Delighting in the Rude Mechanicals

Shakespeare chocked “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” so full of wisdom, one hardly knows where to begin.

E.G.: “The course of true love never did run smooth…”

The best comes when the “hard-handed men” mount the stage for ‘Pyramus and Thisby.’

The master of revels has declared the actors incompetent. The new queen Hippolyta worries that the spectacle will prove embarrassing. But Theseus calms her with these God-like words:

HIPPOLYTA
I love not to see wretchedness o’er charged
And duty in his service perishing.

THESEUS
Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing.

HIPPOLYTA
He says they can do nothing in this kind.

THESEUS
The kinder we, to give them thanks for nothing.
Our sport shall be to take what they mistake:
And what poor duty cannot do, noble respect
Takes it in might, not merit.
Where I have come, great clerks have purposed
To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
Make periods in the midst of sentences,
Throttle their practised accent in their fears
And in conclusion dumbly have broke off,
Not paying me a welcome. Trust me, sweet,
Out of this silence yet I pick’d a welcome;
And in the modesty of fearful duty
I read as much as from the rattling tongue
Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity
In least speak most, to my capacity.

“Never any thing can be amiss, when simpleness and duty tender it.”

Little Wonders

Did you know: Before Helen was taken from Sparta to Troy–even before she was married to king Menelaus–while she was still a girl, she was abducted by Theseus?

Theseus gave her to his mother to take care of her, until she would be old enough for him to marry.

But Helen’s brothers Castor and Pollux rescued her from Theseus’ mother Aethra. (You can learn a lot of ancient mythology from beautiful old plates.)

Helen married the king of Sparta. But then she was taken away to Troy by Paris. (Paris was the cousin of Aeneas, the ancient father of the Roman race.)

It was a trial being the most beautiful woman in the world…

Puer natus est nobis!

The “Missal” is the book the priest uses to say the prayers of the Holy Mass. The Cornaro Missal has a beautiful illumination on the page next to the Christmas Mass prayers.