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Old 03-05-2007, 05:06 PM
brianmelendez brianmelendez is offline
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"One of the greatest writers ... shown in his dotage for a fee"?

C.S. Forester, in his Horatio Hornblower novel Beat to Quarters, writes in chapter XXI about the impending executon of El Supremo:
Quote:
This Spanish way of making a show out of insanity and greatness was repulsive enough, but could be paralleled often enough in English history. One of the greatest writers of the English language, and a dignitary of the Church to boot, had once been shown in his dotage for a fee. There was only one line of argument which he could adopt.

"You are going to hang him, mad as he is?" he asked. "With no chance of making his peace with God?"

The Spaniard shrugged.

"Mad or sane, rebels must hang. Your Excellency must know that as well as I do."

Hornblower did know it. He was left without any argument at all, and was reduced to stammering inarticulation, even while he boiled with contempt with himself on that account.
To whom was Forester referring when he wrote of "one of the greatest writers of the English language, and a dignitary of the Church to boot," who "had once been shown in his dotage for a fee"?
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:17 PM
pinkfreud pinkfreud is offline
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My guess: Jonathan Swift.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:26 PM
pinkfreud pinkfreud is offline
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Here is a newsgroup thread in which a couple of other folks also guess that Jonathan Swift is the writer to whom Forester referred.
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