22.10.08

The Trouble with Corsets

When I first read this article yesterday I had to laugh to myself. Corsets or stays as they were called in the English colonies, (I once called the French version stays, and I still suffer from sleepless nights after the savaging I received) were a part of every woman's distaff. From the lowest to the highest, a woman would not consider going out in public were she not wearing one. It remained thus until near the end of the First World War when the metal (previously whalebone)was needed for weapons.

Maria-Elena has this missive on her blog about Marie-Antoinette hating her corset. (Hence the laugh) Read about it here...

Interesting trivia, Scarlet O'Hara supposedly had a 14 inch waist. To reference this, place a tape measure around a new roll of toilet paper. Voila!14 inches!



Thanks and a tip of the helmet to Elena-Maria and Catherine Delors.

Incidental information, the Jamestowne Museum has a corset (stay) made from steel, and it is fully articulated, but is is not known if it had been worn. Fashion is everything.

de Brantigny

21.10.08

Les Anges et les Âmes du Purgatoire

LES ANGES ET LES ÂMES DU PURGATOIRE

...Vers le soir, mon ange me fit traverser une région du purgatoire. C'est épouvantable! Que sont, en comparaison, toutes les souffrances de la terre? Qu'est-ce que le feu le plus effrayant, à côté de cette dévorante incandescence sans flammes! Arrivée à l'extrémité de ce lieu, j'y vis une parente que je croyais au ciel depuis longtemps (elle est née la même année que moi). Elle est de ceux qui ont le plus longtemps à souffrir. De toutes les messes que l'on fait célébrer pour ces morts, ils ne reçoivent pas plus qu'une goutte d'eau. En vertu de la justice divine, les fruits des prières que l'on fait pour eux ne leur sont pas appliquées. Ils ne voudraient pourtant pas recevoir d'adoucissement, car ils savent que la justice divine se doit de leur imposer les tourments les plus terribles. C'est la partie du purgatoire où les anges même ne peuvent pénétrer qu'aux saints temps de l'année liturgique, pour consoler leurs anciens protégés; un lieu plein de gémissements inexprimables, plein de larmes brûlantes; un lieu que je devrais appeler un enfer, s'il n'y avait pas là il espérance; c'est-à-dire la certitude de n'avoir en aucun cas à y souffrir plus longtemps que jusqu'au jugement dernier. O pauvres âmes!

Je voulais tendre les mains à une de ces âmes pour l'attirer à moi et la consoler. Mais mon ange me retint. «Ne la touche pas! me dit-il: tu serais consumée et tomberais en cendres; ton corps, de quelque manière qu'il fut fortifié, serait incapable de supporter ce feu.»

Ce lieu était, de plus, enveloppé d'épaisses ténèbres; je n'aurais rien vu, si la gloire de mon ange ne m'avait pas éclairée. Malgré tout, il faut estimer heureuses les âmes plongées dans ces effroyables ténèbres, car la plupart de ceux qui se rendent coupables du péché qu'elles ont commis, sont damnés: leur péché est aussi grand que celui de Lucifer.

... Au dernier instant, alors qu'il vit encore, l'homme est jugé. A ce dernier instant, le mourant peut encore, par une grâce spéciale, faire un acte parfait d'amour de Dieu, par suite de quoi il ne fait que traverser, pour ainsi dire au vol, le purgatoire. J'ai vu une fois, en purgatoire, une âme que je pensais devoir y souffrir très longtemps, car durant sa vie terrestre, elle offensait fréquemment et très gravement Dieu par ses blasphèmes, ses imprécations, ses colères. Je demandai à mon ange la durée de sa punition: «A cette heure-ci encore, me répondit-il en souriant, cette âme parviendra au repos éternel.» J'en fus fort surprise: car cette âme avait franchi la veille seulement le seuil de l'éternité. Mon ange m'expliqua qu'au dernier instant, quand il allait être jugé, cet homme avait pu exciter en lui un très grand amour de Dieu et un très grand repentir; que lui, qui aimait tellement la vie et en avait tant joui, il s'était réjoui de mourir parce que, dans l'éternité, il ne pourrait plus offenser son Sauveur. A ma question s'il aurait un moindre degré de béatitude, l'ange fit cette réponse: «Non; son trône sera dans le chœur des Séraphins.» Jamais il n'avait refusé l'aumône à un pauvre. Heureux les miséricordieux, car ils obtiendront eux-mêmes miséricorde.

