Tuesday, April 20, 2010
"...come closer and sniff an excellent perfume"
“—My beautiful dog, good dog, dear bow-wow, come closer and sniff an excellent perfume, purchased at the best scent shop in town.”
And the dog, wagging his tail, which I suppose, in these poor creatures, the sign corresponding to laugh and to smile, approaches and, curious, puts his moist nose to the unstoppered flask; after which, drawing back in fright, barks at me, clearly a reproach.
“—Ah! wretched dog, if I had offered you a bundle of excrement, you would have sniffed its scent with delight and perhaps devoured it. So you too, unworthy companion of my sad life, you are like the public, to whom one must not present the delicate perfumes which exasperate them, but carefully selected crap.”
"Dog and Flask," from Paris Spleen: Little Poems in Prose by Charles Baudelaire, trans. by Keith Waldrop. (A Blogger curtsy to Isola di Rifiuti for the text lift. You'll find the original French there.)
Study of a Dog, Jan Fyt, 1640s