Cambria Will Not Yield

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Commentary on Shakespeare's Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485

The author of Shakespeare's Kings, John Julius Norwich, is terrible as an interpreter of Shakespeare's plays, but he is good in his narration of the historical events taking place during the lives of Shakespeare's kings. And since the number of Norwich's interpretations of the plays is minimal, the book can be labeled a good one (with a major reservation about this type of historical narration, which I will address later).

Starting with Edward III of England (Norwich claims that Edward III was also written by Shakespeare), Norwich takes us through the turbulent reigns of Richard II (deposed by the noble Bolingbroke, soon to be Henry IV), Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, Edward IV, and Richard III.

Norwich writes a chapter about each king and then writes a chapter about how the king and the events taking place during his reign are portrayed by Shakespeare. What is remarkable, Norwich maintains, is Shakespeare's historical accuracy. He is not inaccurate in the essentials; what he does do is compress time, combining events that happened over hundreds of years into a shorter span.

If one is familiar with these plays, Norwich's literary interpretations can be quite irritating. For instance, he blithely asserts that Richard III is the best of the historical plays. Why? Any one of the plays – Richard II, Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part 2, or Henry V is superior to the earlier Richard III. In addition, Norwich's confident statement that Hotspur is the noblest character in Henry IV Part 1 overlooks what Shakespeare is doing with Prince Hal. Hotspur has an excessively macho view of honor, a kind of death wish: "Die all, die merrily." Falstaff has an excessively cowardly view of honor: "Discretion is the better part of valor." Only Prince Hal maintains a balance between the doomsday mentality of Hotspur and the cynical cowardice of Falstaff.

But there are many good things about Norwich's history. For one thing, he supports the traditional view of Richard III against Yorkist revisionists such as Josephine Tey. His findings support the views of Thomas More and Shakespeare: Richard III was the murderer of Edward IV's two sons and a thoroughly evil man and ruler. Interestingly enough, Bolingbroke (Henry IV) emerges as the noblest of kings, and yet some would say (not me) that he is the one who started the War of the Roses when he usurped Richard II. I would assert that Richard started the conflict when he abandoned the Christian view of monarchy, which views the monarch as a caretaker for Christ, and adopted the Asiatic and despotic view of monarchy, wherein the king views the whole Kingdom as his personal possession. When Richard indiscriminately started confiscating the lands of his subjects, he in essence abdicated the crown. Bolingbroke had the heart and courage to force him to pay the consequences. Up Lancaster, down York!

The real danger of a book like this is that one can get the impression that Shakespeare's history plays are worth reading because his plays are "essentially" accurate. Not so! One should not read the Shakespeare history plays for mere history; they have an importance beyond history – they are metaphysical plays about men and women with immortal souls.

I had an excellent 'facts and figures' history teacher in college who claimed that any true student of history had to be an atheist. "Any objective view of history forces one to that conclusion," he said. And when reading Norwich's history, one can see what my teacher meant. All the political machinations, all the bloodshed, and for what? For nothing. The pageant of the English kings looks like a glorified demolition derby with no ultimate purpose. But when we read Shakespeare's plays we see a spiritual presence moving in history. Prince Hal might die young and Bolingbroke might never achieve a secure kingdom, but in Shakespeare's plays, father and son share a moment that lifts us out of mere historical time into another dimension, a spiritual one:

O my son,
God put it in thy mind to take it hence,
That thou mightst win the more thy father's love,
Pleading so wisely in excuse of it!
Come hither, Harry, sit thou by my bed;
And hear, I think, the very latest counsel
That ever I shall breathe. God knows, my son,
By what by-paths and indirect crook'd ways
I met this crown; and I myself know well
How troublesome it sat upon my head:
To thee it shall descend with better quiet,
Better opinion, better confirmation;
For all the soil of the achievement goes
With me into the earth. It seem'd in me
But as an honour snatch'd with boisterous hand,
And I had many living to upbraid
My gain of it by their assistances;
Which daily grew to quarrel and to bloodshed,
Wounding supposed peace: all these bold fears
Thou see'st with peril I have answered;
For all my reign hath been but as a scene
Acting that argument: and now my death
Changes the mode; for what in me was purchased,
Falls upon thee in a more fairer sort;
So thou the garland wear'st successively.
Yet, though thou stand'st more sure than I could do,
Thou art not firm enough, since griefs are green;
And all my friends, which thou must make thy friends,
Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out;
By whose fell working I was first advanced
And by whose power I well might lodge a fear
To be again displaced: which to avoid,
I cut them off; and had a purpose now
To lead out many to the Holy Land,
Lest rest and lying still might make them look
Too near unto my state. Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels; that action, hence borne out,
May waste the memory of the former days.
More would I, but my lungs are wasted so
That strength of speech is utterly denied me.
How I came by the crown, O God, forgive;
And grant it may with thee in true peace live!

My gracious liege,
You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me;
Then plain and right must my possession be:
Which I with more than with a common pain
'Gainst all the world will rightfully maintain.

And this is why Norwich's history is mere bagatelle compared to Shakespeare's history plays. That Norwich clearly doesn't understand the importance of Shakespeare's plays is indicated when he claims, toward the end of the book, that religion doesn't play a big part in Shakespeare's plays because Jesus Christ is not mentioned much. Unbelievable! Shakespeare is trying to write about reality. He sees a spiritual dimension in human beings that points toward Him, but he would be false to his profession if he had the characters walking around asking each other if they had been 'born again.' The reason Shakespeare's plays still resonate with us today is because he enables us to see reality clearly. We need vision more than a sermon. The former leads us to the living God, and the latter leads us to an idea about God.

Walter Scott followed in Shakespeare's footsteps. He writes about historical events but also supplies the spiritual undergirdings of the various events. And without those undergirdings, history is just a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing! And of course that is what the empiricist always concludes about European history – it signifies nothing. (As a matter of fact, that's why European history is only treated as a cautionary tale about the evils of being a white man.) But Shakespeare and Scott are divers. They go below the surface of European history and come to the surface again with a treasure that is of infinite value, the living God.

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The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead

A Book Review of The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead by Derek Freeman, Westview Press, 1999

Freeman’s exposure of the false assumptions and faulty “research” behind Margaret Mead’s book, Coming of Age in Samoa, is certainly significant in view of the sainted status that liberaldom has conferred upon Mead.

The book’s weakness is that it is written in the dull academic style of an anthropologist, which is, of course, what the author is. And indeed, Freeman admits, he himself was a Mead enthusiast when he began his follow-up research, until he discovered that Mead’s research was flawed and inaccurate. He even includes, in the book, a letter from Mead to himself in which she concedes that her research was inaccurate.

What Freeman unearths is that Samoa was not the uninhibited sexual paradise that Mead described in her book. Mead spent most of her time “researching” the Samoan culture in a Navy hotel and never really lived with the Samoans. She got her information about the sexual practices of young Samoan girls from two girls, who, Freeman reveals, were just indulging in the Samoan custom of telling tall tales. They never dreamed that Mead would take them seriously.

But Mead, who had studied under the cultural determinist Franz Boas, was determined to give her mentor the research he wanted. And the liberal world wanted to believe that there was a tropical paradise devoid of Western cultural guilt about sexual matters.

Mead’s ridiculous book should be exposed as the travesty it is, but I should note that Freeman is not on our side (that of the good guys with the Christian crusader outfits on) either. He criticizes Mead’s inaccurate research, all well and good, but he also criticizes her for not being up on the latest research which reveals that heredity is more important than culture. This is less acceptable to a Christian than the cultural determinism of Boas and Mead; the Biology-is-Destiny school of thought usually ends up studying apes to learn about man. Christianity rejects the false ‘either/or’ of nature vs. nurture and instead claims that spirituality determines nature, which then must be nurtured by a Christian culture.

