Sunday, July 22, 2012

Frederick Rolfe Baron Corvo's Birthday

Frederick Rolfe Baron Corvo born on this day in 1860, 152 years ago in Cheapside, London.

"Idle? Idle? When I think of all the violently fatuous frantic excellent things I've done in the course of my struggles for an honest living - ouf! It makes me sick! Oh yes, I have been helped. God forgive me for bedaubing myself with that indelible blur. I had not the courage to sit-down and fold my hands and die. A brute once said that he supposed that I looked upon the world as mine oyster. I did not. I worked: and I wanted my wages. When they were withheld, people encouraged me to hope on; and offered me a guinea for the present. I took the filthy guinea. God forgive me for becoming so degraded... But one can't pay one's debts, and lead a godly righteous sober life for ever after on a guinea. I was offered help: but help only in teaspoonfuls; just enough to keep me alive and chained in the mire: never enough to enable me to raise myself out of it... My weakness, my fault was that I did not die murdered at Maryvale, at St Andrew's College. The normal man, treated as I was ill-treated, would have made no bones whatever about doing so. But I was abnormal. I took help, when it was offered gently. I'm thankful to say that I flung it back when it was offered charitably."

Rolfe writing as Hadrian the Seventh in his novel of the same name.

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