Dwarf in the Playground
Join Date: May 2006
Re: [Artifact] Despair, mortals...
It's April Fools Day, VT! You've donned a fool's cap! And yet the artifact you propose on this holy day is a diamond of despair?
Allow me to add this addendum to your otherwise excellent entry:
Tub of Diogenes minor artifact
Good people, most illustrious drinkers, and you, thrice precious gouty
gentlemen, did you ever see Diogenes, the cynic philosopher? If you have
seen him, you must have your eyes in your head, or I am very much out
a fool. If you have not seen him, as I am easily induced to believe that
you have not, at least you have heard some talk of him and the tub in
which he passed all his days, perfectly content.
When Philip, King of Macedon, enterprised the siege and ruin of Corinth,
the Corinthians were all most terribly afraid; and therefore set about
to do everything they could to put themselves in a fit posture to resist his
hostile approach and defend their own city.
Some brought from the fields into the fortified city their movables,
animals, corn, wine, fruit, victuals, and other necessary provision.
Others did fortify their walls, set up little fortresses, bastions, squared
ravelins, digged trenches, cleansed countermines, fenced themselves
with gabions, contrived platforms, emptied casemates, barricaded
the false brays, erected the cavaliers, repaired the counterscarps,
plastered the curtains, lengthened ravelins, stopped parapets, morticed
barbacans, assured the portcullises, fastened the herses, sarasinesques,
and cataracts, placed their sentries, and doubled their patrol. Everyone
did watch and ward, and not one was exempted from carrying the basket.
Some polished corslets, varnished backs and breasts, cleaned the
headpieces, mail-coats, brigandines, salads, helmets, morions, jacks,
gushets, gorgets, hoguines, brassars, and cuissars, corslets, haubergeons,
shields, bucklers, targets, greaves, gauntlets, and spurs. Others made
ready bows, slings, crossbows, pellets, catapults, migrains or fire-balls,
firebrands, balists, scorpions, and other such warlike engines expugnatory
and destructive to the Hellepolides. They sharpened and prepared spears,
staves, pikes, brown bills, halberds, long hooks, lances, zagayes,
quarterstaves, eelspears, partisans, troutstaves, clubs, battle-axes,
maces, darts, dartlets, glaives, javelins, javelots, and truncheons. They
set edges upon scimitars, cutlasses, badelairs, backswords, tucks, rapiers,
bayonets, arrow-heads, dags, daggers, mandousians, poniards, whinyards,
knives, skeans, shables, chipping knives, and raillons.
Every man exercised his weapon, every man scoured off the rust from his
natural hanger; nor was there a woman amongst them, though never so
reserved or old, who failed to polish her armor; for, as you know,
the Corinthian women of old were reputed very courageous combatants.
Diogenes, seeing them all so warm at work and himself not employed by
the magistrates in any business whatsoever, he did very seriously, for
many days together, without speaking one word, consider and contemplate
the behavior of his fellow-citizens.
Then on a sudden, as if he had been roused up and inspired by a martial
spirit, he girded his cloak scarfwise about his left arm, tucked up his
sleeves to the elbow, trussed himself like a clown gathering apples, and,
giving to an old acquaintance his wallet, books, and opistographs,
away went he out of town towards a little hill or promontory of Corinth
called (the) Cranie; and there on the strand, a pretty level place, did he
roll his jolly tub, which served him for a house to shelter him from the
injuries of the weather: there, I say, in a great vehemency of spirit, did
he turn it, veer it, wheel it, whirl it, frisk it, jumble it, shuffle it,
huddle it, tumble it, hurry it, jolt it, justle it, overthrow it, evert it,
invert it, subvert it, overturn it, beat it, thwack it, bump it, batter it,
knock it, thrust it, push it, jerk it, shock it, shake it, toss it, throw
it, overthrow it, upside down, topsy-turvy, arsiturvy, tread it, trample
it, stamp it, tap it, ting it, ring it, tingle it, towl it, sound it,
resound it, stop it, shut it, unbung it, close it, unstopple it. And then
again in a mighty bustle he bandied it, slubbered it, hacked it, whittled
it, wayed it, darted it, hurled it, staggered it, reeled it, swinged it,
brangled it, tottered it, lifted it, heaved it, transformed it,
transfigured it, transposed it, transplaced it, reared it, raised it,
hoised it, washed it, dighted it, cleansed it, rinsed it, nailed it,
settled it, fastened it, shackled it, fettered it, levelled it, blocked it,
tugged it, tewed it, carried it, bedashed it, bewrayed it, parched it,
mounted it, broached it, nicked it, notched it, bespattered it, decked it,
adorned it, trimmed it, garnished it, gauged it, furnished it, bored it,
pierced it, trapped it, rumbled it, slid it down the hill, and precipitated
it from the very height of the Cranie; then from the foot to the top (like
another Sisyphus with his stone) bore it up again, and every way so banged
it and belaboured it that it was ten thousand to one he had not struck the
bottom of it out.
Which when one of his friends had seen, and asked him why he did so toil
his body, perplex his spirit, and torment his tub, the philosopher's answer
was that, not being employed in any other charge by the Republic, he
thought it expedient to thunder and storm it so tempestuously upon his tub,
that amongst a people so fervently busy and earnest at work he alone
might not seem a loitering slug and lazy fellow.
If he could do thus in the face of bellicose Mars, imagine what exploits
Diogenes accomplished when Mars passed through Corinth, attended, as
always by his his daughters Rapine and Despair.
(The powers and affinities of Diogenes' tub to follow; these, I promise, will be no less heavily plagiarized than the foregoing.)