... La veille de la fête du saint Nom de Jésus, d'innombrables âmes entreront au ciel. Le frère de «Deus dedit» est du nombre. Son ange gardien me l'a dit:
"déjà la palme que lui donnera son ange, en le présentant devant le trône de Dieu, est prête."

... Soudain, il me vint à l'idée d'offrir à la justice divine, pour les âmes du purgatoire, ... toutes mes sueurs d'angoisse. Je donnai immédiatement suite à cette inspiration et priai les neuf Chœurs des anges de m'assister dans ma prière. Elle devint si ardente et si pressante que jamais encore je n'avais prié ainsi: je n'avais plus l'impression d'être agenouillée sur le plancher et ne ressentais plus aucune douleur corporelle. je voulais cesser de prier, mais mon ange me dit: «Continue! Prie jusqu'à ce que l'âme du purgatoire à qui Dieu appliquera ta prière, soit délivrée.» Emue jusqu'au plus profond de mon âme, je ne trouvai d'autre prière que de répéter sans cesse: «Mon Jésus, miséricorde! Vous devez être miséricordieux, car vous êtes mort pour nous, pauvres créatures!» Je répétais avec toujours plus d'insistance cette invocation, en l'accompagnant d'un torrent de larmes, car la plainte de ces pauvres âmes frappait mon oreille. Je sentis alors un grand calme descendre en moi et de fatigue je fermai un bref instant les yeux, une minute peut-être... Mais mon ange me dit: «Ouvre les yeux et loue la miséricorde divine!» Et je vis devant moi un beau garçon, d'une grâce toute céleste, qui me dit; « Ta compassion, ta prière et tes larmes viennent de m’ouvrir les portes du ciel. Je vais me présenter maintenant devant le trône de Dieu. Mais je voulais auparavant te remercier et te dire que je te revaudrai mille fois ta prière. Il y avait vingt-et-un ans que j'étais en purgatoire, oublié de ma parenté et de mes amis... Quand tu mourras, je viendrai t'assister»...

Les Anges
Chevalier Frédéric de Lama
d'après les communications faites par Mechtilde Thaller, nommée Ancilla Domini
Editions Christiana
Stein Am Rhein


THE ANGELS AND THE SOULS OF PURGATORY

"...As evening approached, my angel took me cross a region of purgatory. It is horrendous! What are, in comparison, all the sufferings of the earth? What fire more frightful, next to this devouring incandescence without flames! I arrived at the extremity of this place, I saw there a parent that I believed in heaven (she was born the same year that me). She is of those who have the a long time to suffer. Of all the Masses that one does to celebrate for these deaths, they do not receive more than a drop of water. By virtue of divine justice, the fruit of prayer that one does for them are not applied for them. They would not want to receive alleviation nevertheless, for they know that divine justice has the power to impose upon them agonys more terrible. This is purgatory where the same angels can penetrate only on the holy times of the liturgical year, to console there the old ones they once protected; a place full of inexpressible groans, full of burning tears; a place that I should be called a hell, if there was not there in it hope; the certainty of not to have in any case to suffer forever. Oh Poor souls!

I wanted to stretch out my hands to one of these souls to attract it to me and to console it. But my angel kept me. "Do not touch them! he warned me: You would be consumed and would fall in ashes; your body, though it was strengthened, would be incapable of surviving this fire."

This place was, enveloped in a dense darkness; I would not have seen anything, if the glory of my angel had not lit it. Despite it all, it is necessary to realize how happy these souls who dived in these frightful darkness, for those that go to hell are guilty of the sin that they have committed, they are cursed: their sin is as big as that of Lucifer.

... At the last instant, while he lives, a man is judged. At that instant, death can again, by a special grace, do a perfect act of love for God, by continuation of what it does nothing but to cross, so to speak the flight, the purgatory. I saw once, in purgatory, a soul that I thought would to have to suffer a very long time, for during her earthly life, she offended frequently and very gravely God by her blasphemies, her imprecations, her anger. I asked my angel "has she finished her punishment"?: "This hour, the angel replied me smiling, this soul has succeeded in the eternal rest." I truly surprised: for this soul had only crossed the day before the threshold of eternity. My angel explained to me that at the last instant, when she was going to be judged, this woman had been able to excite in herself a very great love of God and much regret; that she who had loved so and enjoyed life, rejoiced to die because, in eternity, she could no more offend her Savior. To my question if she would have the least degree of bliss, the angel responsed thus: "No; she will be in the choir of the Séraphins." Never had she refused charity to a poor one. Happy the mercyful, for they will obtain mercy.

