A Short Analysis of William Blake’s ‘The Clod and the Pebble’ | Interesting Literature
So sung a little Clod of Clay Trodden with the cattle's feet, But a Pebble of the brook. Warbled out these metres meet: 'Love seeketh only self to. Robins warbled loudly in the tree near the east side of the house, welcoming Mammi looked preoccupied, staring out at the Millers' vast apple orchard. These were the same Amish folk who'd had a roadside vegetable stand ever since. What comes out of this remarkable study, then, is a new way to appreciate the extraordinarily . Szirotny draws on Alice Miller's The. Drama of Eliot's novels, letters, essays, and notes to support Szirotny's analysis of Eliot's views on ching predicted the coming of Christ, that the Roman goddess Vesta is really a garbled.
Finding himself thus turned out in the cold, he would dash toward the door barking, when the others, supposing it was an alarm, would rush away too, while the old rheumatic went to the fire and selected a place to suit him. It is not necessary to dwell upon the intelligence shown by such acts. But it is hardly contestable that the old animal, who knows how to play such tricks upon his less experienced companions, deceives them by his intonations, while he is well aware that no enemy is approaching the house; but he does it scientifically, by the inflections of his voice, as a man speaking to other men would do in announcing the arrival of an imaginary enemy.
Inarticulate cries are all pretty much the same to us; their inflections, duration, pitch, abruptness, and prolongation alone can inform us of their purpose. But experience and close attention have shown us the connection of these variations with the acts that accompany or precede them.
Animals evidently understand these inflections at once. We can not better compare the language of animals than with what takes place in a pleasant sport, a kind of pantomime of the voice or language which many youth doubtless understand, and which I venture to refer to here to aid in more easily conceiving of the communication of thought among animals by sounds which seem to us all alike. When I was engaged in hospitals, the evenings in the guardroom were sometimes enlivened by the presence of a companion who excelled in humorous mimicry.
He would represent a man in liquor who had stopped at a fountain that flowed with a gentle sound, somewhat like that of his own hiccough. A single oath, pronounced in different tones, was sufficient to enable us to comprehend all the impressions, all the states of mind through which this devotee of Bacchus passed.
The oath, at first pronounced slowly and with an accent expressing relief, represented a feeling of satisfaction, with shadings of prolonged exclamation which it would be hard for one to imagine without suggestion.
The continued flowing of the fountain made our drunken man impatient, and he wanted it to stop. This state of mind was translated by a new modulation of the same word. In a little while the gurgling of the fountain produced astonishment. Was it possible that he, with all the liquid he had imbibed, could vomit so much and for so long a time?
This mental condition was expressed by a new modulation of the same oath. The first movement of surprise over, resignation follows, and our man decides to wait patiently for the end.
A period of half lethargy was easily represented by the slowness and weakness of the man's voice while living up to this decision; but when he comes out of this sleepy condition and hears the fountain again, ho is possessed with fear: Gradually the fumes of the liquor pass away, and, his mistake being recognized, the drunkard is taken with a laughing and a gayety which are indicated by the same oath repeated in tones corresponding with the satisfaction he is then enjoying.
This making the series of impressions a man passes through comprehensible by a single word, varied in pronunciation and utterance, is very like the language of animals, which is always the same, and the significance of which is given by variety of intonations corresponding with sensational conditions. The mewing of the cat is always the same; but what a number of mental conditions it expresses! I had a kitten whose gambols and liveliness entertained me greatly.
I understood well, when it came up to me mewing, what the sound meant: When, at my meals, it jumped on my knees, turned round, looked at me, and spoke in a coaxing and flattering way, it was asking for something to eat. When its mother came up with a mouse in her jaws, her muffled and low-toned mew informed the little one from a distance, and caused it to spring and run up to the game that was brought to it.
The cry is always the same, but varied in the strength of the inflections and in its protraction, so as to represent the various states of mind with which my young animal is moved—just as it was with the drunken man in the mimicry scene.
These facts are probably well known to all observers of animals. We have seen that this tonality of the watch-dog's cries is competent to indicate that a person is coming to the house. We find similar cries of warning uttered by birds. He had a working-room at the end of a garden, in which a laughing mew wandered. From the time that any one came in till he went out, this bird made the vocal explosions to which it owes its name; and the good professor was certain, without ever being mistaken, that somebody was coming to his laboratory.
