Sunday, September 30, 2018

A Walk in Emily Brontë’s Footsteps

The original "Wuthering Heights"
From The Spectator:
Two hundred years ago today in a village in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Britain’s most famous literary family gained an extra member. That child’s name was Emily Brontë. Apart from her only novel, Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë left us with little else after her death. Famous for her love of solitude and of the wild moors where she spent most of her time, Emily’s personal life remains tantalisingly enigmatic. And yet her evocative descriptions, her warts and all portrayal of human emotion, won her the loyalty of generations of fans. The bleakly beautiful Yorkshire landscape where Emily was born and bred leaves an indelible mark on every page of Wuthering Heights. No mere background, it is an active presence with a force of its own, as captivating as any of the book’s characters.

It’s often said that the only way to understand both Brontë and her book are by experiencing the environment that shaped them. So I decided to do just that and head up to ‘Brontë country’ to romp around the moors doing my best Kate Bush impression (minus the flowing garb). (Read more.)
Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon in the 1939 film version of Wuthering Heights

Ritual Defamation

From The Federalist:
So in light of the travesty of the Kavanaugh hearings—the character assassination; the utterly uncorroborated accusations of sexual misconduct when he was a youth; the use of a disruptive mob to hijack the process; the utter disregard for basic common sense and fairness, much less the rule of law—we need to study the mechanics behind these gutless acts.

In 1990, a Kansan civil liberties advocate named Laird Wilcox wrote an excellent and cogent essay entitled “The Practice of Ritual Defamation.” The essay provides a major public service. It clarifies the mechanics of ritual defamation and lists its eight primary features. It’s a short must-read for any citizen with a shred of goodwill. Please read the whole thing, and check out the Kansas University Library’s free speech collection named after him. We should all learn to detect the features of ritual defamation and call foul whenever we see them. If you don’t know what they are, learn them now. It’s a matter of self-defense. It will put much of what you’ve seen over the past few weeks in a new and deeply disturbing light, because ritual defamation by whim will only spread if not stopped. (Read more.)

From Gregg Jarrett:
Most people who are grievously wronged react with outrage. In his statement and testimony, Kavanaugh expressed such righteous indignation. His defense of himself was forceful and convincing. Kavanaugh’s core message was both conciliatory and compelling. “I don’t question that Dr. Ford was sexually assaulted at some time and at some place, but it was not me,” Kavanaugh said. Kavanaugh emphasized that none of the people identified by Ford as attending a party – where Ford claims a drunken Kavanaugh got on top of her on a bed, tried unsuccessfully to take off her clothes and covered her mouth to stifle her screams – corroborate the accusations leveled against him. Kavanaugh also firmly denied claims by three other women not at the hearing that he was guilty of sexual misconduct. Like Ford, those women have presented not a shred of corroborating evidence or any other witnesses to back up their claims against the judge. One accusation came from an anonymous person who claimed to be the mother of another woman and is so weak that it can’t even be seriously considered. (Read more.)

From Matt Walsh:
If Democrats were interested in the truth, they would have used the opportunity yesterday to actually ask Ford some questions, rather than taking turns giving her, and themselves, high fives. If Democrats were interested in the truth, they would have asked Kavanaugh about the incident in question rather than spending the entire hearing focused on yearbook scribblings. Democrats are not interested in the truth at all, whatsoever. In fact, they've already said that Kavanaugh is unfit for the Supreme Court — no matter what the FBI investigation turns up. But it won't turn up anything, as they are well aware, because there is no evidence, there are no witnesses, and the accuser doesn't even know the year or place that this attack allegedly took place. They have absolutely nothing to go on. Nothing to investigate. The only thing they can do is ask the people who were allegedly involved or allegedly present. All of them have already been asked under penalty of felony and already denied that the party took place. What else can they say about a party that never occurred? There are only so many ways to say, "This didn't happen." Do Democrats want them to say it again in Greek? Do they need to draw a picture of the thing not happening? Do they need to sing it? (Read more.) 

We are witnessing the crucifixion of an American family. From The Christian Review:
Crucifying Judge Kavanaugh and his young family means nothing to the Democrats because they are only an end to a means — saving abortion on demand. Being a pro-life Democrat is like being an extinct animal in a museum. Democratic National Chairman, Tom Perez stated that pro-lifers need not apply for membership in his party. Thus, a political party sacrifices Middle America to remain in favor with the bi-coastal elites and limousine liberals who have no respect for human life.

This hearing has shown a tipping point in this country; we are at a precipice where we destroy people for what they believe. McCarthyism at its worst! Brett Kavanaugh made it through six FBI background checks, served as a top official in the Bush Administration with access to the nuclear codes and reached to the heights of the federal judiciary. None of this would have happened if he were the monster that the Left has portrayed him to be.

The Democrat Party is playing a dangerous game with our American institutions. From national polls, it seemed months ago that Democrats were poised to make gains in Congress. Their repugnant behavior during this confirmation has reignited the legion of voters who elected Trump/Pence in 2016. These Americans still believe in fairness and the presumption of innocence. (Read more.)

An interesting article on body language, HERE.

Listen to Michael Knowles, here:


Working Like a Mother

Here is an eloquent description of struggling motherhood by a writer and playwright. I know so many mothers in other occupations who have been through similar stress, women for whom staying home with their children was not an option because of precarious finances. And women are so hard on other women. From Howl Round:
The Conceptual:

1. The Disappeared. When I was pregnant, I was shocked by how many colleagues said to me, “Oh, you’re about to disappear.” I still bristle at the word, especially since becoming a mother has only made me a stronger, more vivid version of myself. I am now a superior multi-tasking, time-managing, prepared-for-all-type-of-disaster, human-life-giving, pumping-in-an-airplane-bathroom while opening-two-world-premieres deeply empathetic human. Yes, making time for work is more complicated now. But I’d argue the work itself is better, deeper and more confident. Do not automatically assume that new mothers cannot do the things that they once did. And do not assume she can't do something because she just had a baby. Let her tell you what she can do.

2. Time and Space. At the very same time, allow mothers to take the time they need with their kids without making assumptions about their ambition.  After I gave a speech at the Ars Nova gala when I was two months post-partum, citing it as the first time I’d ever been away from my kid, a female colleague said to me disdainfully, “Did you really not leave the house for two months!?” And I stood there stunned and stammering, feeling like I had somehow failed as a feminist by not leaping back into the world as soon as I could walk again.

