SUNDRIES: An eighteenth century newsletter

N° 31 - May 20, 2006

LINKS: An 18th century timeline; Mozart's Favorite Sister-In-Law; Wikiquote inter text TEXT COLLECTIONS: Classics of American Colonial History


inter cooking 18th CENTURY RECIPE: A meal for Marie-Antoinette - Fowl fillets en casserole with rice

fleur de lysFOR READERS OF FRENCHfleur de lys
Magasin Pittoresque: No 35 - 1867


LINKS: An 18th century timeline; Mozart's Favorite Sister-In-Law; Wikiquote

This is the 18th century page from Did You Know.

This appears to be a very long (one page) monologue, presumably derived from historical sources, but I'll leave that to specialists to sort out: Mozart's Favorite Sister-In-Law, Sophie Weber Haibl: An Eighteenth Century Woman.

The Wikipedia seems to now be pretty universally known - but Wikiquote?

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TEXT COLLECTIONS: Classics of American Colonial History

These are samples from the offerings of Dinsmore Documentation: Directory of Documents by Author

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The fact that an officially Catholic country found it necessary to pass laws against suicide speaks volumes about the gulf between an imposed, professed religion and the reality of individual conscience. Grimm in fact claimed that "suicide, ... has come singularly into fashion since some time" (Correspondance Litteraire T. 10 August 1772 (38)). Whatever suicide's legal status, in the numerous accounts from our period, its tragic aspects are generally foremost.


These two cases - apparently originally judged on the same day - are given as examples by Denisart in his article on "Suicide" and show the harsh face of the law, both in regards to the act itself and to the prisoners' expectations of imprisonment.
Denisart says, by the way, that "only those who killed themselves while in full possession of their faculties are punished; no sentence is pronounced against those who are demented, or subject to mental aberrations."

Sentence handed down December 2, 1737, regarding the conflict which arose between the Bailiwick and the Provost of Orleans, regarding which of these two Tribunals would try the case against the corpse and in memory of Louis Martin (arrested for theft, by the Marshalsey of Orleans), who hung himself in his cell with a rope made from the straw of his bed.
It has since been ordered by Sentence delivered in the form of Statute, January 31, 1749 (on appeal a minima of a Sentence by the Criminal Lieutenant of Chaumont en Bassigny, against the corpse of Hubert Porrier, who murdered and strangled himself in his cell) that the Sentence delivered on December 2, 1737, should be sent to the Bailiwick of Chaumont and to other Bailiwicks within the Court's jurisdiction, to be read and published there, etc.
Denisart, Decisions Nouvelles (III, 159)


A cascade of misfortune...

March 1758 - M. Herbert put out, a few years ago, a very useful work on "The General Policy of Grain". This man, about fifty-five years old, was in charge of the public carriages of Bordeaux; he was the father of two girls whom he had married off. One of this sons-in-law, who was employed in the provinces, having come to see him, was robbed during this time by an agent he had left in charge of his affairs. M. Herbert assumed his son-in-law's obligations; this mishap absolutely upset his fortunes and put his affairs in the greatest disorder. He could not bear the weight of this misfortune; he killed himself in recent days. Having missed with a first pistol shot, which hit his shoulder, he had the strength to fire a second of which he died.
Grimm, Tome 3, 1759 (482)


Speaking ill of the dead did not seem to concern Grimm - at least when it came to bad writers.

May 1761 - It was discovered that the jansenists had given or promised money to a certain M. de la Salle, who once produced bad novels, of which the most known was called "Verserand", to fabricate a sentence by the State council condemning the Society [that is, the Jesuits]. As a result of this discovery, M. de la Solle was condemned to the galleys; but, having been informed of the fate wich awaited him, he opened his veins and avoided his punishment by a voluntary death.
Grimm, Tome 4 1761 (411)


There are distant hints of Stendhal in this brief tale.

May 1784 - The Abbe Rousseau was a poor young man reduced to running from morning to evening through every part of the city to give lessons of history and geography. In love with one of his pupils like Abelard with Heloise, like Saint-Preux of Julie; less happy no doubt, but probably near to being so; with as much passion, but a more honest soul, finer and above all braver, he seems to have sacrificed himself to the object of his passion. Here is what he wrote before breaking his head [sic] with a pistol shot after dining at a restaurant in the Palais-Royal, without showing any mark of worry or disturbance; it is from the police report prepared on site by the commissioner and police officers who copied this note remarkable enough to be preserved: 'The inconceivable contrast that is found between the nobility of my feelings and my low birth, a love as violent as it is irresistible for an adorable girl; the fear of causing her dishonor; the necessity of choosing between crime and death, all this had led me to abandon Life. I was born to virtue, I was about to become a criminal; I preferred to die.'
Grimm, Correspondance Litteraire, Tome 13 1784 (529-530)


Layers of intrigue seem to underly the case of Pierre Chabrit - is the key in Murville's 'very blonde blonde wife? Despite his public service, it is Pauline's death that seems the more Roman of the two.

August 1784 - Among the suicides committed this year in Paris, none has inspired as much regret as that of M. Pierre Chabrit, councillor on the sovereign council of Bouillon and lawyer to the parlement of Paris. He was no older than thirty, and had already made himself known in a most respectable manner with a work called 'Of the French monarchy, or of its laws', a work somewhat unevenly written,... but in which is found useful and learned research on the antiquities of our legislation. Last year the Academy francaise had awarded him the prize founded by M. de Valbelle; he had dared to count again this year on the same resource. Thanks to the intrigues or efforts of M. de la Harpe, this benefit had been taken from him to be given to Andre de Murville, whose wife, daughter of Mlle. Arnould, is a very blonde blonde, but of a rather piquant appearance and of a sweetness of character worthy of the examples and lessons which informed her youth. The honest M. Chabrit, reduced to six hundred pounds of income, allowed himself to think, in one of those unhappy moments which makes one see things as they are, that in his position it was infinitely preferable to die than to live, and he had recourse to a strong dose of opium; he was found dead in his bed. This unfortunate man was in too much of a hurry; because, on the very morning when he had just ended his course, a friend was going to inform his that he had obtained from the controller general a pension which would have met his needs.

