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Old February 14th, 2016, 04:52 AM   #561

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From the previous page:

turpitude noun \ˈtər-pə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\ (Middle French, from Latin turpitudo, from turpis vile, base)

: inherent baseness : depravity; also : a base act

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Pop culture history: Depiction of plump people in early cinema in the United States, and its relation to the overall culture shift in how corpulence was viewed in the country during the late 19th/early 20th century.

Quote:
For centuries the fat body had signified affluence and the leisure class, but by the late nineteenth century that was beginning to change. Fat would continue to signify wealth through the Great Depression, but shifting standards of beauty and the rise of physical culture had made it less desirable, and even shameful, for many. Popular notions of embodied deviance—specifically, the association of fat with excess and moral turpitude—were contributing to what social historian Peter N. Stearns has called "the turn against fat." Women's beauty was now being measured against popular images such as Charles Dana Gibson's "Gibson Girl" sketches for Life magazine (1895-1914), displaying a female form "distinctly thinner than any publicized U.S. female image since 1830." The popular magazine Physical Culture, first published in 1899 by bodybuilder Bernarr MacFadden, contended that it was no longer enough for a man to be thin; he must develop a "build"—and the income to attain it. And in 1907, 350-pound Maclyn Arbuckle (Roscoe's cousin) starred on Broadway as Sheriff Slim Hoover in The Round Up, in which he uttered the enduring line, "Nobody loves a fat man."

By 1909 the film industry had begun to organize, cultivating professional specializations such as actor, writer, and director. Film-related publications offered advice on how to acquire the skills needed for these career paths. Studios assembled stock companies; although the identities of screen actors would not be revealed or advertised for several more years, Kalem was offering photographs of its stock players for display in theater lobbies by late 1909. Emulating theatrical stock companies, film studios assembled a wide range of physical types in order to cast a variety of roles in multiple genres. Many studios experimented with the comic pairing of fat and thin actors, a practice that recalled Edison's early imported "fat and lean" comedies and was likely influenced by the popular vaudeville team Weber and Fields, who operated their eponymous music hall on Broadway from 1896 to 1904. While performing as gangly teenagers in the late 1870s, Joe Weber grabbed his father's suit and stuffed pillows underneath it, while Lew Fields wore built-up shoes to appear taller; even after the pair grew into adulthood and Fields shot up in height, Weber continued to wear a fat suit to accentuate their physical contrast. Their ethnic comedy routines—which often portrayed Dutch, German, or Irish immigrants, depending on the composition of their audience—revolved around puns, mispronunciations, and semantic misunderstandings that evolved into loud, physical outbursts before wrapping up with satisfying resolutions. This adversarial-yet-loving, "odd couple" relationship carried into photoplays: at Biograph, the fat John R. Cumpson was paired with the thin Florence Lawrence for the popular "Mr. and Mrs. Jones" domestic comedies in 1908-1909; at Vitagraph, the corpulent John Bunny was teamed with the bird-like Flora Finch for a series of comedies that were popularly known as "Bunnyfinches"—an homage to the Weber and Fields productions, which were called "Weberfields"; at Keystone in 1915, Sennett paired Arbuckle with the lithe beauty Mabel Normand (a former "Gibson Girl" model) for their series of "Fatty and Mabel" comedies, and he also paired the hefty Mack Swain with the thin, mustachioed Chester Conklin for the "Ambrose and Walrus" series; and at Vim Studios in Florida, a young Oliver "Babe" Hardy was paired with the diminutive Billy Ruge for the "Plump and Runt" series in 1916-1917, a decade before Hardy teamed with thin comic Stan Laurel to create the best-known "odd couple" comedy duo in American cinema.

— Jerry Dean Mosher, Weighty Ambitions: Fat Actors and Figurations in American Cinema, 1910-1960 (doctoral dissertation, 2007)

Click the image to open in full size.

The "Gibson Girl"

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pilgarlic (also pilgarlick, pillgarlick, peelgarlick, peelgarlic, pilgarlak, pillgarlic) noun \pil-ˈgär-lik\ (Early 16th cent.; earliest use found in John Skelton (c1460–1529), poet. In some forms apparently partly from pilled + garlic and partly from peeled + garlic; in some forms apparently partly from pill + garlic and partly from peel + garlic)

Originally: a bald head; a bald-headed person. In later use also: a pitiable, lowly, or foolish person; a shabby or unkempt person. Frequently used without article, as though a proper name.

