The Honors of the Court
Proofs of the Court"To be presented previously to the court of France, it was necessary to obtain the approval of the king by one’s high birth, one’s post, one’s services, or one’s talents. There was no precise rule about the choice or limiting the number of admissions. The difficulty of the trip and the customs at that time nearly universal amongst the nobility then living, in time of peace, of retiring to their castles in the heart of their province, prevented the majority of the gentlemen of honor from being admitted to the court and restricted to a very small number the requests for presentation. However the magnificence and the pleasures which surrounded Louis had brought to Versailles the centralization of the French nobility, all the members of those orders fervently aspiring to approach to the throne and to partake of the grace and the favor that the generous liberality of the prince lavished on the courtiers. The salons, the galleries of the palace were not nearly large enough for the receptions, and the coaches which followed His Majesty on the hunt, nor enough for the number of ladies of the court. It became urgent to remedy this predicament and particularly to do right by the demands of the high nobility, who claimed the exclusive privilege to approach the sovereign. So it was the middle-class about whom he was advised."
To be continued...