Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Last Puritan

Finished reading George Santayana's 'The Last Puritan' today, reckoning it the finest and most philosophical I've ever read.

He didn't find any reason to write another novel, although leaving us many other writings.


Sister Evening --- 'Humeur Nocturne' by Bouguereau, 1882

Aurora --- Lady Dawn by Adolphe Bouguereau, 1881


Monday, January 19, 2009

Fr. Reginald Foster

Prayer request for our brother, 'the Pope's Latinist', Fr. Reginald Foster:

Oremus ut Reginald Foster, frater noster, valeat.



Saturday, January 17, 2009

President George W. Bush - Crowd Control & Human Relations, Part Two

While the 'Hate Bush' conditioned responses remain largely unextinguished among many in the U.S.A., one may find a very different view in some other lands.



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gilgamesh, Enkidu and the Dangerous Gods

"O Enkidu, my brother,
You were the axe at my side,
My hand's strength,
The sword in my belt,
The shield before me,
A glorious robe,
My fairest ornament."

"He touched his heart but it did not beat,
nor did he lift his eyes again.
When Gilgamesh touched his heart it did not beat.
So Gilgamesh laid a veil, as one veils a bride, over his friend."


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

'Samuel Johnson, LL.D. by Boswell'

"`Sir,' said he, `I love the acquaintance of young people, . . . young men have more virtue than old men; they have more generous sentiments in every respect.' At sixty-eight he said: `I value myself upon this, that there is nothing of the old man in my conversation.' Upon women of all classes and ages he exerts without trying a charm the consciousness of which would have turned any head less constant than his own, and with their fulsome adoration he was pleased none the less for perceiving its real value."


"The Life of Johnson is not a book on first acquaintance to be read through from the first page to the end. `No, Sir, do YOU read books through?' asked Johnson. His way is probably the best one of undertaking this book. Open at random, read here and there, forward and back, wholly according to inclination; follow the practice of Johnson and all good readers, of `tearing the heart' out of it. In this way you most readily come within the reach of its charm and power. Then, not content with a part, seek the unabridged whole, and grow into the infinite possibilities of it.

"But the supreme end of education, we are told, is expert discernment in all things—the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit. This is the supreme end of the talk of Socrates, and it is the supreme end of the talk of Johnson. `My dear friend,' said he, `clear your mind of cant; . . . don't THINK foolishly.' The effect of long companionship with Boswell's Johnson is just this. As Sir Joshua said, `it brushes away the rubbish'; it clears the mind of cant; it instills the habit of singling out the essential thing; it imparts discernment."