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Among the several songs is a salute to Napoleon himself:
‘Chargeons, allignons nos canons,
Tirons au F[rère] Bouneparte;
C’est en lui que nous admirons
Les vertus de Rome d’esparte.
Libérateur de son pays,
Il se rend du monde l’arbitre
La France n’a plus d’ennemis
Qui lui conteste un si beau titre.’
The song is known from at least one other source (a version is published in Chroniques d’Histoire Maçonnique Lorraine, 9, January, 2000), and is notable for the reference to Napoleon as ‘Frère’. His membership of the Freemasons has long been a source of debate (though is now commonly dismissed) and his relationship to masonry is an important aspect of the Order’s history. The Freemasons were widely accused of Revolutionary activity and were vigorously suppressed during the Terror only to be re-established under Napoleon who sought to capitalise on their loyalty and patriotism. He installed his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, as Grand Master of the Grand Orient de France and ensured that administration of French Freemasonry was directly overseen by legislator Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérès.
The ritualised dinner described here has elaborate table settings, with utensils and food given ceremonial names. Bread becomes ‘Pierre prutte’; wine, ‘poudre forte, b[lan]che ou rouge’; salt, ‘sable blanc’ and pepper, ‘sable gris’. The table is referred to as the ‘Tribune’; the candles, ‘étoiles’ and spoons, ‘truelles’.
Each of the toasts is given in full and the seven songs are usually supplied with the name of the popular tune to which they are sung, including, ‘L’air vive Henry quatre’ and ‘Femmes, voulez-vous éprouver?’ see full details...
Friedrich Hoffmann (1660-1742), a German physician, practiced and taught medicine, chemistry and physics in Halle from 1693. He studied and wrote on such varied topics as paediatrics, mineral waters and meteorology and introduced many new drugs into medical practice (such as a compound spirit of ether branded “Anodyne” and “Hoffmanns-Tropfen” still today known as a household remedy). Hoffmann was among the first to describe several diseases, including appendicitis and German measles, and to recognize the regulatory role of the nervous system.
The work contains examinations of common ailments such as fever, infections, haemorrhageing, cramps, spasms and convulsions, consideration of the cerebral and nervous system, lymph and glands, female complaints and childhood illnesses. It also includes numerous medicinal recipes and cures. see full details...
The part considering servants is divided into categories: butlers, valets, chambermaids, coachmen and so on and is a valuable source for understanding private lives in the age of Louis XIV, giving detailed opinions on the conduct expected in a well-ordered household. To take one example, the instructions to the valets de chambre include remarks on discretion, on moral rectitude and on the effective use of spare time. Reading is recommended as a suitable recreation for servants, provided the subject matter is edifying: works of religion, history and morality are suggested, but also some science and perhaps mathematics. The art of fine writing is encouraged, since it is helpful to the master and also perhaps the learning of a musical instrument or a little painting. Overfamiliarity with the female servants is expressly discouraged, in recognition of the frequent opportunities for female company a valet may find. At the end is an Abregé de l’histoire sainte, a kind of catechism for servants.
There are 11 pages of advertisements for other works sold by Aubouin, Emery and Clouzier. see full details...