It was 44 years ago today that I met Mrs. Phred. It was at a Tallahassee cast party for the play, "A Man for All Seasons". I knew by the U.S. Army gas mask bag that she was carrying for a purse that she was special and different from the Southern blonds with the penny loafers. She was between causes. The civil rights thing had petered out although she had many arrests in New York City and Tallahassee to her credit. The Viet Nam thing was just heating up
I asked her home to play Monopoly. She dumped her date and the rest is history. Heloise and Abelard. Anthony and Cleopatra, Napoleon and Josephine, Mr. and Mrs. Phred...
The thing about the play was that it had so many interesting characters that were struggling in the 1600s with the same issues that still face us today. Wolsey. Thomas More, Richie Rich. Oliver Cromwell, The Duke of Norfolk, Henry VIII. Then there was "everyman" who played so many parts.
As a matter of conscience, Sir Thomas More found himself unable to endorse Henry's wish to divorce the barren Catherine of Aragon and marry Ann Boleyn.
The Duke of Norfolk: Why do you insult me with this lawyer's chatter?
Sir Thomas More: Because I am afraid.
The Duke of Norfolk: Man, you're ill. This isn't Spain, you know. This is England.
Cromwell: The King wants Sir Thomas to bless his marriage. If Sir Thomas appeared at the wedding, now, it might save us all a lot of trouble.
The Duke of Norfolk: Aaahh, he won't attend the wedding.
Cromwell: If I were you, I'd try and persuade him. I really would try... if I were you.
The Duke of Norfolk: Cromwell, are you threatening me?
Cromwell: My dear Norfolk... this isn't Spain. This is England.
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
That brings us to the impending trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Before this Arab scum was ever waterboarded he bragged to Al Jeezira about personally decapitating Daniel Pearl and planning and coordinating the 9/11 attack that killed 3.000 innocents.
While a bullet in the back of the head might have been my own preference and saved money, even the devil deserves the rule of law for our own safety's sake.
This isn't Russia, you know, this is America.