Introducing today another weekly feature of our blog: The Quotable Rhett Butler. (If you think we're terribly fond of series, well, you are right.) Our aim is to build an inventory of Rhett's lines, with short explanations for his mythological, historical, literary—you name it references and allusions (some of which, I'll admit, took me years to comprehend). And, since he was such an eloquent fellow, we'll definitely have a lot of material to cover.
So, without further ado, our quote for today is:
“Thanks for the crumbs from your table, Mrs. Dives.”--Gone with the Wind, Chapter XLVIII
As you probably know, the scene in which the line was uttered takes place on the last night of the Butlers' honeymoon. Rhett is comforting Scarlett after her nightmare by assuring her that he's going to tend to her safety and well-being. Scarlett, the ever mistress of thanks and compliments, replies with “Rhett, you are so nice.”, which earns her the above-quoted witticism from her husband.
By calling her Mrs. Dives, he's alluding to the biblical parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). The Latin noun for the former was “dives,” and in many later translations of the Bible the word “Dives” was kept as a proper noun, and the parable referred to as the story of Dives and Lazarus. Dives, the rich man, “dressed in purple and fine linen,” denied the dying beggar Lazarus even the crumbs from his table. And of course, he got his punishment for that after his death when he went to Hell, while Lazarus presumably had a good time up in Heaven.
|Then again, does she look like she'd give anyone the crumbs from her table?|