Monday, September 30, 2019


The Schoolmaster

The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, tr. Powys Mathers from the French of J.C. Mardrus, Vol. II (1986; rpt. London: Routledge, 1995), p. 390 (Night 382):
A vagabond, whose trade was living upon other people, once had the idea, although he could not read or write, of becoming a schoolmaster, since that was the only profession in which he could make money by doing nothing. For it is notorious that anyone can be a schoolmaster, although he be completely ignorant of the rules and elementary principles of language. It is only necessary to be cunning enough to make others believe that one is a great grammarian; and that is not difficult, since really great grammarians are usually poor men with narrow, mean and disparaging intellects, impotent and incomplete.

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