Great Britain?…not so great…


There will always be an England! or  ?

Let me remind you of comments made by John of Gaunt in Shakespeare’s Richard II:

This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear’d by their breed and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
For Christian service and true chivalry,
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s Son,
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!

We live in Ireland, not England, and Laurie was born in England as were half of my forebears.  Although we did live happily  in England for a number of years. Not only has England changed from John of Gaunt’s time, it has dramatically made a shameful conquest of herself – not by rotten parchment bonds (which was a cheaply made  form of parchment paper) –its cheapness  being a metaphor for the falsity of the writing upon the document, as in “not being worth the paper it is written on.”

Today, England has indeed conquered herself…here are the buzzwords with which I make my argument:  crime, ignorance, crassness, illiteracy, incivility, and those take me to first base. Oh. I forgot one: yobism.


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