François Couperin: Pièces De Violes Suite N.2

Esteemed Readers, today we are listening to string music by our genius François Couperin. I offer you his Second Suite for Viola (1726). Might it be pleasant environment for these pretty summer days.

Vive le Roy! 🙂

PS. Painting by Jakob Philipp Hackert

Maria KethuProfumo


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Voyage de Siam par l’Abbé de Choisy 1685-1686 IV

Esteemed Readers, our wonderful voyage continues. Please, enjoy it together with our great guide Messire de Choisy.

Aboard the Oiseau, 16 March 1685

“…We sail very swiftly. The sea is heavy but there are favourable winds so it helps us. The altitude is 23 degrees. Certainly we will have passed the Tropic one by midday. What an incredible precision! It has been only thirteen days since we sailed from Brest. Our frigate follows us as we wait for her (adjust her)… We would have hardly made more than five hundred lieuës without her. We begin beholding the Moon athwart. It is so beautiful to be contemplated through spectacles & to-morrow, if God wills, we are going to study the stars. I’m going to play chess with Chevalier de Fourbin. He is not a good player so I give him a course, however, he is vivid, his imagination is alike a flash, he knows thousand schemes & finally he is the Provencal & the Fourbin. Either he will win or, in the opposite case, it is not his fault. He is our Lieutenant who takes care of every detail of the vessel. He possesses the key of waters! What a wonderful charge among us! In brief, he is a great lad, while his aspect reveals that he has become Lieutenant not long ago…”

Aboard the Oiseau, 20 March 1685

“…The altitude is 15 degrees right before the Cape Verde.The fog has dissolved  & the wind is hot. Our forecastle deck is covered with a tent & we walk on it. There is always light breeze. It is so good! Monsieur de Vaudricourt won’t become richer in this voyage: his chicken & pigs often die, nevertheless he has prepared so gross provisions that wil we hardly be in need. Our Ambassador prays the Lord three quarter of the day & the rest he spends entertaining us. Trumpets animate our meals. One day we dance singing, the next one under sounds of a violin, just because we have one piece only & it is mistuned from time to time…The Jesuits & the Missionaries either watch the others or meditate. Ones play chess, the others prefer le jeu des Rois. Well, we have become bored, haven’t we? Although isn’t it a decent way to survive?…”

Dieu Vous Ait en Sa Sainte Garde,

Vostre l’Abbé de Choisy ”

Voyage, part I:

Voyage, part II:

Voyage, part III:

Image: Aubusson, “Chinoiserie”, tapestry.

Maria KethuProfumo

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Saints of the Russian Orthodox Church: Saint George

Saint George or Saint George the Winner as we often name him (died 23 April 303) is one of the most respectful Russian Saints, the patron of Moscow & Russia since the time of Prince Yuri Dolgor’ukij (the Long-Armed) (1099-1157). The solemn Icon depicting a dragon killing is a canonic image of the Saint. As a rule he is worshipped as a great warrior, protector against enemies & the evil.

The Greek Orthodox sources made by Symeon the Metaphrast say that Saint George was born in Cappadocia. As his parents were rich & his father was a warrior, young Saint George followed his path & due to his highest qualities the Emperor Diocletian (244-311). His mother died when he was only twenty. He stayed at the Imperial court hoping to make a fortune but when the Christian prosecutions began he gave his richness to the poor & declared himself a Christian before Diocletian. Instantly he was imprisoned & tortured badly.

They say about 7 days of tortures:

  • 1 day he was driven into the dungeon with lances & one of them was broken.
  • 2 day he was tortured with a wheel & the Angel appeared. Saint George saluted him, while the Angel heeled his wounds.
  • 3 day he was thrown into a pitch with hot ashes but he did not hurt himself.
  • 4 day his bones were broken but he was healed in a day.
  • 5 day he had to run in hot iron boots with sharp nails inside. He prayed all the night long afterwards & was healed again.
  • 6 day he was scourged but did not suffer.
  • 7 day he had to drink two goblets with poisonous substances: the first had to make him mad, the second had to kill him. And even this did not work.

In despair the Emperor Diocletian persuaded the Saint to make his final choice: to renounce the Christian faith or to die. Saint George did not give up & was sentenced to decapitation. The last night of his terrestrial life he dreamt with Christ holding a golden wreath for him. The Saviour said he would find himself in Paradise soon. So, Saint George ordered to be brought to the Temple of Apollo where by means of prayers he destroyed the idols. His act was so powerful that even the Empress Alexandra of Rome recognized him as a Saint.

