Jun 4, 2023·edited Jun 4, 2023Liked by Richard Partridge

I have no answer. And I have many answers.

The reason for which I have no answer is that I'm not sure that for me, in particular, there is. I wonder sometimes even at the love of my country: the love that never falters, the love that pays the price, the love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice. (https://endlesschain.substack.com/p/charles-iii-we-love-you-yeah-yeah).

And the reason for which I have many answers, but will state of them none, is that, like Thomas More, I cannot look into the conscience of another man (you may use the link given above).

Peppered throughout my reading of this piece, which, over four short paragraphs, develops from a misty-eyed and somewhat drab narration of a dockside somewhere, some time, through a soliloquy of troubling dimensions, to a murder mystery worthy of Hitchcock, were my laughs, becoming rueful squints and, finally, startled epiphany.

His beige flasher's mac; he felt at home. It was deserted; a lot of very cheap, very small-roomed hotels (that second "very" is inspired); she seemed eager to please; her transformation was startling; nothing seemed to add up; kill ... literally.

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Thank you for your comments Graham - like you I suspect there probably isn't a love that I would die for either - perhaps I just need to write part two of this to find out what was on Henrika's mind when she asked ...

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There are indeed loves that I have died for. Financially, and with a rebuked full commitment. But kill for love is entirely different question. He who would kill for anything is incapable of love, other than of him, or indeed her, self.

But love is a fickle commodity. People love Beyoncé. They love the King. They love the English countryside. They love their mothers.

William Shakespeare reputedly used the word "love" in his canon of works to mean around 15 different things. David Crystal has said that there are as many English languages as there are people who speak it. I dare to assert that there are as many meanings of the word "love" as there are English-speakers who use it. And as many meanings as there are occasions on which it is used, for people are as fickle as their use of the word "love" would betray.

Captain Cook, on his second voyage to the kingdom, took with him a linguist, who was to study the Tahitian language. The linguist was flummoxed to find that the Tahitian language possesses 13 words for "love", all meaning something different. Perhaps they accord with more or less the 15 ways used by Shakespeare. Assuming, that is, that Tahitians are less fickle in their use of their 13 words than English-speakers are in their use of their one.

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Good Heavens ! Another post with an abundance of details. Just the right amount can really draw the reader in. Musicians call it a " hook ".

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