...The day before Feast of the holy Name of Jesus, innumerable souls will enter into heaven. The brother of "Deus dedit" is of that number. His angel custodian told me: "Already the hand that will give him his angel, presented in front of the court of God, is ready."

... all of asudden, it came to me to offer to divine justice, for the purgatory souls,... all my sweats of anguish. I gave up immediately after this inspiration and prayed that the nine Choirs of the Angels to help me in my prayer. The desire became so burning and so urgent that never again have I not prayed thus: I no longer had the impression of kneeling on the floor and no longer felt any bodily pain. I wanted to stop praying, but my angel says me: "Continue! pray for the souls in purgatory for whom God will apply your prayer is delivered." From the depth of my soul, I found a prayer to repeat continually: "My Jesus, mercy! You must be mercyful, for you died for us, we poor creatures!" I repeated it always with more insistence this invocation, while the accompanying it a torrent of tears, for the complaints of these poor souls echoed in my ear. I felt a great calm descend in me and of fatigue I closed for a brief instant the eyes, a short minute... But my angel says to me: "Open your eyes and see the divine mercy!" And I live in front of me a beautiful boy,with the grace of a celestial one, that says me; "Your compassion, your prayer and your tears have just opened to me heavens doors. I will present myself now in front of the court of God. But I wanted beforehand to thank you and to say to you that I will repay you thousand times your prayer. It was twentyone years that I was in purgatory, forgotten by my family and of my friends; When you will die, I will come to attend to you"

Merci! mes amis français, et notamment le blog, Le Sacré Coeur de Jésus...

Please excuse my imperfect translation.

Jhesu+Marie
de Brantigny

Un Ange avec la Sainte Vierge et des Saints (détail)
Lorenzo Lotto1527-28Kunsthistoriches MuseumVienne-Autriche

Les Martyrs Chrétiens

Mes amis à Sacré-Coeur de Jésus ont énuméré un site Les Martyrs Chrétiens. Il pourrait être ici trouvé...

Voir que vous ferez le nombre de prêtres et martyred religieux pendant les jours du le révolution francais.

Les accorder la gloire éternelle le Bon Dieu,
de Brantigny





Gauche, les 16 martyrs de Compeigne.

Are you a 'civilized' person?

The McCord Museum in Montreal has an interesting game. How well would you do in Victorian era Montreal, or London or Paris? Find out by taking a few minutes, change your persona and try this game. Here is a clue, modern social ideas are different than Victorian social norms.

To find out if you are a 'civilized' person, select the role of a man or woman by clicking on one of the two portraits over the fireplace. Then use the game board on the table to move from one situation to another. You can visit five different places. In each, you will have to choose the appropriate type of clothing to wear, or determine which is the best way to react. You win or lose points depending on your answers. You can accumulate up to a total of 1,000 points, 500 per character. Each character's progress will be displayed in a dial in the upper right of your screen. You can click on a dial at any time to return to the menu and select another character. To select a new place, you can go back to the game board at any time by clicking on the BACK arrow located at the top of the screen. Beware! If you quit a place before you answer all the questions, you will lose all the points you accumulated there.

And, once you answer all the questions related to a place, be aware that its entry will be locked on the game board.

http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/en/keys/games/17

Dieu le Roy!
de Brantigny

Battle of Trafalgar


Today in 1805, less than a year since the ogre proclaimed himself the Emperor of the French, a British Fleet under the command of Lord Horatio Nelson defeated the combined fleets of France and of Spain during the War of the Third Coalition (August-December 1805) of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815).

The British fleet of 27 ships of the line defeated a numerically superior force of 33 French and Spanish Ships of the line, the battleship of the 18th and early 19th century. Of the number if Franco-Spanish fleet an amazing 22 ships were lost during the battle without the loss of a single British man of war. The effect of this battle established British supremacy on the high seas until the end of World War I. In addition this battle ended for ever the dream of Napoleon to invade England, and turned his attentions to the east which culminated in the disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812.

