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God Will Hearken To Thy People !

Not many weeks later, committing the charge and defence of his capital to Ooryphas, the Prefect, Michael again set forth to invade the Caliph's dominions. But even, as it would seem, before he reached the frontier, he was recalled ( in June ) by the alarming news that the Russians had attacked Constantinople. When the danger had passed, he started again for the East, to encounter Omar, the Emir of Melitene, who had in the meantime taken the field. Michael marched along the great high-road which leads to the Upper Euphrates by Ancyra and Sebastea. Having passed Gaziura, he encamped in the plain of Dazimon, where Afshin had inflicted on his father an overwhelming defeat. Here he awaited the approach of the Emir, who was near at hand, advancing, as we may with certainty assume, from Sebastea.

An enemy marching by this road, against Amasea, had the choice of two ways. He might proceed northward to Dazimon and then westward by Gaziura; or he might turn westward at Verisa ( Bolous ) and reach Amasea by Sebastopolis ( Sulu-serai ) and Zela. On this occasion the first route was barred by the Roman army, which lay near the strong fortress of Dazimon, and could not be advantageously attacked on this side. It would have been possible for Omar, following the second route, to have reached Gaziura from Zela, and entered the plain of Dazimon from the west. But he preferred a bolder course, which surprised the Greeks, who acknowledged his strategic ability. Leaving the Zela road, a little to the west of Verisa, he led his forces northward across the hills ( Ak-Dagh ), and descending into the Dazimon plain occupied a favourable position at Chonarion, not far from the Greek camp. The battle which ensued resulted in a rout of the Imperial army, and Michael sought a refuge on the summit of the same steep hill of Anzên which marked the scene of his father's defeat. Here he was besieged for some hours, but want of water and pasture induced the Emir to withdraw his forces.

It is possible that the victorious general followed up his success by advancing as far as Sinope. But three years later, Omar revisited the same regions, devastated the Armeniac Theme, and reached the coast of the Euxine ( A.D. 863 ). His plan seems to have been to march right across the centre of Asia Minor and return to Saracen territory by the Pass of the Cilician Gates. He took and sacked the city of Amisus ( Samsun ), and the impression which the unaccustomed appearance of an enemy on that coast made upon the inhabitants was reflected in the resuscitation of an ancient legend. Omar, furious that the sea set a bound to his northern advance, was said, like Xerxes, to have scourged the waves. The Emperor appointed his uncle Petronas, who was still stratêgos of the Thrakesian Theme, to the supreme command of the army ; and not only all the troops of Asia, but the armies of Thrace and Macedonia, and the Tagmatic regiments, were placed at his disposal. When Omar heard at Amisus of the preparations which were afoot, he was advised by his officers to retire by the way he had come. But he determined to carry out his original plan, and setting out from Amisus in August, he chose a route which would lead him by the west bank of the Halys to Tyana and Podandos. The object of Petronas was now to intercept him. Though the obscure localities named in the chronicles have not been identified, the general data suggest the conclusion that it was between LakeTatta and the Halys that he decided to surround the foe. The troops of the Armeniac, Bukellarian, Paphlagonian, and Kolonean Themes converged upon the north, after Omar had passed Ancyra. The Anatolic, Opsikian, and Cappadocian armies, reinforced by the troops of Seleucia and Charsianon, gathered on the south and south-east ; while Petronas himself, with the Tagmata, the Thracians, and Macedonians, as well as his own Thrakesians, appeared on the west of the enemy's line of march. A hill separated Petronas from the Saracen camp, and he was successful in a struggle to occupy the height. Omar was caught in a trap. Finding it impossible to escape to the north or to the south, he attacked Petronas, who held his ground. Then the generals of the northern and southern armies closed in, and the Saracen forces were almost annihilated. Omar himself fell. His son escaped across the Halys, but was caught by the turmarch of Charsianon. The victory of Poson ( such was the name of the place ), and the death of one of the ablest Moslem generals were a compensation for the defeat of Chonarion. Petronas was rewarded by receiving the high post of the Domestic of the Schools, and the order of magister. Strains of triumph at a victory so signal resounded in the Hippodrome, and a special chant celebrated the death of the Emir on the field of battle, a rare occurrence in the annals of the warfare with the Moslems.

J. B. Bury : A History of the Eastern Roman Empire --- A.D. 802 - 867

 

"Glory to God who shatters our enemies !

Glory to God who has destroyed the godless !

Glory to God the author of victory !

Glory to God who crowned thee, O lord of the earth !

Hail, Lord, felicity of the Romans !

Hail, Lord, valour of thy army !

Hail, Lord, by whom --- Omar --- was laid low !

Hail, Lord --- Michael ---, destroyer !

God will keep thee in the purple, for the honour and raising up of the Romans, along with the honourable Augustae --- Eudocia, Theodora, Thecla --- in the purple.

God will hearken to your people !"

