We have learned that yet another letter was recently discovered during the recent dusting of the Independence Hall Attic in Philadelphia. Only now made public, BabyBlueOnline blows off the dust and publishes it for general - and perhaps timely - reflection.
January 9, 1776
Mister John Adams, Esquire
Delegate, Province of Massachusetts Bay
Second Continental Congress
My dear Mister Adams,
Thank you for your letter. I believe you have misinterpreted my previous letter. I gave no "acknowledgement that colonies can and do leave the His Majesty's purview." On the contrary, I continue to aver that individuals may leave, but colonies and commonwealths do not. I continue to urge you to withdraw from any encouragement of such a belief, or action toward departure, as I believe it to be a violation of the vows we have both repeatedly taken to "pledge our alliance to the Crown."
I lament your belief that colonists with your political position are being systematically eliminated from positions of leadership and influence. If they are disappearing, it is by their own decision and at their own hands. I note how carefully the current and former Sovereigns of the Realm have been to ensure broad representation in appointment to various Parliamentary bodies, and know that my predecessors and I have also sought to include all political positions in appointments within our purview.
You state your concern about those who would stand by their convictions being threatened with disbarment and disenfranchisement. I would also note that depositions and interventions have no substance if there has been no violation. Fear of same is probably not rational if there is no basis for same.
I pray that your profession may be one of abundance in the coming year, and I remain
Yours most sincerely,
Prime Minister of All Great Britain
NOTE: Ah, satura lanx.
The word satire comes from Latin satura lanx and means "medley, dish of colourful fruits" - it was held by Quintilian to be a "wholly Roman phenomenon" (satura tota nostra est). This derivation properly has nothing to do with the Greek mythological figure satyr. To Quintilian, the satire was a strict literary form, but the term soon escaped from its original narrow definition. Robert Elliott wrote:
- "As soon as a noun enters the domain of metaphor, as one modern scholar has pointed out, it clamours for extension; and satura (which had had no verbal, adverbial, or adjectival forms) was immediately broadened by appropriation from the Greek word for “satyr” (satyros) and its derivatives. The odd result is that the English “satire” comes from the Latin satura; but “satirize,” “satiric,” etc., are of Greek origin. By about the 4th century AD the writer of satires came to be known as satyricus; St. Jerome, for example, was called by one of his enemies 'a satirist in prose' ('satyricus scriptor in prosa'). Subsequent orthographic modifications obscured the Latin origin of the word satire: satura becomes satyra, and in England, by the 16th century, it was written 'satyre.'"
Satire (in the modern sense of the word) is found in many artistic forms of expression, including literature, plays, commentary, and media such as song lyrics. Satirical works often contain "straight" (non-satirical) humour - usually to give some relief from what might otherwise be relentless "preaching". This has always been the case, although it is probably more marked in modern satire.Read more about satire here.