Dagger in hand

A man of prodigious fortune, coming to add his opinion to some light discussion that was going on casually at his table, began precisely thus: "It can only be a liar or an ignoramus who will say otherwise than," and so on. Pursue that philosophical point, dagger in hand.

--Michel de Montaigne, Of the art of discussion.

Stab back: cmnewman99-at-yahoo.com


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Tuesday, July 22, 2003
That's my boy.
I spoke to Lucas on the phone the other day from Italy. He's been reading Madeleine L'Engle. I had obliged him to read and write a report on Wrinkle in Time as a prerequisite to obtaining the latest Potter installment (how's that for coercive tactics?), after learning that he had blown off a similar assignment during the school year. When he left for Italy he had both sequels in tow to keep him occupied on the plane. No longer as assignments, mind you--just for pleasure should he be bored. So he gets on the phone with me and what does he have to say? The following:

In this fateful hour,
I call all Heaven with its power,
the sun with its brightness,
the snow with its whiteness,
the fire with all strength it hath,
the lightening with its rapid wrath,
the winds with their swiftness along their path,
the sea with its deepness,
the rocks with their steepness,
the Earth with its starkness.
All these I place,
by God's Almighty help and grace,
between myself and powers of darkness.

From memory. He just memorized it, without any suggestion from anyone that he do so. For his own pleasure. Because he thought it was cool. And suddenly I had tears on my face. Because I had forgotten, but I did the same thing when I read Swiftly Tilting Planet at about his age.

Take that, Felipe.

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