Nevertheless, Freeman’s expose is worth reading. It is indeed incredible that a few tall tales told by some adolescent Samoan schoolgirls should be the rallying cry for feminists and part of every textbook in America.

Freeman does mention Mead’s early lesbian affair with a kindred academic and her failed marriage, but he doesn’t dwell on the details of her private life. Instead he focuses on her research, or rather, her lack of it. In the end, we are left with a Madame Bovary-type character: too pathetic to hate and too shallow to love.

Some interesting quotes:

This then was the quintessentially Samoan response to which Fa’apua’a and Fofoa had resort when Mead advanced what was to them the ludicrous notion that despite the traditional emphasis on virginity in the fa’aSamoa and within the Christian church, the adolescent girls of Nau’a were, in fact, sexually promiscuous. As Fa’apua’a remarked to Galea’I Poumele, the then Secretary of Samoan Affairs of American Samoa, when he interviewed her in Fitiuta on November 13, 1987: “As you know Samoan girls are terrific liars when it comes to joking, but Margaret accepted our trumped-up stories as though they were true.”

If only Mead had arranged to live with a Samoan family in Manu’a, as she easily culd have done, she would have known from direct observation just how false were the conclusions set out in her letter to Boas of March 14, 1926. However, because of the Spam and other comforts that she felt she could not do without, she chose to reside
with fellow Americans in the United States Naval Dispensary at Luma, where, cut
off from the realities of Samoan existence, she relied for the most part on informants who came to visit her there. And so, lacking the experience of Samoan behavior and values, she was quite unable to appraise the tales of Fa’apua’a and Fofoa for what they were.

In The Republic, Plato wondered if it might be possible to contrive a convenient story of magnificent myth that would carry conviction with the whole community. It was just such a myth that Margaret Mead created in Coming of Age in Samoa and although it was based on entirely false information derived directly from her hoaxing on the island of Ofu on March 13, 1926, this myth, after Coming of Age in Samoa had been vouched for by Franz Boas, Bronislaw Malinowski, Ruth Benedict and other cogniscenti, came, in America as elsewhere in the world, to carry conviction with a whole community of anthropological and other cognitively deluded believers. Such magnificent myths, once a sufficient number of individuals have come fervently to believe in them, achieve an aura of invincible propriety and are defended, when challenged, with the utmost vehemence, as were Mead’s demonstrably erroneous conclusions about Samoa when, early in 1983, they were seriously questioned for the first time. Indeed, before the year was out the scientific standing of Margaret Mead’s Samoan research had become the ruling cause celebre of the twentieth century anthropology.

The liberals' failure to go back and change all the textbooks in which Mead's research is taken as gospel and to rethink their basic assumptions about the glories of a guilt-free, sexually permissive culture tells us something about the men and women who make up Academia Satania. They are not interested in truth; they are only interested in advancing their demonic vision of a society that is a mirror image of hell.


The Academics' Hymn

(sung to the tune of "The Marine's Hymn")

From the Halls of Academia,
To an Indian tepee,
We lie about European history,
In our books, in class, and on TV.
First to fight for diversity and perversion,
And to keep our liberal records clean,
We are proud to claim the title,
The 'Culturally Diverse Academic Deans'.


Monday, December 24, 2007

The Nativity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Where is this stupendous stranger,
Swains of Solyma, advise?
Lead me to my Master's manger,
Show me where my Saviour lies.

O Most Mighty! O MOST HOLY!
Far beyond the seraph's thought,
Art thou then so mean and lowly
As unheeded prophets taught?

O the magnitude of meekness!
Worth from worth immortal sprung;
O the strength of infant weakness,
If eternal is so young!

If so young and thus eternal,
Michael tune the shepherd's reed,
Where the scenes are ever vernal,
And the loves be Love indeed!

See the God blasphem'd and doubted
In the schools of Greece and Rome;
See the pow'rs of darkness routed,
Taken at their utmost gloom.

Nature's decorations glisten
Far above their usual trim;
Birds on box and laurels listen,
As so near the cherubs hymn.

Boreas now no longer winters
On the desolated coast;
Oaks no more are riv'n in splinters
By the whirlwind and his host.

Spinks and ouzels sing sublimely,
"We too have a Saviour born";
Whiter blossoms burst untimely
On the blest Mosaic thorn.

God all-bounteous, all-creative,
Whom no ills from good dissuade,
Is incarnate, and a native
Of the very world He made.

Christopher Smart

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

The European Rose

In a recent phone conversation with my father, he made the remark that he was sick of blacks screaming about discrimination. Now, this might seem like a rather mild protest to those of us on the Kinist right-wing, but it came as quite a shock to me because my father has been a good American liberal for his entire 80+ years on this earth. He never used the 'N' word in his life, he honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and he regularly worships black athletes. In fact it was the accusations of racism behind the shooting death of some black football player, by blacks, that finally elicited a protest from my father.

My father is not going to become a Kinist; he has not seen the light, but if my father is expressing mild indignation about the never-ending scolding of white people, then there must be a significant number of white people, not as liberal as my father, who are feeling something akin to rage. It would be a wonderful thing to see that rage turned into a counterrevolution, but that is not going to happen because 1) most of the enraged white people are disenfranchised, and 2) those who are not disenfranchised are afraid to reveal their anger lest they become disenfranchised.

Twice in the last week I have seen the words "wake up" used in reference to the colored invasion. The first instance was in a back issue (1979) of what the liberals would call a 'racist' publication. The magazine asserted in one article that white people were beginning to "wake up." And the second instance was when I heard Pat Buchanan call his new book on the immigration problem a "wake up call." Now, I have nothing against "wake-up call" books or magazine articles; they are helpful and necessary. But I think all the whites who can be awakened have already been awakened. And those whites include the fearful enfranchised whites who are afraid of being "outed" and the disenfranchised whites. What those whites need more than information about the colored invasion is empowerment. They need some means to fight back against the five citadels of power.

What is implicit in the "give them more information" books and articles is that white Europeans must look to some political candidate who supports the white Europeans' interests. But this is not an option for the white European. Let's look at the current presidential candidates. Only two candidates, Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo, are seriously against illegal immigration. And they are not even talking about stopping all non-white legal immigration and rebuilding a segregated nation. So a victory for Tancredo or Ron Paul would only be a tactical, delaying-type of victory; it would not even be a major first step in a successful counterrevolution. And this is the very best we can hope for if we follow the implicit advice of the "get out the information" publications. So we come back to the issue of empowerment. There are enough white people aware of and angry about the colored invasion to stop it if they had power, but they do not have any power. And until that fact changes, information books and articles will not help.

I think white people are doomed to the same fate as Sisyphus if they continue to look on politics as the key to empowerment rather than seeing it as the final denouement of a far greater power struggle. Regarding politics as a thing in and of itself is tantamount to seeing with and not through the proverbial eye.

Although it often seems that politicians are not born of mortal women but instead come straight from the bowels of hell, they are indeed mortal. Their beliefs are formed in the society in which they live. And once those beliefs are formed, they seek to impose those beliefs on others through political means. So the real source of power in a society is the institution or institutions that determine belief.

I would argue that there is only one institution in our society that determines belief, and that is the Academy. And what about the Church? There is no longer any Church; she has been absorbed by the Academy. Throughout Western man's history there has been a conflict between Athens and Jerusalem. Churchmen differed through the centuries over the compatibility of the two. They killed each other in disputes over the matter. But all is peaceful now because Athens has triumphed. Yes, we still have churches, but they only echo and rubber-stamp what the Academy says. Belief is determined by the Academy. And the Academy has determined that the older, Christian, European culture is evil.

