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Alan Rusbridger

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Night

Volume XII, Number 1 | winter 2019

Miscellany

In September 1776, fearing illness from night air, John Adams asked Benjamin Franklin to close the window of their room in a New Jersey inn. “I believe you are not acquainted with my Theory of Colds,” Franklin responded, launching into “a harangue upon air and cold and respiration and perspiration” in favor of leaving windows open. “I was so much amused,” Adams wrote in his journal, “that I soon fell asleep and left him and his philosophy together.”

Never greet a stranger in the night, for he may be a demon.

—Babylonian Talmud, c. 600

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