And so it came to pass that a few of us here at the Castle have a background in Latin. Not the Mandarin, though: he skipped that in favor of Spanish (pffft. Like who speaks that?). However, to be fair, he handles other languages and does have more than an ear for Italian, as well.
The Czar is possiblythough he doesnt know for surethe only one of us who actually learned Classical Latin; he is fairly sure the others learned Ecclesiastical or Church Latin, but he could be totally wrong. The languages are the same except for pronunciation. Whereas Puter may pronounce caelum as chay-luhm, you see, the Czar will always read that as kigh-loom. Puters angelicus or ahn-JELLY-kuhs is our ahn-GAELIC-oos and so on.
So to celebrate the fact that all but one of us are happy with Latin, the Czar presents the following poem now believed to have been penned by the linguist Mario Pei when he was just a high school student trying to impress an imperious Latin teacher. The Latin is evident.
And in deference to the Mandarin, it is also a perfect, albeit poetic, form of Italian, as well. So you get two languages for one. This is a pretty impressive linguistic trick.
Te saluto, alma Dea, Dea generosa,
O gloria nostra, o veneta regina!
In procelloso turbine funesto
Tu regnasti serena; mille membra
Intrepida prostrasti in pugna acerba;
Per te miser non fui, per te non gemo,
Vivo in pace per te. Regna, o beata!
Regna in prospera sorte, in pompa augusta,
In perpetuo splendore, in aurea sede!
Tu serena, tu placida, tu pia,
Tu benigna, me salva, arma, conserva!
Of course, if all you know is English…ah, well, this is all kind of wasted.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.