Friday, July 08, 2005

To the British people on 7/7

My thoughts, prayers, and sympathies are with the British people in the wake of yesterday's terrorist attacks in London. But I am not worried for them. This is, after all, the same race that produced the likes of Drake, Nelson, Elizabeth I, Churchill, and other heroes and heroines too numerous to mention; and as Churchill himself noted, the British people did not become what they are by being made of sugar candy. If history is any indication -- and as a lifelong student of history, I believe most assuredly that it is -- they will come through this very well indeed, and in a manner worthy of their illustrious past.

So in that spirit, the following quote, by Elizabeth I herself, seems appropriate. During the Spanish Armada crisis in the summer of 1588, she spoke thus:

"I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good will of my subjects, and therefore I am come amongst you as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all, to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a King, and a King of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain or any Prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm, to which, rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. "

Also, on Happy Catholic today, someone suggested that G. K. Chesterton's poem "Lepanto" should be read aloud on both sides of the Atlantic. I concur, and you may therefore read the poem here.


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