Welcome to my Blog which combines the unlikely topics of supply teaching with progressive rock. Here you will find my ongoing 'Diary of a Surviving Supply Teacher' and a variety of lists/ timelines/ articles on progressive rock.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Symbolism in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Symbolism in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
Illustrated by W.W. Denslow

1.      Broomstick          

- Energy

2.      Bucket of Water 

- A lifesaver during a drought
- The Wicked Witch's life, representing natural disaster, is ended with a bucket of lifesaving water
- A simple hoped-for remedy

3.       Colour          

- The colours of money. The Emerald City is green (or is made to appear green), the yellow brick road is gold and Dorothy's shoes are silver

4.       Cowardly Lion                          

- Politician William Jennings Bryan mocked by Republicans as indecisive or a coward
- Politicians in general
- Courage
- Populist Party

5.       Cyclone                                        

- A political revolution that would transform the drab country into a land of colour and unlimited prosperity
- Political upheaval
- Uncomfortable or unpleasant events that propel us to higher places
- We must tear down before we can rebuild
- Winds of change

6.       Dainty China Company

- Baum sold crockery when living in Chicago

7.       Dorothy Gale                             

- Naïve, young and simple - represents the American people of the 1890s
- The workers of the union
- Everyman, led astray and seeking the way back home
- Tough, brave and independent like a pioneer woman
- Frank L. Baum’s mother and wife who were both feminists
- Frank L. Baum’s determination
- Anti-colonial in rescuing the underdog with her friends
- Is imaginative and Baum used imagination after the World Fair
- Not traditional because she does not improve, she is good from the start
- The American people at their best
- Determined, resourceful, loyal
- America—honest, kindhearted and plucky
- Embodies how Americans want to see themselves
- All-American girl from the heartland, with a big heart, independence and daring
- Average rural American citizen
- Populist orator Leslie Kelsey, nicknamed 'the Kansas Tornado’
- Gale means strong wind, suggesting that Dorothy is the storm that blows over the Great Plains
- Seeker of enlightenment or redemption
- The soul and the spirit
- Dorothy's name is short for Dorothea, which means "Divine Gift" in Greek
- Theodore Roosevelt

8.       Emerald City                             

- The fraudulent world of greenback paper money that only pretends to have value
- The greenback value that is placed on gold (and for silver, possibly)
- World’s Fair in Chicago, 1893 with electricity, Ferris wheel and motion picture camera
- Washington DC

9.       Emerald Coloured Glasses

- Baum’s editorial of 1890 in which he suggested that farmers feed sawdust to their livestock after fitting the animals with green glasses to make them think that they were eating feed

10.    Emerald Palace         

- The White House

11.    (Glinda and) The Magic Book

- Baum’s interest in science
Predicts the computer

12.    Good Witch Glinda

- Exercise in treachery
- Machiavellian genius

13.    Good Witch of the South and North

- The Good Witch of the North represents northern workers and the Good Witch of the South represents southern farmers. This provides a contrast to the wicked industrialists in the east and railroad moguls in the west.

14.    Grey                                             

- Grass, sky, old age, paint

15.    Hammerheads           

- The hard-headed men who perpetuated the regional differences in the United States and kept the people of the South and the people of the North at odds with one another

16.    Journey       

- Our own spiritual quest
- Job's quest in the Old Testament

17.    Kansas         

- A Populist stronghold in the late-19th century
- There’s no place like home
- The kingdom of heaven is not a place, but a condition
- Truth is found in your own backyard

18.    Man Behind the Curtain

- Automated department store window displays

19.    Monkeys                                      

- Native Americans as a western danger

20.    Munchkins  

- The little people (enslaved by the Wicked Witch of the East)

21.    Oz                                                  

- O – Z on a filing cabinet which Baum noticed when he was a child being educated at home
- Uz was where Job lived
- Abbreviation of ounce, which is the standard unit of measure of silver and gold
- A variation of "Boz", the nickname of Charles Dickens, who was one of Baum's favourite authors

22.    Scarecrow   

- Fear from Baum’s fear of scarecrows
- Intelligence
- Midwestern farmers
- Refutation of the notion that farmers didn't have the brains to see their own best interests
- Tension between knowledge and wisdom

23.    Silver Slippers (ruby in the 1939 film version)

- The Silverite sixteen to one silver ratio (dancing down the road)
- An unrecognised viable currency of the people
- Defend our grounding ability and our feet
- Freedom and mobility

24.    Three Companions

- Job was accompanied by three companions

25.    Tin Woodman                            

- From Baum’s shop window display             
- Compassion      
- Industrial workers
- Dehumanization of industrial labour
- His rust is the depression of the 1890s that had closed many factories and left large numbers of - workers unemployed
- A hardened worker

26.    Tornado lifting and moving a house

- A story from Baum’s own newspaper, the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer (South Dakota)
- Physical manifestation of Dorothy Gale's inner struggle for self-awareness, the result of the 'gale' winds storming through her psyche

27.    Toto              

- The physical body
- Dorothy (the spirit) and Toto (the body) together represent the whole of humanity
- Small and unnoticed but the reveals fraud

28.    Uncle Henry               

- Henry Cantwell Wallace, known as Uncle Henry, was a well known farmer and editor for a leading farm magazine in the late 1800s

29.    Wicked Witch of the East

- Industrial and banking interests, which were concentrated in the urban centres ‘back east’

30.    Wicked Witch of the West

- A figure for the actual American West
- Humorous
- Cruel natural forces that plagued farmers with cyclones, droughts and other environmental disasters

31.    Winged monkeys in the West 

- Sympathy for Native Americans of the plains
- Politicians in cartoons

32.    Winkies        

- Beyond the city, the Wicked Witch of the West had enslaved the yellow Winkies, a reference to the imperialist aims of the Republican administration, which had captured the Philippines from Spain and refused to grant them independence

