THE WOUND-DRESSER. walt whitman

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1

  An old man bending I come among new faces,
  Years looking backward resuming in answer to children,
  Come tell us old man, as from young men and maidens that love me,
  (Arous'd and angry, I'd thought to beat the alarum, and urge
            relentless war,
  But soon my fingers fail'd me, my face droop'd and I resign'd myself,
  To sit by the wounded and soothe them, or silently watch the dead;)
  Years hence of these scenes, of these furious passions, these
            chances,
  Of unsurpass'd heroes, (was one side so brave? the other was equally
            brave;)
  Now be witness again, paint the mightiest armies of earth,
  Of those armies so rapid so wondrous what saw you to tell us?
  What stays with you latest and deepest? of curious panics,
  Of hard-fought engagements or sieges tremendous what deepest remains?

2

  O maidens and young men I love and that love me,
  What you ask of my days those the strangest and sudden your talking
            recalls,
  Soldier alert I arrive after a long march cover'd with sweat and
            dust,
  In the nick of time I come, plunge in the fight, loudly shout in the
            rush of successful charge,
  Enter the captur'd works—yet lo, like a swift-running river they
            fade,
  Pass and are gone they fade—I dwell not on soldiers' perils or
            soldiers' joys,
  (Both I remember well-many the hardships, few the joys, yet I was
            content.)

  But in silence, in dreams' projections,
  While the world of gain and appearance and mirth goes on,
  So soon what is over forgotten, and waves wash the imprints off the
            sand,
  With hinged knees returning I enter the doors, (while for you up
            there,
  Whoever you are, follow without noise and be of strong heart.)

  Bearing the bandages, water and sponge,
  Straight and swift to my wounded I go,
  Where they lie on the ground after the battle brought in,
  Where their priceless blood reddens the grass the ground,
  Or to the rows of the hospital tent, or under the roof'd hospital,
  To the long rows of cots up and down each side I return,
  To each and all one after another I drawn near, not one do I miss,
  An attendant follows holding a tray, he carries a refuse pail,
  Soon to be fill'd with clotted rags and blood, emptied, and fill'd
            again.

  I onward go, I stop,
  With hinged knees and steady hand to dress wounds,
  I am firm with each, the pangs are sharp yet unavoidable,
  One turns to me his appealing eyes-poor boy! I never knew you,
  Yet I think I could not refuse this moment to die for you, if that
            would save you.

3

  On, on I go, (open doors of time! open hospital doors!)
  The crush'd head I dress, (poor crazed hand tear not the bandage
            away,)
  The neck of the cavalry-man with the bullet through and through I
            examine,
  Hard the breathing rattles, quite glazed already the eye, yet life
            struggles hard,
  (Come sweet death! be persuaded O beautiful death!
  In mercy come quickly.)

  From the stump of the arm, the amputated hand,
  I undo the clotted lint, remove the slough, wash off the matter and
            blood,
  Back on his pillow the soldier bends with curv'd neck and
            side-falling head,
  His eyes are closed, his face is pale, he dares not look on the
            bloody stump,
  And has not yet look'd on it.

  I dress a wound in the side, deep, deep,
  But a day or two more, for see the frame all wasted and sinking,
  And the yellow-blue countenance see.

  I dress the perforated shoulder, the foot with the bullet-wound,
  Cleanse the one with a gnawing and putrid gangrene, so sickening, so
            offensive,
  While the attendant stands behind aside me holding the tray and pail.

  I am faithful, I do not give out,
  The fractur'd thigh, the knee, the wound in the abdomen,
  These and more I dress with impassive hand, (yet deep in my breast a
            fire, a burning flame.)

4

  Thus in silence in dreams' projections,
  Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals,
  The hurt and wounded I pacify with soothing hand,
  I sit by the restless all the dark night, some are so young,
  Some suffer so much, I recall the experience sweet and sad,
  (Many a soldier's loving arms about this neck have cross'd and
            rested,
  Many a soldier's kiss dwells on these bearded lips.)

Inebriation and Litigation – Beer on Trial

Middlemay Farm:

I love a good beer fight.

Originally posted on In Their Own Words::

In July of 1870, a rather unusual trial was held in Syracuse at the old City Hall.  John Cappel was charged with selling intoxicating beverages on a Sunday, which was illegal at the time.  The defense for Cappel held that the beverage in question, lager beer, was legal since it was not an intoxicating drink.

Testimony offered for the defense included that of local brewer Benedict Haberle who stated that he could drink 30 to 40 glasses of lager beer a day and it did not intoxicate him.  Jacob Pfohl declared that he could personally consume between one and two gallons without feeling inebriated.  Of course, both were also heavily engaged in the production of lager.  Breweries were a growing part of Syracuse’s economy in those years.  Haberle said his output was 1500 barrels a year and Pfohl admitted to manufacturing from 4,000 to 5,000 annually.  Others offered similar evidence…

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“The adjustment of qualities is so perfect between men and women, and each is so necessary to the other, that the idea of inferiority is absurd.” Jenny June

LINKS TO  SOME OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL FEMALE EDITORS WHO LOVED THEIR WORK, BUT DIDN’T NECESSARILY WANT THE VOTE.