3. Visibility. I really appreciated Kirsten Greenidge’s comment in American Theatre’s profile of Ilana Brownstein: “Children are real facts.” We need to talk about our kids and our needs more openly. We need to normalize motherhood.  We need more women behind and in our productions. We need women in decision-making positions. I challenge every theatre to examine how many mothers they’ve hired for their next season—and if the answer is little to none, to determine why that is. Is it because you unconsciously decided these women weren’t up to the task? Or because you deemed their family situation too “complicated” to figure out? (Read more.)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

When the Princess of Wales Met Empress Marie-Louise

Marie-Louise of Austria
Empress Marie-Louise
From Shannon Selin:
Marie Louise was the 22-year-old second wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. At the time, Napoleon was in exile on Elba. Napoleon was hoping that Marie Louise and their three-year-old son, Napoleon II, would join him, but Marie Louise’s father, Emperor Francis I of Austria, would not allow it. Instead, Napoleon had just received a visit from his Polish mistress, Marie Walewska, and his illegitimate son Alexandre. Marie Louise didn’t know about the visit, but even if she had known, she may not have much cared. She was finishing up a holiday in the company of Count Adam Albert von Neipperg, her consort in Napoleon in America, who had just become her lover.

Marie Louise arrived in Bern on September 20. Caroline, who was on her way to Rome, reached the city two days later. The two women had never met. Caroline sent her chamberlain, Lord Craven, to convey her respects to the dethroned French Empress. As England was one of the countries whose arms had ousted Napoleon, any recognition of the Regent’s wife by Marie Louise was unnecessary and not in the best of taste. Nonetheless, Marie Louise dispatched the Count de Bausset, former prefect of Napoleon’s palace, to invite Caroline for a visit. Bausset reports:
[Princess Caroline], so adventurous and so celebrated for [her] great vicissitudes…was of medium height, with regular and pronounced features, and a pleasant and expressive countenance. Her great spirit and character…didn’t fail to charm, although it was easy to see that she lacked the extreme fineness of form that is one of the most seductive attributes of a pretty figure. Her manners were easy, lively and natural, her regard penetrating and quick. She spoke French perfectly well, and without an accent. She wore a white muslin gown, and her head was enveloped in a large veil of the same fabric, which fell lightly over her shoulders and her bosom. A diadem of diamonds crowned this veil, and rendered her costume rather like those of the Greek priestesses who appeared in our operas. This ensemble…appeared to me extraordinary for a traveller who had only arrived a few hours earlier. (1)
When Caroline joined Marie Louise the next morning, she spoke “with biting directness” about the difficulties she had experienced in England.
‘Your Majesty will find it hard to believe,’ she said to Marie Louise, ‘that I was not admitted to the Queen’s drawing room during the visit of the sovereigns of Russia and Prussia to England, because it suited my royal husband to not find himself with me, either privately or in public.… I complained to the queen, and even wrote to [my husband] a beautiful letter which I signed, the most faithful and submissive of wives’ (in saying these last words, the princess smiled maliciously); ‘he didn’t bother to respond. But not believing that duty condemned me to absolute retirement, I went to all the places where the public was admitted for a fee. Once, when the sovereigns and my royal husband were in a box in the dress-circle at the opera, I was discovered at the end of a box in the second row, where I had gone in disguise. The people showed their good will toward me by such loud applause that these august spectators, thinking it impossible that such homage could be addressed to anyone other than themselves, thought it incumbent upon them to rise and bow to the audience. I quickly seized on this chance to avenge myself. Pretending to consider their mistake as an act of politeness toward me, I gravely made them three sweeping curtsies, which excited loud and ironic applause.’ (2)
Marie Louise asked about Princess Charlotte.
‘My daughter is as charming and as clever as one can be; but, after myself,’ she added, smiling, ‘I don’t know a more quarrelsome person.’ (3)
(Read more.)
Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales


There Is Hope

From The American Spectator:
Melania, do not be intimidated by the many books about fascism that somehow manage to bring your husband into it, or they bring him into their tirades about environmental catastrophe or more recently about plastic straws. Remember the huge crowds that still turn out for his amusing speeches, and forget not that woman I met in New Jersey who proudly named her kitty Melania. If people like her turn out at the polls this November your husband will continue his Americanization of America, which means that prosperity will continue to spread. The national security will be enhanced, and The Political Party That Is Never Wrong will remain out of power and, of course, Wrong. They and their followers will continue to read ill-informed books about their political fantasies. They will warn us about thugs who wore Brown Shirts or Black Shirts in faraway countries long ago even as their more dedicated activists such as James Hodgkinson open fire on Republican congressmen and almost kill Steve Scalise.

It is amazing how far The Political Party That Is Never Wrong has veered from what were once sensible political norms. Those norms remain the norms of the Republican Party. For the Democratic Party — the party of rising socialism and $3,500 ensembles (that is the way Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democrats’ New Hope, attired herself recently for a photo shoot) — such norms are passé. (Read more.)

Life Lesson

From P.J. O'Rourke at American Consequences:
What I had was a skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma. Practically every melanin-deficient (let alone Irish) person who spends time in the sun gets this if he or she lives long enough. The oncologist said, “I call it ‘adult acne’ when it turns up on the face or arms.” But it occasionally turns up where it turned up on me. And why is something of a medical mystery. I mean, I was naked a lot in the 1960s, but not that naked.

Even though I had an undignified kind of cancer, there was still a loss of dignity involved in trading the awe-inspiring fear of death for the perspiration-inducing fear of treatment. There is hell on earth as well as hell in the afterlife. Until a generation ago, the remedy for anal cancer was a colostomy. Doctors have gotten over that. Most of the time. Now the remedy is radiation and chemotherapy. Would I have to go to some purgatorial place for this? To Sloan Kettering in New York, a city I detest? Or out to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, although I have a phobia about hospitals named after sandwich toppings? “No,” the oncologist said. “The treatment protocol is standardized and is successfully used everywhere.”

I named my local New Hampshire hospital (and large animal veterinary clinic). “Almost everywhere,” the oncologist said. I asked about the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, 90 miles from my home but still on the planet New Hampshire. Dr. Marc Pipas at Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center came strongly recommended.

Dr. Pipas is an avid bird hunter and an advocate of reintroducing the prairie chicken to the eastern seaboard. So he and I had something to talk about in addition to my behind. I’d need radiation therapy every day for six weeks. (Every day, that is, Monday through Friday – the radiology department has to play golf, too.) And I would undergo two four-day stints of around-the-clock chemotherapy, carrying a fanny pack of poisonous chemicals to be pumped into my body through a surgically implanted mediport. (Dr. Pipas persuaded the infusions department to install this on the left side of my chest so that it wouldn’t interfere with mounting a shotgun.)

In theory I could get my radiation treatments elsewhere, within easy commuting distance. But it’s worthwhile to find out what a doctor himself would do if he had your medical problem. And he probably thinks he does. Several doctor friends have told me you can’t get through medical school without being convinced that you have every disease in the textbooks, including elephantiasis, beriberi, and Guinea worm infestation.

Dr. Pipas said, for anal cancer, he’d go to radiologist Dr. Bassem Zaki at Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center. Dr. Zaki is a Coptic Christian who emigrated from Egypt in his late teens. He and I talked about Middle Eastern politics, which, as far as I’m concerned, is the second most interesting blood sport after upland-game shooting. (Read more.)

Friday, September 28, 2018

Meanwhile, in Paris...

 Diamonds are still à la mode. From Forbes:
For gorgeous gothic-esq jewelry, your go-to will be Marie Poniatowski, the founder of Stone Paris. And she knows her stones, namely diamonds. They're her best friend, they're our best friend, let's all be friends. Marie Poniatowski founded Stone Paris in 2004, designing jewelry that echoes her own story. She was born into Polish nobility that dates back to the 15th-century and her father was the director of Vogue Paris, a stylish lineage indeed. Found in her line is Victorian inspired cross jewelry which radiates a regality, and other styles that include understated hoop earrings, delicate ear climbers, ornate pendants and spider web rings that wrap around the finger. Poniatowski's precious stone pieces are very much translated in a today's setting - wear with jeans and a tee as the Parisiennes do, or a LBD for the darker hours. (Read more.)

Blind Allegiances

How logic and reason were valued more in the past than now. From The Federalist:
We’re not taught how to reason in school: we’re just presented with “right answers” and told to put those down. Science textbooks don’t delve into the complexities of research, competing theories, the long, hard process by which accumulated facts slowly create a clearer and clearer picture of the workings of nature. They just list the facts, laws, and theories as ready made, sometimes with an understated sneer at those who initially doubted them for failing to give the right answer. It’s like this with most aspects of our lives. When was the last time you actually heard someone lay out the reasons why, say, racism is wrong, or democracy is good? We don’t make arguments, just statements of faith based on what we’ve been taught to say.

The trouble is that this kind of faith-based approach is very fragile (which is one of the reasons the old Christians didn’t use it). It’s apt to breed resentment and rebellion, and to crumble if the observed facts don’t seem to match the received doctrine. We’re sometimes told with horror that half the country doubts evolution. Well, why shouldn’t they? They’ve been taught it as a matter of faith, not as a scientific fact dug out of nature through observation and reason. They’ve simply been told, in essence, “This is true and you’re a bad person if you don’t believe it.”

We should only expect some people to rebelliously turn their backs on it for that reason alone. Then again, there’s the fact that anyone of basic intelligence can see where evolution, as it is usually taught, seems to contradict the observed world around us. It doesn’t make sense that the vast variety, beauty, and efficiency of the natural world came about simply by random mutations that happened to be beneficial (I am told modern evolutionists generally think the situation is much more complicated and interesting than that). So, when forced to choose between the rather patronizing faith that’s been shoved down their throats or their own good sense, they choose the latter. (Read more.)

The Rise of an Epidemic

From American Consequences:
The accident inflicted permanent back injuries that left Gallego struggling with chronic pain. As a Los Angeles police officer, Gallego was credited with saving lives. He had once even rescued two motorists in a severe flood. But during the two decades that followed his accident, Gallego underwent multiple back surgeries. And he was treated with various pain medications. Eventually, he was prescribed the painkiller OxyContin, a slow-release pill containing oxycodone. Oxycodone is also the active ingredient in medications like Percocet. More important, oxycodone is an opioid, a highly addictive narcotic drug one-and-a-half times more powerful than morphine. Drugs like this have properties similar to opium and heroin. Oxycodone and hydrocodone (the active ingredient in Vicodin) are semi-synthetic opioids that bind to receptors in the brain and spinal cord – lessening the perception of pain. (Read more.)

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Medieval Self-portrait

From Medieval Books:
Helpfully, Rufillus identifies himself by providing his name: in the Cologny manuscript he painted it in white above his brush (accompanied by “Fr.” for frater, monk), while in the crowded Amiens initial the name is written right above the decorative letter with pen and ink. Based on the origins of the two manuscripts, scholars place Rufillus in the late-twelfth century Premonstratensian abbey of Weissenau near Ravensburg in the South of Germany (get up to speed on Rufillus in this article by Solange Michon; a useful enumeration of manuscripts from Weissenau is found here). In secondary literature he is commonly regarded (and explicitly labeled as) an illuminator (see for example here and here). Judging from the decoration in the two manuscripts, which include numerous decorated initials and even some full-page miniatures, he was quite accomplished. In his article Michon shows, by highlighting iconographical – design – parallels, that it is the same person who produced the decoration in both manuscripts.

The Cologny manuscript shows the artisan “in the moment,” hard at work decorating the manuscript (Figure 2). The scene is unusually rich in detail and shows us, among other things, what tools were used by medieval illuminators. In one hand Rufillus is holding a bowl filled with red paint; in the other a brush. Cow horns filled with all kind of paints are placed behind him, while a mortar and pestle are placed nearby for preparing additional pigments. In what is a familiar pose for painters today, his right hand is leaning on his left for stability. That hand is in turn supported by a stick placed on the ground – a selfie-stick! With a healthy dose of irony, Rufillus allows us to observe him as he is painting the initial he is inhabiting. In a rather unusual twist, we witness both the artist at work and the result of his toils. By showing himself applying red paint on the letter R he invites the beholder in his atelier, which is a powerful gesture. (Read more.)

