Monday, August 18, 2014


Mutton and Salt

James Henry (1798-1876), Poematia (Dresden: C.C. Meinhold & Sons, 1866), p. 30:
"Which was the better poet of the two,
Virgil or Horace?" to his master, once,
Said a precocious, brisk, inquisitive schoolboy:—
"First tell me which is best," replied the master,
"The mutton or the salt?" "Why, both are good,"
Answered the schoolboy, with a watering mouth,
"But of the two, I like the mutton best."
"Right!" said the master; "Scaliger himself
Could scarce have answered better.
My fine lad, Virgil's the mutton, Horace is the salt;
Both good; but, of the two, the mutton best."

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