Saturday, January 12, 2019

Salubrious Swim

The ambivalent sky today reflected the horns of my recurring internal dilemma, a wavering uncertainty matching the shifting gloominess and cheerfulness overhead and within. The psychic parallel continued as I rode my bicycle this morning along my customary route on the Gulf of Mexico Drive, transitioning between the sylvan corridors at the southern end of the island (reminiscent of the romantic scene in the movie My Fair Lady during the singing of "On the Street Where You Live") to the stock urban sidewalks at the northern end as one prepares to leave this tiny, private enclave. The conflict between mirth and solemnness could not have been more undisguised.

I sought to palliate or submerge my mixed feelings by dutifully completing my accustomed exercise. Yet even as I regained my regular perch on a bench at Bayfront Park surrounded by the whipped cream clouds, the consternation persisted. I was "trapped in a logical subterfuge from which I had but one escape". Reason is an unforgiving master of clinical thought. Emotion confounded by groundless choice is a determined but gutless confection. Slowly but by degrees I extracted myself at last from the paralysis of my misguided persuasion.

Putting aside one's visceral pleasures - though they may be contaminated sustenance only - has the same punishing effect as sobering up, ultimately relieving but not immediately uplifting.  In the meantime I was anxious to undertake a more fruitful undertaking, something perhaps less personal but which nonetheless appealed to me.  I pursued the maritime theme which has naturally affected me throughout our sojourn on this barrier island adjoining the Gulf of Mexico. The pursuit was not an entirely intellectual sequel to my deep inward feelings.  Somewhat humorously it arose from an error I discovered while reading J. P. Donleavy's "Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B" wherein either the author or his publisher misspelled "Halsbury's Laws of England" by calling them "Halsburg's (sic) Laws of England". I have an acquaintance with Lord Halsbury and his epic legal compilation because when I took over the law practice of R. A. Jamieson, QC I inherited a complete set of the 1932 publication (approximately 37 volumes). I suspect Mr. Jamieson and his own predecessors purchased the volumes over a period of years. The publication of this Second Edition spanned the time from 1932 to 1941, quite aside from what I imagine would have been the prohibitive price in any event.

After a protracted research of the internet I found an electronic version (public domain) created by the Robarts Library of the University of Toronto. To my dismay the section on Admiralty is entirely related to jurisdictional and practice procedures in the Supreme Court and other courts having admiralty jurisdiction. The substantive elements of Admiralty law are thus discarded except as they bear upon law suits, damages and compensation generally.  I did however glean some amusement from the opening reference (including in particular "Ab Edgare Vindico"):

To explain this motto (see highlight below) I unearthed the following reference:

King Edgars Navy

And therefore every Spring and Summer, he in person sayled with those in the East-parts, to them that lay hovering in the West. And sending them backe againe with their charge, would with the West quadrant, saile into the North, and after with the Northerne fleeth compasse into the East, by which the Maine Ocean rounding those Islands, of which he was sole Prince and Monarch, being at his only charge, both quited and secured, he did (as justly he might) write himselfe Lord of the Foure Seas . And therefore his sacred Majesty, claiming this unquestionable Title from Him, and being his true and undoubted Successour, and this claime being this thousand and odd yeares not any way controversied. I do not see but this Motto, Ab Edgaro quatuor Maria vindico , may genuinly to Him be approbriated, and to Him alone. But if any man shal either maliciously or peevishly make the least scruple of this His Majesties just and undoubted challenge? Let them but read Polidore Virgill, Guido, Ranulphus Hidgim in his Polycronicon, Gulielmus Malmsbury, Florentius, Landulphus, Marianus, Hovedaine, Harding, Mathew Paris, Mathew of Westminster, Froysart, Fabian, Holinshed,  Speed &c. (all of them Authentick and approved Chronologers,) and hee shall fine that they al agree and consent in this Musicall Harmonie.

Thomas Heywood: A True Description of His Majesties Royall Ship, Built this Yeare 1637. at Wooll-witch in Kent. To the great glory of our English Nation, and not paraleld in the whole Christian World.

Late this afternoon I went to the beach to absorb the warm rays of the sun.  I swam in the sea and reinvigorated myself with the magnificent salt water, cleansing my eyes and soothing my skin.

Post Scriptum

"Ab Edgaro quatuor Maria Vindico" - "By the authority of Edgar, I lay claim to the Four Seas"

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