Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Story of Versailles   By:

Book cover

First Page:

[Frontispiece: Statue of Louis XIV, the Builder of Versailles.]

The Story of Versailles

BY

FRANCIS LORING PAYNE

NEW YORK

MOFFAT, YARD & COMPANY

1919

COPYRIGHT, 1919, BY

MOFFAT, YARD & COMPANY.

Press of

J.J. Little & Ives Co.

New York

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

Chapter

I. THE BEGINNING OF VERSAILLES

II. THE MAKING OF VERSAILLES. THE LUXURIOUS CHATEAU AND PARKLAND OF LOUIS XIV

III. THE LUXURY OF VERSAILLES

IV. THE GARDENS, THE FOUNTAINS AND THE GRAND TRIANON

V. A DAY WITH THE SUN KING

VI. GOLDEN DAYS AND RED LETTER NIGHTS

VII. THE WOMEN OF VERSAILLES

VIII. THE VERSAILLES OF LOUIS XV

IX. THE TWILIGHT OF THE BOURBON KINGS

X. THE SHRINE OF ROYAL MEMORIES, THE SCENE OF WORLD ADJUSTMENTS

FOREWORD

THE HALL OF MIRRORS

I

If you could speak what tales your tongues could tell, You voiceless mirrors of the storied past! Do you remember when the curtain fell On him who learned he was not God at last?

II

Do you still see the shadows of the great? On powdered wigs and velvets, silks and lace; Or dream at night a feted queen, in state, Accepts men's homage with a haughty face?

III

A thousand names come tumbling to the mind. Of dead who gazed upon themselves through you. And went their way, each one his end to find In paths that glory or red terror knew.

IV

Voltaire and Rousseau and Ben Franklin here, You've seen hobnobbing with the highly born; Seen Genius smile, while, with a hint of fear, It gave to Birth not homage but its scorn.

V

Do you remember that Teutonic jaw Of him who crowned an emperor, that you Might know that Bismarck was above all law And free to do what victor vandals do?

VI

Oh, Hall of Visions, now shall come anon A grander sight than you have ever seen; You've mirrored kings, but you shall look upon The mighty men whose edicts freedom mean

VII

To races and to peoples sore oppressed; The men who mould the future for a race That breathes a wind that's blowing from the West And you'll forget the Bourbon's evil face!

EDWARD S. VAN ZILE. N. Y. Eve. Sun., Nov. 25

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

The Builder of Versailles . . . Frontispiece

Versailles

The Hall of Mirrors

The Fountain at Versailles

INTRODUCTION

A TRAVELER'S REFLECTIONS ON VERSAILLES

From the low heights of Satory we get a complete view of the plains of Versailles the woods, the town and the sumptuous chateau. The palace on its dais rules the scene. The village and ornamental environment have been constructed to augment its majesty. Even the soil has been "molded into new forms" at a monarch's caprice. Versailles is the expression of monarchy, as conceived by Louis XIV. It is the only epic produced in his reign a reign so fertile in the other forms of poetry, and in talent of all kinds. What epic ever chronicled the destiny of an epoch in a manner more brilliant and complete? In this poem of stone the manners of heroic and familiar life mingle at every step. Besides the halls and galleries, the theaters of royal estate, there are mysterious passages and sequestered nooks that whisper a thousand secret histories. The palace has two voices, one grave and one gay and trifling. It is full of truths and fictions, tears and smiles. The personages of its drama are as various as life itself; kings, poets, ministers, courtiers, confessors, courtesans, queens without power, and queens with too much power; ambassadors, generals, little abbés and great ladies; nobles, clergy, even the people. For two centuries did this crowd continue to pass and re pass over these marble floors and under these gilded vaults; and every day its flood became more impetuous, every day it gave way more and more to the whims and passions... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books