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Self-Possession



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At the end of Impromptus today, I have a little note on Richard Harris, the late actor. Stricken at the Savoy Hotel, and carried out on a stretcher, he remarked to the patrons around him, “It was the food.”

Yesterday in the office, we were talking about Voltaire, that champion wit, even unto the end — especially at the end? The priest asks him to forswear Satan. Voltaire answers, “There, there, my good man: This is no time to be making enemies.”

But there was also this: An oil lamp sputters and flares near Voltaire’s bed. He quips, “The flames already?”



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