Sunday, 8 January 2012

Liberty the Conqueror

I'll round off this week of eighteenth-century obscuriana with Richard Glover's London: or, The Progress of Commerce (1739). Lots of interesting things here, but one thing that leapt out is the vision at the end of the inevitable future triumph of London, Commerce and Liberty (that great slogan of the Capitalist right):
… behold, th’aĆ«rial seat
Of long supported Liberty, who thence,
Securely resting on her faithful shield,
The warrior’s corselet flaming on her breast,
Looks down with scorn on spacious realms, which groan
In servitude around her, and, her sword
With dauntless skill high-brandishing, defies
The Austrian eagle, and imperious Gaul. [498f]
Glover really doesn't seem to see any conflict in this portrait of Liberty (that's Liberty) with her foot on the necks of various Europeans, brandishing her sword. Neocons: same now as then.

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