Sunday, July 14, 2013

I was thinking of blowing off Bastille Day

I was thinking of blowing off Bastille Day this year, with deference to a friend who selected this radiant date, a year ago, to be locked into the kind of matrimony permit-ted even in Dixie. Honestly, I've rather had my fill of matrimony in recent days, and I have to say again that it is not the first of the Rights of Man to leap into one's heart, as one reflects upon our chronic fortress prisons of less cheer. Matrimony was a fun redoubt to take, but an easy one, and now I think the best thing to be said, is that it's behind us. 

Paraphrasing Bonaparte, If you wish to take Vienna, don't hang about Paris.

Has anyone ever written Charles Lamb's deathless Bachelor's Complaint, from the inside, out? Oh, millions upon millions, yes, have waxed (waned?) on matrimony's genius for stripping one of friends, exchanging them for alliances; but what of its talent for depriving one of Paris? One might as well be spoused in San Francisco, can you stand it, as immured in legal bonds of our forging by the Seine. Mind you, I don't refer to matrimony's reputed sexual limits, threadbare, porous, plastic and fantastic as they are, when I think of its disproportionate return on invest-ment. I think of overpaying, a pleasure we all can understand. It is almost impossible to squander any resource amenable to it. Now, that is rare.

So there. Matrimony's arrogant conservation of energy isn't sexual, anymore (and what would have made that enviable?); it's a gas guzzler of the spirit of in-vention, itself, a playground for the wit to make it work. Nobody was ever so sentimental for the Bastille, I must say. Even the Crown was satisfied, and all good men dreaded it as intended. And so, my dear reader, it very much was.

So love was crowned, but music won the cause. I'll give you Bastille Day for matrimony, to wear it inside out, and let the prisons fall about us.

John Dryden
Alexander's Feast,
  Or the Power of Music
Georg Frideric Händel
Harry Christophers, director
The Sixteen
Collins, 1990©


  1. I have my own "special" thoughts about 14 July, living in France, thinking back, knowing how that revolution ended up in a bloodbath, wondering if anything has changed so far.....
    But will not give up hope. The hope for more tolerance.
    Warmest greetings from the Périgord and thank you very much indeed for your - most appriciated - comment to my 'American independence post'!

    1. I am aware of the bloodbath but not that the revolution has ended up. :) Given that you demonstrate the same faith, I am heartened, and very naturally delighted by your greetings.