33.    Wizard         

- Frank L. Baum himself, just a (good) man
- Bankers who support the gold standard and oppose adding silver
- President of the United States from 1896, Grover Cleveland, who was known as the ‘Great Obstructionist’
- Cynicism about politicians
- A different appearance for each interest and all things to all people
- Marcus Hanna, the power behind the Republican Party and the McKinley administration

34.    Wolves, Crows & Bees

- A menace to farmers in the west

35.    Yellow
Brick Road

- The gold standard
- A Populist march on Washington, DC, led by Jacob Coxey in 1893-1894, to promote his plan to put people back to work through a public works program
- The path to self-actualization
- A pilgrimage

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – The True Story (2010) Documentary exploring the career of L. Frank Baum shown on BBC4 Thursday 28th April 2011

Originally posted on Friday, 29th April 2011

Music for the Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding
Prince William & Catherine Middleton
Friday 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey

Music for the Wedding Service
As announced on 28th April 2011

rince William and Miss Catherine Middleton are pleased to announce the music for their Wedding Service.  The music has a largely British theme. The Couple have put considerable thought into selecting the music, and their choices blend traditional music with some newly commissioned pieces. 

Before the Service

The music before the Service will begin with a selection of organ pieces:

1. Fantasia in G (Pièce d’orgue à 5) by Johann Sebastian Bach, followed by
2. Veni Creator Spiritus by the Master of The Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies;
3. Prelude on St. Columba Op. 28 by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford and
4. Sonata for Organ Op. 28 (Allegro maestoso and Allegretto) by Edward Elgar.

Following this will be seven orchestral pieces:

1. Serenade for Strings in E minor Op. 20 (Allegro piacevole, Larghetto and Allegretto) by Edward Elgar
2. Courtly Dance V: Galliard from Gloriana (Symphonic Suite) Op. 53a no. 7 by Benjamin Britten
3. Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams
4. Farewell to Stromness by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
5. On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring by Frederick Delius
6. Touch Her Soft Lips and Part from Henry V Suite by William Walton
7. Romance for String Orchestra Op. 11 by Gerald Finzi

Three of these pieces – Farewell to Stromness, Touch Her Soft Lips and Part and Romance for String Orchestra Op. 11were played at the Service of Prayer and Dedication for The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in 2005.  The Couple specifically chose these pieces for that reason.  The final piece of music before the Service begins continues the broadly British theme: Canzona from Organ Sonata in C minor by Percy Whitlock. 

Processional Music

The Service will begin with a Fanfare by The State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry to mark the arrival of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.  The Fanfare will be followed by three Processionals.  For the Procession of The Queen, Prince William and Miss Middleton have chosen March from The Birds by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry.  Prelude on Rhosymedre by Ralph Vaughan Williams will accompany the Procession of the Clergy, and was chosen for its Welsh echoes.  The Couple have selected ‘I was Glad’, also by Parry, for the Procession of the Bride.           


Prince William and Miss Middleton have chosen three hymns for the Service: ‘Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer’, words by William Williams, translated by Peter Williams and others, and music by John Hughes.  The second will be ‘Love Divine All Love Excelling’, words by Charles Wesley and music by William Penfro Rowlands.  The third will be ‘Jerusalem’, by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, words by William Blake.  All three hymns have been chosen because they are favourites of the Couple.

The Anthem and Motet

1. The Anthem, ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made’, has been composed specially for the occasion by John Rutter.  It was commissioned by Westminster Abbey as a wedding present for Prince William and Miss Middleton and will be performed by both the Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal Choir.  Mr. Rutter is a British composer, conductor, editor and arranger who specialises in choral music.   

2. The Anthem will be followed by the Motet ‘Ubi caritas’ by Paul Mealor, a Welsh composer, who is currently Reader in Composition at The University of Aberdeen.

Mr. Mealor’s composing studio is on the Isle of Anglesey, where Prince William and Miss Middleton live. This version of ‘Ubi caritas’ was written on Anglesey and premiered at the University of St. Andrews in November 2010. 

3. The National Anthem will be sung immediately before the Signing of the Registers.

The Signing of the Registers and the Recessional

1. During the Signing of the Registers, the choirs will sing ‘Blest pair of Sirens’, words by John Milton from At a Solemn Musick, music by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry. 
2. Following the Signing, there will be a Fanfare by the Fanfare Team from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.  The Fanfare, called Valiant and Brave, after the motto of No. 22 Squadron (Search and Rescue Force) was specially composed for this Service by Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs, Principal Director of Music in the Royal Air Force.
3. The Recessional, for the Procession of the Bride and Bridegroom, will be Crown Imperial by William Walton. 
4-5. Toccata from Symphonie V  by Charles-Marie Widor and Pomp and Circumstance March no. 5 by Edward Elgar will follow the Service.    


The church organ was played by Robert Quinney, a 35-year-old musician from Sheffield, who learned to play the instrument at Ecclesall Parish Church. He has been sub-organist at Westminster Abbey since 2004 and also has a career as soloist, ensemble player and music writer.

Royal Wedding Musicians
As announced on 28th April 2011
Two choirs, one orchestra and two fanfare teams will perform the music at the Wedding Service of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29th. These are:

- The Choir of Westminster Abbey
- The Choir of Her Majesty's Chapel Royal, St James's Palace
- The London Chamber Orchestra
- The Fanfare Team from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force
- The State Trumpeters of The Household Cavalry

Both choirs will be under the direction of Mr James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey. The Choir of Westminster Abbey is made up of 20 boys, all of whom attend the Abbey's dedicated residential Choir School, and 12 professional adult singers, known as Lay Vicars. In addition to singing the daily choral services in the Abbey throughout the year, the choir plays a central role in the many Royal, State and national occasions which take place at the Abbey.

The Abbey's Sub Organist, Robert Quinney, will play the organ.

