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, Other Writ
, The King of Terrors
Full of grief, the low winds sweep
O’er the sorrow-haunted ground;
Dark the woods where night rains weep,
Dark the hills that watch around.
Tell me, can the joys of spring
Ever make this sadness flee,
Make the woods with music ring,
And the streamlet laugh for glee ?
When the summer moor is lit
With the pale fire of the broom,
And through green the shadows flit,
Still shall mirth give place to gloom ?
Sad shall it be, though sun be shed
Golden bright on field and flood;
E’en the heather’s crimson red
Holds the memory of blood.
Here that broken, weary band
Met the ruthless foe’s array,
Where those moss-grown boulders stand,
On that dark and fatal day.
Like a phantom hope had fled,
Love to death was all in vain,
Vain, though heroes’ blood was shed,
And though hearts were broke in twain.
Many a voice has cursed the name
Time has into darkness thrust,
Cruelty his only fame
In forgetfulness and dust.
Noble dead that sleep below,
We your valour né’er forget;
Soft the heroes’ rest who know
Hearts like theirs are beating yet.
Alice Macdonell of Keppoch : Culloden Moor ( Seen in Autumn Rain )
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As President Wiggum details yet another bombing of a muslim country for their own good --- I swear, part of America's current mission policy statement is to rain death from the clouds upon each and every country in the world, in turn and prolly ending up with themselves --- it can't hurt to visit one of my favourite passages, from Herbert Gorman's magnificent 1947 fictionalization of L'Affaire Boulanger, Brave General, painting the general's unfortunate -- in consequence --- visit to Prince Napoleon's Chateau at Prangins, in the canton of Vaud [ Obit ]. When did a Plon-Plon benefit anyone ? Suitable no doubt since Obama shares with Georges his amiable nullity, combined even yet with the fading aura of one also once claimed as messiah who brought death and dictatorial misery as travelling companions.
Yanks of a liberal disposition now try to disassociate themselves and Bush-Lite from any suspicion of Obamamania, claiming that it was their opponents who fastened the unreal expectations of a new dispensation upon the reputation of a remarkably shifty candidate and soon to be dilettante president, yet none who actually lived through November of '08 will forget the revolting genuflections and hosannas which accompanied that victory; like Boulanger, who twisted in turn to solicit support from correct legitimists and the slippery factions who composed the body politic of the corrupt Third Republic, orleanists, bonapartists, socialists, clericals etc. etc., all realising in turn that he lacked spirit to do good for any, and not even for himself, the president courted foolishly his alleged enemies for bi-partisan support without having much of a plan for even the semblance of victory. As to whether being a hollow man is better than being a criminal worshipped war-lord, I can't say; but trying to be both is a respectable recipe for disaster.
As Gorman includes: In Politics one insisted to the last that one's party was winning, and when one's party did not win one spent the the next week inventing extraneous excuses for the defeat. The simple fact that one's party had lost because it had not received as many votes as the other fellow's party was never a conclusive explanation in itself. Politics, it appeared, was a constant self-justification. If I had done that, if I had done this, if the question had been properly presented, if my agent in that particular place... if the funds had been distributed as... if... if... if... Ah, that was politics. It was an absurd game of chess with crazy moves and cheating antagonists who stole your pawns when you were not looking. There was more politics, she thought, in republics than there were in kingdoms or empires for the simple reason that in republics there was no definitive iron hoof to stamp it out. That was good. So everybody said. The People spoke. Sometimes they spoke in a dozen clashing voices and nothing was resolved, or, if was resolved, it took a long time and the resolution lost a part of its strength. Like the American Congress. A wilful minority in that Paradise of democracy could indefinitely obstruct the will of the majority. That was called rule by the people. It sounded more like rule by the sediment that was too clotted to go down the drain. It held back everything.
Twilight was falling
Twilight was falling when the Prince, looking very much like a blown-up caricature of his august uncle, waddled into the large library with the General at his heels.
"If you enter politics," he was saying, "you will soon discover it to be a nasty and merciless business. Have you a fortune ?"
"Not a sou, "replied the General.
"Well," said the Prince, as he thrust his hand into the front of his waistcoat, "if you run aground you will never be a stranger here."
Thiébaud, who was standing by one of the glass cases of relics with Berthet-Leleux, turned smilingly towards the two men.
"I have been thrilled by some of the objects in this case, Your Imperial Highness," he declared. "Look here, my General. Here are some things that will stir your soldier's heart."
Boulanger advanced towards the relics eagerly, and the Prince followed, his broad face wreathed with smiles.
"Yes," he said, "I intended to show you some of these sacred souvenirs. Berthet-Leleux, hand me the keys."
The four men gathered before the case, while the Prince awkwardly unlocked the glass-panelled door.
"There are the spurs that He wore on the return from Italy," he explained. "And there is the cockade that was in His hat the day He made them eat grapeshot at the Church of Saint-Roch. There are two of His pistols and the sash He wrapped around His middle when He drove the recalcitrant Council of the Five Hundred out of the Orangerie. And here... here..."
He reached into the case and withdrew an Egyptian sabre in a gold-plated and bejewelled sheath. He extended it towards the General.
"This is the sword the First Consul carried at Marengo," he said solemnly.
For an instant the magic of the Cult impregnated the still air in the library. Afterwards Thiébaud swore that he heard the distant grumble of grenadier drums as the General stretched forward a respectful hand and lightly touched the hilt of the glittering weapon.
"Are you sure that this is the sabre of the First Consul ?" he demanded in a hushed voice.
The Prince smiled.
"Do you think that this is bric-à-brac I have collected in flea-markets ?" he asked proudly.
"It is a beautiful souvenir," declared the General in a reverent tone.
His hand again caressed the hilt of the sword as lightly, as tenderly as though it were the upturned face of a beloved woman. Thiébaud saw the grave melancholy visage of a professional soldier to whom warfare was a religion and in whose eyes the saints wore burnished epaulets. Like the Moor in the English play his profession was his life and without it he would have no life at all... nothing, indeed, but existence. What, then ? What, then ? The journalist closed his mind to the answer. The Prince, too, observed the General's emotion and instinctively understood it. After all, he was a Bonaparte. Turning, he carefully placed the sabre back on the velvet in the open case.
"General," he said, "when you have returned Alsace and Lorraine back to France I will offer you this sword."
Justin entered the shadowy library with a lighted candelabra.
As elsewhere, earlier in the book, eternal truth remains for some of us outside all such montebanks of apparent power...
It was after four o'clock in the morning when the Polish waiter, leaning like an old collapsed scarecrow against the corridor wall, saw the door open and the octet emerge in a compact group. They were no longer laughing.
"Remember," said Laguerre. "My dinner is tonight. You are all invited. In the meantime..."
"In the meantime we have accomplished nothing," snapped Clemenceau.
"We are moving to an understanding," said the General mildly.
Ignace observed how Clemenceau turned a brief sour glance at the handsome gentleman with the blond beard.
"Whose understanding ?" demanded the Breton abruptly.
As they were going down the stairs Ignace turned to Monsieur Frédéric.
"They all detest one another," he remarked in a surprised tone.
Monsieur Frédéric, who had been a maître d'hôtel for thirty years, shrugged his shoulders.
"After all," he replied, "we live under a Republic. They have the liberty to detest one another. As for me... I am a Royalist."
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But the truth is that the knowledge of external nature, and the sciences which that knowledge requires or includes, are not the great or the frequent business of the human mind. Whether we provide for action or conversation, whether we wish to be useful or pleasing, the first requisite is the religious and moral knowledge of right and wrong; the next is an acquaintance with the history of mankind, and with those examples which may be said to embody truth and prove by events the reasonableness of opinions. Prudence and Justice are virtues and excellences of all times and of all places; we are perpetually moralists, but we are geometricians only by chance. Our intercourse with intellectual nature is necessary; our speculations upon matter are voluntary and at leisure. Physiological learning is of such rare emergence that one man may know another half his life without being able to estimate his skill in hydrostaticks or astronomy, but his moral and prudential character immediately appears.
Milton when he undertook this answer was weak of body and dim of sight; but his will was forward, and what was wanting of health was supplied by zeal. He was rewarded with a thousand pounds, and his book was much read; for paradox, recommended by spirit and elegance, easily gains attention: and he who told every man that he was equal to his King could hardly want an audience.
His political notions were those of an acrimonious and surly republican, for which it is not known that he gave any better reason than that "a popular government was the most frugal; for the trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary commonwealth." It is surely very shallow policy, that supposes money to be the chief good; and even this without considering that the support and expence of a Court is for the most part only a particular kind of traffick, by which money is circulated without any national impoverishment.
It has been observed that they who most loudly clamour for liberty do not most liberally grant it. What we know of Milton's character in domestick relations is, that he was severe and arbitrary. His family consisted of women; and there appears in his books something like a Turkish contempt of females, as subordinate and inferior beings. That his own daughters might not break the ranks, he suffered them to be depressed by a mean and penurious education. He thought woman made only for obedience, and man only for rebellion.
The wisdom of the nation is very reasonably supposed to reside in the parliament. What can be concluded of the lower classes of the people, when in one of the parliaments, summoned by Cromwell, it was seriously proposed, that all the records in the Tower should be burnt, that all memory of things past should be effaced, and that the whole system of life should commence anew ?
Samuel Johnson : The Lives of the Poets --- Milton
"Sigh No More"
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, High Germany
, Manners not Morals
, Other Writ
Great was the excitement in Paris when it was announced the King of Prussia and the Tsar would arrive in close succession at the beginning of June . Although the latter was the real guest of honour ( high politics decreed it so ), it was King Wilhelm of Prussia and his massive Chancellor, Count von Bismarck, who attracted all eyes. On the train they passed positions the old King had occupied in 1814, when he had contributed to the downfall of his present host’s uncle. Though some Parisians detected a note of typical Teutonic tactlessness as the King complimented, ecstatically, on ‘what marvellous things you have done since I was last here !’, on the whole they thought his behaviour quite unexceptionable. In fact he stole many hearts by his kindly display of affection for the fragile Prince Impérial, then recovering from an illness. A comfortable figure projecting an image of some benevolent country squire, he set the nervous French at ease, and indeed seemed utterly at ease himself; as someone remarked uncharitably after the event, he explored Paris as if intending to come back there one day.
Even the terrible Bismarck, whose great stature made Wickham Hoffman of the U.S. Legation think of Agamemnon, positively glowed with goodwill. Beauties of Paris society surrounded him. admired his dazzling White Cuirassier unform and the enormous spread eagle upon his shining helmet, and attempted to provoke him; but in vain. In conversation with Louis-Napoleon, he dismissed last year’s Austro-Prussian war as belonging to another epoch, and added amiably ‘Thanks to you no permanent cause of rivalry exists between us and the Court at Vienna’. The festive atmosphere temporarily obscured the full menace of this remark.
On April 12th, the Emperor attended the première of one of the great entertainments to be produced in honour of his Royal guests: Offenbach’s La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein…
…Now here was this new triumph about the amorous Grand Duchess of a joke German principality, embarking on a pointless war because its Chancellor, Baron Puck, needed a diversion. Its forces were led by a joke German general called Boum, as incapable as he was fearless, who invigorated himself with the smell of gunpowder by periodically firing off his pistol into the air. The farce, tallying so closely with Europe’s private view of the ridiculous Teutons, was too obvious to be missed. When the Tsar came to see it, his box was said to have rung with unroyal laughter. Between gusts of mirth, members of the French court peeped over at Bismarck’s expression, half in malice, half in apprehension, wondering if perhaps King Wilhelm’s lack of tact about his previous visit to Paris had not been revenged to excess. But nobody appeared to be showing more obvious and unrestrained pleasure than the Iron Chancellor himself; one might almost have suspected that the pleasure was enhanced by the enjoyment of some secret joke of his own.
Alistair Horne : The Fall of Paris
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Seventeen years ago the federal government launched a siege and final assault against a group of private citizens who had not offended outside the beliefs they held or outside the group. To validate this process a propaganda campaign of falsehoods was instituted and was continued after.
This was not a punishment: it was a warning.
Punishments there were, in plenty, for the survivors.
Now, governments will do these things, whether in Indonesia, China or the USA --- and in the absence of government private parties will do such things, as in the Bastard Feudalistic phase of Late Mediaeval period during the Wars of the Roses or in the Gilded Age of America ( when Robber Barons like the unspeakable little republicans such as Carnegie or Frick randomly slaughtered their workers, Europeans were outraged not wholly at the murderous defence of Capital --- European polities were scarcely housing or in other ways treating their lower classes well, and were not averse though profoundly reluctant to sending the troops in if the police could not contain a strike --- but at the sheer insufferability of private citizens, including corporations as private citizens in the curious Anglo-American tradition, possessing and using armed private police forces to ensure their will ). This is not so much a question of the awfulness of government power, but the inane and disgusting purpose of an individual government.
The sect remembered was a breakaway group of a breakaway ad infinitum group in the true tradition of faiths. Seventh-Day Adventists are fearfully respectable and cook delicious food in their restaurants: those who seceded, as is the common way with splinter-groups, grew loopier the further they strayed. By the time David Koresh was through his sect was the Davidian Branch Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists, the apple having rolled fairly far from the tree. Which is not to say the tenets of the Adventists are sane compared to Catholic doctrine --- and for Royalists, the Roman Catholics have always been the weak sisters to Monarchy and Western Civilisation: petty, corrupt and wilfully treacherous. For those loyal to higher powers than despicably elected mere Popes, Canossa is the Great Unforgotten as much as Kronstadt is to any decent communist. However, although their theology may not be persuasive it is at least coherent --- From the Wiki entry, all the Adventist groups share such flawed beliefs such as:
# Jesus Christ is to soon personally return to earth to gather together his elect and take them to heaven for 1000 years, after which he will return with them to this earth to dwell with them for eternity in his kingdom.
# The non-immortality of the soul. That is, the dead have no consciousness, nor being.
# There shall be a resurrection of both the just and of the unjust. The resurrection of the just will take place at the second coming of Christ; the resurrection of the unjust will take place 1000 years later, at the close of the millennium.
# There is a sanctuary in heaven in which Christ is ministering on behalf of mankind.
# There is an investigative judgment going on in the heavenly sanctuary that began on October 22, 1844 to determine who will come forth in each of the resurrections, and who will be translated without seeing death at the second coming of Christ. That said judgment began with the records of those who had died, and would eventually pass to the living.
Etc., etc.. This stuff shares the usual delusion of religion that God is subject to human desires and whims. One may be sure that the number '1000' is relied upon as being a definite span, not too large as to be incomprehensible, not too small as to be verifiable: but to imagine God is subject to human time-tabling is not merely impious, but as vain as a mayfly suggesting the God envisaged by mayflies will judge the risen mayflies within a month.
And in the Wiki entry for the Siege itself there is piece we recognise as classic Curious Religious Americana --- we are often belaboured with the fact that America has a deeply religious base as compared with decadent Europe, just as has Dar al-Islam. And what use is that if the religion itself is utterly insane ? This has more to do with Spengler's forecast of the Second Religosity amongst the peasantry during the Imperialistic period than a deep love of the Almighty --- which involves exhumation and guns.
Following the failure of this prophecy, control of Mt. Carmel fell to Benjamin Roden, and on his death to his wife, Lois. Lois Roden considered their son, George, unfit to assume the position of prophet. Instead, she groomed Vernon Howell, later known as David Koresh, as her chosen successor. In 1984, a meeting led to a division of the group with Howell leading one faction, calling themselves the Davidian Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists, and George Roden leading the competing faction. After this split, George Roden ran Howell and his followers off Mt. Carmel. Howell and his group relocated to Palestine, Texas.
After the death of Lois and the probate case, Howell attempted to gain control of the Mt Carmel center by force. George Roden had dug up the casket of Anna Hughes from the Davidian cemetery and had challenged Howell to a resurrection contest to prove who was the rightful heir. Howell instead went to the police and claimed Roden was guilty of corpse abuse. By October 31, 1987 the county prosecutors had refused to file charges without proof and so on November 3, 1987 Howell and seven armed companions attempted to access the Mt. Carmel chapel with the goal of photographing the body in the casket. George Roden was advised of the interlopers and grabbed an Uzi in response. The sheriff's department responded about 20 minutes into the gunfight. Sheriff Harwell got Howell on the phone and told him to stop shooting and surrender. Howell and his companions, dubbed the "Rodenville Eight" by the media, were tried on April 12, 1988; seven were acquitted and the jury was hung on Howell's verdict. The county prosecutors did not press the case further.
