Besides rare gems of choreography & music, ballets of Louis XIV’s time were distinguished with sophisticated texts, costumes & special effects, including movable mechanisms, fire-works and amazing stage scenery. I have translated some pieces of a monologue recited by His Majesty in the first part of the ballet. It was his first appearing on the stage and as the ballet was dedicated to the Night, he performed a part of the Hour, the First Hour of the day. I hope you will admire this passionate & very wise allegory too:
Ballet de la Nuit, LE ROY, represant une Heure:
- Here is the most fascinating Hour & on all the clock faces
- It is the First above all the ranks,
- While it links in itself the same circle of twelve,
- And over them it is led to shine,
- It is similar to the Fist Hour of the day, which is the boldest,
- And sounds the best of all.
- And this is also the Hour of everybody where all the Virtues
- And Graces sparkle more.
- It always moves forward and never back,
- And each of these moments are made to be remembered,
- It disperses so much light that it would be foolish
- To ask ‘what is the time?’…
- This Hour is precious and it must be glorified,
- That is a care of a good housekeeping,
- It is certainly the most utile of all,
- And it is told, in fact, every day,
- When they say it’s time to make fortune.
- That is the right Hour at the Court.
Vive le Roy! 🙂