Apparently there's another jacobite in Suffolk: The Jacobite Intelligencer; which must restore the county average. Eventually we may not have enough for a Rising, but definitely sufficient for a small sedate party.
Still, I bought the wheel bit of an old roulette wheel yesterday, for no other reason that it is slightly weird; but I can't see it providing even minutes of fun...
In the meantime I temporarily decided on an attraction to reading about greenhouses for no particular reason ( being averse to gardening beyond watering a plant or two ), which led to a/ the grander type of conservatory, such as that at Laeken; and thence to palatial gardening --- Prussian Palaces has Peacock Island, which is pretty... and b/ to the Crystal Palace of 1851. Found a thread five pages long with hundreds of images of the original Crystal Palace; this the Alhambra Lion Court
... a Palace,
Apparently Maximilian II immediately built a rather stiff tribute Glaspalast in Munich in 1854; and even the Americans also copied the concept a year earlier, for the New York Crystal Palace. Walt Whitman wrote an advertising jingle which exemplifies both his virtues, unmatched facility and prettiness, and his faults: sincerity, the inane repellent Early American Braggadocio incompatible with delicacy, and pedestrian triumphalist ideology...
Lofter, fairer, ampler than any yet,
Earth's modern wonder, History's Seven out stripping,
High rising tier on tier, with glass and iron facades,
Gladdening the sun and sky - enhued in the cheerfulest hues,
Bronze, lilac, robin's-egg, marine and crimson
Over whose golden roof shall flaunt, beneath thy banner, Freedom.
Aphrodite, Killer of Men, emerged on this rock in Cyprus: note the adorable placing of both tarmac and roadsign to enhance the veneration of her holy place...
Robert Fowler -- Aphrodite
Returns to mind-glazing anime...
Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.
Edward Thomas : Rain
Martin Johnson Heade
Having a fairly active imaginative faculty, ancient medical instruments arouse my astounding capacity for unenthusiasm to alarming heights --- as to be exact, do their modern equivalents; however, despite no great interest in the sciences, old scientific instruments are cool ( possibly due to an affinity for steampunk, a useful blog on which is Brass Goggles ): and here's a site with about 1850 presented, Instruments for Natural Philosophy.
A few years back whilst walking, I noticed a small piece of iron peeping from soil in some rough ground. Working it loose, it revealed itself to be this larger object, and I determined to use it as a neat garden ornament in an Ian Hamilton Finlay kind of way, maybe a centerpiece for a garden bed.. Still, I have absolutely no notion either what it was in it's previous incarnation nor in what period it was birthed. 1850s ? 1890s ? 1930s ? Neo-classically pretty, yet subtly worrying... * One can only trust it was some component of engineering, and not purposed for the medical practices of grim far-off eras.
* As is Professor Penguin from The Brass Goggles site with his trusty, but tiny, sidekick...
Who would have guessed that R. D. Blackmore was also a poet ? His fiction is a trifle strenuous for these days — Lorna Doone was however quite royalist for the mainly republican Victorian era, and I recall another work of his regarding an utterly villainous 18th century clergyman, Parson Chowne, which was not unvicious; still Fringilla, this collection of poems [ Gutenberg ] was published by Elkin Mathews with very 90s illustrations by Louis Fairfax-Muckley. Mathews, who printed Yeats and Pound… The combination of R. D. Blackmore with The Yellow Book is weird at first sight. His poetry is mostly simple prettiness, yet there is a sombre bitter core rejecting mere convention.
“What means your finch ?”
“Being well aware that he cannot sing like a Nightingale,
He flits about from tree to tree, and twitters a little tale.”
Albeit he is an ancient bird, who tried his pipe in better days, and then was scared by random shots, he is fain to lift the migrant wing once more towards the humble perch, among the trees he loves. All gardeners own that he does no harm, unless he flits into a thicket of young buds, or a very choice ladies’ seed-bed. And he hopes that he is now too wise to commit such indiscretions.
Perhaps it would have been wiser still to have shut up his little mandible, or employed it only upon grub. But the long gnaw of last winter’s frost, which set mankind a-shivering, even in their most downy nest, has made them kindly to the race that has no roof for shelter and no hearth for warmth.
Anyhow, this little finch can do no harm, if he does no good; and if he pleases nobody, he will not be surprised, because he has never satisfied himself.
Excerpts from Lita of the Nile:
Follows him the loveliest maiden,
Afric’s thousand hills can show;
White apparel’d, flower-laden,
With the lotus on her brow.
Votive maid, who hath espousal
Of the river’s high carousal;
Twenty cubits if he rise,
This shall be his bridal prize.
Calm, and meek of face and carriage,
Deigning scarce a quicker breath,
Comes she to the funeral marriage,
The betrothal of black death.
Rosy hands, and hennaed fingers,
Nails whereon the onyx lingers,
Clasped, as at a lover’s tale,
In the bosom’s marble vale.
See, the large eyes, lit by heaven,
Brighter than the Sisters Seven,
( Like a star the storm hath cowed )
Sink their flash in sorrow’s cloud.
There the crystal tear refraineth,
And the founts of grief are dry;
“Father, Mother — none remaineth;
All are dead; and why not I ?”
Yet, by God’s will, heavenly beauty
Owes to Heaven alone its duty;
Off ye priests, who dare adjudge
Bride, like this, to slime and sludge !
Every bulrush, parched and welted,
Lifts his long joints yellow-belted;
Every lotus, faint and sick,
Hangs her fragrant tongue to lick.
Countless creatures, lone unthought of,
Swarm from every hole and nook;
What is man, that he make nought of
Other entries in God’s book ?
Excerpts from Kadisha, or the First Jealousy
When rivulets were loth to creep,
Except unto the pillow moss,
And distant lake, encurtained deep,
Was but a silver thread across
The eyes of sleep:
When nightingales, in the sycamore,
Sang low and soft, as an echo dreaming;
And slept the moon upon heaven’s shore —
The tidal shore of heaven, beaming
With lazuled ore:
When new-born earth was fain to lean
In Summer’s arms, recovering
The unaccustomed toil of Spring,
Why slept not Eve, their Queen ?
The mother of all loving wives
( Condemned unborn to many a tear )
Is fain to take his hand, and strives
In sorrow to be doubly dear—
But shame deprives.
The Shame, The Woe, The Black Surprise,
That Love’s First Dream Should Have Such Ending,
to Weep, and Wipe Neglected Eyes I
Oh Loss of True Love, Far Transcending
Lost Paradise !
“For what is glory, what is power ?
And what the pride of standing first ?
A twig struck down by a thunder shower,
A crown of thistle to quench the thirst,
A sun-scorched flower.
“God grant the men who spring from me,
As knowledge waxeth deep and splendid,
To find a loftier pedigree
Than any by the Lord intended —
Frog, slug, or tree !
“So shall they live, without the grief
Of having womankind to love,
Find nought below, and less above,
And be their own belief.
Right Fairy of the morn, with flowers arrayed,
Whose beauties to thy young pursuer seem
Beyond the ecstasy of poet’s dream —
Shall I overtake thee, ere thy lustre fade ?
Ripe glory of the noon, august, and proud,
A vision of high purpose, power, and skill,
That melteth into mirage of good-will —
Do I o’ertake thee, or embrace a cloud ?
Gray shadow of the evening, gaunt and bare,
At random cast, beyond me or above,
And cold as memory in the arms of love —
If I o’ertook thee now, what should I care ?
“No morn, or noon, or eve am I,” she said;
“But night — the depth of night behind the sun;
By all mankind pursued; but never won,
Until my shadow falls upon a shade.”