Ceremonial Book

 
Girl Sword

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Prussian Socialism

The Bis­cuit frowned.

Money !” he said. “Yes. You’re right. What a rot­ten thing this busi­ness of money is. Half the best chaps in the world are crippled for want of it. And the fel­lows who have got it haven’t a notion what to do with it. Take old Fris­by, for instance. Worth mil­lions.”

I sup­pose so.”

And is a bloke with a face like a horse and a spend­ing capa­city of about two­pence a day. On the oth­er hand, take me. You know me, Berry, old man. Young, enthu­si­ast­ic, drip­ping with joie de vivre, only need­ing a bal­ance at the bank to go out and scat­ter light and sweet­ness and  —  mark you  —  scat­ter them good. If I had money, I could increase the sum of human hap­pi­ness a hun­dred­fold.”

How ?”

By fling­ing purses of gold to the deserving, old boy. That’s how. And here I am, broke. And there is your foul boss, simply stag­nant with the stuff. All wrong.”

Well, don’t blame me.”

What ought to hap­pen,” said the Bis­cuit, “is this. If I had the man­age­ment of this coun­try, there would be pub­lic exam­in­a­tions held twice a year, at which these old crumbs with their hoarded wealth would be brought up and sub­jec­ted to a very severe inquis­i­tion. ‘You !’ the Exam­in­er would say, look­ing pretty sharply at Fris­by. ‘How much have you got ? Indeed ? Really ? As much as that, eh ? Well, kindly inform this court what you do with it.’ The wretched man, who seems to feel his pos­i­tion acutely, snuffles a bit. ‘Come on, now !’ says the Exam­in­er, rap­ping the table. ‘No sub­ter­fuge. No eva­sion. How do you employ this very decent slice of the need­ful ?’ ‘Well, as a mat­ter of fact,’ mumbles old Fris­by, try­ing to avoid his eye, ’ I shove it away behind a brick and go out and get some more.’ ‘Is that so ?’ says the Exam­in­er. ‘Well, upon my Sam ! I nev­er heard any­thing so dis­grace­ful in my liv­ing puff. It’s a cry­ing out­rage. A bally scan­dal. Take ten mil­lion away from this miser­able louse and hand it over to excel­lent old Bisker­ton, who will make a prop­er use of it. And then go and ask Berry Con­way how much he wants.’ We’d get some­where then.”

He con­tem­plated dream­ily for a while the Uto­pia he had con­jured up. Then he looked across the room again, and clicked his tongue dis­ap­prov­ingly.

I’ll swear Hoke swindled you over that mine,” he said. “I can see it in his eye.”

P. G. Wode­house : Big Money

 
Pro­lly my favour­ite Plum nov­el…

 

wistful dreams

 
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The Tongue No Man Can Tame

From the religious opinions of a people, the transi­tion is natural to their political partialities. One great political change has passed over Scotland, which none now living can hardly be said to have actually witnessed; but they remember those who were contemporaries of the anxious scenes of '45, and many of us have known determined and thorough Jacobites. The poetry of that political period still remains, but we hear only as pleasant songs those words and melodies which stirred the hearts and excited the deep enthusiasm of a past generation. Jacobite anecdotes also are fading from our knowledge. To many young persons they are unknown. Of these stories illustrative of Jacobite feelings and enthusiasm, many are of a character not fit for me to record. The good old ladies who were violent partisans of the Stuarts had little hesitation in referring without reserve to the future and eternal destiny of William of Orange. One anecdote which I had from a near relative of the family may be adduced in illustration of the powerful hold which the cause had upon the views and consciences of Jacobites.

A former Mr. Stirling of Keir had favoured the Stuart cause, and had in fact attended a muster of forces at the Brig of Turk previous to the '15. This symptom of a rising against the Government occasioned some uneasi­ness, and the authorities were very active in their endea­vours to discover who were the leaders of the movement Keir was suspected. The miller of Keir was brought forward as a witness, and swore positively that the laird was not present. Now, as it was well known that he was there, and that the miller knew it, a neighbour asked him pri­vately, when he came out of the witness-box, how he could on oath assert such a falsehood. The miller replied, quite undaunted, and with a feeling of confidence in the right­eousness of his cause approaching the sublime --- "I would rather trust my soul in God's mercy than trust Keir's head into their hands."

A correspondent has sent me an account of a curious ebullition of Jacobite feeling and enthusiasm, now I suppose quite extinct. My correspondent received it himself from Alexander, fourth Duke of Gordon, and he had entered it in a common-place book when he heard it, in 1826.