Madame Demorest's Mirror of Fashion

Madame Demorest’s Mirror of Fashion

Jenny June

Wood's Household Magazine

Wood’s Household Magazine

Gail Hamilton

Harper's Bazar

Harper’s Bazar

Mary L Booth

Hearth and Home

Hearth and Home

Harriet Beecher Stowe

 

“To err is human. To put the blame on others is doubles.” Author Unknown

 John Lavery (Irish painter, 1856-1941) A Game of Tennis

John Lavery (Irish painter, 1856-1941) A Game of Tennis

“Life is like a game of tennis; the player who serves well seldom loses.” Author Unknown

True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but to serve others at whatever cost.” Arthur Ashe

“Whoever said, “it’s not whether you win or lose,’ probably lost.” Martina Navratilova

The Neo-Nationalist Creed

Originally posted on Practically Historical:

Progressive historians like Charles Beard… went to great lengths to discredit the work of America’s first published historian, George Bancroft.  The Nationalist school of American history revered our Founders and proclaimed American exceptionalism.  Beard argued that America’s founding ideals were nothing more than a clever disguise for our true inspiration, greed.  The New Left revisionism that pervades historiography today is a mere continuation of Beard’s fundamentally flawed concept- America really isn’t that great….

Great men, not demigods

Great men, not demigods

Neo-Nationalism is a historical school of thought… that strives to reconcile two wildly opposed views of America’s past.  Common ground is sought within the discipline- social, political, military historical study working in concert to preserve the common threads that bind all Americans together…

womens-history-collage_112

  • America’s founding ideals are exceptional- and are standards that are difficult to attain- our history is comprised of the struggle to uphold these ideals.
  • The Founders were extraordinary men- but…

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A Noble Moment in a Man’s Life

The Grand Union Hotel speaking, but silently to a uninterested world.

The Grand Union Hotel speaking, but silently to a uninterested world.

There’s a wickedness to not exploring the past–not the past that’s contrived and shoved down your throat by a committee of people with an agenda. Go to the old buildings and listen to them speak to you. Find that little piece of a battlefield still untrammeled by suburbs. In the distance you hear a lawnmower but closer still you feel the fear and heartbreak of men in sweat-stained uniforms being carried from the field under sunny sky.

Don’t put all your faith in the snarky characterizations, the slip-shod research and self-righteous tendency to tear the noble moments of a man’s life down. We’ve all fallen and would prefer no one finds the self-pitying journal entry from 20 years ago that exposes our temptations, mixed motives and sins.

One man's love affair dismantled.

One man’s love affair dismantled.

Trash the textbooks and throw open the historical libraries to children. Let them feel the leather-bound book — pages dripping with ink and humanity. To see a general’s script is to fall in love and understand this man truly existed and thought his own thoughts–not that of a scared little college adjunct professor. I may think great things about a soldier and you may think the Indian is superior, but I say, go back and be with them. Quiet little houses and dusty old local libraries await with their treasure.

Why is it wicked to be fed your history? Because you put your trust in fallen man. I think what I think. I have an agenda so go see for yourself.

055

056

057

“Saratoga is the wickedest place in the United States.” Nellie Bly

 

Enter if you dare.

Enter if you dare.

Wicked maybe, but beautiful too. Oh, for the days of such wickedness! Before the CIA promoted ugly art causing president Truman once to remark, “If that’s art, then I’m a Hottentot.”

Gambling was illegal when Mr. Morrissey, a tough prize-fighter from Troy rolled into Saratoga and set up his Gentlemen’s Club (aka casino). The Saratoga mineral springs had attracted rich Southerners before the war who liked to flaunt their wealth and Paris fashions, but after the war a more democratic crowd filled the hotels and rubbed shoulders with the wealthy. That was fine all day, but when evening came . . .

Perfectly respectable wickedness.

Perfectly respectable wickedness.

Morrissey recognized the need for gentlemen to have a luxurious place to have a bit of gambling fun and so the casino began. Nellie Bly, Spencer Trask and others bemoaned the gambling being done at the club and then at the track (Morrissey realized vacationers would get bored of mineral water before noon and needed afternoon diversion so started the races with the backing of richie-riches like Travers, Jerome and Vanderbilt ).

Okay, so drinking, drugging, betting and adultery are wicked pursuits, but the seasons at Saratoga were beautiful–as was the casino.

Exhibit 1 Beauty

Exhibit 1 Beauty

Exhibit 2 Can anything truly wicked happen in a room like this (the High Stakes Room)?

Exhibit 2 Can anything truly wicked happen in a room like this (the High Stakes Room)?

Exhibit 3 Give me gambling like this any day over the riff-raff jingle jangle Atlantic City casinos!

Exhibit 3 Give me gambling like this any day over the riff-raff jingle jangle Atlantic City casinos!

The Vanderbilts, the Whitneys, US Grant and Mark Twain ate club sandwiches (invented here so not all wicked) while they gambled the night away. That must have been fun and here’s the sideboard where the stacks of refreshments where kept ready for hungry wicked people.

Club sandwich, Mr. Twain?

Club sandwich, Mr. Twain?

But what about the wicked women? Nellie Bly found the women trashy, but they don’t look too bad to me–though maybe a little pale as they read magazines, sip tea and play tunes on the piano in the reading room of the casino (some probably fretting a small bit about fortunes being squandered up above.

Fa-la-la to hell we go!

Fa-la-la to hell we go!

The casino today still looking pretty great though no longer all that wicked.

The casino today still looking pretty great though no longer all that wicked.