Kiss me, I'm Catholic.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I haue hadde it wyth thes cursed by Seynt George snakes on this cursed by Seynt George shippe!

What is it with all these dead people reviewing movies? Now we have Chaucer reviewing... well... you know. Not only does he review it, he turns it into a Romaunce. And he draws a touching moral from Samuel Jackson's notorious line:

‘What haue ye seyde?’ askede the PRIORESSE then. ‘I did curse the snakes,’ seyde Sir Neville, ‘and therwith the shippe, in the name of Seynt George who ys a patron of valour and chivalrie.’ ‘Ywis,’ seyde the PRIORESSE, ‘yower cursinge hath borne good fruyt, for methinkede whan I herde ye speke thus that the arme of man, eek even of a mighti man swich as yowerself, is but a litel thinge compared to the grete power of God the which is dispensed thorow the mediacioun of the seyntez. And thes serpentes the which do make werre ayeinst us aren figuraciouns of the sinne of ower firste parentes who weren by a serpent deceyved, and thus thei signifien that we sholde seke nat strengthe in knighthede but in prayere and devocioun. For syn we face thes foule serpentes, mesemeth we must seeke succour and aide from the gret seynt who is the enemy ysworn of al maner of serpentes.’

‘Dang, babye,’ seyde Sir Neville, ‘ye speke gret wisdam.’

And alle the crewe prayed to Seynt Patrick and thorow hys mercy the serpentes were slayne every oon of hem and the shippe came safelye to shore.

Good Lord saue us alle yn swich a maner as thou hast saved Danyhel in the liones den and Jonah in the wales bellye and saue us especiallye from Snakes on the See, in the name of Jesu ower Lord and Seynte Patrick


(My thanks to Patrick.)

"Chaucer" has also produced a work titled The Cipher of Leonardo, in which Dan Brown's idiotic prose becomes rather more agreeable verse.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Multi-storey car park versus Roman wall - who wins?"

I noted the title of this article with interest. The blogger who relayed the story from a newspaper in Bingen answers the question thus: "As it's Germany, the Roman wall wins."

Important Boppard finds from Roman times feature in a new archaeological park in the town. Dominating the site and the top of Kirchgasse is a massive fortress curtain wall, some 60 metres long and eight metres high. The wall linked two towers of a huge Roman fort that once stood at the side of the Rhine.

Astonishing experts by its excellent preservation, the wall came to light when workmen began digging for a multi-storey car park - a project soon abandoned. Apart from similar remains in the UK, the finds were judged to include the best section of a Roman wall of this period uncovered anywhere north of the Alps.

Other items found included 12 graves made from stone tiles. Cloth fragments indicated that the graves were of Christians buried in the 7th or 8th centuries. Also uncovered was the cellar of a fortress-house, with wall apertures for archers, from the 12th and 13th centuries, and the remains of a horse-mill.

The wall was used at least through the 13th century. I wonder when it got covered up?

That casual opening remark about Germany, though; that suprised me--and then it made me think of something that Belloc said in The Path to Rome:

The German spirit is a marvel. There lay Porrentruy. An odd door with Gothic turrets marked the entry to the town. To the right of this gateway a tower, more enormous than anything I remembered to have seen, even in dreams, flanked the approach to the city. How vast it was, how protected, how high, how eaved, how enduring! I was told later that some part of that great bastion was Roman, and I can believe it. The Germans hate to destroy. It overwhelmed me as visions overwhelm, and I felt in its presence as boys feel when they first see the mountains. Had I not been a Christian, I would have worshipped and propitiated this obsession, this everlasting thing.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Altae Moenia Romae

Outside, the rain falls. I sit here alone in the library. What should I do? For Sheila and Stephanie and lostnoldo are all in Rome, along with John and Charlemagne and half the junior class. The lucky ducks! I wonder where they must be right now. I know that lostnoldo is probably singing "The Rising of the Moon" on the Ponte Sant' Angelo right now, participating in the expat version of Christendom's infamous Friday-night riverside symposium, but the others? I most likely won't hear from them for days, or weeks. When you're in Rome, you have better things to do than sitting in an overpriced internet cafe.

Sarah and I will be going to Rome ourselves in a few months, but I can't help wishing that I were there right now. Instead, I sit in my room translating Virgil and Homer... studying the history of Byzantium... thinking about doing the reading for Moral Theology and Medieval Philosophy...

And really that's exciting enough for the present.

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

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by