Salut tout le monde...!!!
Se alguém tiver interesse em saber porque o atual lema do Québec é "Je me souviens", e não mais "La Belle Province", o historiador Gaston Deschênes explica:
"The motto Je me souviens (I remember) caused quite a stir when it replaced the slogan La belle province (the beautiful province) on Quebec licence plates in 1978. In power since 1976, the Parti Québécois had obviously wanted to remove the word “province,” and few would have disputed its decision to replace Quebec’s official motto.
The change was made without any public debate, as though it was a logical progression. The motto’s meaning, however, was a mystery to many. What was Quebec supposed to remember? A Montreal Star vox pop poli revealed that Montrealers, for instance, had very different interpretations, including remembering the Conquest, a response to the Durham Report or even the PQ victory of 1976. By deciding not to provide any official documentation regarding the motto, the government certainly added to the confusion. Few knew at the time that the origins of the motto dated back to 1885, when it first appeared on the facade of the parliament building in Quebec City?
The motto’s origins
Quebec’s motto was created by Eugène-Étienne Taché, the architect who designed the provincial parliament building. Tache was the son of a former premier of United Canada, Étienne-Paschal Taché — a regional Patriot leader in the 1837 rebellion in Lower Canada who later became one of the Fathers of Confederation. A surveyor by training and the assistant commissioner of Crown lands, the younger Tache was a very cultured man with a passion for architecture. Although self-taught, he had impressed his fellow citizens and government officials by designing a series of arcs de triomphe for the bicentenary of the Diocese of Quebec and was hired to draft the plans for the new Parliament Building.
Taché drew inspiration from the architecture of the Louvre, including that building’s incorporation of statues. He proposed dedicatíng the facade of the parliament building to the memory of the key figures in Quebec’s history and found support from the provincial government, which was keen to focus the public’s attention on the history of Québec society and its status as a founding nation.
To decorate the main entrance, Eugène-Étienne Taché chose the coat of arms granted to the province by Queen Víctoria in 1868, to which he added a motto he had created himself, Je me souviens. It's as simple as that. The government accepted Taché's plans, adding them to the construction contract signed in 1883, and they were subsequently carried out.
It's impossible to find any texts in which Taché explains the origin and the meaning of Je me souviens. He likely didn't feel the need, given that his message was so simple, and that the meaning of his motto was so obvious once placed in context. In a report he sent to the deputy minister of public works in April 1883, Taché provided an overview of the "collection of memories" that he wished to evoke through the decoration of the facade of the parliament building. This passage leaves no doubt regarding the meaning of Je me souviens. Taché wished to create a hall of fame in honour of Quebec's heroes and his motto was meant to encourage Quebecers to remember them.
The meaning of the motto
Appearing discreetly on the facade, the motto became an integral part of Quebec's coat of arms at the end of the nineteenth century (the government did not request royal authorization) and a simple government decree was ali that was required to have it formally entered into the heraldic description of the coat of arms in 1939.
By the end of the nineteenth century, Quebecers had adopted Taché's motto, as seen in a speech delivered in 1895 by Thomas Chapais, a historian, legislative counsel, and minister: "The province of Quebec has a motto that it is proud of and that it likes to engrave on the front of its monuments and palaces. This motto has but three words: Je me souviens, but these three words, in their simplicity, speak volumes. Yes, we remember. We remember the past and its lessons, the past and its misfortunes, the past and its victories."
There are no records of a public debate regarding this motto, and Taché's contemporaries did not question its meaning. Until the 1970s, interpretations in Quebec were consistent, even if the state had never offered an official interpretation. In English Canada, the interpretation of the motto was generally the same: to remember "(the) ancient lineage, traditions and memories of all the past" (Associatíon of Ontario Land Surveyors, 1934), or "the glory of the Ancien Régime" (Colombo's Canadian Quotations, first edition, 1974).
The other motto
However, after Je me souviens was introduced on licence plates, one interpretation that was already circulating through word of mouth in some circles gained in popularity, no doubt spurred on by an open letter by one of Taché's grand-daughters that was published in the Montreal Star in 1978. The author of the letter claimed that Je me souviens was merely the beginning of a longer motto:
"Je me souviens/ Que né sous le lys/
Je croîs sous la rose.
I remember / That born under the lily/
I grow under the rose."
This interpretation reappeared in at least one dictionary of quotations (Colombo´s Canadian Quotations), in government informatíon data banks and particularly in the English media. Journalists from the Globe and Mail and the Montreal Gazette were quick to exploit the political meaning and to point out the irony of Quebec licence plates reminding Quebecers "that they had flourished under the rose of England."
However, it has now been clearly established that the "poem" from which the "complete motto" comes does not exist and that it is, in fact, two separate mottos thought up by the same person. Taché designed the second motto — Née
dans les lis, je grandis dans les roses (Born in the lilies, I grow in the roses) - for a monument that was never built, and then used the motto on the tricentennial medal of Quebec in 1908.
The most interesting witness on this matter is David Ross McCord (1844-1930), who commented on both mottos in his Historical Notebook around 1900: "However mistaken may be the looking towards France as a disintegrating factor operating against the unification of the nation — it may be perhaps pardonable — no one can gainsay the beauty and simplicity of Eugene Taché's words 'Je me souviens. ' He and Siméon Lesage have done more than any two other Canadians towards elevating the architectural taste in the Province. Is Taché not also the author of the other motto — the sentiment of which we will ali drink a toast: 'Née dans les lis, je croîs dans les roses.' There is no disintegration there."
This account by the founder of Montreal McCord Museum proves beyond any doubt that there were two separate mottos that in no way shared the same meaning. So how did they come to be combined sometime between 1900 and 1978 and to promote an interpretation that did not correspond to Taché's intentions? It is indeed a mystery.
The history of Quebec's motto is nevertheless remarkably simple. It was born of an individual initiative by the architect of the parliament building, and it simply invited Quebecers of all origins to remember their history. Those who wished to give it a vengeful meaning or to use it in political debate were undoubtedly unaware that it had been engraved on the facade of the parliament building, at the feet of the statues of Montcalm and Wolfe.
Gaston Deschênes was a historian at the National Assembly of Québec for nearly thirty years. He published Le Parlement de Québec, histoire, anecdotes et légendes (Sainte-Foy, Multimondes, 2005), which contains a chapter on the history of the motto Je me souviens.