WOT ...? ("Congressional Balcony"?)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jan 30 04:04:35 UTC 2014

On Jan 29, 2014, at 10:45 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> At 1/29/2014 08:09 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> > P.S. Wikipedia cites an "accidental autodefenestration", in Acts ch.
>> > 20 verses 6--12.  Something to ponder every time one looks out of an
>> > open window.
>> Not as much fun as accidental autoasphyxiation (gasp gasp), I'm sure.
> Does one achieve sexual satisfaction from an *accidental* autoasphyxiation?

Well, my thought was the fun part comes early on, and then the accidental part.
>> As for defenestrations, there were (at least)
>> two famous ones in Prague, but definitely
>> neither auto- nor accidental.  My favorite is
>> the second one, during the Thirty Years War at
>> the Hradčany Castle on May 23, 1618, when an
>> assembly of Bohemian Protestants put two local
>> governors of the Holy Roman Empire on trial in
>> the Bohemian Chancellery for violating the
>> Freedom of Religion edict granted nine years
>> early by Emperor Rudolf II. The regents were
>> convicted, and along with their scribe Philip
>> Fabricius, were immediately flung out of the
>> hundred-foot-high windows of the Hradčany. They
>> landed on a large pile of horse manure in a dry
>> moat and survived. The emperor later ennobled
>> Fabricius as Baron von Hohenfall ("of Highfall").
> This -- plus of course defenestrating enemies
> into a pile of horse manure -- goes to show that
> they had senses of humor in the early modern
> era.  Both Protestants and Catholics.
> Joel

True enough, but it probably didn't seem that much like a laughing matter for the regents and scribe on the way down, even if it ended (relatively) well, with or without angelic intercession.

>> Imperial officials attributed the survival of
>> the defenestratees to the intercession of angels
>> on behalf of the Catholic cause; for the
>> Protestants, their preservation resulted not
>> from heavenly dispensation but the softness of their landing site.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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