Saturday, July 29, 2017


Apollonius of Tyana reads your future

From The Circus of Dr. Lao, Charles G. Finney, 1935.

The widow Mrs. Howard T. Cassan came to the circus in her flimsey brown dress and her low shoes and went direct to the fortuneteller's tent. She paid her mite and sat down to hear her future.

Apollonius warned her she was going to be disappointed.

"Not if you tell me the truth," said Mrs. Cassan. "I particularly want to know how soon oil is going to be found on that twenty acres of mine in New Mexico."

"Never," said the seer.

"Well, then, when shall I be married again?"

"Never," said the seer.

"Very well. What sort of man will next come into my life?"

"There will be no more men in your life," said the seer.

"Well, what in the world is the use of my living then, if I'm not going to be rich, not going to be married again, not going to know any more men?"

"I don't know," confessed the prophet. "I only read futures. I don't evaluate them."

"Well, I paid you. Read my future."

"Tomorrow will be like today, and day after tomorrow will be like the day before yesterday," said Apollonius. "I see your remaining days each as quiet, tedious collections of hours. You will not travel anywhere. You will think no new thoughts. You will experience no new passions. Older you will become but not wiser. Stiffer but not more dignified. Childless you are, and childless you shall remain. Of that suppleness you once commanded in your youth, of that strange simplicity which once attracted a few men to you, neither endures, nor shall you recapture any of them any more. People will talk to you and visit with you out of sentiment or pity, not because you have anything to offer them. Have you ever seen an old cornstalk turning brown, dying, but refusing to fall over, upon which stray birds alight now and then, hardly remarking what it is they perch on? That is you. I cannot fathom your place in life's economy. A living thing should either create or destroy according to its capacity and caprice, but you, you do neither. You only live on dreaming of the nice things you would like to have happen to you but which never happen; and you wonder vaguely why the young lives about you which you occasionally chide for a fancied impropriety never listen to you and seem to flee at your approach. When you die you will be buried and forgotton, and that is all. The morticians will enclose you in a worm-proof casket, thus sealing even unto eternity the clay of your uselessness. And for all the good or evil, creation or destruction, that your living might have accomplished, you might just as well have never lived at all. I cannot see the purpose in such a life. I can see in it only vulgar, shocking waste."

"I thought you said you didn't evaluate lives," snapped Mrs. Cassan.

"I'm not evaluating; I'm only wondering. Now you dream of an oil well to be found on twenty acres of land you own in New Mexico. There is no oil there. You dream of some tall, dark, handsome man to come wooing you. There is no man coming, dark, tall, or otherwise. And yet you will dream on in spite of all I tell you; dream on through your little round of hours, sewing and rocking and gossiping and dreaming; and the world spins and spins and spins. Children are born, grow up, accomplish, sicken, and die; you sit and rock and sew and gossip and live on. And you have a voice in the government, and enough people voting the same way you vote could change the face of the world. There is something terrible in that thought. But your individual opinion on any subject in the world is absolutely worthless. No, I cannot fathom the reason for your existence."

"I didn't pay you to fathom me. Just tell me my future and let it go at that."

I have been telling you your future! Why don't you listen? Do you want to know how many more times you will eat lettuce or boiled eggs? Shall I enumerate the instances you will yell good-morning to your neighbor across the fence? Must I tell you how many more times you will buy stockings, attend church, go to moving picture shows? Shall I make a list showing how many more gallons of water in the future you will boil making tea, how many more combinations of cards will fall to you at auction bridge, how often the telephone will ring in your remaining years? Do you want to know how many more times you will scold the paper-carrier for not leaving your copy in the spot that irks you the least? Must I tell you how many more times you will become annoyed at the weather because it rains of fails to rain according to your wishes? Shall I compute the pounds of pennies you will save shopping at bargain centers? Do you want to know all that? For that is your future, doing the same small futile things you have done for the last fifty-eight years. You face a repetition of your past, a recapitulation of the digits in the adding machine of your days. Save only one bright numeral, perhaps: there was love of a sort in your past; there is none in your future."

"Well, I must say, you are the strangest fortuneteller I ever visited."

"It is my misfortune only to be able to tell the truth."

"Were you ever in love?"

"Of course. But why do you ask?"

