Saturday, February 06, 2016

Honore de Balzac, The Wild Ass's Skin; and The Quest of the Absolute


Opening Passage: From The Wild Ass's Skin:

Toward the end of the month of October, 1829, a young man entered the Palais-Royal just as the gaming-houses opened, agreeably to the law which protects a passion by its very nature easily excisable. He mounted the staircase of one of the gambling hells distinguished by the number 36, without too much deliberation.

From The Question of the Absolute:

There is in Douai, in the Rue de Paris, a house that may be singled out from all the others in the city; for in every respect, in its outward appearance, in its interior arrangements, and in every detail, it is a perfect example of an old Flemish building, and preserves all the characteristics of a quaint style of domestic architecture thoroughly in keeping with the patriarchal manners of the good folk in the Low Countries

Summary: In Le Peau de Chagrin, Raphael de Valentin makes a last desperate attempt with his last bit of money and, the gamble failing, prepares to commit suicide by jumping in the river. Having a somewhat poetical temperament, he decides to drop into a sort of antique shop before he does so, to fill his mind with interesting sights. And the shop does not disappoint. When he meets the ancient owner of the shop, the owner shows him a piece of shagreen, which he claims has an extraordinary power to fulfill wishes. The catch is that when it does so, it shrinks, and so, too, does your life. Raphael, not really believing it, wishes for a wild party. He gets accosted by old acquaintances as soon as he leaves the shop, and they whisk him off to a wild party. Due to a wish he comes into an immense amount of money, and discovers that the shagreen is in fact shrinking, which sobers him up greatly. As a result, he does everything in his power to avoid wishing anymore, but it is inevitable that here and there he wishes for something, and the skin shrinks yet again; and inevitably, the skin, the wishes, and his life will run out.

Balzac has a reputation for writing works that are simultaneously brilliant and flawed, and I think we get something of this with Le Peau de Chagrin. Almost every individual passage is excellently written, and some of it is virtually perfect. The description of the strange shop, for instance, is a bit of workmanship that is genuinely indicative of literary genius. But at the same time, the whole fits somewhat oddly together, and despite the fact that any particular passage tends to be quite good, I found that getting through Part II of the work was a bit of a chore. The pacing is weird. Part of this is that we get so much of the story indirectly, and only a few things actually happen in the story as it is on the page. Despite brilliant description and dialogue, the middle portion of the story seemed to bog down in places.

The shagreen itself is interesting. There is no doubt whatsoever that it is miraculous; there is an amusing sequence of episodes in which Raphael goes to various scientists to try to stretch it, to no avail. But none of the wish-fulfilling that comes about because of it is actually outside the realm of natural possibility; in many ways, you could have this story without the shagreen at all, and chalk up everything to luck the way we actually would in real life. What the shagreen does, though, is make the inevitable end visible and tangible throughout the course of the events that lead to the end. The shagreen is a visible representation of human life as it is consumed by human desire. The inability of the scientists to stretch the shagreen parallels the inability of the doctors to stretch out life. We human beings are very bad at measuring out our desires according to the limits of the life we have in us; we desire so much so easily, and getting what we'd like to have, we nonetheless discover that time is still running out on us.

While not as brilliantly executed, in some ways I liked La Recherche de l'Absolu better. There is certainly more of a story to it, as we follow the life of Balthazar Claes, a genius of a chemist, and especially his family as they attempt not to be pulled down into utter destitution by Claes's monomaniacal passion, to find the Absolute, the one thing common to all substances that in combination with the right forces explains all phenomena. This would, of course, be a great discovery, and would be guaranteed to bring extraordinary wealth, and Claes is always ever almost to the point of discovering. Immense fortunes pour into his experiments, a money-sink that can never be exhausted (for what can exhaust the ingenious mind's ability to come up with one more possibility?). It will eventually fall to his daughter Marguerite to discover how to work around this insatiable drain while still maintaining her responsibilities to her father. Ironically, the promise of endless wealth from the Absolute simply drains everyone's resources, while something else entirely is continually finding new resources to keep the family from collapse. And that is family love and loyalty: the love and loyalty of a wife toward her husband, of a daughter toward her parents and her siblings, of a young man toward a young woman and a young woman toward a young man. It does not do this easily, or without suffering, as the Philosopher's Stone promises to do, but it is in reality more of a Philosopher's Stone than the Philosopher's Stone itself.

