22.12.07

Il est né le divin enfant

Un grand hommage à Monseigneur Maillet qui fut le pilier et le bâtisseur de ce choeur qui est les Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois.

21.12.07

Czech Crown Jewels (1347)

The film is in Czech, But the beauty that are the Crowns need no narration. I am struck by the Fleur de Lys in the Crowns design.
Vive le Roi.
de Brantigny

Party seeks to restore monarchy

Koruna Ćeská would rebuild the ancient Czech Kingdom


Former Prime Minister Miloš Zeman called them “one of the parties that could fit in an elevator.” Social Democrat Party Chairman Jiří Paroubek once referred to them as “not even small fish, but plankton.”

The members of Koruna Česká, a national party that wants to transform the government into a constitutional monarchy, are used to condescendence. But, with between 400 and 500 members and government representation in four municipalities, Koruna Česká is not just some farcical movement. “We’re not satirists, and we’re not some virtual party,” says party Chairman Václav Srb. “We’re simply the political embodiment of a movement to reunify the historic territories of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia under the Czech crown.”

Today, the crown jewels of the old Czech kingdom are locked away by seven keys, asleep in a secured chamber within the St. Vitus Cathedral. But if Srb and his fellow party members have their way, the storied St. Václav crown — the very same headpiece conceived by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in the 14th century — would once again adorn the head of a Czech monarch.

Koruna Česká was founded in 1990 as the reincarnation of České děti, a monarchist movement that sprang up in the revolutionary atmosphere of 1988. That year, the dissident members of České děti published a manifesto advocating the renewal of the Czech kingdom, which was reprinted by communist newspaper Rudé právo in an effort to discredit the group. “By showing the public that the dissidents had become monarchists, the comrades wanted to prove that [the dissidents] had gone completely insane,” Srb says. “However, it had the opposite effect.”

By publishing key passages of the manifesto, Rudé právo brought the movement to the attention of dozens of like-minded individuals who had previously thought they were alone in their views. In 1991, over 400 people filled the Realistické (now Švandovo) theatre in Smíchov for Koruna Česká’s first official assembly. “Until then, each of us thought that we were isolated in our persuasion,” Srb says. “Every monarchist was therefore pleasantly surprised to learn that there were more of us who had found the same solution.”

Srb, a historian, says he came to the conclusion while studying central European wars and political conflicts of the 20th century. “Today, not just the monarchists, but any historian will admit that the fragmentation of the central Danube territory was nonsensical,” Srb says. “By breaking up this territory, which for centuries served as a buffer for outside invasion, it was only a matter of time before these little countries fell prey to Germany or Russia.”

In the case of the Czech lands, the Treaty of Versailles only ensured its security for the next 20 years, when Hitler “stopped liking it,” Srb says. While he admits that the Austro-Hungarian Empire could not have survived without major reforms that would have increased the autonomy of individual regions, “those reforms were already on the program — their implementation was only interrupted with the onset of World War I,” Srb says.

Return of the king

Instead of its current republican form, which he calls “unsettled” and “artificial,” Srb and his fellow monarchists would strengthen the political integrity of the state by restoring the traditions of the Czech kingdom. To do this, it would be essential to replace the current presidential institution with a royal one. Aside from Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the venerated founding father of the Czechoslovak republic, “an overwhelming majority of our presidents have been either outwardly criminal or pitiful,” Srb says, whereas locals continue to refer to Charles IV as the “most revered Czech persona.”

Unlike the president, who is elected to his post, the king would be groomed for his reign since childhood, which would raise respect for his position and elevate him above politics, Srb says.

Apart from gaining national support for their reforms, the monarchists face the obvious challenge of finding a luminary who would be able and willing to take the crown.


According to Srb, the most obvious choice would be former European Parliament representative Otto von Habsburg. As the eldest son of the last Austro-Hungarian emperor Charles, the 95-year-old crown prince of Austria is the heir to the Czech throne. more

But, because the Habsburg dynasty was for decades demonized by local republicans, “it’s understandable that this dynasty isn’t the right one at the moment,” Srb says.

An alternate solution is to turn to foreign ruling dynasties. “I say, if not the Habsburgs, then anyone —let’s not be Eurocentric,” says Srb, whose own provocative suggestion is Norodom Sihamini, the current king of Cambodia. “His father stowed him away here during Cambodia’s period of upheaval … he is the only currently ruling monarch in the world who is fluent in Czech.”

Regardless of the feasibility of its agenda, Koruna česká’s presence on the political scene points to a deep disillusionment with the nation’s current identity. “Through our ideals, we want to rehabilitate a non-pathetic, cultured patriotism and the values that coincide with it,” the party’s manifesto says.
“Although our republic is a woeful 90 years old, it’s a negligible episode in our nation’s thousand years of statehood,” Srb adds. “The old traditions still dwell in each of us, but, in most cases, they’re asleep.”

With roots dating back to the Great Moravian Empire, the Czech kingdom is over a thousand years old. Here are four of its most noteworthy rulers.


Václav (907–935)
Hailed as the patron saint of the Czech lands, the "good king Václav (Wenceslaus)" is credited with bringing the kingdom greater autonomy and strengthening Christianity. According to legend, he was murdered in a power struggle by his brother, Boleslav.



Charles IV (1316–1378)
A member of the Luxembourg dynasty, this Holy Roman Emperor was responsible for bringing the Czech kingdom to its height of glory. His reign saw the establishment of Charles University and New Town, as well as signature structures like Karlštejn castle and Charles Bridge.



Franz Joseph I (1830–1916)
As the world's longest-reigning emperor, this Habsburg saw the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His wife, Elisabeth of Bavaria, or "Sissi," is revered by Czechs and Austrians for her beauty and charisma.



Karl (1887-1922)
As he was the great-nephew of the then ruling Emperor, Franz Joseph, it was not envisioned at his birth that it would one day fall to him to rule.As a Christian Emperor, Karl expressed forgiveness of all his enemies, especially the Masons among them. Suddenly, he declared in an emphatic voice, “I have to suffer so much in order that my people may be united again.” Then, kissing a crucifix, he began to pray in what sounded like a dialogue.
“Thy holy will be done. Jesus, Jesus, come! Yes, yes, my Jesus, as thou willest it.”

Markéta Hulpachová, The Prague Post, December 19th, 2007
Pictures added

That a restoration of the monarchy is even being discussed, is to me very hopeful.

de Brantigny

20.12.07

The Huron Carol

Christmas Carol in Wyandot (Huron)

Marie-Antoinette at the Tuilleries



Elena-Maria Vidal has another bit of information about the Queen-Martyr...

At the Tuilleries

Among the many out-of-print books that are now online is Imbert de Saint-Amand's Marie-Antoinette at the Tuileries (1893). In spite of the panegyrics, there are many quotes from original letters as well as day-by-day accounts of the life of the royal family during their life under virtual house arrest from October of 1789 until the end of 1791. The following passages describe the tightening of security around the family after their escape attempt in June 1791. The queen, especially, was closely guarded (as anyone can see, it would have been impossible for her to have entertained Count Fersen, as some authors claim.) more


Thanks and a tip of the Chapeau to Elena-Maria

19.12.07

Die Moldau (Smetana)

Today's theme: Hope. What better way than to hear the Ma Vlast Moldau, by Smetana

Krummau in Bohemia


THE CASTLE OF Krummau in Bohemia stands majestically on its crag in a bend of the Moldau river, presiding confidently over the town below. Český Krumlov, as the town is known in the currently-reigning Czech language, began in the thirteenth century under the Rosenberg family and was purchased by the Emperor Rudolf II in 1602. Yet it was under the princely house of Schwarzenberg (proprietors of Krumau from 1719 to 1945) that the castle flourished. The name Český Krumlov means Bohemian Krummau, to differentiate it from a Moravian town of the same name. (It is also often rendered as Krumau or Krumau-an-der-Moldau). more

Thanks and a salute to
From Andrew Cusack's blog of Dec 17, 2007,

God rest ye merry, gentlemen


God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

"Fear not then," said the Angel,
"Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan's power and might."
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Joyeux Noel


"Les plus beaux cadeaux que l'on puisse offrir à Noel sont des vouex d'Amour et de Paix."

"The most beautiful gifts that one can offer at Christmas are wishes of Love and Peace."

de Brantigny

18.12.07

Hygene in the 18th century

My daughter Geneviève tells me, when it comes to France "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." The women prefer manly smells. Sacre bleu!

(While in the Marine Corps, in the field, we were told not to overly bathe, use aftershave or strong deoderant as it alerted the enemy.)

From Yesterday Revisited Here...

Hygiene (or lack thereof)

There are certain delicate aspects of the past that historical fiction authors usually soft-pedal. Let's face it, the fact that our heroes of the past very seldom brushed their teeth or sponged off their armpits is pretty unappealing by today's standards. More

16.12.07

Charlotte Corday a Short Biography


Charlotte was born July 27, 1768 in Les Champeaux near Vitmoutiers, in the province of Normandie in France. A portrait (below) of her two days before she was guillotined shows us a strong Norman face, with a set jaw, sense of purpose and a visage of that pride of race known to all the French but especially so prevalent in Normans. She was through her mothers line a descendant of the great French Dramatists, the "Father of French Tragedy" Pierre Corneille, this being perhaps a self fulfilling prophecy. She was born into an aristocratic albeit poor family. Charlotte was educated in a convent in Caen, a usual way to obtain an education in those days and when money was scarce. She was a Royalist but possibly due in part to her state she sympathised with the ideals of the enlightenment. These sympathies found her with the moderate faction the Girondists, who though not royalists were in fact much more moderate than the Jacobins.