"There is a strange fascination about your brutal frankness. I could imagine a girl, or an experienced woman, rather, throwing herself at your feet."

"There was a girl, but she never threw herself at my feet. I threw myself at hers."

"What did she do?"

"She laughed."

"Did she hurt you?"

"Yes. But nothing has hurt me very much since."

"I knew it! I knew a man of your terrible intenseness had been hurt by some woman sometime.

Women can do that to a man, can't they?"

"I suppose so."

"You poor, poor man! You are not so very much older than I am, are you? I, too, have been hurt. Why couldn't we be friends, or more than friends, perhaps, and together patch up the torn shreds of our lives? I think I could understand you and comfort and care fir you."

"Madam, I am nearly two thousand years old., and all that time I have been a bachelor. It is too late to start over again."

"Oh, you are being so delightfully foolish! I love whimsical talk! We would get on splendidly, you and I; I am sure of it!"

"I'm not. I told you there were no more men in your life. Don't try to make me eat my own words, please. The consultation is ended. Good afternoon."

She started to say more, but there was no longer anyone to talk to. Apollonius had vanished with that suddenness commanded by only the most practiced magicians. Mrs. Cassan went out into the blaze of sunshine. There she encountered Luther and Kate. It was then precisely ten minutes before Kate's petrification.

"My dear," said Mrs. Cassan to Kate, "that fortuneteller is the most magnetic man I ever met in my whole life. I am going to see him again this evening."

"What did he say about the oil?" asked Luther.

"Oh, he was frightfully encouraging," said Mrs. Cassan.

Compiled from sources in the public domain.

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Smiles & Good Fortune,
Teresa
************************************
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Shadows In A Timeless Myth Presents Roxelana, The Murderous Sultana

Ibrahim, Grand Vizier,  was the only trusted counselor of Suleiman the Magnificient. He who had been originally a slave had risen step by step in the favour of his master until he arrived at the giddy eminence which he occupied at the time of his death. It is a somewhat curious commentary on the essentially democratic status of an autocracy that a man could thus rise to a position second only to that of the autocrat himself; and, in all probability, wielding quite as much power.

Ibrahim had for years been treated by Suleiman more as a brother than as a dependent, which, in spite of his Grand Viziership, he was in fact. They lived in the very closest communion, taking their meals together, and even sleeping in the same room, Suleiman, a man of high intelligence himself, and a ruler who kept in touch with all the happenings which arose in his immense dominions, desiring always to have at hand the man whom he loved; from whom, with his amazing grip of political problems and endless fertility of resource, he was certain of sympathy and sound advice. But in an oriental despotism there are other forces at work besides those of la haute politique, and Ibrahim had one deadly enemy who was sworn to compass his destruction. The Sultana Roxelana was the light of the harem of the Grand Turk. This supremely beautiful woman, originally a Russian slave, was the object of the most passionate devotion on the part of Suleiman; but she was as ambitious as she was lovely, and brooked no rival in the affections of Suleiman, be that person man, woman, or child. In her hands the master of millions, the despot whose nod was death, became a submissive slave; the undisciplined passions of this headstrong woman swept aside from her path all those whom she suspected of sharing her influence, in no matter how remote a fashion. At her dictation had Suleiman caused to be murdered his son Mustafa, a youth of the brightest promise, because, in his intelligence and his winning ways he threatened to eclipse Selim, the son of Roxelana herself.

This woman possessed a strong natural intelligence, albeit she was totally uneducated; she saw and knew that Ibrahim was all-powerful with her lover, and this roused her jealousy to fever-heat. She was not possessed of a cool judgment, which would have told her that Ibrahim was a statesman dealing with the external affairs of the Sublime Porte, and that with her and with her affairs he neither desired, nor had he the power, to interfere. What, however, the Sultana did know was that in these same affairs of State her opinion was dust in the balance when weighed against that of the Grand Vizier.

Suleiman had that true attribute of supreme greatness, the unerring aptitude for the choice of the right man. He had picked out Ibrahim from among his immense entourage, and never once had he regretted his choice. As time went on and the intellect and power of the man became more and more revealed to his master, that sovereign left in his hands even such matters as despots are apt to guard most jealously. We have seen how, in spite of the murmurings of the whole of his capital, and the almost insubordinate attitude of his navy, he had persevered in the appointment of Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa, because the judgment of Ibrahim was in favour of its being carried out. This, to Roxelana, was gall and wormwood; well she knew that, as long as the Grand Vizier lived, her sovereignty was at best but a divided one. There was a point at which her blandishments stopped short; this was when she found that her opinion did not coincide with that of the minister. She was, as we have seen in the instance of her son, not a woman to stick at trifles, and she decided that Ibrahim must die.