The Chapel Royal Choir consists of ten Children of the Chapel, boy choristers who hold scholarships at City of London School, and six Gentlemen-in-Ordinary, who are professional singers. The Chapel Royal Choir has existed since at least the Norman Conquest. The Organist, Choir Master and Composer at Her Majesty's Chapel Royal is Dr. Andrew Gant. The Choir's duties are to sing the weekly service in the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace and to perform for the Sovereign on other occasions, including at the weddings of Members of the Royal Family. The distinctive State uniforms worn by the Children date from the reign of Charles II.

The London Chamber Orchestra will be conducted by Mr Christopher Warren-Green, its Music Director and Principal Conductor. The orchestra will comprise 39 musicians located in the organ loft of the Abbey. The LCO is the longest established professional chamber orchestra in the United Kingdom, having been founded in 1921 by Anthony Bernard. The Duchess of Cornwall is a patron of the orchestra. Mr. Warren-Green has conducted numerous concerts for the Royal Family.

A Fanfare Team of seven musicians from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force will perform under the direction of Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs. The Central Band was established in 1920 and provides musical support to the Royal Air Force throughout the U.K.. In addition to their musical duties, Royal Air Force musicians also serve overseas in support of the broader Defence cause.

The State Trumpeters of The Household Cavalry comprises musicians from both The Band of The Life Guards and The Band of The Blues and Royals. The Fanfare Team of eight Trumpeters will be led by Trumpet Major Grant Sewell-Jones of The Band of The Blues and Royals. In addition to their musical duties, all Army Musicians can be called upon to act as individual augmentee soldiers in support of operations across the world.

Following the Wedding Service at Westminster Abbey, Claire Jones, the Official Harpist to The Prince of Wales will perform at the Reception given by The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

— Courtesy of St. James's Palace

Originally posted on Friday, 29 April 2011

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Diary of a Surviving Supply Teacher: Songs About School 2

I discovered this song on a Boxer (Mike Patto and Ollie Halsall) album called Bloodletting which was released on Virgin in 1979. It originally appeared on Leonard Cohen's first album Songs of Leonard Cohen released on Columbia on 27th December 1967.

Teachers (Leonard Cohen)

I met a woman long ago
her hair the black that black can go,
Are you a teacher of the heart?
Soft she answered no.
I met a girl across the sea,
her hair the gold that gold can be,
Are you a teacher of the heart?
Yes, but not for thee.

I met a man who lost his mind
in some lost place I had to find,
follow me the wise man said,
but he walked behind.

I walked into a hospital
where none was sick and none was well,
when at night the nurses left
I could not walk at all.

Morning came and then came noon,
dinner time a scalpel blade
lay beside my silver spoon.

Some girls wander by mistake
into the mess that scalpels make.
Are you the teachers of my heart?
We teach old hearts to break.

One morning I woke up alone,
the hospital and the nurses gone.
Have I carved enough my Lord?
Child, you are a bone.

I ate and ate and ate,
no I did not miss a plate, well
How much do these suppers cost?
We'll take it out in hate.

I spent my hatred everyplace,
on every work on every face,
someone gave me wishes
and I wished for an embrace.

Several girls embraced me, then
I was embraced by men,
Is my passion perfect?
No, do it once again.

I was handsome I was strong,
I knew the words of every song.
Did my singing please you?
No, the words you sang were wrong.

Who is it whom I address,
who takes down what I confess?
Are you the teachers of my heart?
We teach old hearts to rest.

Oh teachers are my lessons done?
I cannot do another one.
They laughed and laughed and said, Well child,
are your lessons done?
are your lessons done?
are your lessons done?

Originally posted on Thursday 28th April 2011

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

We can live in hope, even if we die in despair

"Tell Joseph, he may live in hope, Ma'am," said the Major; "or he'll die in despair." It is from Charles Dickens' "Dombey and Son".


Chapter 40 Domestic Relations

t was not in the nature of things that a man of Mr Dombey's mood, opposed to such a spirit as he had raised against himself, should be softened in the imperious asperity of his temper; or that the cold hard armour of pride in which he lived encased, should be made more flexible by constant collision with haughty scorn and defiance. It is the curse of such a nature - it is a main part of the heavy retribution on itself it bears within itself - that while deference and concession swell its evil qualities, and are the food it grows upon, resistance and a questioning of its exacting claims, foster it too, no less. The evil that is in it finds equally its means of growth and propagation in opposites. It draws support and life from sweets and bitters; bowed down before, or unacknowledged, it still enslaves the breast in which it has its throne; and, worshipped or rejected, is as hard a master as the Devil in dark fables.

Towards his first wife, Mr Dombey, in his cold and lofty arrogance, had borne himself like the removed Being he almost conceived himself to be. He had been 'Mr Dombey' with her when she first saw him, and he was 'Mr Dombey' when she died. He had asserted his greatness during their whole married life, and she had meekly recognised it. He had kept his distant seat of state on the top of his throne, and she her humble station on its lowest step; and much good it had done him, so to live in solitary bondage to his one idea. He had imagined that the proud character of his second wife would have been added to his own - would have merged into it, and exalted his greatness. He had pictured himself haughtier than ever, with Edith's haughtiness subservient to his. He had never entertained the possibility of its arraying itself against him. And now, when he found it rising in his path at every step and turn of his daily life, fixing its cold, defiant, and contemptuous face upon him, this pride of his, instead of withering, or hanging down its head beneath the shock, put forth new shoots, became more concentrated and intense, more gloomy, sullen, irksome, and unyielding, than it had ever been before.

Who wears such armour, too, bears with him ever another heavy retribution. It is of proof against conciliation, love, and confidence; against all gentle sympathy from without, all trust, all tenderness, all soft emotion; but to deep stabs in the self-love, it is as vulnerable as the bare breast to steel; and such tormenting festers rankle there, as follow on no other wounds, no, though dealt with the mailed hand of Pride itself, on weaker pride, disarmed and thrown down.