While waiting for the trial, George Roden was put in jail under contempt of court charges on March 21, 1988 because of his use of foul language in some court pleadings threatening the Texas court with AIDS and herpes if it ruled in favor of Howell. The very next day, Perry Jones and a number of Howell's other followers moved from their headquarters in Palestine, Texas to Mt. Carmel Center.
The bellowed threats of God's biological warfare smiting the court seem counterproductive to getting that court to look favorably upon one's cause...
The Most Intelligent Way Possible
However the prior antics of squabbling religious fanatics was unassociated with the later event, which was orchestrated under the leadership of Miss Janet Reno. Here, I shall defer to a recent report [ Dec 2009 ] from IFS Writers: God Bless You Janet Reno --- Child Killer.
For 51 days, the ATF and the FBI held these people hostage, and then lied to Congress. I just want to let everyone know that I too, remember these Americans, these little children and old people that Janet Reno had gunned down, mutilated and burnt in the name of justice. I remember that one male report, who would come to the microphone and TV camera, and report that - there was no food for the children, or the next time, the kids were being molested, or the very next time, the kids were being held as hostages, etc. I wonder how his career is during these days. America will never forget Janet Reno and her friends that kill children, mothers and old people. I know she will live a long fruitful life. After all one day she will meet each and everyone of those victims again. And at that time, there are no laws, police and anything thing else that will save her from the raft of hell.
Janet Reno, the former attorney general in the Clinton administration, received a lifetime achievement award Friday, April 18, 2009, from the American Judicature Society, a non-partisan justice advocacy network.
Speaking slowly because of the effects of Parkinson Disease, Reno praised violence prevention programs and the current direction of the Justice Department. “Now I can look at America and think this is a nation that is responding in the most intelligent way possible to deal with violence, especially domestic violence,” Reno said.
Poor old incompetent fool, it might be more charitable to assume she, as we assume of Reagan during his presidency, so crippled pre factum that the mental damage was already there rather than it being a punishment..
Oh, Say, Can You See....
On February 28, 1993, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) launched the largest assault in its history against a small religious community in America. Approximately eighty armed agents invaded the compound, purportedly to execute a single search and arrest warrant. The raid went badly; six Branch Davidians and four agents were killed.
Attorney General Janet Reno asked for and received military support. The U.S. Army showed up with tanks.
After a fifty-one-day standoff, the United States Justice Department approved Reno’s plan to use CS gas and break down the walls with tanks to “save the children” of those barricaded inside.
On the 51st day tanks carrying the CS gas broke through the concrete walls and entered the compound. A fire broke out, and all seventy-four men, women and children inside perished. One third of them from gunshot wounds, the rest crushed by debris or burned to death.
After the compound had burned down the ATF flag was hoisted aloft to signify ‘victory’. At Janet Reno’s award ceremony today it was only mentioned that 74 “cult members” were killed.
Still Meant Over 10 Years In Quod For Resisting Arrest
In The Davidian trial judge sentenced five Davidians to the maximum sentence of 30 years each; one to 20 years; one to 15; one to 5 years and one to 3 years. On June 4, 2000 the Supreme Court cut 25 years from 4 Davidians' sentences and 5 years from one. On September 9, 2000 Judge Walter Smith followed the Court's instructions and cut those sentences, as well as the 25 year sentence of Livingstone Fagan who had not appealed.
All were released as of July 2007.
However... Quite ordinary American prisons appear training grounds for Guantánamo: from the Wiki article...
One, Derek Lovelock, was held in McLennan County Jail for seven months, often in solitary confinement. Livingston Fagan, another British citizen, who was among those convicted and imprisoned, recounts multiple beatings at the hands of prison guards, particularly at Leavenworth. He claims to have been doused with cold water from a high-pressure hose, which soaked both him and the contents and bedding of his cell, after which an industrial fan was placed outside the cell, blasting him with cold air. He was repeatedly moved between at least nine different facilities. He was strip-searched every time he took exercise, so refused exercise.
It's very difficult to imagine what pleasure a prison guard gets from beating up inmates...
And with all sieges where the external forces have world enough and time, All You Ever Have To Do Is Wait.
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One of the many rare distinctions appertaining to being a jacobite is the fact that --- without overtly disliking, yet not over-valuing, people except insofar as they adhere to creeds of filthy republicanism --- one is able to loathe all parties concerned in Northern Ireland without distinction.
Famously, after the last battle, at Stow-on-the-Wold, Jacob Astley, Major-General of the King's Infantry, contemptuously predicted to his conquerors: "Now Boys, ye may now sit down and play, for you have done all your Worke, if you fall not out among yourselves."
Quite apart from egregious terrorism and racketeering, which form a link with the established political movements which support and sponsor them and their ideals, the multi-splintered groups forming the twin ideals of Irish Republicanism and Unionist Loyalism are further joined by their infamous beliefs in democracy and religion: each partaking of the ancient liberal evil which rejected the Stuarts and Divine Right Royalism. As are also heirs --- of course --- the government forces of the pseudo-monarchical Great Britain --- serving the ultimate beneficiaries of the murder of Charles the First and the expulsion of his progeny: foul old parliament and it's hireling Windsor puppets squatting on a usurped throne --- and dreary little Eire, which puts all these gangs of parricidal and fratricidal sentimental bastards beyond the pale.
Ulster's 'Troubles' is merely one part of the aftermath of the defeat of Royalism whereby the republican scum fell out amongst themselves.
However, like most movements each can play a jolly tune --- outside the province and some parts of Scotland religio-political parades are sufficiently rare --- and here is one group of protties, the Ravenshill Flute Band, on Black Saturday 2006, playing Hello ! Hello ! Who's Your Lady Friend ? --- one of the Edwardian era's most spectacular songs.
It was written by the half-French Fragson, murdered by his own father.
General Jacob Astley, First Baron Astley of Reading
Harry Fragson -- 'Hello ! Hello !' = 1913
Harry Fragson -- 'Anna, Qu'est-Ce Que T'attends !' = 1906
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, High Germany
, Manners not Morals
, Other Writ
Frederick now asked his father-in-law, as a parting gift to him, to grant liberty to one of the unhappy band of political prisoners whose lifelong detention in the Tower was a public scandal. His candidate was the least obnoxious possible. Lord Grey de Wilton, the young Puritan noble who had been condemned to death for participation in the Bye Plot, had been now immured for ten years, and his spirit was reported much broken. Frederick made his request, and caught a terrifying glimpse of a James Stuart hitherto unknown to him, not the Princess Elizabeth’s “dear dad”, learned, lax and loving, but the James Stuart of the Gowrie Conspiracy and Gunpowder Plot.
Carola Oman : Elizabeth of Bohemia.
And just to drive home a point with icy charm…
James’s eventual dismissal of Frederick’s suit was well calculated to crush a nervous youth. “Son, when I come into Germany I will promise you not to importune you for any of your prisoners””.
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If all these things aforesaid were indeed performed, as we haue shewed them in words, you should haue a perfect Orchard in nature and substance, begunne to your hand; And yet are all these things nothing, if you want that skill to keepe and dresse your trees. Such is the condition of all earthly things, whereby a man receiueth profit or pleasure, that they degenerate presently without good ordering. Man himselfe left to himselfe, growes from his heauenly and spirituall generation, and becommeth beastly, yea deuillish to his owne kind, vnlesse he be regenerate No maruell then, if Trees make their shootes, and put their spraies disorderly. And truly ( if I were worthy to iudge ) there is not a mischiefe that breedeth greater and more generall harme to all the Orchard ( especially if they be of any continuance ) that euer I saw, ( I will not except three ) then the want of the skilfull dressing of trees. It is a common and vnskilfull opinion, and saying. Let all grow, and they will beare more fruit: and if you lop away superfluous boughes, they say, what a pitty is this ? How many apples would these haue borne? not considering there may arise hurt to your Orchard, as well ( nay rather ) by abundance, as by want of wood. Sound and thriuing plants in a good soile, will euer yeeld too much wood, and disorderly, but neuer too little. So that a skilfull and painfull Arborist, need neuer want matter to effect a plentifull and well drest Orchard: for it is an easie matter to take away superfluous boughes ( if your Gardner haue skill to know them ) whereof your plants will yeeld abundance, and skill will leaue sufficient well ordered. All ages both by rule and experience doe consent to a pruining and lopping of trees: yet haue not any that I know described vnto vs ( except in darke and generall words ) what or which are those superfluous boughes, which we must take away, and that is the chiefe and most needfull point to be knowne in lopping. And we may well assure our selues, ( as in all other Arts, so in this ) there is a vantage and dexterity, by skill, and an habite by practise out of experience, in the performance hereof for the profit of mankind; yet doe I not know ( let me speake it with the patience of our cunning Arborists ) any thing within the compasse of humane affaires so necessary, and so little regarded, not onely in Orchards, but also in all other timber trees, where or whatsoeuer.
Of the right dressing of trees
William Lawson -- A New Orchard And Garden : Or, The best way for planting, grafting, and to make any ground good, for a Rich Orchard: Particularly in the North and generally for the whole kingdome of England, as in nature, reason, situation, and all probabilitie, may and doth appeare. 1631
Charles West Cope --- Attempted Arrest of Five Members of the House of Commons by Charles I
A. Al these squares must bee set with trees, the Gardens and other ornaments must stand in spaces betwixt the trees, & in the borders & fences.
B. Trees 20. yards asunder.
C. Garden Knots.
D. Kitchen garden.
H. Walkes set with great wood thicke.
I. Walkes set with great wood round about your Orchard.
K. The out fence.
L. The out fence set with stone-fruite.
M. Mount. To force earth for a mount, or such like set it round with quicke, and lay boughes of trees strangely intermingled tops inward, with the earth in the midle.
O. Good standing for Bees, if you haue an house.
P. If the riuer run by your doore, & vnder your mount, it will be pleasant.
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I have never attached another value to words than that of the expression of correct concepts, to theories never the value of deeds, and I have always regarded preconceived systems as the product of leisured heads or the outburst of emotional minds.
Not in the struggle of society towards progress, but rather in progression towards the true goods: towards freedom as the inevitable yield of order; towards equality in its only applicable degree of that before the law; towards prosperity, inconceivable without the foundation of moral and material peace; towards credit, which can rest only on the basis of trust — in all that I have recognised the duty of government and the true salvation for the governed.
I have looked upon despotism of every kind as a symptom of weakness. Where it appears, it is a self-punitive evil, most intolerable when it poses behind the mask of promoting the cause of freedom.
The concept of the balancing of powers ( proposed by Montesquieu ) has always appeared to me only as a conceptual error of the English constitution, impractical in its application, because the concept of such a balancing is rooted in the assumption of an eternal struggle, instead of in that of peace, the first necessity for the life and prosperity of states.
The care for the inner life of states has always had for me the worth of the most important task for governments.
As the foundations for politics I recognise the concepts of right and equity and not the sole calculations of use, whilst I look upon capricious politics as an ever self-punitive confusion of the spirit.
My conduct is a prosaic and not a poetical one. I am a man of right, and reject in all things appearance where it divides as such from truth, thereupon deprived as the foundation of right, where it must inevitably dissolve into error.
For me the word “freedom” has not the value of a starting-point, but rather that of an actual point of arrival. The word “order” denotes the starting-point. Only on the concept of order can that of freedom rest. Without the foundation of order, the call for freedom is nothing more than the striving of some party after an envisaged end. In its actual use, the call inevitably expresses itself as tyranny. Whilst I have at all times and in all situations ever been a man of order, my striving was addressed to true and not deceptive freedom. In my eyes, tyranny of any kind has only the value of absolute nonsense. As a means to an end, I mark it as the most vapid that time and circumstance is able to place at the disposal of rulers.
The concept of order in view of legislation --- the foundation of order --- is, in consequence of the conditions under which states live, capable of the most varied application. Considered as constitution, it will prove itself best for any state that answers to the demands of both the material conditions and those moral conditions peculiar to the national character. There is no universal recipe for constitutions, just as little as there is some universal means for the boosting of health.
I did not govern the empire. Therein the powers at every level were not just strictly administered and directed to their competences, but rather in this regard were even relinquished to trepidation, which brought hesitancy to the course of affairs. The principle of government of the Emperor Francis was set forth in the motto “Justitia regnorum fundamentum”, not only as it lay in his spirit and character, but also as it served him as strict guide in all governmental affairs. He agreed with my observation that the axiom, correct in its point of origin, could be abrogated in the excessive practice of particular cases, but he usually added: “I was born and through my status appointed for the execution of justice; the inevitable hardness in particular cases is better than the slackening of rule through too many exceptions.” My motto is “Strength in Right”. Both sayings run together in meaning, except that the imperial motto has an abstractly judicial significance, whereas mine has a significance more grounded in state law. In this regard, the motto “Recta tueri”, suggested by me to Emperor Ferdinand upon his most supreme accession, bids a further nuance.
Excerpts from The Political Testament of Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar, Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg zu Beilstein, as translated by Deoholwulf, Keeper of The Joy of Curmudgeonry
Full text here.
The Spirit of Eternal Justice Succouring the Stricken State Actually, Kathleen Wallis Coales --- Cock Robin and the Flower Fairy
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, Self Writ
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...
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Some serious illness, which alternated between lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and sudden death, but which resolved itself into influenza was followed by a customary melancholy which both intensified the taedium vitae of a depressive and left neither time nor interest in this blog. Possibly things may improve slightly ( although normal pessimism urges caution... ). In the meantime:
Monarchy is first proved to be the true and rightful form of government. Men’s objects are best attained during universal peace: this is possible only under a monarch. And as he is the image of the divine unity, so man is through him made one, and brought most near to God. There must, in every system of forces, be a ‘primum mobile’; to be perfect, every organisation must have a centre, into which all is gathered, by which all is controlled. Justice is best secured by a supreme arbiter of disputes, himself untempted by ambition, since his dominion is already bounded only by ocean. Man is best and happiest when he is most free; to be free is to exist for one’s own sake. To this noblest end does the monarch and he alone guide us; other forms of government are perverted, and exist for the benefit of some class; he seeks the good of all alike, being to that very end appointed.
James Bryce’s summary of Dante’s De Monarchia
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Ivanov Seven is an excellent boys' book by Elizabeth Janeway, and regards a mid-19th century recruit into the Russian army who is fortunate enough to return home to the hills with a charming little howitzer named Katya for his very own > which is the sort of souvenir no-one could resist; particularly a Prussian ornate cannon that is antique bronze inscribed:
Anyway, during the royalist war in the Vendée against the brutish scum of the French Republic, there was another notable piece with a sweet name. She was a bit bigger, but just as lovable.
Really, the only engaging with life which makes the curious matter of existence endurable is to destroy republicans... And maybe, to collect cannon. Not only for that good purpose, but just because... I find myself unable to believe God created us in order that we might worship Him --- although He would have every right so to do if He so Chose ( that's the arbitrary and unfettered bit that is the essence of power; which we must try to mirror, howsoever unsuccessfully here on earth, at least for His equally arbitrarily Chosen lieutenants... ) --- and His reasons for creation must remain a mystery, but fighting on the right side each time consoles us at least during each such struggle.
