Captain Cavaliť Mercer was in command of troop G of the Royal Horse Artillery
in Wellingtons army that met in battle on that fateful day June 18th
1815. Popularly known as the Battle of Waterloo, it marked one of the epic clashes
of the era. Here are a few excerpts of the first hand account written by Mercer
in his diary. Its one of the best descriptions we have of combat at the
While we bask in the wonderful works created by the musical/artistic geniuses
of the past, we all to often forget that they were indeed real people. In the
case of Mozart he can be downright juvenile at times. Heres a couple of
paragraphs found in his letters. Hard to imagine this is from the same man who
gave us the Requiem and Mass in C.
Declaration - Modernized
I'm always reminded when reading old documents in class at the difficulty some
have relating to the language in its older manifestations. Eighteenth
century English for example does not always speak to the modern audience.
Not that this is a new problem, Mencken for one reached the same conclusion
in the early part of the 20th century. His "modernized" version
of the Declaration of Independence would have caused Jefferson to declare
war on the education establishment itself. This is the opening and conclusion
to the Declaration of Independence
utilizing a more modern sensibility.
It's every bit as crass as the poorly educated populous he was criticizing.
Paine - Common Sense
Some say it was the match that lit the passion of the American revolution. Others
point out its ability to capture the feelings of many of the colonists leading
into the war. What can't be denied is the impact this small pamphlet had on
the morale the colonists. Shunning the rarefied rhetoric of a philosopher, Paine
sets forth the case for independence in common language. This captures at it
heart what it meant to be an American. If you are not content with other people's
summaries of this significant document, I invite you to read it yourself. I
make available a complete PDF version.
Resource of Mark Hunter