The Inn at the End of the World
"[A] man . . .the other day pointed out that I was never bored. I hadn’t thought of that before, but it’s true: I’m never bored. I’m appalled, horrified, angered, but never bored. The world appears to me so infinite in its variety that many lifetimes could not exhaust its interest. So long as you can still be surprised, you have something to be thankful for." -Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
I have been called to account for failing in The Inn's self-appointed task of alerting all and sundry to the approach of Friday the 13th. (Well, with the demise of Pogo someone had to.) And this month Friday the 13th fell particularly inauspiciously on a Friday. That was 4 days ago and your servant failed in his mission. No mention in The Inn. Even Homer nods and your servant isn't even Helen Steiner Rice.
So apparently if you inadvertently walked under a black cat or broke a ladder or something and are now experiencing the requisite 7 years of bad luck, it's my fault. I do apologize.
Looking on the bright side, though, you've only got 6 years, 11 months, and 13(!) days of bad luck left.
(I shall try to more vigilant in the future, Richard.)
Monday, June 09, 2014
A "less than ringing endorsement"
Humility is the first of the virtues, so say the spiritual writers. Pipers, I'm told, are also occasionally in need of lessons in humility. One James Ritchie received such on 6 April 1739 in a petition from his father to the Town Councillors who employed James Smith as their town piper:
Unto the Council of Peebles shews your ser[vant] John Ritchie That whereas I have put my son to learn to play on the pipes to your piper he not being fit for other work, and I not being able to buy him a pair of pipes Beseeches your Honours to give me some small thing to the end fore[said].
That "he not being fit for other work" must have done the trick for the Council record is endorsed:
The Council grants Warrant to their treasurer to give the petitioner John Ritchie five Shillings Ster for the use mentioned in the petition.
(from Keith Sanger's article on the history of Peebles Burgh pipers in the June 2014 number of Common Stock, the journal of the Lowland and Border Pipers Society.)
St Columba of Iona, the Apostle of Scotland
Today is the feast of St Columba or Colum Cille, if you prefer. He is on the liturgical calendars of Scotland and Ireland but he didn't quite make the cut in the United States.
The Inn had this to say about St Columba a few years ago. The Catholic Encyclopædia has a detailed life here. Perhaps the best things on the web on St Columba can be found at the Trias Thaumaturga blog. You could start here but you don't have to stop there. A little searching reveals a lot more.
Labels: Ecclesia Hiberniæ
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
From this morning's reading
The LORD is King, be the people never so impatient; * he sitteth between the Cherubim, be the earth never so unquiet.
-- Ps 99
From Romano Guardini's "The Rosary of Our Lady":
Let us stress the words "He began to feel dread and to be exceedingly troubled," and "His sweat became as drops of blood running down upon the ground." It is the horror of the Redeemer before sin, not only before the Passion and death as such, but before the fact that all this must be endured in expiation for our sins, and that He was meant to take them upon Himself and be responsible for them. How terrible it must have been is shown by the other words He speaks in prayer: "Father, all things are possible to Thee. Remove this cup from me." What was to come went against the Redeemer's whole being; not only because death is a revolt against the will to live, but because sin is a revolt against God. His third exclamation is "Yet not what I will but what Thou willest."
The Worst part of sin is its hiddenness. It hides everywhere: under the pretense that it is something natural, that it is something unavoidable, and that the power, gravity, or tragedy of life is expressed by it. If we are witnesses here of Christ's fate, our eyes are opened wide to this pretense.
Sunday, June 01, 2014
The Tavern at the End of the World
The hour of absinthe is over. We shall not be much further troubled with the little artists who found Dickens too sane for their sorrows and too clean for their delights. But we have a long way to travel before we get back to what Dickens meant; and the passage is along an English rambling road — a twisting road such as Mr. Pickwick travelled. But this at least is part of what he meant: that comradeship and serious joy are not interludes in our travel, but that rather our travels are interludes in comradeship and joy, which, through God, shall endure for ever. The inn does not point to the road: the road points to the inn. And all roads point at last to an ultimate inn, where we shall meet Dickens and all his characters. And when we drink again it shall be from the great flagons in the tavern at the end of the world.
From GK Chesterton's Charles Dickens. At least, originally. I, however, have pilfered it shamelessly from the "Wit and Wisdom of G.K. Chesterton" site, which you can find here. You can follow that site on Twitter and never miss a bon mot from GKC.
Labels: Comradeship and serious joy
Another Case of Chateau Plonque, Please
Red wine is the best thing for you since penicillin. Mrs Vidal cites the relevant Telegraph article here in the always interesting Tea at Trianon. There we find that the fruit of the vine improves your balance, sharpens up the brain, keeps the weight off, and even chases away the bed bugs. And Hilaire Belloc knew that
Catholic men who live upon wine
Are deep in the water, and frank, and fine.
Wherever I travel I find it so,
Not to excess, of course, but otherwise pretty much of a good thing all 'round.
And if the Telegraph isn't good enough for you, how about the Minneapolis Star-Tribune? Yet another gold star for red wine but this time not focusing so much on resveratrol. These folks think the good stuff is, well, alcohol itself.
I await anxiously the study on beer.
Labels: 1 Timothy 5:23
Hiding for Three Years After Culloden
Work to restore the medieval tower at Drum Castle, 12 miles west of Aberdeen on Royal Deeside, has revealed a secret chamber where a Jacobite hero of the Battle of Culloden hid out for three years . . . .
You can read the rest of the article here. Unfortunately, that's pretty much the most interesting part.
A bit more about the Laird of Drum and his doings wouldn't have gone amiss.
Labels: Of Jacobite Interest