(February 6, 1756 -- September 14, 1836)
When asked once, "If you were accused of murder,
would you deny it?" he said simply, "Why?
What good would it do me? Most people may
not have a hundred thousand dollars, but
they have their own opinions. And a man's
opinion is his pride, his wealth, himself.
As far as I'm concerned, people are free
to indulge themselves in any thought they choose.
And if some lady says, `Why, Colonel Burr,
I wonder if you ever really were
the gay Lothario they say you were?'
I will just shake my head and say, `They say.
They say. Mademoiselle, how long will you
continue to employ those dreadful words?
Those two brief syllables have done more harm
Than all the other words in history.'
It is a pity Massah Tom in his
great Declaration, did not guarantee
that men would be self-evidently free
from gossip, common talk, and calumny.
But then, I hear he was preoccupied
by someone who could never be his bride,
or so," with a delicious smile, "they say."
copyright 2009 Matthew J Wells