Saturday, July 29, 2006

Charles Carroll and National Treasure

I read a book today called Charles Carroll and the American Revolution. It was really good. But the problem was, the more I read, the more I got annoyed with National Treasure.
I really like National Treasure, it has much of the subtle humor that I love and it has an interesting story. But it would be much better if they got their history right.
Now Charles Carroll was a practicing Catholic, in fact he was the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence. But National Treasure proclaims that Charles Carroll was a Free Mason, which is an impossible mix with a practicing Catholic like him. They also claim that The Knights Templar were the founders of the Free Masons. Now it is possible that this is true but I highly doubt it. From what I've heard saying that the Knights Templar were Free Masons has as much founding as calling Charles Carroll a Free Mason, and after making the mistake about him I am less inclined to believe any other historical "facts" in that movie. All the same you can still enjoy National Treasure. And I will but I don't think I can quite as much now I know about Charles Carroll, and the mistakes they made about him.

Now I have to share some of my favorite stories from this book:

One of my favorite parts is the same as Gilbert Girl's (who read the book before me). A tory as those supportive of England were called, wrote an artice in the Annapolis newspaper which consisted in a disscusion between two imaginary characters, First Citizen and Second Citizen. The First represents the Patriots and the Second the Tories. To the second he gave all the good arguments and he made the first sound like a fool. This made all the Maryland tories very happy, and their satisfaction lasted about two weeks. Then the blow fell, Charles Carroll, writing as simply, First Citizen, replied with another more brilliant article and this time all the good arguments were on the other side. Several more tries were made by the tory, Daniel Dulany, but all were futile, Charles Carroll, and with him the patriots, had won!

When he was an elderly man Charles Carroll, someone visited him (not that this is uncommon, he had many visitors in his later years) and later said that he was the best laugher in America, and Charles Carroll said that he prefered that title to any other he had ever recieved, including that of Signer of the Declaration of Independence!

Blog the Frog

Gus was working on an essay for the National Geographic Kids contest and he had only written one sentance and I had to try my hand at it. Here are the results of this venture:

Once upon a time, no, no, no that's not right it was only yesterday, my mom was mowing the lawn. After sometime inside we were called out to witness a pheneomon(at least it was for our yard), a frog, or perhaps a toad. We still haven't agreed which. My mom had ceased her work at the sight of this jumping being, and my brother was asked to remove this slimy creature from the premises. He did so and we transported it to my sister's garden, and proceeded to moisten the area with the hose. Although it was "lost" several times it was found again and this morning we tested his swimming ability in our kiddie pool. He is a pro. He delighted us all with his swimming, diving, floating and eating ability. My dad put a log in for this creature to recline upon, and this frog/toad delighted in it and the logs former inhabitants, numerous potato bugs. We named it blog after, well, what I'm using now.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The King and the Child

Sheila recently posted a poem by Eugene Field which I really liked and I knew another poem which I thought which was also by her. Turns out it is by Eugene Hall but it is still a really cool poem so here goes.

The sunlight shone on the walls of stone
And towers subline and tall:
King Alfred sat upon his throne
Within his council hall.

And glancing o'er the splendid throng
With grave and solemn face,
To where his noble vassals stood,
He saw a vacant place

"Where is the Earl of Holderness?"
With anxious look he said.
"Als, O King" a courtier cried,
"The noble Earl is dead"

Before the monarch could express
The sorrow that he felt,
A soldier with a war- worn face
Approached the throne and knelt.

"My sword," he said, "has ever been,
O King! at thy command,
And many a proud and haughty Dane
Had fallen by my hand.

"I've fought beside thee in the field,
And 'neath the greenwood tree;
It is but fair for thee to give
Yon vacant place to me."

"It is not just," a statesman cried,
"This soldiers prayer to hear,
My wisdom has done more for thee
Than either sword or spear.

'The victories of the council hall
Have made thee more renown
Than all the triumphs of the field
Have given to the crown.

"My name is known in every land,
My talents have been thine;
Bestow this Earldom, then, on me,
For it is justly mine."

Yet while before the monarch's throne
These men contending stood,
A woman crossed the floor who wore
The weeds of widowhood.

And slowly to King Alfred's feet
A fair-haired boy she led-
"O King! this is the rightful heir
Of Holderness" she said.

"Helpless he comes to claim his own,
Let no man do him wrong,
For he is week and fatherless,
And thou art just and strong."

"What strenght of power," the statesman cried,
"Could such a judgment bring?
Can such a feeble child as this
Do aught for thee O King,

"When thou hast need of brawny arms
To draw thy deadly bows,
When thou art wanting crafty men
To crush thy mortal foes?"

With earnest voice the fair young boy
Replied: "I cannot fight,
But I can pray to God O King!
And Heaven can give thee might!"

The King bent down and kissed the child;
The courtiers turned away
"The heritage is thine," he said,
"Let none thy right gainsay.

"Our swords may cleave the casques of men,
Our blood may stain the sod,
But what are human strenght and power
Without the help of God?"

Sunday, July 09, 2006

My First Attempt at a Clerihew

I have been trying to figure out a Clerihew. This is my first completed one (well sort of complete, I'm sure it could be made much better.)

There's a story about the unfortunate family Baudelaire
There's Violet who would always tie up her hair
Then Klaus who was always wearing glasses
And Sunny who had sharper teeth than most young lasses.

One Clerihew done. Now I have to write a Triolet for the contest at Enchiridion before the deadline....
Oh and work on making my Clerihews better (: