His talk was like a stream, which runs

With rapid change from rocks to roses:

It slipped from politics to puns,

It passed from Mahomet to Moses;

Beginning with the laws which keep

The planets in their radiant courses

And ending with some precept deep

For dressing eels, or shoeing horses.

—The Vicar,

by Winthrop Praed (1802-39)

Nikita Khrushchev may write shorter letters than Bulganin, but he talks longer, oftener, and with more asides, anecdotes, wit and rhetorical questions than any other head of state. Last week, back in Moscow from eight days of spellbinding in Hungary, Khrushchev mounted a rostrum in...

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