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Old 11-10-2016, 07:40 AM   #1201
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

I finished my thesis and submitted it.

It became necessary for me to seek an extension. There is a long explanation for this, but I will only give you the short version. I got lost in Chapter 1 on Francis Bacon's New Atlantis. Part of the reason for losing my way, was not understanding what direction I was heading. That leads to over-exploring and analysing the text which, in turn, leads to too many ideas and a lack of focus for my critical lens. Once I got out of Chapter 1 and started work on my other authors, it became alot clearer where I was going which made the writing of those chapters easier.
The problem was that I did not move onto Chapter 2 until far too long into the project.
It was not as if I was on a trajectory towards a failure. Rather, without the extension it was highly unlikely that I would receive a High Distinction needed for a scholarship. Whilst it is not guaranteed that I will receive that level of mark, my supervisor was willing to tell me that he would mark my paper as an HD if he was a marker.

As of right now, I am inclined to go on to do my Ph.D. but I will need to wait sometime (around 4-6 weeks) before I even know whether that opportunity is open for me.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:09 AM   #1202
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

I am back.

So, I have completed my Master of Research degree and all its component parts and only now have to wait for the mark.

My Ph.D. will be focussed upon Royalist literature and the emergence of Enlightenment thinking in British intellectual culture. I inform you of this because one focus for my posting over the next couple of months will be background information upon this subject.
Of course, I will also be posting about what I have been reading and listening for recreation as well.



John Dryden (/ˈdraɪdən/; 19 August*[O.S. 9 August]*1631 – 12 May *[O.S. 1 May]*1700) was an English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who was made England's first Poet Laureate in 1668.[1]
He is seen as dominating the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden. Walter Scott called him "Glorious John."

Dryden was the dominant literary figure and influence of his age. He established the heroic couplet as a standard form of English poetry by writing successful satires, religious pieces, fables, epigrams, compliments, prologues, and plays with it; he also introduced the alexandrine and triplet into the form. In his poems, translations, and criticism, he established a poetic diction appropriate to the heroic couplet—Auden referred to him as "the master of the middle style"[17]—that was a model for his contemporaries and for much of the 18th century. The considerable loss felt by the English literary community at his death was evident in the elegies written about him.[18] Dryden's heroic couplet became the dominant poetic form of the 18th century. Alexander Pope was heavily influenced by Dryden and often borrowed from him; other writers were equally influenced by Dryden and Pope. Pope famously praised Dryden's versification in his imitation of Horace's Epistle II.i: "Dryden taught to join / The varying pause, the full resounding line, / The long majestic march, and energy divine." Samuel Johnson[19] summed up the general attitude with his remark that "the veneration with which his name is pronounced by every cultivator of English literature, is paid to him as he refined the language, improved the sentiments, and tuned the numbers of English poetry." His poems were very widely read, and are often quoted, for instance, in Tom Jones and Johnson's essays.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:16 AM   #1203
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

The Secular Masque

Enter JANUS
JANUS
Chronos, Chronos, mend thy pace,
An hundred times the rolling sun
Around the radiant belt has run
In his revolving race.
Behold, behold, the goal in sight,
Spread thy fans, and wing thy flight.

Enter CHRONOS, with a scythe in his hand, and a great globe on his back, which he sets down at his entrance
CHRONOS
Weary, weary of my weight,
Let me, let me drop my freight,
And leave the world behind.
I could not bear
Another year
The load of human-kind.

Enter MOMUS Laughing
MOMUS
Ha! ha! ha! Ha! ha! ha! well hast thou done,
*********To lay down thy pack,
*********And lighten thy back.
The world was a fool, e'er since it begun,
And since neither Janus, nor Chronos, nor I,
*********Can hinder the crimes,
*********Or mend the bad times,
'Tis better to laugh than to cry.

CHORUS OF ALL THREE
'Tis better to laugh than to cry

JANUS
Since Momus comes to laugh below,
*********Old Time begin the show,
That he may see, in every scene,
What changes in this age have been,

CHRONOS
Then Goddess of the silver bow begin.

