St. George’s Day in England

Today is St George’s Day in England when we venerate someone who very little is known about but what let that spoil a good story, mythical or not, of a man who apparently killed a dragon, the bloody philistine.

What we think we know, or at least some believe, is that St George was a very high ranking officer in the Roman army that occupied England around the period AD300 (bloody foreigners coming over here and killing our dragons, is there any wonder so many bear a grudge against the Europeans?).

Though to his credit (if you believe in religion) he stuck to his beliefs if it is true that according to the myth he refused to deny his faith in Christianity even when being tortured by the Emperor Diocletian.

Still when all is said and done it at least gave William Shakespeare the opportunity to wax lyrical about how great the England section of this little lump of rock surrounded by sea is.

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,

This other Eden, demi-paradise,

This fortress built by Nature for herself

Against infection and the hand of war,

This happy breed of men, this little world,

This precious stone set in the silver sea,

Which serves it in the office of a wall

Or as a moat defensive to a house,

Against the envy of less happier lands,-

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

King Richard II