Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

"Very fun." -- J. Bottum, Editor, FIRST THINGS

"Too modest" -- Elinor Dashwood

"Perhaps the wisest man on the Web" -- Henry Dieterich

"Hat tip: me (but really Cacciaguida)" -- Diana Feygin, Editor, THE YALE FREE PRESS

"You are my sire. You give me confidence to speak. You raise my heart so high that I am no more I." -- Dante

"Fabulous!"-- Warlock D.J. Prod of Didsbury

Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Saturday, November 30, 2002

As I write my exams, I'm listening to Der Rosenkavalier, music by Richard Strauss, libretto by Hugo von Hoffmanstahl, the same team that gave us the pro-marriage and pro-children Die Frau Ohne Schatten.

(For an equally well-performed and much less expensive Frau, go here, but this edition is apt not to have a libretto, making it hard to follow what's going on.)

The moral of Rosenkavalier, in contast, seems to be that if you're sufficiently young, handsome, and rich, you can bang an older but still beautiful noblewoman and still marry a young and adoring virgin.

But part of being an opera fan is drawing the morals where appropriate, and the rest of the time, just enjoying the music and the performances.

Also, I suppose a secondary "moral" of Rosenkavalier is that if you're a total boor, like Baron Ochs, you won't be able to do any of that stuff that young Octavian does, but will instead have to content yourself with country milkmaids (and even that assumes you aren't lying when you give that salacious narrative to the Marschallin).

(The Rosenkavalier link above is to the Haitink recording with TeKanawa and Von Otter. However, I'm listening to a deleted 1949 performance conducted by Szell, with Reining, Novotna, Gueden, and Prohaska, who, BTW, does not have the low note at the end of Act II.)

Just So You Know (a continuing feature on Islam)

So, according to The Washington Post, it's the "conservatives" who "dispute" Bush's view that the religion that does this is a "religion of peace." (Hat-tip to the indispensable Little Green Footballs for the latter link.)

Look, Bush is going to say what he has to say, and since he's a top-level statesman, what he must say is not always the whole truth. For that, turn for example to Eliot Cohen on the present war as clash of civilizations.

And go here for the latest on the Muslim threat to Catholicism in the Horn of Africa.

Friday, November 29, 2002

A few posts down I sort of make fun of Thanksgiving, but actually, I give those "Pilgrims" (did they call themselves that? even with all the medieval Catholic connations?) a lot of credit for courage and vision. Landing in Massachusetts in 1621 was one of the most audacious, death-defying things man had ever done, at least until the moon landing -- and no one was fixing to stay there, so arguably the Plymouth landing was even braver.

I know very well that the Plymouth settlers were neither my forebears nor (except in the broadest, trans-historical sense) my co-religionists. In 1621, my forebears were in Russia, getting beaten and raped by Cossacks, and my co-religionists were considered the Antichrist by the ladies and gentlemen of the Mayflower.

Nonetheless, those Mayflower guys went on to found many institutions of enduring value. J.Press and Brooks Brothers, to name just two....

Bishops and The Silmarillion

On the one hand, there's some wisdom in Lady Marchmain's remark that it takes a long time, sometimes a lifetime, to become a Catholic. On the other hand, it's not infrequent that converts, including the newest, show the rest of us the way (and by "the rest of us," in this instance, I mean cradle Catholics, reverts, and long-time converts).

At Kross&Sweord (see entry for Wed. 11/20), Matt Shaddrix, the newest Catholic I know, shows what Tolkien's Silmarillion can teach us about authority in the Church. (Schismatic trads should take special note.)

Thursday, November 28, 2002
Click here for a report on the Mary Stachowicz case.

How to tell you ate too much at Thanksgiving

This was a Letterman "Top Ten" list from a few years back. I cut and pasted it to some long-abandoned hard-drive, but here are the ones I can remember:

* The last thing you remember is wrapping your lips around a dump-truck full of yams.
* The U.S. Geological Survey arrives to map a new continent, and it's your butt.
* Your relatives would like to leave, but they're stuck in your gravitational field.
* You're sweatin' gravy, man!

