Thursday, 25 September 2014
Monday, 15 September 2014
Too many visionariesView themselves as gods,But, their divined creationsEnd with firing squads.People are so ungrateful:Heaven’s presented,Yet those who bestowed the giftFind they’re resented.Certainly things are betterThan they were before;So soon the new becomes mundane,The demand then is, “MORE!”Comes down to wire and concrete,Comes down to wire taps,Securing the present meansLetting the future lapse.Sometimes a little vision thoughCan become immense,All could be on the parish,The hive of Thomas Spence.
Saturday, 6 September 2014
GATHERING NUTS BY THOMAS SPENCE (1750-1814)
In order to show how far we are cut off from the rights of Nature, and reduced to a more contemptible state than the Brutes, I will relate an affair I had with a
Forester in a Wood near Hexham alone by myself a gathering of Nuts, the Forester popped through the Bushes upon me, and asking what I did there, I answered gathering Nuts: Gathering Nuts! said he, and dare you say so? Yes, said I, why not?
Would you question a Monkey, or a Squirrel, about such a Business? And am I tobe treated as inferior to one of those Creatures? Or have I a less right? But who are you, continued I, that thus take upon you to interrupt me? I’ll let you know that, said he when I lay you fast for trespassing here, Indeed! answered I. But how can I trespass here where no Man ever planted or cultivated, for these Nuts are the spontaneous Gifts of Nature ordained a like for the Sustenance of Man and Beast, that choose to gather them, and therefore they are common. I tell you, said he, this Wood is no Common. It belongs to the Duke of Portland. Oh! My service to the Duke of Portland, said I, Nature knows no more of him than of me. Therefore, as in Nature’s storehouse the Rule is, ‘First come, first served.’ so the Duke of Portland must look sharp if he wants any Nuts. But in the name of Seriousness, continued I, must not one’s privileges be very great in a country where we dare not pluck a Hazel Nut? Is this an Englishman’s Birthright? Is it for this we are called
upon to serve in the Militia, to defend this Wood, and this Country, against the Enemy?
“What must I say to the French, if they come? If they jeeringly ask me what I am fighting for? Must I tell them for my Country? For my dear Country in which
dare not pluck a Nut? Would not they laugh at me? Yes. And do you think I would bear it? No: Certainly I would not. I would throw down my Musket saying let such as the Duke of Portland, who claim the Country, fight for it, for I am but a stranger and sojourner, and have neither Part nor Lot amongst them.
This reasoning had such an effect on the Forester that he told me to gather as many nuts as I pleased.