Both tales explore the destructive side of human desire. Even harmless desires may burn away our lives. Even noble ambitions may bring suffering to others. But, on the other hand, not all our sober prudence and ingenuity can entirely prevent them from doing so, either.

Favorite Passage: From The Wild Ass's Skin:

Assemble a collection of schoolboys together. That will give you a society in miniature, a miniature which represents life more truly, because it is so frank and artless; and in it you will always find poor isolated beings, relegated to some place in the general estimation between pity and contempt, on account of their weakness and suffering. To these the Evangel promises heaven hereafter. Go lower yet in the scale of organized creation. If some bird among its fellows in the courtyard sickens, the others fall upon it with their beaks, pluck out its feathers, and kill it. The whole world, in accordance with its charter of egotism, brings all its severity to bear upon wretchedness that has the hardihood to spoil its festivities, and to trouble its joys.

From The Question of the Absolute:

"Ah!" said Martha, "there is Mlle. Marguerite crying. Her old wizard of a father would gobble down the house without saying grace. In my country they would have burned him alive for a sorcerer long before this; but they have no more religion here than Moorish infidels."

Recommendation: Both are Highly Recommended.

Pending the Present Distress

by Christina Rossetti

It is good to be last not first,
Pending the present distress;
It is good to hunger and thirst,
So it be for righteousness.
It is good to spend and be spent,
It is good to watch and to pray:
Life and Death make a goodly Lent
So it leads us to Easter Day.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Dashed Off III

the Annunciation as the immaculate conception of the Church

Romans 15:16 as Eucharistic

Rv 12 & allusion back to Gn 3 + Second Eve -> Assumption

practices of sympathy with the saints

"Piety produces intellectual greatness precisely because piety in itself is quite indifferent to intellectual greatness." Chesterton

Confucius against sophistry of practice

wonder as an intimation of understanding to come (connected to analogy between inquiry and hope)

directly privative aspect of evil
indirectly privative aspect of evil
   impeding good
   deteriorating good

the Urim & the Thummim and intercession

Christ was anointed to offer Himself by the Spirit, which He does in Session and in the worship given by His Mystical Body; He was consecrated as priest by blood for the sake of His body, that His members might be consecrated a priestly people.

Nothing can touch the truth of Torah and not begin to take on some light.

In 'readiness to appear' we our potential in light of active powers.

Moral law calls forth ceremonial and political supplements.

All accounts of morality should be tried out on the normative principles of rational inquiry.

The human mind aches for human solidarities.

Ground held from the beginning requires no wresting back.

Martyrs die for the faith; but the Church goes further and makes their deaths even more for the faith.

'Ockham's Razor' as a principle of extrapolation

cascading problem-solution chains

Diamond: within; Box: throughout

modal operators are more general than quantifiers:
(1) they work on arguments, propositions, and terms;
(2) quantifiers require duality assumption, modal operators need not

The heart has an objective association with blood, the warmth of life, and the feeling of emotional response. (Gethsemane)

aesthetics as a source of reserve arguments

poetry capable of religious reading - poetry concerning religious matters - religious song - hymn proper - liturgical prayer

transhumanism as modern alchemy

wisdom tending to song

Walton's quasi-emotions as a partial account of acting and dramatic expression

Much of the quasi-emotion account is indistinguishable from an account in which we experience micro-emotions (e.g., audience at horror movie experiencing a flash of startled fear & jumping, then getting over it). But neither account really handles suspense because the feeling of suspense is extended and real, and no plausible account of suspense can make it dependent on fact in a way that excludes fiction.

The quasi-emotion account requires depreciating physiological evidence.

Emotions are not automatically motivating; they motivate by building.

As icon, every icon is an image of Christ as image of God.

Plato's recollection // development of doctrine

the Church as a perpetual interlocking of rites

Precision is the primary requirement of counter-insurgency.

Free markets require healthy conditions for exchange.

sets as search-families

natural teleology vs role teleology

Scientism intrinsically drives toward scientific anti-realism.

Saints in purgatory do not suffer as though they were objects but as though they were active martyrs and confessors, or as though they were soldiers eager to return home but needing one very great and very difficult duty to perform first.

