Monday, April 23, 2018

Billy Budd, Captain Vere and Emerson's Challenge

 A year or so ago I contacted a knowledgeable Professor about the possibility of identifying Edward de Vere as the Italianate gentleman Signior Amorphus of Ben Jonson's Cynthia's Revels. My main piece of evidence was a line of poetry that had been written in an ode to De Vere regarding his 'invention' and how it was 'infanted with pleasant travaile' - a line that is also spoken by Amorphus in the 1616 Folio printing of Cynthia's Revels. He responded very kindly and during the course of our extremely brief exchange pointed me in the direction of 'The Phoenix and Turtle.'

It was not until the other day that I was actually able to see a facsimile copy of 'Love's Martyr' and see how it is arranged  upon the page - and even more importantly how it is arranged in relationship to the poem by John Marston that follows it.






 From the poem by Marston we learn that a 'wondrous creature' has arisen from the Turtle's sacrifice in the preceding Threnos. Since I was familiar with Shakespeare's Ovidian epigraph at the front of his Venus and Adonis




Vilia miretur vulgus: mihi flavus Apollo

Pocula Castalia plena ministret aqua.

I quite easily could believe that what Marston was witnessing was the sacrifice of Edward de Vere's mortal body (what he owed to the Queen) and the ascension of William Shakespeare - the immortal part of the Earl of Oxford - the offspring of his mind and soul.


In my previous posting I wrote this:
Phoenix and Turtle- poem as ‘sacred technology’:
Turtle/Vere /Master of Courtship’s self-sacrifice mixes his 'mortal' ashes with his Queen and buries himself and his name in ‘Old Eliza’s Urn’. The unnamed poem referred to as The Phoenix and Turtle embodies the mystery of courtly love. The poem not only describes ideal love but *enacts* it as the loyal Turtle Dove/Queen’s Great Courtier sacrifices himself for his sovereign's sake at each reading/recitation.

Marston, the self-described astonished bystander,  draws our attention to the ‘wondrous creature’ arising out of the ‘Phoenix and Turtle Doves ashes’ – and then more narrowly-  ‘What strangeness is’t that from the Turtles ashes/ Assumes such Forme?

It appears to me that Marston is intuiting the wonderful  ascension of the of the Turtle’s ‘creature’ – that which has 'sprung forth' from the Turtle (creatus) . That ‘creature’ is that which is signified by the words William Shake-speare – the offspring, heir or 'mind' of the Turtle. This is Ovid’s ‘better part’ that ‘shall aspire’, after the author’s mortal body has fallen into the funeral fire. 


*************************
...all his behaviours are printed, his face is another volume of Essays - Amorphus, Cynthia's Revels, Jonson


I am writing very quickly at the moment since I have to be somewhere else. However, the next thing that occurred to me was that the novella 'Billy Budd' describes the same arc(?) of thought that occurs in the Shakespeare/Marston poems. The sacrifice of the 'martyr to martial discipline' Billy, the occulted relationship between Billy Budd (Beauty) and Captain Edward Fairfax Vere (Truth) - and that wondrous conceit of the 'pinioned figure' ascending into the sky before falling into the deep -  oblivion, Lethe.

 
And then I had to leave off thinking about Billy Budd for a bit.


A day or two later I thought I'd better busy myself with the business of finding out whether or not Melville had access to the text of Love's Martyr. I learned that Emerson had proposed that the Academy of Letters should offer a prize for the person who could come closest to describing what exactly was going on in Shakespeare's poem.

Imagine. Fancy the reclusive Melville working on Billy Budd until the end of his life - wrestling with Shakespeare's great poem; and, given the name of his Captain, Edward Fairfax Vere, the Shakespeare authorship enigma, as well!



What relish is in this? How runs the stream?
Or I am mad, or else this is a dream.
Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep.
If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep!

