What his Majesty King Louis XIV. was at the Age of Twenty-Two
It has been seen, by the account we have endeavored to give of it, that the entree of King Louis XIV. into the city of Blois had been noisy and brilliant his young majesty had therefore appeared perfectly satisfied with it.
It must, however, be allowed, that when he saw, in the hall of reception, chairs of equal height placed for himself, his mother, the cardinal, and his uncle and aunt, a disposition artfully concealed by the semicircular form of the assembly, Louis XIV. became red with anger, and looked around him to ascertain by the countenances of those that were present, if this humiliation had been prepared for him.
I used to abuse Louis XIV for spending two hundred millions of dollars in creating this marvelous park, when bread was so scarce with some of his subjects; but I have forgiven him now.
In a large dining room stood the table at which Louis XIV and his mistress Madame Maintenon, and after them Louis XV, and Pompadour, had sat at their meals naked and unattended--for the table stood upon a trapdoor, which descended with it to regions below when it was necessary to replenish its dishes.
The brothers De Witt humoured Louis XIV., whose moral influence was felt by the whole of Europe, and the pressure of whose material power Holland had been made to feel in that marvellous campaign on the Rhine, which, in the space of three months, had laid the power of the United Provinces prostrate.
Louis XIV. had long been the enemy of the Dutch, who insulted or ridiculed him to their hearts' content, although it must be said that they generally used French refugees for the mouthpiece of their spite.
This new chief, quite ready to appear on the political stage, and to measure himself against Louis XIV., however gigantic the fortunes of the Grand Monarch loomed in the future, was William, Prince of Orange, son of William II., and grandson, by his mother Henrietta Stuart, of Charles I.
is a curious poem attributed on no very obvious grounds to Hesiod by Julius Pollox.
"We will consult the queen," said Louis XIV
., bowing to the royal ladies.
"Louis XIV was a very proud and self-confident man; he had such and such mistresses and such and such ministers and he ruled France badly.
To this, modern history laboriously replies either that Napoleon was a great genius, or that Louis XIV was very proud, or that certain writers wrote certain books.