St Crispin\’s Day

Why not, something to cheer us up instead of enraged contemplation of curs, knaves and scoundrels that rule over us.

Take it away, Willy:

What\’s he that wishes so
My cousin Westmoreland, No, my fair cousin
If we are mark\’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God\’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God\’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man\’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call\’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam\’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say \’To-morrow is Saint Crispian.\’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say \’These wounds I had on Crispian\’s day.\’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he\’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb\’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne\’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne\’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs\’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin\’s day.

I shall, of course, be raising a glass this evening for today is indeed the anniversary of Agincourt:

However, the French suffered a catastrophic defeat, not just in terms of the sheer numbers killed, but because of the number of high-ranking nobles lost.

Couldn\’t have happened to a nicer bunch of people, eh?

27 comments on “St Crispin\’s Day

  1. That’s what comes of banning football and encouraging folk to take up archery instead:

    “Cause public proclamation to be made,” declared an Act of 1369, “that everyone of said City of London strong in body, at leisure times and on holydays, use in their recreation bows and arrows.” Popular amusements such as handball and football were banned on pain of imprisonment.
    [From entry for “Archery” in Weinreb and Hibbert (eds): The London Encyclopaedia (1993)]

    Personally, I prefer this less bellicose passage from our Willy:

    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
    [Richard II]
    http://shakespeare.about.com/b/a/079375.htm

  2. Bob B

    More to the point and, tragically, a more accurate description of today’s England, John of Gaunt’s speech ends thus:

    “This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
    Dear for her reputation through the world,
    Is now leased out – I die pronouncing it –
    Like to a tenement or pelting-farm.
    England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
    Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
    Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
    With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds.
    That England that was wont to conquer others
    Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
    Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
    How happy then were my ensuing death!”

  3. Umbongo,

    C’mon. John of Gaunt had reason to be pessimistic – his estates were duly forfeit to the crown when he died in 1399, long before the ascendancy of the illustrious Tudor Dynasty in 1485 as the outcome of the Battle of Bosworth that year.

    Even so, I don’t and wouldn’t claim that England now, under present governance, is flourishing anywhere nearly as well as it might but as the largest province of Britain by far, it makes the biggest business contribution to what is the fifth largest economy in the world, which isn’t too bad for a country of only 60 million. Some indications of the global significance of London, our national capital:

    ” . . London is rapidly emerging as a center of financial innovation. London-based hedge funds are snapping up property in Mayfair, and London has also outgrown New York to become the world’s center of over-the-counter derivatives. It is even showing signs of catching up with the U.S. in bond trading and securitization. While New York remains the financial center to beat, London has momentum. . .”
    nymag.com/guides/london/29440/

    “The UK private equity market is the largest and longest established private equity and venture capital market in Europe. On the world stage it is second in size only to the United States. It is also widely considered to have led the field in Europe in terms of having developed a favourable infrastructure for the industry. . .

    “In the UK we invest in every sector of the economy across all regions of the country. BVCA member firms invest in companies who employ around a fifth of UK private sector employees. Across Europe the UK industry now accounts for 52% of the whole market by value.”
    http://www.bvca.co.uk/publications/successuk.pdf

    And London is already established as the leading global market for trading foreign exchange:

    “The worldwide volume of foreign exchange trading is enormous, and it has ballooned in recent years. In April 1989 the average total value of foreign exchange trading was close to $600 billion per day, of which $184 billion were traded in London, $115 billion in New York, and $111 billion in Tokyo. Fifteen years later, in April 2004, the daily global value of foreign exchange trading had jumped to around $1.9 trillion, of which $753 billion were traded daily in London, $461 billion in New York, and $199 billion in Tokyo.”
    Krugman and Obstfeld: International Economics (2006) p.311

    All of that perhaps helps to explain why nearly a third of London’s present population were born outside Britain:
    http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/LSELondon/pdf/theImpactofRecentImmigrationOnTheLondonEconomy.pdf

  4. Btw I was born in Lambeth, about five miles away from where I write and why this from a show first produced 70 years ago still has a resonance with me:
    youtube.com/watch?v=BcCLKn6W1xk

  5. A while ago somebody attacked me for saying basically same as the above article (although the article is slanted heavily towards the anthropomorphic myth).

