Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Schwein’sche Weltansicht: Pig Propositions Nos.1-10

As received and written down in the year 1850 by “Sauerteig”, aka Thomas Carlyle:—

1. The Universe, so far as sane conjecture can go, is an immeasurable Swine’s-trough, consisting of solid and liquid, and of other contrasts and kinds;—especially consisting of attainable and unattainable, the latter in immensely greater quantities for most pigs.
2. Moral evil is unattainability of Pig’s-wash; moral good, attainability of ditto.
3. “What is Paradise, or the State of Innocence?” Paradise, called also State of Innocence, Age of Gold, and other names, was (according to Pigs of weak judgment) unlimited attainability of Pig’s-wash; perfect fulfilment of one’s wishes, so that the Pig’s imagination could not outrun reality: a fable and an impossibility, as Pigs of sense now see.
4. “Define the Whole Duty of Pigs.” It is the mission of universal Pighood, and the duty of all Pigs, at all times, to diminish the quantity of unattainable and increase that of attainable. All knowledge and device and effort ought to be directed thither and thither only; Pig Science, Pig Enthusiasm and Devotion have this one aim. It is the Whole Duty of Pigs.
5. Pig Poetry ought to consist of universal recognition of the excellence of Pig’s-wash and ground barley, and the felicity of Pigs whose trough is in order, and who have had enough: Hrumph!
6. The Pig knows the weather; he ought to look out what kind of weather it will be.
7. “Who made the Pig?” Unknown ;—perhaps the Pork-butcher?
8. “Have you Law and Justice in Pigdom?” Pigs of observation have discerned that there is, or was once supposed to be, a thing called justice. Undeniably at least there is a sentiment in Pig-nature called indignation, revenge, &c., which, if one Pig provoke another, comes out in a more or less destructive manner: hence laws are necessary, amazing quantities of laws. For quarrelling is attended with loss of blood, of life, at any rate with frightful effusion of the general stock of Hog’s-wash, and ruin (temporary ruin) to large sections of the universal Swine’s-trough: wherefore let justice be observed, that so quarrelling be avoided.
9. “What is justice?” Your own share of the general Swine’s-trough, not any portion of my share.
10. “But what is ‘my’ share?” Ah! there in fact lies the grand difficulty; upon which Pig science, meditating this long while, can settle absolutely nothing. My share—hrumph!—my share is, on the whole, whatever I can contrive to get without being hanged or sent to the hulks. For there are gibbets, treadmills, I need not tell you, and rules which Lawyers have prescribed.

Latter-Day Pamphlets, No. VIII: August 1850: Jesuitism (London: Chapman & Hall, 1850), pp.269-70. (Sus exsaturatus grunnit: “We’ve clearly cracked all the important things and are now left with the minor trivia of life.” Tim Worstall, “What Joy It Is”, Tim Worstall (weblog), 25th November 2009.)

1 comment:

James Higham said...

And to add to that - pigs are essentially clean animals.