Sunday, 14 February 2021

Cruelty

 I don't think there has ever been a time when cruelty didn't exist somewhere in the world.   We tend now to think of it as something in other countries - that we are more civilised here.   \but of course, when one looks at the figures for murders here that is not true.   There is never a week goes by when our local news isn't dominated by a murder or a stabbing or some kind of cruelty.

Are we the only species that practises this cruelty?  The animal kingdom has some  kind of order to it where the cat catches the mouse - and tortures it for a while before eating it.   But mostly animals kill for food.

What made me think along these lines was looking through an old box of photographs yesterday and coming across one of me in  our Early Music Group.   During the Summer our group, who all played a variety of early instruments, would at weekends play at various venues - sometimes just us, sometimes with dancers.   One of the places we played at was Warwick Castle and I think it was here that there was an oubliette.   For anyone who doesn't know, an oubliette is a dungeon with just an opening in the roof.   It was often sunk into a pit in the floor so that the victim could be precipitated in and forgotten.   We always played on a lawn next to this and the dungeons.   It was a pretty little corner and the only other thing that was in that part of the castle was the nursery quarters.   It used to fascinate me that nursery quarters and oubliette were so close together.  Human life was held so cheaply that life could be lived like this and children grow up to accept it as 'normal'.

Of course we could go on to add Belsen and all the other places in the Second World War - and many places in the world where life is still held to be so cheap and cruelty is a way of life.

I put the photograph away again - starting to think along those lines particularly when one lives alone, is not a good idea.

So let's finish with a smile.   On our visits to Warwick Castle we were always allocated a room in which we could change into our early music costumes and then just come down a winding staircase into the courtyard.  My first husband needed to wear glasses to play and once we were coming down the stairs in our finery, carrying a variety of early instruments, when we met a family of visitors coming up the stairs.   One little boy looked at us and said,"Ay look - it's King Arthur" to which another little boy answered, "Don't be silly, King Arther didn't wear glasses"!   Out of the mouths.


22 comments:

Brenda said...

Visited the castle on one of my Teacher Shakespeare journeys to England.creepy of course...interesting too.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I was at a "Medieval Fair" a few years ago and overheard the hurdy-gurdy player say that he'd have to wear his medieval glasses as he'd left his medieval contact lenses at home.

Heather said...

I think the human species has all the extremes of characteristics. Wisdom, ignorance. Cruelty, compassion. Creativity, destruction. And so on.
I had quite an unnerving experience in Warwick Castle. I was there with my husband and daughter. They were behind me engrossed in something, and I found myself alone in what had been the torture chamber when suddenly I felt a horrible coldness. I couldn't retrace my steps as it was a one-way system, but couldn't go forward fast enough!

thelma said...

Lord Byron got it right in 'The Prisoner of Chillon. But it is happening in many parts of the world the evil need to torture and cause pain to another.

Tom Stephenson said...

I like the image of you honking away on a giant Serpent Weave.

Marcia LaRue said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Pat!

Anonymous said...

Visited Warwick maybe 25 years ago from the U.S. and can picture that oubliette clearly - how tiny it was, the grate that covered it. How can one forget an “oubliette”?

I wonder if the corporal punishment children used to experience commonly was preparation for the cruelty of the world. It wouldn’t be the first time you’d experienced it so you’d have the knowledge that you could get through it (assuming you did.).

It’ll be interesting to see how things have changed during COVID, recently read murders were up in U.S. cities, crime in NY subways is up though ridership is down overall. Another headline says a second year of no Alaska cruises will ruin the industry but I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t to the environment’s gain.

Love reading your blog, Weave, look forward to it every day. You are such an observant writer, always interesting!

Debby said...

I think humans have developed far more ways to be cruel, that is indisputable.

Minigranny said...

I think that only some humans are cruel . Most of us are appalled by cruelty and can't understand how the instigators can even think about doing what they do.

Susan said...

When I think of cruelty, I wonder how such individuals sleep nights. No conscious? Will we ever know? Best not to dwell on it. That is a very funny story about your husband.

Ellen D. said...

I don't want to think about cruelty either but it is all around us. We will hope for peace and love to win out...

Red said...

Great story about your husband in Warwick Castle.

gmv said...

Oh how I enjoyed the story of your husband coming down the stairs of the castle and being mistaken for King Arthur. :)

Bonnie said...

The wonderful things children say! That is a lovely story about you and your King Arthur!
A very Happy Valentine's Day to you Pat!

angryparsnip said...

Love what the children said. Just perfect !

The Weaver of Grass said...

John - love the Medieval glasses.
Heather - rather creepy experience and I am sure you have never forgotten it.
Thanks everyone for your remarks.

wherethejourneytakesme2 said...

Cruelty to a human being or an animal is something I can never fathom - where exactly does it spring from I wonder and why when we are so educated now and so able does it continue. When are we going to learn to live in peace?
Warwick Castle is a great place the last time I went I was only a young girl.

Joanne Noragon said...

Thanks for defining oubliette, so I didn't need to look it up. How awful.

Cro Magnon said...

A friend of mine owned our village chateau, where there was an oubliette. She said that her husband had been down into it to see what was there. There were no 'bones', but he did find things etched onto the walls. I didn't ask what!

Sue in Suffolk said...

Lovely to hear your memories of the Music Group.
Hope the weather warms up for us all - not keen on the cold and snow.

The Feminine Energy said...

Killing for food is not "torture"... and the cat is not "torturing" the mouse before killing it. The idea of torture is a human invention only! Nice people we are, aren't we. NOT! ~Andrea xoxo

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