種まく人から人々へと・命の器(いのちのうつわ)

身近な地域から世界へと貢献する活動や情報など

驢馬(ロバ)の顎(あご)の骨とは? The Jawbone of an Ass?

2016-12-30 03:13:14 | 文学・芸術


「人にすてられて」 聖歌 719番(新聖歌380番)

人に捨てられて塵の中に
埋もれてありしろばの骨も
主に見出されて引き上げられ
力ある御手の中にぞある

ろばのあぎ(顎)と骨 そはわがこと
ろばのあぎ(顎)と骨 そはわがこと
主よ手に握りて用いたまえ
悪魔に勝利を得る時まで
けがれに満ちしは昔のこと
今は新しきろばの骨ぞ
主のものとなりて清くせられ
敵を打ち破る武器となりぬ

骨には戦う(たたかおう)力あらず
力は用いゆる主にのみあり
見よ主の手にあるあぎと骨に
倒さるる敵の数多きを

へりくだりて主の手におちいり
栄を主にのみ帰しまつれよ
主はその御霊をなれに満たし
力ある武器となさせたまわん




驢馬の顎の骨、
一見無用な(捨てられた)ものが『強力な武器』となる
the jawbone of an ass (donkey) as a devastating weapon

http://www.weblio.jp/content/%E9%AA%A8?edc=MNGTRより(一部引用)

★3.武器としての骨。

『士師記』第15章 サムソンはろばのあご骨1つを見つけ、それでペリシテ人千人を打ち殺した。彼があご骨を投げ捨てた所は「あご骨の丘」と呼ばれた。

『2001年宇宙の旅』(キューブリック) 人類の黎明期のアフリカ。ある朝ヒトザルたちは、背丈よりも大きい謎の黒石板(モノリス)を見る。それに手を触れた彼らは、「知」を獲得する。1頭のヒトザルが、動物の脚の骨をもて遊ぶうちに、骨が大きな破壊力を持つことに気づく。彼は、対立するグループの1頭を骨で打ち倒し、こうしてヒトザルは武器を使うことを覚える〔*ヒトザルは、敵を倒した骨を空高く放り投げ、その骨が、宇宙空間を進むスペースシャトルに重なる〕。

『ハムレット』(シェイクスピア)第5幕 イギリスへの旅から帰国したハムレットが墓場を通りかかると、墓堀り人夫たちが頭蓋骨を掘り出している。ハムレットは、「カインが人類最初の人殺しに使ったのは、ろばのあご骨だった」と、友人ホレイショーに語る〔*カインのアベル殺しを述べる『創世記』第4章では、凶器についての記述はない〕。

マウイの冒険譚(ニュージーランド・マオリ族の神話) 英雄マウイが、祖先である老女ムリランガのもとへ行き、「あなたの顎の骨をいただきたい」と請う。ムリランガは「持って行くがいい」と言って、その強力な武器となる宝をマウイに与える。マウイは、ムリランガの顎骨を使って、さまざまな冒険をし、難事をなしとげた

とある。


Samson and the Ass's Jaw

Paul Haupt
Journal of Biblical Literature
Vol. 33, No. 4 (Dec., 1914), pp. 296-298
https://www.jstor.org/stable/3259924?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Quote Investigator

https://www.google.co.jp/amp/quoteinvestigator.com/2014/03/11/jawbone/amp/?client=ms-android-kddi-jp&espv=1

The Jawbone of an Ass

Oscar Wilde? Lord Paget? Henry Watterson? Apocryphal?

jawbone

Quote Investigator: In modern times a philistine is an uncultured anti-intellectual. In the Bible the Philistine people were enemies of the Israelites. Samson successfully fought against an army of Philistines while wielding the jawbone of an ass (donkey) as a devastating weapon. This background information allows one to understand one of the funniest anecdotes about Oscar Wilde, a tale in which he was outwitted.

Wilde became irritated during a lecture in the United States with the uncomprehending response he received while discussing the importance of aesthetics. He berated his audience and referred to them as philistines.

Finally, a voice in the back of the room called out, “Yes, we are Philistines, and now I see why for the past hour you have been assaulting us with the jawbone of an ass.”

I enjoy this story, but suspect that it is apocryphal. What do you think?

Quote Investigator: A version of this anecdote featuring Oscar Wilde was in circulation by 1883. The details are given further below. However, japes based on wordplay with the terms “jawbone” and “ass” were being disseminated many years earlier.

