Thursday, February 28, 2019
Falsus in Uno, Falsus in Omnibus
In its original form, the rule of falsus in uno was mandatory. "The notion," Wigmore wrote, "was that the testimony of one detected in a lie was wholly worthless and must of necessity be rejected.368I won't venture into this thicket of references and cross-references, but the rule seems to appear in Aegidius Bossius (1487-1546), Tractatus varij. Qui omnem ferè Criminalem materiam excellenti doctrina complectuntur... (Venice: Altobellus Salicatius, 1588), p. 199, bottom of 2nd column:
368 3 WIGMORE, supra note 44, § 1009, at 675. Wigmore traced the rule of falsus in uno to the Stuart treason trials of the late 17th century. See id. § 1008, at 675 n.l; see also, e.g., Trial of Hampden, 9 Howell's State Trials 1053, 1101 (1684) ("Falso in uno, falsus in omnibus. If we can prove that what he hath said of my lord of Essex is false, he is not to be believed against the defendant."); Trial of Langhorn, 7 Howell's State Trials 417, 478 (1679) ("If I can prove any one point (in answer to that which he hath given evidence) not to be true, then I conceive, my lord, he ought to be set aside."); Trial of Coleman, 7 Howell's State Trials 1,71 (1678), quoted in KENYON, supra note 162, at 125 ("[I]t would much ennervate any man's testimony, to the whole, if he could be proved false in any one thing."). Although Wigmore did not find earlier expressions of the rule, its repeated appearance in the trials of this era suggests it had earlier roots. Barbara Shapiro notes that Michael Dalton's early-17th-century manual for justices of the peace advised magistrates that when examining accused felons, they should discredit the whole of the accused's story if any part proved false. See SHAPIRO, supra note 28, at 156, 279 n.l6.
Update from Kenneth Haynes:
Baldus de Ubaldis, in the 14th century, discussed the question in his commentaries on Roman law (in the course of which he elaborated a sophisticated account of partial proof). The index to the Giuntine Opera Omnia (Venice, 1577) indicates that he wrote on “Testis si dicit falsum in vno capitulo, an reprobetur in omnibus” and on “Testis si in vno capitulo est falsus, in tota causa dicitur suspectus”.
Goethe on Homer
As to Homer, it is as if the scales had fallen from my eyes. The descriptions, similes and so on appear to us poetical, and are yet unspeakably natural, though of course drawn with a purity, an inward truth enough to strike us poor moderns dumb. The very strangest fictions are characterised by a naturalness I never felt so much as in the presence of the objects described. To express the antithesis briefly; they presented the thing, we usually present the effect; they described the dreadful, we describe dreadfully; they the agreeable, we agreeably, and so on. This will explain all our extravagance, our affectation, our false grace, our inflation; for once you elaborate and strain after effect, you fancy you can never make it strong enough. If what I now say is nothing fresh yet have I felt it freshly and right heartily.
Now that all these coasts and promontories, gulfs and bays, islands and necks of land, rocks and sand-belts, bushy hills, soft meadows, fruitful fields, ornamented gardens, cultivated trees, hanging vines, cloud-capt mountains and ever cheerful plains, cliffs and banks, and the all-surrounding sea, with so many changes and variations—now that all these have become the present property of my mind—now, indeed, for the first time does the Odyssey address me as a living reality.
Was den Homer betrifft, ist mir wie eine Decke von den Augen gefallen. Die Beschreibungen, die Gleichnisse usw. kommen uns poetisch vor und sind doch unsäglich natürlich, aber freilich mit einer Reinheit und Innigkeit gezeichnet, vor der man erschrickt. Selbst die sonderbarsten erlogenen Begebenheiten haben eine Natürlichkeit, die ich nie so gefühlt habe als in der Nähe der beschriebenen Gegenstände. Laß mich meinen Gedanken kurz so ausdrücken: sie stellten die Existenz dar, wir gewöhnlich den Effekt; sie schilderten das Fürchterliche, wir schildern fürchterlich; sie das Angenehme, wir angenehm usw. Daher kommt alles Übertriebene, alles Manierierte, alle falsche Grazie, aller Schwulst. Denn wenn man den Effekt und auf den Effekt arbeitet, so glaubt man ihn nicht fühlbar genug machen zu können. Wenn, was ich sage, nicht neu ist, so hab ich es doch bei neuem Anlaß recht lebhaft gefühlt.
Nun ich alle diese Küsten und Vorgebirge, Golfe und Buchten, Inseln und Erdzungen, Felsen und Sandstreifen, buschige Hügel, sanfte Weiden, fruchtbare Felder, geschmückte Gärten, gepflegte Bäume, hängende Reben, Wolkenberge und immer heitere Ebnen, Klippen und Bänke und das alles umgebende Meer mit so vielen Abwechselungen und Mannigfaltigkeiten im Geiste gegenwärtig habe, nun ist mir erst die Odyssee ein lebendiges Wort.
There was laughing and scowling and cries of 'Let go the cup!'The same, tr. Terence Tiller:
Deals and drinking commenced;
and they sat there until Evensong, singing occasionally,
until Glutton had gulped a gallon and a gill.
His guts began to grumble like two greedy sows;
he pissed half a pint in the time it takes to say the Paternoster,
and blew his round trumpet at the end of his spine,
so everyone who heard that horn held their nose afterwards
and wished it had been polished with wisp of furze.
There was laughynge and lourynge and 'Lat go the cuppe!'
[Bargaynes and beverages bigonne to arise;]
And seten so til evensong, and songen umwhile,
Til Gloton hadde yglubbed a galon and a gille. 340
His guttes gonne to gothelen as two gredy sowes;
He pissed a potel in a Paternoster-while,
And blew his rounde ruwet at his ruggebones ende,
That alle that herde that horn helde hir nose after
And wisshed it hadde ben wexed with a wispe of firses! 345
So they laughed and they lowered and yelled, 'Let's have a drink,'The same, tr. Peter Sutton:
And sat there till Evensong, singing now and then,
Till Gluttony had golloped a gallon or more
And his guts now started to rumble like two greedy sows.
He pissed four pints in the space of a Pater-noster,
And blew the round bugle at his backbone's end
So that all who heard that horn held their noses,
And wished he had bunged it with a bunch of whins.
There was laughing and larking and "Let go the cup!"Rothschild Canticles (Flanders, 14th century; Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, MS 404, fol. 134r):
And swigging and swilling and settling of deals,
And they sat on till Evensong, singing some snatches,
Till Gluttony'd glugged down a gallon and more
And his guts started grunting with greed like two sows.
He pissed an Our Father's worth, pot after pot
And blew such a blast from his bloated behind
That all hearing his hornpipe held their noses
And wished it were wiped with a wisp of sharp furze.
Thanks to Eric Thomson for the illustration from the Rothschild Canticles.
- How to Be an Entrepreneur
- A Musical Instrument
- Roland le Pettour
- A Resonating Fundament
- Rectal Music
Labels: noctes scatologicae
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
The Ladder of Happiness
...and this being true, I'll do what I want, and doing what I want, I'll do what I like, and doing what I like, I'll be happy, and when a man is happy he doesn't wish for anything else, and not wishing for anything else, that'll be the end of it...The uneducated Sancho Panza is using a sophisticated rhetorical device, the climax or gradatio. For other examples see:
...y, siéndolo, haría lo que quisiese; y, haciendo lo que quisiese, haría mi gusto; y, haciendo mi gusto, estaría contento; y, en estando uno contento, no tiene más que desear; y, no teniendo más que desear, acabóse...
- Stop Laughing
- A Climax in St. Jerome
- The Long and the Short of It
- A Climax in Epicharmus
- Two Passages from Plutarch
- The Ladder Revisited
- Rhetorical Device
For Me Politics Is Dead
Jacob Burckhardť's rather remote way of life, devoted almost exclusively to scholarly work and to the study of art, including numerous trips to see art treasures, museums, galleries and the like in Italy and elsewhere in Europe, was chosen deliberately. Early in his life Burckhardt had for a few years acted as political editor of the Basel newspaper; soon afterwards he decided to leave politics alone: 'For me politics is dead, whatever I do, I do as a human being'.2 He did not wish to become entangled in any way whatsoever in day-to-day politics.Hat tip: Marc Addington.
2 Cf. Karl Löwith, Jacob Burckhardt. Der Mensch inmitten der Geschichte, Stuttgart, second ed., 1966, p. 127. Translations by the author.
