just another found lamb that was lost
Who was Sandy Dennis?
It would not be easy for anyone to out-do one of American theater's finest thespians, but somehow actress Sandy Dennis managed to even out-quirk the legendary Geraldine Page when it came to affecting nervous tics and offbeat mannerisms on stage and in film. She and Page had few peers when it came to the neurotic-dispensing department. The two Actor's Studio disciples developed fascinating characterizations that seemed to manifest themselves outwardly to such physical extremes and, like a bad car accident, their overt styling was capable of both drawing in, and repelling audiences. There was no gray area. Either way, both had a searing emotional range and were undeniably transfixing figures who held up Oscar trophies to prove there was a "Method" to their respective madness. Sandy's signature quirks--her stuttering, fluttering, throat gulps, eye twitches, nervous giggles, hysterical flailing--are all a part of what made her so distinctive and unforgettable. Her untimely death of cancer at age 54 robbed the entertainment industry of a remarkable talent.
The Nebraska-born-and-bred actress was born Sandra Dale Dennis in Hastings, on April 27, 1937, the daughter of postal clerk Jack Dennis and his secretary wife Yvonne (née Hudson), who divorced in 1966 after a 38-year marriage. Living in both Kenesaw (1942) and Lincoln (1946) while growing up, she and brother Frank went to Lincoln High School with TV host Dick Cavett. Her passion for acting grew and grew while still at home. A college student at both Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Nebraska, she eventually found her career direction after appearing with the Lincoln Community Theater Group.
The toothy actress left Nebraska and towards the Big Apple at age 19 just to try her luck. An intense student of acting guru Uta Hagen, Sandy made her New York stage debut in a Tempo Theatre production of "The Lady from the Sea" in 1956 and that same year won her first TV role as that of Alice Holden in the daytime series Guiding Light (1952). A year later she made it to Broadway as an understudy (and eventual replacement) for the roles of Flirt and Reenie in the William Inge drama "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs," directed by Elia Kazan at the Music Box Theatre. She toured with that production and also found regional work in the plays "Bus Stop" and "Motel" while continuing to shine as a budding New York fixture in "Burning Bright," "Face of a Hero" and "Port Royal".
Along with fellow newcomers Gary Lockwood and Phyllis Diller, Sandy made her movie debut in playwright Inge's Splendor in the Grass (1961), a movie quite welcoming of Sandy's neurotic tendencies. In the minor but instrumental role of Kay, she is an unwitting instigator of friend Deanie's (played by an ambitiously unbalanced Natalie Wood) mental collapse. Despite this worthy little turn, Sandy would not make another film for five years.
Instead, the actress set her sights strongly on the stage and for this she was handsomely rewarded, most notably in comedy. After appearing in a two-month run of the Graham Greene drama "The Complaisant Lover" at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 1961, stardom would be hers the very next year with her outstanding social worker role in the lighter-weight "A Thousand Clowns". Winning the Theatre World as well as the coveted Tony Award for her performance, she continue her run of prizes with a second consecutive Tony for her sexy turn in the comedy "Any Wednesday" (1964). Having made only one picture at this juncture, Sandy was not in a good position to transfer her award-winning characters to film and when they did, they went to Barbara Harris and Jane Fonda, respectively.
TV was also a viable medium for Sandy and she appeared sporadically on such programs as The Fugitive (1963), Naked City (1958) and Arrest and Trial (1963). In 1965, she appeared in London as Irina in a heralded Actor's Studio production of Chekhov's "The Three Sisters" with fellow devotees Geraldine Page, Kim Stanley, Shelley Winters, Luther Adler and Kevin McCarthy. The play was subsequently videotaped and directed by Paul Bogart, and is valuable today for the studied "Method" performances of its cast. It, however, received mixed reviews upon its release.
Returning to film in 1966, Sandy seemed to embellish every physical and emotional peculiarity she could muster for the role of the mousy wife Honey in the four-character powerhouse play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) by Edward Albee. It is a mouth-dropping, emotionally shattering performance, and both she and a more even-keeled George Segal as the drop over guests of the skewering cutthroat couple George and Martha (Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton) more than held their own. While the distaff cast won Oscars for this (Taylor for "Best Actress" and Dennis for "Best Supporting Actress", this ferocious landmark film blew open the "Production Code" doors once and for all and a wave of counterculture filming tackling formerly taboo subjects came to be.
Firmly established now with her Oscar win, Sandy found highly affecting lead showcases for herself. She starred as a young, naive English teacher challenged by a New York "Blackboard Jungle"-like school system in Up the Down Staircase (1967).
Sandy then stirred up controversy along with Anne Heywood playing brittle lesbian lovers whose relationship is threatened by a sexy male visitor (Keir Dullea) in another ground-breaking film The Fox (1967).
Sandy remained intriguingly off-kilter in the odd-couple romantic story Sweet November (1968) opposite Anthony Newley. The plot of this film reflects the social and sexual revolution of the 1960's. Sandy plays a single woman living in a bohemian garage apt in Brooklyn Heights who picks up random men for one month affairs. The catch is the men must promise to move out after one month whether they fall in love or not. The other plot twist is that Sandy's bohemian character has a terminal illness and will die young, a eery premonition of her own early death.
