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Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 12, 2006 01:14PM

In the one below, George Gascoigne (probably pronounced Gáscon) seems to be presenting a conversation between a lover and his mistress. It is written in short meter (abab stanzas, meter 3-3-4-3). The mistress speaks first, then the lover responds. What is your interpretation? She seems to have been accused of having one or more additional paramours, and says 'so what?' about it. What is the cuckold's reaction to that, though? It is not entirely clear to me, I mean.


"And what if I did then?
Are you aggrieved therefore?
The sea hath fish for every man,
And what would you have more?"

Thus did my mistress once
Amaze my mind with doubt;
And popped a question for the nonce,
To beat my brains about.

Whereto I thus replied:
"Each fisherman can wish
That all the seas at every tide
Were his alone to fish;

"And so did I, in vain;
But since it may not be,
Let such fish there as find the gain,
And leave the loss to me.

"And with such luck and loss
I will content myself,
Till tides of turning time may toss
Such fishers on the shelf.

"And when they stick on sands,
That every man may see,
Then I will laugh and clap my hands,
As they do now at me."
-- George Gascoigne (ca. 1534-1577)


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: March 12, 2006 01:52PM

His reaction: "What goes around, comes around."


Les


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: Debutant (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 13, 2006 07:23PM

He'll wait for the tides turn against her and he'll have his last laugh.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2006 09:55AM by Debutant.


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 14, 2006 11:44AM


"And what if I did then?
Are you aggrieved therefore?
The sea hath fish for every man,
And what would you have more?"


OK, her argument seems to be that she is like the ocean, providing nourishment for whomever, um, puts a pole in her water. She admonishes her lover for suggesting the rich sea feed only him?


Thus did my mistress once
Amaze my mind with doubt;
And popped a question for the nonce,
To beat my brains about.


For the nonce is 'for the moment'? He had not anticipated such a response, and his mind is boggled by her logic?


Whereto I thus replied:
"Each fisherman can wish
That all the seas at every tide
Were his alone to fish;


He replies that every fisherman wishes the seas were his alone.


"And so did I, in vain;
But since it may not be,
Let such fish there as find the gain,
And leave the loss to me.


And he had such an opinion himself, but now sees that is impossible? He will therefore abandon this particular fishing hole?


"And with such luck and loss
I will content myself,
Till tides of turning time may toss
Such fishers on the shelf.

"And when they stick on sands,
That every man may see,
Then I will laugh and clap my hands,
As they do now at me."


With these last two stanzas I get lost. The turning tides of time (nice alliteration, by the way) will relegate those who accept his lover's view of romance to finally be tossed back on the shore. She will finally be done with them once they are no longer amusing. At which point, the speaker will laugh at them as they all now laugh at him. I don't see where the speaker has gained anything to chortle about.


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: PamAdams (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 14, 2006 12:48PM

And when they stick on sands,
That every man may see,
Then I will laugh and clap my hands,
As they do now at me."

Perhaps he will laugh when they too are cuckolded as he has been.

pam


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 14, 2006 01:16PM

Yeah, a Laugh Riot !

maybe certain things were funnier in those days


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 14, 2006 01:17PM

This can be sung to the Looney Tunes theme song


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: Debutant (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 15, 2006 12:21AM

Here is another reading of mine:


"And what if I did then?
Are you aggrieved therefore?
The sea hath fish for every man,
And what would you have more?"

In the soceity,world. there is a woman for every man, and do you want more?

Thus did my mistress once
Amaze my mind with doubt;
And popped a question for the nonce,
To beat my brains about.

He's wondering whether she has another man. She popped a question bye the bye to get me all worked up.

Whereto I thus replied:
"Each fisherman can wish
That all the seas at every tide
Were his alone to fish;

Each man wished that he had no competition.

"And so did I, in vain;
But since it may not be,
Let such fish there as find the gain,
And leave the loss to me.

I did wished that, but was unsuccessful, I had a competitor.
Let such as her have him and leave me with a loss.

"And with such luck and loss
I will content myself,
Till tides of turning time may toss
Such fishers on the shelf.

I'm content to accept my bad luck and loss, and who knows, in time men such as him, an adulterer, may be discovered.


"And when they stick on sands,
That every man may see,
Then I will laugh and clap my hands,
As they do now at me."

And when they are found out and publicly humiliated for all man to see.
Then I will laugh at them as they now do me.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/15/2006 12:26AM by Debutant.


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: Marty (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 15, 2006 01:58AM

And what if I did then?
Are you aggrieved therefore?
The sea hath fish for every man,
And what would you have more?"

(Wouldn't you also like to have more than just one lover?)

Thus did my mistress once
Amaze my mind with doubt;
And popped a question for the nonce,
To beat my brains about.

(This question bothered me. "doubt" about her feelings for him, or his own pertaining to the subject? I dunno)

Whereto I thus replied:
"Each fisherman can wish
That all the seas at every tide
Were his alone to fish;

(We can wish that we can have whomever we want whenever we want them, take matters of love lightly and carelessly)

"And so did I, in vain;
But since it may not be,
Let such fish there as find the gain,
And leave the loss to me.

(But I fell in love with you and couldn't do that...I fooled around and fell in love? So lucky for all the women whose hearts I didn't break - but ironically, I'm losing you now)

"And with such luck and loss
I will content myself,
Till tides of turning time may toss
Such fishers on the shelf.

(I'll eat crow now - it's funny how things turn out, isn't it? But in time, people who play this game end up alone)

"And when they stick on sands,
That every man may see,
Then I will laugh and clap my hands,
As they do now at me."

(And though I'm the humiliated one now, it will be someone else later)

Or, as Les said, what goes around, comes around.


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 15, 2006 12:07PM

I remember from my time spent in Germany the term schadenfreude, which I do not believe exists in other languages: taking pleasure in someone else's misfortune!


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 15, 2006 01:16PM

A Gift Horse
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: August 19, 2005 12:42PM


Emotion frayed
defection toyed
I almost slipped
into the void
until i heard
what I enjoyed
and sang an ode
to Schadenfreude


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: Desi (Moderator)
Date: March 15, 2006 04:10PM

uh, sorry to say, we have a word for that in Dutch too: leedvermaak.


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: March 15, 2006 04:45PM

What does "blijdschap" mean?


Re: Decoding Gascoigne
Posted by: Desi (Moderator)
Date: March 15, 2006 06:19PM

gladness, happiness.
Why?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/15/2006 06:50PM by Desi.




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