another mystery quote

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Tue Nov 20 16:28:19 UTC 2012

Jean de Bueil ?

Stephen Goranson
From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Jonathan Lighter [wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 11:01 AM
Subject: [ADS-L] another mystery quote

William Bennett's hot new inspiration anthology for teenage boys (No girls
allowed!), called _The Book of Man_, includes (p. 36) a paragraph from a
certain French knight who went by the moniker of Jean de Brueil.

The quote appears in Robert Bly's _Iron John_ (1990) where poet Bly tells
us that it was "found" by the "aikido student and master Terry Dobson who
has taught so many of us the goodness possible inside the warrior" (p.
2004, p. 137). It was allegedly "spoken" in 1465.

But surprise!  I find no earlier mention of this "Jean de Brueil" (or
Breuil/ Bruil/ Brule) anywhere in GB, JSTOR or the Net itself. Same for his
alleged words.

The quote begins:

"Battle is  joyous thing. We love each other so much in battle. If we see
that our cause is just and our kinsmen fight boldly, tears come to our
eyes. A sweet joy rises in our hearts...."

You get the picture.

Surely a  distinguished and meticulous Harvard graduate, political
philosopher, and radio host like Dr. Bennett, who notes that the "Athenians
and Spartans fought a bloody and horrific  [Peloponnesian] war for freedom"
(instead of out of suspicion and jealousy, as  Thucydides imagined) must
have double- and triple-checked the passage for authenticity.   Thus, among
the acknowledgments, he is careful to assure us that, yes, the passage is
"by Jean de Brueil."

No further information is given.



"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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