Time Is Gold: Or, How To Ask For Money In Style

Louise XIV.jpg

Louise XIV

When the house of Claude Sanguin, a 17th Century French poet, was struck by lightning and burned down, he wrote the following ingenious letter to Louise XIV. The King felt the poet’s suffering through his poem. So, he ordered to give Sanguin one thousand crowns, which was the amount the poet requested in his poem.

To engage in your matters belongs not to me,
This, Sire, inexcusable freedom would be;
But yet, when reviewing my miseries past,
Of your majesty’s income the total I cast;
All counted, (I’ve still the remembrance quite clear,)
Your revenue’s one hundred millions a year;
Hence one hundred thousand per day in your pow’r,
Divided, brings four thousand crowns to each hour,
To answer the calls of my present distress,
Which lightning has caused in my country recess,
May I be allow’d to request, noble Sire,
Of your time fifteen minutes, before I expire?

(Note: The original French version of this poem can be found in Nouveau Dictionnaire François: Contenant Generalement Tous les Mots, Anciens et Moderni de la Langue Françoise, Vol. 2, 1710.)

Reference

The Monthly Visitor, Vol. 8, December 1799

About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at learnfunfacts.com. You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkMLaw and Facebook. My email is learnfunfacts@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Time Is Gold: Or, How To Ask For Money In Style

  1. 3C Style says:

    Who could refuse such an elegant request? George Sand did wrote a similar request to the Comtesse Marliani in 1839 and she did receive the money she had requested. Beautiful writing can get rewarded sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That sum was requested so elegantly…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. masercot says:

    Does this remind anyone else of Ewan McTeagle?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Peter Klopp says:

    What an elegantly written request! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ivor20 says:

    Ah, a Poet good at his words, and his maths, A nice story. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

What's On Your Mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s