In the sense of ‘a bald-headed person’, often with allusion to venereal disease as the supposed cause.
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Old February 18th, 2016, 12:05 PM   #562

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From the previous page:

impecunious adjective \ˌim-pi-ˈkyü-nyəs, -nē-əs\ (in- + obsolete English pecunious rich, from Middle English, from Latin pecuniosus, from pecunia money)

: having very little or no money usually habitually : penniless

im·pe·cu·ni·os·i·ty \-ˌkyü-nē-ˈä-sə-tē\ noun

im·pe·cu·nious·ly adverb

im·pe·cu·nious·ness noun

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The aftermath of the second of the Wars of Liège (which consisted largely of the Battle of Brustem) is described in the following excerpt.

Quote:
The peace settlement, or judicial sentence, dictated by Charles [the Bold, Duke of Burgundy] to Liège on 28 November 1467 was absolutist in character and more extreme, in its severity, than the similar settlement imposed by Duke John the Fearless in 1408 after the battle of Othée. Then, the town's charters of privileges were confiscated, the craft guilds of Liège were suppressed, the currencies of Flanders and Brabant were made legal tender in the bishopric, and the duke of Burgundy was given free passage through Liège for himself and his troops. That ducal sentence against Liège was revoked in 1417 by the Emperor-elect; now all these measures were repeated. But now, even more than in 1408, the rights and interests of the Empire, and of the Church, were totally disregarded. For Duke Charles's sentence abolished the laws and customs, the lawcourts, indeed the entire civic constitution, of Liège. The perron, a bronze column in the market place, symbol of the civic dignity and jurisdiction of Liège, was removed to Bruges. Instead of the many existing lawcourts and jurisdictions all justice was in future to be administered by fourteen echevins appointed annually by the bishop, and they were to judge cases 'according to reason and written law, without regard to the bad styles, usages and customs' formerly in use. Liège itself was declared no longer fit to be the seat of a bishop and its spiritual court was to be removed and divided between Louvain, Maastricht and Namur. An attempt was made utturly to demilitarize the city: her citizens were forbidden to carry arms, her artillery was confiscated, her walls and gates were demolished, her alliances were abrogated. Finally, as in 1408, a large sum of money, in addition to what was already owing under the terms of the 1466 treaties, was to be paid to the duke, who was to be recognized once again as hereditary guardian or advocatus of the city and territories of Liège.

Other ducal documents of the same date, 18 November, were concerned with the implementation of this judgement. A special financial official, to act under the supervision of the chambre des comptes [courts of finances] at Brussels, was appointed to receive and administer the money owing from Liège, and Guy de Brimeu, Lord of Humbercourt, was confirmed in his office of ducal representative at Liège, with his title altered from governor to lieutenant-general. But Liège, though conquered, penalized and temporarily occupied by the duke of Burgundy, could not be incorporated into the Burgundian state. It was part of the Empire, it belonged to the Church; its ruler was Charles's cousin and ally, the prince-bishop Louis de Bourbon. All Charles contrived in the direction of actual ownership was the confiscation of the lands and rents in Brabant and Hainault belonging to Liègeois and their application to his domains there, and the purchase of the mortgaged provostship of Bouillon from the person to whom the impecunious bishop had sold it. Needless to say, there is no truth in the Augsburg chronicler's assertion that Duke Charles, already part-owner of Maastricht, now took over the whole of it. In fact, he continued, as before, to share power there with the bishop and chapter of Liège though he certainly issued letters 'given in our town of Maastricht'.

— Richard Vaughan, Charles the Bold: The Last Valois Duke of Burgundy (1973)
The peace was shortlived. The city of Liège rose again the following year (the Third War of Liège), and the uprising was swiftly suppressed, after which Charles the Bold had hundreds of citizens tied up and thrown in the river Meuse, then ordered the city put to the torch. When Charles was killed in early 1477, it didn't take long (almost exactly a year) for the Liègeois to reclaim and reinstall their perron (apparently thanks to Charles's daughter, Maria of Burgundy), and it still exists at the Place du Marché in the city.

Bonus word:

echevin (also eschevin) noun \ˈā-shə-vaⁿ; ˈe-shə-vin\ (French échevin, Old French eschevin = Italian schiavino < medieval Latin scabinus; of Germanic origin; compare Old Low German scepeno [Schade], Old High German sceffeno, sceffen [German schöffe[n, schöppen]) (from OED)

1 : magistrate elected by the bourgeoisie or the citizenry in general to take care of municipal affairs

2 : member of the municipal body of government


Click the image to open in full size.

The Perron of Liège (the column atop the fountain)

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operose adjective \ˈä-pə-ˌrōs\(Latin operosus, from oper-, opus work)

1 : of a person: industrious, busy, painstaking [from OED]

2 : involving or displaying much industry or effort; tedious, wearisome

op·er·ose·ly adverb

op·er·ose·ness noun

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Old February 26th, 2016, 02:28 AM   #563

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The light tone of the writing here makes for enjoyable reading; history thereby becomes more accessible to those who might not have such a strong interest as the members of this site. Akenson's use of some arcane words negates that effect somewhat, but gets him a place in this thread.

