Friday, 15 May 2009

proper joke

A spy in Quicksilver is writing to his boss, Louis XIV:
Of my journey to the Hague, much could be written in a vulgar and sensational vein, if I felt that I could better serve your majesty by producing an entertainment. But it is all beside the point of this report. And as better men than I have sacrificed their lives in your service with no thought of fame, or of reward beyond a small share in the glory of la France, I do not think it is meet for me to relate my tale here; after all, what an Englishman (for example) might fancy to be a stirring and glorious adventure is, to a gentleman of France, altogether routine and unremarkable.
I arrived in the Hague on the 18th of October and reported to the French embassy, where M. le comte d'Avaux saw to it that what remained of my clothing was burned in the street; that the body of my manservant was given a Christian burial; that my horse was destroyed so he would not infect the others; and that my pitchfork-wounds and torch-burns were tended by a French barber-surgeon who lives in that city. On the following day I began my investigation...

No comments: