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Archive for January, 2018

The Wow-Wow Tales is a collection of tales, 84 of them, quite a number of them new and never published before makes this very special for me. There are some 41 illustrations also made for this edition. Pages: 228

The paperback version is released through createspace.com.

There are two editions one is in black and white. The Plain Wow-Wow Tales is priced at $16 and the one with color and b&w illustrations at $46.

I shall give an excerpt from the Introduction:

When elephants gather it is news. That was how with Wow-Wow, the elephant.

Wherever he went he was in the news. As a baby he strayed from his herd and it made news. Now he was back some hundred years old if not more, he still wowed them.

Coming home was not so much as telling all the stories he knew.

So when the Mayor Oddlegs, after introduction cleared the field for him he began, ‘I have so much to tell but I shall begin with two friends who are not here.’

While his audience stirred he said, ‘In Bolivia, I think it was, a parrot became my boon companion. Except that he wasn’t there whenever I wanted to make a conversation.’ A hubbub. The elephants did not care much for asides. ‘Come to the point, Wow-Wow’, said they all.

‘The parrot was not seen but he heard just the same. In fact he retold all my stories verbatim. Now memory is not what it was. If it weren’t for his knack I would not have known how to amuse you.’

‘Then there was a mouse, the like of which you shall never see, and he could chew into anything or make holes. Whenever I laid my hand on my cheese I knew my friend was already at it.’ Wow-Wow chuckled at this point. ‘While I was in service of the King of Siam, the royal treasury was soon emptied. The king looked high and he looked low. What did he see? My friend the mouse had made a hole in the royal chest and decamped with the goods. Oh that was nasty! I got the blame. When the charges were read to me I went white. Literally! I lost my position but found direction in life. I am home.’

The elephants at the point trumpeted their satisfaction. The Mayor said in appreciation, ‘You came back anyway, white or not’. The herd would have tittered more but the volcano in the background belched. It didn’t do any damage except in the sound and fury of an eruption. Before the startled elephants a parrot flew in. Wow-Wow was delighted. ‘At last you are seen.’

His former companion equally delighted to add, ‘And I heard you out there.’ A squeak, and there was his other companion! The beasts looked at the sorry looking mouse. His whiskers were gone and his tail still smouldering. Oh he looked terrible! He jumped into the arms of Wow-Wow. He said, ‘Don’t speak! You are looking at a friend who made a hole through a hill with the mightiest bellyache. I walked o’er hot coals for you.’ The scamp squeaked, ‘What are friends for!’

Wow-Wow felt his life was coming to him. He had his friends back. Now he could tell all…”

Benny

 

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“And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard (Ge.9:20).”

While discussing the symbolism in the Book of Genesis we dealt with the butterfly effect in an earlier instance. We shall consider the vine and husbandry associated with it. What does this effect signify? A symbol introduced under the Old Covenant, the import of which becoming far greater in the end explains the butterfly effect. The Spirit’s intent is two fold: It glorifies the Son as the heir of all things (He.1:2) and secondly establishes the Alpha and Omega aspect of Jesus Christ.

In order to illustrate this effect let us consider the symbolism of the olive leaf  introduced in the episode of Noah and the flood. After the ark of Noah came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat, he sent a a dove to investigate. We read that she brought back ‘an olive leaf pluckt off’ Whereas in the Genesis account it is casually presented the symbolism however becomes preeminent in establishing the salvation plan of God. Thus what was a trifle  casts a long shadow to the end times. The idea of the dove not finding ‘no rest for the sole of her foot’ acquires a greater significance when we associate the Holy Spirit is represented by a dove.  At the baptism of Jesus we read in the gospel of St Matthew thus, “…And he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove(Mt.3:16). It points to the outpouring of the Spirit upon all flesh on the day of Pentecost. The church is compared to a wild olive tree(Ro.11:24) “”And (graffed) contrary to nature into a good olive tree..:.The Spirit in reorganizing two narrative bodies one from God the Father and the other from the point of view of God, the Son establishes the branch from the olive tree to the Church. By the same token the vine is another symbol which is what we are considering at present.

“I am the true vine and my Father is the husbandman (Jn.15: 1).”  Considering the number of parables which our Savior Lord said in this context we shall treat  the image of Noah  planting a vineyard as intentionally set down and the Spirit instructs us to remember our place in terms of the Husbandman.”For without me you can do nothing (vs.15:5).”

Noah was drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. What shall man make of jealousy of God? Or the verse “And it repented the Lord that he made man…(Ge.6:6)” In order to understand where Ham failed we may recall the first of Ten Commandments. “Honor Thy Father and Mother…” Carrying tales or judging ‘seemingly different lifestyles of’ brethren’ must be seen as lack of reverence for God.

Benny

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“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (vs.8)”

Noah is a forerunner of Jesus Christ signifying his Messiah aspect. In order to understand his role in the whole narrative we need to look at the ark, which is a testimony of his righteousness ‘which is by faith (He.11:7).’ He prepared it ‘to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world..” Does this not echo our Savior Lord who ‘endured the cross, despising the shame’ so ‘he might present to himself a glorious church …without blemish (He.12.2;Ep.5:27).

Noah stood out in his generation as righteous. Jesus was the light of the world in a crooked and perverse world. We read in the gospel of John thus: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness than light, because their deeds were evil (Jn.3:19).” Noah was a faithful witness as Jesus was (Re.1:5).

Noah was preacher of righteousness as Jesus was. By bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly God condemned the old world. He spared Noah and his family, altogether eight souls from destruction. The Spirit in presenting him draws parallel with the event set down in the Book of Revelation (Re.25.2)

Noah’s Ark (Ge.6:14-22)

The ark was of gopher wood and Noah constructed it to specifications given by God. God gives measurements, which however we may not know precisely. How does one measure anything that a dream presents? A similar difficulty exists when the Spirit set down things of God in a similitude.  Since the Spirit is setting the divine Plan of God, the Father symbolism which he uses must have its own value. We have the emblems of ark, tabernacle in the wilderness and city of Jerusalem coming out of heaven from God,- an assortment of emblems to indicate the consistency of divine Will. In terms of the last we are told the angel ‘talked with me (John) had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof…’. It was ‘according to the measure of man, and that is, of the angel (Re.21:17)’.

The ark had three compartments the number is a dead giveaway to us and what is more fits with the figurative elements of the emblem. Noah’s Ark signifies the church signaling interregnum, between the rapture (Mt.24:30-31) and revelation of the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.

Also significant is a clue thrown in by the Spirit, “And there was no more sea (Re.21:1)” Noah led his family and the creatures placed under his care to a new world purged out of the world of ungodly men.

In the Revelation we are told the saints martyrs and His servants shall descent out of heaven to inherit the earth. It is the new earth as the heaven is new since Jesus Christ has accomplished the Will of his Father. These are the overcomers. In this context we shall recall what Jesus had promised his disciples: “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Lk.12:32)”. This would only happen after the Christ had arisen. As he promised he shall come in God’s Time to gather his elect. After rapture shall the Great Tribulation and collapse of world order which is reminiscent of the flood the “day were all the fountains of the deep broken up.” These events lead to reveal an everlasting kingdom. “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever (Dan.2:44-45-NASB).”

(reprinted from Guide To His Word Dec.12,18)

Benny

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Couple of days ago the news was something shocking as well as tragic: “Thirteen siblings ‘held captive’ by parents in Perris, California: ‘Deeply religious’ couple arrested on torture charges.”

An earlier news reported that all thirteen appeared to be children, so deputies were “shocked” to discover that seven of them are adults. Capt. Fellows of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said “If you can imagine being 17 years old and appearing to be a 10-year-old, being chained to a bed, being malnourished and the injuries associated with that — I would call that torture.” The biological parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, have been arrested on charges of torture and child endangerment, authorities said.

Our conventional concept of family has taken a terrible beating and for any thinking person it must lead to soul searching. As a Christian it made me wonder: Is this what a couple deeply religious as reported in the press would do to their own flesh and blood?Deeply religious do sometimes equally bad as the Turpins did.  They will show by example how to keep a lie in circulation and yet be pillars of their Christian community. It is what their activism and evangelicalism would mean to others. Christ is merely a talking point but not believed or followed. Otherwise what is the point in castigating LGBT or abortion laws? What made you a judge, hypocrite, when God alone is the judge?

A family is a snapshot of the nation where the parents in a Christian home are as vital as the President of the nation. He has to set the highest example for others to note and follow. The case of the Turpins is all the more relevant considering the despicable standard the White House has set. Is this what a lie when conceived should look like? The President is the head of all, races ethnic groups rich or poor across the political spectrum; besides being the steward of the citizenry his ‘stable genius’ would lay in nurturing  the environment, health of the sea, rivers and natural resources.

Think of Noah in the ark, which was built according to the specifications God gave him. He also brought the creatures under his care. Think of nations as the ark and while it is negotiating its way across  every governor is to think of a safe haven and not to give postures of their preeminence over others. Suppose Noah or members of his family had created rift in the harmony enjoined on the whole by God what catastrophe it could have caused? Modern nations are no different. Man cannot quite bring it off by his selfishness or greed and expect peace among nations.

“Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Benny

 

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(In our age  nations are seized upon making hard decisions on their fiscal policy. Such was what US Congress passed recently. Is Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 fiscally responsible or irresponsible cannot be answered readily. A similar choice was before  France in the early 1783. Carlyle writes what they were up against and it no less true for the Americans in 2018.-b)

“And so, towards the end of 1783, matters threaten to come to

still-stand. Vain seems human ingenuity. In vain has our newly-devised
‘Council of Finances’ struggled, our Intendants of Finance, Controller-
General of Finances: there are unhappily no Finances to control. Fatal
paralysis invades the social movement; clouds, of blindness or of
blackness, envelop us: are we breaking down, then, into the black horrors
of NATIONAL BANKRUPTCY?

Great is Bankruptcy: the great bottomless gulf into which all Falsehoods,
public and private, do sink, disappearing; whither, from the first origin
of them, they were all doomed. For Nature is true and not a lie. No lie
you can speak or act but it will come, after longer or shorter circulation,
like a Bill drawn on Nature’s Reality, and be presented there for payment,-
-with the answer, No effects. Pity only that it often had so long a
circulation: that the original forger were so seldom he who bore the final
smart of it! Lies, and the burden of evil they bring, are passed on;
shifted from back to back, and from rank to rank; and so land ultimately on
the dumb lowest rank, who with spade and mattock, with sore heart and empty
wallet, daily come in contact with reality, and can pass the cheat no
further.

Observe nevertheless how, by a just compensating law, if the lie with its
burden (in this confused whirlpool of Society) sinks and is shifted ever
downwards, then in return the distress of it rises ever upwards and
upwards. Whereby, after the long pining and demi-starvation of those
Twenty Millions, a Duke de Coigny and his Majesty come also to have their
‘real quarrel.’ Such is the law of just Nature; bringing, though at long
intervals, and were it only by Bankruptcy, matters round again to the mark.

But with a Fortunatus’ Purse in his pocket, through what length of time
might not almost any Falsehood last! Your Society, your Household,
practical or spiritual Arrangement, is untrue, unjust, offensive to the eye
of God and man. Nevertheless its hearth is warm, its larder well
replenished: the innumerable Swiss of Heaven, with a kind of Natural
loyalty, gather round it; will prove, by pamphleteering, musketeering, that
it is a truth; or if not an unmixed (unearthly, impossible) Truth, then
better, a wholesomely attempered one, (as wind is to the shorn lamb), and
works well. Changed outlook, however, when purse and larder grow empty!
Was your Arrangement so true, so accordant to Nature’s ways, then how, in
the name of wonder, has Nature, with her infinite bounty, come to leave it
famishing there? To all men, to all women and all children, it is now
indutiable that your Arrangement was false. Honour to Bankruptcy; ever
righteous on the great scale, though in detail it is so cruel! Under all
Falsehoods it works, unweariedly mining. No Falsehood, did it rise heaven-
high and cover the world, but Bankruptcy, one day, will sweep it down, and
make us free of it…) Selected from the Chapter Parlement of Paris 1:3.1

Benny

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Pride wherever it may arise has its antecedent. Satan is accused of it. In the book of Isaiah we read thus:

“O Lucifer the son of the morning!…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High…(Is.14:12-20) The fate of Satan is entwined with those fallen angels that left their first estate. In the short epistle of Jude we are forewarned the fate of those who do not earnestly contend for the faith that is delivered to us. What is it?

