adBlockCheck

Bush Regales Dinner Guests With Impromptu Oratory On Virgil's Minor Works

Top Headlines

Politics

Fact-Checking The First Presidential Debate

Addressing issues ranging from national security to trade to their personal controversies, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump squared off in the first presidential debate Monday. The Onion takes a look at the validity of their bolder claims:

Viewers Impressed By How Male Trump Looked During Debate

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying the Republican nominee exhibited just the qualities they were looking for in the country’s next leader, viewers throughout the nation reported Monday night that they were impressed by how male Donald Trump appeared throughout the first debate.

Poll: 89% Of Debate Viewers Tuning In Solely To See Whether Roof Collapses

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Explaining that the American people showed relatively little interest in learning more about the nominees’ economic, counterterrorism, or immigration policies, a new Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 89 percent of viewers were tuning into Monday night’s presidential debate solely to see whether the roof collapses on the two candidates.

Trump Planning To Throw Lie About Immigrant Crime Rate Out There Early In Debate To Gauge How Much He Can Get Away With

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying he would probably introduce the falsehood in his opening statement or perhaps during his response to the night’s first question, Republican nominee Donald Trump reported Monday he was planning to throw out a blatant lie about the level of crime committed by immigrants early in the first presidential debate to gauge how much he’d be allowed to get away with.

Who Is Gary Johnson?

Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson is gaining some traction in the polls as an alternative to the two major-party nominees. Here’s what you need to know about Johnson

What Is The Alt-Right?

A recent speech by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticizing the “alt-right” movement and its support of Republican nominee Donald Trump has shone the national spotlight on the ideologically conservative group. Here’s what you need to know about the alt-right

Diehard Trump Voters Confirm Rest Of Nation Should Stop Wasting Time Trying To Reach Them

‘If Anything Could Change Our Minds, It Would’ve Happened By Now,’ Say Candidate’s Supporters

WASHINGTON—Saying it should be very clear by now that absolutely nothing can change their position on the matter, steadfast supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told the rest of the nation Wednesday that it really shouldn’t bother trying to persuade them not to vote for him.

Tim Kaine Found Riding Conveyor Belt During Factory Campaign Stop

AIKEN, SC—Noting that he disappeared for over an hour during a campaign stop meet-and-greet with workers at a Bridgestone tire manufacturing plant, sources confirmed Tuesday that Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine was finally discovered riding on one of the factory’s conveyor belts.

Why Don’t People Like Hillary Clinton?

Although she’s secured the Democratic presidential nomination, many voters across all demographics are still hesitant to vote for Hillary Clinton. The Onion breaks down the reasons Clinton is having a hard time luring reluctant voters.

Who Are Donald Trump’s Supporters?

As Election Day draws near and GOP candidate Donald Trump continues to retain a loyal supporter base, many wonder who these voters are and what motivates them. Here are some key facts to know

How Trump Plans To Turn His Campaign Around

As Donald Trump’s poll numbers continue to fall, many wonder how the GOP presidential nominee can turn his campaign around before Election Day. Here are some ways Trump aims to regain his footing
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Bush Regales Dinner Guests With Impromptu Oratory On Virgil's Minor Works

WASHINGTON, DC–President Bush delighted an intimate gathering of White House dinner guests Monday, regaling the coterie of dignitaries, artists, and friends with a spirited, off-the-cuff discussion of the Roman poet Virgil's lesser-known works.

An effervescent Bush delights friends with tales of the poet Virgil.

"Ah, W. was in top form tonight," Spanish foreign minister Josep Pique Camps said. "We were all held captive by his erudition and charm. First, a brief history of the opium trade, then a bit of Brahms on the piano, then a rousing discussion of Virgil. That boy is a wonder, isn't he?"

According to guests, the subject of Virgil arose serendipitously when a servant opened a window in the Red Room, to which the group had retired for after-dinner drinks. Noticing the breeze, Bush raised his glass and delivered a toast to the changing of the seasons. He then apologized to "lovely Winter," explaining that he "meant no slight against her."

"The first blush of Spring always reminds me of Virgil's words," Bush said. "In early spring-tide, when the icy drip / Melts from the mountains hoar, and Zephyr's breath / Unbinds the crumbling clod, even then 'tis time / Press deep your plough behind the groaning ox / And teach the furrow-burnished share to shine."

"Book One of The Georgics, of course," Bush added.

Bush arranged the small, informal dinner in honor of Camps' unexpected arrival in the U.S.

"It had been too long since I'd heard one of W.'s anecdotes, so I simply got on a plane," Camps said. "I showed up at his doorstep with a watercolor by Ignat Bednarik, whom I know he adores, just to make sure he'd let me in."

Bush confessed that he has "long held a fascination with the classical world," noting that his love of Roman history influenced his decision to enter politics.

"Virgil was born in the year 70 B.C.–let's see, that would be during the consulship of Gnaeus Pompeius The Great and Marcus Licinius Crassus, if I'm not mistaken," Bush said. "It is said that while Virgil's mother was with child, she dreamt she gave birth to a laurel branch, which, upon touching the ground, sprang up into a full-grown tree, its branches laden with ripe fruits and flowers. The next morning, she gave birth to Virgil. The legend goes that Virgil was born without crying, so mild was his countenance."

According to White House regulars, it is not uncommon for Bush to engage guests in discussions of whatever subject strikes his fancy, from the symphony playing in the background to the history of a style of jewelry a guest happens to be wearing.

"I love to hear George hold court on this or that," said Bush family friend and world-renowned physicist Norberta Münter. "I tell him he is such a spoiled brat, the way he demands our attention, but I must confess I can't take my eyes off him when he does."

As the group sipped apple martinis and, in Bush's words, "recovered" from the Chilean sea bass, the president continued.

"Most primarily associate Publius Vergilius Maro with The Aeneid, " Bush told guests. "Yet so much pleasure is to be found in his lesser-known works–The Eclogues, completed in 37 B.C., and The Georgics, in 30 B.C., both of which praise the idyllic rural life."

"You have to remember I'm a bit of a farm boy myself," chuckled Bush, referring to his 1,600-acre ranch in Crawford, TX.

"The Bucolics are my personal favorite," Bush said. "They were basically a thank-you to Asinius Pollio for preventing the seizure of Virgil's land by the Triumvirate when they ordered the lands on the far banks of the river Po distributed to veterans of the victory at Philippi. They are so sublime, so inspirational. But why should I speak, when Virgil can do so himself? And far more eloquently, I might add."

Bush then recited a selection from The Bucolics in the original Latin, pausing occasionally to translate into French out of respect for his friend Amélie du Maurier, a young Parisian concert violinist in attendance. Earlier in the evening, a blushing du Maurier admitted to Bush that she did not know Latin. Bush eased the young woman's embarrassment with a joke.

"I wouldn't be surprised if your father forbade you from learning Latin, out of sheer distaste for res publica," said Bush, alluding to du Maurier's ancestors' place in the ousted French aristocracy.

Despite urging from guests to continue his Bucolics recitation, Bush declined.

"I have already taken up far too much of your valuable time with my classical natterings," Bush said. "I dearly wish I could give you back this hour during which you so graciously indulged my dilettantism, but, as Plautus said, 'Factum est illud, fieri infectum non potest.' Done is done, it cannot be made undone."

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close