There’s a Youth in This City

There’s a youth in this city, it were a great pity
That he from the lasses should wander awa’;
For he’s bonie an braw, weel-favor’d with a’,
An’ his hair has a natural buckle an’ a’.

His coat is the hue o’ his bonnet sae blue,
His fecket is white as the new-driven snaw,
His hose they are blae, and his shoon like the slae,
And his clear siller buckles, they dazzle us a’.

For beauty and fortune the laddie’s been courtin;
Weel-featur’d, weel-tocher’d, weel-mounted, an’ braw,
But chiefly the siller that gars him gang till her –
The penny’s the jewel that beautifies a’!

There’s Meg wi’ the mailen, that fain wad a haen him.
And Susie, wha’s daddie was laird of the Ha’,
There’s lang-tocher’d Nancy maist fetters his fancy;
But the laddie’s dear sel he loes dearest of a’.

— Robert Burns.

Judith viii. 27.

[…] [B]ut the Lord doth scourge them that come near unto him, to admonish them.

Napoleon of the Stump

James K. Polk, 11th President of the United States.

In 1844, the Democrats were split
The three nominees for the presidential candidate
Were Martin Van Buren, a former president and an abolitionist
James Buchanan, a moderate
Lewis Cass, a general and expansionist
From Nashville came a dark horse riding up
He was James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

Austere, severe, he held few people dear
His oratory filled his foes with fear
The factions soon agreed
He’s just the man we need
To bring about victory
Fulfill our manifest destiny
And annex the land the Mexicans command
And when the poll was cast, the winner was
Mister James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

In four short years he met his every goal
He seized the whole Southwest from Mexico
Made sure the tariffs fell
And made the English sell the Oregon Territory
He built an independent treasury
Having done all this he sought no second term
But precious few have mourned the passing of
Mister James K. Polk, our eleventh president
Young Hickory, Napoleon of the Stump

— They Might Be Giants, James K. Polk (1996).

Solfège

Recantation of The Maid

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII in the Cathedral of Reims. 1854. Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France.

“They said to me: … (In the margin, the Registrar has written against this answer: “Responsio mortifera.”) ‘God had sent me word by St. Catherine and St. Margaret of the great pity it is, this treason to which I have consented, to abjure and recant in order to save my life! I have damned myself to save my life!’ Before last Thursday, my Voices did indeed tell me what I should do and what I did on that day. When I was on the scaffold on Thursday, my Voices said to me, while the preacher was speaking: ‘Answer him boldly, this preacher!’ And in truth he is a false preacher; he reproached me with many things I never did. If I said that God had not sent me, I should damn myself, for it is true that God has sent me; my Voices have said to me since Thursday: ‘You have done a great evil in declaring that what you have done was wrong.’ All I said and revoked, I said for fear of the fire.”

“Do you believe that your Voices are Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret?”

“Yes, I believe it, and that they come from God.”

“Tell us the truth on the subject of this crown which is mentioned in your Trial.”

“In everything, I told you the truth about it in my Trial, as well as I know.”

“On the scaffold, at the moment of your abjuration, you did admit before us, your Judges, and before many others, in presence of all the people, that you had untruthfully boasted your Voices to be Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret?”

“I did not intend so to do or say. I did not intend to deny my apparitions that is to say, that they were Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret; what I said was from fear of the fire: I revoked nothing that was not against the truth. I would rather do penance once for all — that is die — than endure any longer the suffering of a prison. I have done nothing against God or the Faith, in spite of all they have made me revoke. What was in the schedule of abjuration I did not understand. I did not intend to revoke anything except according to God’s good pleasure. If the Judges wish, I will resume a woman’s dress; for the rest, I can do no more.”

Folio 34 Recto

Folio 34 recto from the Book of Kells; Chi-Rho page; introducing St. Matthew’s account of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lasting Evidences of Petty Regality

Map depicting general clan territories.

In the Highlands, some great lords had an hereditary jurisdiction over counties; and some chieftains over their own lands; till the final conquest of the Highlands afforded an opportunity of crushing all the local courts, and of extending the general benefits of equal law to the low and the high, in the deepest recesses and obscurest corners.

While the chiefs had this resemblance of royalty, they had little inclination to appeal, on any question, to superior judicatures. A claim of lands between two powerful lairds was decided like a contest for dominion between sovereign powers. They drew their forces into the field, and right attended on the strongest. This was, in ruder times, the common practice, which the kings of Scotland could seldom control.

Even so lately as in the last years of King William, a battle was fought at Mull Roy, on a plain a few miles to the south of Inverness, between the clans of Mackintosh and Macdonald of Keppoch. Col. Macdonald, the head of a small clan, refused to pay the dues demanded from him by Mackintosh, as his superior lord. They disdained the interposition of judges and laws, and calling each his followers to maintain the dignity of the clan, fought a formal battle, in which several considerable men fell on the side of Mackintosh, without a complete victory to either. This is said to have been the last open war made between the clans by their own authority.

The Highland lords made treaties, and formed alliances, of which some traces may still be found, and some consequences still remain as lasting evidences of petty regality. The terms of one of these confederacies were, that each should support the other in the right, or in the wrong, except against the king.

– Samuel Johnson, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (1775).