Daily Update: Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

05-16 - Louis-Auguste, Dauphin of France, and Marie Antoinette

We have no Saints to honor this Tuesday, but on this date in 1770 the fifthteen-year-old Louis Auguste de France, Duc de Berry, married the fourteen-year-old Archduchess Maria Antonia, a union that ended rather badly in 1793.

Louis Auguste de France, born in 1754, was the third son of Louis, the Dauphin of France, and thus the grandson of Louis XV of France and of his consort, Maria Leszczyńska. He became the Dauphin of France in 1765, after the death of his father; his two elder brothers had also died. The Archduchess Maria Antonia, born in 1755, was the fifteenth and penultimate child of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and Emperor Francis I. A smallpox outbreak had left the Archduchess as the most suitable candidate to marry Louis, her second cousin once removed; the French approved her after her crooked teeth were straightened out (via oral surgeries done without anesthesia, and taking three months to take effect). The dowry was set at 200,000 crowns, and the pair were married by proxy in April 1770; the fourteen-year-old Archduchess was handed over to the French a few weeks later, met the Dauphin, and the pair were married in the Palace of Versailles, The Archduchess, now known by her French style of Marie Antoinette, became the Dauphine of France. It was assumed by custom that consummation of the marriage would take place on the wedding night. However, this did not occur (possibly due to the youth of both parties), and the lack of consummation plagued the reputation of both Louis Auguste and Marie Antoinette for years to come. Additionally, the Archduchess was not popular, mainly because the French-Austrian Alliance was very unpopular. Louis Auguste became King Louis XVI of France in 1774, and the couple eventually had four children; the French Republic did away with the monarchy in 1792 and with the King and Queen in 1793. (The Capetian dynasty is the largest dynasty in Europe, with over one hundred and twenty living male members descended in the legitimate agnatic line. According to the Legitimist faction of French royalists, all male descendants of Hugh Capet in the legitimate male line are dynasts of the Kingdom of France. According to them, the current heir to the French throne, if restored, is Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou (Louis XX). And according to the Orleanist faction of French royalists, which consider foreigners ineligible to inherit the French throne and limits the succession to the senior line of the House of Orleans (the cadet branches of Orleans-Braganza and Orleans-Galliera, and the descendants of Philip V of Spain, are considered foreigners), the current heir to the French throne, if restored, is Henri d’Orléans, Count of Paris (Henry VII). However, it does not appear that the French will restore the Monarchy anytime soon.)

Last night I continued reading The Mummy: A History of the Extraordinary Practices of Ancient Egypt by E. A. Wallis Budge.

I woke up half an hour early today and did my Book Devotional Reading; we then drove ourselves separately to work. Once waiting in the Hall to Nowhere, I did my Internet Devotional Reading, and we signed the Early Out list. When we clocked in, they had made Richard an Extra Dealer, and he got out at 3:15 am; I was on Mississippi Stud (and making very good tokes from a player who deals at a casino in New Mexico), and got out at 4:00 am. I sent a text to Richard letting him know I was out for 4:00 am, and headed home; he called me when I was on my way home to tell me he had gotten my message. I arrived home a little before 5:00 am, set the clock for 7:00 am, and went back to bed, joined by Richard.

Richard woke when the alarm went off at 7:00 am, and he did not twist my arm very hard to get me to stay in bed. (He can operate on much less sleep than I can; this is something both of us know very well.) He left for Baton Rouge at 7:30 am. I woke up at 9:30 am, started my laundry, and read the morning paper while eating peanut butter Ritz© crackers. I then watched MST3k Episode 1012 Squirm With short: A Case of Spring Fever, and then I watched MST3k Episode 1013 Diabolik (Danger: Diabolik!), which was the episode that ended the original series (Crow and Servo and Mike all end up back on Earth, and opt in their apartment to start watching bad movies voluntarily). I finished my laundry, and then I went alllll the way back to the beginning of MST3K with  MST3k Episode 102 The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy (La momia azteca contra el robot humano) With short: Radar Men from the Moon, Part 1: “Moon Rocket”. I then watched MST3k Episode 101 The Crawling Eye (The Trollenberg Terror). Richard called me while I was watching that movie, and arrived home just as the eye monsters were being destroyed at the end of the movie. Richard reported that Butch’s next appointment is on Wednesday morning of next week. so we will probably go to Baton Rouge on Tuesday and spend the night .And I am rather tired, so I will finish today’s Daily Update and read a bit in The Noonday Devil: Acedia, The Unnamed Evil of Our Times by Jean-Charles Nault, Translated by Michael J. Miller before going to sleep. Our #6 LSU Tigers (35-17, 18-9) will be playing their final home College Baseball regular season game with the Northwestern State Demons .

