Covid-19: Vaccination in Quebec


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I apologize for the delay.

An Incident

It all started when my telephone rang in the middle of the night. Someone was at the main door to the building asking me to unlock the door. He said he was delivering groceries. I let him in. It then occurred to me that he could be an intruder and that he could harm one of my neighbours. If so, it would be my fault. I dialed 9-1-1. Two police officers, a man, and a woman came to my door. I told them that I had foolishly let someone into the building and asked them to check the corridors. They didn’t check the corridors. I also told them that persons did ring the door to my apartment occasionally and then disappeared. But matters were different. This time, I had let a person enter the building.

They asked several questions, reassured me, and left. The building was quiet. The next morning, I realized that one of my neighbours had played a joke on me. Who else would know that my groceries are delivered and by whom? Later in the day, I phoned the police and spoke with a person who knew about this incident. I said that, in my opinion, a neighbour had played a joke on me. The gentleman wanted to know how I felt. I was fine. My neighbours were not the target, I was the target.

I have since wondered whether this incident is related to Covid-19. I have been inside my apartment, alone, for a year. However, someone delivers groceries once a week.

The Covid-19 Vaccine

I did leave the apartment two days ago. On Tuesday I received a letter from the government informing me personally that the vaccination programme had begun and that all I had to do was telephone the number I was given or go online to make an appointment. I dialed the telephone number and was vaccinated the following day. Covid-19 is so aggressive that all Canadians will be vaccinated before June 24, the first injection, if AstraZeneca is used. That goal is realistic for Quebec. The team is working so efficiently that several hundred persons are vaccinated in a matter of hours. The government hired a small army.

After the injection, one sits for 15 minutes and, if all goes well, one disinfects one’s hands and goes home. A gentleman called a cab for me. He made me sit comfortably while I waited and he helped me get into the cab safely.

The AstraZeneca vaccine was used. My mouth was very dry after the injection, but there were bottles of water. I was given water. I was not otherwise affected.

Long Covid

The Washington Post reports that many victims of Covid-19 who have been cured are not able to return to a normal life. I suspected this would happen. I caught the H1N1 virus in early February 1976. It triggered Myalgic Encephalomyelitis which did not relent, except for very brief periods, for forty-four years. ME ended when Covid-19 began. Long-Covid patients are vaccinated and it is reported that many patients start feeling better. Do not look upon them as malingerers.

Some long-haul covid-19 patients say their symptoms are subsiding after getting vaccines – The Washington Post

Would that awareness of complications had been present in 1976! I could handle a normal workload by going to bed early and living cautiously. But my workload grew to include too many areas of literature, and the creation of language lab components. I fell to exhaustion and was not replaced, which shouldn’t have happened. I was then maneuvered into selling my house and leaving Nova Scotia. Two years later, I was fooled into accepting an arrangement that ended my tenure without my realizing it. I still ache.


Let’s just say that Covid-19 has been a curse, but that the government vaccination programme is very rapid. I have not experienced adverse effects. As for my neighbours, I sent management a letter they will never forget.

Love to everyone 💕

Leonard Bernstein plays George Gershwin
La Belle aux moineaux, illustration (George Barbier (illustrator) – Wikipedia)

© Micheline Walker
19 March 2021

Le Vent du Nord: Lettre à Durham


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Le Vent du Nord‘s Lettre à Durham with Julie Fowlis, in Glasgow

Le Vent du Nord‘s Lettre à Durham

Le Grand Dérangement: the Expulsion of Acadians

A discussion of the concept of anamnesis could take us to Plato but it also leads to Canada and, more precisely, to both provinces of New France: Acadie and the current Quebec.

In an earlier article, October 1837, I wrote that the deportation (1755) was cruel. It deprived 11,500 Acadians of their home, and exiles were put pêle-mêle aboard ships that sailed in different directions, including England and France. Families were divided. “Approximately one-third perished from disease and drowning.″ (See Acadians, Wikipedia.) Some sailed down Britain’s Thirteen Colonies and walked from Georgia to Louisiana. They are the Cajuns of Louisiana. Some exiles returned to Acadie, but not to their farms.