Trapped Inside ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

From The Federalist:
Self-inflicted repression is an odd feature of contemporary feminism. In Gilead, the violently misogynistic dystopia of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” women are forced to drape their bodies in red cloaks and cover their heads in bonnets. The draconian mandate is purposefully meant to stand in stark contrast with the freedom of dress we enjoy now. Nevertheless, the costumes have taken on a symbolism with feminist activists, who lumber around Capitol Hill protesting various perceived injustices in the uniforms of Gilead. As an act of protest, it’s always been somewhat amusing: comparisons between modern America and Gilead are not remotely within the realm of serious discussion, meaning the only people impelling anyone into those robes are feminists, deluded into believing they live in far darker times. (Read more.)

Papal Condemnations

From TFP:
Shortly after World War II, Pope Pius XII, in the Allocution to the Auditors of the Rota of October 2, 1945, again condemned the opinion that the Church must be transformed into some sort of democracy. Here are a few excerpts from the document.12 (The subtitles are ours.)
  • Ecclesiastical Power Differs Essentially From Civil Power
    If we consider the favorite thesis of democracy (a thesis constantly defended by great Christian thinkers)—that is, that the subject of political power that derives from God is, first and foremost, the people (not, indeed, the “masses”), the distinction between Church and State, even a democratic State, becomes ever clearer.… Ecclesiastical power is in fact essentially different from civil power.
  • The Origins of the Church, Unlike Those of Civil Society, Are Supernatural
    The origin of the Church, unlike that of the State, does not arise from Natural Law…. The Church derives from a positive act of God which is beyond and above man’s social character but in perfect harmony with it.
  • Civil Society Grows From the Bottom Upward, While the Church Comes to Us From Above
    This fundamental difference is manifest in one point above all. Unlike the foundation of the State, the foundation of the Church, as a society, was carried out not from below but from above.
  • Christ Did Not Impart His Mission as Master, Priest, and Shepherd to the Community
    Christ Who, in His Church, has set up the Kingdom of God on earth which He announced and destined for all men and ages, did not hand on to the community of the faithful the mission as Master, Priest, and Shepherd which He received from the Father for the salvation of all men. He handed it on, rather, to a college of Apostles or envoys chosen by Himself so that they should, by their preaching, their priestly ministry, and their social power respectively, bring into the Church the multitude of the faithful in order to sanctify them, enlighten them, and lead them into full maturity as disciples of Christ.
  • The Basic Subject of Power in the Church Is Never the Community of the Faithful
    In the Church, in contradistinction to the State, the basic subject of power and its ultimate manifestation, the supreme judge, is never the community of the faithful. There is thus no popular tribunal or judiciary power emanating from the people in the Church as founded by Christ, and there cannot be. (Read more.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Marie-Thérèse Charlotte of France: Her Life at the Temple and Her Release

Marie-Thérèse Charlotte de France around 1815
Madame Royale after her release from prison
The French Royal Family incarcerated at the Temple
 From Geri Walton:
Like her father, mother, aunt, and brother, Marie-Thérèse was imprisoned in August of 1792 at the Temple, which had been built by the Knights Templar in the twelfth century and started out as fort. New headquarters emerged in the thirteenth century in the form of a fortress called enclos du Temple. The Temple originally contained buildings necessary for the order to function and included two towers: a massive one known as the Gross Tour (great tower) and a small one called Tour de Tour de César (Caesar’s Tower).

The great tower was where the royal family was imprisoned. It was 150 feet high with walls that were 9 feet thick. It consisted of four stories, all vaulted, and the interior was between 34 and 36 feet square. The second floor was reserved for the King and the third floor for the Queen. Both floors had an antechamber preceded by two doors, one of oak and the other of iron.

The King and the Dauphin (Louis-Charles) were housed together on the second floor and Marie-Thérèse, her mother, and her aunt (Madame Élisabeth) were placed on the third floor. The chamber that housed Marie-Thérèse and her mother was directly above the King’s chamber, and in it there was the Queen’s bed, a mahogany chest of drawer, and a wooden screen. There was also Marie-Thérèse’s bed that had three mattresses, a hair palliass, bolster, and two cotton quilts. In addition, the room had yellow paper on the walls.

During the royal family’s imprisonment, they were constantly insulted. Marie-Thérèse wrote that “My father was no longer treated as King. He was not called ‘Sire’ or ‘Your Majesty,’ but ‘Monsieur’ or ‘Louis.’”[1] Moreover, jailers were always sitting in his room, and one jailer purposely tried to torment him by singing a popular song of revolutionaries, known as “Le Carmagnole,” or smoking a pipe, something the King detested.

The royal family was unhappy while imprisoned at the Temple partly because news was hard to come by, and they only learned of the outside world by bits and pieces. How they knew something was afoot was if they heard the beating of the drums, but even then they did not know exactly what the drums meant.

The royal family’s unhappiness increased when Louis XVI was guillotined in January of 1793. Shortly after his execution, her brother Louis-Charles (Louis XVII) was removed on 3 July 1793 and housed in a different part of the Temple. After his removal Marie Antoinette never saw him again and his sister only saw him a couple of times. Life in the Temple was difficult, and it became more difficult when a few weeks after her brother’s separation, on the night of 1 August, at 1:00 in the morning, guards came and took her mother away. She supposedly threw her arms around her mother and had to be torn from her.

When the Queen left the Temple, she did not stoop low enough and hit her head on the lintel of door as she exited. One of her guards asked if she was hurt. She is reported to have said, “No, … nothing can hurt me now.”[2] She was then transferred from the Temple to an isolated cell in the Conciergerie, a prison that was the main penitentiary of a network of prisons throughout Paris and housed more than 2,700 people, who were summarily executed by guillotine.
The Queen arrived there at 3am and was known thereafter as “Prisoner n° 280.” She was placed in cell below courtyard level that was unpleasant and damp: The brick floor was thick with slimy mud and the walls were usually wet as water trickled down them because of the cell’s proximity to the Seine. Moreover, when the river was low and the walls dried out, she could see the appearance of pieces of old fleur-de-lis wallpaper.

After her mother’s removal from the Temple, Marie-Thérèse scratched her unhappiness onto a wall in her room. It read:
“Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte is the most unfortunate person in the world. She cannot hear news of her mother, not even to be reunited to her even though she has asked for it a thousand times. Long live my good mother whom I like and whose news I cannot know.”*[3]
Marie Antoinette’s trial began on 14 October. It lasted 15 hours, and the next session that began on 15 October lasted 24 hours. The verdict probably came as no surprise to anyone. The sentence of death by guillotine was passed at 4:30am on the 16th, and when it was pronounced, Marie Antoinette didn’t say a single word. A few hours later, she was executed at the Place de la Concorde. Her death was followed by the death of her sister-in-law and Marie-Thérèse’s aunt, Madame Élisabeth, who was guillotined on 10 May 1794. (Read more.)