My Jaco in Paris has a warble that answers the ringing of the bell. If we have not heard the bell, we are notified by Jaco of its ringing, and, going to the door, find some one there.
I have been told of a parrot belonging to the steward of a lyceum which had heard the words "Come in," when any one rang the bell. He never failed to cry, "Come in," when the bell moved, and the visitor was embarrassed at seeing nobody after having been invited to open the door.
Instances in which cries of birds had an incontestable and precise signification are numerous; let me refer to a few of the best known. The cackle of a hen, after having laid an egg and left her nest, is decidedly characteristic.
Her clucking when she is impelled to sit on her eggs, or when she is calling her chicks, is no less demonstrative.
There is not a farmer who does not recognize it and understand it. In these things we see the relation between the tone of the prating or cluck of the hen and her acts.
But when a nightingale sings all night, or a gold-finch whistles or a raven croaks, we can not so easily interpret the significance of their inarticulate sounds. The finch calls its mate by uttering a few notes followed by a long trill. Matches, of a barbarous character based on this habit, were held in the north of France while I was living at Lille, between and I do not know whether they have been suppressed or not, but the laws for the protection of animals ought to take cognizance of them.
The gamesters put out the eyes of the male finches, and made them, thus blinded, compete as singers, for which purpose they brought their cages into proximity. When the birds heard and recognized one another's voices, they made their appeal to the female; the one that renewed his amorous trills most frequently, protracted them longest and to the last, gained the prize.
The bird that was declared victor received a medal amid the applause of a large and enthusiastic crowd; and considerable wagers were staked upon the result.
I have heard that these poor blinded birds sometimes fell down exhausted with singing, and kept on calling the absent female till they died, not being willing to yield to a rival, who on his side was also keeping up his equally useless appeals. These finch contests were suggested after the meaning of the song of the birds was learned. Should we not then seek to determine by the tone whether their call, which is always the same, is amorous or not?
In countries where flocks of turkeys are raised one can learn very quickly from their gobblings when they have captured a hare. If they meet him standing still or lying down, they form in a circle around him, and, putting their heads down, repeat continually their peculiar cries. The hare remains quiet, and it is sometimes possible to take him up, terrorized as he is in the midst of the black circle of gobbling beaks and heads. The language of the turkeys is at that time incontestably significant.
It is war like, and similar to that of the males when they are fighting. In the present instance, they have joined for war, and they make it on the frightened hare. My Jaco, like all parrots, which are excellent imitators, pronounces a few words and repeats them over and over again. Such birds amuse us, because the words they know sometimes happen to be ludicrously fitting.
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A bird of this kind had been struck by the note sounded by the wind blowing into a room through a crack in the glass-work whenever a certain door was opened; and he had become so perfect in his imitation that they sometimes, on hearing the noise, went to shut the door when it was not open. Jaco formerly belonged to a very pious old lady who was accustomed to say her litanies with another person.
He had caught the words "Pray for us" in the invocations to the several saints, and said them so well as sometimes to deceive his learned mistress, and cause her to think she was saying her litanies with two colleagues. When Jaco was out of food, and any one passed by him, he would say, "My poor Cocotte" or "My poor rat!
There was no doubt in the house as to his meaning; and whenever one heard it he said, "He has nothing to eat. So, whenever, as I came near him, I put my hand into my pocket. A sugar-plum is a choice morsel to him. He can tell what it is from a distance when I hold it out in my fingers; and when I give it to him he can not restrain himself if it has been any considerable time since he has had the delicacy. Usually, after having made the first motion to get it.
Popular Science Monthly/Volume 40/February 1892/New Observations on the Language of Animals
The expression of his eyes and the pose of his head are all in accord with the tone of his exclamation. When he tastes the plum he utters a series of ahs, and produces a kind of warble by prolonging some of his notes and shortening up others. We find in these examples without doubt that the articulate voice makes us better able to judge the meaning of the impressions that are moving the animal than inarticulate cries, or merely musical sounds.
When Jaco met a child for whom he had a great affection, he would promenade on his perch, or turn the wheel, spreading out his tail and ruffling the feathers of his head, while his eyes grew red with excitement if the child was too slow in bestowing the accustomed caress.
Then he would stop, bend down his head, and, looking at his friend, say pleasantly, "Jaco," in a tone and with a manner quite in contrast with the pronunciation of the same word when he was hungry. It is not the word he speaks that is of interest; he might have been taught another, and it would have been the same; but it is the tone.
In this case, too, the articulation gives an easier clew to the meaning the bird seeks to express, having a meaning according to the manner of pronouncing it, than any isolated, simply musical sound, like the song of the nightingale, canary-bird, and warbler.
This became evident to me, not from observing animals for a few moments without seeing them again, but from studying them continuously. Jaco did not like solitude, and was talkative and fond of being caressed, like all of his kind. Gall, where it may have been composed around and used by Notker a century later for his Old High German version of Boethius.
When confronted, finally, with the Neoplatonic theories mentioned above, the monk falters, as many have since, and acknowledges that not all that Boethius wrote may conform to dogma. Around Remigius compiled a commentary that survives in one form or another in about thirty manuscripts. In the course of identifying the Second Vatican Mythographer as Remigius, Courcelle describes his typical method: But at the same time, Remigius interpolated into this commentary on Statius the gloss which he had composed on Boethius.
Finally, with the aid of the First Mythographer, the two works of Lactantius Placidus, and the interpolation drawn from his own commentary on Boethius, Remigius ingeniously composed his own mythography and attempted to give to it a certain unity. Courcelle speaks of him as a tireless annotator who would sacrifice nothing antique, even doctrines that tended to heresy, and who showed an indulgent ingenuity in sanitizing for his students many troublesome Boethian notions.
An anonymous commentary in Brussels MS is no less Eriugenan than Remigius, according to Courcelle, but it is better documented and written.
Such enthusiasts were too much for Bovo of Corvey d. This vigilant abbot saw in the doctrines of the Consolatio and in the explications of Remigius a clear and present danger. With impartiality, he moves through the Consolatio pointing to what must go and what a good Christian may accept.
Adalbold, Bishop of Utrecht d. Secondly, Adalbold explicated by means of a harmony of pagan and Christian philosophers, tumbling together citations from Hermes, Plato, David, John the Evangelist, St. Jerome, and the commentaries of Boethius on Porphyry and of Gregory on St. All of this testimony allows Adalbold to find for Plato on nearly every issue, including the world soul. Finally, the commentary is important from our point of view because it was translated in its entirety and inserted into the first French translation of the Consolatio—the only instance of so partial an exposition of Boethian Platonism reaching the vernacular.
After Adalbold, nothing further on the Consolatio appeared in the eleventh century, but the vigorous defence of Boethian Platonism begun by Remigius and continued by Adalbold reappeared and reached its apogee in the commentary of William of Conches ca. But where the earlier commentators distorted Boethius to render him more safely Christian, the celebrated scholar of Paris and Chartres makes Platonism Christian by fiat, and those pagan myths that might, if taken literally, have proved distracting, go down easily in the honey of allegory.
In the midst of long scholastic digressions on the theory of tides or mythological explications taken directly from Remigius, William defends against real opponents his distinctive beliefs. Most of these find their focus in Book III, meter 9, where, for example, Plato is found guiltless of the belief that creation took place in two steps—first a chaos of elements and then their orderly arrangement.
As William sees it, the operation of natural laws on created matter is all that is needed to explain the evolution of men from mud by evaporation caused by the stars. This, of course, accords perfectly with scripture: None of these, however, exerted an effect on the French translations. While no new commentaries survive from the thirteenth century, St.
This new taste for Aristotle is strong in the commentary written by the English Dominican friar, Nicholas Trevet, sometime before This most popular of medieval commentaries Courcelle lists 42 MSS relies heavily on the work of William of Conches—identified merely as commentator—and disagrees extensively with it.
Everywhere the Platonism of Chartres is attacked and replaced with the Aristotelian interpretations increasingly in vogue in the thirteenth century. Trevet rejects, for example, the identification of the world soul with the Holy Spirit and goes on to reduce that force to the motions imparted to the celestial spheres by the prime mover.