At the peak of her film popularity, Sandy began the 1970's in more mainstream fashion. She and Jack Lemmon were another odd-couple hit in Neil Simon's The Out of Towners (1970) as married George and Gwen Kellerman visiting an unmerciful Big Apple. Sandy is at her whiny, plain-Jane best ("Oh, my God...I think we're being kidnapped!" as disaster upon disaster befalls the miserable twosome. Both she and Lemmon were nominated for Golden Globes.
Following this success, however, Sandy again refocused on the stage with an avalanche of fine performances in "How the Other Half Loves," "And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little," "A Streetcar Named Desire" (as Blanche), "Born Yesterday" (as Billie Dawn), "Absurd Person Singular," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (as Maggie the Cat), "Same Time, Next Year," "The Little Foxes," "Eccentricities of a Nightingale," "The Supporting Cast" and even the title role in "Peter Pan".
A few TV and movie roles came Sandy's way in unspectacular fashion but it wasn't until the next decade that she again stole some thunder. After a moving support turn as a cast-off wife in the finely-tuned ensemble drama The Four Seasons (1981), Sandy proved terrific as a James Dean extremist in another ensemble film Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982), which she played first to fine acclaim on Broadway.
Off-camera, Sandy lived for over a decade with jazz musician and saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, which began in 1965 following his devoted relationship with actress Judy Holliday who had died of cancer earlier in the year. They eventually parted ways in 1976. Rumors that they had married at some point were eventually negated by Sandy herself.
Sandy also went on to have a May-December relationship with the equally quirky actor Eric Roberts (Julia Roberts brother and 20 years her junior) from 1980 to 1985. She had no children.
Seen less and less in later years, she gave in to her eccentric tendencies as time went on. A notorious cat lover (at one point there was a count of 33 residing in her Westport, Connecticut home), close friends included actresses Brenda Vaccaro and Jessica Walter. Her father Jack died in 1990 and around that same time Sandy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Undergoing chemotherapy at the time she filmed the part of a beaten-down mother in Sean Penn's The Indian Runner (1991), the role proved to be her last.
Sandy died in Westport on March 2, 1992. She was only 54.
Sun And Flesh (Credo In Unam)
Birth of Venus
The Sun, the hearth of affection and life,
Pours burning love on the delighted earth,
And when you lie down in the valley, you can smell
How the earth is nubile and very full-blooded;
How its huge breast, heaved up by a soul,
Is, like God, made of love, and, like woman, of flesh,
And that it contains, big with sap and with sunlight,
The vast pullulation of all embryos!
And everything grows, and everything rises!
- O Venus, O Goddess!
I long for the days of antique youth,
Of lascivious satyrs, and animal fauns,
Gods who bit, mad with love, the bark of the boughs,
And among water-lilies kissed the Nymph with fair hair!
I long for the time when the sap of the world,
River water, the rose-coloured blood of green trees
Put into the veins of Pan a whole universe!
When the earth trembled, green,beneath his goat-feet;
When, softly kissing the fair Syrinx, his lips formed
Under heaven the great hymn of love;
When, standing on the plain, he heard round about him
Living Nature answer his call;
When the silent trees cradling the singing bird,
Earth cradling mankind, and the whole blue Ocean,
And all living creatures loved, loved in God!
I long for the time of great Cybele,
Who was said to travel, gigantically lovely,
In a great bronze chariot, through splendid cities;
Her twin breasts poured, through the vast deeps,
The pure streams of infinite life.
Mankind sucked joyfully at her blessed nipple,
Like a small child playing on her knees.
- Because he was strong, Man was gentle and chaste.
Misfortune! Now he says: I understand things,
And goes about with eyes shut and ears closed.
- And again, no more gods! no more gods! Man is King,
Man is God! But the great faith is Love!
Oh! if only man still drew sustenance from your nipple,
Great mother of gods and of men, Cybele;
If only he had not forsaken immortal Astarte
Who long ago, rising in the tremendous brightness
Of blue waters, flower-flesh perfumed by the wave,
Showed her rosy navel, towards which the foam came snowing
And , being a goddess with the great conquering black eyes,
Made the nightingale sing in the woods and love in men's hearts!
The Birth of Venus
I believe! I believe in you! divine mother,
Sea-born Aphrodite! - Oh! the path is bitter
Since the other God harnessed us to his cross;
Flesh, Marble, Flower, Venus, in you I believe!
- yes, Man is sad and ugly, sad under the vast sky.
He possesses clothes, because he is no longer chaste,
Because he has defiled his proud, godlike head
And because he has bent, like an idol in the furnace,
His Olympian form towards base slaveries!
Yes, even after death, in the form of pale skeletons
He wishes to live and insult the original beauty!
- And the Idol in whom you placed such maidenhood,
Woman, in whom you rendered our clay divine,
So that Man might bring light into his poor soul
And slowly ascend, in unbounded love,
From the earthly prison to the beauty of day,
Woman no longer knows even how to be a Courtesan!
- It's a fine farce! and the world snickers
At the sweet and sacred name of great Venus!