Such wounds were his. He felt them sharply, in the solitude of his old rooms; whither he now began often to retire again, and pass long solitary hours. It seemed his fate to be ever proud and powerful; ever humbled and powerless where he would be most strong. Who seemed fated to work out that doom?

Who? Who was it who could win his wife as she had won his boy? Who was it who had shown him that new victory, as he sat in the dark corner? Who was it whose least word did what his utmost means could not? Who was it who, unaided by his love, regard or notice, thrived and grew beautiful when those so aided died? Who could it be, but the same child at whom he had often glanced uneasily in her motherless infancy, with a kind of dread, lest he might come to hate her; and of whom his foreboding was fulfilled, for he did hate her in his heart?

Yes, and he would have it hatred, and he made it hatred, though some sparkles of the light in which she had appeared before him on the memorable night of his return home with his Bride, occasionally hung about her still. He knew now that she was beautiful; he did not dispute that she was graceful and winning, and that in the bright dawn of her womanhood she had come upon him, a surprise. But he turned even this against her. In his sullen and unwholesome brooding, the unhappy man, with a dull perception of his alienation from all hearts, and a vague yearning for what he had all his life repelled, made a distorted picture of his rights and wrongs, and justified himself with it against her. The worthier she promised to be of him, the greater claim he was disposed to antedate upon her duty and submission. When had she ever shown him duty and submission? Did she grace his life - or Edith's? Had her attractions been manifested first to him - or Edith? Why, he and she had never been, from her birth, like father and child! They had always been estranged. She had crossed him every way and everywhere. She was leagued against him now. Her very beauty softened natures that were obdurate to him, and insulted him with an unnatural triumph.

It may have been that in all this there were mutterings of an awakened feeling in his breast, however selfishly aroused by his position of disadvantage, in comparison with what she might have made his life. But he silenced the distant thunder with the rolling of his sea of pride. He would bear nothing but his pride. And in his pride, a heap of inconsistency, and misery, and self-inflicted torment, he hated her.

To the moody, stubborn, sullen demon, that possessed him, his wife opposed her different pride in its full force. They never could have led a happy life together; but nothing could have made it more unhappy, than the wilful and determined warfare of such elements. His pride was set upon maintaining his magnificent supremacy, and forcing recognition of it from her. She would have been racked to death, and turned but her haughty glance of calm inflexible disdain upon him, to the last. Such recognition from Edith! He little knew through what a storm and struggle she had been driven onward to the crowning honour of his hand. He little knew how much she thought she had conceded, when she suffered him to call her wife.

Mr Dombey was resolved to show her that he was supreme. There must be no will but his. Proud he desired that she should be, but she must be proud for, not against him. As he sat alone, hardening, he would often hear her go out and come home, treading the round of London life with no more heed of his liking or disliking, pleasure or displeasure, than if he had been her groom. Her cold supreme indifference - his own unquestioned attribute usurped - stung him more than any other kind of treatment could have done; and he determined to bend her to his magnificent and stately will.

He had been long communing with these thoughts, when one night he sought her in her own apartment, after he had heard her return home late. She was alone, in her brilliant dress, and had but that moment come from her mother's room. Her face was melancholy and pensive, when he came upon her; but it marked him at the door; for, glancing at the mirror before it, he saw immediately, as in a picture-frame, the knitted brow, and darkened beauty that he knew so well.

’Mrs Dombey,' he said, entering, 'I must beg leave to have a few words with you.'

'To-morrow,' she replied.

'There is no time like the present, Madam,' he returned. 'You mistake your position. I am used to choose my own times; not to have them chosen for me. I think you scarcely understand who and what I am, Mrs Dombey.

'I think,' she answered, 'that I understand you very well.'

She looked upon him as she said so, and folding her white arms, sparkling with gold and gems, upon her swelling breast, turned away her eyes.

If she had been less handsome, and less stately in her cold composure, she might not have had the power of impressing him with the sense of disadvantage that penetrated through his utmost pride. But she had the power, and he felt it keenly. He glanced round the room: saw how the splendid means of personal adornment, and the luxuries of dress, were scattered here and there, and disregarded; not in mere caprice and carelessness (or so he thought), but in a steadfast haughty disregard of costly things: and felt it more and more. Chaplets of flowers, plumes of feathers, jewels, laces, silks and satins; look where he would, he saw riches, despised, poured out, and. made of no account. The very diamonds - a marriage gift - that rose and fell impatiently upon her bosom, seemed to pant to break the chain that clasped them round her neck, and roll down on the floor where she might tread upon them.

He felt his disadvantage, and he showed it. Solemn and strange among this wealth of colour and voluptuous glitter, strange and constrained towards its haughty mistress, whose repellent beauty it repeated, and presented all around him, as in so many fragments of a mirror, he was conscious of embarrassment and awkwardness. Nothing that ministered to her disdainful self-possession could fail to gall him. Galled and irritated with himself, he sat down, and went on, in no improved humour:

'Mrs Dombey, it is very necessary that there should be some understanding arrived at between us. Your conduct does not please me, Madam.'

She merely glanced at him again, and again averted her eyes; but she might have spoken for an hour, and expressed less.

'I repeat, Mrs Dombey, does not please me. I have already taken occasion to request that it may be corrected. I now insist upon it.'

'You chose a fitting occasion for your first remonstrance, Sir, and you adopt a fitting manner, and a fitting word for your second. You insist! To me!'

'Madam,' said Mr Dombey, with his most offensive air of state, 'I have made you my wife. You bear my name. You are associated with my position and my reputation. I will not say that the world in general may be disposed to think you honoured by that association; but I will say that I am accustomed to "insist," to my connexions and dependents.'

'Which may you be pleased to consider me? she asked.

'Possibly I may think that my wife should partake - or does partake, and cannot help herself - of both characters, Mrs Dombey.'

