Friday, December 09, 2005

Standing. With her thumb in her mouth.

This is the historical death of Elizabeth R, Queen of England, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Bolin. She refused to go to her bed and, four four days, stood steadfast, her chambermaids fainting around her, as she approached her last breath. She sucked her thumb for that time, went into a coma, then succumbed.

She could well be considered among the most influential human beings. She certainly was among the most mercurial, this virgin majesty. Perhaps she was ultimately unknowable to us, even to herself. But the course of human history, undoubtedly, was altered forever by her total sacrifice to England, her unthinkable quiesence and culpability in the beheading of her cousin Mary Stuart, queen of Scotts. And, ultimately, her chastity and devotion to her god, the god which saved her from Philip I and blew the armada away from Dunkirk to Ireland and to victory. No heir, none appointed by her, keeping with her strange indecisive decision making. She sent the puritans to start the colonies, where they still rot. She prevented state changing civil war and, pound for pound, defied the pope and cemented our value system, where it remains in charge, to this day.

She gets my vote as the greatest ruler in world history.


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