Louis’s Rivals: The Habsburgs

The House of Austria has always been one of the most influential enemies of France. Long before Louis XIV the Holy Roman Empire aspired to keep its leading position in Europe. Huge territories and insatiable ambitions of its rulers, who were ready to use any mean of a policy of restraint not to allow their neighbours to become strong, made Europe play their game for quite a long period of time. The Holy Roman Empire after the Thirty Year War included The German princely states, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Burgundy, The Duchy of Milan, The Kingdom of Naples & many other lands.

It was a serious problem for France to have the Habsburgs from the both sides . The Great Cardinal de Richelieu made first steps to establish a sort of diplomatic relationship which gave to the state a chance to breath and to grow. His tactic was so successful, that by the time when Louis XIV began reigning, France got the power, the army and even its own navy.

Faith and supporting of Protestantism were another reasons why France & the Habsburgs had a strained relationship. The Holy Roman Empire, being a polyethnic state, supported various forms of Protestantism, especially Calvinism, strictly forbidden in France. This cancer of Christianity would turn into horrors of the French Revolution a century later, while for Louis XIV, the Habsburgs’ tolerance would turn into a nightmare after the revocation of l’Edict de Nantes. Chasing French Protestants moved to the German states and then invented disgusting lies about the King, further used by the French Revolution leaders.

In brief, I would mention Leopold I, the Emperor of that period and one of Louis’s main adversaries. He was a mediocre ruler as well as a cold and a rather awkward person. Initially he was going to become a priest, but when smallpox took his brother Ferdinand, he was destined to ascend the throne. He was lack of a diplomatic flexibility, was dogmatic and very conservative, besides he regarded France & Louis XIV’s only as a menace. Only imagine, their rivalry with His Majesty lasted for 47 years! Incredible persistence, I must admit…instead of working together to consolidate peace in Europe.

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

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Louis XIV Asks Riddles VII

Esteemed Readers,

here is a new intricate enigma for your entertainment. Although it is very allegoric, I’m certain you can guess it out. I will give you a small hint: it concerns love. Good luck!

Often I’m stolen; and I exist without being given to hands of my bearer; I’m the smallest and the greatest thing at the same time, and you can see me only when I’m dead.

REPLY to the Riddle posted on October 1, 2018: SHADOW

Have a nice riddle Samhain time! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

 

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On the eve of Samhain – Korrigans & Breton Mythology

The Celtic New Year or Halloween, choose what is closer to you, my esteemed Readers, invite us to move deeper in centuries and to ponder upon the Celtic French roots, yet too strong in the consciousness of the 17th century people. The region of Bretagne, that managed to save the spirit and plenty of national treasures until our days, is the best source to close the real history of the Celts, while the Breton Mythology is full of surprises for all folk lovers.

We should notice that Bretagne played an important trade role in the economy of the 17th century France. At Louis XIV’s time this province profited from the naval expansions. The main ports were built at Saint-Malo, Brest and Lorient, while Bretons were always welcome in the navy and participated actively in the colonization of New France and West Indies. However, the rebellion of 1675, known as the Revolt of the Bonnets Rouges, might spoil the positive impression of the epoch, as it was repressed in a very hostile way. The atrocity of soldiers was the result of their characters, though, and never came from His Majesty’s orders.

Anyhow, let’s return to the Breton mythology. Among its numerous amazing characters, Korrigans, Sirens of Bretagne, are associated with the Halloween. They are sirens, prototypes of the ones lived in the region, (there are numerous historical proves and even Antoine de Furetiere’s dictionary mentions about mermaids living in France) sometimes described as fairies with golden hair. It is believed that they are linked with the dead and represent a sort of a race, forming invisible inhabitants of Bretagne. They are fond of dancing and can foretell the future. Some folk perceives them as doomed human souls, who wandered the earth after their tragic deaths. Besides, they could lure men with their beauty and then kill them.

Regarding the Halloween, they say that some of them might become visible that night near the ancient dolmens, Tumuli and Menhirs, waiting for their victims. As we might see, there is a sophisticated connection between the Divine, beauty & death in these beliefs as much as in the sense of Samhain. It is the time when darkness is welcomed by light, when death opens new paths for live, when ancestors come to help us.

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo 

PS: See more about Korrigans.

 

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Samhain at the French Court

The Eve of Samhain or Samain, as the French name it, calls to ponder upon its celebrating at Louis XIV’s Court. The Celtic traditions were strong yet at that historical period, so we might suppose that the Court also took its part in them.