It is the word in which the glory of God is not expressed in a spirit of pride but in all humility. God the Son in becoming a man chose to minister those whom he would rather save than leave them to their ignorant ways. If his self-effacing life and death created a template it is our blueprint to be molded in selfsame manner. In the things we would not be saddled with we are correspondingly made stronger. A man who has learned to live on little so he might be free to study the word of God (rather than scatter his time in frivolous things) has the best chance to be built up.

Those who set out to build the tower wanted to make a name for themselves. What honor is when a frog in the well call himself a stable genius? The drought and cataclysmic changes in heavens may even make the well he sits on a cesspool? This is what pride of man who desires honor that alone comes from God. God made the name of Jesus above every other name in heaven or the earth. The quintessence of the Son of man is humility and not pride.

Thy  Word forever settled in the heaven (Ps.119:89) is the Constitution of God. It applies to His demesne. The heaven is his throne and the earth is foot stool. Wherever God passed judgment it has been to purge the earth of offense lest it should spread like cancer does. Early prognosis and treatment offers a chance for recovery. Similarly wherever God judges and in this case destruction of the old world it was never the last word. The world Noah inherited shall bring up those who fashioned their pride to defy God.

Before we consider the folly of the Tower of Babel  let us understand the significance of the Word in terms of man. God does not consider man as some unit or number. He is in a context. It was thus Adam and Eve; God let Adam name all the creatures and what is the Spirit telling us? Is it not his authority or responsibility over them? We saw failure of Adam to obey the commandment of God put the childbearing capacity of woman ever since to risk and undue pain and even death from complications at childbirth. Principle of Association exists between God the Father and God the Son. A similar association which has to do with man’s future as far as his creature comforts and physical well-being go depends on his relation ship with God. The Word is the witness over this bond.

“And the whole earth was of one language, and was of one speech.(Ge.11:1).”  Had those who set out to build the Tower known the sovereignty of God their language would not have presented a problem. Their pride came in between.  Folly of the Tower of Babel is of man who relies on his own wisdom. the same we saw with the  Manhattan Project in the 40s. Sovereignty of God determines our course of action and obedience due to Him guarantees victory.

Benny

 

 

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Louis XV is in his deathbed. Much has changed in France since he lay ill some three decades earlier and now he is dying and people go about as though they couldn’t care less. Thomas Carlyle examines the role of history,Belief,Pomp and Circumstance and the symbolic value of Power

“Realised Ideals.

Such a changed France have we; and a changed Louis. Changed, truly; and
further than thou yet seest!–To the eye of History many things, in that
sick-room of Louis, are now visible, which to the Courtiers there present
were invisible. For indeed it is well said, ‘in every object there is
inexhaustible meaning; the eye sees in it what the eye brings means of
seeing.’ To Newton and to Newton’s Dog Diamond, what a different pair of
Universes; while the painting on the optical retina of both was, most
likely, the same! Let the Reader here, in this sick-room of Louis,
endeavour to look with the mind too.

Time was when men could (so to speak) of a given man, by nourishing and
decorating him with fit appliances, to the due pitch, make themselves a
King, almost as the Bees do; and what was still more to the purpose,
loyally obey him when made. The man so nourished and decorated,
thenceforth named royal, does verily bear rule; and is said, and even
thought, to be, for example, ‘prosecuting conquests in Flanders,’ when he
lets himself like luggage be carried thither: and no light luggage;
covering miles of road….