    I don’t know if you’re referring to me. I don’t remember attacking you so much as asking you to explain, or provide a reference for, an apparently mathematical assertion that you made:

    Computer Climate models are multi-variable recursive functions, which are subject to exponential error via their inherently chaotic behaviour.

    I’m still waiting. Maybe you could also reveal what you mean by the “anthropomorphic myth”. It sounds fascinating.

  6. It’s only eight years until the 600th anniversary. What are the odds that any outward show of celebration will be suppressed by the Levellers in the EU and their lackeys in UK government?

  7. Mr Gillies,

    What say we have a re-enactment, with the current occupants of the House of Commons playing the French and, ooh, everybody else playing the English & Welsh?

    Just to make sure we get it right, 600 years is a big anniversary, let’s hold a practice next year 🙂

    S-E

  8. Er… thanks Ian: some irrelevant, generic spew from an elderly loon who thinks the ozone hole always existed, and who effectively dismissed the entirety of modern epidemiology in his bid to discredit the Lancet Iraq casualty figures. Great. Meanwhile ACO continues to fail to back up what he said.

    You really have got everything arse about tit, let’s destroy our economy unless we can disprove some dodgy computer models.

    I’ll answer this when you tell me where I suggested we “destroy our economy”.

    Tim adds: “some irrelevant, generic spew from an elderly loon who thinks the ozone hole always existed,”

    But, Stuart. The thinning of the ozone layer (not hole, please) at the Antarctic has always existed: at least on any thing less than geological era amounts of time. It’s a function of the interaction of sunlight and extreme cold. It has been there every southern hemisphere spring. Now, that various things we pumped up into the atmosphere made it worse is also true: but we didn’t create the thinning, we just exacerbated it.

    Be careful how you’re throwing around the word “loon” will you? You might find it comes back to bite you on the arse.

  9. One N J Warburton penned, for a New Statesman competition, a delightful Henry V pastiche in the form of a succession of editorials from “The Sun”. It can be found in the collection “How to Become Incredibly Well-Read in One Evening”. For Agincourt itself:

    England met France yesterday at Agincourt and The Sun is proud to announce the result. England 10, 999 – France 29, and that’s official!

    The sign off line was:

    Can a kiss from Handsome Hal turn a frog into a true princess?

  10. But, Stuart. The thinning of the ozone layer (not hole, please) at the Antarctic has always existed..

    Be careful how you’re throwing around the word “loon” will you? You might find it comes back to bite you on the arse.

    The only reason I can imagine you wrote this is that you saw the term “elderly loon” and immediately assumed I was talking about you. While understandable, this assumption is false, as the record shows. I was referring to Brignell. He was the source of the irrelevant guff linked to by Ian Reid, not you.

    Brignell explicitly referred (scroll through assorted ramblings) to the “hole” previously existing, albeit with the qualifier “probably”:

    All because of a hole in the ozone layer that was probably always there and an unproven theory as to how it was caused.

    “Ozone hole” (not thinning, or depletion in general) is the common term for a phenomenon distinct from what you refer to, and closely linked with CFC emissions. Brignell apparently believes CFCs weren’t involved, and that this hole was “probably always there”. It seems you have a different view. So what?

  11. Bob B

    So London – well the City – is doing well. As a Londoner living in London I’m very glad. After all, without the City the UK would be toast. But then London isn’t England. And, frankly, London isn’t London.

    My London – the one I inherited from my parents and the one they inherited from theirs and so on for generations – has disappeared. It has been buried under the detritus whose effect you commend in your celebratory comment that “nearly a third of London’s present population were born outside Britain”: part of the tide of immigration whose net economic contribution – measured in GDP/person – has been negligible.

  12. Stuart A, sorry to rain on your parade but computer models are rubbish. With only one possible exception, the models used by engineers which are based upon certainty of the inputs and extrapolation of observed outcomes. But think Millenium bridge and you can see that even these have their limitations. I spent a dozen years working on econometic and risk models for a major bank. Basically you decide what answer the man who pays the bills wants and then fiddle it ( sorry, I meant to say fine tune) so that that is the result that you get.

