At home with the Reverend Charles Follen. A Cambridge tale.


by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. For months and months, I had been spending all my waking hours researching the housing market in Cambridge, Massachusetts and elsewhere. It was a long, frustrating, and expensive process involving as it did weekly flights to places I thought I might like to live, New York, Washington D.C., Virginia, North Carolina, and many more.

By the time I got to Follen Street, I was exhausted, irritated, and ready to pack it in for the day. But because I am a punctilious, precise kind of fellow, I insisted on seeing the last property on my list. It was on Follen Street.

A property in this building had just gone on the market, and this, given its proximity to Harvard Square, Harvard Yard, and the Cambridge Common, seized my immediate attention. In fact, it was love at first sight.

My first question was how did this brick building stay out of the hands of the Harvard real estate office. Someone had missed the boat for sure, for an apartment building this close to all things Harvard would have been ideally situated for a new administrative building, or faculty housing.

Instead, what I saw was a spacious unit on the top floor, excellent sun and light, and a size which caused an audible gasp. I didn’t need any sales palaver from a realtor… what I wanted was a purchase document to sign… just like that.

The realtor, however, was slow and lethargic. It was late on Friday. He didn’t want to get any papers out. He didn’t want to do any of the necessary paperwork. He turned to me and said, in response to my brisk approach to the matter, “Come back Monday, and we’ll settle the details.”

As a result, I spent a very uncomfortable weekend afraid that someone else would snap up this property. I have never regretted my decision, and the fact that the value of my unit has gone up as many as 15 times what I paid for it is just so much gravy. My love affair with Follen Street had begun.

Over the course of the years, I have whenever possible gathered information for what became this article. The first item to be considered was how it came to be known as Follen Street, a name which most people render “Fallen”, thinking that there might be a giant sink hole which caused this street to fall. In fact, the street is named after the Reverend Karl Theodor Christian Friedrich Follen.

His story is key in several areas, including the development of a liberal pastorate, such expertise in German and gymnastics that Harvard appointed him to several academic appointments, and most importantly, his controversial work with the Anti-Slavery Society and William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879).

German social activist

Follen is a representative of what every organization needs to take root, grow, and flourish. Follen was born in 1759 into the Grand Dukedom of Hesse-Darmstadt. It was a deceptive place, for it looked calm and conservative, but dark waters surged beneath the surface.

Karl’s father, Christoph Follenius, was a counselor at law and judge in Giessen. The spirit of revolution was in the air, and no matter what your political or legal position, you had to have at least had a nodding familiarity with what was happening in all aspects of life, and how to protect your interests and even advance them.

Follen was a boy of energy, imagination, and vision. It is easy for such boys to find high minded colleagues, and to stay up late over a stein or two of beer solving the problems of the world. This was man’s work, and no one much cared about your age.

This was, however, a time particularly in the German states of acute anxiety. The conservative powers, led by Austria and Prince Klemens von Metternich (1773-1859), Chancellor of the Austrian empire, and a man determined to destroy any liberal idea or notion. Metternich stood squarely on behalf of no change whatsoever. Any advanced political group was to be infiltrated and destroyed.

This was intolerable to Charles Follen. The more he understood about Prince Metternich and his machinations, the more he determined things must become better, and to this end, began connecting with advanced liberals around Europe. His ideas were expressed in political essays, poems, and patriotic songs. He commenced his romance with liberty.

Follen bit by bit came to the notice of the powers that be. Given the fact that he traveled widely and connected with revolutionaries, not just in Germany, but in France, Switzerland, and more. In so doing, he made the mistake so many social activists make… talking too loud, shouting his ideas at the top of his voice, publishing too honestly… a man who thought that the future was liberalism just waiting for him and his colleagues.

Of course, he was arrested, in 1824, as a revolutionary, and this only had the effect of making him more determined to advance the cause of Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite. As part of his maturation, he came in touch with such prominent Americans as Peter Stephen Du Ponceau and George Ticknor, a Harvard professor. They assisted in getting him an unusual post: instructor in the German language. This was the first time the German language had been on Harvard’s curriculum.

Harvard, under the leadership of John Thornton Kirkland, had an acute interest in German education, which was then thought of as being the most useful and advanced in the world. Using this position as an entry way for advancement, Follen in 1828 became an instructor of ethics and Ecclesiastical history at Harvard Divinity School. Simultaneously he was admitted as a candidate for the ministry. In 1830, he became professor of German literature at Harvard, and married Eliza Lee Cabot, the daughter of one of Boston’s most famous families.

Now at this point, Follen already advantageously launched at Harvard, could easily have expanded his Cambridge empire. This would have been a high achievement, to be the advocate and leader of all aspects of the German curriculum at Harvard, already recognized as one of the great universities on Earth. But he wanted more… not just for himself, but for the entire Cambridge and Harvard communities.

This led him into making a review, not just making a list of the advantages of Harvard and Boston, but of what he came to see as their drawbacks and deficits. In short, he intended to use American freedom to advance his numerous causes of interest, particularly the anti-slavery movement.

Anyone who looks at the period from 1820 to 1860 cannot but be drawn into America’s peculiar institution: slavery.

Many in the United States, both North and South, had made fortunes in the slave industry, either directly or indirectly. Many of these people either lived in the Northern United States, or had strong business and personal contacts there.

There was the sound of Yankee dollars being made, and world opinion largely blinked to avoid the moral implications of their dark world. In short, since slavery was legal, though not in several states, experienced businessmen and traders continued their work without moral distress. Charles Follen thought differently.

It is the moment he becomes aware of how deeply slavery was ingrained in a society that he becomes important. He picked up his tattered banner of Liberte, Egalite, and Franternite, determined to do something about it.

The time period is 1835

His lectures more and more found their focus in freeing the unhappy slaves of Africa. No man, it was clear, should ever own another man. He took these increasingly violent sentiments and began recruiting for his increasingly outspoken abolitionist beliefs. President Josiah Quincy of Harvard didn’t like what he heard, and how often he heard it, for Harvard was based to a considerable extent on money from slavery, directly or indirectly.

In 1835, Harvard president Josiah Quincy decided that he had had enough, and that the indefatigable Follen would be removed from his many positions. Of course, Follen made a beeline to William Lloyd Garrison, editor of The Liberator (1831-1865). Garrison was like so many social reformers… he was belligerent, argumentative, and absolutely determined that his efforts would change society and free the slaves. Most of Harvard was appalled, and could hardly wait to trip up Garrison and ultimately Follen, and remove them from doing anything that would adversely impact the business of slavery.

The period between 1835 and 1860 was one where pro and anti-slavery forces were juggling for supremacy, and where the very idea of freeing the slaves had only just been advanced. But conservative Boston could only stand so much. For Bostonians, making money was far more important than freeing the slaves. The issue might need to come to an ultimate resolution, but businessmen in Boston were not willing to throw away a single penny merely because the black races of Africa were being crushed and dispossessed. That was not their problem.

Businessmen of course could see the handwriting on the wall; after all, the British empire, one of the largest customers for slave labor, had abolished slavery in 1833. But there was time left… yes, years of it. Properly handled, the slave traders and their necessary business associates could have 15, 20, maybe 25 good years left. Men like Garrison and Follen were dangerous… and the conservative forces wanted them removed, one way or another.

Such people worked hard to get Follen out of the Boston area. They were assailed on every front for their opinions, for these got in the way of Mammon. In 1838, they somehow managed to find a congregation in New York where Follen could voice his increasingly strident views on slavery.

As he was going to take up his parish, the steamer that was taking him to New York caught fire, and Reverend Karl Follen was burned alive, drowning in a storm in the Long Island Sound.

Tears were shed, though they were crocodile tears for certain, for in fact, Follen’s untimely death lowered the temperature, giving people who had resolutely opposed him the possibility of appearing liberal themselves, when they were anything but.

Sadly, even Follen’s name was toxic. His family and friends, and remember, he was connected to the Cabots who speak only to God, had to work hard to find a church which would hold a memorial service on his behalf. Yes, the good Christian people of Massachusetts chose to wash their hands of this menace, who had the acute misfortune to actually believe in incendiary Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite.

Every monument they put up to honor Follen, and there were several, including the establishment of an octagon shaped church in Lexington, Massachusetts, and my very street in Cambridge, smacks of hypocrisy, for they were nearly all glad to see him go… his charred body bobbing in the choppy seas. The toasts they made to Follen throughout the city all were of the good riddance variety.

The things they are changing however, and if in 1840 Garrison and Follen were out there, they were not alone. Everyday that passed brought Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation to the top of the agenda, validating the reformers. It was slow, painful, aggravating, and often dirty and squalid… but this is how progress is made.

Christmas trees

As all this was going on, Follen’s house on Follen Street hummed with the sounds of a large growing family, where besides anti-slavery objectives, there must have been a goodly measure of the kinds of activities which distinguished family life in the 19th Century.