Antonine Maillet’s Pélagie-la-Charrette

Errance et Résistance, an article, is my reading of Antonine Maillet‘s Pélagie-la-Charrette (1979). The novel is an anamnèse. Pélagie is a deported Acadian walking back to Acadie with other deportees using a charrette, a cart. When the group reaches Acadie, they exclaim: la terre rouge, a reference to the biblical mer Rouge, the Red Sea. The soil is rouge, which may result from the huge tides of the Bay of Fundy (from fendu, split). Pélagie-la-Charrette earned Antonine Maillet the Prix Goncourt 1979 (France).

The Bay of Fundy (fendu)
The Bay of Fundy (fendu) between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and inside Nova Scotia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lord Durham’s Report

In 1838, George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham was sent to the two Canadas to investigate the Rebellions of 1837-1838. In his report, he depicted French Canadians as culturally inferior to English Canadians. Although it was not the grand dérangement, Lord Durham’s Report was humiliating. French-speaking Canadians did not have a history and lacked a literature. French Canadians quickly built a literary homeland: la Patrie littéraire, which was an anamnesis.

Comme bien des Britanniques de l’époque, Lord Durham est convaincu que les valeurs et les politiques anglaises sont supérieures à celles des autres nations et qu’en les appliquant, une société est vouée à la prospérité. À l’opposé, il considère les Canadiens francophones comme étant un peuple sans histoire et sans littérature. [As did many Britons in his time, Lord Durham believed English values and policies were superior to those of other nations and that a society putting these into practice was bound to prosper. Contrarily, he looked upon francophone Canadians as a people without a history and without a literature.]   

Le Rapport Durham | Alloprof

These were inebriating days for Britain’s Empire. What does the Sun Never Sets On The British Empire Mean? – WorldAtlas. In his Report, Lord Durham recommended that the two Canadas be united, which led to the Act of Union of 1841. Lord Durham’s Report was humiliating. It was hoped that the Act of Union would lead to an assimilation of French-speaking Canadians. You will hear the words: à genoux, on their knees and cicatrices (scars). However, after the two Canadas were united, Robert Baldwin (1804-1858) and Sir Louis-Hyppolite LaFontaine (1807-1864) built a government for a bilingual Canada with a responsible government. Then came Confederation (1867). Its precedent was Durham’s Report, not the Canada envisaged by Baldwin and LaFontaine.

Matters have changed. The Patrie littéraire, an anamnesis, was successful. However, during the 1960s, terrorists, the Front de libération du Québec (the FLQ) killed and maimed, but they ceased to be active after the October Crisis of 1970. Pierre Vallières (1938-1998) published Les Nègres blancs d’Amérique (The White Niggers of America) in 1968, but he had killed as a member of the FLQ. During the 1960s the Felquistes (FLQ) put bombs in mailboxes and other locations. Vallières converted. It was a troubled decade.

There are ups and downs, les hauts et les bas, but we live peacefully.


Sources and Resources
Le Vent du Nord – Home

Love to everyone 💕
I had to modify this article. I have been suffering from mental fatigue and my memory fails me.

© Micheline Walker
11 March 2021

Remembrance: Anamnèse


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William Blake’s Newton (1795), depicting him as a divine geometer. Image Credit: William Blake Archive/Wikipedia (

No, you have not been forgotten. You are precious to me. I have been occupied and preoccupied. So, I do not have an article ready, but I would like to mention the concept of anamnesis, anamnèse, in connection with the Bibles moralisées. I will, however, exclude the word moralisées. I do not have a facsimile of one of these Bibles, which means I have not read them.

Anamnèse is a term used in medicine primarily. A doctor researches a patient’s history to make a correct diagnosis and choose the appropriate treatment.

However, an anamnèse may occur elsewhere. In Catholic liturgy, it refers to a prayer which, in the Mass, follows the Consecration and evokes the Redemption (une “[p]rière qui, dans la messe, suit la consécration et rappelle le souvenir de la Rédemption). This prayer is relatively recent. I could not find it in my ageing missal (See Anamnèse, and Parts of the Mass.)

