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Steve Woods

Night Watch



Pause your tests and check the state of your browser, use DevTools, or try out commands and assertions to easily debug test failures Cloud testing support Nightwatch easily integrates with most cloud testing platforms like BrowserStack, Sauce Labs and more.




Night Watch



Our two food trucks make multiple stops around central and south Omaha, ensuring we reach the greatest number of people possible on any given night. Depending on the weather, at the height of the winter season as many as 400 individuals per night stop by the food trucks for a hot meal.


Since this celebrated work will always be known by an incorrect title, and since those who have not seen it continue to believe, quite logically, that it is a nocturne Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenhurch, and not until late in the 18th Century did it acquire the name by which it is now known. Unfortunately, both "Night" and " "Watch" are wrong. The civic guards who are depicted had, by the time Rembrandt painted them, become quite pacific; it was no longer necessary for them to defend the ramparts of Amsterdam or to go out on watches by night or by day. Their meetings had been diverted chiefly to social or sporting purposes; if they may be said to have any particular destination in the painting, it is perhaps to march into the fields for a shooting contest or to take part in a parade.


In the Nightwatch, nothing is what it seems. Rembrandt made choices that centuries later would still raise questions. For example, the indistinct characters in the painting have given rise to a whole range of interpretations. In actual fact, however, Rembrandt would not limit himself to obvious truths, instead allowing characters to be born from his imagination.


From the very first brush stroke, Rembrandt purposefully set out to impose order on the jumble of people represented in the Nightwatch. He wanted this military painting to be dynamic, while avoiding any sense of clutter. The composition of the painting is all-important. The way that Rembrandt places the various characters in space and highlights them adds balance to the painting in a most essential way, resulting in an action-packed image.


Over the course of the centuries, the Nightwatch has repeatedly suffered. Despite the tightest possible security, this work of art of national importance has turned out to be quite vulnerable. While the government went to extreme lengths to keep the painting safe during wartime, its greatest threats were in times of peace. Nonetheless, it has survived multiple relocations and targeted attacks.


By 1715, the militia guilds are well past their heyday, and the Amsterdam city government now decides to relocate the Nightwatch to the city hall on Dam Square. There is one problem, however: the Nightwatch is simply too big and will not fit in the allocated space. And so it is decided to cut off a sizeable section from the painting. This particular piece of the canvas has disappeared, never to be found again.


When the Germans invade the Netherlands, only the art bunker in Castricum is finished. On 13 May 1940, dr. Schmidt Degener, then director of the Rijksmuseum, decides that is where the Nightwatch should be moved to. Upon its arrival, the painting is laid out on a lawn in order to remove its frame. Next, the Nightwatch is taken down to the storage space, several metres below the Castricum dune sands. About a year later, the painting is again moved, now to a bunker near Heemskerk.


And so it is decided to build a large vault in the marl caves of the Sint-Pietersberg, in the province of Limburg. On 24 March 1942, the Nightwatch is installed there. The vault offers protection to a total of 750 paintings, and is guarded 24/7 by police and museum staff.


Paul Kidby's cover parodies the famous Rembrandt painting The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch, more commonly known as The Night Watch. This is the first main-sequence Discworld novel not to have a cover by Josh Kirby who had passed away. The actual painting by Rembrandt is used as the back cover illustration. In Kidby's cover, the older Sam Vimes is in the place of Frans Banning Cocq and Sam as a young man is in the place of Wiliem van Ruytenburch. In both the original painting and Kidby's illustration, three figures are illuminated to force the viewers eye in their direction, however in Kidby's illustration it is not the figure in the position of Rembrandt's woman crouching down and holding a chicken (to the left of Frans Bannig Cocq) - that figure to the left of the elder Vimes is the young urchin Nobby Nobbs wearing an oversized watch coat and boots. Instead, the key third illuminated figure is Sweeper (Lu Tsi) in the saffron robe immediately in front and to the left of Nobby in the position of the watchmen carrying an arquebus in Rembrandt's original. The villain Carcer is shown behind Sweeper with two knives. Kidby has kept the general positioning of Rembrandt's figures and flow of the painting without actually inserting every figure so the Sweeper's broom describes the same line as the arquebus in the original. Kidby pays tribute to the late artist, Josh Kirby, who did all the previous Discworld covers; appropriately placing him in the picture in the position where Rembrandt painted himself. He is in the back, with just part of his face showing, between Reg Shoe (in the white shirt waving the flag) and Waddy. There is an animal in the bottom-right of both works; in Rembrandt's it is a dog which in 1975 was badly slashed in an act of vandalism. Kidby has instead inserted a swamp dragon, a reference to Vimes' wife Sybil, who breeds them.


