Friday, December 09, 2011

rühmen, das ists

In 1710, Richard Steele wrote in Tatler that recently he had been to visit an old friend just come up to town from country. But the latter had already gone to bed when Steele called at 8 pm. He returned at 11 o'clock the following morning, only to be told that his friend had just sat down to dinner. "In short", Steele commented, "I found that my old-fashioned friend religiously adhered to the example of his forefathers, and observed the same hours that had been kept in his family ever since the Conquest." (T. Blanning, "Darkness visible", TLS September 23 2011, p.3) || Last month I read an Associated Press item about a man in Adams, Massachusetts, who, having bought the apartment building where his seventy-four-year-old grandmother has lived for ten years, raised her monthly rent from $96 to $400. She says that she can't afford to pay $400, because her income, from Social Security, is only $500. Also, she is a double amputee; in the newspaper that I saw - The Daily Hampshire Gazette, of Northampton, Massachusetts-the AP item was accompanied by a picture of her sitting in a wheelchair. You have to say this about the grandson, just for a start: this man has a public relations problem. (C. Trillin, Too soon to tell, New York, 1995, p.9)