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The Descent of Hughes
Page 6 - Endnotes

'I am a stranger and a knight adventurous
who laboureth throughout many realms
for to win worship'
Don Quixote

*'worship' - renown for brave deeds

"Comrade Rossiter. I shall be delighted to furnish you with particulars of my family history. As follows. Soon after the Norman Conquest, a certain Sieur de Psmith grew tired of work - a family failing, alas! - and settled down in this country to live peacefully for the remainder of his life on what he could extract from the local peasantry. He may be described as the founder of the family which ultimately culminated in Me. Passing on." Psmith in the City by P G Wodehouse

"I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend, the city of the Men of Numenor, and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom." The Lord of the Rings

"There is more of good in you than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." The Hobbit

'The light at first was dim, falling only from the high windows of the clerestory; some hours passed before the golden lights in the candelabra began to pale and the shadows to lessen, revealing many motionless figures, such as those of the Yeoman of the Guard in the nave, who hitherto had gone almost unperceived. There was indeed much to notice, and the eye strayed alternately from the overhead architectural splendours of vault and column to the tiny figures moving across the floor, stiff as dolls in their multi-coloured robes. The blue-and-silver of the velvet hangings, the blue mantle of the Prince of Wales, the grey heron plumes in his cap, the silks of the Indian princes, the lozenges on a herald's tabard, the crimson of the peers and peeresses massed in the transepts, the motley of a jewelled window, the silence of the Throne, the slight stir, the absence of voices, the swell of the organ, the hushed arrivals, the sense of expectancy - all blended together into one immense and confused significance. It is to be doubted whether one person in that whole assembly had a clear thought in his head. Rather, words and their associations marched in a grand chain, giving hand to hand: England, Shakespeare, Elizabeth, London; Westminster, the docks, India, the Cutty Sark, England; England, Gloucestershire, John of Gaunt; Magna Carta, Cromwell, England. Vague, inexplicable epithets flitted across the mind, familiar even in their unfamiliarity; Unicorn Pursuivant, Portcullis, Rouge Dragon, Black Rod, O'Connor Don, the Lord of the Isles, Macgillycuddy of the Reeks. What did all those words mean? What could they possibly mean to a foreigner?' The Edwardians

"I have laboured to make a covenant with myself that affection may not press upon judgement, for I suppose there is no man that hath any apprehension of gentry or nobleness, but his affections stands to the continuance of so noble a name and house, and would take hold of a twig or a twine thread to uphold it. And yet, Time hath his revolutions; there must be a period and an end to all things temporal ~ finis rerum ~ an end of names and dignities and whatsoever is terrene, and why not of de Vere? For where is Bohun? Where is Mowbray? Where is Mortimer? Nay, which is more and most of all, where is Plantagenet? They are entombed in the urns and sepulchres of mortality." Sir Ranulph Crew (1625)

Not quite...

'Man is known among men as his deeds attest,
Which make noble origin manifest.'
Arabian Knights

Here are the final lines of 'Cyrano de Bergerac':

Live, for I love you!

No, In fairy tales
When to the ill-starred Prince the lady says
'I love you!' all his ugliness fades fast--
But I remain the same, up to the last!

I have marred your life--I, I!

You blessed my life!
Never on me had rested woman's love.
My mother even could not find me fair:
I had no sister; and, when grown a man,
I feared the mistress who would mock at me.
But I have had your friendship--grace to you
A woman's charm has passed across my path.

LE BRET (pointing to the moon, which is seen between the trees):
Your other lady-love is come.

CYRANO (smiling):
I see.

I loved but once, yet twice I lose my love!

Hark you, Le Bret! I soon shall reach the moon.
To-night, alone, with no projectile's aid!. . .

What are you saying?

I tell you, it is there,
There, that they send me for my Paradise,
There I shall find at last the souls I love,
In exile,--Galileo--Socrates!

LE BRET (rebelliously):
No, no! It is too clumsy, too unjust!
So great a heart! So great a poet! Die
Like this? what, die. . .?

Hark to Le Bret, who scolds!

LE BRET (weeping):
Dear friend. . .

CYRANO (starting up, his eyes wild):
What ho! Cadets of Gascony!
The elemental mass--ah yes! The hic. . .

His science still--he raves!

Said. . .


Mais que diable allait-il faire,
Mais que diable allait-il faire dans cette galere?. . .
Philosopher, metaphysician,
Rhymer, brawler, and musician,
Famed for his lunar expedition,
And the unnumbered duels he fought,--
And lover also,--by interposition!--
Here lies Hercule Savinien
De Cyrano de Bergerac,
Who was everything, yet was naught.
I cry you pardon, but I may not stay;
See, the moon-ray that comes to call me hence!
(He has fallen back in his chair; the sobs of Roxane recall him to reality; he
looks long at her, and, touching her veil):
I would not bid you mourn less faithfully
That good, brave Christian: I would only ask
That when my body shall be cold in clay
You wear those sable mourning weeds for two,
And mourn awhile for me, in mourning him.

I swear it you!. . .

CYRANO (shivering violently, then suddenly rising):
Not there! what, seated?--no!
(They spring toward him):
Let no one hold me up--
(He props himself against the tree):
Only the tree!
It comes. E'en now my feet have turned to stone,
My hands are gloved with lead!
(He stands erect):
But since Death comes,
I meet him still afoot,
(He draws his sword):
And sword in hand!


ROXANE (half fainting):

(All shrink back in terror.)

Why, I well believe
He dares to mock my nose? Ho! insolent!
(He raises his sword):
What say you? It is useless? Ay, I know
But who fights ever hoping for success?
I fought for lost cause, and for fruitless quest!
You there, who are you!--You are thousands!
I know you now, old enemies of mine!
(He strikes in air with his sword):
Have at you! Ha! and Compromise!
Prejudice, Treachery!. . .
(He strikes):
Surrender, I?
Parley? No, never! You too, Folly,--you?
I know that you will lay me low at last;
Let be! Yet I fall fighting, fighting still!
(He makes passes in the air, and stops, breathless):
You strip from me the laurel and the rose!
Take all! Despite you there is yet one thing
I hold against you all, and when, to-night,
I enter Christ's fair courts, and, lowly bowed,
Sweep with doffed casque the heavens' threshold blue,
One thing is left, that, void of stain or smutch,
I bear away despite you.

(He springs forward, his sword raised; it falls from his hand; he staggers,
falls back into the arms of Le Bret and Ragueneau.)

ROXANE (bending and kissing his forehead):
'Tis?. . .

CYRANO (opening his eyes, recognizing her, and smiling):


Here is 'Lullaby' by W H Auden

Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.

Soul and body have no bounds:
To lovers as they lie upon
Her tolerant enchanted slope
In their ordinary swoon,
Grave the vision Venus sends
Of supernatural sympathy,
Universal love and hope;
While an abstract insight wakes
Among the glaciers and the rocks
The hermit's carnal ecstasy.

Certainty, fidelity
On the stroke of midnight pass
Like vibrations of a bell
And fashionable madmen raise
Their pedantic boring cry:
Every farthing of the cost,
All the dreaded cards foretell,
Shall be paid, but from this night
Not a whisper, not a thought,
Not a kiss nor look be lost.

Beauty, midnight, vision dies:
Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of welcome show
Eye and knocking heart may bless,
Find our mortal world enough;
Noons of dryness find you fed
By the involuntary powers,
Nights of insult let you pass
Watched by every human love.

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