Horns, or hunting-music within
DIANA
With horns and with hounds I waken the day,
And hie to my woodland walks away;
I tuck up my robe, and am buskin'd soon,
And tie to my forehead a waxing moon.
I course the fleet stag, unkennel the fox,
And chase the wild goats o'er summits of rocks,
With shouting and hooting we pierce thro' the sky;
And Echo turns hunter, and doubles the cry.

CHORUS OF ALL
With shouting and hooting, we pierce through the sky,
And Echo turns hunter, and doubles the cry.

JANUS
Then our age was in its prime,

CHRONOS
Free from rage,

DIANA
—And free from crime.

MOMUS
A very merry, dancing, drinking,
Laughing, quaffing, and unthinking time.

CHORUS OF ALL
Then our age was in its prime,
Free from rage, and free from crime,
A very merry, dancing, drinking,
Laughing, quaffing, and unthinking time.

Dance of Diana's attendants
MARS
Inspire the vocal brass, inspire;
The world is past its infant age:
*********Arms and honour,
*********Arms and honour,
Set the martial mind on fire,
And kindle manly rage.
Mars has look'd the sky to red;
And peace, the lazy good, is fled.
Plenty, peace, and pleasure fly;
*********The sprightly green
In woodland-walks, no more is seen;
The sprightly green, has drunk the Tyrian dye.

CHORUS OF ALL
Plenty, peace, |&|c.

MARS
Sound the trumpet, beat the drum,
***Through all the world around;
Sound a reveille, sound, sound,
The warrior god is come.

CHORUS OF ALL
Sound the trumpet, |&|c.

MOMUS
Thy sword within the scabbard keep,
*********And let mankind agree;
Better the world were fast asleep,
*********Than kept awake by thee.
The fools are only thinner,
*********With all our cost and care;
But neither side a winner,
*********For things are as they were.

CHORUS OF ALL
The fools are only, |&|c.

Enter VENUS
VENUS
Calms appear, when storms are past;
Love will have his hour at last:
Nature is my kindly care;
Mars destroys, and I repair;
Take me, take me, while you may,
Venus comes not ev'ry day.

CHORUS OF ALL
Take her, take her, |&|c.

CHRONOS
The world was then so light,
I scarcely felt the weight;
Joy rul'd the day, and love the night.
But since the Queen of Pleasure left the ground,
*********I faint, I lag,
*********And feebly drag
The pond'rous Orb around.
All, all of a piece throughout;

pointing {}} to Diana {}}
MOMUS,
Thy chase had a beast in view;

to Mars
Thy wars brought nothing about;

to Venus
Thy lovers were all untrue.

JANUS
'Tis well an old age is out,
And time to begin a new.

CHORUS OF ALL
All, all of a piece throughout;
Thy chase had a beast in view;
Thy wars brought nothing about;
Thy lovers were all untrue.
'Tis well an old age is out,
And time to begin a new.

John Dryden
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:26 AM   #1204
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

Chronos



The Met
Agostino Zoppo (Italian, ca. 1520–1572)
Our Chronos no doubt comes from the tomb of an as-yet unidentified Paduan humanist for which classical subject matter would have been devised as an appropriate accompaniment.

Chronos (/ˈkroʊnɒs/; Greek: Χρόνος, "time," also transliterated as Khronos or Latinised as Chronus) is the personification of Time in pre-Socratic philosophy and later literature.

During antiquity, Chronos was occasionally interpreted as Cronus.[4] According to Plutarch, the Greeks believed that Cronus was an allegorical name for Chronos.[5] In addition to the name, the story of Cronus eating his children was also interpreted as an allegory to a specific aspect of time held within Cronus' sphere of influence. As the theory went, Cronus represented the destructive ravages of time which consumed all things, a concept that was definitely illustrated when the Titan king devoured the Olympian gods — the past consuming the future, the older generation suppressing the next generation. During the Renaissance, the identification of Cronus and Chronos gave rise to "Father Time" wielding the harvesting scythe.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:37 AM   #1205
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