She bent her eyes upon him steadily, and set her trembling lips. He saw her bosom throb, and saw her face flush and turn white. All this he could know, and did: but he could not know that one word was whispering in the deep recesses of her heart, to keep her quiet; and that the word was Florence.

Blind idiot, rushing to a precipice! He thought she stood in awe of him.

'You are too expensive, Madam,' said Mr Dombey. 'You are extravagant. You waste a great deal of money - or what would be a great deal in the pockets of most gentlemen - in cultivating a kind of society that is useless to me, and, indeed, that upon the whole is disagreeable to me. I have to insist upon a total change in all these respects. I know that in the novelty of possessing a tithe of such means as Fortune has placed at your disposal, ladies are apt to run into a sudden extreme. There has been more than enough of that extreme. I beg that Mrs Granger's very different experiences may now come to the instruction of Mrs Dombey.'

Still the fixed look, the trembling lips, the throbbing breast, the face now crimson and now white; and still the deep whisper Florence, Florence, speaking to her in the beating of her heart.

His insolence of self-importance dilated as he saw this alteration in her. Swollen no less by her past scorn of him, and his so recent feeling of disadvantage, than by her present submission (as he took it to be), it became too mighty for his breast, and burst all bounds. Why, who could long resist his lofty will and pleasure! He had resolved to conquer her, and look here!

'You will further please, Madam,' said Mr Dombey, in a tone of sovereign command, 'to understand distinctly, that I am to be deferred to and obeyed. That I must have a positive show and confession of deference before the world, Madam. I am used to this. I require it as my right. In short I will have it. I consider it no unreasonable return for the worldly advancement that has befallen you; and I believe nobody will be surprised, either at its being required from you, or at your making it. - To Me - To Me!' he added, with emphasis.

No word from her. No change in her. Her eyes upon him.

'I have learnt from your mother, Mrs Dombey,' said Mr Dombey, with magisterial importance, what no doubt you know, namely, that Brighton is recommended for her health. Mr Carker has been so good

She changed suddenly. Her face and bosom glowed as if the red light of an angry sunset had been flung upon them. Not unobservant of the change, and putting his own interpretation upon it, Mr Dombey resumed:

'Mr Carker has been so good as to go down and secure a house there, for a time. On the return of the establishment to London, I shall take such steps for its better management as I consider necessary. One of these, will be the engagement at Brighton (if it is to be effected), of a very respectable reduced person there, a Mrs Pipchin, formerly employed in a situation of trust in my family, to act as housekeeper. An establishment like this, presided over but nominally, Mrs Dombey, requires a competent head.'

She had changed her attitude before he arrived at these words, and now sat - still looking at him fixedly - turning a bracelet round and round upon her arm; not winding it about with a light, womanly touch, but pressing and dragging it over the smooth skin, until the white limb showed a bar of red.

'I observed,' said Mr Dombey - 'and this concludes what I deem it necessary to say to you at present, Mrs Dombey - I observed a moment ago, Madam, that my allusion to Mr Carker was received in a peculiar manner. On the occasion of my happening to point out to you, before that confidential agent, the objection I had to your mode of receiving my visitors, you were pleased to object to his presence. You will have to get the better of that objection, Madam, and to accustom yourself to it very probably on many similar occasions; unless you adopt the remedy which is in your own hands, of giving me no cause of complaint. Mr Carker,' said Mr Dombey, who, after the emotion he had just seen, set great store by this means of reducing his proud wife, and who was perhaps sufficiently willing to exhibit his power to that gentleman in a new and triumphant aspect, 'Mr Carker being in my confidence, Mrs Dombey, may very well be in yours to such an extent. I hope, Mrs Dombey,' he continued, after a few moments, during which, in his increasing haughtiness, he had improved on his idea, 'I may not find it necessary ever to entrust Mr Carker with any message of objection or remonstrance to you; but as it would be derogatory to my position and reputation to be frequently holding trivial disputes with a lady upon whom I have conferred the highest distinction that it is in my power to bestow, I shall not scruple to avail myself of his services if I see occasion.'

'And now,' he thought, rising in his moral magnificence, and rising a stiffer and more impenetrable man than ever, 'she knows me and my resolution.'

The hand that had so pressed the bracelet was laid heavily upon her breast, but she looked at him still, with an unaltered face, and said in a low voice:

'Wait! For God's sake! I must speak to you.'

Why did she not, and what was the inward struggle that rendered her incapable of doing so, for minutes, while, in the strong constraint she put upon her face, it was as fixed as any statue's - looking upon him with neither yielding nor unyielding, liking nor hatred, pride not humility: nothing but a searching gaze?

'Did I ever tempt you to seek my hand? Did I ever use any art to win you? Was I ever more conciliating to you when you pursued me, than I have been since our marriage? Was I ever other to you than I am?'

'It is wholly unnecessary, Madam,' said Mr Dombey, 'to enter upon such discussions.'

'Did you think I loved you? Did you know I did not? Did you ever care, Man! for my heart, or propose to yourself to win the worthless thing? Was there any poor pretence of any in our bargain? Upon your side, or on mine?'

'These questions,' said Mr Dombey, 'are all wide of the purpose, Madam.'

She moved between him and the door to prevent his going away, and drawing her majestic figure to its height, looked steadily upon him still.

'You answer each of them. You answer me before I speak, I see. How can you help it; you who know the miserable truth as well as I? Now, tell me. If I loved you to devotion, could I do more than render up my whole will and being to you, as you have just demanded? If my heart were pure and all untried, and you its idol, could you ask more; could you have more?'

'Possibly not, Madam,' he returned coolly.

'You know how different I am. You see me looking on you now, and you can read the warmth of passion for you that is breathing in my face.' Not a curl of the proud lip, not a flash of the dark eye, nothing but the same intent and searching look, accompanied these words. 'You know my general history. You have spoken of my mother. Do you think you can degrade, or bend or break, me to submission and obedience?'

