davidbrucehaiku: A THING I’VE MISSED






Sixty-four years old

Not once have I heard the neigh

Of a unicorn


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Divining the future using abacomancy
 is just one way to get out of dusting your apartment

t r e f o l o g y

Beginning to-day, I’m going

to start using the word, ‘Eureka!’,

a-lot more in conversation;

even if it means having to really up my game

of discovering stuff.


Could this be photographic evidence of trefology

physically inserting itself into our past?

View original post

— 4.1 —

In a room of the palace in London were Duke Richard of Gloucester, Duke George of Clarence, the new Duke of Somerset (son of the Duke of Somerset whom Richard had killed in battle), and the Marquess of Montague.

Duke Richard of Gloucester said sarcastically, “Now tell me, brother Clarence, what do you thinkof this new marriage of Edward IV with the Lady Elizabeth Grey?Hasn’t our brother made a worthy choice?”

“Alas, as you know, it is far from here to France,” Duke George of Clarence said sarcastically.“How could he wait until Warwick made his return?”

The Duke of Somerset said, “My lords, don’t talk like that; here comes the King.”

“And his well-chosen bride,” Duke Richard of Gloucester said.

Duke George of Clarencesaid, “I intend to tell him plainly what I think.”

King Edward IV and Lady Elizabeth Grey — who was now Queen Elizabeth, the Queen consort of the King of England — entered the room, along with the Earl of Pembroke, Lord Stafford, Lord Hastings, and others.

A Queen consort is the wife of a King and does not rule. A Queen regnant, such as Queen Elizabeth I of Shakespeare’s time, does rule.

King Edward IV said, “Now, brother Clarence, how do you like our choice of a wife? I can see that you stand pensively, thinking deep thoughts, as if you were half malcontent.”

Duke George of Clarence replied sarcastically, “I like it as well as do the French King Louis XI and the English Earl of Warwick, who are so weak of courage and so weak in judgment that they’ll take no offence at our insult to Lady Bona and to them.”

“Suppose they take offence without a cause,” King Edward IV said. “They are only Louis XI and Warwick. I am Edward, your King and Warwick’s, and I must have my will.”

The word “will” meant desire, including sexual desire.

Duke Richard of Gloucester said, “And you shall have your will because you are our King. Yet hasty, impulsive marriages seldom turn out well.”

“Brother Richard, are you offended, too?” King Edward IV asked.

“Not I,” Duke Richard of Gloucester replied. “No, God forbid that I should wish them severed whom God has joined together. Yes, and it would be a pity to sunder them who yoke so well together.”

The word “yoke” meant both joined in marriage and joined in sex.

King Edward IV said, “Setting your scorns and your dislike aside, tell me some reason why Lady Elizabeth Grey should not be my wife and England’s Queen. And you, too, Somerset and Montague, speak freely what you think.”

Duke George of Clarence said, “Then this is my opinion: King Louis XI of France will become your enemy because you have mocked him by asking for marriage with the Lady Bona but marrying someone else.”

Duke Richard of Gloucester said, “And Warwick, by doing what you ordered him to do, is now dishonored by this new marriage of yours.”

King Edward IV replied, “What if both Louis XI and Warwick should be appeased by some scheme that I devise?”

The Marquess of Montague said, “Still, to have joined with France in an alliance would have strengthened this our commonwealth more against foreign storms than any home-bred marriage. By marrying Lady Elizabeth Grey, you have dashed the hope of an alliance by marriage with the King of France.”

Lord Hastings said, “Why, doesn’t Montague know that of itself England is safe, if true within itself?”

The Marquess of Montague said, “But England is safer when it is allied with France.”

Lord Hastings said, “It is better to use France than to trust France. Let us be allied with God and with the seas that He has given us to serve as an impregnable fence. Using only God’s and the seas’ help, we can defend ourselves: In God and the seas and in ourselves our safety lies.”

