Thoughts on the Annual dinner meeting with Bill Caswell and Sam Smith:
|St. Caswell/Smith’s Day Speech*|
|used with permission of William Shakespeare|
(Well, it's not like he could say 'No'. )
|*Any resemblance between the following and Shakespeare's St Crispin's Day Speech from HENRY V is purely..... well.... intentional! ;) I have no illusions that I could top what is arguably the greatest speech in the English Language, but.... I thought it simply needed a bit of ... tweaking.|
ENTER THE CHAPTER PRESIDENT (JOHNSON):
Wiley. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men and women in New England
That do no work to-day!
Johnson. What’s she that wishes so?
My cousin Wiley? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to dine, we are enow
To do our Chapter loss; and if to live,
The fewer men and women, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man or woman more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man or woman from New England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Wiley, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this dinner,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not dine in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to dine with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Caswell/Smith.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home through the raging snowstorm,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Caswell/Smith.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Caswell/Smith.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his door prize,
And say “This prize I had on Caswell/Smith’s day.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What eats he consumed that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Wiley the Out-going President, Johnson the In-coming President, Jerri Wiley the Mistress of Ceremonies, Antrim and Rich, Hurczyn and Centrella, Rossato and Ortoli-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Caswell/Smith shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers and sisters;
For he to-day that shares his meal with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in New England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That dined with us upon Saint Caswell/Smith's Day.