Louis XIV as He is: Sense of Humour


His Majesty’s sense of humour was famous all over France, but not so much among the Habsburgs, his main opponents, as I judge based on my own historical research. It means not only in Louis’s appreciation of staging comedies or comic genre in the whole. His Majesty enjoyed amusing stories,  anecdotes and among his milieu, – (Louis equally respected people of various estates, so his true friends belonged not only to the nobility),- there were plenty of people with a bright sense of humour. Marquis de Dangeau, for example, a diplomat and an author of famous Diaries, used to entertain the King with various funny stories. Duc de Vivonne, Marquise de Montespan’s brother, was another example of a brilliant eccentricity. It is rumored that once he invented a barrel race (a person got into a barrel and then it rolled down from a hill), that was very popular at the Court. Another time he kept a true owl in his Versailles rooms. It created great deal of troubles to others, while mice and grass snakes he had to feed the owl ran away all over the palace. However this very owl named Marie-Lou made Duc popular among the court ladies. Madame de Montespan, by the way, once begged the King to keep little bears in Versailles. Louis agreed, no matter disastrous consequences: animals destroyed decorations of rooms they stayed in. Finally bears were released and returned back to the forest.

And the King was fond of making jokes too. There are numerous anecdotes about Louis XIV. For example: Once Louis asked a courtier whether he knew Spanish. The last one comprehended this question in a serious way and rushed to learn the language. He decided that the King wanted to appoint him a messenger in Spain. So, when the courtier learned the language, he told this news to His Majesty. ‘I’m extremely glad for you, Messire,’ Louis answered. ‘Now you can read Cervantes in the original.’

Vive le Roy!

Maria KethuProfumo


About kethuprofumo

Reconstructing the Past for the glorious Future
This entry was posted in culture, France, fun, History, humour, Louis XIV, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Louis XIV as He is: Sense of Humour

  1. Interesting post, Maria. That poor courtier who learned Spanish all for nothing. Although, of course, there are benefits, just not the ones he was expecting.

  2. HesterLeyNel says:

    😄 I like a man with a sense of humour but I would rather not have owls and bears in my home!

  3. Interesting, Maria. I’m not sure the joke was too funny to the courtier. 😀

  4. With that hairstyle and mustache, one would have to have a sense of humor.

  5. theburningheart says:

    Oh, well people make up things in their minds, serve him well for his ambition, but at least as the king pointed out he could read Don Quijote in the original, myself never knew what Shakespeare was all about, until I was able to read him in English. 🙂

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