Burr: A Novel by Gore Vidal:
“A marvelous invention, in theory at least.” I was polite. I had already seen a similar invention in Jefferson’s town house. During the night the bed would rest on the floor; during the day it would be hauled up to the ceiling by ropes. I cannot think why.
For some time, Jefferson discoursed impressively on Newton’s theory of gravity and the inverse square which entirely accounted for the delicious fact that a heavy bed unless secured by strong ropes will always fall to the floor.
Dinner was served at three o’clock on the lawn where we were tolerably shaded by tall plane-trees. Despite the heat we did more than justice to the wonders from the Jefferson kitchen and cellar, served us by a French major-domo named Petit. One always dined royally at the great democrat’s table.