Wednesday, November 27, 2002
More gay-related stuff than a straight guy like me would normally blog in a day, but hey, these things happen

I have no excuse, none, for going so long without bloglinking my friend David Morrison. His blog, Sed Contra, is now over in my left margin where it should have been long ago.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, a gay man has killed a Christian woman for witnessing to him about the sinfulness of his lifestyle, and at least some self-identified gay people have expressed an interest in contributing to the young man's defense fund. For more on this case, go here (scroll down to "Mary Stachowicz contra views"), here, and here.

And don't miss Eve's NCReg. article comparing the ex-gay movement and Courage, supporting both but finding more to praise in the latter's approach.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Saudis in the Soup

Yesterday (Mon., Nov. 25) The Wall Street Journal noted in an editorial entitled "State's Saudi Surprise" that the Homeland Security Act contains language that (in the WSJ's words) "requires that henceforth any visa application from a Saudi will be reviewed by an on-site Homeland Security officer."

Good job, too, because as Joel Mowbray in NR has shown, Saudi visa applications were formerly handled by a civil servant whose motto was "People gotta get their visas" -- this in spite of a statutory presumption against visa apps that fail to show a residential address and a definite job in the U.S. (One hijacker got in with an app that said simply "hotel" on the lines where applicants are supposed to state their precise address while in the U.S. No need to book in advance when you've got Saudi money behind you!)

The WSJ continues:

In normal circumstances, Prince Bandar, Saudi Arabia's longtime ambassador to the U.S., might complain about how Saudi Arabia is being singled out. But we suspect that he's now more likely to be preoccupied with explaining press accounts about why his wife was writing checks to the family of a U.S.-based Saudi man who helped the 9/11 hijackers.


Don't miss this NRO piece on the Shadow in the East.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002
A Daily Torygraph columnist says America is getting less p.c., and Britain more so. Along the way, he makes an argument in favor of federalism and checks-n-balances (i.e., us) over a unitary state and parliamentary sovereignty (i.e., them).

Monday, November 18, 2002
I feel like seeing a beautiful picture of the Fountain of the Four Rivers in Rome's Piazza Navona. I know you do too.

Saturday, November 16, 2002
The New York Times is dumbfounded. With the sex abuse scandal affording the Church such a clear incentive for "fundamental change," and when absolutely every Catholic it talks to sees that it's now time (like it wasn't before, for these people?) for said "fundamental change," the bishops' meeting shows they're just going to fool around with some weird old-hat stuff like "purifying" and "holiness" -- both terms put in quotes by the "paper of record."

Let's start of list of "You probably like The New York Times if..." lines. I'll go first:

You probably like The New York Times if you think the Catholic Church needs fundamental changes in its teachings, while the Democratic Party has to figure out how to get its message out more clearly.

The Ninomaniac explains "substantive due process" analysis to a student. More than I could do!

ZENIT reports here on materials in soon-to-be-opened Vatican archives that show Church opposition to Nazis and aid to victims.

Friday, November 15, 2002
"McDonnell-Douglas Customer Service Questionnaire"

This is making the rounds. In case you haven't seen it yet, enjoy. (And don't miss the "disclaimer" at the end.)

