VOTING… THE GREAT REPUBLIC, ITS ELECTORAL CIRCUSES, AND ME.

THERE IS NO JOY IN MUDVILLE… THOUGHTS ON HILLARY CLINTON AND HER SUPPORTERS.

“TO BE NORFOLK IS TO BE SUFFICIENT.”

SHAME AT MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE… THE PROVOCATEURS SAY “CA IRA”.

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By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

When you look at pictures of Middlebury College in Vermont (founded in 1800), you look at a perfect campus, the kind that makes you wistful with the hope that you could go back in time, sit under a tree with brilliant fall foliage, your best pal and best gal next to you. The Green Mountains are glorious… so glorious that every time you look outside your dormitory window, you cannot believe just how privileged you are. This is what we see, this is what we want to see.

And then, there is the incident of Thursday, March 2nd, 2017, where that picture perfect postcard became a playing field of violence, hatred, vulgarity, disgrace, and yes, dishonor, turning a great institution into a place of ignominy.

The facts go like this. A campus organization did what they have always done throughout history; they selected a speaker to enliven one of their meetings. You can see them at their work, saying “He’d never come,” “My father knows him,” and “Let’s give it a try and see whether he comes.” Bringing special guests to campus is, you see, a long hallowed tradition.

Since there is usually no money in the treasury, the game goes like this. Meet your guest… provide plane tickets, if possible, or even send one of the members to pick up the guest, the benefit being that extra time with a person of consequence. A dinner was customarily arranged at a fine local restaurant… the President, the officers of the club making sure they got to have dinner with the guest.

Then the President of the club would escort his guest to the campus auditorium, where the number of seats filled was a direct indication of how popular, even how controversial the guest speaker was. The talk, of course, would be erudite, clever, humorous… a breath of real life. The speech was followed by a reception, ordinarily attended by the President of the institution, his wife, and any other guests he may have happened to have staying with him just then.

The sherry, of course, was always mediocre (why did it have to always be that inferior brand?). But you were drunk more on the atmosphere than the vintage. It was a wonderful thing, that a person whose name you saw in the newspapers or even the movies could come sit next to you. You wanted the guest to autograph the program, but you were afraid your friends would see, and it would establish you as a weenie. Still, somehow, you got the autograph in the end. You still have it.

Before you went to bed, you called your parents or wrote them a brief letter. After all they were footing a sizable portion of the bill (which in 2016 was just a shade under $50,000 a year). Still, it was a good thing to show your parents that there was value for money, your father particularly would be relieved.

This is the way it was supposed to be. This is the way it had been so often before. Now, this longstanding tradition had been besmirched by people who manifestly failed to understand what a liberal arts college exists to do, and why the behavior of some caused consternation to the many.

Enter M. de Voltaire (1694-1778)

One of the most well known quotations on Earth is Voltaire’s ringing declaration “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Men and women have gone to war to defend this sacred oath. They died to preserve it. They gave up the ghost to defend for the rest of us a sacred trust that allowed us to say what we had to say without any fear of obstruction, retribution, or impediment of any kind. Generations came and went with near unanimous agreement. Defense of the indefensible constituted one of the great virtues of our Republic.

We might abhor the thought, be disgusted by the thought, find the thought painful, revolting, even pernicious, but we also knew, and this is the point, our Great Republic had grown and flourished in part because we allowed those who thought differently than we did to have their unacceptable say without rancor or hostility, without physical abuse or frightening tactics.

This freedom, found so infrequently around the globe, was one of the indelible glories of our Constitution, of our entire way of life, and we were right to exalt what was this treasure we had helped create and make more splendid yet.

This is what had made the day in pristine Vermont so troubling to so many. Take a look at the facts. Charles Murray is a well known gadfly and columnist, whose particular bee in his bonnet is his firm belief that some are gifted with superior intelligence, and some have hardly any intelligence at all.

He has gone about the country stirring up hatred and division. No reputable authority has stepped forward to say “We have Charles Murray, and he will show us the way.” But this is not how it is when Charles Murray comes to college campuses. He looks out upon a sea of faces of every race and color and says some of these are at the bottom of the heap because of DNA, whilst others are at the top.

Who is responsible for this state of affairs? Why, your DNA molecules, of course. Mr. Murray says his piece, the audience rolls its eyes on schedule, sniggers and disputes him. He picks up a nice check, gets his story in the New York Times, whilst the trustees of the institution congratulate themselves, having pulled off a quiet coup, no blood spilled, the institution’s reputation for truth, justice, and the American way is sustained.

The people in the audience look at each other and say smugly “That wasn’t so bad. I even found things to agree with him about.” And everyone is happy… except the self-proclaimed “revolutionaries” who have only pure thoughts and pure intentions, and a pocketful of shibboleths and “knowledge” which doesn’t even rise to the status of cliche.

They hear about the Murray visit and they determine upon a course of action that will sustain their purity, and turn them into heroes for each other. They plot their course… first, they make sure they look terrific, for after all they will be on the 11 o’clock news. Their clothes must be black, the de rigueur revolutionary color. No exceptions, except for the occasional red Che Guevara t-shirt, a hero they have adopted though they know nothing about him.