Torah as counter to evil inclination

"every cause pre-embraces its effect before its emergence, having primitively that character which the latter has by derivation" Proclus

providence, rational free-will, and evil as principles of historical interpretation (Schlegel)

In Dickens's novels, material objects and natural events are thick with moral significance.

Human beings are such that they will often put ideas and symbols above kith and kin.

faith, hope, and love as each grounds of perserverance

Beauty persuades, as it pleases on being seen, but it should never be made a mere instrument of persuasion.

Mary's fiat as the creation of a common good

vanity -> sensuality -> selfishness
anger -> malice -> revenge

philosophy as the science of longing (Schlegel)

longing -> true love -> heartfelt enthusiasm

the three goods of society: continuance, union, allegiance or loyalty

the primary purpose of prophecy: connection of distinct things in one sign

degree of overlap
1:1 xEQy
0:n xDy
n:0 yDx
1: (n<1) yPx
(n<1):1 xPy

The French Revolution confused equality with the reversal of aristocracy.

Protestantism as Torah without Temple

right of intimate dignity of person
(1) rights against unreasonable search and seizure: person, communications, effects
(2) rights to privileged communication regarding health and integrity of: soul, body, legal presence in society, marriage

Greek myths are like musical compositions in admitting of varied renditions and performances.

the unexpected plausible

A language in which terms are used only univocally or equivocally is like a mathematics with only natural numbers.

the implicit spectacle of Platonic dialogue
the Platonic dialogue in light of the principles of episodic narrative

Lk 9:51-56 // Acts 8:5-17

language as mediating between personal and social memory.

Living traditions flower into eloquent speech, elegant composition, and lofty meditation.

the contemplative life as the heart of Tradition

traditions as language-forming
Holy Tradition naturally shapes sacral languages.

To read Scripture well is to live the Tradition of the Church.

II Constantinople and universalism based on pre-existence or universalism extended to demons

literature as linguistic precedent

the method of panjiao (doxographic dialectic)

Mou Zongsan on intellectual intuition

zhengming as pertaining to natural law

hierarchy of precedent as essential to common law
also requires clear reporting and archiving of precedents qua precedents. In primitive situations this can be personal memory, but as complexities increase, some new instruments are needed.

Blackstone understands common law as a tradition (explicitly as handed down) -- law as a living tradition

trial by ordeal as really a last resort attempt at acquittal

common law as primarily a bulwark against bloodshed (peaceful resolution)

Justice builds by tradition; we see this in rights to privileged communication, which require not merely an authorizing good but also in practice traditions of communication with identifiable customs and expectations.

Decay of ideas is impeded by multiplicity of signs.

the concept of design promise and its link to extrapolation

agnosticism & doxastic 'free-riding'
to consider: agnosticism as requiring urban conditions to spread?

conditional as Box for ordered term

New Natural Law as part of universal history

liturgy as structured by mission

Bleak House & the Dickensian approach to law

legal institutions as primarily filters for customary law

court of equity: conscience entering into law under a legal aspect -> the concept of trust (being bound in conscience to do or maintain something for someone else, thus trustees and beneficiaries)

measurement uncertainties: resolution, accuracy, precision, linearity, stability, reproducibility

rhetoric and distinctive high-leverage points in argument

There are no morally neutral human actions because there are no human actions that are not human.

the Decalogue as an indirect presentation of fundamental human rights

the linking of sabbath with freedom from debt (sabbatical year)

models of the unity of the human race

faith: trust in Christ as Truth
hope: trust in Christ as Way
love: trust in Christ as Life

kindness as kin to docilitas

self-giving as the foundation of a healthy society

The social doctrine of the Church expresses the fact that salvation sheds light on society and on moral life.
philosophy as essential to the social doctrine of the Church
The social doctrine of the Church arises out of all the faithful through their baptismal and confirmational characters; this is regularized and supported by the teaching authority in the episcopal character.
Casuistics is essential to the proper and reasonable application of the social doctrine of the Church.

The theological virtues are what convert Scripture to life.

Human rights cannot possibly be enumerated in full because human moral life cannot possibly be exhausted in a list.

solidarity = civil friendship = social charity

Human dignity overflows into that with which we have to do. We see this most clearly and perfectly in the great works of reason -- the skillful, the prudent, the harmonious -- but it is found even in stupid things, in some dim echo.

Genuine freedom must be cultivated.
conscience as unifier of freedom and truth
Human freedom is a process of continual liberation.

common good : solidarity :: human dignity : subsidiarity
subsidiarity as a principle of mediation

social justice as appropriateness to common good

The universal destination of goods is itself an implication of human dignity.

Subsidiarity protects the participation required for common good.

Genuine assistance, that is, subsidium, has clear conditions for which it might cease, to let people themselves take over.

Solidarity as a virtue is justice in light of common good.

treatment of environment // treatment of family


Russell Saltzman has an article at First Things on reading at Mass. There's nothing wrong with the advice given, but I confess that I am utterly ambivalent at it all.

I was a reader at Mass for several years; I stopped doing it because it was a task that can never please everyone and for which the communal support and preparation is always inadequate regardless of how one prepares as an individual reader. It is irrational to expect readers to work magic, but this is precisely the standard to which they are held. I did extremely well as a reader, but it has been heavenly not to have to do it.

The truth of the matter is that there is no special method for reading at Mass. The notion that having the right method or approach is the solution to everything is a modern temptation which should be resisted more often than it is. We like to hide the fact that there is no special method with an insider's jargon. We see this in the constant desire to want to talk about 'proclaiming the Word'. It's an accurate phrase; but there is a particular mentality that likes to pretend that it somehow conveys a special specialness, a spiritual quality, involved in the reading. But in reality 'proclamation' is just stating something in public in an official capacity, and when the GIRM says, "The lector is instituted to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture...", the original literally means no more than that the reader is appointed to say the readings out loud. The reader or lector just reads the text in public so that people can hear it. That's the whole task. There are some specific guidelines that are supposed to be met in doing so: e.g., the voice should be loud and clear, the tone should be appropriate to genre and occasion, and the characteristics of the local language and culture should be considered in the delivery. But these are all just specifications of the original point, which is to read it out loud so that people can hear it.

It's not a minor task, mind you. But that's all. This is, in fact, the great secret to most ministry in the Church: just do what actually and really needs to be done and stop trying to make it something special. Doing it in a 'spiritual' way is not your responsibility. The Spirit blows where He wills. You are only there to address a practical need to the best of your ability.*

One of the reasons for insisting on this fact is that the single most important goal for reading in Mass is that people actually be able to hear and follow the readings. Nothing, and I mean nothing, else is of any importance in comparison. There is a common tendency among people who mount up proscriptions and prescriptions for readers to give as their justification that it is the text of Scripture that matters, not the reader, so the reader should vanish. As Saltzman says:

It is the text—familiar though it may be—that must capture our attention, not the reader. The reader, so to speak, must stand aside. The lector’s job is to speak the text in such a way that it may catch us and thereby speak to us.

All well and good, and true enough. But this sort of claim somehow always comes with advice that is entirely about the lector, as if the lector were indeed the one who was capturing attention. And Saltzman's article, despite a certain sobriety that makes it better than much of the advice given lectors, is not an exception. After telling us that the text, not the reader, must capture our attention, he then keeps giving advice that is quite clearly about how the lector can capture attention and then (although this part is a bit murkier) draw it somehow to the text. This is not standing aside; it's playing middleman.

Readings can of course go wrong. It's worth keeping in mind that it's often not the fault of the reader, since the texts are not always easy to read aloud. And last-minute substitutions among readers are common in our highly mobile society. Training for lectors is often very limited, and when it is not, it is often very poor. And everyone's a critic, and lectors are easy targets. Sometimes people wander into ministries that they shouldn't be in, to be sure, but if you're regularly criticizing people in a ministry, you should be volunteering for it because you're apparently an expert. Although, of course, lectors do it themselves, as well. I once attended a meeting that was supposed to be for training and encouraging new readers, and the whole meeting devolved into an arbitrary list of pet peeves to avoid, none of which was suitable for the purpose. The only questions of much importance, though, are: Did you hear the Scripture? Could you follow what it said?


