be careful what you wish for

A Letter to The Times written in June 1919


Observing reports in several newspapers that prayers are about to be offered up for rain, I venture to suggest that great care be taken in framing the appeal.

this other letter was found here

On the last occasion when this extreme step was resorted to, the resulting downpour was not only sufficient for all immediate needs, but was considerably in excess of what was actually required. The agricultural committee had no sooner been delivered from the drought than they were clamouring for a special interposition to relieve them from the deluge.

Still from The Deluge (1933) found here

Profiting from this experience we ought to be extremely careful to state exactly what we want in precise terms. The Board of Agriculture should draw up a schedule of the exact amount of rainfall required.

Rainfall Shower Head found here

This scheme, though greatly preferable to the haphazard methods previously employed, is in itself only a partial makeshift. What we really should pray for is a general amelioration of the British climate, to ascertain through scientific investigation, the proportion of sunshine and rain best suited to the ripening of British crops.

British crop circle found here

These reforms, when duly embodied in an official volume, could be made the object of sustained appeals by the nation over many years. We should not then be forced to have recourse to such appeals at particular periods, which, since they are unrelated to any general plan, must run the risk of deranging the whole economy of nature… causing reactions of the utmost complexity which it is impossible for us with our limited knowledge to foresee…

Yours very faithfully,


Winston Churchill found here

* Scorpio was a pen name used by Mr. Winston Churchill

Published in: on September 7, 2011 at 8:06 am  Comments (47)  
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47 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Pray tell, what is ‘milk punch’???

    • Bourbon and milk. Perfect for washing down Dukes.

  2. That crop circle is DEFINITELY made by aliens.

  3. a friend is wishing for the man she has a crush on to fall into a ravine cuz the feeling isnt mutual.

    a smart letter by Scorpio.

    • Hey…. that’s not very nice is it?

      • it’s not very nice.

  4. I don’t understand all I know about what you just wrote. I can relate, however, due to our 1999 drought here in South East North Carolina being ended by Hurricane Floyd, which took my home and all I owned down the cape fear river three days later from flooding.

    Also, the picture of the “Chef” found here, ( with the freakish Carotene Bulge) bares a striking resemblance to Jamie Oliver, who I think Gordon Ramsay has developed a hang up over.

    By the way, did you see Gordo in his guest appearance movie debut, “Loves Kitchen”?

    God Bless You

    • I avoid any television that involves Gordo

      • Very F&^%**ing wise.

  5. Winston was a climate change specialist ahead of his times.

  6. I didn’t know Churchill wrote under Scorpio. H was born in November so – like my husband was a Scorpio. I wonder if Clemmie was Pisces – said to be the ideal mate.
    In the fifties we had a devastating flood in Lynmouth. It was rumoured to be a result of experiments with clouds. but the Government denied it.

    • She was born in April, I think that makes her an Aries

  7. People actually thought they could alter the climate through prayer? What a quaint, naive idea. If it were true, I would have prayed that you didn’t suffer a heatwave when you visited NYC.

    • I rather enjoyed that New York heat πŸ˜‰

      • I was born in the wrong era.

        It would have been so much easier back then to get people to fall for my B.S. stories…

      • … and those mandatory afternoon siestas. πŸ˜‰

  8. that’s a lovely crop circle! clever, clever aliens! i have a lighted shower head, but it’s not nearly as cool as the rain shower one. time to re-do the bathroom!

  9. The man had a way with words & a great sense of humour.

    • Yes he did Beth

  10. Good for Mr Churchill, he’s evidently still working hard as I’m told we’re having a bumper fruit crop this eyar

  11. Down here, deep in the heart of Texas, the drought has been terrible; wildfires rage out of control, people and livestock killed, over a 1,000 homes burned and my main thought is: that is one, really cool shower head.

    • I hope you and your family are safe

  12. I would leave a comment but it might cause reactions of the utmost complexity which it is impossible for me with my limited knowledge to foresee. There again, not leaving a comment might do likewise.

  13. Someone needs to send this letter to Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.

    • Has anyone considered using Gov. Perry in the role of the Duke?

    • Just what I was thinking. Didn’t he just cut Fire Dept. funding ?

    • Do you live in Texas? Perhaps you are smelling the wildfires every night or gathering supplies for your friends and neighbors that have been evacuated? It ain’t fun right now and yeh, I will wish for some rain. Pray for it, even.

  14. With a little less sophisticated language this would pass for Mark Twain writing any day.

  15. The weather has been unpredictable ever since Gordon brown took over as the UK’s Chancellor. It was always sunny when Margaret Thatcher was in power.

    • hahahaha…….

  16. I soooo lust after a rainfall shower head.

  17. I guess musicians aren’t the only ones who can make it rain.

  18. Great recipe from Ms Glasse, I don’t have a Duke to hand but I might be able to find a ginger prince

    • Are you cooking for royalty now Lulu?

  19. I recently came across the following wonderful letter written to The Times in 1946…


    I have just written you a long letter.

    On reading it over, I have thrown it into the waste paper basket.

    Hoping this will meet with your approval,

    I am
    Your obedient Servant

    A.D. Wintle

  20. Ooops – I meant to include a link to the above…

    • Great link. I’ve bookmarked it for future research

  21. I never knew he used the pseudonym Scorpio.

    I love that letter providing the recipe for Duke Curry.. A nice inversion of Swift’s Modest Proposal!

  22. I’d like a rainfall shower head but I think I would get water in my eye trying to look up at the pretty lights.

  23. When it rains, it pours, And when it doesn’t, we are.

  24. Due to the shortage of dukes these days, they invented cloud seeding.

  25. Love the rainfall shower head.

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