For ours is a most fictile world; and man is the most fingent plastic of
creatures. A world not fixable; not fathomable! An unfathomable Somewhat,
which is Not we; which we can work with, and live amidst,–and model,
miraculously in our miraculous Being, and name World.–But if the very
Rocks and Rivers (as Metaphysic teaches) are, in strict language, made by
those outward Senses of ours, how much more, by the Inward Sense, are all
Phenomena of the spiritual kind: Dignities, Authorities, Holies, Unholies!
Which inward sense, moreover is not permanent like the outward ones, but
forever growing and changing. Does not the Black African take of Sticks
and Old Clothes (say, exported Monmouth-Street cast-clothes) what will
suffice, and of these, cunningly combining them, fabricate for himself an
Eidolon (Idol, or Thing Seen), and name it Mumbo-Jumbo; which he can
thenceforth pray to, with upturned awestruck eye, not without hope? The
white European mocks; but ought rather to consider; and see whether he, at
home, could not do the like a little more wisely.

So it was, we say, in those conquests of Flanders, thirty years ago: but
so it no longer is. Alas, much more lies sick than poor Louis: not the
French King only, but the French Kingship; this too, after long rough tear
and wear, is breaking down. The world is all so changed; so much that
seemed vigorous has sunk decrepit, so much that was not is beginning to
be!–Borne over the Atlantic, to the closing ear of Louis, King by the
Grace of God, what sounds are these; muffled ominous, new in our centuries?
Boston Harbour is black with unexpected Tea: behold a Pennsylvanian
Congress gather; and ere long, on Bunker Hill, DEMOCRACY announcing, in
rifle-volleys death-winged, under her Star Banner, to the tune of Yankee-
doodle-doo, that she is born, and, whirlwind-like, will envelope the whole
world!

Sovereigns die and Sovereignties: how all dies, and is for a Time only; is
a ‘Time-phantasm, yet reckons itself real!’ The Merovingian Kings, slowly
wending on their bullock-carts through the streets of Paris, with their
long hair flowing, have all wended slowly on,–into Eternity. Charlemagne
sleeps at Salzburg, with truncheon grounded; only Fable expecting that he
will awaken. Charles the Hammer, Pepin Bow-legged, where now is their eye
of menace, their voice of command? Rollo and his shaggy Northmen cover not
the Seine with ships; but have sailed off on a longer voyage. The hair of
Towhead (Tete d’etoupes) now needs no combing; Iron-cutter (Taillefer)
cannot cut a cobweb; shrill Fredegonda, shrill Brunhilda have had out their
hot life-scold, and lie silent, their hot life-frenzy cooled….  They are all gone; sunk,–down, down,
with the tumult they made; and the rolling and the trampling of ever new
generations passes over them, and they hear it not any more forever.

And yet withal has there not been realised somewhat? Consider (to go no
further) these strong Stone-edifices, and what they hold! Mud-Town of the
Borderers (Lutetia Parisiorum or Barisiorum) has paved itself, has spread
over all the Seine Islands, and far and wide on each bank, and become City
of Paris, sometimes boasting to be ‘Athens of Europe,’ and even ‘Capital of
the Universe.’ Stone towers frown aloft; long-lasting, grim with a
thousand years. Cathedrals are there, and a Creed (or memory of a Creed)
in them; Palaces, and a State and Law. Thou seest the Smoke-vapour;
unextinguished Breath as of a thing living. Labour’s thousand hammers ring
on her anvils: also a more miraculous Labour works noiselessly, not with
the Hand but with the Thought. How have cunning workmen in all crafts,
with their cunning head and right-hand, tamed the Four Elements to be their
ministers; yoking the winds to their Sea-chariot, making the very Stars
their Nautical Timepiece;–and written and collected a Bibliotheque du Roi;
among whose Books is the Hebrew Book! A wondrous race of creatures: these
have been realised, and what of Skill is in these: call not the Past Time,
with all its confused wretchednesses, a lost one.

