There is something very strange about experiencing ‘The Merchant of Venice’ when you are somehow imaginatively implicated in the character and actions of its villain… What, exactly, are you applauding and smiling at? How are you supposed to view the Jewish daughter who robs her father and bestows the money on her fortune-hunting Christian suitor? Do you join in the raucous laughter of the Christians who mock and spit on the Jew? Or do you secretly condone Shylock’s vindictive, malignant rage?
Where are you, at the end of the harrowing scene in the courtroom, when Portia asks the man she has outmanueuvered and ruined whether he agrees to the terms she has dictated, terms that include the provision that he immediately become a Christian? 'Art thou content, Jew?’ she prods. 'What dost thou say?’
And what do you think the Jew actually feels when he answers, 'I am content’?
I love Romeo and his struggle with the concept of masculinity that his society tries to force on him. I love how sensitive he is. I love how he hides under sycamores while everyone else is shedding blood in the streets of Verona. I love how he spends, like, half of the play crying. And when he’s criticized for that and even called ‘womanish’ he just yells, “Thou canst not speak of what thou dost not feel.” I love him. I love that he cries so much despite the fact that his society tries to dehumanize him just because he’s supposed to act like a Man™. This boy is full of love and dreams and delicacy and innocence and enthusiasm and idealism and it breaks my heart to see how the patriarchy ruins his life.
Life story: It is unknown where St. Patrick was born or what his name originally was. At the age of sixteen he was captured by pirates and sold as a slave in Ireland. Here he worked as a shepherd for six years before escaping back to his home. At this point he converted to Christianity and eventually became a priest. He then returned to Ireland to help establish a Christian presence there. He was eventually made a bishop. According to one legend, he explained the Holy Trinity to the Irish using a shamrock. According to another legend, he expelled all the snakes from Ireland. According to another legend, his ash walking stick became a living tree when it was thrust into the ground.
Symbols: blue clothing (traditional), green clothing (modern), shamrock, snakes, bishop’s miter and staff, saltire and cross pattee (paper or ribbon versions of these last two are traditionally worn on his feast day, although today it is more common to wear green)
Offerings: Irish beer, shamrocks, green candles
By St. Patrick
Dear God, Committed love is a sacred treasure I long to find the one who is mine. I trust you will grant my desires for love - to love of myself , and to find love with my true soul mate.
I trust you will bring this to me gently and sweetly, in a way that is completely right for me and my true love.
I give thanks for your presence, your guidance and your love. And so it is. Amen
May the Strength of God guide us. May the Power of God preserve us. May the Wisdom of God instruct us. May the Hand of God protect us. May the Way of God direct us. May the Shield of God defend us. May the Angels of God guard us. - Against the snares of the evil one.
May Christ be with us! May Christ be before us! May Christ be in us, Christ be over all!
May Thy Grace, Lord, Always be ours, This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.
About St. Patrick
O God, Who didst vouchsafe to send Thy Confessor and Bishop, Blessed Patrick, to preach Thy glory to the nations, grant, through his merits and intercession, that what Thou dost command us to do, we may, by Thy mercy, be enabled to perform. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen
Robespierre on the Cult of the Supreme Being (7 May 1794)
The world has changed, and is bound to change again. What is there in common between that which is and that which was? Civilized nations have taken the place of savages wandering in the desert; fruitful crops have taken the place of the ancient forests that covered the globe. A world has appeared beyond the limits of the world; the inhabitants of the earth have added the seas to their immeasurable domain; man has conquered the lightning and averted the thunderbolts of heaven. Compare the imperfect language of hieroglyphics with the miracles of printing; set the voyage of the Argonauts beside that of La Pérouse; measure the distance between the astronomical observations of the wise men of Asia and the discoveries of Newton, or between the sketch drawn by the hand of Dibutade and the pictures of David… .
All has changed in the physical order; all must change in the moral and political order. One half of the world revolution is already achieved, the other half has yet to be accomplished… .
The French people appear to have outstripped the rest of the human race by two thousand years; one might even be tempted to regard them as a distinct species among the rest. Europe is kneeling to the shadows of the tyrants whom we are punishing.
In Europe a ploughman or an artisan is an animal trained to do the pleasure of a noble; in France the nobles seek to transform themselves into ploughmen and artisans, and cannot even obtain this honour.
