November 21, 2004


One is always pleased to find that one is not alone when one has these little opinions about this and that. And when one finds a kindred spirit among the great names in history, well . . . One feels, as they say, "like pigs in clover."

In 1847, Johanna Puttkamer (who was engaged to Otto von Bismarck) sent a letter to her betrothed which said (among other things), "Loyalty is the very fire which always vivifies and sustains the heart of existence."

Bismarck replied, "[That strikes me as being] one of those nebulous, misty phrases from which it is difficult to derive any clear meaning and which not infrequently have injurious results when they are carried over from poetry to actuality - especially by women who as young girls have observed life almost exclusively through the spectacles of the poet."

As the author of this book (From Bismarck to Adenauer: Aspects of German Statecraft by Gordon A. Craig) observes, "This was perhaps less than ardent; but then not even love should be allowed to excuse bad prose."

How true.

As a random aside in keeping with the ongoing Yiddish Project, and the ever-popular Personal Amusement Project, give the following site a visit. I promise that you will be entertained unless you're a nudnik.

Yiddish with Dick and Jane

Posted by Jared at November 21, 2004 04:11 PM | TrackBack