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La Rose d’Ardon

In this very nice reflection on traveling and kids and why we do it, Ginny Kubitz Moyer wrote with love and wit! Read more here on the Mary and me blog. There is a beautiful recap of salvation history tucked at the end of an article on the poet Richard Wilbur and I loved it so much, I'm going to quote it here: "It is clear to Wilbur that the words of the disciples' reflexive acclamation, recalling as well the angels' song to the shepherds in Luke 2, add a powerful frisson to Jesus' reply: "I tell you, that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out".

This hymn articulates as well as anything in historical exegesis of the nativity account once central concern of Luke's Gospel, namely to show how political power is inclined to suppress transcendence, to miss that the good in the evangel has to do with the reconciliation of fallen humankind with its divine Author. Wilbur's poem, like the gospel itself, foregrounds the primacy of truth and love, qualities to which politics is often both deaf and blind". The true light that enlightens everyone. The fundamental theme of the encyclical is Johannine: truth as light.

John Paul II waits only one paragraph before broaching the topic of the legacy of sin and disobedience: Sin hampers our capacity to know the truth, as well as our will to act in accordance with it. The good news is that the aspiration for truth is never destroyed Read more here on "The Weight of Glory" blog. Letting go of your baby. When I was a junior in college, I studied in Paris for a semester.

Read more here on this wonderful insightful blog: Mary and me. Waters of the oceans and streams of faith. Whoever thirsts will drink freely of live-giving water, alleluia. Worship the Lord who made the heavens and the earth, springs of water and the mighty sea, alleluia. The saints will rejoice in glory, alleluia. In this morning prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, I saw a wonderful golden thread running through it and it answers all the big questions of life: first, there is the statement about God's creation the ocean , then the new life in Christ for every Christian the living waters and then finally holiness and joy which is both the goal and the way With photos.

Charity is the queen of virtues. I have already said how much I enjoy "How Christ changed the world" by Msgr. Luigi Civardi. This is a terrific and short compendium of Catholic Social Teachings and I keep coming back to it. Here is the beginning of the chapter on "Charity": Justice and Charity are the two foremost social virtues, inasmuch as they dispose our minds to the fulfillment of our duties toward society, so that, after having considered the teachings of Christianity with regard to justice, we are now to treat of charity, called the queen of virtues. Charity is the theological virtue that inclines us to love God for Himself and our neighbor for the love of God.

Charity must not only be affective [prompted by feeling and sentiment], but also effective [productive of effects and of works]. Works are the test of charity. It is not enough to wish good to our neighbor; it is also necessary to do good to him, according to his needs. Charity has to be converted into kindness and mercy. It was this that Our Lord taught by the parable of the Good Samaritan, who "seeing him, was moved with compassion" [affective charity], and forthwith "he went up to him and bound up his wounds.

And the parable ends with an admonition to imitate the Good Samaritan who "showed mercy to him. Read more here on the Catholic Tradition site. A terrific article on the virtues of patience and fortitude and more. Here are a few passages: An emotionally healthy life is one in which the emotions are moderated by right reason … Now the greatest achievement of love is to learn to love the other as another self. But love is difficult to achieve. It is difficult because love is channeled through virtue and virtue is difficult.

And it is difficult more specifically because specific difficulties arise that become obstacles in the quest for the Supreme Good. Hence, the need for a host of virtues such as temperance and fortitude, patience, charity and hope that will enable us to overcome these obstacles. Emotional health, in other words, demands that we aspire to something higher than ourselves and our own personal comfort. It demands that our life become a quest for the Supreme Good, that is, for God.

We are what we love, and it is really only by loving that which is larger than ourselves that we actually become enlarged and enriched … Now a human person is what he chooses. We become what we choose. Our character is established by the choices that we make. In making an unjust choice, I become an unjust man. In choosing to lie, I become a liar, a person who is untrustworthy. Life brings with it all sorts of hardships, many of which are inflicted by others. Things rarely go our way … Hardships lead to sorrow, and sorrow in turn can beget anger.

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Anger can beget hatred, which in turn can lead to unjust injury, either verbal or physical. That is why the emotion of sorrow needs to be moderated according to reason. The virtue of patience is that habit by which we endure hardship so that we maintain the course of action set out by reason. The patient man is not inordinately saddened by the things which cause him hurt.

The defect of patience is, of course, impatience, which is an inability to bear hardship, and which involves a loss of self-possession. This results in the forsaking of the good on account of the sorrow caused thereby. Read more here on Catholic Education site. Cool Discovery About the Birth of Christ! Thank God for Jimmy Akin, for this articulate and wise apologist Read more here on his site.

For we play out the Passion story not only during Holy Week but every week of our lives. I mean, the presence of Christ within me struggles with a Judas within me who pretends to love him but really is engaged in arresting his development, handcuffing my Christic potential. The presence of Christ within me looks with sadness upon a Peter within me.. Read more here on Geoff Wood Reflections blog. Over the years, as I have taught on the matter of sexual morality, to both young people and also couples getting ready for marriage, I have noticed a pattern in the Biblical texts: sexual immorality is quite often linked or closely associated with references to greed and theft.

This link has become clearer and more understandable to me over the years. For, greed is excessive desire to possess wealth or goods, it is the insatiable desire for more. This is closely linked to lust which is an inordinate desire for the pleasures of the body. Thus the lustful, the sexually immoral and unrepentant person says, in effect: I want sexual pleasure for myself.

I do not not want to pay any "price" for it by seeing it in relationship to other goods and people. I do not want to see it in relationship to the institution of marriage, or the love of a spouse, or family, or children. I do not want commitments or responsibilities. I merely indulge in sex because I want it. All that matters is that I want it. Read more here on the blog of Msgr Charles Pope. Vassula Ryden. To many this was scandalous news for she truly had a positive message that many of us would like to hear about Church unity. What is unfortunate about the message is in the way it had been received, which was through the well known occult practice of automatic writing.

Consequently, to accept her message you in turn would have to accept a practice long condemned by the Church Read more here on Eastern Catholics for Renewal site. Read more here on the lifesite news site. What a blessed moment for all of us. I did see him once, only once, a few years ago: in May of , I went to the Wednesday public audience in Rome, with my daughter; he was already very sick and frail, but he read a Psalm and he gave us a blessing, all of us, the 20, people who were there And he said the blessing extended to all the ones we love and it made me very happy, I take these things very seriously.

I am talking about blessings and miracles, love and faith! On that day back in , the sun was shining, St. Peter's Square was packed, the various greetings were done in 7 languages at least and it was the most joyful and peaceful and patient crowd I had ever seen. Very diverse too. There were a bunch of teenagers from Southern Italy next to us doing the wave, there were an elderly group from a French parish in front of us and we chatted with them for a while, there were visiting Catholic groups from Sweeden and Argentina and all over the world and I even remember a Jewish group from a synagog in Brooklyn!

Numerous newly married couples in their wedding gowns were on one side of the stage where was the Pope and numerous handicapped people in wheelchairs were on the other side. The atmosphere that day was very special, it was filled with faith, it was very festive and fun, but with a strong sense of "family", of belonging to the same large family of believers and supporters I have never gone to a WYD but I assume it is the same. I have gone on pilgrimages before and I found it to be similar: when large groups of people are gathered for the common good and with the same transcendant focal point, then it brings the best out of each one of us.

Yes, it is very special. In , we had two wonderful days in Rome and I was extremely grateful to be there with my darling daughter. All throughout the last 12 years of my life, I have read and re-read John-Paull II writings, his encyclicals and his interviews and they have shaped my faith. Blessed John Paul, pray for us! I am going to post the link here to the article I wrote just before his death, in Sacred mysteries.

As for the Great Scheme of Things If you are a regular reader you'll know what I mean by that. The Church defines a Sacred Mystery as that which we are not even meant to understand, God's wisdom that is beyond our capacity as humans to ever understand. I define it to mean, "Just let it go. Just let it go.

I'll admit that I am always very happy to do this. There is so much in this world which we must understand. Math, what causes obesity, what things infuriate or calm the people with whom we share oxygen, street signs that are just some kind of vague symbol, which way to turn the car wheels when parking on a hill, how long the milk will stay fresh if you leave it on the counter, what happens if you mix bleach and ammonia, why you should never mention the Korean War to Grandpa Bill, how come it's better to live a life of compassion and forgiveness as opposed to one of judgement and competition, what Jesus meant when he said, "Consider the lilies" Read more here on Ask Sister Mary Martha blog.

Signs of the Times, Is Antichrist Near? This idea has distinct emotional appeal in our troubled times, since one way or another, it would all end soon, and possibly without our having to "do" anything". That's a good point! And I'm glad that she adds, right away: "Although the prospect relieves us of our sense of personal responsibility to become or remain involved in an immoral world which despises a Christian moral message, according to the historic Tradition of the Church and the direction of her leadership, it would be a tragic error for several reasons".

Read it all, as I said, it's very interesting, although I do wish she would give better references for a couple of points such as the " period of unprecedented Catholic peace will reign over the whole earth, both in government and in the Church, in what may seem like a renaissance of the Holy Roman Empire", where did she get this? Maybe I'll ask her directly But her advices are sound: repent and pray, fear not and evangelize!

