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Within the United James Harrington's brief career as a political and historical theorist spans the last years of the Cromwellian Protectorate and the Restoration of This volume comprises the first and last of Harrington's writings. Harrington was the fir Du kanske gillar. Damnation James Harrington Inbunden. Divinity James Harrington Inbunden. This also had the virtue of reminding us, ideogrammatically, of the Cross. So begins his Rape of the Lock with a sort of puzzle or question, almost brought to a paradox by the magic of the cross-like Chi:.

The thing about the X is that it is the simplest letter of two strokes: two bare lines made to cross. As a letter, it is almost unnecessary. Turkish, for instance, dispenses with it altogether; in Istanbul, you hail a Taksi.

James Harrington's Magnifica: The Last Enchanter

But as an ideogram, it seems to me to be indispensable, as a sign of emphasis or cancellation. A single line might be an accident; two lines, crossed, define a point and a plane. Something new, in short, happens when two lines are made to meet. A single fiber: it might have tensile strength and possibly some other bare qualities. But with an X, other qualities begin to emerge, like elasticity, or softness. It is the very passage where Walpole coins serendipity. Put more sharply: we go into the world looking for one thing, but, in the looking, find something that we could not have known to want before we started the search.

It is transformative in a transformative way; we think that we are accumulating knowledge like a bag accumulates marbles or a book accumulates print: bag and book are untouched by the contact. But, in fact, we are learning learn in the way that a sculptor shapes clay, in which clay and sculptor undergo continuous change. This is what makes it chiastic, like a letter x.

The transformation runs both directions. This is the crucial crossing, the return route where the total project is altered by its accidental success. He was sending his thanks for a gift he had just received, a portrait of Bianca Cappello Walpole believed to have been painted by Vasari. This discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity. It is as if each object in the [collection] ineluctably unfolds its own history, a history that is tied to other images, other places in the text.

I would like instead to wind up these remarks by sharing my own serendipitous discovery—which bears in a small way on the intellectual history of the concept itself. Cole Research Fellow in the summer of My wife was six months pregnant, but we had decided to reserve this month so I could substantially complete research on the last couple of tricky objects for The Mind Is a Collection , a virtual museum of objects people used to model cognitive theories. It was there that I ran across an early modern theory of knowledge-acquisition, in which we discover things by accident. To my ear, this was a clear echo of Walpole.

That story is now in print, and has become useful to people working on the serendipity concept—for it shows us some of the ideas Walpole himself was weaving together when he coined his term. There, on page 12, are the coats of arms Walpole describes, and, in the margin, a little X, penned there to register the frisson of his discovery. This is of course the X which is the subject of these remarks.

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Walpole, with his joints not yet suffering from the gout that would cripple him late in life, held open that tightly bound little book, and placed a neat ideogram in the margin. You may still see it there.

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It is the first serendipitous discovery so-called. It also marks a spot: and not just a spot of special note, but a place where a transformation occurred, both in Walpole, but also in theories of discovery. He would not have accepted a place, but his pride would have been satisfied by refusing it. To her Walpole was a radiant newcomer who exorcised the devil ennui that possessed her.

Larissa Graham portrait Benjamin James Harrington's Oil Painting

Before long they were meeting daily. He made four laborious trips to see and entertain her and to bring her what comfort and pleasure he could until war was declared between France and England. When her income was cut he offered to make up the loss from his own pocket, but she would not let him do it. Although she wanted to leave him all she had, he accepted only her manuscripts and her little black spaniel, Tonton, who was not house-broken and who bit people.

Walpole wrote inside the front cover. No one knows you less than I do. You appear sometimes as I wish you were, sometimes as I fear you may not be, and perhaps never as you really are. It is obvious you are very intelligent in many ways. Everyone knows this as well as I, and you should be aware of it more than anyone. Yet I can vouch for your integrity. You are pincipled and courageous and pride yourself on firmness of purpose, so that when you make a decision, for better or worse, nothing can make you change your mind, often to the point of obstancy. Your friendship is warm and steadfast, but neither tender nor yielding.

Fear of weakness hardens you; you try not to be ruled by emotions: you cannot refuse friends in dire need, you sacrifice your interests to theirs, but you deny them smallest favours; you are kind to everyone, and to those to whom you are indifferent, yet for your friends, even where trifles are concerned, you hardly bother to exert yourself.


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Your manner is noble, easy and natural; your desire to please is without affectation. Knowledge and experience of the world have made you scorn humanity and yet you have learned to adjust; you know that outward expressions are merely insincerities; you respond with deference and good manners so that all those who do not care in the least whether you like them or not have a good opinion of you. You are thoughtful, you have absolutely no vanity although plenty of self-esteem, but your self-esteem does not blind you: it leads you to exaggerate your faults rather than to hide them.

