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I'm sure I had at least one or two of those volumes when I was a kid, and although I'd be hard-pressed now to say which, I think it likely that Conan Doyle's The Lost World was one of them.

Seems to have been a good project. The books are not all that well made physically, though. Mine are a little fragile now.

I would like to read that biography of John Buchan, and I found it on Open Library. I don't know if any of you have ever used this website, but I found it a few days ago. I gather that what you get is actual pictures of the pages, and they have an amazing collection.

That said, if I can get it from the library at the college where my daughter works, I will prefer that.

I couldn't see that second rainbow on Facebook or on my Kindle, but I can see it here (obviously). There is also a little curved arc of white light coming from the top of that building. I wonder what it is. Anyway--nice picture.


[A]t the age of five, the young John Buchan had his first serious adventure. He fell out of a carriage and the back wheel went over his head and fractured his skull.



I don't know what that little arc is, either. Almost looks like it could be a very faint and distant rainbow.

Whatever it is, it adds a little something nice to the picture.


I wish I could put that picture on my blog.

You're welcome, too.

Janet, I don't recall seeing that little arc, so maybe it's a UFO that the camera picked up but the eye did not.

Wow, that photo. What a glorious thing to see, coming out of Mass.

Yes, it was great.

Happy Easter, everyone!

And likewise to you. Thank you.

I've sometimes thought I might better not have read it, because it colors my attitude toward prayer. (If you don't know it, suffice to say that it's probably the ultimate be-careful-what-you-wish-for tale.)

Well, I don't need to read a story for my attitude toward prayer to be colored in that way. It's not that I fear praying for the wrong thing so much as that I am increasing aware that I have no ability to understand what the right thing might be.


That's ok, in fact that's as it should be. The tendency I have to watch out for, and that's definitely not as it should be, is the suspicion that God is going to trick me: give me what I ask for, but in such a way that it's not only not what I wanted, but something bad. That's pathological.

There's a funny X-Files episode where Mulder and Scully meet a woman who turns out to be 500 years old or so, having been granted three (?) wishes and been tricked in that way. Mulder gets hold of whatever it is that grants the wishes and keeps trying to formulate a wish in such a legalistically airtight way that it can't go wrong.

Is it the woman in the carpet?


I don't remember a carpet, but could be. I mainly just remember a few scenes, mainly Mulder struggling with his formulations. Also that one of the things the woman had originally wished for was a sack of turnips that never ran out of turnips.

You would remember the carpet. In the one I'm talking about, they found the woman rolled up in a carpet, but now that I think about it, she was the granter of wishes.

the woman had originally wished for was a sack of turnips that never ran out of turnips.

Sheesh! I would imagine it's really hard to live forever with such a limited imagination. I mean, I know there wasn't ice cream 500 years ago, but turnips?

I don't remember this one, which is odd because I watched them all straight through.


You knew I couldn’t resist checking about those turnips, right? ;-) Anyway, I found the subtitles for that episode and here’s the part about the wishes:

I was born in 15th century France. And then one day an old Moor came to my village peddling rugs. And I unrolled one that an ifrit had taken residence in.

An "ifrit"?

A very powerful class of genie. He offered me three wishes. For the first, I asked for a stouthearted mule. For the second, uh, a magic sack that was always full of turnips. Did I mention this was 15th century France?

What was your third wish?

My third...I pondered for a great while. I didn't want to waste it. So finally, feeling very intelligent, spoke up, and I said..."I wish for great power and long life."

And thus became a genie yourself.

Gave me the mark of the Jinn...right there. It's forever. Sort of like a prison tattoo. I should've been more specific.

Ah. Must be the same one.

It was the funniest one.


Thanks, Marianne.


Yes, thanks. Your research skills are appreciated.

Janet, you should know I can't be counted on to remember much.

They were rather unimaginative wishes, but I guess if you were a medieval peasant who rarely got enough to eat....

Wonderful Christopher Smart poem.

I'm fond of Christopher Smart. I have a collection of his poems and although I don't go to it often I find that, when I do, I am always charmed and delighted by what I find. The excerpt you cite is no exception.

Did you know that Benjamin Britten set some of his poetry to music? "Rejoice in the Lamb" is the title of the piece.



For the trumpet of God is a blessed intelligence
And so are all the instruments in Heav'n.
For God the Father Almighty plays upon the harp
Of stupendous magnitude and melody.
For at that time malignity ceases
And the devils themselves are at peace.
For this time is perceptible to man
By a remarkable stillness and serenity of soul.

Hallelujah, hallelujah,
Hallelujah for the heart of God,
And from the hand of the artist inimitable,
And from the echo of the heavenly harp
In sweetness magnifical and mighty.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.

That's from "Jubilate Agno", I guess? I want to read that now. Probably anyone who's fond of cats has encountered his completely delightful praise of his cat Jeoffrey.

I was aware of the existence of the Britten piece, may even have heard it some time or other, but didn't know till I was looking for info on Smart while writing this post that it was based on Smart's poem.

"Looking Glass Library" didn't ring a bell, but as soon as I saw their logo on one of those links, I knew I had had some of their books.


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