We must be able to offer stability, sanity, hope, truth". Read it all here on the Catholic. En lire plus ici. Apocalypse now? Qui craint le Seigneur se fait de vrais amis, car tel on est, tel est l'ami qu'on a. Heidi de Johanna Spyri. Le soleil du soir illuminait l'Alpe verte. Un rayon rouge tomba devant ses pieds. Elle restait immobile au milieu de cette splendeur. En lire plus ici sur le beau site d'Annuncioblog. Il fait gris, il fait froid, l'hiver est revenu, avec de la pluie et des flocons de neige et beaucoup de brumes.

Ma propre recette de Clafoutis aux poires, aux pommes. Pour la recette en francais, ici. For the English version of the same recipe, click here. Les Litanies du Coeur de Jesus. Avec les versets de la Bible qui sont l'inspiration derriere chaque incantation, avec un peu de l'histoire de cette priere. En lire plus ici sur ce site dans la section "Prayers". See my Slideshow on Ice in the Creek and Job here Diaporama sur les dentelles de glace dans le torrent et le chapitre 37 de Job versets Vous pouvez en lire plus sur lui ici sur le site du Vatican, ou bien ici sur le site des Jesuites a Paray.

En lire plus ici sur le site Chiesa Espresso. Sainte Catherine de Bologne: "sept armes dans la lutte contre le mal. En , elle a une vision du jugement dernier. Elle identifie sept armes dans la lutte contre le mal, contre le diable. En lire plus ici sur le site de Zenit. L'Union Eucharistique. Pro Mundi Vita. En lire plus ici sur le site de l'Union Eucharistique org. Claudel et la Bible. En lire plus ici sur le site de Paul-Claudel. Le Psaume 8 et des photos de nature en montagne. Lire la suite de ce tres bon article avec photos et une carte ici sur le site du Figaro.

En lire plus ici sur le site de Sant'Egidio. Et c'est bien comme cela. Apres tout, le sens de l'Eglise, c'est de nous tourner vers Dieu et de laisser entrer Dieu dans le monde. La liturgie c'est l'acte dans lequel nous croyons qu'Il entre et que nous le touchons. Il faut aussi que ce soit clair. Lire l'article de Sophie de Villeneuve en entier ici sur le site du journal La Croix.

Le Verbe vint en elle pour se taire dans son sein. La foudre vint en elle pour ne faire aucun bruit. Celui qui dispense toutes choses connut la faim. Joseph Guo Jincai. Lisez la suite ici sur le site de Zenit. En lire plus ici sur le site Missel. En lire plus ici sur le site du journal La Croix. Le pape soutient la pratique du ski. En lire plus ici sur le blog christ roi.

L'Eglise en questions. Le sens de la vieillesse. En , Edith apprend la mort de son ami, le professeur Adolphe Reinach. L'Inconnu en chemin. Avec justesse, le P. En lire plus ici sur le site d'Esprit Et Vie. Vive la Toussaint, vive la Communion des Saints! Saint Ephrem. Saint Denis The Aeropagist, pray for all seekers!

Saint Philomena, please help us, Sainte Therese intercede for us Thank God for the Communion of Saints! En lire plus ici sur le site des pages orthodoxes. Allez faire un tour sur ce site, c'est tres interressant. Je viens juste de le decouvrir. Pro-vie, l'Eglise, un peu de politique et beaucoup de foi En lire plus ici sur le site de Riposte catholique. En lire plus ici sur le site de Santegidio. En lire plus ici sur le site de Inx Sainte Marguerite Marie, priez pour nous!

En lire plus ici sur le site du sanctuaire de Paray-le-Monial. Sainte Marguerite Marie et les douze promesses. En lire plus ici sur le site de Deo Juvante. Marguerite Bays. En lire plus ici sur le site de gregoiredenysse. La Resurrection. Voyez cett diaporama fascinante de 74 d'oeuvres d'art sur La Resurrection En lire plus ici sur le site du Carmel en France. Me voici revenue en Haute-Savoie! Les montagnes, la foret, les couleurs d'automne qui commencent Saint Athanase d'Alexandrie.

Prier avec saint Jean-Marie Vianney. En lire plus ici sur le site du sanctuaire d'Ars. En lire plus ici sur le site du Vatican. Decouvrez le reste de cette reflexion sur le site de l'Aumonerie scolaire de l'Ain ici. La mission de l'Eglise. A cette mission, nous savons qu'elle ne peut faillir. En lire plus ici sur le site de Bible service. Comment vivre la Communion des Saints. Chants sur le Saint Esprit.

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En lire plus ici sur le site de prionsenchanson. Pays de Galles, Bretagne. En lire plus ici sur le site du CEF. En lire plus ici sur le site de ecrivainscroyants. Une page d'information sur les Maristes, leur histoire, leur spiritualite et leur mission. En lire plus ici sur le site de CORREF, qui offre une longue liste des Instituts et Abbayes en France, par ordre alphabetique, avec une fiche d'information sur chacun d'eux.

CH Chiaraluce from chiara luce on Vimeo. Saint Jean-Baptiste. Cette page est une bonne collection des oeuvres d'art sur Jean: ici. Par contre, le text apporte peu sur la mission de Jean Baptiste. En lire plus ici sur le site de patristique. En lire plus ici sur le site de nominis. Anuncio au coeur du Festival de Cannes En lire plus ici sur le site Anuncio blog. En lire plus ici sur le site de mariedenazareth. En lire plus ici sur le site de libertepolitique.

Qui trahit la tradition? Un essai du philosophe Martin Rhonheimer en faveur du pape. En lire plus ici sur le site Chiesa de Sandro Magister. En lire plus ici sur le site de Notre Dame du Web. En lire plus ici sur le site d'Opus Dei. The UN refugee convention: still valid? Amaya Valcarcel, Jesuit Refugee Service International Advocacy Coordinator, considers the aptness of the law to deal with forced displacement today. The UN Convention relating to the status of refugees is rightly considered to be the cornerstone of refugee protection. However, 60 years after it was enacted, many question whether this law is now outdated.

Certainly its definition of who is a refugee does not cover all modern displacement situations. En lire plus ici sur le site de Jesuit Refugee Service. Il pleut, il y a des orages sur les Alpes Une goutte d'eau, c'est trois fois rien. Un moment de reflexion sur le Psaume 21 - et sur le Psaume Le salut est loin de moi, loin des mots que je rugis. Lisez la suite ici. Un geste d'une grande douceur! En lire plus ici sur le site Retraite dans la ville. Voir la liste ici sur le site de l'Abbaye Saint Benoit. En lire plus ici sur croireTV.

Un silence dynamique. Ce vent venait annoncer quelque chose. En lire plus ici sur le site de l'Arche. Ice formation in a small ditch. Nature palette. The Earl of Arundel - a close friend of Weston - set an example for many of his peers by amassing the first great private collection in England of painting, sculpture, and antiquities, and it was not long before he and Buckingham found them- selves in competition for some of the same objets d'art. At first Buckingham appears to have begun collecting, more because it seemed the thing to do than because of any genuine aesthetic appreciation, but this in itself is of great historical interest.

What is particularly fascinating about Buckingham, as Graham Parry has written, "is the cultural style adopted by a man who suddenly found himself equal with princes and endowed with bewildering amounts of money. By the time of his death the Duke seems to have developed a genuine taste for art, and his own example as a connoisseur was perhaps as important to the developing prestige of painting as the works he commissioned. Charles himself seems to have had an even surer interest in and eye for art than the royal favorite. He had inherited collections of paintings from his mother and elder brother, and visiting dignitaries and aspiring courtiers presented him with numerous other works over the years.

In no time his collection became one of the most renowned in Europe, and such continental masters as Van Dyck, Rubens, and Gentileschi found profitable employment at the English court. Given the monarch's passionate enthusiasm for the visual arts and for painting in particular, it would have been most unusual if Charles's courtiers did not also begin to cultivate and display such tastes. Poetry had always had to compete with painting for aristocratic attention, but by the early ' s the practical position of the poem in relation to the visual artist must have seemed in some ways far less secure than before.

But the compliment may well veil a more critical attitude, for as Jonson knew, Weston had spent or was spending large sums to decorate his new palace. To assist him, he had procured the services of Balthasar Gerbier, a Dutchman who had once been associated with Buckingham and was now the accepted arbiter of fashion in the capital. Gerbier also assisted with the layout of Weston's garden and served as an intermediary between him and Hubert Le Sueur, who was commissioned to cast an equestrian statue of Charles I. In , the year before the contract for the statue, Weston had also commissioned a painting from Van Dyck, "which was ultimately presented as a New Year's gift to the King.

Jonson's ''Epigram'' eloquently testifies to the importance Weston attached to art, while perhaps also tacitly criticizing that interest: IF to my mind, great Lord, I had a state, I would present you now with curious plate Of Noremberg, or Turkie; hang your roomes Not with the Arras, but the Persian Loomes. I would, if price, or prayer could them get, 5 Send in, what or Romano, Tintoret, Titian, or Raphael, Michael Angelo, Have left in fame to equall, or out-goe The old Greek-hands in picture, or in stone. This 1 would doe, could I thinke Weston one 10 Catch'd with these Arts, wherein the Judge is wise as farre as sense, and onely by the eyes.

But you I know, my Lord; and know you can Discerne betweene a Statue, and a Man; Can doe the things that Statues doe deserve, 15 And act the businesse, which they paint, or carve. What you have studied are the arts of life; To compose men, and manners; stint the strife Of murmuring Subjects, make the Nations know What worlds of blessings to good Kings they owe; 20 And mightiest Monarchs feele what large increase Of sweets, and safeties, they possesse by Peace. By opening the poem as he does, Jonson announces his good intentions while signaling less directly his financial need.

If to his "mind" his intention as well as his intellectual capacity he had a commensurately impressive "state" worldly condition; monetary fortune he would present Weston with costly "plate" and "hand [his] roomes" with rich tapestries and paintings. He would "if price, or prayer could them get" present Weston with works by the great painters and sculptors of the Italian Renaissance. The similarity in sound of "price" and "prayer" only emphasizes their semantic distinctions, while at the same time suggesting how the second word - and the idea it represents - can be debased and corrupted.

The Italian artists Jonson lists have achieved a kind of personal fame undreamt of by the "old Greek-hands" they have surpassed, whose very anonymity suggests how far they have been out-stripped, how much they have been forgotten. Of course, as the poet slyly suggests, it was in fact Weston who enjoyed the kind of "state" about which Jonson could only surmise; it was Weston who had the money to spend - and who was spending it - on the sorts of items the opening lines detail. What might be called Jonson' s "subjunctive gener- osity" may have been intended to prompt present favors from Weston by reminding this "great Lord" of the poet's slender means.

Jonson's avowed inability to carry out his magnanimous wishes not only emphasizes his straitened circumstances but also indicates the high cost of visual art and the kinds of competition for it that existed. The poet's strategy seems to have been not only to make Weston feel a bit guilty about the sums he was spending, but also to cast doubt on the value he was getting for his money. In fact, in a sudden shift that emphasizes poetry's dynamism in contrast to the static nature of painting and sculpture, Jonson in line 10 begins to take back and undo what he had seemed to promise in the epigram's opening.

The verb "Catch'd" - metrically underscored - is significant, suggesting a sort of danger and deceptiveness about these crafty "Arts" while perhaps also implying something sinister about the motives of some of their practitioners. Jonson credits Weston with the same kind of acute perceptive- ness he himself demonstrates in assessing Weston's character: Jonson is able to discern the Treasurer's discernment. Both are well studied in the "arts of life.

Jonson attributes both to himself and to his patron an insight that contrasts implicitly with the merely surface perception he claims those arts at once demand and display. Yet for readers who do, the force of Jonson' s poem will be magnified and its tact and power increased. The allusion to Horace helps protect the poem and sanction it, helps make his complaints against the visual arts seem less personal, more insulated from private envy, more enduringly archetypal. It helps suggest the extent to which the conflict between poetry and the visual arts is ageless and impersonal, even as it slyly suggests how Horace both achieved and bestowed a kind of personal fame not won by the artisans with whom he competed.

The allusion here is hardly an example of sterile conventionality; instead, it illustrates how Jonson could apply and adapt the work of past writers to very real and specific contemporary situations. Any implied criticism of Weston or of rival artists issues not only from Jonson's pen but from Horace's, too.

Jonson' s poem, however, is much more concerned to praise its patron than Horace's had been, just as its tone is much more insistently personal, much more obviously rooted in a deeply felt relationship. For Jonson, the visual arts are inadequate not only because of their superficiality, but because of their static quality, their inability to celebrate Weston's character as reflected in his deeds. Only the lively art of poetry - in which words, like men, move through time - can do justice to Weston's accomplishments, which are actions informed by contemplation, by a "studied" familiarity with the "arts of life" The effect of the lines is complicated; on the one hand they suggest that Weston's deeds are more impressive, in and of themselves, than any statue or painting of them could be; but the lines also imply the inability of a painting or statue to render a full and complete account of any deed that is truly great.

Moreover, the syntactical ambiguity of the lines helps emphasize Jonson' s potential role in enhancing Weston's reputation. Who or what, precisely, "strike [s] Religion in the standers-by"? When the lines are re-read, it seems clear that the reference is to "These" actions of Weston's. But for a moment the "strik[ing]" can seem to be done by Jonson - as indeed, on further reflection, in one sense it is.

One intention of his poem, after all, is to pay striking tribute to Weston, and one of its competitive claims is that it can do this more effectively than the visual arts. The momentary syntactical confusion, which might at first seem merely clumsy and which might thus exemplify the relative weakness of poetry , on second thought seems an instance of the meaningful ambiguity of Jonson' s craft.

Although Weston's accomplishments have the potential impact of a powerful icon, the implied comparison only stresses the frozen inertness of the visual arts. It is hardly an accident that Jonson chooses in the last lines to contrast his "song" a word itself suggesting fluidity and grace not with painting or sculpture - which can at least suggest movement and vitality -but with the inescapable solidity of architecture.

Yet the contrast has the further effect, paradoxically, or reminding us of the architectonic skill of Jonson' s poem. In all probability the poem was written during Jonson's feud with the king's architect, Inigo Jones; but the last few lines suggest indirectly that no architect could do what Jonson modestly if somewhat disingenuously professes himself incapable of doing. His presentation of himself as a humble songster, modest about the capacities of his own art, comes with a certain irony at the end of a poem that so effectively argues the shortcomings of other artists and their media.

But it also serves, perhaps, to balance the slight suggestion of satire in the reference to "glorious Piles, or Pyramids" Jonson wrote an epigram for the occasion, but its purpose was perhaps as much to attack Weston's enemies at court and in the country as to celebrate the Earl himself. Weston by this time had become "the most controversial member of the government, with scores of enemies and detractors as well as friends and supporters.

His elevation to the peerage, in fact, meant that his power and social prestige would no longer depend simply on his tenure in appointive office; and it also meant that Hierome was no longer simply the Treasurer's son but was also the prospective successor to his father's Earl- dom.

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His willingness to align himself so distinctly with one court faction is a clear measure of his confi- dence in Weston's staying power in the face of all opposition: LOoke up, thou seed of envie, and still bring Thy faint, and narrow eyes, to reade the King In his great Actions: view whom his large hand Hath rais'd to be the Port unto his Landl WESTON!

That waking man! Why doe I irritate, or stirre up thee. Thou sluggish spawne, that canst, but wilt not see? The epigram not only draw distinctions of character and image between Weston and his detractors - they with their squinting "narrow eyes" that "wilt not see" 2; 8 , he the personified "Eye of State" 5 - but it also attempts to depict Weston's enemies as enemies of the King. Indeed, the description of the Lord Treasurer just quoted may have been consciously intended to allude to similar phrasing in the epithalamion composed less than a year earlier. There Weston was depicted - as he is depicted here 5 - as a "waking Man" , but in the epithalamion it was Charles who was associated with "That farre-all-seeing Eye" Jonson chooses to emphasize the King's partic- ular role in Weston's elevation, both for the obvious reason of self-interest and in order to make his rebuke of Weston's foes all the more authoritative.

Still, the point of the epigram is less to educate ''the Envious'' than to torment them. Jonson's emphasis on imperative verbs, prominently positioned and metrically stressed, gives the poem a kind of violent energy, while his open and avowed contempt for those he attacks contrasts nicely with their suppressed but seething spite. By the final line one may agree with him that Weston's antagonists have made their own hearts ache, but one recognizes as well the role his poem has played in exacerbating their vexation.

The full skill of the poem does not become obvious until one has a chance to re-read it. Then its underlying logic and patterns of imagery emerge into clearer view. The opening command, for instance - "LOoke up, thou seed of envie" - is variously effective. The first two words not only anticipate the later, more explicit emphasis on Weston's moral and social elevation, they also indicate already the debased status of those who envy him. It is as if Jonson has surprised a nest of vermin by turning over a rock; their "faint, and narrow eyes" wince at the light his poem casts upon them.

He commands them the very first word suggesting the authority the whole poem claims to "LOoke up" - not only at the King and Weston but implicitly at the poet. The stature he openly ascribes to his patrons he tacitly assumes for himself. Just as the monarch and Earl can look down on the envious, so indeed does Jonson. But here the upward movement of the envious creatures' eyes only causes them to sink deeper into jealousy, torment, and discontent, whereas Weston's elevation supposedly makes him less vulnerable even if more subject to their hatred.

The creatures Jonson attacks are the "seed" of envy in several senses: they are its seat, its residence; they are its offspring; and they are its source, the infected sperm by which its virulence is spread. Jonson uses a word associated with life, vitality, and healthy procreation precisely for its ironic effect: these seeds represent not life but a kind of death, not generation but corruption, not propagation but a force that is ultimately self-destructive. The word implies the various ironies associated with these creatures, but it also suggests their smallness, their moral insignificance.

