Daily Archives: September 23, 2014

Armies (from “The Indian Armies,” 1850)

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“To make a service so situated, perfectly efficient, and capable of rendering the utmost advantage to the State, no unnecessary exclusive spirit should be shown towards it; and surely it is but reasonable to expect that officers who alike serve their country should have no humiliating distinctions drawn between them. At the same time, it would be only justice that the fair claims of the King’s service should in no way be overlooked while they are in India.

”There is another circumstance also most hurtful to the feelings and interests of the Company’s officers, and that is, the Company’s armies of the three Presidencies being always under Commanders-in-Chief of another service, who frequently, far from having any sympathy or numerous associations with them, are utter strangers, and have few or no relations or friends in this foreign service, of which they have not
only become the head, but are moreover the official guardians of its rights and feelings, and honor.

The Indian Armies, 1850

Argument (from “Fineo and Fiamma,” 1864)

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Fineo, a member of a noble family of Savona, (an ancient city near Genoa,) and Fiamma, a lady of rank whose family live at Genova, (Genoa,) are lovers. They are opposed by their parents through a spirit of rivalry. The lady’s brother and Fineo being in the king’s service and both on duty at Genoa, the former provokes a duel with the latter, and thus causes him to be condemned to death. The sentence is finally commuted, but Fineo is lashed to a boat and left to the mercy of the sea. Fiamma, through a sense of honor, submits herself to a similar fate. They are both taken by different crews of Moors, who meet, fight, and Fineo’s captors prove victors. The lovers are taken to the king of the Moors, who, after hearing the story of their misery, releases them, and sends them in safety to Italy. —Finale.

‘There never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.’ — Shakespeare.

Fineo and Fiamma, 1864

Court (from Thomas More’s “Utopia,” 1516)

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Raphael: “Now in a court composed of people who envy everyone else and admire only themselves, if a man should suggest something he had read of in other ages or seen in far places, the other counselors would think their reputation for wisdom was endangered, and they would look like simpletons, unless they could find fault with his proposal. If all else failed, they would take refuge in some remark like this: ‘The way we’re doing it is the way we’ve always done it, this custom was good enough for our fathers, and I only hope we’re as wise as they were.’ And with this deep thought they would take their seats, as though they had said the last word on the subject—implying, forsooth, that it would be a very dangerous matter if a man were found to be wiser in any point than his forefathers were. As a matter of fact, we quietly neglect the best examples they have left us; but if something better is proposed, we seize the excuse of reverence for times past and cling to it desperately. Such proud, obstinate, ridiculous judgments I have encountered many times, and once even in England.”

Utopia (Third Edition) (Norton Critical Editions), 1516

Utopia (Third Edition) (Norton Critical Editions) Book Cover Utopia (Third Edition) (Norton Critical Editions)
Thomas More
W. W. Norton & Company
August 31, 2010

Inspiring, provocative, prophetic, and enigmatic, Utopia is the literary masterpiece of a visionary statesman and one of the most influential books of the modern world.

Based on Thomas More’s penetrating analysis of the folly and tragedy of the politics of his time and all times, Utopia (1516) is a seedbed of alternative political institutions and a perennially challenging exploration of the possibilities and limitations of political action.