The soldiers reassembled in large numbers, till, with Bonchamps' division, there were close on forty thousand, but destitute of powder; the army spent the night before La Châtaigneraie, which had been re-occupied by the Republicans. At daybreak the town was found to have been evacuated, all the Blues having fallen back on Fontenay. The Catholic Army marched forward without delay and towards noon reached Pissotte, three-quarters of a league from Fontenay; the Blues, to the number of ten thousand, with upwards of forty pieces of cannon, were drawn up in battle array before the town. The priests were asked to give the men absolution before the battle. "We have no powder, boys", the generals said to them; "Come on and recapture Marie-Jeanne with your cudgels, as you did at first. See who can run fastest, for we cannot stop to fire this time." M. de Lescure was in command of the left wing; his men showing a disposition to hang back, he was obliged to ride on alone forty paces ahead of them; then, pulling up, he called out "Vive le Roi !" He was instantly greeted with six rounds of grapeshot, for the enemy had aimed at him as though he was the bullseye on a target; by a veritable miracle he was not wounded, though his clothes were riddled, his left spur shot away, and also a large piece of his boot from the right calf. Turning round he called out to the men, "You see, boys, the Blues cannot shoot. On with you ! Forward !" The men, carried away with enthusiasm, rushed forward at such a pace that my husband had to break into a quick trot in order to keep at their head. Just then the peasants, catching sight of a mission cross, fell on their knees around it, though within range of the cannon. More than thirty balls passed over their heads. At that point there were only MM. de Lescure and de Baugé on horseback. The latter would have had my husband bid them go on. "No, let them finish their prayers first", he answered quietly. At length they sprang up and rushed upon the enemy. Meanwhile M. de Marigny fired off the few charges we had with good effect. M. de la Rochejaquelein had put himself at the head of the cavalry with MM. de Dommaigné and de Beaurepaire; they all displayed the utmost gallantry, while Henri distinguished himself by a judgment beyond his years. After repulsing the Republican cavalry, instead of pursuing it, he fell upon the flank of the enemy's left wing, which till then had been maintaining the fight with some success, and by so doing placed the victory beyond a doubt. I wish I could give further details with regard to the circumstances of this battle, but I can only say what I know for certain.
The Blues, appalled by the desperate onslaught of the Vendeans, were completely routed in three quarters of an hour. The left wing, under the command of M. de Lescure, reached the gate of the town, and he himself was the first to enter, but his men, to begin with, had not the courage to follow him. MM. de Bonchamps and Forest, spying him from a distance, dashed forward to join him ; it was high time, for he was alone and in a very perilous situation. The three officers together were rash enough to penetrate into the town, though the streets were still crowded with over four thousand Blues, who, paralysed with terror, fell on their knees and began begging for quarter. When they had reached the square they separated and took three different streets, likewise thronged with armed volunteers, to whom they cried, "Surrender, down with your arms ! Vive le Roi ! We will do you no harm." Scarcely had he parted from M. de Lescure, however, than M. de Bonchamps was wounded. One of the soldiers, after laying down his musket and crying for quarter like the rest, picked it up again as soon as he had passed, and fired, shooting him through the arm and fleshy part of the breast and inflicting four wounds upon him : luckily our troops were just then crowding into the town in the wake of their generals. Bonchamps' men in their fury closed in on the street and slaughtered about sixty Blues who were in it, so that the guilty one should not escape their vengeance.
As for M. de Lescure, he had the greatest pleasure a man can experience ; on leaving M. de Bonchamps and Forest he had taken the Street of the Prisons, which he caused.to be thrown open, to the cry of Vive le Roi, and flung himself into the arms of M. de la Marsonniere and the two hundred and forty prisoners confined along with him. This officer and several of the men were to have been guillotined the following morning; he had shown at his examination a nobility and greatness of character worthy of the highest praise. M. de Lescure had hastened to deliver them for fear they should be massacred by the Blues, and having done so flew at once to another prison in which were confined the relations of émigrés and other suspected persons, to the number of over two hundred. They had viewed the battle from afar and barricaded themselves on the inside for fear of being butchered by the patriots. M. de Lescure knocked repeatedly, crying, "Open, in the King's name !" Immediately the doors flew open, while the prison rang with cries of Vive le Roi ! All the captives embraced M. de Lescure, but without recognizing him, even though a great many were relations or friends of his ; after telling them his name he left them, to engage in the pursuit of the patriots like all the other officers.
Forest had taken the street leading to the Niort road, and accordingly found himself at the very head. Everyone's chief concern was to recapture Marie-Jeanne, the idol of the army, while the Blues, who were aware of this, used every endeavour to save her. They were already well over a league from the town. Forest had pushed forward so far that he found himself in the midst of over a hundred gendarmes ; fortunately he had the horse, saddle and weapons of a gendarme he had killed in a previous engagement, besides which, he was not dressed like a peasant and had no white cockade, and as at that time most of the Republican regiments were full of new recruits not yet in uniform, the Blues took him for one of their own men. "Comrade," said one of them, clapping him on the shoulder, "there is a reward of twenty-five thousand francs for those who save Marie-Jeanne; she is in danger; let us turn back and prevent her from being taken." All the Blues promptly turned back, whereupon Forest began to play the hero, declaring that he must be the foremost, and so gradually worked his way forward till he found himself leading, some way ahead, and followed only by the two boldest. When he was only a short distance from our men, he turned round with a cry of Vive le Roi ! and killed the two Blues who were following him, while the Vendeans, recognizing him, fell upon the enemy and captured Marie-Jeanne who was defended by some foot. To bring the history of this gun to a conclusion, I will add that she was brought back by the soldiers in triumph to La Vendée, where, in all the villages, the women came out to meet her, embracing her and covering her with flowers and ribbons.
Memoirs of the Marquise de La Rochejaquelein [ trans : Cecil Biggane ]
Henri, Marquis de La Rochejaquelein fighting at Cholet
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, Other Writ
A number of tragedies were encompassed within the assassination of Lincoln --- including no doubt that event itself --- not least the peculiar judicial executions of his purported murderers; yet if the greatest was the destruction of the Emperor of Mexico, far exceeding in magnitude the elimination of a mere president, the next must be that the plotters did not succeed entirely in carving through the neck of Seward.
Still, for the Empress Charlotte the major villain was Louis-Napoleon, of whom to her husband she wrote in a vivacious style after the final betrayal.
In the morning I am leaving for Miramar via Milan, which will prove to you that I have achieved exactly nothing... But there remains the satisfaction of having defeated their arguments, torn down their dishonest pretexts, and in the end having won a moral victory for you. Nevertheless, He has turned against us, and no power on earth is of any avail, for He has Hell on his side and we have not. You must not believe that the opposition comes from outside, for He himself appoints legislative bodies to do his will; nor is this professed anxiety about the United States the real reason for his stubbornness. He wants to commit a long premeditated crime, not through fear or change of heart, or for any motive whatever, but only because He is the incarnation of villainy on earth and means to destroy what is good. It is because men do not see the perversity of his actions that they adore him.
Up to the last I interrupted him pour parer et ignorer le refus [ in order to parry and prevent his refusal ], but it is obvious that He alone chooses to be unmerciful, for the least of his ministers would have softened. I can assure you of this much, that for me He is the Devil in person; at our last meeting his expression would have made your hair stand on end, and this ugliness was a reflection of his soul... He has never loved you, for He is incapable of loving. Like a viper He fascinated you with tears that were as false as his words, and with deeds that were perfidy. You must be freed from his claws as soon as possible.
Even while delivering his final no, by which He knew you would be ruined, his conduct was oily. A genteel Mephistopheles, He kissed my hand; but I can recognize pantomime, for I have seen through him twice. It still appalls me to realize that the world has never known and never will know his like, but le règne louche à sa fin [ the reign touches its end ] and soon we shall again be able to get our breath.
You probably think I am exaggerating, but conditions here absolutely resemble the Apocalypse, with Babylon on the Seine fitting the picture; it makes hardened skeptics believe in God when they can see the Devil so close at hand ...
As a direct result of my visit le vin est dévoilé [ the wine has certainly been spilled ] for humanity to judge and condemn. I got a peep at the records of the Finance Commission, another putrid affair from start to finish. Count de Germiny promised to pay the poor legations, which will be something at least --- provided he does it; everything they tell you here is untrue. But you must not believe that I grovel before these people. I just tear off their masks and then thunder at them, without getting vulgar, to be sure. They have probably never in their lives been more mortified ...
I can not understand their willingness to let you abdicate. It seems, to me that you ought to hold on, because the day is coming when He will be dethroned and France as well as the whole of Europe will see that their interests are furthered by an empire in Mexico. The Old World is crumbling because He has his finger in every pie; you can smell him in the bloodshed of all the nations struggling for unity. He uses Prim and Bismarck as his agents and spreads a network of propaganda across the map, laughing at those whom He has victimized. There's no defying him except from the other side of the Atlantic.
Austria is changing into a Magyar state and will soon collapse. In Italy they have a financial depression, while Spain is ablaze with unrest. You have nothing to hope for in this hemisphere where He would destroy you with his hate, for He can scarcely bring himself to utter your name. I advise you to dismiss his hirelings and to control your army without French interference, otherwise you will be lost. The whole military question proves this. If you can enlist native sympathy success is still possible, but never again put your trust in the French. If the truth about your situation were really known abroad, money would pour into your treasury from all sides, for even the French people are materially concerned in this matter in view of their foreign trade.
I shall be overjoyed when you send for me. Don't plan to come to Europe yourself because He will crush you; He wants to own everything from the North Cape to Cape Matapan. Call me back after you have emancipated yourself from him in Mexico. It is quite apparent that my presence here has been the worst blow He has had in years. I must also add that many charming people are taking a real interest in me.
I embrace you with all my heart. Always your faithful
P.S. Naturally I have not lived here in the style you expected... But now I am receiving my inheritance and some very fine jewels, among them a magnificent Gold Fleece for you ...
She was rather obviously mistaken as to Otto v. Bismarck's role, of course *meditatively* Yet it is nice to note that towards the end of her maddened life the German troops ordered past her retreat in Belgium were detailed to pass by without singing or disturbance to shelter her from their ineluctable entry into the land of her birth...
Arthur Hughes -- Ophelia ~ 2nd Version
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Comte Louis de Robien was a cynical French diplomat attached to St. Petersburg during the First World War: in his diary of the final years he detailed the Revolutions and that curious time when at any given time Tsarists, democrats, bolsheviks, socialists, the German army, Ukrainians and many other groups of varying sizes could be either fighting each other, or in very temporary alliance contesting the other groups singly or in concert...
Monday 9th April 1917
Shubin is still very worried. The apparent orderliness of the demonstration in honour of the victims of the revolution does not reassure him.
He analysed the psychology of Russian crowds to us with great shrewdness --- he understands them better than we do, their mentality is so far removed from ours.
"I saw," he told us, "a troop of a thousand demonstrators in a small side-street, waiting their turn to take up their position in one of the processions. There they stood, each one in his place, from ten o'clock in the morning until eight o'clock at night, marking time in the melting snow without the slightest sign of impatience, with nothing to eat and nothing to drink, without asking for anything from the neighbouring houses. The bearers laid five or six red coffins down on the bare earth, and none of this great crowd gave any sign of impatience. And yet, on the banners which they carried, the most extreme and violent demands were inscribed. From time to time a leader raised his baton, giving the note, and they began to sing: 'We will pillage ! --- we will kill ! --- we will cut throats ! --- to the gallows with the Tsar ! --- the bourgeois are vampires !' etc. . . . The tenors cried out for the heads of the aristocrats, the sopranos for that of the Tsar, the basses wanted no one spared. Then, when the verse was over they rested for ten minutes and then, at a new signal, they started again. It wasn't until that night that the procession could start marching, the bearers lifted the coffins on to their shoulders, and the crowd left in an orderly fashion, singing: 'We will pillage ! --- We will murder !' etc. . . ."
Fat Shubin mimed the scene all the while he described it, rolling his pale blue eyes, beating time, singing first in a tenor voice, then in a bass... and then marching across the drawing-room with superb calm.
He was most amusing. But his observation is very exact. In no other country could people confine themselves to words like this, without breaking into action. But how dangerous it all is ! Because, once let loose, these brutes are terrifying. In 1905 there were atrocious scenes and the moujiks, so mild in appearance, pillaged everywhere with sadistic cruelty. Someone told me about one 'estate', where the peasants cut three legs off all the sheep. In other places they tore out the cattles' tongues and put out their eyes. Let us hope that we do not see horrors like these !
Wednesday 8th August 1917
Everyone is interested in the battalions of women soldiers who exercise in the courtyard of the Paul Palace on the Fontanka . . . people talk of the 'heroism of the Russian women' and they get all excited about it... as for myself, I feel that it is rather unpleasant histrionics. As far as fighting goes these women can only be thinking of the rough-and-tumble !
Tuesday 14th August 1917
What strikes one about the present events is the lack of men ... the Kadets, who stirred up so much trouble in the opposition under the old regime, have shown themselves to be lamentably incompetent when in power. It makes one wonder whether the Emperor wasn't quite right in not calling on their help. If he had given them power, far from saving him they would have precipitated his downfall, because they have shown themselves to be doctrinaires, muddlers and blunderers. . . .
During the first days of the revolution one of these brilliant theoreticians came to see Shubin, completely panic-stricken. Shubin expressed astonishment at his being in such a state at the moment when the event which he had spent his whole life preparing for was actually taking place.... "Yes," his visitor replied, "the revolution is all very well, but it is not happening the way I wrote about it in my book...." The whole history of the Kadet party is contained in that answer.
Edward Robert Hughes --- Heart of Snow
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The centralisation of the directing organs of royal government and their permanent establishment in what was swiftly becoming the greatest city in France strengthened the administration and gave it cohesion, so that its different sections were able to agree on joint policy and then move to common action, pool their resources, and undertake mutual aid, and draw all the important business of state into their hands. In these circumstances the ordinary routine of administration, centred on Paris, was bound to work towards the unification of France under the monarchy. But the king’s idea of political unity was not that of his officials. He wished to bind his realm together with feudal ties alone, and saw only good in the existence of the great fiefs, provided that their lords scrupulously performed their feudal services and honoured their feudal obligations. His officials wanted a single authority to rule in the land unchallenged, the authority which the king had delegated to them. Their devotion to the royal power was almost mystical in its intensity, and they regarded any limitation placed on it as an anomaly which it was their duty to extirpate. This attitude became much more pronounced when their ranks were swollen by new colleagues recruited from the dynasty’s newly acquired southern territories, where the Roman Law idea of the prince whose will alone is law reigned supreme.
They believed that the king should be absolute master in his kingdom, the sole fountainhead of legislation and justice, untrammelled in his control of the crown’s financial and military resources. The means they used to these ends were far from characteristic of their royal masters. Although they were capable of dying heroically on the field of battle, like Pierre Flote at Courtrai, they were fundamentally bureaucratic, and seized on law as their indispensable weapon. They developed an insatiable curiosity to discover the origins of any rights which conflicted with those of the king and placed checks on his power. This curiosity had important consequences in a society the basis of which was the usurpation of regalian rights. The royal officials were hostile to every method of invoking force to settle a dispute in law, and sought to abolish private war and the judicial duel. Nor would they admit any right to be established until its origin had been explained and its history reconstructed for them. In the course of this kind of historical research, they plunged into endless discussions of the titles submitted to them, and frequently revealed that their good faith was only relative, subjecting documents put in evidence against them to pitiless scrutiny, but resting content with dubious proofs of the validity of the rights they claimed for the crown.
It is not surprising that the royal officials incurred unpopularity in their own day and have not escaped the censure of modern historians. Their challenge to the status quo led them to be taken for revolutionaries, though they imagined their goal to be the restoration of the conditions of a remote past. Their aversion to the use of force and preference for the processes of law won them the reputation of being unscrupulous and tortuous. But it is pointless for the historian to subject them to moral judgments. What matters is their achievement, and that was considerable.
Robert Fawtier : The Capetian Kings of France
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, Other Writ
, Self Writ
He was handsome, but his good looks made you want to shiver… The swiftly receding forehead, together with a lower jaw overdeveloped at the expense of the cranium, expressed inflexible will-power and feebleness of thought, and more cruelty than sensitivity. But the eyes were the main thing. They were wintry eyes without warmth or pity.
Alexander Herzen : Beloye I dumy [ On Nicholas I ]
Herzen was an ineffable, if affable, idiot, and more a father of modern libertarianism than a revolutionary torch-bearer for socialist causes; but he was capable of a graceful tribute to his enemy… Who was in turn the enemy of redundant emotional excess.
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The dusk of evening has fallen over Berlin. A great yet silent crowd is rapidly moving through the chief street towards the royal palace, and every now and then a low whisper is heard, in which can be distinguished the words: "The King is very ill." In the palace itself yet greater silence reigns. The King's guardsmen stand motionless, the servants' steps are inaudible on the carpets of the corridors and the rooms. Now the tower clock strikes midnight; all at once a door opens, and through it glides a ghostly woman, tall of stature, queenly of bearing.