Grimm adds that the "late Diderot" had written to Catherine the Great, recommending - with some hyperbole - Chabrit, but that the letter had apparently not been received.

A death more generous that that of M. Chabrit is that of a poor courtesan, named Pauline. She loved a young officer whose father had had him locked up, because he was afraid his son would commite the folly of marrying her. She poisoned herself with nitric acid mixed with mercuric chloride, after having written to the father to ask the liberty of his son as the price of the death to which she had committed herself and which would now make his captivity as useless as it was unjust and barbarous.

Grimm then reproduces, not her own note, but a version of it which had appeared "in all the public papers", written by "M. Arnaud, who knew well this affecting victim of love, quite worthy, without a doubt, of a purer origin and a better fate."
Grimm, Tome 14 1785 (196-197)

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From CHEZ JIM Books:
and a history of the CROISSANT:

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18th CENTURY RECIPE: A meal for Marie-Antoinette - Fowl fillets en casserole with rice

To a modern American reader, 'casserole' sounds fairly unglamorous. But the French meaning is a bit more interesting: "In French cooking the term casserole ... denotes a preparation generally made with rice, which, after cooking, is fashioned in the shape of a casserole, or more properly in that of a timbale." Larousse Gastronomique, 1961 Crown Edition (219)

Here is a recipe for Rice Casserole from the Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois(176):

Cook your Rice in a stewpot, and have mushrooms, truffles, morels, sweetbreads, cock crests and artichoke hearts, and make a stew. If you want, you can stuff the crests and the morels, and cook them separately; and after add them to your stew. Make an essence of two or three garlic cloves, basil, clove and wine, boiling them together; and then strain them through a strainer and put them in the stew. If you have some Fattened Hen, other Game or Fowl to serve on your soup, lay them out in the dish; after put in your stew, and cover it neatly with Rice, and over this a little grease, to unify it, and give it some color, by putting it in the oven; Serve hot. If you have no Fowl, but only a nice boiled tail of Mutton; lay it out in your dish when well done, and cover it thickly with Rice, and bread it; or better, gild it with grease and with lard, and some breadcrumbs, to give it color.
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fleur de lysFOR READERS OF FRENCHfleur de lys


Magasin Pittoresque: No 35 - 1867

REMINDER: The Magasin Pittoresque was a nineteenth century French magazine. Issues can be found on Gallica.

Franklin got special attention in this year, as did several corporations (in the old sense). Funny that Arabs - with their long history of scientific achievement - should be tweaked with disinterest in experiments (apparently not all 18th century people were impressed with balloons.) Lovers of theater - or just ornate monsters - will enjoy some of the images in the article on (19th century) theater machinery.

28 - Dutch skaters (image)
95 - details of bourgeois life
103 - corporation of lemonade-vendors
144 - demonstrators of machinery under Revolution; founding of Conservatory of Arts et Metiers
145 - corporation of tailors
181 - Franklin's harmonica
189 - group of heads by Watteau (image)
198 - women's dress 1774-1783 (image)
231 - Arab indifference to French experiments
270 - clairvoyance of the blind (including 18th c. numismatist)
329 - corporation of glove makers-perfumers (image)
401 - a concert on the Champs-Elysee under the Consulate

9 - painter, Jacques Lajoue (image)
96 - medal of Joseph Eckhel, numismatist
123 - Seraphin and his theater (image)
128 - canteen-mistress/camp follower Mere Belgrade
137 - friend of Watteau, Jean-Baptiste de Jullienne
163 - Franklin's rule of conduct, etc. in French
209 - Dangeau (image)
233 - Ingres (image)
249 - crusader Wilberforce (image)
279 - Jacob Rodrigues Pereire and communication with the deaf
297 - artist Romain de Hooghe
300 - Cuvier's youth
305 - German fabulist, moralist Christian Gellert
360 - demonstrator of machinery Vaucanson
401 - monument to Frederick in Berlin

Off-topic, but interesting
63 - Friday and the number 13
274 - tax on smoke
283 - theater machines (images)
302 - imposters
334 - origins of Chinese typography
353 - players of boule (image)

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End quote

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Attributed to - and probably by - Benjamin Franklin

"This statement was used as a motto on the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania. (1759) which was attributed to Franklin in the edition of 1812, but in a letter of September 27, 1760 to David Hume, he states that he published this book and denies that he wrote it, other than a few remarks that were credited to the Pennsylvania Assembly, in which he served. The phrase itself was first used in a letter from that Assembly dated November 11, 1755 to the Governor of Pennsylvania. An article on the origins of this statement here includes a scan that indicates the original typography of the 1759 document. Researchers now believe that a fellow diplomat by the name of Richard Jackson to be the primary author of the book. With the information thus far available the issue of authorship of the statement is not yet definitely resolved, but the evidence indicates it was very likely Franklin, who in the Poor Richard's Almanack of 1738 is known to have written a similar proverb:
"Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power."

FROM CHEZ JIM BOOKS Three works on eighteenth century subjects:

For some sample 18th century vegetarian recipes, click here.

copyright 2006 Jim Chevallier.
When using brief extracts from this site, please credit properly and provide a link back to this site.
(NOTE: Most translations, except where otherwise noted, are by Jim Chevallier and are copyrighted as such.)
Please do not reproduce extended pieces (recipes, translated pieces, etc.) without prior permission.


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