Quote: Supposed Lincoln quote traces to Alphonse Karr - help with French requested

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 16 20:08:51 UTC 2013

I see Charlie found a reference from 1958. (Dictionary of Modern Proverbs:
highly recommended.)


On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 3:06 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>wrote:

> >  I'm sure Reagan didn't invent his beloved story about the boy who was
> delighted to be sent to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure
> "because there's gotta be a pony in here somewhere".
> I read it in James Kirkwood's novel, "There Must be a Pony!" (1960).
> JL
> On Sat, Nov 16, 2013 at 9:41 AM, W Brewer <brewerwa at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: Quote: Supposed Lincoln quote traces to Alphonse Karr -
>> help
>>               with French requested
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> GO'T: Maybe a little more context via my pathetic French. NOT A
>> WORD-FOR-WORD RENDITION; lots of paraphrases, elipses. Not sure if
>> Alphonse
>> Karr is actually in favor of garden-path education, or is just scoring
>> points as a picky critic. Did he compose the poem? I can't tell, but he
>> gives no reference to anyone else. (Perhaps a possible anonymous author
>> was
>> too well know to merit mention?) I sure am tentative.
>> Un Mai^tre d'E'cole (A school master)
>> A critique of a Parisian play, _Mai^tre d'E'cole_, starring the famous
>> actor Fre'de'rick Lemai^tre. In the play, a peasant boy recites the fable
>> of =93The Cicada and the Ant=94 and then laughs, because the moral of the
>> s=
>> tory
>> is funny. The teacher berates the pupil: The cicada sings for us
>> beautifully night & day, all summer long; it is not right that the cicada
>> should freeze & starve in the winter. This idea is found also in the novel
>> _Clovis Gosselin_ by He'rambert; and favored by some German and a French
>> professor Issaurat from Nice: children must be reared in the great
>> outdoors
>> in gardens where they can see and breathe the roses while declining the
>> Latin word _rosa_ (rosa, rosae, rosam), since these are mere words, while
>> a
>> living rose has to do with knowledge, feelings, morals, philosophy. Just
>> by
>> saying Latin _rosa_ -- rose -- his school master spoke of nature, of
>> Providence, of God; of the discoveries about man: grafting, planting,
>> artificial fertilization (la fe'condation artificielle!!!); of greenish
>> rose parasites, plant lice, *ants* and the exotic story of these bugs,
>> stories more interesting to kids than fairy tales, the most beautiful
>> poetry about roses, hence all the stories involving roses, the folded rose
>> leaf that troubles the sleep of the sybarite, while the genuine man sleeps
>> a restorative sleep on the straw which has just fallen under his
>> hard-working scythe.
>> Let us try to see things from their better side:
>> You complain about seeing thorny rose bushes;
>> Me, I rejoice and give thanks to the gods
>> That thorns have roses.
>> And so on and so forth, morality tale, history, fable, natural history,
>> philosophy, it doesn't hinder learning the first declension, which becomes
>> what it should be, a detail of instruction, instead of being what it is
>> for
>> so many, education as a whole.
>> Thus giveth Fre'de'rick Lemai^tre his lesson on _The Cicada & the Ant_. An
>> old, sick friend wrote this author the other day: just as his wife
>> complements him, so cicadas should marry ants.
>> The author of _The School Master_ resembles La Fontaine, unfortunately not
>> his pretty side. La Fontaine knows people, but he doesn't know every
>> animal=
>> .
>> In _The Cicada & the Ant_ , La Fontaine mistakes the cicada of le Midi for
>> the grass hopper, Chateau-Thierry & d'Auteuil's <criquet> (cricket or
>> locust).
>> The author of _The School Master_ does the same =85
>> [The de'nouement:] The mistake of the author of the new piece, however, is
>> a demonstration that the need of the school master (like my He'rambert and
>> like his Fre'de'rick) is strongly felt & was not satisfied at the time of
>> his studies.
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."

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

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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