Question Details

(Solved) -What signs of opulence do you see in Louis' court? - Why do


-What signs of opulence do you see in Louis? court?

-Why do you believe Louis said ?I am the state??
The Court

 

His natural talents were below mediocrity; but he had a mind capable of improvement, of

 

receiving polish, of assimilating what was best in the minds of others without slavish imitation;

 

and he profited greatly throughout his life from having associated with the ablest and wittiest

 

persons, of both sexes, and of various stations. He entered the world (if I may use such an

 

expression in speaking of a King who had already completed his twenty-third year), at a

 

fortunate moment, for men of distinction abounded. His Ministers and Generals at this time, with

 

their successors trained in their schools, are universally acknowledged to have been the ablest in

 

Europe; for the domestic troubles and foreign wars under which France had suffered ever since

 

the death of Louis XIII had brought to the front a number of brilliant names, and the Court was

 

made up of capable and illustrious personages.... Glory was his passion, but he also liked order

 

and regularity in all things; he was naturally prudent, moderate, and reserved; always master of

 

his tongue and his emotions. Will it be believed? he was also naturally kind-hearted and just.

 

God had given him all that was necessary for him to be a good King, perhaps also to be a fairly

 

great one. All his faults were produced by his surroundings. In his childhood he was so much

 

neglected that no one dared go near his rooms. He was often heard to speak of those times with

 

great bitterness; he used to relate how, through the carelessness of his attendants, he was found

 

one evening in the basin of a fountain in the Palais-Royal gardens....

 

His Ministers, generals, mistresses, and courtiers soon found out his weak point, namely, his love

 

of hearing his own praises. There was nothing he liked so much as flattery, or, to put it more

 

plainly, adulation; the coarser and clumsier it was, the more he relished it. That was the only way

 

to approach him; if he ever took a liking to a man it was invariably due to some lucky stroke of

 

flattery in the first instance, and to indefatigable perseverance in the same line afterwards. His

 

Ministers owed much of their influence to their frequent opportunities for burning incense before

 

him....

 

It was this love of praise which made it easy for Louvois to engage him in serious wars, for he

 

persuaded him that he had greater talents for war than any of his Generals, greater both in design

 

and in execution, and the Generals themselves encouraged him in this notion, to keep in favour

 

with him. I mean such Generals as Condé and Turenne; much more, of course, those who came

 

after them. He took to himself the credit of their successes with admirable complacency, and

 

honestly believed that he was all his flatterers told him. Hence arose his fondness for reviews,

 

which he carried so far that his enemies called him, in derision, "the King of reviews"; hence also

 

his liking for sieges, where he could make a cheap parade of bravery, and exhibit his vigilance,

 

forethought, and endurance of fatigue; for his robust constitution enabled him to bear fatigue

 

marvellously; he cared nothing for hunger, heat, cold, or bad weather. He liked also, as he rode

 

through the lines, to hear people praising his dignified bearing and fine appearance on horseback.

 

His campaigns were his favourite topic when talking to his mistresses. He talked well, expressed

 

himself clearly in well-chosen language; and no man could tell a story better. His conversation,

 

even on the most ordinary subjects, was always marked by a certain natural dignity.

 

His mind was occupied with small things rather than with great, and he delighted in all sorts of

 

petty details, such as the dress and drill of his soldiers; and it was just the same with regard to his

 

building operations, his household, and even his cookery. He always thought he could teach

 

something of their own craft even to the most skilful professional men; and they, for their part,

 

used to listen gratefully to lessons which they had long ago learnt by heart. He imagined that all

 

this showed his indefatigable industry; in reality, it was a great waste of time, and his Ministers

 

turned it to good account for their own purposes, as soon as they had learnt the art of managing

 


 

him; they kept his attention engaged with a mass of details, while they contrived to get their own

 

way in more important matters.

 

His vanity, which was perpetually nourished - for even preachers used to praise him to his face

 

from the pulpit - was the cause of the aggrandisement of his Ministers. He imagined that they

 

were great only through him, mere mouthpieces through which he expressed his will;

 

consequently he made no objection when they gradually encroached on the privileges of the

 

greatest noblemen. He felt that he could at any moment reduce them to their original obscurity;

 

whereas, in the case of a nobleman, though he could make him feel the weight of his displeasure,

 

he could not deprive him or his family of the advantages due to his birth. For this reason he made

 

it a rule never to admit a seigneur to his Councils, to which the Duke de Beauvilliers was the

 

only exception....

 

But for the fear of the devil, which, by God's grace, never forsook him even in his wildest

 

excesses, he would have caused himself to be worshipped as a deity. He would not have lacked

 

worshippers....

 

Life at Versailles

 

Very early in the reign of Louis XIV the Court was removed from Paris, never to return. The

 

troubles of the minority had given him a dislike to that city; his enforced and surreptitious flight

 

from it still rankled in his memory; he did not consider himself safe there, and thought cabals

 

would be more easily detected if the Court was in the country, where the movements and

 

temporary absences of any of its members would be more easily noticed.... No doubt that he was

 

also influenced by the feeling that he would be regarded with greater awe and veneration when

 

no longer exposed every day to the gaze of the multitude.

