Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It Was Not a Tansy

In a duel, Roderick Random disarmed his opponent:
That I might, however, mortify his vanity, which triumphed without bounds over my misfortune, I thrust his sword up to the hilt in something (it was not a tansy) that lay smoking on the plain, and joined the rest of the soldiers with an air of tranquillity and indifference.
Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Roderick Random, Vol. II, Chap. VIII.

A tansy is an aromatic herb. The "something...that lay smoking on the plain" was a fresh turd.

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