Louis XIV of France

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Louis XIV of France

Louis XIV of France (baptised as Louis-Dieudonné) (5 September 16381 September 1715) ruled as King of France and of the Navarre from 1643. Louis established the French absolute monarchy and made France the main political power in western Europe in his time.


  • Toutes les fois que je donne une place vacante, je fais cent mécontents et un ingrat.
    • Every time that I fill a high office, I create a hundred discontented men and an ingrate.
      • Quoted in Voltaire, Le Siècle de Louis XIV (1751), ch.26
  • Il n'y a plus de Pyrénées.
    • The Pyrenees have ceased to exist.
      • On his grandson becoming King of Spain, quoted in Voltaire, Le Siècle de Louis XIV (1751), ch.28
  • Je mettrais plutôt toute l'Europe d'accord que deux femmes.
    • I could sooner reconcile all Europe than two women.


  • L'État, c'est moi.
    • I am the State.
      • probably apocryphal; reported in the late 18th century: C. D. Erhard, Betrachtungen über Leopolds des Weisen Gesetzgebung in Toscana, Richter, 1791, p. 30. Widely known and denounced as apocryphal by the early 19th century. Jean Etienne François Marignié, The king can do no wrong: Le roi ne peut jamais avoit tort, le roi ne peut mal faire, Le Normant, 1818 p. 12
  • J'ai failli attendre.
    • I almost had to wait.
      • Regarded as apocryphal by E. Fournier, L'Esprit dans l'Histoire (4th ed. 1884). ch.xlviii

Quotes about Louis XIV[edit]

  • Lewis XIV. was by far the ablest man who was born in modern times on the steps of a throne. He was laborious, and devoted nine hours a day to public business. He had an excellent memory and immense fertility of resource. Few men knew how to pursue such complex political calculations, or to see so many moves ahead. He was patient and constant and unwearied, and there is a persistent unity in his policy, founded, not on likes and dislikes, but on the unvarying facts in the political stage of Europe.
    • Lord Acton, 'Lewis the Fourteenth' (c. 1899–1901), Lectures on Modern History, eds. John Neville Figgis and Reginald Vere Laurence (1906), p. 234
  • This was a king, wise in his councils, valiant in his armies and magnanimous in his victories.
    • Esprit Fléchier, quoted in François Bluche, Louis XIV (1984; English translation, 1990), p. ii
  • Your opinion is right, that the members of the Académie Royale des Sciences must not be pestered if it does not appear that they are pleased to see that which has been prepared for them. Those are fruits that grow best on their own soil, which is so well cultivated under the protection of one of the greatest kings that has ever been.
    • Gottfried Leibniz to Paul Pellisson (3 July 1692), quoted in Pierre Costabel, Leibniz and Dynamics: The Texts of 1692 (1973), p. 39. Recorded as "one of the greatest kings who ever lived" in François Bluche, Louis XIV (1984; English translation, 1990), p. 633
  • Louis XIV was the only king of France worthy the name, but though a great king, he was not, like Francis I and Henry IV, un militaire.
    • Napoleon, Napoleon's Notes on English History, Made on the Eve of the French Revolution, Illustrated from Contemporary Documents (1905), p. 258

External links[edit]

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