In 1833 “Fraser’s Magazine for Town and Country” published a comical passage that was implicitly based on the dual meaning of the expression “jawbone of an ass”. In the following excerpt braying referenced the sound made by a donkey or ass. Also, “fall beneath the jaw” meant to be verbally chastised: 1

As the Duke fell before the braying of Sir John Key, so shall Lord Grey fall beneath the jaw of Stockton the baker. The parental earl will be felled by the same weapon as that with which Samson smote the Philistines in the field of Ramath-Lehi.
The 1836 edition of a classic joke book titled “Joe Miller’s Jests with Copious Additions” included an instance of the tale in which the “jawbone of an ass” referred to the jawbone of a boastful individual: 2

A young fellow, not quite so wise as Solomon, eating some Cheshire cheese full of mites, one night at the tavern: Now, said he, have I done as much as Sampson, for I have slain my thousands and my ten thousands. Yes, answered one of the company, and with the same weapon too, the jawbone of an ass.
Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

In 1866 a story in “The St. James’s Magazine” included a criticism aimed at a character who engaged in caustic verbal sparring: 3

“He fights his battles,” said Fullarton, sharply, “with the same weapon as that with which Samson smote the Philistines—the jawbone of an ass.”
In the 1870s a four volume work titled “The National History of England: Civil, Military, and Domestic” was published, and volume two included a disparaging anecdote about Lord Paget suggesting that a version of the quip was already in circulation circa 1641: 4

About 1641, coming to the court, talking with the queen, he boasted much of the power of the country lords, and said, ‘Madam, we are as strong as Sampson!’ ‘My lord,’ replied the queen, ‘I easily believe it, seeing you want not among you the jawbone of an ass.’ Ever after he was nicknamed ‘Sampson.’ This lord had a long lean face, not differing in length from that of an ass.
Oscar Wilde visited the United States and presented lectures in 1882. In 1883 a compilation titled “Wit and Humor of the Age” contained an unlikely tale about Wilde’s reception: 5

Oscar Wilde Demolished

Oscar, the long haired esthete, was delivering himself of an eloquent tirade against the invasion of the sacred domain of art by the meaner herd of trades-people and miscellaneous nobodies, and finally rising to an Alpine height of scorn, exclaimed,

“Ay, all of you here are Philistines—mere Philistines!”

“Yes,” said an old gentleman, softly, “we are Philistines, and I suppose that is why we are being assaulted with the jawbone of an ass.”
In 1884 the popular humor magazine “Life” mentioned an instance of the joke: 6

…to call men Philistines is a courageous act, inasmuch as they may retort with withering sarcasm by saying that they have been attacked with the same weapon as that with which Samson slew the enemy.
In 1891 the Oscar Wilde anecdote was retold in a slightly more elaborate fashion. In this version Wilde’s antagonist was identified as Henry Watterson: 7

HENRY WATTERSON ON OSCAR WILDE

One night Oscar Wilde was in Washington, and there were many senators and congressmen present. The long-haired aesthetic was delivering himself of an eloquent tirade against the invasion of the sacred domain of art by the meaner herd of trades-people and miscellaneous nobodies, and finally, rising to an Alpine height of scorn exclaimed:

“Ay, all of you here are Philistines—mere Philistines!”

“What does Oscar call us?” asked Henry Watterson of John Sherman, who sat in front.

“He calls us Philistines,” said Sherman, softly.

“I see,” said Watterson, “we are Philistines, and that, I reckon, is why we are being assaulted with the jawbone of an ass.”
In 1921 a biography of the prominent British statesman Robert Gascoyne-Cecil was published by his daughter Lady Gwendolen Cecil. Gascoyne-Cecil who died in 1903 had served as Prime Minister for more than thirteen years cumulatively. The London humor magazine “Punch” referred to his “brilliant and occasionally biting wit” as reflected in the following excerpt from the biography: 8 9

He accepted and indeed gloried in the epithet of Philistine. When the nickname was being bandied about in his presence and a definition had been asked for, he interposed swiftly with the suggestion — “He who is assailed by the jaw-bone of an ass.”
In 1929 an Illinois newspaper reprinted a short comical item from another Illinois paper. This simplified variant of the quip did not mention the Philistines: 10

The jawbone of an ass is just as dangerous a weapon today as it used to be.—Clinton Journal.
In 1942 the collection “Thesaurus of Anecdotes” edited by Edmund Fuller printed an instance of the Wilde story: 11

To Boston is attributed the credit of having retorted to the superciliousness of Oscar Wilde in kind. “You’re Philistines,” Wilde accused his Boston audience, “who have invaded the sacred sanctum of Art.”

A voice in the audience called out, “And you’re driving us forth with the jawbone of an ass.”
In 1953 “The Speaker’s Treasury of Stories for All Occasions” edited by Herbert V. Prochnow published the following version: 12

THAT EXPLAINS IT

OSCAR WILDE: “And so you Philistines have invaded the sacred sanctums of art!”

A BYSTANDER: “I suppose that’s why we are being assaulted with the jawbone of an ass.”
In conclusion, there is a family of jokes based on the phrase “jawbone of an ass” that has a long history with instances in circulation by the 1830s. The earliest anecdote located by QI featuring Oscar Wilde was published in 1883. QI hypothesizes that this story was deliberately constructed as a fictional variant of the pre-existing family of japes. QI believes that it is unlikely Wilde told his audience that they were philistines and facilitated a clever riposte.
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