Women Need To Protect Their Men From Unproven, Life-Destroying Accusations

From The Federalist:
My husband is in the military, so I am no stranger to a culture of double standards, but until now we thought it was more isolated. In the military it is common knowledge, whether senior leaders will acknowledge it or not, that a mere accusation of sexual harassment or assault, proven or not, is enough to end a man’s career.

This is an unfortunate but expected development in a military that is entirely beholden to the forces of feminism. The effects of such an environment are terrible and destructive, but they have at least been contained. This Brett Kavanaugh-Christine Blasey Ford affair has shown me that wives and mothers of sons everywhere need to take a stand.

All indications now are that too many in our society have abandoned the idea that all people, men and women, are innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt through due process. Instead people want a guilty until proven innocent standard for men accused of sexual assault.

People think mere accusations, made without evidence and decades after the fact, should result in intrusive and embarrassing investigations simply because a woman made them. Men are to be afforded no due process or opportunity to defend themselves, whether or not they are innocent. These new standards inhibit civil society, for under them vindictive or zealous people can threaten, shame, or marginalize unpopular voices using unfounded and fabricated accusations.

Likewise, many seem to think that men and women should be judged by different standards. This is the opposite of equality before the law. Without equality before the law, how can we say the law rules and not men (or women)? As we make this turn toward “believe women” regardless of a trial or presence of proof, our society will only get worse. (Read more.)
From The National Review:
The political circus overwhelming the Kavanaugh confirmation will almost certainly weaken the Me Too movement in the long run by undermining its promise that the truth matters and that it will enable us to obtain justice. The slapdash nature of Sunday’s reporting by Farrow and Mayer encourages readers to cast doubt on this newest accusation. They write of Kavanaugh’s accuser, Deborah Ramirez: “In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty,” saying she was only willing to go on the record “after six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney,” at which point “she felt confident enough of her recollections.” Their effort to publish this story should’ve stopped right there.

What’s more, they couldn’t find a single eyewitness to confirm that Kavanaugh was present at the party Ramirez describes, or even to confirm they heard this account from the accuser herself. One friend of Ramirez’s told The New Yorker: “This is a woman I was best friends with. We shared intimate details of our lives. And I was never told this story by her, or by anyone else. It never came up. I didn’t see it; I never heard of it happening.”

The only corroboration Farrow and Mayer offer is one hearsay account from someone who says he was told that Kavanaugh did this. We are given no indication from whom this man heard it; for all we know, it could’ve been a tale passed along in a lengthy game of telephone. The New York Times noted on Sunday that its reporters had been aware of the story as well, but had “interviewed several dozen people” and could find no one with firsthand knowledge of Ramirez’s story. (Read more.)

The smear campaign against Brett Kavanaugh is truly evil. From The Federalist:
Maybe Brett Kavanaugh is a gang-raping attempted murderer who managed to live a public life of acclaim and honor. Maybe the devotion to his wife and two daughters, his respect for countless women and their careers, and his wisdom on the bench are parts of an elaborate plot to get away with it. Anything is possible. But the idea that the country should convict him and destroy his life with no evidence other than recovered and uncorroborated memories and creepy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti’s say-so is quite insane. (Read more.)

When Society Falls Apart

From TFP:
A battle rages around liberalism’s future. Conservatives blame progressives for this disaster with the tyranny of their stifling political correctness and their obsessive demands for big government. Progressives blame conservatives claiming they represent big financial interests and promote rigid notions of identity and freedom. They do not hesitate to frame the debate in class struggle terms of powerful conservative parties who impose their vision of society on the people especially at the expense of supposedly disenfranchised minorities.

The New York Timescolumnist Paul Krugman, for example, recently complained that conservatives are suppressing the liberal order in favor of a new and sinister “illiberal” order that ignores the rule of law and basic freedoms. “It [nationalist tyranny] can happen here,” he ominously warned. What progressives like Krugman fail to mention is that they have played an important role in suppressing the liberal order. Their big government policies and support of the sexual revolution have reduced society to shreds. When society falls apart, it [socialist tyranny] can happen anywhere. (Read more.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


 From Victoria:
Skirting the edge of Rock Creek Park in the northwest sector of Washington, D.C., stands the magnificent home and gardens of arguably the most successful businesswoman, socialite, philanthropist, and art collector America has ever known. With equal passion devoted to her many interests, Marjorie Merriweather Post ensured the public could experience art once reserved for the upper echelons of society. (Read more.)
Marjorie Merriweather Post and her daughters (Source)

Grotesque Character Assassination

Judge Kavanaugh's statement needs to be read in its entirety, HERE. Anyone who wants insight into what is going on I suggest watching the film The Crucible with Daniel Day-Lewis based upon Arthur Miller's play about the Salem witchcraft trials. That's where we are now. If any man can be destroyed based upon rumored behavior in high school or college then half the men in America would be unfit for any job. And the women, too, for that matter. From Breitbart:
Supreme Court Nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh responded to the latest allegations of sexual misconduct on Monday by denouncing them as smears. “These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse,” he wrote in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination — if allowed to succeed — will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service.”

Kavanuagh’s letter expressed frustration with his delayed confirmation vote despite repeating his willingness to testify about the accusations from Christine Ford and a second “uncorroborated” report in the New Yorker. (Read more.)

From The Stream:
This is about abortion. It’s about the larger sexual ideology as well, but abortion first and foremost. This is about nothing more than demolishing a candidate for the Supreme Court whom they did not choose, and who poses a serious threat to their golden idol. Abortion is both sacrament and god. Any honest observer has to be repulsed by the histrionics displayed during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. Screaming women raving like lunatics about one thing: abortion-on-demand. At the thought that they may not be able to extinguish the natural results of their sexual encounters, that the child they help create is a human being they are obligated to protect, the pelvic Left becomes absolutely unhinged. Unhinged is even too inadequate a word. It’s like the behavior of demons about to be exorcised. (Read more.)