One of these was the Christmas tree. Follen is credited with introducing to New England the first Christmas trees with miniature ornaments on their fragrant branches. Many people of course are credited with the Christmas tree, including Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort, but Follen’s claim seems secure.

Yes, Follen seems to have been the first to put little dolls, dried fruits, and seasonal ornaments on the green branches in Cambridge. This however almost did not happen, for as international traveler Harriet Martineau reported, who was then visiting in Cambridge as part of her celebrated American tour, real life candles were used on the branches, and one of these set the tree on fire, causing great anxiety at a lively German Christmas party in the drawing room.

It was however, despite this near catastrophe, a charming addition to the Christmas festivities which were in development against advanced Puritans who thought there should be no Christmas at all.

I often think of Reverend Follen. I am, after all, situated just above where his drawing room must have been. If not great, he at least made an impact on his new country, and on the town of Cambridge, which continues to welcome social revolutionaries from the entire Earth.

They are as persistent, demanding, and impossible as ever they have been, but you can rest assured of one thing. It is because of them, no matter how much we dislike them, that new ideas are advanced, vetted, analyzed, and improved or denied. After all, this is the function of a great University. Not orthodoxy, but constant investigation and research; the ability not to cling to outmoded ideas, but to freely acknowledge new ones, and disseminate them, not crush because they are not convenient or easy.

This was the credo of Reverend Charles Follen, and this must always be our credo as well… for the times, they are always a-changin’, and like it or not, we must change with them. My home, suffused with the ghost of Charles Follen, makes it easier to do just that… for even in death, he influenced life, and no social reformer of any kind can ask for more.

Musical note

I’ve selected for musical accompaniment to this chapter John Lennon’s celebrated tune “Imagine” (1971). Lennon was a social revolutionary just like Charles Follen. He found the present and its uses hypocritical and affronting. As a result, he composed this song, “Imagine”, which aggravated, infuriated, and irked people worldwide. Who did Lennon think he was?

We only came to know when a craven assassin pumped four bullets into his frail body, thus confirming his importance, particularly the songs at the end of his short life. Such people are often the target not just of harsh words and bitter accusations, but any number of means to curtail lives, offering much, demanding little, and with the possibility of changing everything.

“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”


Click here to listen to the song.

Howard Martell is the Owner of . Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter.

Update: “I warned you!” Dr. Lant’s dire admonitions on the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate were right on the money.




About six years ago, at the time of the ground breaking, I wrote the article that follows. It presented a number of serious objections to what the trustees were doing to revive the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. It was a bad idea at a bad place and badly conceived, and should never have been started, much less advanced.

But because the late senator Edward Kennedy wanted this institute, the trustees went ahead. Now the chickens are surely coming home to roost.

A report on this matter has just been released by Michael Levenson of The Boston Globe. Its primary finding is that less than 50% of the visitors they expected, and whose revenues they counted on, have visited the institute.

62,000 came, 150,000 were planned on and expected. This is the basis for a mammoth white elephant and continuing shocks about a project which should never have been placed in Massachusetts at all, much less in the backwater of Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Reading Levenson’s article gives one a slightly sick feeling. For example, Jean F. MacCormack, president of the institute, is quoted as saying they are pleased with the number of visitors. How could she possibly be “pleased” when only 50% of the expected visitors have come?

Fatuous sentiments like this dot the report. No one wants to say what they see… a catastrophic volume of visitors, an institution which should never have been contemplated, much less advanced, but for the huge federal donation of $38,000,000. And nothing but platitudes and deceit in its future.

This institute proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Kennedys have sufficient influence to push an institution that is wrong in every particular. They know that it was positioned in the wrong place. They know that it is off the beaten path of other Boston cultural institutions. They know that when the money is gone the federal government, particularly under the Trump administration, will not contribute another cent, and rightly so.

It seems to me that otherwise conscientious rational people dilute their common sense with the so called “magic of Camelot”. But this magic, if it exists at all, will suffer a grave outcome if this project is not dealt with in a sensible way as quickly as possible. Let us extend to the trustees in the administration of the institute this suggestion. Take two years… take three… and do everything within your power to bring attendance to the 150,000 per year you originally projected. If the attendance drops below the current figure of 62,000, it should be construed as sufficient evidence for immediate closure. If however attendance increases in a reasonable and positive fashion, let us see that as an opportunity to grow further.

I do not, however, feel comfortable in the institute’s ability to raise further funds, and a substantially increased number of visitors. And let me say this, and say it so that all may see its clarity: just because the name Kennedy is placed on an institution is no good reason in and of itself for foisting this white elephant or any other Kennedy pachyderms on the public. If we needed a museum at all about the government, it should have focused on the Congress of the United States, House and Senate, and in a way that these institutions were explained, and not simply glorified by the name Kennedy.

I shall follow this matter further, and I shall await constructive debate in the creation of an institution that benefits the nation and the people of the Great Republic.

Now read the article that follows. It is not just prescience, it is common sense. And let us begin to focus on an institution based in Washington D.C. that explains our government by the people, for the people, to the people. That institution is long overdue.


Wrong right from the start. Problems, muddle, confusion, embarrassment at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. You’ve got to wonder whether the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy and his second wife Victoria Reggie ever bothered to read the Constitution of these United States before advancing what the Senator saw as his ‘legacy,” the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

Article 1 Section 1 of the most important and influential document of the Great Republic reads thus:

“All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

In crystal clear language, the Constitution lays out what legislative entities there will be, what powers they shall possess, how many representatives there will be in a state, who is eligible to serve, what officers there will be, how they are chosen, etc.

At no time does the Constitution state or imply that one branch shall be considered superior to the other. Instead, the Constitution lucidly makes the point that the two branches of Congress are equal.

This being the case, any discussion of the Congress, its history, and its place in the Great Republic must perforce focus not on one branch or the other but on the two co-equal branches and how they work together to advance the people’s business, or not.

Why did Senator Kennedy decide to focus his institute on just one branch? First, because he served in the United States Senate for nearly fifty years and was widely regarded as one of its Grand Old Men. Second, because it was the sole branch of government in which all three famous brothers served, John, Robert, and Edward.

Once the decision was made that the Institute should focus solely on the United States Senate, a host of otherwise avoidable problems was planted and began to grow. These problems are now numerous and acute, threatening an already illogical organization that wiser heads than those in charge would have seen as a disaster waiting to happen, taking prompt remedial action accordingly, not least to save the face of this celebrated family.

The project is born (2003).

When you’re a Kennedy of the Camelot Kennedys, it is expected, anticipated that you will have suitable monument, large, grandiose, something that adds to the family’s renowned place in the history of the Great Republic. For after all, to be a Kennedy is to be an historic figure. No one knows this better than the Kennedy in question, the next to be immortalized. Discussions amongst the cognoscenti go something like this: “Should I run for offices for which I am entirely unqualified… or not?” “Should the names of my several spouses and friends with benefits be included in my monument… or not?” “Should this stirring quotation attributed to me but written by my ghost writer be chiselled in my eternal stone… or not?”

Such questions are unending, continual… and treated with the utmost seriousness by those expecting apotheosis, victims all to a collective edifice complex, the latest example being the Kennedy Senate Institute, a whopping 40,000 square feet of hubris. And what is to take place in all that space? Just about everything that has to do with the Senate, including its history, members, operating procedures, educational programs, issues, debates, filibusters, legislative training et al. Only senatorial amours and favorite salad dressings have been left out.

The problem is, the way this institute is organized is egregiously incorrect. Just as love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage, so does the United States Senate go hand-in-hand with the United States House of Representatives. Whilst each has its unique aspects, neither makes complete sense (much less a productive legislative enterprise) without the other. They are two halves of the whole.

Imagine this scenario.

Ms. Martin’s 5th graders are learning about how Congress works, how bills become laws… or not. Emmy Sue asks what happens when a bill passes the Senate. What then? And there’s the rub… the Senate-only institute stops just when it needs to continue, so that people understand the complete Congress, the total legislative process, not merely its seigneurial “upper” branch. Even Emmy Sue, age 10, will know something’s amiss when the guide says, “Er, the Senate bill goes to the House, but this institute only covers the Senate, so I cannot tell you more….” Even ten-year-olds would consider this weird, bogus, dumb. And they’d be right. That’s why there must be a complete halt to the current farce… and a total rethinking of this embarrassing “institute” that has “Keystone cops” written all over it, before there are further cost over runs and another seventy million dollars, more or less, are wasted.

What must be done?

1) The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate as presently configured must be terminated. Its 40,000 square feet should be transferred to the JFK Presidential Library. Suitable spaces within the whole should be carved out for Robert Kennedy, Edward M. Kennedy, their wives and families, personal lives and professional achievements.