Europe cannot conceive of life without kings and nobles; and we cannot conceive of it with them.
Europe is lavishing her blood to rivet the fetters on humanity; and we to break them.
Our sublime neighbours discourse gravely to the universe of the King’s health, amusements and travels; they insist upon informing posterity of the time at which he dined, the moment at which he returned from hunting, the happy soil which had the honour of being trodden by his august feet at each hour of the day, the names of the privileged slaves who appeared in his presence at the rising and the setting sun.
As for us, we shall make known to it the names and virtues of the heroes who died in the fight for liberty; we shall make known to it on what soil the last satellites of tyrants hit the dust; we shall make known to it the hour which sounded the death-knell of the oppressors of the world.
Yes, this delightful land which we inhabit, which Nature favours with her caresses, is made to be the domain of liberty and happiness; this proud and sensitive people is truly born for glory and virtue. O my country, had fate caused me to be born in a foreign and distant land, I should have addressed to heaven my constant prayers for thy prosperity; I should have shed tears of emotion at the story of thy combats and thy virtues; my eager soul would have followed with ardent anxiety every movement of thy glorious Revolution; I should have envied the lot of thy citizens, I should have envied that of thy representatives… . O sublime nation! Receive the sacrifice of all my being; happy is he who is born in thy midst! Still happier he who can die for thy happiness! …
The sole foundation of civil society is morality! … Immorality is the basis of despotism, as virtue is the essence of the Republic… . Study the good of the country and the interests of humanity alone. Every institution, every doctrine which consoles and elevates men’s souls ought to be welcomed; reject all those which tend to degrade and corrupt them. Encourage and exalt all generous sentiments and great moral ideas which men have attempted to extinguish; draw together by the charm of friendship and the bonds of virtue those men whom there have been attempts to divide… .
You who lament a virtuous friend, you love to think that what is finest in him has escaped death! You who weep over the bier of a son or a wife, are you consoled by him who tells you that all that remains of them is base dust? Wretch expiring beneath the assassin’s blow, your last sigh is an appeal to eternal justice! Innocence on the scaffold makes the tyrant turn pale upon his triumphal chariot: would it have this power if the tomb levelled the oppressor with the oppressed? Wretched sophist! By what right dost thou come and wrest the sceptre of reason from innocence to place it in the hands of crime, to encourage vice, to sadden virtue and to degrade humanity? The more richly a man is endowed with sensibility and genius, the more attached he is to the ideas which expand his being and elevate his heart; and the doctrine of men of that stamp becomes that of the universe. Ah! Can such ideas be other than truths? At any rate I cannot conceive how nature can have suggested to men fictions more beneficial than all realities; and if the existence of God, if the immortality of the soul were but dreams, the,y would still be the finest of all the conceptions of human intelligence.
I need hardly say that there is no question here of arraigning any particular philosophical opinions, or of denying that this or that philosopher may be virtuous, whatever his opinions may be, and even in spite of them, by virtue of a fortunate disposition or a superior intelligence. The point is to consider nothing but Atheism, in so far as it is national in character and bound up with a system of conspiracy against the Republic.
Ah! What does it matter to you, legislators, by what varied hypotheses certain philosophers explain the phenomena of nature? You may hand over all these subjects to their everlasting discussions: it is neither as metaphysicians nor as theologians that you have to consider them. In the eyes of the legislator, truth is all that is useful and of practical good to the world… .
Fanatics, hope for nothing from us. To recall men to the pure cult of the Supreme Being is to strike a death-blow at fanaticism. All fictions disappear before the truth, and all follies collapse before Reason. Without compulsion, without persecution, all sects must mingle spontaneously in the universal religion of Nature. We shall counsel you, then, to maintain the principles which you have hitherto displayed. May the liberty of worship be respected, that reason may triumph indeed, but let it not disturb public order or become a means of conspiracy. If counterrevolutionary malignity is shielding itself beneath this pretext, repress it, and, for the rest, rely upon the might of principle and the innate force of things… .