There could be no hole-and-corner business about this; he must die, and when his murder had been accomplished she would boldly avow to her lover what she had done and take the consequences, believing in her power over him to come scatheless out of the adventure. In those days, when human life was so cheap, she might have asked for the death of almost any one, and her whim would have been gratified by a lover who had not hesitated to put to death his own son at her dictation. But with Ibrahim it was another matter; he was the familiar of the Sultan, his alter ego in fact. It says much for the nerve of the Sultana that she dared so greatly on this memorable and lamentable occasion.

On March 5th, 1536, Ibrahim, went to the royal seraglio, and, following his ancient custom, was admitted to the table of his master, sleeping after the meal at his side. At least so it was supposed, but none knew save those engaged in the murder what passed on that fatal night; the next day his dead body lay in the house of the Sultan.

Across the floor of jasper, in that palace which was a fitting residence for one rightly known as “The Magnificent,” the blood of Ibrahim flowed to the feet of Roxelana. The disordered clothing, the terrible expression of the face of the dead man, the gaping wounds which he had received, bore witness that there had taken place a grim struggle before that iron frame and splendid intellect had been levelled with the dust. This much leaked out afterwards, as such things will leak out, and then the Sultana took Suleiman into her chamber and gazed up into his eyes. The man was stunned by the immensity of the calamity which had befallen him and his kingdom, but his manhood availed him not against the wiles of this Circe. Ibrahim had been foully done to death in his own palace, and this woman clinging so lovingly around his neck now was the murderess. The heart’s blood of his best friend was coagulating on the threshold of his own apartment when he forgave her by whom his murder had been accomplished. This was the vengeance of Roxelana, and who shall say that it was not complete?


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Smiles & Good Fortune,
Teresa
************************************
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Shadows In A Timeless Myth Presents Queen Zenobia - A Poem

 ZENOBIA


By ADA IDDINGS GALE.


Midst clash of arms, she comes, and glittering spear,
Bold, bright and beautiful, her flashing eye;
Crowned, gemmed and robed in cloth of Tyrian dye.
Palmyra’s pride, unequaled far or near.
Proudly she moves and with imperious mien
Views with a sweeping glance each column o’er,
While they in rapture kneeling do adore,
And rising, vow allegiance to their queen.
The trumpet’s peal, a thousand helmets shine,
The long ranks into perfect order pass,
And at the command move on. Alas!
That fortune’s star for such should e’er decline,
That pomp of pride, that dreams of regal sway
Should like the mists of morning melt away.

Compiled from sources in the public domain.
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Smiles & Good Fortune,
Teresa
************************************
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Shadows In a Timeless Myth Presents Julia Gonzaga Duchess and Pirate's Plunder

JULIA GONZAGA, DUCHESS AND PIRATE'S PLUNDER

The Grand Turk had spoken, the appointment had been made, Barbarossa had arrived; but though autocrats can cause their mandate to be obeyed, they cannot constrain the inward workings of the minds of men. In spite of the awe in which Soliman the Magnificent was held, there were murmurs of discontent in the capital of Islam. The Sultan had been advised to make Barbarossa his Admiralissimo by his Grand Vizier Ibrahim, who was, as we have said, his alter ego. This great man had risen from the humblest of all positions, that of a slave, to the giddy eminence to which he had now attained by the sheer strength of his intellect and personality. The Grand Vizier it was who had pointed out to his master that which was lacking in the Ottoman navy: brave men and desperate fighters he had in plenty, but the seaman who cleared the Golden Horn and made his way through the archipelago into the open sea beyond had forces with which to contend against which mere valour was but of small avail. Out there, somewhere behind the blue line of the horizon, did Andrea Doria lie in wait; and if the Moslem seaman should escape the clutches of the admiral of the Christian Emperor, were there not those others, the Knights of Malta, who, under the leadership of Villiers de L’lsle Adam, swept the tideless sea in an unceasing and relentless hostility to every nef, fusta, and galley which flew the flag of the Prophet?