>Subject: McDonnell Douglas Customer Survey
>This was allegedly posted very briefly on the McDonnell Douglas Website
>by an employee there who obviously has a sense of humor. The company, of
>course, does not have a sense of humor, and made the web department take
>it down immediately (for once, the "IMPORTANT" note at the end is worth a
>read too.... )
>Thank you for purchasing a McDonnell Douglas military aircraft. In order
>to protect your new investment, please take a few moments to fill out the
>warranty registration card below. Answering the survey questions is not
>required, but the information will help us to develop new products that
>best meet your needs and desires.
>1. [_] Mr.
> [_] Mrs.
> [_] Ms.
> [_] Miss
> [_] Lt.
> [_] Gen.
> [_] Comrade
> [_] Classified
> [_] Other
> First Name: ............................. Initial: .........
> Last Name: ...................................
> Password: ........................ (max. 8 char)
> Code Name:
> ..................................................................
> Latitude-Longitude-Altitude: ......................................
>2. Which model of aircraft did you purchase?
> [_] F-14 Tomcat
> [_] F-15 Eagle
> [_] F-16 Falcon
> [_] F-117A Stealth
> [_] Classified
>3. Date of purchase (Year/Month/Day): 20......./....... /......
>4. Serial Number: ..............................................
>5. Please indicate where this product was purchased:
> [_] Received as gift / aid package
> [_] Catalogue / showroom
> [_] Independent arms broker
> [_] Mail order
> [_] Discount store
> [_] Government surplus
> [_] Classified
>6. Please indicate how you became aware of the McDonnell Douglas product
>you have just purchased:
> [_] Heard loud noise, looked up
> [_] Store display
> [_] Espionage
> [_] Recommended by friend / relative / ally
> [_] Political lobbying by manufacturer
> [_] Was attacked by one
>7. Please indicate the three (3) factors that most influenced your
>decision to purchase this McDonnell Douglas product:
> [_] Style / appearance
> [_] Speed / maneuverability
> [_] Price / value
> [_] Comfort / convenience
> [_] Kickback / bribe
> [_] Recommended by salesperson
> [_] McDonnell Douglas reputation
> [_] Advanced Weapons Systems
> [_] Backroom politics
> [_] Negative experience opposing one in combat
>8. Please indicate the location(s) where this product will be used:
> [_] North America
> [_] Iraq
> [_] Iraq
> [_] Aircraft carrier
> [_] Iraq
> [_] Europe
> [_] Iraq
> [_] Middle East (not Iraq)
> [_] Iraq
> [_] Africa
> [_] Iraq
> [_] Asia / Far East
> [_] Iraq
> [_] Misc. Third World countries
> [_] Iraq
> [_] Classified
> [_] Iraq
>9. Please indicate the products that you currently own or intend to
>purchase in the near future:
> [_] Color TV
> [_] VCR
> [_] ICBM
> [_] Killer Satellite
> [_] CD Player
> [_] Air-to-Air Missiles
> [_] Space Shuttle
> [_] Home Computer
> [_] Nuclear Weapon
>10. How would you describe yourself or your organization? (Indicate all
>that apply)
> [_] Communist / Socialist
> [_] Terrorist
> [_] Crazed
> [_] Neutral
> [_] Democratic
> [_] Dictatorship
> [_] Corrupt
> [_] Primitive / Tribal
>11. How did you pay for your McDonnell Douglas product?
> [_] Deficit spending
> [_] Cash
> [_] Suitcases of cocaine
> [_] Oil revenues
> [_] Personal check
> [_] Credit card
> [_] Ransom money
> [_] Traveler's check
>12. Your occupation:
> [_] Homemaker
> [_] Sales / marketing
> [_] Revolutionary
> [_] Clerical
> [_] Mercenary
> [_] Tyrant
> [_] Middle management
> [_] Eccentric billionaire
> [_] Defense Minister / General
> [_] Retired
> [_] Student
>13. To help us better understand our customers, please indicate the
>interests and activities in which you and your spouse enjoy participating
>on a regular basis:
> [_] Golf
> [_] Boating / sailing
> [_] Sabotage
> [_] Running / jogging
> [_] Propaganda / misinformation
> [_] Destabilization / overthrow
> [_] Default on loans
> [_] Gardening
> [_] Crafts
> [_] Black market / smuggling
> [_] Collectibles / collections
> [_] Watching sports on TV
> [_] Wines
> [_] Interrogation / torture
> [_] Household pets
> [_] Crushing rebellions
> [_] Espionage / reconnaissance
> [_] Fashion clothing
> [_] Border disputes
> [_] Mutually Assured Destruction
>Thank you for taking the time to fill out this questionnaire. Your
>answers will be used in market studies that will help McDonnell Douglas
>serve you better in the future - as well as allowing you to receive
>mailings and
>special offers from other companies, governments, extremist groups, and
>mysterious consortia. As a bonus for responding to this survey, you will
>be registered to win a brand new F-117A in our Desert Thunder
>Comments or suggestions about our fighter planes? Please write to:
> Marketing Department
> Military, Aerospace Division
>IMPORTANT: This email is intended for the use of the individual
>addressee(s) named above and may contain information that is confidential
>privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low
>self-esteem, no sense of humor or irrational religious beliefs. If you are
>not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of
>this email is not authorized (either explicitly or implicitly) and
>constitutes an irritating social faux pas.
>Unless the word absquatulation has been used in its correct context
>somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or
>grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the
>transmission of this email, although the kelpie next door is living on
>borrowed time, let me tell you.
>Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified
>to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this
>backwards, so just ignore that Alert Notice from Microsoft.
>However, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your
>computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you
>have received this email in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites,
>whisk, and place in a warm oven for 40 minutes.

