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.
“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.”
“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…
This post is dedicated to the Web’s servile anarcho-hyper-capitalist-libertarian Tendency.
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
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;
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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. STORYOFTQUASSOUWANDKNONMQUAIHA, TWOHOTTENTOTLOVERS. 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.
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’s ‘Florentine History’ ]
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.
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.