"David Tulloch, tenant in Drumbenan, under the second and third Dukes of Gordon, had been "out" in the '45 --- or the fufteen, or both --- and was a great favourite of his respective landlords. One day David having at­tended the young Lady Susan Gordon (afterwards Duchess of Manchester) to the "Chapel" at Huntly, David, per­ceiving that her ladyship had neither hassock nor carpet to protect her garments from the earthen floor, respectfully spread his plaid for the young lady to kneel upon, and the service proceeded; but when the prayer for the King and Royal Family was commenced, David, sans ceremonie, drew, or rather "twitched," the plaid from under the knees of the astonished young lady, exclaiming not sotto voce, "The deil a ane shall pray for them on my plaid !" "

I have a still more pungent demonstration against praying for the king, which a friend in Aberdeen assures me he received from the son of the gentleman who heard the protest. In the Episcopal Chapel in Aberdeen, of which Primus John Skinner was incumbent, they com­menced praying in the service for George III. immediately on the death of Prince Charles Edward. On the first Sunday of the prayer being used, this gentleman's father, walking home with a friend whom he knew to be an old and deter­mined Jacobite, said to him, "What do you think of that, Mr. --- ?" The reply was, "Indeed, the less we say about that prayer the better." But he was pushed for "further answer as to his own views and his own ideas on the matter," so he came out with the declaration, "Weel, then, I say this --- they may pray the kenees aff their breeks afore I join in that prayer."

The following is a characteristic Jacobite story. It must have happened shortly after 1745, when all manner of devices were fallen upon to display Jacobitism, without committing the safety of the Jacobite, such as having white knots on gowns ; drinking, "The king, ye ken wha I mean.", uttering the toast "the king" with much apparent loyalty, and passing the glass on the one side of the water-jug from them, indicating the esoteric meaning of majesty beyond the sea, --- etc. etc.; and various toasts, which were most important matters in those times, and were often given as tests of loyalty, or the reverse, according to the company in which they were given. Miss Carnegy of Craigo, well known and still remembered amongst the old Montrose ladies as an uncompromising Jacobite, had been vowing that she would drink King James and his son in a company of staunch Brunswickers, and being strongly dissuaded from any such foolish and dangerous attempt by some of her friends present, she answered them with a text of Scripture, "The tongue no man can tame --- James Third and Aucht," and drank off her glass !

E. B. Ramsey, Dean of Edinburgh : Reminiscences of Scottish Life And Character

 

Hope
George Frederick Watts --- Hope

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Takes Me Way Back When

Crystal Gayle; the German song Karneval englished into One More Time; firstly in England, secondly in Holland.

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Even We

A wind sways the pines,

And below
Not a breath of wild air;
Still as the mosses that glow
On the flooring and over the lines
Of the roots here and there.
The pine-tree drops its dead;
They are quiet, as under the sea.
Overhead, overhead
Rushes life in a race,
As the clouds the clouds chase;

And we go,
And we drop like the fruits of the tree,

Even we,
Even so.

George Meredith : Dirge in Woods

 
Zuse Painting

Konrad Zuse --- Waterfall at Hinterstein 1946

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Fill My Life With Song

Feeling blue, I decided to go from pyrates to their successors, and watched the comedy Goodfellas. Obviously the usual satire is that it mirrors the establishment since mobsters are merely a bunch of psychotic little men in suits whose exaggerated concept of respect only emanates from the money nexus; yet it is more lightly done than in 70's and 80's films, and if much of the humour comes from an agonising tradition mind-blenchingly done to death in British comic films --- bungling gangsters: at least here it derives from their competence being short on detail, rather than pure slapstick stupidity as in the latter. And as with the prominente in the real Mob, from the instituting of the Five Families on to Gotti, it rarely seems to have dawned that mindless killing, and really most of their murdering, was counter-productive to their ends; to kill unnecessarily is as sentimental a fault as not to kill from exaggerated respect for human life --- and grosser. The film is true to life, too, in the fact that mafioso launch into pointless and demented self-justification at the drop of a hat: I've a copy of Joe Bonanno's autobiography somewhere. Maybe their catholic heritage; maybe the fierce anti-intellectualism of the lower classes...

The lifestyle displayed in those dear dead, thank God, days beyond recall, such pure awe-inspiring tastelessness it resembles, as in a mirror darkly, islamic visions of Paradise.

 
I have the severest dislike for Cool, but this rendition is extremely powerful.

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Evangelion --- Fly Me To The Moon

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Lion Of The North

"Now then, me Bullies: would you rather do the Gallows' Dance --- and hang in chains 'till the crows pick your eyes from your rotting skulls --- or would you feel the roll of a stout ship beneath yer feet again ?"
Captain Kidd film

The last ship of Captain Kidd has been found and coincidentally I watched the above film with Charles Laughton: the acting, with of course the exceptions of both him and Mr. Carradine, was rather stilted, but the actress was very pretty.

As for Kidd, it scarcely matters whether he swung unjustly or not. He should have been deaded for serving William of Orange anyway; as should anyone who served that usurper and all his successors; and indeed, so should William himself, 'The Unhung Thief', as Cabell dubbed him.

Life as a legitimist monarchist has the added bonus of making a very large percentage of human existence very cheap indeed; so saving one from getting worked up over mass inevitable mortality --- no matter how randomly purposed.

