The Poet's Princess

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Encounter with an angel - Harangue

Isn’t she exquisite? She doesn’t sit, she poses! Her head, pillowed on a hand adorned with almond-shaped nails, frames a peachy cheek. Her eyes are half-opened, her full mouth is set in a Mona Lisa smile, her tightly-fit, low-cut bodice knowingly reveals her luscious body while her audaciously hitched-up skirt lets us admire her tiny foot in a dainty slipper.

Look at her carefully, Jean-François! She doesn’t sit, she is on display! Nothing is left to chance: Angélique Paulet knows how to sell her charms. She has invested a lot of money, -her gown must have cost the earth!- she wants it get back fructified.

She is winking at you flirtatiously. She finds you worthy of her interest! Though she must know that you are far from being rich. Angélique Paulet sums up the value of an affair at first sight.

She fancies you, Jean-François! She is a godsend gift! What are you waiting for? Throw her a kiss! Angélique Paulet is a striking piece of luck! Ex-mistress of King! And who can tell of how many high ranking men with it! Her lovers are extremely influential! She is an angel! An angel? A fallen angel! So what? Forget your scruples! She is your kind of girl! And what a smart one! She’ll help you to get to the top! Just now she’s in the politics of “sackcloth and ashes”. She performs her new part with such a convert’s fury that she has thrown her maid, caught in flagrante delicto with the lackey of Monsieur de Chavigny, into the Madelonettes, a convent prison for fallen women.

The last, and the best prove of her achievement is to be accepted by Madeleine de Scudéry, that famous virgin-writer and paragon of virtue, who receives her regularly at her famous literary salon.

I beg you, Jean-François! Don’t be that foolish to refuse an ally like Angélique Paulet! I am not urging you to jump with her to bed but, at least, be courteous! If you refuse her advances she will take revenge. God knows that this woman has the means to wreck your life! I can read in your face you doubt her brains. Nevertheless, she has known how to keep the favours of her former lovers. If that’s not clever, then explain me the meaning of being smart!

Look at her, look at yourself! You are as scraggy as a stray dog, with no other clothes that these you wear, and without occasional invitations for dinner, you would since long have been starved to death while she is so white, so plump, so well-kept! Trim as a Christmas tree sparkling with expensive trinkets. Owner of a cosy home. A real palace compared to your hole. She is no longer in her teens. Yet, ripe as she is, she hasn’t lost her privileges. To stay in vogue she puts up with a flock of scribblers who pride themselves on being the oracles at the Court. Listen what Beaudeau de Somaize writes about the divine Angélique:

“Redheads! Hear, hear! I bring you words of consolation. Parthénice, to whom I refer and whose hair is of that colour, is a “Précieuse” whose example is ample proof that redheads are as capable of inciting love as are brunettes or blondes.

“Moreover, she has two other rare strings to her harp: her extreme quickness of wit that has earned her high respects of the most famous minds of the century, and her skill for writing in a most accomplished and gallant style.”

You smile, Jean-François? The praise of a great Bodeau de Somaize is no reference to YOU? You consider his laudation common and trite? Don’t be such a snob! If you wish to conquer the Court you must follow its taste. You simply can’t be accepted without mixing with its intimates, without learning how to botch and manipulate the Court’s intrigues without praising the courtiers to their faces and using their little foibles for your profit.

I, your ally and your alter ego, am willing to put my experience at your disposal, generously and without afterthought. Don‘t smirk, poet, the little I can offer you is quite a lot.

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