St. Jerome's Books
Detail from Niccolò Colantonio (ca. 1420-1460), Saint Jerome in his Study (Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, inventory number Q 20):
Hat tip: Eric Thomson, who writes, "Pleasingly stacked all higgelty-piggelty. Jerome should be declared patron saint of the chaotic book collector."
Monday, February 25, 2019
Model for a Different Sort of Life
Nietzsche, as I read him, is a model for a very different sort of life than is celebrated as "success" today. It is an outwardly simple and unglamorous life but a life of rich passion and ecstatic enthusiasm, expressed first of all in the privacy of one's notes and writing, a life of exquisite taste, cultivated through listening, looking, and the exercise of elegance in even the simplest things in life.
Rousseau's Utopia had already spread widely from the educated circles down to the semi-educated. This utopia was composed of, and sustained by, the following premises. Human nature was assumed to be good once the barriers were taken down; in connection with this, virtuous feelings, compassion, and the like were extolled and the praises of primitive man were sung at the expense of civilized man; arguments or actions were advanced transcending individual nations, in the name of mankind; the assumption was made of an original contract into which things could be put at will (the more cautious spoke of a tacitly made contract); then, from the 'social contract' there were derived liberty and equality, the latter assuming that all men should possess something, but none too much; finally, the volonté de tous [will of all] and the volonté générale [general will] were to be balanced, without its being stated who was to determine the latter.
Die Rousseau'sche Utopie, aus den Kreisen der Gebildeten schon weit zu den Halbgebildeten abwärts verbreitet. Diese Utopie war zusammengesetzt und getragen:
Durch die Ansicht von der Güte der menschlichen Natur, sobald man nur die Schranken von ihr nähme — cf. Tugendgefühl, Rührung etc.;
Das Lob des Urmenschen auf Kosten des civilisirten;
Das Raisonniren (und Handeln resp.) über das einzelne Volk hinweg, im Namen und zu Gunsten des genre humain;
Die Voraussetzung eines Urvertrages, in den man Beliebiges hineinlegen konnte (die Vorsichtigem redeten von einem stillschweigend geschloßnen Vertrag).
Dann im Contrat social: liberté und egalité, letztere schon mit Bedingung: daß alle Menschen etwas, keiner zu viel besäße.
Die Abrechnung zwischen der volonté de tous und der volonte générale, ohne zu sagen wer letztere ermitteln sollte.
So they spoke, but he went down into his father's high-roofedLines 340-341 would be a good inscription for a wine cellar.
and wide storeroom, where gold and bronze were lying piled up,
and abundant clothing in the bins, and fragrant olive oil,
and in it jars of wine, sweet to drink, aged, 340
were standing, keeping the unmixed divine drink inside them,
lined up in order close to the wall, for the day when Odysseus
might come home even after laboring through many hardships.
ὣς φάν, ὁ δ᾽ ὑψόροφον θάλαμον κατεβήσετο πατρὸς
εὐρύν, ὅθι νητὸς χρυσὸς καὶ χαλκὸς ἔκειτο
ἐσθής τ᾽ ἐν χηλοῖσιν ἅλις τ᾽ ἐυῶδες ἔλαιον·
ἐν δὲ πίθοι οἴνοιο παλαιοῦ ἡδυπότοιο 340
ἕστασαν, ἄκρητον θεῖον ποτὸν ἐντὸς ἔχοντες,
ἑξείης ποτὶ τοῖχον ἀρηρότες, εἴ ποτ᾽ Ὀδυσσεὺς
οἴκαδε νοστήσειε καὶ ἄλγεα πολλὰ μογήσας.
Carl W. Blegen, "The Palace of Nestor: Excavations of 1955," American Journal of Archaeology 60.2 (April, 1956) 95-101 (plate 45, fig. 13, which well illustrates "lined up in order close to the wall," ἑξείης ποτὶ τοῖχον ἀρηρότες):
Sunday, February 24, 2019
St. Jerome Reading
Painting by Giovanni Bellini (Uffizi Gallery, Florence):
St. Jerome, letter 22.17 (to Eustochium; tr. F.A. Wright):
Read often and learn all you can.Id., letter 125.11 (to Rusticus):
Crebrius lege et disce quam plurima.
Always have a book in your hand and before your eyes.Hat tip: Eric Thomson.
Numquam de manu et oculis tuis recedat liber.
The Worst Readers
The worst readers are those who behave like plundering troops: they take away a few things they can use, dirty and confound the remainder, and revile the whole.
Die schlechtesten Leser sind die, welche wie plündernde Soldaten verfahren: sie nehmen sich einiges, was sie brauchen können, heraus, beschmutzen und verwirren das übrige und lästern auf das Ganze.
Expulsion of Foreigners
Clearly the first and most basic choice was whether to allow the xenoi to live, and go on living, within the confines of the polis at all, or whether to expel them; and here one can say unequivocally, I believe, that virtually all poleis allowed them to stay. This is clear positively, from general statements like Aristotle's (quoted above), and also negatively: expulsion of xenoi, xenelasia(i), is something which the ancients themselves associated with that least typical of poleis, Sparta10; and when we hear of the same thing happening in Apollonia, in North-West Greece, it is said to be a practice 'in the Spartan manner'11. Cretan xenelasiai are an aberration of modern scholarship12. So the norm in this was acceptance and tolerance — grounded, quite obviously, in self-interest. In every polis of which we know anything, the ownership of land was a citizen monopoly. This left immigrants obliged to make a living in occupations which did not entail landownership; and such occupations were often prey to contempt and discrimination, official or private; yet even the smallest, most isolated, most "backward", most agriculturally-oriented polis could not manage without them in some degree. Indeed the irony is that for the great urbanised, metropolitan cities like Corinth or Miletus, where on general grounds one would envisage immigrant communities of a size and importance most nearly commensurate with the Athenian metoikia, the hard evidence is almost entirely lacking, whereas we do discover them in some very much less likely places, on the face of it: in Tegea, for example13; in Chaleion and Oiantheia, two small poleis in Ozolian Locris14; or in Coresia, one of the four poleis on the island of Ceos — within spitting distance, virtually, of Athens and Piraeus15. Evidence such as this makes it difficult to follow Professor Andrewes in his claim that 'in many cities [the existence of a free immigrant population] must be unlikely'16.
10 E.g. THUC., I, 144, 2; II, 39, 1; ARISTOPH., Aves, 1012-4; PLATO, Prot., 342 C (cf. Leges, 950 A-B); XEN., Lac. Pol., 14, 4.
11 AELIAN, Varia Historia, XIII, 16 (κατὰ τὸν Λακεδαιμόνιον νόμον).
12 On the basis of ARISTOT., Pol., (II), 1272 b 17-8 (ξενηλασίας γὰρ τὸ πόρρω πεποίηκεν) H. SCHAEFER [in RE, IX A, 2 (1967), col. 1438] infers the existence of Cretan xenelasiai. This is wrong: throughout his discussion Aristotle is comparing Crete with Sparta, and his point here is that on Crete isolation (τὸ πόρρω) has the same effect as the Spartan expulsions.
13 Inschr.v.Olymp., 267 (fifth century); IG, V 2, 36 (third century).
14 TOD, GHI, 34 (mid fifth century).
15 IG, XII 5, 647 (mid fourth century or early third).
16 A. ANDREWS, Greek Society, Harmondsworth, 1971, p. 145.
Saturday, February 23, 2019
The Hearth of Home
A little while, a little while
The noisy crowd are barred away;
And I can sing and I can smile —
A little while I've holyday!
Where wilt thou go my harassed heart?
Full many a land invites thee now;
And places near, and far apart
Have rest for thee, my weary brow.
There is a spot 'mid barren hills
Where winter howls and driving rain
But if the dreary tempest chills
There is a light that warms again
The house is old, the trees are bare
And moonless bends the misty dome
But what on earth is half so dear —
So longed for as the hearth of home?
The mute bird sitting on the stone,
The dank moss dripping from the wall,
The garden-walk with weeds o'ergrown
I love them — how I love them all!
Shall I go there? or shall I seek
Another clime, another sky.
Where tongues familiar music speak
In accents dear to memory?
Yes, as I mused, the naked room,
The flickering firelight died away
And from the midst of cheerless gloom
I passed to bright unclouded day.
A little and a lone green lane
That opened on a common wide
A distant, dreamy, dim blue chain
Of mountains circling every side —
A heaven so clear, an earth so calm,
So sweet, so soft, so hushed an air
And, deepening still the dreamlike charm
Wild moor-sheep feeding everywhere —
That was the scene — I knew it well
I knew the pathways far and near
That winding o'er each billowy swell
Marked out the tracks of wandering deer
Could I have lingered but an hour
It well had paid a week of toil
But truth has banished fancy's power
I hear my dungeon bars recoil —
Even as I stood with raptured eye
Absorbed in bliss so deep and dear
My hour of rest had fleeted by
And given me back to weary care —
And Goethe, after expressing his surprise at the general belittling of Euripides by "the aristocracy of philologists, led by the buffoon Aristophanes," asks emphatically: "Have all the nations of the world since his time produced one dramatist who was worthy to hand him his slippers?" (Tagebüchern, November 11, 1831.)Goethe, Tagebücher (November 11, 1831):
Mich wundert's denn doch, daß die Aristokratie der Philologen seine Vorzüge nicht begreift, indem sie ihn mit herkömmlicher Vornehmigkeit seinen Vorgängern subordinirt, berechtigt durch den Hanswurst Aristophanes. Hat doch Euripides zu seiner Zeit ungeheure Wirkungen gethan, woraus hervorgeht, daß er ein eminenter Zeitgenosse war, worauf doch alles ankommt. Und haben denn alle Nationen seit ihm einen Dramatiker gehabt, der nur werth wäre, ihm die Pantoffeln zu reichen?
Friday, February 22, 2019
Many species of animal have already disappeared; if man disappeared as well, nothing would be lacking in the world.Related posts:
Es sind schon viele Thierarten verschwunden; gesetzt daß auch der Mensch verschwände, so würde nichts in der Welt fehlen.
- Skin Disease
- What Is Viler Than Man?
- The Cancer of the Earth
- Homo sapiens
- Toadstools by the Wayside
Our Forefathers Compared With Us
 Do not suppose that it was by arms that our forefathers raised our country from obscurity to greatness.  If that were so, we should have a much fairer state than theirs, since we have a greater number of citizens and allies than they possessed, to say nothing of arms and horses.  But there were other qualities which made them great, which we do not possess at all: efficiency at home, a just rule abroad, in counsel an independent spirit free from guilt or passion.  In place of these we have extravagance and greed, public poverty and private opulence. We extol wealth and foster idleness. We make no distinction between good men and bad, and ambition appropriates all the prizes of merit.  And no wonder! When each of you schemes for his own private interests, when you are slaves to pleasure in your homes and to money or influence here, the natural result is an attack upon the defenceless republic.L.R. Lind, "Concept, Action, and Character: The Reasons for Rome's Greatness," Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 103 (1972) 235-283 (at 245), called Cato's speech "a bitter Roman antithesis to the funeral speech of Pericles in Sallust's great model, Thucydides."
 Nolite existumare maiores nostros armis rem publicam ex parva magnam fecisse.  Si ita res esset, multo pulcherrumam eam nos haberemus, quippe sociorum atque civium, praeterea armorum atque equorum maior copia nobis quam illis est.  Sed alia fuere quae illos magnos fecere, quae nobis nulla sunt; domi industria, foris iustum imperium, animus in consulundo liber neque delicto neque lubidini obnoxius.  Pro his nos habemus luxuriam atque avaritiam, publice egestatem, privatim opulentiam. Laudamus divitias, sequimur inertiam. Inter bonos et malos discrimen nullum, omnia virtutis praemia ambitio possidet.  Neque mirum; ubi vos separatim sibi quisque consilium capitis, ubi domi voluptatibus, hic pecuniae aut gratiae servitis, eo fit ut impetus fiat in vacuam rem publicam.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Overwork, inquisitiveness and compassion — our modern vices.
Überarbeitung, Neugierde und Mitgefühl — unsre modernen Laster.
Impermanent and swift,Cicadas and blossoms: tinnitus and floaters?
transformed in an instant,
a youthful face will not remain.
Black yarn on the head turns into white threads;
the backbone bends like a bow.
Skin wrinkles like waves over a stormy visage;
cicadas inside the ears chirp all night.
Blossoms fly endlessly over the eyes.
Standing up you take a deep long sigh.
You walk on your cane absentmindedly
or ponder pleasures of younger days
accompanied by today's worry.
How pitiful, you who regret your old age!
You are like a branch covered in frost.
Among those who have received life in the three realms,
who can avoid arriving here?
Moment to moment nothing stays,
how long are youthful and mature ages?
The four elements decay day by day;
body and mind dwindle night by night.
Once you lie in sickness,
you don't part from the pillow for a long time.
Even if you keep talking aloud,
what can your talking accomplish?
The six roots have nothing to depend upon
if one breath is cut off.
Your relatives wail into your face.
Your wife and children sadden while rubbing your back.
They call you, but you won't answer.
They cry for you, but you won't know.
Total darkness is the path in the Yellow Spring.
Dazed, you walk alone.
Three realms: realm of desire, realm of form, realm of formlessness
Four elements: earth, air, fire, water
Six roots: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind
Yellow Spring: world of the dead
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Life Is Short
A man's life is very short, so it is best to do what he enjoys most. It is foolhardy indeed to waste your life in this world between dreams, doing things you don't enjoy as you endure the suffering.
Indeed it seems generally to be the case that our labours are eased when someone goes out of his way to share them with us; it has the effect of making the labour not seem forced. And what a Roman soldier likes most to see is his general eating his ration of bread with the rest, or sleeping on an ordinary bed, or joining in the work of digging a trench or raising a palisade. The commanders whom they admire are not so much those who distribute honours and riches as those who take a share in their hardships and their dangers; they have more affection for those who are willing to join in their work than for those who allow them to take it easy.
ὅλως μὲν γὰρ ἔοικε τοῦ κάμνειν ἑκάστῳ παραμυθία τὸ συγκάμνον ἑκουσίως εἶναι· δοκεῖ γὰρ ἀφαιρεῖν τὴν ἀνάγκην· ἥδιστον δὲ Ῥωμαίῳ θέαμα στρατιώτῃ στρατηγὸς ἐσθίων ἐν ὄψει κοινὸν ἄρτον ἢ κατακείμενος ἐπὶ στιβάδος εὐτελοῦς ἢ περὶ ταφρείαν τινὰ καὶ χαράκωσιν ἔργου συνεφαπτόμενος. οὐ γὰρ οὕτως τοὺς τιμῆς καὶ χρημάτων μεταδιδόντας, ὡς τοὺς πόνου καὶ κινδύνου μεταλαμβάνοντας ἡγεμόνας θαυμάζουσιν, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ἀγαπῶσι τῶν ῥᾳθυμεῖν ἐπιτρεπόντων τοὺς συμπονεῖν ἐθέλοντας.
For a guest remembers all his days
the host who shows him kindness.
τοῦ γάρ τε ξεῖνος μιμνήσκεται ἤματα πάντα
ἀνδρὸς ξεινοδόκου, ὅς κεν φιλότητα παράσχῃ.
A Big Mistake
Against the great error of thinking that our era (Europe) represents the highest human type. Instead: the men of the Renaissance were higher, as were the Greeks; in fact, perhaps we are at a rather low level...Related posts:
Gegen den großen Irrthum, als ob unsere Zeit (Europa) den höchsten Typus Mensch darstelle. Vielmehr: die Renaissance-Menschen waren höher, und die Griechen ebenfalls; ja vielleicht stehen wir ziemlich tief...
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
She also was afflicted by the verb "dote," as indeed the whole class was. This was the unfortunate fruit of a day when Aphrodite asked me slyly why English had only one word for "love" when Greek had several; in my attempt not to let the Empire down I produced "adore" and "dote." The latter stuck like a burr. But unfortunately each girl elected to marry it to a different preposition so that my essays the next day were full of heart-rending examples. Electra described the King and Queen of Greece "doting at each other"; while Chloe wrote: "When they married they were in a great dote. He was so excitement and she was so excitement. They were both excitement."
Garbled Greek and Latin
Known as "a man more familiar with his Horace than with his Bible," though also quite familiar with the latter, John Henry sent Patrick to an English school until he was ten and then personally taught his son Latin and some Greek. Constantly concerned with such questions as whether "the Greek word Aiwvios is always taken for a limited duration," John instilled in Patrick a reverence for the classics. Patrick studied Livy, Virgil, Horace, Juvenal, Ovid, Homer, and a translation of Demosthenes as a model of oratory. He then carried on the Henry tradition of demanding detailed classical knowledge of progeny. Patrick Henry's grandson claimed that he dreaded his grandfather's quizzes far more than any recitation before a professor.Image of the passage:
For Aiwvios read Αἰώνιος. The transcription would be Aiōnios. Transcription seems to be the norm in this book (e.g. patrioi nomoi on p. 241).
