The author collected oral testimonies, his own observations and historical works of his time and on their basis recreated the life of the French society of the end of the 16th – the first half of the 17th century, presenting it in the form of a kaleidoscope of short stories, the heroes of which were 376 characters, including crowned faces.
Henry IV, if he reigns in time of peace, he would never have been so famous, for “he would have stuck in voluptuous pleasures”. He was not too generous, did not always know how to be grateful, never praised anyone, “but do not remind the sovereign of a more merciful who would have loved his people more.” That’s what they say about him: one day a certain representative of the third estate, wishing to address the king with a speech, kneels down and stumbles upon a sharp stone that caused him such pain that he does not stand up and screams: “Yadrena louse!” “Excellent!” – Heinrich
exclaims and asks not to continue, so as not to spoil the glorious beginning of the speech. Another time Henry, driving through the village, where he has to stop eating, asks to call to him some local wit. He is led to a peasant, nicknamed the Zabavnik. The king puts him in front of him, on the other side of the table, and asks: “Is it far from a womanizer to a joke?” “Yes, there is only a table between them, Sire,” the peasant answers. Henry was very pleased with the answer. When Henry appoints de Sully as a superintendent of finances, Bachwal Sully gives him an inventory of his property and swears he intends to live solely on salary. However, soon Sully starts making numerous acquisitions. One day, greeting the King, Sully stumbles, and Henry declares to his courtiers surrounding him that he is more surprised at how Sully did not stretch out to his full height, for he must have a pretty dizzy head from the muggings he receives. Henry himself was thievish by nature and took everything that came to his hand; however, he returned, saying that if he were not the king, “he would be hanged.”
her youth, Queen Margot was beautiful, although she had “slightly saggy cheeks and a somewhat long face.” There was not a more loving woman in the world; for love notes she even had a special paper, the edges of which were decorated with “emblems of victories in the field of love.” “She wore large tattoos with a lot of pockets, each of which contained a box with the heart of a deceased lover, for when one of them died, she immediately cared about embalming his heart.” Margarita quickly became fat and very early bald, so she wore a chignon, and in her pocket – extra hair to always be at hand. It is said that when she was young, the Gascony nobleman Saliñac fell madly in love with her, she did not respond to his feelings. And then one day, when he berates her for his callousness, she asks, whether he agrees to take poison to prove his love. The Gasconer agrees, and Margarita himself gives him the strongest laxative. He swallows the potion, and the queen locks him in the room, swearing that he will return before the poison acts. Salinyak sat in the room for two hours, and as the medicine worked, when the door was unlocked, next to the Gascon, “it was impossible to stand for long.”
Cardinal de Richelieu at all times sought to advance. He went to Rome to receive the bishop’s rank. Dedicating him, the pope asks if he has reached the age of his due, and the young man answers in the affirmative. But after the ceremony, he goes to the pope and asks for his forgiveness for lying to him, “saying that he has reached the required years, although he has not yet reached”. Then the pope said that in the future this boy would become a “big rogue.” The Cardinal hated the King’s brother and, fearing that he would not get the crown, for the king was of poor health, decided to enlist the favor of Queen Anne and help her in the birth of the heir. To begin with, he sows discord between her and Louis, and then through mediators invites her to let him “take her place as king.” He assures the queen that, while she is childless, everyone will neglect her, And since the king obviously does not last long, she will be sent back to Spain. If she has a son from Richelieu, then the cardinal will help her manage the state. The Queen “strongly rejected this proposal,” but finally did not dare to push the cardinal, so Richelieu repeatedly made attempts to be in the same bed with the queen. Having suffered a failure, the cardinal began to pursue her and even wrote a play “Miram”, where the cardinal beats the main hero with sticks. About how everyone was afraid of the cardinal, tell such a story. A certain colonel, a man quite respectable, is riding along Tikton Street and suddenly feels that he is “propping up.” He rushes into the gates of the first house he comes across and is eased right on the path. A runaway householder makes a noise. Here the servant of the colonel declares that his master serves the cardinal. The citizen agrees: “If you serve from His Eminence, you can… wherever you like.” Apparently, a lot of people did not like the cardinal. Thus, the Queen Mother, who believed in the predictions, “was almost insane when she was assured that the cardinal would live in good health for a very long time.” It was said that Richelieu was very fond of women, but “feared the king, who had an evil tongue”. The famous courtesan Marion Delorme claimed that he had visited her twice, but only paid a hundred pistoles, and she threw them back to him. One day the cardinal tried to seduce the princess Maria and accepted her, lying in bed, but she got up and left. The cardinal was often seen with flies on his face: “There was not enough for him alone.” very many did not like the cardinal. Thus, the Queen Mother, who believed in the predictions, “was almost insane when she was assured that the cardinal would live in good health for a very long time.” It was said that Richelieu was very fond of women, but “feared the king, who had an evil tongue.” The famous courtesan Marion Delorme claimed that he had visited her twice, but only paid a hundred pistoles, and she threw them back to him. One day the cardinal tried to seduce the princess Maria and accepted her, lying in bed, but she got up and left. The cardinal was often seen with flies on his face: “There was not enough for him alone.” very many did not like the cardinal. Thus, the Queen Mother, who believed in the predictions, “was almost insane when she was assured that the cardinal would live in good health for a very long time.” It was said that Richelieu was very fond of women, but “feared the king, who had an evil tongue.” The famous courtesan Marion Delorme claimed that he had visited her twice, but only paid a hundred pistoles, and she threw them back to him. One day the cardinal tried to seduce the princess Maria and accepted her, lying in bed, but she got up and left. The cardinal was often seen with flies on his face: “There was not enough for him alone.”
Wishing to entertain the king, Richelieu slipped him Saint-Mar, the son of the marshal d? Effie. The King had never loved anyone so fervently as Saint-Mar; he called him “dear friend.” At the siege of Arras Saint-Map twice a day wrote to the king. In his presence, Louis talked about everything, so he was aware of all matters. The Cardinal warned the King that such carelessness could end badly: Saint-Map is still too young to be initiated into all state secrets. Saint-Map was terribly angry at Richelieu. But even more angry at the cardinal was a certain Fontrai, over whose ugliness Richelieu dared to laugh. Fontrai was involved in a conspiracy that nearly cost Richelieu’s life. When it became clear that the plot was uncovered, Fontray warned Saint-Mar, but he did not want to flee. He believed that the king would be condescending to his youth, and confessed everything. However, Louis did not spare either him or his friend de Tu: they both lay their heads on the scaffold. This is not surprising, because the king loved what hated Saint-Map, and Saint-Map hated everything that the king loved; they converged only in one thing – in hatred for the cardinal.
It is known that the king, pointing to Treville, said: “This is the man who will save me from the cardinal, as soon as I want it.” Treville commanded horse mounted musketeers, who accompanied the king everywhere, and he himself selected them. Genus Treville was from Béarn, he had come out of junior ranks. It is said that the cardinal bribed Trevill’s cook: she paid her four hundred livres of pension to spy on her master. Richelieu did not want the king to have a man whom he completely trusted. So he sent Mr. de Chavigny to Louis to persuade the King to drive Treville away. But Treville well serves me and is loyal to me, answered Louis. But the cardinal also serves you well and is devoted to you, and in addition he is still needed by the state, Chavigny objected. Nevertheless, the cardinal’s messenger did not achieve anything. The Cardinal was indignant and again sent Shavigny to the king, ordering him to say this: “Sire, this must be done.” The king was extremely afraid of responsibility, as well as of the cardinal himself, since the latter, holding almost all important posts, could play a bad joke with him. “In a word, Treville had to be driven away.”
In love, King Louis began with his coachman, then felt a “predilection for the horseman”, but he passionately burned to de Lyuinyu. The Cardinal feared that the king would be nicknamed Louis-Zaika, and he “was delighted when he came up with the occasion to call him Louis the Just.” Ludovik sometimes reasoned rather cleverly and even “prevailed” over the cardinal. But most likely, he just gave him this little pleasure. For some time the king was in love with the lady’s maid of honor, Mrs. d? Otfor, which, incidentally, did not prevent him from using the fire-tongs to reach for the note because of this lady’s corsage, since he was afraid to touch his chest with his hand. The king’s love interests in general were “strange”, for of all the feelings he was most jealous. He was terribly jealous of Mrs. d? For the letter d? Egion-Vassa, although she assured him that he was her relative. And only when a connoisseur of genealogy d? Ozie, knowing what was going on, confirmed the words of the courtly beauty, the king believed her. With Mrs. d? Otfor Ludovic often talked “about horses, dogs, birds and other similar things.” But I must say that the king was very fond of hunting. In addition to hunting, he “knew how to make leather trousers, snares, nets, arquebuses, coin coins,” grew early green peas, made window frames, shaved well, and was a good pastry chef and gardener.