Who, it was asked in Constantinople, was this man who had been called in to command the ships of the Ottomans at sea? They answered their own question, and said that he was a lawless man, a corsair: were there not good seamen and valiant men-at-arms like the Bashas Zay and Himeral, who should be preferred before him; this man who had come from the ends of the earth, and of whom nobody knew anything good? Again, could he be trusted? Something of the history of the Barbarossas had penetrated to the capital of Turkey, and it was known that scrupulous adherence to their engagements had not always characterised the brothers: who should say that he might not carry off the galleys of the Grand Turk on some marauding expedition designed for his own aggrandisement? There was yet more to be urged against him: not only was he infamous in character, but he was no true Mussulman, for had not his father been a mere renegado, and—worst of all—had not his mother been a Christian woman?

The following description of the famous corsair may be found interesting at this juncture.
Barbarossa was at this time seventy-seven years of age. Courageous and prudent, he was as far-seeing in war as he was subtle in peace. A tireless worker, he was, above all things, constant in reverse of fortune, for no difficulties dismayed him, no dangers had power to daunt his spirit. His ruddy skin, his bushy eyebrows, his famous red beard, now plentifully streaked with white, his square, powerful frame, somewhat inclined to stoutness, above all, his penetrating and piercing eyes, gave to his aspect a certain terror before which men trembled and women shrank appalled.

All this harmonised well with his reputation as a chief so resolute, so pitiless, that it was the boast of his followers that his very name shouted in battle put to flight the Christian vessels. His smile was fine and malicious, his speech facile, revealing beneath the rude exterior of the corsair the subtle man of affairs, who, from nothing, had made himself King of Algiers, and was now, by the invitation of Soliman the Magnificent, Admiralissimo of the Ottoman navy.

Well may Jurien de la Gravi√®re say that “in the sixteenth century even the pirates were great men.”
It has been stated that in speech Barbarossa was facile. He was not only so, but he possessed a power of addressing such a man as Soliman in terms which, while delicately flattering that mighty monarch, gave him also a lead which he might follow in the future disposition of such power as he possessed at sea.

On his return from Aleppo Kheyr-ed-Din was received in audience by the Sultan. We must be pardoned if we give the long speech which he addressed to his new master in its entirety; and we have to remember that the man who made it was now an old man who, all his life, had been absolutely free and untrammelled, owing allegiance to no one, following out his own caprices, and sweeping out of his path any whom he found sufficiently daring as to disagree with him. That this ruthless despot should have been able so to change the whole style and manner of his address so late in life is only one proof the more of the marvellous gifts which he possessed.
It was in the following words that the corsair addressed the Sultan:

“If Heaven is favourable to my vows, the Spaniards will soon be chased from Africa; the Carthaginians, the Moors, will soon be your very submissive subjects; Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, will obey your will. As for Italy, it will soon be desolated by famine when I attack it in formidable force, without fearing that the Christian Princes will come to its aid.
“Mahomet II., your illustrious grandfather, formed the project of conquering this country; he would have succeeded had he not been carried off by death. If I counsel you, dread Sovereign, that you should carry war into Europe and Africa, it is not that I desire your arms should be turned back in Asia from against the Persians, the ancient enemies of the Ottomans. I require but your sea-army, which is no use against the Persians. While you shall be conquering Asia I shall be subduing Africa.
“When I besiege Tunis I shall present him to the inhabitants, who love him as much as they hate Muley Hassan. They will open their gates to me, and I shall gain the town without the loss of a single man: it will be then you who will be master. On my way thither I will do what harm I can to the Christians; I will endeavour to defeat Andrea Doria, who is my personal enemy and my rival in glory: should I succeed in defeating him your Majesty will possess the empire of the sea. Be then persuaded, great Prince, by me, and believe that he who is master of the sea will very shortly become master on land.”



