Gimme That Dagger…


In the winter Louis XIV’s palace was impossible to heat. There was no suction in any of the chimneys and all the central heating projects were funny like hell. Louis XIV braved the cold, but Louis XV did not. It was early January, the king was bundled in silk and wool and stood outside ready to hop into his carriage when he felt something hit him on the left side. No, not a snowball, an eight-centimeter dagger had entered the Royal intercostal space between the fourth and the fifth rib. “Don’t kill him!”yelled the king. The guards had already caught and dragged the man to the king.

“Your wound is nothing,” said the Royal Sergent. “What if the steel is poisoned?” moaned Louis. The doctor shook his head, “Even if it were, the poison would be wiped off as the dagger went through your clothes.” Meanwhile the guards were roasting Robert Francois Damiens downstairs, they went on torturing the wanna-be-assassin for two more weeks, then sent him to Paris for further investigation. In the spring there was a big show of quartering Damiens by horses. Casanova attended.

He was watching off the balcony in the company of two gentlemen and three ladies. The balcony was kind of small, the spectators felt a little crowded. One of the gentlemen had to come up pretty close behind one of the ladies. Casanova had noticed him hoist the lady’s dress not to step on it. “Perhaps he has lifted it a little too much. And for the next two hours I could hear the rustling noises of that dress….”

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