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Von Kempelen and His Discovery
by Edgar Allan Poe
AFTER THE very minute and elaborate paper by Arago, to say nothing of the summary in 'Silliman's Journal,' with the detailed statement just published by Lieutenant Maury, it will not be supposed, of course, that in offering a few hurried remarks in reference to Von Kempelen's discovery, I have any design to look at the subject in a scientific point of view. My object is simply, in the first place, to say a few words of Von Kempelen himself (with whom, some years ago, I had the honor of a slight personal acquaintance), since every thing which concerns him must necessarily, at this moment, be of interest; and, in the second place, to look in a general way, and speculatively, at the results of the discovery. It may be as well, however, to premise the cursory observations which I have to offer, by denying, very decidedly, what seems to be a general impression (gleaned, as usual in a case of this kind, from the newspapers), viz.: that this discovery, astounding as it unquestionably is, is unanticipated.
By reference to the 'Diary of Sir Humphrey Davy' (Cottle and Munroe, London, pp. 150), it will be seen at pp. 53 and 82, that this illustrious chemist had not only conceived the idea now in question, but had actually made no inconsiderable progress, experimentally, in the very identical analysis now so triumphantly brought to an issue by Von Kempelen, who although he makes not the slightest allusion to it, is, without doubt (I say it unhesitatingly, and can prove it, if required), indebted to the 'Diary' for at least the first hint of his own undertaking.
The paragraph from the 'Courier and Enquirer,' which is now going the rounds of the press, and which purports to claim the invention for a Mr. Kissam, of Brunswick, Maine, appears to me, I confess, a little apocryphal, for several reasons; although there is nothing either impossible or very improbable in the statement made. I need not go into details. My opinion of the paragraph is founded principally upon its manner. It does not look true. Persons who are narrating facts, are seldom so particular as Mr. Kissam seems to be, about day and date and precise location. Besides, if Mr. Kissam actually did come upon the discovery he says he did, at the period designated -- nearly eight years ago -- how happens it that he took no steps, on the instant, to reap the immense benefits which the merest bumpkin must have known would have resulted to him individually, if not to the world at large, from the discovery? It seems to me quite incredible that any man of common understanding could have discovered what Mr. Kissam says he did, and yet have subsequently acted so like a baby -- so like an owl -- as Mr. Kissam admits that he did. By-the-way, who is Mr. Kissam? and is not the whole paragraph in the 'Courier and Enquirer' a fabrication got up to 'make a talk'? It must be confessed that it has an amazingly moon-hoaxy-air. Very little dependence is to be placed upon it, in my humble opinion; and if I were not well aware, from experience, how very easily men of science are mystified, on points out of their usual range of inquiry, I should be profoundly astonished at finding so eminent a chemist as Professor Draper, discussing Mr. Kissam's (or is it Mr. Quizzem's?) pretensions to the discovery, in so serious a tone.
But to return to the 'Diary' of Sir Humphrey Davy. This pamphlet was not designed for the public eye, even upon the decease of the writer, as any person at all conversant with authorship may satisfy himself at once by the slightest inspection of the style. At page 13, for example, near the middle, we read, in reference to his researches about the protoxide of azote: 'In less than half a minute the respiration being continued, diminished gradually and were succeeded by analogous to gentle pressure on all the muscles.' That the respiration was not 'diminished,' is not only clear by the subsequent context, but by the use of the plural, 'were.' The sentence, no doubt, was thus intended: 'In less than half a minute, the respiration [being continued, these feelings] diminished gradually, and were succeeded by [a sensation] analogous to gentle pressure on all the muscles.' A hundred similar instances go to show that the MS. so inconsiderately published, was merely a rough note-book, meant only for the writer's own eye, but an inspection of the pamphlet will convince almost any thinking person of the truth of my suggestion. The fact is, Sir Humphrey Davy was about the last man in the world to commit himself on scientific topics. Not only had he a more than ordinary dislike to quackery, but he was morbidly afraid of appearing empirical; so that, however fully he might have been convinced that he was on the right track in the matter now in question, he would never have spoken out, until he had every thing ready for the most practical demonstration. I verily believe that his last moments would have been rendered wretched, could he have suspected that his wishes in regard to burning this 'Diary' (full of crude speculations) would have been unattended to; as, it seems, they were. I say 'his wishes,' for that he meant to include this note-book among the miscellaneous papers directed 'to be burnt,' I think there can be no manner of doubt. Whether it escaped the flames by good fortune or by bad, yet remains to be seen. That the passages quoted above, with the other similar ones referred to, gave Von Kempelen the hint, I do not in the slightest degree question; but I repeat, it yet remains to be seen whether this momentous discovery itself (momentous under any circumstances) will be of service or disservice to mankind at large. That Von Kempelen and his immediate friends will reap a rich harvest, it would be folly to doubt for a moment. They will scarcely be so weak as not to 'realize,' in time, by large purchases of houses and land, with other property of intrinsic value.
In the brief account of Von Kempelen which appeared in the 'Home Journal,' and has since been extensively copied, several misapprehensions of the German original seem to have been made by the translator, who professes to have taken the passage from a late number of the Presburg 'Schnellpost.' 'Viele' has evidently been misconceived (as it often is), and what the translator renders by 'sorrows,' is probably 'lieden,' which, in its true version, 'sufferings,' would give a totally different complexion to the whole account; but, of course, much of this is merely guess, on my part.
Von Kempelen, however, is by no means 'a misanthrope,' in appearance, at least, whatever he may be in fact. My acquaintance with him was casual altogether; and I am scarcely warranted in saying that I know him at all; but to have seen and conversed with a man of so prodigious a notoriety as he has attained, or will attain in a few days, is not a small matter, as times go.
'The Literary World' speaks of him, confidently, as a native of Presburg (misled, perhaps, by the account in 'The Home Journal') but I am pleased in being able to state positively, since I have it from his own lips, that he was born in Utica, in the State of New York, although both his parents, I believe, are of Presburg descent. The family is connected, in some way, with Maelzel, of Automaton-chess-player memory. In person, he is short and stout, with large, fat, blue eyes, sandy hair and whiskers, a wide but pleasing mouth, fine teeth, and I think a Roman nose. There is some defect in one of his feet. His address is frank, and his whole manner noticeable for bonhomie. Altogether, he looks, speaks, and acts as little like 'a misanthrope' as any man I ever saw. We were fellow-sojouners for a week about six years ago, at Earl's Hotel, in Providence, Rhode Island; and I presume that I conversed with him, at various times, for some three or four hours altogether. His principal topics were those of the day, and nothing that fell from him led me to suspect his scientific attainments. He left the hotel before me, intending to go to New York, and thence to Bremen; it was in the latter city that his great discovery was first made public; or, rather, it was there that he was first suspected of having made it. This is about all that I personally know of the now immortal Von Kempelen; but I have thought that even these few details would have interest for the public.
There can be little question that most of the marvellous rumors afloat about this affair are pure inventions, entitled to about as much credit as the story of Aladdin's lamp; and yet, in a case of this kind, as in the case of the discoveries in California, it is clear that the truth may be stranger than fiction. The following anecdote, at least, is so well authenticated, that we may receive it implicitly.
Von Kempelen had never been even tolerably well off during his residence at Bremen; and often, it was well known, he had been put to extremeshifts in order to raise trifling sums. When the great excitement occurred about the forgery on the house of Gutsmuth & Co., suspicion was directed toward Von Kempelen, on account of his having purchased a considerable property in Gasperitch Lane, and his refusing, when questioned, to explain how he became possessed of the purchase money. He was at length arrested, but nothing decisive appearing against him, was in the end set at liberty. The police, however, kept a strict watch upon his movements, and thus discovered that he left home frequently, taking always the same road, and invariably giving his watchers the slip in the neighborhood of that labyrinth of narrow and crooked passages known by the flash name of the 'Dondergat.' Finally, by dint of great perseverance, they traced him to a garret in an old house of seven stories, in an alley called Flatzplatz, -- and, coming upon him suddenly, found him, as they imagined, in the midst of his counterfeiting operations. His agitation is represented as so excessive that the officers had not the slightest doubt of his guilt. After hand-cuffing him, they searched his room, or rather rooms, for it appears he occupied all the mansarde.
