La Duchesse du Linge, official mistress of the old King, had not been required to visit His Majesty in his bedchamber for several years. When the message arrived, asking her to attend His Majesty for a private conference, she registered surprise. Visibly startled, she began applying makeup post-haste. What does that old goat want from me? She asked herself. Didn’t I give him a foot rub in front of the entire court only five days ago?
La Duchesse’s longstanding ability to elicit erogenous responses from the most elderly and infirm was legendary. No longer young herself, she was growing weary of her life’s calling. She paused a moment in front of her mirror and put down her powder puff. Perhaps I could tell him that I’m ill. She snapped her fingers. “Tell His Majesty that I have a headache and can’t possibly attend to him.” Said she to the King’s messenger.