Mr Dombey smiled, as he might have smiled at an inquiry whether he thought he could raise ten thousand pounds.

'If there is anything unusual here,' she said, with a slight motion of her hand before her brow, which did not for a moment flinch from its immovable and otherwise expressionless gaze, 'as I know there are unusual feelings here,' raising the hand she pressed upon her bosom, and heavily returning it, 'consider that there is no common meaning in the appeal I am going to make you. Yes, for I am going;' she said it as in prompt reply to something in his face; 'to appeal to you.'

Mr Dombey, with a slightly condescending bend of his chin that rustled and crackled his stiff cravat, sat down on a sofa that was near him, to hear the appeal.

'If you can believe that I am of such a nature now,' - he fancied he saw tears glistening in her eyes, and he thought, complacently, that he had forced them from her, though none fell on her cheek, and she regarded him as steadily as ever, - 'as would make what I now say almost incredible to myself, said to any man who had become my husband, but, above all, said to you, you may, perhaps, attach the greater weight to it. In the dark end to which we are tending, and may come, we shall not involve ourselves alone (that might not be much) but others.'

Others! He knew at whom that word pointed, and frowned heavily.

'I speak to you for the sake of others. Also your own sake; and for mine. Since our marriage, you have been arrogant to me; and I have repaid you in kind. You have shown to me and everyone around us, every day and hour, that you think I am graced and distinguished by your alliance. I do not think so, and have shown that too. It seems you do not understand, or (so far as your power can go) intend that each of us shall take a separate course; and you expect from me instead, a homage you will never have.'

Although her face was still the same, there was emphatic confirmation of this 'Never' in the very breath she drew.

'I feel no tenderness towards you; that you know. You would care nothing for it, if I did or could. I know as well that you feel none towards me. But we are linked together; and in the knot that ties us, as I have said, others are bound up. We must both die; we are both connected with the dead already, each by a little child. Let us forbear.'

Mr Dombey took a long respiration, as if he would have said, Oh! was this all!

'There is no wealth,' she went on, turning paler as she watched him, while her eyes grew yet more lustrous in their earnestness, 'that could buy these words of me, and the meaning that belongs to them. Once cast away as idle breath, no wealth or power can bring them back. I mean them; I have weighed them; and I will be true to what I undertake. If you will promise to forbear on your part, I will promise to forbear on mine. We are a most unhappy pair, in whom, from different causes, every sentiment that blesses marriage, or justifies it, is rooted out; but in the course of time, some friendship, or some fitness for each other, may arise between us. I will try to hope so, if you will make the endeavour too; and I will look forward to a better and a happier use of age than I have made of youth or prime.

Throughout she had spoken in a low plain voice, that neither rose nor fell; ceasing, she dropped the hand with which she had enforced herself to be so passionless and distinct, but not the eyes with which she had so steadily observed him.

'Madam,' said Mr Dombey, with his utmost dignity, 'I cannot entertain any proposal of this extraordinary nature.

She looked at him yet, without the least change.

'I cannot,' said Mr Dombey, rising as he spoke, 'consent to temporise or treat with you, Mrs Dombey, upon a subject as to which you are in possession of my opinions and expectations. I have stated my ultimatum, Madam, and have only to request your very serious attention to it.'

To see the face change to its old expression, deepened in intensity! To see the eyes droop as from some mean and odious object! To see the lighting of the haughty brow! To see scorn, anger, indignation, and abhorrence starting into sight, and the pale blank earnestness vanish like a mist! He could not choose but look, although he looked to his dismay.

'Go, Sir!' she said, pointing with an imperious hand towards the door. 'Our first and last confidence is at an end. Nothing can make us stranger to each other than we are henceforth.'

'I shall take my rightful course, Madam,' said Mr Dombey, 'undeterred, you may be sure, by any general declamation.'

She turned her back upon him, and, without reply, sat down before her glass.

'I place my reliance on your improved sense of duty, and more correct feeling, and better reflection, Madam,' said Mr Dombey.

She answered not one word. He saw no more expression of any heed of him, in the mirror, than if he had been an unseen spider on the wall, or beetle on the floor, or rather, than if he had been the one or other, seen and crushed when she last turned from him, and forgotten among the ignominious and dead vermin of the ground.

He looked back, as he went out at the door, upon the well-lighted and luxurious room, the beautiful and glittering objects everywhere displayed, the shape of Edith in its rich dress seated before her glass, and the face of Edith as the glass presented it to him; and betook himself to his old chamber of cogitation, carrying away with him a vivid picture in his mind of all these things, and a rambling and unaccountable speculation (such as sometimes comes into a man's head) how they would all look when he saw them next.

For the rest, Mr Dombey was very taciturn, and very dignified, and very confident of carrying out his purpose; and remained so.

He did not design accompanying the family to Brighton; but he graciously informed Cleopatra at breakfast, on the morning of departure, which arrived a day or two afterwards, that he might be expected down, soon. There was no time to be lost in getting Cleopatra to any place recommended as being salutary; for, indeed, she seemed upon the wane, and turning of the earth, earthy.

Without having undergone any decided second attack of her malady, the old woman seemed to have crawled backward in her recovery from the first. She was more lean and shrunken, more uncertain in her imbecility, and made stranger confusions in her mind and memory. Among other symptoms of this last affliction, she fell into the habit of confounding the names of her two sons-in-law, the living and the deceased; and in general called Mr Dombey, either 'Grangeby,' or 'Domber,' or indifferently, both.

But she was youthful, very youthful still; and in her youthfulness appeared at breakfast, before going away, in a new bonnet made express, and a travelling robe that was embroidered and braided like an old baby's. It was not easy to put her into a fly-away bonnet now, or to keep the bonnet in its place on the back of her poor nodding head, when it was got on. In this instance, it had not only the extraneous effect of being always on one side, but of being perpetually tapped on the crown by Flowers the maid, who attended in the background during breakfast to perform that duty.