A sizeable minority of disenfranchised working class whites and unemployed whites have not been completely converted by the Academy. They could become part of a white counterrevolution, but they are leaderless. The tiny minority of enfranchised white collar whites who do not share the beliefs of the Academy are the people who should lead the counterrevolution, but they remain in silent disagreement with the Academy lest they become disenfranchised themselves. And the ones who do speak out only recommend actions that are acceptable to the Academy, which places white people in the position of merely voting for a political candidate, such as Ron Paul, whose candidacy constitutes a rear-guard, delaying tactic to cover up a retreat, and not a full-scale counter attack.

A rear-guard, delaying action is noble; a retreating army needs men willing to be the rear guard. But it is suicidal to regard a rear-guard action as an offensive attack, and that is what we do when we place all our hopes in rear-guard political candidates. The political arena is a very narrowly focused arena. The Academy has triumphed, and it is not going to let anyone enter the arena who suggests policies that diverge too sharply from the political views of the Academy. There has been a successful revolution; it will take more than electoral victories to defeat the institutionalized forces of the revolution.

European civilization was built on the concept of church and hearth. Non-European societies had sacrificial altars and tribal dwellings; they did not have churches and hearths. But Satan made a covenant with the Uncle Silas's of the West and created an Academia Satania that has absorbed church and hearth. And the enraged, confused, disenfranchised, white man looks for a hero willing to strike back against the seemingly invincible dragon of Academia Satania.

The European Hero will be an intelligent man, but he will not be an intellectual. He will be a Christian, but he will not equate Christianity with one particular sect or one particular rite. He will be a man of blood and spirit. He will be spiritually in line with William Wallace and William Tell, but his people will not be just the Scottish people or just the Swiss people. His people will be white Europeans who do not worship the gods of the Academy.(1) The anti-white movement is an international movement, so the resistance will be an international movement as well.

The true European everyman's task is to remain loyal while waiting for the Hero. We must not become blasphemers and worshippers of the Golden Calf. It is not the U. S. Constitution, international law, or some economic system that sets the European apart from all other races. It is the hearth and church, sanctified by His blood, which sets the European apart. And that is what the Hero will fight for. And one hero will beget other heroes, and then we will once again see His blood upon the European rose.
(1) It seems to me that if our souls are in the proper state to recognize a true European hero, we will also be in a proper state to recognize The Hero.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Merry Christmas

Humor is a very subjective thing. So one is treading on thin ice when he ventures to recommend a book or movie that he thinks is humorous. But one also likes one's friends to laugh. And anyone who opposes the modern anti-European fervor is my friend. So here goes.

All of the following movies and books are in the grand European tradition of laughter. Namely, they induce a laughter that uplifts and does not degrade as the modern, filthy humor does.

The first two items on the list are films starring Laurel & Hardy, filmdom's kings of the old European comedy.

1) Swiss Miss
2) The March of the Wooden Soldiers
3) The Wrong Box by Robert Louis Stevenson. You can't go wrong with this one. This work must be shared. It can be comfortably read aloud over a period of three days.
4) The Reporter Who Made Himself King by Richard Harding Davis. The book, written by the man who wrote the short story that the Walt Disney series Gallegher was based on, is also, like The Wrong Box, too good not to be read aloud. It can be read comfortably in one or two sittings.
5) One sitting will suffice for Kipling's comic masterpiece, "The Village That Voted the Earth Was Flat," which can be found in the short story collection, A Diversity of Creatures, or here, online.

I'm posting this well ahead of the 25th to give anyone interested a chance to acquire and read any or all of these comic European masterpieces in time for Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

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Friday, December 07, 2007


'…I, Galahad, saw the Grail,
The Holy Grail, descend upon the shrine:
I saw the fiery face as of a child
That smote itself into the bread, and went;
And hither am I come; and never yet
Hath what thy sister taught me first to see,
This Holy Thing, fail’d from my side, nor come
Cover’d, but moving with me night and day,
Fainter by day, but always in the night
Blood-red, and sliding down the blacken’d marsh
Blood-red, and on the naked mountain top
Blood-red, and in the sleeping mere below
Blood-red. And in the strength of this I rode,
Shattering all evil customs everywhere,
And past thro’ Pagan realms, and made them mine,
And clash’d with Pagan hordes, and bore them down,
And broke thro’ all, and in the strength of this
Come victor. But my time is hard at hand,
And hence I go; and one will crown me king
Far in the spiritual city; and come thou, too,
For thou shalt see the vision when I go.'

The 20th century intellectuals (it's too early to talk about 21st century intellectuals) were, and are, a pathetic bunch. They failed to come up with one single heresy of their own. Their entire repertoire consisted of 19th century heresies—Darwinism, capitalism, Marxism, and psychiatry. But what the 20th century heretics did do, which the 19th century heretics were unable to do, was to institutionalize the heresies of the 19th century. They were the Roman organizers, and the 19th century heretics were the Greek creators.

Things have become rather staid and quiet now that Satanic values have been institutionalized for so long in the Western world. But an epic battle took place in the 19th century. The works of such authors as LeFanu and Dostoyevsky bear witness to the battle.

And we should note that Satan has changed his tactics in order to adjust to the new order of things. Prior to the 20th century Satan was always trying to undermine European civilization. (He never needed to undermine non-European civilizations because they were always his.) But when Satanic -isms became the ruling -isms of the Western world -- such -isms as capitalism, communism, feminism, and militarism -- Satan became a conservative. He became the great preserver of Western civilization. It is no longer Christ's civilization, it is Satan's civilization. And Satan is vigilant in defense. But is he happy? Can he rest content? No, he cannot. There is one man whom he fears, and I don't mean Christ. Certainly he fears Him. But it is man we are talking about. Satan has confused and beguiled mankind just as he did in the Garden of Eden centuries and moments ago. The Lord is not his immediate concern, because he knows the Lord will not come to mankind unbidden. Satan fears the man who loves enough to once again unite Europe with Him. Which is why he tirelessly keeps the Satanic institutions of the West in working order. He lives in constant fear of the one man who can bring his whole empire crumbling down. And one day he will walk out of a Planned Parenthood abortuary or a Bushyite cabinet meeting and come face to face with his mortal enemy.

"Sir Galahad, you don't belong here. This is none of your business. This doesn’t concern you. Why don't you speak?"

"I give you fair warning. There is my gage. Now it begins. To the hilt."

What makes Galahad so dangerous to Satan is his ability to see through the material façade of this world to the spiritual reality behind the façade. Galahad never succumbed to the temptation of pitting his mind against Satan's mind. It was always Galahad's heart against Satan's mind. And that heart, because it was united to His heart, built Christendom.

All those pathetic heresies from the 19th century stem from one heresy, Darwinism. Darwinism is nothing more than the original sin. Man seeks to find a power in nature that is greater than God. Then, when the mind of man encompasses nature, the mind of man becomes God.

The idea of evolution was not invented by Darwin. The Greek philosopher, Empedocles, proceeded him by some two thousand years. And Satan preceded Empedocles by… how many years was it? What Darwin added to the equation, which made him widely popular, was the scientific proof of evolution. I'm not claiming he actually did provide scientific proof, but he was perceived to have provided it, and that made all the difference. But the initial joy in no longer being held accountable to a personal God was turned to despair when it gradually dawned on people that the other side of the "there-is-no-God-to-judge-us" coin was "there-is-no-God-to-love-us."

And that's where the creative evolutionists stepped in. The arch fiend, George Bernard Shaw, and that alien from the human race, Teilhard du Chardin, and a whole host of clergymen and academics told us that Darwin was right about the ape-to-man link but wrong about the prime mover of the evolutionary process. (1) There was, the creative evolutionists told us, a force behind the evolutionary process. It was not a personal force, it was not the old man with the white beard who Christians used to believe in; it was an impersonal intelligence. Wow! That sure sounds a lot more grownup and sophisticated than those old Christian fairy tales. But try as they might, the creative evolutionists cannot escape the biological determinism of Darwin. If a personal God did not create man with a divine essence, then there is only the natural world. Man is part of that world and no other. The Shavian creative mind theory, the Jungian 'oversoul', and every other ludicrous theory that man has conceived to supplant the Christian faith all boil down to the isolated intellect of man contemplating the natural world.