In the New Testament, we read that Jesus was incarnated: « le Verbe s’est fait chair » (John 1:14). God the Son, of the Holy Trinity, a mystery, was made flesh. He is the Word, la parole, or logos, but He is God the Son and incarnated. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the forbidden tree and were driven out of Paradise. They were redeemed. That is the Biblical account and it is also John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Catholics added an anamnèse to the Mass, referring to the Redemption.

Jesus was born to Mary in a humble crêche where He was visited, first, by the shepherds and, later, by the Kings of Orient. He was crucified and died, but he was resurrected and remains the Redeemer. For many Christians, although Jesus is invisible, He is still among us. Christians pray to him and they pray to his mother, Mary. The Virgin Mary is viewed as a kind woman who may speak to her son Jesus and ask Him to help us in times of grief, such as pandemics, wars, or social upheavals.

I asked theologians if Jesus had left a message. Jesus Himself did not. He did not write a text. Jesus’s disciples told his parables and that He taught unconditional love. The Sermon on the Mount, however, was told by his disciples, Matthew to be precise. Moreover, Jesus did not found a Church. Christianity was founded by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (CE 306–337).

Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine (centre), accompanied by the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325), holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As for our thirteenth-century Gods, they may have satisfied the medieval mind and my rather childlike mind, but they border on Paradox literature. Not only does God use the compass, which has yet to be invented, but he also looks like the human beings he is creating. He created us in his image. This history called for other accounts of Creation, such as the Big Bang (le Grand Boum). But the Bible, the Quran, Epics, Mythologies, Sacred Texts, and the disputed Totemism are anamnèses that explain the human condition somewhat naïvely at times but also beautifully. These provide proof that we need to know where we come from and that we wish to ennoble ourselves.

So, there was a great deluge, but Noah’s Ark saved humanity and its animals. Jonah, a prophet, was inside a whale that protected him. Moreover, although there was no compass before man[1] was created, humans themselves have created extraordinary machines. Man has travelled to the moon and man has created works of art, works of literature and music we call divine. We cannot create an autonomous human being, but we have been creators.

There is a measure of godliness among mortals.[2]

[1] Man includes women.
[2] This discussion is to be continued.

Love to everyone 💕

Micheline Walker
5 March 2021

On the Bibles Moralisées


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Die Schöpfung from Europe a Prophecy, by William Blake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an earlier post, I mentioned that Pierre Séguier owned the French collection (Paris) of the Oxford-Paris-Londres Bible. Pierre Séguier was one of a handful of individuals who ruled France in the seventeenth century. He purchased the Paris selection of the Bible moralisée. However, he also conducted the trial of Nicolas Fouquet, France’s Superintendant of Finances (1653-1661). (See RELATED ARTICLES.)

A Portrait of Pierre Séguier, Chancellor of France, by Charles Le Brun, 1655 (Photo credit: Larousse)

In the same post, I described our four Bibles as paradox literature. That paragraph is no longer part of my post. I may have erased it mistakenly or it may have been removed. It could wait. Paradox literature is defined as follows:

In literature, the paradox is an anomalous juxtaposition of incongruous ideas for the sake of striking exposition or unexpected insight. It functions as a method of literary composition and analysis that involves examining apparently contradictory statements and drawing conclusions either to reconcile them or to explain their presence.

(See Paradox in literature, Wikipedia) [1]

Yes, there is a paradox. God used an instrument that man would create: the compass. The artists who illuminated the Creation depicted tools that would make sense to their contemporaries, not to mention the artists themselves. In fact, these examples showed that man was creative. God Himself had to be recognizable. The four depictions of God we have seen could be understood by the humblest among us. Northrop Frye writes that:

Present things are related to past things in such a way that cognition becomes the same thing as re-cognition, awareness that a present effect is a past cause in another form.

Northrop Frye [2]

So, we have created myths, stories (mythoi) of causality.


[1] Rescher, Nicholas. Paradoxes:Their Roots, Range, and Resolution. Open Court: Chicago, 2001.
[2] Northrop Frye, Creation and Recreation (University of Toronto Press, 1980), p. 59.