 

His love-affair with Mademoiselle de la Vallière, which at first was covered as far as possible

 

with a veil of mystery, was the cause of frequent excursions to Versailles. This was at that time at

 

small country house, built by Louis XIII to avoid the unpleasant necessity, which had sometimes

 

befallen him, of sleeping at a wretched wayside tavern or in a windmill, when benighted out

 

hunting in the forest of St. Leger.... The visits of Louis XIV becoming more frequent, he enlarged

 

the château by degrees till its immense buildings afforded better accommodation for the Court

 

than was to be found at St. Germain, where most of the courtiers had to put up with

 

uncomfortable lodgings in the town. The Court was therefore removed to Versailles in 1682, not

 

long before the Queen's death. The new building contained an infinite number of rooms for

 

courtiers, and the King liked the grant of these rooms to be regarded as a coveted privilege.

 

He availed himself of the frequent festivities at Versailles, and his excursions to other places, as a

 

means of making the courtiers assiduous in their attendance and anxious to please him; for he

 

nominated beforehand those who were to take part in them, and could thus gratify some and

 

inflict a snub on others. He was conscious that the substantial favours he had to bestow were not

 

nearly sufficient to produce a continual effect; he had therefore to invent imaginary ones, and no

 

one was so clever in devising petty distinctions and preferences which aroused jealousy and

 

emulation. The visits to Marly later on were very useful to him in this way; also those to Trianon,

 

where certain ladies, chosen beforehand, were admitted to his table. It was another distinction to

 

hold his candlestick at his coucher; as soon as he had finished his prayers he used to name the

 

courtier to whom it was to be handed, always choosing one of the highest rank among those

 

present....

 

Not only did he expect all persons of distinction to be in continual attendance at Court, but he

 

was quick to notice the absence of those of inferior degree; at his lever, his coucher, his meals, in

 

the gardens of Versailles (the only place where the courtiers in general were allowed to follow

 


 

him), he used to cast his eyes to right and left; nothing escaped him, he saw everybody. If any

 

one habitually living at Court absented himself he insisted on knowing the reason; those who

 

came there only for flying visits had also to give a satisfactory explanation; any one who seldom

 

or never appeared there was certain to incur his displeasure. If asked to bestow a favour on such

 

persons he would reply haughtily: "I do not know him"; of such as rarely presented themselves

 

he would say, "He is a man I never see"; and from these judgements there was no appeal.

 

He always took great pains to find out what was going on in public places, in society, in private

 

houses, even family secrets, and maintained an immense number of spies and tale-bearers. These

 

were of all sorts; some did not know that their reports were carried to him; others did know it;

 

there were others, again, who used to write to him directly, through channels which he

 

prescribed; others who were admitted by the backstairs and saw him in his private room. Many a

 

man in all ranks of life was ruined by these methods, often very unjustly, without ever being able

 

to discover the reason; and when the King had once taken a prejudice against a man, he hardly

 

ever got over it....

 

No one understood better than Louis XIV the art of enhancing the value of a favour by his

 

manner of bestowing it; he knew how to make the most of a word, a smile, even of a glance. If

 

he addressed any one, were it but to ask a trifling question or make some commonplace remark,

 

all eyes were turned on the person so honored; it was a mark of favour which always gave rise to

 

comment....

 

He loved splendour, magnificence, and profusion in all things, and encouraged similar tastes in

 

his Court; to spend money freely on equipages and buildings, on feasting and at cards, was a sure

 

way to gain his favour, perhaps to obtain the honour of a word from him. Motives of policy had

 

something to do with this; by making expensive habits the fashion, and, for people in a certain

 

position, a necessity, he compelled his courtiers to live beyond their income, and gradually

 

reduced them to depend on his bounty for the means of subsistence. This was a plague which,

 

once introduced, became a scourge to the whole country, for it did not take long to spread to

 

Paris, and thence to the armies and the provinces; so that a man of any position is now estimated

 

entirely according to his expenditure on his table and other luxuries. This folly, sustained by

 

pride and ostentation, has already produced widespread confusion; it threatens to end in nothing

 

short of ruin and a general overthrow.

 


 

 


Solution details:

Pay using PayPal (No PayPal account Required) or your credit card . All your purchases are securely protected by .
SiteLock

About this Question

STATUS

Answered

QUALITY

Approved

DATE ANSWERED

Oct 15, 2019

EXPERT

Tutor

ANSWER RATING

YES, THIS IS LEGAL

We have top-notch tutors who can do your essay/homework for you at a reasonable cost and then you can simply use that essay as a template to build your own arguments.

You can also use these solutions:

  • As a reference for in-depth understanding of the subject.
  • As a source of ideas / reasoning for your own research (if properly referenced)
  • For editing and paraphrasing (check your institution's definition of plagiarism and recommended paraphrase).
This we believe is a better way of understanding a problem and makes use of the efficiency of time of the student.

NEW ASSIGNMENT HELP?

Order New Solution. Quick Turnaround

Click on the button below in order to Order for a New, Original and High-Quality Essay Solutions. New orders are original solutions and precise to your writing instruction requirements. Place a New Order using the button below.

WE GUARANTEE, THAT YOUR PAPER WILL BE WRITTEN FROM SCRATCH AND WITHIN A DEADLINE.

Order Now