Things found in strange places

In searching for a pleasing translation of Goethe’s The Misanthrope online so I don’t have to type it, I discover that, of all people, the Liberty Fund has archived a huge quantity of his works. Rooting through, they also seem to have archived, among many less glorious things, Mill’s collected works (which I was considering buying, at extraordinary expense, in print edition), and a variety of hard-to-find Machiavelli pieces (although not, alas, the plays), as well as copious Voltaire.

This is the poem that always comes to mind when I think of cats, especially the sort of cat with whom I get along (which, fundamentally, is all cats, but some better than others). And it translates so well…

At first awhile sits he,
With calm, unruffled brow;
His features then I see,
Distorted hideously,—
An owl’s they might be now.
What is it, askest thou?
is’t love, or is’t ennui?
’Tis both at once, I vow.


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