Love to everyone 💕

Haydn: Die Schöpfung Hob. XXI:2 / Erster Teil – 1A. Einleitung: “Die Vorstellung des Chaos”

© Micheline Walker
1st March 2021

Bibles moralisées: 13th-century France


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Our four Bibles are the following:

1. Codex Vindobonensis 2554 (Vienna)
Only one of the Bibles moralisées listed above shows God working. It is Codex Vindobonensis 2554. The illumination we saw shows God in the process of creating the world. Each folio has a recto-verso arrangement. In other words, when opening the Bible, one sees the Old Testament (Ancien Testament) on one side and the New Testament (Nouveau Testament) on the other side. All represent the Book of Genesis.
God or Christ is represented on f 1v.
« Ici crie Dex ciel et terre, soleil et lune et toz elemenz ».
He God created heaven and earth, the sun and the moon, and all the elements.
It was made in France in approximately 1215 – 1230.
The text is in Old French, not Latin.
It contains 246 folios (bound)
Illuminations measure 34.4 x 26 cm (h & w) (haut & large)
It is listed in the Warburg Institute Iconographic Database.

Dieu, architecte de l’univers, f 1v 2554 (Vienna) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (1)
Dieu, architecte de l’univers, f 1v (Vienna) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. Codex Vindobonensis 1179
Codex Vindobonensis 1179 is also housed in Vienna. Scenes are represented on both sides of the book and represent the Old Testament, on one side, and the New Testament on the other side. Images represent the Book of Genesis.
God or Christ is represented on f 1v.
It was made in France in approximately 1225
It contains 130 folios (bound).
It is the smallest of our four Bibles.
Illuminations measure 43 x 29.5 (h & w) (haut & large)
It is listed in the Warburg Institute Iconographic Database.

The St. Louis Bible – The Pantocrator, God the Son, as the Creator of the universe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (3)

3. The Bible of St Louis or the Toledo/Pierpont Morgan Library de New York, M. 240.
Under the illumination depicting God, we La Bible de Saint Louis – Christ en tant que Créateur de l’Univers (The St. Louis Bible – The Pantocrator, God the Son, Creator of the universe).
Images represent Genesis.
God the Son is represented on f 1v.
It was made in France between 1220-1230 or 1240.
It contains 224+222+31+153 parchment folios bound in four volumes.
Illuminations measure 34,4 × 26 cm (h & w) (haut & large).
It is listed in the Warburg Institute Iconographic Database.

4. Bible moralisée Oxford-Paris-Londres  
Under the illuminated portrayal of God, one reads Christ en gloire. Le frontispice du volume d’Oxford.
It is a copy of the Toledo/Pierpoint Bible moralisée or the St Louis Bible.
It is classified as Bodl. 270b, Lat. 11580, Harley 1526-1527
It was made in France between 1230 and 1240
Illuminations measure 40 × 27,5 cm (h & w) or (haut & large)
The volumes belonged to John Thwayte in the 16th century and later to Sir Christopher Heydon (1561-1623). Sir Christopher Heydon gave the folios to the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Its French owner was Pierre Séguier, who bequeathed his illuminations it to his grandson Armand du Cambout. The folios were then housed in the abbaye de Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Since the French Revolution, the French folios have been kept in the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Oxford has folios from the Book of Genesis up to the Book of Job, which constitutes 1728 miniatures in medallions. The Bibliothèque nationale de France is home to 1776 miniatures, from the Book of Job and the Book of Malachi. The British Library houses 1408 folios from the Books of Maccabees and the New Testament.
It is listed in the Warburg Institute Iconographic Database.


The Bible of Toledo/Pierpoint is considered the superior Bible. However, unlike the Vienna Bibles, it shows God the son as Creator of the Universe. It, therefore, reflects the dogma of the Holy Trinity. God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Ghost. The Vienna Bibles show God, the architect. In this respect, Vienna Bible Ms 2554, God seems to be at work. This depiction of working is often shown. It may seem literal and naïve, but it is convincing. In Ms 1179, God’s face resembles the face portrayed in Ms 2554. F 1v of the Toledo and Oxford manuscript depict a Christ en gloire, a Majestic God Who nevertheless holds a compass and a world resembling the world of related depictions. It is clearly stated that Christ, as One in three Gods, has created the world.