Also, on p. 12 for Instituto Graecae Grammatices Compendiaria read Institutio etc.
Labels: typographical and other errors
Nothing is more evil than homelessness for mortals.The same, tr. Samuel Butler:
πλαγκτοσύνης δ᾽ οὐκ ἔστι κακώτερον ἄλλο βροτοῖσιν.
There is nothing worse than being always on the tramp.The same, tr. E.V. Rieu:
Surely a tramp's life is the worst thing that anyone can come to.Arie Hoekstra ad loc.:
As Cauer, Homerkritik, 438, has shown, the total number of abstract terms is greater in the Odyssey than in the Iliad and this also applies to the nouns in -οσύνη and -φροσύνη (439). In this case the noun is likely to have been derived from the verbal adj. (πλαγκτέ occurs at Od. xxi 363, although there it means 'distracted') and to mean 'the (social) position of a man driven from home', cf. δουλόσύνη (xxii 423).W.B. Stanford ad loc:
Note O.'s attitude to his travels: he was no romantic adventurer indulging his Wanderlust, but a weary ex-soldier always yearning to reach home—yet, it must be added, with enough vitality and curiosity to take an interest in his enforced travels. But now, looking back on them, in this line he gives his melancholy considered judgement. With πλαγκτοσύνη cp. πλάγχθη in 1, 2: it implies unwilling deflection from one's chosen course.I wondered about πλανάομαι and English planet, but Robert Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden: Brill, 2010), p. 1202 (s.v. πλανάομαι), says:
The meaning strongly recalls πλάζω, but it is hard to think of a formal connection.
The quintessence of manliness is fearlessness, readiness to defend one's own pride and that of one's family. It is ascribed directly to a physical origin and the idiom in which it is expressed is frankly physiological. To be manly is to have cojones (testicles), and the farmyard furnishes its testimony in support of the theory. Castrated animals are manso (tame), a castrated ox is not dangerous like a bull. A castrated dog, it is thought, will always run away from an uncastrated one. A man who fails to show fearlessness is lacking in manliness and, by analogy, castrated or manso. While it is not supposed that he is literally devoid of the male physiological attributes, he is, figuratively, so. That part of his person does not possess the moral qualifies properly associated with it.Id., p. 91:
The word which serves literally to translate manliness (hombría) also contributes to the same conception:
"The modern race is degenerate," said a friend once, "in the days of our grandfathers there was more manliness than today." To be "muy hombre" is to have an abundance of that moral quality which we have been discussing, and, through it, to command the respect of one's fellows.
Rehearse your death every morning and night.Id., p. 237 (III.11-133):
Begin each day pondering death as its climax. Each morning, with a calm mind, conjure images in your head of your last moments. See yourself being pierced by bow and arrow, gun, sword, or spear, or being swept away by a giant wave, vaulting into a fiery inferno, taking a lightning strike, being shaken to death in a great earthquake, falling hundreds of feet from a high cliff top, succumbing to a terminal illness, or just dropping dead unexpectedly. Every morning, be sure to meditate yourself into a trance of death.Plato, Phaedo 80e-81a (tr. Hugh Tredennick, rev. Harold Tarrant):
I mean doing philosophy in the right way and really getting used to facing death calmly: wouldn't you call this "practising death"?
τὸ δὲ οὐδὲν ἄλλο ἐστὶν ἢ ὀρθῶς φιλοσοφοῦσα καὶ τῷ ὄντι τεθνάναι μελετῶσα ῥᾳδίως· ἢ οὐ τοῦτ' ἂν εἴη μελέτη θανάτου;
Monday, February 18, 2019
Nietzsche and Wagner's Underpants
Once, just as he had returned from his usual Sunday visit to Tribschen, he asked one of his students casually where he might find a good silk shop in Basel. Nietzsche eventually had to admit to his student that he had undertaken to shop for a pair of silk underpants. For reasons best known to himself, Wagner wore tailor-made silk underwear. This important commission filled Nietzsche with anxiety. Directed to the daunting shop, he squared his shoulders manfully, observing before going in, "Once you've chosen a God, you've got to adorn him."9Id., pp. 164-165, with note on p. 415:
9. "Zwei Nietzsche Anekdoten," Frankfurter Zeitung, March 9, 1904, quoted in Millington, Richard Wagner, p. 153.
The Wagners were also wintering in Sorrento, in the Hotel Vittoria, close to the Villa Rubinacci. The only contact between Nietzsche and Wagner since the Bayreuth Festival had been in September, when the Master had written out of the blue to request Nietzsche to buy some silk underwear in Basel and post it to him. When he received the letter, Nietzsche had been so ill that he was unable to put pen to paper but he organized for the underwear to be purchased and posted, and he dictated a long and affectionate letter to accompany it. The letter expressed unaffected delight at being of service: the little commission had brought back fond memories of the happy times at Tribschen.11
11. Nietzsche to Richard Wagner, from Basel, September 27, 1876.
A Sort of World
[A] Catholic Cathedral is a sort of world, every one going about his own business, but that business a religious one; groups of worshippers, and solitary ones — kneeling, standing — some at shrines, some at altars — hearing Mass and communicating — currents of worshippers intercepting and passing by each other — altar after altar lit up for worship, like stars in the firmament — or the bell giving notice of what is going on in parts you do not see — and all the while the canons in the choir going through matins and lauds, and at the end of it the incense rolling up from the high altar, and all this in one of the most wonderful buildings in the world and every day — lastly, all of this without any show or effort, but what everyone is used to — everyone at his own work, and leaving everyone else to his.
Books Full of Lies
For myself, I can say that when I read them, as long as I do not set my mind to thinking that they are all frivolous lies, I do derive some pleasure from them, but when I realize what they actually are, I throw even the best of them against the wall, and would even toss them in the fire if one were near, and think they richly deserved the punishment, for being deceptive and false and far beyond the limits of common sense, like the founders of new sects and new ways of life, and for giving the ignorant rabble a reason to believe and consider as true all the absurdities they contain.
De mí sé decir que cuando los leo, en tanto que no pongo la imaginación en pensar que son todos mentira y liviandad, me dan algún contento; pero cuando caigo en la cuenta de lo que son, doy con el mejor dellos en la pared, y aun diera con él en el fuego, si cerca ó presente le tuviera, bien como á merecedores de tal pena, por ser falsos y embusteros y fuera del trato que pide la común naturaleza, y como á inventores de nuevas sectas y de nuevo modo de vida, y como á quien da ocasión que el vulgo ignorante venga á creer y á tener por verdaderas tantas necedades como contienen.
Los ricos, the rich, are always wicked when treated generically. They are responsible for the hardships of the poor. They have perverted the social order through their ambitions. They are the source of corruption. Who the particular ricos are is obscure, but they are generally thought of as being distant personalities far richer than anyone in the pueblo. These opinions, although encouraged by the political creeds of the Left are by no means inspired by them, nor are they necessarily found in company with them. They are, rather, part of the value system of the pueblo.Id., p. 57:
The moneyed people of the place are thought of by many, in many social contexts, as evil. Their fatness is pointed out as a proof of their over-indulgence and idleness. The shop-keepers in particular come in for adverse comment, and the advantages which wealthier people have, particularly with regard to what they are able to do for their children, are bitterly resented. Yet here, already, the sentiment of moral indignation has made way for personal jealousy. It is felt that such advantages are wrong, and yet few will not admit that they would take them if they had the chance.
The values relating to money may be summed up as follows. They are not those of protestant capitalism. The possession of money here is in no way a sign of grace, or a basis for moral distinctions. It is morally neutral. But the ways in which it is acquired or spent are subject to moral judgement. If it is gained at the expense of others, it is ill-gotten. If it is guarded avariciously, if it is spent in self-indulgence, it is evil. If it is gained by intelligence or hard work, if it is spent in meeting moral obligations, then it is good. Money is something which enables a man to be what he wants. It gives him power, power to be either good or evil. It bestows prestige only if it is employed in a morally approved manner.
As in many other contexts things are cheaper for the rich.