Thursday, November 14, 2002
Battered Bishop Syndrome

I can't honestly promise that I'm going to read the Bishops' recent statement on domestic violence, mainly because life is too short and my reading list is too long to find room in either for such an obviously staff-written work.

However, based on the remarks of the person to whom I owe the link -- blogging homeschool mom Amy Kropp (visit her blog!) -- I have some remarks of my own. (Thanks also to Maureen McHugh's A Religion of Sanity, the blog through which I found Amy. Keep on bloggin', Maureen!)

Amy writes here, summarizing the Bishops' statement:

Battered women should not stay in abusive marriages, and anyone who would tell a victim of domestic violence that God wants them to stay with their husband is a false prophet, U.S. Catholic bishops declared yesterday at their annual fall meeting here.

Hmmm. That's an awfully broad brush. There are women who should seek physical separation, and some of them may receive contrary (and bad) advice. But should every wife light out for the territories at the first sign of abuse? And even if the answer is yes, does that make everyone who gives contrary advice a "false prophet"? (And while we're at it, "false prophet" is an awfully strong term. I'm glad the Bishops feel they can deploy it, but where was their theological thesaurus back with Paul Shanley first appeared? Or Charles Curran? Or Rosie Reuther or Gregory Baum or.........)

Also, I hope the Bishops stress that a physical separation does not of itself dissolve a marriage. Secular family law has long distinguished between "separation a mensa," which means separation from board, and, presumably, bed (no, it does not mean quitting Mensa!), and "separation a vinculo," i.e. from the bond (literally "chain" -- regrettable expression) of marriage; i.e. divorce. The Catholic Church, meanwhile, believes in neither.

Condemning the ways religion has aided abusers and frightened wives into submission, the bishops overwhelmingly approved a church policy statement instructing clergy and lay ministers to put the safety of abuse victims ahead of efforts to restore the marriage.

Fair enough -- but I do wish the Bishops, and all Christian leaders for that matter, would stop talking generically about "religion."

For one thing, in doing so, they almost invariably make themselves mouthpieces for Enlightenment zingers at -- uh, well, at religion, but particularly at Christianity. Voltaire speaks very well for himself; he doesn't need (never mind deserve) help from a bunch of communications/religious studies double majors. (I refer to the actual drafters of such statements, not to the Bishops, of course. The Bishops have even less excuse for re-popularizing Voltaire.)

But more importantly, Christian leaders are supposed to speak for Christ, not for a generic abstraction called "religion." I don't really know where I want to go with this point. It sounds like a perversion of the Gospel to present it as a two-part pitch, in which we sell "religion" first, and then make the case that our brand is best. On the other hand, that sort of sounds like C.S. Lewis's conversion, and, mutatis mutandis, my own. So I don't really know what I mean here. Maybe some of you can write in and tell me.

Another expression that frosts my shorts is "lay ministers." For the reasons why, see the article by the Rev. Robert Connor in a recent issue (sorry I don't have the full cite right now, and it isn't on-line yet) of Communio.

Of course, the Bishops and their staffer-drafters may have used the term "religion" because they want to spread the blame around, so that at least some of it will fall on Islam, with its atrocious record toward women. If so, carry on.

"As pastors of the Catholic Church in the United States, we state as clearly and as strongly as we can that violence against women, in or outside the home, is never justified," the bishops said.

Fine. But was there any particular need for the Bishops to repeat this, seeing that they have taught it before? Is there -- pardon the journalese -- a news hook here? Or is it just a desire to teach something that overlaps with elite opinion, to dilute the embarassment (as some of them see it) of other authoritative teachings that ruffle elite opinion's feathers?

