It’s a girl

“Historic princess will be first to benefit from new succession rules,” it sez here, above the streaming headline in some tabloid somewhere, glimpsed via Internet. Did not read story; knew it already. Newspaper headlines today tell us things we already know, or more likely, things we already know to be false. But in this case: true enough. Except that the word “benefit” is a lie.

Welcome to Earth, HRH Princess X of Cambridge!

They should ask the kid’s great-grandmother what the benefits are of being Queen of England, or any other place. She’s a brick (in the good sense). She would never answer.

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” according to my friend Will Shakespeare. There are various other passages in which he reflects a mediaeval view of monarchy and power. It is true, there are men who would be king, who have the ambition for it. These are monsters whom we must keep away from power. Some of them might even be women. How perverse is that?

But even such monsters once knew better than to think kingship a slice of cake, a life of luxury. And few would be so foolish to seek it for that end. You might have every worldly pleasure it is possible to command, but you will not have a moment to enjoy it.

“It must be nice.” … This sordid, lower-class English expression is designed to convey the speaker’s envy for, and resentment of, his betters. My sympathies are immediately engaged with his betters. Some gamekeeper should be asked how the peasant was able to look over the wall.

Power is ugly, the powerful are ugly, but the people who want and envy power are uglier.

Mere wealth, to the contrary, can be relatively pretty. But as Our Lord averred, there is a problem even with that. This goes beyond its transactional value, for it is true that wealth can buy power, as I have been made many times aware. (And power can, of course, appropriate wealth.) “Offer it up,” is my self-advice, on occasions when I feel myself aggrieved; or as we say today, “suck it up.” The world has always been thus. People expecting justice in this place have landed on the wrong planet. (Anecdotes to follow.)

More fundamentally, however, wealth is a distraction, great wealth is a great distraction, and power is a positive vexation. Quite apart from any evil embedded within the desire, the person who lives for either is a fool. He cannot know what he is getting into.

The wet sea-boy, a-perch the mast, sleeps soundlier above rude wind and wave. “Then happy low, lie down!”

Hardly a month out from Easter — Queen Moon last night, nearly full in her sky, riding in her majesty past the gliding entourage of stars. And this is where we are. The most arrant nonsense printed in the tabloids, as if no one had learnt a thing these last two thousand years. … Pshaw!

Surely it is time for us to sing unto the Lord a new song; to Him who hath revealed His justice in the sight of the Gentiles, &c. (See Introit for Old Mass, Fourth Sunday in Easter, &c.)