Deadly Compliments

We know that archives and libraries are dangerous places. GRILLPARZER (Ger., Eng.) for example fell off a ladder and only survived because he let go the fascicle. Others died. Besides death by drop there is (still today) the serious danger of inhaling spores of mold, yes it’s a tough life in the field.
But that making one’s compliments also is a dangerous task was new to me. At least that is what Julius Bernhard von ROHR (Ger.) speaks about in paragraph 44, chapter 5, part 1 of his  Einleitung zur Ceremoniel-Wissenschafft der Privat-Personen, Berlin 1728 (digitised, world cat). And we can assume that von ROHR, a life-long and experienced man of the court, knows what he’s talking about. You find the German text at the end * of this little post, I paraphrase it here as follows :
“A young cavalier should take care not to suffer harm on his health or even his life, when he makes his compliments. After having spoken to the high Eminence or grand minister he has to leave and is not allowed to take his eyes from the high person & simply turn his back ; so he has to move a little sideways or must have taken care of the position of chairs, desks and other ameublement in the room ; especially when it comes to stairs he has to take good care not to fall down :

inmaßen ja unterschiedene Exempel vorhanden, daß einige diese Unvorsichtigkeit, da sie die Treppe herunter gestürtzt, das Leben gekostet.
especially while there are different examples that this carelessness that led to them falling down the steps, has cost them their lives.”

Hours or even days of Antichambrieren – “bow & scrape” my dictionary says very fittingly. Finally one is allowed in, to meet the important person. Compliments spoken without stutter or other un-pleasantries. Perhaps even a small smile, a small nod by the eminence. Then retreat, as learned : backwards, without bumping into a chair or knocking off the ming vase ; the staircase at last – wrong step, keeling over, broken neck, final end of carrière.

What “unterschiedene Exempel” may Herr von ROHR thought of ? I am pretty sure that he knew of some – but to my knowledge there is no survey of these accidents.
Sources could be memoirs, (auto)~biographies, letters, maybe official files ? Gossip is seen as an important source for life at the court in the 18th century (Hofkultur), not only by modern scholars but by the contemporaries too. I know of no reader on this special topic. Maybe I found just a Desiderat der Forschung, a blank space ?
Would someone sponsor my research, please ?

* “§.44. Endlich mag sich ein junger Mensch, und ein jedweder angelegen seyn lassen, mit der Manierlichkeit und Wohlanständigkeit, auch die Behutsamkeit zu vereinigen, damit er seine Complimen[t]s so einrichte, daß er über den vielen Complimentiren an seinem Leibe keinen Schaden leide, oder gar des Lebens verlustig werde. Daher muß er im Zuwillgehen aus ein Gemach einer Fürstlichen Person oder eines großen Ministris, die er stets in Augen behalten, und ihr nicht den bloßen Rücken zukehren muß, vorher Acht haben, was ihm e[t]wan an Tischen, Stühlen, und andern Meublen bey dieser Passage im Wege stehe, oder ein wenig seithalben gehen;  insonderheit aber sich bey den Treppen wohl wahrnehmen soll, daß er nicht hinunter schmeisse, inmaßen ja unterschiedene Exempel vorhanden, daß einige diese Unvorsichtigkeit, da sie die Treppe herunter gestürtzt, das Leben gekostet.”

Sunday Music

No, it is not another “tradition” forming – nowadays things that happen twice or are repeated more than two times have a good chance to be called “tradition”: It’s just a concurrence that Sunday Music comes on Monday again.
The whole day was hot, even hotter than yesterday, when the hottest hours of the day were spent under a scorching sun in a shadowless ruin. But this late afternoon brought a nice stormwind, even some drops of rain – and I wanted to hear lively, friendly music. Kaseko would be good I think, We Gwe Ma We Kon Baka [We go away, but we come back] performed by George SCHERMACHER, who formed the first Jazz band in Suriname, in the nineteenthirties.
Kudos to all of you who can at once point to Suriname on a world map without cheating – and perhaps you know the capital’s name too ? No, there’s nothing to win, just to explore ; a good starting point would be Amsterdam. So if you are near that place – receive our very special greetings and best wishes.

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Guggala wuggala

Exactly. I have set up a “business”-website for me & my abilities for rent at the start of this month. Yes, I’ve should have done more, like pestering people around the globe with it and telling them something like “Hire me – or drop dead !”, but I am a friendly man, basically. So I tinkered on ebay and tried to sell some things, with mixed results, but at least some cash seems to drip in.
I watched in awe as gargle~ and ping-bot came by and crawled my website – yes, promote me !
I did this and that with the text(s) until the seo-plugin was satisfied – a bit of a waste imho, gargle & Co. do what they want & there is only a small chance that whatever one does with the text has any real result, it seriously does not change their algorithms, does it ? And I emphasise on a readable text and no silly series of slogans or dumb catch phrases. So there.
But who was dumping a full load of shtuff on me ? Spam comments and spam emails of course. Heavens, within 21 days there were more than fifty spam comments (on only four blog posts ; and two comments I can not delete – this makes me mad !) and I do not know how many emails via the contact form – I just deleted them. Interestingly spam-emails also came through to another email address of mine.
This evening I had enough and looked for a kind of captcha-plugin or similar. For the contact form I now use something that works behind the scene, it’s called a honey-pot. It is thought of as a kind of first defence ; the developers say if it’s too weak a real captcha-thingy should do the trick.
For the comments form (yes, there is a blog, ach – I already mentioned it) I choose the slider captcha – bots do not use a mouse, at least I hope so. It replaces the usual torn numbers or letters (some are really too difficult !) with a mouse gesture, a simple slider. I like the simplicity of this.
Slowly but steadily normal services will be resumed around here, I guess ; crawling back to Blogland. Silvaner helps.

Sunday Music

Due to circumstances this Sunday Music is a Monday Music. I hope you enjoy it nevertheless.
It’s a short piano piece by LISZT (Ger., Eng.), Trübe Wolken, or Nuages Gris, Grey Clouds, performed by Andreas BOYDE (Ger., Eng.). There is a very interesting version by RICHTER on youtube, but I did not link it because the coughing and wheezing of the audience is really annoying, exquisitely timed to spoil the most intimate moments. And in Andrè LAPLANTE‘s (Eng.) version it’s the pianist himself who snirfles through three wonderful minutes. I found it so disturbing when I realised that I was not longer listening to LISZT, but waited for the pianist to wheeze again. BOYDE’s performance lasts a bit over three minutes, than follows a terrible mood-killing advertisement, so be warned. (Best click “stop” at 3:05.)
The weather changed, I have headaches. The heat nearly killed my beloved computer. Things need to be done, written, phoned yadayadayada … I think I’m a bit in a mood. Grey clouds in the sky, rain & distant flashes last night, still hot today – its extraordinary quiet all around, no rush from trains or the autobahn, no traffic on the village street, maybe they all went South to sizzle on Italy’s beaches, Teutonengrill in full swing.
Looking at the news is particularly depressing, seemingly every hormon-driven completely brainless dumbo,  who can use a gun, feels the need to parade his hero-ness & worthiness around, best achieved by killing innocents, bystanders and people who dare not be part of the idiot’s religion / party / peer group / whatever.
The “enlightenment” came to a grinding stop 500 meters East of Vienna, there barbarism begins. Where is the promised comet ? The silly thing is long overdue, its time for a global reset.

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