Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Shakespeare party: Much Ado About Nothing

Last Suday we had the most AWESOME party. We invited our friends over and assigned each one a part in Shakespeare's play, "Much Ado About Nothing" Then we sat down and read the entire play from start to finish.
I, Ramiel, was Ursala and the Second Watch. My friend, Adriana was Hero. My mom was Beatrice-and she did an AMAZING job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERYONE was laughing. My dad was Benidick and he also did an AWESOME job.
The play opens in Messina, Spain. Leonato, a wealthy landlord, and his brother Antonio, along with Leonato's daughter Hero, are awaiting the arrival of the prince, Don Pedro, and his brother, Don John. They are accompanied by two young noblemen, Claudio and Benedick. A messenger comes before them, announcing their approach. Beatrice, Leonato's niece (thus Antonio's daughter), flippantly inquires of said messenger if "Signor Mountanto had returned from the wars?" meaning Benedick, with whom she has always had, in Leonato's phrasology, "a merry war...of wit".

The Lords, (particulary Cluadio and the prince), their group inclination swayed by the presence of Hero and Beatrice, consent to stay in Messina for a Month, at least. That night, at the masquerade contrived for their entertainment, the prince, in disguise, wins Hero's affection for Claudio, and their wedding is set for a week afterward. To while away the time, Don Pedro, with the help of the lovers, sets himself to the task of matchmaking-in short, to make Benedick and Beatrice fall in love. With tons of comedy, they move their mountains-that is, Benedick and Beatrice.
The night before Claudio's wedding, Don John prooves that he can sceme as well (if not better). He brings Claudio and Don Pedro to the street view of Hero's window, there they see Margaret, Hero's maid, dressed in Hero's gown, talking with a strange man!!!!! Thinking it WAS Hero, Claudio gets a trifle angry, and the next day, at the wedding, he tells everyone what he saw, and Hero, being slightly astonished, fainted (as all proper ladies should). The guests leave, and Leonato is on the piont of exiting as well, when Friar Francis, insisting Hero is innocent, discloses an ingenious plan to overthrow the lords' rage. Hero had fainted most convieniently, he pointed out. They ought to pretend she died, then, finding out that he had killed her, Claudio would repent. (Hopefully)
Leonato did as he was told. The lords were, naturally, remorsefull. And moreso when it was discovered (by a very clever constable named Dogberry) that Don John had bribed a common theif to meet Margaret in Hero's room.
Claudio, in atonement, promises to marry Beatrice. but upon seeing his bride at the wedding, finds Leonato had once more given him Hero. They all live happily ever after-startlingly, even Benedick and Beatrice!!!!!:)

Monday, September 26, 2005

All Ye Lands - Q & A - Chapter 5 - Eternal Rome

1. What does SPQR mean? SPQR stands for Senatus Poplulosque Romanus which means the senate and the people of Rome.
2. The Punic Wars were between which rival cities? The Punic wars were fought between Rome and Carthage
3. Who was Hannibal? Hannibal was a general from Carthage who tried to take Rome but after 16 years he was defeated.
4. Who were the opponents in the Roman Civil Wars? The opponents in the Roman Civil wars were the Generals and their private armies.
5. Why did the Roman senators want to kill Julius Caesar? The senators wanted to kill Julius Caesar because they thought he had gained to much power and was becoming to much like a king.
6. What was the Pax Romana and how long did it last? The Pax Romana was the Roman peace and it lasted for about 500 years. 7. Who was Diocletian? Diocletian was a cruel roman emperor who made the worst persuction that had yet exsisted.
8. Approximately how long did the decline of the Roman Empire last? The decline of the roman empire lasted for about 250 years.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

Daniel hates the romans. Ever since they killed his father his one hope has been to drive them out of Isreal. He is living in the mountains with a gang of thieves who are hoping one day to make the romans leave. Then his grandmother dies and he is forced to leave the mountains to care for his sister. He continues to work for the leader of the band, Rosh, and persuades some other boys in the village to join the cause.Among them is a boy whom he knew while he was in school named Joel. His sister, Malthace, also wants the romans to leave but she does not hate them. The sign of their small band is the bronze bow, mentioned in a part of the book of Enoch that they were reading at the time. Daniel thinks that the verse is wrong. How could anyone bend a bow of bronze?