The arrival and career of Ireland's first bishop is briefly described:

Quote:
Rarely has anyone been so flummoxed by Ireland, so right throughothered. No, not Pope Celestine, who had heard that several gaggle of Christians of the heretical Pelagian persuasion were prospering in Ireland. He's an old hand at handling heresy. The confused pilgarlic is one Palladius whom the Pope sends as the first bishop to the Irish Christians. His instructions are clear: forget converting the Pagan Irish to the True Faith. Just get into the paddock those who already follow Jesus. Sterilize heresy and let the next generation take care of converting the Hibernians.

So Palladius spends three decades successfully in that way, but in no other. He slowly visits the various Christians that have popped up in mid-Ireland—some who had known the heretical Pelagius, others who were converted while trading in Gaul, still others who were products of contact culture. Palladius limits his mission to Leinster and all he does is upbraid Christians, making sure they know they suffer from Original Sin.

He finds the locals rebarbative, so it is just as well that he makes no effort to convert them. He can tolerate their warlike mentality and their blood sports—he is from Gaul, after all—but he finds their culture primitive. Especially their visual arts. I mean, really, he tells his secretary, a raven-haired deacon, can one have a world where the wee kingies are oxter-deep in tchatchkes? Not likely. And really, what is one to make of their insistence on having shiny ornaments all over themselves and their houses? I mean, darling, a set of obsidian door posts as an entry to a rath made of mud? And they can't write. Really, did you know that before we came here they had just straight lines on a stick? Is it a civilization if it can't even make a curled letter? Oh how our Lord must suffer looking down upon this place! Oh, don't stop me now: what about the clutter they live in? Churl and king and everyone in between has so much rubbish and food on the floor of their abodes that they just add a layer of clay, rather than clear it out. Every house one sits in is full of smoke and why they cannot put a hearth any place but in the centre of a room is just too, too beyond any explanation!

In later years, three continental helpers came to aid Bishop Palladius. All the holy men live together for they agree with their leader that this country is just too primitive for them.

When he dies in 461, Palladius is taken to the Continent, where he is given a refined burial service of which he would have approved.

— Donald Harman Akenson, An Irish History of Civilization, Volume 1 (2005)
Revisited word:

rebarbative adjective \ri-ˈbär-bə-tiv\ (French rébarbatif, from Middle French, from rebarber to be repellent, from re- + barbe beard, from Latin barba)

: repellent, irritating

re·bar·ba·tive·ly adverb

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Bonus words:

oxter (various variant spellings) noun \ˈäk-stər\ (Old English ōhsta, ōxta armpit)

Scottish, Irish & Northern English
: a person's armpit

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rath noun \ˈräth, ˈrä\ (Irish ráth ring fort [Early Irish ráth, ráith earthen rampart around a chief's residence, fortress], cognate with Gaulish ratin [accusative] fortification) (from OED)

(In Ireland) a strong circular earthen wall forming an enclosure and serving as a fort and residence for a tribal chief.

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tchotchke noun \ˈchäch-kə, ˈtsäts-\ (Yiddish tshatshke trinket, from obsolete Polish czaczko)

: knickknack, trinket

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throughother (also through-other) adjective \ˈthrü-ˌə-thər\ (through + other; compare German durcheinander)

Scottish & Irish
(Of a person) disordered; confused


Click the image to open in full size.

Gallarus Oratory on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. Often called the oldest Christian religious building in Ireland, it's thought to have been built between the 6th and 9th century AD.

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delate verb \di-ˈlāt, dē-\ (Latin delatus [past participle of deferre to bring down, report, accuse], from de- + latus, past participle of ferre to bear)

1 : accuse, denounce

2 : report, relate

de·la·tion \-ˈlā-shən\ noun

de·la·tor \-ˈlā-tər\ noun

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Old March 17th, 2016, 06:19 AM   #564

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The writing of Edmund Burke has made at least one appearance in this thread already. What follows is an excerpt from his famous pamphlet written in opposition to the French Revolution, Reflections on the Revolution in France, which is considered one of the founding documents of modern conservatism. A minor point that I found interesting: There are several changes in the text from the earliest version to the one that is most commonly available. For instance, Burke refers to "the club of Jacobins" in the third paragraph below, replacing "the National Assembly," which appeared in the original version of the pamphlet. I suppose he felt that the revision created a stronger polemic effect.

