Saint-Simon And His Creatures

We owe him a lot. Saint-Simon is a creator of a long gallery of literary characters: Princess d’Harcourt, an obsessive gambler, often incontinent at cards and a victim of numerous pranks, occasionally she had been abandoned by her domestics, and was found in the middle of nowhere, not knowing where to go; a wooden-leg tennis player, Liuteneat General Rivarollles, whose prosthesis had once been blown off by an enemy canon, which made him crack jokes about two more wooden legs in his suitcase; Madam de Saint-Herem, pathologically afraid of thunder and hiding under beds with all her domestics piling on top to protect her against the lightning; Marquis de Termes, a notorious whistle-blower, sometimes beaten in public by those he had been sniching upon….

The cartoon strip is long, but the best character penned by Saint-Simon is himself. As an adolescent he is brought to Versailles to join the Musketeers. Louis XIV remarks that the boy is too young. Saint-Simon’s father assures the king that this way his son will serve longer. Saint-Simon serves about six years. After that the little duke becomes an observant courtier of Louis XIV. He gets married, which is done in a unique way: coming to ask Marechal-duc de Lorge to give his daughter in marriage, Saint-Simon encounters a small problem: de Lorge has two daughters and would like to know which one the young man has chosen; Saint-Simon says that it does not really matter; and so, he marries the elder, with whom he has three children and an apartment at the Chateau Versailles.


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 Chateau Versailles, Chateau Versailles In Literature, Louis XIV and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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