'Now, my dearest Grangeby,' said Mrs Skewton, 'you must posively prom,' she cut some of her words short, and cut out others altogether, 'come down very soon.'

'I said just now, Madam,' returned Mr Dombey, loudly and laboriously, 'that I am coming in a day or two.'

'Bless you, Domber!'

Here the Major, who was come to take leave of the ladies, and who was staring through his apoplectic eyes at Mrs Skewton's face with the disinterested composure of an immortal being, said:

'Begad, Ma'am, you don't ask old Joe to come!'

'Sterious wretch, who's he?' lisped Cleopatra. But a tap on the bonnet from Flowers seeming to jog her memory, she added, 'Oh! You mean yourself, you naughty creature!'

'Devilish queer, Sir,' whispered the Major to Mr Dombey. 'Bad case. Never did wrap up enough;' the Major being buttoned to the chin. 'Why who should J. B. mean by Joe, but old Joe Bagstock - Joseph - your slave - Joe, Ma'am? Here! Here's the man! Here are the Bagstock bellows, Ma'am!' cried the Major, striking himself a sounding blow on the chest.

'My dearest Edith - Grangeby - it's most trordinry thing,' said Cleopatra, pettishly, 'that Major - '

'Bagstock! J. B.!' cried the Major, seeing that she faltered for his name.

'Well, it don't matter,' said Cleopatra. 'Edith, my love, you know I never could remember names - what was it? oh! - most trordinry thing that so many people want to come down to see me. I'm not going for long. I'm coming back. Surely they can wait, till I come back!'

Cleopatra looked all round the table as she said it, and appeared very uneasy.

'I won't have Vistors - really don't want visitors,' she said; 'little repose - and all that sort of thing - is what I quire. No odious brutes must proach me till I've shaken off this numbness;' and in a grisly resumption of her coquettish ways, she made a dab at the Major with her fan, but overset Mr Dombey's breakfast cup instead, which was in quite a different direction.

Then she called for Withers, and charged him to see particularly that word was left about some trivial alterations in her room, which must be all made before she came back, and which must be set about immediately, as there was no saying how soon she might come back; for she had a great many engagements, and all sorts of people to call upon. Withers received these directions with becoming deference, and gave his guarantee for their execution; but when he withdrew a pace or two behind her, it appeared as if he couldn't help looking strangely at the Major, who couldn't help looking strangely at Mr Dombey, who couldn't help looking strangely at Cleopatra, who couldn't help nodding her bonnet over one eye, and rattling her knife and fork upon her plate in using them, as if she were playing castanets.

Edith alone never lifted her eyes to any face at the table, and never seemed dismayed by anything her mother said or did. She listened to her disjointed talk, or at least, turned her head towards her when addressed; replied in a few low words when necessary; and sometimes stopped her when she was rambling, or brought her thoughts back with a monosyllable, to the point from which they had strayed. The mother, however unsteady in other things, was constant in this - that she was always observant of her. She would look at the beautiful face, in its marble stillness and severity, now with a kind of fearful admiration; now in a giggling foolish effort to move it to a smile; now with capricious tears and jealous shakings of her head, as imagining herself neglected by it; always with an attraction towards it, that never fluctuated like her other ideas, but had constant possession of her. From Edith she would sometimes look at Florence, and back again at Edith, in a manner that was wild enough; and sometimes she would try to look elsewhere, as if to escape from her daughter's face; but back to it she seemed forced to come, although it never sought hers unless sought, or troubled her with one single glance.

The best concluded, Mrs Skewton, affecting to lean girlishly upon the Major's arm, but heavily supported on the other side by Flowers the maid, and propped up behind by Withers the page, was conducted to the carriage, which was to take her, Florence, and Edith to Brighton.

'And is Joseph absolutely banished?' said the Major, thrusting in his purple face over the steps. 'Damme, Ma'am, is Cleopatra so hard-hearted as to forbid her faithful Antony Bagstock to approach the presence?'

'Go along!' said Cleopatra, 'I can't bear you. You shall see me when I come back, if you are very good.'

'Tell Joseph, he may live in hope, Ma'am,' said the Major; 'or he'll die in despair.'

Cleopatra shuddered, and leaned back. 'Edith, my dear,' she said. 'Tell him - '


'Such dreadful words,' said Cleopatra. 'He uses such dreadful words!'

Edith signed to him to retire, gave the word to go on, and left the objectionable Major to Mr Dombey. To whom he returned, whistling.

'I'll tell you what, Sir,' said the Major, with his hands behind him, and his legs very wide asunder, 'a fair friend of ours has removed to Queer Street.'

'What do you mean, Major?' inquired Mr Dombey.

'I mean to say, Dombey,' returned the Major, 'that you'll soon be an orphan-in-law.'

Mr Dombey appeared to relish this waggish description of himself so very little, that the Major wound up with the horse's cough, as an expression of gravity.

'Damme, Sir,' said the Major, 'there is no use in disguising a fact. Joe is blunt, Sir. That's his nature. If you take old Josh at all, you take him as you find him; and a devilish rusty, old rasper, of a close-toothed, J. B. file, you do find him. Dombey,' said the Major, 'your wife's mother is on the move, Sir.'

'I fear,' returned Mr Dombey, with much philosophy, 'that Mrs Skewton is shaken.'

'Shaken, Dombey!' said the Major. 'Smashed!'

'Change, however,' pursued Mr Dombey, 'and attention, may do much yet.'

'Don't believe it, Sir,' returned the Major. 'Damme, Sir, she never wrapped up enough. If a man don't wrap up,' said the Major, taking in another button of his buff waistcoat, 'he has nothing to fall back upon. But some people will die. They will do it. Damme, they will. They're obstinate. I tell you what, Dombey, it may not be ornamental; it may not be refined; it may be rough and tough; but a little of the genuine old English Bagstock stamina, Sir, would do all the good in the world to the human breed.'

