CHAPTER 5. THE RETREAT IN WHICH MONSIEUR LOUIS OF FRANCE SAYS HIS PRAYERS.
"You are ruining us!" he cried, casting his hollow eyes
over the scroll. "What is all this? What need have we of so
prodigious a household? Two chaplains at ten livres a month
each, and, a chapel clerk at one hundred sols! A valet-de-
chambre at ninety livres a year. Four head cooks at six score
livres a year each! A spit-cook, an herb-cook, a sauce-cook,
a butler, two sumpter-horse lackeys, at ten livres a month
each! Two scullions at eight livres! A groom of the stables
and his two aids at four and twenty livres a month! A porter,
a pastry-cook, a baker, two carters, each sixty livres a year!
And the farrier six score livres! And the master of the
chamber of our funds, twelve hundred livres! And the
comptroller five hundred. And how do I know what else?
'Tis ruinous. The wages of our servants are putting France
to the pillage! All the ingots of the Louvre will melt before
such a fire of expenses! We shall have to sell our plate!
And next year, if God and our Lady (here he raised his hat)
lend us life, we shall drink our potions from a pewter pot!"
So saying, he cast a glance at the silver goblet which
gleamed upon the table. He coughed and continued,--
"Master Olivier, the princes who reign over great lordships,
like kings and emperors, should not allow sumptuousness in
their houses; for the fire spreads thence through the province.
Hence, Master Olivier, consider this said once for all. Our
expenditure increases every year. The thing displease us.
How, pasque-Dieu! when in '79 it did not exceed six and
thirty thousand livres, did it attain in '80, forty-three
thousand six hundred and nineteen livres? I have the figures
in my head. In '81, sixty-six thousand six hundred and eighty
livres, and this year, by the faith of my body, it will reach
eighty thousand livres! Doubled in four years! Monstrous!"
He paused breathless, then resumed energetically,--
"I behold around me only people who fatten on my leanness! you
suck crowns from me at every pore."
All remained silent. This was one of those fits of wrath
which are allowed to take their course. He continued,--