Synopsis: This one was really just a joke thread started by Tblue and myself after comments that the Roman soldier on the ceiling in the Painted Hall at Chatworth, looked like CV Both of us have known the gentleman behind the Roman helmet for nearly two years. Roman said he had better tell us. The others joined in after PM'ing. They, not I, are running with the story now.
One warm summer's day Holbrook and Tblue were walking arm in arm round the wonderful Stately home of Chatsworth in Derbyshire.
Tblue was click clicking with the camera , while Holbrook kept an eye out for the guides ( No photos allowed!!!!)
It was then TBlue's eyes widened and she said... "No.... can't be?"
"Good God! Isn't he cold." Holbrook exclaimed and looked upwards in the direction TBlue was pointing.
High on the ceiling in the middle of a huge painting of the life and Death Of Julius Caesar was Cnaeus Valerius, his armour half off and his skirt barely covering, well barely covering his well apointed thighs.
"It is so unfair, "Tblue declared." That they should have placed this masterpiece on the ceiling, for a maiden would fall far to easily in a swoon."
"But that's entirely the point," said Holbrook, "Laying on the floor allows the young lady time to contemplate his masculine beauty all the more. "
The two companions moved slowly to the next room. TBlue stopped looked at the new ceiling a small frown creasing her pretty face. She mumbled something and shot back into the other room, them came back in and nudged a stunned Holbrook, who was gazing at the upturned chariot. It's driver was draped across the broken wheel, his manly form barely covered by the tail of one of the recumbent horses.
"It's him again isn't it?" Tblue said softly.
"How did he get?" Holbrook muttered as he steadied his companion as she leant further back.
"It is just covered isn't it?"
"I hope so... "Holbrook said as the school party battered its way past them.
"How wide do you think his shoulders are?" TBlue asked using her camera as a magnifying glass.
Holbrook held up his hand and measured the span. "Big enough."
"Oh...." Tblue sighed as Holbrook dragged her to the next room
As the two entered the darkened room a shout was heard "I don't Believe it!"
to be continued
July 7th, 2003, 02:32 PM
July 7th, 2003, 02:49 PM
"He must have forked out a fortune in sesterii to bribe the sculptor," murmured Holbrook.
Tblue frowned. "Is this what they mean by Al Fresco?"
They stood side by side contemplating the bas relief sculpture of ludicrously heroic proportions.
Cnaeus was half falling out of his chariot, and everything else too, so it seemed.
"That's a very fortuitous placement of cloud, Hol'."
July 7th, 2003, 03:02 PM
"Tblue, he seems to be chasing a number of ladies in these pictures. "Holbrook said as another vista hove into view.
"And scaring a number of children," Tblue replied as a number of the school party looked up at a rather large expanse of painted wall and screamed.
"Must be the Gladius." Holbrook remarked
July 8th, 2003, 04:56 PM
But how can he be there, when he is half way across the galaxy in the bed of Lady P'Mela LeonDocTchi?
July 8th, 2003, 05:37 PM
July 8th, 2003, 06:21 PM
Errrr...well, there's a really funny...no, not funny...aah...good, yes, good...there is a really good story about that...It all started when Julius Caesar wanted to go to Gaul...oh! Look at the time! Must be off! I'll tell you all about it later...really...
July 8th, 2003, 09:37 PM
When Julius Caesar went to Gaul, he took Cnaeus Valerius with him.
Not because he knew who I was, of course, I was simply another soldier in the ranks of Caesar’s legions.
It all started in Gaul though. I remember the day quite clearly...
It was raining. It was muddy. It was Gaul. Those three thoughts trudged their way through my mind as I trudged my way through the miserable stretch of mud that passed for a street in the small walled town the Legion was encamped beside. The Gauls had defended the town fiercely, everyone defends their home fiercely even if that home is only a wretched collection of wooden shacks, for several days. The first men through the wooden palisade had already laid claim to what little of value there was in the town, but that did not stop others from looking. In my case the others in question should have been digging new latrine ditches rather than giving in to their passion for sparkly objects. I savored the thought of cursing their pathetic hides.
A woman’s scream interrupted my reverie. There were a number of women who followed the Legion as it traveled. Most were merchants of one form or another, but none of them should have been in the Gallic town. The woman screamed again and I slogged my way through the rain and mud toward the sound. I arrived at what looked like a stable just as the woman screamed again.
She was an old woman with long gray hair the color of iron and wearing mud-spattered clothes that had not been new for some time. Her face was a wrinkled mask of fear as she ran, with surprising agility for a woman her age, back and forth in front of the empty stalls of the stable. My five missing legionaries were using their shields to pen her in and herd her toward the relatively dry hay.