 

Kidd poster

 

***

 
Sweden, despite still having a remarkably tough military, has never been the same since the affair of the Masked Ball... that hideous snivelling progressiveness so redolent of all the Scandinavian countries has never been so well epitomised as in the castrating of the Royal Lion. Apparently 'female soldiers' from a rapid reaction force made a sudden swift surgical whine regarding the fact that an animal has genitalia and the Army, instead of telling them to take a long walk off a short pier, caved in with an abasing alacrity that would have delighted the soviets had they invaded. The original designer from the Nation Archives is naturally deeply pissed.

'Female Soldiers' are in any case a modern joke of course, and were not present in the Armies of Gustavus Adolphus, Queen Christina or Charles XII when those not wholly admirable monarchs' armies were the Swedish Terror of --- Northern --- Europe: so, really, if any military has declined in spirit enough to have such beings, then one must just expect attendant lunacies to come along with them.

 

Swedish Lions

 
 
It's a relief to turn to a purer aspect of Scandinavia. I've never owned, nor wanted, a bicycle, but this blog on Copenhagen bicycling is rather fascinating.

 

Danish Girl on Bike

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Cold, Cold Grow The Winds

A voice on the winds,
A voice on the waters,
Wanders and cries:
O what are the winds ?
And what are the waters ?
Mine are your eyes.

Western the winds are,
And western the waters,
Where the light lies:
O what are the winds ?
And what are the waters ?
Mine are your eyes.

Cold, cold grow the winds,
And dark grow the waters,
Where the sun dies:
O what are the winds ?
And what are the waters ?
Mine are your eyes.

And down the night winds,
And down the night waters
The music flies:
O what are the winds ?
And what are the waters ?
Cold be the winds,
And wild be the waters,
So mine be your eyes.

Lionel Johnson : To Morfydd

 
Kavli

Arne Kavli

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We Shall Hear Their Glory

A Cossack theme...

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Kuban Cossack Choir

 

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The Living Torah --- 'Hop Kazak' or 'Jump, Cossack, Jump'. Rabbi Aryeh Leib of Shpoleh, the "Shpoler Zeide", danced to this song in competition against a Cossack to gain the freedom of a poor Jewish innkeeper.

 

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German Cossack Regiment

 

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The Addams Family --- This Mamushka Is For You !

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How The Day Goes

It is taken as a rule that whenev­er, and no mat­ter in which con­text, a per­son­al pro­noun is used, the speak­er is  —  hope­fully uncon­sciously  —  boast­ing. Still, I have iden­ti­fied my major flaw and can’t really feel it increases self-esteem. I am incap­able of rev­er­ence. This might be a coded way of say­ing rebel­li­ous, were it not for the fact that as a reac­tion­ary tra­di­tion­al­ist I’ve nev­er seen the point in rebel­lion for it’s own sake save as a nar­ciss­ist­ic atti­tude ( see: Shel­ley, and indeed, Byron ); rejec­tion of belief seems as point­less as it’s easy accept­ance, and con­sid­er­ably more self-dramatizing. Nat­ur­a­lich, I feel hon­our to my hered­it­ary lord: he is God’s Vice-Gerant; then again, I am scarcely likely to meet him, even less to serve him; and no chance at all to die for him > which last should be man’s nat­ur­al doom. I think it was Lord Bern­ard Stu­art who died with his back to a tree fight­ing eight Round­heads; and later, as my name­sake lay dying… 

The Vis­count then ask­ing the said John­ston: “How the day went ?

The day went well for the King, but I am sorry for your Lord­ship.”

Claver­house : “It is the less mat­ter for me, see­ing the day went well for my Mas­ter.”

Dying was worth­while in those days. Now it has the same unim­port­ance as life.

To con­tin­ue, no sing­er or band has ever held my heart. No people or group, large or tiny, seem the least bit worthy. I can’t respect breed­ing, wealth or achieve­ment, no mat­ter what it cost the achiev­er; work, any work, is as only good as the res­ult; and most present day work pro­duces ugli­ness adding to the mater­i­al world. As a legit­im­ist, con­cur­rent polit­ics merely seem the futile ges­tur­ings of freed slaves aping the pro­cess of gov­ernance. Reli­gion is not to be crudely dis­dained, even  —  espe­cially —- if one is fun­da­ment­ally irre­li­gious, so short cere­mon­ies are easy enough to be for mannered respect, but in church I’ve nev­er felt any­thing except annoy­ance and a dis­like of kneel­ing  —  and this lack of interest applies to all mani­fest­a­tions of the reli­gious impulse, wheth­er church-based, athe­ist­ic, faith in sci­ence, faith in mater­i­al­ism, faith in people ( all, or a selec­ted group ), nation­al­ism, racial­ism, anti-racialism, and all the creeds that mix any of these to form a cock­tail of belief. And too philo­soph­ers have very little to do with a func­tion­ing spir­itu­al life any more than eco­nom­ists have to do with the ran­dom work­ings of whatever the eco­nomy may be: both are merely theo­lo­gians, only to be read for the funny bits. 

Thus both reli­gion and eth­ic­al the­ory fail, if just because both make enorm­ous logic­al leaps by con­struct­ing the desired end  —  good and evil  — first, then cre­at­ing the the­ory that accounts for why they think one of these is right or wrong. There are only two pole-stars for cor­rect­ness: per­son­al hon­our and loy­alty. So in fine, there is noth­ing in life that can com­mand respect or even much admir­a­tion.

I feel hor­ror and dis­gust at hav­ing lived in the dec­ades I did, both from their and my own inad­equacy: all plat­it­ud­in­ous self-serving of both rulers and ruled naus­eates; we are lucky enough to have excel­lent gear now, but a hideous envir­on­ment to house it. Tech­no­logy is excel­lent, yet can hardly sub­sti­tute for the lack in mod­ern life. If I go any­where in Great Bri­tain, I know exactly what I’ll find, no mat­ter if I’ve nev­er seen the area once. All towns. cars, super­mar­kets, gar­ages, motor­way sta­tions, same shops every­where  —  may­be a museum or gal­lery might be inter­est­ing for an hour, or it might be as trite as the media soci­ety that invests us all. Cer­tainly the coun­tryside in Europe is still pretty good in places: but you have to get fur­ther in than you see from the road­side. Cul­tur­ally, the bit­ter­sweet Still Game regard­ing two pen­sion­ers in Glas­gow pretty well sums up the dead end-game of life in Bri­tain. I can now go any­where, but can’t con­ceive of any place I want to live in.

And North Amer­ica and Europe  —  which com­prise the con­tin­ents I should feel com­fort­able with­in —- are pretty much the same way. All is dull­ness. And the people are devoted to weak­ness and ineptitude. We live, as pre­dicted, in Res­sen­ti­ment World. Slaves Rule.

 
CologneCologne on the Rhine

And what is Köln now… 

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And The Angels Were Crying


Dominia - Mountains Of God's Depression

 

Grigori Efimovich

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Oh, The Rapture !

The Fraserians usually collaborated on their lampoons: they presented themselves to the world as a collective entity, a gang of inseparable, insatiable boon-companions. It was a reasonably accurate picture. Carlyle, who had once spent an unhappy evening at ‘Ambrose’s Tavern’, awkwardly sipping diluted port, felt even more out of place dining with the Fraserians at their Round Table. He was repelled by the brutishness of their conversation — and it must have particularly sickened him to think that they had hastened the final crack-up of his friend, the preacher Edward Irving, by claiming him as one of their own. ( ‘Oft of a stilly night he quaffed glenlivat with the learned editor.’ ).

John Gross : The Rise & Fall of the Man of Letters

*chokes*

 

Kitten & Ducklings

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La Belle Sauvage

A month or so back I atten­ded some book­fair and among­st oth­ers, pur­chased this small item for 50p, which I only just decided to look at: 18th cen­tury writ­ing being some­what pre­cious.

narrative plate

This hor­ri­fic little tale is slightly pat­ron­ising to uneuropean cul­tures in the world-set of the time, nev­er­the­less dis­plays a health­i­er and more cyn­ic­al view that the hideous ideal­ism and dis­gust­ing relativ­ism insem­in­ated by Rousseau and brought to birth by Boas  —  both of whom have good claim to be in the top ten of most repel­lent per­sons evah  —  which holds sway for now. In the end, one cul­ture, how­ever massively imper­fect, can still be decided to be gen­er­ally bet­ter than another; and the near­er to naked nature a cul­ture, the less sat­is­fact­ory it remains. Any­way the author was evid­ently hav­ing enorm­ous fun in writ­ing it…

More thought­fully, it does increase the con­clu­sion that, whatever the dif­fi­culties, it is worth being a vegan if only for hygien­ic reas­ons.

 

VII. STORY OF TQUASSOUW AND KNONMQUAIHA, TWO HOTTENTOT LOVERS. CONNOISSEUR, numb. 21.

TQUASSOUW, the fon of Kqvuffo­mo, was Kon­quer or Chief Cap­tain over the Six­teen Na­tions of Caf­fraria. He was def­cen­ded from N’oh and Hingn’oh, who dropt from the moon; and his power exten­ded over all the Kraals of the Hot­tentots.

This prince was remark­able for his prowefs and activ­ity : his fpeed was like the tor­rent, that ruf­hes down the pre­cip­ice ; and he would over­take the wild afs in her flight : his arrows brought down the eagle from the clouds; the lion fell before him, and his launce drank the blood of the rhino­cer­os. He fathomed the waters of the deep, and buf­feted the bil­lows in the tem­peft : he drew the rock-fifh from their lurking-holes, and rifled the beds of cor­al. Trained from his infan­cy in the exer­ci­fe of war, to wield the Haff­agaye with dex­ter­ity, and break the wild bulls to battle, he was a ftranger to the foft dal­li­ance of love ; and be­held with indif­fer­ence the thick-lipped dam­fels of Gonge­man, and the flat-nofed beau­ties of Haut­e­ni­qua.

