Funny And Not So Funny Things That Happened At The Court Of Louis XIV, Part Two

 

Court Dance, 1694.
Court Dance, 1694.

Madame de Chartres and her sisters once acquired petards, small bombs made of a metal or wooden box filled with powder, which are strong enough to blow open doors or blow holes into walls. They went with them to the Grand Trianon and set them off just beneath the windows of the rooms Monsieur occupied. The fumes were so bad, he had to flee his rooms.

Monsieur Santeuil, a witty and very skilled Latin poet, who was greatly celebrated by everyone, once was invited to supper by Monsieur le Duc. There he drank a glass of wine laced with tobacco. Monsieur le Duc had emptied the contents of his snuff-box into it. Monsieur Santeuil died forty-eight hours later in great agony.

Monsieur Chateaurenaud, a sailor of the old school, who had received the Marshal’s baton as a reward for his services, was a bit of a bore and lacked skills of keeping people entertained. He was related to Monsieur Cavoye through Cavoye’s wife. Both men had little in common. Cavoye, himself being someone of the more higher circle, had a house at Luciennes, near to Marly. Often, when the court was at Marly, Monsieur Cavoye hosted lavish dinner parties at his house, with the King’s permission, and entertained the elite of the court society. Chateaurenaud did not belong to this circle and so did the Duc de Lauzun, a bit of a court jester and buffoon. Lauzun was a little vexed about that and decided to play a trick on Monsieur Cavoye. He told Chateaurenaud one day that his relative, Monsieur Cavoye, was quite upset, hurt even, that Chateaurenaud never made an appearance at Luciennes. At the same time, Lauzun also told him that Cavoye might greet him coldly, but he should pay no attention to that, it was only a trick Cavoye enjoyed to play on people. Chateaurenaud thanked Lauzun warmly for his help and advice and used the first chance that presented itself to visit his relatives at Luciennes. His arrival created something like consternation, which was heightened when it became clear that Chateaurenaud had come to spend the whole day there… and even worse, he came back two days later for dinner. Monsieur Cavoye did his very best to make Chateaurenaud realize he was not wanted there and Chateaurenaud did his best to ignore that, as the Duc de Lauzun had told him. Chateaurenaud continued to bore his relatives for many years, not just at Luciennes, but also at Marly and Versailles. Cavoye became quite despaired due to the constant interruptions and the complains of his guests. He tried everything he could to get rid of his unwanted and tedious relative, but nothing worked. Many more years passed until it was discovered that it was the doing of the vexed Duc de Lauzun. Monsieur Cavoye did not find it amusing at all, but the King did. He laughed heartily as the story was told to him.

As the Duc de Bourgogne, le Petit Dauphin, was born and the succession to the throne seemed secure for two generations, his father, le Grand Dauphin, was so filled with joy, he kissed all the ladies present in the room indiscriminately. He was not the only one taken over with joy. A valet, who just wanted to go to bed, threw all his clothing into his fireplace, while celebrating the happy news. The Swiss Guards celebrated as well. They lit a large bonfire in front of the Chateau de Versailles and used the expensive furniture of the ground floors as firewood.

 

2 thoughts on “Funny And Not So Funny Things That Happened At The Court Of Louis XIV, Part Two

  1. Do you know whether Madame de Chartres and Monsieur le Duc suffered any consequences of their jokes? Now, Madame could be accused of terrorism :).

    1. I would imagine Madame de Chartres got a bit of a scolding, again, and Monsieur le Duc might have claimed it was an accident.

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