Duke George of Clarence said, “For this one speech Lord Hastings well deserves to have the heir of the Lord Hungerford as a wife.”

King Edward IV said, “Yes, and what of that? It was my will and grant, and for this once my will shall stand for law.”

Duke Richard of Gloucester said, “And yet I think your grace has not done well to give the heir and daughter of Lord Scales to the brother of your loving bride. She would have better fitted Clarence or me. But in your bride you bury brotherhood.”

Duke George of Clarence said, “Or else you would not have bestowed the heir of the Lord Bonville on your new wife’s son, and left your brothers to go and find prosperity elsewhere.”

King Edward IV had been raising the status and wealth of Queen Elizabeth’s relatives by arranging good marriages for them.

“Alas, poor Clarence!” King Edward IV said sarcastically. “Is it for a wife that you are malcontent? I will provide a wife for you.”

Duke George of Clarence replied, “In choosing for yourself, you showed your judgment, which was shallow; therefore, give me permission to play the marriage broker in my own behalf, and to that end — the end of getting a wife — I intend to leave you shortly.”

King Edward IV said, “Whether you leave or stay, I, Edward, will be King, and not be bound by his brother’s will.”

Queen Elizabeth now spoke up: “My lords, before it pleased his majesty to raise my state to the title of a Queen, you must all confess — if you do me right — that I was not ignoble of descent and that women of lower rank than I have had like fortune.

“But as this title honors me and mine, so your dislike of my marriage, dislike by those whom I would like to please, clouds my joys with danger and with sorrow.”

King Edward IV said to her, “My love, don’t fawn upon their frowns. What danger or what sorrow can befall you as long as Edward is your constant friend and their true sovereign, whom they must obey?

“They shall obey, and they shall love you, too, unless they seek for hatred at my hands, which if they do, I will still keep you safe, and they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.”

Duke Richard of Gloucester thought, I hear, yet I don’t say much, but I think much more.

The messenger who had gone to France with letters for the King of France, the Earl of Warwick, and Queen Margaret entered the room.

King Edward IV recognized him and asked, “Now, messenger, what letters or what news do you have from France?”

The messenger replied, “My sovereign liege, no letters, and few words, but such words as I, without your special pardon, dare not tell you.”

King Edward IV said, “Go on, for we pardon you; therefore, briefly tell me their words as accurately as you can remember them. What answer does King Louis XI make to our letter?”

“At my departure, he said these very words, ‘Tell false Edward IV, your supposed King, that Louis XI of France is sending over ‘entertainers’ — troops of soldiers — to revel with him and his new bride.’”

“Is Louis XI so daring?” King Edward IV said. “Perhaps he thinks that I am Henry VI.

“But what did Lady Bona say about my marriage to Lady Elizabeth Grey?”

The messenger replied, “These were her words, uttered with mad disdain: ‘Tell him, in hope he’ll prove a widower shortly, I’ll wear the willow garland for his sake.’”

“I don’t blame her,” King Edward IV said. “She could say little less; she had wrong done to her.

“But what did Henry VI’s Queen Margaret say? For I have heard that she was there in person.”

The messenger replied, “She said, ‘Tell him that I have laid aside my mourning clothing, and I am ready to put on armor.’”

“Perhaps she intends to play the role of an Amazonian woman-warrior,” King Edward IV said. “But what did the Earl of Warwick say concerning these insults?”

The messenger replied, “He, more incensed against your majesty than all the rest, discharged me with these words: ‘Tell him from me that he has done me wrong, and therefore I’ll uncrown him before long.’”

“Ha!” King Edward IV said. “Does the traitor dare breathe out such proud words?

“Well, I will arm myself, being thus forewarned. They shall have wars and pay for their presumption.

“But tell me, is Warwick friends with Queen Margaret?”

“Yes, gracious sovereign,” the messenger replied. “They are so linked in friendship that young Prince Edward will marry Warwick’s daughter.”