Hair must be cropped irregularly. The whiff of many unwashed days must follow them like a rancid dog. And of course, they must wear masks, for while they’re willing to go to any extent on behalf of what they believe, they want no one to know that they believe it.

Oh yes, one last fashion touch. Since they will, as part of the choreography, turn their backs shunning the people they mean to overawe, what they write on their jackets must be short, sweet, and if at all possible misspelled. For their leader has said “What is misspelling compared to gross injustice? We stand for the right way, grammar be damned.”

These “revolutionaries” are expert now in these special touches. They make a positive religion out of it, and they approach battle as if they were the saints marching in. For after all, the saints may only march with the “revolutionaries”, never with the people they are attacking.

In Middlebury, Vermont, things followed the usual sneering course. The guest, Mr. Charles Murray was invited, and right at this moment when leadership was necessary, the College chose to stand on its tradition of civility and good fellowship. Though, bit by bit leaders of the institution began to understand that there could well be a ruckus.

They believed that their strict admissions policies (only 16% of applicants are admitted) and their long years of enlightened behavior would protect them from any kafuffle. In short, just like M. de Launay, the governor of the Bastille in 1789, merely issuing an order should suffice to get the desired response. But as the grisly sight of M. de Launay’s head riding on a pike proved, one could order, but one could never be sure of what would happen then. That is what a revolution means.

And so, a group of up to 30 students and townies in short order destroyed the veneer of peace and security for one of America’s great educational institutions… called a “mini Ivy” because as the students there will tell you, “We are just as intelligent, if not moreso, as our colleagues who went to Harvard or Yale.” It is not true of course, but they would like to think so. And after all, it is a harmless enough delusion.

This incident did not take place over merely one day. Professors met with their students, and students met with each other to prepare themselves for the event. It is doubtful whether even one of those students approached the entire business in an honest and non-judgmental way. As is the metier with today’s students, who needs the truth when the object is publicity and mayhem.

In my day, by comparison, you went to these meetings where the goal was learning at least a little something, rather than assuming that you already knew it. Today’s students are a byword for laziness and nonchalance. Why should they be bothered to learn anything, when they already know everything?

In this case, the first thing the “revolutionaries” did was make sure that Murray was not allowed to speak. Yes, one could almost hear the high principles of the institution being crushed by the elite of the nation.

The program then moved to a new location where the guest was to be interviewed by Professor Allison Stanger and other college officials. Here, they had no more luck than before. The second attempt at ensuring the program took place was in an instant deranged by students pulling fire alarms… their shrill sound made anything else impossible.

And so, Murray and the college officials left, and the attack began. A street sign with a heavy concrete base was thrown in front of the car Murray was in. At the same time, the other insurgents pounded and pumped on the car. Then, in the most serious event, someone had the audacity to pull Professor Stanger’s hair, and injured her neck. She was immediately taken to the hospital.

I ask you to consider for a moment the significance of what happened. An approved university guest was pushed off the stage, and given no chance whatsoever to do what he came to do. Here, 200 years and more after Voltaire said it, his great declaration is more relevant than ever. The guests thrust Murray off the stage, and at this moment Voltaire’s great proclamation became more relevant than ever.

We live in a nation where the virtues of the 1st Amendment are everyday made manifest, except at Middlebury College, nestled in the Green Mountains… a place not now just of beauty, but of embarrassment and chagrin.

Today’s students, for whatever reason, have no desire to learn any point of view but their own. Too many believe that everything said to them by any teacher or other authority figure is, by definition, useless baggage of no value whatsoever. To them, they can text; why do they need to study? Why do they need to consider anyone’s point of view but their own?

And so the nation, not just Middlebury College, is diminished daily by people who do not know, will not learn, will not think, but have power and money and the certainty that what they do is always the correct thing, no matter what that thing is… including relations with professors, College officials and yes, even parents.

Sadly, the response of Middlebury officials, including the President of the College Laurie Patton, was inadequate. As of this date, the College has not yet made any announcement to those who are students and those who participated in the mob from the city and area. Remember, “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

So mild and futile has the College response been, that similar “revolutionaries” across the nation will say “The game is worth the candle,” and carry forth with their heinous plans and ideas. The College instead should have had the trespassers arrested, and the students expelled. If you do not treat this crime as significant, then you are encouraging its growth. And that is why across the nation, the pride of America’s educational establishments is rising up, oblivious, without having to worry about recriminations, or indeed, any punishment whatsoever.

Moreover the sad thing is, with institutions fighting for the creme de la creme of the students, it may be the economics of this situation are determining what will be done. Administrators do not wish to take appropriate action, because if they do, they send a message to the other students who can afford to go elsewhere, and the institution cannot afford to squander even a single penny.

And so these disgusting hijinx, so wicked cool, will continue. College presidents paid in the high hundreds of thousands of dollars will hesitate to use their authority, for if they do they might be forced to resign from the most lucrative job of their lives… the job where all they have to do is say the right thing, and never do it.

