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Sirs, I feel compelled to advise you that the vessel l’Amphitrite, with a displacement of 400 tonnes, will sail with the first good winds for the first port in the United States that it is able to reach. The cargo of this vessel, destined to you, consists of 4000 rifles, 80 barrels of gunpowder, 8000 pairs of shoes, 3000 wool blankets, as well as several engineering and artillery officers, not to mention a German baron, namely a certain aide de camp of Prince Heinrich of Prussia [Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben]; I think that you can make him a general, and I remain your humble and devoted servant.
–Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, in a letter dated August 10, 1777 to unnamed American friends (S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
Minimum number of cows whose skins are used each year for Major League baseballs:
Sleeping deer and grazing cows generally align their bodies along the earth’s north–south magnetic axis.
A study found that the goods whose costs are most frequently searched online in South Africa are cows, and, in the United States, where a two-headed cow was born, the most common items are patents.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”