Blanche de Castille ordered Bibles 1779, 2554 for her husband, but Louis VIII the Lion, born on 5 September 1187, died on 8 November 1226. He reigned for less than four years. The Bible of St. Louis/ToledoMorgan were bought for Louis IX, France. The Oxford-Paris-British Library Bible was ordered for Marguerite de Provence, Louis IX’s wife.


God the Architect (19 February 2021)
The Bible of Saint Louis, Toledo (22 February 2021)

Sources and Resources

Wikipedia, Britannica, Facsimiles of the Bibles

List of the Bibles Moralisées

  • Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Codex Vindobonensis 1179 (1220-1226)
  • Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Codex Vindobonensis 2554 (1220-1230)
  • Oxford-Paris-London (ca. 1233)
    • Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Bodley 270b
    • Paris, BnF, Ms. Latin 11560
    • London, British Library, Harley Ms. 1526-1527
  • Toledo-Morgan (ca. 1233)
    • Toledo, Cathedral of Toledo, Bible moralisée (Biblia de San Luis), 3 volumes
    • New York, Morgan Library and Museum, M. 240 (fragment)

(See Bible of St Louis, Wikipedia)

The Bible of St Louis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

© Micheline Walker
27 February 2021

A Forthcoming Post


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Christ the Pantocrator in the Bible moralisée Oxford-Paris-Londres

Aove is a fourth God pancreator. vI have been researching our Bibles moralisées. But my work isn’t finished. Blanche de Castile ordered ob. The Vienna manuscript and the Bible of Saint Louis. It may be allow of them.There have been interruptions. Hence my being a little late with my posts. I sense a will to control my life. This I cannot allow. Ageing is not easy. I do not want to land in a nursing home. I’ll be back shortly. The Oxford-Paris-London bible is considered a close rival to the Bible of Saint Louis, housed in Toledo and New York.

Christ the Pantocrator

© Micheline Walker
25 February 2021

A Strange Experience …


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A 1st-century fresco painting from Pompeii, Italy, depicting the poet Sappho holding a stylus. Photograph: Mimmo Jodice/Corbis (The Guardian)

Most of yesterday’s post was written online. It was quite the adventure. It was published before I had finished writing it. I had a copy in Word, but it was not complete. Moreover, I am not the only person writing my posts. Parts of my posts can be and have been removed by someone else.  

Yesterday’s post lacks a formal conclusion, but it is fine as it is. Missing from the post is the name of a Danish scholar and a link to his publication: a booklet.

This morning I added links. One needs a link to Blanche de Castile and Louis IX.

We know that four Bibles moralisées were realized in France in the 13th century and that they constitute paradox literature. You may have noticed the feet of our depiction of Gods. They are nicely depicted if the side of a foot is drawn, but not if the front of the feet is depicted. Dimensionality had not been fully explored when our Bibles were illuminated and it remains somewhat problematical.

On a more personal but interesting note, I would like to tell you that I have recovered from myalgic encephalomyelitis after 44 difficult years. The problem started when I caught a virus in 1976, but ME was not diagnosed until 1991, after I underwent a SPECT scan at Mount Sinaï hospital in Toronto. I was told that my brain was damaged and that I could no longer lead a normal life. I chose to remain intellectually active as a university teacher.

ME disappeared quietly during the last eighteen months to two years. I cannot tell how it went away, but I can tell when my life started to change. It did after a strange three-month flu and voice extinction that triggered advanced emphysema. I had never smoked, not even one cigarette, and I am feeling quite well.  

I apologize for rebuilding my post online. It took a long time because older versions would eliminate changes. Life can be strange.

Loreena McKennit sings Greensleeves by Henri VIII
Sappho (1877) by Charles Mengin (1853–1933). One tradition claims that Sappho committed suicide by jumping off the Leucadian cliff. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

© Micheline Walker
23 February 2021

The Bible of Saint Louis, Toledo


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fr_BSL_XI_10.indd ( (PDF)

Four Bibles

The Bible of Saint Louis is housed in Toledo, Spain and the Pierpoint Library (Ms M 204) in New York. It was commissioned by Blanche de Castile, who had it made for her son, Louis IX, King of France (1214-1270). It is one of four Bibles moralisées made in France in the thirteenth century and is considered the superior Bible. The Oxford-Paris-Londres Bible would also be a finer illuminated Bible than the Codex Vindobonensis 1179 et 2554. As listed above, our four Bibles are the Bible of Saint Louis, the Oxford-Paris-Londres Bible and two Bibles housed in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. These are the Codex Vindobonensis (1179 and 2554.) The Codex Vindobonensis 1179 (246 folios) is a larger Bible than the Codex Vindobonensis 2554 (129 folios). The Codex Vindobonensis 1179 is written in Latin but the Codex Vindobonensis 2554 is written in French. La Bible de saint Louis was made in Paris.