Finally, does the statement contain anything commending men who are good husbands, or, if that's too much to ask, at least recognizing that some men are good husbands? Or is this just one more contribution to the dumb-dad-bad-hubby stereotype that is rampant in popular culture?

Now, if the Bishops could combine a teaching against spousal abuse with an analysis and endorsement of Ephesians 5:22--24, that would be a novel and welcome contribution. Perhaps the key is to place adequate stress on Ephesians 5:21 ("Be subject to one another" -- the equality and reciprocality of Christian marriage was a scandal to the Greco-Roman world) and 5:25-30 ("Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her...." -- not, you'll notice, " Christ loved the Church and administered discipline to her" -- though, Lord knows, the New Israel has often needed discipline just as the Old Israel did).

Apologia Pro Vita Zorakae

Outstanding testimony by a Lutheran convert to Catholicism.

(Note to Tim Drake: planning a second volume of There He Stood, Here We Stand? Perhaps a "trap-door" edition, to be called Here He Stood, There He Goes?)

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

The Holy Father at tne Escriva canonization, photographed by one of the younger Cacciaguidas

Hell in Holland

What would it be life if Islam seized power in Western countries? We don't have to wonder: for many Muslim women in the Netherlands right now, it's happening (and there's not much reason to think the Netherlands are unique). Go here, and thanks to Eve for the link. And, yes, thanks to the New York Times for running the story. Pim Fortuyn was right about a few things. (The NYT also deserves kudos for putting a real-life picture of one of the Tennessee tornadoes on its front page today.)

Wednesday, November 06, 2002
GOP Senate

As a wise man once said: "I've won some, and I've lost some. Winning is better."

Yes, it's great to have the Senate back. It's even greater to do it by winning some squeakers (MO, NH), unexpectedly beating one of the few surviving symbols of Great Societ liberalism (MN), and scoring an utterly surprising upset in Georgia after months of political buzz about how the "Republican South" may be a thing of the past. (There was an upset victory for the GOP in GA's governor's race as well).

But it gets even better. We did this without needing Sen. Tim Hutchinson (AK). Social conservatives succeeded in showing that we can toss out a wife-divorcing, staffer-marrying rotter like him and still get the Senate back. But hey, all for love, right, Tim?

And BTW, the Republican governor of AK won reelection easily, so there's no ambiguity about the signal AK voters were sending about Hutchinson.

In the House, this is the first time the GOP has gained in mid-term elections while holding the White House in... in... ever?? And we were able to do this and still dispense with the presence of Connie Morella in the caucus!

Well done!

Tuesday, November 05, 2002
Don't worry, I don't plan to turn this into a British politics blog -- though I'm undoubtedly pumped from a long car-trip spent listending to Blackstone Audio Books' recording of Roy Jenkins's biography of Churchill -- but since I've criticized present Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith for supposedly allowing a free vote on gay adoption, I must praise him here for imposing a three-line whip (no jokes, please) on this issue. That means members of the "shadow cabinet" who dissent must resign from it. And one did.

Michael Portillo, while unctuously pretending to support Mr. Duncan Smith, is clearly positioning himself (once again, no jokes, please) for the new post of Leader of the Internal Opposition.

The street wisdom (Fleet Street, that is) is that the failure of the Conservative Party to join in the huzzahs to the sexual revolution is the reason it looks "nasty," as its own chairman has called it, and that this is why it loses elections.

From my post on the other side of the Atlantic, I suggest that someone (and it could be Mr. Duncan Smith) who would do for social issues what Mrs. Thatcher did for the once-equally-unpopular cause of economic freedom could work wonders for the party. What is threatening the Conservative Party with extinction is the perception that the only thing its most prominent members are willing to stand for is leader.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

This feast focuses on Christians who have died but not yet finished the process of purgation. At the same time, we find in the Catechism the following:

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery." 63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

Of your charity, please pray for Sally, who died this morning. (I got the call around 1 pm.)

A life without Christ and baptism is not the normal way to get to Heaven. But then, an old Chevy that breaks down on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is not the normal way to get to Elkins Park.