Ambitious priests, do not wait for us to work for the restoration of your dominance; such an enterprise would indeed be beyond our power. It is you who have killed yourselves, and one can no more return to moral life than to physical existence. Besides, what is there in common between the priests and God? Priests are to morality what charlatans are to medicine. How different is the God of nature from the God of the priests! The God of nature knows nothing which resembles Atheism so much as priest-made religions. By dint of distorting the Supreme Being, they have destroyed Him, as much as in them lay; they have made of Him sometimes a ball of fire, sometimes an ox, sometimes a tree, sometimes a man, sometimes a king. The priests have created God in their own image; they have made Him jealous, capricious, greedy, cruel and implacable. They have treated Him as the Mayors of the Palace in olden days treated the descendant of Clovis, in order to reign in his name and put themselves in his place. They have relegated Him to heaven as to a palace, and have only brought Him down to earth in order to demand tithes, riches, honours, pleasure and power for their own profit. The real priest of the Supreme Being is Nature; His temple, the universe; His worship, virtue; His festivals, the joy of a great people gathered together beneath His eyes in order to draw close the sweet bonds of universal brotherhood and offer Him the homage of pure and feeling hearts… .
May they all tend to arouse those generous sentiments which are the chnrm and adornment of human life: enthusiasm for liberty, love of country and respect for law. May the memory of tyrants and traitors be held up to execration at them; may that of heroes of liberty and benefactors of humanity receive the just tribute of public gratitude; may they draw their interest, and their very names, from the immortal events of our Revolution, and even from the things dearest and most sacred to the heart of man; may they be beautified and distinguished by emblems suggesting their special objects. Let us invite nature and all the virtues to our festivals; let them all be celebrated under the auspices of the Supreme Being; let them be consecrated to Him, and let them open and close with a tribute to His power and goodness… . [He went on to propose the following decree:]
Article I. The French people recognizes the existence of the Supreme Being, and the immortality of the soul.
Article II. It recognizes that the best way of worshipping the Supreme Being is to do one’s duties as a man.
Article III. It considers that the most important of these duties are: to detest bad faith and despotism, to punish tyrants and traitors, to assist the unfortunate, to respect the weak, to defend the oppressed, to do all the good one can to one’s neighbour, and to behave with justice towards all men.
Article IV. Festivals shall be instituted to remind men of the Deity, and of the dignity of their state.
Article V. These festivals shall be named after the glorious events of our Revolution, the virtues which are most dear to men, and most useful, and the chief blessings of nature.
Article VI. The French Republic shall celebrate every year the anniversaries of July 14, 1789, August 10, 1792, January 21, 1793, and May 31, 1793.
Article VII. It shall celebrate, on successive decadis, the following festivals: the Supreme Being, and Nature; the human race; the French people; the benefactors of mankind; the martyrs of freedom; liberty and equality; the Republic; the liberty of the world; patriotism; hatred of tyrants and traitors; truth; justice; modesty; glory and immortality; friendship; temperance; courage; good faith; heroism; impartiality; Stoicism; love; conjugal fidelity; fatherly affection; mother-love; filial piety; childhood; youth; manhood; old age; misfortune; agriculture; industry; our ancestors; posterity; happiness.
Article VIII. The Committees of Public Safety and of Education are instructed to present a scheme for the organization of these festivals.
Article IX. The National Convention invites all those whose talents are worthy of serving the cause of mankind to the honour of assisting in the establishment of these festivals by submitting hymns or civic songs, or anything else likely to contribute to their beauty or utility.
Article X. The Committee of Public Safety shall award distinction to such works as appear to it calculated to achieve these objects, and shall reward their authors.
Article XI. Freedom of worship is confirmed, in the terms of the decree of 18th Frimaire.
Article XII. Any meeting of aristocrats, or any that contravenes public order, shall be suppressed.
Article XIII. In the event of troubles caused by or arising out of any form of public worship, all those who excited them by fanatical preaching or counter-revolutionary suggestions, and all those who provoked them by unjust or uncalled-for acts of violence, shall be equally punished, with all the rigour of the law.
Article XIV. A separate report shall be prepared, dealing with the detailed arrangements consequential upon the present decree.
Article XV. There shall be celebrated, upon the 20th Prairial next, a national festival in honour of the Supreme Being.
This was a requested fic by both an anon and skyenet, who wanted tragic danish boyfriends. I’m not sure this is exactly what you asked for (I hope it is!) but I did my best so we’ll see, I guess.
Anyways, thank you to all of my fabulous followers who got me to 100. I love you all and will be working on the other fic prompts asap (read: after finals). If anybody else wants to request a fic for my *yay* 100 follower celebration, just send me an ask.
