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    Re: Weems, electrickery, and a depressed Dane
    From: Mike Burkes
    Date: 2010 Aug 2, 19:59 -0700
    Hi FR thanks so much I thought there was some"Will" in there.
    Mike Burkes


    From: FrankReed@HistoricalAtlas.com
    To: NavList@fer3.com
    Date: Sun, 1 Aug 2010 22:15:50 -0700
    Subject: [NavList] Weems, electrickery, and a depressed Dane

    Mike Burkes, in the "new innovation" thread, you asked about a quotation which you attached in a pdf.
    Here's a slightly longer version of that quotation:
    "The radio beam's best effort cannot, to me, compare with the stark independence and simplicity of the star navigator's apparatus and methods. He depends on no fallible mass of "electrickery" and its human crew. In "this majestical roof, fretted with golden fire" (Shakespeare haunts this page today!) there are a million leading lamps trimmed by a steadier than mortal hand and located in eternity with divine exactitude."
    --P.V.H. Weems, Air Navigation, 1943
    Weems does appear to be the original author of this statement about 'electrickery' and also the bit about 'lamps trimmed by a steadier than mortal hand'.
    If you were wondering about the poetry in the middle, the part about "golden fire," that's from a speech in a play where the main character is trying to explain to his school chums that he's been feeling a little down lately, not really enjoying life. Here's a longer slice of the speech:
    "I have of late, --but wherefore I know not, --lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, THIS MAJESTICAL ROOF FRETTED WITH GOLDEN FIRE, --why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action, how like an angel! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?"
    The above speech was spoken by none other than everybody's favorite depressed Danish prince, Hamlet. And the author, of course, was Shakespeare as noted by Weems.
    -FER
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