In September 1792 savage "September Massacres" occured in which prisoners believed to be counter revolutionary were murdered. Three Bishops and any non-juring Priests found were horribly killed and mutilated. The Princesse Laballe, friend and confidant of Marie-Antoinette was beheaded, her lifeless body was sexually abused and her head was placed upon a pike and brought to the window of the temple to "show the Queen". The massacre was the work of the san-cullotes, the trouserless ones, who felt that Paris and the de-facto government would be in danger should they leave to fight the Duke of Bruswicks forces assembled for an attack to restore the throne. More unspeakable atrocities took place, but it seems today unbelievable that it could have happened. The "September Massacres angered Charlotte Corday. She blamed the Jacobins and especially Jean Paul Marat for the atrocities.


Just as her 25th birthday in July 1793 approached, Charlotte left Caen and mounting a coach left for Paris. In her possession was a copy of Plutarch's Parallel Lives, a book of biographies of Greek and Roman leaders arranged in pairs illustrating the failings and successes of each.

Charlottes plan and motives for the killing of Marat were based probably in part on the Catholic teaching of tyrannicide. Though Catholic doctrine condemns tyrannicide as opposed to the natural law, formerly great theologians of the Church like St. Thomas, Suarez , and Bañez, O.P. permitted rebellion against oppressive rulers when the tyranny had become extreme and when no other means of safety were available. In other words Charlotte believed that she would be stopping the murder of thousands by executing Marat, (just as Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg believed the death of Hitler would prevent more destruction in Germany). I believe tyrannicide was at least in her mind, because at her trial, Corday testified that she had carried out the assassination alone, saying " I killed one man to save 100,000." While many believe this to be in reference to Robespierre's statement at the death of Louis XVI, it shows that the teaching was at least in her mind when it is coupled with her possession of Plutarch.

Arriving in Paris she took a room at the Hôtel de Providence. Some time later she purchased a large kitchen knife at the Palais Royale. She sat down and wrote her "Adresse aux Français amis des lois et de la paix" ("Speech to the French who are Friends of Law and Peace") a manifesto about her purpose in committing an act of assassination of Marat.

Some time before noon on the 13th of July, she went to the residence of Marat, and attempted to see him. At first she was denied admittance either by a housekeeper or Mme Marat. Later that day she slipped in as a delegation was entering the residence. She found Marat, who suffered from a skin disorder, probably as a result of celiac disease writing in his bath. On the wall Marat had written La Mort! (Death). Charlotte approached him and told him she had news from Normandy of the factionary Girondins who had escaped to Caen. He asked the for the names of the deputies and when he was told he said "Good, they shall be guillotined." At these words she plunged her knife deep into Marat's chest. His last words were "À moi, ma chère amie!" To me (help) my dear friend..


Charlotte was captured by the friends of Marat before she could escape. She was tried by the tribunal, who attempted a cover up prior to the trial. Although her attorney skillfully defended her she was condemned. Corday testified that she had carried out the assassination by herself, saying "I killed one man to save 100,000."

The outcome of the trial was never really in question, and she was condemned to the guillotine. Charlotte was executed on 17 July 1793. Legend has it that after she was guillotined the executioner took her by the hair and slapped her across the face. Her face scowled at the executioner in "unequivocal indignation"! The slap was considered an unacceptable breach of etiquette and the executioner was locked away for 3 months.

The immediate result of the assassination was a new wave of terror. Marat became a martyr, and busts of Marat replaced crucifixes and religious statues that were no longer welcome under the new regime. The anti-female stance of many revolutionary leaders was increased by Corday's actions. This in turn probably led to revenge, focused on the person of Marie-Antoinette.

Marat was treated like the martyred hero, and saviour. A great ceremony took place led by Jaques Louis David, the painter whose "Death of Marat" is shown above. The entire National Convention attended Marat's funeral and he was buried in the Couvent des Cordeliers. His remains were transferred to the Panthéon on November 25, 1793. A quasi-saint to the revolution, busts of him were placed in de-Chrisianized churches in the place of crucifixes. By early 1795, however, Marat's memory had become tarnished. In February, his coffin was removed from the Panthéon and the various busts and sculptures were destroyed. His final resting place is the cemetery of the Church Saint-Étienne-du-Mont.

Jhesu+Marie,
Brantigny