Sep. 22, 2002

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Poem: "Solitude," by Alexander Pope and "Then I Am Ready to Go," by Emily Dickinson.


Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
      In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire;
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
      In winter, fire.

Blest, who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away
In health of body, peace of mind;
      Quiet by day.

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mixed, sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please
      With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die,
Steal from the world, and not a stone
      Tell where I lie.

Then I Am Ready to Go

Tie the Strings to my Life, My Lord,
Then, I am ready to go!
Just a look at the Horses -
Rapid! That will do!

Put me in on the firmest side -
So I shall never fall -
For we must ride to the Judgment -
And it's partly, down Hill -

But never I mind the steepest -
And never I mind the Sea -
Held fast in Everlasting Race -
By my own Choice, and Thee -

Goodbye to the Life I used to live -
And the World I used to know -
And kiss the Hills, for me, just once -
Then - I am ready to go!

It's the birthday of medical researcher and surgeon Charles Huggins, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (1901). He won the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1960 for showing the relationship between hormones and prostate cancer.

It's the birthday of Erich von Stroheim, born in Vienna (1885). He was the director of the motion picture Greed (1924).

It's the birthday of director, producer, and actor John Houseman, born in Bucharest, Romania (1902). He formed the Mercury Theatre with Orson Welles, and won an Academy Award for his role in The Paper Chase.

It's the birthday of Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, born in London, England (1694). A statesman and diplomat, he is well-known for his Letters to His Son, on manners and the art of pleasing. In his letters he offers various pieces of advice. These include, "Speak of the moderns without contempt, and of the ancients without idolatry" and "Take care of the minutes, for hours will take care of themselves."

It's the birthday of Fay Weldon, born in Worcestershire, England (1931). She is the author of romance novels including The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, and Big Girls Don't Cry. Although born in England, she grew up in New Zealand, and when she felt like a true New Zealander, moved back to England. She grew up with her mother, sister, and grandmother, leading her to believe as a young girl that the world was populated with females only. Her first novel was The Fat Woman's Joke. By that time she had also written some fifty plays for radio, stage, or television, the most famous of which is Upstairs, Downstairs. From Independent on Sunday: "Young women especially have something invested in being nice people, and it's only when you have children that you realize you're not a nice person at all, but generally a selfish bully." From Praxis: "You end up as you deserve. In old age you must put up with the face, the friends, the health, and the children you have earned."

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