You give a good opinion of yourself only if forced to do so when comparing yourself with others.


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You have discernment and tact, perfect taste and faultless manners. You would have been part of the most fashionable society in centuries past; you are so now in this, and would be in those of the future. Your character derives much from your country, but your manners are equally correct everywhere. You sacrifice your better feelings to it and let it regulate your conduct. It makes you harken to fools who give you false impressions that your friends cannot rectify.

You are too easily influenced, a tendency you recognize and which you remedy to adhering too strictly to principle; your determination never to give in is occasionally excessive, and at times when it is hardly worth the effort. To remedy this you seek out-of-the-ordinary ways to occupy and amuse yourself. You build exotic houses, you raise monuments to a king of brigands, you pretend to have forbearance, etc. Lastly, you seem a little mad in your eccentricities which are, however a product of reason. He made an index for this copy and added notes throughout it, all of which he used in the Strawberry edition, his copy of which is also at Farmington , annotated and extra-illustrated by him.

No collector ever enjoyed adorning his books more than Walpole. A year later she asked Walpole, even before Walpole had seen him, to take him after her death. Thomas Walpole proved his friendship by bringing Tonton to England when his mistress died, a kindness that must have added much to the hardship of those four exhausting days of travel.

Walpole doted on Tonton. In a word, my poor dear old friend Madam du Deffand had a little dog of which she was extremely fond, and the last time I saw her she made me promise if I should survive her to take charge of it. I did. It is arrived and I was going to say, it is incredible how fond I am of it, but I have no occasion to brag of my dogmanity.

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He is now sitting on my paper as I write—not the Duke but Tonton. Happily he had not suffered, and died close by my side without a pang or a groan. I sent him to Strawberry and went thither on Sunday to see him buried behind the Chapel near Rosette. Eight hundred and forty-eight of the letters are from Walpole, eight hundred and eighty-seven from Mann, a total of letters. The manuscripts of nearly all are at Farmington. Walpole was aware of their historic value. After a few years he let Kirgate do the copying, but resumed it for the last three years.

The originals and copies were kept in separate houses and were left to different people. It was sold in the second Waller Sale in and is now at Farmington. Lewis goes on to ponder why Walpole and Mann corresponded for so long and what became of the original letters before recounting his acquisition of the transcripts. The present Lord Waldegrave sold them to me in The original worn bindings of the six volumes were removed and Paget Toynbee told me with pride that he got the ninth Earl Waldegrave to have the letters rebound in their present red morocco.

We can be certain, I think, of his satisfaction if he could have known that in the twentieth century his letters to and from Mann would be published in America in eleven substantial volumes with tens of thousands of footnotes and an index of over , entries to guide an ever-increasing number of delighted readers.

jazzncidloca.tk For this he has wrote, printed, and built. This last particularly delighted Walpole. I have bespoken a frame for her, with the grand ducal coronet at top, her story on a label at bottom, which Gray is to compose in Latin as short and expressive as Tacitus one is lucky when one can bespeak and have executed such an inscription! Lewis goes on to quote Walpole telling Mann about the arms and serendipity. Lewis then turns his attention to Thomas Patch. Our collection of him started in when William Randolph Hearst began selling his vast collections that were stored in two New York warehouses, each of which covered a city block.

Perhaps a tenth of one percent of them was offered by Parish, Watson and Co. When I asked them if Hearst had anything from Strawberry Hill they said they had no idea and invited me to come and see for myself. I wandered through six floors crowded with Spanish choir stalls, porphyry jars and Etruscan vases, French cabinets and English chests. I was ready to give up on the sixth floor, but my guide urged me on for one more, which was the attic. Against its walls leaned a fragment of a Tiepolo ceiling, a Messonier battle scene, and Frederick Remington cowboys.

He was older in the Hearst picture, more rugose, but with the same broken nose and air of a capable. I urged my guide to send a photograph of it to Francis Watson at the Wallace Collection in London for his opinion and after Francis confirmed Patch as the artist a zero was chopped off the Hogarth price, and the remainder was divided by five, and the picture was the first of five Patches to come to Farmington. Walpole saw and admired the picture. Beauchamp, very tall and elegant in the center of the picture, has turned to regard the disturbance with amused superiority. A fifth one is a riverscape that I got to show the sort of thing Patch painted for the Grand Tourist trade.

It is a scene to bring back smiling Italy to northern travellers at home.