Nonetheless, Jonson's contemptuous tone cannot quite mask his perception of the threat they pose. Jonson's emphasis, in line 2, on their "eyes" is significant for several reasons. In the first place, the mention of their squinting eyes not only contrasts with the later reference to Weston as the wide-open "Eye of State" 5 but also links up with the description of him as a "waking man" 5.

Indeed, the pattern of images involving sleep, wakefulness, dreaming, closing eyes, and eyes wide open helps organize the entire poem. The envious do squint, but they do not clearly see - unlike the Earl, whose vision serves the King; unlike the King, whose perception has led him to elevate Weston; and unlike the poet, whose insight allows him to appreciate and interpret for others his patrons' greatness. Weston's vision is comprehensive, all-embracing; the fact that this is so implies already that the envious are less a threat to him than they might be to a less observant man.

Yet Weston's vision, like the poet's, is ostensibly focused less on his own interests than on the state's. The reference to the "narrow eyes" of the envious might at first suggest their acuity, but in fact Jonson implies how their sight is distorted - unlike his own, which allows him to perform the act of reading and interpretation he calls for in this poem.

The King becomes a text within a text: both he and Jonson's poem raise and celebrate the Earl; both he and the poem demand the kind of scrutiny and appreciation the poem itself provides. By reading the King's actions and writing about them, Jonson makes it possible for others to understand them as clearly as he does. The poem offers itself for interpretation even as it interprets for others; it asks to be read, while offering its own reading of Weston and the King.

Its very playfulness helps contribute to a somewhat light-hearted tone suggesting strength and self- assurance that balances both the sneering condemnation and the exclamatory praise that characterize the poem's phrasing elsewhere. Weston is the port - the haven, the source of security and stability in a time of storms - to an England increasingly rocked by political, religious, and economic strife. But Weston was a "port" in the second sense of being a crucial entry-point to the world of power and influence: anyone who sought access to the King and court would have to contend with him.

Jonson' s description of Weston as a "waking man" - a phrase that suggests his alertness and vigor - may have seemed somewhat ironic in view of the Earl's declining health, but the phrase also suggests his powers of perception and observation and thus the danger he could still pose to enemies in general and to the envious in particular. Jonson' s phrasing here - especially his placement of the adverb - is typical of a technical skill for which he is still given too little credit. The fact that bad men can feel only hate for Weston exemplifies the stunted moral sense that helps to make them bad, and it also reinforces the earlier suggestion in the reference to their "narrow eyes" [2] of their constrictions and limitations.

But Jonson's phrase can also be read to mean that only bad men hate Weston; good men such as the King and Jonson not only value him but exalt the goodness the Earl himself exhibits. Here as so often elsewhere in Jonson's poetry, a single word, exactly placed, resonates with finely tuned artistic and moral implications. Jonson's stirring up and irritation of the envious "sluggish spawne" not only looks back to the phrasing and develops the implied situation of the opening lines, it also emphasizes by contrast the constant wakefulness of Weston.

The energy of the epigram contrasts with the moral sloth of those it indicts, whose only self-motivated action is an obstinate refusal to act, a perverse determination "not [to] see" Weston's worth. This willed blindness, paradoxically, allows others to see Weston's enemies for the corrupt breed they really are. Their refusal to see and appreciate Weston's true nature reveals their own natures their own "King" ' their blindness not only stands opposed to Weston's wakefulness but casts them into a darkness far blacker than the earlier references to their "narrow eyes" and sluggishness had suggested.

Of course, Jonson's emphasis on the ways in which they reveal themselves de-emphasizes, on one level, the revelatory purpose of his poem, but on another level the phrasing insinuates the poet's role in "shew[ing]" the true natures of those he attacks. The poem's very existence exempts him from the charges of envy and ethical blindness he hurls at others.

Jonson's penultimate injunction - "Dreame thou could'st hurt it" 11 - not only glances back, of course, at the already well-developed pattern of images involving sleep and waking, but also anticipates the final echo of that pattern in the last word of this line "wake". The verb "Dreame" implies that Weston's enemies can only fantasize about hurting him, that their power is so limited as to be almost laughable. This, of course, was hardly the case as Weston well knew and as the epigram's existence suggests ; it was in fact the reality of the threats Weston faced that may have made him appreciate a poem such as this.

The word seems to look back to the earlier reference to Weston's "vertue, and true worth" 10 , two nouns that Jonson treats as a single quality that transcends Weston, yet is embodied in him. To attack Weston, Jonson implies, is to assault Goodness itself. The poem's final imperative verb - "feele" 12 - is most obviously addressed to the envious and calls attention to the pain they ostensibly have caused themselves. But the verb also helps call attention to the last effect and to the over- all effectiveness of Jonson's poem: what we as disinterested readers "feele" in the last line is the final twist of Jonson's irony.

The poet here is cleverly modest: although he claims that the envious have made their "owne heart[s] ake," the causing of such pain has, of course, been one of the epigram's chief objectives all along. Jonson obviously derives a double pleasure from his work: not only the joy of celebrating Weston but the glee of humiliating their mutual enemies.

The epigram's sudden, final shift from the anticipated but illusory pain the envious hope to inflict on Weston to the reality of their own suffering underlines, again, the poem's vigor; the turn comes with a stabbing abruptness. Only in the final line, in the penultimate word, does Jonson raise the possibility that he may have a single envious person in mind: he refers, after all, to a "heart," not "hearts. Of course, the absent "s" may simply have been a slip; if not, it raises intriguing questions about whom Jonson may have had in mind.

Whatever the case, it seems highly appropriate that this poem so stuffed with vigorous verbs should end on one, and that that verb should be "ake" This is a verb that suggests no outward action but merely an inward pain. The "sluggish spawne" will now feel nothing but a prolonged and vexing torment. IV Jonson had experienced vexations of his own in the months preceding the composition of the epigram just discussed.

His play The Magnetic Lady, staged in the fall of , seems to have been more successful than the disastrous New Inn, but it still provoked derision from his antagonists. Inigo Jones was apparently present on opening night and found the play hilarious in ways Jonson had not intended, while Alexander Gill - the son of a man Jonson had attacked years earlier - unleashed a satire that elicited the old poet's answering scorn. Hee's prudent, valiant, just, and temperate; 5 In him all vertue is beheld in State: And he is built like some imperiall roome For that to dwell in, and be still at home.

In signe the Subject, and the Song will live. Which I have vow'd posteritie to give. Goe, Muse, in, and salute him. Say he be Busie, or frowne at first; when he sees thee, 20 He will cleare up his forehead, thinke thou bring'st Good Omen to him, in the note thou sing'st, For he doth love my Verses, and will looke Upon them, next to Spenser's noble booke, And praise them too. Then, what copies shall be had, What transcripts begg'd? Muse, when this shall them befall?

Being sent to one, they will be read of all. Digby was the son of Sir Everard Digby, a Gunpowder Plot conspirator who had been executed for his role in that attempted treason. Kenelm had remained a Catholic throughout his early years, and although he attended Oxford, his inability to endorse the Thirty-nine Articles meant that he could not be "admitted as a regular resident in a college. In he toured Italy, where he lectured, collected books, and met Van Dyke whom he later patronized.

In he was knighted and around the same time became a Gentleman to the Privy Council of the Prince. However, Buckingham's antagonism toward Digby's uncle, the Earl of Bristol, clouded the young man's prospects for significant further advancement. They had fallen in love at an early age; his first trip to the Continent, in fact, seems to have been viewed by his mother as a means of separating him from Venetia. During his absence, reports may have reached her that Kenelm had died; for this reason or others, she apparently became involved with another courtier.

Learning this, Digby determined to forget her, but a chance meeting after his return led, in , to a secret marriage. The hint of scandal that had become attached to Venetia' s name was eventually dissipated by her conduct as Digby's wife. By all accounts she was very beautiful, but Digby seems to have admired her as much for her intelligence and under- standing as for her physical attractiveness.

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Moreover, in a court that was placing increased stress on the ideal of married love, Jonson's celebration of the Digbys could only reflect well on all concerned. Late in - realizing, perhaps, that Buckingham's ascendancy limited his prospects at court - he began to equip a small fleet for a voyage of plundering and privateering in the Mediterranean. Official papers commissioning the expedition authorized it as "tending to the service of the realm and the increase of [Digby's] knowledge. Digby's victory over a superior Venetian fleet "furnished the occasion of his earliest feat of public se If -propaganda and patriotic posturing, namely 'Relation of a brave and resolute Sea-fight made by Sir Kenelm Digby His interest in literature went beyond book-collecting, however.

Digby considered the obscurity deliberate and claimed that "were nothing else extent of Spenser's writing, yet these few words would make me esteeme him no whit inferior to the most famous men that ever have been in any age: as giving evident testimony herein that he was thoroughly verst in the Mathematical! Sciences, in Philosophy, and in Divinity, to which this might serve for an ample Theme to make large Commentaries upon.

