May 23rd, 2010

blue legacy

don't mistake coincidence for coincidence

and when the day of pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

when arthur held his round table most plenour, it fortuned that he commanded that the high feast of pentecost should be holden at a city and a castle, the which in those days was called kynke kenadonne, upon the sands that marched nigh wales. so ever the king had a custom that at the feast of pentecost in especial, afore other feasts in the year, he would not go that day to meat until he had heard or seen of a great marvel. and for that custom all manner of strange adventures came before arthur as at that feast before all other feasts.

and so sir gawaine, a little tofore noon of the day of pentecost, espied at a window three men upon horseback, and a dwarf on foot, and so the three men alighted, and the dwarf kept their horses, and one of the three men was higher than the other twain by a foot and an half. then sir gawaine went unto the king and said, sir, go to your meat, for here at the hand come strange adventures. so arthur went unto his meat with many other kings. and there were all the knights of the round table, [save] only those that were prisoners or slain at a recounter. then at the high feast evermore they should be fulfilled the whole number of an hundred and fifty, for then was the round table fully complished.

right so came into the hall two men well beseen and richly, and upon their shoulders there leaned the goodliest young man and the fairest that ever they all saw, and he was large and long, and broad in the shoulders, and well visaged, and the fairest and the largest handed that ever man saw, but he fared as though he might not go nor bear himself but if he leaned upon their shoulders. anon as arthur saw him there was made peace and room, and right so they yede with him unto the high dais, without saying of any words. then this much young man pulled him aback, and easily stretched up straight, saying, king arthur, god you bless and all your fair fellowship, and in especial the fellowship of the table round. and for this cause i am come hither, to pray you and require you to give me three gifts, and they shall not be unreasonably asked, but that ye may worshipfully and honourably grant them me, and to you no great hurt nor loss. and the first don and gift i will ask now, and the other two gifts i will ask this day twelvemonth, wheresomever ye hold your high feast. now ask, said arthur, and ye shall have your asking.

now, sir, this is my petition for this feast, that ye will give me meat and drink sufficiently for this twelvemonth, and at that day i will ask mine other two gifts.

my fair son, said arthur, ask better, i counsel thee, for this is but a simple asking; for my heart giveth me to thee greatly, that thou art come of men of worship, and greatly my conceit faileth me but thou shalt prove a man of right great worship. sir, he said, thereof be as it be may, i have asked that i will ask. well, said the king, ye shall have meat and drink enough; i never defended that none, neither my friend nor my foe. but what is thy name i would wit? i cannot tell you, said he. that is marvel, said the king, that thou knowest not thy name, and thou art the goodliest young man that ever i saw. then the king betook him to sir kay the steward, and charged him that he should give him of all manner of meats and drinks of the best, and also that he had all manner of finding as though he were a lord’s son. that shall little need, said sir kay, to do such cost upon him; for i dare undertake he is a villain born, and never will make man, for an he had come of gentlemen he would have asked of you horse and armour, but such as he is, so he asketh. and sithen he hath no name, i shall give him a name that shall be beaumains, that is fair-hands, and into the kitchen i shall bring him, and there he shall have fat brose every day, that he shall be as fat by the twelvemonths’ end as a pork hog. right so the two men departed and beleft him to sir kay, that scorned him and mocked him.

lastday cxlviii

pfingsten, das liebliche fest, war gekommen; es
grünten und blühten
feld und wald; auf hügeln und höhn, in büschen
und hecken
Übten ein fröhliches lied die neuermunterten vögel;
jede wiese sprosste von blumen in duftenden
festlich heiter glänzte der himmel und farbig die
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blue legacy

"why you gotta act like you know when you don't know?"

"but, then, a voice within me averred that i could do it and foretold that i should do it. i wrestled with my own resolution: i wanted to be weak that i might avoid the awful passage of further suffering i saw laid out for me; and conscience, turned tyrant, held passion by the throat, told her tauntingly, she had yet but dipped her dainty foot in the slough, and swore that with that arm of iron he would thrust her down to unsounded depths of agony.

"let me be torn away," then i cried. "let another help me!"

"no; you shall tear yourself away, none shall help you: you shall yourself pluck out your right eye; yourself cut off your right hand: your heart shall be the victim, and you the priest to transfix it."

"i kin remember when her two feet was no bigger dan yer t'umb, and she weared worsted boots," moaned she.

"well, whata dat?" said the man.

"i kin remember when she weared worsted boots," she cried.

the neighbors began to gather in the hall, staring in at the weeping woman as if watching the contortions of a dying dog. a dozen women entered and lamented with her. under their busy hands the rooms took on that appalling appearance of neatness and order with which death is greeted.

she had kept still so long that all her round little fingers and her round little legs felt so stiff. then one, great grown person said: ``she seems a very quiet child.'' and the other said: ``she is a very quiet child--sometimes.''

but just then bessie bell turned her head, and though her round little neck felt stiff it did not pop!--and she saw--something in a corner that was blue, green, and brown, and soft, and she forgot how afraid to move she was, and she forgot how stiff she thought she was, and she forgot how still she was told to be, and she jumped up and ran to the corner and cried out: ``pretty! pretty! pretty!''


david livingstone was born in scotland, received his medical degree from the university of glasgow, and was sent to south africa by the london missionary society. circumstances led him to try to meet the material needs as well as the spiritual needs of the people he went to, and while promoting trade and trying to end slavery, he became the first european to cross the continent of africa, which story is related in this book.

"at burlington i made an acquaintance with many principal people of the province. several of them had been appointed by the assembly a committee to attend the press, and take care that no more bills were printed than the law directed. they were therefore, by turns, constantly with us, and generally he who attended, brought with him a friend or two for company. my mind having been much more improv'd by reading than keimer's, i suppose it was for that reason my conversation seem'd to he more valu'd. they had me to their houses, introduced me to their friends, and show'd me much civility; while he, tho' the master, was a little neglected. in truth, he was an odd fish; ignorant of common life, fond of rudely opposing receiv'd opinions, slovenly to extream dirtiness, enthusiastic in some points of religion, and a little knavish withal.

"we continu'd there near three months; and by that time i could reckon among my acquired friends, judge allen, samuel bustill, the secretary of the province, isaac pearson, joseph cooper, and several of the smiths, members of assembly, and isaac decow, the surveyor-general. the latter was a shrewd, sagacious old man, who told me that he began for himself, when young, by wheeling clay for the brick-makers, learned to write after be was of age, carri'd the chain for surveyors, who taught him surveying, and he had now by his industry, acquir'd a good estate; and says he, "i foresee that you will soon work this man out of business, and make a fortune in it at philadelphia." he had not then the least intimation of my intention to set up there or anywhere. these friends were afterwards of great use to me, as i occasionally was to some of them. they all continued their regard for me as long as they lived."

he looked dead enough, my friend,' the guardsman interposed. he had not yet left us.

'bah!' i answered scornfully. 'have you ever known me make a mistake when i kill a man i kill him. i put myself to pains, i tell you, not to kill this englishman. therefore he will live.'

'i hope so,' the lieutenant said, with a dry smile. 'and you had better hope so, too, m. de berault, for if not--'

'well?' i said, somewhat troubled. 'if not, what, my friend?'

'i fear he will be the last man you will fight,' he answered. 'and even if he lives, i would not be too sure, my friend. this time the cardinal is determined to put it down.'

when night slips down and day departs
and rest returns to weary hearts,
how fine it is to close the book
of records for the day, and look
once more along the traveled mile
and find that all has been worth while;
to say: "in honor i have toiled;
my plume is spotless and unsoiled."

lastday cxlviii bis
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