Saint George is a special Saint for Russia as he is believed to be protector of our lands against enemies. His image is connected with wars, peace, lands & cattle. They say he has two other symbolic names popular in our folklore: Yuri & Egorij the Brave. Legends often retell a famous story about a dragon & other adventures of a brave warrior. In the old Russia April 23 & November 26 were considered his feast day. They were linked with peasants.

Maria KethuProfumo

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La Gazette 1633: Historical News Today

Esteemed Readers, no matter intense battles, the air of peace has appeared in our historical tidings. Indeed, the life goes on while the Thirty Year’s War (1618-1648) is moving to so desired Pax…It is 1633 yet & only negotiations are ahead:

Aix de Provence, 5th May, 1633: “Finally the Cardinal-Infante has come. His arrival has become known & has been arranged with safety measures higher than four years ago…when there were so many rumours! & half of Spain gathered here.

On the 28th day of the previous month due to bad weather (his ship) was cast up on the Marseilles isles where the adverse wind kept him for three days, so most people from his train spent their time visiting the city, while eighteen galleys of his saluted the Chasteau (Château) d’If & were saluted back. On Sunday, the 30th of the previous month, he was rewarded & managed to sail to Nice in good wind that started at one o’clock in the morning. So he managed to reached the Toulon isles by eight o’clock in the morning. It should be noticed that President Cariolis & some Frenchmen committed a mortal sin sailed on this galley (as well). During his staying in Marseilles another two galleys, – with the Cardinal Sandoüal on board, – arrived from Genova. The last one wished to leave for Spain accompanied by the Cardinal-Infante the same day. Nevertheless the wind returned back to the port, he sent one of his galley (to Spain) & joined the Infante’s fleet & his train. He was accommodated with the Capucins & refused any visitor as he used to do in Genova…”

Lyon, 7th May, 1633: “Sr de Halincour, our Governor, has departed on the 2nd of the given month to have Chasteaux (Châteaux) de S.Romain, le Puy & Cervieres destroyed. On the 5th of the given month they began destruction of fortresses de la Bastie & Pipet in Vienna. (PS.They are war fortresses used to protect cities during battles, they must be destroyed as soon as the war period is over).

In Chaberi the Princess de Carignano gave birth to a son & the Duchesse of Parma had a daughter…”

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

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Soviet Movie Café: War Dramas V

Esteemed Readers, among our wonderful war movies there are ones raising an important question about a hard female destiny during the wartime. Indeed, it is a very sensitive matter to be discussed even at present as the women made the war & their role must be re-pondered. There were female troops fighting for liberation from the fascism. There were too many women-heroes who remain unknown yet.

The movie “The Dawns Here Are Quiet” (1972) made by Stanislav Rostovky, one of our great war movie director, & based on a war story by a famous Soviet war writer Boris Vasiliev is focused on a garrison of Russian female soldiers fighting at the Eastern front. It shows various sides of the warlife from a female point of view, make us think how difficult it was for women of that terrible time to find strength & courage to battle & tenderness to keep the proper female qualities. This war drama’s plot is rather intense & sad: almost all the girls perish while their little important deeds remain insignificant & without any reward. “The Dawns Here Are Quiet” reveals a silent female tragedy & calls to pay more attention to an important role of all the women during the Second World War.

Here is a perfectly dubbed English version. (If it doesn’t function, please, let me know). Enjoy the movie!

Maria KethuProfumo   

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Louis XIV Asks Riddles V

Esteemed Readers, today I offer you a rather ecological historical riddle. Good luck!

“Since I was born I have never rested & I’m extending my chaotic currents in thousand directions. The one who created me pronouncing only two words,obliged me to run until the end of the world!”

REPLY to the Riddle posted on April 26, 2021: RUSTER

🎉Dear Luisa, my congratulations! You are the winner of the day! Dear John, has got the second place as you were too close with your laying hen! Hurrah!😁🎉🎉🎉

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

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Milorad Pavic: Dictionary of the Khazars

Esteemed Readers & writers, -as most of us write something this or that way, – I suppose that each of us dreams or has dreamed to discover or to write a book that were unique, unbelievable, a bit absurd & extremely genius. Here is a perfect example of the kind: “Dictionary of the Khazars” by Milorad Pavic.

