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A Popular History of France from the Earliest Time

But nowhere did he reign so completely as over his court


Saxe 154

Battle of Fontenoy 157

Arrest of Charles Edward 166

Dupleix 168

La Bourdonnais 170

Dupleix meeting the Soudhabar of the Deccan 174

Death of the Nabob of the Carnatic 174

Lally at Pondicherry 184

Champlain 190

Death of General Braddock 203

Death of Wolfe 209

Madame de Pompadour 215

Attack on Fort St. Philip. 218

Assassination of Louis XV. by Damiens 221

Death of Chevalier D'Assas 233

"France, thy Parliament will cut off thy Head too!" 249

Defeat of the Corsicans at Golo 256

Montesquieu 269

Fontenelle 274

Voltaire 277

The Rescue of "La Henriade." 283

Arrest of Voltaire 298

Diderot 314

Alembert 317

Diderot and Catherine

II 321

Buffon 323

Rousseau and Madame D'Epinay 338

Turgot's Dismissal 367

Destruction of the Tea 378

Suffren 413

The Reading of "Paul and Virginia." 427

Necker Hospital 432

"There are my Sledges, Sirs." 458

Lavoisier 465

Cardinal Rohan's Discomfiture 470

Arrest of the Members 502



Louia XIV. reigned everywhere, over his people, over his age, often over Europe; but nowhere did he reign so completely as over his court. Never were the wishes, the defects, and the vices of a man so completely a law to other men as at the court of Louis XIV. during the whole period of his long life. When near to him, in the palace of Versailles, men lived, and hoped, and trembled; everywhere else in France, even at Paris, men vegetated. The existence of the great lords was concentrated in the court, about the person of the king. Scarcely could the most important duties bring them to absent themselves for any time. They returned quickly, with alacrity, with ardor; only poverty or a certain rustic pride kept gentlemen in their provinces. "The court does not make one happy," says La Bruyere, "it prevents one from being so anywhere else."

At the outset of his reign, and when, on the death of Cardinal Mazarin, he took the reins of power in hand, Louis XIV. had resolved to establish about him, in his dominions and at his court, "that humble obedience on the part of subjects to those who are set over them," which he regarded as "one of the most fundamental maxims of Christianity." "As the principal hope for the reforms I contemplated establishing in my kingdom lay in my own will," says he in his Memoires, "the first step towards their foundation was to render my will quite absolute by a line of conduct which should induce submission and respect, rendering justice scrupulously to any to whom I owed it, but, as for favors, granting them freely and without constraint to any I pleased and when I pleased, provided that the sequel of my acts showed that, for all my giving no reason to anybody, I was none the less guided by reason."

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