Quote:
I remember to have been in Paris during the time of the old government. I was there just after the Duke d'Aiguillon had been snatched (as it was generally thought) from the block by the hand of a protecting despotism. He was a minister, and had some concern in the affairs of that prodigal period. Why do I not see his estate delivered up to the municipalities in which it is situated? The noble family of Noailles have long been servants (meritorious servants I admit) to the crown of France, and have had of course some share in its bounties. Why do I hear nothing of the application of their estates to the public debt? Why is the estate of the Duke de Rochefaucault more sacred than that of the Cardinal de Rochefaucault? The former is, I doubt not, a worthy person; and (if it were not a sort of profaneness to talk of the use, as affecting the title of property) he makes good use of his revenues; but it is no disrespect to him to say, what authentic information will warrant me in saying, that the use made of property equally valid, by his brother, the Cardinal Archbishop of Rouen, was far more laudable and far more public spirited. Can one hear of the proscription of such persons, and the confiscation of their effects, without indignation and horror? He is not a man who does not feel such emotions on such occasions. He does not deserve the name of a free man who will not express them.

Few barbarous conquerors have ever made so terrible a revolution in property. None of the heads of the Roman factions, when they established "crudelem illam Hastam" [literally, "that bloodstained (cruel) spear"; note by A.J. Grieve— "It was the custom of the Romans to stick a spear in the ground at public auctions, originally as a sign of booty gained in battle."] in all their auctions of rapine, have ever set up to sale the goods of the conquered citizen to such an enormous amount. It must be allowed in favour of those tyrants of antiquity, that what was done by them could hardly be said to be done in cold blood. Their passions were inflamed, their tempers soured, their understandings confused, with the spirit of revenge, with the innumerable reciprocated and recent inflictions and retaliations of blood and rapine. They were driven beyond all bounds of moderation by the apprehension of the return of power with the return of property to the families of those they had injured beyond all hope of forgiveness.

These Roman confiscators, who were yet only in the elements of tyranny, and were not instructed in the rights of men to exercise all sorts of cruelties on each other without provocation, thought it necessary to spread a sort of colour over their injustice. They considered the vanquished party as composed of traitors who had borne arms, or otherwise had acted with hostility, against the commonwealth. They regarded them as persons who had forfeited their property by their crimes. With you, in your improved state of the human mind, there is no such formality. You seized upon five millions sterling of annual rent, and turned forty of fifty thousand human creatures out of their houses, because "such was your pleasure." The tyrant Harry the Eighth of England, as he was not better enlightened than the Roman Mariuses and Scyllas, and had not studied in your new schools, did not know what an effectual instrument of despotism was to be found in that grand magazine of offensive weapons, the rights of men. When he resolved to rob the abbeys, as the club of the Jacobins have robbed all the ecclesiastics, he began by setting on foot a commission to examine into the crimes and abuses which prevailed in those communities. As it might be expected, his commission reported truths, exaggerations, and falsehoods. But truly or falsely, it reported abuses and offenses. However, as abuses might be corrected, as every crime of persons does not infer a forfeiture with regard to communities and as property, in that dark age, was not discovered to be a creature of prejudice, all those abuses (and there were enough of them) were hardly thought sufficient ground for such a confiscation as it was for his purposes to make. He therefore procured the formal surrender of these estates. All these operose proceedings were adopted by one of the most decided tyrants in the rolls of history, as necessary preliminaries, before he could venture, by bribing the members of his two servile houses with a share of the spoil, and holding out to them an eternal immunity from taxation, to demand a confirmation of his iniquitous proceedings by an act of parliament. Had fate reserved him to our times, four technical terms would have done his business, and saved him all this trouble; he needed nothing more than one short form of incantation—"Philosophy, Light, Liberality, the Rights of Men."

I can say nothing in praise of those acts of tyranny, which no voice has hitherto ever commended under any of their false colours; yet in these false colours, an homage was paid by despotism to justice. The power which was above all fear and all remorse, was not set above all shame. Whilst shame keeps its watch, Virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart; nor will Moderation be utterly exiled from the minds of tyrants.

— Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)
The Latin phrase used above is a rewording of a passage in Cicero's De Officiis. Cicero was specifically referring to the auctions of Roman estates during the confiscations of Sulla, as Burke intimates later.


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Reproduction of putative Roman bust of Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix

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minacious adjective \mə̇ˈnāshəs\ (Latin minax, minac- threatening [from minari threaten] + -ous)

: menacing; threatening — minatory

mi·na·cious·ly adverb

mi·na·cious·ness, mi·na·ci·ty noun

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Old March 22nd, 2016, 07:53 AM   #565

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The subject of the following excerpt is the Spanish Inquisition's policies in dealing with the testimony of witnesses. It comes from a book written in the middle of the 19th century by a Protestant minister who examines various incarnations of the Inquisition. He states in the preface that he believes that the "struggle with Romanism is for life or death." While that context should not be ignored, his description here appears to be more or less accurate. In any case, the sarcastic parenthetical comments sprinkled through the text certainly leave no doubt as to his agenda.