Nelson's fleet adopted a different method of engaging in battle which heretofore had been ship in line of battle (hence "ship of the line") where each ship aligned itself with an enemy ship and by use of broadside disable or destroy the opposing force. In such a battle, the larger force would generally be victorious. Lord Nelson devised a tactic, first used a Trafalgar where his fleet would intercept the enemy at a right angle and attempt to pass through the Franco-Spanish fleet. Doing so he would be able to fire all his guns at the point of the opposition where the least protection and enemy return fire would be. This tactic was called crossing the "T". Additionally the habitual practice of the British fleet was to fire at the hull of the enemy. This practice and a severe storm which followed the battle contributed to the loss of the Franco-Spanish fleet as many where just too damaged to weather a storm.

The tactic of "Crossing the 'T'", would become standard naval practice swell into the 20th century with admirals attempting to emulate, but never quite doing so, the victory of Lord Nelson at Trafalgar.

Lord Nelson died on his flagship HMS Victory when he was hit by a musket bullet fired from the mizzentop of the French ship Redoutable by a sniper. It struck Nelson in the left shoulder and passed through his spine at the sixth and seventh thoracic vertebrae lodging two inches below his right scapula in the muscles of his back. Nelson exclaimed, "They finally succeeded, I am dead." He was carried below decks.

The French commander, Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, was captured, sent to England as a prisoner. paroled he returned to France. On 22 April he was found dead at the Hotel de Patrie in Rennes with six stab wounds in the chest and a verdict of suicide was recorded.(!) He was buried without ceremony.

The Spanish commander, Admiral Federico Gravina escaped with the remnant of the fleet, and succumbed months later to wounds he sustained during the battle.

Jhesu+Marie
de Brantigny

20.10.08

Childbirth in the 18th Century

As an amateur historian I am fascinated by all aspects of life in the 18th century so I was pleased to find this article on childbirth by Catherine Delors who writes her blog from Paris.

A guest post by Holly Tucker: Childbirth in the 17th and 18th centuries

"Early-modern obstetrical manuals contained a detailed inventory of the many things that could go wrong in the birth room. And for good reason. It is estimated that one of ten women could expect to die from childbirth related causes in the Old Regime. A married women would become pregnant, on average, five or six times.Given that up to 10% of the labors were fatal, this means a woman had a 50% to 60% chance of dying during her reproductive life." more...

I remember my wife Suzanne delivering our youngest daughter Geneviève without anesthetics.
I can not conceive of her delivering with her doctors who knew little real medicine other than bleeding and cupping, people standing around to register the birth and other onlookers.

Thanks and Tip of the Beret to both Catherine and Holly Tucker.

Jhesu+Marie
de Brantigny

Holly Tucker, Associate Professor of Medical History, French and Italian at Vanderbilt University (and owner of the Wonders and Marvels blog)

The Foundling Hospital, 1790

Long vilified by freemasons, philisophs, and even relatives sought their own increase at the deminishment of the Royal Family. Rarely is the charity remarked upon by any historian, or writer. I can think of few things which tear at my heart than the abandonment of a child. In this century as in every century it is the children who suffer the most. In a time when life was short Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette stood up for life even in the 18th century. In my effort to return somewhat to the actual mission of this blog I convey this article written on the blog of Elena-Maria Vidal at Tea at Trianon about the Catholic works done, not in their own name but in the the name of charity.

"Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette contributed a great deal throughout their reign to the care of orphans and foundlings. They patronized foundling hospitals, which the Queen often visited with her children. Above is a picture of an occasion in February, 1790, after their removal to Paris, when the king, the queen and their children toured such a facility, where the nuns cared for abandoned babies and little children. As is reported by Maxime de la Rocheterie, the young Dauphin, soon to be an orphan himself, was particularly drawn to the foundlings and gave all of his small savings to aid them."

The original article with redirects and historical prints may be found, here...

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Elena-Maria once again.

Dieu Le Roy!
de Brantigny

Sickness

As some of my readers may know, the week before last my father-in-law died, after a long period of decline.

Last Friday I was contacted by my mother, to let me know that the chemotherapy had not worked on my fathers brain tumor, and was discontinued along with the medication on his liver cancer. It became obvious that neither form of therapy would have any useful effect would only cause further debiitation, dementia, and detract from his dignity. The prognosis is that my father would have six months more or less. Therefore, he was returned to his home so that he might pass his days in the busom of his family and end his life naturally, where people are there who love him.

He has received the Annointing of the Sick, and his Viaticum.

Gods will be done.

Please say a "Hail Mary" and a "Glory Be" for him.

Jhesu+Marie
de Brantigny