Botticelli’s Primavera, and Lucretius’ De Natura Rerum

Botticelli's Primavera painting, close-up, Flora of the Meadows.

Botticelli’s Primavera painting, close-up, Flora of the Meadows.

“Spring comes, and Venus,
And Venus’ winged courier, Cupid runs in front.
And all along the path they will tread,
Dame Flora carpets the trail of Zephyr with a wealth of blossoms,
Exquisite in hue and fragrance.
So throughout seas and uplands,
Rushing torrents, verdurous meadows and leafy shelter of birds,
Into the breasts of one and all you instill alluring love,
so that with passionate longing they produce their several breeds.
Since you alone are the guiding power of the universe,
And without you, nothing emerges into the shining, sunlit world,
To grow in joy and loveliness.”
-Lucretius, De natura rerum

Botticelli's, interpretation of spring, Venus and Cupid in the center.

Botticelli’s, interpretation of spring, Venus and Cupid in the center.

Twenty Years After, Alexandre, Dumas

The next installation Romances that follows, The Three Musketeers, is, Twenty Years After. Alexandre Dumas does not fall short of simply swashbuckling in this novel. As you’d expect from this great novelist, general and gourmand, the contents of this book are rich with timeless wit, burning friendship, adventure, savory food spreads and fine french wine. (some Spanish too.)

This month, I encourage you to find yourself a copy and read along with me and share your thoughts. Don’t worry, if you have not read, The Three Musketeers, it is not necessary for understanding this book. I recommend that you do read it though as it fills in nuances and beautiful subtleties in the following series.

If you need further convincing, please allow yourself the privilege of skimming some quotes to whet your appetite.


Athos to his Raoul viscomte de Bragelonne: “I see your future as through a cloud. It will be better than ours. We have had a minister without a king; you, on the contrary, will have a king without a minister. You will be able then to serve, love and honor the king. If he prove a tyrant-for power in its giddiness often becomes tyranny-serve, love and honor the royalty; that is the infallible principle.”

 “There is no figure so expressive as that of a real gourmand before a good table…”

D’artagnan: “’Should that diamond ever fall again into my hands,’ he was saying, ‘I should turn it at once into money, I should purchase certain properties around my father’s Château -a pretty residence, but which has for all its dependencies only a garden scarcely as large as the Cimetière des Innocents -and there I would await in my majesty, until some rich heiress, attracted by my good looks, came to spouse me. Then I would have three sons; I would make of the first a great nobleman like Athos; of the second, a handsome soldier like Porthos; and of the third, a pretty Abbé like Aramis.’”

To his lacky Bazin: Because you always have your beadle’s costume on your shoulders,’ interupted Aramis, ‘and pass all your time reading breviary. But I forwarn you that if by dint of polishing the things in the chapels you forget how to clean my sword, I will make a great fire of all your holy images and roast you in it.’”

“Bazin, scandalized, made the sign of the cross with a bottle…”