The panache of a French grenadier

August 29, 2011

Louis XIV, painted by Charles Le Brun

While inspecting a battalion of his guard in the company of the ambassador of Great Britain—a country with a tradition of warring against France in numerous conflicts—Louis XIV commented:

—    “These are the bravest soldiers in my kingdom. There is not one who is not covered with scars.”

—    “But Sire, what do you say about the soldiers who caused these scars?” replied the ambassador pointedly.

A French grenadier who had overheard the exchange, interjected:

— “They perished to a man!”

Louis XIV at the Taking of Besançon Painted by Adam Frans van der Meulen

Adolfo Padovan, Il Libro degli Aneddoti (Milan: Bottega di Poesia, 1924), p. 97.


Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 104


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