Sunday, 22 January 2012

Story of my Life

By the age of 11, I had read and reread many many times the collected verse of Hilaire Belloc, which was on my father’s shelves and I had memorised much of the Cautionary Tales (in long sessions in the bath I recall).  I decided to start the Hilaire Belloc Society aged 22 and got many famous people to agree to be Vice-president. I see now that it would have done wonders for my social life though this thought was not in my head then. But alas I gave up, telling myself I would drop the idea at some point so as well to give up now. Lady Diana Cooper who had agreed to be President kept writing me postcards in pencil. Oh my friends be warned by me....

Great stuff to have running through your head all the time. This verse for example: 

Heretics all, whoever you may be,
In Tarbes or Nimes, or over the sea,
You never shall have good words from me.
Caritas non conturbat me.

But Catholic men that live upon wine
Are deep in the water, and frank, and fine;
Wherever I travel I find it so,
Benedicamus Domino.

On childing women that are forelorn,
And men that sweat in nothing but scorn:
That is on all that ever were born,
Miserere Domine.

To my poor self on my deathbed,
And all my dear companions dead,
Because of the love that I bore them,
Dona Eis Requiem.

Hilaire Belloc

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