23 January 2008

Tagged for a Meme

It's Mac's fault.

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

"Had you made it to be understood, that in the delusion of this amiable error you had gone further than your wise ancestors; that you were resolved to resume your ancient privileges, whilst you preserved the spirit of your ancient and your recent loyalty and honour; or, if diffident of yourselves, and not clearly discerning the almost obliterated constitution of your ancestors, you had looked to your neighbours in this land, who had kept alive the ancient principles and models of the old common law of Europe meliorated and adapted to its present state - by following wise examples you would have given new examples of wisdom to the world. You would have rendered the cause of liberty venerable in the eyes of every worthy mind in every nation. You would have shamed despotism from the earth, by shewing that freedom was not only reconcileable, but as, when well disciplined it is, auxiliary to law."

Burke - Reflections on the Revolution in France - Penguin Edition 1982

So now you see where I get my punctuation from, and my love of long involved sentences.

It has never struck me before, but this could be a Roman Catholic talking to a Gallican Catholic (at any time after 1789 and before, say, the coronation of Napoleon, or the Congress of Vienna if you'd rather), rather than an Englishman talking to a Frenchman. Same result, same admonition. If anyone wants to pursue this to a Doctorate, then it's all yours: there's no copyright in ideas!

1 comment:

Mac McLernon said...

Heheheheh... that made me go cross-eyed !