In the spring when the kings go off to war . . .

July 1913. "Gettysburg reunion: Veterans of the G.A.R. and of the Confederacy, at the Encampment." Harris & Ewing glass negative.
July 1913. “Gettysburg reunion: Veterans of the G.A.R. and of the Confederacy, at the Encampment.” Harris & Ewing glass negative.

“All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. This is the motive of every action of man, even those who hang themselves.” Blaise Pascal, Pensees

12 thoughts on “In the spring when the kings go off to war . . .

  1. A shattering quote of baroque wisdom, too; you always choose quotes that go straight to the heart of things. Most of my happiness and melancholy goes back to the age of cavaliers, I find – the canine ones and men on horseback…Strokes for Rosie and Daisy from England..

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    • I have that melancholy and happiness when reading about soldier in the US army in the 1870’s. The officers looked back to the age of Cavaliers for their sense of duty and honor. The officers’ wives seemed very much taken by them (at least the ones who took time to write about their experiences).

      Of course not every officer in the old days was wonderful, but I like good men. 🙂

      Do you have pets?

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      • A complicated grey issue (Cavaliers and pets – I’m currently fighting my own love of German-born Prince Rupert, on my own blog) – fascinating to learn about Cavalier culture in 1870s US.

        The perfect English gentleman is the Scarlet Pimpernel, invented by the Hungarian born Baroness Orczy; she also wrote a novel about his English Civil war ancestor, the first Sir Percy Blakeney, based on The Laughing Cavalier, which is a fictional construct based on the portrait of an unknown man by the Dutch painter Franz Hals…. the best movie Scarlet Pimpernel was Leslie Howard, who was also the incarnation of Ashley Wilkes, quintessential Southern gentleman, and who was by birth half Hungarian-Jewish, and a quarter German-Jewish.

        It’s reassuring to know that UK in grip of election apathy still has at least one successful universal multi-racial export in the “Cavalier”, not to be confused, in any way, with modern British Tories.

        The pets question calls my bluff; my real life does not bear scrutiny. I have what some people would call “imaginary” pets and they are predominantly, of course, inevitably, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, black&white and Blenheim….But you must have guessed that already!

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  2. Forgot to add that “English Cavalier” should not be confused with modern Toryism OR UK Independence Party! God save this benighted island, and long live the international “Cavalier”.

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