Musical note

For the music to accompany this article, I have selected “Ca ira” (1790). The “Ca ira” was the most revolutionary of songs. Its lyrics proclaimed the death of anyone who disagreed with the revolutionaries of 1789. The lyric was sharp; the tune catchy. Ca ira means “it’ll be fine”. A new world growing from the cascade of blood when the guillotine strikes. It will be good; it will be fine… they sang. It’ll be fine. But will it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_z3KCs4IR8

“Ah! It’ll be fine, it’ll be fine, it’ll be fine
aristocrats to the lamp post
Ah! It’ll be fine, it’ll be fine, it’ll be fine
the aristocrats, we’ll hang them!”

“Ah! ca ira, ca ira, ca ira
les aristocrates a la lanterne!
Ah! ca ira, ca ira, ca ira
les aristocrates on les pendra!”

About the author

Harvard educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant has written over 1,000 articles on a wide variety of subjects and 61 books. Find his complete corpus at www.drjeffreylant.com.

FREE consultation ($150 value). Expert shows you how to make money online.Call (757-647-2886) 24/7 Or Skype me homeprofitcoach NOW! Profit today!” Your success guaranteed.http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com/?rd=kr2fDPDb

THE SILVER LINING… NEAR WIPE OUT IN VIENNA… AVOIDED.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

If you have been reading my arts columns over the last several years, you know that I have a particular fondness for the largest auction house in Continental Europe, Dorotheum.

Based in Vienna since 1707, Dorotheum presents over 600 auctions in a year on a wide variety of subjects. In fact, one might visit Dorotheum for one thing, find another, and be lost amongst the glittering gewgaws. At least that was so for me.

Over the last several years, in and around the year 2008, annus horribilis, that it is, I have savored the low prices Dorotheum has presented on a silver salver, of course. I would walk away from a single auction with a shower of historic silver.

The folks in Western Europe at the usual suspects, Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Bonham’s, didn’t seem to know anything about the attractive doings of Eastern Europe. And their advice was always bland and unsatisfying. They did not care. It was all reminiscent of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his famous statement just before WWII:

“How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing.”

Well, if the statesmen of Europe knew nothing about Eastern Europe, the silver connoisseurs knew even less, and cared not a whit.

Enter the dashing American (that would be me)

I am a firm believer in the oldest business adage there is: buy low, sell high. And by dint of constant effort, I expanded my hunting territory from just Manhattan, to London, Paris, Amsterdam, etc. And while I looked at these places with keen interest and growing success, I was certain that the great kingdoms of Eastern Europe had produced a plethora of beautiful objects, storm tossed by war and revolution… ready for a perspicacious hunter and collector like me. And I was right to do so.

Eastern Europe is a treasure trove of items made for kings and princes, buffeted and crushed by communists, fascists, and silverfish. In short, a delightful place in which to saunter through a lifetime. But the price is always less than you’d dare imagine.

Unfortunately, as the other old adage says, all good things come to an end. So it was in the residue of imperial, royal, and noble artifacts… dispersed by the wind, and the tramping feet of careless soldiers, eager only to go home. Now, times have begun to change at the Dorotheum. And the results of today’s silver service sale proves this point beyond cavil.

As usual, I had prepared for the silver market with exemplary habits. I knew what I wanted, I had read the provenance, talked to the experts, I had my money ready, and my battle grit, too.

Catastrophe

But Eastern Europe, and the Dorotheum with it, are no longer the imperial cousins down on their luck. I love those cousins… I love their lousy luck… I love the cascade of imperial artifacts at bargain prices. And that is why I was unhappy today when I bid on over 20 items, and got just one.

Prices have now exploded, as I must honestly admit they were bound to do. In the light of this price explosion, I am grateful that when their luck was down, I bought and bought and bought, and came home with my last penny in my pocket, and a song in my heart.

The item is a sugar box. Now it is difficult for us in America to understand how important sugar has been throughout our history. In the French and Indian War (1756), the French gave away the Canadas for the isle of Martinique. Why? Because Martinique produced sugar. And so a tiny island was exchanged for what the acid critic Voltaire (1694-1778) called a few acres of snow. There are no statues of Voltaire in Canada, not even in Quebec.

Sugar was so valuable that it was locked in boxes, often with several keys, and always retained by the chatelaine of the home, and woe betide any schoolboy with mischief on his cheek and a single granule of sugar about his person. Sugar was the master’s prerogative, and he used it ruthlessly to gain his domestic objectives.

I have been collecting boxes for some time now, and I own to being intrigued by them. A box means something important. A locked box means something of great importance, indeed.

I first became interested in boxes when I worked in the public records office in London, working on my book “Insubstantial Pageant: Ceremony and confusion at Queen Victoria’s court”.

In 1887, Queen Victoria held her 50th anniversary, her Golden Jubilee. Every person of consequence in the Empire on which the sun still never set, and many who were not, sent boxes to Her Majesty filled with the loyal addresses of their constituents. And the higher the rank of the individual submitting a box of consequence, the more unique, valuable, and awesome it must be.