 

This construction of Oxford/Shakespeare's bifold (?) monument (as presented in  'Love's Martyr' - an impressive display of loyalty at the time of the Essex rebellion - also explains Jonson's 'monument without a tomb' comments, and Milton's 'monument' of wonder and astonishment:

Marston, Love's Martyr

Then looke; for see what glorious issue brighter
Then clearest fire, and beyond faith farre whiter
Then Dians tier) now springs from yonder flame?
Let me stand numb'd with WONDER, neuer came
So strong amazement on ASTONISH’D eie
As this, this measurelesse pure RARITIE.
Lo now; th'xtracture of deuinest ESSENCE,
The Soule of heauens labour'd Quintessence,
(Peans to Phoebus) from deare Louer's death,
Takes sweete creation and all blessing breath.
What STRANGENESS is't that from the Turtles ashes
Assumes such forme?


Milton:

What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,
The labor of an age in pilèd stones,
Or that his hallowed relics should be hid   
Under a star-ypointing pyramid?
Dear son of Memory, great heir of fame,
What need’st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thyself a live-long monument. 

and also the avian imagery in his L'Allegro:

Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Jonson's learned sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild. 

So back to Billy (Baby) Budd/Shakespeare's Book - truly Fancy's Child.

**********************
'Spiritualization' of Billy Budd (pre-ascension)


Billy Budd, Herman Melville

Chapter 24
Such was the deck where now lay the Handsome Sailor. Through the rose-tan of his complexion, no pallor could have shown. It would have taken days of sequestration from the winds and the sun to have brought about the effacement of that. But the skeleton in the cheekbone at the point of its angle was just beginning delicately to be defined under the warm-tinted skin. In fervid hearts self-contained, some brief experiences devour our human tissue as secret fire in a ship’s hold consumes cotton in the bale.

(snip)

Marvel not that having been made acquainted with the young sailor’s essential innocence (an irruption of heretic thought hard to suppress) the worthy man lifted not a finger to avert the doom of such a MARTYR to martial discipline.


Chapter 25


Billy stood facing aft. At the penultimate moment, his words, his only ones, words wholly unobstructed in the utterance were these--"God bless Captain Vere!" Syllables so unanticipated coming from one with the ignominious hemp about his neck-- a conventional felon's benediction directed aft towards the quarters of honor; syllables too delivered in the clear melody of a singing-BIRD on the point of launching from the twig, had a phenomenal effect, not unenhanced by the rare personal beauty of the young sailor SPIRITUALIZED now thro' late experiences so poignantly profound.

**********************

Billy Budd as the 'peacemaker' - Dove? Venus' bird.
Billy's stutter - art made tongue-tied by authority?

Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

 "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
                Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Shake-speare as Marston's Wondrous CREATURE in Love's Martyr



Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

 "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
                Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

************************
Ovid, Amores 1:15
Let kings and the triumphs of kings yield to poetry,
    Let the bountiful banks of gold-bearing Tagus yield.
Let the common people admire common things; to me may golden-haired Apollo
    Serve cups filled with Castalian water,
And may I wear myrtle on my hair that fears the frost
    And be much read by anxious lovers.
Envy feasts on the living; after death it is silent,
    When each man’s fame protects him as he deserves:
So, even when the final flame has consumed me,
    I shall live, and a considerable part of me will survive.

**********************


Threnos.


BEautie, Truth, and Raritie,
Grace in all simplicitie,
Here enclosde, in cinders lie.



Death is now the Phoenix nest,
And the Turtles loyall brest,
To eternitie doth rest.



Leauing no posteritie,
Twas not their infirmitie,
It was married Chastitie.



Truth may seeme, but cannot be,
Beautie bragge, but tis not she,
Truth and Beautie buried be.



To this vrne let those repaire,
That are either true or faire,
For these dead Birds, sigh a prayer.


William Shake-speare.

*************************
The following poem by John Marston is printed so that it faces (and appears to address) the Threnos in 'Love's Martyr':



 A narration and description of a most exact WONDROUS CREATURE, ARISING out of the Phoenix and Turtle Doues ashes.


