It is impossible to speak about Louis XIV’s feast without mentioning great & mysterious Divertissements held in Marly. The French Revolution destroyed this little gem built near Versailles, but the spirit & grandeur of events taken place there would remain in the historic memory for ever.
Here is an abstract from the Mercure Galant telling about the Mascarade of 1700: ” January 7 there was a bal in Marly, started with a divertissement, mixing Music & Dances, titled ” The King of the Chinese”. This King was carried in a Palanquin, & accompanied by about thirty Chinese, singing Musicians & those who played musical instruments. Siers des Moulins from l’Opera enjoyed much performing a grotesque Dance, representing a Pagoda. Yet in Marly the next day there was the same divertissement & then a Bal. Seigneurs & Dames du Bal were all masked. On Thursday 21 of the same month there was a bal in Marly & all the Danseurs & Danseuses appeared masked in rich garments. Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne represented Goddess Flora, & Mesdames les Duchesses de Villeroy & de Sully…were Nymphes of her suite. The garment of Madame la Duchess de Bourgogne was rich & elegant, & those of Nymphs of her suite were of the same taste… As soon as all the Assembly gathered together, a Mascarade, having a title ‘The Amazons’, began. A Timpanist Moor, riding a Camel, was ahead, singing Amazons followed him, then Sarmatians & Schythians with their Subjects marched, adding more entertainment. They were proceeded with a fight of Gladiators & Vaulters, riding a wooden horse. There were some Dances as well. A Ball started afterwards & lasted until one o’clock in the morning…”
Vive le Roy! 🙂 🙂 🙂