It is even possible that the "lines" and "Verses" Jonson refers to in his poem to Digby were the lines and verses of the numerologically organized Weston epithalamion itself. By a happy coincidence, the date of Jonson's birth seems to have been the same date on which Digby won his famous battle with the Venetians, and by an even more remarkable coincidence, it was also this date - St. Barnabas's Day - on which Spenser, Digby's favorite poet, set his own Epithalamion? It is possible that Jonson refers to his work as a whole, or to the edition of three of his uncollected plays - Bartholomew Fair, The Devil is an Ass, and The Staple of News - he was "struggling to bring out" in to raise much-needed money.

Eventually, it is true, all these works were turned over to Digby, who edited them for the posthumous folio, but contemporary evidence suggests that Digby did not receive the poet's writings en masse until "some short tyme before [Jonson 's] decease" in , while the present poem to Digby could have been written no later than the spring of Digby, with his keen appreciation of both poets, would have been the ideal person to "read" and point out the accomplishments and subtleties of Jonson' s lines "at the Treasurers bord.

There is no way to "prove" this supposition only those immediately involved knew precisely which verses Jonson meant , but the possibility cannot be lightly dismissed. A poem exalting Digby and his wife would provide ideal accompaniment to one praising the recent marriage of the Lord Treasurer's son and heir. Indeed, the poem's opening line, which refers to Venetia as "happy," implies that the chief source of her happiness is her marriage.

In Jonson' s writing, even such an apparently simple word can contain reserves of mean- ing: Venetia is "happy" first in the sense that she takes joy in her husband, secondly in the sense that she is fortunate to be married to such a man, and finally in the sense that both these circumstances contribute to her pleasant disposition. The intimacy between husband and wife celebrated in the poem's first lines is complemented by the poet's own close connection to his patron- ess; Venetia is a woman important to the lives of both Jonson and Digby, who are drawn even more closely together by the respect they share for her.

The movement from its first line to its last word is a movement outward, from a tight focus on the happy threesome of poet, patron, and muse to a broader concern with the wider world of "all. The third line lists Digby's virtues as nouns, while the fifth lists them as adjectives.

Both catalogues imply the plenitude of his qualities, the potentially inexhaust- ible tributes he might be paid. Although Digby had won renown for his martial courage, the fifth line emphasizes his qualities of restraint, reason, and judgment, as if to suggest as Jonson does suggest elsewhere that mere action does not a hero make. This, surely, is why he spends so much time describing Digby's character before mentioning his physical appearance, and why the description of his body is made to reflect the nature of his spirit and soul. Jonson repeatedly describes Digby in regal terms ; 9 , not only to suggest his fitness for service at court but also to magnify his importance there.

The poet credits his nature with having taken "a large survey" of Digby's being 11 , but of course this claim also calls attention to the comprehensive vision of Digby presented by this epigram. It is, after all, the poem itself that so memorably explicates and expresses Digby's qualities - qualities ostensibly obvious to all. Even as he highlights Digby's virtues, Jonson claims that no highlighting is needed. Yet Jonson's apparent modesty, his willingness to ascribe to "Nature" a central function of his poem, is immediately countered by a reference that at first might seem oddly intrusive — the allusion to his own birth Initially it might seem overbearing to be reminded that Jonson was born on the same day as Digby's great victory, as if the two events were comparable in importance.

On reflection, however, the reference seems more defensible. It not only allows Jonson to allude as has already been suggested to the date made famous in Spenser's "Epithalamion," but it more significantly suggests that somehow in the link between Digby and the two poets was preordained. Surely Jonson seems to imply it is no coincidence that he was born on the very day Digby would further ennoble - a day already full of meaning because of its associations with St. Barnaby and with the fullness of light.

Surely Jonson seems to suggest his connection with Digby was fated; Venetia, his muse, is less the cause of this link than simply one of its instrument. It is as if Jonson has been destined all along to celebrate Digby someday in verse. Although Jonson makes his union with Digby seem destined, perhaps he also implies that its full realiza- tion would depend on Digby 's continued pragmatic encouragement. By suggesting that Venetia will actually read his verses aloud to her husband and thus become a singer herself [22] , Jonson not only subtly directs her behavior but also implies a closer connection between poet and muse: it is one thing for a muse to inspire a poet's song, another still for her to sing it.

When Jonson further implies that in a sense this singing is unnecessary since Digby already "love[s] my Verses" 23 , he once again runs the risk of seeming boastful. But in part this claim merely pays tribute to the breadth of his patron's interests: despite being a great hero and a "Busie" man 20 , he still finds time for beauty. Digby' s interest in Spenser was apparently well-known, and his thoughtful appreciation of the earlier poet's writing would give his positive assessment of Jonson' s work all the more credibility.

Jonson' s confidence in the worth of his own writings is balanced by his sense that having them read and approved by Digby and then by Weston would give them greater social luster. The acceptance of his works, he knew, would affect his own acceptance. Line 26 with its heavy punctua- tion implies an interesting distinction between the poet and his poems: it was not enough for the power of his lines to be acknowledged if that power did not help secure his own.

Yet, at least ostensibly, the imprimatur of Digby and Weston will not so much add to the poems' value as merely make that value manifest to "all. The placement of the phrase "how cry'd up" 30 is suggestively ambiguous. It can look back to the preceding reference to the poems, implying that they will be celebrated, but it can also look forward to the succeeding reference to Venetia, implying that she too will be "cry'd up" perhaps by others, perhaps by the poet in future verses for her role in promoting him.

One of Venetia's virtues as a muse is her lack of jealousy or envy; she will be genuinely and selflessly "glad" at Jonson' s anticipated success Yet his success, of course, will help ratify her own influence, both with her husband and in society at large. Being Jonson's muse when he wins his proper recognition will mean basking in the glow of his triumph.

His future devotions to Venetia will be even more valuable to her if his present devotion wins wide social favor. The connections between poet, muse, patron, patron's patron, and chief patron wil all be more firmly cemented if Jonson's verses are "Allowe[d]" Her joy in the first connection anticipates the satisfaction she also feels in this one. The poem's closing passage might make it seem as if Jonson is more concerned with exalting himself than with celebrating his patrons; his delight as he imagines the fame their approval will bring him seems at first almost tactlessly blunt, but the lines nonetheless do pay tribute to the pervasive influence the opinions of Weston and Digby enjoyed at Charles's court.

At the same time, Jonson' s apparent egotism is mitigated even further when one realizes that the last fourteen lines closely paraphrase an epigram by Martial. His self-concern seems less offensive when it becomes clear that he is playing variations on another man's theme. Weston and the Digby s are ennobled even more by being implicitly compared to Martial's patron, and in fact Jonson emphasizes the importance of his patrons far more than Martial does.

The intellectual qualities of both Kenelm Digby and his wife, combined with their financial resources and social prominence, must have made them seem ideal patrons in their own rights. And judging, among other things, by the number and nature of the poems they evoked and the role Digby played in publishing the posthumous collection of Jonson' s works, their interest in the poet in the early ' s must have been genuine, their encouragement sustained and sustaining. Jonson' s "'Epigram'' to Venetia, however, is less important for what it reveals about his contacts with the Digbys than for what it intimates about the network of hierarchial relationships in which, as a practical poet, he had to operate.

He passes his work to Venetia in the hope that she will communicate it to her husband, who might then read it in front of Weston, who might then promote the poet's reputation with those around and beneath him, but perhaps especially with those above. In few other poems does Jonson indicate quite so explicitly his awareness of the web of patronage connections or of the influence those contacts had on his status and reputation. In nearly all his poems, however, to one degree or another, such aware- ness is implied.

Jonson here implicitly concedes that it is not so much the value or success of the poem itself that matters as that value's public recognition by the socially influential. It will be less the work per se than Weston's reaction to it that will create the interest Jonson hopes for.

Of course, this admission is in part simply another means of complimenting and influencing Weston; by attributing such power to him, it helps reinforce the mystique of the power he already holds. Yet the admission is also realistically frank. Behind the imaginative conceit of the poem's title stands the real woman and the other real figures on whose support its and his success would stand or fall. Like all of Jonson's poems to patrons, this one is a work interesting, in large part, for what it takes for granted.

My book offers fuller acknowledgments and citations than I have space for here. Ben Jonson, ed. Herford and Percy and Evelyn Simpson, 11 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, , 1: Dunn Macray, 6 vols. For a superb account of the whole episode see Samuel R. London: Longmans, , 7: See Alexander, New York: Columbia University Press, , See Nichol Smith, Alexander suggests that Clarendon's harsh estimate may have been influenced by his regard for Laud, Weston's rival.

Elle revient toujours. Il suffit qu'on etablisse petit a petit les conditions ou le germe puisse prendre racine, si ce metaphore n'est pas trop tordu. Pour l'instant, s'occuper de Rose, tenir le menage, essayer de gouter a la nourriture et au sommeil avec plaisir, faire l'amour. Bientot lire, ecrire, peindre, travailler dans la mesure du possible. Nous pouvons. Je t'aime aussi, cherie. J'aime faire l'amour avec toi. Nous parvenons. Sorry I can't find more time to write. Rose grows and changes her expressions.