2) Focus should shift to a much needed Congress facility where everything about the Congress of the United States, past, present and future, can be showcased and presented to a nation which desperately needs a brilliant state-of-the-art interactive facility, the apogee of American technology, architecture, and historic preservation and presentation.

3) A suitable Washington, D.C. location should be scouted, considered, selected… no other location can or should be reviewed, much less Dorchester, Massachusetts, its current pied-a-terre.

4) ALL current administrators should be graciously, courteously shown the door forthwith.

5) The highest possible blue ribbon advisory board and trustees should be appointed with the sitting president a must as honorary chair. Mrs. Victoria Reggie Kennedy can have an honorable seat amongst them, but no more. An important institution requires important governors, and it is telling that the current institute has none.

6) A complete fund raising plan should be drafted with both private and public funds to be raised.

7) A knowledgeable, hands-on, organizational expert must be appointed, an individual of skills, deep pockets, and determination. My suggestion? Mitt Romney, if the presidency eludes him. After all Romney salvaged the 2002 Olympics. He is even an historic footnote in the story. He ran against Senator Kennedy in 1994, and lost. Mitt would do the project proud. His considerable pride alone would see to that.

Can such a radical shift take place? Of course. IF the principals now bobbling the matter are open to reason and a willingness to put the needs of the Great Republic above their own. Thus we need a “fixer” to arrange matters with grace, kindness, clarity, efficiency and such ruthless and surgical incision as may be called for.

In short, we need Joseph P. Kennedy, Patriarch. He would have seen the point, dragooned the personnel and raised the lavish funds required. Oh, where is Joe Kennedy now, and where shall we find his like — and fast enough to avoid more muddle and abashment? For these, muddle and abashment, have set the two surviving children of Edward Kennedy against the woman he loved and revealed how toxic this situation already is and how much more poisonous it could get. For now, this is the sad legacy of Edward Moore Kennedy, and until it is firmly taken in hand, rethought and redirected it will fester and deteriorate into rancor, bitterness, and enmity.

Musical note.

As the music to accompany this article, I have selected “The Country’s In The Very Best of Hands” (music by Gene De Paul; lyrics by Johnny Mercer) from the 1956 production of “Li’l Abner.” Go now to hear this ironic gem… and let’s hope it motivates the folks so over their heads and misguided at The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, so obviously not in the best of hands, or anywhere thing near.  

Howard Martell is the Owner of . Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter.

The Robert de Balkany london auctions… Christie’s, march, 2017.


By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

It is my privilege to have attended some of the great auctions of my lifetime, including those for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Jacqueline Onassis, the Grand Duke of Baden, and the Paul and Bunny Mellon sale… to name but a few. Each of these caused people worldwide to drop everything, and go through the catalogs with care and precision.

By reading these catalogs, one enters into the very most intimate life of the catalog subject. This is one of the few ways one has to actually learn how the other half lives. Let me be very clear with you: they don’t just live, they flourish.

I first became aware of Robert de Balkany a couple of years ago, when the first of his magnificent collection hit the auction block for sales totaling 21.6 million dollars. Though I was present, and though I bid with more optimism than the situation warranted, I walked away with nothing. Nothing tangible, that is. For just to see the catalog and go through it lot by lot, is like a lesson in fine furniture, accouterments, candelabra, carpets, silver, dishes, decorative stones, extravagant china, goblets made for a king, and so much more.

When you are at the top of the tree, everything must be suitably matched. The more grand and glorious items you possess, the more you will search for more of these grand and glorious items, because anything else would look out of place. Thus just to open up the de Balkany sales catalogs is to gain an aperture to how one of the world’s truly wealthy men, gifted with supreme good taste, actually lived.

Thus even if you buy nothing from this catalog and these sales, you have gained a leg up for the future because the more beauty and ostentation one sees and compares, the more comfortable one becomes in evaluating it, studying it, seeking it, and acquiring it. So I’m going to show it to you… my encounter with Robert de Balkany.

Robert de Balkany (1931-2015) grew up in the constantly changing world of the Balkan states. He was born in Hungary, a nation distinguished by boastful arrogance and constantly missed opportunities that resulted in the nation subjugated and in shambles. He resolved to leave such a place of uncertainty and chaos. He wanted to make money, and he knew that necessitated an environment of security and predictability.

He looked at all those assets, mind, body, and soul, and did what a man coming from nothing if he expects to conquer the market must do. First, he left Hungary, then under Soviet domination. He went to the United States to study architecture, and began his remarkable career of developing residential and commercial properties. He created them with astonishing speed. He chose as his focus the City of Light, Paris, and he became a citizen of France.

In those days, he added more and more projects to his burgeoning agenda. He believed in a thumb in every pie. As his real estate empire grew, he began to be concerned not just with what was outside the buildings, but what was inside. He was a fast study, aided by his two cultivated wives. First, the daughter of Ambassador Andre Francois-Poncet (divorced 1966), and secondly Marie-Gabrielle of Savoy (divorced 1990), daughter of the last King of Italy.

As a result of having the money and the desire for a perfect life, he began haunting the great auction houses of Europe and the United States. Like William Randolph Hearst, the famous American publisher, he bought wildly, extravagantly, teaching himself as he went. Here is where we learn a great deal about the man… how he thought and what he was trying to achieve.


He loved color… the richer and more opulent the better. He recognized, as so many still have not, that our ancient ancestors did not enjoy the blandness of white. They wanted exuberance, vitality, zest, and the elusive “Wow Factor”. He was not interested in the sedate, the calm, nor the placid. Now he became a Hungarian all over again, determined to show the world what a Magyar of vision and bold audacity could do.

Here, however, he had a decision to make. He was impatient to complete his houses and his yacht. He did not want to wait another minute, and so he made a fateful decision to use decorators and decorator copies of many of his items to achieve his goal. He was rich… he didn’t care if that richness was presented in copies; he simply wanted to show it off, and garner the unlimited compliments and envy of anyone privileged to see his expansive empire.

Thus, to go through the de Balkany catalog with a view towards purchase, one must be very careful to make sure the item you are interested in is not a copy, and moreover that all the parts are matched suitably. Again, de Balkany didn’t care. And because the purchase of copies allowed him to acquire quickly and for lower cost, he leaned more and more in that direction to the horror of the purists, who told him how wonderful his interiors were, while inwardly scoffing at the nouveau riche.

In the event, a very sizable percentage of his collection was not composed of original pieces, but rather copies. Again, he didn’t seem to care. After all, he had the effect that he wanted. And frankly, how many people can tell the difference between a First Empire chaise and its Third Empire copy?

The bonanza

The truth is, the hundreds and hundreds of people that attended the de Balkany auctions did not seem to care a wit about whether the piece was original or not, to the delight of his representatives at Christie’s auction house in London. Virtually every item out of the over 700 items in these auctions sold, and sold not merely for the low estimate, but for prices dramatically ahead of Christie’s suggested estimates. The total take for this second pair of auctions was 19.3 million dollars, for a combined total of over 40 million dollars… a record for sales of this kind.

One of my wise advisors years ago counseled me when participating in these celebrity auctions to grasp your hands and keep firm control of your bids. He would say, after a minor object was auctioned at lavish price, “Be happy you did not buy that, because if you had you’d never get your money out.”

Thus the morning after the de Balkany auction, many otherwise intelligent people must have woken up saying “Oh my God I can’t believe I paid that much!”

A Russian silver dressing mirror, St. Petersburg, 1876

Following my learned mentor’s suggestions, I selected the number of items which I would buy only for the low estimate, not more. And so I stuck to my guns over both days of the auction watching people pay small fortunes for items which could be gained at a lesser rate from other auctions. Of course, I was disappointed… but realistic. After all, I still had my money.

At last, as one of the final lots in the second and final day of auctioning, I saw a stunning silver mirror made in 1876 in St. Petersburg. It was oval… the sides had twin beaded borders… surmounted by a double coat of arms… flanked by lions and surmounted by a royal coronet.

To my consternation, by this time in the auction, just minutes before its conclusion, I was chagrined and irked with myself for having wasted two days with zero results. Then the situation changed, as in auctions it so commonly does. In one minute everything was different. As a result, to my complete amazement, I acquired lot 690, this lovely silver mirror… and for below the low estimate. My mood changed instantly.

This proves again what cannot be stated too often. If you are patient and you are clear on what you will do with each lot you wish to acquire, you can acquire the most beautiful of objects, as I did in the Robert de Balkany sale, without breaking the bank or overriding my firm way of doing business, viz. about only bidding the low estimate. Now instead of regret because I acquired nothing, I shall purr with warm satisfaction every time I see this mirror surmounted by a royal crown.

Such an achievement demands champagne, and good cheer, don’t you think?

N.B. I take this opportunity to thank Jill Waddel, head of the silver department for Christie’s New York. She was my representative for two solid days when it looked like I was going to get nothing. Her voice was upbeat, her service concise and efficient, and her response to my purchase of lot 690 was almost as excited as mine was. Thank you.