If you ask me about its structure,  I would reply: it is a sort of a dictionary, an authentic interlinear text one might read as he desires. Moreover, there are a male & a female versions as reading is a very serious deal, according to Milorad’s point of view, & it depends on the gender very much. If you ask me about the plot: it looks like that the central topic is how Khazaria & its Khan were choosing the right religion for them. If you ask me what genre it belongs to, I would reply: it might be a novel as there is a tiny love thread knitting this particular narration. If you ask me what my impression is, I would say: it is a great literary miracle for those who is spiritual & a great literary disaster for those who are free of any religious ideology. In fact…read it & make your own judgement whether it is a treasure or rubbish to be burnt in a fireplace. 😉

Some Quotes: “One mustn’t speak about a half of the soul! In this case, we might keep one part in Paradise & the other part in Hell”. “I got used to my thoughts as if they were my garments. They have the same waist size & I contemplate them everywhere even at the crossroads. And the worst thing is that I see less & less crossroads because of them”. “The Creator appreciates your intentions but not your deeds”.

I wish you pleasant  Pavic reading!😋😊

Maria KethuProfumo

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Vinicius de Moraes & Toquinho: Regra Três

“Regra Três/ The Rule of Three Times” is a wonderful poetic song by our two genius Vinicius & Toquinho telling about an unfaithful lady & her vicious manner to apologize for her adultery but never give it up. She apologizes three times but is unable to fight her inner temptation not to do it again.  Indeed, our passions make us slaves!

Be careful, Esteemed Readers & enjoy the song! 😁

Maria KethuProfumo

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François Couperin: Leçons de Ténèbres II

Esteemed Readers, we continue our musical travel around spiritual works by François Couperin. Today I present you the second spiritual lesson made for the Holy Wednesday from his set “Leçons de Ténèbres”. Enjoy it!

Vive le Roy! 🙂

PS. Painting by Jakob Philipp Hackert

Maria KethuProfumo

Posted in Art, ballet, Beauty, Bible, Chiesa, Christianity, Christmas, culture, Easter, François Couperin, France, History, Life, Lifestyle, Louis XIV, Music, Pasqua, Seicento, tom jobim, Uncategorized, Vinicius de Moraes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Voyage de Siam par l’Abbé de Choisy 1685-1686 III

Esteemed Readers, we have reached the Canary Islands! Hurrah! We are sailing Northeast. It is too far from Siam yet, however the spirit of a true journey is with us:

Aboard the Oiseau, 13 March 1685

“…We are going to discover La Palma (Isle) belonging to the Canary Islands. They say there are good confitures there. Local mountains are covered with snow. The given altitude is 28 degrees 50 minutes.

Finally our heads are clearing up, vapours are being dissolved & we get used to the sea. We have begun learning Portuguese &, as I have noticed,  in eight days nobody on board speaks French any more. Evenings will be dedicated to Astronomy. We do not need the Sun to contemplate the Moon & the stars. We already know the way of Saint Ja(s)ques,  & the King David’s cart. We are going to sail by the other side of the star route neither you nor I even seen before. The Astronomic Maps by Father Pardies, which Father Fontenei uses so much, are a true delight for us: it is he who revised, corrected, extended them  & had them printed; so it is always a joy for him to behold him brainchildren again. Our Jesuits are the best people in the world. All six of them keep the spirit alive. They possess consummate wisdom: it is swift, catching a thought instantly when they utter (something): from time to time they must ponder before speaking…& when they do they say good things & there is always something to learn from them.

We are sailing pretty well & tonight we can see la Palma yet…”

Aboard the Oiseau, 15 March 1685

“…We have reached the Northeast.Today we are at 25 degrees 49 minutes. It is not hot any more & the best thing is that we are sailing fast so in two days I will tell you a few words about the Tropics. We usually baptise all what we see around, but for us, those who have too many great views, to baptise (means to do that) just along the waterline.

The Portuguese runs rather well. We begin telling tambien/too.  But listen to a sad adventure (of mine): I went to the rue de Saint Ja(c)ques seeking for Portuguese books. A good friend of mine introduced me Fernand Mendés Pinto & assured in this good intentions so I trusted most of the information he had given. I paid him eighteen livres (a good sum of money that epoch) believing that I would learn Portuguese by reading a pleasant book. The book was in folio, covered with the Morocco leather. I fetched it to him. Then I opened it & found out that it was translated into Spanish. That’s what happens in haste!…”

Dieu Vous Ait en Sa Sainte Garde,

Vostre l’Abbé de Choisy ”

Voyage, part I:

Voyage, part II:

Image: Beauvais, “Chinoiserie”, tapestry.

Maria KethuProfumo

Posted in Art, Beauty, culture, education, France, History, Life, Lifestyle, Louis XIV, news, Seicento, Society, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments