Our visiting wallaby enjoying the new growth after all the rain we’ve had:
Henry VIII was the last play that Shakespeare wrote and in it he describes the events that led up to the birth of King Henry’s daughter by Anne Boleyn.
This week we read Act 5, Scene 2, where the King warns the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, that he has many enemie,s but reassures the archbishop that he will stay his friend and gives him his own ring as a token.
Cranmer is called before the Privy Council where he is accused of heresy. The King, watching the whole scene privately, is outraged by the treatment meted out to the archbishop and steps in, requesting that Cranmer act as godfather to his newborn princess who was born that very night.
Shakespeare always draws out thoughtful narrations and this soliloquy was my daughter’s response to this scene.
Soliloquy by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, upon being accused of heresy.
The King! Lay your burdens on the King!
But what when the highest
in order of his kingdom
beset me on every side? Life
is but a walk of weeds and thorns.
They speak of a time hereafter
for questions and for answers, but
what doubts can be heard
in the Tower, that symbol of all hope
forsaken, that storied dungeon?
It is but an early death to life
outside the world. This is but
a petty pace of Justice, creeping
along with her shuttered eyes, like
wing’d Cupid painted blind.
They speak an infinite deal of nothing;
I have been true to my King.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never lived, nor no man ever did right.
And yet, to them, what is this quintessence of dust?
I am wandering in Death’s eternal shade,
the eye of heaven hath shone too bright.
Affliction is enamoured of my parts
and I am wedded to calamity.
We’ve had a cool and very wet end to summer! Our local creek had more water flowing in it than we’ve seen in over twenty years.
We had a whole day without rain today so I opened up the house to get rid of the damp smell and went around wiping mould off everything that has sat in the one place for more than 24 hours. Everyone I’ve talked to has had the same problem, not just those of us in the valley next to a creek. Our roads have taken a beating and potholes are appearing all over the place. There is a lot of ‘minor’ flooding where we are but nothing like what’s happening in other parts of suburbia and the rest of the state where people have had to evacuate or have completely lost their homes. Two years ago it was bushfires…’a land of droughts and flooding rains.’
Last week we started reading Preparing for Easter by C.S. Lewis, which is a ‘collection of beautiful gems discovered amidst Lewis’s essays, poems, letters, and other works that are not as familiar to most of his readers.’ I found my HB copy secondhand but it’s available from Koorong and Reformer’s Bookshop in Australia.
Between Midnight and Dawn is a book published by Paraclete Press that we’re using for mostly poetry selections for the lead up to Easter. I’ve linked to my review.
Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?
Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste,
I run to death, and death meets me as fast,
And all my pleasures are like yesterday;
I dare not move my dim eyes any way,
Despair behind, and death before doth cast
Such terror, and my feebled flesh doth waste
By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh.
Only thou art above, and when towards thee
By thy leave I can look, I rise again;
But our old subtle foe so tempteth me,
That not one hour I can myself sustain;
Thy grace may wing me to prevent his art,
And thou like adamant draw mine iron heart.
Adamant: a legendary rock or mineral to which many properties were attributed, formerly associated with diamond or lodestone.
Current Events – today we watched John Anderson’s Conversation with historian Niall Ferguson on Ukraine, Zelensky, Putin & China. The conversations are available via podcast or video. This one is about 27 minutes long.