Duke George of Clarence said, “He will probably marry Warwick’s elder daughter. I, Clarence, will have and marry Warwick’s younger daughter.

“Now, brother King, farewell, and sit yourself firmly on the throne, for I will go from here to Warwick’s other daughter, so that, although I lack a Kingdom, yet in marriage I may not prove to be inferior to yourself.

“Anyone who loves and respects me and Warwick, follow me.”

Duke George of Clarence and the Duke of Somerset exited.

Duke Richard of Gloucester thought, Not I; I won’t exit. My thoughts aim at a further matter; I stay not because of love for Edward, but because of love for the crown.

King Edward IV said, “Both the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Somerset have gone to join Warwick! Yet I am armed against the worst that can happen, and haste is necessary in this desperate case.

“Lord Pembroke and Lord Stafford, you two go and levy men in our behalf, and make preparations for war. The enemy soldiers are already or quickly will be landed. I myself in person will immediately follow you.”

The Earl of Pembroke and Lord Stafford exited.

King Edward IV continued, “But, before I go, Lord Hastings and the Marquess of Montague, resolve and remove my doubt. You two, of all the rest, are close to Warwick by blood and by alliance. Tell me whether you love and respect Warwick more than me. If you do, then both of you depart and go to him. I would rather wish you to be my foes than to be my hollow, insincere friends. But if you intend to hold and maintain your true obedience to me, your lawful King, give me assurance with some friendly vow, so that I may never be suspicious of you.”

“May God help Montague only to the extent that he proves true and loyal to you!” the Marquess of Montague said.

“And may God help Hastings only to the extent that he favors Edward’s cause!” Lord Hastings said.

King Edward IV then said, “Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us?”

Duke Richard of Gloucester said, “Yes, in defiance of all who shall stand against you.”

“Why, good!” King Edward IV said. “Then I am sure of victory. Now therefore let us go from here, and waste no hour, until we meet Warwick with his foreign power.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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David Bruce: Alcohol Anecdotes

Monty Python member Graham Chapman was an alcoholic, but for a while even the other members of Monty Python didn’t know how bad his problem was because for the most part he was a gentlemanly drunk. However, they learned of the extent of his alcoholism while shooting the sketch “Upper Class Twit of the Year.” The Monty Python members needed to check something in a script, but no scripts were readily available, so Michael Palin opened Mr. Chapman’s briefcase in search of one. He found a half-empty bottle of vodka and looked stunned. Someone asked him what was the matter, and he replied, “That was full this morning.” Mr. Palin found the half-empty bottle at 10:15 a.m. Remarkably, Mr. Chapman quit drinking without the aid of Alcoholics Anonymous, and within six months he was in better shape than any of the other members of Monty Python.

Abraham Lincoln had sold whiskey as a storekeeper. One of his political opponents was Stephen Douglas, who was known for liking whiskey. At a political debate, Mr. Douglas said that he had first met Lincoln at a store front where Lincoln was selling whiskey. Mr. Lincoln responded, “What Mr. Douglas has said, gentlemen, is true enough; I did keep a grocery, and I did sell cotton, candles and cigars, and sometimes whiskey; but I remember in those days that Mr. Douglas was one of my best customers. Many a time have I stood on one side of the counter and sold whiskey to Mr. Douglas on the other side, but the difference between us now is this: I have left my side of the counter, but Mr. Douglas still clings to his as tenaciously as ever.”

John Barrymore was as noted for his dissipation as much as for his acting. While acting in Hamlet after a night of revelry, he began the “To be or not to be” soliloquy, but in the middle of the speech found it necessary to retire to the side of the stage so he could vomit. Later, he was complimented for this innovation: “I say, Barrymore, that was the most daring and perhaps the most effective innovation ever offered. I refer to your deliberate pausing in the midst of the soliloquy to retire, almost, from the scene. May I congratulate you upon such imaginative business? You seemed quite distraught. But it was effective!”

