Monday, November 22, 2010

L'Estrange: A Man at a Fish-Dinner.

A Certain prince took a Learned Man to Dinner with him: It was a Fasting-Day it seems, and a great deal of Large Grown Fish there was at the Table; only at the Lower End, where the Philosopher sat, there were none but Little Ones. He took out several of them One by One, and first put his Mouth to the Fishes Ear, and then the Fishers Mouth to his own ear, and so laid 'em in whole again, without so much as Tasting one Bit of 'em. Come Sir, says the Master of the Feast, You have some Pleasant Thought or other in your Head now, Pray let the Company take part with ye. Why Sir, says he, My Father had the Ill-Fortune about Two Years ago to be Cast away upon this Coast; and I was asking these Little Fishes if they could tell me what became of his Body: They said No, they could not, for 'twas before their Time: But if I Examin'd the Great Ones, 'tis possible they might be able to say somewhat to't. The Prince was so well pleas'd with the Fancy, that he Order'd his Mess to be Chang'd, and from that Time forward, no body Welcomer to the Table then this Man.

It is a Master-piece in Conversation, to intermix Wit and Liberty so Discreetly, that there may be nothing in't that's Bitter, Course or out of Season.

Source: L'Estrange 407.
Pauper Sapiens et Pisces

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M0875 (not in Perry)

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