John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Happy birthday to pocket_entropy! And I missed somebody's birthday yesterday, but I don't know who it was -- so if it was your birthday yesterday, happy birthday to you, too! For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

Artful, cunning, deceitful, treacherous.
--Edward Lloyd's Encyclopædic Dictionary, 1895

Bank Holiday (Scotland)
Birthday of George Henry Calvert (1803-1899),
American author of more than a dozen books on historical subjects, and a great-grandson of Lord Baltimore. In 1863, he wrote in The Gentleman: "As some of the best things become by perversion the worst -- the life-sustaining air itself carrying, when foul, the largest freight of death -- so honor, whose name is a promise of purity and elevation, is liable to such warp and debasement as to be turned into a shield of vice and forced to entwine itself defensively around dishonor." Calvert narrowed his focus to politicians, concluding, "Men who have betrayed weighty trusts and made shipwreck of honesty cling to a wild, semi-dubious defiance to honor -- or rather to the name -- and challenge its protection with the same right as a pirate would that of a great nation's flag that he had flung out from his topmast in the agony of defeat." Samuel Johnson opined more plainly about false prophets a century earlier, charging, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

Now I have a mental image of Vinko Bogataj with a hook and eyepatch. Thanks a lot, Calvert!

-The Gneech
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