29 January 2021

Mainly for Loyalist Latinists

On May 13, 1629, Queen Henrietta Maria had a child. But it ... or rather, he ... was premature and died soon after birth.

If at first you don't succeed ... and the Queen and King Charles I were very much in love; soon there was another pregnancy and on May 29 1630, a full-term lusty boy was successfully delivered. Did I say lusty? We are speaking of the Merry Monarch, the future King Charles II (king de jure 1649-1685; not to be confused with King Charles III, king de jure 1766-1788).

Naturally, the University of Oxford rushed out a volume of verse to celebrate so happy an event: BRITANNIAE NATALIS.   OXONIAE, Excudebat I o h a n n e s L i c h f i e l d Almae Academiae Typographus, Ann. Dom. 1630. Lichfield included an engraving with the University Arms (Sapi[entia] et fe[licitate] on the book); the Tetragrammaton in a Glory; and four allegorical ladies with nipples.

Somebody from Christ Church, who curiously only gives his identity as T. T., contributed these elegiacs:

                           Ad Reginam

Non contenta uno virtus tua mascula gestit
     Intra annum binos parturiise mares:
Francorum Salicam sic, O sic, semper amemus,
     Femineasque vetes sceptra tenere manus.

What do I find compelling about this? It appears to me an amazing example of something which seemed a neat and thoroughly appropriate compliment in the culture of 1630, but would nowadays be considered to be in the very worst possible taste!

And the memory of Gloriana seems to have faded a bit, doesn't it  ... or might we have a 'Church Papist' writer here?


Unknown said...

From Martin Hartley

Dear Fr John
I do hope that tomorrow, when you offer the Holy Sacrifice,you will add a collect for Charles KM

Best wishes


Frugifex said...

Latinista obsequiosus non sum: tamen elogium hoc multum placet. Timeo autem paucos vel fortasse nullum lectorum tuorum hoc intellexisse. His diebus, si linguam latinam in sermonem vernaculum non vertis, omnes oscitantes verba tua praetereunt. Sed hoc in casu gaudeo: alioqin in flammam mitteres manum quoniam contrarium terit plebs nostra iter: ut nosti, si manibus femineis sceptra quis neganda dixerit "adducentur supercilia, extendetur brachium, iratusque Chremes tumido desaeviet ore. Consurgent proceres adversus illum et turba patritia detonabit, magum et seductorem clamitans, ultimas in terras deportandum."