No scholar had ever studied these hundreds and hundreds of loyal addresses and the caskets that carried them to the foot of royalty. No one that is until I came along. These boxes had, during WWII, been buried beneath the streets of London, the better to preserve them against the inroads of the Luftwaffe.

Sadly, many had been destroyed by those Nazi aces. But now, each day the antiquated elevator brought from deep below the great city its cargo of boxes, sent by the maharajah of this, the prince regent of that, the ambassador of, and each and every cabinet minister and public servant from realms and republics great and small.

It was an avalanche of the historically unique, beautiful, and never before seen, now exhumed for me. In short order, I gathered an immense following of people who wanted to see what I dug up. I was in short the toast of the public records office, if only champagne had been allowed.

I shall continue to collect boxes, particularly boxes with royal coats of arms and heraldic devices, with engravings which often are cryptic, as if between two lovers. Boxes suggest things of value, kept only for the sender and the recipient. With a box, we can hear in our mind the sounds of the owner, the sender, the thief who stole them, and the rescue squad, which dug out the owner and spilled his box across the fragments of what had once been a great house on a great road, now just shards and confused survivors.

I am, you see, of a fanciful disposition. If I do not know the history of the box I can, working with incomplete shards and pieces, weave you a story. And I am pleased to note that whenever I talk about boxes, I always gather a crowd, for they too want to know what each box contains. And so I have come to learn that boxes have an important role in our history, right up to Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth herself.

Each day, each hour, Her Majesty is besieged with boxes, cabinet boxes. To these boxes Her Majesty has the key. And so as she sits unlocking the boxes that arrive any time of the day or night, she is answering for herself the question of every hour: what is in the box?

Now there is nothing in my sugar box except memories. But I can change all that in an instant. Some of these days I will want my breakfast cereal to have what I usually forego… that is to say, sugar. And when I want it, I want it delivered in a box. A sugar box. Then set upon my table, ready for the compliments which inevitably come. “Oh, what a lovely box!” It is, isn’t it?

And that is why today, with soaring prices, causing me to overbid my usual amount, still without success except in this one instance, a day which initially promised success along the usual lines, surprised me with a huge increase in prices, thereby leaving me nothing to show for my efforts. Nothing, that is, except this box. I shall enjoy unraveling its mysteries, and sharing them with you.

Musical note

I have chosen as an accompaniment to this article a song by sultry Nina Simone (1933-2003). She wants some sugar in her bowl. Will you be man enough to give it?

“I want a little sugar
In my bowl
I want a little sweetness
Down in my soul
I could stand some lovin’
Oh so bad
Feel so lonely and I feel so sad”

Man, open that box and let the lady in. You haven’t been there for so long.

***

About the author

Author Dr. Jeffrey Lant, still knocking them dead at 70, has just completed his 58th book. The more he writes, the more he publishes, the more he has to say. In the last few paragraphs of Volume 1 of his two volume autobiography “A Connoisseur’s Journey: Being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck, and joy.”, Dr. Lant’s stern and loyal seneschal Sir Maximiliano von Rabbit hands a golden box to his ailing master and whispers a secret to change his life. He then places a letter in the box, and locks it, taking away the key and leaving us all to wonder, what secret did Max pass to the Prince?

To see Dr. Lant’s complete oeuvre, go to www.drjeffreylant.com. And never eat your sugar alone.

FREE consultation ($150 value). Expert shows you how to make money online.Call (757-647-2886) 24/7 Or Skype me homeprofitcoach NOW! Profit today!” Your success guaranteed.http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com/?rd=kr2fDPDb

DON’T MAKE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR YOURSELF… MAKE THEM FOR OTHERS. IT’S EASIER, MORE FUN, LESS TROUBLE.

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It’s the time of the year for the obligatory New Year’s
resolutions. You know, what I mean:I plan to go on a diet and become chic and svelte by Valentine’s  Day.
I will go to the gym every other day, so help me
Hannah. Muscles and enticing curves, or bust.
I will eschew the delights of eating one sugar-soaked
Little Debbie after another.
I will… but you get the idea.
There is something abhorrent about admitting
that you are imperfect. I don’t like it at all.
New Year’s resolutions imply that you have somehow
fallen beneath the high standard of perfection, that
there is something not quite right about you, a nagging
something that needs instant attention.
But what could that be?
Like you, I look in the mirror of a morning and, despite
advancing age, I see nothing but the spitting image of
one who is, indeed, the fairest of them all. It affronts me
to think otherwise.
Thus, while wishing to do my bit to uphold the
traditions of Auld Lang Syne and making resolutions,
I find it hard to do so… as I have nothing to improve
and everything to enjoy.
Hence this modest idea: give up resolution making for
yourself… and focus your full attention upon the others,
lamentable, imperfect, with a pressing need for overhauls
small and large.
Draw up a list of persons known to you with glaring,
jarring imperfections.
Do not stint. Remember, you are performing a useful
act, a noble act, and act of kindness and empathy. As
such, let yourself go… think of your aging peers and their
shocking habits… of your relatives who have outlived the
excuse of “puppy fat.”
Think of your loud,  too boisterous, ear-splitting friends…
and the motor-mouths whose decided opinions on
everything under the sun are, perhaps, de trop.
Think of the always-late delivery boy and those
with too many unattended felines in a confined
space and the olfactory discomfort thereby occurring.
Think, I say, think of  prevaricating politicians…
and those with nookie on their minds and an acute
inability to contain it. Look around you and weigh in
with a will…for you have many resolutions to craft
and far too little time in which to offer them.  Timing
is everything, after all, and New Year’s resolutions
in March seem, well, tardy. Act now.
Now write the New Year’s resolutions — for others.
This part could be troublesome and demands your
full attention and craft. Resolutions must be simple,
straightforward, honest and at least potentially do-able.
Thus, calling your insufficiently loved and abundantly
padded brother-in-law fat just won’t do. Try this instead:
New Year’s resolution of brother-in-law Bob:
To lose 15 pounds by month’s end.
And then your signature and the date.
Keeping your resolutions short, sweet, and to the
point is de rigueur.
Mail the resolution… email the resolution. Only
ensure that your kind thought for their betterment and
perfection reaches them early in January.
Imagine how grateful, how pleased the recipient will be when
he of pronounced embonpoint receives this missive and its
kind and thoughtful message becomes apparent.
Send your New Year’s resolutions even to those near and
dear who share your abode and are bosom buddies and
dear companions on your earthly journey.
The temptation, even for those expert and experienced
in providing life enhancing New Year’s resolutions for others,
will be to personally deliver, message upon hallmarked silver
salver, your resolutions to the people near at hand, spouse,
children, impecunious sons in law, etc.  You will think of
their profoundly grateful responses, you will think of
the affection and love in their eyes. You will hear with
delight words so lavish and abject that even that practised
purveyor of the obsequious Uriah Heep would be put to
shame. No, you do not want to miss a moment.
But you must.
For your recipient will need a moment or two to
compose himself and, no doubt, let fall the grateful
tear, that you should care so much and have gone to so
much bother on their behalf. Allow them a moment
of reflection in privacy, as they think how grateful, how
very grateful, they are to have such a one as you in
their (otherwise imperfect) life.
Savor this moment, glass of grog at hand for
you have done the very best of deeds. Sing under your breath
this little-remembered chorus from Robert Burns’ immortal
annual anthem of maudlin sentimentality, Auld Lang Syne:
“We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.”
And now,  gratitude, indeed.
As I was finishing up this practical report,  there
was a knock at the door… then the telephone rang…
then I noticed a decided up tick in my email.
I was not surprised… I was expecting such a deluge.
After all, I had contacted many with a hearty abundance
of resolutions, necessary, specific, in depth, all
resoundingly honest to a fault. Now, no doubt, the expected
responses, the epistles of gratitude and fulsome thanks
were at hand.
Ou la la!
Imagine my surprise upon reading the first of these
messages:
New Year’s Resolution of Dr. Jeffrey Lant…:
signed your loving sister
Then the one signed by my (concerned) brother, my
(worried) father, one jointly signed by my (still affectionate)
niece and  nephew, my (who-else-could-tell-you?) best friend,
my (long suffering) partners… even my (silent-until-now) driver
and  his wife.. .and all the very many others.
It was jolting to be sure to learn that so many felt
so strongly there was so much of me to enhance and correct.
But these messages, profoundly honest, stimulated
the only New Year’s resolution I shall make this
year: to love them all, warts and all, and be
profoundly glad I have them in my life.
Happy New Year, 2017!
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
About The Author
2017 brings Dr. Lant to seven decades of a successful writing career. He is, he likes to say, in the prime of his prime. Thus does the “scribbling” life he commenced at age
5 continue. Over fifty books. Thousands of articles. Untold radio and television programs;
worldwide recognition and enthusiasm, all of which culminated in the publication of
his autobiography, “A Connoisseur’s Journey, being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck and joy”. It was a book that screamed “classic!”, and he has
delighted in the several awards that followed.
To get your copy go to www.drjeffreylant.com. You will also want to check out Dr. Lant’s complete oeuvre found in the Dr. Jeffrey Lant Store
FREE consultation ($150 value). Expert shows you how to make money online.Call (757-647-2886) 24/7 Or Skype me homeprofitcoach NOW! Profit today!” Your success guaranteed.http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com/?rd=kr2fDPDb

‘WE’RE STARTING UP A BRAND NEW DAY… I’M THINKING IN A BRAND NEW WAY.’ NEW YEAR’S EVE. UNBIDDEN THOUGHTS.

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Author’s program note. All of a sudden there was a bone-chilling gust of frigid air right off the punishing Atlantic filling the night… it was the kind of gust we here in Cambridge call the Montreal Express… not merely cold but gelid, polar, arctic… than which there is nothing colder but the morning after the greatest love of your life said good-bye, this time for good.
Shivering, I had to get up… present reality, even though freezing, being preferable to another minute of the dream being played out sharply in cinemascope in my brain. In it I was marrying Hillary Clinton, and we were redecorating my condo as our love nest after a cosmic flood. Yikes, it was indeed time for this article… and the music for it came swiftly out of no where saying, ” I think you’ve been looking for me.” And indeed I  had…
I was smiling…. this was how Marley (in clanking chains of course) summoned Scrooge to his destiny… and look what happened to them. I’m a literary gent, and I appreciated the reference… and this song by Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, born October 2 1951, known to the world by his sobriquet “Sting”, a name, a description, a declaration, a clear statement of what you must do when the world is too much with you late and soon. Yes, that Sting.
I don’t think much about Sting. I’m not a rabid fan or anything close, but he’s got the poet’s own way of insinuating himself into my life at significant moments.  His words are often mine fields, often verbal shrapnel, the kinds of words one fastidious word smith appreciates in another who like you demands respect for the language and mastery from himself.
Cold reality.
My hands are cold… my fingers are stiff. It is 3:25 a.m., and Sting and his lyrical insights, melodic, as deep as you want them to go, fill the crucial space between two ears. I am listening, because here is a man who has something important to say to me, about the year now past, about you and me, and how we’re glad to be alive and give thanks to whoever made it possible. The song is called “Brand New Day” and I hadn’t heard it since it debuted in 1999, just in time for the new millennium.
I remember hearing this song in this very room, where I sat at this very desk in this very chair as I watched the clock move inexorably to the first midnight of the new century, the Y2K midnight that was supposed to bring cosmic computer chaos, so admonishing experts had told us. And so I, like so many others, worried myself into the new year, following the advent of midnight around the globe… only to discover that nothing happened anywhere…  the biggest “same old, same old” ever. Yes, I was listening to this song that night. It couldn’t really be so many years ago, could it? Go now and find it in any search engine and listen carefully….
“There’s simply no immunity/There’s no guarantee.”
2016. I lived it. Which is to say I was alone, I was together, I made money. I squandered money. I lied. I deceived. I was cruel. I was affectionate. I made messes and ignored them.  I cleaned up messes made by others who ignored them.
I cursed. I adored. I slept the sleep of the just. I just barely slept at all. I did random good deeds… I insulted those who meant me well. I hugged strangers… and ignored those nearest and dearest. I ate too much cake… and told others they shouldn’t eat cake at all, then ate theirs.
I knew the bite of the flesh… I abjured God… then went in panicked search of Him all over again. I was magnificent. I was squalid. I was the best of friends and the most unrelenting and tenacious of foes.
I demanded mercy and gave none. I wanted to make a difference and the difference I made was miniscule and negative. I ate without savor. I loved without passion and thought well of myself when there was not a single reason for so much conceit. I always took the easy way and had the temerity to tell others they must sacrifice when I would not. I took, always took, more than my share and bellowed that it was not more. I winked at injustice until I became an injustice.
I hated. I condemned. I demeaned. I disdained. I hurt whenever possible and denied whenever feasible. I exulted in the misfortunes of others and laid the burden of mine at the feet of God Almighty whose name in vane passed often through my lips.
I chose to misunderstand when understanding was facile… and blamed everyone but me on what was so readily apparent to others but willfully ignored by me. And yet I never lost the deep belief that I was a hero to others, a paragon to myself.
I was all this and more, I did all this and more in the tiniest morsel of time we call one year … as if it was something that could be neatly boxed and neatly understood. But even now this year, waning, its end in sight, abides… with possibilities still to come before it is played out, kaput, history we are glad to dispose of and forget, as if forgetting was even an option. It isn’t.
“Turn the clock all the way back.”
How many hours of 2016, how many hours of your life have you now wasted wishing you could regain even a single moment of time, to live it, savor it, even the most commonplace of activities? It is natural to think so for our system is profoundly exasperating… you lived that moment. It is yours. You want it back. You must have it back. And so you expostulate against your fate, the inevitability that defines us. You must go forward, only forward, never back no matter how badly you want it. and you know how badly that is.
Right this minute, the sands of time are escaping through your open hands, hands you long to close and stop the inexorable… but you cannot close them. And so, you experience the pain of certain loss that defines each of us in a world that we live in, are destroying, but cannot stop and enjoy without anxiety.
Each word you now read here takes you into a future that challenges us, a future we must engage whether we want to or not. We stand alone before eternity… and it frightens us to our very core. That is why next year, the year after that. and all the next years to come you will fail to stand tall and courageous before the vast immensity we call The Future and why instead we will take what comfort we can from what our species is most expert at doing: dissipation, distraction, diversion, self destruction.
Only by such devices can we face that which most concerns us… and so we are profligate about the time which constitutes our essence. Sic semper gloria mundi.
The only resolution that matters.
At this moment of peril for each of us, all of us, for our planet and our Cosmos, for our very God, what are we offering to change our course and destiny? Some opt for trivial resolutions about increased exercise and ways to diminish pounds. Others still seize upon any one or two of a myriad of possibilities to improve themselves, all petit, inconsequential, trifling, insignificant. Is this the best we can do against the daunting, monumental challenges we face? We must do better. And what better time to begin than now as a new year signals the commencement of a brand new day?
What then must we resolve and do? Just one thing: Love. For in this single thing there is everything and everyone. Where we dismissed and condemned… we must love. Where we demeaned and destroyed…. we must love. Where we insulted and hated… we must love. Where we divided and estranged…. we must love. And where we worked to rend asunder and alienate… we must love.
” ‘Love is pain,’ I hear you say/Love has a cruel and bitter way of Paying you back for all the faith you ever had in your brain.”
But it’s the only and certain way to start up the brand new day that dawns radiant this very day.
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
About the Author
2017 is fast approaching and with it Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s 70th birthday. He is, he likes to
say, in the prime of his prime. Thus does the “scribbling” life he commenced at age
5 continue. Over fifty books. Thousands of articles. Untold radio and television programs;
worldwide recognition and enthusiasm, all of which culminated in the publication of
his autobiography, “A Connoisseur’s Journey, being the artful memoirs of a man of wit, discernment, pluck and joy”. It was a book that screamed “classic!”, and he has
delighted in the several awards that followed.
To get your copy go to www.drjeffreylant.com. You will also want to join his Guaranteed Millionaire Club with people striving together for financial freedom for all
www.drjeffreylant.com
Listen in to Dr. Lant’s reading and pass it on to a friend, neighbor, lover.
The sands of time are slipping through our hands
Take this time to make a resolution that really matters
To change our ways and direction.