Musical note

To accompany this article, I have selected Cole Porter’s immortal tune “I Love Paris” (1953). Robert de Balkany surely felt this way too.

“I love Paris every moment
Every moment of the year…”

No wonder.

Click here to hear the song.

Howard Martell is the Owner of . Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter.

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The CB Maximizer was designed to offer you an automated way to sell ClickBank products

What we have done for you is create automated landing pages, here is an example:
This is a lead generating system to capture the contact information of your prospective buyer. A bonus is offered to entice the reader to enter their contact details, and allow them to optin to receive your mailings.   When they optin,  the person then goes on to a special autoresponder list. Every two days your prospective buyer will be sent random products from your Clickbank Promo Kit (more on the CB Promo Kit in another lesson).  They can optout anytime should they choose to do so.   Every 2 days, they will get a CB Product letter with your CLOAKED links. This includes a signature file from our new PROFILE area (right under your name on the top left menu) which includes your promo links. We also include a link for them to get 50,000 free visitors and much much more. That means every 2 days you are marketing EVERYTHING IN YOUR ARSENAL to hundreds of people –> EVERY TWO DAYS!! Think of the potential money stream this can mean for you.

PLUS you can add one of your external autoresponders to our system. When you add it you will then be able to add leads to both your Clickbank Maximizer list AND your Worldprofit Autoresponder (option 5), or most other external Autoreponders.

How do you use the CB Maximizer to earn money?

Easy! You send out the letters to all of your safelists in the SAME way you send out the CB promo kit letters. Every day you market just as you would with the regular promo kit except the results change. How? You get leads on your CB Maximizer Autoresponse System!!! And, you get to see who is on and get a DAILY REPORT sent to your email of what is happening in your business.

Here’s how to access more information on the CB Maximizer:

In your Member area, on left menu, select CLICKBANK STORE, then select CLICKBANK MAXIMIZER


If you are logged in to your member area the following direct link will take you there:

Recap: Worldprofit’s Affiliate Marketing Bootcamp Training with George Kosch presented LIVE Friday Jan 18th, 2019.

George Kosch is  your personal coach, instructor, and the Co-Founder and CEO of Worldprofit.   George is a down-to-earth CEO,  he’s available to help YOU grow YOUR online business providing tools, training, software and resources all in your Membership. George’s LIVE weekly training is interactive and your opportunity to ask questions directly to get instant answers and demonstrations for anything you need help with.  Members can access over 125 lessons in your member area, go at your own pace to learn about affiliate marketing, about promotion, traffic generation and importantly how to use the resources in your membership to grow multiple streams of income as your business grows.

Discussion: Worldprofit’s Home Business and Affiliate Marketing System

Speaking from 25 years of hands-on experience George Kosch outlined out what Worldprofit is, the web-based services provided, and why Worldprofit’s system works and continues to be so popular worldwide.

Worldprofit’s LIVE Business Center and Monitor Team.
What it is and how it works for YOU our Members to help you make sales. It’s unique, universal and ONLY available at Worldprofit.
Think about the power of this incredible system to grow your business –  real, honest, down to earth people greeting and assisting your referrals as they login.
You promote, Worldprofit’s system does the rest. We provide the tools, resources, advertising aids, newsletter and more for your promotion.

Member Spotlights:  In upcoming issues of Worldprofit’s Bootcamp Newsletter we are featuring some of our Members and how they are using Worldprofit’s system to grow their successful online business. These are REAL people from all walks of life, shared to help you  learn from their experiences.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Member Spotlight Questionnaires. If you YOU did not receive a Questionnaire and would like to participate, submit a Support Form and request the “MEMBER SPOTLIGHT QUESTIONAIRE.”

Bootcamp Newsltter

If you aren’t getting the Bootcamp Newsletter check your spam folder and whitelist Worldprofit so you don’t miss emails. Consider creating a filter so all emails from Worldprofit are directed to one folder. Worldprofit’s Bootcamp Newsletter includes updates, and valuable tips and strategies to make the best use of all the tools, services, software and inclusions in your Membership.

Recommended Resources (accessable within your Worldprofit Member area)

-Worldprofit’s Prospect Manager Software – organize and follow up with your leads
-Worldprofit’s Website Hosting and Email services
-Worldprofit’s Email Commander (Certified Email Delivery to get your emails into the INBOX)
-Worldprofit’s Link Manager
-Worldprofit’s  Header and Banner Creator Software (use to create images for ANY affiliate program, Facebook etc)
-Worldprofit’s Reminder Service
-Worldprofit’s Lazy Blogger for instant 1 Click posting to MULTIPLE Blogs and shared to Social Media Platforms
-Worldprofit’s Website Management System
-Worldprofit’s Image and eBook File Hosting
-Worldprofit’s Website Editor for other sites you wish to create beyond the site we include in your Membership.

Bootcamp Training Topics

  • Best promotion tools and resources – how and where to access
  • What to DO if you are a NEW Worldprofit Silver or Platinum VIP Member.
  • The online bootcamp lessons, get started as soon as possible. Go at your own pace. Learn each day.
  • How to activate your Membership BONUSES! 
  • Recommended time savers, business builders, promotion short cuts and more
  • Recommended business email is GMAIL. George explained why.
  • Leads and List Building Essentials are the backbone of all the services, resources and tools in your Member area and is the foundation of your online business. You can’t build a house without a solid foundation and specialized tools, the same is true of your online business. Worldprofit provides the foundation you need to build it right from day one, saving you frustration, less wasted time and money.  Worldprofit’s centralized Member area is your ONE STOP stop source for all the tools, resources you need to grow your own online business now and for YEARS to come.
  • Content Marketing (blogging, reviews, social media, videos, articles, ebooks)
  • Need product to sell? You can promote Worldprofit, Clickbank, or the Money makers products, or set up your included Amazon Store.
  • Worldprofit’s LIVE training sessions are the best way to learn. Questions are encouraged throughout the training.  Get instant answers to save yourself time, money and frustration so you can focus on what will yield the BEST results for growing your online business.


A:  Worldprofit’s Autoreponder
George demonstrated our Unlimited Use Autoresponder built and supported by Worldprofit – INCLUDED for Platinum VIP Members.
Members report it is much easier to use then other software on the market.
We’ve also integrated Worldprofit’s autoresponder into all of our systems saving you time, set up and frustration.

B: NEW! Worldprofit’s Classified Ad System

Members  get both a plugin for your site AND can post UNLIMITED ads.
George Kosch demonstrated what it is and how to use it.
Includes customization Features – change your main page image, the title etc to make your site unique.

  • How you benefit (leads, sign ups, list building, backlinks, ad views, traffic, promotion, sales conversions, SEO, and more)
  • How to get this system activated on your Worldprofit domain hosted Silver/Platinum VIP website
  • How to start posting your own UNLIMITED Classifieds Ads.
  • BACKLINKS! HUGE value for getting backlinks without doing anything, the network of Member sites does the rest for you
  • Each and every Worldprofit Silver and Platinum VIP Member gets this Classified Ad System installed on your site at NO cost – our gift to you for your ongoing support of Worldprofit and the services and training we offer.


A:   NEW Commission payout option!

Worldprofit has now added another payment option for getting your commission.
For our International Members,  you now have the option to be paid commission by direct bank deposit.
Other options include cheque, PayPal, or in the case of Canadian Members –  (EFT) Electronic Funds Transfer
Members also have the option to put your commissions on hold to allow them to grow then use or have them issued at a later day.
100% of Commissions can be applied to purchase of services, or renewal of services including Memberships and advertising.

-> How to access your Commission Reports by month and also update your commission payout preferences.

B. NEW products just added to the Clickbank Promo Kit!

Worldprofit has a lot of Members keen on promoting Clickbank products for yet another source of income.  Worldprofit provides you wth some clever time saving options to help you promote and earn ClickBank products.. Take a look at your included CLICKBANK Promo Kit.
Login to see what new products have been added and how to easily promote them with 1 click, add to your website, blog etc.
REALLY serious about promoting ClickBank?
We suggest you consider our optional Clickbank specific software and autoresponder, it’s called the CLICKBANK Maximizer.

C  UPGRADED Traffic Injections!

As promised, we’ve now INCREASED the inclusions in the MONTHLY TRAFFIC Injection for Platinum VIP Members.
Silver members will continue to get a BASIC Traffic injection of free ad credits, while PLATINUM VIP Members enjoy an even BIGGER MEGABLASTER injection.

Platinum VIP Members get MORE Solo Ads, Text Ads, Banner Ads, and Ad Credits at 18 top traffic sites – this is real value – if you purchased all that we’ve included it would be about $200 in advertising EVERY month.  Use this advertising to promote ANY Affiliate program, it doesn’t have to be Worldprofit.  Use your included Worldprofit REMINDER service to send yourself a reminder of when your next Traffic Injection needs to be activated.