Today, in the age when the state has an absurdly fat belly, all the fields and disciplines have, alongside their real workers, also 'representatives', e.g., alongside the scholars there are the literati, alongside the suffering classes there are the chattering, boastful scoundrels who 'represent' those sufferings, not to mention the professional politicians, who are perfectly comfortable and 'represent' hardship before Parliament with their powerful lungs. Our modern life is extremely costly because of the large number of intermediaries; whereas in an ancient city, and, echoing that, still in many a Spanish and Italian city, a man appeared in person and wouldn't have given this kind of modern representative and middle-man the time of day — at best a kick!
Heute, in der Zeit wo der Staat einen unsinnig dicken Bauch hat, giebt es in allen Feldern und Fächern, außer den eigentlichen Arbeitern noch „Vertreter“ z. B. außer den Gelehrten noch Litteraten, außer den leidenden Volks-Schichten noch schwätzende prahlerische Thunichts-gute, welche jenes Leiden „vertreten,“ gar nicht zu reden von den Politikern von Berufswegen, welche sich wohl befinden und Nothstände vor einem Parlament mit starken Lungen „vertreten.“ Unser modernes Leben ist äußerst kostspielig durch die Menge Zwischenpersonen; in einer antiken Stadt dagegen, und im Nachklang daran noch in mancher Stadt Spaniens und Italiens, trat man selber auf und hätte nichts auf einen solchen modernen Vertreter und Zwischenhändler gegeben — es sei denn einen Tritt!
Sunday, February 17, 2019
A Change for the Worse
Since the occasion has arisen to speak of the morals of our country, the nature of my theme seems to suggest that I go farther back and give a brief account of the institutions of our forefathers in peace and in war, how they governed the commonwealth, how great it was when they bequeathed it to us, and how by gradual changes it has ceased to be the noblest and best, and has become the worst and most vicious.
res ipsa hortari videtur, quoniam de moribus civitatis tempus admonuit, supra repetere ac paucis instituta maiorum domi militiaeque, quo modo rem publicam habuerint quantamque reliquerint, ut paulatim immutata ex pulcherrima atque optuma pessuma ac flagitiosissuma facta sit, disserere.
They flock together like ants, hurry east and west, run north and south. Some are mighty, some humble. Some are aged, some young. They have places to go, houses to return to. At night they sleep, in the morning get up. But what does all this activity mean? There is no ending to their greed for long life, their grasping for profit. What expectations have they that they take such good care of themselves? All that awaits them in the end is old age and death, whose coming is swift and does not falter for one instant. What joy can there be while waiting for this end?
To sum up, then, the pueblo is a highly centralised community, both structurally and also emotionally. In Spanish political jurisprudence it is the "natural" unit of society compared with which the state is an artificial structure. In many aspects it resembles other rural communities of the Mediterranean. All are composed of agricultural workers living under urban conditions, with a background of dry-farming and olive cultivation. All possess a strong sense of local patriotism; devotion to the patria chica in Spain; in Italy campanilismo, attachment to the local campanile, the highest building in the village. A conception of community based upon locality runs through the cultural idiom of Southern Europe, which is demonstrated in many ways: for example, in their legal codes the preference for the principle of jus soli, in contrast to the Germanic jus sanguinis; in the institution of local patron saints, in everyday conversation the importance attached to their place of birth.Related posts:
In fact, the Greek word polis far more nearly translates "pueblo" than any English word, for the community is not merely a geographical or political unit, but the unit of society in every context. The pueblo furnishes a completeness of human relations which makes it the prime concept of all social thought. That is why Argolla uses the word "pueblo" in a way which recalls Sophocles. During the Reconquest pueblos were founded, with special municipal charters, for the express purpose of defence against the Moors. And in the archives of later pueblos the vestiges of a concept of purpose may be detected. Upon the foundation of the town hall of La Carolina in 1835, the municipality solemnly pledged the pueblo to defend, among other more temporal things, the "misterio de la Purisima Concepción".
- A Blade of Grass
- This Is My Home
- Near and Dear
- One World
- Local Attachment
- Le Patriotisme de Clocher
- Home Sweet Home
"Go on," says Sawney; "Bangs, what is an active verb?"Related posts:
"An active verb," replies Bangs, "is a verb which expresses —"
"Well, what does an active verb express?"
Bangs twists and turns, and looks imploringly first at his right-hand classmate and then at his left, but neither can prompt him, if he knows, as probably he does — not.
"Well," continues Sawney, switching the air with his cane, "well, mutton-head, what does an active verb express?"
"I'll tell you what it expresses," he screams, after a little delay, bringing the stick down upon the boy's haunches with decided emphasis; "it expresses an action, and necessarily supposes an agent (flourishing the cane, which again descends as before), and an object acted upon, as 'castigo te' — I chastise thee. Do you understand now, hey?"
"Yes sir, yes sir!" replies the boy, doing his best to get out of the way of the rattan, but Sawney is not disposed to let him off so.
"Now tell me when an active verb is also called transitive?" "I don't know, sir," drawls Bangs, doggedly.
"Don't you?' follows Sawney, "then I'll inform you. An active verb is called transitive when the action passeth over (whack, whack!) to the object. You (whack) are the object, I am (whack!) the agent. Now take care how you go home and say that I never taught you anything. Do you hear?" (Whack!)
- Plagosus Orbilius
- Inexpensive Instruments of Instruction
- A Close Connection Between the Skin and the Memory
- Et Nos Ergo Manum Ferulae Subduximus
- A Male Puberty Rite
- Anarchy Tempered by Despotism
- Punishment in School
- More Punishments in School
- Ordeals of a Schoolboy
The emasculating and perhaps castrating effect of so much praying is another of those injuries done to the German character since the Reformation. It is always bad taste to ask much instead of giving much: the combination of meek servility and an often arrogant, vulgar importunity with which, e.g., St Augustine wallows before God in his Confessions reminds us that man may not be the only one of the animals to have religious feeling: the dog has a similar 'religious feeling' for man. —Communicating with God in prayer breeds the humiliating mood and attitude which still, even in impious times, asserts its right through heredity: it's well known that the Germans have swooned before princes or party leaders or the assurance of being 'ever your most humble and obedient servant'. Let that now be over.
Die entmännlichenden und vielleicht entmannende Wirkung des vielen Betens gehört auch unter die Schädigungen des deutschen Wesens seit der Reformation. Es ist eine Sache schlechten Geschmacks unter allen Umständen, viel zu bitten, statt viel zu geben: die Mischung demüthiger Servilität mit einer oft hoffärtig-pöbelhaften Zudringlichkeit, mit der sich z.B. der heilige Augustin in seinen confessiones vor Gott wälzt, erinnert daran, daß der Mensch vielleicht nicht allein unter den Thieren das religiöse Gefühl hat: der Hund hat für den Menschen ein ähnliches "religiöses Gefühl." — Der betende Verkehr mit G[ott] züchtet die erniedrigende Stimmung und Attitüde, welche auch in unfrommen Zeiten, durch Vererbung, noch ihr Recht behauptet: die Deutschen erstarben bekanntlich vor Fürsten oder vor Parteiführern oder vor der Phrase "als unterthänigster Knecht." Es soll damit vorüber sein.
Saturday, February 16, 2019
How Do People Behave Towards Outsiders?
Yet how do people behave towards outsiders? The stranger, as in Ancient Greece where he was protected by Zeus, enjoys a special status. It is a duty to assist him, for the reputation of the pueblo is felt to be at stake in his eyes. The visitor of wealth or standing is treated with great courtesy and hospitality. He is probably invited to a glass of wine in the casino, the club. People inquire what brings him and put themselves at his disposal.
This standard of hospitality is a very noble feature of the Spanish people, yet its analysis would not be complete if one were not to point out that it is also a means whereby the community defends itself against outside interference. For a guest is a person who, while he must be entertained and cherished, is dependent upon the goodwill of his hosts. He has no rights and he can make no demands. On the other hand, the good name of the pueblo is his protection. For the sake of that, the members of the community prevent one another from taking advantage of him.
When I came to live in this place, I thought that I would stay for only a short time, but already five years have passed. Gradually my temporary hut has come to feel like home as dead leaves lie deep on the eaves and moss grows on the foundation. When news of the capital happens to reach me, I learn that many of high rank have passed away since I secluded myself on this mountain. There is no way to know how many of lower rank have died. How many houses have been lost in the frequent fires? Only a temporary hut is peaceful and free of worry. It may be small, but it has a bed on which to lie at night and a place in which to sit by day. Nothing is lacking to shelter one person. The hermit crab prefers a small shell. This is because he knows himself. The osprey lives on rugged shores. The reason is that he fears people. I am like them. Knowing myself and knowing the world, I have no ambitions, I do not strive. I simply seek tranquillity and enjoy the absence of care.