Opening into the garret where they caught him, was a closet, ten feet by eight, fitted up with some chemical apparatus, of which the object has not yet been ascertained. In one corner of the closet was a very small furnace, with a glowing fire in it, and on the fire a kind of duplicate crucible -- two crucibles connected by a tube. One of these crucibles was nearly full of lead in a state of fusion, but not reaching up to the aperture of the tube, which was close to the brim. The other crucible had some liquid in it, which, as the officers entered, seemed to be furiously dissipating in vapor. They relate that, on finding himself taken, Kempelen seized the crucibles with both hands (which were encased in gloves that afterwards turned out to be asbestic), and threw the contents on the tiled floor. It was now that they hand-cuffed him; and before proceeding to ransack the premises they searched his person, but nothing unusual was found about him, excepting a paper parcel, in his coat-pocket, containing what was afterward ascertained to be a mixture of antimony and some unknown substance, in nearly, but not quite, equal proportions. All attempts at analyzing the unknown substance have, so far, failed, but that it will ultimately be analyzed, is not to be doubted.
Passing out of the closet with their prisoner, the officers went through a sort of ante-chamber, in which nothing material was found, to the chemist's sleeping-room. They here rummaged some drawers and boxes, but discovered only a few papers, of no importance, and some good coin, silver and gold. At length, looking under the bed, they saw a large, common hair trunk, without hinges, hasp, or lock, and with the top lying carelessly across the bottom portion. Upon attempting to draw this trunk out from under the bed, they found that, with their united strength (there were three of them, all powerful men), they 'could not stir it one inch.' Much astonished at this, one of them crawled under the bed, and looking into the trunk, said:
'No wonder we couldn't move it -- why it's full to the brim of old bits of brass!'
Putting his feet, now, against the wall so as to get a good purchase, and pushing with all his force, while his companions pulled with an theirs, the trunk, with much difficulty, was slid out from under the bed, and its contents examined. The supposed brass with which it was filled was all in small, smooth pieces, varying from the size of a pea to that of a dollar; but the pieces were irregular in shape, although more or less flat-looking, upon the whole, 'very much as lead looks when thrown upon the ground in a molten state, and there suffered to grow cool.' Now, not one of these officers for a moment suspected this metal to be any thing but brass. The idea of its being gold never entered their brains, of course; how could such a wild fancy have entered it? And their astonishment may be well conceived, when the next day it became known, all over Bremen, that the 'lot of brass' which they had carted so contemptuously to the police office, without putting themselves to the trouble of pocketing the smallest scrap, was not only gold -- real gold -- but gold far finer than any employed in coinage-gold, in fact, absolutely pure, virgin, without the slightest appreciable alloy.
I need not go over the details of Von Kempelen's confession (as far as it went) and release, for these are familiar to the public. That he has actually realized, in spirit and in effect, if not to the letter, the old chimaera of the philosopher's stone, no sane person is at liberty to doubt. The opinions of Arago are, of course, entitled to the greatest consideration; but he is by no means infallible; and what he says of bismuth, in his report to the Academy, must be taken cum grano salis. The simple truth is, that up to this period all analysis has failed; and until Von Kempelen chooses to let us have the key to his own published enigma, it is more than probable that the matter will remain, for years, in statu quo. All that as yet can fairly be said to be known is, that 'Pure gold can be made at will, and very readily from lead in connection with certain other substances, in kind and in proportions, unknown.'
Speculation, of course, is busy as to the immediate and ultimate results of this discovery -- a discovery which few thinking persons will hesitate in referring to an increased interest in the matter of gold generally, by the late developments in California; and this reflection brings us inevitably to another -- the exceeding inopportuneness of Von Kempelen's analysis. If many were prevented from adventuring to California, by the mere apprehension that gold would so materially diminish in value, on account of its plentifulness in the mines there, as to render the speculation of going so far in search of it a doubtful one -- what impression will be wrought now, upon the minds of those about to emigrate, and especially upon the minds of those actually in the mineral region, by the announcement of this astounding discovery of Von Kempelen? a discovery which declares, in so many words, that beyond its intrinsic worth for manufacturing purposes (whatever that worth may be), gold now is, or at least soon will be (for it cannot be supposed that Von Kempelen can long retain his secret), of no greater value than lead, and of far inferior value to silver. It is, indeed, exceedingly difficult to speculate prospectively upon the consequences of the discovery, but one thing may be positively maintained -- that the announcement of the discovery six months ago would have had material influence in regard to the settlement of California.
In Europe, as yet, the most noticeable results have been a rise of two hundred per cent. in the price of lead, and nearly twenty-five per cent. that of silver.
A Princess of Mars
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
It was dark when I opened my eyes again. Strange, stiff garments were upon my body; garments that cracked and powdered away from me as I rose to a sitting posture.
I felt myself over from head to foot and from head to foot I was clothed, though when I fell unconscious at the little doorway I had been naked. Before me was a small patch of moonlit sky which showed through a ragged aperture.
As my hands passed over my body they came in contact with pockets and in one of these a small parcel of matches wrapped in oiled paper. One of these matches I struck, and its dim flame lighted up what appeared to be a huge cave, toward the back of which I discovered a strange, still figure huddled over a tiny bench. As I approached it I saw that it was the dead and mummified remains of a little old woman with long black hair, and the thing it leaned over was a small charcoal burner upon which rested a round copper vessel containing a small quantity of greenish powder.
The Oxen & the Wheels
A pair of Oxen were drawing a heavily loaded wagon along a miry country road. They had to use all their strength to pull the wagon, but they did not complain.
The Wheels of the wagon were of a different sort. Though the task they had to do was very light compared with that of the Oxen, they creaked and groaned at every turn. The poor Oxen, pulling with all their might to draw the wagon through the deep mud, had their ears filled with the loud complaining of the Wheels. And this, you may well know, made their work so much the harder to endure.
"Silence!" the Oxen cried at last, out of patience. "What have you Wheels to complain about so loudly? We are drawing all the weight, not you, and we are keeping still about it besides."
Hercules and the Wagoner
A carter was driving a wagon along a country lane, when the wheels sank down deep into a rut. The rustic driver, stupefied and aghast, stood looking at the wagon, and did nothing but utter loud cries to Hercules to come and help him. Hercules, it is said, appeared and thus addressed him: "Put your shoulders to the wheels, my man. Goad on your bullocks, and never more pray to me for help, until you have done your best to help yourself, or depend upon it you will henceforth pray in vain."
A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf
Whatever hour you woke there was a door shutting. From room to room they went, hand in hand, lifting here, opening there, making sure—a ghostly couple.
“Here we left it,” she said. And he added, “Oh, but here too!” “It’s upstairs,” she murmured. “And in the garden,” he whispered “Quietly,” they said, “or we shall wake them.”
But it wasn’t that you woke us. Oh, no. “They’re looking for it; they’re drawing the curtain,” one might say, and so read on a page or two. “Now they’ve found it,” one would be certain, stopping the pencil on the margin. And then, tired of reading, one might rise and see for oneself, the house all empty, the doors standing open, only the wood pigeons bubbling with content and the hum of the threshing machine sounding from the farm. “What did I come in here for? What did I want to find?” My hands were empty. “Perhaps it’s upstairs then?” The apples were in the loft. And so down again, the garden still as ever, only the book had slipped into the grass.
But they had found it in the drawing room. Not that one could ever see them. The window panes reflected apples, reflected roses; all the leaves were green in the glass. If they moved in the drawing room, the apple only turned its yellow side. Yet, the moment after, if the door was opened, spread about the floor, hung upon the walls, pendant from the ceiling—what? My hands were empty. The shadow of a thrush crossed the carpet; from the deepest wells of silence the wood pigeon drew its bubble of sound. “Safe, safe, safe,” the pulse of the house beat softly. “The treasure buried; the room . . . ” the pulse stopped short. Oh, was that the buried treasure?
