Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Botta cried out: “You will ruin the House of Austria, Sire, and damage yourself at the same time.” “It only depends on the Queen [Maria Theresa],” said the King, “to accept the offerings that have been made to her.” This made the marquis fall deep in thought; however, he collected himself and, speaking again in a tone and air of irony, he said: “Sire, your troops are very beautiful, I agree; ours do not have such an appearance, but they have seen the wolf. Think, I beseech you, about what you are going to undertake.” The King lost his patience and replied with vivacity: “You find that my troops are beautiful, and I shall make you agree that they are also good.” The marquis made a few more attempts at delaying the implementation of this project [the invasion of Silesia]: the King made it understood that it was too late, and the Rubicon was passed.

Botta s’écria : « Vous allez ruiner la maison d’Autriche, Sire, et vous abîmer en même temps. » « Il ne dépend que de la Reine, reprit le Roi, d’accepter les offres qui lui sont faites. » Cela rendit le marquis rêveur; il se recueillit cependant, et, reprenant la parole d’un ton de voix et d’un air ironiques, il dit : « Sire, vos troupes sont belles, j’en conviens; les nôtres n’ont pas cette apparence, mais elles ont vu le loup; pensez, je vous en conjure, à ce que vous allez entreprendre. » Le Roi s’impatienta et reprit avec vivacité : « Vous trouvez que mes troupes sont belles, et je vous ferai convenir qu’elles sont bonnes. » Le marquis fit encore des instances pour qu’on différât l’exécution de ce projet : le Roi lui fit comprendre qu’il était trop tard, et que le Rubicon était passé.

Frederick the Great, Histoire de mon temps, Chapter 2, my translation.

In which Marquis Antoniotto Botta Adorno tries to raise his voice, and it backfires (though not quite as horribly as in Genoa, 1746).

thegentlemanscloset:

Red velvet suit, French, 1778. The silver buttons on the waistcoat are ornamental. You can see this clearly in the bottom picture—the functional buttons are the smaller red ones. In the collection of the Kent State University Museum

(Source: kentstateuniversitymuseum.wordpress.com)

Friday, July 25, 2014

lobsterwarrior:

Russian Army uniforms in 1797-1801.

  • Officer of the Moscow Grenadier Regiment;
  • Regimental drummers of the Astrakhan, Tsaritsyn and Kizlyar Garrison regiments;
  • Engineering officer;
  • Private of the 1st Chasseur Regiment;
  • General of the Kargopolsky Dragoon regiment and officer of the Seversky Dragoon regiment;
  • Chief officer and grenadiers of the Old Ingermanlandsky Musketeer regiment.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 Monday, July 21, 2014
lobsterwarrior:

Portrait of unknown Piqueurs. German, 18th century, oil on canvas, detail.

lobsterwarrior:

Portrait of unknown Piqueurs. German, 18th century, oil on canvas, detail.

Saturday, July 19, 2014
lecomtesanstete:

Meeting of the three kings (Frederick I in Prussia, August II (the Strong) of Poland and Frederick IV of Denmark) in Potsdam and Charlottenburg, by Samuel Theodor Gericke, 1709.

lecomtesanstete:

Meeting of the three kings (Frederick I in Prussia, August II (the Strong) of Poland and Frederick IV of Denmark) in Potsdam and Charlottenburg, by Samuel Theodor Gericke, 1709.

Friday, July 18, 2014
jeannepompadour:

Portrait of an unknown man by Joseph Highmore, 1745

jeannepompadour:

Portrait of an unknown man by Joseph Highmore, 1745

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Each century has its dominant passion; that for reforms marks the 18th. Pride makes us consider reforms as progresses, but in fact unfortunately they are nothing but innovations; and the immense mass of half-philosophers, of half-politicians, of half-savants easily grows accustomed to mistake “change” for “better”. Nature has bestowed upon time her revolutions, slow, quiet, intangible but irresistible; passions instead invade time’s dominion, and violently tear the web, that the former had been unravelling in silence.

Francesco Melzi d’Eril (1753-1816), later vice-president of the Napoleonic Italian Republic, here probably commenting on the reforms of Joseph II’s reign.

Original text here, the translation is mine.

L’Europe était dans la surprise de l’invasion inopinée de la Silésie. Les uns taxaient d’étourderie cette levée de boucliers; d’autres regardaient cette entreprise comme une chose insensée. Le ministre d’Angleterre, Robinson, qui résidait à Vienne, soutenait que le roi de Prusse méritait d’être excommunié en politique. En même temps que le comte de Gotter partit pour Vienne, le Roi envoya le général Winterfeldt en Russie; il y trouva le marquis de Botta, qui y soutenait avec toute la vivacité de son caractère les intérêts de la cour de Vienne. Cependant, dans cette occasion, le bon sens poméranien l’emporta sur la sagacité italienne, et M. de Winterfeldt parvint, par le crédit du maréchal Münnich, à conclure avec la Russie une alliance défensive; c’était tout ce qu’on pouvait désirer de plus avantageux dans ces circonstances critiques.

Frederick II of Prussia, Histoire de mon temps, Chapter II

Let us take a moment to appreciate: a.) Frederick reporting a comment remarking that Frederick himself should be “excommunicated in politics”; b.) the epic struggle of “Pomeranian good sense” vs “Italian sagacity”.