Janus



In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus (/ˈdʒeɪnəs/; Latin: Ianus, pronounced*[ˈjaː.nus]) is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, doorways,[1] passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus (Ianuarius),[2] but according to ancient Roman farmers' almanacs Juno was the tutelary deity of the month.[3]
Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace. The doors of his temple were open in time of war, and closed to mark the peace. As a god of transitions, he had functions pertaining to birth and to journeys and exchange, and in his association with Portunus, a similar harbor and gateway god, he was concerned with travelling, trading and shipping.
Janus had no flamen or specialised priest (sacerdos) assigned to him, but the King of the Sacred Rites (rex sacrorum) himself carried out his ceremonies. Janus had a ubiquitous presence in religious ceremonies throughout the year, and was ritually invoked at the beginning of each one, regardless of the main deity honored on any particular occasion.
The ancient Greeks had no equivalent to Janus, whom the Romans claimed as distinctively their own.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:42 AM   #1206
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

Momus



Momus (/ˈmoʊməs/; Greek: Μῶμος Momos) was in Greek mythology the personification of satire and mockery, two stories about whom figure among Aesop’s Fables. During the Renaissance, several literary works used him as a mouthpiece for their criticism of tyranny, while others later made him a critic of contemporary society. Onstage he finally became the figure of harmless fun.

At the start of the 16th century, Erasmus also presented Momus as a champion of legitimate criticism of authorities. Allowing that the god was “not quite as popular as others, because few people freely admit criticism, yet I dare say of the whole crowd of gods celebrated by the poets, none was more useful.”[12] Giordano Bruno's philosophical treatise The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast (1584)[13] also looks back to Lucian’s example. Momus there plays an integral part in the series of dialogues conducted by the Olympian deities and Bruno's narrators as Jupiter seeks to purge the universe of evil.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:51 AM   #1207
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The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The term Restoration is used to describe both the actual event by which the monarchy was restored, and the period of several years afterwards in which a new political settlement was established.[1] It is very often used to cover the whole reign of Charles II (1660–1685) and often the brief reign of his younger brother James II (1685–1688).[2] In certain contexts it may be used to cover the whole period of the later Stuart monarchs as far as the death of Queen Anne and the accession of the Hanoverian George I in 1714;[3] for example Restoration comedy typically encompasses works written as late as 1710.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:53 AM   #1208
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

MOMUS
Thy sword within the scabbard keep,
*********And let mankind agree;
Better the world were fast asleep,
*********Than kept awake by thee.
The fools are only thinner,
*********With all our cost and care;
But neither side a winner,
*********For things are as they were.
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Old 11-17-2016, 05:55 AM   #1209
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

1685-1725 is part of the period I will be studying.

To get a sense of the 'sensibility' (so to speak), I am interested in getting a feel for the culture.

"Baroque" music


Nicola Matteis (about 1678-1749)

Nicola Matteis (Matheis) (fl. c. 1670 – after 1714[1]) was the earliest notable Italian Baroque violinist in London, whom Roger North judged in retrospect "to have bin a second to Corelli," and a composer of significant popularity in his time, though he has been utterly forgotten until the later 20th century.[2]
Very little is known of his early life, although Matteis was probably born in Naples, describing himself as 'Napolitano' in several of his works. He came to London in the early 1670s and according to the diarist Roger North, had a city merchant as a sponsor, who schooled him in the ways of currying favor from the gentry (by allowing them to accompany him in parlor recitals and other minor performances).[3] John Evelyn reports in his diary for 19 November 1674, the earliest notice of Matteis, "I heard that stupendious Violin Signor Nichola (with other rare Musitians) whom certainly never mortal man Exceeded on that instrument, he had a stroak so sweete, & made it speake like the Voice of a man; & when he pleased, like a Consort of severall Instruments: he did wonders upon a Note: was an excellent Composer also. Nothing approch'd the violin in Nicholas' hand: he seem'd to be spiritato'd & plaied such ravishing things on a ground as astonishd us all."[4] Matteis enjoyed great artistic and commercial success with his published music, notably four books of Ayres (1676, 1685), but married a rich widow in 1700 and retired from the London musical scene;[5] according to North he nevertheless ended his days in ill health and poverty

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Old 11-17-2016, 06:12 AM   #1210
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Venus giving Arms to Aeneas.

Luca Giordano (18 October 1634 – 12 January 1705) was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Fluent and decorative, he worked successfully in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain.