If only the times which have come and gone might come again!
- For Man is finished! Man has played all the parts!
In the broad daylight, wearied with breaking idols
He will revive, free of all his gods,
And, since he is of heaven, he will scan the heavens!
The Ideal, that eternal, invincible thought, which is
All; The living god within his fleshly clay,
Will rise, mount, burn beneath his brow!
An when you see him plumbing the whole horizon,
Despising old yokes, and free from all fear,
You will come and give him holy Redemption!
- Resplendent, radiant, from the bosom of the huge seas
You will rise up and give to the vast Universe
Infinite Love with its eternal smile!
The World will vibrate like an immense lyre
In the trembling of an infinite kiss!
- The World thirsts for love: you will come and slake its thirst.
O! Man has raised his free, proud head!
And the sudden blaze of primordial beauty
Makes the god quiver in the altar of the flesh!
Happy in the present good, pale from the ill suffered,
Man wishes to plumb all depths, - and know all things! Thought,
So long a jade, and for so long oppressed,
Springs from his forehead! She will know Why!...
Let her but gallop free, and Man will find Faith!
- Why the blue silence, unfathomable space?
Why the golden stars, teeming like sands?
If one ascended forever, what would one see up there?
Does a sheperd drive this enormous flock
Of worlds on a journey through this horror of space?
And do all these worlds contained in the vast ether,
tremble at the tones of an eternal voice?
- And Man, can he see? can he say: I believe?
Is the langage of thought anymore than a dream?
If man is born so quickly, if life is so short
Whence does he come? Does he sink into the deep Ocean
Of Germs, of Foetuses, of Embryos, to the bottom
of the huge Crucible where Nature the Mother
Will resuscitate him, a living creature,
To love in the rose and to grow in the corn?...
We cannot know! - We are weighed down
With a cloak of ignorance, hemmed in by chimaeras!
Men like apes, dropped from our mothers' wombs,
Our feeble reason hides the infinite from us!
We wish to perceive: - and Doubt punishes us!
Doubt, dismal bird, beat us down with its wing...
- And the horizon rushes away in endless flight!...
The vast heaven is open! the mysteries lie dead
Before erect Man, who folds his strong arms
Among the vast splendour of abundant Nature!
He sings... and the woods sing, the river murmurs
A song full of happiness which rises towards the light!...
- it is Redemption! it is love! it is love!...
O splendour of flesh! O ideal splendour!
O renewal of love, triumphal dawn
When, prostrating the Gods and the Heroes,
White Callipyge and little Eros
Covered with the snow of rose petals, will caress
Women and flowers beneath their lovely outstretched feet!
- O great Ariadne who pour out your tears
On the shore, as you see, out there on the waves,
The sail of Theseus flying white under the sun,
O sweet virgin child whom a night has broken,
Be silent! On his golden chariot studded with black grapes,
Lysios, who has been drawn through Phrygian fields
By lascivious tigers and russet panthers,
Reddens the dark mosses along the blue rivers.
- Zeus, the Bull, cradles on his neck like a child
The nude body of Europa who throws her white arm
Round the God's muscular neck which shivers in the wave.
Slowly he turns his dreamy eye towards her;
She, droops her pale flowerlike cheek
On the brow of Zeus; her eyes are closed; she is dying
In a divine kiss, and the murmuring waters
Strew the flowers of their golden foam on her hair.
- Between the oleander and the gaudy lotus tree
Slips amorously the great dreaming Swan
Enfloding Leda in the whiteness of his wing;
- And while Cypris goes by, strangely beautiful,
And, arching the marvellous curves of her back,
Proudly displays the golden vision of her big breasts
And snowy belly embroidered with black moss,
- Hercules, Tamer of beasts, in his Strength,
Robes his huge body with the lion's skin as with glory
And faces the horizons, his brow terrible and sweet!
Vaguely lit by the summer moon,
Erect, naked, dreaming in her pallor of gold
Streaked by the heavy wave of her long blue hair,
In the shadowy glade whenre stars spring in the moss,
The Dryade gazes up at the silent sky...
- White Selene, timidly, lets her veil float,
Over the feet of beautiful Endymion,
And throws him a kiss in a pale beam...
- The Spring sobs far off in a long ectasy...
Ii is the nymph who dreams with one elbow on her urn,
Of the handsome white stripling her wave has pressed against.
- A soft wind of love has passed in the night,
And in the sacred woods, amid the standing hair of the great trees,
Erect in majesty, the shadowly Marbles,
The Gods, on whose brows the Bullfinch has his nest,
- the Gods listen to Men, and to the infinite World!
‘Full fathom five the poet lies’: The death of Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley
by Lynn Shepherd
Percy Bysshe Shelley died on 8th July 1822, at the age of 29, when his boat went down in a sudden storm off the coast of the Gulf of Spezia. A dreadful death, dreadfully young, but was it really just a tragic accident, or something far darker and more disturbing?
Shelley and his wife Mary had moved to a rented house in Lerici three months before, in April 1822, taking with them Mary’s stepsister Claire Clairmont, and their friends Edward and Jane Williams. It may be a popular tourist destination on the Ligurian coast now, but Lerici was a wild and remote area then, and the house was right on the sea, with the waves surging right up to the terrace. Shelley was initially exhilarated by the landscape, and began writing a new poem called – with bitter irony, as it proved – The Triumph of Life.
Mary Shelley, by contrast, hated the place from the start. She had already lost three of her four children in their infancy, and when she had discovered that she was once again expecting a baby she had cursed it as a ‘hateful’ day. The Shelleys’ marriage was by then in serious trouble, and everyone else in the crowded house was forced to witness as Mary alternated wildly between angry outbursts and cold indifference. Mary herself soon became convinced that some terrible horror threatened to overwhelm them, and it was not long before these dark forebodings appeared to be borne out.
Even before their arrival at Lerici, the household had been stricken by news of the death of Claire’s little daughter by Lord Byron. Allegra Byron had died suddenly of fever in the Italian convent where her father had placed her, at the age of barely five years old, and Claire was inconsolable. And as so often when he was under stress, Shelley’s mental strain began to show itself in violent nightmares and strange ‘waking visions’. Within a week of their arrival at Lerici, Shelley was out one night on the terrace with Williams when he suddenly started and pointed out to sea, saying, “There it is again! There!” He claimed he could see a little naked child rising from the water, and looking smiling towards him, its hands clasped together as if in joy.
On June 16th Mary collapsed and suffered a miscarriage so severe that, with no doctor for miles around, she might well have died had Shelley not forced her to sit for seven hours in a bath of ice to stop the bleeding. But the effort of doing so – those long hours spent at her side – took a terrible toll.
A week later the household was woken in the middle of the night by terrifying screaming and Shelley was found in Mary’s room, babbling wildly that he had seen an apparition of the Williams covered in blood and the sea flooding into the house. And then the vision had changed and he’d seen the figure of a man standing over his wife’s bed with his hands about her throat – a figure that had the poet’s own face. One need not be a fully paid-up Freudian to see a deeper significance in such a terrible hallucination, and Shelley had already been haunted by his doppelgänger a few days earlier, that time in bright sunlight, when he’d seen the same man coming towards him on the terrace, and asking him ‘how much longer he meant to be content’.
At some point during this period Shelley apparently tried to obtain prussic acid – enough for a lethal dose. It’s impossible to know whether he really meant to kill himself, but the episode casts a disquieting shadow over what was soon to follow.
On July 1st Shelley took his boat, the’ Don Juan’, down the coat to Livorno, with Edward Williams aboard. The boat had had additional top-masts and sails fitted to make it faster, so that Shelley could out-pace Byron’s new boat, the ‘Bolivar’, when they raced each other in the Bay of Spezia. It’s not entirely clear whether Shelley was aware how dangerous this modification was, and how unstable the Don Juan might prove to be, especially when fully rigged. A week later, on July 8th, Shelley made preparations to return to Lerici, planning to take with him both Williams and an 18-year-old boat-boy called Charles Vivian. There were warnings of bad weather, but despite the fact that Shelley had no particular need to travel that day, he insisted on setting sail. The next time the boat was sighted was several hours later, in the midst of the storm, toiling in heavy seas and carrying a reckless amount of sail in such high winds. The captain of another boat risked the safety of his own crew to go alongside and offer to take Shelley and his companions on board, but Shelley refused, and when the man called to them that they must take in sail or perish, Shelley seized Williams’ arm to prevent him, crying “No!”
It was ten days before the bodies were found, and by then Shelley was identifiable only by the clothes he wore, and the book of Keats’s poems he had in his pocket. His face and hands had been completely eaten away.
The bodies were buried in the sand where they were found, near Viareggio, to satisfy Italian quarantine regulations. A month later, on August 16th, Shelley’s body was dug up again – and one shudders to think the state it must have been in by then – and burned on a pyre on the beach, in the presence of Lord Byron and Shelley’s friends Edward Trelawney and Leigh Hunt, a scene immortalised in a famous painting by Louis Edouard Fournier. It seems Shelley’s heart refused to burn, and Trelawney fished it from the ashes and gave it to Hunt. Later, and after a rather unseemly struggle, he surrendered it to Mary, who kept it wrapped in silk in her writing case, until the end of her days.
Shelley’s ashes were buried in the Protestant cemetery in Rome, and the stone bears the inscription
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Song: “Full fathom five thy father lies”
(from The Tempest)
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them,—ding-dong, bell.
The pale, the cold, and the moony smile
Which the meteor beam of a starless night
Sheds on a lonely and sea-girt isle,
Ere the dawning of morn's undoubted light,
Is the flame of life so fickle and wan
That flits round our steps till their strength is gone.
O man! hold thee on in courage of soul
Through the stormy shades of thy worldly way,
And the billows of cloud that around thee roll
Shall sleep in the light of a wondrous day,
Where Hell and Heaven shall leave thee free
To the universe of destiny.
This world is the nurse of all we know,
This world is the mother of all we feel,
And the coming of death is a fearful blow
To a brain unencompassed with nerves of steel;
When all that we know, or feel, or see,
Shall pass like an unreal mystery.
