Saturday, August 26, 2006


Saturday Salmagundi

A few months ago I quoted part of my son's description of a camping trip:
On our midnight canoe run, Ken and I disturbed a great blue heron nesting in the canopy above us: as it flew away, loudly protesting, it discharged its copious cloacal contents in our direction, which splashed loudly around the canoe nearly hitting us. I shone the light upwards through the canopy and I remember quite clearly the sight of the fecal salvo descending rapidly towards us.
In my earlier post, I showed how this fulfilled a prophesy in Aeschylus. Thanks to the generosity of my son, I now own a complete set of Thoreau's Journals. As first fruits, I offer Thoreau's description (October 29, 1855) of a heron's copious cloacal contents:
Returning, I scare up a blue heron from its bathing-rock this side the Island. It is whitened by its droppings, in great splotches a foot or more wide.

The Carpetbagger Report investigates claims about George W. Bush, reader. He is supposed to have read Macbeth and Hamlet recently. Someone commented on this post, "Reading Shakespeare. Looking for fart jokes." If that's true, maybe President Bush and I have more in common than I thought.

Two correspondents this week sent links to stories about Evelyn Waugh.

Dave Lull sent a link to a piece by Peter Stothard, who quotes a passage from Waugh's Scoop about a schoolgirl reciting Vergil's second Eclogue. I'm surprised that a schoolmaster, even a fictional one, would let his impressionable pupils read the second eclogue. André Gide borrowed the title of his controversial Corydon from a character in that poem. There is a small town in Indiana named Corydon. I wonder if the town fathers are aware of the overtones of the name.

Neil O'Sullivan sent a link to Arthur Jones, Literary Scamp Evelyn Waugh, Notre Dame Magazine (Autumn 2003), in which some verses from G.K. Chesterton's The Song of Right and Wrong appear:
Feast on wine or fast on water
And your honor shall stand sure,
God Almighty's son and daughter
He the valiant, she the pure;
If an angel out of heaven
Brings you other things to drink,
Thank him for his kind attention,
Go and pour them down the sink.
The "other things" include tea, cocoa, and soda water. Chesterton and his friend Hilaire Belloc wrote a fair amount of poetry on the merits of various beverages, e.g.

Welcome back to David Meadows at rogueclassicism.

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