"Giordano was the ideal rococo painter, speedy, prolific, dazzling in colour, assured in draughtsmanship, ever-talented and never touching the fringe of genius."
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Old 11-19-2016, 09:08 AM   #1211
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The Jam were an English punk rock/mod revival band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
They were formed in Woking, Surrey. While they shared the "angry young men" outlook and fast tempos of their punk rock contemporaries, The Jam wore smartly tailored suits rather than ripped clothes, and they incorporated a number of mainstream 1960s rock and R&B influences rather than rejecting them, placing The Jam at the forefront of the mod revival movement.
They had 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the United Kingdom, from their debut in 1977 to their break-up in December 1982, including four number one hits. As of 2007, "That's Entertainment" and "Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?" remained the best-selling import singles of all time in the UK.[5] They released one live album and six studio albums, the last of which, The Gift, hit number one on the UK album charts. When the group split up, their first 15 singles were re-released and all placed within the top 100.



"Town Called Malice"

Better stop dreaming of the quiet life
'Cos it's the one we'll never know
And quit running for that runaway bus
'Cos those rosey days are few
And...stop apologising for the things you've never done
'Cos time is short and life is cruel
But it's up to us to change
This town called Malice

Rows and rows of disused milk floats
Stand dying in the dairy yard
And a hundred lonely housewives
Clutch empty milk bottles to their hearts
Hanging out their old love letters on the line to dry
It's enough to make you stop believing
When tears come fast and furious
In a town called Malice

Struggle after struggle, year after year
The atmosphere's a fine blend of ice
I'm almost stone cold dead
In a town called Malice

A whole street's belief in Sunday's roast beef
Gets dashed against the co-op
To either cut down on beer or the kids' new gear
It's a big decision in a town called Malice

The ghost of a steam train echoes down my track
It's at the moment bound for nowhere
Just going 'round and 'round
Playground kids and creaking swings
Lost laughter in the breeze
I could go on for hours and I probably will
But I'd sooner put some joy back
In this town called Malice
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:56 AM   #1212
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For pleasure, I have begun to read part of my library gifted to me by my professor earlier this year. The book I am currently reading is:




Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known as Seneca the Younger or simply Seneca /ˈsɛnɪkə/; c. 4 BC – AD 65) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature.
He was a tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero. While he was forced to commit suicide for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero, some sources state that he may have been innocent.[1][2] His father was Seneca the Elder, his elder brother was Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus, and his nephew was the poet Lucan.


"Meanwhile, since I owe you the daily allowance, I'll tell you what took my fancy in the writings of Hecato today. 'What progress have I made? I am beginning to be my own friend.' That is progress indeed. Such a person will never be alone, and you may be sure he is a friend of all." (Letters from Seneca, Letter VI p40.)

Hecato or Hecaton of Rhodes (Greek: Ἑκάτων; fl. c. 100 BC) was a Stoic philosopher.
He was a native of Rhodes, and a disciple of Panaetius,[1] but nothing else is known of his life. It is clear that he was eminent amongst the Stoics of the period. He was a voluminous writer, but nothing remains. Diogenes LaŰrtius mentions six treatises written by Hecato:[2]
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:53 AM   #1213
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Letters to a Stoic
(Cont'd)

Anyway, here's what I do: I imagine to myself that the testing time is drawing near, that the day that is going to see judgement pronounced on the whole of my past life has actually arrived, and I take a look at myself and address myself in these terms: 'All that I've done or said up to now counts for nothing. My showing to date, besides being heavily varnished over, is of paltry value and reliability as a guarantee of my spirit. I'm going to leave it to death to settle what progress I;ve made. Without anxiety, then. I'm making ready for the day when the tricks and disguises will be put away and I shall come to a verdict on myself, determining whether the courageous attitudes I adopt are really felt or just so many words, and whether or not the defiant challenges I've hurled at fortune have been mere pretence and pantomline. Away with the world's opinion of you - it's always unsettled and divided. Away with the pursuits that have occupied the whole of your life - death is going to deliver the verdict in your case. Yes, all your debates and learned conferences, your scholarly talk and collection of maxims from the teachings of philosophers, are in no way indicative of genuine spiritual strength. Bold words come even from the timidest. It's only when you're breathing your last that the way you've spent your time will become apparent. I accept the terms, and feel no dread of the coming judgement.' (Letter XXVI p71)
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:29 AM   #1214
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Killing of Absalom.