I have looked through several editions of the “Mercure Galant”, but they do not provide any particular information on this subject, while other sources, telling about the history of Samhain in France, mention that Louis XIV was the first king who regulated the feast rites and omitted too bloody ones. The French Samhain was very close to the British & Irish ones, it had the same meaning. Besides, it was a time of apple harvest. So, the French also celebrated a sort of an apple feast too.

The fact that the Great King made Samhain celebrating less violent proves that he also cared for customs and traditions of the Galouis (Galles) and desired to keep them for his descendents. The silence of the “Mercure Galant” only underlines the importance of this celebration. The day when the door to the world of deads opens should be spent in meditation with great spirits of the past, without making much noise.

Vive le Roy! 🙂 And Happy Samhain to all of you, my Esteemed Readers!

Maria KethuProfumo

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Louis XIV as He is: a Great Father

Indeed, Esteemed Readers! It might seem strange to many post-Revolution historians, but even Louis XIV had children…and was the best father in the world for all of them. A strange thing is that there are few evidences about that. People are more curious to write about his love affairs, – not as numerous as they are usually discussed, – than to analyse his off-springs. On one hand, it is good because it saved Louis XIV’s children from calamities and lies. On the other, many of them played important roles in history and should not have been ignored.

So, His Majesty had plenty of children from his beloved women. Main, as we know, were Louise de La Vallière and Athenais, Madame de Montespan. Louis enjoyed having several families and was a just, affectional and responsible father to all of his children, no matter the rank of their mothers. Such an advanced approach 🙂 incited a lot of gossips and created to Louis great problems with the Holy See.  The Great King accepted malicious attacks with his Royal calmness and dignity. To put the end to them he legitimated all his natural children and gave them high ranks. In the beginning it surprised the Court. Some too noble courtiers were even resent with this decision. But with time things got back to normal, while after Louis XIV’s death, this act was highly appreciated by a new generation as they were Louis XIV’s natural children who actually saved the French Crown and did not allow a new Fronde or a Civil war to happen.

All off-springs of the Great King obtained a good education, were respected all over Europe and regarded at the same level with best princes and princesses of that time. They were little beams, who extended shining of the French Sun.

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

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Louis XIV as He is: A Real Friend

It is great to have real friends. But it’s greater to have a king as a real friend. And it is the greatest thing to have Louis XIV as one. 🙂

Indeed, His Majesty was that sort of friend. I have already mentioned that Louis XIV respected persons, not ranks, so he made friends with his Subjects no matter their estate. It is known that Sieur Bontemps,his Valet de Chambre, and many servants entered this private circle. While for a Nobleman it was rather difficult to become a Royal friend, as high human qualities were demanded.

Louis XIV’s Court, no matter what the post-revolutionists say, was a place where honesty, courage, mercy were highly appreciated and only people of great virtues could be promoted there and had a lasting success. The King was a perfect psychologist and comprehended hidden desires of his own milieu. There were exceptions, though. As a rule representatives of Grand families of France. But Louis used a system of brief exiles for them. So, even they had to develop their best human traits to stay at the King’s side.

At Court they were used two expressions ‘L’homme de la Court’ & ‘L’homme de Court‘. The first one belonged to those who had already proved to be men of dignity and had a stable status there. The second did to the rest.

Louis XIV loved and respected his friends, but he did it in a just way, without exaggeration. At the same time, if somebody betrayed him or behaved in inappropriate way, his punishment might be severe. For example, Charles Perrault, famous with his tales, was a successful diplomat and Louis promoted him rather well. Perrault had a good status, money and even a pension. (Here I should notice that unlike present, Royal pensions were unstable. Only few fortunate & worthy persons got  long-life pensions, as their merits before the Crown were rather high. The rest were awarded with them for some time. And none of the courtiers regarded it as a crime against the human rights, by the way.) So, return back to Sieur Perrault. One day something happened…in fact, a sort of a nasty story and the king canceled all his grants for him. As a result Sieur Parrault died from a long illness in abject poverty . This story teaches us that it is great to have a king as a friend, but you must have at least a Royal heart and a good soul yourself to bear and to appreciate this kind of friendship.

Vive le Roy!

Maria KethuProfumo

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Louis XIV Asks Riddles VI:

Esteemed Readers!

Here is a new curious riddle for your entertainment! As always, it is allegoric, so use your mind and creativity to guess it out. Good luck!

I’m a Fatal Minister of a blind Goddess to whom everybody pays a tribute. At the same time I know Good & Evil, and I lose those whom I love more than anybody else. It is known that I see everything. And almost all my life I stay standing. What am I?

REPLIES to the riddles posted on August 6, 2018: BULLETS, SILENCE

Have a nice day with a riddle on your way!  🙂 🙂 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

Posted in Blogging, culture, education, folklore, France, fun, History, humour, Louis XIV, news, Riddles, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments