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12/09/2008

Meditation upon a Broomstick

Allez, courage, de l'anglais, cette fois et le jeu en vaut la chandelle; un très très grand classique de la satire féroce; le monsieur est bien désabusé et vous allez rire jaune....

 

"This single stick, which you now behold ingloriously lying in that neglected corner, I once knew in a flourishing state in a forest; it was full of sap, full of leaves, and full of boughs; it is now, at best, but the reverse of what it was, a tree turned upside down, the branches on the earth,  and the root in the air, ; it is now handled by every dirty wench, condemned to do her drudgery, and by a capricious kind of fate,destined to make other things clean and be nasty itself.

When I beheld this, I sighed, and said within myself: surely, Man is a Broomstick; Nature sent him into the world, strong and lusty in a thriving condition, wearing his own hair on his head , the proper branches of this reasoning vegetable until the axe of intemperance has lopped his green boughs and left him a withered trunk...But, a Broomstick, perhaps you will say, is an emblem of a tree standing on its head; and pray what is man but a topsy-turvy creature, his animal faculties perpetually mounted on his rational, his head where his heels should be. And yet with all his faults, he sets up to a universal reformer,  and corrector of abuses, rakes into every slut's corner of nature bringing hidden corruption to the light, and raises a mighty dust where there was none before...His last days are spent in slavery to women and generally the least deserving; till, worn out to the stumps like his brother besom, he is either kicked out of doors, or made use of to kindle flames for others to warm themselves by."

Jonathan Swift   1703

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