Wednesday, January 16, 2008

After 232 Years of Gathering Dust, Yet Another Lord North Letter to John Adams Discovered in Constitutional Hall Attic

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
State House

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,

Lord North
Prime Minister of All Great Britain

NOTE: Ah, satura lanx.

From Wiki:

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[3]. 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.'"[4]

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.


Anonymous said...

The letter almost sounds like the PB's response to certain churches who are leaving TEC for more orthodox pastures.

mousestalker said...

Dearie dearie me. How we do seem to be condemn'd to repeat history.

Unknown said...

Aye, especially when some of the episcopate start sounding like Lord North.


Anonymous said...

I love the letter, but was it found in Independence Hall or Constitution Hall? I was wondering from the heading what else the DAR had hidden up there.

Andy said...

Ya' know what B2? I have to confess swallowing this one hook, line & sinker.

Ahh, but its good to have a wee bit o' fun in the midst of the gloaming.


Anonymous said...


It's kinda sad that you have to give readers a definition of satire.

But I understand that you could be bullied mercilessly if you did not.