The Hassidim abhorred drunkenness, but they felt that a drink after prayers was appropriate. Once, Rabbi Israel of Rizhyn was asked why the Hassidim took a drink after prayers while the opponents of Hassidism (the Mitnagdim) studied the Mishna instead of taking a drink. He answered, “The Mitnagdim pray frigidly, without life, enthusiasm, or emotion. They appear almost lifeless. After their prayers, they study the Mishna—an appropriate subject when one mourns the dead. But the prayers of the Hassidim are alive and living people need a drink.”

Drinking is not a good idea if you are in the theater. Once, actor Wilfred Lawson met Richard Burton before a matinee, so they retired to a pub for a few drinks, then went to the play. Mr. Burton grew uneasy as he thought that Mr. Lawson should be getting into costume for his role, but Mr. Lawson remained unperturbed. Finally, Mr. Lawson tapped Mr. Burton on the shoulder and said, “This is the good bit—this is where I come on.”

When Wilson Mizner married a rich society widow, he inherited her late husband’s clock collection—2,000 clocks were kept in the Clock Room, and Mr. Mizner ordered the servants to wind the clocks and keep them in good order, despite the deafening racket they made each hour as they chimed, rang, or otherwise announced the time. Mr. Mizner enjoyed inviting hungover friends to visit the Clock Room just before the hour.

In Scotland, it is customary to offer a workman a drink when he finishes some job around your home. A woman once asked a workman if he wanted a drink after he finished a job. He was amenable, so she asked how he liked his drink. He replied, “Half whiskey and half water—and put in plenty of water.”

Diana Rigg once was present at a performance of Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona in Stratford when the stagehands operating the revolving stage were intoxicated. They accelerated the revolving stage to such a speed that anyone who tried to get on the stage was promptly thrown off.

A preacher once spoke in his sermon about the dangers of alcohol. At one point, he asked an elderly lady—one of the pillars of the church—if she agreed that alcohol was an evil that should be destroyed. The elderly woman replied, “Actually, I enjoy a little toddy once in a while.”

James McNeill Whistler, the famous artist, enjoyed his beer. He once asked a bartender, “Would you like to sell a great more beer than you do?” The bartender replied in the affirmative, so Mr. Whistler told him, “Then don’t sell so much froth.”

The Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo; however, Wellington had very little respect for his troops. Once he described them as “the scum of the earth—they have enlisted for drink—that is the simple truth.”

Zen master Bassui prohibited his students from drinking even a drop of alcohol, but later he got drunk in front of his students. When his students questioned him about his inconsistency, he said that he was teaching them not to get so hung up on rules!

President James K. Polk didn’t like dancing on the Sabbath and he didn’t like card parties. Sam Houston once said that what was wrong with President Polk was he drank too much water.

A lady temperance speaker once closed a speech by saying, “I would rather commit adultery than take a glass of beer.” A man in the audience called out, “Who wouldn’t?”

During World War II, playwright and screenwriter Charles MacArthur was a Major for the Allies. He often hitched a ride during bombing raids on Berlin and dropped his empty whiskey bottles on the city.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Edgar Lee Masters: Dillard Sissman (Spoon River Anthology)

THE buzzards wheel slowly
In wide circles, in a sky
Faintly hazed as from dust from the road.
And a wind sweeps through the pasture where I lie
Beating the grass into long waves.
My kite is above the wind,
Though now and then it wobbles,
Like a man shaking his shoulders;
And the tail streams out momentarily,
Then sinks to rest.
And the buzzards wheel and wheel,
Sweeping the zenith with wide circles
Above my kite. And the hills sleep.
And a farm house, white as snow,
Peeps from green trees—far away.
And I watch my kite,
For the thin moon will kindle herself ere long,
Then she will swing like a pendulum dial
To the tail of my kite.
A spurt of flame like a water-dragon
Dazzles my eyes—
I am shaken as a banner.