Quote:
In causes of heresy, testimony of all sorts of persons is admissible. they may be excommunicate, accomplices, infamous, or convicted of any crime. Heretics, too, may give evidence; but only against the culprit is it valid, never in his favour. This provision is most prudent, nay, it is most just; for since the heretic has broken faith towards his God, no one ought to take his word; and it should always be presumed that, say what he may, he is actuated by hatred to the Church, and a desire that crimes against faith may go unpunished. The testimony of infidels and Jews may be taken also, even in a question of heretical doctrine. The testimony of false witnesses is also taken, if against the accused person, even although a previous favourable testimony may have been retracted. And note that, if the first declaration was against him, and the second favourable, the first only must be accepted. The Judge must never give credit to such retractations; for if he do, heresy will be committed with impunity. Domestic witnesses—wife, for example, children, relatives, and servants—may have their testimony accepted against him, and then it has great value; but it never must avail to his advantage. All moralists agree that, in case of heresy, a brother may declare against his brother, and a son against his father. Father Simancas would have excepted fathers and children from this law: but his opinion is not admissible; for if a man may kill his father if he be an enemy of his country, how much more may he inform against him if he be guilty of heresy! The son of a heretic, who has informed thus, is exempted from the anathema launched against the children of heretics, and this is in reward of his information. The reason of all this is, that nothing but the force of truth would so overcome natural feelings, as to lead one member of a family to delate another. And as heresy is generally best known at home, such evidence is very necessary. (The testimony of a parricide has a special value.)

Every witness who appears against a heretic must be examined and sworn by the Inquisitor, in presence of a Secretary or Scribe. Having put to him the usual questions, he must bind him to secrecy. There may be one or two men, of gravity and prudence, present at the examination; but this is by no means desirable. The criminal must not see the witnesses, nor know who they were. Eymeric weakly said that there should be more than two witnesses to establish a fact; but practice, and the general opinion of the Doctors, allow Inquisitors to condemn a culprit on the evidence of any two whom they can trust; and seeing that his case has been attentively examined, this is all that he should wish. (If his enemies have diligently sought to kill him, he should be thankful for their diligence!)

When a culprit is informed of the charges against him, the names of witnesses should be concealed; or, if there be any particulars in the charges that would help him to guess the names, the testimony given by one person should be attributed to another; or names should be substituted of persons that were not witnesses: but, after all, it is best to suppress all names; and this is the general practice, safest to informers, and to the Christian public. (A lie is lovely in the Holy Office, if it helps to homicide.)

— William Harris Rule, The Brand of Dominic: Or, Inquisition; At Rome "Supreme and Universal" (1852)

Click the image to open in full size.

William Harris Rule


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inchoate adjective \in-ˈkō-ət, ˈin-kə-ˌwāt\ (Latin inchoatus, past participle of inchoare to start work on)

: being only partly in existence or operation : incipient; especially : imperfectly formed or formulated : formless, incoherent

— in·cho·ate·ly adverb

in·cho·ate·ness noun

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Old March 24th, 2016, 11:08 AM   #566

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Here we have a description of the death of Şehzade Mustafa, written about thirty years after it occurred in 1553.

Quote:
On this occasion, let me tell you, that the sons of the Turkish emperors are the miserablest creatures in the world; for if any one of them succeed his father in the empire, the rest are inevitably put to death by him. For the Turks cannot endure any co-rival in government; and besides they are egged on to this severity by their Prætorian bands, (Janizaries and Spahies) who, as long as there is any one of the Grand Seignior's brothers alive, never cease craving largess and boons; and if the present emperor refuses to grant them, they presently cry out, God save your brother, God send your brother a long life; by which words, they more than intimate their wishes, that he were on the throne. So that the Turkish emperors are in a manner compelled to put their brethren to death, and so begin their reign with blood. But Mustapha was afraid of such a fatal end; or else Roxolana was willing to translate the said destiny from her own children upon Mustapha: upon one or the other of these grounds, it was, that Solyman entertained the thought of putting his son Mustapha to death. And the occasion fell out opportunely, for he had war at the time, with Sagthama king of the Persians; thither Rustan was sent with a vast army. When he drew near to the borders of Persia, upon a sudden he made a stop, and wrote back fearful missives to Solyman, telling him, "That the whole empire was in great hazard, there was nothing but treason studied in the army; they all cried out, A Mustapha! A Mustapha! yea, the disease was grown to such a height, that it was past his skill to cure it; and therefore the emperor himself must come immediately, if he would have the crown sit safe on his head."