He goes often to Capernum where Joel lives. Also there is a young rabbi there that Daniel is interested in. He believes that he is the king who lead them in battle against the romans. A few months after they establish their band,
things begin to go wrong. Joel is captured by the Romans. Rosh refuses to help free him. So Daniel and the boys from the town decide to do it.They free Joel but one of them is killed in the process.Then Daniels sister, Leah, becomes very sick. She is almost dead when Malthace brings Jesus to her. Jesus heals Leah and Daniel finds the answer to his question.
The only way to bend the Bronze Bow is with love.He abandons his hate. One way you can tell that he truly has is that he invites the roman soldier who loves his sister to come into there house

I ablsolutely loved this book. The characters are so real.
And the final triumph of love over hate is amazing.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Between the Forest and the Hills

This story by Ann Lawrence, takes place Roman Britain. Actually to be precise it takes place a little bit after that time. Rome is starting to fall and has withdrawn almost all her soldiers from a town called Iscium. Now ,when those soldiers are getting older, a probable barbarian attack threatens to destroy to city. When the time of the attack comes the people of Iscium are able to scare the barbarians with a series of tricks including two talking ravens, a one eyed man, and the clever usage of red cloaks and brass cooking pots. The barbarians agree to leave the city alone if the romans make the chief's daughter better. They accomplish this and a treaty is made between the Saxons and the Romans.

I love the way this book is written, it is really funny.
When the romans are trying to defend themselves from the approaching Saxons there methods of defense are really cool/funny.
Using their brains instead of swords they defeat the barbarians and without losing a single man, woman or child.
One of my favorite characters is Teres, a merchant, whose way of talking always makes me laugh.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ben-Hur summary

Judah Ben-Hur is a 17 year old Jew at the time of the roman occupation of Judea. His boyhood friend, Messala, comes back from Rome to help to govern the province of Judea. But he is no longer the Messala Judah once knew. He is a Roman now. Judah realizes that they can no longer be friends, and he leaves him.

Later that day he stands on the roof of his house to watch the new govenor parade in. He accidentily knocks a tile from the roof and hits the govenor on the head. The govener, being slightly furious at Judah, sends him to the galleys and his mother and sister are sent to a rather unpleasent prison. All of their possessions,
including their house are taken by the romans. Judah is furious at Messala for doing this and vows to kill him.

Three years later Quintis Arrius takes over the ship that Ben-Hur is rowing in.
They are attacked by pirates and Ben-hur saves Arrius' life. Arrius is very grateful to Ben-Hur and adopts him, making him the heir to all his property.

Five years later Judah arrives in Antioch. There he meets a wealthy merchant named Simonides and his daughter, Esther. Ben-Hur thinks she is very pretty, but he has more important things to think about. He finds out that Simonides is his fathers servant and he asks him where is mother and sister are. Simonides does not know where they are and sorrowfully tells Ben-Hur that he does not know.

Simonides does not say that he believes Ben-Hur or not. Ben-Hur goes away and meets Shiek Ilderim. Shiek Ilderim owns a very fine team of horses and Ben-Hur is an expert charioteer. He asks if he can be Ilderim's charioteer. He knows that Messala will also be in the race and he wishes to humiliate him by winning.

There he meets an Egyptian named Balthazar and his beautiful daughter, Iras. Balthazar was one of the three wise men and he tells Judah that he should forgive Messala. Judah is not ready to do that.

He is quite taken with the beautiful Iras and spends as much time as he can with her.

Simonides has Judah come to him and he tells him that he is indeed his fathers servant and gives his fortune to him. Ben-Hur gives most of it back to him. Simonides than says that the king whom Balthazar had seen long ago, would have need of an army to conquer the romans. He suggests that that is what Ben-Hur should do with his fortune. Ben-Hur agrees.

When the day of the chariot race arrives people from all over the world are there. For a long time Messala has the lead. But he was to close to the wall. His chariot hit the wall and he fell out. Ben-Hur won the race and Messala is without use of his legs, and has lost his fortune from a bet he made that he would win.

In Jerusalem the tribune in charge of the prison finds a cell that has been almost completely blocked up. The only opening was a small one left for feeding the prisoners. I must say that must have been very unpleasent conditions to live in.

He opens it up and finds two women who have leprosy. He gives them clothes and they are brought out of the city. Unknown to him they are Ben-Hur's mother and his sister, Tirzah.

After the chariot race Judah continues his search for His mother and sister. He finds out that they are lepers and believes they have been stoned. So he follows Jesus and begins to gather followers for his army. Amrah, an old servant belonging to the Hurs know where Tirzah and her mother are and she brings food to them every day. She heard Judah talking about how Jesus cured lepers and she brings Tirzah and her mother to a road which Jesus will use to get to Jerusalem. Jesus cures them and Ben-Hur was in the following of Jesus sees them and is reunited with his family.

That friday he follows Jesus up to where he will be crucified. While he was watching along with thousands of other people he finally understands that Jesus will not have his kingdom on earth but in heaven.