Now I’ll shut up. Here is Tragic Danish Boyfriends (Hamlet/Horatio) at Wittenberg being idiots:
by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Read by Tom Mison
Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,
That they behold, and see not what they see?
They know what beauty is, see where it lies,
Yet what the best is take the worst to be.
If eyes, corrupt by over-partial looks,
Be anchored in the bay where all men ride,
Why of eyes’ falsehood hast thou forged hooks,
Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied?
Why should my heart think that a several plot,
Which my heart knows the wide world’s common place?
Or mine eyes, seeing this, say this is not,
To put fair truth upon so foul a face?
In things right true my heart and eyes have erred,
And to this false plague are they now transferred.
Always, there had been war between the Giants and the Gods - between the Giants who would have destroyed the world and the race of men, and the Gods who would have protected the race of men and would have made the world more beautiful.
There are many stories to be told about the Gods, but the first one that should be told to you is the one about the building of their City.
The Gods had made their way up to the top of a high mountain and there they decided to build a great City for themselves that the Giants could never overthrow. The City they would call “Asgard,” which means the Place of the Gods. They would build it on a beautiful plain that was on the top of that high mountain. And they wanted to raise around their City the highest and strongest wall that had ever been built.
Now one day when they were beginning to build their halls and their palaces a strange being came to them. Odin, the Father of the Gods, went and spoke to him. “What dost thou want on the Mountain of the Gods?” he asked the Stranger.
“I know what is in the mind of the Gods,” the Stranger said. “They would build a City here. I cannot build palaces, but I can build great walls that can never be overthrown. Let me build the wall round your City.”
“How long will it take you to build a wall that will go around our City?” said the Father of the Gods.
“A year, O Odin,” said the Stranger.
Now Odin knew that if a great wall could be built around it the Gods would not have to spend all their time defending their City, Asgard, from the Giants, and he knew that if Asgard were protected, he himself could go amongst men and teach them and help them. He thought that no payment the Stranger could ask would be too much for the building of that wall.
That day the Stranger came to the Council of the Gods, and he swore that in a year he would have the great wall built. Then Odin made oath that the Gods would give him what he asked in payment if the wall was finished to the last stone in a year from that day.
The Stranger went away and came back on the morrow. It was the first day of Summer when he started work. He brought no one to help him except a great horse.
Now the Gods thought that this horse would do no more than drag blocks of stone for the building of the wall. But the horse did more than this. He set the stones in their places and mortared them together. And day and night and by light and dark the horse worked, and soon a great wall was rising around the palaces that the Gods themselves were building.
“What reward will the Stranger ask for the work he is doing for us?” the Gods asked one another.
Odin went to the Stranger. “We marvel at the work you and your horse are doing for us,” he said. “No one can doubt that the great wall of Asgard will be built up by the first day of Summer. What reward do you claim? We would have it ready for you.”
The Stranger turned from the work he was doing, leaving the great horse to pile up the blocks of stone. “O Father of the Gods,” he said, “O Odin, the reward I shall ask for my work is the Sun and the Moon, and Freya, who watches over the flowers and grasses, for my wife.”
Now when Odin heard this he was terribly angered, for the price the Stranger asked for his work was beyond all prices. He went amongst the other Gods who were then building their shining palaces within the great wall and he told them what reward the Stranger had asked. The Gods said, “Without the Sun and the Moon the world will wither away.” And the Goddesses said, “Without Freya all will be gloom in Asgard.”
They would have let the wall remain unbuilt rather than let the Stranger have the reward he claimed for building it. But one who was in the company of the Gods spoke. He was Loki, a being who only half belonged to the Gods; his father was the Wind Giant. “Let the Stranger build the wall around Asgard, Loki said, "and I will find a way to make him give up the hard bargain he has made with the Gods. Go to him and tell him that the wall must be finished by the first day of Summer, and that if it is not finished to the last stone on that day the price he asks will not be given to him.”
The Gods went to the Stranger and they told him that if the last stone was not laid on the wall on the first day of the Summer not Sol or Mani, the Sun and the Moon, nor Freya would be given to him. And now they knew that the Stranger was one of the Giants.
The Giant and his great horse piled up the wall more quickly than before. At night, while the Giant slept, the horse worked on and on, hauling up stones and laying them on the wall with his great forefeet. And day by day the wall around Asgard grew higher and higher.
But the Gods had no joy in seeing that great wall rising higher and higher around their palaces. The Giant and his horse would finish the work by the first day of Summer, and then he would take the Sun and the Moon, Sol and Mani, and Freya away with him.
But Loki was not disturbed. He kept telling the Gods that he would find a way to prevent him from finishing his work, and thus he would make the Giant forfeit the terrible price he had led Odin to promise him.
It was three days to Summer time. All of the wall was finished except the gateway. Over the gateway a stone was still to be placed. And the Giant, before he went to sleep, made his horse haul up a great block of stone so that they might put it above the gateway in the morning, and so finish the work two full days before Summer.
It happened to be a beautiful moonlit night. Svadilfare, the Giant’s great horse, was hauling the largest stone he ever hauled when he saw a little mare come galloping toward him. The great horse had never seen so pretty a little mare and he looked at her with surprise.
“Svadilfare, slave,” said the little mare to him and went frisking past.
Svadilfare put down the stone he was hauling and called to the little mare. She came back to him. “Why do you call me ‘Svadilfare, slave’?” said the great horse.
“Because you have to work night and day for your master,” said the little mare. “He keeps you working, working, working, and never lets you enjoy yourself. You dare not leave that stone down and come and play with me.
"Who told you I dare not do it?” said Svadilfare.
“I know you daren’t do it,” said the little mare, and she kicked up her heels and ran across the moonlit meadow.
Now the truth is that Svadilfare was tired of working day and night. When he saw the little mare go galloping off he became suddenly discontented. He left the stone he was hauling on the ground. He looked round and he saw the little mare looking back at him. He galloped after her.
He did not catch up on the little mare. She went on swiftly before him. On she went over the moonlit meadow, turning and looking back now and again at the great Svadilfare, who came heavily after her. Down the mountainside the mare went, and Svadilfare, who now rejoiced in his liberty and in the freshness of the wind and in the smell of the flowers, still followed her. With the morning’s light they came near a cave and the little mare went into it. They went through the cave. Then Svadilfare caught up on the little mare and the two went wandering together, the little mare telling Svadilfare stories of the Dwarfs and the Elves.
They came to a grove and they stayed together in it, the little mare playing so nicely with him that the great horse forgot all about time passing. And while they were in the grove the Giant was going up and down, searching for his great horse.
He had come to the wall in the morning, expecting to put the stone over the gateway and so finish his work. But the stone that was to be lifted up was not near him. He called for Svadilfare, but his great horse did not come. He went to search for him, and he searched all down the mountainside and he searched as far across the earth as the realm of the Giants. But he did not find Svadilfare.
The Gods saw the first day of Summer come and the gateway of the wall stand unfinished. They said to each other that if it were not finished by the evening they need not give Sol and Mani to the Giant, nor the maiden Freya. The hours of the summer day went past and the Giant did not raise the stone over the gateway. In the evening he came before them.
“Your work is not finished,” Odin said. “You forced us to a hard bargain and now we need not keep it with you. You shall not be given Sol and Mani nor the maiden Freya.”
“Only the wall I have built is so strong I would tear it down,” said the Giant. He tried to throw down one of the palaces, but the Gods laid hands on him and thrust him outside the wall he had built. “Go, and trouble Asgard no more,” Odin commanded.
Then Loki returned to Asgard. He told the Gods how he had transformed himself into a little mare and had led away Svadilfare, the Giant’s great horse. And the Gods sat in their golden palaces behind the great wall and rejoiced that their City was now secure, and that no enemy could ever enter it or overthrow it. But Odin, the Father of the Gods, as he sat upon his throne was sad in his heart, sad that the Gods had got their wall built by a trick; that oaths had been broken, and that a blow had been struck in injustice in Asgard.
1: Thou shalt not divide by zero 2: Thou must show thy work 3: Thou must do unto one side of the equation what thou dost unto the other 4: Thou shalt not forget to carry the 1 5: Thou must honour the order of operations 6: Thou must flex the hexaflexagon with caution and never to cause hexaflexaperplexia 7: Thou must properly indicate ye unit of measurement, lest ruin befall thee 8: Thou must set thy calculator to radians or degrees, as is fit for the situation 9: Thou must sketch and graph as the situation demands 10: Thou shall not apply the commutative property to non-commutable groups