Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Bastille Day +1

I missed the actual day, which was yesterday.   But to continue with The Inn's traditional habits of (a) mentioning Bastille Day and (b) being a day late and a dollar short most of the time, herewith the late and much-missed Jerry Pournelle's annual comment on the . . . ahem . . . great day:

On July 14, 1789, the Paris mob aided by units of the National Guard stormed the Bastille Fortress which stood in what had been the Royal area of France before the Louvre and Tuilleries took over that function. The Bastille was a bit like the Tower of London, a fortress prison under direct control of the Monarchy. It was used to house unusual prisoners, all aristocrats, in rather comfortable durance. The garrison consisted of soldiers invalided out of service and some older soldiers who didn't want to retire; it was considered an honor to be posted there, and the garrison took turns acting as valets to the aristocratic prisoners kept there by Royal order (not convicted by any court).

On July 14, 1789, the prisoner population consisted of four forgers, three madmen, and another. The forgers were aristocrats and were locked away in the Bastille rather than be sentenced by the regular courts. The madmen were kept in the Bastille in preference to the asylums: they were unmanageable at home, and needed to be locked away. The servants/warders were bribed to treat them well. The Bastille was stormed; the garrison was slaughtered to a man, some being stamped to death; their heads were displayed on pikes; and the prisoners were freed. The forgers vanished into the general population. The madmen were sent to the general madhouse. The last person freed was a young man who had challenged the best swordsman in Paris to a duel, and who had been locked up at his father's insistence lest he be killed. This worthy joined the mob and took on the name of Citizen Egalite. He was active in revolutionary politics until Robespierre had him beheaded in The Terror.
Alas, I have long since lost the link to the proper page of Dr Pournelle's site.  And they've re-arranged it anyway.  I suspect a search of some kind could find it eventually.

As long as we're regretting ghastly revolutions  (you're not?  Oh, dear.  It's just me then I guess.), here is a good read in honour of the day that is, um, was in it.


Sunday, July 12, 2020

This Morning's Collect

GRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee: that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance; that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Interesting how "our regularly scheduled" liturgical prayer is so often  -- you'll pardon the phrase -- relevant.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

What's left of the novena anyway.  Since her feast day is on the 16th of July I should've posted this four or five days ago.

In any event, here is the text of a wonderful old set of prayers from the century before last. i.e., well before the meteor hit.  If you scroll down all nine days are there.


Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Have I Always Been This Forgetful?

Or is it my advanced state of antiquity? 

I'd answer but . . . I've forgotten.

In any event, something occurred to me this morning over my bacon and eggs that really must go in the blog.  And now this evening here I sit at my desk staring at the pc and for the life of me I can't remember what it was.  Not even the general topic.  Church and state?  Piping?  Choir?  RSCDS?  No idea.  I've drawn a complete blank.

Not even typing away almost at random as I'm doing now has helped.  It sometimes jogs the little grey cells into action.  Apparently not tonight.

Shall I press publish anyway even though this hardly counts as content?  Oh, why not.  It'll prove I'm still alive in the unlikely event anyone was wondering.  Then off for a walk with the memsahib in the evening cool.

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