I can't remember if I mentioned that she weighed in at 3. Her umbilical cord fell off a couple of days ago. We thought about keeping it, but that seemed a little lugubrious. I will keep every minute of Rose's life in my memory. She continues to be an easy-going, happy baby, seldom crying or complaining. Her facial expressions and body movement, while seemingly meaningful to me, are difficult to describe.

I haven't really got the time and the concentration necessary for this exercise. I guess you have all been through this before. I wish I could show you Rose. It will take a little time before we can arrange that. The tension here stemming from the month of July has not abated. We will have to be a little creative. I appreciate hearing from you. It also helps me remember to write, as I am not always online and can't seem to get my intellectual life organized yet.

On Friday 15 September at I learnt how a battered woman feels.

Nowhere to go. No way to answer the violence. Catherine had left me and the baby upstairs at Fifteen minutes later I heard the front door shut. I thought she might have come back for something, or simply taken her time getting out, due to Albert Camus' disease, departure anxiety. I went downstairs to check, and locked the door before going back upstairs.

At five o'clock in the afternoon she returned, and asked me why the door was locked. I answered: "Because I was upstairs. Catherine became more and more angry. She claimed that I was locking her out, although she naturally has a key to our home. Soon she was screaming, not long afterwards close to delirious, imagining in grotesquely lurid terms that I was locking the door to which she has a key, I repeat in order to rape our three-week-old daughter. I gave up trying to answer and went to bed around nine, not taking Rose upstairs for fear of further antagonizing Catherine.

Increasingly drunk on beer, creme de mure, and Ricard, she made a few hostile trips upstairs, demanding that I sleep downstairs. I refused. At about four in the morning she came upstairs again in a foul, violent mood. She repeatedly kicked me in the torso. When I arose from bed, she repeatedly punched me in the face, knocking my glasses off and across the floor.

I refrained from striking back. I do not remember all of the timing, so some of this chronology is off. Catherine's children witnessed some, but not the worst, of her violence. I do not know if they heard her wild and untrue accusations of rape and incest. It is a shame if they did. She eventually calmed down enough to ask me to leave in a fairly polite manner. Obviously I would have left in an instant, had I had anywhere else to go. Unfortunately my paperwork is not yet done, and we bought a house together.

I could forget about the latter, hoping to recover the investment at a later time, meanwhile paying rent to live, but I would need a job before I could get a lease. For the moment I have no other option but to stay here, no matter what the level of madness and violence is. I can't fight back because I could never prove that she started it and the presumption would always go against the man. I am scared of hurting her just trying to protect myself with my arms. People get hurt in physical fights, even if one of the parties refuses to cast a blow.

Anyway, I couldn't win a custody battle until the baby is at least two years old, so I want to try to stay here for at least that long. In theory we should sell the house at the majority of the two minors Catherine's daughters from her late husband in order to give them their share I don't know if I can last that long. I want to stay with Rose for as long as possible, but once I get my papers and a job, I cannot live with a sustained campaign of physical violence.

In that case, it would be better for me and for Rose if I rented an apartment and sued for some form of shared custody, of which I would inevitably get the short end. In the meantime I have to wait. I don't even know to whom I can confide these awful truths. I don't know anyone I trust, or else I don't trust anyone I know. This is a little embarrassing, but let's assume we're all family here. No talking about the poo face in front of Rose's first date, for example.

From the first days at the maternity ward, Rose has made a special poo face when, well, she goes poo. This is actually quite useful for parenting skills, since it's pretty easy to know when she poos, except for the occasional false alert, a poo face without the poo. Today, as I was trying to encourage her to make the poo face, and thus to poo, which I thought she hadn't done in a few too many hours, I managed to make the poo face myself, with a little help and technical advice from Catherine, who was in the best position to observe us both.

The eyebrows are raised towards the middle of the forehead. The sides of the mouth are raised towards the jowls, compressing the cheek muscles. A red face is optional. On Wednesday 25 October Catherine went crazy again, this time drunk on bad wine and obsessed with the fact that I had once, days or weeks before, sung Waltzing Matilda to Rose. This because Nichelle's cat is called Matilda.

In the middle of her hysterical, six-hour monologue, she tried to go to sleep, then went to sleep on the floor. Rose coughed a little, so Catherine picked her up out of her bed and lied her down on the floor next to herself, all the while accusing me of treating the two of them either like cats or dogs. She claimed, despite the obvious fact that she had put Rose on the floor, where it may have been cold and uncomfortable, that this was somehow my fault.

I finally managed to take Rose away from Catherine and put her back in her crib. Catherine droned on for another couple of hours, mostly about the song Waltzing Matilda. Eventually she apologized and went to sleep. Date: 31 October Here Comes the Sun Beatles [the song I sang to Rose when we left the hospital, the first time she saw the sun]. Suggestions are welcome. I knowingly suppressed it.

On Saturday 4 November Catherine went crazy again, this time because of I can't even remember what. Oh, yes, she rented some dumb film she wanted me to watch, and I suggested that the only interest of these films was for me and Rose to hear a little English, while she prefers for some reason I don't understand the French dubbed version, even though she seems to understand English pretty well. She began by throwing a glass of wine at me, which wasn't really so bad since I am using synecdoche.

It was just the wine she threw, not the glass. In the course of another evening of drunken hysteria, which I am getting used to about twice a week, though I only write down the episodes of physical violence, she ripped my shit and slapped my face and head more than a dozen times, laughing and taking apparent pleasure in my discomfort. She dared me to strike her back, which I refrained from doing, of course. I did, however, hold her back as gently as I could, under the circumstances, slightly injuring her right wrist, according to her complaints the next morning.

We speak more and more openly of splitting up, and yet she continues to apologize and make plans to buy a bigger car and make home improvements. I want to stay with Rose for as long as I possibly can, until the situation becomes so unlivable that it begins to effect Rose more than it already has, not much so far, so far as I can tell. Things will get much better once I find work, at least a month from now before I can look, unfortunately. We will both be better off, if I am away during the day and she needs to find activities. Rose can stay home or sometimes go to the nursery. I will feel better just getting out of this house.

And once I have a confirmed salary, I can more credibly either leave or at least insist on the terms of a non-violence pact. Rose has begun making what I would like to call speech sounds, rather than phonemes, which might imply a more advanced neurological system than is probably hers for the time being. She babels. A new game we play called Whooo are Yooou, as the wise old owl says, seems to show a concerted effort at articulation, as I think her facial expressions recognize and imitate my rounded lips. Oo is a good phoneme to begin with because it's fun to say and it's useful in the word "poo", which is a pretty important part of our daily lives.

AGAS - Bric а Brac

I am thus far able to confirm my suspicion first arisen twenty years ago when I was teaching English that Chomsky's poverty of stimulus argument about the incredible speed with which children learn their first language is bullshit. Children learn their first language very slowly, in two to three years of massive language stimulus overload.

I have probably already spoken directly to Rose for five hundred hours, the standard amount of language instruction allocated by Berlitz to learn a language. We're in no hurry. Catherine has asked me to give her your addresses. I answered that I would be glad to do so, if you wished. Voici les adresses. Je n'ai pas fait d'introduction parce que je ne sais pas le faire. April Sar ah Siegler: asarah abc. Pallas Athene Reiss: par xyz.

Moshe Reiss: moshe Subject: Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. She uses the name, Romeo ,. Les suffixes nominaux des noms et pas des adjectifs Diminutifs : er on, illon bottillon. Quand je communique avec d'autres personnes sans t'en faire part, j'ai l'impression de te tromper. From: catherine uccellatore. Cherie, je t'aime. J'essaie de ne pas te vexer et de faire comme tu veux. Je suis desole que la situation est difficile. Elle ne me semble pas desesperee. On a eu une bonne nouvelle aujourd'hui.

Subject: Re: no subject. Si tu pouvais ne pas essayer de ne pas me vexer et de faire comme je veux Tu ignores ce qui me vexe et ce que je voudrais. Ce qui est important, c'est que tu fasses comme, toi, tu veux. Aujourd'hui, je sais, merci, qu'elle a raison. Merci, cherie. C'est une belle image. Je crois voir le reflet de toi dans la prunelle de ses yeux. J'espere que tu vas bien, ca me ferait plaisir d'avoir de tes nouvelles.

Last night Catherine's violence spun out of control again, as it hasn't since last November. She uprooted the cherry tree, which I replanted this morning. After a short scuffle, in which she claims I injured her left hand, she tore my credit card receipts from my hands and burnt them. She was frustrated that she couldn't find smoking-gun evidence of an imaginary affaire she believes I had with the mother of one of Stella's friends last summer.

She is insanely jealous. Supposedly someone has written her e-mail inventing this affaire. I have no idea what she is talking about. I don't think I have even been alone with this woman, and I've certainly never cheated on Catherine, never even thought about it. Sex has become far less interesting to me in my middle age. I do not know if this is just a short relapse, or the beginning of another downward spiral. I don't know how crazy and violent she can become. Si j'ai hesite a te repondre, c'est parce que ma vie est un peu compliquee pour l'instant.