 

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Who Caught The Cup Of Crystal Pine ?

Deep in the wood's recesses cool
I see the fairy dancers glide,
In cloth of gold, in gown of green,
My lord and lady side by side.

But who has hung from leaf to leaf,
From flower to flower, a silken twine ---
A cloud of grey that holds the dew
In globes of clear enchanted wine.

Or stretches far from branch to branch,
From thorn to thorn, in diamond rain,
Who caught the cup of crystal pine
And hung so fair the shining chain ?

'Tis Death, the spider, in his net
Who lures the dancers as they glide
In cloth of gold, in gown of green,
My lord and lady side by side.

Dora Sigerson : The Watcher In The Woods

 

Maid and Death

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The Anger Of Heaven

On Sunday the twenty-sixth of April 2008, a day that dawned in beau­ty and declined in blood; the cit­izens of New York in gay and care­less groups had filled St. Patrick’s Cathed­ral where the young car­din­al was con­spicu­ously pos­ted: the prel­ates were kneel­ing quietly at their devo­tions the priests were busy at the altar; George W. too was there all uncon­scious of the fate that awaited him; but his brother was nowhere to be seen. The ser­vice had already com­menced, the arch­bish­op had depar­ted with his brother, his cous­in, Bill Clin­ton and some thirty fol­low­ers, to do their work at the White House, when Patrick J. Kennedy and Al Gore alarmed at Jeb’s absence and the pro­spect of another fail­ure sud­denly quit­ted the church to find their vic­tim. He was at home, some­what indis­posed from a recent acci­dent, and dis­in­clined to attend divine ser­vice: with gay entreat­ies and pleas­ant­ries they finally suc­ceeded in draw­ing him forth. Patrick J. occa­sion­ally threw his arms round him appar­ently in play­ful kind­ness, but really to feel if there were a coat of mail beneath, as in those days was some­times cus­tom­ary.

Jeb had hurt his thigh and wore no armour; had even left his sword behind which chafed his wounded limb; for not­with­stand­ing that both he and his brother were well aware of Patrick J. Kennedy’s enmity they did not believe it went so far as delib­er­ate assas­sin­a­tion. On their enter­ing the cathed­ral both broth­ers were encom­passed by two dis­tinct groups of mur­der­ers; Howard Dean and Patrick J. still main­tain­ing their pos­i­tion on each side of Jeb, while John Edwards and Barack Obama stood scowl­ing askance on George W.. There was a deep pause. The sound of a small bell announced the Host, the golden chalice was elev­ated, and like a corn-field struck by the sum­mer breeze the whole con­greg­a­tion bent before their God ! four tall dark fig­ures alone remain­ing upright in this uni­ver­sal bow. One moment more and the knives of three were in the throats of their vic­tims. Jeb was struck by Al Gore to the heart and stag­ger­ing fell for­ward among­st the crowd, while Patrick J.‘s steel, more enven­omed by jeal­ousy for a faith­less woman, fol­lowed up the blow and blinded by rage gashed his own thigh in mangling with repeated stabs the life­less body of his vic­tim. George W. was but slightly hurt: Wes­ley Clark in pla­cing his hand on the Bush’s shoulder for a sure blow, gave him time to start up, and twist­ing his cloak round the left arm he stood boldly on his defence. The two priests fled; but Howard Dean still reek­ing with Jeb’s blood rushed madly on George W. stabbing Dick Cheney, who had thrown him­self between, to the very heart in his way. Cheney’s devo­tion saved the Bush who with the few friends that gathered round him took shel­ter in the sac­risty: the poet Limbaugh closed the doors while Newt Grin­grich sucked the wound for fear of pois­on: George W.‘s friends, who were scattered about the church, assembled sword in hand before the brazen portals of the vestry loudly demand­ing entrance; but appre­hens­ive of more treach­ery there was a dead silence with­in until Arnold Schwar­zeneg­ger had ascen­ded the organ-ladder to a win­dow look­ing into the church to identi­fy them: they were then admit­ted and tak­ing George W. in the mid­st car­ried him safely off to his own palace. Dur­ing this bloody trans­ac­tion screams shouts and uni­ver­sal uproar pealed through the vast cathed­ral and made it seem, says Mac­chiavel­li, ( and as a child he might have been present ) as if the church were tum­bling to pieces: the young car­din­al fled trem­bling to the altar for pro­tec­tion where encom­passed by a numer­ous priest­hood he was with great dif­fi­culty pre­served until the storm had some­what abated, when they were enabled to lodge him as a state pris­on­er in the pub­lic palace.

