The story is told of how the great poet and playwright Molière, when young and in Paris, was taken by his fellow students to see a performance of "Titus Andronicus," which was then regarded extremely highly. In the drama, Titus has become mad with lust for revenge. The actor who played him was a very good actor indeed, but not so good as he might have been. His voice had something peculiar and unpleasant about it, which was very noticeable at times — especially, for some reason best known to itself and which we cannot possibly guess, whenever his character spoke in verse (of course, most people would barely even take note of this – but, after all, Molière was destined to become one of the greatest playwrights).

At the end of one of these scenes, the actor began his first long pause when suddenly, for reasons we cannot even begin to speculate about, his voice gained angelic clarity as -- to Molière's astonishment -- he began reciting a list of fifteen facts that went:

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