D:   Worldprofit’s Universal Rotator  – making your promotion sooooo much easier 
Use this clever tool to bundle ALL your affiliate links into one URL. Now you can promote all your links with just ONE URL with Worldprofit’s Universal Rotator.  Makes promotion so much easier, allows you to promote YOUR OWN URL (not someone else),  allows you to test your promotion.
Access: Left Menu, select WEBSITE MANAGEMENT then select UNIVERSAL ROTATOR

E:  SEO and Mobile Optimized Website Management System

If you haven’t done so already, you can convert your Worldprofit hosted site to the new updated responsive system.
You can keep using the domain name address you have now, all current links on your site will be preserved, it doesn’t effect your cloaked links.
You can’t “Break” your site, you can change as often as you like even change back to the old version if you prefer.
Remember we built this system so we SUPPORT it.
To get your new system (template 63), submit a support ticket and we will do your update at no cost.
Google will then start indexing your new updated site as being mobile-friendly.
Note: Members in the last 30 days already have the new system automatically, members who have been with us for a while can submit a Support Ticket to request the updated Website Management system with Template 63.

F:  Website Plus = MobiRise – Website Editor – for those Members interested in building another website for other purposes. Easy to use, not technical or design skills required. The Editor is free, your cost is just a one time fee of $27 for Worldprofit to host your site.

G: Want your own hosted Blog. We can help with that.
LEFT MENU click on WORDPRESS BLOGS. Recommended for SEO – it’s like candy for Search engine bots scouring the web to index new content, can help with your SEO, with personal branding, niche marketing and so forth

What’s in Development
Still working away!
We are in the process of redesigning your Worldprofit Member area to modernize and streamline.  This is a process that will take some time, our Member area has a tremendous amount of content and was developed over 20 years ago.    Watch for official announcement in coming months,

Suggested Actions:

1. Join our Worldprofit Social Community. Share your Affiliate links, post videos, blog, network. Enjoy free promotion

2. Join Worldprofit’s Facebook Group

3. Bootcamp Training. If you haven’t started the bootcamp training, what are you waiting for?!
Advance to Lesson 3 to learn how to get your traffic BONUSES!

Thank you to everyone who attended Worldprofit’s LIVE home business and affiliate marketing training presented by Worldprofit Inc, with  instructor George Kosch.

Here’s the link to watch the Jan 18, 2019  RECORDING

The next LIVE interactive training bootcamp with George Kosch is  Friday Jan 25,  2019.

How to get help!

Need help? Worldprofit’s Support Team is here to help you 7 days a week.
Submit a Support Ticket, link is on the TOP MENU click on SUPPORT.

A few comments / questions from bootcamp training participants

Bobbi Jo: I think it’s wonderful?
moulaye: if want to just focus on fb promotion, which is on advance area, should I promote Clickbank product or myself, because I’m sport performance trainer? I also do motivational speech
Bobbi Jo: Excellent Monitor Training and Trainers and I LOVE TO MONITOR
Garfield: Good morning. My question is since I am new to this make money from home business , I would like to know is it passible to get 100,000 visitors to my affiliate offer
Bobbi Jo: Anything George builds us is AWESOME!  Love you GEORGE
Garfield: Is there a step by step plan
Roger: Do Silver member websites come with any email for example
Bobbi Jo: They are really great with Support also
Carol: So glad I found Worldprofit, I’ve had a tough time, this system has merit and a proven track record.

‘I’ve been workin’ on my rewrite, that’s right.’ An open letter to a young friend who wants to be a scribbler.


#writer #aspiringwriter #artofwriting

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. I saw the way you looked at that photo of me on the back of my first book. I looked so young, well-scrubbed, brushed and combed, so smart with a dollop of profound sensitivity about the mouth, supposing I was ready for anything, not even knowing the questions needing to be answered, much less the answers themselves. ‘While your father, who is the best friend you’ll ever have in this world (just help him show you) uttered the expected pleasantries to ascertain how I was faring on Spaceship Earth and what mischief I was bringing to the world these days,

I really looked at you in that disconcerting way I have.Your eyes, that fleeting look offered nothing less than the first real confession of your young life. And it was nothing less than a revelation and best kept under cerebral lock and key for infrequent reminding.

You saw that picture of me and understood, if only for a minute, that I had once been as young as you are today, as young and determined, fortified by ardor and bold audacity. You saw me… and thought about yourself, as one does. It was no longer my photo on that cover… it was yours and the magic of the photographer’s craft mixed with the total fire power you packed into that glance made for an image to make the indolent world sit up and take notice. You had arrived… you were ready to astonish and awe… you had something to say and the words to say it… and were determined the world should hear it.

And then you heard your so decent, ever practical father say, “Look at the electrical outlets, son. Dr. Lant was just telling me they’re solid gold.”, and he gave one of them a good smart tap reiterating the words to ensure you understood what he’d said. Words per se might mean nothing to your dad, but words that produced the dazzling ostentation of gold electrical outlets were well worth the understanding. The man who could throw away good money on self-indulgent lavishness was a man worth knowing, and that’s a fact. And so I was…

…and so I did what folks blessed with the riches of knowledge must do to justify their existence… they must share, and not just insipid platitudes either, but as much naked, undeniable truth as their youthful auditor can stand, and even more.

For in such a conversation we elders transfer our civilization and learned achievements to the only people who matter at such a time, our successors; the people we must instruct or lose the best of who we are. And so I, notoriously brusque and impatient. resolve to speak to you slowly, with care and thoughtful consideration, but mostly and above all else with the unvarnished truth, so help me, God.

A curriculum for young scribblers, things no one but a successful writer can tell you. Every word in this intimate and necessary epistle between the present and the future which will, and all too soon, be the present some day, is vital. Every word is honest and such may disconcert and even affront you and your painfully young and ill-informed ideas. We must both understand that I know far more than you do; a thought you might not like or even acknowledge…

… this could be construed as arrogance and crippling conceit… on your part. It is certainly insensitive. Still we must both recognize that there is an urgency about our need to understand each other and a deep fear almost palpable, that I (or any writer of my generation) shall forget to tell you something of significance or, worse, that having told you something of such significance, you will not heed it, to the detriment of each generation’s master plan for keeping the whole thing rolling along and of constantly increasing utility and knowledge.

I now take this opportunity to introduce you to another writer, brilliant lyricist, heart touching songster, a master poet, hence meticulous word handler. His name is Paul Simon (born 1947), and if you are round about my age (70 this year) you would have grown up with his shibboleths, whimsies, condescensions, cleverness, never convenient truths, admonitions, larks and bombastic, hummable moralistic rages all just a radio dial away, always master of the searing truth so difficult for so many to see and acknowledge, but critical if we are ever to inhabit the Promised Land, or even find the direction to it, staying thereafter on the adamant and always challenging path.

Simon’s song “Rewrite” (from the 2011 album “So Beautiful Or So What”) should be required reading (and immediately accessible posting) by every writer, aspiring or otherwise. It is about a young writer who confides in the auditor just what his version of the writer’s craft is all about. “Every minute after midnight, all the time I’m spending/ Is just for workin’ on my rewrite, that’s right/ I’m gonna turn it into cash.”

But Simon knows, and we elder statespeople of the writer’s craft know, that Simon’s writer is delusional. He’s not a writer, he is a seeker after big bucks. If he can’t conjure what he needs from “where the father has a breakdown”, he’ll do it by substituting “a car chase and a race across the rooftops/ Where the father saves the children and he holds them in his arms. “This isn’t writing.” master stylist and writing pioneer Truman Capote once sniffed. “It’s typewriting,” that is to say bogus, facile, insincere and superficial.

If you’re destined to be a writer, you must do better, lots better, and I am doing you the favor to tell you what that is.

Memorize the dictionary.

Your writing is laboriously assembled and crafted from the words you know. The more words you know and use, the better and more completely you can render human reality… and, make no mistake about it, that is what all writers do, good, bad, or indifferent. We tell what happens to humans… everything that happens; their struggles, their dreams, their aspirations, their love affairs that end in misery, the ones that end in tears and tribulation, the ones that start in love and end in sublimity and awe.

Every word we master and use enables us to tell the more complete and accurate truth about the reality we know and can, in nuanced measure, describe more accurately once we have the words at our command, when we finally understand what love really is and can do.

We can, we must work to do this because it is only when we have the words that we can even attempt to write the whole truth and nothing but the truth…and, it is only when we have truth that writing transcends the mundane and allows us to approach God who is the embodiment of truth and the ultimate destination of every writer whatever story he tells.

On your dawning love affair with words… and the truth they reveal and convey.

How many words do you know today? To the extent to which you mean to write, the correct answer is “too few, far too few.” This is not merely a fact; it is a declaration of immediate commitment and lifelong purpose. If you mean to write, you must here and now pledge yourself to words, for only then can you succeed in achieving your objective.

