Happy feast of St. George to all my dear readers, especially to those of you who are English! Below, I have included G. K. Chesterton’s poem “The Englishman,” which happens to be my favorite poem on St. George and one of my favorites to derive from Chesterton’s pen. St. George, pray for us!
ST George he was for England.
And before he killed the dragon
He drank a pint of English ale
Out of an English flagon.
For though he fast right readily
In hair-shirt or in mail.
It isn’t safe to give him cakes
Unless you give him ale.
St George he was for England,
And right gallantly set free
The lady left for dragon’s meat
And tied up to a tree;
But since he stood for England
And knew what England means,
Unless you give him bacon
You mustn’t give him beans.
St George he is for England,
And shall wear the shield he wore
When we go out in armour
With the battle-cross before.
But though he is jolly company
And very pleased to dine,
It isn’t safe to give him nuts
Unless you give him wine.
Merry Christmas, my dear readers! (And no, it’s not belated: Christmas is an octave lasting until the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on January 1st–also a holy day of obligation.) I’m on hiatus for a little longer, but I wrote the post linked to below for Beneath the Tangles’ Twelve Days of Christmas Anime series. The post is essentially a meditation on how episode six of Re-Kan! reminds me of what God wished to accomplish in sending Christ to Earth. I manage to quote G. K. Chesterton and my patron saint, St. Leo the Great, in this post–both of whom have written very eloquently on Christmas.
Lazarinth of the blog Fantasy and Anime has honored me with a nomination for the Creative Blogger Award. I truly appreciate the award, and I would encourage all of my dear readers to take a look at this aspiring fantasy author’s blog, which boasts a fun blend of articles on fantasy books and anime. The rules for accepting the award are as follows:
Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
Share 5 facts about yourself.
Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers and add their links.
Notify the bloggers you included.
Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do!
I’ve shared so many facts about myself through awards like this that it is difficult for me to come up with new ones. However, I’ll follow Lazarinth’s lead and group these facts around a specific subject. In the early days of this blog, many posts of mine were dedicated to trying new alcoholic beverages, which you’ll find under the subject “fine drinks“; so, why not five facts about my enjoyment of alcohol?
1. My all time favorite wine and food pairing is port and pumpkin pie.
My dear readers, unfortunate gravity and perfectionism have seized and bound my pen of late. The desire to write well has stymied me from writing at all. As the Italian proverb has it, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” The only solution, since I cannot convince myself that I write well, lies in writing badly. After all, Theodore Roosevelt advises that the best thing to do in any situation is the right thing, the next best is the wrong thing, and the worst is to do nothing at all. This advice may actually be false in regard to politics, but in the realm of writing it bears certain truth. And so, I have proposed to myself to write one post per diem–not necessarily on this blog–for a fortnight.
The title of this post, “De Hilaritate,” is the closest I could translate “On Levity” into Latin. If I had written “De Levitate” instead, the present article would be praising fickleness or changeableness, which deserve no praise at all. When I speak of levity, I speak of that virtue related to cheerfulness and humility, which all the saints have and often reveal in the most dour of times–as when the martyr St. Lawrence, as he roasted alive over a grill, said: “I’m well done on this side. Turn me over and eat!” At the same time, the excess of gravity, rooted in pride and despair, is shared by all the citizens of hell. This might strike many of you with surprise as many religious types, myself included, have a tendency to face life with a serious countenance, as seems reasonable considering an eternity of heaven or hell awaits us depending on how we have lived. However, the devout always carry joy in them–the joy of being united to Christ, and extra seriousness at the beginning of conversion must give way to levity as our faith in God’s goodness and salvific will increase.
For this post, my dear readers, I’ll let you into the workings of my scrupulous mind. You see, for a long time now, I worried whether manga like Akame ga Kiru and Silencer actually carry a benefit to the reader. In general, a fascination with blood and violence for their own sakes obviously manifests a disorder of the soul. At the opposite extreme, squeamishness at the sight of blood and the refusal to countenance the existence of violence must also count as defects. So, do Akame ga Kiru and Silencer fall in the mean between these two extremes? And if they are in the mean, what is their particular virtue?
A couple of quotes I found recently appear to show the value of such works. One derives from Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s Leftism: from de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse and the second from one of Chesterton’s Father Brown mysteries. After describing a horrific and monstrous scene from the French Revolution. Kuehnelt-Leddhin writes the following: