Dr. Stott, Mr Pepys and The Assassin’s Cloak: 11th November

Dr Stott: (2014, Cambridge). The sun has set on another Armistice Day. I didn’t get to see the poppies at the Tower – at least not ‘live’ – but such a spectacular and poignant display will stay in the minds of all who witnessed it, in whatever way they were able. This is something we, as a nation, do well. Respect, recall, ponder.

Mr Pepys: (1666, London). “And the business of the firing of the City, and the fears we have of new troubles and violences, and the fear of fire among ourselves, did keep me awake a good while, considering the sad condition I and my family should be in. So at last to sleep.

The Assassins Cloak: Lady Cynthia Asquith: (1915, London). On hearing of yet another relation killed in action. Oh why was I born for this time. Before one is thirty to know more dead than living people?, Stanley, Clouds, Gosford – all the settings of one’s life – given up to ghosts. Really, one hardly knows who is alive and who is dead. One thing is that now at least people will no longer bury their dead as they used. Now they are so many one must talk of them naturally and humanly, not banish them by only alluding to them as if it were almost indelicate.

The Assassins Cloak: Virginia Woolf: (1918, London). Twenty-five minutes ago the guns went off, announcing peace. A siren hooted on the river. They are hooting still.


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