Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thy Scorn of Ostentation is in itself an Ostenstation

Jean Sifrein Maury is credited with some pithy remarks.  My favorite, addressed to the members of the noblesse in the National Assembly regarding their support of the abolition of titles:  "Thy scorn of ostentation is in itself an ostentation."

Others comments about Maury are telling.:

My favorite :  Louis XVI, to whom religion was vital, after hearing the Abbé's Easter sermon, said, "If the abbé had only said a few words on the subject of religion, he would have covered every possible subject."  Oh, that Louis could be clever sometimes.

It seems the Cardinal liked to hear himself talk.  One of the reasons my gut tells me we're related.  The sentence, below, in italics sounds more like the Denton side of my family, though.  The Maurys weren't showy.

"Cardinal Maury did not allow you to advance far. He was fond of telling anecdotes, but he loved to select his subject and to choose his terms. Memory well managed can furnish a tolerable share of the wit and spirit of conversation, and he was, in this respect, the most capital manoeuvrer I ever met with. As he had been absent from Paris for fourteen years he had a great deal to tell. Every one, therefore, listened to his stories with pleasure--himself among the first."  Italics added for emphasis.

This story, illustrating that time, the mind, and dreams are nebulous concepts to grasp, is from the section, 'Life in Paris" in the book "Paris in 1789-94:  Farewell Letters of Victims of the Guillotine.":  "…the abbé Maury, though safe in exile, is said to have dreamed of being arrested, imprisoned, tried, and taken to the scaffold.  He mounted the steps, placed his neck on the block, and was awakened by the top of his bedstead having fallen on his neck.  This little accident had with incredible rapidity produced the dream before arousing him."


Mary Lewis said...

Very interesting and well written Madeleine!

Mary Lewis said...

Very interesting and well written Madeleine!

Madeleine Doak said...

Thanks, Mary Berry!