Solyman was mightily disturbed at the news, and therefore posted away for the army, and sends letters to Mustapha to come to him, to purge himself from those crimes, whereof he was formerly suspected, but now openly accused; if he could do it he told him, he need not fear to approach his presence. Upon the receipt of his letter, Mustapha was in a great streight; if he should go to his father, in such an angry mood, he ran upon his death; if he refused, that would be interpreted, as a plain confession of the objected crimes. Under this dilemma, he resolved upon that course, which as it had more of resolution in it, so it was fullest of danger. Away he goes from Amasia, of which he was governor, to his father's camp, which was pitched not far from the place. This he did either out of confidence of his own innocency, or else presuming on the assistance of the army, if any severity were meditated against him; whatever was the motive of his journey, this is certain, that he run unavoidably upon his own destruction; for Solyman ever since he was at Constantinople, had resolved to put his son to death; and to make the matter more plausable, he consulted the Mufty, (so the Turks call the chief of their preists, as Romanists call theirs the pope,) and that he might not speak to him in favour of Mustapha, he propounded to him a feigned case, thus, 'There was a wealthy merchant at Constantinople, who having occasion to travel a long journey from home, left the care of his family, his wife and children, and all his affairs to a slave of his, in whose fidelity he put a great deal of confidence; now this slave, immediately after his departure, designed to destroy his master's wife and children, commmitted to his care, and embezzle his estate, and to work against his master's own life, in case he would ever get him into his power; what may be lawfully done, said he to the Mufty, with such a slave?' He deserves, says the Mufty, to be racked to death. Whether he spoke really as he thought, or whether he did not do it to curry favour with Rustan and Roxolana; this is certain, that the resolution of the Grand Seignor was greatly confirmed thereby to put his son to death; for he was of opinion, Mustapha's offence against him, was as great, as that supposed slave's against his master. However it were, Mustapha came into his father's camp, the whole army being very sollicitous about the event of their congress.

Soon after, he was brought into his father's tent, where all things were hush; not a soldier of the guards to be seen, no serjeant, no executioner, in view, nor nothing of treachery that was visible; but when he was come into an inner tent, lo! upon a sudden, there started up four mutes, strong and lusty fellows to be his executioners; the set upon him with all their strength and mightr, and endeavoured to cast a cord about his neck. he defended himself stoutly for a while, (for he was a robust young man,) as if had contended not only for life, but for the empire. For without question, if he had escaped that danger, and had come in among the Janizaries, they either out of affection to him, whom they dearly loved; or else moved with the indignity of the thing, would not only have saved his life, but have gone near to have proclaimed him emperor: and that was the very thing, which Solyman feared of all things in the world; and therefore perceiving, as he stood behind a linnen vail in the tent to behold the tragedy, that an unexpected stop was put to his bloody design; he peeped out his head, and gave the mutes such a sour and minacious look, in reproach of their remissness, thereupon they assaulted him with renewed force, and the threw poor Mustapha down on the ground, and strangled him; and after they had done, the carried his corps out of the tent, and laid it on a piece of tapestry, that so the Janizaries might behold their designed emperor.

As soon as the matter was divulged, commiseration and grief seized the whole camp, and there was scarce a man of any consideration in the whole army, that did not approach to behold so sad a spectacle, especially the Janizaries, whose consternation and rage was such, that they would have ventured to attempt any manner of mischief whatsoever, if they had had a leader. As for him whom they hoped to be their conductor, he lay dead on the ground, and therefore now there was no way but one, to take that patiently which was past all remedy.

— Augerius Gislenus Busbequius (Seigneur de Bousbecq), Travels into Turkey (1581) translated from the Latin, third edition (1761)

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Şehzade Mustafa Muhlisi

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espièglerie noun \es-pyeg-lə-ˈrē\ (French, from espiègle frolicsome, roguish)

: the quality or state of being roguish or frolicsome
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The young woman who would become known to the world as Madame Chaing Kai-shek returns to China after spending ten formative years in the United States:

Quote:
After graduation from Wellesley Mayling took a train to Vancouver, where she boarded a steamship bound for China. Leaving her friends, especially Emma Mills, and the world she had known for so long was wrenching, and as the train pulled out of New York's Grand Central Station she broke down and wept. She was acutely aware she was embarking on a new life in a world she barely knew but in which she already assumed she would play a significant role. "If ever I have any influence," she wrote Mills after seeing a trainload of Chinese laborers en route to France, "I shall see to it that no coolies are being shipped out, for China needs all her own men to develop the mines." It was an extraordinarily bold, even presumptuous, statement for a nineteen-year-old girl, and presaged the magisterial figure she would one day become.