When I went to college, I had an English teacher who had his students read Shaw's Back to Methuselah. And I had a course in religion in which the professor assigned Teilhard du Chardin's The Phenomenon of Man. I'm sure those works are no longer read at universities as those old heretics are passé. Once the deification of the natural world has become institutionalized, the mundane daily work consists of more practical and less theoretical books. The 'Worship of Blacks I and II' and the 'Ethos of Feminism' are the type of courses the non-business majors take. One kind of misses the old heretics; they at least had some passion. But of course the old heretics were inconsistent. How can a disembodied brain have passion? Those old time heretics were living on the accumulated capital of one thousand plus years of Christianity. They were living off of that old guy with the white beard. The soul-dead zombies of today are their children, but not one of the old time heretics, if brought back from the grave to gaze on his soulless children, would acknowledge them as his own.

The professor who assigned du Chardin was a perfect example of the old guard heretics. He was a Swiss-German teaching at an American university, and like all those Germans of that era, he had an encyclopedic knowledge of just about everything. He spoke and wrote over eight languages, and although his specialty was religious studies he had published works in science as well. He was an ordained Lutheran minister, but he was not a believing Christian. He thought all religions were "fascinating," and he also loved the playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, who depicted the meaningless of existence so "wonderfully." Being of German descent, he quite naturally considered that modern students, particularly the American ones, were lazy. I vividly recall one lecture in which he went into raptures about the greatness of Samuel Beckett's depictions of the meaninglessness of existence and then diverged to talk about the laziness of the modern student.

After the class I had to ask him the question that had been festering inside of me for the entire semester. "Dr. ____, you are constantly making the point that the students are lazy and won't work, but why should they if they believe what you believe?"

"I don't understand your question."

"Well, if Christ be not risen, if he is just part of the meaningless fabric of mental images man has created to make his existence bearable, then why do anything? Why shouldn't we all just sit on top of the dung heap and weep?"

"Ah, fascinating – yes, the meaningless of existence. I saw a play in Paris once…"

It was hopeless. Centuries of Christianity had formed his habits, and he was incapable of seeing the dichotomy between his love of all things European and his doctrinaire assertion of the meaninglessness of existence.

And let me hasten to add that I was not a young hero from a Walter Scott novel. I was a character from a Dostoyevsky novel. I had an illogical attachment to the person of Jesus Christ, but I was unable to believe in his resurrection because it seemed so unscientific. But I did not find the meaningless world outside of Christ's Europe to be a "fascinating" world.

The universities and colleges present themselves as oases. But in reality one discovers they are deserts. Their glowing course descriptions promising enlightened knowledge are mirages. Their sterility is the result of institutionalized Satanism. And the universities are mirror images of our society. Every aspect of our culture has become part of the university – which is the way Satan wants it – the mind of man contemplating the natural world. Checkmate. But we come again to the one man Satan fears. Sir Galahad has not been checked. And he is fiercer in his love than Satan is in his hate. In His name he has breached the wall. To fight in his company is all a European can ask or hope for. "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…"
(1) There are those, like the late Rev. Falwell, who are not Darwinian evolutionists, but who are, nevertheless, creative evolutionists. They reject the "man is a monkey" theory of Darwin, but they hold to an evolutionary theory of the democratic man. He is the endpoint of their evolutionary process. This is why that group of people deified George Bush.

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The Last European. Chapter Eight.

Previous: Chapter Seven, Chapter Six, Chapter Five, Chapter Four, Chapter Three, Chapter Two, Chapter One

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
--St. Paul

Scene V.

Chorus: And now Bulkington makes his way back to the court of Father Ramon. He descends the mountains and starts through the dismal swamp. This time it is a python that impedes his journey. They wrestle, and Bulkington wins. He proceeds past the lovely lady's cottage and toward the village. By nightfall he reaches the outskirts of the village, but a leopard blocks the road leading into the village.

Leopard: Do you wish to enter the village?

Bulkington: Yes.

Leopard: You don't seem surprised to hear a leopard speak.

Bulkington: I've seen and heard too much to be surprised by a talking leopard.

Leopard: I can't decide whether that is an insult or not.

Bulkington: It was not meant as an insult.

Leopard: Well, it doesn't matter. I cannot let you pass.

Bulkington: But I must pass.

Leopard: The attempt will mean your death.

Bulkington: No, it will mean your death.

Leopard: You seem very sure of that.

Bulkington: I am.

Leopard: You have no weapon.

Bulkington: Still, I will kill you.

Leopard: You know, I think you could, but I will not give you the opportunity. You might as well know – perhaps you already do – that I am Father Ramon. I wanted to stop you before you entered the village.

Bulkington: Why?

Leopard: First, because you might blurt out that the Castle of Horrors is my own invention, thus losing me my hard-earned reputation as the irreproachable defender of justice. And secondly, because you intend to kill me. Deny it if you can.

Bulkington: Why would I kill you?

Leopard: Because you now know that I am the real Lord of the Castle of Horrors. It is my death that will free the young woman.

Bulkington: It's your own doing. You laid the trap. If I had brought back your brother's head the young woman would still have been put to death, wouldn't she? Don't bother to answer – I can see by your smile that she would have. What kind of men are you Tridentiners? You carry the name 'Christian,' but you're worse than any pagan.

Leopard: Calumny! You worthless dog! Who are you to question God's anointed servants? What we loose on earth is loosed in heaven, and what we bind on earth is bound in heaven.

Bulkington: You are a blasphemer to claim heavenly sanction for acts of barbarism and treachery.

Leopard: I waste my breath to talk with you. You lack the capacity to reason. You are on the level of the dumb brutes.

Bulkington: You are the one who has assumed the form of a leopard.

Leopard: Yes, and that is because I possess the gift of reason. Why did our Lord give us that gift if it was not to use the natural world to bring about a supernatural world? I have studied. I have done the mental work that is necessary to subdue nature, and I have been rewarded.

Bulkington: You are nothing more than an evil wizard who worships Satan and calls him our Lord.

Leopard: Spoken like a true man of ignorance. But enough. I had hoped to scare you by taking the form of a leopard. That was a mistake. But you shall have your trial by combat. On yonder plain, come morning, a dragon will appear. Slay that dragon and the woman goes free.

Bulkington: You will be that dragon?

Leopard: Yes.

Bulkington: If you triumph what good will it avail you? I thought it was my disgrace you sought.

Leopard: Yes, but I must be wary of my own followers. They expect me to bring about your conversion by disgracing you. I'm afraid I'll have to kill you and tell my followers that you converted.

Bulkington: That doesn't sound like a very great success.

Leopard: Well, petty revenge has its consolation.

Bulkington: I once heard the devil, who you say you do not serve, say something similar.

Leopard: Enough of this nonsense. Meet me tomorrow and die with the knowledge that you die alone and in mortal sin.

Scene VI.

Chorus: The next morning. The young woman is tied to the wheel of an ox-cart that has been brought out for the occasion. Father Ramon stands before Bulkington in the form of a dragon. Flanking Father Ramon are two Amazon warriors. Bulkington stands before them. He is unarmed.

Bulkington: I thought I was to meet you in single combat, Father Ramon.

Dragon: No, I decided it would be better if you died at the hands of two females. That will be ironic don't you think? The last knight of Europe, the last white man, must fight two fair maidens in order to rescue a fair damsel. Attack, my lovelies!

Chorus: The battle commences. The Amazons, armed with spear and sword attack the unarmed Bulkington. A spear is thrown into his left arm. He then uses that spear to slay both Amazons. Holding the spear in his right hand, he faces Father Ramon.

