1751: Voltaire in the Le Siecle de Louis XIV described Europe as “a kind of great republic divided into several states, some monarchical, the others mixed…but all corresponding with one another. They all have the same religious foundation, even if divided into several confessions. They all have the same principle of public law and politics, unknown in other parts of the world…”
1771: “There are no longer Frenchmen, Germans, Spaniards, or even English, but only Europeans.” Rousseau.
1796: Edmund Burke: “No European can be a complete exile in any part of Europe.” Letters on a Regicide Peace.
In a Moulins thunderstorm on Monday I sit and read news stories and blog entries from “Google Alerts”. I have a group set on topics such as Paris, France, Lyon, “Shame” and “William Shakespeare.” Under Lyon, my next destination I come across a review of CocoRosie, who played a concert in Lyon on Saturday night. The review was by “Lady C” on the MOG music site. I signed up, posted…a day later I am having dinner with Connie (aka Lady C) a Chinese Canadian, and John, her Irish (alternative instrument-making) boyfriend, in their Croix Rousse apartment in Lyon. The day bed is waiting for me, and puppet-making friends on the way over.
“I went on Friday morning being the third day of June about sixe of the clocke from Tarare in my bootes, by reason of a certaine accident, to a place about six miles therehence, where I took post horse, and came to Lyons about one of the clocke in the afternoone.
It rained most extremely without any ceasing, that I was drooping wet to my very skinne when I came to my Inne. I passed three gates before I entered the city. The second was a very faire gate, at one side thereof there is a very stately picture of a Lyon. When I came to the third gate I could not be suffered to passe into the city, before the porter having first examined me wherehence I came, and the occasion of my businesse, there gave me a little ticket under his hand as a kind of warrant for mine entertainment in mine Inne. For without that ticket I should not have beene admitted to lodge within the walles of the City.
It rained in a similar way coming into Lyon, but thanks to technology – and human kindness – I have my “warrant for entertainment.”