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Happy Birthday, ursulav!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk):

Pitt's picture


A window stopt up on the inside to save the tax imposed in that gentleman's administration. Party wit.
—Francis Grove's A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796


The Window-tax was first imposed in 1695, and was frequently re-imposed, not withstanding its injurious effect in offering an obstacle to good ventilation. It was repealed, and the House-tax substituted for it in 1851.
—Sydney Low and F. S. Pulling's Dictionary of English History, 1904


Birthday of William Pitt (1759-1806),


English politician and statesman. He was never sent to grade school but instead prepared for the political world at home, entering Cambridge at fourteen. On November 18, 1777, he railed against Britain's attempts to stop its American colonies from breaking away, warning the House of Commons candidly, "You cannot conquer America," before adding emphatically, "If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I would never lay down my arms — never, never, never!"

Because, you know, that would render 'im armless.

-The Gneech

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
stilghar
May. 28th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
*shoots the_gneech with high-powered Nerf weapons again*
the_gneech
May. 28th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
Owie!

-TG
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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