The site for the Queen’s new palace had been chosen by the best surveyors money could buy. Now she was there with her favorite ladies and gentlemen! The workmen who were busy preparing the foundation clambered around her horse. (No! She wasn’t even in her carriage!) Elbowing each other, her footman that was holding the bridle of her horse began to kick at them.
“Stop that now!” Shouted Queen Pirouette over the din. “These men who are building my new mansion deserve better treatment than that!” That said, she began to dole out newly minted gold coins with her profile to her adoring subjects.
The Prime Minister was seen walking in the direction of the room where the Privy Council usually met. Oddly enough, he had a little boy perched on his shoulders. He was a handsome little fellow of about two years of age. He had a shock of blonde hair on his head which was clearly visible as he was beneath the age when a wig was required for all men and women at court. (For those interested, nine years was the requisite age when courtiers were expected to wear wigs.)
“I wonder who the parents of that little brat are?” Said one snarky courtier.
Overhearing the remark, the Prime Minister turned on the man. “How dare you call my youngest child ‘a brat!’ I’m his father. That’s all you need to know. May I introduce you to the marquis de Mazon?” He pulled the boy from his shoulders and held him inches from the courtier’s face. “I believe my son takes precedence over you. Now kiss his hand!”
Horrified at the prospect of being forced to kiss the little boy’s (clearly unwashed) hand, the courtier in question fled the gallery. Down the hall he ran as fast as is high-heeled shoes would allow. Outraged, the Prime Minister pursued the man.
“Wait a minute, you!” He shouted. “I’m not done with you!” In response to the melodrama playing out before him, the young marquis began to wail piteously. “Now look what you’ve done!” Shouted the furious Prime Minister.
Because of his exalted position, the Prime Minister was comfortable with the high level of scrutiny that came with his duties as head of the Queen’s government. What amused him was the fact that he had become an arbiter of fashion at Court. His careless usage of his wig, for instance, caused women to display tendrils of their real hair that emerged from under their white powered hair pieces and cascaded down their necks, even to their shoulders!
At the most recent meeting of the Privy Council, he arrived wearing a black cape that was embroidered with black beads and sequins, trimmed in black fur (probably rabbit) that extended almost to his feet. His tailor was immediately barraged with inquiries from the fashion-conscious courtiers. Within a few weeks, dozens of men and women were dashing about the palace and the capital with their own capes. At first, they were all black, but then other colors, in fact every imaginable color began to be seen on the backs of the wealthiest members of society.
Hunting for sport wasn’t Queen Pirouette’s cup of tea, but she knew she was obliged to participate in this sport in order to remain on a good footing with the nobles. To the sound of blaring horns and baying dogs, she would ride and fling, half-heartedly the spears needed to fell something as big as a wild boar. With more enthusiasm, she would also go hawking. When she pulled the mask from its head, she would marvel as the creature took flight. It was something that she would never forget, watching the creature ascend, circle in the sky and then swoop down on its prey. Usually it would drop a small rodent like a mouse or a rabbit into her outstretched hand.