Ici crie Dex ciel et terre, soleil et lune et toz elemenz
Here God creates heaven and earth, the sun and moon and all the elements.

Blanche de Castile
Saint Louis

Allegories and Paradox Literature

However, all four Bibles show an anachronistic and allegorical God.

Northrop Frye discussed what he termed a “continuum of allegory”, a spectrum that ranges from what he termed the “naive allegory” of the likes of The Faerie Queene, to the more private allegories of modern paradox literature.

Allegory, Wikipedia

As I wrote on 19 February, the image I showed awakes in me a feeling I cannot describe adequately, but this discrepancy has a name: paradox literature. The name does not make a God using a compass less mysterious. However, it lifts a veil on the mine of our Medieval ancestors.

In literature, the paradox is an anomalous juxtaposition of incongruous ideas for the sake of striking exposition or unexpected insight. It functions as a method of literary composition and analysis that involves examining apparently contradictory statements and drawing conclusions either to reconcile them or to explain their presence.[1]

Paradox (literature) Wikipedia

Bibles are creation myths one looks upon as true or less true, depending on cultural factors.


Sources and Resources

Sainte Église Cathédrale Primatiale, Tolède.
Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.
John Pierpont Morgan — Wikipédia (
Date: XIIIe siècle.
Format : ± 420 x 320 mm.
Trois volumes, 1 230 pages (fac simile).
4 887 scènes historiées enluminées de la Bible.
Édition unique et limitée à 987 exemplaires numérotés et certifiés par notaire.
2 volumes commentaire en couleur
(Vol. I 511 pages; Vol. II 496 pages)
The Great Architect of the Universe (2554)

Love to everyone 💕

[1]  Rescher, Nicholas. Paradoxes:Their Roots, Range, and Resolution. Open Court: Chicago, 2001.

Bible moralisée de Vienne (Ms 1179)

© Micheline Walker
22 February 2021

God the Architect


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God the Geometer
Ici crie Dex ciel et terre, soleil et lune et toz elemenz

Science, and particularly geometry and astronomy, was linked directly to the divine for most medieval scholars. Since God created the universe after geometric and harmonic principles, to seek these principles was therefore to seek and worship God.

Great Architect of the Universe – Wikipedia

We are looking at an enluminure from an illuminated Bible manuscript. God the Geometer is from a Bible moralisée made in 13th-century France (1250). God is viewed as a geometer. Yet, geometers could not have existed before God created the world. So, ironically, God is borrowing an instrument that men will create after He has created “heaven and earth, the sun and the moon and all the elements.” Moreover, the instrument reminds me of the Masonic Square and Compasses. (See Great Architect of the Universe, and Freemasonry, Wikipedia)

Discrepancies such as using what has not been created, knowing events before they happen, Jesus redeeming Mary before He was born, awake in me feelings I cannot describe adequately: the ineffable infinity.

This Bible Moralisée reminds me of The Bible of St Louis (13th c., Paris) – V. English – The Bible of St Louis (13th c., Paris) – V. English – – YouTube

Sources and Resources
God the Geometer (Wikimedia)
The Bible of St Louis (13th c., Paris) – V. English – – YouTube
Great Architect of the Universe – Wikipedia
Freemasonry, Wikipedia
Codex Vindobonensis 2554 (French, ca. 1250)
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.
Galerie des Enluminures

Love to everyone 💕

William Blake God (Fine Art America)

© Micheline Walker
19 February 2021

October 1837


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Discours de Louis-Joseph Papineau à Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu, en 1837 (fr.Wikipedia)


The post I published on 16 February 2021 was shortened. Therefore, the title of the song Les Voix du Nord performed was not explained. Moreover, we were not in a studio listening to the recording of a song. We could not hear the words clearly, which was unfortunate.

