Monday, July 3, 2017

The Golden Dog

There's an enigmatic decoration on a large building in Quebec City: a golden dog chewing on a bone. By itself, it would be a charming and eccentric ornament to a building; but the inscription with it evokes a disquieting note:

     "Je suis un chien qui ronge l'os,
      En le rongeant je prends mon repose.

     Un temps viendra qui n'est pas venu

      Que je mordrai qui m'aura mordu."

                   1736.
Or in English:
     "I am a dog that gnaws his bone,
    I rest and gnaw it all alone--

     A time will come, which is not yet,

      When I'll bite him by whom I'm bit."



An unusual, cryptic ornament to a building.

However, there is a story behind it.  In the 18th century, it was a private residence of a wealthy merchant Nicholas Philibert. He had a dispute with Bigot, the representative of the Grand Company which had a monopoly on the territory.  Philibert was very popular because most of the colonists felt exploited by the Grand Company and especially Bigot. M. Philibert was an annoyance to the Grand Company who dealt fairly with the colonists.

If this story was true, then the inscription was nothing less than an implied threat.

Here is a credible, detailed recount about possible stories behind the golden dog.

Still, the golden dog is cute.

9 comments:

John Hill said...

Interesting, Angel.
Thanks for sharing.

Grand Crapaud said...

Interesting to me too.

Mike said...

Fights over property rights. Still going on today.

Cloudia said...

Thanks for this historical, psychological, and artistic thing to ponder, Angel

Blogoratti said...

That is on intriguing story indeed. Thanks for sharing and greetings!

Blue Grumpster said...

Love a bita mystery. It sure sounds like a threat, all right.

Kristen Drittsekkdatter said...

An interesting legend of old Canada.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Intriguing!

Gorilla Bananas said...

I've never been very impressed by threats issued in poetry. If you're going to shoot, shoot, don't talk.