After imparting this precious piece of information, the Major, who was certainly true-blue, whatever other endowments he may have had or wanted, coming within the 'genuine old English' classification, which has never been exactly ascertained, took his lobster-eyes and his apoplexy to the club, and choked there all day.

Cleopatra, at one time fretful, at another self-complacent, sometimes awake, sometimes asleep, and at all times juvenile, reached Brighton the same night, fell to pieces as usual, and was put away in bed; where a gloomy fancy might have pictured a more potent skeleton than the maid, who should have been one, watching at the rose-coloured curtains, which were carried down to shed their bloom upon her.

It was settled in high council of medical authority that she should take a carriage airing every day, and that it was important she should get out every day, and walk if she could. Edith was ready to attend her - always ready to attend her, with the same mechanical attention and immovable beauty - and they drove out alone; for Edith had an uneasiness in the presence of Florence, now that her mother was worse, and told Florence, with a kiss, that she would rather they two went alone.

Mrs Skewton, on one particular day, was in the irresolute, exacting, jealous temper that had developed itself on her recovery from her first attack. After sitting silent in the carriage watching Edith for some time, she took her hand and kissed it passionately. The hand was neither given nor withdrawn, but simply yielded to her raising of it, and being released, dropped down again, almost as if it were insensible. At this she began to whimper and moan, and say what a mother she had been, and how she was forgotten! This she continued to do at capricious intervals, even when they had alighted: when she herself was halting along with the joint support of Withers and a stick, and Edith was walking by her side, and the carriage slowly following at a little distance.

It was a bleak, lowering, windy day, and they were out upon the Downs with nothing but a bare sweep of land between them and the sky. The mother, with a querulous satisfaction in the monotony of her complaint, was still repeating it in a low voice from time to time, and the proud form of her daughter moved beside her slowly, when there came advancing over a dark ridge before them, two other figures, which in the distance, were so like an exaggerated imitation of their own, that Edith stopped.

Almost as she stopped, the two figures stopped; and that one which to Edith's thinking was like a distorted shadow of her mother, spoke to the other, earnestly, and with a pointing hand towards them. That one seemed inclined to turn back, but the other, in which Edith recognised enough that was like herself to strike her with an unusual feeling, not quite free from fear, came on; and then they came on together.

The greater part of this observation, she made while walking towards them, for her stoppage had been momentary. Nearer observation showed her that they were poorly dressed, as wanderers about the country; that the younger woman carried knitted work or some such goods for sale; and that the old one toiled on empty-handed.

And yet, however far removed she was in dress, in dignity, in beauty, Edith could not but compare the younger woman with herself, still. It may have been that she saw upon her face some traces which she knew were lingering in her own soul, if not yet written on that index; but, as the woman came on, returning her gaze, fixing her shining eyes upon her, undoubtedly presenting something of her own air and stature, and appearing to reciprocate her own thoughts, she felt a chill creep over her, as if the day were darkening, and the wind were colder.

They had now come up. The old woman, holding out her hand importunately, stopped to beg of Mrs Skewton. The younger one stopped too, and she and Edith looked in one another's eyes.

'What is it that you have to sell?' said Edith.

'Only this,' returned the woman, holding out her wares, without looking at them. 'I sold myself long ago.'

'My Lady, don't believe her,' croaked the old woman to Mrs Skewton; 'don't believe what she says. She loves to talk like that. She's my handsome and undutiful daughter. She gives me nothing but reproaches, my Lady, for all I have done for her. Look at her now, my Lady, how she turns upon her poor old mother with her looks.'

As Mrs Skewton drew her purse out with a trembling hand, and eagerly fumbled for some money, which the other old woman greedily watched for - their heads all but touching, in their hurry and decrepitude - Edith interposed:

'I have seen you,' addressing the old woman, 'before.'

'Yes, my Lady,' with a curtsey. 'Down in Warwickshire. The morning among the trees. When you wouldn't give me nothing. But the gentleman, he give me something! Oh, bless him, bless him!' mumbled the old woman, holding up her skinny hand, and grinning frightfully at her daughter.

'It's of no use attempting to stay me, Edith!' said Mrs Skewton, angrily anticipating an objection from her. 'You know nothing about it. I won't be dissuaded. I am sure this is an excellent woman, and a good mother.'

'Yes, my Lady, yes,' chattered the old woman, holding out her avaricious hand. 'Thankee, my Lady. Lord bless you, my Lady. Sixpence more, my pretty Lady, as a good mother yourself.'

'And treated undutifully enough, too, my good old creature, sometimes, I assure you,' said Mrs Skewton, whimpering. 'There! Shake hands with me. You're a very good old creature - full of what's-his-name - and all that. You're all affection and et cetera, ain't you?'

'Oh, yes, my Lady!'

'Yes, I'm sure you are; and so's that gentlemanly creature Grangeby. I must really shake hands with you again. And now you can go, you know; and I hope,' addressing the daughter, 'that you'll show more gratitude, and natural what's-its-name, and all the rest of it - but I never remember names - for there never was a better mother than the good old creature's been to you. Come, Edith!'

As the ruin of Cleopatra tottered off whimpering, and wiping its eyes with a gingerly remembrance of rouge in their neighbourhood, the old woman hobbled another way, mumbling and counting her money. Not one word more, nor one other gesture, had been exchanged between Edith and the younger woman, but neither had removed her eyes from the other for a moment. They had remained confronted until now, when Edith, as awakening from a dream, passed slowly on.

'You're a handsome woman,' muttered her shadow, looking after her; 'but good looks won't save us. And you're a proud woman; but pride won't save us. We had need to know each other when we meet again!'


Originally posted on Tuesday, 26th April 2011