A Fond Athenian Mother brought
Title: The Philosopher, the Young Man, and his Statue
Primary Text: No MS; 1713 Miscellany, 109-10.
Secondary Ed: Rpt of 1713: 1903 Reynolds, 181-2
Source: Finch combines Le Fontaine, "Le Renard et le Bust," IV, 14, 121, and "La Statuaire et la Statue de Jupiter," IX, 6, 251-2.
Comment: Another free adaptation: Finch combines two texts to produce a warning: a foolish mother at court hires someone to make a bust of her darling boy; the court sycopants gather to praise him; the implied moral is analogous to that of NO Cautions of a Matron, Old and Sage" Finch seems to have some real incident in mind. This repeated motif of the young man sent abroad is puzzling to me when it is accompanied by the kind of venom and resentment Finch and other display towards both the parent and the adored privileged fool. Does it have to do with primogeniture? Sheer jealousy of the movement? An awareness of the falseness involved in asserting real "improvement" for all from travelling? Perhaps the animus is against the spoilt son of primogeniture; see Comment for "A Greedy Heir long waited to fulfill".
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Page Last Updated 8 January 2003