May Our Blessed Lady drive out to meet Sally with a box of oatmeal cookies.

And yes, these are all inside family references. But I want your prayers anyway.

It appears "crimson tide" has a different meaning for me than for Matthew at Kross&Sweord!

Britain's Tories and cultural politics

Next week Tony Blair's Government will move an adoption bill with an amendment that will, in journalese, "allow gay adoptions." But as this article from the Daily Torygraph makes clear (the point comes up about two-thirds of the way through), homosexual individuals can already adopt in Britain.

The wisdom vel non of this policy is debate-worthy, but it's not what next week's vote will be about: it will be merely about allowing people who can already adopt as individuals to do so as couples. Which is to say, it's 100 percent culture-war symbolism.

This being the case, why then does embattled Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith make this a "free vote" (meaning, Conservative MPs can vote either way, or not at all, without facing wrathful party whips "putting some stick about")? Since absolutely no one who can now adopt would be denied that "right" by failure of the Government's amendment, why not consider this vote a low-cost way for the party to send an encouraging sign to the culturally conservative base?

Because that's precisely not the signal the party wants to send. Its leadership has completely internalized the establishment line that being culturally conservative is "nasty."

The Conservative Party used to be of the opinion, back in the '60s, that being against socialism was "nasty." Then came Mrs. Thatcher. Is there a leader capable of fulfilling the promise, not made but dimly hinted-at in the late '80s, of "Social Thatcherism"?

Friday, November 01, 2002
All Saints' Day

Go to Mass. And either before or after doing so, read Fr. Jim Tucker's homily.

Antony & Cleopatra -- the opera by Sam Barber

The Washington Opera recently revived Barber's Vanessa, and right now I'm listening to Antony and Cleopatra. Yes, there's a recording of it: not the gargantuan version Barber wrote for the opening of the New Met, but the revised version performed at Juilliard in 1975.

(BTW, Cacciaguida was at one of the Juilliard performances; had an opportunity to meet both Barber and Gian-Carlo Menotti afterwards -- really wanted to, because I had once learned the title role in Menotti's Amahl, and of course I admire Barber too -- but had to decline, because I had a paper due the next day. Another day in my academic career.)

Anyway, Antony mostly rocks, though, as so often with modern "classical" music, it takes a couple of listenings. The fanfare, emblematic of Rome, that opens and closes the opera, is as effective as I remember it from '75. The Egypt themes are suitably "eastern" without making you think Liz Taylor is about to enter.

The end of Act I -- Enobarbus's "barge she sat in" speech, followed by a vision of Cleo calling Antony back to Egypt -- is a bit of a missed opportunity for a great tune; but the opportunity is fully seized in Act II. This features the "music i'the air" scene, which is spooky (a Moog synthesizer is deployed for the strained mourning sound that signifies "the god Hercules" deserting Antony), and a duet for the hero and heroine.

This duet is set to the poem "Take, o take these lips away," which appears not in A&C but in Measure for Measure; Barber uses an alternative version by Fletcher and Beaumont. The tune here is great -- and must have been hard to create, because the key lyrics scan perfectly with another famous duet from 20th century American opera, "Bess, you is my woman now." Had I been in Barber's position, I wouldn't have been able to get Gershwin's tune out of my head. In fact, some might say that even Barber didn't quite do so. But still, the duet and the interlude after it are definite compositional successes.

Two comments on the opera's ending.

In terms of sight: Across more than a quarter-century I still remember how Esther Hinds (who sang Cleopatra both at Juilliard and in the 1983 Spoleto revival on which the recording is based), per Menotti's stage direction, "died" with her eyes open, robed and enthroned, and how the throne rolled slowly and smoothly toward the audience up to the final blackout.

In terms of sound: Barber emphasizes the triumph of Rome. The final chorus is dominated not by the Egyptian woodwind themes but by the Roman brass fanfare that began the opera. The chorus severally and variously meanders over the words:

No grave on earth shall clasp in it
A pair so famous.
Our army shall
In solemn show attend this funeral,
And then to Rome.

-- but then it comes together to repeat:


Fanfare. Blackout.