The Pattern Still Remains

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#Europe

Wit & Hair

"He hath the wit to lose his hair."

This is probably an allusion to the consequences of syphilis. Dr. Johnson noted: ‘those who have more hair than wit are easily entrapped by loose women, and suffer the consequences of lewdness, one of which, in the first appearance of the disease in Europe, was the loss of hair.’

The Annotated Shakespeare by A.L. Rowse, 1978.

Arabic Numerals & Forgery

When Arabic numerals were invented, they did not win immediate acceptance. In the year 1300, their use was forbidden in European commercial dealings because they could be forged more easily than Roman numerals. (Changing “1979” seems to be simpler than changing “MCMLXXIX”)

Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts, 1979.

President

When George Washington became President, in 1789, a king ruled France, a Holy Roman Emperor ruled much of Europe, a czarina ruled Russia, a shogun ruled Japan, and an emperor ruled China. Of these, only the office of President remains.

Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts, 1979.