A moment later the light had faded. Out in the garden then? But the trees spun darkness for a wandering beam of sun. So fine, so rare, coolly sunk beneath the surface the beam I sought always burnt behind the glass. Death was the glass; death was between us; coming to the woman first, hundreds of years ago, leaving the house, sealing all the windows; the rooms were darkened. He left it, left her, went North, went East, saw the stars turned in the Southern sky; sought the house, found it dropped beneath the Downs. “Safe, safe, safe,” the pulse of the house beat gladly. “The Treasure yours.”
The wind roars up the avenue. Trees stoop and bend this way and that. Moonbeams splash and spill wildly in the rain. But the beam of the lamp falls straight from the window. The candle burns stiff and still. Wandering through the house, opening the windows, whispering not to wake us, the ghostly couple seek their joy.
“Here we slept,” she says. And he adds, “Kisses without number.” “Waking in the morning—” “Silver between the trees—” “Upstairs—” “In the garden—” “When summer came—” “In winter snowtime—” The doors go shutting far in the distance, gently knocking like the pulse of a heart.
Nearer they come; cease at the doorway. The wind falls, the rain slides silver down the glass. Our eyes darken; we hear no steps beside us; we see no lady spread her ghostly cloak. His hands shield the lantern. “Look,” he breathes. “Sound asleep. Love upon their lips.”
Stooping, holding their silver lamp above us, long they look and deeply. Long they pause. The wind drives straightly; the flame stoops slightly. Wild beams of moonlight cross both floor and wall, and, meeting, stain the faces bent; the faces pondering; the faces that search the sleepers and seek their hidden joy.
“Safe, safe, safe,” the heart of the house beats proudly. “Long years—” he sighs. “Again you found me.” “Here,” she murmurs, “sleeping; in the garden reading; laughing, rolling apples in the loft. Here we left our treasure—” Stooping, their light lifts the lids upon my eyes. “Safe! safe! safe!” the pulse of the house beats wildly. Waking, I cry “Oh, is this your buried treasure? The light in the heart.”
Sherlock Holmes The Field Bazaar by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"I Should certainly do it," said Sherlock Holmes. I started at the interruption, for my companion had been eating his breakfast with his attention entirely centered upon the paper which was propped up by the coffee pot. Now I looked across at him to find his eyes fastened upon me with the half-amused, half-questioning expression which he usually assumed when he felt he had made an intellectual point. "Do what?" I asked. He smiled as he took his slipper from the mantelpiece and drew from it enough shag tobacco to fill the old clay pipe with which he invariably rounded off his breakfast. "A most characteristic question of yours, Watson," said he. "You will not, I am sure, be offended if I say that any reputation for sharpness which I may possess has been entirely gained by the admirable foil which you have made for me. Have I not heard of debutantes who have insisted upon plainness in their chaperones? There is a certain analogy." Our long companionship in the Baker Street rooms had left us on those easy terms of intimacy when much may be said without offence. And yet I acknowledged that I was nettled at his remark. "I may be very obtuse," said I, "but I confess that I am unable to see how you have managed to know that I was... I was..." "Asked to help in the Edinburgh University Bazaar..." "Precisely. The letter has only just come to hand, and I have not spoken to you since." "In spite of that," said Holmes, leaning back in his chair and putting his finger tips together, "I would even venture to suggest that the object of the bazaar is to enlarge the University cricket field." I looked at him in such bewilderment that he vibrated with silent laughter. "The fact is, my dear Watson, that you are an excellent subject," said he. "You are never blase. You respond instantly to any external stimulus. Your mental processes may be slow but they are never obscure, and I found during breakfast that you were easier reading than the leader in the Times in front of me." "I should be glad to know how your arrived at your conclusions," said I. "I fear that my good nature in giving explanations has seriously compromised my reputation," said Holmes. "But in this case the train of reasoning is based upon such obvious facts that no credit can be claimed for it. You entered the room with a thoughtful expression, the expression of a man who is debating some point in his mind. In your hand you held a solitary letter. Now last night you retired in the best of spirits, so it was clear that it was this letter in your hand which had caused the change in you." "This is obvious." "It is all obvious when it is explained to you. I naturally asked myself what the letter could contain which might have this affect upon you. As you walked you held the flap side of the envelope towards me, and I saw upon it the same shield-shaped device which I have observed upon your old college cricket cap. It was clear, then, that the request came from Edinburgh University - or from some club connected with the University. When you reached the table you laid down the letter beside your plate with the address uppermost, and you walked over to look at the framed photograph upon the left of the mantelpiece." It amazed me to see the accuracy with which he had observed my movements. "What next?" I asked. "I began by glancing at the address, and I could tell, even at the distance of six feet, that it was an unofficial communication. This I gathered from the use of the word 'Doctor' upon the address, to which, as a Bachelor of Medicine, you have no legal claim. I knew that University officials are pedantic in their correct use of titles, and I was thus enabled to say with certainty that your letter was unofficial. When on your return to the table you turned over your letter and allowed me to perceive that the enclosure was a printed one, the idea of a bazaar first occurred to me. I had already weighed the possibility of its being a political communication, but this seemed improbable in the present stagnant conditions of politics. "When you returned to the table your face still retained its expression and it was evident that your examination of the photograph had not changed the current of your thoughts. In that case it must itself bear upon the subject in question. I turned my attention to the photograph, therefore, and saw at once that it consisted of yourself as a member of the Edinburgh University Eleven, with the pavillion and cricket field in the background. My small experience of cricket clubs has taught me that next to churches and cavalry ensigns they are the most debt-laden things upon earth. When upon your return to the table I saw you take out your pencil and draw lines upon the envelope, I was convinced that your were endeavoring to realise some projected improvement which was to be brought about by a bazaar. Your face still showed some indecision, so that I was able to break in upon you with my advice that you should assist in so good an object." I could not help smiling at the extreme simplicity of his explanation. "Of course, it was as easy as possible," said I. My remark appeared to nettle him. "I may add," said he, "that the particular help which you have been asked to give was that you should write in their album, and that you have already made up your mind that the present incident will be the subject of your article." "But how - - !" I cried. "It is as easy as possible," said he, "and I leave its solution to your own ingenuity. In the meantime," he added, rasing his paper, "you will excuse me if I return to this very interesting article upon the trees of Cremona, and the exact reasons for the pre-eminence in the manufacture of violins. It is one of those small outlying problems to which I am sometimes tempted to direct my attention."
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were-- Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.
They lived with their Mother in asand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree.
"Now, my dears," said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, "you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor."
"Now run along, and don't get into mischief. I am going out." Then old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and went through the wood to the baker's. She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns.
Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries;
But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor's garden, and squeezed under the gate!
First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes;
And then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.
But round the end of a cucumber frame, whom should he meet but Mr. McGregor!
Mr. McGregor was on his hands and knees planting out young cabbages, but he jumped up and ran after Peter, waving a rake and calling out, "Stop thief."
Peter was most dreadfully frightened; he rushed all over the garden, for he had forgotten the way back to the gate.
He lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe amongst the potatoes.
After losing them, he ran on four legs and went faster, so that I think he might have got away altogether if he had not unfortunately run into a gooseberry net, and got caught by the large buttons on his jacket. It was a blue jacket with brass buttons, quite new.
Peter gave himself up for lost, and shed big tears; but his sobs were overheard by some friendly sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement, and implored him to exert himself.
Mr. McGregor came up with a sieve, which he intended to pop upon the top of Peter; but Peter wriggled out just in time, leaving his jacket behind him.
And rushed into the toolshed, and jumped into a can. It would have been a beautiful thing to hide in, if it had not had so much water in it.
Mr. McGregor was quite sure that Peter was somewhere in the toolshed, perhaps hidden underneath a flower- pot. He began to turn them over carefully, looking under each.
