All Posts (679)
Nos 571 to 580
2 two-part story
Lives of the Saints
The Kingdom of Greece (1832-1973)
The Miracle of Piso Livadi
Three fishermen let their tongues run away with them, and were left counting the cost.

ONE August evening in 1931, three fishermen put into a tiny harbour in Piso Livadi, on the Greek island of Paros.

Wine flowed freely, and the next day’s feast of the Virgin Mary, a day when the whole island honoured the Mother of God, drew their coarsest wit.

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No. 571
John Field
Poets and Poetry
Love’s Last Knot
Richard Crashaw offers the hope of eternity for wedded love.
By Richard Crashaw
(1613-1649)

TO these whom death again did wed,
This grave’s the second marriage-bed.
For though the hand of Fate could force
’Twixt soul and body a divorce,
It could not sever man and wife,
Because they both lived but one life.

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No. 572
John Garth
Discovery and Invention
Mrs Clements
Mrs Clements of Durham is not a household name, but the product she invented is.

IN 1390, Richard II’s chef included a recipe for mustard in his book The Forme of Cury. Monks on Lindisfarne in Northumberland were grinding their own mustard a century later, and Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire was an early centre of the trade.

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No. 573
Frederic Hymen Cowen
Lives of the Saints
The Martyrdom of St James the Great
James, brother of John the Evangelist, was executed for his faith by a close friend of the Emperor Caligula.

HEROD Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great, was a powerful Jewish king in Judaea and Galilee. He had inherited his lands from his disgraced uncle, Herod Antipas, and enjoyed the favour of the Roman Emperor Caligula and - to a lesser extent - Caligula’s successor Claudius.

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No. 574
George Frideric Handel
Stuart Era
King James I (1603-1625) to King Charles I (1625-1649)
The Tale of Beggar’s Bridge
The proof of Thomas Ferres’s rags-to-riches tale is quite literally written in stone, but popular lore adds some tantalising and romantic detail.

A GRACEFUL bridge over the Esk at Glaisdale bears the date 1619, and the initials T.F., for Thomas Ferres, Mayor of Hull. Thomas amassed a fortune plying the east coast as master of a trading-ship called the Francis, which he poured into housing, education and apprenticeships for the poor.

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No. 575
Edward German
Aesop’s Fables
The Fox and the Grapes
Some people disparage what they can’t have.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

A FOX was padding about a vineyard in the mountains, when he spotted some bunches of grapes hanging from a trellis.

He scampered over to them, as they were ripe and deep black, harvested in peak condition by someone who knew his business.

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No. 576
George Frideric Handel
Aesop’s Fables
The Fox and the Bramble
A fox tries to save herself from a fall, but finds she would have been better off taking the tumble.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

A VIXEN who was clambering over a fence found herself slipping, so to avoid a fall she reached out and grabbed at a nearby bush. But the bush was a bramble, and it cut her paws and made them bleed.

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No. 577
Jean-Baptiste Lully
Mediaeval History
The Selfless Courage of Leo the Cook
In 6th century France, a faithful kitchen servant sold himself into slavery to rescue a kidnapped boy.

GREGORY, Bishop of Langres, had a nephew named Attalus, who was kidnapped by a Frankish chieftain near Trier, and kept in slavery as a stable-boy.

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No. 578
Jean-Baptiste Krumpholz
Aesop’s Fables
The Eagle, the Jackdaw, and the Shepherd
An over-excited jackdaw goes out of his league, and pays the price.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

ONCE upon a time, a mighty eagle swooped down from his lofty stone perch, and carried off a lamb.

A jackdaw watched it with rising envy, until he was so overcome with the desire to imitate him that, with a great whirring of wings, he landed on a full-grown ram, and promptly got tangled up in its fleece.

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No. 579
Alice Mary Smith
Aesop’s Fables
The Lion and the Mouse
A casual act of mercy brought an unexpected reward.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

A LION who had caught a mouse was on the point of eating it, when the little rascal spoke up.

‘Your proper prey is deer’ he squeaked crossly, ‘and creatures with horns. A meal of mouse would be no more than a grain of salt on your lips.’

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No. 580
Polywords (185)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Grey
Added on Thursday February 15th, 2018
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.

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Today in History
1804 A steam locomotive built by Richard Trevithick makes the first return railway journey
From our Archive
A warning not to be forgetful of others, even in triumph.
The tenth-century King of Israel demonstrated his legendary wisdom in a delicate custody battle.
By Elfric of Eynsham
(955-1010)
Elfric, the tenth-century English abbot, suggests a practical way of thinking about the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.
The wandering King was alive after all - unknown to his “widow’s” suitors.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Great inventions come from those who notice what they see.

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Polyword ‘Oak Apple’
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 ‘street lined with tall buildings or trees’ (6 letters), and ‘shed’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with TOWN and finish with CITY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.