Thus, pledge yourself to learning just three new words every day. “Just that?”, you say Yes, just that, which means just this.

Open the dictionary (whether online or off; I use both).

Take a 3″x5″ card and write the word you have decided to embrace.

Put it on your tongue, taste it, savor it with the understanding that if you can incorporate it into your very essence you will be a better person, a smarter person, a person with yet another puissant tool, the better to achieve your objective, and ultimately your grand goal. This is how you craft yourself. This is what you must do to be the world-changing eminence you can become… leaving the rest behind, those who might have been but without such effort they will never be.

Now use the word in a sentence or two. Do not just have the word, employ the word. The actual word and its part of speech should go on one side of the card; its definition on the reverse. These are now your flash cards. Treat them with the importance they deserve.

You have now taken the first step. You have told yourself what you mean to do… and you have begun to do it. Now continue. If this is your avocation, your mission, then do it, and it must become your destiny.


Too often #PaulSimon has come across as sanctimonious, condescending, hectoring, superior, aloof and dismissive, but not in this song or this album, to which I listened with the felicity of an open mind and ear. Now in his late sixties, he sounds like an engaging and completely charming adolescent, and for that I say, ” ‘Thank you/ I’d no idea that you were there’ pleased to meet you’ “. Go to any search engine and listen to him all over again.

Musical Note: I have selected as the music for this piece, Paul Simon’s song “Rewrite (So beautiful or so what).” Click on the link below to listen and if you are a new or aspiring writer, listen carefully and never-ever include a car chase in what you write. It’s the certain sign that you have a long-long way to go before you are entitled to the honorable name of “Writer”.

Howard Martell is the Owner of . Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter.
About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is well known internationally as the author of over 1000 articles and over 60 books. He is arguably the most well-known author of his generation. He has touched the lives of millions of people worldwide with his inimitable prose style.

The red, red robin came bob bob bobbin’ along, March 1.




by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

 Author’s note. To get the most from this article, add the right music. Of course, it must be “When the red, red robin comes bob bob bobbin’ along.” Written by Harry Woods, it was sung in his inimitable way by Al Jolson in the 1926 musical “Don’t forget the doughnuts.” Here is the link to the Jolson version. There are many other renditions… all peppy, upbeat, quintessentially American, but none like the Jolson one.

This morning… just moments ago… the world smiled and became a better place….

All of a sudden, I heard my name being called and an excited little fella, full of his news and lookin’ good, flew onto a branch right in front of me. He said, and he jumped up and down as he said it, “I’m back! I’m back! And I know you’re glad to see me!”

I know that’s what he was saying, and he was so energetic, so happy, so ecstatic that I couldn’t help reciprocating. I smiled. I grinned. I laughed aloud.

This was the sure-fire harbinger of spring, and he was letting me know, personally and in no uncertain terms. that he had returned from his winter sojourn… and wasn’t I glad?

Then he sang me just a bit of his trilling tune, just to let me know he hadn’t forgotten how much I like it… and then, with a bow and native civility, suitably spruce for his high business, he flew on, knowing I would understand that he had many more stops to make; where so many people would, in their turn, look up, smile, and be cheered, to go inside and spread the joy. The red, red robin was home, and not a minute too soon.

The world’s most popular bird? A distinct possibility.

The American Robin also called the North American Robin (turdus migratorius) is a migratory songbird of the thrush family. It is named after the European Robin because of its reddish-orange breast, though the two species are not closely related, with the European robin belonging to the
flycatcher family.

The American Robin is widely distributed throughout North America, wintering south of Canada from Florida to central Mexico and along the Pacific Coast. Three states think so well of this bird and its cheering song — Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin — that they have made it their official bird. It has seven subspecies, but only T.m. confinis, in the southwest, is distinctive, with pale gray-brown underparts.

Some habits

What child, or adult, too, in the robin’s territory has not seen this completely characteristic sight: our tenacious friend, legs firmly planted, tugging, lugging, pulling worms from the ground? Humans like this purposeful sight; it reminds us robins are just like us: industrious, focused, glad to be up and at their work. Yes, we like that.

The American Robin is active mostly during the day and assembles in large flocks at night. Its diet consists of invertebrates (such as beetle grubs and caterpillars), fruits and berries.

It is one of the earliest bird species to lay eggs, beginning to breed shortly after returning to its summer range from its winter range. Its nest is so well constructed that with necessary refurbishing it lasts for years. Robins know just so how to use long coarse grass, twigs, paper and feathers, all smeared with mud, to give them the look and feel they desire. It is a seasonal delight for us, and perhaps for the robins too, to see them at this work. It gives both satisfaction.


Sadly, robins are not immune from troublesome predators, who see in the well-fed and always well groomed robin, a movable feast, tasty for hawks, squirrels, cats, and larger snakes. When feeding in flocks, robins have developed vigilance and a team approach to danger, which stands them in good stead. The benefits of community work for them… as for us.

A word on robin vocalization

It is the male robins who grab the spot light with their complex and almost continuous sound. This song is called cheerily carol, made up of discrete units, often repeated, and spliced together into a string with brief pauses in between. Robins in different areas have developed regional variations and different delivery times. Artists, they do not like to copy, but enjoy their unique approach to the serious business of song. They sing what they like and render it with style.

Robins in human songs and poems

It seems we humans early became infatuated with robins, who delight in cocking their heads at us, bold, curious, sympathetic to our plight, though we did, for a time, eat them. But they have forgiven us for that lapse in judgement.

Robins feature in literature since at least the 15th century and have attracted notable singers and poets to expound upon their virtues and take off on extended flights of fancy.

The best known of the several songs featuring robins is “When the red, red robin comes bob bob bobbin’ along.” It was the perfect vehicle for the not-quite-yet famous Al Jolson, and he belted it out of the theatre into musical history. Bobby Day in 1958 gave us an entirely different sound in “Rockin’ Robin”; the robins were pleased. They delight in their diverse approaches and are sorry Day is hardly remembered today, though his lively tune is.

Poets, too, write frequently about robins, but not always so upbeat as in song.

William Allingham (1824-1889) is maudlin.

“”Robin, Robin Redbreast,
O Robin dear!
And a crumb of bread for Robin,
His little heart to cheer.”

Robins tell me the pathetic imagery is not to their liking.

They are baffled by Emily Dickinson’s poem “I dreaded that first Robin, so.” (Her dates 1830-1886).

“I dreaded that first Robin so,
But He is mastered now,
I’m accustomed to Him grown,
He hurts a little, though —”

However, they have accepted the human explanation that no one really understands her poetry. And so the matter rests.

One poet, however, and one poem every robin knows, and wishes you to know. It is this resounding truth from William Blake’s (1757-1827) “Auguries of Innocence.”

“A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.”

However, let’s end as we began, with Jolson. He matches the soaring optimism of the robins themselves, all great American voices:

“They’ll be no more sobbin’ when
He starts throbbin’ his old, sweet song.”

And I believe that’s true.

Howard Martell is the Owner of . Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter.

About the author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is well known internationally as the author of over 1000 articles and over 60 books. He is arguably the most well-known author of his generation. He has touched the lives of millions of people worldwide with his inimitable prose style. To see all of his works go to

Of Adam B. Wheeler and how this youthful con man extraordinaire made the world’s greatest university — and others — see red.


by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

This is the story of the world’s greatest university, rich, secure, inviolate, invulnerable… arrogant… ripe for the taking.

This is the story of a talented young man, not merely good at lying, deception, prevarication and hoodwinkery… but (though connoisseurs of such matters may cavil) great.

This is the story of a young man so keen to have the good things in life that he was willing to sell his soul to get them… and of parents who so loved their son that they were willing to put him in prison to redeem him.

This is the story of the highest university officials who thought this unthinkable thing could never happen… and who drank deep from the chalice of chagrin and public humiliation when it did.

This is the story of peers who, when forced to confront this tale found that the perpetrator was cute and desirable… and therefore deserving of understanding, absolution, and a date.

This is the tale of Adam B. Wheeler. And I suspect you will find it as riveting as I did for, verily, it is a true tale of our times and, therefore, irresistible and completely appalling. Ole!

Adam B. Wheeler, a boy in a hurry

Adam B. Wheeler, by all accounts, was an average student, neither good nor bad, outstanding in no way, prosaic in all. However, such a boy could dream… and Adam B. Wheeler did so dream… of a place called Cambridge and a college called Harvard, where sport the irresistible jeunesse doree.
Adam dreamt… then despaired… for Harvard looked for the exceptional and Adam was merely average and hence beneath Harvard’s notice.

So this average boy took the first extraordinary decision of his life: he decided to risk all to escape from the usual, the hackneyed, the average, the dull, the prosaic. He decided, in short, to invent the vehicle that would give him escape; he decided to craft himself.

