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FREE eBook: Cupcakes are Not a Diet Food!

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FREE: William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure”: A Retelling in Prose


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David Bruce: William Shakespeare’s 3 HENRY VI: A Retelling in Prose — Act 1, Scene 2

— 1.2 —

Richard and Edward, who were two of the Duke of York’s sons, and the Marquess of Montague talked together in the Duke of York’s castle: Sandal Castle, located near Wakefield in West Yorkshire.

They were discussing who should talk to the Duke of York.

Richard said to Edward, “Brother, although I am the youngest, allow me to be the one to speak to our father.”

“No, I can better play the orator,” Edward said.

The Marquess of Montague said, “But I have strong and forceful arguments that I can make to him.”

The Duke of York entered the room and said, “Why, what’s going on now, sons and brother! Engaging in a disagreement? What is your quarrel? How did it first begin?”

“No quarrel, but a slight contention,” Edward said.

The contention was the disagreement among the three as well as the contention for the crown of the King of England.

“A contention about what?” the Duke of York asked.

“About that which concerns your grace and us,” Richard said. “The crown of England, father, which is yours.”

“Mine, son?” the Duke of York said. “It’s not mine until King Henry VI is dead.”

“Your right to the crown does not depend on King Henry VI’s life or death,” Richard said.

Edward said, “Now you are heir to the crown, so therefore enjoy the crown now. By giving the House of Lancaster the opportunity to catch its breath and recover, it will outrun you, father, in the end.”

“I took an oath that King Henry VI should quietly reign until his death,” the Duke of York said.

Edward said, “But for a Kingdom any oath may be broken. I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.”

A proverb stated, “For a Kingdom any law may be broken.”

“No,” Richard said. “God forbid that your grace should be forsworn.”

“I shall be forsworn, if I claim the crown by open war,” the Duke of York said.

“I’ll prove that you will not be forsworn, if you’ll hear what I have to say,” Richard said.

“You cannot, son,” the Duke of York said. “It is impossible.”

Richard said, “An oath is of no importance, if it was not made before a true and lawful magistrate who has authority over the man who swears the oath.

“Henry VI had no authority because he usurped his Kingdom. So then, seeing that it was Henry VI who made you swear an oath, your oath, my lord, is worthless and groundless.

“Therefore, to arms! Fight for your crown! And, father, think how sweet a thing it is to wear a crown. Within the crown’s circumference is the classical paradise known as Elysium, and within the crown’s circumference is all that poets depict of bliss and joy.

“Why do we linger like this? I cannot rest until the white rose that I am wearing is dyed in the lukewarm blood of Henry VI’s heart.”

The Duke of York said, “Richard, enough; I will be King, or die.”

“Marquess of Montague, my brother, you shall go to London immediately and encourage Warwick to do his part in this enterprise.

“You, Richard, shall go to the Duke of Norfolk, and tell him secretly and privately what we intend to do.

“You, Edward, shall go to my Lord Cobham, with whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise up in rebellion against Henry VI. In them I trust, for they are soldiers who are intelligent, courteous, generous, and full of spirit.

“While you are thus employed, what is left to be done other than for me to seek an opportunity to rise without Henry VI and any of the House of Lancaster being aware of my intention?”

A messenger ran into the room.

The Duke of York said, “But wait.”

He said to the messenger, “What is the news? Why have you come in such haste?”

The messenger replied, “The Queen with all the northern Earls and lords intends to besiege you here in your castle. She is close by with twenty thousand men; therefore, fortify your stronghold, my lord.”

“Yes, with my sword,” the Duke of York said. “What! Do you think that we fear them?

“Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me.

“My brother Montague shall hurry to London. Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest, whom we have left as Protectors of the King, strengthen themselves with powerful political sagacity and not trust simple, foolish Henry or his oaths.”

“Brother, I go now,” the Marquess of Montague said. “I’ll win the Londoners over to your side — don’t fear that I won’t! And thus most humbly I take my leave.”

He exited.

Sir John Mortimer and Sir Hugh Mortimer entered the room. They were uncles of the Duke of York.

The Duke of York said, “Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, my uncles, you have come to Sandal Castle in a happy hour. It is good that you are here because the army of Queen Margaret intends to besiege us.”

“She shall not need to,” Sir John Mortimer said. “We’ll meet her in the battlefield.”

“What, with five thousand men?” the Duke of York asked.

“Yes, with five hundred, father, if need be,” Richard said. “A woman is the General; what should we fear?”

Marching drums sounded in the distance.

“I hear their drums,” Edward said. “Let’s set our men in order, and issue forth and offer them battle at once.”

“Five men to twenty!” the Duke of York said. “Although the odds are great, I don’t doubt, uncle, that we will be victorious. Many battles have I won in France, when the enemy has outnumbered my soldiers ten to one. Why should I not now have the same success and victory that I have enjoyed before now?”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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David Bruce: Winter Olympics Anecdotes

Figure skater Carol Heiss won five gold medals at the World Championships, a silver medal at the 1956 Olympics, and a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics. Oddly, only one of those medals means anything to many people. One day, at the Winterhurst Figure Skating Club in Lakewood, Ohio, a woman came in who didn’t know Ms. Heiss. They got to talking, and the woman discovered that Ms. Heiss had won the silver medal at the 1956 Olympics. The woman said, “Oh, that’s too bad … what did you go on to do after that?” Ms. Heiss said that she had continued to compete and had won Olympic gold in 1960. Hearing that, the woman was suddenly impressed and wanted Ms. Heiss’ autograph. Ms. Heiss gave her the autograph, but she also told her, “I’m very proud of my silver medal in 1956. First time I made the Olympic team and I’m on the podium.”

When Sarah Hughes won the gold medal in ladies’ figure skating at the 2002 Winter Olympics, she received a few perks. Another gold medalist in ladies’ figure skating, Dorothy Hamill, asked Sarah to sign a copy of Time magazine—the one with Sarah’s photograph on the cover. (Time was prescient when it put Sarah’s photograph on its pre-Olympics issue—Sarah was a definite underdog in the competition.) She signed it, “Dorothy, thank you for all the inspiration. Love, Sarah.” The State of New York also gave her license plates that read “TRPL TRPL” to honor her two record-breaking triple-triple combinations in the Olympics long program—even though 16-year-old Sarah had not yet learned how to drive.

The King and Queen of Sweden attended the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. Trying to get into an ice hockey game featuring the Swedish team, they were stopped by the ticket taker because their tickets were for another game. The King said that the correct tickets were in his car and he asked to be allowed in without the correct tickets: “Could you make an exception for us, please? You see, I’m the King of Sweden.” The ticket taker responded, “Sure you are, and I suppose this is the Queen.” The King and Queen of Sweden went back to their car to get the correct tickets, only to see it being towed away.

When Sarah Hughes won the gold medal in ladies’ figure skating at the 2002 Winter Olympics, she accomplished a major upset. She skated early in the long program, and she skated excellently. The crowd roared, and her coach, Robin Wagner, wanted her to wait a few extra moments before leaving the ice. She told Sarah, “Turn around. Close your eyes. Soak it in.” After winning the gold medal, Sarah slept with it, and when she met her family next, although she had not seen them for a while, they asked, “Where’s the medal? Where’s the medal?” She joked, “Hey, guys, what about me?”

At the 1992 Olympic Games in Albertville, France, figure skater Elvis Stojko finished seventh. When he returned home, his aunt and uncle gave him a gift: a round medallion they had specially made for him. On one side of the medallion appears an engraving of the Olympic rings and the words, “Sixteenth Olympic Winter Games.” On the other side of the medallion appear the words, “Congratulation, Elvis, You’re Number One.” Mr. Stojko has worn that medallion at every competition he has appeared in since it was given to him.

As a little girl, figure skater Sasha Cohen sometimes watched a videotape of Kristi Yamaguchi winning a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics; however, she was so young that she didn’t realize that she was watching a tape. She thought that she was seeing a new competition each time, and she was impressed that Ms. Yamaguchi kept winning gold medal after gold medal. Even as a little girl, Sasha had won a few medals at kids’ competitions. These were displayed on her bedroom wall, and she thought that Ms. Yamaguchi’s wall had to be covered with gold medals.

The night before playing in the championship game as a goaltender on the United States women’s hockey team at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games, Sarah Tueting found it difficult to get to sleep. Seeing a bowl of apples in her room, she picked up an apple and hurled it at the middle of a wall, creating a big splat! She kept on hurling apples until she ran out, although her roommate told her, “Get away from me!” The apple-throwing incident must have had a therapeutic effect—she and her team won the championship game and the gold medal the following day.

Watching TV with someone who has a lesbian sensibility can be interesting. Lesbian comedian Kate Clinton and her significant other were watching the Salt Lake Winter Olympics when the women’s luge event came on the screen. Her significant other said, “The luge is a very gay event.” Almost immediately, as they watched the luge sled hurtling down a chute, the TV announcer said, “She’s controlling the whole thing with her inner thighs.”

At the 1992 Olympic Games in Calgary, which is located in western Canada, several members of speed skater Bonnie Blair’s family were in attendance to show support. One sign hanging in the audience section said, “Dear Aunt Bonnie, Skate Fast. Love, Brittany.” Brittany was Ms. Blair’s niece and perhaps her tiniest fan—she was only four-and-a-half-months’ old. The sign must have helped—Aunt Bonnie won two gold medals.

During autumn of 1975, David Leonardi took several photographs of figure skater Dorothy Hamill outside. During the photo session, a single leaf fell on top of Ms. Hamill’s head. When Mr. Leonardi snapped her photograph, the leaf looked exactly like a small crown. The leaf was prophetic—Ms. Hamill became queen of the 1976 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, when she won the gold medal in women’s figure skating.

After Dorothy Hamill won the gold medal in women’s figure skating at the 1976 Olympic Games, she slept with it under her pillow. The next day, someone asked where she was keeping it. She pulled it from out of her blouse and said, “Right here.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved



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Edgar Lee Masters: Abel Melveny (Spoon River Anthology)

I BOUGHT every kind of machine that’s known—
Grinders, shellers, planters, mowers,
Mills and rakes and ploughs and threshers—
And all of them stood in the rain and sun,
Getting rusted, warped and battered,
For I had no sheds to store them in,
And no use for most of them.
And toward the last, when I thought it over,
There by my window, growing clearer
About myself, as my pulse slowed down,
And looked at one of the mills I bought—
Which I didn’t have the slightest need of,
As things turned out, and I never ran—
A fine machine, once brightly varnished,
And eager to do its work,
Now with its paint washed off—
I saw myself as a good machine
That Life had never used.


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By Charles Robert Lindholm One Of The Great Benefits Of Blogging On WordPress.Com Is Being Able To Meet Great People And Writers From Around The World!


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The Girl With a Dream

Shiny Objects

The empties are all around us

They walk and talk like confidence

But that is simply to fool us

People consumed by pettiness

They care more for appearance

The newest style,

The coolest friends,

Love to them is not happiness

When the mask falls down

She is shrunken, unhappy

Her life wasted tricking the world;

But that was the mask

She did nothing for herself,

Only the mask

And the master of the mask is really the slave

And the mask has friends

And the mask has faith

And the mask has love

And the mask has joy

And she has none

And the mask is pretty

And the mask is tough

And the mask is perfect

And she is not

She cloaks herself in happiness;

Takes pride in prettiness

But the boys care not for her soul

Just the package in which she comes

And her friends care not…

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America’s Last Letter


The suicide note of our nation,

America’s last letter

was started long before

America was America

was started before

the continent was even discovered

and occupied

and colonized

it began as a journal entry of an Italian guy

line one was Christopher Columbus

describing the Arawaks

“They would make fine servants….

With fifty men we could subjugate them all

and make them do whatever we want.”

Lines were penned by Vespucci

around the turn of the century

and Cortes grabbed the quill,

and then Pizarro and Grenville,

and a line of the letter was written on the water

aboard a Dutch ship in 1619

as it carried human cargo to Jamestown

but that line was inspired more than a hundred years prior

as the first black slaves were brought into Hispaniola in 1503

turning human beings into a commodity

and the next line, was about a city

shining on a…

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davidbrucehaiku: pensive





thoughtful, reflective

contemplative, deep in thought

serious, absorbed


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