O Twas a mouing Epicedium!
Can Fire? can Time? can blackest Fate consume
So rare creation? No; tis thwart to sence,
Corruption quakes to touch such excellence,
Nature exclaimes for Iustice, Iustice Fate,
Ought into nought can neuer remigrate.
Then looke; for see what glorious issue brighter
Then clearest fire, and beyond faith farre whiter
Then Dians tier) now springs from yonder flame?
Let me stand numb'd with WONDER, neuer came
So strong amazement on ASTONISH’D eie
As this, this measurelesse pure RARITIE.
Lo now; th'xtracture of deuinest ESSENCE,
The Soule of heauens labour'd Quintessence,
(Peans to Phoebus) from deare Louer's death,
Takes sweete creation and all blessing breath.
What STRANGENESS is't that from the Turtles ashes
Assumes such forme? (whose splendor clearer flashes,
Then mounted Delius) tell me genuine Muse.
Now yeeld your aides, you spirites that infuse
A sacred rapture, light my weaker eie:
Raise my inuention on swift Phantasie,
That whilft of this same Metaphisicall
God, Man, nor Woman, but elix'd of all
My labouring thoughts, with strained ardor sing,
My Muse may mount with an vncommon wing.

****************************
Transfiguration of Matter into Spirit -
Phoenix and Turtle- poem as ‘sacred technology’:

Turtle/Vere /Master of Courtship’s self-sacrifice mixes his 'mortal' ashes with his Queen and buries himself and his name in ‘Old Eliza’s Urn’. The unnamed poem referred to as The Phoenix and Turtle embodies the mystery of courtly love. The poem not only describes ideal love but *enacts* it as the loyal Turtle Dove/Queen’s Great Courtier sacrifices himself for his sovereign's sake at each reading/recitation.

Marston, the self-described astonished bystander,  draws our attention to the ‘wondrous creature’ arising out of the ‘Phoenix and Turtle Doves ashes’ – and then more narrowly-  ‘What strangeness is’t that from the Turtles ashes/ Assumes such Forme?

It appears to me that Marston is intuiting the wonderful  ascension of the of the Turtle’s ‘creature’ – that which has 'sprung forth' from the Turtle (creatus) . That ‘creature’ is that which is signified by the words William Shake-speare – the offspring, heir or 'mind' of the Turtle. This is Ovid’s ‘better part’ that ‘shall aspire’, after the author’s mortal body has fallen into the funeral fire.

****************************
Definition of creature
1 : something created either animate or inanimate: such as
a : a lower animal; especially : a farm animal
b : a human being
c : a being of anomalous or uncertain aspect or nature
•                
***************************
Shakespeare -

But be contented when that fell arrest
Without all bail shall carry me away,
My life hath in this line some interest,
Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.
When thou reviewest this, thou dost review
The very part was consecrate to thee:
The earth can have but earth, which is his due;
My spirit is thine, the better part of me:
So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,
The prey of worms, my body being dead;
The coward conquest of a wretch's knife,
Too base of thee to be remembered.
   The worth of that is that which it contains,
   And that is this, and this with thee remains.

***************************
John Bryant - 'The power of faith, beauty, art, and the rose to transfigure matter into spirit'


Truth and Beauty in Melville's Billy Budd - Captain VERE and William BUDD/aka 'Beauty'.

Another 'pinioned figure' sacrificed, feathered and fettered/body and mind:

Melville:
At sea in the old time, the execution by halter of a military sailor was generally from the fore-yard. In the present instance, for special reasons the main-yard was assigned. Under an arm of that lee-yard the prisoner was presently brought up, the Chaplain attending him. It was noted at the time and remarked upon afterwards, that in this final scene the good man evinced little or nothing of the perfunctory. Brief speech indeed he had with the condemned one, but the genuine Gospel was less on his tongue than in his aspect and manner towards him. The final preparations personal to the latter being speedily brought to an end by two boatswain's mates, the consummation impended. Billy stood facing aft. At the penultimate moment, his words, his only ones, words wholly unobstructed in the utterance were these--"God bless Captain Vere!" Syllables so unanticipated coming from one with the ignominious hemp about his neck--a conventional felon's benediction directed aft towards the quarters of honor; syllables too delivered in the clear melody of a singing-bird on the point of launching from the twig, had a phenomenal effect, not unenhanced by the RARE personal BEAUTY of the young sailor SPIRITUALIZED now thro' late experiences so poignantly profound.
Without volition as it were, as if indeed the ship's populace were but the vehicles of some vocal current electric, with one voice from alow and aloft came a resonant sympathetic echo--"God bless Captain Vere!" And yet at that instant Billy alone must have been in their hearts, even as he was in their eyes.
At the pronounced words and the spontaneous echo that voluminously rebounded them, Captain Vere, either thro' stoic self-control or a sort of momentary paralysis induced by emotional shock, stood erectly rigid as a musket in the ship-armorer's rack.
The hull deliberately recovering from the periodic roll to leeward was just regaining an even keel, when the last signal, a preconcerted dumb one, was given. At the same moment it chanced that the vapory fleece hanging low in the East, was shot thro' with a soft glory as of the fleece of the Lamb of God seen in mystical vision, and simultaneously therewith, watched by the wedged mass of upturned faces, Billy ASCENDED; and, ascending, took the full rose of the dawn.
IN THE PINIONED FIGURE, arrived at the yard-end , to the wonder of all no motion was apparent, none save that created by the ship's motion, in moderate weather so majestic in a great ship ponderously cannoned.