Years later, at Adam’s fraud trial, his lawyer Steven Sussman, Esq. said “There is no answer to why Adam did this. ” But Mr. Sussman, like so many adults involved in this case, was wrong. Sussman has forgotten what it is like to walk high school corridors and be nothing more than one of a mass, faceless, dull, average, forgettable. Adam knew that feeling… and, with growing insistence, was ready to do everything, anything to rise and get out of this situation… to take his place, however wrongly, amongst the best and brightest of his generation. The quickest way to do that, he concluded, was by mastering the potent and practical arts of the fraudulent presentation, prevarication, deception.

And so, Adam B. Wheeler commenced, by diligent study, an ascension of trickery where each step successfully encountered fueled the next. He submitted a plagiarized school essay and winning the prize discovered the ease of deceit, thereby engendering more and greater boldness.

Audacity, he discovered, could be created by successful deceptions, which also delivered a plethora of benefits — money, social recognition, the compliments of teachers and peers, the thrilling feeling that he was “somebody”… and, all important, further insights into how to rise higher still on his new skills and expanding confidence. Adam B. Wheeler was moving… so fast that goals once unimaginable were now within his grasp.

And so he grabbed.

Proud Bowdoin College with its picture-perfect campus gave Adam a place by deceit. But Adam wanted, had always wanted more. For such damnation as he was willing to risk, he demanded the very best.

So, then, fair Harvard’s turn. Adam, now almost through his apprenticeship of deft manipulation, doctored his College Board scores and forged letters of recommendation. These were panegyrics of such transcendence that in a more perfect world they would have moved Harvard to contact him rather than he condescending to contact them.

And so Harvard, confident its summit could not be so breached, became Adam’s trophy, too… and, with its welcome acceptance, gave him, he well knew, life’s ticket to privilege, deference, and open doors everywhere. It was thrilling, heady… dangerous because the very ease and extent of success caused hubris, the most dangerous thing of all.

Adam B. Wheeler became an Icarus with no Daedalus to counsel and advise. But even Icarus, with such a wise and seasoned advisor at hand, was so fueled by arrogance and the certainty that only the young possess, even well-advised Icarus flew too high, too soon, too close to the sun… and so, his wings melting, plunged into death.

What chance, then, had still-learning Adam B. Wheeler to know, so soon in life, the virtue of restraint? Icarus-like, he chose to fly too fast, too high, eschewing restraint because constant victories were so exciting and gratifying…and, he had proved, so easy.

However his fall, inevitable though he never knew it, was, in the classical tradition, sharp, painful, ironic. Continuing to want the best, he fabricated a fake straight A Harvard transcript and aimed to grab a Fulbright or even a Rhodes scholarship, much desired, achieved by only the elite, amongst whom he insisted to be.

However, grinning fate was at hand with Adam’s nemesis.

It was his parents, the good, decent, profoundly appalled creators of Adam B. Wheeler, his mom and dad. To save him, they laid him low, beginning his unravelling with a call to the chagrined Harvard officials whose certainty and carelessness had moved Adam so appreciably forward. They, powered by revenge and sanctimonious moralizing, happily pounced, determined to end his career and make sure This Could Never Happen Again. His Harvard status was rescinded… his trial ensued. His conviction inevitable, he plea-bargained, admitting culpability and accepting restitution for all funds and prizes falsely won. Prison was avoided but shame was not. It was the end of Adam B. Wheeler.

Or was it?

In the blog of the Crimson, Harvard’s student newspaper, another stream was unexpectedly running. Here the story took another turn, for many bloggers (not just women either) saw what “Daniel” saw: “He really is totally adorable. He probably gets away with half of his shenanigans because people look into those big blue eyes and see the floppy hair and think he’s adorable”. Ah, too fetching to be guilty, much less locked away.

It was, under these circumstances, no doubt wise of the judge in his sentencing order of December 16, 2010 to prevent Adam from enjoying any financial gains from his story from books, stage, and screen. It’s sad, though, for local boy-made-good Matt Damon, who would have done full justice to this tale of Cambridge, a place he knows so well. However, no doubt in due time, Adam B. Wheeler will find a way around this (temporary) obstacle. I hope so, for I long to see this film.

Musical note

I have selected for the music to this chapter, Scott Joplin’s pep machine, “Maple Leaf Rag” (1899). Pull your hat over your head, go get your best gal, come on down to the court house, where they’re playing the “Maple Leaf Rag” and waiting for Adam B. Wheeler to come in from the hoosegow, and flash them baby blues at you. Oh lordy!

Howard Martell is the Owner of . Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter.

There Are Reasons why you’re not making any money with your info products…Here are 6 of them…

1. not knowing the market. Too many info-products are egotistical productions. If you want to make money from such a product, you must direct it squarely at a large and growing market that has a pain you can take away … or an aspiration you can help them achieve.

2. not delivering useful information. Most how-to books and products are useless .. . they don’t provide the exact details people need to achieve the promise of the product’s title. But why should anyone pay good money for a product that doesn’t deliver what they want?

3. not producing client-centered marketing materials. If you want to motivate an individual to buy a product, you’ve got to tell him just what he’s getting, all the advantages, benefits you have for him. But most info-producers talk about their products… not about client advantages. As a result, most of the marketing communications produced by info-entrepreneurs end up where they belong … in the trash.

4. not hammering home these benefits in an organized, efficient, relentless way. If you want to make money in the information business, you cannot be vague or obscure about the advantages you’ve got for your targeted market . . . you must be direct, pointed, persistent.

5. not updating products, selling them for years. Most information publishers take a product out of circulation after a year, two at the most. Smart ones pinpoint a market in need, produce a valuable problem-solving product, and resolve to sell their product so long as this market has this problem. Updating is therefore inevitable.

6. not creating a line of problem-solving information products. Information entrepreneurs who become rich do so because they don’t put all their eggs in one basket … or one product. They diversify, not only updating all products but regularly adding new products . . . both those they create themselves and those they get others to create.
To solve these, and a host of related problems, pick up your copy of:

Howard Martell is the Owner of . Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter.

“How To Make A Whole Lot More Than $1,000,000 Writing, Commissioning, Publishing and Selling “How To” Information”

Launch yourself on the way to becoming America’s next millionaire information producer.

Revisiting “I Have A Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr. What He May Say To The People Today…

