Thought for the Day

“He (Maddan) ruled the kingship in peace and frugality for forty years. When he died, a quarrel over the kingship arose between the sons whom I have mentioned, for each was eager to possess the whole island. Mempricius was, however, eaten up with burning treachery and he killed his brother in the presence of the other delegates. He then took over the government of the whole island, exercising so great a tyranny over the people that he encompassed the death of almost all the more distinguished men. He hated his family, and, by main face or by treachery, he did away with anyone who he feared might succeed him in the kingship. What is more, he deserted his own wife, by whom he had become the father of Ebraucus, and he abandoned himself to the vice of sodomy, preferring unnatural lust to normal passion. At last, in the twentieth year of his reign, when he was out on a hunting expedition, he became separated from his companions in a certain valley. There he was surrounded by ravening wolves and eaten up in miserable circumstances.”

Background: The successors of Brutus reigned in Britain and the people took the good with the bad. A very particular burden came when Maddan passed away without resolving the issue of heir apparent between his two sons, Mempricius and Malin. This was “At the time when Saul was reigning in Judea.” The conflict arises at an assembly, bringing hardship and grief.

Thought: Mempricius is a perfect example of the tyrannical ruler. Gripped by sin, he murders his brother out of pure lust for the crown. In this way does he embody the destructive Cain who slew his good brother Abel out of jealousy, making the world tree of fertility, symbolized as the color green, turn to red, symbolic to the bloody deed done and a testament to human frailty. Secondly, Mempricius brushes off all familial ties and even casts away his own wife, becoming a slave to sodomy and lustful ill-will. Rather than supporting his family, he shuns it. Acting in this way he demonstrates his own self will and lack of ability as a good ruler. His partnership with his wife, an example of loyalty and what Monmouth calls ‘natural passion’ is therein perverted by their condemnation by him, who prefers the whims of purposeless vice and ‘unnatural lust’. His instincts are largely perverted when he takes delegation for murder and passion for vice. His carnal and very mortal sins separate him from God. In this way divine vengeance is duly taken. He is subsumed by Nature when the wolves eat him, the justice of Nature (God) takes vengeance on his unnatural self, which was corrupted and unfit to govern. Here is a concluding thought to mull over…

“True generosity is the noblest quality that a man can have, that is, the generosity that is extended without regard to need.”

Intention: How can we live our own lives for others, in true generosity, so that we may improve upon the world and the people we encounter? What are some good strategies for improving character, so that we ourselves can avoid divine judgement?”

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