Presently Peter sneezed-- "Kertyschoo!" Mr. McGregor was after him in no time,
And tried to put his foot upon Peter, who jumped out of a window, upsetting three plants. The window was too small for Mr. McGregor, and he was tired of running after Peter. He went back to his work.
Peter sat down to rest; he was out of breath and trembling with fright, and he had not the least idea which way to go. Also he was very damp with sitting in that can.
After a time he began to wander about, going lippity--lippity--not very fast, and looking all around.
He found a door in a wall; but it was locked, and there was no room for a fat little rabbit to squeeze underneath.
An old mouse was running in and out over the stone doorstep, carrying peas and beans to her family in the wood. Peter asked her the way to the gate, but she had such a large pea in her mouth that she could not answer. She only shook her head at him. Peter began to cry.
Then he tried to find his way straight across the garden, but he became more and more puzzled. Presently, he came to a pond where Mr. McGregor filled his water-cans. A white cat was staring at some goldfish; she sat very, very still, but now and then the tip of her tail twitched as if it were alive. Peter thought it best to go away without speaking to her; he has heard about cats from his cousin, little Benjamin Bunny.
He went back towards the toolshed, but suddenly, quite close to him, he heard the noise of a hoe--scr- r-ritch, scratch, scratch, scritch. Peter scuttered underneath the bushes. But presently, as nothing happened, he came out, and climbed upon a wheelbarrow, and peeped over. The first thing he saw was Mr. McGregor hoeing onions. His back was turned towards Peter, and beyond him was the gate!
Peter got down very quietly off the wheelbarrow, and started running as fast as he could go, along a straight walk behind some black-currant bushes.
Mr. McGregor caught sight of him at the corner, but Peter did not care. He slipped underneath the gate, and was safe at last in the wood outside the garden.
Mr. McGregor hung up the little jacket and the shoes for a scare-crow to frighten the blackbirds.
Peter never stopped running or looked behind him till he got home to the big fir-tree.
He was so tired that he flopped down upon the nice soft sand on the floor of the rabbit-hole, and shut his eyes. His mother was busy cooking; she wondered what he had done with his clothes. It was the second little jacket and pair of shoes that Peter had lost in a fortnight!
I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening.
His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter!
"One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time."
But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.
The Goose with the Golden Eggs by Aesop
A certain man had the good fortune to possess a goose that laid him a Golden Egg every day. But dissatisfied with so slow an income, and thinking to seize the whole treasure at once, he killed the Goose; and cutting her open, found her just what any other goose would be!
The pound is the world's "weightiest" currency.
You can't trust duck doctors because they're all quacks.
Bees have sticky hair because they use honeycombs.
If seagulls flew ober the bay instead of the ocean, would they be called bagels?
The tomato blushed because he saw the salad dressing.
Crossing poison ivy with a four-leaf clover will give you a rash of good luck.
The pony couldn't sing because he was a little hoarse.
The result of crossing a cow with a lawnmower is a "lawnmooer".
Cats bake cookies from scratch.
There's a rumor going around about the butter but don't spread it.
The scarecrow won the award because he was outstanding in his field.
The only reason melons have weddings is that they cantaloupe.
Ghosts' favorite streets are dead ends.
Although only a fraction of the people see it, there's a fine line between the numerator and the denominator.
The chef's favorite soft drink is baking soda.
A lawsuit is something you don't want to have and don't want to lose.
A pampered cow gives spoiled milk.
The definition of a perfectionist is someone who wants to go from point A to point A+.
Vegetarians are happy because they don't have a beef with anyone.
Peter Pan is always flying because he "Neverlands".
The leopard could never win when he played "hide and go seek". He was always spotted.
Dad, are we pyromaniacs? Yes we arson.
The benefits of eating dried grapes is worth telling people about. It's raisin awareness.
A commander walked into a bar and ordered everyone "around"
Overcoming one's addiction to chocolate, marshmallows and nuts is a rocky road.
Crabs don't share with each other because they're "shellfish".
The most honest musical instrument is the upright piano.
Since Finland closed its borders, nobody has been able to cross the "finish" line.
The best way to watch a fishing turnament is in "live stream".
The cook was embarassed when he saw the salad dressing.
Adults who like puns are considered "groan-ups".
Coming in contact with poison ivy and a four leaf clover will bring you a rash of good luck.
Make a hamburger smile by pickling it gently.
The laziest mountain in the world is Mount "Ever-rest".
The most useful device in the math teacher's tool kit is the "multi-pliars".
As a wedding gift, two snakes were given towels that read, "Hiss" and "Hers".
If 4 out of 5 people suffer from diarrhea, does that mean that the 5th person enjoys it?
April showers bring May flowers. Mayflowers bring Pilgrims.
The capital of France is Paris. The capital in France is the letter, "F".
Crossing poison ivy with a four-leaf clover will get you a rash of good luck.
The sign in the veterinarian's office read, "Back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!
A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer.
When lambs go on vacation they go to the Baaahamas.
If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done.
Holy water is made by boiling the hell out of tap water.
Snap, Crackle and Pop are afraid of cereal killers.
A prisoner is one of the few who can finish a book without finishing a sentence.
When construction workers party they raise the roof.
A model of Mt. Everest is not built to scale ... it's built to look at.
A towel gets wetter as it dries.
The opposite of a croissant is a happy uncle.
A prisoner can finish a book without finishing a sentence.
If you have a calendar, your days are numbered.
Definition of having your grandmother on speed dial - "instagram".
The deer said to the sheep, "I'm faun of ewe".
The number "8" is the same whent it is upside down, everything when it is on its side and nothing when it is cut in half.
The center of gravity is "v".
The letter B is the coolest letter in the alphabet because it's surrounded by AC.
The difference between a jewlwr and a jailer is: A jewler sells watches while a jailer watches cells.
Boomerangs are Australia's biggest export and import products.
Billboards comincate by sign language.
Europe is like a frying pan because it has Greece at the bottom.
When the janitor jumped out of the closet he yelled, "Supplies".
Instead of "the John," I call my bathroom "the Jim." That way it sounds better when I say I go to the Jim first thing every morning.
Don't try to understand the construction of the roof. It's over your head.
There's a new restaurant on the moon. Great food but no atmosphere.
The past, present and future walked into a bar. it was tense.
If you can't find an attorney who knows the law, find one who knows the judge.
The inventor of knock-knock jokes was nominated for the "no bell prize".
The ocean didn't say anything to the beach. It just waved.
The guy whose whole left side was cut off is all right now.
Will the new invention of glass coffins become popular? (remains to be seen)
Why can't a sailor ever finish the alphabet? (because he gets lost at sea)
When is a door not a door? (when it is ajar)
What sits in a corner but travels around the world? (a stamp)
Why can't your nose be 12 inches long? (If it were, it would be called a foot.)
Why did the skeleton go to the dance alone? (He didn't have anybody to to go with.)
What falls but never gets hurt? (rain or snow)
What number squared equals 12345678987654321? (111,111,111)
Where are the most likely places for cars to get flat tires? (forks in the road)
What happened when 19 and 20 got into a fight? (21)
Why don't people laugh at jokes on Zoom? (because they're not remotely funny)
What do you call a grandfather clock? (an old timer)
What do to call a cow's husband when he's sleeping? (a bulldozer)
What will a blue stonethat is tossed into the Red Sea become? (wet)
How did the food critic rate the new restaurant on the moon? (good food but no atmosphere)
What is the hardest cult to join? (the diffi-cult)
What is not wanted by the maker, not used by the buyer and not aware of it's existence by the user? (a coffin)
How does NASA organize a party? (they planet)
Why don't aliens visit our solar system? (they've seen our one-star reviews.)
How should you work to find the thief who stole the wheels off of your car? (tirelessly)
What do dentists call their x-rays? (tooth pics)
The Energizer was arested and charged with battery.
