Clips, Social Media

Da Vinci Does Facebook

Red Fez, September 13, 2015.

Dear reader, I should tell you that I’m not friends with these people, but one day, unaccountably, this is what popped up on my Facebook stream.

Michelangelo Buonarroti: I’ve just arrived in Rome, and been told by Pope Julius II of a change of (his) plans. He wants me to stop work on the sepulchral monument he’d commissioned earlier, and get to work with earnest on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I’m a sculptor, not a painter, I told him, but it appears as though I’ll have to drop the chisel, at least, for now, and pick up the brush. This Florentino is annoyed—Vatican City, Italy

Leonardo da Vinci: I’m not so sure about what Jesus would’ve liked on his platter, but I’m going to go ahead and put on his plate a dish we’re all a fan of: eel, garnished with slices of orange—Milan, Italy

Charles Darwin: Thank you, for all for the “bon voyage” wishes. As I pen this, I’m on the deck of the H.M.S. Beagle, headed out to the stormy seas. My Internet connection is very feeble and fickle, but I shall, from time to time, attempt to recount, in brief, the natural wonders that greet me—Plymouth, England

Arthur Conan Doyle: Amid the bustle of waiters, chink of fine silver, and the hum of a dozen conversations, I’m seated at a table in the opulent dining room of the Langham Hotel, awaiting the arrival of an American gentleman, Mr. Joseph Stoddart, who runs the Lippincott’s Monthly, a Philadelphia magazine. He’s in town to establish a British edition of his publication. The other invitee is one Mr. Oscar Wilde—Upper Regent Street, London

Ludwig van Beethoven: Fine. I may be a mercurial and slovenly man, but can you blame me?—Vienna, Austria

Queen Victoria: For their loyal and dedicated service, I’m bequeathing to my servants, all the pairs of bloomers that have graced my bottoms—Buckingham Palace, London

Marie Curie: Sliding open my desk drawer, I see a faint greenish glow emanating from my test tubes. As you know (or perhaps may not know), I made something of a discovery back on December 21, 1898, and god willing, I hope it is put to some good use—Paris, France

Antony van Leeuwenhoek: I’m at my workshop, penning a letter to the Royal Society of London, describing my observations on what I found in the lake water, the other day: green, serpent-like streaks, spirally wound. Their whole circumference was about the thickness of a hair of one’s head—Delft, The Netherlands

Plato: Thinking about how I’ll open The Republic, while I’m sitting under a plane tree, beside a quiet stream—Athens, Greece

Mahatma Gandhi: I hope many of you will join me in making the long, long trek to Dandi, and making our own salt, without paying tax. Please ensure that you’re in your best walking shoes—Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, India

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