Observe, however, that of man’s whole terrestrial possessions and
attainments, unspeakably the noblest are his Symbols, divine or divine-
seeming; under which he marches and fights, with victorious assurance, in
this life-battle: what we can call his Realised Ideals. Of which realised
ideals, omitting the rest, consider only these two: his Church, or
spiritual Guidance; his Kingship, or temporal one. The Church: what a
word was there; richer than Golconda and the treasures of the world! In
the heart of the remotest mountains rises the little Kirk; the Dead all
slumbering round it, under their white memorial-stones, ‘in hope of a happy
resurrection:’–dull wert thou, O Reader, if never in any hour (say of
moaning midnight, when such Kirk hung spectral in the sky, and Being was as
if swallowed up of Darkness) it spoke to thee–things unspeakable, that
went into thy soul’s soul. Strong was he that had a Church, what we can
call a Church: he stood thereby, though ‘in the centre of Immensities, in
the conflux of Eternities,’ yet manlike towards God and man; the vague
shoreless Universe had become for him a firm city, and dwelling which he
knew. Such virtue was in Belief; in these words, well spoken: I believe.
Well might men prize their Credo, and raise stateliest Temples for it, and
reverend Hierarchies, and give it the tithe of their substance; it was
worth living for and dying for.

Neither was that an inconsiderable moment when wild armed men first raised
their Strongest aloft on the buckler-throne, and with clanging armour and
hearts, said solemnly: Be thou our Acknowledged Strongest! In such
Acknowledged Strongest (well named King, Kon-ning, Can-ning, or Man that
was Able) what a Symbol shone now for them,–significant with the destinies
of the world! A Symbol of true Guidance in return for loving Obedience;
properly, if he knew it, the prime want of man. A Symbol which might be
called sacred; for is there not, in reverence for what is better than we,
an indestructible sacredness? On which ground, too, it was well said there
lay in the Acknowledged Strongest a divine right; as surely there might in
the Strongest, whether Acknowledged or not,–considering who made him
strong. And so, in the midst of confusions and unutterable incongruities
(as all growth is confused), did this of Royalty, with Loyalty environing
it, spring up; and grow mysteriously, subduing and assimilating (for a
principle of Life was in it); till it also had grown world-great, and was
among the main Facts of our modern existence. Such a Fact, that Louis
XIV., for example, could answer the expostulatory Magistrate with his
“L’Etat c’est moi (The State? I am the State);” and be replied to by
silence and abashed looks. So far had accident and forethought; had your
Louis Elevenths, with the leaden Virgin in their hatband, and torture-
wheels and conical oubliettes (man-eating!) under their feet; your Henri
Fourths, with their prophesied social millennium, ‘when every peasant
should have his fowl in the pot;’ and on the whole, the fertility of this
most fertile Existence (named of Good and Evil),–brought it, in the matter
of the Kingship. Wondrous! Concerning which may we not again say, that in
the huge mass of Evil, as it rolls and swells, there is ever some Good
working imprisoned; working towards deliverance and triumph?

How such Ideals do realise themselves; and grow, wondrously, from amid the
incongruous ever-fluctuating chaos of the Actual: this is what World-
History, if it teach any thing, has to teach us, How they grow; and, after
long stormy growth, bloom out mature, supreme; then quickly (for the
blossom is brief) fall into decay; sorrowfully dwindle; and crumble down,
or rush down, noisily or noiselessly disappearing. The blossom is so
brief; as of some centennial Cactus-flower, which after a century of
waiting shines out for hours! Thus from the day when rough Clovis, in the
Champ de Mars, in sight of his whole army, had to cleave retributively the
head of that rough Frank, with sudden battleaxe, and the fierce words, “It
was thus thou clavest the vase” (St. Remi’s and mine) “at Soissons,”
forward to Louis the Grand and his L’Etat c’est moi, we count some twelve
hundred years: and now this the very next Louis is dying, and so much
dying with him!–

But of those decadent ages in which no Ideal either grows or blossoms?
When Belief and Loyalty have passed away, and only the cant and false echo
of them remains; and all Solemnity has become Pageantry; and the Creed of
persons in authority has become one of two things: an Imbecility or a
Macchiavelism? Alas, of these ages World-History can take no notice; they
have to become compressed more and more, and finally suppressed in the
Annals of Mankind; blotted out as spurious,–which indeed they are.
Hapless ages: wherein, if ever in any, it is an unhappiness to be born.
To be born, and to learn only, by every tradition and example, that God’s
Universe is Belial’s and a Lie; and ‘the Supreme Quack’ the hierarch of
men! In which mournfulest faith, nevertheless, do we not see whole
generations (two, and sometimes even three successively) live, what they
call living; and vanish,–without chance of reappearance?

