European Noblesse: France

Yet we must hang on to this proposition of historical fairness with our very teeth, defending it against momentary appearances: European noblesse—of feeling, of taste, of manners, taking the word, in short, in ever higher sense—is the work and invention of France; European vulgarity, the plebeianism of modern ideas, that of England.—

Friedrich Nietzshe, Beyond Good and Evil, section 253 (p. 192).

Milton on the Vaudois

This poem was written by John Milton concerning the persecution of the Vaudois (Waldenses). Milton, along with Sir Morland, used his gift of prose to try to stop the Duke of Savoy from massacring these French Huguenots.

Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones

Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold;

E’en them, who kept thy truth so pure of old,

When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones,

Forget not: in thy book record their groans,

Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold

Slain by the bloody Piedmontese, that roll’d

Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans

The vales redoubled to the hills, and they

To heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow

O’er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway

The triple tyrant; that from these may grow

An hundred-fold, who, having learnt thy way,

Early may fly the Babylonian woe!

John Milton, in The Waldenses: Sketches of the Evangelical Christians of the Valleys of the Piedmont, Alexis Muston