Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria Mori

8 responses to “Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria Mori

  1. I remember this picture very well. It was shown to us boys in 1962 by our Latin/Ancient History teacher, Mr German (he was from Bolton) who went Over The top on July 1st 1916, and lived to teach us in the 60s. I think that he was in one of the main Lancs regiments, I think his was the 11th East Lancs, but I can’t remember accurately at this time. He died about 28 years ago so I can’t ask him, the good old man.

    He can’t have been more than 60-something or at most 65, when he taught us.

    He was always angry, and spoke gruffly because he got gassed later on in the War: but I think he did sort of love us pupils, in his angry and cryptic way. We always stood up silently when he marched (literally) into the classroom. And we often asked him carefully to tell us about his experiences, which he was in general reluctant but sort of happy, if pressed (“Oh Sir…please Sir! Could you tell us some more things? If that’s all right, Sir?”) to do. I expect it was a sort of catharsis for the poor old man. We used to subtly choose the moment so to do, for he was often irascible and unpredictable in his attitudes to us.

    It haunted my dreams for years, that picture.
    For as little boys we all suddenly realised that war was horrible and you could actually, really die, and even not be collected up for weeks or months. Mr German carefully explained to us, in Latin lessons (if we’d got the subject successfully changed), all the difficulties of this especial matter, of collecting his Regiment’s dead and often the enemy’s too, sometimes after days.

    When Sean comes to power, I will be his War Secretary. This is to ensure that we have a few wars as can possibly be arranged…if you see what I mean. It also means that a British Libertarian Government would insist (I will insist) on being Armed To The Teeth Without Functional Restriction.
    I might even leave the UN “Security Council” in order to bring this about properly and with strategic success, before also dissolving and shutting-down the UN of necessity, to make Sean’s decision stick, on this matter.

  2. Julie near Chicago

    Dear Mr. Davis,

    If you dissolve and shut down the U.N. you will have done the human species one of the most signal services in history and I will draft you to be World Emperor for life.
    . . .

    Sigh, although I suppose that like both of those fools who had no caring whatsoever for the well-being and the Good of All — to wit Messrs. J. Galt and Gandalf — you’ll turn it down.

    So I shall have to draft a World Constitution requiring that no country have more than 10 members (exclusive of persons under age 2 years), no ruler rule for more than three years, no laws in any country remain on the books for more than 1 year, and nobody trespass against anybody else either singly or as part of any group whatsoever.

    The only problem will be getting the thing passed and persuading everybody to stick to it, for all Eternity. Hm. Tell me, have you got any pull with the Guy Upstairs?

    • I’m afraid I have not the sort of pull with Him, Julie, that you think would be needed. God is Coming As Fast As He Can, but He’s preoccupied with other Pressing Matters Elsewhere in Creation, I feel sure.

      As to Gandalf, he was Olorin, of the Maiar of Nienna. Manwe wanted to send him to Middle Earth but Olorin was afraid to go, for he said he feared Sauron and would not be up to the task of defeating him. Manwe said that this was all the more reason why he was the right one to send.

      Other interpreters of the “Unfinished Tales” think that Gandalf is possibly the Last Apparition of Manwe himself in Middle Earth, before the Dagor-Dagorath against Morgoth-Bauglir, and the consequent End of Times.

      I don’t know if that helped, but, well, there you go.

      • Julie near Chicago

        Well, David, if you’re unwilling to be World Emperor and believe also that you haven’t that much clout outside of the Fields We Know, it’s comforting to know we can rely on your expertise when in doubt about this or that arcane detail of the history of Middle Earth and of that from which it sprang.

  3. Our younger boy, in his enthusiasm to tell me something about something he’s recorded on an old iphone, has spilled half an open pint bottle pint of tonic water onto my keyboard. I hope it won’t now fail tomorrow as they do.

  4. Julie near Chicago

    Explain to him that he must be careful with tonic water, as it is too expensive to use as a keyboard cleaner, and more importantly, it is one of God’s consolations for sticking us in this Vale of Tears. :>)

    • You are right Julie.
      Anyway I unscrewed the keyboard, dried it out, sent him to bed with e flea in his ear, and he was fine this morning. And so was the keyboard so far.

      Julie, I am rather unwilling to ascribe to myself the attributes needful for Lord Protector. That sounds like I would be going down under the “Boromir Problem”.

      But if I could simply remove, zap, disappear or otherwise make vanish some things, then they would be:-
      The UN
      The EU
      All QuaNgos and SEFRas

      And that’s for starters.
      I’m also not quite as positively charitable as Sean is about things like the “NHS”, even though he will be Lord Protector.

      The point it, I would simply demolish and zap certain nasty structures. Right away.
      The people that “worked” in them will find that they are flying along with no wings and no fuel.

      And No pension entitlement.

      All of that’s their problem, for they did take conscious decisions to go there and “work” there. There are bad consequences for bad decisions, sorry!

      Like the German People who voted in large numbers for Hitler’s NSDAP in 1933, and who got then the Third Reich (that was a bad decision), they suffered the consequences of their collective failure of thought. I’m not saying that all the megadeaths they suffered, and the two billion tons of rubble in the ruin of their cities and towns was a good thing, but they could have equally-easily not voted for the socialist bastard twelve years before the disaster came as a result.

  5. Julie near Chicago

    Well, that sounds pretty good, David. Have at it then, and if you are in the mood to deal similarly with Mr. & Mrs. Obama, everybody they ever met, and anyone associated with Obamacare, please feel free. Oh, include the Clintons and Mr. Bore in that. Also EPA, FDA, SEC, USDA, HUD, Dept. of Ag., Dept. of Ed., Dept. of Energy, etc. etc., as far as the eye can see.

    After all there are worse things than being in the company of Gandalf and John Galt, and of course you wouldn’t want to fall to the malaise that overcame Boromir. (Is it not remarkable that a wizard and an Ayn Rand super-hero would both be acquainted with the phenomenon so famously addressed by Lord Acton?)

    I am glad that your keyboard survived the mishap. I suspect the miscreant did also. How old is he? (Not that age has anything to do with it. I’ve been dumping assorted beverages onto highly unsuitable objects all my life.)