To a Skylark
Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are bright'ning,
Thou dost float and run;
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.
The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of Heaven,
In the broad day-light
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight,
Keen as are the arrows
Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows
In the white dawn clear
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.
All the earth and air
With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,
From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and Heaven is overflow'd.
What thou art we know not;
What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not
Drops so bright to see
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.
Like a Poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,
Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:
Like a high-born maiden
In a palace-tower,
Soothing her love-laden
Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:
Like a glow-worm golden
In a dell of dew,
Its aëreal hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view:
Like a rose embower'd
In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflower'd,
Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet those heavy-winged thieves:
Sound of vernal showers
On the twinkling grass,
All that ever was
Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.
Teach us, Sprite or Bird,
What sweet thoughts are thine:
I have never heard
Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.
Or triumphal chant,
Match'd with thine would be all
But an empty vaunt,
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.
What objects are the fountains
Of thy happy strain?
What fields, or waves, or mountains?
What shapes of sky or plain?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?
With thy clear keen joyance
Languor cannot be:
Shadow of annoyance
Never came near thee:
Thou lovest: but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.
Waking or asleep,
Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep
Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?
We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
Yet if we could scorn
Hate, and pride, and fear;
If we were things born
Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.
Better than all measures
Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures
That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!
Teach me half the gladness
That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness
From my lips would flow
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.
The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.
Matthew Henry ( 1662 - 1714)
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), beloved commentator on the Scriptures, was born near Whitchurch (Salop), England. [For those unfamiliar with English geography, Whitchurch (Salop) is about 18 miles south, southeast of Chester, not too far from the border with Wales, and located in the area today known as Shropshire.] He began preaching at the age of 23 and spent most of his ministry as pastor of a church in Chester (1687-1712). He was a prolific writer, most famous for his Commentary on the Whole Bible which he began in November of 1704 and left incomplete upon his death. Ministerial colleagues concluded the work with reference to his notes and writings (Henry had finished the commentary from Genesis through Acts).
Throughout his life as a minister, Henry was a diligent student of the Word, sometimes rising as early as 4 o’clock in the morning and often spending 8 hours a day in his study in addition to his pastoral labors. He was also, however, a man of prayer. His lifelong concern for prayer is said to have originated with his recovery from a potentially terminal illness at the age of 10. Whatever the case, the whole of his labors is marked by the wisdom which only those who are habitually dependent upon the Almighty in prayer may hope to attain.
Henry completed a book on prayer in March of 1712, just two months before leaving Chester (where he had served for 25 years) to pastor a church in London. Hence, it reflects a lifetime of prayer, ministry, and Christian experience. Its full title was A Method for Prayer with Scripture Expressions proper to be used under each head. In it, Henry lays down an outline of a plan for prayer (Adoration, Confession, Petition, Thanksgiving, Intercession, and Conclusion) and supplies the contents of prayer from the Scriptures themselves.
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Portrait of Beatrice Cenci (above)
Artist Guido Reni
Year circa 1600
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 75 cm × 50 cm (30 in × 20 in)
Location Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome
The Portrait of Beatrice Cenci is a painting attributed to the Italian Baroque painter Guido Reni. It is housed in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica of Palazzo Barberini, Rome. The painting dealt with a controversial topic of Beatrice Cenci, a woman who was executed by Papal authorities, specifically Pope Clement VIII Aldobrandini.
The author of this work has been previously highly debated, with many previous critics assigning the work to Elisabetta Sirani, and categorizing as a statement by a 17th-century feminist. She is depicted in the white robes of a Roman Sybil or perhaps a vestal virgin, evoking sympathy. She looks back melancholic at an angle backward. Tradition holds that he painted the work for the Cardinal Ascanio Colonna. The work has inspired many romantic artists including Stendhal, Percy Shelley, Dumas, Artaud, and Guerrazzi. The debate over the authorship and its influence are as interesting as the work itself. Traditions with no factual documentation claim Reni entered her cell the day prior to the execution, or saw her on the way to the scaffold. Others claim he was not even in Rome at that date. The earliest Barberini catalogue states it likely depicts the Cenci girl by an unknown painter; only a later one attributes the work to Reni.
Beatrice Cenci, feminist icon, legend, ghost
"It is related that every year on the night before the anniversary of her death, she comes back to the Sant'Angelo Bridge where she was executed, carrying her severed head."
A possible portrait of Cenci variously attributed to Reni or Sirani, supposedly from life,[a] praised by Stendhal, Dickens, and Hawthorne and inspiring Shelley's verse play of her life.
Beatrice Cenci (Italian: [beaˈtriːtʃe ˈtʃɛntʃi]; 6 February 1577 – 11 September 1599) was an abused young Roman noblewoman who, in an attempt to escape the imprisonment and repeated rape meted out to her by him, killed her father, Count Francesco Cenci. Despite outpourings of public sympathy, she was beheaded in 1599 after a lurid murder trial in Rome that gave rise to an enduring legend about her.
