Twelfth Night

We watched Kenneth Brannagh’s Twelfth Night Saturday night (thanks to Mama Squirrel at for recommending it).

It was a slower in pace than the Trevor Nunn adaptation, and all the action takes place outside, which was odd. But there were some things we liked better. The slower pace made it easier for our young people to follow.

Here’s a line that is funnier when you know what it means:

Sir Toby asks Andrew Aguecheek:
“…why dost thou not go to church in a galliard, and come home in a coranto? My very walk should be a jig. What dost thou mean? is it a world to hide virtues in? I did think, by the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was form’d under the star of a galliard…”

Galliard and Coranto are both dances. Here’s a link for the galliard:

AFter you’re done thinking about walking to church doing the Charleston or some such thing, here’s a line that’s funnier because we don’t really know what it means:

Feste: I did impeticos thy gratillity; for Malvolio’s nose is no whipstock…

One of the funniest lines:
Fabian: If this were played upon a stage now, I could
condemn it as an improbable fiction.

Phrases I shall encourage the offspring to use in replace of some current popular terms:

Beshrew me! for ‘We’re rocking’

Misprision in the highest degree! for ‘I didn’t do it!’

Good swabber for ‘dude’

Most radiant, exquisite and unmatchable beauty- for ‘Muvver’ a title young Whats-it uses when he’s trying to wheedle

But that’s all one, our play is done,
And we’ll strive to please you every day.

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When Whose-its was, oh, about 19 months old, I heard her call out “Mother,” so I, oddly enough, said, “What?”

She said she wasn’t talking to me, she was talking to her sister Jennyanydots, who was being the mother.

Then she came over, patted my arm reassuringly, and said gently, “That’s just
‘tending. JennyAnyDots just my mother for ‘tend. I still gonna let you be the real
mother, okay?”

So now when she is objecting to some parental edict I have made and chafing against the fact that I _am_ the mother, I can always remind her that made the decision to ‘let’ me be the mother before she was two.

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Securing the blessings of liberty to Posterity

That’s in the Constitution. Apparently some Representatives need to be reminded of this function, however, judging by a quote I found in World magazine’s February 19th issue. Here, for your amusement/frustration/grief, is the opinion of Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn) on the issue of Social Security:
“When does the program go belly up? 2042. I will be dead by then.”

Is it is only his experiences in his life time that matter?

I doubt it. If some large manufacturer were going to emit chemicals into the environment, chemicals that weren’t going to be harmful until 2042, would Mr. Simmons be as apathetic about it? Would he say, “When do these start to harm the environment? 2042. I will be dead by then.”

He would not. He would lose all political clout, and be abused by the Press for being so callous about the future. Political cartoons would be drawn, showing sick children and dying plants over Simmons’ grave in the year 2042.

Because he did not do this, however, nothing will be said. All he did was state, in effect, that he didn’t really care if his children and grand-children (the Posterity referred to in the Constitution) are left with a bankrupt Social Security account, or heavier taxes. He stated that he didn’t really care if Posterity were left with less financial liberty. Why should he?

He will, after all, be dead. His grandchildren won’t be, but they are apparently not worth the trouble of fixing the problem today.

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder… eh, wot?

I suppose I should try to keep in the habit of posting here… but I’m never sure of what to post. Do my posts have a soporific effect? Are they worth the time? And, sighs-I, what should I post about? My life is not thrilling. Now, if I were to write you from a high mountain in Tibet one week and then a British lowland county the next, then things would be different. Because that can’t happen right now, however, I must needs read about the places I wish to see someday. Last week I finished “Bella Tuscany,” the sequel to “Under the Tuscan Sun.” Mayes’ writing was just as luscious, but she (unfortunately) imbibed a bit more in her San Francisco Politically Correct doctrines a bit more than in UtTS. She did have a delicious passage about trying to read in a foreign language, how very difficult that is, and how she now has a greater appreciation for cover art on novels since that is as far as she will get in them.

Last year I read 61 books, an average of five books a month. This was a cheering number. This year has not proved so fruitful yet. I have read a grand total of two books to date. Revealing my gluttonous nature (see the quote the Deputy Headmistress posted today), I am currently working on reading three others:
The New Americans by Michael Barone – I have less than 100 pages left in this, and have no qualms about highly recommending it. It is an excellent look at America’s immigration patterns over the last 150 years. It provides a great deal of data supporting the idea that it’s not the immigration influx that is the problem, that we’re not going through anything new in the history of our country, that it is the way we handle assimilation nowadays that makes it so much more difficult. The way he presents some of his data is redundant, but that’s just a minor annoyance in an otherwise thoughtful and useful book.

The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis – This is a slow read, not because it is dull, but because there is so much to gain from it. Everybody should know how good C. S. Lewis is, so I shan’t attempt praising him more lest I fall prey to using too many exuberant phrases. I simply shall say: Read.

The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer
– This is also a “slower” read, as this is an incredibly practical book that has the reader stopping to contemplate what could be done differently in her life. She has come to the depressing conclusion that there are many things that could be done differently. One slight change has been made (a change revealing the reader’s laziness): there is now a vase on the cabinet in the bedroom, a vase awaiting many lovely plants…. once the temperature rises above freezing, that is. And the reader has also spent some time pummeling through her bedroom clearing some space.

[I am well aware that I switched from first to third person above. Do not ask me why, there was no reason to it.]

Today is a day to do many things. I shall be updating my site, am hoping to respond to Thing-One on Keats, really should get a start on geography homework, and see if I can finish “The New Americans.”

*pokes the Gentle Reader.* I am finished now, you may wake up.

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Educating for a full life

— We wish to place before the child open doors to many avenues of instruction and delight, in each one of which he should find quickening thoughts. We cannot expect a school to be manned by a dozen master-minds, and even if it were, and the scholar were taught by each in turn, it would be much to his disadvantage. What he wants of his teacher is moral and mental discipline, sympathy and direction; and it is better, on the whole, that the training of the pupil should be undertaken by one wise teacher than that he should be passed from hand to hand for this subject and that. Our aim in Education is to give a Full Life. — We begin to see what we want. Children make large demands upon us. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. Thou hast set my feet in a large room; should be the glad cry of every intelligent soul. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking — the strain would be too great — but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest. We cannot give the children these interests; we prefer that they should never say they have learned botany or conchology, geology or astronomy. The question is not, — how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education — but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?

School Education, by Charlotte Mason, page 170-1

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