It was what is called a literary and theatrical club, the Scufflers. It was literary in so far that the majority of its members lay down at night with unrealised dreams of authorship. It was theatrical to the extent that many a one was the possessor of an unacted drama coiled up in his breast coat-pocket, and was to be seen surging about managers’ doors, only waiting the glance of favour to fall upon author and manuscript.
- Julian Sharman, A Cursory History of Swearing (1884) [full text]
The whole French nation has always lived for the present time, in actuality, deriving from life more of what may be called social pleasure than any other nation. It has been a universal characteristic among French people since the sixteenth century to love to please, to make themselves agreeable, to bring joy and happiness to others, and to be loved and admired as well.
Hugo Paul Thieme, Women of Modern France (1907), vol XII of Women: In all ages and in all countries [full text]
The Pompe funèbre, from the Suite pour violes de gambe No. 2 in A, composed in the late 1720s by François Couperin (born 10 November, 1668; died 11 September, 1733); performed here by Wieland Kuijken, playing a 1690 viola da gamba; Kaori Uemura, playing a 1700 viola da gamba; and robert Kohnen, playing a harpsichord manufactured in 1755
Couperin, a great keyboardist, published his two suites for the viola de gamba in 1728, the year his good friend, Marin Marais, unexpectedly died.
‘The funeral [i.e. the Pompe funèbre] is often interpreted as a tombeau for Marais, but Couperin could not have known that Marais was to die so suddenly and he would probably have preferred it if the master had been able to play the suites to him. However, maybe it was indeed an adieu, a farewell to the great period of the viol—and therefore also to Marais.’
—Pieter Andriessen, in the liner notes for the above-referenced CD
Couperin, in a portrait made c. 1730 by a painter now unknown (Chateau de Versailles)