Well? Destroy some more myths?
Let’s talk today about the education received by Louis XIV.
But first, let’s remember where did this misconception about Louis XIV come from as the “uneducated” king? If you do not take him into account, Louis, your own complaints about the lack of knowledge (which, generally speaking, speaks more about the mind and willingness to learn than about laziness and stupidity), then there were other reasons.
One of these reasons is, for example, once written by Voltaire : “He was not taught anything but dancing and playing the guitar.”
Yes, he said so. But should we take his word for it?) No!
Why? Yes, because there is a lot of evidence to the contrary and sources confirming a completely different one.
Let’s see what Louis was taught (and what he himself studied) – from infancy to the moment when he began to rule the state on his own.
So … Louis was born on September 5, 1638. Until September 1645, that is, before the boy was seven years old (the time of the onset of “conscious age” according to the then laws), women were educating him.
Louis XIV and his brother Philip
After – education was entrusted to men.
Who was responsible for the upbringing and education of the future Sun King?
The first and main man – Mazarin (in March 1646) was appointed by the Queen Mother to “the position of superintendent with the person of the king so that he would supervise his education and upbringing.”
The second is the Marquis of Villeroix . Appointed to the position of tutor (was subordinate to Mazarin).
The choice of the tutor was not too successful. Anna of Austria explained it this way: “I believed that this choice was determined by the honor that the late king, my lord, showed him, wishing that he was the godfather of the heir.” The Marquise Villeroix was promoted to marshal, granted him the title of Duke, but the undeserved honors that fell on him did not contribute to the best performance of Villeroix’s duties.
In addition to the above persons, there were others involved in the spiritual and intellectual development of the royal child.
The third – Arduin de Perefix – the mentor of Louis XIV. He was paid 6,000 francs a year for teaching the boy literature and history (Bishops in Rodez were appointed as a reward for the Perefix).
The redefinition picked up the teachers of Louis:
– Jean Lebe – spelling with the boy ;
– Lekamyu – account ;
– Davir – by drawing ;
– Antoine Uden – Italian and Spanish ;
– Bernard – by reading .
There was another man who had a significant influence on his Majesty – the valet of Louis XIV – Laporte . You must know this name from fiction. Anne and Serge Golon wrote about him in their books about Angelique; he repeatedly mentioned this name and Dumas. Laporte, historians say, was certainly loyal to the king, and even, as François Bluchet says, “ became … a great royalist than the king himself, ” but over time he became conceited and began to take on more than was assumed by his post.
“Anna of Austria, more faithful than is commonly believed, always remembering the previous services of a valet, will endure all this until the end of 1653. A laport from a servant of the necessary becomes unbearable. ” (Francois Bluchet)
Be that as it may, Laporte also “formed” the king in his own way. So, for example, he read to little Louis, before bedtime, the “History of France” Mezre.
Louis himself later, as an adult, repeatedly complained that he was not sufficiently educated, but we know that in addition to the subjects that I have already mentioned, Louis studied Latin and French with F. Lamotte Leveye, one of the best humanists of his time ; public law (fundamental laws and royal rights); catechism based on decrees of the Trent Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the Holy Scriptures.
“In the fall of 1648, Perefix will use the conclusion of the Treaty of Westphalia to read to the little king a course in the history of the Holy Roman Empire and the Rhine countries , supplemented by geographical and political considerations” (F. B).
Louis will be engaged in Latin all his life. And all his life to believe that he does not know her))
Do you think that’s all?)) No matter how!
François Bluchet writes in his study:
“He has a riding teacher, someone Arnolfini from Lucca, a dance teacher, a fencing teacher. Florent Endre teaches him how to play the lute. Later, Spaniard Bernard Jourdan de Lasalle taught him how to play the guitar. Although he cannot compare with Louis XIII – a music lover, a composer in moments of inspiration, it is noticeable that he clearly received a good musical education. After a lute, a guitar, he will learn to play an old musical instrument – a spinet and will choose Etienne Richard to show him the principle of the game. ”
In addition, Louis danced beautifully.
I want to tell more about this talent of the future Sun King))
Yes, the king was dancing! Perhaps you imagine the stiff Louis, dressed in luxurious, studded with pearls and diamonds, clothes, arrogantly looking at a partner … Do you imagine something like this?
No, it was not so)) Louis did not dance at the balls, but on the … stage.
For the first time, Louis danced in front of the audience at the age of thirteen – he danced the Cassandra Ballet, five in a row in the evening at the Palais Royal Theater. At first he dances the role of a knight, then the “knitter of Poitou”. Next to him are dancing his eleven-year-old brother, Count de Guiche (13 years old), Marquis de Vivonn (13 years old) and others.
The following year, Louis dances again. And the roles that he plays are even more interesting)))
François Bluchet writes this: “These roles are worth listing. A drunken rogue with a sword in the fourth appearance; Soothsayer in the eighth; Bacchante (drunk?) In the eighteenth; Ice man at twenty-second; Titan at the twenty-seventh; and finally in the finale, Muse. Should I add that after the drunken crooks, Bacchus appeared astride the barrel, accompanied by three girls, one of whom was disguised as Monsieur, and three cupids who drove them crazy? What a little later did the audience see the dance of the four nurse, with the Duke de Merker and the Marquis de Mongle? That the god Pan and his furry fauns were danced by Chevalier de Guise, Count de Liliebonne, Marquis de Richelieu, Duke de Candolles, Marquis de Pisis, Counts de Frul and de Latour – before Orpheus burst in, pursued by furious Bacchanes, among whom was the King- The sun, also in a women’s suit, before being disguised as Muse?
They will think that this is a joke. But is it? Wait a minute. Before drawing conclusions, let’s look a little further ahead.
Louis is dancing. Artist Maurice Leloir
The following year, Louis again dances six roles in The Ballet of the Night, and another year later, in 1654, in The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis, an Italian opera mixed with ballet, he is Apollo, but also a burlesque “academician” , then Dryad, again in female form, and finally Fury: all this at the Petit Bourbon Theater, which accommodated 3,000 spectators. The performance went on for ten nights in a row, therefore, before 30,000 Parisians – so to speak, before more than a tenth of the then population of the capital . ”
Isn’t it unexpected?))
Of course, among all these villainous, absurd, buffoonery roles there were others – sublime, noble, elegant. And the king – a young boy is still a boy – shone rightfully.