The superstition had its darker side. Devils and demons were everywhere. Satan in the form of a dog attacked Bishop Parthenius of Lampsacus. Even the great Justinian sold his soul, and you could see him by night wandering through the Palace carrying his head in his hands. John the Grammarian, the Iconoclast Patricarch of the Ninth century, indulged in sorcery and held séances with nuns to act as mediums; and Photius was thought to have won his prodigious learning at the price of denying Christ. The Patriarch Cosmas in the Twelfth century cursed the Empress Bertha so that she could never bear a son. His contemporary Michael Sicidites could make things invisible, and played practical jokes with the aid of demons. Comets and eclipses foretold disaster. There were men that could read the future; continually mad monks or inspired children recognised Emperors-to-be. Astrology was a science. The Professor Leo the Philosopher, in the Ninth Century, knew the meaning of the stars, though people hoped that his more sucessful achievements, as when he foresaw and guarded against a famine at Thessolonica, were the results not of magic but of prayer. A fortune-teller told Leo V, Michael II and the usurper Thomas of their exalted and tangled futures, while Leo V learnt of his coming death from a book of oracles and symbolic pictures. The Emperor Leo VI was surnamed the Wise for his devination. He knew exactly how long his brother Alexander would reign, and a series of verses attributed to him peered far into the future and foretold the disaster of 1204 and the revived Empire of the Palælogi. There were many other prophecies of the fall of the City. Apollonius of Tyana, that great magician, who was made a contemporary of the foundation of Constantinople, wrote out a list of all the Emperors that would be and buried it in the column of Constantine. Occasionally, however, prophecies went wrong. The Athenian Catanances was very popular under Alexius I, but when he prophesied the Emperor's death only the Palace pet-lion died. He tried again, and this time it was the Empress-Mother. Dreams and visions guided events. A dream told Leo V that Michael the Amorian would slay him. John II would not crown his eldest son because of a dream. The mother of John Cantacuzenus, as she stood on the balcony of her country-house one night to watch the moon rise, was warned by a ghostly visitor that her son was in danger. It was believed that everyone had a stoicheion, an inanimate object with which his life was bound up. Thus Alexander caused great care to be taken of a bronze boar in the Circus which he considered to be his: while a wise monk told Romanus I that a certain pillar was the stoicheion of Symeon of Bulgaria. The pillar was decapitated and the old Tsar thereupon died. Other statues suffered destruction for equally surprising causes. In 1204 the furious populace destroyed a great statue of Athene because she seemed to be beckoning the Latins from out of the West.
Steven Runciman : Byzantine Civilisation
The Poem of Ecstasy is the Joy of Liberated Action. The Cosmos, i.e., Spirit, is Eternal Creation without External Motivation, a Divine Play of Worlds. The Creative Spirit, i.e., the Universe at Play, is not conscious of the Absoluteness of its creativeness, having subordinated itself to a Finality and made creativity a means toward an end. The stronger the pulse beat of life and the more rapid the precipitation of rhythms, the more clearly the awareness comes to the Spirit that it is consubstantial with creativity itself. When the Spirit has attained the supreme culmination of its activity and has been torn away from the embraces of teleology and relativity, when it has exhausted completely its substance and its liberated active energy, the Time of Ecstasy shall arrive.
Alexsandr Scriabin on his symphony Le Poème de l'extase
John Bell Young plays Scriabin Etude in D, Scriabin Museum, Moscow 1992
Scriabin in Pictures
Scriabin plays own composition -- Pianola
Indeed, to compare anything achieved in aerial bombing by the Germans with what later befell them is a travesty, English and American bombers dropped 315 tons of bombs on Germany for every one Germans dropped on England.
The piecemeal, unspectacular death of hundreds of thousands of Americans in accidents of all kinds during the war years of 1941-1945 produced hardly any notice. When the America Fore Insurance and Indemnity Group, an association of insurance companies, in a safety appeal at the end of 1944, announced that 97,900 Americans had been killed and 10,000,000 injured in industrial and other home-front accidents in 1943, and that 50,000,000 work days had been lost in production, it drew barely a glance. According to a New York Times calculation two months after the end of the war, American loss of life in military operations during the entire war totaled 262,000 while accidents in the United States took the lives of 355,000; the logic of this suggested that the American civilian scene, even without bombing, was somewhat more dangerous than the armed services, averaging in all combat losses.
James Martin : The Bombing and Negotiated Peace Questions -- In 1944