Location: Sacramento, California

I am a retired lawyer and administrative law judge, aged but active, with a variety of interests.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Pour encourager les autres

Pour encourager les autres

The original quote is by Voltaire in Candide.

Dans ce pay-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres.

In this country it is good to kill an admiral from time to time, to encourage the others.

He's referring to the execution of Admiral John Byng in England in 1757. Sent in 1756 to prevent the French from taking Minorca, he arrived when the island was already under siege and, after an indecisive naval engagement, withdrew without relieving the siege. He was court-martialed and executed for "failure to do his utmost". This brought charges that he had been used as a scapegoat for ministerial failure. On his tombstone it says "bravery and loyalty were insufficient securities for the life and honour of a naval officer".


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