Dragon: You are wounded. If you yield now I will grant you your life.

Bulkington: And the young woman?

Dragon: She dies.

Bulkington: Cambria will not yield.

Chorus: The battle proceeds. Never have we seen such a battle. Father Ramon scorches the earth with his fiery breath. The flames never touch Bulkington, however. He keeps moving from one spot of earth to the next, always avoiding the flames. Finally, after an hour of futile flame-throwing, Father Ramon uses his tail, being temporarily out of fire. Twice he knocks Bulkington down with his tail, lacerating his flesh, but he is not able to finish him. After three hours of conflict, Father Ramon again addresses the bloody, exhausted Bulkington.

Dragon: Now, I give you one last chance. Will you yield?

Bulkington: (in a mere whisper) 'The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?'

Dragon: Then die, blasphemer, die.

Chorus: Unable to use his left arm and unable to see out of his left eye, which is swollen shut, Bulkington appears to be at Father Ramon's mercy. And Father Ramon has no mercy. He proceeds, with a determined stride, toward Bulkington. Obviously Father Ramon feels that a quick blast of fire will destroy Bulkington now that he appears too exhausted to move. Look and you can see the jaws opening in order to expel the deadly flames. But what's this?!

As Father Ramon opens his jaws, Bulkington throws the Amazon's spear into the dragon's mouth. Now, Father Ramon is clutching his throat with his dragon claws, trying to extract the spear. It is futile. He sinks to the ground and dies. At his death he once again takes the form of Father Ramon. Bulkington limps over to Father Ramon's body. With a look of revulsion he does what needs to be done in order to free the young woman. After the work is completed, he holds up the bloody head.

Bulkington: Behold the head of the lord of the castle. I have completed the quest; the woman must be released.

Town Constable: Release the woman.

Soldier: Yes, sir.

Chorus: The young woman, upon her release, runs and throws herself at Bulkington's feet. Extremely embarrassed, he begs her to get up and thank God instead of him.

Elizabeth: I do thank Him, noble sire, but I also thank His heaven-sent ambassador. God bless you. You shall always be in my prayers.

Bulkington: Then I am in your debt, young lady. To be always in a saint's prayers – and saint you are for defying the Council of the Tridentine – is a very great blessing. And now, goodbye.

Chorus: And so our little drama ends. We hope it was to your liking. But if it wasn't, the Chorus is not to blame, for we only convey the drama; we do not enact it.


It was getting close to sunrise when the drama ended. Rankin took the result better than the last time I saw him battle with Bulkington. Maybe that was because this time he hadn't been that involved in the planning of the event. At any rate he seemed almost philosophical about it.

"Oh well, I did all I could. I think next time they'll let me handle Bulkington myself. I'll get him eventually if they just leave me alone."

"I don't think you will ever best Bulkington."

"Don't push me, Duncan. You might not like what I do to you."

"If you have no further business with me, Rankin, I'd like you to leave."

He left with a sneer, and I returned to the house and to bed.

I slept until noon and then headed back to my apartment to get ready for the four-to-twelve shift. As it turned out though, I didn't work the four-to-twelve shift. When I got to the station at 3:30, I was told that I would no longer be working there. At first I thought it was a guilt-by-association firing. Sean was my friend, and he, in their eyes, was a racist; therefore, I must be a racist. But that was not the reason for my dismissal. Everybody on the force, even the non-probationary employees, had been dismissed. It was part of a new Federal plan. Local government was now completely run by Washington. In fact, for all practical purposes, there was no local government. Every post that had been occupied by a local official was now occupied by a Federal official. I should not have been surprised after all that Mary had told me about Caravaggio and his plans. But I hadn't expected him to move so quickly. He must have been planning the coup for years.

After a so-called 'crisis' in the Mideast (I think some Arab threw a rock through a U. S. embassy window), Caravaggio was made the head of a newly created government agency. It was called the U.C.A.M.G.U.A., which stood for – I' m not making this up – the United Canadian, American, Mexican Global Unity Association. With Caravaggio at its head, I'm sure that Tridentine principles will be well represented.

"Where do I go from here?" was the question I asked myself. I was unemployed with only enough savings to pay for two more months' rent. "It's back home," I said; there was no other alternative.

And home for me was the Fitzgerald's houses. They didn't begrudge me my old room back.

"It will only be till I can get another job."

"It's for as long as you like, James. This house, thank God, is paid for. You'll always have a roof over your head."

"James, I guess you know that Bulkington is back?"

"Yes, Mary, I know. They had plans for him, but the plans didn't work out. He didn't look good when I saw him last. Will he – and I'm almost afraid to ask – live?"

"Yes, he'll live. He looks a fright, and he wouldn't let anyone tend to him, but he is up and around."

"What did they do to him, James?"

"Well, Sean, I didn't see the torture part. What I did see was a man contending with a snake, a dragon, a giant, a crocodile, and some Amazon warriors. And in the end I saw a physical wreck. But there was what Robert Louis Stevenson called 'the animating fire of the European' still in his eyes."


"Yes, Mary, what is it?"

"I know the house is paid for, but do you think they'll take it from us?"

"I don't know. They're capable of anything."

At this point, I excused myself and went looking for Bulkington. It was reassuring to find him, as usual, running up and down the hill to Fisherman's Point. I waited until he was finished before speaking to him.

"May I walk back to your house with you?"


Once he had showered and dressed, he came and sat across from me in his small living room.

"I've no beer to offer you, James. Things are a bit tight right now."

"That's all right. I didn't come over for a beer. I came over to see how you were feeling."

"Well, I won't say I'm fine, but everything seems to be in reasonably good working order. I can't raise my left arm above shoulder height anymore, and I've got a slight limp now, but I can still drag myself up and down Fisherman's Point and do my push-ups, so I guess I'm not that bad off."

"We're all wondering what's next. I mean, will there be widespread land confiscation or even imprisonment for those who dissent from the 'great world order'?"

"I can't say for sure, James. Anything is possible with those guys. But I don't think they'll be too blatant about it yet. The Federalization act was accepted because they have been pushing the terrorist threat business and the benefits of enforced democracy for years. The sheep were ready to be sheared for the sake of security and democracy, but I don't know if they're quite ready to consent to nomadic or dormitory-style living just yet."

"Then we have some breathing room still?"

"Yes, but one also must eat. And employment for people like yourself, who do not fit into the 'harmonious whole' will be quite difficult to find."

"I know that already. I lost my police job."

"I'm not surprised. Why don't you and Sean work with me?"

"How can we do that? You barely make enough to keep yourself alive."

"Well, maybe with you two helping I'll make more."

"Come on, how likely is that?"

"One does what one has to do, James. I don't for one second think my fishing business, which I can't really even call a business, can support you and Sean. But it will look like it does. That's all we need. I'm going to pull a Rob Roy on the powers that be. There'll be enough money. You two just concentrate on the fishing."


"There are no 'buts', James. That's the way it's going to be. Consider yourself a fisherman from this date forward."

"Well, when you're not too busy Rob Roying it, what will you do?"

"I'll fish with you and Sean and keep looking for those other pockets of resistance."

"What pockets of resistance? Caravaggio said you were the only pocket of resistance."

"I don't believe that. There must be others somewhere. Caravaggio wants me and those others to feel that we are alone so that we'll despair and give up."

"But suppose he's not lying; suppose you are the last pocket of resistance?"

"Then I'll fight alone. I'd like some company, but I'll fight with or without company."

"You're not completely alone so long as Sean and I are around. What was that St. Paul said? Something about principalities and powers?"

"Yes, I know what you mean, James."

Bulkington did not have a photographic memory, but his total recall of certain long passages from Shakespeare and the Bible always took me by surprise. With a startling and riveting intensity he recited from Ephesians.