How do you comfort someone who has issues with grammar? (there, they're their)
How much did the pirate pay to have his ears pierced? (a buccaneer)
Why do people work at pizza parlors? (because they knead the dough)
What did the surgeon say to the patient who insisted on closing up their own incision? (ok, suture yourself)
How can you physically stand behind your friend while he is standing behind you? (back-to-back)
What is small, white, round and served in gatherings of 2 or 4 people? (a ping pong ball)
What is the difference between jam and jelly? (there's no such thing as a traffice jelly)
What does every human do at the same time? (grow hold)
What time of the day when written in capital letters is the same forward, backward and upside down? (NOON)
What has 13 hearts and no other organs? (a deck of cards)
What coat goes on best when it is wet? (a coat of paint)
What did the zero say to the eight? (nice belt)
What has one horn and gives milk? (a milk truck)
What instrument is used in computers and pianos but not in tablets? (keyboard)
What time do competitors at the Wimbledon wake up? (ten-ish)
How many times does the digit "3" occur between 300 and 400? (120) Where do turkeys dance? (at the Butter Ball) John has four daughters. Each of his daughters has a brother. How many children does John have? (five) What is half of 2 plus 2? (1 plus 2 = 3) What did they say to the water that was boling away? (you will be mist) What is a lady ghost's favorite make-up? (mas SCARE a) What is orange and sounds like a parrot? (a carrot) Why did the worker get fired from the calendar factory? (he took a day off) What goes up but not down? (your age) What has teeth but cannot bite? (a comb) What has a neck but no head, two arms and no hands? (a shirt) What appears twice in November, once in June and never in May? (the letter "e") What are ducks' favorite snacks? (quackers) A man in a car saw a golden door, a silver door and a copper door. Which one did he open first? (the car door) What invention allows you to look through a wall? (a window) What grows up while growing down? (a goose or a duck) If you a hand away, some will remain. What am I? (handsome) A rooster sits on top of a north-facing, A-frame barn. Which side will the eggs roll down? (roosters don't lay eggs)
What is it that nobody wants but nobody wants to lose? (a lawsuit)
What starts and ends with the letter "e" but in it is only one letter? (envelope)
What cannot be shared until it is taken? (a photo)
How many times can you subtract 5 from 25? (once)
What word is pronounced the same if you take away four of its five letters? (queue)
What building has the most stories? (the library)
A one story house is made entirely of redwood. What color is the staircase? (no staircase in a one stoty home)
Where does Christmas come before Thanksgiving? (in the dictionary)
Whats is heavy when forward but not when it's backward? (ton)
What's the coolest letter in the alphabet? (the letter "B" because its surrounded by AC).
Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world? (Mt. Everest)
What does a house wear? (address)
Why did the can crusher quit his job? (because it was soda pressing)
Where do you learn to make a banana split? (sundae school)
What has been taken before you can have it? (your photo)
How many sides does a circle have? (two - the inside and the outside)
Why are koalas not considered actual bears? (they lack the koalifications)
How does a squid make war? (well armed)
What did the paper see to the pen? (write on)
Where do you find a horse with no legs? (right where you left it)
What do you call a baby kangaroo? (a pouch potato)
What does a pilot do if he gets annoyed? (he takes off)
How do you get a squirrel to like you? (you act like a nut)
How do you spell COW in thirteen letters? (see o double you)
What never asks questions but is often answered? (a doorbell)
Why was the painting arrested? (it was framed)
Why was the cake as hard as a rock? (because it was a marble cake.)
What award did the knock-knock joke expert receive? (the no bell prize)
How did the barber win the race? (he knew a shortcut)
What insect has the name of another insect in the first part of its name? (beetle)
What has a bottom at the top? (your legs)
What is so fragile that just saying its name, breaks it? (silence)
What goes through cities and fields but never moves? (a road)
What is a 3 letter word in which there is fewer when you add 2 letters? (few)
What runs all around a backyard but never moves? (a fence)
What did the comedian ask his wife as he removed his clothes on their wedding night? (Haven't you ever seen a comic strip?)
Two fathers and two sons are in a car but there are only three people present. How? (one grandfather, his son, his grandson)
My job is to drive customers away. Who am I? (a taxi driver)
What does a nosy pepper do? (gets jalapeño business) What place is the horse in that is running in a race and passes the horse in second place? (second place)
Where does one wall meet the other wall? (on the corner)
A citizen's brother died, but the man who died had no brother. How could that be? (the citizen was his sister)
What five-letter word has one left when two letters are removed? (stone)
How does Moses prepare tea? (He brews)
What do the towels of the newlywed snakes say? (hiss and hers)
If two's company and three's a crowd, what are four and five? (nine)
What three numbers when added together or multiplied together provide the same answer? (one two and three)
What did the big flower say to the little flower? (Hi, bud.)
How does the solar system arrange dinner? (they planet)
What's green, sings and dances wildly? (Elvis Parsley)
When is it bad luck to see a black cat? (when you are a mouse)
Why was the broom late? (it overswept)
How can you make seven even? (remove the letter "s")
What do you call a fake noodle? (an impasta)
Where do cows go for a night out? (the moovies)
Why did the spider cross the computer key board? (to get to the world wide web)
If two is company and three are a crowd, what is four and five? (nine)
Why can't you starve in the desert? (because of all the sand which is there)
What has a head, a tail and no legs? (a coin)
How do you make a strawberry shake? (tell it a frightening story).
Two children are born on the same day from the same mother but they're not twins. (they're triplets)
Why does Peter Pan always fly? (he "neverlands")
What 9 letter word can have a letter taken away and it still makes a word? Take another letter away and it still makes a word. Keep on doing that until you have one letter left. What is the word? (The word is startling. Startling, starting, staring, string, sting, sing, sin, in, I.)
What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? (Towel)
Why arev frogs so happy? (They eat what bugs them.)
What word is spelled incorrectly in every dictionary? (the word, incorrectly)
What has one eye but cannot see? (A needle)
What has to be broken before you can use it? (An egg)
What do you call a tick that loves math? (An arithmetic.)
How does the dog catcher get paid? (By the pound.)
What starts with "P", ends with an "E" and has hundreds of letters in it? (The post office.)
You enter a room and see a room full of people but not a single person. How is that possible? (They are all married.)
What is answered but never asks questions? (A doorbell)
What word looks the same backward, forward and upside down? (SWIMS)
How many months of the year have 28 days? (All of them)
What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? (A towel)
What goes up when rain comes down? (An umbrella)
Which weighs more, a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers? (They both weigh one ton)
What is at the end of a rainbow? (The leter "w)
Joan's mother has five daughters. Their names are Mary 1, Mary 2, Mary 3, Mary 4 and xxx. (Joan)
Why are teddy bears never hungry? (Because they're always stuffed.)
What is a seven letter word containing thousands of letters? (mailbox)
What is tall when its young and short when it's cold. (A Candle)
What goes down but never goes down? (Rain)
What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it? (Short)
If there are 10 apples and you take away 3, how many do you have? (3)
The Cherry Orchard
by Anton Chekhov
LOPAKHIN: The train's arrived, thank God. What's the time?
DUNYASHA: It will soon be two. It is light already.
LOPAKHIN: How much was the train late? Two hours at least. I have made a rotten mess of it! I came here on purpose to meet them at the station, and then overslept myself... in my chair. It's a pity. I wish you'd wakened me.
DUNYASHA: I thought you'd gone away. I think I hear them coming. LOPAKHIN: No... They've got to collect their luggage and so on... I don't know what she'll be like now... She's a good sort--an easy, simple person. I remember when I was a boy of fifteen, my father, who is dead--he used to keep a shop in the village here--hit me on the face with his fist, and my nose bled... We had gone into the yard together for something or other, and he was a little drunk. Lubov Andreyevna, as I remember her now, was still young, and very thin, and she took me to the washstand here in this very room, the nursery. She said, "Don't cry, little man, it'll be all right in time for your wedding." My father was a peasant, it's true, but here I am in a white waistcoat and yellow shoes... a pearl out of an oyster. I'm rich now, with lots of money, but just think about it and examine me, and you'll find Here I've been reading this book, but I understood nothing. I read and fell asleep. DUNYASHA: The dogs didn't sleep all night; they know that they're coming.