The song is entitled October 1837. It does not tell a story, but it refers to historical events. The Rebellions of 1837-1838 are its main event. In 1837-1838, the citizens of Upper Canada and Lower Canada rebelled against the Crown. Their leaders were William Lyon Mackenzie, in Upper Canada, and Louis-Joseph Papineau, a Seigneur, in Lower Canada. I suspect that French-speaking Canadians being a conquered people, the dynamics of the Rebellions were not the same in both Canadas. The Rebellion was more serious in the largely Francophone Lower Canada than in Anglophone Upper Canada. More patriotes than patriots were hanged or deported to penal colonies. Both leaders fled their respective Canada. The song that expresses the profound grief of exiled patriotes is Antoine Gérin-Lajoie‘s Un Canadien errant.

With the help of American volunteers, a second rebellion was launched in November 1838, but it too was poorly organized and quickly put down, followed by further looting and devastation in the countryside. The two uprisings [in Lower Canada] left 325 people dead, all of them rebels except for 27 British soldiers. Nearly 100 rebels were also captured. After the second uprising failed, Papineau departed the US for exile in Paris.

Britannica [1]

However, both Canadas wanted a more responsible government, or more self-rule, which was achieved in 1848. No sooner were the two Canadas united by virtue of the Act of Union, proclaimed on 10 February 1841, than its Prime Ministers, Robert Baldwyn and Sir Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine, designed a government that could accommodate English-speaking Canadians and French-speaking Canadians. In 1848, a United Canada was granted a responsible government and, contrary to Lord Durham‘s recommendations, French continued to be spoken in the Assembly and in Canada. Lord Durham investigated the Rebellions.

Upper Canada and Lower Canada (fr.Wikipedia)

Le Grand Dérangement

But one can also hear the words, le grand dérangement, the great upheaval. The great upheaval is usually associated with the deportation of Acadians beginning in 1755. Families were not exiled together, except accidentally. Members of the same family were separated and put aboard ships that sailed in various directions, including England. In 1847, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published Évangéline, a Tale of Acadie, commemorating the deportation of Acadians. There may not have been an Évangéline, except Longfellow’s character, but there were Évangélines, betrothed women who were separated from their future husband, or vice versa. For Acadians, Évangéline is real, un réel absolu.

Some ships transporting Acadians away from their home sailed down the coast of Britain’s Thirteen Colonies, but Acadians were not allowed to disembark until they reached Georgia. They were Catholics. One could theorize, as I have, that they socialized with the Blacks before walking to Louisiana. Joel Chandler HarrisThe Tales of Uncle Remus may have introduced Reynard the Fox to North America, but the inhabitants of New Orléans may have known Le Roman de Renart or the Sick-Lion Tale, a fable told by Jean de La Fontaine and his predecessors. Several Acadians are today’s Cajuns, a contraction of Acadians, and live in Louisiana.

The October Crisis, 1970

October 1838 also refers to the October Crisis of 1970 when members of the Front de libération du Québec, the FLQ,  kidnapped British diplomat James Cross, on 5 October 1970, and Pierre Laporte on 10 October 1970. Pierre Laporte was Deputy Premier of Quebec. Then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau declared the War Measures Act, on 15 October. The deployment of the Armed Forces was criticized by civil libertarians. Civil liberties had been suspended. On 17 October, Pierre Laporte was executed,but James Cross was not harmed. He was detained for 59 days by the Front de libération du Québec (the FLQ). The FLQ ceased to be active after the October Crisis.

Sadly, James Cross died of Covid-19 on 6 January 2021. He was 99. My condolences to his family and friends.



On 16 February, we heard an accomplished fiddler, but the song told a very long story.

[1] Foot, Richard and Buckner, P.A.. “Rebellions of 1837”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 20 Sep. 2016, Accessed 17 February 2021.

Love to everyone 💕

Le Vieux de ’37, gouache sur papier, peinte par Henri Julien en 1904

© Micheline Walker
17 February 2021
revised 17 February 2021