    It’s so simple, only an environmentalist would be credulous enough to believe in the ‘output’ of any model. Climate models are, as far as I can tell, the worst sort of models because they don’t even have any absolute facts to start with, let alone any observable outputs. Hansen revises his models every few minutes, but still expects governments to make long term decisions based upon short life calculations. I am being generous using the term calculations, of course.

    It is because of my own career that I find Brignell to be a breath of fresh air. He is mostly right, and when he is not he is thought provoking. He is essential.

    I despair at the sheer gullibility of mankind when it comes to the climate change charlatans, peddlers of doom with their chicken little intellects and Stalinistic tendencies.

    Fortunately I have a bottle of a rather fine red wine and I am trying very hard not to get too bitter about it all.

    TTFN.

    A thought from another hero of mine , H L Mencken “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.”

    PS, the 100 years war ended at Castillon la Bataille, 17th July 1453, where the English were blown to little pieces by the French cannon, still reliant on the longbow after a hundred and sixteen years of advancing weapons technology.

  13. “[C]omputer models are rubbish” – on the strength of “econometic [sic] and risk models for a major bank” and the “millenium [sic] bridge” . And who cares if Brignell is wrong? He’s “thought provoking”. Oh well: better tell the physicists, I guess.

    Fortunately I have a bottle of a rather fine red wine and I am trying very hard not to get too bitter about it all.

    Thanks for the entertainingly blimpish parody.

  14. Stuart A, you are obviously,
    1, a very rude person with no manners or respect for your elders, (and, I suspect, your betters)
    2, someone with no sense of humour,
    3, someone who has absolutely no idea that the only thing computer models show is what the modelers put into them.
    As of now, there is no, repeat, no scientific evidence that Anthropogenic Global Warming is an actual real effect, if there is, then tell me, then I can claim the $125,000 prize.

  15. a very rude person with no manners or respect for your elders, (and, I suspect, your betters)

    Bring back Latin and hanging – that’s what I say.

    someone with no sense of humour

    Now that’s unfair. I read Melanie Phillips.

    someone who has absolutely no idea that the only thing computer models show is what the modelers put into them.

    Well then the thousands of scientists employing them in countless areas are evidently wasting their time – this man, for instance, with his “numerical general relativity” nonsense. His professorship is the result of a liberal conspiracy, I assume, as is the existence of this journal. But why is it, I wonder, that the truth is almost entirely confined to apparent idiots savants on right-wing blogs?

    As of now, there is no, repeat, no scientific evidence that Anthropogenic Global Warming is an actual real effect, if there is, then tell me, then I can claim the $125,000 prize.

    Oh, I’ve no doubt every climate scientist is scrambling to send work “produced specifically for the UGWC” for consideration by an unqualified, Exxon-funded Fox News commentator and tobacco shill. Why would they bother sending it to a peer-reviewed journal when for only a $15 fee they could reach this entirely neutral arbiter?

  16. Stuart A: that old canard about the Exxon-funding is really getting awfully hollow sounding now. Does anyone really believe it, even those who peddle it every day as a misdirection to cover their own vast funding from AGW Inc?

    Really. Look at the billions swirling through the loony left community from governments, foundations, etc, directed by lobbying faux “charities”, then note how black your pot is compared to the kettle you’re having a go at.

    It’s feeble. Utterly feeble conspiracy nonsense, and I think everyone knows it by now, even those still saying it.

    I’ve pondered how strange it must be to see the world through the warped filter of cultural marxism. No wonder you’re all so paranoid all the time. Religion does that to you, you know.

  17. that old canard about the Exxon-funding is really getting awfully hollow sounding now

    I’m sure you don’t like hearing about Exxon. But the fact remains that this funding, quite apart from Milloy’s total lack of qualifications, means that a prize operated by him is an absurd means by which to judge evidence for global warming. That is why climate scientists have ignored it.

    note how black your pot is compared to the kettle you’re having a go at.

    It’s feeble. Utterly feeble conspiracy nonsense, and I think everyone knows it by now, even those still saying it.

    On the one hand we have documentation of a variety of front groups funded by Exxon et al. for the purpose of promoting views financially agreeable to them. On the other, there are the “billions” of the nebulous “loony left community”, mysteriously directed towards destroying the economy, and all without a scintilla of proof.

