Tuesday, 28 March 2017

A Bit of History and March 2017 Book Purchases

Bonnie and Clyde having a nap... sometimes they are quiet.
Today is a typical spring day in the Valley, windy, rainy and mild. The missus and I spent the night trying to get poor Bonnie to relax. Her allergies seem to have flared up and Jo gave her some ear drops just before bed time. That calmed her until about 3:30, then she couldn't relax; she just gets so itchy when they act up. Finally gave her an antihistamine, which, after 30 minutes or so, seemed to help her finally relax. Now we've got her spring allergy meds, which seem to work. *fingers crossed*. Poor little thing. She's now just as you see her in the photo above, curled up in the study with me as I write this. I think Clyde, who rarely seems to get sick, must be upstairs with the missus. :)

So toddling along to my ongoing excerpting of Treasures of Use and Beauty, a Canadian book published back in 1885. In the last entry of Great Historical Events, I stopped in Dec 24, 1492, where Christopher Columbus received aid from natives off the coast of Hayti. So moving along, we finished the 1400's

Great Historical Events

"1493. Columbus leaves Hayti for Spain, leaving behind him a colony of thirty-eight men; March 15. - He arrives in Spain and is received with every mark of gratitude; September 25. - He returns on his second voyage to the West Indies with a larger fleet consisting of seventeen ships and fifteen hundred persons; November 22. - He arrives in Hayti and finds his colony destroyed, but plants another, naming it Isabella.
1494. Columbus suppresses a conspiracy at Hayti and sends the leader to Spain. He discovers gold in large quantities; May 4. - Continuing his voyage among the West Indies he discovers Jamaica and Porto Rico; September 27. - He returns to Hayti and finds his brother Bartholomew whom he had sent to the Court of England in 1481.
1496. June 11. - Columbus learning that enemies in Spain were working his overthrow repaired to court with products of his adventure in gold from the New World, and convinced his patrons of his success and the value of his enterprise.
1497. June 24. - John and Sebastian Cabot, Italians, sent out by Henry VII and discover Labrador and Newfoundland.
1498. May. - Sebastian Cabot sets out upon his second voyage to the New World and explores the coast from the extreme to Florida.
May 30. - After a delay of nearly two years Columbus sails from Spain on his third voyage with ten ships; July 31. - He discovers Trinidad and the Orinoco; August. - He discovers the continent of South America.
1499. May 16. - Americus Vespucius, after whom America is named, sailed from Spain to explore the new world. He follows the course of Columbus."

So there you go, the last entry of the 1400's. Looking ahead, events start happening fast and furious now. The 1500's next.

Letters of Affection

The following is a letter written by John Wesley, an Anglican cleric who founded Methodism. The letter was written in his 70th year to Mrs. Eliza Bennis, Feb. 12, 1773. Her daughter gave the letter to Dr. Wm. Gray of Philadelphia as compensation for medical services. Dr. Gray willed the letter to Julius King of Cleveland, Ohio, and he presented it to Mr. Lou Burt of Detroit Michigan, who had possession of it at the time of its inclusion in this book.

"Feb. 12, 1773

My Dear Sister:

When we draw near unto God in His appointed ways He will surely draw nigh unto us. Pray remind Mr. Glasbrook of using the same means and you will find the same blessing, and when you write, encourage Mr. Slater to do at Waterford as he did at Limerick. I am glad Mr. Scott has so much courage as to receive the preachers, and still more so, that Mr. Fleury is rather a friend than an enemy. This hath God wrought!

I can observe by Mrs. Dawson's manner of writing, a very considerable change in her spirit; more acquaintance with God; more humility, and more artless, simple love. She is an amiable woman. I lover her much, and so I do all of the family that I know.

Charles Harrison does not see with my eyes or he need have gone no farther than Athlone. I wish he does not make a foolish bargain at last, one that he will repent of as long as he lives. He surely will if he does not acknowledge God in His way, but lean to his own understanding.

As long as you trust, not in yourself, but in Him that has all power in Heaven and in earth, you will find His Grace sufficient for you and His strength made perfect in your weakness. Look to Him continually and trust on Him, that you may increase with all the increase of God. I am,

My Dear Sister,

Your ever affectionate Brother,

J. Wesley"

March Book Purchases

I've just got a very short list this time. I do have a couple of books on order that have not yet arrived. I'll include them in a future list. So here we go.

1. Gold from Gemini by Jonathan Gash 1978). This is the 2nd book in the Lovejoy mystery series.

"To my mind, making love is a lot like picking blackberries - you need both hands and a lot of skill to do it properly and get away unscathed, yet your mind can be miles away.

When my mind wanders, it's invariably in the direction of an antiques deal, and what could attract an antiques dealer's mind more irresistibly than a trail of clues leading to a treasure trove of Roman gold?

It might have put me off a bit had I known that following the trail would involve violence and murder, but I doubt it would have put me off for long. And when your friends are in the firing line, you have to make sure your enemies get what's coming to them..."

2. Cast, in Order of Disappearance by Simon Brett (1975). I read the 5th book in the Charles Paris mystery series in January and enjoyed it very much. I finally found a copy of the first book and just received it. I'm looking forward to reading this.

"Who killed Marius Steen, the theatrical tycoon with a fortune to leave to his young mistress Jacqui? And who killed Bill Sweet, the shady blackmailer with a supply of compromising photographs? Charles Paris, a middle-aged actor who subsists on booze and women, takes to detection by assuming a variety of roles, among them that of a Scotland Yard Detective-Sergeant ... and the results are both very funny and highly dramatic."

3. The Forgotten Legion by Ben Kane (2008). I've had the 2nd book in this trilogy for ages and haven't been able to find the first so I could finally read it. As luck would have it, I finally found a copy. Oh the excitement!

"Tarquinius, Etruscan warrior and soothsayer, Brennus the Gaul, one of the most feared gladiators in Rome. And Romulus, the boy slave, sold to gladiator school, but dreaming of vengeance for himself and for his twin sister, Fabiola.

Fabiola, sold into prostitution at thirteen, loved by the second most powerful man in the Republic, driven by hatred for the unknown father who raped her mother.

Their destiny is bound and interwoven in an odyssey which begins in a Rome riven by political corruption and violence, but ends far away, at the very border of the known world, where the tattered remnants of a once-huge Roman army - the Forgotten Legion - will fight against overwhelming odds, and the three men will meet their destiny."

4. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (1968). Another book I've been looking for, for awhile. My local book store, The Laughing Oyster, had a copy.

"The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived alone... so she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a despondent monarch - and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction."

5. Death at the Bar by Ngaio Marsh (1939). This is the 9th book in the Inspector Roderick Alleyn mystery series. I've enjoyed every one so far. They seem to get better as the stories develop.

"At the Plume of Feathers in south Devon on midsummer evening, eight people are gathered together in the tap-room. They are in the habit of playing darts, but on this occasion an experiment takes the place of the usual game - a gruesomely fatal experiment which calls for investigation.

A distinguished painter, a celebrated actor, a woman graduate, a plump lady from County Clare, and a Devonshire farmer all play their parts in the unravelling of the problem."

There you go. As I said, not too many this time. Next entry might not be for a couple of days as I wind up my March reading. We'll see though. Have a great safe week!

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