While these scenes passed in the cathed­ral John Kerry and his con­spir­at­ors, among­st whom were the exiled Detroit­ards, hur­ried on to the palace. The gate was to be occu­pied by one por­tion the moment that they heard a tumult with­in; the rest fol­lowed Kerry up towards the Seignory’s apart­ments in Gra­cie Man­sion where he ordered them to retire into an empty room to avoid sus­pi­cion. He then pro­ceeded nearly alone to the cham­bers of Rudy Giuliani, then gov­ernor of New York, and reques­ted his pres­ence: the Sei­gnory were at din­ner; but Giuliani imme­di­ately waited on the arch­bish­op who at once entered on the dis­cus­sion of some eccle­si­ast­ic­al busi­ness from the pope; yet in a man­ner so strange and sus­pi­cious that Giuliani , who had not for­got­ten the recent events at Pough­keep­sie, instantly took the alarm. He called aloud for assist­ance, sprang sud­denly to the door and there find­ing Bill Clin­ton, seized him by the hair at the same moment that he gave fur­ther alarm by call­ing out to the pri­ors to defend them­selves. The con­spir­at­ors in the cham­ber had shut the door which hav­ing a spring lock could not be opened from either side without a key and they remained pris­on­ers: those below on hear­ing this tumult took pos­ses­sion of the gate and barred any assist­ance from without; but the archbishop’s fol­low­ers being over­powered above, the former were ulti­mately driv­en from their hold, and then for the first time Giuliani heard of what had been done in the cathed­ral.

The gov­ernor Rudy Giuliani was bound by every tie of grat­it­ude and self-interest to the Bushes, for by them he had been raised from the rank of a poor and humble law­yer to the highest hon­ours of the state, and being a generous-minded man his indig­na­tion rose accord­ingly, He instantly ordered hal­ters for the arch­bish­op and his two kins­men, with Bill Clin­ton and hung them from the palace win­dows in full sight of the mul­ti­tude, while the rest were either mas­sacred on the spot or cast head­long from the case­ments, so that not one of Kerry’s fol­low­ers remained, except a miser­able wretch who four days after was dragged from con­ceal­ment half dead with fam­ine. He alone was suffered to escape.

Howard Dean and Patrick J. see­ing that George W. was safe and one of them­selves badly wounded became dis­heartened and the former at once resolved to fly: the lat­ter on return­ing home, endeav­oured in vain to start his car, so threw him­self undrest and bleed­ing upon his bed entreat­ing old Teddy to sally out and excite the people to rise. Unfit­ted both by age and dis­pos­i­tion for such a task the lat­ter nev­er­the­less issued forth at the head of a hun­dred fol­low­ers to strike the last blow for his house and coun­try: push­ing on to Times Square he was received with showers of stones and oth­er mis­siles from the palace win­dows, with sul­len silence by the people, and sar­castic reproofs by one of his own kins­men who met him on the way. Still he called on the cit­izens in the name of their country’s freedom to rise and assist him. Alas ! the former were charmed by Bushy gold, and the lat­ter had been long a stranger to Amer­ica ! See­ing all lost, even to hope; Teddy called Heav­en to wit­ness that he had done his utmost for his coun­try, and bid­ding farewell to New York passed through the nearest gate and shaped his course towards Mas­sachu­setts.

George W. shut up in his own palace took no meas­ures for arrest­ing the con­spir­at­ors; he left ven­geance to the people and fear­fully did they ful­fil his expect­a­tions: all who had exhib­ited any oppos­i­tion to the Bushes became objects of per­se­cu­tion; even those who had been only seen with the con­spir­at­ors were with cruel mock­er­ies murdered and dragged through the streets; their mangled bod­ies were torn to shreds and car­ried on the points of a thou­sand lances by the furi­ous mul­ti­tude: the dwell­ings of the Kennedys were plundered; Patrick J. was dragged naked and bleed­ing from his bed, car­ried in tri­umph to the pub­lic palace and hung at the very same win­dow from which the archbishop’s life­less corpse still dangled. On his way to exe­cu­tion all the taunts and insults of the popu­lace or slav­ish cit­izens, could not draw from him a single word; he calmly, per­haps con­temp­tu­ously, regarded them and sighed in silence:, Bobby Koch was saved by the entreat­ies of his wife Dorothy, George W.‘s sis­ter; Joe Biden who was only guilty of know­ing the secret endeav­oured to escape from his vil­la but was taken and hung at New York; Teddy was arres­ted by the car-dealers of Con­necti­c­ut and recon­duc­ted to the city not­with­stand­ing all his entreat­ies to be put to death by the peas­antry who escor­ted him.

