A scholar sits with his dog, lion and dragon at his feet, c.1390-1396
Every scholar should have a pet, for companionship and inspiration. A dog, like here, or an owl, or maybe even a white cat.
The mini-lion and the mini-wyvern are showing off a bit, but if this chap is working on something heraldic, he has an excuse. They may even be tax-deductible.
Jesus invites the possibility of changing one’s mind and heart from settled patterns into something that admits of wide open possibilities contained in our life with God. To be open to new understanding and interpretation just as Jesus tried to offer his listeners new ways of imagining God’s love.
-Br. Robert L’Esperance
Jimmy Smith – Walk on the Wild Side
At the core of the Christian teaching is redemption. Every day, every moment offers each of us an opportunity. Jesus teaches us we are not bound by our past. This is revolutionary! This same notion offers us a life full of innumerable opportunities. But these not be taken as some far flung adventures – those opportunities can be as simple and spectacular as the songs of birds, the annual life and death of blossoms, the unfolding stories of our loved ones……on and on it goes. This is offered, not demanded. We are free to try this, or not. We are free to try it without Christ, without framing this concept in any sort of mystical frame. For me, the most inspiring and, in many ways, though not all, the most logical approach to life is to seek this through that spiritual lens and for me, that is the way of Christ. There, I find hope, strength, wisdom, and creative possibility. And joy! And in that vein, Jimmy Smith is offered as an example of that creative, joyous mischief. His brilliance with the organ brought the instrument into an entirely new light. And the title of this song encourages playful creativity, something seldom associated with Christianity, and that is tragic because when properly understood and practiced, playful creativity is arguably part of the Christian call. The great Oliver Nelson arranged this masterpiece and his band serves as the band for the album “Bashin’” from which the track derives. Starting out with a sort of brooding simmer, Jimmy Smith ushers in a brassy change of pace a couple minutes into the song and from there it snaps and bounces along in a captivating way, a smoldering example of what can be attained – even if we cannot comprehend it from where we currently stand. One last observation; I’m also reminded of patience in this song. I’ve always marveled at how patiently Jimmy Smith will ride out a note, masterfully carrying it, building up the expectation until an orgasmic release finally gets ushered in. What a genius!
The Gordon Riots, depicted in a painting by John Seymour Lucas
The Gordon Riots of 1780 were an anti-Catholic protest against the Papists Act 1778.
The Popery Act 1698 had imposed a number of penalties and disabilities on Roman Catholics in England; the 1778 Act eliminated some of these. An initial peaceful protest led on to widespread rioting and looting and was the most destructive of the 18th century in London. Painted on the wall of Newgate prison was the proclamation that the inmates had been freed by the authority of “His Majesty, King Mob”. The term “King Mob” ever after denoted an unruly and fearsome proletariat.
The Riots came at the height of the American War of Independence with Britain fighting American rebels, France, Spain and the Dutch Republic. They led to unfounded fears that they had been a deliberate attempt by France to destabilise Britain before an imminent French invasion.
After Culloden- Rebel Hunting. John Seymour Lucas. Oil on canvas. 1884
The painting depicts the rigorous search conducted by English soldiers for Jacobite supporters in the days that followed the Battle of Culloden.
And some farriers at work. ;)
“Seldom have two ages the same fashion in their pretexts and the same modes of mischief. Wickedness is a little more inventive. Whilst you are discussing fashion, the fashion is gone by. The very same vice assumes a new body. The spirit transmigrates; and, far from losing its principle of life by the change of its appearance, it is renovated in its new organs with the fresh vigor of a juvenile activity. It walks abroad; it continues its ravages; whilst you are gibbetting the carcass, or demolishing the tomb. You are terrifying yourself with ghosts and apparitions, while your house is the haunt of robbers. It is thus with all those, who, attending only to the shell and husk of history, think they are waging war with intolerance, pride, and cruelty, whilst, under color of abhorring the ill principles of antiquated parties, they are authorizing and feeding the same odious vices in different factions, and perhaps in worse.”— Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)
ca. 1840-60, [daguerreotype portrait of a gentleman wearing top hat and patch over left eye]
The Importunate Neighbour
William Holman Hunt
"Four Weighty Authorities on Reform", a lithograph made by Charles Jameson Grant and published by George Humphrey in 31 March 1831.
The print is a comment on the attitudes of the Whig, Tory, Liberal, and Radical Parties toward reform.
Four orators (poorly characterized) stand full-face, inscribed (left to right) Whig, Tory, Liberal, Radical.
Grey stands with hands held out, saying, ‘Reform is absolutely necessary to prevent Revolution’.
Wellington brings down his clenched left fist towards his open right hand: ‘I do maintain that Reform means nothing else than Revolution’ .
The Liberal, with lank hair, his fingers interlaced and thumbs together, says primly: ‘A Lee-tle Reform is wanting but fiddlededee about Revolution’. He may be John Lee Lee, M.P. Wells.
Cobbett, wearing top-boots, brandishes his gridiron and clenches his left fist, declaring: ‘I say If we dont have a Real Radical Reform we’ll have a Revolution’.