Absalom or Avshalom (Hebrew: אַבְשָלוֹם, Modern*Avshalom, Tiberian*ʼAḇšāl˘m; "Father of peace") according to the Hebrew Bible was the third son of David, King of Israel with Maachah, daughter of Talmai, King of Geshur.[1]
2*Samuel 14:25 describes him as the most handsome man in the kingdom. Absalom eventually rebelled against his father and was killed during the Battle of Ephraim Wood.

After four years he declared himself king, raised a revolt at Hebron, the former capital, and slept with his father's concubines.[11] All Israel and Judah flocked to him, and David, attended only by the Cherethites and Pelethites and his former bodyguard, which had followed him from Gath, found it expedient to flee. The priests Zadok and Abiathar remained in Jerusalem, and their sons Jonathan and Ahimaaz served as David's spies. Absalom reached the capital and consulted with the renowned Ahithophel (sometimes spelled Achitophel).
David took refuge from Absalom's forces beyond the Jordan River. However, he took the precaution of instructing a servant, Hushai, to infiltrate Absalom's court and subvert it. Hushai convinced Absalom to ignore Ahithophel's advice to attack his father while he was on the run, and instead to prepare his forces for a major attack. This gave David critical time to prepare his own troops for the coming battle.


Ahitophel (Hebrew: אחיתופל‎‎; "Brother of Insipidity", or "Impiety") was a counselor of King David and a man greatly renowned for his sagacity. At the time of Absalom's revolt he deserted David (Psalm. 41:9; 55:12–14) and espoused the cause of Absalom (2 Samuel 15:12).

Ahithophel rendered a service to David upon another occasion; not, however, until he had been again threatened with the curse. It appears that David excavated too deeply for the foundations of the Temple, with the result that earth's deepest floods broke forth, and nearly inundated the earth. None could help but Ahithophel, who withheld his counsel in the hope of seeing David borne away upon the flood. When David again warned him of the malediction, Ahithophel counseled the king to throw a tile, with the ineffable name of God written upon it, into the cavity; whereupon the waters began to sink. Ahithophel is said to have defended his use of the name of God in this emergency by reference to the practice enjoined by Scripture (Num. v. 23) to restore marital harmony; surely a matter of small importance, he argued, compared with the threatened destruction of the world (Suk. 53a, b). (However, the actual text of Num 5:23 does not explicitly mention anything about writing the name of God anywhere. Rather, it says that curses are written in a book which are then blotted out with water, and the woman is made to drink the water, after which she would suffer the curses if she was unfaithful to her husband.) David's repeated malediction that Ahithophel would be hanged was finally realized when the latter hanged himself.


Absalom and Achitophel is a landmark poetic political satire by John Dryden (1631–1700). The poem exists in two parts. The first part, of 1681, is undoubtedly by Dryden. The second part, of 1682, was written by another hand, most likely Nahum Tate, except for a few passages—including attacks on Thomas Shadwell and Elkanah Settle, expressed as Og and Doeg—that Dryden wrote himself.



James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, 1st Duke of Buccleuch KG PC (9 April 1649 – 15 July 1685), was an English nobleman. Originally called James Crofts or James Fitzroy, he was born in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland and his mistress Lucy Walter.
He served in the Second Anglo-Dutch War and commanded English troops taking part in the Third Anglo-Dutch War before commanding the Anglo-Dutch brigade fighting in the Franco-Dutch War.
In 1685 he led the unsuccessful Monmouth Rebellion, an attempt to depose his uncle, King James II and VII. After one of his officers declared Monmouth the legitimate King in the town of Taunton in Somerset, Monmouth attempted to capitalise on his position as the son of Charles II, and his Protestantism, in opposition to James, who was a Roman Catholic. The rebellion failed, and Monmouth was beheaded for treason on 15 July 1685.