FREE consultation ($150 value). Expert shows you how to make money online.Call (757-647-2886) 24/7 Or Skype me homeprofitcoach NOW! Profit today!” Your success guaranteed.http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com/?rd=kr2fDPDb

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:

“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.

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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.

http://www.drjeffreylant.com/blog/revisiting-i-have-a-dream-by-martin-luther-king-jr-what-he-may-say-to-the-people-today audio link
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
retribution.
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…
Arrival
“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
God…”
“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.
Envoi
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
programs.
He has founded several successful corporations and businesses
including his latest at … www.drjeffreylant.com

His 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.

FREE consultation ($150 value). Expert shows you how to make money online.Call (757-647-2886) 24/7 Or Skype me homeprofitcoach NOW! Profit today!” Your success guaranteed.http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com/?rd=kr2fDPDb

“YOU’VE GOT ME WANTING YOU.” A GEORGE III SUGAR BASKET BY ROBERT HENNELL, LONDON, 1783

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by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Have you ever spent a run of uncomfortable minutes craving sugar? Have you looked high and low, in cupboard and out, trying to remember where you last enjoyed the succulence of sugar, the succulence you crave right now? Of course you have. We have all done it.

This is an article about a man named Robert Hennell I (1741-1811) who, with his extended family, created some of the finest silver during the Golden Age, which lasted from about 1720 to 1820. One of the things which kept the Hennells busy was creating beautiful objects that held precious sugar.

This morning, just before noon, there was a bang on the front door. It was the arrival of a Hennell sugar basket, and I couldn’t have been happier, because this little gem, which is 15.6×9.2 cm, 159g, is a relic from the great days when sugar was an imperial product… the future of its plantations the very stuff of the highest level of diplomacy.

Ambitious people left the comforts of particularly England and France hopeful that they could squeeze great wealth under circumstances where most of them were unhappy and indeed miserable. The sugar islands were a metaphor for what man would do to achieve wealth. Nothing about the sugar islands came naturally to the Europeans, who found themselves becoming savage, and doing unthinkable deeds, all in justification of what they had to do to grow sugar. We remember the names of these sugar islands today: Martinique, Guadeloupe, Hispanola, Cuba, Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada, and more.

Because the owners of these islands and plantations had nothing to do at night but drink, fornicate, write memoirs, and post maudlin letters, we know quite a lot about how people lived in the sugar lands. We know the value they attached to every granule of the white gold called sugar. The plantations were often large, always staffed with black slaves, and sometimes prisoners sent out from Europe, who came to associate sweetness with prison-like conditions… and craved it anyway.

Every Frenchman, every Dutchman, every Englishman, could tell you to the very day how long they would have to serve before they had earned enough money to leave and live at home the way they always wanted to do. The sugar islands were the very metaphor for escape. The inhabitants all lived in the future, only the future; they eschewed the past and disdained the present.

Everyone, yes everyone, wanted to go to what they fondly called home, eager to leave the sultry nights and the tawdry affairs which constituted existence in some of the most important economic territories on Earth. For make no mistake about it, the sugar islands were hell paved with gold.

No sugar!

Imagine if you will your daily coffee with no sugar. Imagine there is no sugar in your favorite tarts, cookies. Imagine that your cakes have no sugar, not even one granule. Imagine that you wake up and suffer the violent pangs of desire because you do not have the sweetness of sugar readily at hand. There can be no candy, no confection, no sugary potations of any kind. You are confronted with a terrible dilemma because you are dependent on a product that diplomats at the highest level argue about.

One of the most glaring instances of this power of sugar comes in the French and Indian war of 1754. In the beginning of this war, the French had stormed ahead with great successes… their sugar supply seemingly confirmed.

Then they stumbled, and the English recovered, to the point where the French were faced with a terrible alternative… they could continue a war which was bankrupting them, or give up the sugar islands which they craved. The terms of this sweetest of wars were stark. Give up the vast expanses of the Canadas, or give up Martinique and Guadeloupe, the sugary jewels in the sweet crown.