LOPAKHIN: What's up with you, Dunyasha...?
DUNYASHA: My hands are shaking. I shall faint.
LOPAKHIN: You're too sensitive, Dunyasha. You dress just like a lady, and you do your hair like one too. You oughtn't.
EPIKHODOV: The gardener sent these; says they're to go into the dining-room.
LOPAKHIN: And you'll bring me some kvass.
DUNYASHA: Very well.
EPIKHODOV: There's a frost this morning--three degrees, and the cherry-trees are all in flower. I can't approve of our climate. I can't. Our climate is indisposed to favour us even this once. And, Ermolai Alexeyevitch, allow me to say to you, in addition, that I bought myself some boots two days ago, and I beg to assure you that they squeak in a perfectly unbearable manner. What shall I put on them?
LOPAKHIN: Go away. You bore me.
EPIKHODOV: Some misfortune happens to me every day. But I don't complain; I'm used to it, and I can smile. I shall go. There... There, you see, if I may use the word, what circumstances I am in, so to speak. It is even simply marvellous.
DUNYASHA: I may confess to you, Ermolai Alexeyevitch, that Epikhodov has proposed to me.
DUNYASHA: I don't know what to do about it. He's a nice young man, but every now and again, when he begins talking, you can't understand a word he's saying. I think I like him. He's madly in love with me. He's an unlucky man; every day something happens. We tease him about it. They call him "Two-and-twenty troubles."
LOPAKHIN: There they come, I think.
DUNYASHA: They're coming! What's the matter with me? I'm cold all over.
LOPAKHIN: There they are, right enough. Let's go and meet them. Will she know me? We haven't seen each other for five years.
DUNYASHA: I shall faint in a minute... Oh, I'm fainting!
ANYA: Let's come through here. Do you remember what this room is, mother?
Philoctetes by Sophocles
At length, my noble friend, thou bravest son Of a brave father- father of us all, The great Achilles- we have reached the shore Of sea-girt Lemnos, desert and forlorn, Where never tread of human step is seen, Or voice of mortal heard, save his alone, Poor Philoctetes, Poeas' wretched son, Whom here I left; for such were my commands From Grecia's chiefs, when by his fatal wound Oppressed, his groans and execrations dreadful Alarmed our hosts, our sacred rites profaned, And interrupted holy sacrifice. But why should I repeat the tale? The time Admits not of delay. We must not linger, Lest he discover our arrival here, And all our purposed fraud to draw him hence Be ineffectual. Lend me then thy aid. Surveying round thee, canst thou see a rock With double entrance- to the sun's warm rays In winter open, and in summer's heat Giving free passage to the welcome breeze? A little to the left there is a fountain Of living water, where, if yet he breathes, He slakes his thirst. If aught thou seest of this Inform me; so shall each to each impart Counsel most fit, and serve our common cause.
If I mistake not, I behold a cave, E'en such as thou describst.
Dost thou? which way?
Yonder it is; but no path leading thither, Or trace of human footstep.
ULYSSES In his cell A chance but he hath lain down to rest:
Xerxes And tear out the hair from your grey beard!
Chorus My fists are clenched around it, my Lord and I’m crying!
Xerxes Cry our in shrill notes, my men!
Chorus Shrill are our voices!
Xerxes Tear your robes with your fingers!
Chorus Savage Fate! Agony!
Xerxes Cry and tear out your hair for the loss of our men!
Chorus My fists are clenched around it, my Lord and I’m crying!
Xerxes Drench your eyes with tears!
Chorus I am drenched in tears, my Lord!1060
Xerxes Accompany my sad song!
Chorus Savage Fate! Agony!
Xerxes Cry loudly through the city!
Chorus Savage Fate! Agony!
Xerxes Walk with solemn steps and pour our your lament!
Chorus Savage Fate! What sad soil our Persia has now! Too sad to walk upon!
Xerxes Oh, Savage Fate!
Poor sailors of the three-tiered ships!
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
A country road . A tree . Evening. Estragon, sitting on a low mound, is trying to take off his boot. He pulls at it with both hands, panting. He gives up, exhausted, rests, tries again. As before. Enter Vladimir.
ESTRAGON: (giving up again). Nothing to be done.
VLADIMIR: (advancing with short, stiff strides, legs wide apart). I'm beginning to come round to that opinion . All my life I've tried to put it from me, saying Vladimir, be reasonable, you haven't yet tried everything. And I resumed the struggle . (He broods, musing on the struggle. Turning to Estragon.) So there you are again.
ESTRAGON: Am I?
VLADIMIR: I'm glad to see you back. I thought you were gone forever.
ESTRAGON: Me too.
VLADIMIR: Together again at last! We'll have to celebrate this. But how? (He reflects.) Get up till I embrace you.
ESTRAGON: (irritably). Not now, not now.
VLADIMIR: (hurt, coldly). May one inquire where His Highness spent the night?
ESTRAGON: In a ditch.
VLADIMIR: (admiringly). A ditch! Where? ESTRAGON: (without gesture). Over there. VLADIMIR: And they didn't beat you?
ESTRAGON: Beat me? Certainly they beat me .
VLADIMIR: The same lot as usual?
ESTRAGON: The same? I don't know.
VLADIMIR: When I think of it . . . all these years . . . but for me . . . where would you be . . . (Decisively.) You'd be nothing more than a little heap of bones at the present minute, no doubt about it.
ESTRAGON: And what of it?
VLADIMIR: (gloomily). It's too much for one man. (Pause. Cheerfully.) On the other hand what's the good of losing heart now, that's what I say. We should have thought of it a million years ago, in the nineties .
ESTRAGON: Ah stop blathering and help me off with this bloody thing.
VLADIMIR: Hand in hand from the top of the Eiffel Tower, among the first. We were respectable in those days. Now it's too late. They wouldn't even let us up. (Estragon tears at his boot.) What are you doing?
ESTRAGON: Taking off my boot. Did that never happen to you?
VLADIMIR: Boots must be taken off every day , I'm tired telling you that. Why don't you listen to me?
ESTRAGON: (feebly). Help me! VLADIMIR: It hurts ?
Henry VII by William Shakespeare
(Act 2, Scene 1)
Whither away so fast?
O, God save ye! Even to the hall, to hear what shall become Of the great Duke of Buckingham.
I'll save you That labour, sir. All's now done, but the ceremony Of bringing back the prisoner.
Were you there?
Yes, indeed, was I.
Pray, speak what has happen'd.
You may guess quickly what.
Is he found guilty?
Yes, truly is he, and condemn'd upon't.
I am sorry for't.
So are a number more.
But, pray, how pass'd it?
I'll tell you in a little. The great duke Came to the bar; where to his accusations He pleaded still not guilty and alleged Many sharp reasons to defeat the law. The king's attorney on the contrary Urged on the examinations, proofs, confessions Of divers witnesses; which the duke desired To have brought viva voce to his face: At which appear'd against him his surveyor; Sir Gilbert Peck his chancellor; and John Car, Confessor to him; with that devil-monk, Hopkins, that made this mischief.
That was he That fed him with his prophecies?
The Womem of Trachis
Hyllus You soon will manifest the madness in your words...
Herakles Yes, yes, you will provoke my sleeping plague!
Hyllus My cowardice holds me helpless, quite unable to act...
Herakles You do not think it right to heed your father's plea.
Hyllus Then, father, shall I learn to do impieties?
Herakles It cannot be impiety to gratify a father's heart.
Hyllus Your orders then to do this thing are just.
Herakles They are... to witness which I call upon the gods.
Hyllus Then I will obey, shall not refuse, but show to the gods you ordered this... I would not wish 1250 to be thought a criminal through doing your will. Her. Good sense at last! So swiftly now once more, my son, pray render me swift service, and place me on the pyre before the rending pains and agony attack. Come, take the weight and lift me up; this is the very end of pain, this hero's final hour.