5 Ways French Culture has Influenced Our Cuisine

From SBS:
According to Dr Haden, the roots of degustation (the French term for tasting) menus can be traced back to France during the long reign of the many King Louis's from the House of Bourbon. “French royal society invested a lot of wealth in the culinary arts prior to the revolution,” says Dr Haden. “Gastronomy became very much a part of the royal household and court life.” He explains that regularly feasting on extravagant royal buffets, made with rich local produce, quickly became a thing in France’s upper classes prior to the revolution in 1789. “But the sophisticated cuisine that was in France around the end of the 18th century hadn’t really developed in the same way anywhere else in the world because France was in a unique situation – it had a very powerful royal family with a lot of money [invested in gastronomy] who had been running the country for a long time.”

Restaurants (a French word) were first developed in Paris after the overthrow of King Louis XVI and family when the power of France’s food guilds began to crumble. Prior to the revolution, members of the charcutiers guild were the only people in the country allowed to sell prepared cooked meats to the public. “But in the period after the revolution, those laws governing the guilds started to weaken. Basically, chefs earned the right to be able to run their own businesses,” Dr Haden explains. (Read more.)

Monday, September 24, 2018

Designing with Red

From Southern Lady:
Make a big impact by decorating with red to infuse your home with verve and energy. Because this can be a tough shade to work with, our third color design story features nine of our favorite red rooms accompanied by advice from interior designer Shayla Copas of Shayla Copas Interiors....Preferring to use red as a dominant tone in tight quarters, such as powder rooms, Shayla advises that “red adds depth to small spaces.” A bold, true-red wallpaper sets a stately mood in this pocket-size bathroom by Meriwether Design Group, offsetting Baroque golden accents for an opulent feel. (Read more.)


When Every Boy Is Guilty

Girls can be vicious. From PJ Media:
Note, the puerile, ridiculous origin of why the girls were mad at him. I mean, if anything, taking a black character as an avatar is the opposite of racism. But these girls don’t know that. A stew and hodgepodge of “racism” and “dog whistles” and “cultural appropriation” has been poured into their heads. All they know is that he’s doing socially unapproved things and that this is doubleplus ungood. In the way of middle school girls, they want to enforce conformity. And everyone knows if you accuse someone of sexually harassing you, that gets them removed, and people treat you as a victim and are nice to you.

I can’t begin to express my horror and disgust at this. I have no words, just a profound depression. This is not just wrong. This is evil. Straight up evil. The little boy might change schools and, like my son, be all right. The girls? As with my son’s harassers, there might be no remedy for them. Not unless they hit bottom, realize what they are and decide to change. And very few people do that. Once you realize you can control others and force them to dance to your tune, few people ever step back. Few people can. And chances are, never having been taught to examine their actions or be self-reflective, these girls, now women, will never even be able to realize they’re not perfect. Now multiply this by all the kids in school. Yes, every time I publish one of these, I get people telling me their schools are fine; their kids are fine. Are they? Or have you just never interrogated them on their assumptions and what they’re being taught? Do you just not want to know? (Read more.)

Of Antelopes & Kings

From Lauren Johnson:
Henry VI inherited the thrones of England and of France before his first birthday and he never met his famed father. The antelope heraldry they shared recurs throughout Henry’s reign. In 1432, when the ten-year-old king returned to England after 2 years in his French realm, he was greeted on his arrival in London by a series of pageants. The poet John Lydgate wrote an account of Henry’s entry into the city, recording how at London Bridge, a giant greeted the king, promising to serve as his champion. Flanking the giant were:
“Two antelopes standing on either side
With the arms of England and of France,
In token that God shall for him provide,
As he hath title by just inheritance
To reign in peace, plenty and pleasance.”

The antelope on the cover of SHADOW KING is based on an illuminated manuscript produced around the time of Henry’s marriage in 1444. In a genealogical roll celebrating Henry VI’s descent from both English and French royalty, an antelope appears upholding the arms of Henry impaled with those of his new wife Margaret of Anjou. The book was presented to Queen Margaret by one of Henry’s noblemen, Lord John Talbot. (Read more.)

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Closer Glimpse

"A Morning on the Trail" by Catherine Walden
 My sister Sarah Laughland, photographer, actress and writer, interviewed an artist in Abingdon,Virginia. From Sarah's blog:
I have a line in the play I’m currently in that says, “Bob and I like to think we know people when we meet them”. The moment I met Catherine Walden of The Secret Garden Gallery, I had that same sensation. I knew she was a kind and gentle soul. An observer, detail-oriented, and sensitive to the stimulus life offers on the daily. Lucky for us, she’s worked her entire life to hone the skills that bring those visions to life through her art.

Her landscape paintings captivate what nature makes you feel, not just what you see. The way the light hit the trees that morning you walked the trail, or the funny and almost human-like expression on a bird’s face as it sat on a tree branch singing its morning song. Calligraphy, pressed flowers, prints, oils, watercolors, custom framing. She keeps her eyes open and her hands busy.

She found her home in this little southern town, finding common ground in the admiration of nature and how that connects every one of us. After all, isn’t that the point of art? Enjoy the interview below and a small glimpse into her collection of pieces, then go visit her at the Abingdon Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 8-1pm at the Abingdon Farmer’s Market Pavilion off of Main Street or at her shop at 416 W. Main Street in Abingdon! You can also visit her online Etsy shops for artwork and prints & calligraphy. (Read more.)

America’s Forgotten Immigrants

Victims of Communism. From The National Review:
A red wave is coming to America’s shores. With the rise of politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Andrew Gillum, the future of the Democratic party is boldly and unapologetically socialist. The party of Harry Truman, FDR, and Bill Clinton is no longer, and the mainstream media has only fanned the flames, elevating young socialists as the brave new faces of the progressive movement. This troubling trend marks a new internal threat to our nation’s great experiment. And amid all this, the voices of a small subgroup of Americans — the victims of socialism — are being drowned out and sometimes even silenced.
A blatant example of this censorship can be seen with congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng of California’s 16th district, the daughter of Cambodian refugees. One of her campaign advertisements detailed her family’s background of surviving the Killing Fields. This advertisement was censored on both Facebook and Twitter, with Facebook stating the “campaign ad was deemed to violate the site’s advertising policy against content that “shocks or scares.” But what Heng’s ad contained should “shock and scare.” The socialist Khmer Rouge was brutal, murdering close to a quarter of the population in just four years.

Elizabeth is a young, Ivy League–educated woman of color who has an important story to tell. Americans across this nation should be heeding stories like Elizabeth’s because the failure to do so would mean the undermining of our nation’s core values.

