Monday, January 30, 2006

Quote of the day

Masterpiece Theatre is in the process of showing a highly acclaimed new rendition of Charles Dickens' "Bleak House." As it's about the time of year that I normally read Dickens, I pulled one of my copies off the shelf. I've read it before, but it has probably been 18 years since the last time, and beyond "Jarndyce And Jarndyce," there's very little of it that I recall. But it's Dickens, and it's excellent. He was one of the three great English masters of the language (Shakespeare and Wodehouse being the other two.)

Last night, I ran across a passage that reminded me quite pointedly of my senior Senator, and that becomes the quote of the day. (Substitute "Senator Edward Kennedy" [or Dick Durbin, or John Kerry, or Pat Leahy, or Harry Reid - they all work] for "Mr. Smallweed's Grandfather"):

He is in a helpless condition as to his lower, and nearly so as to his upper, limbs, but his mind is unimpaired. It holds, as well as it ever held, the first four rules of arithmetic and a certain small collection of the hardest facts. In respect of ideality, reverence, wonder, and other such phrenological attributes, it is no worse off than it used to be. Everything that Mr. Smallweed's grandfather ever put away in his mind was a grub at first, and is a grub at last. In all his life he has never bred a single butterfly.

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