J'ai une fille de huit mois, Rose Reiss, mais j'ai beaucoup de problemes avec la mere. J'ai besoin de conseil juridique. La situation est la suivante:. Ma mere m'a donne de l'argent pour une maison qu'on a achete en indivision comme suit:. La mere voudrait probablement vendre au bout de sept ans, a la majorite de ses filles ainees, mais pas avant. Elle n'est theoriquement pas obligee de rembourser le pret a ce moment-la, mais je pense que je peux l'exiger avant de signer le compromis. La banque peut exiger le remboursement. Je viens tout juste d'avoir le droit de travailler, mais on habite en Ardon, c'est-a-dire nulpart.

Il me faut ou un teletravail a domicile ou un travail a au moins 50km de chez nous. Pour l'instant elle refuse de s'occuper de Rose, ce qui rend un travail a plein temps a domicile presque impossible pour moi. Je ne sais pas ce qu'elle ferait si je prenais un travail a l'exterieur. C'est complique de toute facon, il me faudrait une voiture etc. Je ne peux pas louer un appartement avant d'avoir un contrat ferme. Je ne veux pas partir avant les deux ou trois ans de Rose, donc j'avale tout, sauf si le niveau de folie et de violence me devient insupportable.

Les filles ainees vont a l'internat l'annee prochaine, cause mauvaise conduite. I'm sorry, but we are still having big problems here. I can't work today. I'm trying to resolve these issues, which are complicated, as surely you know. I will log on to Skype tomorrow morning before or at 9am and will try to work all day, if I can. I know i'm talking about your son, i'm sorry about that. I've tried to give him a wonderfull live, with a house a family a wonderfull daugter. He's violent to me, send you picture, all my body is hurt, he's also violent with Sarah and Stella, He's on his computer at 5 o'clock in the morning until eleven at night Not much I can say about that, just haven't got enough self-esteem or enough projects to occupy my mind.

You see, Gabriel falls in love every two weeks or so, and when he does I get to hear about her several times a day. But I don't tell him what to do, ever, and I'm big enough to deal with him having cybersex if that's what he wants to do, which he does, and while he's doing it I'll just go masturbate in the shower again. I don't know what to do, if you can please help, it will be helpfull for Rose and Gabriel too Gabriel only loves girls on the computer, in the same time, I don't think that it is the right way to enjoy is live and his dougter live.

Thank you April, I've tried to talk to Gabriel and asked him to stay at home but he went to the hotel in front of the house. I am very sad, I love him and Rose is sad too, she looks aroud Life toghether could be really wonderfull but it's difficult to comunicate. Dear April, Gabriel doesn't want to leave with me anymore. He wanted to see Rose 2 hours a day but I am very depressed and I'm not able to take care of Rose so I let her going with Gabriel. I don't know if you want to have a contact with me so I'm not going to write to you even if you ask me to tell you how things are going.

Objet Situation entre M. Puis je suis revenu chercher de nombreuses affaires de ma fille. Ce que j'ai fait. Avez vous compris autre chose? Inspector Jacques lied to me. He told me I had to give Rose back, then said he had only suggested the possibility. After I corrected the illiterate pig's half a dozen spelling mistakes and solecisms, trying to improve the style and give the correct judicial nuances to the case I made in my deposition, I had to sign it despite the fact that those are not my words, and no one who has ever heard me speak, let alone read my prose, would ever believe I was responsible for that tripe.

I joked to Jacques that his style was flaubertien since he kept mistakenly using the imperfect and that we needed a balzacien style. He did not get the joke and threatened to throw me out, since he is big, for a Frenchman. He stepped into a legal vacuum le non-droit and acted as my judge, jury, and executioner. Please read and forward this message to the greatest writer on Earth. Reading these letters put me on the verge of tears. If you need my assistance in any way, please let me know.

I am in Japan for the rest of this month in Okinawa, currently , and won't return to New York until the beginning of August. If you need a break, you can always crash with me. I've just rented a fairly spacious one-bedroom apartment in uptown Manhattan. Having a guest would not be a problem in the least. Subject: Assignation retranscrite. Tha attached document from my lawyer may be the single most vicious text I have ever read without being the author. It took me time, and a few rereadings, to understand what she had done. She took my five messages detailing the abuse and translated their spontaneous outbursts of English poetry into a coherent chronological narrative of French prose.

It's as if she took my inarticulate screams and cries and added conjunctions and logical links. She infered motives and thoughts, where I had only written pain and gesture. Needless to say, C the G is not pleased. We go to court tomorrow. I'm sure she'll have plenty to tell the judge. I got your message from Murder. I was surprised to hear from you It was strange to see your handwriting after so long. I don't see you on Lambda anymore I'm on Yahoo instant messager under catkins, and I log onto Lambda from time to time.

I just got back from the hearing, which ajourned to 3 September without any action taken. My left eye is twitching.

Le Rosaire

I accidentally saw Rose for five minutes yesterday, despite the vociferous objections of C the G, when we both happened to stop in the same bar thirty kilometers from home. I have not MOOed, chatted, or written e-mail in two years of house arrest. I was beaten for singing Waltzing Matilda to my child, so I couldn't much shoot the breeze or ask you to write scores for me. I asked Murder, who was kind enough to do it fast and meticulous enough to do it without mistakes, which is much more important than kindness.

Now I just need to come up with a survival strategy for the next seven weeks. Supposedly I have the right to see my daughter, but I haven't the power, unless someone grants it to me. Until then I will weep by the waters of Babylon. Maitre Rebours a du vous contacter de ma part au sujet du droit de visite et d'hebergement de Rose et moi. N'ayant pas recu de reponse a mon message du 23 juillet, j'ecris pour reiterer ma demande du droit de visite et d'hebergement de Rose et moi.

Tu n'as pas de vie en dehors d'internet. Ne pouvant voir ma fille, n'ayant pas de nouvelles, il m'est tres difficile de continuer. Si Maitre Vessie propose donc une transaction, vue que Mme Uccellatore ne veut probablement pas la garde de Rose, meme si elle se sent obligee de la demander, je suis pret a envisager ceci, si vous pensez qu'une resolution relativement rapide, voire amiable, est possible:. Elle a une pension viagere et presque insaisissable. J'ai une carte de sejour valuable pour l'Ardon seulement, et une autorisation d'enseigner dans l'academie de Bellevue seulement.

Mme Uccellatore a deja envisage de vivre a Paris, en Italie, et en Amerique latine. Elle parle espagnol couramment. Rien ne la retient en Ardon sauf notre maison, qu'elle peut probablement m'obliger a vendre. Si Mme Uccellatore le juge utile, je suis pret a faire des declarations d'amour, meme sinceres, a la mere de ma fille, mais je ne veux pas vivre avec elle, ni sans Rose.

Sachant que vous ne preconisez pas la residence alternee d'habitude, c'est peut-etre mieux que si Mme Uccellatore obtient une garde dont elle ne veut meme pas, ce qui risque malheureusement d'arriver. En vous remerciant de votre aide precieuse, je vous prie de bien vouloir me donner votre avis sur les divers points de cette proposition, qu'on peut eventuellement soumettre a Maitre Vessie meme s'il ne propose pas de transaction.

Le premier point doit obligatoirement etre le droit de visite. Si Mme Uccellatore ne veut pas me laisser Rose la nuit, je suis pret a accepter une promenade a l'exterieur de la maison tous les jours a 10h30 ou des que Rose se reveille et pour une duree de deux heures. J'ai fait le necessaire pour que mon dossier pass e devant une commission pour l'aide juridictionnelle le 8 aout. Priere de m'ecrire des que vous savez quelque chose. Mon telephone ne semble pas toujours capter aux Blaches. Quand j'essaie de te parler, tu raccroches…. Je ne te laisserai pas la garde de Rose, ce serait criminel de ma part.

Mais aujourd'hui, avec le recul, j'ai compris qu'il fallait poser certaines conditions. Aussi, il est essentiel que tu trouves une solution pour ne pas ingurgiter une dose aussi importante d'alcool, ce n'est bon pour personne. Mais loin de nous, nous en avons suffisamment souffert.

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Je dois tout assumer seule. Je suis de plus en plus inquiet quant au comportement de la mere de Rose, et je crains pour toute la famille, car Mme Uccellatore recommence a frequenter les cafes, ceci malgre les medicaments anti-depresseurs qui lui sont prescrits par le docteur Telseau aux Blaches, et malgre le fait que je ne suis plus a la maison pour m'occuper de la famille, comme c'etait le cas aux mois d'avril, mai, et juin, lorsqu'elle etait au bar de l'hotel Saturne tous les soirs. Personnellement je m'en fous completement que Mme Uccellatore frequente les cafes, et de ce qu'elle y fait, sauf que ma fille reste malheureusement pour l'instant sous sa tutelle instable.

Vendredi soir Mme Uccellatore est sortie deux fois, une fois en voiture vers 18h et pendant une heure environ, et une fois vers 20h Je n'ai pas vu si elle a pris la voiture la seconde fois, et je ne l'ai pas vue revenir. Elle est peut-etre allee au concert a Payzac. Hier soir Mme Uccellatore etait au cafe du Commerce vers 17 avec un villageois qui s'appelle Guy.