The Monmouth Rebellion, also known as The Revolt of the West or The West Country rebellion, was an attempt to overthrow James II, the Duke of York who had become King of England, Scotland, and Ireland upon the death of his elder brother Charles II on 6 February 1685. James II was a Roman Catholic, and some Protestants under his rule opposed his kingship. James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, an illegitimate son of Charles II, claimed to be rightful heir to the throne and attempted to displace James II.
Plans were discussed for several different actions to overthrow the monarch, following the failure of the Rye House Plot to assassinate Charles II and James, in 1683, while Monmouth was in self-imposed exile in the Dutch Republic. The Monmouth rebellion was coordinated with a rebellion in Scotland, where Archibald Campbell, the Earl of Argyll, landed with a small force. The Duke of Monmouth had been popular in the South West of England, so he planned to recruit troops locally and take control of the area before marching on London.
Monmouth landed at Lyme Regis on 11 June 1685. In the following few weeks, his growing army of nonconformists, artisans, and farm workers fought a series of skirmishes with local militias and regular soldiers commanded by Louis de Duras, 2nd Earl of Feversham, and John Churchill, who later became the Duke of Marlborough. Monmouth's forces were unable to compete with the regular army and failed to capture the key city of Bristol. The rebellion ended with the defeat of Monmouth's army at the Battle of Sedgemoor on 6 July 1685 by forces led by Feversham and Churchill.
Monmouth was executed for treason on 15 July 1685. Many of his supporters were tried during the Bloody Assizes, led by Judge Jeffreys, and were condemned to death or transportation. James II was then able to consolidate his power. He reigned until 1688, when he was overthrown in a coup d'Útat by William of Orange in the Glorious Revolution.

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Old 11-22-2016, 09:16 AM   #1215
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words


Aristotle with a bust of Homer, Rembrandt.
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:42 AM   #1216
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

I stopped reading Seneca halfway through. The letters became abit repetitive and were not compelling enough for me to finish reading them. Perhaps I will return to reading it at a later date.

For now I am currently reading:




Don Quixote (/ˌdɒn kiːˈhoʊti/ or /ˌdɒn ˈkwɪksoʊt/;[1] Spanish:*[doŋ kiˈxote]*( listen), formerly*[doŋ kiˈʃote]), fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha (Spanish: El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha [el iŋxeˈnjoso iˈ­alɣo ­oŋ kiˈxote ­e la ˈmantʃa]), is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published, such as the Bokklubben World Library collection that cites Don Quixote as authors' choice for the "best literary work ever written".



Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra[b] (/sərˈvɒnteɪz/ or /sərˈvŠntiːz/;[3] Spanish:*[miˈɣel de θerˈβantes saˈβe­ɾa]; 29 September 1547 (assumed)*– 22 April 1616),[4] was a Spanish writer who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world's pre-eminent novelists.
His major work, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern novel,[5] is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written.[6] His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes ("the language of Cervantes").[7] He has also been dubbed El prÝncipe de los ingenios ("The Prince of Wits").[8]
In 1569, in forced exile from Castile, Cervantes moved to Rome, where he worked as chamber assistant of a cardinal. He then enlisted as a soldier in a Spanish Navy infantry regiment and continued his military life until 1575, when he was captured by Barbary pirates. After five years of captivity, he was released by his captors on payment of a ransom by his parents and the Trinitarians, a Catholic religious order, and he subsequently returned to his family in Madrid.
In 1585, Cervantes published a pastoral novel named La Galatea. He worked as a purchasing agent for the Spanish Armada, and later as a tax collector for the government. In 1597, discrepancies in his accounts for three years previous landed him in the Crown Jail of Seville.
In 1605, he was in Valladolid when the immediate success of the first part of his Don Quixote, published in Madrid, signalled his return to the literary world. In 1607, he settled in Madrid, where he lived and worked until his death. During the last nine years of his life, Cervantes solidified his reputation as a writer; he published the Novelas ejemplares (Exemplary Novels) in 1613, the Journey to Parnassus (Viaje al Parnaso) in 1614, and the Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses and the second part of Don Quixote in 1615. His last work Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda (The Works of Persiles and Sigismunda) was published posthumously, in 1617.
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