Tuesday, April 19, 2011


"Liberty leading the People" by Eugène Delacroix
La liberté guidant le peuple (1830)

"Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive
But to be young was very heaven!"


...'Twas in truth an hour
Of universal ferment; mildest men
Were agitated; and commotions, strife
Of passion and opinion fill'd the walls
Of peaceful houses with unquiet sounds.
The soil of common life was at that time
Too hot to tread upon; oft said I then,
And not then only, 'what a mockery this
Of history; the past and that to come!
Now do I feel how I have been deceived,
Reading of Nations and their works, in faith,
Faith given to vanity and emptiness;
Oh! laughter for the Page that would reflect
To future times the face of what now is!'

William Wordsworth

... Ce fut en vérité une heureDe fermentation
universelle, les hommes plus douxOnt été agités
et troubles, des troublesDe la passion et l'opinion
fill'd les mursDes maisons paisibles avec des sons
inquiet.Le sol de la vie commune à cette époqueTrop
chaud pour marcher sur; souvent je l'ai dit alors,
Et donc pas seulement », quelle dérision cetteDe l'histoire,
le passé et celui à venir!Maintenant je me sens comme
j'ai été trompé,Lecture des Nations et de leurs œuvres,
dans la foi,Foi accordée à la vanité et le vide;
Oh! rire pour la page qui refléteraitPour les
temps à venir face à ce qui est maintenant!

The general sense of "a sudden great change in affairs"
was recorded in the middle of the 15th century and the
express political meaning was first recorded in about 1600.

By the Glorious Revolution of 1688 the term was in common use.
See "Revolution" in Oxford English Dictionary.


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