Revisiting what has been deemed one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century, the historic speech “I Have a Dream” by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tune in and read along as Dr. Jeffrey Lant revisits that speech with words of what might have been Martin Luther King’s if he had been alive to speak to the people today.
Excerpts from Dr. Lant’s book “We Are Not Afraid”  Revisiting the Life and Work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Author’s Program Note
Good day, my fellow Americans and my fellow citizens of
Planet Earth. We have gathered today to hear one of the
greatest orators in the history of our species. He has let it
be known that he has something of epochal importance
to impart…. and we have gathered in our billions to hear it.
I do not overstate the case when I say “billions”, for Dr. King’s
audience today is composed of more people than any other
event in human history. Why so many? They know this man…
They respect his vision… He has helped them before, and they
feel certain he will help them again, touching their hearts, changing
their lives, soothing their troubled spirits.
“I Have A Dream”
The last time he called us together was August 28th, 1963, for what
came to be known as the “I Have A Dream” Speech. He reminded us
that without dreams there can be no progress and without progress the
people suffer and die, tragic evidence of our undeniable culpability.
That was a great day for dreamers and visionaries across the globe;
a day when light replaced darkness for so many and millions felt
hope for the first time in their challenged and overburdened lives;
blessed at last by “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”; mere
words no longer but active possibilities to be used and enjoyed.
“Sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation.”
Consider the man and his titanic mission. An entire race danced noxious
attendance upon an anxious majority of the population; the one determined
to preserve its superior position; the other oppressed and fearful they would
make even some trivial error against the baleful Jim Crow system of profound
segregation, thereby calling upon them their “betters” certain and severest
Trust between the races was non-existent; cooperation unknown; amity
as fleeting as a frosty smile that didn’t last. The richest soil of the nation
produced only a bumper crop of fear, hatred, and the “strange fruit” of
premature death and hideous disfiguration, no one safe, black or white,
north or south, day or night, no matter how acquiescent or careful.
Let us now consider this man and the responsibility he shouldered, always
at terrible risk. He was in the prime of his productive life when he heard and
took to heart the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
He has come here today to bring freedom to us all, freedom and joy.
Part 1 Dr. Lant introduces the program and comments on the action.
Good-Day, World. Welcome to the WritersSecrets Sky Box high above the
stern, majestic Lincoln Memorial, scene of so many historic moments in the
life of our Great Republic, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s iconic
1963 “I Have A Dream” speech.
We have gathered here and around our tumultuous globe to hear a revered
and venerable man of God help us at a time of earthly crisis and unparalleled
challenge. The program begins with the greatest of Martin Luther’s hymns, “A Mighty
Fortress Is Our God”, written in 1529 by a man so honored by Reverend Michael
King, Sr. that following a 1936 trip to Germany he renamed himself the Reverend
Martin Luther King, Sr. and his seven year old son Martin Luther King, Jr. Access
any search engine and feel the power of the church militant tapped by the Reverends
King for their great endeavors; available, too, for yours.
“With our powers we will fail/ We would soon be defeated/
But for us fights the chosen man/Whom God Himself elected.”
And so the adamant, soaring words are lifted higher today on the largest video
screens available. Now the colors… the music… the lyrics punch the sky as we
move gently in Washington, D.C. from radiant afternoon to expectant evening.
One senses destiny here today. It is the kind of day you will relate to your
grandchildren with pride. “I was there!”, and those who had neither time nor vision
will rue this day of loss for a lifetime, bowing their heads in shame…
“There you catch a glimpse of Dr. King being helped out of his car, to be greeted
by the Mayor of Washington, DC at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. His son Michael
King, Jr. helps him out and hands him his cane. This cane was given to him by a
former member of the Georgia Ku Klux Klan who participated in lynching a young
black man. A silver plaque was engraved, “Father forgive me.” When questioned as
to why he used this cane, his invariable response was, “There but for the grace of
“Mine eyes have seen the glory of  the coming of the Lord.”
On the night of November 18,1861 Julia Ward Howe went to bed as usual and
slept quite soundly, waking up to await the cool gray of dawn. Then, all of a sudden,
she experienced the thrill that is creation, long lines of a desired poem clear in
her mind.
“I must get up,” she said, “So, with a sudden effort, I sprang out of bed and found
in the dimness an old stump of a pen which I remembered to have used the day
before. I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper.” As so was
born “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, with its perpetual call to action and robust
certainty indicating purity of heart and God’s will and glory.
Now these irrefutable words are playing above me for the world to know, along with
the inspired music. For this night at least, God’s in his Heaven, all’s right with the
world. Find it in any search engine for here is happiness, too long deferred, too little
known, our right, pilgrim that you are.
“Glory, glory Hallelujah/ His truth is marching on, and you are called to join “while
God is marching on
Part 2  “Here in my heart I do believe.”
The most mild of twilights is now the most perfect of nights, the huge crowd
disciplined and respectful, intent alone upon listening to the final notes of Julia
Ward Howe’s magnificent poem on freedom’s cost.
Then her notes of adamant purpose are superseded by the anthem of the
Civil Rights Movement, the cause that changed America and brought
international leadership and renown to Martin Luther King, Jr.
The man, his moment, his anthem, his message all come together here,
now. If there is kismet, it is here.
The crowd leaps to its feet as if by a single movement. There are cheers,
shouts, whistles, and most of all a million clenched fists, the symbol of
revolution and what its supporters can and will give towards its success,
not just now… but every day in its ineluctable purpose. This is why Dr.
King has come again to the Capital of the Great Republic. And so this 87
year old leader is wheeled to a shared destiny, for we have all travelled with
him and shared in the important results we have achieved together.
Thus the men’s chorus of Morehouse College serenades with the greatest
tune in their repertory, sung to the most famous of its alumni (class of 1944,
aged 15). “You can do anything” they have been told since birth… and today they
believe it and know they have never walked alone.
“We’ll walk hand in hand”… “We shall live in peace”
and then alternating on the vast screens;
“We are not afraid…” and “We shall overcome.” Like so many worldwide I
brushed away a tear, then another, and said a private prayer, for I knew, we
all knew, we could do this thing and be the better for it, or we could die by certain
inches, excuses, denials, expert only in looking the other way.
When I looked up, this man of men was at the platform, frail, held so he would
not fall; the prophet who had come so far over so long a distance. He knew what he
must do to ensure we would do what we must do. If this could be done, then anything
could be done, and we must work hard to ensure it would be, for our chances were
dwindling, the planet, our single home, at greater risk every single minute; our end
if not yet predictable, at least imaginable.
After wave after wave of cheers, the acclaim began to subside. A professional
to his fingertips, he knew just when to step in and take command. After several
raucous minutes, he grasped the podium. We knew he would give his last drop
of blood, willingly, joyfully, with gratitude, glad to have what he needed, the
support of generations, including even the love of those who had once upon a time
hated and despised him, anguish and murder their ready tools.. These, too,
against all predictions had learned from him. “Father forgive me…” The power of
redemption was always near at hand when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was nigh.
As he took his place at the podium, each and every one of the giant screens
burst forth with the most famous of his many famous quotations, “I Have A Dream”
and as these words took flight to the very gates of Heaven, the crowd was on its
feet again, with their thousands of approbations, approvals, enthusiasms, and
motivations. The crucial connection between Prophet and people took place
making this a thrilling experience for all.
Just then a gust of wind blew through the assembled masses, his striking
doctoral gown from Boston University billowed, reminding us that here was a
scholar, a theologian, a pastor, an historian, a writer, an orator,  a visionary,
a thinker and most of all a seeker after Truth. He had done his work, and it was
well and truly done. Hallelujah!
The Speech
“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest
demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”
This is how I began my remarks to you in 1963 and this is how I begin them to you
today. My words were candid and urgent then. My words are candid and urgent
to you today. Let me begin with gratitude.
So many  of you here today, so many of you around the globe have worked
together that I can report with pride this day dawns better than yesterday, and we
stand together to ensure tomorrow will be better yet. This is good news
indeed, and we can feel proud of what we have done and what I know we will do
together. Hallelujah!
There are many reasons why we are better off today than then, and I place them
before you now. We achieved them together. Let us then celebrate them together
too, always remembering that further progress is dependent upon maximum unity.
I call upon you now for that essential unity. I have a dream… and that dream is
your complete and utter commitment to freedom here! Freedom now! Freedom
forever and ever. Amen!
Will you, dear friends and colleagues, join me in making that commitment,
for the good of all is dependent on the work of each?
I have a dream that all are equal before the law, no one above the other, fairness
and equality our constant and never-ending goal.
I have a dream that the benefits of education be available, and joyfully too, to every
child, and that this education include art, music, and all the liberal arts, for these
contain the essential wisdom of our species.
I have a dream that no one should want for health care. No people, no nation
can be great when so many lack the basics of sustained health and necessary
nutrition. Now is the time to achieve this goal.
I have a dream where women who want to work do so with equal pay for equal
work. A great nation must be a fair nation and that fairness, long overdue, must
come now.
I have a dream that air be clean…. that water be pure… that animals be
protected and plants as well.
And most of all, I have a dream that there be peace on Earth, good will towards men.
This is the most important dream of all, and the most pressing.
Whether these dreams stay dreams or whether they become hard-won reality and not
just philosophical possibility depends on each of us. If a single person hearing this
message declines to help implement it, the dream must wither and die. You see, we
either ascend together or we decline together to that extent.
That is why, as I conclude my visit with you, I remind you all not just that we shall
overcome but that we are not afraid. We know the work is long and arduous. We
know many will obstruct and deride. We know this is not the goal of days, weeks,
or even decades.
However, we must take up the burden for it is not just my dream that is at stake.
It is the dream of every one of us, all children of God wherever we are, however we
pray. Be not afraid we shall fail, rather be afraid we must fail if we do not walk
together hand in hand. If we do this, failure is unthinkable, our victory sure and
certain; once blind, now found, each and every one of us by amazing grace
that saved a wretch like me.
Having finished his historic remarks, he slumped in the arms of his first
son. But he wanted just a minute more, to look at the site of his great triumphs.
He was tired now and it showed. But what also showed was his confidence
that his message was even now growing, his life’s work secure.
All over the great mall people were singing “Amazing Grace”, the well-known
lyrics on every screen. and holding hands, each link a bridge to tomorrow..
One giant screen showed Dr. King shaking hands with the people great and
small who came to touch him and see him off. In a moment, he was in
his car, now speeding into the dark night of eternity, his home for the ages.
This e-book is dedicated to Patrice Porter who urged me to write it and watched
it grow until her tears showed me I had written it just as she had wished it to be…
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Lant is known worldwide. He started in the media business
when he was 5 years old, a Kindergartener in Downers Grove, Illinois,
publishing his first newspaper article. Since then Dr. Lant has earned
four college degrees, including the Ph.D. from Harvard.
He has taught at over 40 colleges and universities, quite possibly the
first to offer satellite courses. He has written over 50 books, thousands
of articles and been a welcome guest on hundreds of radio and television
He has founded several successful corporations and businesses
including his latest at … www.drjeffreylant.comHis memoirs “A Connoisseur’s Journey” have garnered nine prizes
that ensure its classic status. Its subtitle is “Being the artful memoirs
of a man of wit, discernment, pluck, and joy.” You’ll enjoy the read by
this man of so many letters.