I grabbed the nearest of them by the collar of his armor and hurled him backward into the mud. Once he was out of my way I placed myself between the men and the old woman.
“What do you schoenobates think you are doing? There are latrines that need to be dug and I find you here harassing an old woman?” I glared at the five men. All of them were troublemakers or they would not have been permanently assigned to digging latrines. I found myself baffled with the unexpected dilemma of trying to curse at men who were more vile than any vile thing I might say about them.
“We may have been denied our gold Cnaeus Valerius, but we will not be denied our sport!” Gaius Septimus growled at me as he picked himself out of the mud.
“Out of our way, you centurion’s dog, or you will get some of what the old woman has coming to her.” Quintus Publius drew his gladius and took a step toward me.
“Run away, young man. I am not worth your life.” The old woman spoke softly in perfect Latin behind me. I glanced back at her and found myself looking directly in to her gray eyes. An uncharacteristic urge to run away blossomed in my stomach. I gripped the pommel of my sword and took a deep breath as the woman spoke again. “Please, for your own good, run away.”
“I will not run away!” I spun, drawing my sword in a motion so fast I was startled by it. Quintus Publius may have also been startled by it if the expression on his severed head was anything to go by as it lay in the mud staring up at the falling rain. “You four will reach this woman only over my corpse.”
“Then you will die, Valerius!” Septimus drew his sword in near perfect synchronization with his remaining companions. They may have been unspeakable dirtbags, but they were all four trained soldiers in the Roman army.
“He will not die today, mortal.” The voice of a young woman, rich with power rolled across the open space in front of the stable. A flash, bright as lightening, leapt over my shoulder and burned a smoking hole through Septimus. The other men dropped their weapons and ran screaming through the muddy streets.
I studied my shadow caused by the intense glow emanating from behind me. The glow faded and I turned my head slowly to look over my shoulder with one eye. A woman dressed and equipped like a Greek hopolite stood where the old woman had been only a moment before. The woman rested the butt of her spear on the ground and smiled at me from under a gleaming brass helm. Her eyes, her gray eyes, seemed to sparkle with pleasure.
“I am so very happy that you did not disappoint me, Cnaeus Valerius. I have work for you to do.” Minerva, goddess of wisdom, placed her shield and helmet on top of a stack of hay next to her spear. She took a seat on a marble bench and patted the empty space on it. “Please sit, we have much to discuss.”
July 9th, 2003, 04:48 AM
"Bit of a gall, eh what?" Holbrook muttered as he decided to go back to the first picture and check every inch of it.
"Yes, he was french you know?"
"CV? No he's not he is a Roman!" Holbrook huffed as he laid flat out on the floor of the painted hall and began to scan the large ceiling.
"No.. No... "TBlue replied, as she too lay down her head touching Holbrook's as they lay at 180 degrees to each other. "Louis Laguerre, the artist." (TBlue being of an artist nature knew such things.)
"See he is sitting on that marble bench there" Tblue's hand pointed upwards.
"That woman with him has her hand on his knee. Typical "Holbrook snorted.
"Wonder what she is saying to him?"
July 9th, 2003, 12:45 PM
Everyday the place is open, I sit here against this wall. Not exactly hidden in a dark corner, just unobtrusive. Well, more than that. I am the kind of person people do not look at; I make them uncomfortable. Confined to this wheel chair, skinny as a monofilament wire, glasses as thick as the Hubbel's mirrors, hair as unkempt as my clothes, I look like the classic invalid that I am. It's easier to let one's vision pass over me than to stop and consider me, to empathize with how I must feel. People have enough pain of their own; they do not want to add my lot to their load.
I sit here and I watch. The women. They are amazing. Louie had them figured precisely, knew exactly what to go for. Women who visit here require days for neck muscles to stop complaining from the prolonged periods of staring straight up.
Watching them, these two, the older has the honesty to blush, to be a little self-conscious of what she is doing but the younger woman is free enough, comfortable enough with herself she just arches her back and engages Julius straight on - as if inviting Julie to come from down that ceiling and prove he's as good as he looks..
She stares - to make sure she cannot see what she cannot see. She'll tell her friends that his equipment is unimportant but that's for later over tea. Right now every bit of her attention is centered on that single tantalizing near-image. She's going to need a whole tube of deep heating rub this evening.
And she is just one of a long, continuous stream of women who parade this hall very day. Sometimes I think there is a web these women are wired to where hints and innuendo are passed surrepticiously but certainly so that every day a new covey of women scurries into this room eyes as glued to the ceiling as hen's eye become glued to the ground when hunting and pecking.
Of course, the ladies' magazine protest that women are not visually stimulated; they require touch and smell and taste. Those magazines should send a reporter to Chatsworth; a female reporter, please, so that the story has some credibility ot it.