"'Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with Truth, and having on the breast plate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayers and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.'"

"Those guys will overreach themselves eventually. I might not live to see it happen, but in the end they'll lose. You get tired sometimes, and sick to death of living in a kind of Gnostic hell, but ultimately we'll win, James. And in between… well, in between there will be some white moments."

I know it is customary to end a story a little more definitively with either a happy or a tragic ending. But the story is an ongoing one. I sincerely doubt that there are any other pockets of resistance to Caravaggio. I think Bulkington stands alone. Possibly I'm wrong about that. I hope so. In the meantime I'll stand with him and so will Sean. Mrs. Fitzgerald will support him in whatever he does. And Mary? She is very close to proposing to Bulkington. That's the only way she'll ever get him to consider marriage. But it won't change him. Nothing will. He will not stop the war against principalities and powers on this side of the grave or the other side for that matter.

He spoke of white moments. I remember one evening several years ago when he explained what he meant by a white moment.

"There are times in a person's life when he truly connects with another human being. His heart touches another heart. In those moments He is present. Those theologians who create an either-or – either we love God or we love man – do not understand. We love in Christ; outside of His love there is no love."

I've had many white moments since I met Bulkington. And I wouldn't trade one of those moments even if, by doing so, I could become the ruler of Caravaggio's harmonious world church. I'll stay with Bulkington and Bulkington's God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and St. Paul.

Bulkington is always quick to point out that he is not a prophet. He doesn't know how events will turn out. But we are told that prophecies fail. What Bulkington has is a burning, lion-like fire of charity in his heart. And charity, the Apostle tells us, never fails. +++


Sunday, December 02, 2007

"Fighting Terror"

No utter surprise can come to him
Who reaches Shakespeare’s core;
All that we seek and shun is there—
Man’s final lore.

--Herman Melville
As the pit-bull neocons and the mad-dog liberals engage in their debate over the success of the surge, one yearns for the witness of one man in the political arena with the moral clarity of the late John Tyndall of Britain. There can be no success, no victory, Tyndall asserted, in a war fought for an ignoble cause. But America has no heroes like John Tyndall. (1) We have only caricatures of human beings called Republicans and Democrats.

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the character of Brutus takes it upon himself to explain to the Roman populace why he and his fellow conspirators had to hack Julius Caesar to bits. And his explanation works, at first. Brutus uses an age-old trick of rhetoric: He starts with an unproven assumption and places all those who would disagree with him in the position of defending odious principles:

“Who is here so base that would be a bondman? If any speak; for him have I offended, Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a reply."
The easily persuaded masses reply, “None, Brutus, none.”

But after Marcus Antony delivers his rebuttal, that Brutus foolishly in his egoism permits Antony to make, the populace want to tear Brutus apart. Antony undermines Brutus’s unproven assumption that Caesar was ambitious and that he therefore sought to make every Roman a bondman.

The Bush administration has shoved their unproven assumptions down the throats of America’s easily swayed populace. Only in this instance the Bush administration has cleverly refused to give any Marc Antonys a chance for a rebuttal. “Who is here so base that will be for terror? Who is here that is so un-American that will be against freedom? If any speak, for him have I offended.”

I will speak, without Marc Antony’s Shakespearean eloquence, but with the anger of a peasant who is being asked to accede to the proposition that black is white and white is black if his feudal lords say so. This the peasant cannot do. For truth is truth to the end of reckoning despite all Neocons and Bushyites.


1) "This is a war against terror. If you oppose it you are in favor of terror."

The response: When the Bush administration says this is a war against terror, they are not being precise. They do not mean they are fighting terror of all kinds, they mean they are fighting Islamic terrorism. But before we proceed to refute that assumption, let’s look at the terror the U.S. government is not fighting.

First, there is the terror of abortion. Paul Hill, a man who actually fought terror by killing an abortion doctor, was executed in the Bushyite state of Florida. Is this fighting terror? If terror is indiscriminate violence against innocent human life like the baby in its mother’s womb, then who is more anti-terror than the man who seeks to prevent the murder of those innocent children?

And then there is the terror of the one-sided war going on in our major cities. Black terrorists have claimed more lives in the U. S. than the al-Qaeda organization, yet no one in any official capacity has vowed to stop this kind of terror. Far from it, they aid and abet it, passing more and more laws against white self-defense.

And thirdly there is the terror of unchecked immigration. There is no stability, no place one can call home, no safe harbor, when there are no borders that aliens cannot cross.

And are we fighting Islamic terrorism in Iraq? No, we are not. The 9/11 attack came because of our support for Israel and because of our open borders policy. How does killing Iraqis make up for porous borders and a suicidal foreign policy?

2) "This is a war for freedom; if you oppose it you are against freedom."

The response: No nation today is sufficiently Christian to claim a right of conquest. Whether a majority of Iraqis wanted Saddam ousted (which I doubt) or whether a majority did not want him ousted is not the point. We have no right of conquest; Saddam posed no threat to the United States.

And what does the U. S. mean by freedom? We can see what is meant if we look at what freedom stands for in this country. Freedom stands for legalized abortion, pornography, and an economic war of all against all in a system referred to as capitalism.

3) "This is a Christian crusade against Islam."

The response: The Neocons and Bush have not advanced this reason for the war, and indeed, they are quick to deny they are at war with Islam. Southern evangelicals and a few military men have advanced this reason. And while these individuals might wish we were a Christian nation at war with a Muslim aggressor, they must not be allowed to get away with such an obscene perversion of the truth. We have never been a Christian nation in the sense that the older, throne-and-altar, European countries were. However, it is true that we once were a Christian nation in the sense that the vast majority of our citizens were Christians. But we are not a Christian nation by creed or by majority opinion at this point of our history. So we have no right to invoke the Christian deity in our war with Iraq.

And secondly, even if we were a Christian nation, we would not have carte blanche to kill Muslims. In the Muslim religion killing Christians is a good in and of itself, but in the Christian religion Muslims must be on the march, intent on conquest, in order for Christians to kill them with justification. I think a great deal of the Southern evangelicals reveal themselves to be devotees of Mars rather than Christ in their zeal to make this “war against terror” into a Christian crusade.

One does not have to be a prophet “new inspired” to predict dire consequences for the U.S. as a result of the Iraqi invasion. Such naked aggression always comes back upon the aggressor. The words Henry V used to warn the French Dauphin could certainly be applied to the U.S.:

Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
That shall fly with them: for many a thousand widows
Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands;
Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down;
And some are yet ungotten and unborn
That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin’s scorn.
Yes, before it’s all over, we shall all have cause to curse William Kristol’s and George Bush’s scorn.
(1) There were some right-leaning Americans (we have no right-wingers) who, like Tyndall, opposed our involvement in Iraq. But they became, once the war started, much like Hector in Shakespeare's play Troilus and Cressida. Hector argues that the Trojans were in the wrong. How could they continue a war that was based on the abduction of another man's wife? And yet, after arguing correctly, Hector succumbs to the warmongers:

Hector. Paris and Troilus, you have both said well,
And on the cause and question now in hand
Have gloz'd, but superficially: not much
Unlike young men, whom Aristotle thought
Unfit to hear moral philosophy.
The reasons you allege do more conduce
To the hot passion of distemper'd blood
Than to make up a free determination
'Twixt right and wrong, for pleasure and revenge
Have ears more deaf than adders to the voice
Of any true decision. Nature craves
All dues be render'd to their owners: now,
What nearer debt in all humanity
Than wife is to the husband? If this law
Of nature be corrupted through affection,
And that great minds, of partial indulgence
To their benumbed wills, resist the same,
There is a law in each well-order'd nation
To curb those raging appetites that are
Most disobedient and refractory.
If Helen then be wife to Sparta's king,
As it is known she is, these moral laws
Of nature and of nations speak aloud
To have her back return'd: thus to persist
In doing wrong extenuates not wrong,
But makes it much more heavy. Hector's opinion
Is this in way of truth; yet ne'ertheless,
My spritely brethren, I propend to you
In resolution to keep Helen still,
For 'tis a cause that hath no mean dependence
Upon our joint and several dignities.

