What’s in a name?

March 17, 2011

During the Terror phase of the French Revolution, all titles of nobility were proscribed. The viscount of Saint-René was interrogated: “What is your name?”

“Viscount of Saint-René.”

“There are no more viscounts.”

“I’m called de Saint-René.”

“No one is de any longer.”

“I’m called Saint-René.”

“There are no more Saints.”

“So then, I’m René.”

“There is no longer a Re (king).”

“Well then, I’m just (French for “born”)

“And shortly you will be dead.”

Fernando Palazzi, Enciclopedia degli aneddoti (Milan: Ceschina, 1946), 3 vols., Col. 12350. (Nobility.org translation.)

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 58

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  • The French Revolution displayed a diabolically fanatic hatred of everything noble and religious, toppling both altar and throne. The result was, in the opinion of Sir Winston Churchill, that France, 200 years later, is still divided by a river of blood.

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