Young Vimes believes Vimes to be Keel, allowing Vimes to teach Young Vimes the lessons for which Vimes idolised Keel. Essentially this means that Vimes taught and idolised himself, not Keel, although alternate histories and the "Trousers of Time" mean this may not be the case. "You were indeed taken under the wing of one John Keel, a watchman from Pseudopolis," says Lu Tze. "He was a real person. He was not you." Lu-Tze also makes reference to the idea that the Monks of History have created an alternate present in which the events of the novel happen.


The novel climaxes in the Revolution, hinted at since the start of the book. Vimes, taking command of the watchmen, successfully avoids the major bloodshed erupting all over the city and manages to keep his part of it relatively peaceful. After dealing with the Unmentionables' headquarters he has his haphazard forces barricade a few streets to keep people safe from the fighting between rebels and soldiers. However, the barricades are gradually pushed forward during the night to encompass the surrounding streets until Vimes finds himself in control of a significant part of the city.


Page 21 - The words on John Keel's grave "How do they rise up" is a reference to a revolutionary song that Pratchett wrote and uses later in the novel. The rhythm/tune is based on the German folk song "Oh Du Lieber Augustin" attributed to Max Augustin, who was a popular balladeer and entertainer in Vienna in the mid 1600s. This song originated in Vienna during the Plague period of 1768-1769. Legend has it that while drunk, Augustin fell in the gutter and passed out only to be mistaken for a dead man by the gravediggers patrolling the city for dead plague victims. They dumped him, along with his bagpipes which they presumed were infected, into a pit filled with the bodies of other plague victims outside the city walls. When Augustin awoke, he couldn't get out of the deep mass grave so played his bag pipes to attract attention. After he was rescued he became a symbol of hope for the Viennese people since he survived his night with the plague victims without ill effect. Variations on the legend suggest that he was discovered at the mortuary when he sat up which ties in to Colon's discussion with Nobby about the funeral of a Corporal Hildebiddle who "woke up just in time and banged on the lid (of his coffin)" and suggests that Pratchett was working with the latter legend. The song itself has mixed connotations; in some aspects being hymn-like "All the little angels (rising) up (to heaven)", in some aspects revolutionary - rising up to overthrown the evil government. Protests songs often have their roots in hymns. Throughout the novel, the line is repeated, adding the various ways "they rise up" - feet, hands, knees, heads up, arse up. The use of these lines also resonates with the other expressions associated with the lines: "feet up"(relaxing), "hands up" (under arrest), "knees up" (a party or celebration as in the song 'Knees up Mother Brown') "heads up" (a warning), and "arse up" (with your rear in the air as an insult and also meaning ruined or destroyed). The unspoken one is "tits up" as in dead but "arse up" also hints at this. Pratchett changes the order that he presents the various lines from the pre-WWi English version which was used as a soldier's song given below, as the situation changes within the novel, the slackness of Vimes/Keel's watch at the beginning (feet up), to actually doing their job and making arrests (hands up), to celebrating their victory at the barricades (knees up), to the warning from Nobby and Vetinari about the attack from Carcer (heads up). to the death of Keel and the other watchmen (arse up):


Page 131 - "Morphic Street, 9 o'clock tonight. Password: swordfish. Swordfish? Every password was swordfish!" This is a reference to the 1932 Marx Brothers' movie Horsefeathers. 'Swordfish' was the password for entering the speakeasy, and since then has become the archetypical password.


Page 202 - "He could see the weapon in anything - a wall, a cloth, a piece of fruit." This line, the scene involving Vimes and Ned Coates sparring, and the following scene involving the watchmen training resonates with the Monty Python's sketch about being attacked by a man with a "pointed stick" and "fresh fruit" This is followed up with the line on page 205 - "Say I'm coming at you with a big big club....what do you do?" and is further reinforced when Pratchett uses the word sticks to refer to the men's truncheons later in the scene. 041b061a72


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