Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QotD: Gentleman Johnny on Flattery

 

Mrs. Blandish. There it is, complete——

[Reads conceitedly.

Adieu, my charming friend, my amiable, my all
Accomplished associate! conceive the ardour of
Your lovers united with your own sensibility—
Still will the compound be but faintly expressive
Of the truth and tenderness of your

Letitia Blandish.

There’s phrase—there’s a period—match it, if you can.

Blandish. Not I, indeed: I am working upon a quite different plan: but, in the name of the old father of adulation, to whom is that perfect phrase addressed?

Mrs. Blandish. To one worth the pains, I can tell you—Miss Alscrip.

Blandish. What, sensibility to Miss Alscrip! My dear sister, this is too much, even in your own way: had you run changes upon her fortune, stocks, bonds, and mortgages; upon Lord Gayville’s coronet at her feet, or forty other coronets, to make footballs of if she pleased,—it would have been plausible; but the quality you have selected——

Mrs. Blandish. Is one she has no pretensions to; therefore the flattery is more persuasive—that’s my maxim.

Blandish. And mine also, but I don’t try it quite so high—Sensibility to Miss Alscrip! you might as well have applied it to her uncle’s pig-iron, from which she derives her first fifty thousand; or the harder heart of the old usurer, her father, from which she expects the second. But come, [Rings.] to the business of the morning.—Opening to The Heiress, a play by General John Burgoyne

We often know someone because of an accomplishment or accomplishments in one field of endeavor. We know Michael Jordan for basketball, even though he also played baseball. Certainly, he was much more of a force in basketball, and his baseball career was worth forgetting. Occasionally, there are those who stand out and are known for accomplishment in multiple areas. Winston Churchill: politician and historian; Michaelangelo: painter, sculptor, and poet; Leonardo da Vinci: engineer, painter, sculptor, inventor, and, well, everything. But most people are generally known for only one thing, at least by the general public.

Case in point: General John “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne. We know him best as a general who lost in the American Revolution (defeated by Benedict Arnold, in truth). Perhaps those with a more historical bent might know of his other military contributions, such as in The Fantastic War. Others may know that he was a politician, as many British military men of the period were. But few know him for another accomplishment: He was a playwright. A year before the Revolution started, Burgoyne’s nephew-by-marriage married. As part of the festivities, Burgoyne arranged for some pretty nifty things to happen, and part was a short play. The event was such a hit that he and his friend David Garrick, whom he had pulled into the staging of the play, decided to expand it and produce it for a wider audience. That play was called The Maid of the Oaks. It was a huge success.

Gentleman Johnny’s career as a playwright was then interrupted as he was sent across the sea to take care of those persnickety rebels in the Colonies. When that failed, he was sent back to England, where eventually he continued his playwrighting career, being involved in at least a handful of works. The Heiress was one such.

He died on August 4, 1792, exactly 228 years ago today.

Do you know of any other famous people who are known for one thing, but had surprising sidelines?

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    This is the Quote of the Day. If you have a quotation you would like to share or a person or event you would like to commemorate through a quotation, why not sign up?

    • #1
    • August 3, 2020, at 11:35 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. KentForrester Moderator

    Arahant, is that mess you begin with an excerpt from one of Burgoyne’s plays? If so, he was a loser in drama and a loser in war. 

    • #2
    • August 3, 2020, at 11:56 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    …is that mess you begin with an excerpt from one of Burgoyne’s plays?

    It certainly is. But he had more attendance at his plays than you or I have ever seen at ours.

    • #3
    • August 4, 2020, at 12:05 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    @kentforrester, also, I linked the play above. Feel free to read it. It might get better. 😈

     

    • #4
    • August 4, 2020, at 12:13 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. KentForrester Moderator

    Arahant (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    …is that mess you begin with an excerpt from one of Burgoyne’s plays?

    It certainly is. But he had more attendance at his plays than you or I have ever seen at ours.

    Arahant, my plays have always been well attended, though I have never believed that the SRO crowds were an indication of the quality of my plays. 

    You and I are up late again. 

    • #5
    • August 4, 2020, at 12:19 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    You and I are up late again. 

    Technically, I am more of up early. But it isn’t as if I sleep much.

    • #6
    • August 4, 2020, at 12:22 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. KentForrester Moderator

    Arahant, while I’m here, how do I indent ten spaces and have that spacing stick? When I leave my draft and come back, that ten spaces is gone.

    • #7
    • August 4, 2020, at 12:31 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Arahant, while I’m here, how do I indent ten spaces and have that spacing stick? When I leave my draft and come back, that ten spaces is gone.

    Max made it rather difficult.

    spacespaceHard to tell what might work.

     

    • #8
    • August 4, 2020, at 1:22 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  9. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Max made it so any sort of space at the beginning of a line (including en and em-spaces) would be stripped out from showing. Likewise, double-spaces are interpreted as single. However, you can put white-colored text at the beginning of a line as I did here:

    Arahant (View Comment):
    spacespaceHard to tell what might work.

    If you highlight it, you’ll see what is keeping it indented.

    I believe we have done it with periods and spaces in the past, so:

    . . . . . Like this.

     

    • #9
    • August 4, 2020, at 1:28 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Another way is to make a white picture of an appropriate size and then insert it to format.

    Like this. It is a bit of a pain, needing to insert it before every paragraph you start, but it should work. I think I’ll just do a bit of Lorem Ipsum sort of fill to demonstrate.