She is dressed in a trailing white garment, a white veil covers her head, below which her long flaxen hair hangs, twisted with strings of pearls; her face is deathly pale as that of a corpse. In her right hand she carries a bunch of keys, in her left a nosegay of Mayflowers. She walks solemnly down the long corridor. The tall guardsmen present arms, pages and lackeys give way before her, the guards who have just relieved their comrades open their ranks; the figure passes through them, and goes through a folding door into the royal ante-room.
"It is the White Lady ; the King is about to die," whispers the officer of the watch, brushing a tear from his eye.
"The White Lady has appeared," is whispered through the crowd, and all know what that portends.
At noon the King's death was known to all. "Yes," said Master Schneckenburger, "he has been gathered to his fathers. Mistress Berchta has once more announced what was going to happen, for she can foretell everything, both bad and good. She was seen before the misfortunes of 1806, and again before the battle of Belle-Alliance. She has a key with which to open the door of life and happiness. He to whom she gives a cowslip will succeed in whatever he undertakes."
Schneckenburger was right. It was Bertha, or Berchta, who made known the King's approaching death, but she was also the prophetess of other important events. Berchta ( from percht, shining ) is almost identical with Holda, except that the latter never appears as the White Lady. Many Germanic tribes worshipped the Earth-goddess under the name of Berchta, and there are numbers of legends about her both in North and South Germany.
One evening in the year was dedicated to her, and was called Perchten-evening ( 30th December or 6th January ), when she was supposed, as a diligent spinner, to oversee the labours of the spinning-room, or, magic staff in hand, to ride at the head of the Raging Host, in the midst of a terrific storm. She generally lived in hollow mountains, where she, as in Thuringia, watched over and tended the "Heimchen," or souls of babes as yet unborn, and of those who died an early death. She busied herself there by ploughing up the ground under the earth, whilst the babes watered the fields. Whenever men, careless of the good she did them, disturbed her in her mountain dwelling, she left the country with her train, and after her departure the fields lost all their former fruitfulness.
Once when Berchta and her babes were passing over a meadow across the middle of which ran a fence that divided it in two, the last little child could not climb over it; its water-jar was too heavy. A woman, who a short time before had lost her little baby, was close by, and recognised her dead darling, for whom she had wept night and day. She hastened to the child, clasped it in her arms, and would not let it go.
Then the little one said : "How warm and comfortable I feel in my mother's arms ; but weep no more for me, mother, my jar is full and is growing too heavy for me. Look, mother, dost thou not see how all thy tears run into it, and how I've spilt some on my little shirt ? Mistress Berchta, who loves me and kisses me, has told me that thou shouldst also come to her in time, and then we shall be together again in the beautiful garden under the hill."
Then the mother wept once more a flood of tears, and let the child go.
After that she never shed another tear, but found comfort in the thought that she would one day be with her child again.
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C. Van Carter has two good blogs, Across Difficult Country, and Craptocracy.
From the first is an old post Arrival: Vaduz, where he rightly says:
What truly sets Liechtenstein apart as a country is that it has not succumbed to the foolish democracy fad which has ruined all other modern nations. Liechtenstein is still ruled by a monarch, as it has been since the the Middle Ages (not coincidentally the last decent period in human history). The current head of state is Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, a rather dashing fellow, and over dinner at Vaduz Castle he describes to me the wealth and happiness that flows to Liechtenstein's people as a result of its monarchical system
I may add that Princess Sophie of Bavaria, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein --- daughter-in-law to Hans-Adam II and wife of Prince Alois, the Regent of Liechtenstein --- is, after her father Prince Max, heir to the Stuart regalities when the Stuart-Wittelsbach conjunction ceases.
And from the second, a more recent post discusses some absurd fellow who seeks the equally absurd position of president to the USA: never heard of him, but a Mr. Hucklebee. This unsavoury little chap wishes to ban smoking throughout the American dominions --- admittedly one may say 'fat chance' sceptically, but Yanks do adore ploughing their economy into pointless wars, and an extension of the War on Terror into a Second Front against domestic smoking will certainly appeal to the moral retard majority... --- and there's a nasty story regarding his son --- who recently was fined for having a loaded gun whilst travelling through an airport [ don't try this whilst devoutly reading the Qur'an and mumbling ] --- hanging a dog at Scout Camp. Something he later claimed was done since the animal was sick and suffering: must account for the rows of gallows adjacent to every retirement home... His benighted father is alleged to have attempted to interfere with the administration of justice. His Chief of Staff admitted asking the Director of State Police who was afterwards fired by Governor Hucklebee: "Is it normal for the state police to … investigate something that happened at a Boy Scout camp ?"
Kinda... police in most jurisdictions, even perhaps Pakistan, are going to get active over any allegations of torture unconnected to their own activities. It's what makes us civilised.
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, Self Writ
, The Building Blocks of Democracy
Parts 1 - 4 of Erik Jorgensen's award-winning video of anti-war protests in Northern California in 2003'.
Quite apart from the fact that protests rarely succeed in altering anything, any more than voting does, or contacting one's --- and I may add that I take it as a deep and perpetual insult to suppose that anyone can 'represent' me --- representatives does; ultimately protesters and fascistic guardians are locked in a dance, and in the longer run keep exchanging roles. As Göring once affably pointed out to some ( agreeing ) communist prisoners: it could have easily been him in jail and them as the jailers. In this case I prefer the protesters philosophically, and despise the rigid guardians > yet in another I would as easily crush the iron heel down on protesters I personally despised... And in this case, neither side are efficient --- beyond the habitual national characteristic of inefficiency --- mainly because each claims to be speaking on behalf of 'The People': an entity, who like the Almighty, to which any assorted randomly chosen beliefs and feelings may be attributed. Oddly enough, the protesters prefer not to point out that thus they are speaking on behalf of redneck gun-toting anti-commies who gibber for Bush; whilst the state spokespeople equally refrain from acknowledging part of their constituency are shiftless liberal slackers who would elect for all war-mongers to be hung from apple-trees. Which is one of the prime jokes of conceptual democracy.
But anyway, this is funny and exquisitely chosen: for a state with such a worldwide reputation for wackiness ranging from hippydom to the extreme marcusian egalitarianism enshrined in PC to various cults, Californian policing appears to be modelled on the vague inchoate fascisimo of a Latin American country run by a demented authoritarian general who has been delaying death from extreme old age for thirty years during the mid twentieth century.
I've Got a Little List
A Policeman's Lot
Resilience - 'Opposing Force'
'A Policeman's Lot Is Not A Happy One' from the DVD ( not the film ) of the Delacorte Theater production with Linda Ronstadt
As a bon-bouché for a reprise...
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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
George Frederick Watts --- Hope
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"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.
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, Other Writ
LONG in thy Shackels, liberty,
I ask not from these walls, but thee ;
Left for a while anothers Bride,
To fancy all the world beside.
Yet e’re I do begin to love,
See ! How I all my objects prove ;
Then my free Soule to that confine,
’Twere possible I might call mine.
First I would be in love with Peace,
And her rich swelling breasts increase ;
But how alas ! how may that be,
Despising Earth, she will love me ?
Faine would I be in love with War,
As my deare Just avenging star ;
But War is loved so ev’ry where,
Ev’n He disdaines a Lodging here.
Thee and thy wounds I would bemoane
Faire thorough-shot Religion ;
But he lives only that kills thee,
And who so bindes thy hands, is free.
I would love a Parliament
As a maine Prop from Heav’n sent ;
But ah ! Who’s he that would be wedded
To th’ fairest body that’s beheaded ?
Next would I court my Liberty,
And then my Birth-right, Property ;
But can that be, when it is knowne
There’s nothing you can call your owne ?
A Reformation I would have,
As for our griefes a Sov’raigne salve ;
That is, a cleansing of each wheele
Of State, that yet some rust doth feele :
But not a Reformation so,
As to reforme were to ore’throw ;
Like Watches by unskilfull men
Disjoynted, and set ill againe.
The Publick Faith I would adore,
But she is banke-rupt of her store ;
Nor how to trust her can I see,
For she that couzens all, must me.
Since then none of these can be
Fit objects for my Love and me ;
What then remaines, but th’ only spring
Of all our loves and joyes ? The KING.