Hyllus There is nothing to prevent our gratifying you, since your orders and compulsion are clear. Her. Come, now, my stubborn soul, before this pain awakes, and clamp 1260 my stone sealed lips with a bite of steel. Not a sound, no screams! I would my enforced end triumphs in dignity.
Hyllus Friends, lift him up and grant to me forgiveness, pray, for what I do, and condemnation of the gods, aware of the crimes they are committing here they gave him birth, were hallowed as his parents, yet observe such suffering. No man can see what is fated to be, 1270 but these events are a shame to gods and tragic for us, most deadly and hard for this man, of all mankind who bears this destiny. And you, young woman, stay not at the house. You have observed deaths deadly and strange, much suffering, unprecedented pain; there was none of these things not of Zeus.
Timon of Athens
by William Shakespeare
Good day, sir.
I am glad you're well.
I have not seen you long: how goes the world?
It wears, sir, as it grows.
Ay, that's well known: But what particular rarity? what strange, Which manifold record not matches? See, Magic of bounty! all these spirits thy power Hath conjured to attend. I know the merchant.
I know them both; th' other's a jeweller.
O, 'tis a worthy lord.
Nay, that's most fix'd.
A most incomparable man, breathed, as it were, To an untirable and continuate goodness: He passes. Jeweller: I have a jewel here--
O, pray, let's see't: for the Lord Timon, sir? Jeweller: If he will touch the estimate: but, for that--
[Reciting to himself] 'When we for recompense have praised the vile, It stains the glory in that happy verse Which aptly sings the good.'
'Tis a good form.
And rich: here is a water, look ye.
You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedication To the great lord.
A thing slipp'd idly from me. Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes From whence 'tis nourish'd: the fire i' the flint Shows not till it be struck; our gentle flame Provokes itself and like the current flies Each bound it chafes. What have you there?
Merriam-Webster defines music in part as "an agreeable sound", which can rightly be called an understatement.
Violins and fiddles have delivered some of the world's most distinctive music for centuries. They are wooden, stringed instruments with a hollow, wooden body and are higher pitched than their larger counterparts, the cello and the bass. It has been commented (tongue-in-cheek) that the difference between the violin and the fiddle is that the violin has strings while the fiddle has "strangs".
Jazz is considered to be a uniquely American genre of music. Also having been born in the U.S. is rap and hip-hop.
Moses ben Maimon (aka maimonides or Rambam) was a medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher who was born Cordoba, Spain in 1138 and dies in Fustat, Egypt in 1204. he worked as a rabbi, physician and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt. He authored the "Mishneh Torah" and "The Guide for the Perplexed". Maimonides identified 613 commandments listed in the Bible.
Johannes Gutenberg by Andrew
Johannes Gutenberg was born in the year (circa) 1400 in Germany and is credited with the first European to use movable type and the facilitator of invention and/or development of: mass producing of movable type, the use of oil-based ink, adjustable molds, mechanical movable type and the use of the wooden printing press. His work started the Printing Revolution in Europe, which greatly expanded access to knowledge and information to the masses.
Elon Musk by Andrew
Elon Musk was was raised in Pretoria, South Africa be fore moving to Canada and then to the U.S. He is the founder, CEO and chief engineer at SpaceX; CEO of Tesla; a founder of what evolved into PayPal; co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI; among other entrepreneurial pursuits. Musk has five children with this first wife, Justine Wilson.
Andrew Jackson by Andrew
Andrew Jackson was the 7th president of the United States. Before serving as president, Jackson was a general in the U.S. Army and both a member of the House and the Senate.He served as president from 1829 to 1837 and is known for his expansionisits views.
Harry S. Truman by Andrew
Harry Truman was 33rd president of the Uniyed States, serving from 1945 to 1953. Prior to his presidency, Mr. Truman served as the 34th vice-president of the United States and senator from Missouri. Among other notable accomplishments, he is known for implementing the Marshall Plan and helping to build NATO. He grew up in Independence, Missouri and fought in France during WW 1 as a captain in the Field Artillery. on June 28, 1919, he married his swetheart, Bess.
Richard Nixon by Andrew
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th president of the United States. He served in that office from 1969 to 1974. Prior to his presidency, he served as vice-president to Dwight Eisenhower. Highlights of his presidency include ending American involvement in the Vietnam conflict, ending the draft, airlifting arms to Israel during the Yom Kippur War and visiting China. President Nixon resigned from office during the Watergate scandal in 1974.
Albert Einstein by Andrew
Albert Einsten is universally appreciated as one of the most advanced physisists the world has ever known. Born on March 14, 1879 and having died on April 18, 1955, his general theory of relativity revoluntionized the way sciene perceives matter and energy. Althoug he began his career in Europe, he completed it in the United States. His name has evolved in the vernacular to a synonym for genius.
Jimmy Carter by Andrew
James Earl Carter Jr. was the 39th president of the United States. Having served in that office from 1977 to 1981, he had previously served the 76th governor of Georgia. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946, he worked as an officer on nuclear submarines. Later he returned home to work on his family's peanut farm before beginning his political career.
Jonas Salk by Andrew
Jonas Salk was credited with developing one of the original polio vaccines. From the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he successfully researched and developed the medicine that would virtually eliminate the ubitiquous affliction. To optimize the vaccine's availability to the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time he opted to no slow the procees down by applying for a patent. In 1955, Salk was hailed as a miracle worker.
Nikola Tesla by Andrew
NikolaTesla was a Serbian-American inventor and pioneer into the sourcing of electricity. He was born and raised in the Austrian Empire, where he studied physics. His success with alternating electrical current made our world possible today. Efforts to create wireless global electricity went unfinished due to lack of continued funding. He died in 1943 in 1960, the General Conference of Weights and Measures honored him by naming the SI unit of magnetic flux the tesla.
Apollo 11 by Andrew
The first spaceflight to ever land humans on the Moon was Apollo 11. On July 20, 1969, the Apollo Lunar Module, "Eagle" Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin formed the American crew that made the historic landing. They spent a little over two hours on the Moon's surface and gathered over 47 pounds of material to bring back with them on their return flight to Earth. Michael Collins flew the orbiting Command Module, "Columbia" as Armstrong and Aldrin explored the lunar service. Armstrong's words when he first walked on the lunar surface still echo in historical context today: "That's one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind."
First President by Andrew
George Washington was the first President of the United States. He took his oath of office on April 30, 1789 at Federal Hall in New York. Knowing that historic precedent was being set, he wrote, “As the first of everything, in our situation will serve to establish a Precedent, it is devoutly wished on my part, that these precedents may be fixed on true principles.”
Washington’s humble tendencies lead him away from becoming king-like and set the ball in motion in that regard for all that would follow him.
Americans can be thankful today that he was who he was then.
JFK by Andrew
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States. He was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts and died on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.
After graduating from Harvard University in 1940, he joined the U.S. Naval Reserve where he served as a PT boat commander in the Pacific theater during World War II. During his service, he earned the Navy Marine Corps Medal and th Purple Heart.
After completing his Naval career, Mr. Kennedy briefly worked as a journalist, before going into politics. His political life is marked by his having been a congressman and a senator before being elected to the presidency in 1963.
Mr. Kennedy was assassinated in the third year of his first term.
A Winter Walk by Henry D. Thoreau
The surly night-wind rustles through the wood, and warns us to retrace our steps, while the sun goes down behind the thickening storm, and birds seek their roosts, and cattle their stalls.
"Drooping the lab'rer ox Stands covered o'er with snow, and _now_ demands The fruit of all his toil."
