My weather machinae are saying that it's 34° again; one of these days it may drop below freezing. Poor new housemate, G., who had been living in sunny Texas and warm California, told me yesterday morning, his voice replete with horror, that we were to be in the 20s this morning; I did tell him that such predictions, here in Eugene, prove wrong much more than half of the time.
I had not planned to make the trip downtown for Holy Mass today but almost changed my mind, since I missed the livestream from Paris. Almost. I'm afraid the absence of the obligation enabled me to justify not catching the bus. After having returned from my spatiamentum and the shopping, I won't go out again today, more than likely, except for the evening walk.
Since the other day, the 23rd, if I have that right, was the feast of Blessed Severinus Boethius, I'm going to take the liberty of noting that part of Dr Eleanor Parker's weekly letter concerning the turning of his De Consolatione Philosophiae into English during the reign of Alfred the Great. (The gracious historian's blog is A Clerk of Oxford; if I've understood correctly at Twitter she is concentrating on her other work these days so isn't posting at the blog as often as is sometimes the case.) So far as I can tell, this is the second part of the sixth chapter (but am not sure if that is what the division is properly called) of Book IV, ll 35 sqq in the Loeb edition.
Lady Philosophy, Boethius' counsellor as he languishes miserably in prison, is reminding him that although to human eyes this world may appear to be a place of distress, pain, and chaos, that's a mistake of our limited and partial perspective: in fact the universe is under the rule of the ultimate Good, who directs the course of the stars, sets the bounds of the sea, and guides the cycle of the seasons.
Be þæs cyninges gebode - cymeð geara gehwæm -
eorðe bringeð æghwylc tudor,
and se hata sumor hæleða bearnum
geara gehwilce giereð and drigeð
geond sidne grund sæd and bleda,
hærfest to honda herbuendum
ripa receð. Ren æfter þæm,
swylce hagal and snaw, hrusan leccað
on wintres tid, weder unhiore.
Forðæm eorðe onfehð eallum sædum,
gedeð þæt hi growað geara gehwilce;
on lenctentid leaf up spryttað.
Ac se milda metod monna bearnum
on eorðan fet eall þætte groweð,
wæstmas on weorolde wel forðbrengeð,
hit þonne he wile, heofona waldend,
and eowað eft eorðbuendum,
nimð þonne he wile, nergende God.
And þæt hehste good on heahsetle
siteð, self cyning, and þios side gesceaft
þenað and ðiowað. He þonan waldeð
þæm geweltleðrum weoruldgesceafta.
Nis þæt nan wundor; he is weroda God,
cyning and drihten cwucera gehwelces,
æwelm and fruma eallra gesceafta,
wyrhta and sceppend weorulde þisse,
wisdom and æ woruldbuendra.
Ealla gesceafta on his ærendo
hionane sendeð, hæt eft cuman.
By the king's command - each year it happens -earth brings forth every kind of offspring,and the hot summer, for the sons of men,each year readies and driesseeds and crops across the wide earth;harvest bears them, ripe, into the handsof those who dwell in this world. After that rainand hail and snow moisten the earthin the wintertide, harsh weather.So the earth receives all seeds,guides them to grow every year;in the spring the leaf sprouts up.And the merciful Measurer, for the children of mennourishes all that grows upon the earth,generously brings forth fruits into the world,conceals them when he wishes, Ruler of the heavens,and reveals them again to earth-dwellers,takes them when he wishes, Saviour God.And that highest Good sits on the high-seat,the King himself, and this vast creationgoverns and controls. From there he wieldsthe reins of this created world.That is no wonder: he is God of armies,King and Lord of every living thing,spring and source of all creation,craftsman and creator of this world,wisdom and law of earth-dwellers.Every created thing from here he sendson his errands, and summons them back again.
The basic idea of this is taken from the Latin source, but it's adapted into the idiom of Anglo-Saxon poetry. The passage on the season is expanded to more than double the length of the equivalent lines in the Latin.... Another little example: the Latin poem briefly mentions winter rain-- but the Anglo-Saxon poet never existed who could see the word 'winter' without adding references to snow and hail and weder unhiore, 'harsh weather'!
There is a concert broadcast, livestreamed, from Munich later on that I may be able to listen to if the time ends up being agreeable-- Schumann's Symphony no 3 in E flat major with three pieces I'm unfamiliar with by Abreu, Bor, and Estévez. I misread and this has already happened, eh.
The Senate will vote tomorrow to confirm Judge Barrett. I hope the entire Demo caucus abstains, the better to illustrate their obstructionist tactics.
I overheard my landlady watching (yes, yes, I know)... a Christmas movie on the television.
Ante Nonam. Vespers of the feast and Benediction, before I forget.
There's a documentary film featuring the tenor Benjamin Appl visiting in Buenos Aires and learning about and singing tango songs (in German, apparently) that airs this evening across much of South America; looks to be an interesting hour and a half. The rainbow sweaters, ahem, have caused me to wonder if, perhaps, the relocation from the Bavarian forests to London had more than one purpose; who knows, and of course I don't care unless he begins to be politically active. Even then such nonsense wouldn't prevent me appreciating the voice although I would regret it if and insofar as it would be a repudiation of the Catholic religion.
Am listening to Johann Adolf Hasse's Serpentes Ignei in Deserto, an oratorio from either 1735-1736 or 1738-1739; not sure why the English Wikipedia page gives the date 1740 (the German gives the later date but with question mark). Everyone agrees that the librettist was Bonaventura Bonimo.
This review at Gramophone looks to be what information is readily available in English; I'm very much enjoying the Hasse and the singers are acquitting themselves well so far as I can tell. A drawback to this CD on Spotify (it's the one reviewed at Gramophone) is that the arias are identified by their singers and by the names of the Biblical protagonists, not by the first words of the texts. Robert Expert's six minutes of 'Eleazar' must be the 'weak singing' that the reviewer remarks; I hear one or two imperfections but, eh, reality differs from the recording studio.
Am watching David Lynch's Dune again. Had forgotten how funny it is in parts-- the incongruities between the high noble nonsense speeches about spice! and some of the low practical asides e.g. when Paul admonishes his mother to walk properly. "The worm, spice, is there a relationship?"-- the mind of Duke Paul, ha.
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