(Roughly) Daily

Helpfully clear titles…

Consider, for example:  “You Fell Asleep Watching a DVD”

As we reach for our remotes, we might might wish a happy birthday to John Wilkes, the English radical, journalist, and politician for whom (with Isaac Barre) the Pennsylvania city of Wlikes-Barre was named; he was born on this date in 1725.

Wilkes was a democratic reformer who incurred the wrath both of King George and of his more conservative fellow Parliamentarians by advocating, then legislating, for Parliamentary reform.

Wilkes was, at the same time, a bit of a rounder– a member, for example, of the infamous Hellfire Club— well known for his wit. For instance, when told by a constituent that he would rather vote for the devil, Wilkes responded: “Naturally”. He then added: “And if your friend decides against standing, can I count on your vote?”  On another occasion, in an exchange with his long-time rival (and the butt of many of Wilkes’ pranks) John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich, declared “Sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox.” Wilkes replied “That, sir, depends on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.”

Wilkes, as caricatured by William Hogarth (who had himself been a target of Wilkes’)

Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 17, 2008 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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