Like Elizabeth, I too am the child of Cambodian refugees. When Pol Pot seized power in 1975, my father and his family were forced into labor camps. My father witnessed horrors unimaginable. Starvation, executions, and hard labor were commonplace. He witnessed his best friend, a boy of just eleven years old, beheaded for attempting to escape. He was forced to memorize revolutionary slogans and songs that called for the elimination of private property, the dissolution of the family unit, and the destruction of capitalism.

My father dreamed of freedom, of running west to Thailand. When Vietnam invaded Cambodia, he made his escape. With the threat of death if captured and his traveling limited to the cover of night, he navigated through mine-infested jungles to get to the refugee camps at the Thai border. His only guides through the jungle were the animals ahead of him; he carefully placed his steps where they had walked. Just one misstep could mean stepping on a landmine.

Arriving at the refugee camps, my father learned English from Christian missionaries. The church eventually sponsored him and his family to come to the United States. In America, he took advantage of the opportunities afforded to him and worked hard in school. Having no prior formal education, he went on to finish high school, earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics, and then earned a master’s and a Ph.D. in mathematics as well. He worked with NASA as a scientist on the space shuttle Endeavor and to this day works as a contracted civilian adviser to the Department of Defense.

His story is the type of story the Left wants to block out. He overcame socialism abroad to pursue a life and career that can only happen in America. Today, with the rise of domestic socialism, stories like my father’s and Elizabeth Heng’s parents’ need to be reiterated. And while Americans on both the Left and the Right have come to denounce the racism perpetuated by the alt-right and white-nationalists groups, the Left has failed to denounce the hateful rhetoric and connotations associated with emerging far-left groups. The Left’s failure to denounce socialism is a slap in the face to the many American immigrants who suffered under socialist regimes before escaping. (Read more.)

Earls, Shires, Hides, and Hundreds

From Andrew Cusack:
As cheekily noted by Ned Donovan on his Twitter feed, HM the Q has recently engaged in the old practice of ‘pricking the lites’ to appoint High Sheriffs for the three ceremonial counties of Lancashire, Greater Manchester, and Merseyside. But in order to know what ‘pricking the lites’ is it’s worth looking at the territorial division of Anglo-Saxon England and the old offices that emerged therefrom.

In those days, the land was divided into hides, a hide being the amount of land on which a family lived and supported itself. Ten hides together were known as a tithing, and ten tithings were collectively a hundred. As hundreds go, the best-known today are the Chiltern Hundreds because of the parliamentary role they play. Members of Parliament are not allowed to resign, but nor are they allowed to hold an office of profit under the Crown.

So whenever an MP wants to resign, he or she is appointed Crown Steward and Bailiff of the three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough, and Burnham and, having accepted such office, is deemed to have disqualified themselves from continuing to sit in the House of Commons. (The Manor of Northstead is also used alternately with the Chiltern Hundreds.)

Anyhow, each hundred was supervised by a constable, and groups of hundreds were collected into shires. Each shire was overseen by an earl, of whom the French equivalent is a count, so after the Normans turned up shires became more often known as counties. These now divvy up territory across the English-speaking world, from Kenya to California.

Each level of these Anglo-Saxon divisions had a relevant court for decision-making, and the officer who administered or enforced these decisions was known as the reeve. Amongst these titles – town-reeve and reeve of the manor, etc. – there was the shire-reeve, or sheriff as it was contracted. In the 1970s, for reasons unknown to me, all the sheriffs in England & Wales were elevated to high shrievalties. (Read more.)

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Petit Trianon and the Hamlet Revisited

 The grand salon at Petit Trianon from East of the Sun, West of the Moon.

 More pictures, HERE.

From the dining room at Petit Trianon
 The Queen's house at the hameau has been restored. It is interesting to me that Napoleon gave the hamlet to his second wife Marie-Louise, who was the Queen's great niece. He was really unabashed in his fascination with Marie-Antoinette. From France Today:
Left to rack and ruin for the best part of two centuries, the Maison de la Reine, Marie Antoinette’s country retreat on the fringes of the Château de Versailles, has finally been restored to its former glory, thanks to a major £326 million renovation. Built between 1783 and 1787 as the extravagant centrepiece of the Hameau de la Reine, a model ‘village’ and folly of epic scale complete with a (decorative) windmill, sheep trussed up in silk ribbons, a cluster of farmers’ cottages and working farm, the Queen’s House had lain empty since 1848 when the Dior Foundation stepped in three years ago intent on rescuing it from certain ruin and giving it the regal makeover it so begged for.

Secreted in the sprawling gardens of the Petit Trianon, away from fawning courtiers’ prying eyes, the Hameau was Marie Antoinette’s refuge from Versailles’s folderol – for the two short years she got to enjoy it – and only a handful of her closest confidantes were allowed in its inner sanctum, the Maison de la Reine. Conceived with little thought for longevity, the hamlet fared poorly in the post-Revolution years and was all but a crumbling heap when Napoleon ordered a full restoration in 1810. Never one for sentimentalism, the emperor had the most ramshackle structures summarily torn down. Another renovation followed in the 1930s, courtesy of John Rockefeller. Part of the complex was refurbished in the late 20th century and the farm rebuilt in 2006. (Read more.)
From the Queen's house at the hameau

An Epidemic of Teenage Gender Confusion

We have now come to the end result of the feminist movement. It is no longer enough for women to prove that they are successful in professions traditionally held by men. It is no longer enough that women have the freedom to be as sexually reckless as certain irresponsible males. It is no longer enough for women to leave their children behind and work long hours away from home like men. Now women are only free and equal if they mutilate their bodies in an attempt to become biological males. Or at least that is the message that many teenage girls have assimilated. It proves to me that underlying feminism is an innate hatred of femininity, especially of motherhood. From Break Point:
Peer pressure almost never pushes teenagers to good places. Recently, it’s been pushing them to the gender clinic. We’ve all seen teenagers—especially girls—adopt new fashions en masse. Their friends are doing it, so they do too. It’s true of music, clothes, those ridiculous, furry Ugg boots… But lately, fashion-conscious teens are changing much more than their clothes.