Return to Ithaca
Glad then was the much-enduring, noble Odysseus,
rejoicing in his own land, and he kissed the earth, the giver of grain.
γήθησέν τ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἔπειτα πολύτλας δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς,
χαίρων ᾗ γαίῃ, κύσε δὲ ζείδωρον ἄρουραν.
Sadness Amidst Beauty
The beauty of the sweet, fresh mountains here,
the shade of the green chestnut trees, the pace
of all the gently crawling streams, this place
where all one's sadness seems to disappear.
The hoarse sounds of the sea, the lands that lie
below, the sun hiding near the hills, the last
of the lingering cattle slowly moving past,
the clouds still gently warring in the sky.
But, finally, all these beauties of nature, pouring
forth their various splendors, only create
harsh fresh wounds since you're not here with me.
Without you, everything is disgusting, and boring;
without you, I feel, even within this great
natural happiness, the greatest possible misery.
A fermosura desta fresca serra
e a sombra dos verdes castanheiros,
o manso caminhar destes ribeiros,
donde toda a tristeza se desterra;
o rouco som do mar, a estranha terra,
o esconder do sol pelos outeiros,
o recolher dos gados derradeiros,
das nuvens pelo ar a branda guerra;
enfim, tudo o que a rara natureza
com tanta variedade nos of'rece,
me está, se não te vejo, magoando.
Sem ti, tudo me enoja e me avorrece;
sem ti, perpetuamente estou passando,
nas mores alegrias, mór tristeza.
Friday, February 15, 2019
The sentiment of attachment to the pueblo is counter-balanced, as might be expected, by a corresponding hostility towards neighbouring pueblos. Thus, for the Alcalareño, those of Jacinas are boastful and false, those of Montejaque cloddish and violent, those of Benalurín are mean, those of El Jaral drunken and always drawing their knives.Id., p. 9:
This hostility finds expression in various customs. It is usual for the boys of a pueblo to object to the visits of forasteros—a word which I shall translate as "outsiders", since it means a person born elsewhere—for the purpose of courting one of their girls. In some places they follow the practice of ducking the visitor in the fountain when he first comes, but allowing him to come freely thereafter. In others, however, they ambush him and beat him up when ever they are able to catch him there. Two Alcalareños have had to break off their engagements on account of the rough treatment which they received in their fiancée's town.Id., pp. 10-11:
The most proud saying of all comes from the town of Jimena, which challenges the rest of the world in terms of piteous contempt:Id., p. 11:
"Ay! que pena "What a shame!But, typically, the neighbouring pueblos have found a line to add:
No ser de Jimena!" Not to be from Jimena!"
"Y arrastrarse el culo en la arena."for the people of Jimena enjoy a local reputation for being short in the leg.
"And drag your arse along in the sand."
The traditional fighting between two towns near Seville, Mairena and El Viso, is well known, though today it takes place only between the school-children of the two towns. At the fiesta of Haro in the Rioja, not many years ago, the bull-ring was festooned with an announcement reading: "A hearty welcome is extended to all outsiders with the exception of those from Logroño."
Pueblos are commonly linked in pairs, each one, supposedly, hating its rival above all others. Thus, El Jaral—Villa Faderique, Montejaque—Benaoján, Ubrique—Grazalema, even, on a far greater scale, Cádiz and Jerez.
"Do not be surprised at this, Sancho my friend," responded Don Quixote, "because I can tell you that devils know a great deal, and although they bring odors with them, they themselves do not smell at all because they are spirits, and if they do smell, it cannot be of pleasant things, but only of things that are foul and putrid. The reason is that since they, wherever they may be, carry hell with them and cannot find any kind of relief from their torments, and a pleasant odor is something that brings joy and pleasure, it is not possible for them to have an agreeable smell. And so, if it seems to you that the demon you have mentioned smells of ambergris, either you are mistaken or he wants to deceive you by making you think he is not a demon."Valerie Allen, On Farting: Language and Laughter in the Middle Ages (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), p. 92, with note on p. 202:
No te maravilles deso, Sancho amigo —respondió don Quijote—; porque te hago saber que los diablos saben mucho, y, puesto que traigan olores consigo, ellos no huelen nada, porque son espíritus, y si huelen, no pueden oler cosas buenas, sino malas y hidiondas. Y la razón es que como ellos, dondequiera que están, traen el infierno consigo, y no pueden recebir género de alivio alguno en sus tormentos, y el buen olor sea cosa que deleita y contenta, no es posible que ellos huelan cosa buena; y si á ti te parece que ese demonio que dices huele a ámbar, ó tú te engañas ó él quiere engañarte con hacer que no le tengas por demonio.
The stage devils of medieval theater are notorious farters, frequently punctuating their exits offstage with a rasping fart. One demon took possession of a worthless fellow who mocked a sacred shrine.Related posts:
Primoque nudato inguine incestavit aera, tum deinde crepitu ventris emisso turbavit auras.391391. William of Malmesbury, De Gestis Pontificum Anglorum: Libri quinque, ed. N.E.S.A. Hamilton (London: Longman & Co., Trübner, 1870), 5.275 (p. 438). See also Malcolm Jones, Secret Middle Ages (Stroud: Sutton, 2002), p. 276.
[And first with his privates exposed he befouled the atmosphere, then next having emitted a loud fart he disturbed the air.]
Labels: noctes scatologicae
Thursday, February 14, 2019
The Wisdom of the Ancients
We can tap into knowledge that serves to steer us away from egotism by studying the aphorisms and deeds of the ancients.Id., p. 64 (I.44):
Listening to men and reading books helps complement your own good sense with the wisdom of the ancients.Id., p. 114 (I.166):
Alas, there are no worthy men. Few pay attention to useful stories passed down from the great men of old, let alone engage in rigorous training to better themselves.
Be of good cheer, and let not these things distress your heart.
θάρσει, μή τοι ταῦτα μετὰ φρεσὶ σῇσι μελόντων.
The Way That Historians Are Made
Any walk you choose to take can have a fascination for a cultivated mind. One would not be uncultivated for anything. For that way lies infinite boredom and dreariness of spirit. The truest thing—and the most useful—that ever Dean Inge said was that "the true intellectual is never bored." And what a strength that is when you come to think of it. A friend of mine, the Cornish antiquary and historian, Charles Henderson, had the habit from his school-days of walking or taking bus or train to some particular parish and then settling down upon it for the day, traversing it, following its boundaries, looking up everything of interest in it, camp or stone-circle, holy-well or chapel, villages and farms. Often it meant several visits, returning to the same parish. It was that that filled out and made real and concrete his remarkable knowledge of documents and deeds relating to the past. In this way he came to know not only every parish and church in Cornwall, but almost every farm and field. This is the way that historians are made. It could not be better put than by R.H. Tawney when he tells us that what economic history needs at present is not more documents but a pair of sturdy boots.
This advice is for current historians, all too many of whom need it or they would be more alive and readable than they are. But the pleasure and fun of it are for all to enjoy.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Le chat mange le rat
That first French lesson was perhaps the chief difference that struck me in changing over from the elementary to the secondary school — a small symbol of the new world of intellectual interest that change was to lead to. It was an excitement and a pleasure from the first moment: I shall never forget that lesson, the first French words I learnt, the strangeness of the pronunciation. The first word — appropriately enough for a fanatical lover of cats from childhood — was 'le chat': pronounced like 'Shah' (as the Parisians impressed upon a visiting Shah of Persia in the eighties, by setting up a fearful miaowing and caterwauling in the streets: he thought it a form of greeting). It was very surprising and ridiculous that you didn't pronounce the 't' at the end of the word: that took some getting used to; I had to suppress a fit of giggles at its oddity. And the same with 'rat' — which was pronounced 'rah'. It was a little unbelievable: could it be that we were being had on? But no, impossible; whatever teachers said must ipso facto be right. So I accepted it on trust, and at the end of the lesson we had achieved our first French sentence:With Rowse's delight in learning French, contrast the attitude of some present-day students in this horror story.