Elle est rentree vers 17h Sa fille Stella Chevalier est sortie vers 17h45 avec une amie et en apportant des coussins. Mme Uccellatore est resortie vers 18h00, et je l'ai vue entrer au cafe du Commerce. Vers 18h15 sa fille Sarah Chevalier est sortie. Me rendant compte que ma fille Rose etait probablement toute seule a la maison, j'ai signale le probleme au maire des Blaches, qui se trouvait sur place devant la boulangerie en la presence du boulanger M Trouilla rd. Ne recevant pas une reponse satisfaisante, j'ai telephone a la gendarmerie de Joyau, ou l'on m'a demande de rappeler.

Quand j'ai rappele, vers 18h30, Sarah rentrait a la maison, ayant achete un sachet de chips vraisemblablement. Je repete, pendant un quart d'heure environ ma fille Rose etait toute seule a la maison ou en la companie de personnes etrangeres a sa famille, ceci pendant que Mme Uccellatore prive le pere de Rose du droit de visite et d'hebergement. Mme Uccellatore est revenue a la maison vers 18h Maitre Rebours, je vous supplie instamment de saisir les autorites competentes, si elles existent. J'ai peur pour ma fille. There is simply nothing I can do. If Rose is left at home alone again, unless my friend Pelardon happens to be sitting there, there is nothing I can do.

No one will help me or say anything. If I go get Rose, I am initiating a situation that might very well end in violence. Even if I just go in the house and lock Catherine out, I will make her so mad that she or one of her boyfriends will break a window, and then I'm in the house without a witness with some crazy and violent people. I can only do what I've done, call the police, although they are very unhappy to hear from me, write everything down, including the names of the unwilling witnesses, and send mail to my lawyer, hoping that she will file criminal charges against someone, which might accelerate resolution.

I will wait to tell Catherine that I love her until I talk to my lawyer. Catherine is still making plans for our reunion, so it would be cruel, and not kind, to deceive her. Besides, she might want to meet with me and discuss our old new love, which I definitely do not want to do. Once Rose's situation is resolved, I will do whatever I can to help Catherine. Until then, the lawyers and police must deal with her misbehavior.

I cannot help her, and she won't let me help Rose. All I can do is wait. Je t'aime. C'est inhumain, le comportement de Mme Uccellatore a l'egard de Rose et moi. Hier soir Mme Uccellatore m'a dit qu'elle souhaitait me parler de Rose. A l'issue d'une longue discussion, fort penible pour moi, et au cours duquel j'ai fait les declarations d'amour requises dans ses mails, tout en lui precisant qu'elle ne devait en aucun cas caresser l'espoir d'une reconciliation dont je ne veux pas, elle m'indiquait qu'elle me laisserait voir Rose le lendemain apres-midi sur la terrasse du cafe du Commerce.

Aujourd'hui vers 12h30 elle arrive seule pour me dire qu'elle a change d'avis, et que je ne pouvais voir Rose. Elle a pretexte des scenari impossibles d'enlevement aux Etats-Unis. Selon Mme Uccellatore Maitre Vessie prete son autorite de batonnier a ces fantasmes. Apparammant il "travaille avec le juge" c'est-a-dire il exerce sur lui une influence prejudiciable contre moi afin de trouver une solution de visites. J'ai dit que je n'etais pas venu pour discuter avec elle, et je suis parti. Je n'en vois pas la pertinance, mais je vous en previens quand meme. Enfin, Mme Uccellatore pretend avoir trouve une solution de babysitting, peut-etre ayant eu des ecchos de l'incident de samedi soir.

J'ai demande qui c'etait, et elle m'a repondu que cela ne me regardait pas, ce qui me parait bien curieux lorsqu'il s'agit de ma fille. Elle pretend aussi qu'elle ne mettra pas Rose a la creche comme elle avait prevu de le faire pendant mes heures de travail.

Maitre Rebours, je sais que je vous embete beaucoup, pour une aide juridictionnelle en plus, alors que Mme Uccellatore pretend avoir paye Maitre Vessie quatre cents euros, mais Mme Uccellatore tient ma fille en hotage depuis le 14 juillet. Si vous pouvez faire quelque chose, je vous en prie, aidez-nous. Je crains que Mme Uccellatore ne soit au bord d'une crise de violence. Je ne sais sur qui ca risque de retomber, sur moi, sur une des filles de Mme Uccellatore, ou sur Christophe, le croque-mort des Blaches qui apparamment lui tient companie, et je ne sais pas comment ce dernier reagirait en ce cas.

Hier soir j'ai revu le regard et les gestes qui precedaient les attaques de Mme Uccellatore contre moi, mais comme on etait en public elle a su se maitriser. Vers 16h30 Mme Uccellatore etait au cafe du Commerce avec Christophe, celui qu'on appelle Le Normand, Guy, et un autre homme dont je ne connais pas le prenom. Vers 20h30 je suis repasse pour voir si elle y etait toujours, et j'ai vu Rose sur la terasse interieure avec sa mere et Christophe.

Je me suis approche d'elle en lui parlant. Mme Uccellatore s'est mise entre nous deux et a fait quelques gestes pour m'empecher de voir ma fille. Une crise a peut-etre ete evitee quand Christophe a dit: "Laisse-le la voir. Pendant ce temps Mme Uccellatore s'enrageait. Apres peut-etre un quart d'heure, Mme Uccellatore a decide de partir, en emenant Rose evidemment, en invitant Christophe a la maison, et en me disant qu'elle m'empecherait de voir Rose en ne plus la faisant sortir de la maison jusq'au 3 septembre.

Maitre Rebours, je pense que le cas est grave. Je ne pense pas que cela puisse attendre le 3 septembre. Si vous pouvez faire quelque chose pour oter ma fille a son inquietante mere, je vous prie de le faire immediatement. If I have lost, I will go down fighting, with words, as usual, winning style points, but nothing else. My lawyer, who made a catastrophic mistake in writing that mean assignation, delivered by marshalls to C the G on her birthday, but she wins style points as well. Otherwise I think we're doomed, with the following possible outcomes:. Every time C the G shakes her ass in the bar, all of the drunks wag their tails and sign witness declarations.

C the G says she paid her lawyer four hundred euros. She will want value for money, not what she had already proposed before she read my lawyer's assignation. On the other hand, she doesn't really want sole custody of Rose. She is the mother of three daughters, even though she's getting rid of two of them through boarding school, thus has the house, etc. This might be tough to obtain, and it would deprive her of the pleasure of cashing my child support checks, but I won't have any obvious source of income on 3 September, the day we see the judge. It probably doesn't matter that we overplayed an apparently weak hand.

An agreement with C the G is worthless anyway, and it made no sense for her to offer joint custody while refusing to allow me anything more than one eight-hour visit per week. The lawyers will have to work out a real shared custody agreement, which is the best possible outcome for everyone, but I doubt C the G will go for it anymore. Besides, I was far too mad about not seeing Rose and having been tricked into giving her back by the pigs, and it was far too important to me to let her know that I was not happy ever since she began beating me on 15 September. It was far too important to me to fight back with words, since for ten months I could not fight back with my fists.

One day I will send those letters to C the G, if her lawyer or the judge doesn't show them to her, or to Rose, or maybe I'll just post them to my site without telling anyone, but it matters to me that four times I woke up, hungover and my head still ringing from the blows of her hands, and write, if not masterpieces, at least beautiful letters.

I was able to write under the worst imaginable circumstances, and that means something to me. I reread the above, which I wrote on the back of a paper menu in black ink before switching to blue, and it doesn't make sense. I hadn't even ever reread those four letters before I gave them to my lawyer. I wrote them like I've written all of my best e-mail, almost in real time, although the letter entitled 15 September I wrote ten days later, after the shock had worn off.

My lawyer read them consecutively, most likely in one sitting, which is why she strung them together to creat a coherent narrative. So what do I do now? I get out of town as fast as I can, and stop worrying that Rose may grow up walking to the bar to find her mother, that she may not hear my voice often enough to learn English, that she may call the drunken village undertaker "papa", and that she may come to believe the things her mother tells her about me, because there is probably nothing I can do about any of that.

I will confirm to my lawyer that I want to settle for shared custody, and ask her to arrange for visits. I will not write to C the G unless she writes to me, and even then only to reiterate that I love her, that she is the mother of my daughter, and that I never want to see her again, if there is some delicate way to put that last point.

If the thirty-five square meter furnished apartment I visited is still available, I can move as soon as the day after tomorrow. I will cancel my appointment with our family doctor. He cannot help me. The blisters on my feet will heal in time, as will the other wounds. I paid for, shat in, fell down the stairs of my new one-bedroom flat.

I will sleep there tonight. Someone has agreed to pick up my things tonight and bring them tomorrow. But this morning, hungover and having said too much to the bartender last night after the undertaker left the bar for my house, I had a crazy, brilliant, terrible, dangerous idea, the nuclear weapon.

What is the problem here? I am never the craziest, most drunken, most violent person in the room. With the undertaker taking my place, I'm not even sure of being the second craziest, most drunken, most violent person in the room.