Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Parable

A scholar, nearly blind, pockmarked, sd to the Fool, what have you done with my papers? The Fool replied, I organized them by throwing them to the wind. I preserved them by destroying them. I ate them so I cd digest their learning in my bowels & give you my shit to catalog. But I have saved one thing for you, this one passage! Listen!

In his 25 March journal entry of 1645, John Winthrop wrote, “The wars in England kept servants from coming to us, so as those we had could not be hired, when their times were out, but upon unreasonable terms, and we found it very difficult to pay their wages to their content, (for money was very scarce). I may upon this occasion report a passage between one of Rowley and his servant. The master, being forced to sell a pair of oxen to pay his servant for his wages, told his servant he could keep him no longer, not knowing how to pay him the next year. The servant answered, he would serve him for more of his cattle. But how shall I do (saith the master) when all of my cattle are gone? The servant replied, you shall then serve me, and so you may have your cattle again.”

In it contains all of yr learning! Yr Magnum Opus! The scholar wept at the Fool. Oh, you profligate Fool, you have destroyed a life’s work! A life’s work! sd the Fool. Yr life’s work was nothing but dust. Did you really think anyone wd want to peruse yr vellum tome, turning each page in candlelight, squinting at the preciousness of the object before them? I at least made it into something someone will take fearful pleasure in reading! The rest is shit.