For four whole days was this ven­geance con­tin­ued until about sev­enty per­sons either guilty or sus­pec­ted fell under the executioner’s knife for the death of one Bush and the wound of another, besides two hun­dred more, accord­ing to some authors, ere the last act of this tragedy was fin­ished ! There was scarcely a cit­izen that either armed or unarmed did not offer life and for­tune to George W. but it would be curi­ous to know how many did this from real love and how many from poli­cy and fear. Teddy Kennedy was addicted to play and swear­ing, yet oth­er­wise pious and char­it­able accord­ing to the notions of the day, by extens­ive alms­giv­ing and the endow­ment of bene­vol­ent insti­tu­tions. On the Sat­urday before the con­spir­acy exploded he dis­charged all his debts; and whatever mer­chand­ise he had in charge for oth­ers was sent to its sev­er­al own­ers in order that no injury should come to them by his mis­for­tun­es. Being des­per­ate at the moment of death he is said to have uttered blas­phem­ous exec­ra­tions which were shock­ing to the by-standers, and the viol­ent rains that fell soon after were attrib­uted to the anger of Heav­en because his body was interred in con­sec­rated ground. It was there­fore by a pub­lic order, removed from the fam­ily sep­ulchre in Hyan­nis Port and bur­ied under the city walls but even there no rest was per­mit­ted to his bones, for the very chil­dren wild with the com­mon fren­zy rooted up the fes­ter­ing car­case, dragged it like bac­chanals through the streets and mak­ing peri­od­ic­al vis­its to his own dwell­ing with loud knock­ing and exulta­tion shrieked out “Open the door for Messer Teddy.” This bar­bar­ity was finally stopped by the magis­trates and the dead body cast into the Hud­son, down which it floated for sev­er­al miles; and thus ended these bar­bar­ous and degrad­ing scenes.

[ adap­ted from Henry Edward Napier’sFlorentine His­tory’ ]

 
Deadwood Poster

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Out In The Cold

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Girlschool - Hit & Run

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The Categorical Imperative Has A Good Time In Siberia

The cold of those white Siberian nights with a pale, sickly gleam by which you could read, pierced us through and through. The prisoners, inadequately nourished by hot water, went below decks to sleep off the hunger which was becoming ever more acute.

A draft of women convicts was separated from us only by a thin wooden wall made of planks. Behind it were a few score of thieves, prostitutes and other assorted criminals: Russian, Ukrainian, Cossack, Tartar and Azerbaijan. Locked up in such close proximity to the men prisoners, they were yet more restless than the latter. Their long sojourn in captivity had affected them quite differently: more than food and sleep, they desired men.

One of the planks dividing us was soon prised free and a woman crawled through the opening, to find herself amid rows of men, lying one beside the other, like brown loaves on a baker's shelf. We heard no affectionate exchanges, but a few heavy sighs, quickened breathing and a hasty struggle followed by a moment of silence while one lover changed places with the next. This scene caused no undue commotion. The barge was wrapped in darkness, many of the men were sound asleep, totally unaware of the amorous delights available, and the woman, moreover, was dressed no differently from the men. This daring escapade might well have passed unnoticed by the authorities had it not been for the malice of man. Someone whose moral susceptibilities were above average or who, perhaps, was himself incapable of such amorous pursuits, ran off to report. We heard the rapid tread of army boots and in rushed the soldiers who, obviously well directed, made straight for the scene of the crime. They caught hold of a man by the neck and flung him on the floor thus revealing the girl. She betrayed no fear. She was a street-walker. That was what had brought her to prison, to trial and now to Siberia. Nothing worse could befall her.

A soldier grabbed hold of her legs and started to pull her, but she was perfectly willing to go of her own accord, which she did with an impudent smile of triumph. What could they do to her ? But the authorities were well able to deal with the case.

With the soldier as escort the girl set off in the direction of the ladder, parading between the rows of men who surveyed her with regretful longing --- sorry to see her leave so soon. She was taken up on deck and there ordered by the soldier to remove her padded jacket, her blouse, a sweater in shreds and her vest. Thus stripped, she was placed in the bow and made to face up-river. She was going to freeze, so that she might cool down a little.

In the grey, misty silence of the Arctic, the half-naked woman with her shameless smile and hair streaming in the wind, the full, white flagons of her breasts thrust proudly forward, seemed to challenge the forest deities lurking in the tundra, slowly gliding towards her.

Behind the girl stood a soldier, silent, sullen and indifferent. He was not a man, not even a male with whom she could go. With bayonet levelled at the girl's bare back he stood there motionless, as though carved out of wood. The punishment lasted one hour, and the frozen girl had hardly gathered up her clothing to go below when another woman was sent up to take her place on that unusual pillory.

Tadeusz Wittlin : A Reluctant Traveller In Russia

 
The Death of Love

Dorothy Tennant -The Death of Love

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II: Hearing It By This Distant Northern Sea.">Liszt II: Hearing It By This Distant Northern Sea.


Franz Liszt - Nuages Gris

***

Not though you die to-night, O Sweet, and wail,
A spectre at my door,
Shall mortal Fear make Love immortal fail ---
I shall but love you more,
Who, from Death's House returning, give me still
One moment's comfort in my matchless ill.

Rudyard Kipling : By Word Of Mouth

 

Nana
Nana

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