Le chat mange le rat.It was a new world opening before me indeed. I was thrilled, as never by any lesson before or since. It was as if I stood upon that peak in Darien and caught a glimpse of the Pacific. Coming home to dinner I trod on air: Le chat mange le rat, I said over and over to myself. My excitement was a right intuition, for though I had no conception of what it would lead to, that simple ridiculous sentence out of a French grammar was the narrow door which led to a whole world of thought and experience, only second to that occupied by my own language: to Daudet, Anatole France, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Gide, Valéry, Mauriac — something in that order — to Stendhal and Balzac, in the end to Proust and Flaubert.
Some people say54 that city-states that lay claim to virtue should not have walls. But this is a very old-fashioned notion. Especially when it is plain to see that city-states that pride themselves on not having walls are refuted by the facts.55 It may not be noble to seek safety behind fortified walls against an evenly matched or only slightly more numerous foe, but it can and does happen that the superior numbers of the attackers are too much for human virtue56 or the virtue of a small number of people. Hence if the city-state is to survive without suffering harm or arrogant treatment, it should be left to military expertise to determine what the most secure kind of fortified walls are for it to have, particularly now that the invention of projectiles and siege engines57 has reached such a high degree of precision. To claim that city-states should not have surrounding walls is like flattening the mountains and trying to make the territory easy to invade, or like not having walls for private houses, on the grounds that they make the inhabitants cowardly. Furthermore, we should not forget that the inhabitants of a city-state with surrounding walls can treat it either as having walls or as not having them, whereas the inhabitants of a city-state without walls lack this option. Given that this is how things stand, a city-state not only should have surrounding walls, it should take care to ensure that they both enhance the beauty of the city-state and satisfy military requirements, especially those brought to light by recent discoveries. For just as attackers are always busily concerned with new ways to get the better of city-states, so too, though some defensive devices have already been discovered, defenders should keep searching for and thinking out new ones. For when people are well prepared in the first place, no one even thinks of attacking them.See Josiah Ober, Fortress Attica: Defense of the Athenian Land Frontier 404-322 B.C. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1985), pp. 83-84.
54. See Plato, Laws 778d-779b. The virtue in question is primarily courage (see 1331a6).
55. Probably an allusion to Sparta, which prided itself on having no walls, and suffered humiliating defeat in 369, when it was invaded by the Theban Epaminondas (1269b37).
56. The level of nonheroic virtue achievable by most humans (1295a25-31).
57. Catapults, siege towers, and battering rams had all been fairly recently introduced.
It's rough land, but fine for raising young men. Myself,Id., 13.242-247:
I can't think of a sweeter sight than one's own country.
τρηχεῖ᾽, ἀλλ᾽ ἀγαθὴ κουροτρόφος· οὔ τοι ἐγώ γε
ἧς γαίης δύναμαι γλυκερώτερον ἄλλο ἰδέσθαι.
It's rough terrain, not fit for the driving of horses,Related post: A Good Land.
Yet not wholly worthless, even if lacking broad plains.
Grain grows there abundantly, wine too is a product,
there's always rain and dew to keep it fertile, it's good 245
pasture for goats and cattle, there's also fine ground cover
of every sort, together with all-year watering-places.
ἦ τοι μὲν τρηχεῖα καὶ οὐχ ἱππήλατός ἐστιν,
οὐδὲ λίην λυπρή, ἀτὰρ οὐδ᾽ εὐρεῖα τέτυκται.
ἐν μὲν γάρ οἱ σῖτος ἀθέσφατος, ἐν δέ τε οἶνος
γίγνεται· αἰεὶ δ᾽ ὄμβρος ἔχει τεθαλυῖά τ᾽ ἐέρση· 245
αἰγίβοτος δ᾽ ἀγαθὴ καὶ βούβοτος· ἔστι μὲν ὕλη
παντοίη, ἐν δ᾽ ἀρδμοὶ ἐπηετανοὶ παρέασι.
Books and Reading
For when thy labour doon al ys,Chaucer, Legend of Good Women, Prologue 29-34:
And hast ymad alle thy rekenynges,
Instede of reste and newe thynges,
Thou goost hom to thy hous anoon 655
And, also dombe as any stoon,
Thou sittest at another book,
Tyl fully daswed is thy look,
And lyvest thus as an heremyte,
Although thyn abstynence ys lyte. 660
655 anoon = at once
656 also = as
658 daswed = dazed
660 lyte = little
And as for me, though that I konne but lyte,
On bokes for to rede I me delyte, 30
And to hem yive I feyth and ful credence,
And in myn herte have hem in reverence
So hertely, that ther is game noon
That from my bokes maketh me to goon.
29 konne = know, lyte = little
31 yive = give
33 game = diversion
Pursuit of Perfection
Lord Yagyū once said, "I do not know how to defeat others. All I know is the path to defeat myself. Today one must be better than yesterday, and tomorrow better than today. The pursuit of perfection is a lifelong quest that has no end."Id., p. 74 (I.59):
It is unwise to be fixated on a single point of completion. A man who has devoted himself to his studies and believes he has reached a consummate level will assume his training has finished, but this is erroneous. Devotion to the study of one's path—first acquiring the fundamentals, and then continuing to refine your knowledge and skills—is a lifelong pursuit with no end.Id., p. 106 (I.138):
There is no point in one's training in which one reaches the end. The instant you think you have finished, you have already strayed from the path. Realize that nothing you do is perfect until you have taken your last breath...
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Indulge Genio, Carpamus Dulcia
If it is a fact
that all things that live
must someday die,
then while I am in this life
let me enjoy myself.
For hateful to me as the gates of Hādēs is that manUnfortunately nowadays this strategy is necessary for survival. Die Gedanken sind frei, but their public expression is not.
who hides one thought in his mind, but speaks another.
ἐχθρὸς γάρ μοι κεῖνος ὁμῶς Ἀΐδαο πύλῃσιν
ὅς χ᾽ ἕτερον μὲν κεύθῃ ἐνὶ φρεσίν, ἄλλο δὲ εἴπῃ.
No Place to Sit
In Burckhardt's studio above the baker's shop, books occupied the floor space on every side of a dilapidated old sofa where Burckhardt sat. Unless the visitor wanted to stand throughout, he had no choice but to build a tottering pile and take a seat on it.
Greatness is all that we are not.
Größe ist, was wir nicht sind.
Jerome, In Jonam prophetam (CSEL 76: 390): "Non est enim nostrum mortem arripere, sed illatam libenter accipere. Unde et a persecutionibus non licet propria manu perire, absque ubi castitas periclitantur"; In Matthaeum, 27.5 (CSEL 77: 264): "ut non solum emendare nequiverit proditionis nefas, sed et prius scelus etiam proprii homicidii crimen addiderit."Not CSEL (Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum), but CCSL (Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina). Not periclitantur, but periclitatur (I assume, although the CCSL edition is unavailable to me).
Labels: typographical and other errors
Monday, February 11, 2019
A Marvellous Experience, a Great Blessing
In this field of idle ratiocination one does, of course, come across bright solutions to the world problem. I can think of several—to abolish all news media, journals, films, books, for a period of ten years. Let no one have anything but word-of-mouth news from the village for a long time. I have tried this on myself and can testify to the extremely beneficial effect it has on one. To live in a Greek island with no radio, no newspaper, for a year at a time is a marvellous experience. Energy was saved which could be devoted to private inquiry and the practice of becoming more oneself; I even try the same thing today, for where I live there is no radio, no television, and the papers arrive ten days late. This is a great blessing. It makes it impossible to get worked up about the crises they record—for by the time I read about them they will already have been replaced by others. They come to me, these crises, with the time-lag of distant stars. In this way I strive to keep the milk of opinionation from boiling over. But I have noticed one thing about crises; they perpetually reproduce themselves, there is never any lack of them.
Ad Deum Qui Laetificat Juventutem Meam
Nothing can touch me like the phrases and liturgical scraps that bring back that vanished world of my childhood, a world of security and faith, now dissolved like a 'dream remembered on waking.'
...it is God's will that there shall always be some scourge to chastise us.
...quiere y permite Dios que tengamos siempre verdugos que nos castiguen.
It Is Best
To turn your thoughts
from matters of no importance,
it is best
to drink a single cup
of cloudy unfiltered saké.
The Enemy of My Enemy
It is a good thing for you that with me you should give pain to whoever gives pain to me.
καλόν τοι σὺν ἐμοὶ τὸν κήδειν ὅς κ᾽ ἐμὲ κήδῃ.