    Like this. It is a bit of a pain, needing to insert it before every paragraph you start, but it should work. I think I’ll just do a bit of Lorem Ipsum sort of fill to demonstrate. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. 

    Like this. It is a bit of a pain, needing to insert it before every paragraph you start, but it should work. I think I’ll just do a bit of Lorem Ipsum sort of fill to demonstrate.Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. 

    Like this. It is a bit of a pain, needing to insert it before every paragraph you start, but it should work. I think I’ll just do a bit of Lorem Ipsum sort of fill to demonstrate.Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. 

    • #10
    • August 4, 2020, at 1:40 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. KentForrester Moderator

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Max made it so any sort of space at the beginning of a line (including en and em-spaces) would be stripped out from showing. Likewise, double-spaces are interpreted as single. However, you can put white-colored text at the beginning of a line as I did here:

    Arahant (View Comment):
    spacespaceHard to tell what might work.

    If you highlight it, you’ll see what is keeping it indented.

    I believe we have done it with periods and spaces in the past, so:

    . . . . . Like this.

    Arahant, where do I find white-colored text?

     

    • #11
    • August 4, 2020, at 1:57 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Arahant, where do I find white-colored text?

    Huddling in its home avoiding the riots that black text causes.

    It may be easier for you to use the picture method I mentioned. Copy this blank picture: . Then put it into your Ricochet Media Library for future use.

    • #12
    • August 4, 2020, at 2:16 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. KentForrester Moderator

    Arahant (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Arahant, where do I find white-colored text?

    Huddling in its home avoiding the riots that black text causes.

    It may be easier for you to use the picture method I mentioned. Copy this blank picture: . Then put it into your Ricochet Media Library for future use.

    Arahant, once I had used your white text, I understood how to do it. I should have thought of that before. Thanks for your help.

    You still up? It’s 3 a.m. here in Oregon. You on the east coast? 

    • #13
    • August 4, 2020, at 3:06 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. She Reagan
    SheJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Someone should inform @max that Blank Text Matters.

     

    • #14
    • August 4, 2020, at 3:11 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  15. KentForrester Moderator

    She (View Comment):

    Someone should inform @max that Blank Text Matters.

     

    You’re up early, Mrs. She. 

    • #15
    • August 4, 2020, at 3:13 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. She Reagan
    SheJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Not sure if this is exactly the same, but I had no idea that Jeffrey Archer, the novelist, was Lord Archer, former Deputy Leader of the British Conserviative Party, and of the checkered political career, until things imploded and he went to jail.

    • #16
    • August 4, 2020, at 3:14 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    You still up? It’s 3 a.m. here in Oregon. You on the east coast? 

    Yep and yep. 6:15 in the Eastern time zone.

    • #17
    • August 4, 2020, at 3:15 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. She Reagan
    SheJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Someone should inform @max that Blank Text Matters.

     

    You’re up early, Mrs. She.

    Just call me Mrs. Pinkerton.

    • #18
    • August 4, 2020, at 3:17 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    She (View Comment):

    Not sure if this is exactly the same, but I had no idea that Jeffrey Archer, the novelist, was Lord Archer, former Deputy Leader of the British Conserviative Party, and of the checkered political career, until things imploded and he went to jail.

    Yes, I suppose it is sort of the same. Of course, it looks like he has always been a liar, as was his father, and writing fiction is merely telling lies for fun and profit. He seems to be a fascinating character, a true scalawag.

    • #19
    • August 4, 2020, at 3:32 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Yes, I suppose it is sort of the same. Of course, it looks like he has always been a liar, as was his father, and writing fiction is merely telling lies for fun and profit. He seems to be a fascinating character, a true scalawag.

    I’m going to go further. As a writer of fiction, I could not get away with writing a character like Lord Archer. He sounds like the Clintons. Any editor would read it and say, “Yeah, let’s dial this back a bit why don’t we?”

    • #20
    • August 4, 2020, at 3:55 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Seawriter Contributor

    I was going to mention Winston Churchill’s paintings and Teddy Roosevelt’s conservation and hunting as surprising sidelines. Also that Herbert Hoover wrote a book on mining engineering that was a standard mining textbook for several decades.

    After the Arahant-KentForrester exchange those examples seem somehow trivial.

    • #21
    • August 4, 2020, at 5:32 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  22. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    After the Arahant-KentForrester exchange those examples seem somehow trivial.

    What can we say? (Besides far less?)

    • #22
    • August 4, 2020, at 7:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Boss Mongo Member

    Drawn from VDH’s Ripples of Battle:

    Lew Wallace was the Commander of the Indiana 11th Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. He was castigated and had aspersions cast upon him for taking a wrong turn and showing up late for the battle of Shiloh because he took the wrong road. There is some controversy over whether a courier from Grant gave him bad information on the route he should take. His military reputation was shot. He begged Grant for absolution, and never got it.

    After the war, Wallace wrote Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, which became the best-selling novel of all time (at that time).

    Great book, BTW. VDH’s. I’ve not read Ben Hur yet.

    • #23
    • August 6, 2020, at 4:06 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    Lew Wallace

    Yes, also governor of the New Mexico Territory, an ambassador, and an inventor. A talented man. I have been to his house in Crawfordsville.

    • #24
    • August 6, 2020, at 4:16 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Lew_Wallace_Study

    • #25
    • August 6, 2020, at 4:20 AM PDT
    • 1 like