It was in July 1534 that the Ottoman fleet left Constantinople, and Kheyr-ed-Din began operations by a descent upon Reggio, which he sacked. On August 1st he arrived at the Pharos of Messina, where he burnt some Christian ships and captured their crews; then he worked north from Reggio to Naples, ravaging the coast and depopulating the whole littoral, burning villages, destroying ships, enslaving people. In this expedition he is said to have captured eleven thousand Christian slaves. There is perhaps nothing more amazing in the whole history of this epoch than the number of the slaves captured by the corsairs, and the damnable cruelties exercised upon them; these were, of course returned by the Christians with interest whenever possible. As an instance of the treatment to which the slaves were subjected it is only necessary to mention the course taken by Barbarossa when he left Algiers in the previous year. There were at that time seven thousand Christian captives in his power; immediately before starting he had the entire number paraded before him, and, under the pretext of having discovered a plot, which in no circumstances could possibly have existed, owing to the supervision of the slaves, he caused twenty of them to be beheaded on the spot in order to strike terror into the remainder during his absence.

Back to the Golden Horn streamed ship after ship laden with plunder and with slaves. “The veritable man of the sea” was proving the correctness of the choice of the Sultan, the acumen of the Grand Vizier who had recommended his appointment. Barbarossa was determined to leave nothing undone to prove to Soliman that his choice had indeed been a worthy one when he had selected him as admiral of his fleet: also he had in his mind those others who spoke slightingly of him as “the African pirate”; they should know as well as their master of what this pirate was capable. Northward the devastating host of Barbarossa took its way; the fair shores of Italy smoked to heaven as the torches of the corsairs fired the villages. Blood and agony, torture and despair, followed ever on the heels of the Sea-wolves of the Mediterranean. And now a fresh pack had been loosed, as it was, of course, in enormously increased strength that Barbarossa returned to the scene of so many of his former triumphs.

Plunder and slaves were all very well in their way, and acceptable enough on the shores of the Golden Horn; but Kheyr-ed-Din had a pet project in view on this particular cruise, which was to capture Julia Gonzaga and to present her to Soliman for his harem. The lady destined by him for this pleasant fate was reported to be the loveliest woman in Europe, a fitting gift for such an one as the Grand Turk. The fame of her surpassing loveliness had reached even the corsairs. She was the widow of Vespasian Colonna, Duchess of Trajetto, and Countess of Fundi; she had now been a widow since 1528, and lived at Fundi, some ninety miles north-east of Naples. Barbarossa laid his plans with his accustomed acuteness, and it was only through an accident that they miscarried.

There was one undeniable advantage in the system which swept off into slavery the whole of the inhabitants of a country-side, and that was, if at any time you required a guide at any particular point on the coast, he was sure to be forthcoming from one of the vessels in the fleet. Now Barbarossa did not exactly know where Julia Gonzaga was to be found, so he set his captains to work to discover the necessary slave. This was soon accomplished, and there was really no occasion for a slave on this occasion, as a renegado of Naples knew the castle in which Julia Gonzaga was residing at the time, and readily agreed to act as guide to the expedition sent to accomplish her capture. Kheyr-ed-Din had made a sudden dash along the coast with some of the swiftest of his galleys for the purposes of this capture. In consequence the people in Naples and the neighbourhood were not even aware that the piratical squadron was on the coast before they anchored, as near as it was practicable to do, to the residence of the Duchess of Trajetto. The fleet actually arrived after dark, having kept out to sea and out of sight during the day.

As soon as the anchors were down a party of two thousand picked men were landed and marched silently and with all expedition to the castle of Fundi. The escape of the Duchess was really providential. She had already gone to bed, and the fierce marauders were actually within the grounds of the castle before her distracted people became aware of their presence. But fortunately136 some among them kept their heads, and it also so happened that her bed-chamber was the opposite side of the castle to that by which the pirates approached. A horse was brought round under the window of the room, and, in her night-dress with nothing but a shawl wrapped around her, was Julia Gonzaga lowered out of her window on to the back of her horse. As she galloped for dear life down the avenue of her home she heard the shrieks of her miserable household murdered in cold blood by the furious pirates who had thus been balked of their prey.*

Dire was the vengeance taken by the corsairs. They sacked Fundi and burned the town; they killed every man on whom they could lay their hands, and carried off the women and girls to the fleet.
Kheyr-ed-Din was furious with anger and disappointment. “What is the value of all this trash?” he demanded, with a thundering oath, of the commander of the unsuccessful raiders, surveying as he spoke the miserable, shivering women and girls. “I sent you out to bring back a pearl without price, and you return with these cattle.”

