Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » January 2006 » Karen beats me to it....

[« Thought for the Day:] [Just in case you don't have enough nightmares.... »]

01/17/2006: Karen beats me to it....

But that was true here too, lots of the time. She has kids, so she's up earlier than me most days.

But over at Peripetia she notes that today is the 300th birthday of Benjamin Franklin. In his honor, go spend a $100 bill.


Follow the link to Karen's post for a couple links to Frankliniana. As for myself, well... it's not historical (not completely, anyway), but Franklin is probably my favorite character in the musical comedy 1776! (which I think is a highly underrated show). My favorite snippet of dialogue from that show comes when the Continental Congress has authorized an investigation of conditions in General Washington's Army, in camp in New Jersey; apparently the soldiers (as soldiers are wont to do) were spending time drinking to excess and carousing with women of negotiable virtue. During the debate leading up to the authorization for the investigation, Ben Franklin has been sleeping (apparently Franklin, who was, after all, 70 years old in 1776, did do that frequently). After the debate and vote authorizing the investigation, John Adams is selected to chair the inquiry, and permitted to select his assistants. He walks towards the snoozing Franklin, stamps his walking stick on the floor, and bellows:

ADAMS: Come on, Franklin, you're going to New Jersey!
waking with a start] Like hell I am! For what?
ADAMS: For the drinking and wenching.
springing out of his chair and walking briskly offstage] Well, why didn't you say so? Come on....
Ah, would that we had such sprightly national leadership nowadays....

Len on 01.17.06 @ 07:53 AM CST

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