M. de Voltaire (1694-1778) was a man with an opinion, usually sarcastic, on everything. No subject eluded his slashing pen, and everything that he touched was tailor made for insult and obloquy. During the course of his long career, he commented on the Canadas over and over again, each time more sardonic and disdainful. His most famous quote on the subject is:

“You know that these two nations are at war about a few acres of snow somewhere around Canada, and that they are spending on this beautiful war more than all Canada is worth.”

The French took his point. The Canadas, all the Canadas, went to England, and to a great future within a great empire. The French characteristically chose comfort, and their sweet tooth over an empire which they threw away, following the pointed phrase by M. de Voltaire. Martinique and Guadeloupe were now French, whilst every Canadian since has damned him for his selfish impertinence. M. de Volatire didn’t care; he was flippantly irresponsible, tossing away a continent for the sake of a splendid line.

Secretly, of course, all writers would hope for such puissance and such nonchalant brilliance… nevermind whether it’s true or not. It is what sustains us. A hack writer could never write such a line. It takes a truly selfish, twisted genius to do so. Superbe!

The victorious English, of course, kept just enough of the sugar islands to sustain every sweet tooth of the nobility, and a gentry which now could not imagine life without sugar, and had extra money to spend on the often glamorous sugar boxes and baskets which were now de rigueur in every fashionable home in Belgravia and beyond.

And so these happy days, were sweet indeed for England. On the other hand, the French of course continued their spendthrift ways, for you see, once you want sugar, you want it and want it yet again. England controlled the sugar trade now; the French got sugar and emptied their pockets to get it.

“Apres moi le deluge”

It was not just the king who thought so, it was the whole nation itself, which insisted upon the expensive delicious over the sensible. From such people, Robert Hennell I made a great fortune. One aspect of his success needs to be clarified. Most silversmiths made sugar boxes, whose keys were attached to the chatelaine’s belt. Sugar was so precious it was locked away in expensive boxes with at least two sets of keys. The chatelaine, or sometimes the butler, kept all such keys about her.

Sugar was so precious that not even the smallest grain could be left unaccounted for. It was simply too important. Thus, in novels of the period, one finds the chatelaine currying favor with the young master by giving him a spoonful of sugar, just like in Mary Poppins.

But Robert Hennell I crafted delectable silver baskets, where there was no top and no keys. This innovation was for rich people only, for only the very rich could afford the luxury of missing a spoonful of sugar or more. Thus, as you can see above, there is no lid… there are no keys… just noblesse oblige. The absence of a lid forced visitors to recognize how very rich you were. It was a sign… it simply didn’t matter if the servants pilfered the sugar or not. Your host was so rich, so very rich, that he could afford to dazzle you. And so he did.

Robert Hennel I

At all times, when one discusses English silver of the 18th Century, one must recognize one of our civilization’s great moments of design, execution, presentation, invention, and that indefinable something that suggests you’re dealing with a master. Make no mistake about it – Robert Hennel I was a master.

He started in London in 1763. It was an exciting time to be a silversmith. You were surrounded by people of wealth… the nouveau riche who had it, and the talented silversmiths who catered to their every wish. In every field of endeavor, London reigned supreme. It was more than just a few relatively high nobles to cater to; their was a flourishing gentry, and a nobility awash with cash and desire to spend it to best effect.

For such people, people like Robert Hennel I were tailor made. Hennell was a smart man, a self-made man, a man who knew how to take a bit of metal, which is all that silver is after all, and turn it into magic. On this basis Hennell rose, like so many of his enterprising colleagues.

And so, as the monied classes rose, and desired the thrill and excitement of arriving, Hennell rose with them. However he had a great advantage over most silversmiths of the time… his immediate family and descendants were prodigious… and so one pillar after another of the House of Hennell emerged… Robert II, Robert III, and Robert IV, their influence going deep from Georgian to Victorian. His secret was his genetic genius for producing boys… boys with an aptitude for silver.

And so I have added this lovely little thing to The Lant Collection. Carefully engraved, its design of vegetation is precisely what one needs to see on a wintry day in Cambridge.

Sadly, the England of 1783, where this piece was crafted, was not so happy. The great American colonies were gone. A new nation conceived and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal was being crafted in London at the same time Robert Hennell I was working on this piece. But it is not true that every man is equal, for most people do not have this lovely piece to shine strong. What a tragedy for them… how lucky for those of us who do.

Musical note

I have chosen for the musical note to this article a bouncy little number called “Sugar, Sugar” (1969), by the Archies. “I just can’t believe the loveliness of loving you.” Now sugar has a way of doing that to you. What would we ever do without it?

About the author

Dr. Jeffrey Lant has written over 61 books and 1,000’s of articles. He makes history interesting, indeed fascinating. He has a way of taking you into the universe he is writing about, and that is why people worldwide love reading his prose. Be sure to sign up now for our list so that you are kept up to date on Dr. Lant and all his various fields of intellect and interest.

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