Last week’s poll results: the average Lamp reader eats tortellini, wears brown shoes, reads hardcover books, flees from the heat and finds solace in cold climes, drinks black tea, and finds British royals unamusing. The average reader also wonders how to subscribe to the magazine’s print edition, forthcoming early next year. The answer is that we are working on setting up our webpage for taking and tracking subscriptions maintenant, and will send the link to our readers as soon as it is ready.
Once again, we thank all of you who have remained interested as we have pursued what is almost certainly the most quixotic venture undertaken in this country in the Year of Lord MMXIX: a physically attractive print magazine that pays almost no attention to the reality television version of either temporal or spiritual affairs—on a shoestring budget, with no office or full-time staff and some of the best writers in the country.
This week’s poll can be found here.
• A second federal judge, this one from Washington state, has moved to block a new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that would grant liberty of conscience to doctors and other men and women who refuse to countenance abortion.
• This month marks the tenth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, which authorized the creation of the Ordinariate groups in Britain and elsewhere.
• A deer with three antlers was recently sighted in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It may interest some readers to know that in that happy clime the first day of firearm hunting season is a universally observed holiday and that special Masses are said for the occasion. Indeed, Yooper priests have themselves been keen hunters for as long as the faith has been confessed on those shores. As some of us are fond of observing, “Paradise is above the bridge, Hell below it.”
• Pope Francis spoke on Friday of the need for Catholics to help ex-convicts reintegrate into society after serving their sentences. Readers should look forward to Brandon McGinley’s forthcoming profile of one such inmate in Pittsburgh, who served a lengthy sentence for a crime of which he was not guilty.
• The Holy See did not send delegates to a summit held this week by the United Nations Population Fund, citing objections to the summit’s focus on “so-called ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights’ and ‘comprehensive sexuality education.’” We are very pleased that the Vatican is making effective use of scare quotes.
• The worst floods in half a century have swept through Venice, where Italian officials have declared a state of emergency.
• Oxygen on Mars seems to behave differently than it does on Earth. This reminds our editor of a commercial that he has seen too many times this football season. The advertisement—for some car manufacturer or other—begins with the narrator saying, “You don’t have to visit another planet to be an explorer.” One would hope so, given the tally of human visitors to extraterrestrial non-lunar destinations.
It is too little to call man a little world; except God, man is a diminutive to nothing. Man consists of more pieces, more parts, than the world; than the world doth, nay, than the world is. And if those pieces were extended, and stretched out in man as they are in the world, man would be the giant, and the world the dwarf; the world but the map, and the man the world. If all the veins in our bodies were extended to rivers, and all the sinews to veins of mines, and all the muscles that lie upon one another, to hills, and all the bones to quarries of stones, and all the other pieces to the proportion of those which correspond to them in the world, the air would be too little for this orb of man to move in, the firmament would be but enough for this star; for, as the whole world hath nothing, to which something in man doth not answer, so hath man many pieces of which the whole world hath no representation. Enlarge this meditation upon this great world, man, so far as to consider the immensity of the creatures this world produces; our creatures are our thoughts, creatures that are born giants; that reach from east to west, from earth to heaven; that do not only bestride all the sea and land, but span the sun and firmament at once; my thoughts reach all, comprehend all. Inexplicable mystery; I their creator am in a close prison, in a sick bed, any where, and any one of my creatures, my thoughts, is with the sun, and beyond the sun, overtakes the sun, and overgoes the sun in one pace, one step, everywhere. And then, as the other world produces serpents and vipers, malignant and venomous creatures, and worms and caterpillars, that endeavour to devour that world which produces them, and monsters compiled and complicated of divers parents and kinds; so this world, ourselves, produces all these in us, in producing diseases, and sicknesses of all those sorts: venomous and infectious diseases, feeding and consuming diseases, and manifold and entangled diseases made up of many several ones. And can the other world name so many venomous, so many consuming, so many monstrous creatures, as we can diseases of all these kinds? O miserable abundance, O beggarly riches! how much do we lack of having remedies for every disease, when as yet we have not names for them? But we have a Hercules against these giants, these monsters; that is, the physician; he musters up all the forces of the other world to succour this, all nature to relieve man. We have the physician, but we are not the physician. Here we shrink in our proportion, sink in our dignity, in respect of very mean creatures, who are physicians to themselves. The hart that is pursued and wounded, they say, knows an herb, which being eaten throws off the arrow: a strange kind of vomit. The dog that pursues it, though he be subject to sickness, even proverbially, knows his grass that recovers him. And it may be true, that the drugger is as near to man as to other creatures; it may be that obvious and present simples, easy to be had, would cure him; but the apothecary is not so near him, nor the physician so near him, as they two are to other creatures; man hath not that innate instinct, to apply those natural medicines to his present danger, as those inferior creatures have; he is not his own apothecary, his own physician, as they are. Call back therefore thy meditation again, and bring it down: what’s become of man’s great extent and proportion, when himself shrinks himself and consumes himself to a handful of dust; what’s become of his soaring thoughts, his compassing thoughts, when himself brings himself to the ignorance, to the thoughtlessness, of the grave? His diseases are his own, but the physician is not; he hath them at home, but he must send for the physician.
Mrs Deborah, having disposed of the child according to the will of her master, now prepared to visit those habitations which were supposed to conceal its mother.
Not otherwise than when a kite, tremendous bird, is beheld by the feathered generation soaring aloft, and hovering over their heads, the amorous dove, and every innocent little bird, spread wide the alarm, and fly trembling to their hiding-places; he proudly beats the air, conscious of his dignity, and meditates intended mischief.
So when the approach of Mrs Deborah was proclaimed through the street, all the inhabitants ran trembling into their houses, each matron dreading lest the visit should fall to her lot. She with stately steps proudly advances over the field: aloft she bears her towering head, filled with conceit of her own pre-eminence, and schemes to effect her intended discovery.
The sagacious reader will not from this simile imagine these poor people had any apprehension of the design with which Mrs Wilkins was now coming towards them; but as the great beauty of the simile may possibly sleep these hundred years, till some future commentator shall take this work in hand, I think proper to lend the reader a little assistance in this place.
It is my intention, therefore, to signify, that, as it is the nature of a kite to devour little birds, so is it the nature of such persons as Mrs Wilkins to insult and tyrannize over little people. This being indeed the means which they use to recompense to themselves their extreme servility and condescension to their superiors; for nothing can be more reasonable, than that slaves and flatterers should exact the same taxes on all below them, which they themselves pay to all above them.
Lɪᴢ writes from Hungary to ask whether the magazine will appear only in print. The answer is that while online-only subscriptions will be available in addition to the standard print-plus-web package, we intend to make the print edition available to readers living abroad (albeit at a correspondingly somewhat higher price). Stay tuned for more soon!
Bᴇᴀ draws our attention to Bertrand Russell’s amusing logical proof that Bertrand Russell is the pope.
From another reader: “Please pray for Philip Rivers, a great man always being let down.”
We also ask readers to pray for the souls in Purgatory, for the people of Hong Kong, for all those recently affianced, for Archbishop Gomez, and for James, a reader’s son baptized November 10.
— W.B., M.W.