The Battle of the Boyne
July 12, " anniversary " of the Battle of the Boyne, kept by some as a day of mourning, even to the extent of wearing a black sash, and by others as a signal for rejoicing, even to the extent of smashing a neighbour's pate, is not really the anniversary at all. The battle was fought on July I. The reform of the calendar brings the date forward to July 11, not July 12. The reason why the 12th is chosen is that this is Old Style date of the battle of Aughrim in Galway; a year later, when the Jacobite cause, restored after the Boyne by Patrick Sarsfield, was finally crushed by William of Orange's general, Ginckell.
As curious in its way as this generally unknown inaccuracy is the use of the word Orange to signify the Protestant ascendancy in Ulster. Whatever be the truth about Protestantism nothing can be deader than " Orange," and one wonders how many consciously relate the present cause to its title-name. Orange is really a principality now included in the French departement of Vaucluse whose capital is no other town than Avignon, the home for many years of the Popes. In the sixteenth century William of Orange-Nassau founded the Dutch Republic. His descendant was William III, the victor of the Boyne, but the only modern remains of the House of Orange are descended from another son of the founder of the Dutch Republic, the Oranges associated with England and Ireland having entirely died out. It seems a distant ideal to fight for in 1936!
William Memory Idolized in Dublin!
The strength of the Protestant ascendancy in the Dublin of the Georges is well brought out in a book just published, entitled Dublin Under The Georges, by Constantia Maxwell. (It will be reviewed in our columns in due course). Writing of the notorious statue of William III, whose fate was described in our issue of July 3, she says: " This flaunting symbol, which was ordered by the Corporation from Grinling Gibbons shortly after the Battle of the Boyne, may be called, indeed, the presiding genius of the town. On November 4, the anniversary of the King's birthday, elaborate celebrations in his honour were held. The Viceroy and the Lord Mayor, accompanied by their respective trains, went in procession through the city, the streets were decked out in orange ribbons, and a grand parade was held around the statue. The troops were called out, loud volleys were fired, and inspiriting martial music was played. Mrs. Delany describes this spectacle in a letter written from Dublin to her sister in 1751. She makes the remark that the memory of King William is idolized here almost to superstition.' " Times have changed and what a lot we have to make up for!
The new arrangement for flag days will probably be welcomed and it may do the hospitals some good. At any rate it was remarkable to see how few people bought flags, except on Poppy and Alexandra days. When flag days were introduced scarcely anyone could resist the wiles of a charming seller. In time one hardly noted their presence. Not all of us, however, had the boldness of a lady who, on alighting from her taxi, greeted a swarm of flag-sellers with the remark : " I never give money to hospitals." With this remark she neatly removed the foundation of all flag-days and left the sellers gaping.
Our Party Politics
Discussing politics with a friend lately returned from abroad we were surprised to find that his main impression was one of the fundamental unity of all parties in this country. He had just attended the debate on the police and the maintenance of order at Fascist and Communist meetings. "I was rather sleepy," he said, " and for quite a time I was unable to tell Labour speakers from Tory speakers. They all seemed quite agreed about the unpleasantness of Fascism, the need to tolerate Jews and the necessity of taking one's orders from the working-classes."
Wise and Otherwise
" The Italians had no military victories at all during the war in Abyssinia."—The Daily Herald.
" The whole of religious organisation in this country is built up on disagreement, broadly speaking."—Lord Marley.
" The Times,' which is a propagandist newspaper . . . "—Lord Beaverbrook.
" Sometimes, when I'm in bed, I contemplate eternity. Then I have to hop out of bed and switch on the light." — Miriam Hopkins.
" I have sometimes been inclined to think that one of the dangers of international institutions is to acquire the habit of glossing over unpleasant realities by polite phrases and equivocal formulae." — Mr. Harold Butler, Director of I.L.O.
" One distinguished peer, when asked how he liked the House (of Lords) after the House of Commons, said : It is like addressing tombstones by "carl of Midleton.
" When liberty holds no content of ownership, men are only too ready to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage."— Mr. Elliott Dodds.
" Catholic moralists who should have made it their business to examine every inch of the field of modern financial method . . . have impotently turned their back on these problems, have ignored the huge problem of world debt, and treated the whole question as though it were a sort of portent for one man to lend another a hundred pounds." — J. L. Benvenisti.
" Some people seem to think that if religious practices were forbidden the struggle against religion would be over. This is quite untrue."—President of Russian Godless League.