***********************************

Definition of spiritualize
spiritualized; spiritualizing
transitive verb
1 : to make spiritual; especially : to purify from the corrupting influences of the world
2 : to give a spiritual meaning to or understand in a spiritual sense

*********************************
Let the bird of loudest lay
On the sole Arabian tree
Herald sad and trumpet be,
To whose sound chaste wings obey.

*********************************

Marston’s ‘Wondrous Creature’

creatus, creata, creatum
sprung from, begotten by, born of

*********************************
On Shakespeare. 1630
By John Milton

What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,
The labor of an age in pilèd stones,
Or that his hallowed relics should be hid  
Under a star-ypointing pyramid?
Dear son of Memory, GREAT HEIR OF FAME,
What need’st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thyself a live-long monument.

********************************

Jonson

Soul of the age!
The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage!
My Shakespeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room:
Thou art a MONUMENT WITHOUT A TOMB,
And ART ALIVE STILL while thy book doth live
And we have wits to read and praise to give.

*********************************
 Stay Passenger, why goest thou by so fast?
   Read if thou canst, whom envious Death hath plast
   Within this MONUMENT SHAKESPEARE:

***************************************

Marston – con’t from ‘Love’s Martyr – referring to the wondrous creature that has arisen from the ashes of the Phoenix and the Turtle:

Perfectioni Hymnus.


WHat should I call this creature,
Which now is growne vnto maturitie?
How should I blase this feature
As firme and constant as Eternitie?
Call it Perfection? Fie!
Tis perfecter the~ brightest names can light it:
Call it Heauens mirror? I.
Alas, best attributes can neuer right it.
Beauties resistlesse thunder?
All nomination is too straight of sence:
Deepe Contemplations wonder?
That appellation giue this excellence.
Within all best confin'd,
(Now feebler Genius end thy slighter riming)
No Suburbes  all is MIND
As farre from spot, as possible defining.
Iohn Marston.

********************************
Shakespeare and the Truth of Love: The Mystery of 'The Phoenix and Turtle'
By J. Bednarz

