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The Painted Veil


Gown created for Greta Garbo in "The Painted Veil."


Both the Greta Garbo version and the 2017 version of the Painted Veil leave out the husband’s dying words.  In the novel, Kitty pleads with her dying husband to forgive her.  She says this is to unburden him, his soul, not for her.  After pleading with him, he utters one sentence.  “The dog it was that died.”  She realizes that he has not understood anything she has been saying to him.
 
Then, feeling that the sentence is familiar she asks her friend.  He does not tell her at the moment, but does tell her later that the sentence is the last line of a poem by Oliver Goldsmith “An Elegy on the death of a mad dog.”  
 
    But soon a wonder came to light,
    That showed the rogues they lied:
    The man recovered of the bite,
    The dog it was that died.
 
The entire poem:
 
Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,
It cannot hold you long.
 
In Islington there was a man
Of whom the world might say,
That still a godly race he ran—
Whene'er he went to pray.
 
A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad—
When he put on his clothes.
 
And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And curs of low degree.
 
This dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad, and bit the man.
 
Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wond'ring neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost its wits
To bite so good a man.
 
The wound it seemed both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.
 
But soon a wonder came to light
That showed the rogues they lied,—
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died!

Novel/Movie Series
Facebook: St. Simons Library Novel/Movie Series
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Dr.Christina j. Johns, cjjohns@tds.net (912) 399-8481

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