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(1) Nearly five hundred years ago the Celestially August, the Son of Heaven, Yong-Lo, of the “Illustrious” or Ming dynasty, commanded the worthy official Kouan-Yu that he should have a bell made of such size that the sound thereof might be heard for one hundred li. And he further ordained that the voice of the bell should be strengthened with brass, and deepened with gold, and sweetened with silver; and that the face and the great lips of it should be graven with blessed sayings from the sacred books, and that it should be suspended in the centre of the imperial capital to sound through all the many-coloured ways of the City of Pe-King.
(2) Therefore the worthy mandarin Kouan-Yu assembled the master-moulders and the renowned bellsmiths of the empire, and all men of great repute and cunning in foundry work; and they measured the materials for the alloy, and treated them skilfully, and prepared the moulds, the fires, the instruments, and the monstrous melting-pot for fusing the metal. And they laboured exceedingly, like giants neglecting only rest and sleep and the comforts of life; toiling both night and day in obedience to Kouan-Yu, and striving in all things to do the behest of the Son of Heaven.
(3) But when the metal had been cast, and the earthen mould separated from the glowing casting, it was discovered that, despite their great labour and ceaseless care, the result was void of worth; for the metals had rebelled one against the other—the gold had scorned alliance with the brass, the silver would not mingle with the molten iron. Therefore the moulds had to be once more prepared, and the fires rekindled, and the metal remelted, and all the work tediously and toilsomely repeated. The Son of Heaven heard and was angry, but spake nothing.
(4) A second time the bell was cast, and the result was even worse. Still the metals obstinately refused to blend one with the other; and there was no uniformity in the bell, and the sides of it were cracked and fissured, and the lips of it were slagged and split asunder; so that all the labour had to be repeated even a third time, to the great dismay of Kouan-Yu. And when the Son of Heaven heard these things, he was angrier than before; and sent his messenger to Kouan-Yu with a letter, written upon lemon-coloured silk and sealed with the seal of the dragon, containing these words:
(5) “From the Mighty Young-Lo, the Sublime Tait-Sung, the Celestial and August, whose reign is called ‘Ming,’ to Kouan-Yu the Fuh-yin: Twice thou hast betrayed the trust we have deigned graciously to place in thee; if thou fail a third time in fulfilling our command, thy head shall be severed from thy neck. Tremble, and obey!”
(6) Now, Kouan-Yu had a daughter of dazzling loveliness whose name—Ko-Ngai—was ever in the mouths of poets, and whose heart was even more beautiful than her face. Ko-Ngai loved her father with such love that she had refused a hundred worthy suitors rather than make his home desolate by her absence; and when she had seen the awful yellow missive, sealed with the Dragon-Seal, she fainted away with fear for her father’s sake. And when her senses and her strength returned to her, she could not rest or sleep for thinking of her parent’s danger, until she had secretly sold some of her jewels, and with the money so obtained had hastened to an astrologer, and paid him a great price to advise her by what means her father might be saved from the peril impending over him. So the astrologer made observations of the heavens, and marked the aspect of the Silver Stream (which we call the Milky Way), and examined the signs of the Zodiac—the Hwang-tao, or Yellow Road—and consulted the table of the Five Hin, or Principles of the Universe, and the mystical books of the alchemists. And after a long silence, he made answer to her, saying: “Gold and brass will never meet in wedlock, silver and iron never will embrace, until the flesh of a maiden be melted in the crucible; until the blood of a virgin be mixed with the metals in their fusion.” So Ko-Ngai returned home sorrowful at heart; but she kept secret all that she had heard, and told no one what she had done.
(7) At last came the awful day when the third and last effort to cast the great bell was to be made; and Ko-Ngai, together with her waiting-woman, accompanied her father to the foundry, and they took their places upon a platform overlooking the toiling of the moulders and the lava of liquefied metal. All the workmen wrought at their tasks in silence; there was no sound heard but the muttering of the fires. And the muttering deepened into a roar like the roar of typhoons approaching, and the blood-red lake of metal slowly brightened like the vermilion of a sunrise, and the vermilion was transmuted into a radiant glow of gold, and the gold whitened blindingly, like the silver face of a full moon. Then the workers ceased to feed the raving flame, and all fixed their eyes upon the eyes of Kouan-Yu; and Kouan-Yu prepared to give the signal to cast.
(8) But ere ever he lifted his finger, a cry caused him to turn his head and all heard the voice of Ko-Ngai sounding sharply sweet as a bird’s song above the great thunder of the fires—“For thy sake, O my father!” And even as she cried, she leaped into the white flood of metal; and the lava of the furnace roared to receive her, and spattered monstrous flakes of flame to the roof, and burst over the verge of the earthen crater, and cast up a whirling fountain of many-coloured fires, and subsided quakingly, with lightnings and with thunders and with mutterings.
(9) Then the father of Ko-Ngai, wild with his grief, would have leaped in after her, but that strong men held him back and kept firm grasp upon him until he had fainted away, and they could bear him like one dead to his home. And the serving-woman of Ko-Ngai, dizzy and speechless for pain, stood before the furnace, still holding in her hands a shoe, a tiny, dainty shoe, with embroidery of pearls and flowers—the shoe of her beautiful mistress that was. For she had sought to grasp Ko-Ngai by the foot as she leaped, but had only been able to clutch the shoe, and the pretty shoe came off in her hand; and she continued to stare at it like one gone mad.
(10) But in spite of all these things, the command of the Celestial and August had to be obeyed, and the work of the moulders to be finished, hopeless as the result might be. Yet the glow of the metal seemed purer and whiter than before; and there was no sign of the beautiful body that had been entombed therein. So the ponderous casting was made; and lo! when the metal had become cool, it was found that the bell was beautiful to look upon and perfect in form, and wonderful in colour above all other bells. Nor was there any trace found of the body of Ko-Ngai; for it had been totally absorbed by the precious alloy, and blended with the well-blended brass and gold, with the intermingling of the silver and the iron. And when they sounded the bell, its tones were found to be deeper and mellower and mightier than the tones of any other bell, reaching even beyond the distance of one hundred li, like a pealing of summer thunder; and yet also like some vast voice uttering a name, a woman’s name, the name of Ko-Ngai.
And still, between each mighty stroke there is a long low moaning heard; and ever the moaning ends with a sound of sobbing and of complaining, as though a weeping woman should murmur, “Hiai!” And still, when the people hear that great golden moan they keep silence, but when the sharp, sweet shuddering comes in the air, and the sobbing of “Hiai!” then, indeed, do all the Chinese mothers in all the many-coloured ways of Pe-King whisper to their little ones: “Listen! that is Ko-Ngai crying for her shoe! That is Ko-Ngai calling for her shoe!”
Usage Frequency: 1
Sir Lucan the Butler is a servant of King Arthur and one of the Knights of the Round Table in the Arthurian legend. The duties of a "butler" have changed over time; Lucan was supposed to have been in charge of the royal court, along with Bedivere the Marshal and Kay the Seneschal.
Lucan is the son of Duke Corneus, brother to Sir Bedivere and cousin to Sir Griflet. He and his relatives are among Arthur's earliest allies in the fight against the rebel kings such as Lot, Urien, and Caradoc, and remained one of Arthur's loyal companions throughout his life. In most accounts of Arthur's death, from the Lancelot-Grail Cycle to Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Lucan is one of the last knights at the king's side at the Battle of Camlann. He is usually the last to die; he helps Arthur off the battlefield after he battles Mordred, but the stress is too much. He dies from his own wounds just before the king returns Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake and sails off for Avalon.
Though the knight Arthur asks to cast the sword into the lake is usually Griflet (Lancelot-Grail) or Bedivere (Le Morte d'Arthur, the Alliterative Morte Arthure, the Stanzaic Morte Arthur), the 16th century English ballad "King Arthur's Death" ascribes this duty to Lucan.
He was a solid and reliable Knights of the Round Table and one of King Arthur's earliest companions. He took on the post of Royal butler - an important position in charge of the Royal Household rather than a serving man. He valiantly defended Arthur's right to the throne at the Battle of Bedegraine and probably against subsequent rebellions. Though he sought adventure, he never came to the fore in Arthurian tales with renowned exploits of his own. He always attended the Royal tournaments and was once hurt so badly by Sir Tristram that Sir Yvain had to escort him to Gannes Abbey for medical assistance. Sir Lucan remained loyal to King Arthur throughout the schism with Lancelot and on occasion acted as their go-between. Similarly during Mordred's rebellion he stayed by the monarch's side and though wounded, with his brother, Bedivere, he was one of the few knights left standing at the Battle of Camlann. He tried to dissuade Arthur from his final attack on his son/nephew, but was unsuccessful and the King received his mortal wound. Worried about looters on the battlefield, Lucan and Bedivere attempted to move the dying Arthur into a nearby chapel for safety; but the strain was too much for Lucan. A severe wound burst open, spilling out his bowels, and he died.
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Benjamin "Benjie" Santos VIII (Vice Ganda) comes from a long line of warriors and soldiers. His grandfather, Benjamin Santos VI (Eddie Garcia), expects him to be in the army and to be like his ancestors who fought every battle in the country. He lives with his parents and two sisters named Jesamine (Angelie Urquico) and Anjamin (Abby Bautista). His father, Benjamin Santos VII (Jimmy Santos), gave up being a military soldier to be what he wants to be, a scientist and an inventor. Benjie's grandfather did not agree with his decision, so they were forced to leave his grandfather's house and to never come back. They now live in a cramped house, where they started a new life. His father, as expected, followed what makes him happy. He invented gadgets and unique deadly weapons. Some examples are the Fart-gun, or the Utot-gun in Tagalog, a fan that shoots bullets, and a tiara that can kill thousands of people.
A few years later they were invited to his grandfather's 75th birthday by a relative. His grandfather finds out Benjie is gay. They were asked to leave and to never show their faces again for they are a disgrace to the Santos family.
When a civil war in the Philippines breaks out, Benjie is forced to enlist in place of his ailing father, who was said to have high blood pressure and diabetes. After a long time training, Benjie's group was to be dissolved for being not good enough. His group decides to train at night, and show their improvement in the morning. A rival group, incensed with constantly losing to Benjie's group during training, sought to reveal Benjie's sexuality by getting Benjie drunk and filming a sex video of him.
The following morning, the High-General calls Benjie because of the video, and makes him leave the army. When Benjamin was about to leave, his friends joined him saying, "Hindi kami masaya kung wala ka!" ("We are not happy without you!"). They left the army, and while travelling through a wooded area, they heard some trucks and cars moving. They wake up, and followed the cars, resulting in them discovering the location of the enemy base by accident.
They went back to the army, and told the High-General about what they saw, but he wouldn't believe them. They believed the real enemy base was in Tanay, based on the army's gathered information and decided to attack there instead. While the army searched for enemy forces at the Tanay base, they were ambushed by hundreds of terrorists. Meanwhile, Benjie's group returns to the enemy's real base, where they saw the terrorist's trucks with the captured forces, including Benjie's grandfather and Brandon Estolas (Derek Ramsay)—the group's former commander in the army and Benjie's love-interest. They then make plans to rescue their allies by dressing up as girls to trick the enemy guards into letting them inside their base. Once inside, the group kills many people with the tiara, fan, and Fart-gun that Benjie's father invented.
As they enter the base, the group split up in different ways. When one of the terrorists spots what he thought was Benjie hiding in a metal barrel, he then tells Abe Sayyep (named after the Abu Sayyaf), the squadron commander, about what he saw. Abe Sayyep pulls out the wig Benjie put in the barrel, only to find out it was some sort of trickery. Benjie finds his grandfather, Brandon, and the other generals. Benjie's grandfather thanks him and asks for forgiveness for treating him so badly. Benjie is then reunited with his group, where Abe Sayyep appears and shoots Benjie's grandfather. Benjie jumps in front of his grandfather in order to save him.
He sees himself in heaven, and sees his great-grandfathers, who tell him that he did very well and it is not yet the time for him to die. He is soon revived, and the group returns home, where they celebrate their victory with a party
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I Have Begrudged the Years by Angela Manalang-Gloria
One of my favourites by her.
I Have Begrudged the Years
Perhaps the years will get me after all,
Though I have sought to cheat them of their due
By documenting in beauty’s name my soul
And locking out of sight my revenue
Of golden rapture and of sterling tears,
Let others give to Caesar Caesar’s own:
I have begrudged the dictatorial years
The right usurious to tax me to the bone,
Therefore behold me now, a Timon bent
On hoarding each coin of love that should be spent
On you and you, and hushing all display
Of passionate splendour lest I betray
My wealth, lest the sharp years in tithes retrieve
Even the heart not worn upon my sleeve.
Subject: Literary Translations
Usage Frequency: 1
And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.)
2 Samuel 21.2
At tinawag ng hari ang mga Gabaonita at sinabi sa kanila; (ang mga Gabaonita nga ay hindi sa mga anak ni Israel, kundi sa nalabi sa mga Amorrheo; at ang mga anak ni Israel ay nagsisumpa sa kanila: at pinagsikapan ni Saul na patayin sa kaniyang sikap dahil sa mga anak ni Israel at Juda:)
2 Samuel 21.2
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