Thursday, July 21, 2011

ASBC: Karl Maeser and Small Children

What is the connection here? First, a short story from Messer Polo.
Polo travels to a place with an interesting law: "If application for payment shall have been repeatedly made by a creditor, and the debtor puts him off from time to time with false promises, the forfeiter may attach his person by drawing a circle around him, from whence he dare not depart until he has satisfied his creditor, either by payment, or by giving adequate security. Should he attempt to make his escape, he renders himself liable to the punishment of death, as a violater of the rules of justice." (291)

Marco Polo is apparently an eyewitness to a foreign merchant, to whom the king of the country owes money, drawing a circle around the king and his horse while they are out riding one day. (Presumably the horse was standing still for a moment.) The king saw that he had been circled and refused to move until the debt was paid; all the bystanders marvelled at how great the king was for submitting to his own laws of justice.

Back to the title. Remember that Karl Maeser quote about the chalk circle? Not so original after all. Also, I have been having a surprisingly great yet busy time this week watching various small relatives. But I was sure wishing I could draw a circle around my nephew and leave him there after he jumped back into the bathtub with his pajamas on. (You owe me the five minutes of my life I spent wrestling you into those pajamas!)


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