In such a decadent age, or one fast verging that way, had our poor Louis
been born. Grant also that if the French Kingship had not, by course of
Nature, long to live, he of all men was the man to accelerate Nature. The
Blossom of French Royalty, cactus-like, has accordingly made an astonishing
progress. In those Metz days, it was still standing with all its petals,
though bedimmed by Orleans Regents and Roue Ministers and Cardinals; but
now, in 1774, we behold it bald, and the virtue nigh gone out of it…

Who is it that the King (Able-man, named also Roi, Rex, or Director) now guides? His own
huntsmen and prickers: when there is to be no hunt, it is well said, ‘Le
Roi ne fera rien (To-day his Majesty will do nothing). (Memoires sur la
Vie privee de Marie Antoinette, par Madame Campan (Paris, 1826), i. 12).
He lives and lingers there, because he is living there, and none has yet
laid hands on him.

The nobles, in like manner, have nearly ceased either to guide or misguide;
and are now, as their master is, little more than ornamental figures. It
is long since they have done with butchering one another or their king:
the Workers, protected, encouraged by Majesty, have ages ago built walled
towns, and there ply their crafts; will permit no Robber Baron to ‘live by
the saddle,’ but maintain a gallows to prevent it. Ever since that period
of the Fronde, the Noble has changed his fighting sword into a court
rapier, and now loyally attends his king as ministering satellite; divides
the spoil, not now by violence and murder, but by soliciting and finesse.
These men call themselves supports of the throne, singular gilt-pasteboard
caryatides in that singular edifice! For the rest, their privileges every
way are now much curtailed. That law authorizing a Seigneur, as he
returned from hunting, to kill not more than two Serfs, and refresh his
feet in their warm blood and bowels, has fallen into perfect desuetude,–
and even into incredibility; for if Deputy Lapoule can believe in it, and
call for the abrogation of it, so cannot we. (Histoire de la Revolution
Francaise, par Deux Amis de la Liberte (Paris, 1793), ii. 212.) No
Charolois, for these last fifty years, though never so fond of shooting,
has been in use to bring down slaters and plumbers, and see them roll from
their roofs; (Lacretelle, Histoire de France pendant le 18me Siecle (Paris,
1819) i. 271.) but contents himself with partridges and grouse. Close-
viewed, their industry and function is that of dressing gracefully and
eating sumptuously. As for their debauchery and depravity, it is perhaps
unexampled since the era of Tiberius and Commodus. Nevertheless, one has
still partly a feeling with the lady Marechale: “Depend upon it, Sir, God
thinks twice before damning a man of that quality.” (Dulaure, vii. 261.)
These people, of old, surely had virtues, uses; or they could not have been
there. Nay, one virtue they are still required to have (for mortal man
cannot live without a conscience): the virtue of perfect readiness to
fight duels.

