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I have always a sacred veneration for any one I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a... Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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I have always a sacred veneration for any one I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher; because the richest minerals are ever found under the most ragged and withered surface of the earth.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
MTC
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 6:08:58 AM
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The quotation is from Swift's tongue-in-cheek A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet:

"Furthermore, when you set about composing, it may be necessary, for your ease and better distillation of wit, to put on your worst clothes, and the worse the better; for an author, like a limbick, will yield the better for having a rag about him. Besides that, I have observed a gardener cut the outward rind of a tree, (which is the surtout of it), to make it bear well: And this is a natural account of the usual poverty of poets, and is an argument why wits, of all men living, ought to be ill clad. I have always a secret veneration for any one I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher; because the richest minerals are ever found under the most ragged and withered surface of earth."

(http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/A_Letter_of_Advice_to_a_Young_Poet)

Note: A "limbick" is apparently an apparatus which distills substances. It is mentioned in Volume 5 of Hardwicke's Science-gossip: An Illustrated Medium of Interchange.



jcbarros
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 7:28:00 AM

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This thought sounds somehow whimsy, doesn´t it?
Verbatim
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 8:19:25 AM
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MTC wrote:


The quotation is from Swift's tongue-in-cheek A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet:

"Furthermore, when you set about composing, it may be necessary, for your ease and better distillation of wit, to put on your worst clothes, and the worse the better; for an author, like a limbick, will yield the better for having a rag about him. Besides that, I have observed a gardener cut the outward rind of a tree, (which is the surtout of it), to make it bear well: And this is a natural account of the usual poverty of poets, and is an argument why wits, of all men living, ought to be ill clad. I have always a secret veneration for any one I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher; because the richest minerals are ever found under the most ragged and withered surface of earth."

(http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/A_Letter_of_Advice_to_a_Young_Poet)

Note: A "limbick" is apparently an apparatus which distills substances. It is mentioned in Volume 5 of Hardwicke's Science-gossip: An Illustrated Medium of Interchange.





What a remarkable manner to mix the tongue-in-cheek with the sober wisdom! Just so that the sober wisdom will not be ostentatious.
Once again, the beauty of a quote is well served by more, not less words. Keep up the good work, MTC!
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 8:46:57 AM
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I think Jonathan Swift is alluding to a person's ego.
Jimbob
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 9:18:42 AM

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Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
I have always a sacred veneration for any one I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher; because the richest minerals are ever found under the most ragged and withered surface of the earth.
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A generalisation, is to say the least ! One wonders if Swift had been hanging out with the hippie crowd, given his observation, upon writing this. In some ways artistic people put a great deal of effort into their work, that, perhaps they neglect their appearance (“little out of repair”) but I would not go-so-far as to say it is the rule. Furthermore, Swift’s veneration is one of praise (“because the richest material...”) The poet or philosopher must have a wit, in verse, as a rose has a fragrant. An impression that ‘awakens an emotion.’ ‘Or else’ it be dull and means nothing.
LaBowe
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 12:10:40 PM
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Swift's comment is much in keeping with the common conception of that time that Poesy and one practicing that art was in some way slightly "Doolally" i don't recall who said it but when the rural poet John Clare was institutionalised his poetic tendencies or his pursuit of of writing were considered sufficient to be a sign of of a person
Quote:
"to be a little out of repair in his person"
So is being "out of repair" a result of poetry or from a pursuit of same?
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