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Beidh ceol, caint agus craic againn, part 3 and last - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
Beidh ceol, caint agus craic againn, part 3 and last

Ach, ’tis a dreadful thing, sure.  It is luck that you will be wanting most of all.  Cunning is a good thing.  Brains – well, I have it to mind I onst said to Hermione, she reminded me of someone Paul Johnson spoke of, always the Scholarship Girl, always wanting to be shown right and to be able to show her top marks around, and, faith, she was wild with me, for that, sure, and for that the woman I compared her at was Margaret Thatcher – oh, she was wild with me, was Hermione!  But clever and cunning go only so far, and brains and books, and tradecraft itself.  You will want not to be narrow: I mind I onst was reading – you will be after reading a great deal – the Gazettes, St Asaph’s for Wales and Hogsmeade for Scotland and the Isles, and The Douglas Gazette, and our own Athenry Gazette – oh, it’s catastrophic, the reading with this job: Corn Returns and Floo Closure Notices and what tin tabernacle’s been licensed under the Marriage Act – and my Dean looked at the number of insolvency notices and where they were and how they’d spiked, and – we were ready for trouble before trouble was ready for us, so.

 

He’s decorative, is my Dean: a Greek god dusted in cocoa: yet he’s clever as well.  I’ll be given a K, I cannot avoid it, although they know well that any more than that would leave me lynched in Limerick, drawn in Dublin, and quartered in Connemara, yet Dean will have his peerage, and not one of these trumpery life peerages, but with special remainder to his nephew, who’s as sharp as he is, because Dean’s been more than a poor bloody Unspeakable, he’s an artist and a Treasury wallah and he can do sums – and save the state from insurrection because he reads the insolvency notices and knows what they mean.

 

What I’m telling you, so: you will be wanting help, and Unspeakables you can count on, and fellas like Dean.  You will be wanting more than whatever talents and tradecraft you have yourself that brought you to this chair that was mine, long ago.  You will be wanting judgement, because you will be ‘M’, and you will be wanting courage: not physical courage that you had in the field, but moral courage: because you will be ‘M’, and you will be faced with decisions, and no book of the rules will aid you, and you will decide sometimes in cases that are altogether outside the law, but.  And you will balance the duty of preserving law and liberty with what you must do to preserve it.  And that is why you will be wanting luck most of all, and even if you have it, the best of British luck, the luck of the Irish, you will err, and be crucified for it entirely: if you infringe a liberty to save a nation and are found out, you will be pilloried, and if you uphold a liberty and one Witch or Wizard will die of it, you will be flayed altogether, even with all the luck God made and gave you.

 

And you will do this because all Wizardkind is a meitheal, and it must be kept peaceable and commonly serviceable one to another of us, and you to do what you must so that we may have it for its purpose, our mutual hope, beidh ceol, caint agus craic again: ‘we will have music, chat, and craic’: we will be at peace and the arts of peace will flourish, and folk will sleep peaceably in their beds because you and the other rough fellas are awake in the night and ready to do violence to their enemies in their behalf.  And they will not thank you, if they are not knowing of it, and no more will they thank you if they know, and you will want all the luck there is, and even that will not suffice.

 

For you are ‘M’, and this is the service it is, and the other fella need only be lucky the onst, and we must be lucky always.  Fair play to you then, and all the luck there is, which will not be enough whatever, for you will be wanting it.

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END

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Notes:

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Finnigan, S: Sir Seamus Finnigan, OM (3d), KP, KCMG, PC, MW, Chief Unspeakable, several times Chief Secretary for Ireland.

‘M’: the Chief Unspeakable.

Dean (Thomas): The right Hon. the Lord Thomas of Pluckley Chart, KCMG, OM (2d), PC, MW, Senior Advisor to the Tally, Deputy Governor of Gringotts, and Chief Unspeakable in succession to Sir Seamus Finnigan.

(the) Guards: An Garda Síochána, the Gardaí, a Muggle police force in the Muggle Republic of Ireland

Minerva (McGonagall): Professor Minerva McGonagall, MMA (Domd), OM (2d), Fellow of Paracelsus, governor of Hogwarts School, late Headmistress of Hogwarts School.

Macmillan (‘yon sleek’): The right Hon. the Lord Macmillan of Moorbrock and Craigengillan, OM (3d), KCB, CVO, PC (Fellow of Paracelsus; late Master of Thomas Aquinas College in the University of Domdaniel; governor, Hogwarts School; late Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Home Sibylline Service)

Lucius Malfoy: a minion of Tom Riddle’s, who later somewhat repented of and atoned for his treason. 

Tom Riddle: Thos Marvolo Riddle, who called himself ‘Lord Voldemort’, a rebel and traitor who was defeated at the head of an insurrection. 

Bellatrix Lestrange: a hanger-on of Tom Riddle’s.

(Theobald) Wolfe Tone; (Robert) Emmet; Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais (Patrick Pearse); Maud Gonne (Mrs Jno MacBride) (Maud Nic Ghoinn, Bean Mhic Giolla Bhríde): Muggle Irish revolutionaries

‘the lawyers with the police-court dreams’: almost certainly a reference to Laura Madley Queen’s Serjeant (Wizarding), late Director of Public Denunciations and subsequently Madam Justice Madley.

‘the scholars with the principles’: almost certainly a reference to Dr Hermione Granger (Hermione, Lady Weasley), q.v.

‘the hero-patriot, the sojer’ (‘the soldier’): unquestionably a reference to Harry Potter, q.v.

Harry (‘the old hero’ / ‘ould hairo’) (Potter): Field-Auror Marshal the right Hon. the Marquess of Evelake, BC and bar, GCB, OM (1st), KCVO, DSSO, PC, &c; commonly known simply as Harry Potter.  In full, Field-Auror Marshal the Right Honourable HJ Potter, Marquess of Evelake, Earl Avelyn, Viscount Aveline, Baron Potter of Godric’s Hollow, Baron Peverell, Boudicca Cross and bar, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Order of Merlin (1st Class), KCVO, Distinguished Sorcerous Service Order, Mentioned in Despatches, Privy Councillor, Grand Sorcerer, late Chief of the Magical General Staff, Chancellor of the University of Domdaniel, Governor of Azkaban and Constable of the Black Tower, Ranger of Savernake Forest, Warden of the Sept Ports, Lord Warden of the Alchemical Stannaries, Magical Lord Lieutenant of Devon (and Muggle Deputy Lieutenant thereof). 

Justin (Finch-Fletchley): The right Hon. the Lord Finch-Fletchley of Burwell, OM (2d), GCMG, CVO, PC, MW, numerous times Foreign Secretary.

Hermione (Weasley, née Granger): The right Hon. Hermione, Lady Weasley, OM (1st), PC, MW, DMag (Domd), Mistress of Paracelsus, Rector of Merlin College in the University of Domdaniel, governor of Hogwarts School, late Headmistress of Hogwarts School; sometime Chief Witch, Leader of the Moot, and Lady President of the Council.

Paul Johnson: a Muggle intellectual and litterateur of the 20th Century.

Margaret Thatcher: a Muggle Prime Minister of the 20th Century.

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Comments
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: May 23rd, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mentioning Paul Johnson and Hermione in the same breath, I must admit, takes my mind to amusingly scandalous places. I am a terrible person. I truly am. /0\

if you infringe a liberty to save a nation and are found out, you will be pilloried, and if you uphold a liberty and one Witch or Wizard will die of it, you will be flayed altogether, even with all the luck God made and gave you

What a perfect description of the intelligence services. Now you're making me want to pull out my copies of Spooks and throw myself into MI5. What a lovely parallel you've drawn here between them and the Unspeakables. As always, I adore your interpretation of Wizarding Government.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 23rd, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'm sorry, I was fascinated by yr icon for a moment.

Thank you. Int is always mind-boggling, isn't it.
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: May 23rd, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I'm sorry, I was fascinated by yr icon for a moment.

Isn't he ridiculously pretty? I really love Rhett so much. It helps that he's a wonderful musician too. The Old 97s have gotten me through more than one rough patch in recent years. :D
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 23rd, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ah.

I find Sumsion and Stanford do as much for me.
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: May 23rd, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ah.

Music is quite a healing force. God knows I'd go mad without it.

I don't think I'm acquainted with Stanford yet. I think perhaps I should rectify that.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 5th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

I shall send you some Stanford.

Forthwith.
noeon From: noeon Date: May 27th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
a Greek god dusted in cocoa There is an exhibit at the MFA, small, with pictures of the STUNNINGLY beautiful black man who posed for Sargent's murals of the gods. This reminded me of it ever so. I'd show you if I could find pictures.

And can I admit now to my lifelong addiction to espionage lit and that you are NOT HELPING with this. *grins* It's wonderful.

wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 5th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Not helping? Just you wait.

And I'm very fond of JSS.
noeon From: noeon Date: June 6th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ooooh!

*whistles 'Just you wait, 'enry 'iggins, just you wait'*

Sounds promising. And JSS is mesmerising - he had talent to burn. There's quite a bit of JSS over here of course.

(I love good portraiture)

ED Of course I did find the piece. It's the Nude Study of Thomas E. McKeller. I just wandered under the stairs one day at the MFA and there he was.

Edited at 2010-06-06 10:25 pm (UTC)
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