And as a result of Hector's capitulation, he is ignobly slain by Achilles and Troy is brought to ruin.


The Last European. Chapter Seven.

Previous: Chapter Six, Chapter Five, Chapter Four, Chapter Three, Chapter Two, Chapter One

Stern was the law which bade its vot'ries leave
At human woes with human hearts to grieve;
Stern was the law, which at the winning wile
Of frank and harmless mirth forbade to smile;
But sterner still, when high the iron rod
Of tyrant power she shook, and call'd that power of God.
--Walter Scott

Without any additions or subtractions on my part, I'll present what I saw on the screen that night.

Act 1. Scene 1.

A small medieval village, probably in the year 1350 or thereabouts. There is some kind of trial taking place in the town square. One gowned, solemn priest is presiding as a judge.

Cobbler: I think the good father will find her guilty.

Merchant: But she is so young and pretty, I would hate to see her put to the torture or burned.

Cobbler: Father Ramon will do what has to be done.

Merchant: I suppose so, but it seems a pity.

Fishwife: You men are all alike! Show you a pretty face and you're all for mercy. That hussy deserves the stake. And Father Ramon will see that she gets it. It's his duty. He won't be turned from it by a pretty-faced woman.

Father Ramon: Young woman, I have heard the witnesses and examined the evidence. I have no alternative but to pronounce you guilty of heresy and witchcraft and to sentence you to be tortured and then burned at the stake. And yet we might be merciful if you would confess your heresy and repent of your witchcraft.

Elizabeth: My lord, I do not wish to die, and the thought of torture frightens me, but I cannot confess to something I have not done. It is true I obtained a copy of the New Testament and read it to my son, but he was terribly sick and I thought the words of Our Lord might comfort him. And it is also true that I nursed him back to health without the aid of doctors, but that was no witchcraft. I simply fed him broths and garlic instead of having the doctors bleed him. I am no heretic and no witch.

Father Ramon: From your own mouth, you bear witness against yourself. We find you guilty. I sentence you to be immediately taken to the place of torture. And from there you will be taken to the stake and burned. God will not have mercy on your soul because the judgment of this court is the judgment of God. There is no higher court.

A large man, about 40 years old, steps out of the crowd and into the center of the town square.

Bulkington: I challenge the judgment of this court and demand the right, in the name of Jesus Christ, to prove this woman's innocence by trial of combat.

Father Ramon: It is a popular belief that an appeal for a trial by combat cannot be denied, but that, like all popular beliefs, is false. A trial by combat cannot be denied by the civil authority, but we of the Society of the Tridentine are a civil and an ecclesiastical authority. And the ecclesiastical authorities do not have to recognize an appeal for a trial by combat.

Bulkington: Surely the court will make an exception in this case. This woman has no husband and no son old enough to champion her cause. She has had no attorney to speak for her. It seems only fair that she be allowed a champion to prove her innocence.

Father Ramon: This woman is guilty and that is final. There can be no alteration of the verdict. However, this court will consider altering her punishment should you be willing, Sir Knight, to be put to the test, in which case this court would consider changing the woman's sentence from death to banishment.

Bulkington: I accept the conditions.

Father Ramon: I warn you the test will be severe. It might cost you your life.

Bulkington: Still, I accept.

Father Ramon: It is done then. Guards, escort that woman to the jail. Don't worry, Sir Knight, she will not be harmed until your quest ends. If you fail, she dies. If you succeed, she is banished. Now, take her away.

Elizabeth: May I be permitted one word before I'm taken to jail?

Father Ramon: Yes.

Elizabeth (to Bulkington): Thank you, sir, with all my heart.

Ramon: How touching; now take her away. Now, Sir Knight, or Sir Pilgrim, or whoever you are. I don't know where you came from nor do I care. You have rashly declared that you are willing to be put to the test. Well, this court now decrees what the test shall be. You will be escorted to the edge of the Forest of Fears. You shall then enter the Forest and proceed through it until you come to the Castle of Horrors. You will bring back the head of the Lord of that castle. No other token will be acceptable. Bring back the head, and you will have achieved the release of the woman. Now go.

Scene II.

Old Friar: What brings you to these woods, good sir? It is not often that these woods are traveled.

Bulkington: I seek the Castle of Horrors.

Old Friar: I have spent eight score years on this earth and five score years have I spent in these woods. I have seen many men pass by seeking the Castle of Horrors, but never have I seen them return. They all perish. Why would you go there?

Bulkington: I seek the Lord of the castle.

Old Friar: Why?

Bulkington: I must kill him.

Old Friar: Again, I ask you, why?

Bulkington: It will free an innocent woman.

Old Friar: I see. Now I know. Father Ramon sent you. What will you do if the Lord of the Castle is a good and true man? Will you still kill him?

Bulkington: No, I will not.

Old Friar: Then will the woman die?

Bulkington: Perhaps, but perhaps I can still save her.

Old Friar: Though not an old man, you seem old enough to know that we must all bend to Providence. There is very little we can control. Go back, give up this foolish quest and pray for the poor woman's soul; that is all you can do.

Bulkington: Is that what five score years of prayer and fasting has taught you? Well, I can't accept that. I know the victory belongs to God, but it seems to me, at least every drop of my blood tells me so, that we are enjoined to give battle.

Old Friar: Those are the words of a child. That woman's life, be she innocent or guilty, is but a speck in this vast universe. It is of no consequence. Nothing is of any consequence except His will. And all is going according to plan.

Bulkington: I suppose that passes for wisdom amongst your fellow friars, but I hear only nonsense. When you talk about the lord, to whom are you referring?

Old Friar: To the Lord of the Universe, to Jesus Christ.

Bulkington: I'm not sure I'm familiar with your Christ. The one I know cares about his children, each and every speck.

Old Friar: There is a force behind the universe that binds even our Lord. We must all bow to it. Father Ramon and the holy fathers of the Tridentine know this; you do not.

Bulkington: If, as you say, there is a force more powerful than Christ, is it to Christ you pray or to the force?

Old Friar: I pray to Christ because he is the intermediary. He carries out the will of the force.

Bulkington: Is this force a benevolent force?

Old Friar: This force is neither benevolent nor malevolent; it is simply the force.

Bulkington: Could you point the way, now, to the Castle of Horrors?

Old Friar: After all I have told you, do you still wish to go to the Castle of Horrors?

Bulkington: Yes, Old Friar, I do, because I do not worship the force.

Old Friar: Well, if you must go, against my advice, please take this magic talisman. It will aid you in your quest and keep you free from harm.

Bulkington: I want no talisman from you, Old Friar. Just point the way to the Castle of Horrors.

Old Friar: Foolish man! If you refuse my help, then go to your doom. There, beyond the stream is a valley. Go down that valley and up to the other side of the hill. Then you will see the Castle of Horrors. And may God have mercy on your soul.

Bulkington: And on yours, blasphemous Friar.

Scene III.

Chorus: Now the intrepid Bulkington has reached the valley that the good, old friar has directed him to. It's quite a descent. In the valley is the cottage of the lovely lady. Maybe she can be of some assistance to the Quixotic Bulkington. We shall see.

Bulkington knocks on the door of the cottage and is admitted.

Lovely Lady: Please enter. You must be tired and hungry.

Bulkington: No, I am seeking directions. I'm looking for the Castle of Horrors.

Lovely Lady: Oh heavens! Why would you seek such a place?

Bulkington: An innocent woman's life is at stake. I must get to the Castle of Horrors.