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Farewell to Religion
The soil produces bread enough
For all mankind's nutrition,
Plus rose and myrtle, beauty and joy,
And sugar peas in addition.
Yes, sugar peas for everyone
Piled high upon the barrows!
The heavens we can safely leave
To the angels and the sparrows.
Es wächst hienieden Brot genug
Für alle Menschenkinder,
Auch Rosen und Myrten, Schönheit und Lust,
Und Zuckererbsen nicht minder.
Ja, Zuckererbsen für jedermann,
Sobald die Schoten platzen!
Den Himmel überlassen wir
Den Engeln und den Spatzen.
Are They Any Better Off For It?
I am very much struck at the altogether better times in these respects children have to-day than we had. They have much more to spend, they have many more amusements, pictures and wireless and bicycles; they appear to get around and be taken about the country far more than we ever were. Are they any better off for it? I doubt it. In some ways worse off: their attention and enjoyment more dispersed, they can have much less time for reading and dreaming than I had: nothing like such an intense concentration upon the inner life of one's own imagination. Far too great an importance can be attached to the improvement of external 'standards' of life: the Labour Party, all Labour Parties, have made this mistake. Better that they attached more importance to the real standards that signify; but of them they have no comprehension. Such standards are essentially aristocratic, aesthetic, qualitative not quantitative, private:The couplet is from one of Rowse's own poems (unavailable to me).
Of the unequal I assert the sense,
The valued quality, the difference.
Tit for Tat
Should men hold their peace at thy lies? and when thou mockest others, shall none make thee ashamed?
this life —The same, tr. Evgeny Steiner, with his note:
and after that
In this world
We slop, we shit,
We sleep, we rise.
So we live.
What then? We die.57
57 This is an accurate translation of the Japanese original, in which Ikkyū uses some rather crude expressions (kuu — to slop or gobble, etc.)
Saturday, February 09, 2019
In my imagination the power of my afflictions is so intense and contributes so much to my ruination that I am powerless to prevent it and I become like a stone, bereft of all sense and awareness.
La fuerza de la imaginación de mis desgracias es tan intensa y puede tanto en mi perdición, que, sin que yo pueda ser parte á estorbarlo, vengo á quedar como piedra, falto de todo buen sentido y conocimiento.
Many ills encompass an old man, whether because he seeks gain, and then miserably holds aloof from his store and fears to use it, or because, in all that he does, he lacks fire and courage, is dilatory and slow to form hopes, is sluggish and greedy of a longer life, peevish, surly, given to praising the days he spent as a boy, and to reproving and condemning the young. Many blessings do the advancing years bring with them; many, as they retire, they take away.
multa senem circumveniunt incommoda, vel quod
quaerit et inventis miser abstinet ac timet uti, 170
vel quod res omnis timide gelideque ministrat,
dilator spe longus, iners avidusque futuri,
difficilis, querulus, laudator temporis acti
se puero, castigator censorque minorum.
multa ferunt anni venientes commoda secum, 175
multa recedentes adimunt.
172 spe longus codd.: spe lentus Bentley, spe mancus Shackleton Bailey, splenosus Powell; avidusque codd.: pavidusque Bentley
Friday, February 08, 2019
No Good, But Only Trouble
Here we should deal with the question of closed countries. Are countries closed for reasons of State, or rather for reasons of national pride, or of instinctive hate, fear and repulsion?1 Culture would, left to itself, tend to expand and create a general level, but it costs so much to bring the State into tolerable order that people expect no good to come from the outside world, but only trouble.Or rather, according to Michiel de Vaan, Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Other Italic Languages (Leiden: Brill, 2008), p. 291, hospes is derived from hostis:
1 Note that hospes (stranger) and hostis (enemy) come from the same root.
Hierher gehört die Frage vom abgeschlossenen Verkehr. Ist derselbe mehr Staatsgebot oder hat er seinen Grund mehr in nationalem Hochmut oder mehr in instinktivem Haß, Furcht und Widerwillen?1 Die Kultur an und für sich hätte die Neigung, sich mitzuteilen und auszugleichen; aber der Kulturstaat hat soviel gekostet, bis alles in leidlicher Ordnung war, daß man von draußen nur Störung und nichts Gutes erwartet.
1 Wir erinnern daran, daß hospes und hostis vom gleichen Stamme kommt.
Compound of hostis and the root of potis.I wonder if repulsion might be a mistake for revulsion, since Widerwillen can mean disgust, dislike. [Update: Thanks to Kevin Muse, who cites Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. repulsion, sense 4 (making my conjecture unnecessary): "A feeling of intense disgust; dislike, aversion, repugnance; (also occasionally) an instance of this."]
See also Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, tr. S.G.C. Middlemore (London: George Allen & Co., Ltd., 1914), pp. 449-450:
In certain districts of Italy, where civilization had made little progress, the country people were disposed to murder any stranger who fell into their hands. This was especially the case in the more remote parts of the Kingdom of Naples, where the barbarism dated probably from the days of the Roman 'latifundia,' and when the stranger and the enemy ('hospes' and 'hostis') were in all good faith held to be one and the same.
In gewissen Gegenden von Italien, wo die Kultur nicht hindrang, waren die Landleute permanent mörderisch gegen jeden von draussen, der ihnen in die Hände fiel. So namentlich in den entlegenem Teilen des Königreiches Neapel, wo eine uralte Verwilderung vielleicht seit der römischen Latifundienwirtschaft sich erhalten hatte, und wo man den Fremden und den Feind, hospes und hostis, noch in aller Unschuld für gleichbedeutend halten mochte.
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Thou Hast Finished Joy and Moan
Fear no more the heat o' the sun,Samuel Johnson on lines 269-270:
Nor the furious winter's rages; 260
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.
Fear no more the frown o' the great; 265
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The scepter, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust. 270
Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finish'd joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must 275
Consign to thee, and come to dust.
No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee! 280
Quiet consummation have;
And renownèd be thy grave!
The poet's sentiment seems to have been this. All human excellence is equally the subject to the stroke of death: neither the power of kings, nor the science of scholars, nor the art of those whose immediate study is the prolongation of life, can protect then from the final destiny of man.
Scent of a Woman
"When you approached her, did you not perceive a Sabaean odor, an aromatic fragrance, something sweet — I cannot find a name to describe it — a scent, an essence, as if you were in some dainty glover's shop."
"All I can vouch for," said Sancho, "is that I got a whiff of something a bit mannish; this must have been because she was sweating and a bit on the run."
"It could not have been that," answered Don Quixote, "but you must have had a cold in your head or else smelled yourself, for I know well the scent of that rose among thorns, that lily of the fields, that liquid amber."
"That may be so," answered Sancho, "for many a time I've noticed the same smell off myself as I perceived off her ladyship Dulcinea; but there's no wonder in that, for one devil is the dead spit of another."
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
The Vile Leading the Vile
Here now in very truth comes the vile leading the vile.Joseph Russo on line 218:
As ever, the god is bringing like and like together.
νῦν μὲν δὴ μάλα πάγχυ κακὸς κακὸν ἡγηλάζει,
ὡς αἰεὶ τὸν ὁμοῖον ἄγει θεὸς ὡς τὸν ὁμοῖον.
This verse seems to be a proverb, and is quoted as such by later authors. All recent editors accept the MSS' ώς τὸν ὁμοῖον, while acknowledging that there is no evidence for ὡς = εἰς before Attic Greek. Stanford notes that Plato (Lysis 214a) and Hippocrates (Kühn 1, 390 and 392) quote the line with ὡς, and he suggests that their influence, together with 'Aristotle's citation of the line with ὡς τὸν' (Rh. i 11.25. 1371b), has eliminated an original Homeric ἐς τόν. I believe this is so (with one correction: Aristotle quotes not the line but just the proverbial phrase ώς αἰεὶ τὸν ὁμοῖον, the first hemistich). That a blatant Atticism has crept into our text is further suggested by Callimachus fr. 178 Pfeiffer, 9-10 (cited by von der Mühll and Stanford as fr. 8): ἀλλ' αἶνος Ὁμηρικός, αἰὲν ὁμοῖον | ὡς θεός, οὐ ψευδής, ἐς τὸν ὁμοῖον ἄγει. This final piece of evidence is sufficient, in my judgement, to warrant the unusual step of restoring ἐς to the text against all the MS testimony.M.L. West in his Teubner edition prints ἐς.