Gleanings From The Past #15


Double Standards

When a man you like switches from what he said a year ago, or four years ago, he is a broad-minded person who has courage enough to change his mind with changing conditions. When a man you don’t like does it, he is a liar who has broken his promises.

— Franklin P. Adams, Nods and Becks, 1944


An old epitaph of Sir John Strange:

Here lies an honest lawyer,
And that’s Strange!

The Luzerne Legal Register, Vol. 5, December 1, 1876

How One Fat Lord Counted As Ten

The enactment of the law of habeas corpus marks an important epoch in the progress of civil liberty in England and is regarded as one of the great achievements of Charles the Second’s reign. Charles himself did not want the law, but just at the time he was very anxious to curry favor with the people and was afraid to oppose so popular a measure. The friends and foes of the act were pretty evenly divided in Parliament, but on the final vote, it was carried. The manner of its passage, however, was both comical and illegal. While the voting was going on a very fat lord arose and asked that his vote be recorded in the affirmative. In a spirit of fun, the clerk announced ten votes for him, to accord with his great size. They were so recorded, and for some unexplained reason, the “error” was never corrected. The strangest part of it is, the majority for the measure was less than ten; hence it would have failed of passage without the fat lord’s extra votes. This is an instance where a joke was carried too far to good purpose.

— Albert William Macy, Curious Bits of History, 1912 

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is

13 thoughts on “Gleanings From The Past #15

  1. This is one of those facts you can’t make up. I thought the recorder would make some sort of joke about the “corpulent” corpus voting for the measure, but the actual turn of events is even funnier.

    Liked by 1 person

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