Five years later, he is married to Esther and they decide what to do with there fortune.
They built the catacomb of San Calixto.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Books I read this summer

The Books I read this summer were:

The Two Towers By J.R.R.Tolkien
The Return of the King By J.R.R.Tolkien
The Harry Potter Series By J.K. Rowling
Flight into Spring by Bianca Bradburry
Father Damien and the Bells ( a Vision Book)
Ann of Green Gables By L.M. Montgomery
A Long Way from Welcome By Echo Lewis
The Silmarillion By J.R.R.Tolkien
The Perilous Gard By Elizabeth Marie Pope
Beorn the Proud By Madeline Poland
The Lost Baron By Allen French

Other Books that I highly recomend

The Lord of the Rings By J.R.R.Tolkien
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy (The other books in that series are also highly recomended)
The Shadow of the Bear By Regina Doman
Black as Night By Regina Doman (The sequel to Shadow of the Bear.)
Enemy Brothers By Constance Savery
Sun Slower, Sun Faster By Meriol Trevor
Pride and Predjudice By Jane Austen
The Father Brown series By G.K.Chesterton
The Ballad of the White Horse By G.K.Chesterton
The Borrowed House By Hilda Van Stockum
The Chronicels of Narnia By C.S.Lewis
Ben~Hur By General Lew Wallace

The Bronze Bow By Elizabeth George Speare
A Wrinkle In Time By Madeliene L'Engle
A Wind in the Door By Madeliene L'Engle
A Swiftly Tilting Planet By Madeliene L'Engle
Many Waters By Madeliene L'Engle
Any Shakespeare play
All Bethlehem Books
Anything by G.K.Chesterton

The Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterton 1

I still have not read the Ballad of the White Horse but I have read little parts of it.
I am going to read it all the way through soon.
This is one of my favorite parts which is also in The Shadow of the Bear by Regina Doman:

The Men of the East May spell the stars
and times and triumphs mark
But the men signed of the Cross of Christ
Go gaily in the dark.

The other part is much longer.
This is it's setting.

King Alfred is fighting a losing battle with the Danes.
He is disguised as a poor singer and is in the enemy camp.
Many Danish lords perform their songs or poems for the king
After they had finished King Alfred disguised as the beggar asks to perform.
This is his song:

When God put man in a garden
He girt him with a sword
And sent him forth a free knight
that might betray his Lord,

He brake him and betrayed him
And fast and far he fell
Till you and I may stretch our necks
And burn our beards in hell,

But though I lie on the floor of the world
With the seven sins for rods
I would rather fall with Adam
Than rise with all your gods,

What have the strong gods given,
Where have the glad gods lead?
When Guthrum sits on a hero's throne
And asks if he is dead,

Sirs I am but a nameless man,
A rhymster without a home
But since I come of the Wessex clay
And carry the cross of Rome,

I will even answer the mighty Earl
that asked of Wessex men
Why they be meek and monkish folk
and bow to the white Lord's broken yoke
What sign have we save blood and smoke
Here is my answer then:

That on you is fallen the shadow
And not upon the name
That though we scatter and though we fly
And you hang over us like the sky
You are more tired of victory
Then we are tired of shame,

That though you hunt the Christian man
Like a hare on the hillside
The hare has still more heart to run
Then you have heart to ride,

That though all lances split on you
All swords be heaved in vain
We have more lust again to lose
then you to win again,

Your lord sits high in the sadle
A broken hearted king
But our king Alfred lost from fame
Fallen among foes or bonds of shame
In I know not what mean trade or name
Has still some song to sing,

Our monks go clothed in rain and snow
But the heart of flame therein
But you go clothed in feasts and flames
While all is ice within,

Nor shall all iron dooms make dumb
Men wondering ceaslessly
If it be not better to fast for joy
Then feast for misery,

Nor monkish order only
Slides down as field to fen
All things achieved and chosen pass
As the white horse fades in the grass
No work of human man,

Ere the sad gods that made your gods
Saw their sad sunrise pass
The white horse of the white horse vale
That you have left to darken and fail
Was cut out of the grass,

Therefore your end is on you
On you and on your kings
Not for a fire in Elly fen
Not that your gods are nine or ten
But because it is only christian men
Guard even heathen things,

For our God hath blessed creation
Calling it good I know
What spirit with whom you blindly band
Hath blessed destruction with his hand
Yet by God's death the stars shall stand
And the small apples grow.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Gospel of Luke 2

Once when Jesus was talking to His disciples he told them that they did not
have to be afraid of not having enough to eat or enough of anything else that they needed.
He said that the birds did not starve or run out of what they needed and they did not store up food. He said that we are much more important then the birds and so God will provide for us if we ask him.
I thought this was a cool thing to think about. You don't have to be afraid of starvation or of not having enough to live on. If you ask God for help he will answer you somehow.
But it will usually be in a way you don't expect.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Gospel of Luke 1

I have been reading the Gospel of Luke. The way it is written is not always very easy to understand. Many of the storyies are about the many miracles Jesus performed. Also there are many about His parables and the many sinners that he forgave. He drove out many demons who were possessing people. In one case it was a child who was possessed.