Monday, June 27, 2016


The Sinister Sound of Ecclesiastical Language

John Buchan (1875-1940), The Three Hostages, chapter IV (Sandy Arbuthnot speaking to Richard Hannay):
"I might be bored in Parliament," he reflected, "but I should love the rough‐and‐tumble of an election. I only once took part in one, and I discovered surprising gifts as a demagogue and made a speech in our little town which is still talked about. The chief row was about Irish Home Rule, and I thought I'd better have a whack at the Pope. Has it ever struck you, Dick, that ecclesiastical language has a most sinister sound? I knew some of the words, though not their meaning, but I knew that my audience would be just as ignorant. So I had a magnificent peroration. 'Will you men of Kilclavers,' I asked, 'endure to see a chasuble set up in your market‐place? Will you have your daughters sold into simony? Will you have celibacy practised in the public streets?' Gad, I had them all on their feet bellowing 'Never!'"

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?