He who being the whole Ball
Of Day on Earth, lends it to all ;
When seeking to ecclipse his right,
Blinded, we stand in our owne light.
And now an universall mist
Of Error is spread or’e each breast,
With such a fury edg’d, as is
Not found in th’ inwards of th’ Abysse.
Oh from thy glorious Starry Waine
Dispense on me one sacred Beame
To light me where I soone may see
How to serve you, and you trust me.
Richard Lovelace : To Lucasta, from Prison — An Epode.
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Come hither, Evan Cameron !
Come, stand beside my knee ---
I hear the river roaring down
Towards the wintry sea.
There's shouting on the mountain side,
There's war within the blast ---
Old faces look upon me,
Old forms go trooping past.
I hear the pibroch wailing
Amidst the din of fight,
And my dim spirit wakes again
Upon the verge of night !
'Twas I that led the Highland host
Through wild Lochaber's snows,
What time the plaided clans came down
To battle with Montrose.
I've told thee how the Southrons fell
Beneath the broad claymore,
And how we smote the Campbell clan
By Inverlochy's shore.
I've told thee how we swept Dundee,
And tamed the Lindsay's pride;
But never have I told thee yet
How the Great Marquis died !
A traitor sold him to his foes;
O deed of deathless shame !
I charge thee, boy, if e'er thou meet
With one of Assynt's name ---
Be it upon the mountain's side,
Or yet within the glen,
Stand he in martial gear alone,
Or backed by armed men ---
Face him, as thou wouldst face the man
Who wronged thy sire's renown;
Remember of what blood thou art,
And strike the caitiff down !
They brought him to the Watergate,
Hard bound with hempen span,
As though they held a lion there,
And not a 'fenceless man.
They set him high upon a cart ---
The hangman rode below ---
They drew his hands behind his back,
And bared his noble brow.
Then, as a hound is slipped from leash,
They cheered the common throng,
And blew the note with yell and shout,
And bade him pass along.
It would have made a brave man's heart
Grow sad and sick that day,
To watch the keen malignant eyes
Bent down on that array.
There stood the Whig west-country lords
In balcony and bow,
There sat their gaunt and withered dames,
And their daughters all a-row;
And every open window
Was full as full might be,
With black-robed Covenanting carles,
That goodly sport to see !
But when he came, though pale and wan,
He looked so great and high,
So noble was his manly front,
So calm his steadfast eye; ---
The rabble rout forebore to shout,
And each man held his breath,
For well they knew the hero's soul
Was face to face with death.
And then a mournful shudder
Through all the people crept,
And some that came to scoff at him,
Now turn'd aside and wept.
But onwards --- always onwards,
In silence and in gloom,
The dreary pageant labor’d,
Till it reach’d the house of doom.
Then first a woman’s voice was heard
In jeer and laughter loud,
And an angry cry and a hiss arose
From the heart of the tossing crowd:
Then as the Græme look’d upwards,
He saw the ugly smile
Of him who sold his king for gold,
The master-fiend Argyle !
The Marquis gaz’d a moment,
And nothing did he say,
But the cheek of Argyle grew ghastly pale
And he turn’d his eyes away.
The painted harlot by his side,
She shook through every limb,
For a roar like thunder swept the street,
And hands were clench’d at him;
And a Saxon soldier cried aloud,
“Back, coward, from thy place !
For seven long years thou hast not dar’d
To look him in the face.”
Had I been there with sword in hand,
And fifty Camerons by,
That day through high Dunedin's streets,
Had pealed the slogan cry.
Not all their troops of trampling horse,
Nor might of mailed men ---
Not all the rebels of the south
Had borne us backwards then !
Once more his foot on Highland heath
Had trod as free as air,
Or I, and all who bore my name,
Been laid around him there !
It might not be. They placed him next
Within the solemn hall,
Where once the Scottish Kings were throned
Amidst their nobles all.
But there was dust of vulgar feet
On that polluted floor,
And perjured traitors filled the place
Where good men sate before.
With savage glee came Warristoun
To read the murderous doom,
And then uprose the great Montrose
In the middle of the room.
"Now by my faith as belted knight,
And by the name I bear,
And by the bright Saint Andrew's cross
That waves above us there ---
Yea, by a greater, mightier oath ---
And oh, that such should be ! ---
By that dark stream of royal blood
That lies 'twixt you and me ---
I have not sought in battle-field
A wreath of such renown,
Nor dared I hope, on my dying day,
To win the martyr's crown !"
"There is a chamber far away
Where sleep the good and brave,
But a better place ye have named for me
Than by my father's grave.
For truth and right, 'gainst treason's might,
This hand hath always striven,
And ye raise it up for a witness still
In the eye of earth and heaven.
Then nail my head on yonder tower ---
Give every town a limb ---
And God who made shall gather them:
I go from you to Him !"
The morning dawn’d full darkly,
The rain came flashing down,
And the jagged streak of the levin-bolt
Lit up the gloomy town:
The thunder crash’d across the heaven,
The fatal hour was come;
Yet aye broke in with muffled beat
The ’larum of the drum.
There was madness on the earth below
And anger in the sky,
And young and old, and rich and poor,
Came forth to see him die.
Ah, God ! that ghastly gibbet !
How dismal ’tis to see
The great tall spectral skeleton,
The ladder and the tree !
Hark ! hark ! it is the clash of arms ---
The bells begin to toll ---
“He is coming! he is coming!
God’s mercy on his soul !”
One last long peal of thunder:
The clouds are clear’d away,
And the glorious sun once more looks down
Amidst the dazzling day.
“He is coming ! he is coming !”
Like a bridegroom from his room,
Came the hero from his prison
To the scaffold and the doom.
There was glory on his forehead,
There was lustre in his eye,
And he never walk’d to battle
More proudly than to die:
There was color in his visage,
Though the cheeks of all were wan,
And they marvell’d as they saw him pass,
That great and goodly man !
He mounted up the scaffold,
And he turn’d him to the crowd;
But they dar’d not trust the people,
So he might not speak aloud.
But he look’d upon the heavens,
And they were clear and blue,
And in the liquid ether
The eye of God shone through;
Yet a black and murky battlement
Lay resting on the hill,
As though the thunder slept within ---
All else was calm and still.
The grim Geneva ministers
With anxious scowl drew near,
As you have seen the ravens flock
Around the dying deer.
He would not deign them word nor sign,
But alone he bent the knee;
And veiled his face for Christ's dear grace
Beneath the gallows-tree.
Then radiant and serene he rose,
And cast his cloak away:
For he had ta'en his latest look
Of earth, and sun, and day.
A beam of light fell o'er him,
Like a glory round the shriven,
And he climbed the lofty ladder
As it were the path to heaven.
Then came a flash from out the cloud,
And a stunning thunder roll,
And no man dared to look aloft,
For fear was on every soul.
There was another heavy sound,
A hush and then a groan;
And darkness swept across the sky ---
The work of death was done !
William Edmondstoune Aytoun : The Execution of Montrose
Adolph Alexander Weinman --- Descending Night
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The man o' the moon for ever!
The man o' the moon for ever!
We'll drink to him still
In a merry cup of ale
Here's the man o' the moon for ever!
The man o' the moon, here's to him !
How few there be that know him !
But we'll drink to him still
In a merry cup of ale
The man o' the moon, here's to him !
Brave man o' the moon, we hail thee,
The true heart ne'er shall fail thee;
For the day that's gone
And the day that's our own
Brave man o' the moon, we hail thee.
We have seen the bear bestride thee,
And the clouds of winter hide thee,
But the moon is changed
And here we are ranged
Brave man o' the moon, we bide thee.
The man o' the moon for ever !
The man o' the moon for ever !
We'll drink to him still
In a merry cup of ale
Here's the man o' the moon for ever !
We have grieved the land should shun thee,
And have never ceased to mourn thee,
But for all our grief
There was no relief
Now, man o' the moon, return thee.
There's Orion with his golden belt,
And Mars, that burning mover,
But of all the lights
That rule the nights
The man o' the moon for ever !
Cavalier Song c1647
, High Germany
, Other Writ
"The King of Prussia and the German Emperor must always be in a position to say to any lieutenant: 'Take ten men and shoot the Reichstag !'"
Herr von Oldenburg auf Januschau
[ To an applauding Reichstag. ]