A Day at the Court of the Sun King-2.docx - A Day at the...

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A Day at the Court of the Sun King The luxurious and elaborate lifestyle of royal courts in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries seems almost unbelievable today. The French Court, especially during the long reign of Louis XIV, set the style for the rest of Europe. The colorful picture of the court life in this selection was written by Louis de Rouvroy, duke of Saint-Simon, the noble whose memoirs are considered a masterpiece of French literature. Saint-Simon’s multivolume journals describe court life and personalities in the years 1694- 1723, which include the final years of the reign of Louis XIV and the regency that followed. GUIDED READING in this selection, read to learn what a “typical” day entailed in the life of King Louis XIV. At eight o’clock the chief valet de chambre [personal servant] on duty, who alone slept in the royal chamber, and who had dressed himself, awoke the King [Louis XIV]. The chief physician, the chief surgeon, and the nurse entered at the same time….At the quarter [8:15], the grand chamberlain was called….and those who had what was called the grande entrées [greatest access]. The chamberlain (or chief gentlemen) drew back the curtains which had been closed again, and presented the holy water from the vase at the end of the bed. These gentlemen stayed but a moment, and that was the time to speak to
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