Mercure Galant – Messenger of the Past: Mascarade in Marly 1700

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! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo


About kethuprofumo

Reconstructing the Past for the glorious Future
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6 Responses to Mercure Galant – Messenger of the Past: Mascarade in Marly 1700

  1. Another interesting article, Maria. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • kethuprofumo says:

      Always at your service, dear Don. By the way, I keep capital letters in the translation as they are in the original. So you can make interesting conclusion regarding this grammar tradition in the Old French. 🙂

  2. fulvialuna1 says:

    Davvero sfarzoso!

  3. moiragoff says:

    So fascinating! I wonder if these entertainments took over where the ballet de cour left off? Some of the ball dances performed at Marly are recorded in dance notation and can be reconstructed and performed now. Thank you, Maria.

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