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

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Happy Birthday katayamma!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

Of hair-cloth. [From] celice, a coarse cloth originally made of Cilician goat's hair; a rough garment made of hair-cloth, generally worn as a penitential robe. Formed of Old English celic, Latin cilicium.
--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

Death of William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), who served just one month as America's commander in chief. Six weeks after the luckless president expired, a French diplomat known as the Chevalier de Bacourt described a peculiar memorial activity ordered by Harrison's successor: "President Tyler has just ordered a national fast of twenty-four hours on the occasion of General Harrison's death. Do you not think that it is a very singular idea in a protestant republic to make a whole nation fast on account of the death of their Chief Magistrate? It seems to me a penance altogether arbitrary, and useless in a country where Protestantism does not admit the efficacy of prayers for the dead. The official fast is explained only by the passionate desire to make an effect and to show a religious feeling, which in fact served as a base to the first little republics of New England, but which has very much cooled down."

-The Gneech
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