Sunday, April 23, 2017

Happy St. George's Day

Happy St. George's Day to all my English readers!

This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear'd by their breed and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
For Christian service and true chivalry,
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son,
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land.

Nigel Farage, beer, and fish and chips: quintessential Englishness!
Although my own favourite evocation of Englishness might be this passage from Chesterton, which I have so often quoted:

But Dickens in his cheapest cockney utilitarianism was not only English, but unconsciously historic. Upon him descended the real tradition of "Merry England," and not upon the pallid mediævalists who thought they were reviving it. The Pre-Raphaelites, the Gothicists, the admirers of the Middle Ages, had in their subtlety and sadness the spirit of the present day. Dickens had in his buffoonery and bravery the spirit of the Middle Ages. He was much more mediæval in his attacks on mediævalism than they were in their defences of it. It was he who had the things of Chaucer, the love of large jokes and long stories and brown ale and all the white roads of England. 

Sid James as Dick Turpin: quintessential Englishness!

Peter Hitchens looking indignant; quintessential Englishness!


  1. Thank you!
    I suppose St. George, being a saint, must have been a rather good sort, really, mustn't he, if I say so myself?

  2. Yes...doubtless he was perfectly polite to the dragon.