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

Posted in Childhood, children, culture, education, family, France, History, Life, Lifestyle, Louis XIV, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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

Posted in culture, family, France, Friendship, friendship. life, History, Louis XIV, news, Society, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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

Louis XIV as He is: The Just Monarch

Although the title “The Just” belongs to Louis XIII, we can’t help mentioning it regarding his son, Louis XIV, as any great king must be just.

During his reign Louis faced plenty of challenging events and situations, which demanded balanced solutions. And he managed to pass all these trials rather well. Besides his brilliant mind, ability to make reasonable decisions, the true king of France, (not an imposter created after the French Revolution), was well-tempered and prefered to keep silence than to speak. This quality made most people fear him. So, if the king decided to punish somebody or he had to arrange a judgement, he never did it under the impact of emotions. In fact, Louis had a natural talent to control himself so well that nobody could guess him out.

Nicolas Fouquet’s story, too often presented as an act of Louis’s severity, is perverted and exaggerated to blacken the king, for sure. As a matter of fact, Fouquet robbed the French crown & the king, built palaces, plunged in luxury and laundered money. This situation is well-spread in our time almost as a norm, while in the 17th century France it meant a capital punishment. A life imprisonment, given to Fouquet by the king, was an act of mercy, as the king saved his life and many years after he released his ex minister. But due to a bad health condition Fouquet died rather soon after that.

Another act of the Royal justice was a case happened in one of the French province. The local religious people arranged a small rebellion. By King’s order they were imprisoned but released rather soon. Moreover, they were even paid to be able to return home and all their rights were restored.

The French criminal papers of Louis XIV’s time are full of examples of the Royal mercy and generosity, as he lived for his Subjects and never forgot about their good even if they committed a crime.

Vive le Roy!

Maria KethuProfumo

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Louis XIV as He is: Protector of Arts

Louis XIV had an exceptional art taste. We can see its evidences in various things: in his capacity to be a king-creator, to make an artistic environment wherever he appeared, to make the art in any form  serve France and his people. His time is marked with sophisticated dancing and opera art, glory of painting, sculpture, music, literature, etc. And all these forms are filled with light, burnt from his Royal heart.

His Majesty not only knew to select right artistic people, he had a rare talent to match them together in a proper way. I guess this is one of secrets why the French art of his time transmits such a strong creative message and is so sophisticated. Louis, as a true Apollo, was surrounded with his Nymphs, and played the flute of inspiration for them to create. Modern historians like to present this topic as a part of Louis’s politics and an ordinary propaganda. But what a strange thing! The word ‘propaganda’ appeared in French not long before the Revolution and meant ‘to spread the Christian knowledge all over the world or the missionary activity’. So, all what Louis did in the artistic field, should be comprehended as a God’s will and a desire to serve to Lord than to satisfy his personal preferences and ambitions.

Louis XIV had a considerable collection of coins, paintings and other artworks, horses and other exotic animals, keeping the collecting tradition Cardinal de Richelieu started. However he was not an avid reader, so there were few books. The King of France prefered a great dispute or a pleasant conversation and that’s a pity that they are cannot be restored through Time. It would be so curious to learn the style and topics of these amazing talks.

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

Posted in Art, ballet, Beauty, culture, France, God, History, Louis XIV, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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

Posted in culture, France, fun, History, humour, Louis XIV, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments