Archive for January, 2009

On Christian Doctrine is St. Augustine’s textbook on scriptural interpretation. The preface is pretty fun all by itself, and contains some good arguments that God does want us to learn from and receive graces by means of other human beings, as well as from purely supernatural sources.



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The Ultimate Weapon continues, as Buck Kendall comes up with a really, really scary deathray, and we see what happens When Aliens Attack.

Chapter 7.


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Argonautica continues, as Jason and Medea go visit her famous auntie — that notorious sorceress, Circe. In a break from her usual characterization, Circe is depicted as a defender of order and justice, and a representative of normal human society! (Which goes to show you just how bad kinslaying was.)

Part 19


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Because I can’t leave well enough alone, here’s a bonus chapter for you. This is the last chapter of Volume I of The Art of Dying Well, missing from the Dalton translation (which is only Volume I). It was translated from Latin into Spanish by Fr. Andrade, S.J., (Madrid, 1881 edition) and then translated from Spanish into English by me.

This is not good scholarly procedure; but Bellarmine appears to have written his book to be translated, and Andrade and Dalton seem to have come out pretty similar in previous chapters. (According to my cursory skim, anyway.) So it should be fairly accurate.

Chapter 17: On devotion to Our Lady, and of her patronage in the hour of death.


If you’re interested, you might want to read an interesting history paper on the various books on dying well. Apparently some academic guy was blaming all the depressing and guilt-ridden bits of certain centuries’ culture on these books, as causing a “guilt culture” to arise through “culpabilization”. This is a lot easier to push on history majors who don’t actually bother to read said books, as this history guy who did read the books soon discovered. :)

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The Art of Dying Well concludes, at least in the 1847 Dalton translation, with a discourse on ways to protect the senses from being used by sin.

Chapter 16B


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The Art of Dying Well continues, with the first part of its final chapter. I should warn you that, although it’s supposedly about Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick), it’s really more stuff about avoiding sin. Which is of course handy, but makes for a bit of an abrupt ending.

It turns out that the English translation of this book doesn’t actually translate the whole book. There’s a very substantial second part of the book which covers topics like making your will and so forth, which Dalton either never got around to translating or which appears in some other volume which archive.org doesn’t have. Sigh. Also, there’s at least one more chapter to Dalton’s version, which likewise does not appear in the archive.org copy. Sigh. You can read this stuff in the Spanish translation, Arte de Bien Morir.

I apologize profoundly for not finding this out earlier. I did not exercise due diligence.

Chapter 16: On Extreme Unction.


UPDATE: Link fixed. Sorry!

It seems that Dalton’s translation comprises all but one chapter of Volume I, “Precepts for When We Are Healthy”. Chapter 17 is on devotion to Our Lady. Volume II, “Precepts for When Death Is Near”, is about the same length as Volume I. Possibly Dalton’s publishers only wanted to market books toward return customers. ;)

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The Art of Dying Well continues, as we reach its penultimate chapter!

Chapter 15: On Matrimony.


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