The commentary of Tholomaeus de Asinariis mildly Christianizes Boethius and prudently defends him and Plato against the assaults of Trevet, while that of William of Aragon excuses Boethius because of his work on Aristotle.
Following them, the humanists Jodocus Badius Ascensius and Niccolo Perotti tended to take the Consolatio as a literary masterpiece fit for stylistic analysis and comparison to Horace. Of the late medieval commentaries mentioned by Courcelle, only that of Regnier of Saint Trond ca.
Both of these latter were to be found in the noble but obscure meter 9 of Book III. The world view there expounded did not deceive most medieval commentators, but those who attempted to render it ideologically orthodox failed by their tendentiousness, while those who relished its exotic doctrines had acquired a taste not available to ordinary medieval mortals. There can thus be little doubt that in the world of Latin scholasticism the Consolatio was what Courcelle calls a ferment of humanism.
But by a curious turn, at the moment humanism triumphed Boethius was laid aside. Before the end of the ninth century the text was accessible in England, and later in Germany, in translations which both paraphrased and annotated the original. King Alfred produced a version in Old English prose and later versified the parts of this version representing meter in the original in accordance with alliterative traditions.
Gall—or his pupils—made a version in Old High German. The language of central France was cautiously approached as versions were made first in Anglo-Norman, then in Burgundian and Wallonian, and by such outsiders as the Sicilian Bonaventura da Demena and Pierre de Paris, who despite his name was no Parisian.
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A sort of linguistic stability was finally achieved in the translation by Jean de Meun, and it found instant popularity. On this prose base, the processes of manuscript transmission began to work as successive revisions and compilations refined the text linguistically and doctrinally, while revisions of a later efflorescence of verse translations refined a new host of narrative elaborations on the Boethian text.
The longest exception to the borrowings from William is a gloss of twenty manuscript pages appended to the translation of Book III, meter 9. This gloss is a translation of all that remains of the Christianizing commentary on the Consolatio written by Bishop Adalbold of Utrecht d. Thomas identifies the dialect of its unknown author as Wallonian and points to his mediocre knowledge of Latin. Generally, it is a poor performance.
No use is made of it in this investigation. Not that there was much cause for celebration when the show closed after nine performances. Rebounding from that debacle, Sondheim took one last job as a lyricist-for-hire, teaming up with a dysfunctional Richard Rodgers on the ill-starred Do I Hear a Waltz? Since then, Sondheim has consistently served in the dual capacity of lyricist-composer, producing the string of experimental musicals on which his cult is founded.
Of these, three look like durable pieces of commercially viable musical theater: The rest are encumbered by books that are virtually plotless or otherwise deficient.
Here are thumbnails of the ones not yet described, as viewed through the eyes of an imaginary, wary investor: Company presents a portfolio of Manhattan character studies of the late s think Jules Feiffer with a zero named Robert or Bob or Bobby at its center. The Frogs breathes new life into the Old Comedy of Aristophanes, or tries to.
Pacific Overtures deals in a dry, faux-kabuki style with the forced opening of Japan to the West.We're the Millers Kenny singing Waterfalls!
Merrily We Roll Alonga sour lament for the loss of youthful ideals, unfolds in reverse chronological order. Time's arrow was turned around in later productions. Sunday In the Park With George dissects the artistic temperament or Sondheim's own via the shadowy stand-ins of Georges Seurat and his fictional twentieth-century descendant. Assassinsexplores the dark side of the American dream in a shooting gallery where the targets are American presidents.
Passion twists B-movie romance into a macabre obsession worthy of Edgar Allan Poe. Bounce paints a double portrait of Addison Mizner, the Mediterranean Revival master builder of Boca Raton and Palm Beach, and his brother Wilson Mizner, a sometime Broadway producer, entrepreneur, gambler, and full-service snake-oil salesman.
Road Show revisits the Mizner brothers, of Bounce, to little avail. The Song and the Book: A Question of Context Though the books of the shows mattered very much to Sondheim, they may not matter much to you, not really. Not, that is, if what you care about is the songs. Of course, there are experts who disagree. Thus, in the second edition of Art Isn't Easy: The Theater of Stephen SondheimJoanne Gordon makes what she believes to be a crucial distinction between Sondheim's practice and that of his predecessors: