The Birth of the Dauphin

August 17, 2023

The Royal Festival, in honor of the birth of Louis-Joseph, Dauphin of France.

At three o’clock the new-born child was baptized in the chapel of Versailles by the Cardinal de Rohan, grand almoner. A Te Deum succeeded the baptism, and in the evening there were fireworks on the Place d’Armes.

Le Dauphin, Louis-Joseph-Xavier-François of France

The celebrations were as splendid as ingenious. The arts and crafts of Paris spent considerable sums to go in a body to Versailles to offer their homage to the queen, and to file before her, with music at their head, in the marble court. The procession was charming; it continued during nine days. Each corporation bore the insignia of its profession; the chimneysweeps carried a chimney, from the top of which one of their smallest members sang, in a clear voice, a song appropriate to the occasion; the butchers led a fat cow; the chair porters carried a gilt chair, which contained a nurse with a dauphin; the locksmiths hammered upon an anvil; the shoemakers made a little pair of shoes for the new-born child; the tailors a little uniform for his regiment. The entire court enjoyed this spectacle; the king remained for a long time watching it, and had twelve thousand livres distributed among these good people.

Rejoicing at Les Halles to Celebrate the Birth of Dauphin Louis of France 1781-89, by Philibert-Louis Debucourt.

The locksmiths of Versailles did not wish to be behind their colleagues of Paris,⸺ they presented a secret lock. Louis XVI, in his quality of artisan, wished to discover the secret himself. When he pressed a spring, a little steel dauphin, admirably cut, sprang from the middle of the lock. The prince was delighted; he said aloud that the gift of these good people had given him great pleasure, and he had thirty livres more distributed among them than among the other corporations.

The Life of Marie Antoinette, Volume 1 by Maxime de La Rocheterie. Pgs. 245-246.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 891


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