How Do You Talk To a King?


Louis XIV was of an average height, only one meter sixty-two centimeters, then those famous red hills and the wig would add him twenty-six centimeters; but, as we all know, it is not the beard which makes a philosopher. Voltaire wrote that one of the stuttering officers had once noticed that he didn’t tremble as much before the enemy as he did before his king. Saint-Simon told us how intimidating the king could be, to the point that intelligent people would say in his presence all sorts of stupidities.

“When is she due?” the king inquired of Duke Uzes about the latter’s pregnant wife. “Whenever you like, Sire,” answered the taken aback courtier.

When Racine had died, it was discovered that the play-write wanted to be buried among the Jansenists, whose religious teaching Louis XIV found heretical. “Ah! Sire,” exclaimed the other flatterer, “he would never do anything like that, had he still been alive.”

“You had to be used to the king, to be able talk to him,” explained Saint-Simon. Cardinal d’Estrees could certainly joke around with Louis the Great. By the age of sixty the king had all of his teeth pulled and was eating the types of meals they are serving in convalescent homes. While sucking on a straw, the king was talking to the cardinal about his problem. “Ah, Sire,” responded the ecclesiastic, “teeth! Nobody has any teeth anymore!”

Advertisements

About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
This entry was posted in Breakfast of Louis XIV, Chateau Versailles, Louis XIV, Saint-Simon. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s