The Economist recently reported a flood of adolescent girls seeking treatment for gender dysphoria over the last eight years. In 2009, less than half—41  percent—of teens walking through the doors of gender clinics in the U.K. were female. But by 2017, that number jumped to almost 70 percent. Now, if gender dysphoria—feeling yourself to be the opposite gender from your biological sex—were actually something innate to the human condition as trans activists claim, we’d expect these numbers to remain consistent and roughly balanced between boys and girls. But they’re not.

According to Dr. Lisa Littman, who teaches behavioral and social sciences at Brown University, transgender identity, like Ugg boots, has become a trend. According to Littman, droves of adolescents, with no prior history of gender confusion, are suddenly announcing they’re transgender after “immersing themselves in niche websites,” or “after similar announcements from friends.” Littman surveyed 256 parents of children who experienced what she terms “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.” The results were astonishing: 87 percent of teenagers who suddenly came out as transgender did so after spending a great deal more time than usual online or after “cluster outbreaks” of gender dysphoria among their friends.

To put it simply, these kids wanted to transition because “everyone’s doing it.” Littman describes viral gender confusion as a “social and peer contagion.” In some teenage circles, particularly among girls, it’s reaching epidemic proportions. In a third of the peer groups she researched, half or more of the individuals involved came out as transgender. To put this in perspective, less than one percent of Americans aged 18-24 identify as trans.

In fact, gender-transition is not only fashionable, “Most children,” says the Economist, “who came out became more popular as a result.” Littman believes adolescents are embracing the idea they are the opposite gender as a coping mechanism for unrelated issues. And the numbers back this claim up. Almost two-thirds of those Littman studied had previously been diagnosed with other psychiatric or developmental disorders, and nearly half had experienced trauma or tried to harm themselves—all before expressing any gender dysphoric feeling. (Read more.)
More HERE. Share

A Student’s Guide to Popular Heresies

From Return to Order:
This book is a collection of essays aimed at the unwary college student. Each essay looks at a currently popular collegiate heresy. Among the fourteen essays are some topics that one would expect—Hedonism, Marxism, and Feminism among them. There are also a few that are a bit of a surprise—Consumerism, Scientism, and Americanism. Mr. Zmirak compiled a list of impressive talent when he went out looking for authors. Fr. George Rutler, Elizabeth Scalia, Peter Kreeft, and Jimmy Akin are among the essayists. Any attempt to speak intelligently about all of the fourteen topics would either be superficial or as long as this slim volume (181 pages).

That being said, perhaps the most useful essay is the final one, Modernism by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf. In twelve pages, the good Father cogently discusses the roots of the Modernist heresy back to Renaissance humanism and through the Enlightenment idea that, “Man should perfect himself and the world by his own efforts.” He then goes on to discuss the fact that the core of this heresy is confusion about the nature of God. Is God the source of eternal truth, or a “god” in one’s own likeness? Certainly, this thinking has infiltrated the Church and, especially, its universities:
Slowly but surely, even within the Catholic Church, individual human reason was proposed as the ultimate criterion of truth, of good and evil. Truths of the Christian Faith became subject to the veto of reason. In the minds of some theologians, divine revelation had to be reshaped in accord with their own conclusions about human needs and progress. For these theologians, natural sciences and worldly philosophies became the starting point for theology. These men came to be called (and later to call themselves) “modernists.”
Fr. Zuhlsdorf then explains that Pope Saint Pius X called modernism the, “summary of all heresies.” (Read more.)

Friday, September 21, 2018

Louis XVIII of France

Queen Marie-Joséphine

 From Shannon Selin:
 During the French Revolution, Louis and his wife, Marie Joséphine of Savoy, fled to the Austrian Netherlands. When Louis XVI was executed in January 1793, Louis (the Count of Provence) declared himself regent for his nephew, Louis Charles. In the eyes of the royalists, this young son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette was now Louis XVII. In practice the boy was a prisoner in the Temple. When he died there at age 10 in 1795, the Count of Provence took the title Louis XVIII.
In exile, Louis XVIII moved with his entourage through Germany, Italy, Russia and Prussia before winding up in England in 1807. He stayed briefly at Gosfield Hall in Essex, and then settled into Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire. His niece, the Duchess of Angoulême (Louis XVI’s daughter), and her husband, the Duke of Angoulême (son of Louis’s younger brother, the Count of Artois), accompanied him. The Count of Artois also lived in England, but preferred to stay in London. The Prince Regent (later George IV) was generous to the exiled Bourbons, granting them large allowances. In 1800, Louis XVIII wrote to Napoleon (then First Consul of France), urging him to restore the Bourbons to the throne. Not surprisingly, Napoleon refused.

Louis XVIII’s wife Marie Joséphine died in 1810. Though they were said not to be close (you can read about one well-known spat on the This is Versailles blog), he did miss her. In early 1811, he wrote:
I am already at the point where I believe I shall remain – ‘no more tears – no more pangs of sorrow,’ but a sincere regret, a void in my life which I feel a hundred times a day. A thought occurs to me – sad, or gay, or indifferent – no matter, a recollection of something old, or an emotion at something new; I find myself saying mechanically I must tell HER this, and then I recollect my loss, the illusion vanishes, and I say to myself, the day of those soft intercourses is gone for ever. All this does not hinder my sleeping and eating, nor taking part in the conversation, nor even laughing when the occasion occurs; but the sad thought that she is gone forever mixes itself with everything, and, like a drop of wormwood in food or drink, embitters the flavour without entirely destroying it. (3)
After the allied troops entered Paris in 1814, forcing Napoleon’s abdication, Louis XVIII assumed the throne of France. On the balcony of the Tuileries’ Pavilion d’Horloge, in response to the acclamations of the crowd, Louis pressed the Count of Artois and the Duchess of Angoulême theatrically to his heart. During these embraces he grumbled: “Scoundrels! Jacobins! Brutes!” The Duchess burst out laughing, which caused the people to cheer even more. (4) Regarding the Tuileries Palace, Louis told Clemens von Metternich, the Austrian Foreign Minister:
It must be allowed that Napoleon was a very good tenant; he made everything most comfortable; he has arranged everything excellently for me. (5)
The occupying armies demanded that Louis rule not as an absolute monarch like his forebears, but as a constitutional monarch. Louis viewed the royal authority as derived from God rather than from a contract between king and people. He thus made the constitution (the Charte or Charter of 1814) a free grant of the King, instead of an agreement between him and his subjects. This gave him more power than the British king. Still, the Charter included many progressive provisions and established a legislature composed of the Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Peers. (Read more.)