* It's worthwhile remembering this going into Lent, I think. The reason we fast is that we need discipline; the reason we give alms is that we need to help our neighbor; the reason we pray is that we need God. These are practical needs to which the penitential practices are practical responses. It's not our job to make them spiritually significant, or measure them out so that they involve experiences that are somehow just right, or to pursue some special kind of feeling in doing them. Our responsibility is to recognize the needs and act in a practical way in response to them.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Maronite Year XX

The Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple falls about forty days after Christmas and throughout the Church is associated with light. It seems to be a minor feast among the Maronites, compared to the rather intensive and extensive liturgical celebrations of it one finds in the Latin and Byzantine churches through history, but it still has some measure of importance.

Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple
Romans 9:30-10:4; Luke 2:22-35

This light reveals to nations,
gives glory to Israel;
lawful service is fulfilled.

Christ fulfilled the holy law,
was consecrated to God;
He came with saving power.

Mary carried the Infant,
an offering unto God,
who receives all offerings.

The God who receives our gifts
was given a gift to God
that we might be raised to Him.

God became a newborn child,
and, entering the temple,
made us His holy Temple.

May your altar give mercy,
your holy Church give healing;
may we be a fit Temple.

Christ, High Priest and Lord of Priests,
receives the sacrifices;
O Lord, receive our prayers.

Monday, February 01, 2016

A Poem Draft

To Brigitte Darnay, A Scene for Her Birthday

The pouring silver rays, like rain,
from moon descend upon the lake,
where argent foams in ripples ride
and bathe a pebbled shore with life.

A hushing wind through treetop leaves
in sighing chorus hymns the scene.
On far horizon subtle light
begins to play across the sky.

The purple heavens shade to blue
as, like a paper set to flame,
a ruddy gold foretells the blaze
the sun will bring in splendid flight.

A flowered bough with splendor wakes:
a hundred butterflies take wing.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Links of Note, Noted with Notations

* The Tatooine Cycle: Star Wars Episode IV told in the style of a medieval Irish epic. The names are all as authentically medieval Irish as possible, and it has accompanying notes. The opening:

What was the reason for the Tragic Death of Cenn Obi and the Destruction of Da Thféider’s Hostel? Not difficult that.

There was once a great queen of Alt Da Rann and Leia was her name. War had sprung up between her people and those of Da Thféider. She sent messengers to ask for aid from the wildman, Cenn Obi. He lived in the wilderness far to the west. These were the messengers she sent: Síd Tríphe Óg, who knew all the languages of man and beast, and the dwarf, Artú.

* The place where Rei finds Luke Skywalker at the end of The Force Awakens is in the real world Skellig Michael Monastery in Ireland.

I think the Irish may be keeping a secret about their real origins.

* Grace Boey on Mary Astell

* Tolkien and Kullervo

* Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle argue that the professionalization of philosophy has been to its detriment: When Philosophy Lost Its Way.

* James Matthew Wilson, On the Overweening Pride of the Professorial Class

* Catarina Dutilh Novaes on Metaphors for Argumentation.

* Dana Casey discusses the difficulties and uncertainties of being an urban teacher.

* Unfortunate Metaphors for Teaching at "Math with Bad Drawings"

* How Dion DiMucci came up with the song, "Runaround Sue"

* Richard Chappell discusses the morality of having kids.

* Whit Stillman on his new movie Love and Friendship.

* Andrew Criddle looks at whether Origen can be used as evidence for a forty-day Lenten fast in the third century. (He concludes probably not, despite appearances.)

* Ayn Rand's use of sunflower seeds as a symbol of villainy.

* The Islamic State recently destroyed the oldest monastery in Iraq, Dair Mar Elia. It had been taking a beating in the past few decades; it was vandalized first by the Iraqi army and then by the American army in 2003 because its location made the area a good one for a military base (a US military chaplain, may God look well upon him for it, came upon the American troops engaging in the vandalism and kicked them out, and the US Army, to its credit, started funding for the restoration). But as it happened, its 1400-year existence was coming to an end, anyway. Even ancient monasteries die.

* The seventh row of the periodic table has finally officially been filled. That is, actual existence of some version of each of the elements in the row has been confirmed by synthesis in the laboratory. That brings us up to 118. On to Ununennium! Ununennium, i.e., hypothetical element 119, is a point in the table at which it begins to be difficult to know how to synthesize new elements in a confirmable way in the first place -- the half-life predictable from trends becomes predictably very small after 118, the confirmation requirements are beyond what our current means can guarantee, and the means for simplifying synthesis of heavier elements are becoming less and less useful.

