Saturday, July 14, 2007

Vive la France!

As I drank my OJ this morning and surfed (TV channels, that is), I happened on the channel from France, where Paris was celebrating Bastille Day, or, as it's usually called in France, simply "Le 14 Juillet". Quite a thrilling show, staged on the Champs d'Élysée. The Republican Guard, all the military services, a children's choir--Les Petits Chanteurs de la Croix de Bois--and, of course, the President of the Republic, M. Nicolas Sarkozy, with dignitaries from other countries. The marching bands, the singing of both military and children's choirs, the flyby of military planes overheard, the first planes streaming red, white and blue smoke, the crowds lining the street, all made for an exciting atmosphere. By the time the Marseillaise started up, first by the bands, then sung, I felt as proud of my French blood as I do when celebrating my Irish blood on St. Patrick's Day.

I celebrate France and the French people, but not the Revolution, which not only deposed Louis XVI, but slaughtered him after a mockery of a trial. The Revolutionaries sought also to eliminate christianity and to put The State in its place. Their efforts were only partially rewarded.
Now that two hundred plus years have passed, historians are starting to take a less prejudiced view of the last pre-revolutionary King of France and his spouse, Marie-Antoinette. The layers of revolutionary propaganda are being pealed back to reveal a very different Louis XVI and wife.

If you understand French, I highly recommend the book by French author, Jean-Christian Petitfils, titled simply, "Louis XVI".
The card was made some time ago, for an ink-stains swap.


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