lazy_hoor: (Drunk Victorian Brummie)
[personal profile] lazy_hoor
I have just read Bray and Environs  a book written circa 1903 by Arthur L Doran; a man who appears to be the bastard son of Mr Logic and Victorian Dad:

A great deal of rank nonsense is often promulgated anent the exclusiveness of noble owners, and their meanness in charging for admission to their demesnes. As to the charges, divide the total probable return from any such levy by the cost of maintaining a great estate, and what kind of negligible quotient do you get?

As to their exclusiveness, will you, oh perfervid Radical, or Socialistic brother, try and change places for a little, and, suppose yourself taking a meditative stroll in your own grounds, when, enters the wild, "woolly" and intrusive stranger, slaps you familiarly on the back, calls you "old chap," and perhaps offers you a stale sandwich or a draught of usquebaugh in vitro.  Gone is all introspection, and you become awake to the fact that a courteous concession has been converted into an unorganised raid. Your coping stones have been sent bounding down the valley, your choicest shrubs wantonly broken, and cherished flowers culled by sacrilegious hands.

A varied deposit of newspaper, orange-peel, and broken bottles do not adorn your sacred places; and possibly a dangerous and destructive fire has been started to make a tripper's holiday, who now, it is to be supposed, thoroughly happy and exhilarated, takes himself off to the strains of some profane ditty roared out in execrable time, tune, and taste, to the unmelodious accompaniment of a concertina.

Would you not, oh fellow-man, forthwith swear a mighty oath, "by oak, and ash, and thorn," to abate such nuisance by strictest of inhibitions? Truly the actions of such Bedlamites fill one with despair for the little breed of men in these days as when, in much bitterness of soul, the Latin poet sung -

"Odi profanum vulgus et arceo"

For each man, of whatever rank, cherishes firmly in his soul the conviction of the need of inviolability respecting his home, and a rooted aversion to having strangers "messing" about his bailiwick.

The numerous race of macers, welshers, duffers, and cads can, on occasion, be constrained, mostly by muscular methods, to conform to the sporting fiat of "Own up, pay up. and shut up," but it is much to be feared that the larger trinity of seeing straight, thinking clear, and acting square, is beyond their limited comprehension, and so, meanwhile, the innocent suffer for the guilty. It is the bounden duty of all respectable people,including "Jarvies" to check these practices by every means in their power. And it is practically incumbent on many owners to filter off much of this undesirable class by making a charge for admission.

Date: 2011-10-09 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Odi profanum vulgus et arceo"

I confess I skipped the rest of Mr Doran's screed when I saw this quote because it reminded me of something.

On 1 April 2007, J and I were wandering in the foothills of the Dublin mountains, far more at my instigation than his, when I stumbled on a typed poem by Horace in the middle of the road. Which started with exactly that quote, which I recognised by earlier study.

"I hate the common crowd and stand aloof."

It was weird seeing it there, like some sort of message. A few hours later, buying Coke in a garage, we got a phone call. My friend had died a few hours before, suddenly and unexpectedly. She would not have been long dead when I found that poem and put it in my pocket. Strange, these things.

(Edited: to correct Mr Doran's Latin. Wait, edited again. Sorry, it's 4th declension so he is right.)
Edited Date: 2011-10-09 03:35 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-09 03:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very strange...

Date: 2011-10-09 03:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
if anyone wants to hang around my garden offering me sandwiches and the hard stuff, please feel free!

Date: 2011-10-09 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's only one person I'd imagine would be hanging round my garden with stale sandwiches and hard booze and that's the gentleman of the road I often see around the village, or as once I found him - under my front window.

That you would welcome this sort of offer just confirms my suspicions that you are, indeed, a Bedlamite.

Date: 2011-10-09 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
well, i would prefer the sandwiches to be fresh, and the booze to be gin. or perhaps brandy. surely that elevates me a bit?

Date: 2011-10-09 04:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Gin has always been seen as the drink of the high-class sort, yes.


Date: 2011-10-09 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
as i have no babies to drop, i am sure it willbe QUITE different...

Date: 2011-10-09 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I'm sure...

Date: 2011-10-09 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
mine's a draught of usquebaugh, please.

Date: 2011-10-09 04:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't want you singing profane ditties, now.


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