We have no Saints to honor tomorrow, so we will note that on tomorrow’s date in 1954 the United States Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, and that on tomorrow’s date in 1976 (forty-one years ag0) I graduated from Salmen High School in Slidell, Louisiana (Go Spartans!). And tomorrow is also the birthday of my Aunt Diane in Connecticut and of my co-worker Tracey at the casino (on Day shift) (1969). When I wake up I will do the Weekly Computer Maintenance and iron my casino pants, apron, and shirts; I will then go down to Lafayette and put in some comfy chair time at Barnes and Noble reading 13 Things that Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks via Kindle on my tablet.

Our Parting Quote on this Tuesday evening comes to us from Flora MacNeil, Scottish Gaelic singer. Born in 1928 on the island of Barra, one of Gaelic song’s most important strongholds and the second southernmost inhabited island of the Outer Hebrides after the adjacent island of Vatersay, there were singers on either side of her family, but this was a time when the menfolk were often away at sea for long periods, leaving the women to raise the children and tend the croft, singing all the while, to assuage their labours, and most of MacNeil’s repertoire was passed on from her mother, Ann Gillies. In those pre-television days (Flora’s family did not even have a radio until the 1950s), ceilidhs (traditional Gaelic social gatherings, which usually involved playing Gaelic folk music and dancing) with the neighbours were a regular occurrence in the MacNeil household, and from earliest childhood she remembers “soaking up” literally hundreds of songs, as if by osmosis. Clearly, the music was in her blood: by age four, famously, she was already tackling the sophisticated poetry of “Mo Run Geal Og” (“My Fair Young Love”), one of the greatest of the Orain Mor, or “Big Songs”. Like many others before her, MacNeil left Barra in 1947 to find work in Edinburgh. She found a public platform in the burgeoning round of ceilidhs and concerts that marked the first stirrings of the British folk revival. These brought her to the attention of Hamish Henderson, who recorded her singing as part of his 1950s collaboration with American musicologist Alan Lomax. Henderson also invited MacNeil to perform at the 1951 Edinburgh People’s Festival Ceilidh. The ceilidh, which brought Scottish traditional folk music to the public stage for the first time, took place in Edinburgh’s Oddfellows Hall in August 1951. The Scottish Gàidhealtachd was represented at the Celidh by Flora MacNeil, Calum Johnston, and John Burgess. The music was recorded live at the scene by Alan Lomax. Until 1954, the Edinburgh Festival Ceilidhs were an annual event. Eventually, however, the affiliation of some board members with the Communist Party of Great Britain caused the events to lose the backing of the city’s trade unions. MacNeil also recorded two albums, Craobh nan Ubhal in 1976 (reissued in 1993) and Orain Floraidh in 2000. In 2005 Lomax’s recording of the 1951 Edinburgh People’s Festival Ceilidh was released on compact disc by Rounder Records (died 2015): “Traditional songs tended to run in families and I was fortunate that my mother and her family had a great love for the poetry and the music of the old songs. It was natural for them to sing, whatever they were doing at the time or whatever mood they were in. My aunt Mary, in particular, was always ready, at any time I called on her, to drop whatever she was doing, to discuss a song with me, and perhaps, in this way, long forgotten verses would be recollected. So I learned a great many songs at an early age without any conscious effort. As is to be expected on a small island, so many songs deal with the sea, but, of course, many of them may not originally be Barra songs. Nevertheless the old songs were preserved more in the southernmost islands of Barra and South Uist possibly because the Reformed Church tended to discourage music elsewhere.”

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