Lovely Lady: Oh, you men! You always must be seeking something. And what you seek never pleases you when you find it. Stay with me here. In this cottage is all that a man needs.

Bulkington: I need to find the Castle of Horrors.

Lovely Lady: Why? So you can kill? Yes, I know what you have been sent to do. Many men have passed through this valley to the Castle of Horrors. And they all have died.

Bulkington: Who kills them?

Lovely Lady: Some perish in the ascent to the castle, and the rest perish when they meet the Lord of the castle.

Bulkington: And who is the Lord of the Castle?

Lovely Lady: A very great man and a very evil man. This valley once contained a village. Now, only I remain. The women, at least the young ones, he took to his castle. The men he killed. It was a horrible time.

Bulkington: Why are you allowed to remain here unmolested?

Lovely Lady: That I do not know. Perhaps Our Lord preserved my life so I could warn travelers of the dangers of the Castle of Horrors.

Bulkington: No, I don't think that is the reason. I think you are here to aid the Lord of the Castle. Your beauty is too ethereal; it is unreal. I think when a man kisses you, he dies. And many men have died here, have they not?

Lovely Lady: This is raving, complete madness. My kisses cure, they do not kill. Come, I'll prove it to you.

Bulkington: Stand back, or this dagger enters your heart.

Lovely Lady: Fool, go then and meet your doom in the swamps.

Chorus: So Bulkington proceeds to the swamps. If he had had stayed in the cottage, he would have seen the lovely lady return to her true shape and form, that of an old hag.

If you look closely you can see Bulkington in the distance, wading through the swamp. Look! A crocodile is gliding, unseen, toward Bulkington. At the last possible moment, he turns and faces the reptile. The crocodile's initial thrust dislodges the dagger from Bulkington's hand. He is weaponless. The mighty jaws of the crocodile are now open and set to close on Bulkington…

Well, you saw the same thing I did. Bulkington grabbed the crocodile's jaws and forced them to open and open and open, until they broke. The crocodile is dead, and Bulkington has reached the edge of the swamp safely. Now he will ascend the mountain that leads to the Castle of Horrors.

Scene IV. The Castle of Horrors.

A giant stands in front of the castle entrance.

Giant: Stop right there, little man. No one goes into the castle unless I let him go in.

Bulkington: Then stand aside. I have business with the Lord of the Castle.

Giant: I stand aside for no one. You go back to where you came from or die.

Bulkington: I give you fair warning – stand aside or you die.

Giant: Who are you to challenge me?

Bulkington: I am Welsh; I have the blood of Corineus, the giant killer, in my veins. If we fight, you will die.

Giant: We shall see.

Chorus: All the world knows of Corineus's great struggle with the giant Gogmagog. Will this battle equal that one? Let us see.

(The chorus remains silent for one hour.)

Chorus: Well, you saw it. At first it seemed as if the giant would squeeze the life out of Bulkington in no time at all, but he didn't. Bulkington escaped from his grasp and made a series of attacks to the body of the great giant. Many times it seemed like the giant would prevail by crushing Bulkington with one fatal blow. And Bulkington did receive many a blow. His face is covered with blood. But in the end, it was Bulkington who picked the giant up and hurled him off the cliff. He is worthy of his ancestor.

Now, he faces the Castle of Horrors. He cries out to the men of the castle to let down the drawbridge. This they do and Bulkington is allowed to enter the castle. He proceeds, unmolested, to the throne-room. There he meets the Lord of the Castle. The Lord is a portly, cherubic-looking man of about forty-five years of age.

Lord of the Castle: You look a mess, Mr. Bulkington. Let me have one of the servants tend to your wounds.

Bulkington: That's not necessary.

Lord of the Castle: Oh, I see. You do not want to accept the hospitality of a man whom you are about to kill. But I am not worried in the slightest. Why? Yes, I see that question on your face. Because I am innocent. Oh, don't mistake me, I'm not innocent as the newborn is innocent, but I am innocent of the crimes that are attributed to me. I am not a fiend. I do not sacrifice virgins nor do I indulge in wizardry or witchcraft. If you kill me, innocent blood will be on your hands. And a man who goes through what you have in order to spare an innocent life will not take a life to spare a life.

Bulkington: Are you the Lord of this castle?

Lord of the Castle: No, Father Ramon is the lord of this castle. He is the lord of this land. Long ago he decided he needed a Castle of Horrors to send "difficult" men to. The witch in the valley, the swamp, and the giant were all placed there by Father Ramon.

Bulkington: Have others come to the castle to kill you then?

Lord of the Castle: Hundreds have been sent, but you are the first that ever made it to the castle.

Bulkington: Why do you allow Father Ramon to use you as a figurehead?

Lord of the Castle: Because I am a weak man. I did not want to be put to torture. Even though he is my brother – yes, I said my brother – he would kill me if I opposed his will. I am not an intense man. Good food, good music, that is all I crave. I am not an obsessive man like my brother or like you.

Bulkington: You liken me to your brother?

Lord of the Castle: Yes, in one way. In other ways, no. You are like him in that you are both obsessed with God. But you are obsessed with two different visions of God. Your God is, for want of a better word, a cavalier. Honor, love, bravery and all that. My brother Ramon's God is a majestic God, above love, above human honor codes; he is simply the Almighty.

Bulkington: And which vision of God do you believe in?

Lord of the Castle: Oh, I don't believe or disbelieve. I don't think we can ever know about God one way or another. But I will tell you something in confidence: if there is a God, I hope he is like your vision and not my brother's.

Bulkington: Well, you are right about one thing; I can't kill you.

Lord of the Castle: I knew you wouldn't be able to. And I know you feel terrible about that young woman's fate. But there is really nothing I can do to help you.

Bulkington: Will you explain something to me?

Lord of the Castle: Of course, if I can.

Bulkington: Why does Father Ramon send men to kill you?

Lord of the Castle: The men he sends are men that he finds troublesome and wants to dispose of. Since they have committed no crime for which he can execute them, he sends them on a quest that he is sure they will never return from. His pretense for the quest varies but the result is always the same – death.

Bulkington: Then Father Ramon sent me on this quest hoping that I would be killed?

Lord of the Castle: No, in your case, it was different. You see I have my spies too. I have a few friends in my dear brother Ramon's camp. For some reason that I can't quite fathom, my brother Ramon wanted you to succeed. He wanted you to kill me, which makes no sense to me. I do him no harm. In fact, I provide a useful service for him. Nor does he care a fig for the life of the young woman. So, I am confused. Why, this time, did he hope that you would succeed?

Bulkington: This world you live in, what do you call it?

Lord of the Castle: Whatever do you mean? It is earth; there is no other place for mortals.

Bulkington: But there are different parts of this earth and different planes of existence. But let that pass. Apparently the Council of the Tridentine has long tentacles. I think your life was to be a pawn in a cruel chess game meant to bring about my disgrace, though it is hard to believe that men so learned could be so foolish. Did they really think I would simply march in here and cut your head off without trying to find out whether you were an evil or just man?

Lord of the Castle: I think I see a little light. Yes, that much is clear. My death was to bring about your disgrace. And as for their blindness; that's easy to explain. A horse with blinders on sees only what the blinders allow him to see. My brother and the men like him have blinders on their hearts. They could never see what you see or feel what you feel.

Bulkington: You are talking like a man of faith.

Lord of the Castle: No, I am not that. But I will tell you this. When I go into my bedroom tonight I will kneel and pray to the God who may or may not exist, and this is what I will say to that God: "God, please, if you exist, help me to feel what that man Bulkington feels and see what that man Bulkington sees."

Bulkington: You are a better man than you know. God bless you. Now, I must go back and see this brother of yours.

Lord of the Castle: And God bless you.
Continue to Chapter Eight.