Such are the shepherds of the people: and now how fares it with the flock?
With the flock, as is inevitable, it fares ill, and ever worse. They are
not tended, they are only regularly shorn. They are sent for, to do
statute-labour, to pay statute-taxes; to fatten battle-fields (named ‘Bed
of honour’) with their bodies, in quarrels which are not theirs; their hand
and toil is in every possession of man; but for themselves they have little
or no possession. Untaught, uncomforted, unfed; to pine dully in thick
obscuration, in squalid destitution and obstruction: this is the lot of
the millions; peuple taillable et corveable a merci et misericorde. In
Brittany they once rose in revolt at the first introduction of Pendulum
Clocks; thinking it had something to do with the Gabelle. Paris requires
to be cleared out periodically by the Police; and the horde of hunger-
stricken vagabonds to be sent wandering again over space–for a time.
‘During one such periodical clearance,’ says Lacretelle, ‘in May, 1750, the
Police had presumed withal to carry off some reputable people’s children,
in the hope of extorting ransoms for them. The mothers fill the public
places with cries of despair; crowds gather, get excited: so many women in
destraction run about exaggerating the alarm: an absurd and horrid fable
arises among the people; it is said that the doctors have ordered a Great
Person to take baths of young human blood for the restoration of his own,
all spoiled by debaucheries. Some of the rioters,’ adds Lacretelle, quite
coolly, ‘were hanged on the following days:’ the Police went on.
(Lacretelle, iii. 175.) O ye poor naked wretches! and this, then, is your
inarticulate cry to Heaven, as of a dumb tortured animal, crying from
uttermost depths of pain and debasement? Do these azure skies, like a dead
crystalline vault, only reverberate the echo of it on you? Respond to it
only by ‘hanging on the following days?’–Not so: not forever! Ye are
heard in Heaven. And the answer too will come,–in a horror of great
darkness, and shakings of the world, and a cup of trembling which all the
nations shall drink.

Remark, meanwhile, how from amid the wrecks and dust of this universal
Decay new Powers are fashioning themselves, adapted to the new time and its
destinies. Besides the old Noblesse, originally of Fighters, there is a
new recognised Noblesse of Lawyers; whose gala-day and proud battle-day
even now is. An unrecognised Noblesse of Commerce; powerful enough, with
money in its pocket. Lastly, powerfulest of all, least recognised of all,
a Noblesse of Literature; without steel on their thigh, without gold in
their purse, but with the ‘grand thaumaturgic faculty of Thought’ in their
head. French Philosophism has arisen; in which little word how much do we
include! Here, indeed, lies properly the cardinal symptom of the whole
wide-spread malady. Faith is gone out; Scepticism is come in. Evil
abounds and accumulates: no man has Faith to withstand it, to amend it, to
begin by amending himself; it must even go on accumulating. While hollow
langour and vacuity is the lot of the Upper, and want and stagnation of the
Lower, and universal misery is very certain, what other thing is certain?
That a Lie cannot be believed! Philosophism knows only this: her other
belief is mainly that, in spiritual supersensual matters no Belief is
possible. Unhappy! Nay, as yet the Contradiction of a Lie is some kind of
Belief; but the Lie with its Contradiction once swept away, what will
remain? The five unsatiated Senses will remain, the sixth insatiable Sense
(of vanity); the whole daemonic nature of man will remain,–hurled forth to
rage blindly without rule or rein; savage itself, yet with all the tools
and weapons of civilisation; a spectacle new in History.

In such a France, as in a Powder-tower, where fire unquenched and now
unquenchable is smoking and smouldering all round, has Louis XV. lain down
to die. With Pompadourism and Dubarryism, his Fleur-de-lis has been
shamefully struck down in all lands and on all seas; Poverty invades even
the Royal Exchequer, and Tax-farming can squeeze out no more; there is a
quarrel of twenty-five years’ standing with the Parlement; everywhere Want,
Dishonesty, Unbelief, and hotbrained Sciolists for state-physicians: it is
a portentous hour.

Such things can the eye of History see in this sick-room of King Louis,
which were invisible to the Courtiers there. It is twenty years, gone
Christmas-day, since Lord Chesterfield, summing up what he had noted of
this same France, wrote, and sent off by post, the following words, that
have become memorable: ‘In short, all the symptoms which I have ever met
with in History, previous to great Changes and Revolutions in government,
now exist and daily increase in France.’ (Chesterfield’s Letters:
December 25th, 1753.)

End of the selection.

“History repeats itself, not exactly from a script man may draw up from the past but what moral laws Justice and Equity demand. It is God-ordained. Heaven and Earth belong to God so for those in positions of trust, who carelessly mete out injustice because the color of man is wrong and he cannot defend himself if he is defrauded by some unjust laws or by brute force he is a disgrace. Deny Justice and make the nation bleed itself to insignificance is what History teaches-benny”

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