Marston’s primary subject is what he defines in ‘The description of this Perfection’ as ‘that boundlesse Ens’ that transcends ‘amplest thought’ (lines 2–3). For the Schoolmen such as William of Ockham and Thomas Aquinas, God alone is ‘ens perfectissimum’, what Arthur O. Lovejoy defines as ‘the summit ofthe hierarchy of being, the ultimate and only completely satisfying object of contemplation and adoration’.
Marston’s ‘Ens’ is a cognate of Shakespeare’s ‘essence’ (the Latin ‘essentia’) (line 26), a concept crucial to both Catholic and Protestant definitions of deity. Marston never explicitly identifies the ‘creature’that arises from the Phoenix and Turtle’s ashes, enigmatically admitting in his next poem that ‘All nomination is too straight of sence’ (line 10). Instead, he alludes to it only as a sourceof‘wonder’,as,likeShakespeare, he conflates classical myth, natural philosophy and Christian belief. In the left border of his ‘Perfectioni Hymnus’, annotating the line, ‘No Suburbes,* all is MIND’, Marston explains in Latin: *Differentia Deorum & hominum (apud Senecam) sic habet, nostri melior pars animus in illis nulla pars extra animum.
This quotation from Seneca’s Preface to Natural Questionsis the answer to the philosopher’s query: ‘what is God?’ To study nature, according to Seneca, is to study God, and natural philosophy brings us closest to the divine, since ‘the difference between God and human beings is that OUR BETTER PART IS MIND, but the whole of God’s nature is nothing but mind’. Seneca’s Natural Questions(like Pliny’s Natural History which Shakespeare used to write his poem) was a key text of Roman science, and his approach, devoted primarily to cosmology and physics, was based on his conviction that the study of nature produced the highest form of knowledge since it drew the mind ‘upward’ to a contemplation of God, ‘all that you see, all that you do not see’.
A note referring to Natural Questions could not have been more relevant at the end of Marston’s section, the point at which the Poetical Essays divides between the emphasis in Shakespeare’s and Marston’s lyrics on METAPHYSICS and the stress in Chapman’s and Jonson’s succeeding poems on practical ethics. Seneca’s treatise asserts that natural philosophy is superior to ethics because any study that deals with the gods is superior to one that deals with mankind. ‘It is loftier and higher-minded’, Seneca claims. Seneca was not disparaging ethics entirely. He readily admitted that ‘it teaches what should be done on earth’, that it instructs us ‘to set-tle the uncertainties of love’.
38
But the study of nature, the contemplation of the relationship between human beings and the gods, and an acknowledgment of the limitation of human cognition, he writes, ‘wrenches us from darkness and brings us to the very source of light’. Chapman and Jonson, whose poetry focused more on the problems of individual moral agency, might from this perspective be seen as devoting too much of their ensuing responses to an inferior, less visionary pursuit.

*********************************
John Oldham on Jonson

…Let dull, and ignorant Pretenders Art condemn
(Those only Foes to Art, and Art to them)
The meer Fanaticks, and Enthusiasts in Poetry
(For Schismaticks in that, as in Religion be)
Who make't all Revelation, Trance, and Dream,
Let them despise her Laws, and think
That Rules and Forms the Spirit stint:
Thine was no mad, unruly Frenzy of the brain,
Which justly might deserve the Chain,
'Twas brisk, and mettled, but a manag'd Rage,
Sprightly as vig'rous Youth, and cool as temp'rate Age:
Free, like thy Will, it did all Force disdain,
But suffer'd Reason's loose, and easie rein,
By that it suffer'd to be led,
Which did not curb Poetick liberty, but guide:
Fancy, that wild and haggard Faculty,
Untam'd in most, and let at random fly,
Was wisely govern'd, and reclaim'd by thee,
Restraint, and Discipline was made endure,
And by thy calm, and milder Judgment brought to lure;
Yet when 'twas at some nobler Quarry sent,
With bold, and tow'ring wings it upward went,
Not lessen'd at the greatest height,
Not turn'd by the most giddy flights of dazling Wit.

*********************************

Title: The mirrour of maiestie: or, The badges of honour conceitedly emblazoned with emblemes annexed, poetically vnfolded.

HEre aboue number, doth one wonder sit;
But One, yet in her owne, an infinit:
*Being simply rare, NO SECOND CAN SHE BEARE,
Two Sunnes were neuer seene stalke in one Spheare.*
From old Eliza's Vrne, enricht with fire
Of glorious wonders, did your worth suspire:
So must, from your dead life-infusing flame,
Your Multiplyed-selfe rise thence the Same:
She whose faire Memories, by Thespian Swaines
Are sung, on Rheins greene banks, and flowrie plaines.
Thus Time alternates in its single turnes;
One Phaenix borne, another Phaenix burnes.
Your rare worths (matchlesse Queene) in you alone
Liue free, vnparalle'd, entirely One.

********************************
Suspire -verb (used without object), suspired, suspiring.
1. to sigh.
2. to breathe.

********************************
Phoenix and the Turtle:

To this urn let those repair
That are either true or fair;
For these dead birds sigh a prayer.

********************************
Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn


O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
         Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
         Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
         When old age shall this generation waste,
                Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
         "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
                Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

********************************

Shake-speare:

If my dear love were but the child of state,
It might for Fortune's bastard be unfather'd
As subject to Time's love or to Time's hate,
Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gather'd.
No; it was builded far from accident;
It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls
Under the blow of thralled discontent,
Whereto the inviting time our fashion calls:
It fears not policy, that heretick,
Which works on leases of short-number'd hours,
But all alone stands hugely politick,
That it nor grows with heat nor drowns with showers.
   To this I witness call the fools of time,
   Which die for goodness, who have liv'd for crime.

*******************************************


THIS GRAVE CONTAINS

ALL THAT WAS MORTAL OF
A YOUNG ENGLISH POET
WHO
ON HIS DEATH-BED
IN THE BITTERNESS OF HIS HEART
at the malicious power of his enemies
desired these words to be engraved
on his tombstone

"HERE LIES ONE WHOSE NAME
WAS WRIT IN WATER"

FEB 24 1821

(note-Keats)

*******************************************
Shake-speare:

If my dear love were but the child of state,
It might for FORTUNE'S BASTARD be UNFATHER'D
As subject to Time's love or to Time's hate,
Weeds among weeds, or flowers with flowers gather'd.
No; it was builded far from accident;
It suffers not in smiling pomp, nor falls
Under the blow of thralled discontent,
Whereto the inviting time our fashion calls:
It fears not policy, that heretick,
Which works on leases of short-number'd hours,
But all alone stands hugely politick,
That it nor grows with heat nor drowns with showers.
   To this I witness call the fools of time,
   Which die for goodness, who have liv'd for crime.

*****************************************
Billy Budd - noble foundling/bastard:

'Yes, Billy Budd was a foundling, a presumable by-blow, and, evidently, no ignoble one. Noble descent was as evident in him as in a blood horse.' (Melville, _Billy Budd_)  

******************************************
1850: "Hawthorne and His Mosses" by Herman Melville

"Would that all excellent BOOKS were FOUNDLINGS, without father or
mother, that so it might be we could glorify them, without including
their ostensible authors."

“I know not what would be the right name to put on the title-page
of an excellent book, but this I feel, that the names of all fine
authors are fictitious ones, far more than that of Junius,-- simply
standing, as they do, for the mystical, ever-eluding SPIRIT of all
BEAUTY, which ubiquitously possesses men of genius. Purely imaginative
as this fancy may appear, it nevertheless seems to receive some
warranty from the fact, that on a personal interview no great author
has ever come up to the idea of his reader. But that dust of which our
bodies are composed, how can it fitly express the nobler intelligences
among us?”

******************************************
Melville, Billy Budd:

It was Captain Vere himself who of his own motion communicated the finding of the court to the prisoner; for that purpose going to the compartment where he was in custody and bidding the marine there to withdraw for the time.
Beyond the communication of the sentence what took place at this interview was never known. But in view of the character of the twain briefly closeted in that state-room , each radically sharing in the rarer qualities of our nature--so rare indeed as to be all but incredible to average minds however much cultivated--some conjectures may be ventured.
It would have been in consonance with the spirit of Captain Vere should he on this occasion have concealed nothing from the condemned one--should he indeed have frankly disclosed to him the part he himself had played in bringing about the decision, at the same time revealing his actuating motives. On Billy's side it is not improbable that such a confession would have been received in much the same spirit that prompted it. Not without a sort of joy indeed he might have appreciated the brave opinion of him implied in his Captain's making such a confidant of him. Nor, as to the sentence itself could he have been insensible that it was imparted to him as to one not afraid to die. Even more may have been. Captain Vere in the end may have developed the passion sometimes latent under an exterior stoical or indifferent. He was old enough to have been Billy's father. The austere devotee of military duty, letting himself melt back into what remains primeval in our formalized humanity, may in the end have caught Billy to his heart even as Abraham may have caught young Isaac on the brink of resolutely offering him up in obedience to the EXACTING BEHEST. But there is no telling the sacrament, seldom if in any case revealed to the gadding world, wherever under circumstances at all akin to those here attempted to be set forth, two of great Nature's nobler order embrace. There is privacy at the time, inviolable to the survivor, and holy oblivion, the sequel to each diviner magnanimity, providentially covers all at last.

****************************************


To this urn let those repair
That are either true or fair;
For these dead birds sigh a prayer.

***************************************
Nicole

Rest in Peace AH