Quotes and Images From Memoirs of Louis XIV.
by Duke of Saint-Simon
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Duc de Saint-Simon

A cardinal may be poisoned, stabbed, got rid of altogether

A good friend when a friend at all, which was rare

A King's son, a King's father, and never a King

A lingering fear lest the sick man should recover

A king is made for his subjects, and not the subjects for him

Admit our ignorance, and not to give fictions and inventions

Aptitude did not come up to my desire

Arranged his affairs that he died without money

Artagnan, captain of the grey musketeers

Believed that to undertake and succeed were only the same things

But with a crawling baseness equal to her previous audacity

Capacity was small, and yet he believed he knew everything

Compelled to pay, who would have preferred giving voluntarily

Conjugal impatience of the Duc de Bourgogne

Countries of the Inquisition, where science is a crime

Danger of inducing hypocrisy by placing devotion too high

Death came to laugh at him for the sweating labour he had taken

Depopulated a quarter of the realm

Desmarets no longer knew of what wood to make a crutch

Enriched one at the expense of the other

Exceeded all that was promised of her, and all that I had hoped

Few would be enriched at the expense of the many

For penance: "we must make our servants fast"

For want of better support I sustained myself with courage

Found it easier to fly into a rage than to reply

From bad to worse was easy

He had pleased (the King) by his drugs

He limped audaciously

He was often firm in promises

He was so good that I sometimes reproached him for it

He was born bored; he was so accustomed to live out of himself

He liked nobody to be in any way superior to him

He was scarcely taught how to read or write

He was accused of putting on an imperceptible touch of rouge

Height to which her insignificance had risen

His death, so happy for him and so sad for his friends

His habits were publicly known to be those of the Greeks

His great piety contributed to weaken his mind

I abhorred to gain at the expense of others

Ignorance and superstition the first of virtues

Imagining themselves everywhere in marvellous danger of capture

In order to say something cutting to you, says it to himself

Indiscreet and tyrannical charity

Interests of all interested painted on their faces

It is a sign that I have touched the sore point

Jesuits: all means were good that furthered his designs

Juggle, which put the wealth of Peter into the pockets of Paul

King was being wheeled in his easy chair in the gardens

Less easily forget the injuries we inflict than those received

Madame de Maintenon in returning young and poor from America

Make religion a little more palpable

Manifesto of a man who disgorges his bile

Mightily tired of masters and books

Monseigneur, who had been out wolf-hunting

More facility I have as King to gratify myself

My wife went to bed, and received a crowd of visitors

Never been able to bend her to a more human way of life

Never was a man so ready with tears, so backward with grief

No means, therefore, of being wise among so many fools

Not allowing ecclesiastics to meddle with public affairs

Of a politeness that was unendurable

Oh, my lord! how many virtues you make me detest

Omissions must be repaired as soon as they are perceived

Others were not allowed to dream as he had lived

People who had only sores to share

People with difficulty believe what they have seen

Persuaded themselves they understood each other

Polite when necessary, but insolent when he dared

Pope excommunicated those who read the book or kept it

Pope not been ashamed to extol the Saint-Bartholomew

Promotion was granted according to length of service

Received all the Court in her bed

Reproaches rarely succeed in love

Revocation of the edict of Nantes

Rome must be infallible, or she is nothing

Said that if they were good, they were sure to be hated

Saw peace desired were they less inclined to listen to terms

Scarcely any history has been written at first hand

Seeing him eat olives with a fork!

She lose her head, and her accomplice to be broken on the wheel

Spark of ambition would have destroyed all his edifice

Spoil all by asking too much

Spoke only about as much as three or four women


Supported by unanswerable reasons that did not convince

Suspicion of a goitre, which did not ill become her

Teacher lost little, because he had little to lose

The clergy, to whom envy is not unfamiliar

The porter and the soldier were arrested and tortured

The shortness of each day was his only sorrow

The most horrible sights have often ridiculous contrasts

The argument of interest is the best of all with monks

The nothingness of what the world calls great destinies

The safest place on the Continent

There was no end to the outrageous civilities of M. de Coislin

Touched, but like a man who does not wish to seem so

Unreasonable love of admiration, was his ruin

We die as we have lived, and 'tis rare it happens otherwise

Whatever course I adopt many people will condemn me

Whitehall, the largest and ugliest palace in Europe

Who counted others only as they stood in relation to himself

Wise and disdainful silence is difficult to keep under reverses

With him one's life was safe

World; so unreasoning, and so little in accord with itself

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