* Richard Marshall interviews Tuomas Tahko on metaphysics.

* John Skalko, Scotus versus Aquinas on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. (He takes Aquinas's side.)

* Eben Moglen, Legal Fictions and Common Law Legal Theory

* At one time I put out a bleg here for a short story I remember reading in Spanish about that turned on a psychopath's mishearing his girlfriend demand un ramo de hojas azules (a branch of blue petals) as un ramo de ojos azules (a branch of blue eyes). The narrator narrowly escapes because it turns out his eyes are not blue; after which he leaves town as soon as possible. It turns out the story is by Octavio Paz, El ramo azul.

* David Oderberg on bioethics.

* Simon McNamee, On the History and Use of 'Intuitions' in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy

* David Grimes, On the Viability of Conspiratorial Beliefs. A few of the assumptions don't seem perfectly realistic -- e.g., if you look at how real conspiracies get uncovered, it is never a matter of a single leak sufficing, although a single leak might lead to an investigation that would lead to increasing leaks. But it's an interesting approach.

* Duncan Richter, Philosophy and Poetry

* Catherine Legg and James Franklin, Perceiving Necessity. Hume would certainly take some of their cases to be matters of the relations of ideas -- but even that shows that relations of ideas actually have to cover quite a bit.

* Peter Hacker discusses the mind-body problem in philosophy. It's an hour long, but very, very nicely done:

* I've been thinking about what to do for Lent, and one possibility is something with the Divine Office. (I usually do the Office of Readings already.) So I've been looking around at different kinds of online resources for the Divine Office. Here are some interesting ones:

Divinum Officium: Roman Breviary, i.e., Tridentine/Extraordinary Form
Book of Hours: Book of Divine Worship, i.e., "Anglican Use"
Universalis: Liturgy of the Hours, i.e., Ordinary Form. In some ways this is better than the book version -- the English translation of the Liturgy of Hours that you can get in book form is considerably out of date by this point, but Universalis does their own translations from the most recent official version in Latin.
Divine Liturgy of the Hours
Liturgy of the Hours: Liturgy of the Hours -- it looks like this would be mostly useful as a reference; it's not very user-friendly, but unlike most sites, you can look up any day of the year quite easily. -- the Fanqitho or Prayer of the Faithful; this has Ramsho (Morning Prayer), Safro (Evening Prayer), and Sootoro (Night Prayer), all translated into English.

I haven't been able to find any Byzantine Divine Office versions online, which is a rather serious lack, given that the Byzantine Divine Office is fittingly byzantine.

ADDED LATER: Deacon Anton notes the following website for Byzantine Divine Service; it's a stripped down, basics-only version, but even a basics-only resource for Divine Service is going to be quite rich:

The Dynamic Horologion and Psalter

Maronite Year XIX

The last of the three Sundays of Commemoration is the Sunday of the Faithful Departed, the Maronite version of All Souls. It is primarily a day of hope, as again and again the prayers both of the Maronite Divine Office and of the Divine Liturgy emphasize the hope of the faithful who depart from our midst. But it also looks forward to the preparatory days to come with a note of warning: hope is based on repentance.

Sunday of the Faithful Departed
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Luke 16:19-31

Hope of the desperate, Savior of the fallen,
in hope of Your kindness we cry out for mercy,
knowing You do not desire the death of sinners,
but repentance and love;
sinners pardoned, the impure cleansed, penitent thieves,
these You bring within the gates of Your paradise,
promising life to those who drink Your holy blood
and eat of Your body.
From nothing You created us men and women,
from sin You restore those who have fallen aside,
from death You raise those who have been laid to their rest,
and thus we praise Your name.

Remember those who have placed their hope in Your grace,
who were washed by You, who were sealed by Your Spirit,
who have partaken of Your body and Your blood,
O Hope who never fails.
Our days are short, but blessed are those who die in You;
one day they will come into Your peaceful harbors,
following their Lord in holy resurrection,
rejoicing in glory,
as all things are made new in the Lamb's bright wedding,
and the feast of celebration lasts forever,
and all are dressed in the splendid robes of glory,
singing with smiling eyes.