
I stagger'd, knew not which was firmer part,
But thought, quoted, read, observ'd, and pryed,
Stufft noting-books: and still my spaniel slept.
At length he wak'd, and yawn'd; and by yon sky,
For aught I know he knew as much as I.
springs = sources
deflower = excerpt, cull
baus'd = kissed
dunces = scholastic philosophers
an sit anima = whether the soul exists
Zabarrel = the philosopher Giacomo Zabarella
Aquinas, Scotus = scholastic philosophers
Donate = the grammarian Donatus
ex traduce = by descent
noting-books = notebooks

Related post: Pangur Ban.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?