Beatrice was the daughter of Ersilia Santacroce and Count Francesco Cenci, a "man of great wealth but dissolute habits and violent temper". When Beatrice was seven years old, in June 1584, her mother died. After her mother's death, Beatrice and her elder sister Antonina were sent to a small monastery, Santa Croce a Montecitorio for Franciscan Tertiary nuns in the rione Colonna of Rome.
The family lived in Rome at the Palazzo Cenci in the rione Regola. The members of the extended family living together included Count Francesco's second wife, Lucrezia Petroni; Beatrice's elder brother, Giacomo; and Bernardo, Francesco's son from his second marriage. They also possessed a castle, La Rocca of Petrella Salto, a small village in the Abruzzi mountains northeast of Rome.
According to legend, Francesco Cenci abused his first wife Ersilia Santa Croce and his sons and repeatedly raped Beatrice. He was jailed for other crimes, but was freed early because of his noble status. Beatrice tried to inform the authorities about his abusive behaviour, but no effective action was taken. When he found out that his daughter had reported him, he sent Beatrice and Lucrezia away from Rome to live in the family's castle at La Petrella del Salto.
The four Cencis decided they had no alternative but to try to get rid of Count Francesco, and together organized a plot. In 1598, during one of Francesco's stays at the castle, two vassals (one of whom had become Beatrice's secret lover) helped them to drug him. Beatrice, her siblings, and their stepmother then bludgeoned Francesco to death with a hammer and threw the body off a balcony to make it look like an accident.
Eventually, his absence was noticed, and the papal police investigated. Beatrice's lover was tortured and died without revealing the truth. Meanwhile, a family friend who was aware of the murder ordered the killing of the second vassal to avoid any risk. Nonetheless, the plot was discovered, and the four members of the Cenci family were arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to death. Knowing the reasons for the murder, the common people of Rome protested against the tribunal's decision, obtaining a short postponement of the execution. Pope Clement VIII, however, fearing a spate of familial murders (the Countess of Santa Croce had recently been murdered by her son for financial gain), showed no mercy.
At dawn on 11 September 1599, they were taken to Sant'Angelo Bridge, where the scaffold was usually built. In the cart to the scaffold, Giacomo was subjected to continual torture. On reaching the scaffold, his head was smashed with a mallet. His corpse was then quartered. The public spectacle continued with the executions of Lucrezia and then Beatrice. Each took her turn on the block to be beheaded with a small axe. Only the 12-year-old Bernardo was spared, but he was led to the scaffold and forced to witness the execution of his relatives before returning to prison and having his properties confiscated (to be given to the Pope's own family). It was decreed that Bernardo should then become a galley slave for the remainder of his life. However, he was released a year later. Beatrice was buried in the church of San Pietro in Montorio.
Beatrice has become a symbol to the people of Rome of resistance against the arrogant aristocracy. It is related that every year on the night before the anniversary of her death, she comes back to the Sant'Angelo Bridge where she was executed, carrying her severed head.
The Femme Fatale Whose Tragic End Festers in the History of Rome
BY ELIZABETH HARPER
BEATRICE CENCI HAUNTS ROME. Though plenty of tour guides are eager to rehash stories of her headless body wandering the Sant’Angelo Bridge at night, she hardly needs that kind of carnival barking to get inside your head. Instead, you might see her name once, noting her unusual story. Then you notice her name again and again in every corner of the city. As her story unfolds, so does she, at every turn embodying a paradoxical feminine trope. She’s a damsel in distress, a brave heroine, a virgin sacrifice, and even a femme fatale all at once.
Beatrice was born in 1577. She lived in a large palazzo at the edge of the Jewish ghetto just off Via Arenula. Her father Francesco was a wealthy heir and full-time scoundrel who mostly used his huge fortune to buy his way out of prison. Everyone in Rome knew his reputation. He starved his servants until he was ordered by the papal courts to feed them. He took a mistress while married to his second wife, Lucrezia, then beat her until she performed sexual acts against her will (leading to a conviction for “unnatural vice”). Most appallingly, he confessed to molesting young boys in three separate court cases. But while others were burnt alive for less, he always escaped with more fines and a few months in jail.
While Francesco was paying off the justice system (such as it was), his children were doing their best to get away from him since he always seemed to have enough money for fines, but never enough to feed and clothe them. His son Giacomo disowned him and left. Cristoforo and Rocco, heirs to their father’s temper, were killed in duels. Antonina, Beatrice’s older sister, successfully petitioned the pope and asked him for permission to either marry without Francesco’s consent or join a convent to escape him. The pope consented to her marriage and stuck her father with a hefty dowry.
Francesco was (as usual) enraged. His fines had already begun to outstrip his inheritance and now he had Antonina’s dowry to deal with. His creditors’ harassment (as well as his newly acquired case of scabies) put him in a foul mood. There was no way he could let Beatrice pull the same trick as Antonina, so he moved his wife, Beatrice, and his youngest son Bernardo to one of his remote country estates in the mountains.
There he imprisoned Beatrice and her stepmother Lucrezia in a sealed-up suite. Far removed from their nosey neighbors in Rome, Francesco’s depravity intensified. He insisted Beatrice and Lucrezia both sleep in the same bed with him. He began forcing Beatrice to scrape the scabies on his body from head to toe. Beatrice wrote desperate letters to her bother Giacomo, but Francesco only whipped her when he found them. Beatrice began plotting his death.