When she set foot once again on the land of her birth on July 20, 1917, she confronted challenges in adjusting to a culture and values that clashed with those she had absorbed during ten years in America. She left Wellesley brimming with dreams and lofty ideals but neither practical skills nor concrete plans, apart from grand but vague aspirations of bettering China and the assumption she would marry. Infused with a tremendous sense of both entitlement and noblesse oblige, she felt an intense but as yet inchoate ambition. Her return to China marked the beginning of a decade of transformation and the discovery of her life's mission, as well as lifelong struggle to find her identity on the cusp of East and West.

Like her father before her, Mayling carried back to China not only the language, manners, and mores of the people among whom she had sojourned, but an unshakable belief in the quintessentially American notions that one can shape one's own fate and that one has a moral obligation to better the fate of others. In the China to which she returned in the summer of 1917, these were radical beliefs, and they would not translate well across the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. During her time in America, she had constructed in her mind an image of what China ought to be, an image that could not be reconciled with what it then was. When her absolute certainties inevitably collided with the ageless inconstancies of China, she would cling to them all the more tightly.

— Laura Tyson Li, Madame Chiang Kai-shek: China's Eternal First Lady (2006)

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Soong Mei-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek)
Photo Credit: Bachrach Studios

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matross noun \məˈträs\ (Mid 17th century. From Dutch matroos sailor of the lowest rank from French matelots, plural of matelot sailor.)

An artillery soldier next in rank below a gunner. In the U.S. artillery: a private.
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Old March 30th, 2016, 01:04 PM   #568

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A minor incident that occurred during a visit by William of Orange to Britain when he was yet a youth:

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The prince of Orange spent the winter of 1670 in a friendly visit at the court of England, where he was received by his uncles with the utmost kindness; and it is said, that they then and there concerted with him some plans, which led to his subsequent restoration to the stadtholdership of Holland. William was nineteen, small and weak, and rather deformed. He seldom indulged in wine, but drank ale, or some schnapps of his native Hollands gin: he regularly went to bed at ten o'clock. Such a course of life was viewed invidiously by the riotous courtiers of Charles II, and they wickedly conspired to entice the phlegmatic prince into drinking a quantity of champagne, which flew to his head, and made him more mad and mischievous than even Buckingham himself, who was at the head of the joke. Nothing could restrain the Orange prince from sallying out and breaking the windows of the apartments of the maids of honour, and he would have committed further outrages, if his wicked tempters had not seized him by the wrists and ankles, and carried him struggling and raging to his apartments. The exulted much in this outbreak of a quiet and well-behaved prince, but the triumph was a sorry one at the best. Sir John Reresby, who relates the anecdote, declares, "that such an exertion of spirit was likely to recommend the prince to the lady Mary:" it was certainly more likely to frighten a child of her age. At that time he was considered as the future spouse of his young cousin. The prince left England in February, 1670.

The princess Elizabeth Charlotte declares, in her memoirs, "that she should not have objected to marry her cousin, William of Orange." Probably he was not so lovingly disposed towards his eccentric playfellow, for notwithstanding his own want of personal comeliness, this warlike modicum of humanity was vastly particular regarding the beauty, meekness, piety, and stately height of the lady to whom he aspired. None of these particulars were very pre-eminent in his early playfellow, who had, instead, wit at will, and that species of merry mischief called espièglerie, sufficient to have governed him, and all his heavy Dutchmen to boot. She had, however, a different destiny as the mother of the second royal line of Bourbon, and William was left to fulfill the intention of his mother's family, by reserving his hand for a daughter of England.

— Agnes & Elizabeth Strickland, Lives of the Queens of England from the Norman Conquest (1854)
Revisited word:

invidious \in-ˈvi-dē-əs\ adjective (Latin invidiosus envious, invidious, from invidia envy)

1 : tending to cause discontent, animosity, or envy

2 : envious

3 a : of an unpleasant or objectionable nature : obnoxious

. b : of a kind to cause harm or resentment

in·vid·i·ous·ly adverb
in·vid·i·ous·ness noun


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William II and his bride Mary Stuart
by Anthony van Dyck

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beldam noun \ˈbel-dəm\ (Late Middle English [originally in the sense 'grandmother']: from Old French bel 'beautiful' + dam 'female parent'.)