    To maintain your view one must believe that almost the entirety of mainstream climate science is a victim or product of a vast anti-capitalist conspiracy that has suborned thousands of ostensibly independent scientists without a single piece of concrete evidence ever emerging. And you have the lunatic gall to throw out accusations of “conspiracy nonsense” and talk of pots and kettles.

    see the world through the warped filter of cultural marxism.

    After the crank Brignell, half-witted claims about computer models, and pseudo-mathematical babble — all taken up and immediately discarded — we come to the random, meaningless insult of “cultural marxism”, based, as usual, on precisely no evidence. Your use of the term conveys no information except that you’re probably a fan of Melanie Phillips.

  18. “To maintain your view one must believe that almost the entirety of mainstream climate science is a victim or product of a vast anti-capitalist conspiracy that has suborned thousands of ostensibly independent scientists without a single piece of concrete evidence ever emerging. And you have the lunatic gall to throw out accusations of “conspiracy nonsense” and talk of pots and kettles.”
    Unfortunately, the above mentioned single piece of evidence that has not yet emerged is anything to prove that, (a) CO2 is driving the very slight increase the mythical global temperature, (b) that is all the fault of man, (c) that it will be bad for us.
    And stop using insults and derogatory comments about a man you do not know. It is not good debating technique and is very rude.
    And who the heck is Melanie Phillips?

  19. Unfortunately, the above mentioned single piece of evidence that has not yet emerged is anything to prove that, (a) CO2 is driving the very slight increase the mythical global temperature, (b) that is all the fault of man, (c) that it will be bad for us.

    Even if this were so, it is a lame tu quoque, not a rebuttal. You have failed to defend what you wrote above about computer models and the $125000 prize, presumably because it was garbage.

    The vast bulk of qualified people disagree with you about global warming. I have the choice of accepting the conclusions of numerous peer-reviewed scientists… or the unargued assertions of a pseudonymous blog poster. Why would I believe you?

    And stop using insults and derogatory comments about a man you do not know.

    I’ll do this when you stop making arrogant remarks about topics of which you are evidently entirely ignorant.

    And who the heck is Melanie Phillips?

    Find somebody under the age of 60 to show you Google.

  20. May I suggest that if StuartA wishes to continue his Ad Hominem attacks on others, he limits them to his own blog – which seems to consist of very little else.

  21. “.. I have the choice of accepting the conclusions of numerous peer-reviewed scientists…”

    It seems obvious but perhaps I ought to point it out anyway. The ‘peer review system’ is vulnerable to the effects of positive feedback, i.e. aforementioned chaotic behaviour. (Who knows, perhaps someone somewhere even has bothered to compile rigorous proof of this daring assertion.) Why on earth one might rely on the peer review in preference to thinking for oneself is unclear. Unless one is incapable of thinking for oneself?

  22. Why on earth one might rely on the peer review in preference to thinking for oneself is unclear. Unless one is incapable of thinking for oneself?

    Oh, you’re absolutely right. Out with orthodox medicine and in with homeopathy, that’s what I say. I have no doubt those homeopaths are thinking for themselves, and why would they do anything else? And let’s ban that MMR vaccine: the Daily Mail said it was unsafe. Oh, and cold fusion is probably real — somebody said it was at a press conference. I can’t imagine why we bother with the peer review process at all — or qualifications, or universities. Why, I wonder, does anyone bother to study science at all?

    So “positive feedback” entailing “chaotic behaviour” means peer review is unsound — another finding so far inexplicably confined to right-wing blog comments. I would ask for some proof of that claim, or at least a rigorous definition of the terms, but then what would be the point, given your evidential standards?

  23. Stuart
    Brignell published the epidemiology debunking book in 2004, the lancet article was published in 2006. To what do you attribute this remarkable precognition?

  24. As a matter of fact, the first Lancet study was published in 2004. But I was not, in any case, talking about Brignell’s book; I was talking about this fallacious posting. No “precognition”, remarkable or otherwise, was involved.

    Brignell’s posting does refer to his self-published book. So I accept that his attempts to discredit modern epidemiology are ongoing, and not specifically focussed on the Iraq casualty figures. But in his bid to discredit the latter he certainly did wave away the entire notion of statistically significant relative risk on the strength of some meaningless numerical experiments he’d conducted. That is one reason why I believe he is an unreliable crank.

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