All Posts (649)
Nos 141 to 150
Charles Villiers Stanford
Extracts from Literature
The Six Leaps of Faith
The eighth-century English bishop and poet Cynewulf explores a prophecy from the Song of Solomon.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

WHEN first he leapt, he lighted on a woman, an untouched maid; and human form he took there (though without sin) that he might be Comforter to all that dwell on earth.

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No. 141
George Frideric Handel
Bible and Saints
At Heaven’s Gate
The eighth-century English bishop and poet Cynewulf takes us to the threshold of God’s holy city, and gives us a choice.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

OPEN, ye gates! Creation’s King would enter his citadel, would lead into the joy of joys a people (they are no small company) snatched from the devil by his Victory. Affinity shall angels and men have for ever after.

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No. 142
Charles Villiers Stanford
International Relations
Guardian of Peace
J. S. Mill argues that free trade has done more to put an end to war than any political union or military alliance.
By John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873)

COMMERCE first taught nations to see with goodwill the wealth and prosperity of one another. Before, the patriot, unless sufficiently advanced in culture to feel the world his country, wished all countries weak, poor, and ill-governed but his own: he now sees in their wealth and progress a direct source of wealth and progress to his own country.

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No. 143
Richard Jones
Greek and Roman Myths
Heracles and the Cretan Bull
Heracles seems to be the only one who can keep Poseidon’s rampaging white bull under control.

WHEN King Minos of Crete promised to sacrifice to Poseidon whatever should next emerge from the sea, Poseidon kindly sent him a superb white bull. Minos, however, could not bring himself to destroy so magnificent a beast, so he kept it for himself and substituted another from his own herds.

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No. 144
George Butterworth
Christian Customs
Mothering Sunday
Mothering Sunday is a peculiarly British celebration of Christian faith, close family and responsible freedom.

CONSTANCE Smith worked in a Nottingham dispensary for the Girls’ Friendly Society, helping young women without family support. In 1920, her experiences led her to campaign for the wider observance of Mothering Sunday.

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No. 145
Camille Saint-Saens
Discovery and Invention
A Monument to Liberty
Samuel Smiles explains why the London and Birmingham Railway was an achievement superior to the Great Pyramid of Giza.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

THE Great Pyramid of Egypt was, according to Diodorus Siculus, constructed by 300,000 — according to Herodotus, by 100,000 — men. It required for its execution twenty years, and the labour expended upon it has been estimated as equivalent to lifting 15,733,000,000 of cubic feet of stone one foot high.

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No. 146
Pavel Chesnokov
Extracts from Literature
Annunciation
Cynewulf reflects on the mystery of the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)

YOUNG was the woman,
an untouched maid, he took for mother;
it was with no man’s caresses of love
that the bride grew great with child.
Never then, nor since, in this world
was any woman’s reward its equal;
it was Mystery, the Master’s secret.

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No. 147
Charles Villiers Stanford
Lives of the Saints
The Blessings of Nicholas Mogilevsky
Passengers sharing Bishop Nicholas’s Moscow-bound flight found his blessings faintly silly, but that was when the engines were running.

NICHOLAS Mogilevsky liked to pronounce blessings. He blessed every member of his congregation after holy communion, over a thousand of them. He blessed every passenger who stepped onto his train. And he blessed every passenger sharing his plane to Moscow in 1947, bound for a church synod.

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No. 148
Gustav Holst
Liberty and Prosperity
The Grievances of the South
Victorian MP Richard Cobden believed British politicians supporting the slave-owning American South had been led a merry dance.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

THE members from the Southern States, the representatives of the Slave States, were invited by the representatives of the Free States to state candidly and frankly what were the terms they required, in order that they might continue peaceable in the Union; but from beginning to end there is not one syllable said about tariff or taxation.

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No. 149
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Liberty and Prosperity
Dixie on Thames
Victorian MP Richard Cobden offered a startling analogy for the American Civil War.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

THEY wanted to consolidate, perpetuate, and extend slavery. But, instead of that, what do they constantly say? ‘Leave us alone; all we want is to be left alone.’

And that is a reason that the Conservative Governments of Europe, and so large a section of the upper middle-class of England, and almost the whole aristocracy, have accepted as a sufficient ground on which to back this insurrection.

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No. 150
Polywords (182)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Path
Added on Monday December 11th, 2017
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Today in History
1878 The death of Alfred Bird, Birmingham pharmacist and confectioner
From our Archive
Edmond Halley will forever be associated with the comet named after him, but his greatest achievement was getting Sir Isaac Newton to publish ‘Principia Mathematica’.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
The extraordinary productivity and social mobility of the Victorian era is to the credit not of the governing class, but of the working man.
The Scots paid a heavy price for honouring their ‘Auld Alliance’ with France.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
The eighth-century English bishop and poet Cynewulf takes us to the threshold of God’s holy city, and gives us a choice.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
Cynewulf reflects on the mystery of the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary.

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History (394)
Polywords (182)
Georgian Era (107)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Triplets (23)
Railways (23)
Stuart Era (16)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Hunt’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘current of cold air’ (7 letters), and ‘e.g. fascinator’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FOAL and finish with MARE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.