1 An old woman.
1.1 A malicious or loathsome old woman.

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Old April 10th, 2016, 01:03 AM   #569

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The order of the Duke of Cumberland's army as it marched to the battle of Culloden:

Quote:
When the sticks came down to the first beat of the March, the drums of each battalion of each column took up the call, and the Army stepped off. Three columns, each of five battalions, faces turned westward toward Inverness, the Great Glen and the massed mountains of the central Highlands. Three columns: to the right the Royals, Cholmondeley's, Howard's, Fleming's and Sempill's and Battereau's; to the left Munro's, Barrell's, Conway's, Wolfe's and Blakeney's. Among them were battalions from the French wars, still wearing the grey service gaiters in which they had marched across Flanders. There were men who had stood their ground against cannon-fire at Fontenoy, calling out to each other that the approaching balls were like the black puddings sold in London taverns. And they were also the men who had run like sheep before the Rebels at Falkirk three months before, there being no continuity of courage for a soldier.

On the left of the Foot a fourth column: three regiments of Horse. Cobham's Dragoons and Lord Mark Kerr's Dragoons, and also the volunteer regiment of Horse which the Duke of Kingston had raised from the butchers, bakers, chandlers and bored apprentices of Nottinghamshire. On black and bay horses they moved by squadrons, with guidons of crimson silk, silver, gold and green. Their short carbines were slung by the ring, tricorne beavers pulled down over their brows, and yard-long sabres slapped on their great boots. Not a rider was over five feet eight inches, not a horse over fifteen hands.

On the right of the Foot a fifth column: Colonel William Bedford's Train of Artillery, battalion-guns and shire-horses, gunners, matrosses, bombadiers, sergeants, fireworkers and lieutenants. The teamsters yelled and the wheels squealed, and the birds rose up from the heather on the moor above Balblair.

The Army moved as the drums beat, seventy-five paces to the minute. The battalions marched by companies in column, and by tradition the honour of being the leading company went to the grenadiers, the tallest and most efficient men of the regiment. They held its flanks in battle, and they wore mitre caps instead of the black tricornes of other companies. They broke ground now in the fields beyond Nairn and they had not marched a mile before their gaiters were wet to the knee. There was no music. No fifes, no horns, no trumpets braying, just the beating of the drums. Before each battalion the standards flowered, bent forward by the wind. One ensign carried the King's Colour, the Union flag throughout. A second carried the Regimental Colour, which was blue, or yellow, or green or buff, like the facings on the scarlet coats behind. Threaded on the standards in silk, or drawn in paint, were the devices of each battalion: a dragon for Howard's, a lion for Barrell's, a white horse for Wolfe's and a castle for Blakeney's, a thistle or saltire for the Scots regiments, and the King's cipher for those that were Royal.

— John Prebble, Culloden (1961)
Bonus word:

saltire noun \ˈsȯl-ˌtī(-ə)r, ˈsal-\ (Late Middle English: from Old French saultoir 'stirrup cord, stile, saltire', based on Latin saltare 'to dance'.)

: a diagonal cross as a heraldic ordinary


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The Saltire of Scotland

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abditive adjective \ˈab-də-tiv\ | \ˈab-də-div\ (From classical Latin abditīvus from abdit-, past participial stem of abdere to put away, hide + -īvus.)

Capable of hiding or concealing; tending to conceal.

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Old June 27th, 2016, 08:38 AM   #570

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The following is an excerpt from a description of Hogarth's An Election Entertainment. This work comes from The Humours of an Election, a series of paintings/engravings. Hogarth did a few of these series, A Rake's Progress being one of the most well known. The Humours of an Election is roughly based on an actual election in Oxfordshire that took place during the middle of the 18th century. The article "Hogarth's Election Series" by Peter Quennell gives an excellent description of that campaign, and explains why it aroused such interest in Britain at the time.

Quote:
The scene is laid in a country town, at an inn, which is kept open for the friends of the court candidate. All the party, except the divine and the mayor, have ended their repast. The accomplished gentleman who aspires to the honour of a seat in the British senate, is lending an attentive ear to a disgusting old beldam. The gallant knight shews her every attention, and has stretched his arm half round her waist: and while a little girl, dazzled with the splendor of his brilliant ring, attempts to make it a prize, a fellow who stands upon a chair behind him strikes the baronet's head against that of the old woman, and shakes the ashes out of his tobacco-pipe upon his powdered hair.

— John Young, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Works of Hogarth, Volume 2 (1814)

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An Election Entertainment
by William Hogarth


* * *


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Detail from An Election Entertainment

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ineluctable adjective \ˌi-ni-ˈlək-tə-bəl\ (Latin ineluctabilis, from in- + eluctari to struggle clear of, from ex- + luctari to struggle, wrestle; akin to Latin luxus dislocated)

: not to be avoided, changed, or resisted : inevitable

i·ne·luc·ta·bi·li·ty noun

i·ne·luc·ta·bly adverb
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