The estate had two servants who served as her hitmen, one whom Beatrice bribed and the other whom she seduced. On the night of the murder she gave Francesco opiate-laced wine then instructed the two servants to smash his head in, throw him off the balcony and make it look like the railing gave way. Francesco died that night but the murder was hurried and the cover-up amateurish. Investigators were quick to notice that a man who dies on his balcony usually doesn’t bleed out in bed first.
The Cenci family — Giacomo, Lucrezia, Beatrice, and even young Bernardo — were immediately implicated and imprisoned. The servant Beatrice bribed tried to skip town but was hunted down and killed by a cousin of the Cencis. The servant she seduced was imprisoned with the family. Given his low rank, he was the first to be tortured to death though he never confessed that Beatrice was the mastermind behind the murder.
When the Cencis all pled innocent despite evidence to the contrary, Pope Clement VIII authorized the torture of the entire family. Each confessed on the rack. They were all sentenced to die, with the exception of 13-year-old Bernardo, who was sentenced to watch their deaths then live as a galley slave.
The gallows were raised in front of the Castel Sant’Angelo, and a massive crowd gathered on September 11, 1599 to watch what most considered a terrible miscarriage of justice. How could the papal courts allow Francesco’s crimes to slide, only to punish Beatrice when she tried to protect herself from further abuse? Some thought it was because Pope Clement was eager to snap up the remains of the Cenci fortune, though Pope Clement maintained that he simply couldn’t set a precedent for pardoning patricide.
The morning of their executions, the Cencis were driven in carts down Via di Montserrato accompanied by members of the Brotherhood of St. John the Decapitated, a confraternity dedicated to caring for the condemned. Today you can still see a plaque dedicated to Beatrice at 42 Via di Montserrato.
Lucrezia was the first to die. She fainted on the chopping block before the sword severed her neck. Beatrice was the second, praised for her dignity and composure on the block. Finally, Giacomo suffered the worst fate due to his sex. His head was smashed with a mace then his body was drawn and quartered, a punishment too immodest even for a condemned woman.
There are still relics of that day on display at the Museo Criminologico in Rome: the “sword of justice” that killed Lucrezia and Beatrice, the clothes and insignia of the confraternity that accompanied them (featuring the severed head of St. John the Baptist), and a little diorama depicting a stripped man being drawn and quartered like Giacomo.
According to tradition, Beatrice’s body was buried in the church of San Pietro in Montorio, though her grave marker was allegedly destroyed by French troops in 1789. She experienced something of a resurrection in the 19th century. Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley heard her story while on holiday in Italy, and Percy was moved to write a play based on her life. Subsequently, Beatrice appeared in works by Alexandre Dumas, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Stendhal. She then trickled down to Antonin Artaud (who fittingly reserved the part of her father for himself), and even David Lynch (who inserted her portrait into Mulholland Drive).
If you want to see the image of her that continues to haunt artistic imaginations, head to the Galleria Borghese. There you’ll find a portrait by Guido Reni. Painted about a year after her death, it’s portrays Beatrice the day before her execution dressed as a Sibyl, her eyes still damp from crying.
Conquering Lamb of Revelation
The Lamb in the Book of Revelation is a powerful, commanding, conquering figure, not the weak, docile, submissive persona you usually associate with a lamb. And while "lamb" refers to Jesus occurs only four times in the rest of the New Testament, the Lamb appears 27 times in Revelation as a symbol for Jesus Christ, many more times than any other name or title for Jesus in Revelation -- including "Jesus," "Christ," and "Jesus Christ." That's startling!
This Lamb of Revelation is mighty, militant, conquering, triumphant, rendering judgment -- and - a perplexing and glorious paradox. He:
Is slain but standing,
The Lamb and the Lion,
Shares the throne with his Father,
Is the Shepherd who leads his people to living waters, and
Is the Warrior who conquerors the devil.
The Lamb in God's Awesome Throne Room (Revelation 4; 5:6)
The Lamb, the Conquering Lion (Revelation 5:5)
The Lamb Who Is Slain (Revelation 5:6)
The Lamb Who Opens the Seals (Revelation 5:1-8; 6:1)
A New Song to the Redeeming Lamb (Revelation 5:7-10)
Worthy Is the Lamb (Revelation 5:11-14)
The Wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:15-17; 14:9-11)
The Great Multitude Praising the Lamb (Revelation 7:9-12)
Washed in the Blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:13-14)
The Lamb Who Is Our Shepherd (Revelation 7:15-17)
Overcoming by the Blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11)
The Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 13:7-8)
Sealed with the Name of the Lamb (Revelation 14:1)
Following the Lamb Wherever He Goes (Revelation 14:4-5)
The Song of the Lamb (Revelation 15:2-4)
The Warrior Lamb, Mighty in Battle (Revelation 17:14)
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9)
The Lamb's Book of Life Is Opened (Revelation 20:11-15)
Heavenly Zion and the Bride of the Lamb (Revelation 21:9-10)
The Twelve Apostles of the Lamb (Revelation 21:14)
The Lamb Who Is the Temple (Revelation 21:22)
The Lamb Who Is the Lamp (Revelation 21:23-25)
Healing River from the Throne of the Lamb (Revelation 22:1-2)
We Shall See His Face (Revelation 22:3-5)
The Stolen Child
Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that dropp their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
Away with us he's going,
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
King James Bible
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tina_time7: I understand ending the relationship is done for my own sake and by me - unless it is done by them, but would that still constitute being at peace or would that only constitute not making peace with since you just walked away instead due to conflict.
tina_time7: I know there is an example of people walking away from each other since they were in conflict due to some land or their respective families and I have personally experienced people saying it is better to just not communicate rather than hurt one another-people including myself.
