Wednesday, 10 October 2012

WHEN ADAM DELVED. . .


Years ago, I bought a folder from Boots with a cover of William Morris designs including this print. I hadn't really thought about the print until someone asked me about it and I Googled it. The print was from 1888 and called John Ball's Dream. 

 
John Ball encouraging Wat Tyler rebels.
 
When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman? From the beginning all men were created equal by nature, and that servitude had been introduced by the unjust and evil oppression of men, against the will of God, who, if it had pleased Him to create serfs, surely in the beginning of the world would have appointed who should be a serf and who a lord. And therefore I exhort ye to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty.

John Ball (c. 1338 – 15 July 1381)
  
How right he was then. How true it is today as it was in the 14th century. Except that those who think of themselves as being in "power" now wouldn't be able to execute anyone who agreed with what John had preached.


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