Thus balked of his prey, Barbarossa swung his fleet round to the southward and westward and sailed for Sardinia, where, from the Straits of Bonifacio to Cape Spartivento, he left no house standing that would burn, or man alive who was not swept in as a captive. The descent of the corsairs in force, such as Kheyr-ed-Din now had at his disposal, was one of the most awful calamities for a country that it is possible to imagine.

*It has been told that she escaped with a single knight and later had him killed for seeing her nearly naked during her escape. There is also speculation that Barbarossa's attempt may have been motivated by members of the of her deceased husband's family, who wished to recover their lands after his death.The following year the young widow, who successfully escaped entering the harem of Suleiman the Magnificient, entered a convent.

Compiled from sources in the public domain.

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Smiles & Good Fortune,
Teresa
************************************
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Shadows in a Timeless Myth Presents Four Exciting Chances to Win!


Shadows in a Timeless Myth is a modern day tale of love, horror and survival whose roots lay in the distant past. It is the tale of three immortals who dared defy the Fates...and the humans who paid a tragic price.  

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Smiles & Good Fortune,
Teresa
************************************
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Shadows in a Timeless Myth Presents Grace O'Malley Defiant Pirate Queen of Ireland

Castle Carrig-a-Hooly was the stronghold of Grace O'Malley the Celtic Pirate Queen of the island of Clare in Ireland.

The nearby monastery of Burrishoole is said to have been her burial-place, and there her skull was for a long time preserved as a precious relic, but it is also stated that, together with those of many others buried there, her bones were stolen and being carted to Scotland and ground up for manure, enriching the land and used to stop the chinks and keep the wind away.

It was well for the thieves here that they worked and escaped in the night, for such desecration would have resulted in their quick dispatch had the superstitious peasantry caught them.

Many of the latter believe that the skull of the Queen was miraculously restored to its niche in the abbey, but if so it has mouldered into dust long since. However, the skulls still to be seen here are regarded with deep veneration and are often borrowed by the peasantry to boil milk in, which being served to the sick one is a sure antidote for all ills.


This castle of Queen Grace, like so many old towers, is supposed to cover buried treasures, guarded at night by a mounted horseman. There is, however, another scene in her life which, whilst not productive of such results as the one at Carrig-a-Hooly, must have been picturesque and startling in the extreme.

Imagine the court of the great Elizabeth, with the daughter of Henry VIII. on the throne in all the heyday of her fuss and feathers, robed gorgeously and wearing a great farthingale—beneath the hem of her short skirt one notes the jewelled buckles on her high-heeled shoes,—from her pallid face flash a pair of reddish eyes and above her pallid brow her red hair is piled high and adorned with many of the pearls and jewels which have come into her possession from the robbery of her Scottish prisoner by the rebel lords. Huge butterfly wings of gauze rise from the shoulders but give nothing ethereal to the appearance of the sovereign,—Elizabeth was of the earth earthy. Around her are grouped all the splendid of that golden age,—the grave prime minister, Cecil Burleigh, the gallant Leicester, the boy Essex, the splendid Sir Philip Sidney, together with all the foreign diplomats and beautiful women of the court.

In the space before her stands an equally imperious figure,—the sovereign of this island of Clare.
The Queen of England has just offered to make her a countess, and we can imagine the half amazed and wholly amused expression of her majestic countenance when the offer is coolly refused with the remark that "I consider myself just as great a Queen as your Majesty."

Then the Irishwoman went home and did things, short, sharp, and to the point, effective: secured possession of all the fortified castles of the island and all the treasures and men at arms, and then dismissed her husband of only one year.

It had been agreed on her marriage that either party could terminate the matrimonial arrangement at a year's end by a simple announcement to the other. On the day in question the countess observed from one of the loopholes of Carrig-a-Hooly the approach of her liege lord, and thereupon, to surely forestall such action on his part, hailed him and announced that "all was off" between them, making no mention of a return of any of the castles, men, or treasures be they his or not. She should have been Queen of Scotland. She would promptly have settled the cases of each and every rebel lord from Moray down, and John Knox would have heard a truth or two which would have made his ears tingle,—neither could her Majesty of England have meddled so easily in the affairs of the northern kingdom.

Compiled from sources in the public domain.

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Smiles & Good Fortune,
Teresa
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It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915