Though winter is represented in the almanac as an old man, facing the wind and sleet, and drawing his cloak about him, we rather think of him as a merry wood-chopper, and warm-blooded youth, as blithe as summer. The unexplored grandeur of the storm keeps up the spirits of the traveller. It does not trifle with us, but has a sweet earnestness. In winter we lead a more inward life. Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts, whose windows and doors are half concealed, but from whose chimneys the smoke cheerfully ascends. The imprisoning drifts increase the sense of comfort which the house affords, and in the coldest days we are content to sit over the hearth and see the sky through the chimney top, enjoying the quiet and serene life that may be had in a warm corner by the chimney side, or feeling our pulse by listening to the low of cattle in the street, or the sound of the flail in distant barns all the long afternoon. No doubt a skilful physician could determine our health by observing how these simple and natural sounds affected us. We enjoy now, not an oriental, but a boreal leisure, around warm stoves and fireplaces, and watch the shadow of motes in the sunbeams.
Sometimes our fate grows too homely and familiarly serious ever to be cruel. Consider how for three months the human destiny is wrapped in furs. The good Hebrew Revelation takes no cognizance of all this cheerful snow. Is there no religion for the temperate and frigid zones? We know of no scripture which records the pure benignity of the gods on a New England winter night. Their praises have never been sung, only their wrath deprecated. The best scripture, after all, records but a meagre faith. Its saints live reserved and austere. Let a brave devout man spend the year in the woods of Maine or Labrador, and see if the Hebrew Scriptures speak adequately to his condition and experience, from the setting in of winter to the breaking up of the ice.
Now commences the long winter evening around the farmer's hearth, when the thoughts of the indwellers travel far abroad, and men are by nature and necessity charitable and liberal to all creatures. Now is the happy resistance to cold, when the farmer reaps his reward, and thinks of his preparedness for winter, and, through the glittering panes, sees with equanimity "the mansion of the northern bear," for now the storm is over,
"The full ethereal round, Infinite worlds disclosing to the view, Shines out intensely keen; and all one cope Of starry glitter glows from pole to pole."
Bumped by Pamela
It was the 4th of March and I was scheduled to fly out of LaGuardia Airport in New York to visit my family in Albuquerque. I arrived at the gate in plenty of time only to hear the announcement that the airline was overbooked and needed volunteers to give up their seats on this flight, be rescheduled on a flight three hours later and be awarded a $1,500 airline voucher that was good for a year. I thought about being late to see my family but decided the two more times I could visit them with the voucher would be worth it. I took the offer. So now I've got an airline voucher in my hand and three hours to kill. Went and had a slow coffee and then showed up at the gate for my rescheduled flight. It is then when I heard the same announcement with the same offer but this time I would have to come back the next day to fly out. I thought about again, called my family in Albuquerque and ended up walking out of the airport that day with two $1,500 vouchers and a flight to Albuquerque scheduled for 11 the next morning. I went home, got a good night's sleep and showed up again at LaGuardia the next morning in plenty of time for my re-re-scheduled flight to Albuquerque. Believe it or not, the same announcement came over the loudspeaker. The airline had overbooked due to weather issues and was now offering a $1,000 travel voucher to a volunteer who would give up their seat to take a two and a half hour later flight. I took it. The overbooking must have resolved itself by the time of this last flight because there were plenty of seats. The net result was that I got safely to Albuquerque 27 hours later that I was originally scheduled but had $4,000 worth of airline vouchers, that I used that year many times to go back and forth to Albuquerque to visit my family.
The Leaves of Fall by Andrew
The leaves fell this year in October, just like they had in all previous years. But this season was different. This year the leaves seemed to gather in piles, a welcome eventuality since my decreasing capacity to rake them was evident to all who knew me. I couldn't believe it but was not going to complain. Before the wind had a chance to scatter them everywhere, I loaded them into big bags and carried them the short distance to the woods. What would have taken at least a day to accomplish was now completed in an hour and a half. I am blessed and thankful.
Our Stray Cat by Andrew
It was a cold March day when we first saw him. He came to our window and had that "feed me" look on his face. Now we've seen stray cats before ... in fact we adopted two of them. This little guy, probably about a year old, was different, however. He seemed already people-oriented. He purred and let us pet him, and of course let us feed him too. He even let us put him in a cat carrier so we could get him to the vet. The vet surprised us with the news that this cat was a male and had already been altered. The implication was that he belonged to someone so we brought him back home, gave him a good meal, put a collar with a note on it and let him out. Our little black and white visitor came back, though. We kept feeding him and he kept coming back. No one had responded to the note with our phone number on it so we guessed that he had been abandoned. We looked in the lost and found registry but saw nothing matching the description of the cat we affectionately named, "Burrito". So now we have an outside cat that comes faithfully everyday at dawn and dusk and consumes a healthy two cans of feline food at each visit. For now, we don't have to make a decision about bringing him in for the winter but when that time comes later this year, Burrito too wil have a big decision to make.
About Parenting by Pamela (a non-parent, non-professional, untrained , well intended wife) Obviously remote learning for your kids has its drawbacks but a least you know they may less likely to be exposed to COVID or any other unwanted infection. I offer no advice about having your child vaccinated against COVID. It's up to each parent to decide. They may not resemble you physically but they will resemble you by their attitudes and behaviors. You may not be recognized for your good work until they have children of their own. Rightly or wrongly, you will be judged by the behavior of your children. Ground rules for the dinner table - no devices allowed. If you deny them the latest devices, you may be putting them at a disadvantage. If you give them all the latest tech gadgets, you may be spoiling them. Your children are doing their best to grow up, just like you did. Maybe it would help if you think of it this way - you're not raising children, you're raising adults. Have certain, designated times of the day where all family members are device-free. You will be remembered by how they interact with the world after you're gone. Use the current protest situation to teach them love and respect. If you hate, so might they. If you love, so might they. If you spend all your time on a device, so will they. Be patient, be loving, be a good guide. Use the quarantined time together at home to reestablish your relationship with your kids (and family). How long can they sit still without having their face in their phones? Teach them by the example you set. Can your kids tell time on a non-digital clock? Can your kids add and subtract without a calculator?
Find a happy medium between letting them be "over-deviced" and 21 century ignorant. As much as they may need you now, you may need them when you are elderly. They will learn their from values from you.
Grandparent influence is impotrant in the upbringing of a child also.
They will follow your lead.
Be the person you want them to become.
They will learn by your example.
Give them credit for understanding more than you might otherwise believe.
They are gifts. Treasure them.
Until they get older, you're not their friend, you're their parent who must guide them without being overbearing.
Don't lecture them.
Be the person you want your children to become.
Be truthful with them because they will detect non-truth and discount everything else you say.
It's important they know your motivation is your love for them.
Your role as a parent is a life-long committment.
Set an example for them.
They are your best way of leaving something positive for the future of the world.
It is the outlook they acqire from you that will guide them throughot their lives.
Be there for them.
Parenting may be the most important role you'll ever play in this life.
You wont have a more insight-inspiring legacy than your children.
They are a reflection of all they've gleaned from you.
It's important that they know you love them.
For better or for worse, they are a reflection of all you've imparted to them.
Respect them and they will respect you.
Give them a sense of their heritage so they know from whence they came.
They will learn more from being talked to rather than talked at.
Show them your main concern is their safety.
Talk to them, not at them.
If you want them to develop a love for reading, let them start by reading books of interst to them.
You are their role model.
Its not a popularity contest.
They will learn their values from your example.
When its all said and done, they are your future. Teach them well.
Be firm but fair.
If they know you really love them, they will be more likely to follow your direction and example.
Don't talk down to them.
Your children are your legacy.
Find the line between constuctive, non-alienating correction and criticism, and don't cross it.
More parenchild face-to-face time, less device time.
Operate under the assumption that they will remember how you parented them, even if it doesn't seem so now.
Don't force it but be there for them if they want one-on-one time with you.
Schedule regular family time with limited access to devices.
Be firm with them but communicate in a non-condescending manner that they will understand.
Your kids will grow up to parent as they were parented.
They are your legacy.
You are their parent long past the time they've grown and moved out.
Loving time is the most important asset you have to spend on your children.
Be their parent, not necessarily their friend.
Be consistent with them.
Just being there for them is sometimes all they need.
Set them on the right moral course. Their compasses will take them the rest of the way.
Your children will learn more from your example than your words.
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