Temple's Diary Temple's Diary
Episode 6. War or No War?

The Electric Franklin

November 5, 1775

Hurrah, my brain must have been working while I slept! It was in our poetry class, back in London. I have it now, clear as the breaking day. It was not "I submit," but just "Submit." It has to be somewhere in an Alexander Pope poem, parts of which we memorized. Did good old Elphinston ever worship Alexander Pope! (Personally, I preferred Jonathan Swift, but that's beside the point). Quickly, let's pull my book of English poetry out of my trunk. Here we are! Alexander Pope ... Eloïsa to Abelard, no ... The Rape of the Lock, no ... The Essay on Man, that's it. That's the very, very long poem where he says that we humans should not try to understand too much but show absolute submission to Providence. That is exactly Jane's point of view. And here is "Submit," ten lines before the end!

"Submit. — In this, or any other sphere;
Secure to be as blessed as thou can bear,
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power..."

Aunt Jane, here I come, armed with all the right quotations. I'll dazzle you with my insight into your soul, I'll lead you to appreciate Aunt Sally, I'll turn you into a ... PUSSYCAT!

(Dear Descendants, If, by the time you'll be reading this, nobody cares anymore about Alexander Pope and believes he's some pope in the Vatican, I'll tell you quickly that he was born in 1688, died in 1744, and wrote some of the most beautiful poetry in the English language.)

Alas, here's Benny knocking on my door, telling me it's time to go off to school. No breakfast for poor Temple.