Saturday, 30 May 2009

The Proud Duke and the Swineherd

We went to Petworth House today - lovely weather - so we walked and picnicked in the grounds. Which are by Capability Brown. We also went to the talk on the history of the house - and what a history it is. It started as a medieval manor and became a stately home.

One of the ancestors was known as The Proud Duke. He (allegedly) disinherited one of his daughters for sitting down in his presence. Apparently he fell asleep and the poor soul thought she could have a few minutes sit down - but sadly he woke up and caught her.

His carriage was veiled so that no common type could look upon his face. Apparently one swineherd let it be known that he was determined to get to see The Proud Duke. But whether he succeeded or not is lost to history. It would probably have been better for him if he didn't.

But I thought as we wandered round the house and grounds that it is a good thing that the dead 'are conscious of nothing at all' (Ecclesiastes 9:5); because the Proud Duke would likely be outraged to see all us swineherds trampling through his grounds.

Later Pen and I went for a swim off Littlehampton Beach - it was colder and choppier than it looked.

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