The Trumpet Club
It indicates the growing popularity of club life in the early years of the 18century.the word trumpet is probably used in connection with the idiom ”to blow one’s trumpet” meaning to boast; and each member of the trumpet club does just that.The satirical essay speaks of how the narrator chose to relax before retiring for the night.
After a hard days work, the narrator made it his custom to spend the evenings in the company of men where he did not have to exercise his mind much-their talk lulled him to sleep( meaning it was boring and repetitive) the number of members had come down from the original 15 to 5- and where he was considered the most learned(Intelligent) the narrator then gives a pen sketch of the members- the oldest is named Sir Jeffery Notch(notch means to make a score- reference to sports) who lost all his wealth igambling on hounds(racing dogs) horses and gaming cocks. The next member is Major Matchlock (matchlock is a kind of gun) who had participated in all the civil wars and his talk bordered on the same. His greatest heroic deed was when London workers pushed him off his horse during a demonstration (strike). The third member is referred to as Dick Reptile (a kind of snake that is slow and sluggish). He speaks little, laughs at all the jokes. He would bring with his nephew, who would sit silent, or even if he passed a comment or laughed at the jokes, would be told by his uncle ‘you young men us fools, but we old men know you are’’ (fools). The next member is not referred to by name- his only claim to fame was that he knew the notorious Jack Ogle well and would tell stories of his adventures. The 5 member was the narrator himself who was regarded as a man of letters(Intelligent and well educated) He w as referred to by the members as ‘scholar’ ‘philosopher’.
The members met every evening at 6 pm and dispersed at 10pm, and the conversation was the same as it was for the past few years. On his way home, the narrator would reflect with himself, the talkative nature of old men who would spin the same yarn(meaning repeat the same incidents over and over again). This made him also think that when a young man began to talk over a particular incident, over a period of time, the story would get elongated so long as to compete with the Canterbury Tales(A number of long stories to have been told by a band of pilgrims on their way to Canterbury, a place sacred for the tomb of St. Thomas Becket)
One way to avoid getting into this pitfall, acc. To the narrator, is to store up knowledge and observation in our youth and use and recall it in our declining (old age) years. This can make a man ,in his old age, a man of wisdom comparable to that of Nestor( a character in the Iliad known for his wisdom and eloquence)
Forms of Power
Bertrand Russell was a well known mathematician, writer, philosopher and statesman. In his essay, forms of power, he talks of how power can corrupt people when it gets out of control. The potentialities of power for evil have become much in this century than ever before. Nuclear fission, aeroplanes and space satellites have given great rulers unlimited powers, and media like radio and television have extended the power of rulers over their own subjects and influence over others. In his book ‘Power’ from which this extract has been taken, deals with the various aspects of power and authority.
Russell classifies power in the manner in which it influences people—a- by direct physical power over his body eg-when an individual is imprisoned or killed- (as when it happened at Tianenmen Square in China or as happening in Libya) b- by rewards or punishments (promotions in jobs or withholding increments) c-propaganda (as in Anna Hazares hunger strike). According to Russell, man exercises all these kinds of power directly over animals when he gets them to do work for him. In a satirical manner, he mentions that the...
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