TOP TEN QUOTES from CHIEF JOSEPH
We gave up some of our country to the white men, thinking that then we could have peace. We were mistaken. The white man would not let us alone.
The first white men of your people who came to our country were named Lewis and Clark. They brought many things that our people had never seen. They talked straight. These men were very kind.
You might as well expect rivers to run backwards as any man born free to be contented penned up.
I believe much trouble would be saved if we opened our hearts more.
From where the sun now stands I will fight no more.
Treat all men alike. Give them the same law. Give them an even chance to live and grow.
It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and the broken promises.
Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.
It does not require many words to speak the truth.
The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.
TOP TEN QUOTES from RED CLOUD
I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love.
We were told that they wished merely to pass through our country. . . to seek for gold in the far west . . . Yet before the ashes of the council are cold, the Great Father is building his forts among us. . . . His presence here is . . . an insult to the spirits of our ancestors. Are we then to give up their sacred graves to be allowed for corn?
I hope the Great Heavenly Father, who will look down upon us, will give all the tribes his blessing, that we may go forth in peace, and live in peace all our days, and that He will look down upon our children and finally lift us far above this earth.
The whites, who are educated and civilized, swindle me, and I am not hard to swindle because I do not know how to read and write.
Look at me. I was a warrior on this land where the sun rises, now I come from where the sun sets. Whose voice was first surrounded on this land - the red people with bows and arrows. The Great Father says he is good and kind to us. I can't see it.
Even if you live forty or fifty years in this world, and then die, you cannot take all your goods with you.
The Great Spirit will not make me suffer because I am ignorant. He will put me in a place where I shall be better off than in this world.
When I was a young man, I was poor. In a war with other nations, I was in eighty-seven fights. There I received my name and was made Chief of my nation. But now I am old and am for peace.
The white man has got the gold out of the land which belonged to the red man.
The whites are the same everywhere. I see them every day.
TOP TEN QUOTES from CRAZY HORSE
One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.
Hokahey! Today is a good day to die.
I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole earth will become One Circle again.
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.
Upon suffering beyond suffering: the Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world. A world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations. A world longing for light again. I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again.
I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am at that place within me, we shall be one.
We preferred our own way of living. We were no expense to the government. All we wanted was peace and to be left alone.
My lands are where my dead lie buried.
At my death paint my body with red paint and plunge it into fresh water to be restored back to life, otherwise my bones will be turned into stone and my joints into flint in my grave, but my spirit will rise
My friend, why should you wish to shorten my life by taking from me my shadow? (To photographer Dr. Valentine T. McGillycuddy after refusing to be photographed.)
“The White Man goes into his church and talks about Jesus. The Indian goes into his tipi and talks with Jesus.”
Comanche Chief Quanah Parker
"The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it."
BELIEF IN JESUS=ETERNAL LIFE
He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
1 John 5:12
This verse is further biblical clarification that eternal life is found only in Christ Jesus, for He is the eternal Son of God and perfect Son of Man.
Men search in many places to discover eternal life outside of Christ, but it is not found in good works, denominational membership, philosophic teachings, scientific discovery, religious leanings, educational qualifications, legalistic practices, genetic modification, or any of men's other attempts to attain perfection and everlasting life outside of God's declared way.
Simply stated: "He who has the Son has the life, and he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." Sinners who believe in the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ as their sin-substitute have the resurrected life of Christ within, and nothing can alter their eternal destiny.
Their salvation is by grace through faith in Christ's finished work on the Cross, and forgiveness of sins and eternal life are two of many heavenly benefits that every sinner receives by grace through faith in the only begotten Son of God.
The Lord Jesus was declared to be the Son of God at His baptism, when the Holy Spirit descended on Him and a voice from heaven was heard to say, "This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased." And Jesus proved to be the Son of God at the Cross when, as Son of Man, He was lifted up at Calvary, having done all the things that the Father required which so glorified His Father in heaven.
God Himself is witness to the world that "he who has the Son has the life and he who does not have the Son of God does not have eternal life," for eternal life is in the Son. Those who believe God's witness of Christ, have His resurrected life within, but those who have rejected God's witness are already condemned themselves, because they have not believed in the only begotten Son of God.
Heavenly Father, how I thank and praise You that I have received eternal life and the forgiveness of sin by trusting in Christ’s finished work at Calvary. Help me to be a true witness to the simple yet profound truth, that He who has the Son has life, and he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.